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Lostpedia:Theory policy

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Blue check This page is a style guide for Lostpedia. The consensus of many editors formed the conventions described here. Lostpedia articles should heed these guidelines. Feel free to update this page as needed, but please use the discussion page to propose major changes.
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Purpose

LostPedia was set up to allow a community of LOST fans to collaborate in order to attempt to explain the mysteries surrounding the passengers of Oceanic Flight 815. In order to maintain a reputable information source, LostPedia editors must dilligently follow a few basic rules.

Location of Theories

Any page for a character, location, episode or other show based information, that could have theories surmised from it, has a theory tab at the top of the page. This theory tab links to an article subpage where theories now reside. From mid-November 2006, all theories are to be contained here instead of on the main article, which was the previous system for theories. You may find theories that are still on the main article pages. These are being moved, and it would be of a great help to Lostpedia, if you are to find a page like this, that you move the theory contents from the article page to the correct sub-page.

The Ground Rules for LostPedia Editors

These are the important rules to observe when editing LostPedia:

Maintain a Neutral Point of View in Main Articles

All factual articles found within Lostpedia should maintain a neutral point of view. Please don't let your personal opinions about characters and events influence the objectivity of your editing.

Present Qualified Information

Facts

Facts, also known as "canon", are pieces of information that are presented in the show, on the official websites, and released as fact by the producers. Facts are the bread and butter of LostPedia; we use them as evidence to support and refute theories. In Lostpedia, facts are treated as irrefutable and should never be posed as rhetorical or interrogative questions--they are observations that are easily agreed to by the consensus of the community. Due to Lost's multimedia nature, there are differing levels of story information, as detailed on the corresponding canon page.
Sources
All facts presented within LostPedia must have a canonical source. Due to the different natures of these sources, some facts presented within Lostpedia require attribution, depending on their source.
Episodes — Facts that are revealed in an episode of Lost do not need attribution; however, this can be helpful if information presented in an episode is contradicted in a later episode.
Official Podcasts — If any fact is based off statements on the official Lost podcast, they should be attributed. This is because Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse have both known to stoke fires, as it were, by joking about several highly disputed theories. Usually one will state something in a factual manner and the other will question or dispute it. While this makes for great entertainment, it makes the refutability of such statements questionable.
Official Forum Posts — Presently, the only official forum where the LOST cast and crew post is thefuselage.com. Facts resulting from an official forum must be attributed and must be explicitly supported by LOST cast or crew. There are times when cast or crew posts in The Fuselage threads contradict information provided in the Official Podcast; as LOST's principle writers, more weight is given to Lindelof's and Cuse's statements.
ABC Medianet[1] — This is ABC's official site for press releases. This is an official source for information such as episode titles, airdates, guest stars, and short episode synopses.

Advance Information about Upcoming Episodes

LostPedia can include information about episodes that have yet to air in the U.S., as long pages are clearly labelled with {{spoiler}} tags. Advanced information about episodes must include references to reliable official sources. Spoiler sites, however accurate in the past, are not considered reliable official sources; Wikipedia is also to be considered unreliable, as at any given moment inaccurate information might be included. Examples of reliable official sources include attributed producer interviews, podcasts, press releases from ABC, official website postings, and TV Guide listings. As a rule of thumb, it is better to get it correct than get it first - we would rather lag in timeliness than accuracy.
If episode information is posted without adequate sourcing, it will be reverted. If pages are repeatedly edited to include unreliable information, they will be locked by a sysop until official sources can be found. Please wait until you have official confirmation before posting such information in the body of an article. Such information can be included in Theories or Discussion pages, with references to nonreliable sources (and appropriate spoiler tags).

Theories and Speculations

Both theories and speculations are coherent statements made in an attempt to explain the events of LOST. Neither can be treated as canonical until they are presented as a fact by a reputable source, as described above.
A theory differs from speculation in that it is backed up with logically consistent observations and facts. Without supporting evidence, statements are merely speculation.
All theories should be presented as statements along with their supporting facts in a Theories page of an article because of their non-canonical nature. Like facts, theories should never be presented as rhetorical questions.
All speculations should be made only on discussion or user talk pages.

Theory and Logical Fallacy

There are many types of logical fallacies. Specifically, it is easy to attempt to support a speculation by using shoehorning and wishful thinking. It is also possible to create statements that appear on the surface to be a theory, but fall short due to a logical fallacy; such statements are sometimes referred to as crackpot theories (see apophenia for more discussion on this bias). Please remember that theories must maintain logical consistency, therefore theories presented with a logical fallacy are actually only unsupported speculations and do not belong on the main page or the corresponding theory page.

Proven Theories

When information that confirms a theory is revealed by a reputable source, the statement becomes fact and can be moved from the Theory tab of an article.

Discredited Theories

If a theory has been discredited due to the revelation of new facts from a reputable source, the theory should be removed from the article. If there is need to keep this theory for historical purposes, please place it on the discussion page of the article.

Present Original Information

There are several different communities that attempt to do similar things as LostPedia. Please don't duplicate other people's content into LostPedia. This is most commonly done with Wikipedia. Rather than duplicating from Wikipedia, please provide a link to the Wikipedia content, like this: [[wikipedia:{article}]].

Do Not Make Erroneous Statements

Editors of LostPedia articles stick to facts and theories. Erroneous statements do not have a place in this wiki. Obvious and/or intentional fallacies that are added to this wiki will be removed. Repeatedly adding fallacies to LostPedia will result in a temporary ban, and after multiple temporary bans the ban will become permanent.

Keep Humor Where It Belongs

A sense of humour is as essential to life as an outrageously addictive television show, however all good comedians know that there are times when humor is inappropriate. Adding humor to articles "just to be funny" is not particularly helpful and will most likely be seen as a nuissance or worse, as vandalism. The majority of people who visit the Wiki care about LOST, and the hundreds of editors that spend veritable hours tidying articles and talk pages will not appreciate having to excise your comedy antics from an article. Please add your brand of humor to the discussion page of an article or your own talk page.

Parody

Parody is a special kind of humor. While parodic articles are welcome in Lostpedia, all parodies as well as articles on parodies must be marked as a parody. This can be done easily by placing {{parody}} at the top of the parodic article.
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