You cannot expect or enforce guidelines in answers to meta questions unless they have been transferred to the FAQ, etc. (from a response to a question asking how to communicate one of such guidelines via comments).

  1. Is this an official policy of SE or SFF that no matter how clear the consensus is on a meta discussion (e.g. here ), they are grounds to be completely ignored unless they are added to FAQ?

  2. Is there a yes/no policy on whether such guidelines should not be communicated in any way, shape or form to people who violate them?

Or do they still constitute the site policy, and therefore should be reasonably expected to be adhered to and are fine to be communicate to people who violate them?

  • 2
    Hmm.. If it is, then it is regardless of the answer, but if it isn't, then an answer isn't authoritative... Iiiinteresting...
    – Izkata
    Commented Feb 24, 2013 at 5:26
  • @Izkata - sorry, didn't parse that at all. Commented Feb 24, 2013 at 15:45
  • Heh, just trying to make an (apparently really bad) joke. It's already kind of like a riddle, given you're asking about its truthiness in the area the quote says isn't authoritative.
    – Izkata
    Commented Feb 24, 2013 at 16:38

1 Answer 1


Uh, no. I don't know where that quote is from, but it's bogus. If there's a meta thread that shows consensus on an issue, and it doesn't contradict an SE policy¹, you can take it as a site-wide policy. What is linked from the site FAQ is the most important stuff that new visitors should be aware of, and what is tagged on Meta is less important stuff that comes up often.

All meta discussions are to be taken into account whether consensual of not. If there's a near-consensus, you can treat them as policy, in that for example moderators will act on them. If there's no consensus, they are still relevant in that they show arguments that have been made on a particular issue, and they may be updated to deal with a new example of that issue.

One thing that does distinguish most meta threads from policies is that just because an answer has a lot of upvotes doesn't mean every word of it is policy. Upvotes show agreement with the general trend of an answer, but not necessarily with every detail. Going with the example in your question, I would say that “It's NOT OK to say that "any answer of a 'bad writing'/'plot hole' type" is a bad/inappropriate/offtopic answer” is a generally agreed-upon policy, but the specific delay of “2-3 weeks” is not policy. Mind you, that particular issue isn't really conducive do policies, since it's mostly about answer quality which is decided by voting, and voting is a personal choice.

  • The quote is from this answer. Commented Feb 24, 2013 at 0:59
  • 1
    FYI: Your second sentence looks like you meant to add a footnote reference but there's no footnote at the end. Commented Feb 24, 2013 at 1:02
  • Also, 2-3 weeks should be changed to 6-8 weeks according to official SE time measurement policy :) Commented Feb 24, 2013 at 1:08

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