Battlestar Wiki:Battlestar Wiki is not a forum

From Battlestar Wiki, the free, open content Battlestar Galactica encyclopedia and episode guide
This page is an official policy of Battlestar Wiki.
This policy is considered by the community and its leadership to be the status quo of Battlestar Wiki and is not to be countermanded or ignored, though changes to it can be discussed on the appropriate talk page. This policy was implemented on 17 November 2006.

"Battlestar Wiki is not a forum", means that questions posed in the wiki should not be allowed to turn into conversations prevalent on bulletin boards. This policy covers the "Questions" section of our Episode Guide but also how talk should occur on article's talk pages.

Battlestar Wiki Policy
Article Standards

Article Standards & Conventions
Keeping articles concise
Assume good faith
Official sources and citations
Neutral or Real point of view
Spoiler Policy
What Battlestar Wiki is
What Battlestar Wiki is not
Avoiding "fanwanking"
Descriptive terms
"Alternate universe" products

Sysop ← Interaction → User

Page Moves
Username policy
Check user

Site Wide

Civility, etiquette and personal attacks
Edit war
Things you just don't do
Ownership of articles
Words of wisdom for the paranoid
... is not a forum


Air Lock
High Traffic
Types of users

Inactive Policies
Razor Material

Talk pages

Battlestar Wiki, which is powered by MediaWiki software, does not allow for easy review of long threads of comments in a talk page as a chat forum would.

A talk page (whether it be for an article or a user's talk page), generally speaking, is not the place to give critiques or other commentary on an episode, character, or event. Nor is it the place, typically, to ask questions about the article's content. Such comments do happen, but often such question and answer discussions are very brief and typically create a "Frequently Asked Questions" item in the page that is helpful to the article and its readers, relate to very specific issues with an article, or otherwise add to its flavor.

However, when a comment becomes a series of more comments and replies (sometimes turning into debate), the primary purpose of the talk page -- to note problems and resolutions directly related to the content of its article -- becomes diluted.

When a talk page becomes too much like a chat board, any contributor can stop the conversation by reminding people that Battlestar Wiki is not a talk forum.

Administrators will also remind contributors, but can resort to more draconian measures to stop a unnecessary discussion or debate on a talk page, including locking the talk page and/or the article itself to slow the debate, or temporarily block the accounts of users who fail to stop a conversation thread and ignore warnings asking them specifically not to continue.

Policy and guideline-related pages are generally given some latitudes in extra discussion and debate as their content forms a record of wiki consensus. Contributors are asked to read other submitted comments and avoid repetition and "Me, too!" replies.

Extended, irrelevant chats on talk pages will be archived and/or deleted at the discretion of the administrators. You are welcome to start a new topic or comment on an existing topic on the Battlestar Forum.

Writing Articles

The episode guides at Battlestar Wiki are patterned after the Lurker's Guide To Babylon 5 episode guides. As such, the "Questions" section is intended solely for questions -- ideally questions that may be answered in subsequent episodes, which might be linked to once they are revealed. It is not intended for back and forth discussion, analysis, or disagreements. When articles contain such commentary, it reduces the encyclopedic effect of the article where it appears that the article is "arguing with itself."

Questions that have been answered within the episode may be moved down into the "Analysis" or "Notes" section if they are noteworthy. Analysis that stems from questions should also be located in the "Analysis" section. Ideally the "Questions" section will consist solely of a single level of bulleted questions, with occasional links to "Answer"s (from subsequent episodes) or "Analysis".

Sub-questions that are placed in articles against policy can be moved up as a primary question by any contributor, or, if already answered from official sources (not speculation), can be removed by any contributor. Contributors are asked to summarize the removed edit by indicating where the question is answered in the edit summary, or on the article's talk page.

Contributors who repeatedly violate of this policy will receive two warnings before the contributor's account is restricted from editing for a maximum of 1 week. This limitation allows the contributor access to read the Battlestar Wiki (in particular, to watch how other contributors properly add questions to an article) but editing will be restricted.

Examples of Proper Question Formatting

These examples provide a simple question, with no internal debate or multiple points. Answers are embedded in a simple fashion.

  • Does Doctor Amarak truly have something on Baltar's involvement in the holocaust?
  • Is Six actually in contact with other Cylons, and thus involved in the disappearance / reappearance of the Olympic Carrier?
  • What happened to the group of survivors Helo was left with in the Miniseries? (Answer)

Bad Examples

The use of sub-questions and argumentative responses such as these create a confusing effect. There's also unsourced speculation here that makes the section worse.

  • Billy Keikeya reports that the number of survivors is down by 300 - some lost through death from injuries, etc., some "lost" through initial inaccurate counts, and the rest have "disappeared." How can people simply "disappear" in the fleet?
    • Perhaps the black market has put them to work. Or this number accounts for the people aboard Prometheus.
      • 300 people is way too few to account for the people aboard Prometheus. Besides, some of the losses actually were due to deaths.
    • Perhaps vigilante justice (like in "Collaborators") was at work?
      • Why would so many be killed on such a large scale when it wasn't even clear that there was a traitor?
        • Obviously there's still at least one traitor aboard...

See also