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User talk pagesEdit

I'm thinking about adding a bit on user talk pages on here and in the past this site has used a "no removal of comments" (unwritten) policy concerning talk pages. I'm actually not all that fussed about that and think that if a user wants to just remove old discussions and don't want to archive them they should be able to. So I thought I'd just see if anyone has any views or preferences on whether users should be forced to keep old discussions. – JayLR 04:58, August 4, 2010 (UTC)

To be honest, I'm not fussed about a "no removal of comments" rule. The page history can always be reviewed/restored by admins/bureaucrats anyway, so it seems like a pointless rule. Just my two cents :) --The Doctor 08:21, August 4, 2010 (UTC)
Also, what if your talk page gets spammed? I don't think removing the spam would be wrong. Nerys Ghemor 13:13, August 4, 2010 (UTC)
I would have thought that spam would be exempt from the rule anyway, and would usually be removed/deleted by an admin anyway. --The Doctor 13:35, August 4, 2010 (UTC)
But would a user actually be forbidden from taking care of it themselves if they get their first, on their own page? That's not something I would be pleased with, at all. Nerys Ghemor 04:08, August 6, 2010 (UTC)
I don't mind either. Whatever you guys decide, I'll support. --usscantabrian 03:05, August 5, 2010 (UTC)
The Doctor is correct. Spam and vandalism would get the boot. – JayLR 03:51, August 5, 2010 (UTC)
As with spam or vandalism on any other page any user can undo it. Really the only time you specifically need an admin to do it is if the entire page or image needs to be deleted or in the rare cases when protecting a page is required. – JayLR 04:39, August 6, 2010 (UTC)

Here is a draft of what I'm thinking of adding to the policy:

User talk pages are the primary way for users to interact directly with other users. Like with normal talk pages user talk pages are not private, remember that whatever you say on a user talk page will be viewable by everyone. If it something you would rather everyone not reading about it might be better to email that user. This also means anyone can reply to a message on a user page, not just the user the talk page is assigned to. There are no rules against another user answering a question on someone else's user talk page.
Unlike an article talk page users can control what they keep on their talk pages. Old discussions can be removed once they have been concluded (though they can still be accessed through the user talk page history). Other users generally should not edit or remove comments by other users on someone else's talk page. Exceptions to this are fixing of broken links and removal of obvious vandalism/spam. User's can remove comments they leave on other people's user talk pages only if these comments have not been replied to, once again these comments will still be viewable through the talk page's history.
For users who prefer to keep all correspondence on their talk pages they can archive old discussions so to keep their talk pages from growing too large and unwieldy. To do this a user needs to create a sub-page of their talk page (eg. User talk:Username/archive01) and move old discussions there. Don't forget to add a link to the archive on your talk page so that you and others can easily access the archive if needed.

Does that make sense to anyone other than me? – JayLR 09:21, August 15, 2010 (UTC)

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