You commit to something, it's not working out the way that you envisioned based on the proposal and the sample questions and you want a way out of it after it's in beta.

You signed with your name once you committed. How can you (using Area 51) say "The future of this site is no longer up to me, I just don't agree on how it's evolving"?

In short, can we un-commit once a proposal has reached beta? Since one has yet to reach this stage, I thought this question was worth asking ahead of time.

Will the un-commit button work after a site reaches beta? What happens if several people do that and an already beta site falls below the required percentage to get to beta in the first place?


This answer explains this, in part, but not what happens if a site that reaches beta loses sufficient participants (and their reputation) that it would not have reached beta in the first place. Also, will there be a penalty if we take the conscientious objector route and simply not participate?

Corner case? Probably, but still a valid question. I appreciate your patience and answers, I tend to find possible events that aren't handled in a defined way.

2 Answers 2



Ah, I see. My answer (below) missed the mark. You're talking about virtually "un-committing" from a beta site because you no longer support its creation. That makes sense.

A beta site launches to "full status" based on its traffic levels. The pragmatic way to "not support" a site is to not use it. If a beta site does not have sufficient traffic, it will be deleted.

So, what to do about your "commitment"?

Signing a "commitment" is part of the petition to have the site created. Withdrawing your name from a petition after it has already "passed" doesn't really work.

The closest real-world analogy I can think of is becoming a conscientious objector; that is, refuse to follow through with your obligation on the basis of conscience (i.e. not just because you are lazy). Ideally, you could symbolically perform that action by removing your Commit phase commitment, but I see that being left open to abuse (i.e. we track commitment follow-through).

So here are you choices as I see them:

  • Follow through with your commitment: You made the commitment. Work with the group to resolve your differences. If those difference are irreconcilable, finish out the terms you signed up for and get out of there.
  • Use the 'contact' link at the bottom of Area 51, explaining your situation. Maybe there is a database-y way to nullify your commitment, if that is warranted. I would want to know if there was a problem with a site, anyway.

If this sentiment becomes common, it may warrant a more pedantic approach by adding some procedure to handle this situation more directly.

Previous answer (below):

Simply click on the Uncommit link at the upper-left portion of the commit page, beneath the total 'committed' count.

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  • @Robert, will that be the same in the beta phase?
    – Jaydles
    Jun 25, 2010 at 17:34
  • What will happen if a lot un-commits after the beta is initiated?
    – googletorp
    Jun 25, 2010 at 17:35
  • @Robert - that will still work once a site is in beta and allow me to commit to something else instead? Please see my edits.
    – user50049
    Jun 25, 2010 at 17:37
  • Also, note .. the site you screenshotted is not yet in beta :)
    – user50049
    Jun 25, 2010 at 17:42
  • Robert, that makes sense .. but I'm looking more on what happens 'progmatically'. Thank you for your patience and answer.
    – user50049
    Jun 25, 2010 at 18:10
  • @jaydles, @googletorp, @Tim Post: I updated by answer. Jun 25, 2010 at 18:10
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    @Tim Post: There is no "Programmatic" approach right now. "If this sentiment becomes common, it may warrant a more pedantic approach by adding some procedure to handle this situation more directly." Jun 25, 2010 at 18:35
  • @Robert - still kind of concerned about a possible penalty for not following through. Its a real concern for me, one of the sites I committed to is quite likely prone to some sort of metacognition.
    – user50049
    Jun 25, 2010 at 18:40
  • @Robert "If a beta site does not have sufficient traffic, it will be deleted." Since definition and commitment will have went fine for the site, won't it make more sense to give it a second chance by resetting it to commitment phase? Otherwise a new proposal may show up having to start all over again but probably no longer find enough followers since the original followers will be demotivated by complete deletion. Jun 26, 2010 at 7:49

Much like on Planet of the Apes, I imagine you'd vote with your feet.

If you don't contribute to the activity in the beta, you stop driving it toward a full launch. That said, I think the idea behind the commitment is to agree to stick through the beta and try to advance your concerns to get the site to the better place you envision.

If the question is how to get back a "slot" to commit to another site, I think I'd be against that. The commitment should encourage you to try to shepard the short list of sites you're limited to, rather than hop about.

  • 1
    I don't quite get the foot analogy, nor have I ever watched "Planet of the Apes".
    – user50049
    Jun 25, 2010 at 17:40
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    @Tim, my awful POTA joke? It's not in the movie, just a dumb pun on monkeys being able to do things with their feet that humans need hands for. (If you're not familiar with the idiom, "to vote with one's feet", englishclub.com/ref/esl/Idioms/Body/vote_with_your_feet_124.htm)
    – Jaydles
    Jun 25, 2010 at 17:44
  • It's been officially established that once a site goes into beta, you get your commit back, to address your last section. As for this question, it's for the person who may have realized "Hum, as I see the growth of this site through the beta, I realize I don't wish to remain. Let me leave~"
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Jun 25, 2010 at 17:49
  • Thanks for the link. My question is how to do exactly that without going back on a commitment that I signed my name to. Irreconcilable differences , so to say.
    – user50049
    Jun 25, 2010 at 18:20

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