Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion/Proposal/1

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This is part of Wikipedia:Criteria_for_speedy_deletion/Proposal.

1 (unremarkable people)[edit]

"An article about a real person that does not assert that person's importance or significance - people such as college professors or actors may be individually important in society; people such as students and bakers are not, or at least not for the reason of being a student or baker. If the assertion is disputed or controversial, it should be taken to VFD instead." should be added to the criteria for speedy deletion.
  • About twenty nominations per day fall into this category. For an example of a lot of them, see Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Bob Burns.
  • For instance, "John Doe is good at chess" does not assert significance. "John Doe has won the UK National Chess Trophy in 1994" does. If people argue that winning that trophy is not significant enough, they should take the matter to VFD, as the assertion prohibits speedy deletion.
  • For a definition of importance and significance, please see the relevant entries in Wiktionary. Administrators are expected to follow common sense. For instance, if the person's profession is cited, a reasonable guideline would be how many people have the same profession: there are tens of thousands of porn models, but very few senators.
  • Some people argue that verifiability might be a better criterion. However, an article such as "John Doe is a student at Albuquerque high school" is verifiable to anyone who holds the school's yearbook. Yet the article would be highly likely to be deleted if nominated for VFD.
  • This proposal partially overlaps proposal 2. That is not in and of itself a problem; individual articles can fall under multiple speedy criteria (e.g. a one-sentence attack page about an unremarkable website).
  • If you are unsure about this proposal, consider that there is a proposed test run to try it out for a month.



This proposal is no longer open for voting. Voting closed on July 19, 2005 15:11 (UTC).


