Our archiving policy outlines the conditions under which discussions on talk and forum pages may be archived. It hopes to define procedure for organising pages that have become too large and difficult to navigate. Archiving, rather than just deleting, comments is done for two reasons; to preserve discussions for future reference and to prevent out of date information clouding current event discussions.
Article talk pages
An article talk page should be archived when it exceeds 10 topics of discussion or has exceeded 50KB (50,000 bytes).
This must only be done when the primarily active discussions have been resolved or gone cold. In the case of the latter a cold discussion is 2 months following the the last post to the subsection. Archiving as a means of "sweeping under the rug" a contentious discussion is strictly forbidden.
Archiving of article talk pages can only be done by an admin, who are the final arbiters of when a discussion has concluded. Admin who archive particularly contentious discussions should leave a note behind which "closes" that discussion by giving their impression of the consensus arising from it.
User talk archiving
As explained in our vandalism policy, users may not simply remove comments from their own page except through archiving to a page which is then linked on the current revision of their talk page. The easiest way of creating such an archive is by pulling down the menu at the "edit" button on the top of the page. There, you will find an option called "archive". Follow the instructions and you'll have a neat archive completed in seconds.
Of course, you are under no obligation to archive your talk page, at all. It can run to hundreds of sections, if you'd prefer. But if you do choose to reduce the number of comments on your page, you must archive it, and place a link to that archive on the current revision of your talk page.
Archiving means something different in terms of the Forum than it does for talk pages. When you archive something at the Forum, you move it from its original location to The Matrix Archives. This act does not change its URL, so it's almost equally as "findable" as it was before it was archived.
By contrast, when you archive a talk page, you actually change the URL of the contents.
Because of this difference, the restrictions on archiving talk pages don't really apply in the Forum. Forum threads are archived more or less when the conversation has concluded. For instance, if the thread is one that's simply looking for a fact at Board:The Reference Desk, it can be archived as soon as someone answers the question. If the thread is about deciding a point of policy in The Panopticon, the thread will be archived whenever a consensus is declared.
If a forum discussion fails to reach consensus or answer the question of the original poster, it may be — but does not have to be — archived by the unilateral decision of an admin, so long as at least a month has passed since the last edit.
Archiving doesn't mean closing
Archiving must be distinguished from closing a thread. Closing prevents users from making further edits; archiving moves the thread to a different location. While all archived threads should be closed, not all closed threads should be archived. Announcement threads, such as those found at The Drax Cave are routinely locked-upon-creation, since most threads in that forum are simply announcements, not discussions.
Where are the forum archives?
|2004-2005||none beyond MediaWiki itself||The original Panopticon|
Forum:Archives of the original Panopticon
|2006 - December 2012||DPL forum||Forum:Archive index|
|December 2012 - present||variant of Fandom's UserWall||Board:The Matrix Archives|