Criticism Policy

This policy is enforced by staff, and is determined on a case-by-case basis. Should you feel any violations are occurring within this policy, feel free to PM any member on the staff list to report it through wikidot PMs or through Discord.

Whether giving or receiving critique, there is one rule everyone should follow:


It is expected that site members act civilly and politely in order for the critique process to proceed smoothly. Receiving critique can be intimidating for those new to the writing process, and offering critique is done by volunteers who are not paid. Respect and civility need to come from both sides of this process. Should you feel this rule is being broken, report it to staff.

There are other things that should be kept in mind when giving critique.

1. Your critique should be substantial.

  • Stating things such as "I like this!" and "This isn't good" is not helpful. In order for a page to be posted to the site, critique needs to be at least 500 characters (roughly 100 words). Don't waste the time of the author or your time by providing shallow critique. Explain why you think these things.
  • Your criticism should tell the author exactly what you found wrong, but more importantly, should tell the author how to improve on the work itself. Good critique is specific, relevant to the page, and to the point.
  • Don't state that any of the problems are "obvious". If the problems were obvious, the author would have noticed. Instead, state the problems which are allegedly obvious, in order to help the author themself.
  • Inexperience in critiquing is not a valid excuse for giving poor critique. We have a how to critique guide, an experienced greenlighting team, as well as countless resources on the Internet that explain the critiquing process. However, it's okay to admit you don't know something. Be polite and don't be afraid to ask questions.
  • You are free to tell your author you are leaving a placeholder. However, please refrain from leaving a large amount, and try to get to those placeholders in a timely manner (24-48 hours is a typical amount). Should someone leave you a placeholder, then not reply within that time period, feel free to PM them reminding them of the placeholder itself.

2. It is more helpful to leave an explanation for why you downvoted something than just downvoting.

  • While you are not obligated to leave a comment explaining your reasoning, giving your reasoning can help the author improve for the next draft.
  • Downvotes should only be related to the content of the page. Downvoting for anything else but the content of the page is considered malicious downvoting.

3. Have an open mind when giving critique.

  • There is no one interpretation of the Backrooms. There is room for all kinds of pages here. Your job as a critic is to make every page the best version it can be. If you consistently offer edits that substantially replace the author's work, reevaluate your critique.

If you are receiving critique, keep these in mind:

1. If you want critique, you must give critique.

  • As part of a writing community, the system does not work if you do not give back to the community. Experienced authors should lend their hand to newer authors, and newer authors should encourage each other.

2. Be patient.

  • We all have lives to attend to. If someone is taking long to get to your page, give them some time. However, if after a week or so they have not responded, it is okay to contact someone else.
  • Additionally, it is good practice to wait until your critic has completely finished with their critique to ask questions or clarify things.

3. Take the critique to heart.

  • Even if someone has completely misunderstood your page, use that as a learning experience. Where did your vision clash with what they understood? Where were you unclear? Even if the critique isn't immediately helpful, try to think what led them to it.

If you have any questions about the policy itself, leave your point in the forums, or else message us via PM or on Discord!

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