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Discussions should not be deleted, even after they have been concluded. Talk pages are an integral part of a wiki; they are a place for users to decide which direction an article should go in, what to include and not to include, and are a suitable place to state any other comments they may have. User talk pages are also important, being a place where users can communicate about a wide variety of things, as well as receiving warnings from other users regarding unhelpful edits, and messages from Administrators about blocks.

These comments may end up outdated and seem useless; however, there are many reasons to keep them.

So Why Keep Discussions?

There may seem to be no purpose, but keeping discussions can be very useful. For example:

  • Keeping old discussions may prevent the same debate from happening repeatedly. For example, if two different sources provide differing information, leaving the discussion may prevent it being brought up again.
  • Providing a record of a user's actions and discussions with other users. Although it is possible to view the page history, it is much easier to look over a discussion.

When Does This Not Apply?

Obviously, some discussion may not necessarily be an integral part of the article or user's talk page. For example, spam or an utterly pointless message can be deleted, as they are not actually a discussion of any kind.

Some other situations and what to do:

  • Blatant flaming (negative or abusive messages directed at other users) can be removed.
  • Talk pages that are outdated can be removed (these should be archived).