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  • What rules does this site currently follow?
  • Are the rules being followed here arbitrary ("subject to interpretation") or are they very-well-defined so any user can easily lookup a rule if required and dispute a mod's decision citing a particular rule?
  • Are the site FAQs (although there are none as of now) considered rules or they merely serve as guidance ("please follow if you want to")?
  • Does a highly-upvoted answer 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 (if some part of the answer or post is not agreeable to many)?
  • When an upvoted post or answer becomes a rule, are they publicly announced?
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  • Is this just one question? – Erica Mar 13 '17 at 20:21
  • Yes. Please convert to wiki so people can add more related sub-questions. – sv. Mar 13 '17 at 20:31
  • I'm concerned that you've got quite a lot of issues in here already, and additional sub-questions will further dilute and broaden a very broad question. I understand that you want a discussion of the formality and process of rule-making, but I can't begin to compose an answer that would address each of these points (e.g., somebody may agree with me on some parts of my answer and disagree on others, so voting/commenting will be unclear). How can we break this down so it's in more manageable, discrete chunks? – Erica Mar 13 '17 at 20:39
  • I framed it just like this post on meta.SE. If it works there, why not here? – sv. Mar 13 '17 at 20:41
  • Well in part, I don't think we've necessarily hashed out some of the issues (are they well-defined? not yet, we're quite new, unless it's a sitewide rule; what portions become rules? that really depends)... – Erica Mar 13 '17 at 20:58
  • I've converted to wiki as you asked, though I'm not sure we want this. – Riker Mar 13 '17 at 21:06
  • I think some of this can be answered by looking up existing answers on meta.SE. We could probably break out "What rules does this site currently follow?" into its own separate post (maybe the answer is go look at the FAQs once they're ready) and keep this post for the rule making process itself. Maybe some of the above questions can be answered by a CM. Not really sure. I wasn't looking for a quick answer. – sv. Mar 13 '17 at 21:14
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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 .

For example, this topic looks relatively clean at the moment (one answer, no dissenting comments). If there's no dissent it can eventually be retagged without having to be rewritten/summarized.

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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