  1. This will most likely take in a lot of the most blatant vanity or joke pages. I would prefer stronger wording to ensure that this is the case, but even as it is I support it. Naturenet | Talk 4 July 2005 16:27 (UTC)
  2. Would also support a stronger proposal, but since we should be cautious about deletion this sounds like a good compromise. Radiant_>|< July 4, 2005 17:18 (UTC)
  3. I don't like the wording on this -- i wish it were edited to not imply that specified professions were inherently notable. That said, this is a good idea. DES 4 July 2005 17:52 (UTC)
  4. Weak support - criteria are a little ambigious - Oliver Keenan July 4, 2005 18:10 (UTC)
  5. This is the best way to reduce the vfd workload. There's little chance of it getting abused, and recourses are available even if it is. --A D Monroe III 4 July 2005 19:16 (UTC)
  6. Admins are admins for a reason. Let them do their jobs. humblefool® 4 July 2005 20:41 (UTC)
  7. --Henrygb 4 July 2005 21:33 (UTC)
  8. Support iff G4 passes. --Idont Havaname 4 July 2005 23:44 (UTC)
  9. Just in case Uncle G's proposal falls. I think, however, that this is a very poorly worded proposal containing as it does wildly arbitrary (and highly POV) examples that should be removed in the event this proposal is adopted. Nevertheless, the actual policy part of this is fine. -Splash 5 July 2005 00:38 (UTC)
  10. NatusRoma 5 July 2005 01:11 (UTC)
  11. Absolutely, and high time such a policy was instated. Denni 2005 July 5 01:53 (UTC)
  12. Support, with the reservations expressed by DES and Splash. -- BD2412 talk July 5, 2005 01:55 (UTC)
  13. Death to vanity articles! Alphax τεχ 5 July 2005 02:16 (UTC)
  14. Wording may be improved. mikka (t) 5 July 2005 02:57 (UTC)
  15. gadfium 5 July 2005 03:05 (UTC)
  16. Anything contested will go to VfD anyway. — Phil Welch 5 July 2005 03:12 (UTC)
  17. I prefer Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion/Proposal/2, but support both - I know far too many folks who are older than 25, have a page on geocities, and think they're good at chess. --Cryptic (talk) 5 July 2005 03:34 (UTC)
  18. Generally too subjective under current wording; but I support the concept and think that it will do more good than harm. BLANKFAZE | (что??) 5 July 2005 03:37 (UTC)
  19. Kind of what happens anyway. Fuzheado | Talk 5 July 2005 03:42 (UTC)
  20. This would be very handy so people don't have to waste time voting for every anon vanity page created. Harro5 July 5, 2005 05:45 (UTC)
  21. Support absolutely, to clear up VFD. --FCYTravis 5 July 2005 06:43(UTC)
  22. This would reduce considerably the workload on VFd. Excellent proposal. JoJan 5 July 2005 08:44 (UTC)
  23. Support to reduce VfD --G Rutter 5 July 2005 08:48 (UTC)
  24. supportsounds good PeregrineAY July 5, 2005 10:03 (UTC)
  25. Support. This will get rid of a load of VFD debates where the result is predetermined. Sjakkalle (Check!) 5 July 2005 11:07 (UTC)
  26. Support --Jpkoester1 July 5, 2005 11:33 (UTC)
  27. Support -- Schnee (cheeks clone) 5 July 2005 12:04 (UTC)
  28. Support. Make the process easier. As always, those who do the deletions are usually intelligent enough to recognize a legitimate article from those that are not. — Ram-Man (comment) (talk) July 5, 2005 14:22 (UTC)
  29. Support. It shouldn't take a week to get rid of what everyone is going to vote delete on anyway. Gamaliel 5 July 2005 14:44 (UTC)
  30. Weak support — Bcat (talk | email) 5 July 2005 15:17 (UTC)
  31. Support. I too think the wording could be a little clearer though. Couldn't the criteria just be "blatant vanity".... =P -- BMIComp (talk) 5 July 2005 16:06 (UTC)
  32. Support, with the caveat that we come down hard on people who stretch this one. For example, "John Doe is a state representative from Idaho" clearly asserts notability and should be put on vfd (if nominated at all). This should not be used where there is even a hint of controversy. Meelar (talk) July 5, 2005 16:12 (UTC)
    Under the current wording of the proposal, people could and would delete articles like that example. Because the proposal does not address your concerns, I urge you to vote against it until it can be fixed. Factitious July 6, 2005 01:14 (UTC)
    I must disagree--"people such as college professors or actors may be individually important in society; people such as students and bakers are not, or at least not for the reason of being a student or baker". This says, to me at least, that people can be notable simply because they are in a certain profession. Nobody is notable for being a student; some people are notable merely for being actors; all people who are British Prime Ministers are notable. In cases where there is controversy (state senators, e.g.), I would fully expect responsible admins not to speedy--and if they did so, they should expect actions to be taken against them. This proposal addresses my concerns, if it's coupled with tough enforcement of violations. Meelar (talk) July 6, 2005 15:18 (UTC)
  33. Support. Warofdreams 5 July 2005 16:32 (UTC)
  34. Support. --Sn0wflake 5 July 2005 16:48 (UTC)
  35. Support. --KFP 5 July 2005 19:01 (UTC)
  36. Support. Admins who abuse this criterion can and should be Wikicensured, but this is a very helpful, commonsense proposal that will reduce VfD load considerably. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 5 July 2005 19:38 (UTC)
  37. Support. Mr Bound July 5, 2005 20:40 (UTC)
  38. Support. I think 'assertion of notability' is about as hard and fast a measure as can be adopted to deal with vanity articles. I would want to make a slight amendment to discount purely subjective assertions of notability (eg "He is the greatest person in the world!"). David | Talk 5 July 2005 22:30 (UTC)
  39. Support. Ahhh, no more "Robert is a really great friend of mine"-type articles... — Asbestos | Talk 5 July 2005 23:32 (UTC)
  40. Support. Admins still need to clear speedy deletion, so I'm not so worried about people thinking astronauts are non-notable.--Scimitar 5 July 2005 23:48 (UTC)
    Judging notability of occupations is a very subjective matter, even for admins. Factitious July 6, 2005 01:14 (UTC)
    • Speedy deletion doesn't need to be cleared. It's just a guy pressing a button and deleting an article. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 6 July 2005 00:29 (UTC)
  41. Support. -- Grev -- Talk July 6, 2005 00:48 (UTC)
  42. Support. Golbez July 6, 2005 02:15 (UTC)
  43. Support. Jayjg (talk) 6 July 2005 02:21 (UTC)
  44. support--Porturology 6 July 2005 03:38 (UTC)
  45. STRONG support. Will definetly cut down VFD nominations. SasquatchTalkContributions July 6, 2005 04:18 (UTC)
  46. support. R. S. Shaw 6 July 2005 04:48 (UTC)
  47. Support. --Metropolitan90 July 6, 2005 04:57 (UTC)
  48. Support. sɪzlæk [ +t, +c, +m ] July 6, 2005 07:54 (UTC)
  49. Support Stewart Adcock 6 July 2005 08:19 (UTC)
  50. Support iff proposal 2 fails. Bishonen | talk 6 July 2005 10:30 (UTC)
  51. SupportTrilobite (Talk) 6 July 2005 10:34 (UTC)
  52. Support. Makes sense. Carbonite | Talk 6 July 2005 12:07 (UTC)
  53. Support. The first step in establishing notability should be the job of the article's creator. So what if we get an article about the latest Hollywood star that says "Erica Bigbreasts is an actress who has appeared in several films"? If they are notable then the article will be either expanded by somone checking recent changes or the person checking articles tagged for deletion. Just becuase it can be speedied doesn't mean it must be speedied. If the article is "Erica Bigbreasts is an actress who has appeared in several films. In July 2005 she claimed to have had an affair with Laura Bush", then that asserts notability, and if there is any doubt if that is notable enough it should be discussed at VfD. Thryduulf 6 July 2005 12:51 (UTC)
  54. ➥the Epopt 6 July 2005 13:22 (UTC)
