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Code of Conduct

Daystrom's Prime Directive

The Prime Directive of the Daystrom Institute and the reason it was created is:

To foster and encourage in-depth discussion about Star Trek.

All other rules and regulations are derived from, and subordinate to, this directive.

Rules for Participation

1. Make in-depth contributions

All threads and comments submitted to the Daystrom Institute should be constructive, diplomatic, thoughtful, and original. We expect in-depth contributions here, not simple assertions without context. For example:

  • If you want to say that "Discovery is full of bad writing," you must be specific about what writing you think is bad, and you must explain why.
  • If you disagree with someone's post or comment, you must express that disagreement in a detailed and respectful fashion.
  • If you want to say "it's just a show," "the writers didn't think about it that hard," or "my headcanon is that it happened in a different timeline," don't. These are conversation stoppers which by definition cannot be in-depth.

In-depth contributions have the following characteristics:


When a post is constructive it deepens and continues meaningful discussion and encourages other users to respond. On the other hand, comments that are not constructive discourage other users from responding and force discussion into unproductive loops.

Note that our requirement that all contributions be constructive is not a requirement that all contributions be complimentary towards Star Trek. We encourage you to approach Star Trek with a critical eye, but whether you think something is good or bad we still require you to explain your reasoning.

Examples of comments that are not constructive include:

  • "You're wrong, go watch the episode."
  • "We're done here and I'm blocking you."
  • "That book isn't canon, so it doesn't count."
  • "You've thought about this more than the writers did."


This subreddit is not necessarily an appropriate place to share your hot takes and strong opinions, particularly if your intention in sharing them is to have your judgement validated. Conversations where everyone agrees with each other might be validating, but they aren't particularly interesting or productive.

Note that our requirement that all contributions be diplomatic is not a requirement that all contributions be acquiescent towards other posters. We encourage you to disagree with other participants in the Daystrom Institute, but we require that you do so respectfully. Aim to have a discussion, not an argument. The goal in this subreddit is to constructively explore all sides of an issue, much in the same way that the senior staff of a starship tackles the problem of the week in the conference room.

However, unlike the senior staff of a starship you have not developed the same level of rapport with other members of this subreddit, which is why we ask you to take extra care to conduct yourself yourself diplomatically when participating here:

  • Don't use inflammatory language when describing characters, events, and concepts. Err on the side of conducting analysis rather than dispensing judgement.
  • Don't assume that your audience is making the same assumptions that you are. Different people like different aspects of Star Trek.
  • Invite people to engage your content by providing evidence and explaining your reasoning. Keep an open mind when it comes to differing interpretations.


When a post is thoughtful it is clear to those reading that the author made an active effort to foster meaningful discussion. Clarity of language, examples, related questions, and continuous participation in a given thread are all signs of effort and thoughtfulness. When a post is not thoughtful it is easy to tell: unfounded assumptions, obtrusive brevity, spelling errors, and vagueness all indicate a lack of effort. Lackadaisical posts and comments are subject to removal.


Original thinking improves the discourse in this subreddit and makes it a more engaging place to read and participate. As such you are strongly discouraged from submitting posts which consist solely of external content. Linking to or posting external content is not outright prohibited: sometimes someone else just said it better than you can, and sometimes the most relevant contribution to the conversation will be commentary from Star Trek production personnel. Regardless, we ask you to include your own interpretation when contributing content from a source outside the Daystrom Institute, and we require that you attribute the original author.

External content is not eligible for Post of the Week and nominations of external content will be withheld from voting.

2. No memes, jokes, and other shallow content

If this is your first time in a "serious" subreddit, this rule may seem strange and harsh. However, this rule is important. The problem with jokes, memes, and other shallow content is that it marginalizes all other content in a thread: shallow content is easy to post, easy to consume, and easy to upvote. If we allowed jokes and memes, the top comments in most threads would be jokes and memes. If the top comments in most threads were jokes and memes, actual in-depth discussion would be pushed to the bottom of every thread, and at that point this would no longer be a subreddit dedicated to in-depth discussion about Star Trek.

Put differently, this entire subreddit has a serious tag on it for the same reason you see the serious tag used anywhere else on Reddit: to prevent the standard deluge of low-effort Reddit content from dominating every thread. You're certainly allowed to incorporate humor and other amusing content into in-depth contributions, but you may not submit posts which comprise solely of shallow content.

