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The page describing "What is Meta?" has a general description of what the intended purpose of the Meta site should be and outlines basic use cases.

The issue has been raised raised via this topic and others that perhaps common use and acceptance of various types of topics in Meta has transcended and moved beyond the description. I'm not making a value judgment on that case one way or the other. The basic premise here is one of - should the description for Meta be consistent with what is acceptable by the community?

Just a couple of pro-reasons:

  1. As a new user, one may be more inclined to check the description of Meta via the Help page and thus, the page should reflect the most accurate description.

  2. In the linked topic, rather than citing the Meta description, many users cited precedent and previous posts, despite those previous activities seeming to contradict certain aspects of the Meta description. New users should not be expected to immediately familiarize themselves with all forms of precedent and "general acceptance" - these things should be largely outlined in the help documents rather than nebulously defined by group opinion and precedent (although, it is fine for group opinion and precedent to shape the help document)

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    I presume you're aware that no-one reads the descriptions? If they edited it to say that Meta is made of pudding and powered by unicorns, no-one would notice for about six months – Valorum Dec 29 '16 at 21:59
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    lol...nice. I read it when I first started visiting Meta to figure out what the heck this space was, and then referenced it again (as you've probably seen / inferred) for use in the linked topic in the post above). Yay 1%! – NKCampbell Dec 29 '16 at 22:08
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    I'd be astounded if it was even that many. When I first started getting really serious about the site, I spent a few tens of minutes reading the more abstruse documents concerning the internal workings of the site. When I became a mod, I spend about another hour. That's probably more than 99.999% of all site members ever do. For the record, I probably glanced at this page once, then never referred to it again, nor remembered any details about it. – Valorum Dec 29 '16 at 22:12
  • I really don't think we should update the page for the reasons Valorum and Shog9 have given. That being said I don't even know if we could edit it if we wanted to. I know many of those pages are standardized network wide. I think before asking if we should do something it is important to verify that we can do it. – Erik Jan 11 '17 at 23:08
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Page starts off with,

Meta is for...

...Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange users to communicate with each other

The help center exists primarily to describe how these sites work. Even on the main site, you won't find an exhaustive list of allowed topics; just a few broad categories. If you want to know whether or not something is on-topic, you look at the actual questions: are My Little Pony questions generally closed and deleted, or upvoted and answered?

Same goes for meta. Wanna know what's allowed here? Look around. Some metas dedicate threads to praising members who've hit certain goals; others have big meme threads; still others run polls or talk about conferences. Y'all decide what's relevant to your site, what you want to talk to each other about, and how often you want to do it... So stop looking for an oracle to tell you what's right under your nose.

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    you missed the point in your zeal to respond in a snarky jerk-like manner. The point of my question was to provide a solution to a question that came up in a different thread. The full context of the sentence you posted concludes: "..about Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange (asking questions about how the websites work, or about policies and community decisions)". My question referenced a different thread where there was discussion as to what should be allowed and what shouldn't. The help page, since it defines the 'rules' should, logically, be the first destination for a 'ruling' – NKCampbell Dec 30 '16 at 15:52
  • (cont) - since there is a community consensus that seems to be divergent from the documentation, I was merely asking if we should not change the documentation. – NKCampbell Dec 30 '16 at 15:52
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    I'm answering from my phone while eating breakfast, since you missed my commentary on Blackwood's answer on the other topic. So cool your jets, @nk - I'm pointing out the obvious because no one else has bothered. Meta sites existed before that help page; the page attempts to describe their purpose, not dictate their content. Valorum hinted at this in the comments, but I think it's worth being explicit here: y'all decide what's on topic. As with the other thread, this question is deeply lacking in terms of an actual problem - so you gonna describe one, or just wrong your hands some more? – Shog9 Dec 30 '16 at 16:16
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    @Shog9 I don't think anyone has disputed that the community can decide what it wants to consider on topic on Meta. This question is simply asking if, having done so, should we write that decision down somewhere (such as the help page). The alternative seems to be that the only people who will be aware of what is on topic are the regulars and those who have time to conduct several searches. – Blackwood Dec 30 '16 at 21:46
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    If it becomes an issue, record it here on meta, @Blackwood. You have a faq. Right now, I can't really escape the fact that this wasn't an issue until someone brought up the idea that it might be, following which we've seen a sudden assertion that meta is supposed to be strict Q&A (an assertion that requires an all but willful blindness to how meta sites have been used). Baring a sudden flood of problematic memorials such that a formal set of rules is required to maintain order (as was the case with Story ID questions on main), it should be sufficient to just say... "Carry on". – Shog9 Dec 30 '16 at 21:52
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    @Shog9 "as was the case with Story ID questions on main" - sure you're not getting mixed up with M&TV? Here we have guidelines for what makes a good story-ID question, but no formal set of rules like some other sites do. – Rand al'Thor Dec 31 '16 at 12:48
  • Also, thanks for chiming in here. When people start worrying too much about the letter of the law rather than just getting on with things, it really helps to have clarification from an SE high-up about what that 'law' really is and how much we really need to worry about these issues. – Rand al'Thor Dec 31 '16 at 12:54
  • Yeah, y'all aren't as strict as some sites, but you do have rules - or guidelines if you prefer - for asking these questions, and unlike every other type of question they're linked to from the help center, @Rand... Which makes sense, given you get multiple such questions every day. I used it as an example because y'all have traditionally resisted suggestions to lock down ID questions, in spite of their frequency and tricky nature... So it makes a good contrast to what we're discussing here, which is a type of post that shows up once every few months and... Doesn't seem to require much. – Shog9 Dec 31 '16 at 18:05

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