  55. Support. I argee with thyduulf's comment, if a person really is notable, it's highly unlikely that something indicating that wouldn't be included. Someone in the oppose votes suggested that an astronaut could be deleted, but it's extroadinarily unlikely that someone would exclude that basic fact. People need to provide examples of things that would actually be deleted under this policy. Nathan J. Yoder 6 July 2005 13:26 (UTC)
  56. Laura Scudder | Talk 6 July 2005 14:03 (UTC)
  57. Dan | Talk 6 July 2005 15:10 (UTC)
  58. Kaldari 6 July 2005 17:01 (UTC)
  59. Support. -- llywrch 6 July 2005 17:55 (UTC)
  60. As long as obscure but still somewhat notable figures like Larry Semon aren't covered by this, I support this one. Thanks,
    Luc "Somethingorother" French 6 July 2005 20:21 (UTC)
  61. IByte 6 July 2005 20:38 (UTC) Kill the tidal wave of vanity pages. I'm learning all I never wanted to know about people I've never heard of (and probably never would).
  62. Carnildo 6 July 2005 21:59 (UTC)
  63. ABCD 6 July 2005 22:35 (UTC)
  64. Support. Anomaly1 7 July 2005 00:24 (UTC)
  65. Support. Nohat 7 July 2005 02:16 (UTC)
  66. Support -- this is exactly the sort of judgement call admins are expected to make. However, I'd strongly suggest tag-and-bag for these. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 7 July 2005 02:32 (UTC)
    • Does this mean tag first and then delete after a time? It seems to me that this is no different from VfD. We tag and then delete after five days. In the absence of Keep votes no extra work is required, but in the meantime there is a chance to scrutinize the tagged articles. I could live with a streamlined version of this (an "about to be deleted" category and a holding period of 1-5 days) to give us a chance to see what is being deleted under this criterion. My only objection is to missing the unilateral deletion of articles we've not had a chance to look at because we didn't know they existed. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 7 July 2005 13:43 (UTC)
  67. Support. ral315 July 7, 2005 05:20 (UTC)
  68. Support. Physchim62 7 July 2005 09:30 (UTC)
  69. Support. VfD is suffering with all that blatant vanity. jni 7 July 2005 12:10 (UTC)
  70. Support This is a good, but not perfect criteria which I prefer to voting "delete nn -~~~~" 10 times a day -Harmil 7 July 2005 14:22 (UTC)
  71. Support <>Who?¿? 7 July 2005 16:22 (UTC)
  72. Support Long overdue. The Uninvited Co., Inc. 7 July 2005 16:27 (UTC)
  73. Yep.  Grue  7 July 2005 20:26 (UTC)
  74. Support - Tεxτurε 7 July 2005 21:20 (UTC)
  75. Support. Makes perfect sense. The very few "legit" articles that are deleted this way can be recreated in better form within seconds. -R. fiend 7 July 2005 21:23 (UTC)
  76. Support. Admin are smart enough to distinguish obvious vanity pages. If not obvious, then the Admin can move to Vfd at his/her discretion. Plus anything wrongly deleted could be easily resurrected. Dystopos 7 July 2005 22:58 (UTC)
  77. Support. I don't want to know how much time and server space has been taken up by vanity pages on VFD. Deltabeignet 8 July 2005 03:56 (UTC)
  78. Support. Having this as a speedy criterion would probably cut VFD's load in half. --Angr/tɔk tə mi 8 July 2005 06:48 (UTC)
  79. Weak support. Needs specific guidelines on who is clearly non-notable and who is not beyond what is already mentioned, in order to prevent abuse. Kaibabsquirrel 8 July 2005 07:26 (UTC)
  80. Merovingian (t) (c) July 8, 2005 09:07 (UTC)
  81. Support. This one is quite reasonable. -- Rune Welsh ταλκ July 8, 2005 09:13 (UTC)
  82. Support - well, some people will make their best to state that their school buddies (or themselves) are notable in some way nobody else understands but IMO that's their problem - Skysmith 8 July 2005 09:56 (UTC)
  83. Support - admins are admins due to their usually decent judgement, and errant deletions can always be undeleted. Proto t c 8 July 2005 10:48 (UTC)
  84. Strongly support - this would really ease our burden on VfD. jglc | t | c 8 July 2005 14:04 (UTC)
  85. strong support the most important item on the proposal. Brighterorange 8 July 2005 20:47 (UTC)
  86. support should be effective --Jiang 9 July 2005 08:59 (UTC)
  87. The chess example is well-done! Support. Neutralitytalk July 9, 2005 09:37 (UTC)
  88. support Gwk 9 July 2005 16:32 (UTC)
  89. Support --Doc (?) 9 July 2005 18:01 (UTC)
  90. SUPPORT. This is the proposal I was hoping would be passed the last time around. TheCoffee 21:01, 9 July 2005 (UTC)
  91. Support Aaron Brenneman 15:11, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
  92. Support. Peter Isotalo 17:17, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
  93. Support. Seems somehwat subjective, but I trust that it will be applied properly. --Canderson7 18:10, July 10, 2005 (UTC)
  94. Support --Allen3 talk 21:36, July 10, 2005 (UTC)
  95. Support -- nyenyec  00:23, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
  96. Support -- the meaning of the criterion is quite well explained. Sounds good to me. Sam Vimes 12:06, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
  97. Support -- A lot of vfds are for unremarkable people, reducing the load this way makes sense, and it is often clear that these articles are not asserting that the unremarkable subject has particular importance --Mysidia 12:51, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
  98. Dsmdgold 13:55, July 11, 2005 (UTC)
  99. Johnleemk | Talk 14:43, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
  100. - 15:48, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
  101. DDerby 18:56, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
  102. MarkSweep 01:11, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
  103. Zeimusu | (Talk page) 02:31, July 12, 2005 (UTC) To allow more time for better scrutiny of vfd I support this.
  104. Shanes 05:43, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
  105. Support Dan100 (Talk) 08:35, July 12, 2005 (UTC)
  106. Support Bluemoose 09:38, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
  107. Support, establishing why an article's subject is important is essential for a good article (or even a good stub) and thus the job of the article's creator. Articles that don't contain any such info usually don't contain enough info to be useful. - Mgm|(talk) 11:42, July 12, 2005 (UTC)
  108. Support So far this is passing with a 75% in favor. I think I just made it 76%. Folks, the rule is quite simple: speedy delete, but if any opposition, it goes to VFD anyways. No potential for abuse. It just makes filing away these articles easier and decreases VFD workload. This is a no-brainer.Inigmatus 15:11, July 12, 2005 (UTC)
  109. Support. Pavel Vozenilek 19:31, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
  110. Support, although the wording is cumbersome. Feydey 22:31, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
  111. Support: it makes sense to do this! IanManka 05:03, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
  112. Support. It's easy to recreate accidentally deleted articles with more context. This proposal is heavily decreasing VFD workload. -- Marcika 14:24, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
  113. Support. Wording can be fixed based on experience if this passes. Vegaswikian 04:50, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
  114. support --MarSch 14:00, 16 July 2005 (UTC)
  115. There's always WP:VfU for the inevitable errors that will creep in. Noel (talk) 01:47, 17 July 2005 (UTC)
  116. Support.Vanity is one of the worst VDF hogs. One needs a broadsword, not a scalpel, to defend against it. This is long overdue. CasitoTalk 02:14, 17 July 2005 (UTC)
  117. Support. --EnSamulili 10:25, 17 July 2005 (UTC)
  118. Support. Mwalcoff 00:46, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
  119. Support, strongly. M412k 04:15, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
  120. Smyth\talk 10:33, 19 July 2005 (UTC)