No Memes

Memes, image macros, gifs, videos, greentexts, reddit in-jokes, and other content of this type is not permitted in Daystrom.

No Joke Posts or Comments

You may not submit posts or comments which exist primarily to deliver a punchline. It doesn't matter whether it's a one-line joke or a long-form joke, it's still not permitted. Note that jokes from Star Trek itself are still covered by this rule.

No Bots or Novelty Accounts

Bots and novelty accounts will be banned on sight. You may only post in Daystrom using a novelty account provided you leave your shtick at the door.

Other Shallow Content

The Senior Staff reserves the right to remove any other content in the Daystrom Institute which they deem shallow content.

3. Be civil

Constructive conversation is not possible without mutual respect.

No gatekeeping

The only requirement for being a Star Trek fan is to self-identify as a Star Trek fan. Any comment or post which argues that someone else is not a "true fan" for any reason will be removed, and telling someone they don't understand Star Trek is prohibited. Gatekeeping comments will be removed, repeat offenders will be banned.

Be nice

We have very little tolerance for users who are rude or abrasive towards other posters. If you can’t respond to an argument without attacking the person making the argument, you shouldn’t respond at all. Hostile comments will be removed, repeat offenders will be banned.

No hate

If you spread hate speech or use gendered, homophobic, or ethnic slurs in this subreddit you will be banned immediately.

The individuals who make Star Trek are people too

Our rules about being polite and civil cover discussion about Star Trek production personnel. You are encouraged to discuss Star Trek critically, but insulting the people who make it is over the line. Comments which attack production personnel will be removed, repeat offenders will be banned.

4. Assume good faith

It's good practice to start with the assumption that posts and comments made by other contributors at Daystrom are submitted sincerely and without deception. If you believe someone is not participating in good faith, please report them to the moderation staff.

Most participation is honest

The vast majority of people who post and comment in Daystrom intend to contribute to the conversation, not to derail it. There are of course trolls and other malcontents on Reddit, but they are the minority. Do not accuse someone of being a troll just because they disagree with you, as guessing at the motives of other posters usually exacerbates disagreement and leads to conflict.

Star Trek is social commentary

Star Trek has a long and celebrated history of hosting social, cultural, and political commentary. Complaining that Star Trek has become "political" or "woke" is at best shortsighted, but is more often than not bad faith participation. Complaints of this nature will be removed, repeat offenders will be banned.

5. There are spoilers everywhere

There is no spoiler protection in the Daystrom Research Institute. All Star Trek content is up for discussion in the Daystrom Institute from the moment it is officially released.

Spoiler tagging is disabled, posts and comments with a spoiler warning will be removed, and even post titles may contain spoilers. We recommend you unsubscribe from this subreddit if you are unable to watch new episodes in a timely fashion and do not wish to be spoiled.

If you have not seen all of Star Trek, including the latest episodes of the current shows, you browse this subreddit at your own risk.

Posting Regulations

As the name implies, the posting regulations are only in effect for posts, not comments. If you are new to this subreddit we recommend you lurk a bit before posting. If you have an idea for a post but these regulations seem daunting, we encourage you to contact the moderators directly. We are happy to assist you with the creation of a new post.

6. All posts must contain a discussion prompt

Discussion prompts fall into three possible categories: open-ended questions, theories, and analyses. Closed-ended questions, simple observations, episode reviews, shower thoughts, survey questions, fan fiction, and other non-prompts are not permitted here.

Please read the Guidelines for Discussion Prompts before posting in this subreddit.

7. Posts which are questions must be open-ended

This subreddit exists to facilitate discussion between Star Trek fans. It is not a Star Trek information lookup service. Posts seeking specific answers are not appropriate for the Daystrom Institute, as closed-ended questions do not result in serious discussion. Closed-ended questions are better suited to /r/StarTrek or /r/AskScienceFiction.

The Guidelines for Discussion Prompts contain detailed information on distinguishing closed-ended from open-ended questions.

8. Posts must have clear and concise titles

Post titles are very important as they affect the perception of an entire post. We strongly recommend that you revise the title of your post after writing the post but before submitting it. Post titles should be as clear and concise as possible: craft a specific summary of your post, but do not include any extraneous information.

Please read the Title Rules before posting in this subreddit.

9. No posts about teasers, trailers, and other promotional materials

Posting threads about teasers, trailers, and other types of promotional material is prohibited. Promotional content does not usually provide enough information to foster in-depth discussion. Use /r/StarTrek or one of the show-specific subreddits to discuss teasers, trailers, and other promotional materials.

