We have a bunch of posts here on Meta of official FAQ content collected under the tag. This tag has special official status, as indicated by its pink color and by the fact that its use is restricted to moderators.

As these posts describe official site policy, it seems that they are the wrong place for discussion of such policy, and that they should only be changed when there is community consensus to do so, as indicated by Q&A on Meta. They were created for the purpose of providing clear, actionable statements of site policy, so that users don't have to parse pages of commentary to figure out what to do. Allowing discussion on them makes it likely that they will just turn into new repositories of potentially-confusing discussion, rather than clear statements of actionable policy. It seems, therefore that discussion about changing them should be via Q&A on Meta and not via comments or edits on them themselves by the community.

Therefore, I propose that the moderators lock these posts and include a note saying that further discussion is encouraged on Meta, and that if there is community consensus for a change, the moderators will implement it.

There is precedent for this idea in the coda to this FAQ post, which states:

Any requests to change standing site policy should be directed to Mi Yodeya Meta. First, though, please see the primary thread which led to formulation of the above material and other questions with the tag.

Exception: FAQ posts that depend, for their content, on ongoing community maintenance, such as these two, should probably be left unlocked.

  • 2
    Chat about this idea starts here.
    – Isaac Moses Mod
    Dec 1 '14 at 15:25

If you need something to truly be immutable, reach out to us and let us know. As MSH points out, we can add custom pages to your help center if there's a clear need. Expect a bit of resistance from us initially, because there's already a ton of text in there, and many people would rather not read any more than they need to.

Locking, unless doing so to thwart a pattern of abuse, isn't desirable. While folks would probably understand the reason and motivation, it is a little chilling, because it's content that belongs to this community and only a select few can curate once locked.

Changes to FAQ pages tend to surface very quickly, and inappropriate edits can be rolled back. I'd rather fall back on that and let the occasional edit that doesn't change any meaning but otherwise improves a post go through, I don't think it's a rampant enough problem to lock on just yet.


As an alternative if we decide not to do so, I believe that Stack Exchange will add pages to the Help Center on the community's request (within reason). If so, we can so request and, on fulfillment of our request, decommission the Meta posts as permanent archives, making them discussion pages or marking them .

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