• What rules does this site currently follow?
  • Are the rules being followed here arbitrary (i.e., "subject to interpretation") or are they very-well-defined so any user can easily lookup a rule if required (e.g., dispute a mod's decision by pointing to a particular rule)?
  • Are the current site FAQs considered rules or they merely stand as a guidance ("please follow if you want to")?
    • If the FAQs are not correctly interpreted, followed or enforced by mods and rest of the community here, why even list them as FAQs for this site? Listing something as an FAQ (e.g., Is it OK to cite Wikipedia in answers?) and not following or enforcing it sends confusing signals to new and existing users.
  • Does a highly-upvoted answer such as this and this automatically become a rule? If so, when? And how many upvotes does a post need to become a rule?
  • What portions of a highly-upvoted answer become rules? (E.g., as per this post, personal opinions are allowed when scriptural references are lacking. Yet, some posts were deleted in the past ignoring suggestions made in that post.)
  • When an upvoted post becomes a rule, are they publicly announced?

1 Answer 1


Copy-pasting the excellent answer written by @ChrisW on a different SE site:

Does a highly-upvoted answer automatically become a rule? If so, when? And how many upvotes does a post need to become a rule?

In my experience of other sites, someone asks a Meta question about policy, one or more people answer, and people vote.

So a typical topic might look like this:

  • Q: Should we implement policy X?
  • A: Yes, because of reason Y.
  • A: Yes, because of reason Z.
  • A: No, because of reason W.

Often some answers more-or-less agree.

I think that the policy becomes (or doesn't become) a "rule" when it's clear what the consensus is, of the majority of the people who voted on it (and discussed it).

Moderators may post questions, answers, comment, and vote (because they too count as users).

Leave the Meta topic open for a week or more: perhaps some users only participate on the weekend.

What portions of a highly-upvoted answer become rules (if some part of the answer or post is not agreeable to many)?

If there's something you disagree with in an upvoted answer, post a comment (or a contrary answer) to explain that. Comments, discussion, dialog are much more welcome on Meta than on the main site.

When you post your comments, after you discuss and clarify the issue, hopefully you'll arrive at a compromise (e.g. an edited answer), and/or other people will join your discussion (in comments).

All this might be happening in a topic. If the eventual decision looks clean (if votes associated with the answers show a majority vote of Yay or Nay for the proposal in question) then a moderator can retag that as .

If the decision doesn't look clean (e.g. if it took a lot of discussion to arrive at consensus), then write a new topic to summarize that you think the consensus was. Then people can vote on your summary and you can tag that .

If someone added a dissenting answer with no upvotes, IMO that would still be a clear consensus and clean enough to read and to tag as .

You (the community) may change rules later by repeating the above process: propose a new rule, etc.

If there's a clear community consensus for the new rule then adopt it, otherwise keep the old rule.

When that kind of discussion happens you can also use the tag on the meta-topic, to notify the whole community that a new rule-discussion is happening over on Meta.

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