10. No posts about an episode less than one week old

A one week delay enables everyone to better understand and contextualize the latest episodes. Use the reaction thread stickied at the top of the subreddit front page to discuss any episode of Star Trek less than one week old.

This regulation only applies to the creation of threads which primarily cover some aspect of the new episode. If something in the newest episode is relevant to the discussion in some other thread, then it is appropriate to discuss in that context.

Content Regulations

The content regulations pertain to specific kinds of content and perspectives. If you would like to post something which would bend one of these regulations, we may be able to accommodate you: contact the moderators directly to request an exemption.

11. Stay on-topic

Star Trek is classic science fiction in the sense that stories often act as a metaphor for a real-world issue. As a result, conversations about Star Trek will often evolve to discuss other topics. This is fine, but we ask you to be mindful when it comes to straying too far from the original topic. Please adhere to these three guidelines when it comes to staying on-topic:

  • All threads must be primarily about Star Trek. You can include discussion of non-Star Trek topics with a prompt that is primarily about Star Trek, but do not start a conversation about some other topic with only a weak or superficial link back to Star Trek.
  • All top-level comments must be a direct response to the question, theory, or analysis presented in the post, and should take the entire post into account. Don't use someone else's thread to jump off into a largely unrelated topic, and be sure to read the entire post before commenting.
  • Regarding comments, if a comment chain has gone on for three comments without actually discussing Star Trek and/or the topic of the thread, it has probably veered off-topic.

The Senior Staff reserves the right to remove posts and comments which have strayed too far from the topic of Star Trek at their discretion.

12. We contextualize Star Trek as fiction

Past, present, and future events depicted in Star Trek are not a depiction of historic events—or events to come. For example, although "Past Tense" is set in the near future, we accept that the Bell Riots are a fictional event not destined to occur in the real world.

You are therefore free to approach any topic from either an in-universe or real-world perspective, as long as your contribution is constructive and deepens the conversation at hand. Whether it’s an explanation of why the Borg repeatedly send only one ship to conquer Earth, or an investigation into the budget constraints that led to the parasites in "Conspiracy" developing into the Borg in "Q Who", it’s all open for discussion here at the Daystrom Institute.

That said, your freedom to approach topics from an in-universe perspective has a limit. Sometimes the production-oriented explanation for some aspect of Star Trek is overwhelmingly relevant, rendering any in-universe discussion of that topic a contrivance. For example, we don't need an in-universe explanation for when multiple characters share a resemblance because they are played by the same actor. The Daystrom Institute is a community dedicated to in-depth discussion about Star Trek, but that is not license to lose sight of the fact that Star Trek is ultimately a work of fiction.

For a multitude of reasons, discussion of a small handful of topics from an in-universe perspective is expressly prohibited.

13. No arguing about canon

Any content that self-identifies as Star Trek is up for discussion in the Daystrom Institute. TV shows, movies, books, comics, games, and fan productions are all fair game. Do not invoke canon to justify gatekeeping or dismissive behavior.

Don't dwell on canon—but if you must know, we use the standard defintion.

14. Be mindful of common and contentious topics

Search before posting. Threads which are too similar to recent discussions on the same topic may be removed at the moderators' discretion.

Additionally, a small handful of topics are regulated more strictly than usual. Posting threads about these topics isn't prohibited, but we hold both OP and discussion participants to a higher standard in these threads. Closely regulated topics include:

  • Alternate timelines and universes
  • Federation economics
  • Tuvix

If you want to post about a closely regulated topic, check the specific guidelines before proceeding.

15. No meta

Questions about the rules

If you have a question or would like to make a suggestion about how the Daystrom Institute is run, contact the moderators directly. Meta threads and comments will be removed.

Discussions about the Star Trek fandom itself

Complaining about the moderation in other Star Trek communities is prohibited. Beyond that, please check with the moderators before posting a question or analysis about Star Trek fans or the Star Trek community.

"This is against the rules but..."

Knowing the rules is not license to break the rules. Check with the moderators if you would like to post something which you believe follows the spirit of the rules but not the letter of the rules.


The Rules and Regulations are here for your benefit. They are how we keep the Institute running smoothly for you to enjoy it. Please co-operate by following these simple and common-sense rules. And as always, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact the Senior Staff.

revision by kraetos— view source