When putting answer here, often you get responses, sometimes not or only after a longer time frame. In general there is a lot less traffic on meta than on the main site, and responses can be slow in trickling in and being voted upon.

At what point, are the answers considered to be final, or at least unequivocal enough that you can move to action?

  • It likely cannot be the querant accepting one answer they like. The idea as I understand is that the answers collect the feedback of the community on what should by consensus happen

  • Does there need to be a tag assigned by a moderator that classifies a question as resolved?

  • Is it sufficient if there is a single answer with any number of upvotes?

  • How long after an answer is available and most upvoted would it be recommended to wait before accepting it or acting on it, in case no moderater desision is required? The main site apparently has a policy to wait at least for a day, after the answer has posted. What is it here with lower traffic - a week?

  • What does it mean if nobody replies? Do people not care, and you can just do what you want? How long do you have to wait for replies?

I apologize if there is a FAQ for this, I was not able to find it. If there is a close/pointer answer would be perfectly fine.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ There is no direct answer to this, since you are looking at a holistic complex of issues that depend on the circumstances. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Mar 18, 2022 at 11:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is there any policy document or similar? What would be good taste? Without any guidance on how long to wait or when something counts as decided, you just end up in limbo with questions \$\endgroup\$ Mar 18, 2022 at 11:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Should I provide some examples, maybe? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 18, 2022 at 11:23
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ I personally am going to avoid answering this question because I fear any guidelines would get tossed around as laws and acted upon as if they were laws when the reality is that every situation is different and even when looking at a particular situation, there isn't really anything to go off of \$\endgroup\$ Mar 18, 2022 at 11:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related: "What is the appropriate way to bring community attention to unacted-on meta consensus?" \$\endgroup\$ Mar 18, 2022 at 11:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ I know we're experiencing issues with how our guidance is being interpreted and used, but if that means we just don't produce guidance for our own community anymore that's also really bad — how can we expect folks to get used to synthesizing guidance with their own judgment if we won't provide it to them? Worse, if we shy away from guidance, doesn't that mean they're left with only rules to enforce, exarbating the issue? I think this is a fair thing to ask about at this stage and providing a guidance oriented answer like SomeoneEvil has done is appropriate and helpful. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 18, 2022 at 17:48
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener Yeah, I realized that after posting my comment and realized it could have itself been put into an answer much like Someone Evil's. It's definitely a complicated thing to consider; I really like guidelines but I've seen people saying guidelines are often misused and I'm not really sure there's a best decision at that point \$\endgroup\$ Mar 18, 2022 at 18:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Compounding the issue is that this isn't even about guidance vs policy, this is about meta-policies-- when is a policy a policy? I get the desire for clarification and guidance, I really really do. But all of my experience (here, elsewhere, and in life in general) tells me that trying to lock things down too tight just doesn't work. I wish I had a productive or constructive comment, here, but unfortunately I don't. \$\endgroup\$
    – Novak
    Mar 18, 2022 at 19:15
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Novak It's not even about politics, it's just trying to understand, like, when do we do stuff that we agreed on? Answering that does not require locking anything down because locking things down is not how this works, see Someone_Evil demonstrating that. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 18, 2022 at 19:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener maybe so, but the question itself seems to me to be looking to define hard rules. \$\endgroup\$
    – Novak
    Mar 18, 2022 at 19:37
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Novak I think the question is looking for guidance and answers, and the bits that ask about hard and fast rules get answered with the idea we have do not have them here. The question is not demanding we create hard and fast rules, it's just a question, and it presumes reasonably it's possible there are some hard and fast rules. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 18, 2022 at 20:09

1 Answer 1


There's no hard line on this

Whether a meta discussion is mature enough to have achieved consensus is a judgement call. And a big part of that judgement call is gonna be the scope of the proposed thing. The second is how timely the question is, eg. a question about handling a specific mainsite question would usually be resolved quicker than a retagging matter.

We'd generally expect voting to be reasonably settled. What exactly that means isn't fixed, but a single answer having sat at a score of 8 for a few days would usually be a solid indication. Me throwing out numbers here is trying to outline a scale, by no means a replacement for judgement.

There's something of a cutoff at two weeks (question age), which is when the question gets taken of the community bulletin. If consensus isn't clear at that point (or there's no answers), it may need more attention. Bring it up with the mods, and we'll see if it's worth featuring.

Speaking of featuring, for major discussion we usually wait for a month for the simple reason that's the time before it's automatically unfeatured and thus a natural cutoff point. We (the mods) then make a judgement call on whether consensus is established.

If you want a second opinion for judgement calls relating to this (as we don't have a great need for recursive meta discussions on this) there's nothing wrong with asking for one in chat. Especially if handling the discussion outcome needs a moderator (eg. tag merging/renaming) raise a flag instead.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I think it would be also wortwhile to point out how controverse proposals complicate judgement calls, maybe with a historic example or two. A vote of +16 and -8 and +8 and -0 result in the same score. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Mar 18, 2022 at 12:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Akixkisu I'm not sure how to cover that other than consensus then being hard to establish. It seems perhaps more likely for those to warrant featuring? \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil Mod
    Mar 18, 2022 at 12:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you could do that by expanding on the conceptual extension of what compartments play into the concept of "scope." E.g. "some of these factors, among others". \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Mar 18, 2022 at 12:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ I suspect that's already adequately covered under the whole judgement call thing. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 18, 2022 at 19:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener I don't think so, but it still is a good answer. I think it is touched upon. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Mar 18, 2022 at 21:12

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