The purpose of an article's talk page (accessible via the talk or discussion tab) is to provide space for editors to discuss changes to its associated article or WikiProject. Article talk pages should not be used by editors as platforms for their personal views on a subject. When talk pages in other namespaces and userspaces are used for discussion and communication between users, discussion should be directed solely toward the improvement of the encyclopedia.

The names of talk pages associated with articles begin with Talk:. For example, the talk page for the article Australia is named Talk:Australia.

The guidelines below reinforce the prime values of talk pages: communication, courtesy, and consideration. They apply not only to article discussion pages but everywhere editors interact, such as deletion discussions and noticeboards.

Central points

Maintain Wikipedia policy

There is reasonable allowance for speculation, suggestion, and personal knowledge on talk pages, with a view to prompting further investigation, but it is usually a misuse of a talk page to continue to argue any point that has not met policy requirements. Pay particular attention to Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons, which applies to talk pages as well as to articles: "Editors must take particular care adding information about living persons to any Wikipedia page."

Creating talk pages

Talk pages are generally created by clicking a red "Talk" tab and creating the page, like any other page.

Do not create an empty talk page simply so that one will exist for future use. Do not create a page solely to place the {{Talk header}} template on it. This and similar talk-page notice templates should not be added to pages that do not have discussions on them. There is no need to add discussion warning templates to every talk page, or even to every talk page that contains a discussion.

How to use article talk pages

For the how-to guide, see Help:Talk pages.

Although this section is specific to article talk pages, many of the general themes apply to all discussion pages that are used for collaboration.

Good practices for talk pages

These guidelines apply specifically to discussion pages which are used for collaboration, which includes just about all talk pages other than user talk pages. The application of these guidelines to user talk pages should be governed by common sense and should not supersede guidelines and policies specific to those pages.

Behavior that is unacceptable

Stay in the top three sections of this pyramid.
Stay in the top three sections of this pyramid.

Please note that some of the following are of sufficient importance to be official Wikipedia policy. Violations (and especially repeated violations) may lead to the offender being blocked or banned from editing Wikipedia.

Editing others' comments

It is not necessary to bring talk pages to publishing standards, so there is no need to correct others' spelling errors, grammar, etc. Doing so can be irritating. The basic rule, with exceptions outlined below, is to not edit or delete others' posts without their permission.

Never edit or move someone's comment to change its meaning, even on your own talk page.

Striking out text (e.g., <del>...</del>) constitutes a change in meaning. It should be done only by the user who wrote it, or as otherwise provided in this talk page guideline.

Generally, you should not break up another editor's text by interleaving your own replies to individual points. This confuses who said what and obscures the original editor's intent. In your own posts, you may wish to use the {{Talk quotation}} or {{Talkquote}} templates to quote others' posts.

Cautiously editing or removing another editor's comments is sometimes allowed, but normally you should stop if there is any objection. If you make anything more than minor changes, it is good practice to leave a short explanatory note such as "[possible libel removed by ~~~~]". Some examples of appropriately editing others' comments are:

In the past, it was standard practice to "summarize" talk page comments, but this practice has fallen out of use. On regular wikis with no "talk" tab, the summary would end up as the final page content. Wikipedia has separate tabs for article content and discussion pages. Refactoring and archiving are still appropriate, but should be done with courtesy and reversed on protest.

Editing own comments

"WP:REDACT" redirects here. For information about redaction from logs or page history, see Wikipedia:Revision deletion and Wikipedia:Oversight.

So long as no one has yet responded to your comment, it's accepted and common practice that you may continue to edit your remarks for a short while to correct mistakes, add links or otherwise improve them. If you've accidentally posted to the wrong page or section or if you've simply changed your mind, it's been only a short while and no one has yet responded, you may remove your comment entirely.

But if anyone has already replied to or quoted your original comment, changing your comment may deprive any replies of their original context, and this should be avoided. Once others have replied, or even if no one's replied but it's been more than a short while, if you wish to change or delete your comment, it is commonly best practice to indicate your changes.

Non-compliance

Persistently formatting your comments on a talk page in a non-compliant manner, after friendly notification by other editors, is a mild form of disruption. After you have been alerted to specific aspects of these guidelines (such as indentation, sectioning, and signatures), you are expected to make a reasonable effort to follow those conventions. Other editors may simply ignore additional posts that flagrantly disregard the talk page formatting standards.

Disputes

If you have a disagreement or a problem with someone's behavior, please read Wikipedia:Dispute resolution.

Closing discussions

Main page: Wikipedia:Closing discussions

Closing a discussion means summarizing the results, and identifying any consensus that has been achieved. A rule of thumb is that discussions should be kept open at least a week before closing, although there are some exceptions to this.

Any uninvolved editor may write a closing statement for most discussions, not just admins. However, if the discussion is particularly contentious or the results are especially unclear, then a request specifically for a closing statement from an uninvolved administrator may be preferable.

Requesting a close

Any participant in a discussion may request that an uninvolved editor or admin formally close any type of discussion (not just RFCs), if any one or more of the following criteria are true:

Please do not request a closing statement from an uninvolved editor unless one of these three criteria have been met.