  1. Criteria are too ambiguous. I support Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion/Proposal/2 instead. Pburka 4 July 2005 15:26 (UTC)
  2. For the reasons given on the talk page. Uncle G 4 July 2005 18:23 (UTC)
  3. Oppose. Slightly ambiguous, I think that a lot of the stuff that deserves to be speedy deleted already falls under "Very short, no context". Note that I would support iff proposal A1 passes. JYolkowski // talk 4 July 2005 20:46 (UTC) (edited JYolkowski // talk 5 July 2005 00:59 (UTC)) Oh, and I'd change my vote to neutral iff either proposal P1 or P2 pass. JYolkowski // talk 8 July 2005 00:24 (UTC)
  4. prefer Proposal 2. JesseW 5 July 2005 00:15 (UTC)
  5. Per Uncle G Xoloz 5 July 2005 06:24 (UTC)
  6. Conditional. Prefer Proposal 2 but would support this if that failed.Theo (Talk) 5 July 2005 08:03 (UTC)
  7. I can't support this. We'd end up with world class viola players and the like being speedied instead of wrongly VfD'd. I don't have time to go trawling through the deletion log to rectify this. See also Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion/Proposal/Z --Tony Sidaway|Talk 5 July 2005 14:56 (UTC)
    • Well, great. I don't have time to go trawling through RCs to make sure every nonsense vanity article of the "I'm cool becuz I go to Home Street High School and play football" genre gets VfD'd. --FCYTravis 6 July 2005 01:26 (UTC)
      • That's already speediable as a very short article with no context. JYolkowski // talk 6 July 2005 01:32 (UTC)
      • I'd also like to ask: why do vanity articles urgently need to be deleted in the first place? We're not exactly overrun with vanity articles, they're not taking up namespace that would be occupied by anything else (they get deleted or moved if they are) and nobody links to them. If they begin to fill up the disk we just run a "least accessed" scan and delete the articles that are never accessed. They absolutely are not a problem for Wikipedia except when people delete good articles in the belief that they're deleting vanity, or when people fill VfD up with vanity articles (which is fine) and complain that VfD is full of vanity articles (which is silly, what do you expect?) --Tony Sidaway|Talk 7 July 2005 01:08 (UTC)
    • In asnwer to Tony Sidaway: let's be objective here. Even if your statement becomes a reality - unlikely, but I am giving you the benefit of doubt - we can sacrifice a stub article in order to be able to eliminate thousands of worthless articles without having to to start a VfD proccess. --Sn0wflake 6 July 2005 01:40 (UTC)
    • My full response to this is below in the comments section. To put it briefly, it *will* happen and a substantial number of good articles will be lost because of this. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 6 July 2005 15:00 (UTC)
  8. This criterion is to subjective. We'd just end up with the arguments over notability happening on VfU (where they most emphatically don't belong) instead of VfD, which is not an improvement. Gwalla | Talk 5 July 2005 21:01 (UTC)
  9. Too many of these "I've never heard of it so it must not be notable" nominations reach VFD ... and have their notability established after days. Not speedy material, not at all - David Gerard 5 July 2005 21:41 (UTC)
  10. Arguments by David Gerard -Mononoke 5 July 2005 22:54 (UTC)
  11. Oppose, because there was no attempt made to make this objective. If someone thinks that, say, astronauts aren't notable, he could speedy articles about astronauts under this proposed rule. Anyone who participates in VfD will be aware that subjective disagreements over notability are common. Factitious July 5, 2005 23:08 (UTC)
  12. Oppose. A strange criterion -- virtually nobody, and certainly not many professors or actors, are notable simply due to their profession -- and in any case, a vague one. Christopher Parham (talk) 2005 July 6 05:24 (UTC)
  13. Oppose because the criterion is (way) too subjective and prone to errors in my opinion. I see too many VfD nominations that are marked as not notable which easily survive VfD (see e.g. this example which was nominated yesterday). Making these cases, or at least the articles that are about people, speedy deletion material will surely reduce VfD-load, but peer review is actually very useful for determining notability. As David Gerard notes, people sometimes equate I have never heard about him/her with not notable. I strongly prefer VfD for dealing with notability issues. Sietse 6 July 2005 06:02 (UTC)
  14. Oppose the criteria is way too subjective and way too many good articles would be caught up in this which would exponentially increase the load on the votes for undeletion. Jtkiefer July 6, 2005 06:05 (UTC)
  15. Oppose per David Gerard. Unfocused 6 July 2005 07:39 (UTC)
  16. Oppose; the criterion is too vague. Articles on people are already deleted far too often 9especially compared with those on other subjects). Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 6 July 2005 08:58 (UTC)
  17. Oppose. The proposal is a little too vague. I support the second criteria instead. This particular proposal would catch the "John Doe is a really cool guy" articles, but will miss the "John Doe won the 2003 Dr. Mary Smith High School Chess Championship and won second prize in a beauty contest" articles. --Deathphoenix 6 July 2005 14:23 (UTC)
  18. Oppose. Too ambiguous and sounds subjective. --Aphaea* 6 July 2005 14:36 (UTC)
  19. Per Tony Sidaway. —Charles P. (Mirv) 6 July 2005 15:07 (UTC)
  20. ¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸ 6 July 2005 19:25 (UTC) Absolutely not. People are notable, esp. when they are verifiable. ¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸ 6 July 2005 19:25 (UTC)
  21. Oppose Too ambiguous. Fieari July 6, 2005 20:42 (UTC)
  22. Oppose For many of the reasons stated above, David Gerard's in particular. Also I'm afraid that in the borderline cases a group of admins will look at a new article one by one until one with a low threshold deletes it, thus going against the unspoken (and admittedly unofficial) consensus of the admins that viewed it previously and decided that it wasn’t speedy material. I guess that subjective criteria like this should be run through more of a consensual process (VfD). I think that #2 does a better job of objective standards. Rx StrangeLove 7 July 2005 00:55 (UTC)
  23. Oppose per David Gerard. -- Ricky81682 (talk) July 7, 2005 07:49 (UTC)
  24. Pcb21| Pete 7 July 2005 15:27 (UTC)
  25. Oppose notability is a very slippery concept. This ought to go to VFD so that it can be google/nexis checked. thames 7 July 2005 20:46 (UTC)
  26. Oppose Too sliperry and open to admin abuse.Lots of people are notable, and admins sometime slip up, cf Interpellation Klonimus 8 July 2005 08:29 (UTC)
  27. Oppose: Wikipedia isn't paper. No one is harmed by extra articles if they're factual and well-written. If someone is non-notable, the worst thing that happens is (s)he's never looked up. Dave (talk) July 9, 2005 04:30 (UTC)
  28. 24 at 9 July 2005 18:28 (UTC)
  29. Oppose - does not assert that person's importance or significance too vague. William M. Connolley 13:42:24, 2005-07-10 (UTC).
  30. Oppose: Canderson7 (no relation) convinces me that any new rule which requires trust should be opposed. This is one of the cases where a subdivision of the VfD page might be useful Septentrionalis 21:22, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
  31. Oppose Ambiguous Hiding 21:56, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
  32. Oppose this and all other proposals. I don't have the time to trawl through them all but it ain't broke. Grace Note 02:32, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
  33. Oppose. - McCart42 (talk) 13:39, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
  34. Oppose Likely to lead to deletion of articles on notable people. It is better to keep these even if they are very poor as most people are more likely to edit an existing article than to start a new one. CalJW 17:04, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
  35. Oppose. While I support the general idea, I think it is too poorly written to be policy - it is long and rather vague, which leaves it open to interpretation and subjectivity. Some of the other proposals will catch a lot of these ones, I think. / Alarm 18:09, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
  36. Oppose. Vanity vfd's result in keep sufficiently often. What harm is it going to do? David Remahl 03:28, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
  37. Oppose This is inherently biased Lectonar 10:30, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
  38. Oppose. There should be a mandatory disputed/controversial query first on the talk page of the article before speedy deletion. -- Norvy (talk) 22:18, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
  39. Oppose. Articles should not assert notability. They should show why the person is notable. Superm401 | Talk 04:27, July 14, 2005 (UTC)
  40. Oppose. The criteria states if the assertion is disputed or controversial it should be taken to VFD, but clearly if it's been deleted it's going to be too late for that. Furthermore, *someone* must have thought they were notable enough, because they had created the article. Therefore, the assertion will always be disputed, in which case it should always be taken to VFD. In other words, the criteria is flawed, nothing could actually be deleted under it. -- Joolz 15:05, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
    I think you misunderstand how this would work. "The assertion" means the explicit statement in the article of the reason why the person is notable. If there is no such statement, or only an obviously bogus one (John Jones is a great guy. He likes cats, and goes to my school.), the article can be speedied. If the article asserts a reason why the person is notable, but the person who wants to delete it thinks the claim is inaccurate, or does not amount to a good reason to have the article in Wikipedia, then it should not be speedied, but should go through the regular VfD process if it is to be deleted. (For example: John Jones is a crusader against alcoholism. He was recently elected to the legislature of fooistan on the Mauve Party ticket.) The mere fact of an article having been written is not to be taken as an assertion of notability. DES 15:42, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
    And that's its fundamental weakness: if there is just one administrator unaware of a person's notability, he can delete the article without actually doing any research. It encourages poor and hastily performed decision-making and actively discourages research. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 19:24, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
    Here I disagree with you. If an article is in fact so poorly written that it makes not even an indicator of a claim to notability, I am inclined to think it no loss. If an admin sees even an arguable claim to notability, ignores it and speedies the article anywy, that admin is violating the policy, not enforcing it, and should be censured. If it happens repeatedly, that admin should probably lose admin powers. I do think that your proposal P1 would have helped with this, and I would support something like it in future (since it doesn't look like passing at this time). But even without it, I really think the net effect of this proposal will be positive. i have read all your comments and suggested examples, and to me most of them fall into a few categories: a) articles so poor that I think a speedy is proper, even if the subject is in fact notable; b) articles put on VfD, but might well not have been speedied under this new criterion -- note that because an admin says "not notable" in a VfD nomination doe not mean he would say "does not even assert notability" for an SD; or c) examples of admins violating existing policy, who ought to have been admonished already. It is not IMO an argument against a proposed rule that people who violate it may do harm. DES 19:38, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
    When an admin has said in listing on VfD "No notable accomplishments mentioned" (William Connolley, kept after discussion on VfD) or "No notability presented" (Stefan Rahmstorf, kept after discussion on VfD), I think it would be perverse to assume that he believed that an assertion of notability had been made. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 20:07, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
    Arguably, at the time the VfD tag was added to them, neither of these articles asserted any form of notability, unless the profession of professor or researcher is inherently notable. Thus i would put them in "a) articles so poor that I think a speedy is proper". These are, of course, precisely the kind of possibly promising article which this proposal is not primarily aimed at, and which you propsal P1 would have been most helpful for. But even had they been speedied, with a proper note, it would not have been hard to recreate them in soemthign like their current sate, where there is unarguably an assertion of notability made. I doubt that I will convince you of this, or you me. But perhps soem of the others readign this page may be swayed one way or the other.
    The question of how difficult it is to create an article is supremely irrelevant. If nobody comes along and recreates a deleted article then it doesn't get recreated, and if they don't write enough to satisfy some random ignoramus with administrator powers then it gets deleted again anyhow. The effect of repeatedly speedying articles that don't contain a lot of information is to set back the state of the article to the point that nobody can even know that the article could exist or what it should refer to. It is precisely this kind of situation--where we have a good subject that someone will recognise--that benefits from our current policy of listing on VfD. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 05:12, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
  41. Oppose, specific consensus, not comparison of an article by one admin to this ambiguous policy, should drive whether articles on people should be deleted or not. - Jersyko talk 02:16, July 15, 2005 (UTC)
  42. Oppose- too broad. Besides, most articles are rewritten minutes after they are listed at VfD. Newbies usually start an article with one vague sentence, save the change, and then build upon that. Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk 20:34, 17 July 2005 (UTC)


