being an attempt to answer to this most common and frequently asked question


So your writeup was nuked (or, more politely deleted), and you don't know why that happened.
At this moment, you are pissed off. You would like to use your mouse like a pair of bolas and unleash unparalleled violence. You are really pissed off.
My suggestion is: CHILL, and let us attempt together a rational analysis of why your writeup is no more with us.


I assume that you have read the Everything FAQ (particularly the E2 FAQ: What NOT To Do section), and that you have gone to Everything University.

You did, right ? Because the answer to your question might just be there, somewhere ...

Since you are at it, read also for the spunky new user.


  1. Was your WU wrong ?: editors do not appreciate gross factual errors.
  2. Was your WU born redundant ?: if you did a WU about "William S. Burroughs" that said "Beat Era writer and drug addict, wrote The Naked Lunch.", your writeup would be factually right and completely pointless, because that information is already available in the node.
  3. Did your WU become redundant ?: more subtly, it may be the case that someone's new writeup completely includes your information. In that case, your older writeup could find itself nuked without XP loss.
  4. Was your writeup part of a GTKY node ?: even a good writeup risks its life in the dangerous environment of a Getting To Know You node. Consider re-noding the writeup under its own node.
    For example, I hade a writeup in Mix drinks you come up with when you're drunk; it was nuked, and I re-submitted it as its own node, were it is currently enjoying a happy and somewhat unproductive life.
  5. Was your WU poorly formatted ?: If your writeup presented itself as a brick wall of text, with no line breaks, there is a possibility that some editor took exception to it, decorated it with flares and called for artillery support.
  6. Was your writeup cut-and-paste from Encarta ?: Everything2 does not (with some exceptions) appropriate copyrighted material, especially commercial copyrighted material.
  7. Were you making shit up ?: generally speaking, Don't make shit up. Don't say "Yeah, the word grobnitz sounds really cool. It should mean something". Don't start wondering about the naked shaven frog-eating aleutian lesbian babes, even though they might exist, and go out of your way to define them.
    making shit up is not forbidden, but I would advise it only if you are either seriously funny: or if what you are noding fits really well into the weltanschauung of E2 (which you will come to know well - hint: it includes monkeys and soy and heavy weaponry).
    How do I know that I am funny, you ask. Let us just say that if your writeup hits rep -15 in five minutes, you are not funny.
  8. Did that stuff belong somewhere else ?: general nodes are for permanent, globally relevant info. Don't forget that you have a fine homenode to play with, and that there are Day Logs and Dream Logs were you can put intensely personal stuff.
  9. Was your writeup meaningful only to you and your buddies ?: if your writeup is something like

    The CMU Center for Arts and Pizza
    a really cool place where foodongle, barKit and other l77t punks like to hang out

    we are left without any information at all, other than 1) such a place exists 2) you like it. Not much, eh ? We like information, which is different from data.
  10. Was your writeup about noding, noders, nodes and other assorted nodia ?: the system can take criticism, but it must be informed criticism. It is difficult to say something original about downvoting, upvoting or how thefez is the ULTIMATE SEX THUG. I mean, we all know it.
  11. Are you a troll ?: no ... impossible. No troll would ever have read this far.

Smell the softlinks

Irritating as it may be, some people will use the softlinks to express their criticism. For example, if under your writeup you find softlinks to There is already a node about this, fool and Your radical ideas about ..., it could be that you have a problem. And are those contrails I see up in the sky ?
A helpful noder will softlink the relevant node, to aid you. Be particularly afraid of synonyms, alternate spellings and name forms: if you want to write about James Frazer, take a look under Frazer, J. Frazer and James Frazer. And under The Golden Bough, while you are at it.

Not all softlinks are meaningful; there are softlinkers that just want to tell you that You're WRONG and you're a GROTESQUELY UGLY FREAK. <-- laugh, this is funny

Reputation and deletion

Reputation (or rather, votes) are quasi-democratic phenomena. Deletion and nukeing are completely non-democratic actions, taken by editors and gods.
This being clear, some Q&A:

Question: Can a high reputation writeup be deleted?
Answer: Sure it can. A writeup of mine had a reputation of 45, and it was (rightly) deleted.

Q: Is there a threshold below which a writeup will always be nuked? A: No, there is not. It is true that, generally, writeups with a very low reputation (let us say, less than -5 or -10) simply suck. Still, some writeups are downvoted only because they express an unpopular opinion, or because their author is not very popular. This is why we have a human decision process, and not automated deletion.

Q: But should I be paying attention to reputation at all?
A: Reputation is a hint, a tip, a clue. You are an intelligent person, I assume. If you write a factual node about heavy weapons, and three peaceniks decide to downvote it, it means nothing. If you write a highly emotional "fluffy" node about the moral implications of oral sex (a theme that has been pounded to death) and it hits -10 in five minutes, perhaps you should put in an E2 Deletion Request before some rogue editor decides to act.

After the fact

Read the Editor Logs. They are of the form Editor Log: May 23, 2001 or Editor Log: May 2001 (I use the latter). Most editors log their deletions with a short explanation.
Should you repost your stuff? surprisingly enough, in some cases the answer is yes. Material that has been culled in GTKY nodes will often be usable for a standalone writeup. That is what I did with Ulcerator, for example.

If all else fails

There is a possibility that your node was deleted by mistake or by evil drunken elves. If you feel that this may be the case, contact an E2 God: you can tell them by the @ symbol close to their name in the Other Users nodelet.

rp interestingly applies my own criteria to this same writeup that is, indeed, about noding. It may not be unnecessary to clarify that the questions that I propose are merely indicators that there can be something wrong about your node; luckily, editors do not operate in a knee jerk mode that leads them to delete any node about noding.
It is a fact, however, that nodes about noding are risky nodes. I had the lack of humility to suppose that my time spent with the system (and my 600+ nodes) gave me some insights that I wanted to share. And I read E2 FAQ: When is it okay to node about noding? carefully.
Redundant as it may sound, editors are humans with human (and subjective) preferences and hatreds. And they can err, which is why I remind you again of the possibility of asking a God usergroup user for a review. But don't bitch about it in the Chatterbox.

We are not special. We want E2 to be special.

In addition to baffo's list above, the following elements in a writeup will make me consider nuking it, though on their own they do not necessarily guarantee its destruction:

  • Inflammatory titles. For example, Feminists can kiss my ass! immediately advertised itself to me as a potential ground zero site.
  • Gross incivility. Yes, I care about manners. That same node heaped obscenities and harsh epithets upon women whose sole crime appeared to be the alleged lack of a sense of humor. Righteous indignation is fine, but uncontrolled crap-flinging is not.
  • No links. It's what we do here.
  • Incoherent writing.
  • Bad or hopelessly outdated information. Just because a band has a new CD coming out next month does not mean they will always have a new CD coming out next month. This info automatically has an expiration date and should not be noded as such.
  • Beginning your writeup with a passage defending it in advance, especially if it makes reference to "free speech", "political correctness", or says something like "this will probably be nuked" is like telling me "Even I, the author, can see that this writeup can't stand on its own merits; so I'm going to try and shame you into keeping it in the database." This makes me want to kill it immediately, and that urge will remain uppermost in my mind as I read the rest.

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