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Primer

Information for this wiki is available from first-party sources like the show itself, Hasbro, and production crew in some cases; second-party sources like Hasbro affiliates, partners, licensors, and the like; and reliable third-party sources.

Material that is featured on the show
Since this wiki is about the show, material from the show takes precedence over everything, under the caveat that we treat it as a work of fiction.
Material by Hasbro
Outside the show, this is the most preferred material. This includes the toy lines, first-party merchandise, press releases, promotional material, and more.
Production material by the crew
Second party sources
Production material and second-party sources are reliable in most respects, but unreliable when it comes to specific details.
Reliable third-party sources
Non-production material by the crew
Reliability is sometimes difficult to determine, but sources that are under editorial control and have a reasonable record of fact-checking usually qualify. These cannot include fan sites or interviews with fans, with few exceptions.

The crew members do not own the brand, but they do influence the show. However, some crew members are directly involved in some things and not in others. Storyboard artists aren't involved in naming characters, animators aren't involved in scene planning, and the like.

Placeholder names
Only when no superseding information is available the wiki relies on placeholder names.

When information from superseding sources is available, the information from the most reliable source is used.

When the information is available from sources of roughly equal reliability, all of the most reliable sources are used, and the information is presented in a way that explains the different standings of the sources.

Examples

Spelling

My Little Pony Friendship is Magic

Not actually disputed, but it serves as an example of using the show as the definite source of information. Spelled without a colon, as it appears in Hasbro's merchandise and on the show. Episode titles are similarly spelled as they appear on the show.

Big Macintosh

The closed captions read Big Macintosh, so that's the information that was used on the wiki before there was a superseding reliable source. Closed-captions were assumed to be reliable. Later it was found out that the closed-captions spell certain things wrong, like "draconequis", "Appaloosa", and "Aloysius".
Recently, an unfortunate dispute about the correct spelling was initiated on the base that a storyboard artist spells the name "Big Macintosh", while Faust spells it "Big McIntosh". The reason only one name is used is for consistency; the reason the alternate spelling isn't mentioned is because the source of the alternate spelling is not definite and sometimes unreliable: while Faust named the character, the storyboard artist had nothing to do with the character's name. Storyboard artists have previously used spellings such as "Applebloom", "Philemina", and other incorrect spellings.
Solved when the name appeared in Hasbro merchadise as Big Macintosh.

Night Mare Moon

Spelled Night Mare Moon four times and Nightmare Moon once by Faust, and spelled Night Mare Moon several times in Hasbro's viewing guides, and Nightmare Moon once. There really is no clear source here, and it's unclear if Hasbro's viewing guides are first- or second- party sources, but Night Mare Moon seems to be the preferred spelling, so it is used for consistency, but not because it's " more correct" than Nightmare Moon.

DJ Pon3

Spelled DJ Pon3 in promotional material, and DJ Pon-3 in second-party merchandise. Since the second-party merchandise and promotional material in question are under roughly the same content control, which is less than first-party merchandise and press releases or the actual show, then both spellings are used until a more reliable source is available, or until one source is shown to be more reliable than the other. In the case of the second-party merchandise, it's very possible that the spelling was fan-contributed, as WeLoveFine.com sells T-shirts with fan designs.

Names

Rose

Rose on the show, Roseluck in merchandising. The name used is Rose. The merchandising is mentioned because the wiki covers both the show and other official material. If the name Roseluck were solely mentioned in second-party sources or third-party sources, it would not have been used. The pony is named on the wiki as it is on the show, and information about related official ponies is also provided, much like Surprise is mentioned on the development section of Pinkie Pie's article.

Heartstrings, Golden Harvest, Noteworthy

Worth noting for these instances that previous Surprise Bag ponies like Fluttershy, and previous toys like the early 2011 McDonald's Cheerilee had their designs "wrong", or not show-accurate. In the case of Cheerilee:
  • First appeared on the show on November 19, 2010, unnamed
  • Toy that was released in January 2011, the cutie mark is similar but not identical
  • First appeared with show-accurate packaging in June 2011
  • Appeared with packaging with Applejack's design and slightly different cutie mark in August 2011
  • First named on the show on October 15, 2011

That means that up to June 2011, toy Cheerilee was less similar to show Cheerilee than toy Heartstrings is similar to show Heartstrings. The people who want to rule out Heartstrings as "not close enough" to the character on the show should look at the Surprise Bag Fluttershy and early 2011 McDonald's Cheerilee who, despite their dissimilarities, are still "the same" characters that appear on the show, not in the sense that they are "canon", but in the sense that they share a name and character design.

Terms

"Alicorn"

Here an exception has been made because contributors consistently ignored the editing note, so a more visible note was required. The show states that Celestia and Luna are unicorns. Hasbro has never used the term alicorn. The proper term to use on the wiki is "unicorn" and no other term needs to be mentioned. Despite this, numerous explanations for the misuse of alicorn are present, even though they are redundant, since "unicorn" is clearly used on the show, but "alicorn" is never used by the show, Hasbro, or related merchandising.

Questions and answers

Why does any of this matter?

I don't know. I'm only explaining how this wiki tries to be as show-accurate and brand-accurate as possible.

Where does speculation go?

The speculation forum.

What's the trivia section for?

Official information that for some reason can't be incorporated into the body of the article momentarily.

Where does information from reliable third party sources about fan labor go?

The fan labor namespace.

Where does the rest of the fan labor go?

Everywhere else but this wiki. There really is no shortage of sites for fan labor.

How do you know what's canon?

The wiki can't and doesn't describe what's canon and what's not. The wiki only describes what is depicted, without deciding what is "really real" in the fictional universe of the show or the marchandising.