  • "If the assertion is disputed or controversial, it should be taken to VFD instead." What does that mean? We're talking about a case of speedy deletion. Nobody gets a chance to dispute anything. If the administrator doesn't happen to think that something is controversial (for instance, if he doesn't think that city mayors are notable and isn't aware that this is a controversial view) then we lose an article we never knew we had, before we get a chance to improve it. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 6 July 2005 00:27 (UTC)
    • This means, of course, if the articel asserts notability, but the person who wants to delete disputes that assertion, that person must use VfD, and may not use speedy deletion under this criterion. DES 06:28, 17 July 2005 (UTC)
  • In assessing the likelihood of good articles being speedied, I have to look at what has been nominated to VfD. If we look at first day in July, we've seen deletion listings for Stephen Hague, Barbara Metcalf, Li Jing, Frank Field (meteorologist), Brian Blackwell, William Connolley, and Stefan Rahmstorf. They all seem to have been thought non-notable by someone, and all seem to be heading for keep. William Connolley in particular seems to have attracted a VfD nomination in the past but is headed for its second keep result. Seven articles in one day is too high a price to pay for a tidier VfD. Discussion of deletion is the purpose of VfD, and it's doing its job very well. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 6 July 2005 12:44 (UTC)
    • I believe that the problem with this explanation lies in the fact that it disregards a simple factor: it does not matter how many articles get wrongfully nominated. What matters is wether the admin actually deteles the article. Admins, theorically, are seasoned Wikipedia contributors which have seen dozens of VfDs unfold and have a good idea of when an article is clearly bogus and when there might be something more to the article. Now, I agree that lately we have seem some events unfolding on RfA that are at the very least of a questionable nature, and of course, a few admins will make bad calls, but assuming good faith, the system remains integer. I truly do not believe that this rule will be abused. Most of the active admins today have a good grasp of what they are doing, and while there will be accidents, it's not likely that thet will happen on this proportion. --Sn0wflake 6 July 2005 16:35 (UTC)
See next section below. There are too many "mistakes".
And of course we already have some administrators doing stuff like this:
01:44, 27 June 2005 Jinian deleted "Abbas Bin Abdu'l-Muttalib" (content was: '{{delete}}According to Sunnis sources he did not give alligance to Abu Bakr, until Ali suposedly did so.')
01:44, 27 June 2005 Jinian deleted "Abu Dharr Ghifari" (content was: '{{delete}}Muhammad sayd about him:'Their is no man more truthfull betwen heaven and earth than him)
01:43, 27 June 2005 Jinian deleted "Ammar ibn Yasir" (content was: '{{delete}}According to Sunnis sources he did not give alligance to Abu Bakr, until Ali suposedly did so.')
These three articles were about three Sahaba, or companions of the Prophet Muhammed. I have no idea why Jinian deleted them instead of just cleaning them up or marking them for someone else's attention. The point is that even now we cannot spare the resources to undo the damage performed, whether deliberately or inadvertently, by administrators. Give administrators the power to decide alone whether an article about a person should be deleted, and the administrative load will increase because many of us will be reduced to trailing around after one another undoing the mess. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 6 July 2005 16:59 (UTC)
Actually it's even worse than I thought. Stub articles about theories in quantum physics and Premier League football players should not be deleted, even if they don't go into detail on theory or describe the player as the worst in the team. Content can be cleaned up by editing, there is no need to delete.
Why are some administrators doing this stuff? I have no idea, but I'd guess either ignorance or laziness. Just because we're administrators doesn't mean we have godlike powers. That's why VfD is the place for deletions of all but the most incoherent articles. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 6 July 2005 17:53 (UTC)
In answer to Tony Sidaway: if certain administrators are not acting in accordance to the rules, leaving a note on their Talk page is likely to solve the problem. If that does not suffice... well, we do have a system for demoting admins, don't we? The way you express your opinion makes me wonder wether your views clash against the proposed CSD rules in question or wether in truth they clash with unskilled admins. If it is the former, then this is probably not the best way avaliable to solve the problem. --Sn0wflake 7 July 2005 00:03 (UTC)

