11

For example, we have two separate questions asking if deleted scenes are canon. One is on the main site (here), and one is on meta (here). The two questions are very, very similar.

Given how central and important canon is to certain franchises like Star Wars, it makes sense to ask and answer canon-related questions on the main site. However, the canon itself is not one and the same with the actual in-universe discussion that is the domain of the main site and therefore should probably be separate. One could argue it either way.

So, where should questions about canon (including what is and isn't canon as well as higher/lesser canon) be placed?

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  • One specifically pertains to star wars, so it's on the main site. The other is a general question, so it's on meta. And the answer to the meta one basically says "it's different per work", so they should probably go on main. – Riker Jan 23 '17 at 18:50
15

They belong on both...

Questions about what is/isn't canon have a place on both the main site and on meta, but for subtly different reasons:

  • They belong on the main site when asking about what "really happened" in a creative work. As you say, this is the kind of thing that's of great interest to fans of a creative universe. It's true that "Canon" is a meta-concept: it defines the universe of discourse, but isn't itself a part of that universe. But we've always maintained that out-of-universe questions are on-topic on the main site, so I see no problem here; it's still a question about how a particular SFFnal universe works, and so belongs on the main site

  • They belong on meta when asking about what makes a good source for answers. For better or for worse, as a community we've largely agreed that answers without "canon" sources are, at best, less desirable; that inevitably leads to the question of "Well, okay, but what is a canon source?"

    This, fundamentally, is a question of how to interact with the site, and belongs on meta.

...Personally, I'd rather have them on Main...

The difference between those two points above is largely one of intention, which is difficult (if not impossible) to determine in most cases. If I were to offer advice to a new asker, though, I would recommend they post their question on the main site1, for two reasons:

  • They're more likely to get better answers
  • More people will benefit from the knowledge shared

Which are really just nuances on the same reason: more people visit the main site than meta (by an enormous margin).

...But it's going to be case-by-case

There are situations where such a questions belongs on the main site, and other situations where they belong on meta. For that reason alone, I'm not comfortable setting down a commandment on this topic; it depends on the question.


1 Provided it was a good question for the main site, not too broad and on-topic and so forth

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  • That's how I feel too. I'd personally rather see most canon-related questions on main. – Bob Jan 23 '17 at 19:17
5

Both, in essence.

  1. If a question about canon is about a specific universe it needs to be asked on the main site and have the appropriate tags added.

  1. If the question is how we treat canon or the mechanics of using canon in answers, it should be on meta.
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  • Interesting, that explains the difference in the Cursed Child canon. Consensus on the main site's question is that Cursed Child isn't canon, but the Meta's question says that we still treat it as such. Being that the questions are different, there is no contradiction. – ibid Jan 24 '17 at 6:57

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