You may request that an uninvolved editor formally close a discussion by placing a note at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Requests for closure. Please ensure that any request there seeking a close is neutrally worded, and do not use that board to continue the discussion in question. If you are requesting attention specifically from an admin, then please state that clearly in your request.

Marking a closed discussion

When an issue has been resolved without controversy, this may be marked simply by adding the {{Resolved}} template at the top of the thread, adding a brief statement of how the issue was dealt with. If you took action yourself to resolve the issue you may instead use the {{Done}} template in your own final comment stating what you did. Adding one of these templates will help future readers to spot more quickly those issues that remain unresolved.

When a more complex discussion has been closed, to discourage any further comments you may optionally use the {{subst:Archive top}} and {{subst:Archive bottom}} templates (although some particular types of discussion, such as those which concern whether to delete or rename a page, have their own specialized templates) — {{subst:Archive top}} and {{subst:Archive bottom}} templates should not be used by involved parties to end a discussion over the objections of other editors. For example:

((Archive top))
Discussion text...
((Archive bottom))

... which produces:

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Discussion text...

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Technical and format standards

Layout

See also: Wikipedia:Talk page layout

New topics and headings on talk pages

Links, time, and page name

Archiving

For the guideline on pages in article space, see WP:TOOLONG. For the guideline on user talk pages, see WP:OWNTALK.

Large talk pages are difficult to read and load slowly over slow connections. As a rule of thumb, archive closed discussions when a talk page exceeds 75 KB or has numerous resolved or stale discussions – see Help:Archiving a talk page. Apart from the exception described in WP:OWNTALK, discussions should be archived, not blanked.

If a thread has been archived prematurely, such as when it is still relevant to current work or was not concluded, unarchive it by copying it back to the talk page from the archive, and deleting it from the archive. Do not unarchive a thread that was effectively closed; instead, start a new discussion and link to the archived prior discussion.

Centralized talk pages

Not to be confused with Wikipedia:Centralized discussion.

For the advice to keep discussions centralized, see Wikipedia:Content forking/Internal.

Often, there are a number of related pages that would benefit from one single talk page for discussions. For example, a list article may have grown too large and was split alphabetically. Or there may be a set of templates that are used together or interrelated MediaWiki interface pages.

Before implementing a centralized talk page, consider first gaining consensus for your proposal. The main discussion would usually be on the proposed centralized talk page with notices on the pages to be redirected. Notices may be placed on related pages as needed; for example, a relevant WikiProject page or Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals). {{Centralize notice}} may be used to note the proposal.

If consensus is gained, then:

  1. Archive current discussions on all the talk pages to be centralized; see Help:Archiving a talk page
  2. Check each talk page for subpages. These are usually archived discussions, but other subpages are sometimes created, such as drafts or reviews. See Wikipedia:Subpages#Finding subpages.
  3. On the centralized talk page, list the redirected pages. {{Central}} is useful for this.
  4. On the centralized talk page, list all of the archived talk pages. {{Archive banner}} is useful for this.
  5. Redirect each talk page to the desired talk page; see Wikipedia:Redirect. It is recommended that an editnotice be created for the redirected talk pages; see Wikipedia:Editnotice. {{Editnotice central redirected}} is useful for this.
  6. It is recommended that an editnotice be created for the centralized talk page. {{Editnotice central}} is useful for this.
  7. Ensure that involved editors realize that they need to add the centralized talk page to their watchlist.

Examples of centralized talk pages: Talk:List of aircraft, Help talk:Cite errors, Help talk:Footnotes, and MediaWiki talk:Common.css.

Personal talk page cleanup

See also: Wikipedia:User pages § Removal of comments, notices, and warnings

The length of user talk pages, and the need for archiving, is left up to each editor's own discretion.

Although archiving is preferred, users may freely remove comments from their own talk pages. Users may also remove some content in archiving. The removal of a warning is taken as evidence that the warning has been read by the user. This specifically includes both registered and unregistered users. Some new users believe they can hide critical comments by deleting them. This is not true: Such comments can always be retrieved from the page history.

There are certain types of notices that users may not remove from their own talk pages, such as declined unblock requests and speedy deletion tags (see User pages § Removal of comments, notices, and warnings for full details).

User talk pages are almost never deleted, although a courtesy blanking may be requested.

User talk pages

See also: Wikipedia:User pages § Ownership and editing of user pages

User talk pages are subject to the general userpage guidelines on handling inappropriate content (see User pages § Handling inappropriate content).

While the purpose of article talk pages is to discuss the content of articles, the purpose of user talk pages is to draw the attention or discuss the edits of a user. Wikipedia is not a social networking site, and all discussion should ultimately be directed solely toward the improvement of the encyclopedia. User talk pages must serve their primary purpose, which is to make communication and collaboration among editors easier. Editors who refuse to use their talk page for these purposes are violating the spirit of the talk page guidelines, and are not acting collaboratively.

Talk page search

You can use the Special:Search box below to locate Talk pages. See Help:Searching for more information.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Even if you don't sign, it is impossible to leave an anonymous comment because your user name or IP address is visible in the page history. Per WP:SIGN, continued and deliberate refusal to sign posts may result in sanctions.
  2. ^ URLs of edit histories and revision differences begin with https://en.wikipedia.org/w/, and Wikipedia's robots.txt file disallows /w/.