Why do we need to do that? We have an excellent forum for discussion of deletions. It works very well. But give those administrators a rule like this proposed rule and we'll see more of these questionable deletions. And I can't really do anything about Jinian even now. Add a rule like this and we'll see Wikipedia degrade. We will lose good articles because of ignorant administrators.

I think you're going a bit wide when your interpret my statement as an attack on unskilled admins. Jinian is highly skilled and very experienced. But that doesn't stop him making massive mistakes even within the current framework. I don't think he's untypical as a Wikipedia administrator, because we're not chosen for our research skills.

VfD is currently one of the finest and fastest research tools on the planet. Why are we proposing to scale back its research load and hand the job to amateurs? --Tony Sidaway|Talk 7 July 2005 00:34 (UTC)

This is a rather complicated discussion. I am not implying that I disagree with you entirely. I merely had to pick a (metaphorical) side, and opted for the one which I saw as best to my interests. It is true that these polls were rushed, and needlessly so. They are likely a reaction to two distinct phenomena which are directly related: the growth of the Wikipedia (and the consequent need for faster deletion methods) and the recent wave of negative reactions against admins (which seem to be backed up solely by the claim that "admins are evil"). On the spirit of the Wikipedia, these polls try to be NPOV, pleasing all parties to some degree. Thus, we are left with a dozen of concurrent polls which are going to be implemented ASAP in case they obtain enough support votes. So while I do not fully agree with what is being proposed, there is no option other than voting. Now that the snowball has begun to roll down the hill, there is nothing to do other than supporting or being as loud as possible on the opposition. So I don't condemn what you are trying do, and as symbolic as it might be, I hereby change my vote to Abstain. --Sn0wflake 7 July 2005 01:31 (UTC)

You think our admins (apart from yourself, presumably) are ignorant layabouts? That's a pity; where did WP:FAITH go? Anyway, what's the fear over some false deletions: the article can be recreated in a jiffy. To survive that process, it would have to have different (and thus likely a little more) content — the end result is the same as expanding a non-deleted article. Too much fear over too small a problem. -Splash 6 July 2005 22:49 (UTC)

Why is the article being deleted in the first place? All three of the articles on the Sahaba were clearly good-faith attempts to create an article and all contained ample context to permit expansion (I expanded one of them myself, someone else revived the others). The article Qubit Field Theory, I've absolutely no idea why it was deleted. Here was an article with a perfectly good external link to a paper by David Deutsch, thus ensuring that the article can be expanded. The article on Gary Holt (footballer) (which was deleted as Gary Holt) identifies the man as a footballer for a world class team. These are utterly stupid deletions, inexcusable. If you cannot improve an article, mark it for someone else to improve, don't just delete what little information is available on the subject--that is usually the starting point for improvement.
So do I think my fellow administrators are stupid and lazy? Yes, I think when people delete good stubs they are being stupid or lazy, whether they are administrators or not. And no, if I deleted a good stub I would not be exempt. I'm also a Wikipedia editor and a good editor does not destroy useful information. VfD weeds out stupidity and laziness, that's why we need to keep it in the loop. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 7 July 2005 00:52 (UTC)

Proposal P1[edit]

Note that if Tony Sidaway's new proposal (at Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion/Proposal/P1) passes, it would apply to this proposal as well. I think it would answer many of the objections to this proposal. I urge those who have supported this proposal to consider supporting P1 as well, and those who have oppsoed it to consider a conditonal vote of support if and only if proposal P1 also passes. DES 7 July 2005 15:02 (UTC)

There is a proposal P2 which I think is better worded but still flawed. I guess I'm becoming reconciled to the idea of just wading through deletion logs for the rest of my Wikipedia career. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 7 July 2005 21:35 (UTC)
If we don't find a way to speedily delete vanity articles which fail to claim notability, the rest of us will be reconciled to wading through scores upon scores of obvious, blatant and unencyclopedic vanity articles of the Jennifer Pritchett variety on Votes for Deletion for the rest of Wikipedia's existence. --FCYTravis 8 July 2005 00:13 (UTC)
This seems reasonable. It's what we do at present and it works. See also my proposed tagging mechanism, which would reduce the bureaucratic load considerably without having administrators regularly delete perfectly good, expandable articles. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 8 July 2005 16:42 (UTC)

Recent speedy deletions of biographical articles on notable people[edit]

These were all rescued recently with a basic minimum of research. Do we want to encourage the deletion of attempts to create worthwhile articles? A Wikipedia administrator is also an editor, and should in principle be perfectly capable of performing the same basic cleanup we rightly expect of all RC patrollers. But it's much easier to press the delete button and move on. Administration does not appear to enhance editing skills.

  • Maguire Seven famous British case of miscarriage of justice. Original article was skimpy but correctly described the case in a manner that invited cleanup. Evidently deleted out of pure ignorance.
    • When deleted, content was "the maguire seven was wrongly convicted with murder of 5 innocent people along with gerry conlon who was also innocent." clearly establishing the link with the Guildford Four.
  • Conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, correctly cited Article 133 of the UCMJ but had a minor content problem.
    • While it does not relate to deletion of an article about a person, it does demonstrate poor editorial judgement by an administrator.
  • Somaliland Politicians. List of leaders of the breakaway Somaliland Republic in Somalia (described in the CIA world factbook as unrecognised but stable). It is an article about three people who are implicitly identified as Somaliland politicians. It is not redundant with Category: Somali politicians, it refers solely to members of the breakaway Somaliland Republic.
  • Faisal Ahmad Shinwari Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Afghanistan.
    • The article when deleted contained text about Hamid Karzai, which made it easy to identify Faisal Ahmad Shinwari and cleanup from a single google search.
  • Gary Holt (footballer) Norwich City mid-fielder, Premier League.
    • When deleted, the article clearly identified the player and his Premiership team. Although it was POV as it said he was the worst player, this could be solved by removing that phrase. In fact he has played almost 200 games for the Norwich City first team since his £100,000 transfer in 2001, and was named Player of the Year in 2001/2 and recalled to the Scotland international squad in 2002/3, and is described in the history of the club on its official site as "simply outstanding in the Canaries' engine room."
  • Abbas Bin Abdu'l-Muttalib Companion of the Prophet Muhammed
    • When deleted, content was "According to Sunnis sources he did not give alligance to Abu Bakr, until Ali suposedly did so." This clearly identified the man and his context and enabled cleanup to be initiated before a single Google search was performed.
  • Ammar ibn Yasir Companion of the Prophet Muhammed
    • As above.
  • Abu Dharr Ghifari Companion of the Prophet Muhammed
    • As above.
  • Clive Stafford-Smith World-famous human rights lawyer currently representing scores of Guantanamo Bay inmates.
    • The deletion log entry says "15:30, 21 May 2005 Mel Etitis deleted "Clive Stafford-Smith" (content was: 'Clive Stafford-Smith is a British born human rights lawyer based in the United States. He is most famous for his tireless campai...') As you can see it is not the only error by an administrator.
  • Robin Moore Author of the French Connection, wrote the words to Ballad of the Green Berets
    • The article was deleted before the December software upgrade so the deletion does not appear in the deletion log. The article at the time of deletion fully identified Moore and many of his achievements. It was not a stub. [2]

Biographical articles listed for deletion by administrators and subsequently kept[edit]

Bear in mind that all of the nominators of the following list would have the power to summarily delete the articles in question if this proposal passes.

July 1[edit]

  • Natalie Anne Bryant - when nominated, the article looked like this. The nominator did not believe that being the wife of a member of Hanson was notable. He could have redirected, but listed it for deletion. The article was redirected - not merged.

June 30[edit]

  • Stephen Hague - when nominated, the article looked like this. It has been argued that writing a song for a star such as Mariah Carey is asserting notability, so this criterion would not apply. However the nominator, an administrator, claimed that it was *not* notable and so presumably does not believe that the statement amounted to an assertion of notability. It is certainly verifiable so that cannot be the grounds for deletion.
    • The wording is ambiguous enough to encourage this kind of discretion in interpretation, which in my opinion is generally a good thing--administrators must not be bound by the letter of the law. However I do not think the proposer of this proposal appreciates this.
    • While the fact that an admin nominated the article for deletion, does not necessarily imply that we would have speedied it if he thought he was permitted to, there is no reason to suppose that he would not. There would be nobody there to discuss it with and nobody to tell him otherwise, and evidently he had not done much research prior to listing.
  • Barbara Metcalf - when nominated, it looked like this. It may be argued that she is a professor and many professors are notable for their profession, so VFD would be the place to decide whether this one passes the average professor test; however the nominator, an administrator, asserted that there was "No evidence of notability".
  • Brian Blackwell - While it may be argued that it would not qualify under this proposed criterion, since the article lists two articles on the news medium BBC, which is arguably asserting significance. However the nominator, an administrator, explicitly argues that being a newsworthy murderer does not merit an article in his nomination: "Will every madman now get a Wikipedia article? If he'd gone through medical school and killed people like Harold Shipman did, perhaps he would have been notable. Delete please".
    • If proposal 1 passes, he and he alone will decide whether evidence of being an infamous multiple murderer is an assertion of notability.
  • William Connolley - nominator describes this person as a "nonnotable average scientist". The article lists over a dozen publications, which arguably asserts significance. VFD is used (if needed) to decide if it's significant enough. However proposal 1 placed the decision in the hands of the administrator, who in nominating this article said "Nonnotable average scientist. No notable accomplishments mentioned. I have 20x more publications."
  • Stefan Rahmstorf - nominator describes this person as an "average professor" when the article looked like this. As in the Barbara Metcalf case, the nominator would make the sole decision under proposal 1, and in nominating he said "No notability presented".
    • While the fact that an admin nominated the article for deletion, does not necessarily imply that we would have speedied it if he thought he was permitted to, there is no reason to suppose that he would not. There would be nobody there to discuss it with and nobody to tell him otherwise, and he claimed that there was "no notability presented." VfD worked particularly well here, correctly identifying a highly notable academic.

June 29[edit]

  • Bernd Nacke - nominator is of the opinion that Formula 1 racing drivers who competed in one Grand Prix aren't notable. While again some may assert that the this criterion would not apply, in fact the nominator clearly said "Not notable". He would be the sole person deciding if any information in the article amounted to an assertion of notability.
    • While the fact that an admin nominated the article for deletion, does not necessarily imply that we would have speedied it if he thought he was permitted to, there is no reason to suppose that he would not. The nominator knew that this was a Formula 1 driver but thought this non-notable. There would be nobody there to discuss it with and nobody to tell him otherwise.

June 27[edit]

  • Roy Burden, RCAF - nominator wanted deletion, the result of the VFD was 'merge and delete'
  • Lee Latchford Evans - nominator wanted deletion, it was redirected. The VFD vote had four votes to delete and one to merge, but because in a VfD the closer can use his discretion, he was able to choose a more suitable outcome: to redirect to Steps. The full history of the article remains and it is possible for anyone to merge the information into the article on the group--which would not be possible if the nominator had simply deleted.
    • This is speculation - from the fact that an admin nominated the article for deletion, it can not be inferred that said admin would have speedied it, even if it could be argued to have fallen under a new or existing speedy criterion.

Here is a list of...

Alleged biographical articles listed for deletion and currently having unanimous delete votes[edit]

July 6[edit]

Discussion of Tony's list and User:FCYTravis's list[edit]

  • I've no idea why you think this is some kind of rebuttal. It doesn't matter how many vanity biographical articles are VfD'd (and they should be) and get unanimous delete votes (and most of them do). The fact is that they're listed on VfD so if someone notable it is listed it usually (but not always, alas, Davey Winder being an example I caught tonight) gets saved.
  • If an article needs VfDing, do it. Or opt for my streamlined proposal P1-A or the other one that Radiant wrote). If you don't want to look at VfD, don't. An article that's nominated for deletion by one person and left for five days and gets NO other votes, keep or delete, should be and usually is deleted.
  • If you like, think of my list as a counter-example to your list. It shows that proposal 1 would inevitably produce casualties.
  • A good article wrongly deleted by an administrator who is too lazy or ignorant to do even minimal research (and alas this is true of most of us) will be lost forever, usually before anybody else knew it existed. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 8 July 2005 00:53 (UTC)
    • If you can get squillions of people to vote "yes" on every single school article ever created, surely you can find some admins to help you comb through the hundreds and thousands of useless articles deleted every day to find the one or two that might have been wrongfully deleted. We, the RC/CSD patrollers, comb through hundreds and thousands of newpages every day to cull out the junk. I cannot fathom why you think it's such a hardship, when it's the exact same thing that's done by RC patrollers every day. Maybe you should write TSDF: Tony Sidaway's Deletion Fighter. --FCYTravis 8 July 2005 01:09 (UTC)
  • I've asked FCYTravis to consider moderating his comments or at the very least keep to the subject. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 8 July 2005 01:23 (UTC)
    • Tony, you're the one who's on a crusade against "lazy and ignorant" administrators supposedly speedily deleting everything under the sun. You've been very pointed in saying you don't have enough time to fix all their screwups. Well, I don't have enough time to VFD *or* speedy all the utter junk that's added to the encyclopedia. That's why there's more than one person doing it. If you're so concerned about the alleged problem, why do you not organize a Recent Deletions patrol and devise ways to respond to the problem, much as RC Patrol has devised ways to respond to vandalism and vanity? Or do you just want to keep fulminating against "lazy and ignorant" administrators? --FCYTravis 8 July 2005 01:32 (UTC)
  • That's a gross caricature of my statements. Certainly I believe that those who summarily delete good articles without an honest attempt at cleanup are probably doing so through laziness or ignorance (I discount malice). But I'm not on a crusade, any more than anyone else who does cleanup is on a crusade. I'm simply pointing to the problem, which is small and containable at present but without scrutiny could grow very serious. It would of course be silly to organise a patrol to clean up after lazy and stupid administrators on RC, if I can first dissuade Wikipedia from putting large powers of deletion into their hands without any kind of scrutiny. It wouldn't be necessary to locate and undelete deleted articles if administrators tagged the articles so that others could examine them. The rare (but significant--almost daily) cases of wrongful deletion would be avoided. The significant amount of recovery work that I do now would not grow to the level of absorbing an administrator full time. And in conjunction with proposal 1, administrators would no longer have to go through VfD and editors wouldn't complain about the perceived necessity of scanning all of VfD.
  • You have descended to the level of personal attack, although I accept that I may have played a part in provoking you by suggesting that we administrators are for the most part far from perfect in our research powers and not possessed of noticeably greater in patience than do other mortals. But I cannot make the point unless we accept this commonplace as the fact it is. Administrators shouldn't be asked to do research and cleanup alone, by a Wikipedia that dangles the bauble of unilateral deletion of awkward, under-researched articles tantalizingly under their noses.
  • But finally you go much too far, falsely suggesting that I make no positive steps to deal with the problems that I perceive. I have tabled at least three suggestions to solve flaws. One, that we continue as at present because there is no problem. Two, that seriously challenged VfDs of new articles may be deferred for up to six months subject to continual improvement of the article during that period. Three, that deletion of vanities and the like may be speedied after first being identified as such for forty-eight hours, provided no apparent improvement takes place in that period, and they may be VfD'd at the end of that time if the improvement is disputed. You may disagree with my proposals, you may think them ill-conceived, but to claim that I am doing nothing but fulminating is patently false. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 8 July 2005 02:28 (UTC)
    • Where have I made a personal attack, Tony? Where have I said you did anything in bad faith, were lazy or were ignorant? I'm simply of the opinion that you are not assuming good faith when you accuse the faceless horde of 'administrators" of shotgun deletion without providing a single example of a speedily deleted article that you believe was speedily deleted out of "laziness or ignorance" and should have been a "good" stub. Meanwhile, I've provided dozens of examples of articles that *should* be speedily deleted as clear and present examples of blatant vanity that aren't even getting sockpuppet support. Tony, I believe in keeping good stubs too - in fact just today I saved and rewrote Dinan Cars. But I need very little research to determine that Hamster Language (adminstrators can view the deleted page) and Beefybot are simply and utterly non-notable and unencyclopedic junk. --FCYTravis 8 July 2005 02:40 (UTC)
  • Where have you made a personal attack? You've falsely accused me of "fulminating" about administrator laziness and ignorance, without doing anything about it. You've falsely accused me of organising gangs of editors to vote to keep schools. You've falsely accused me of giving no examples when I've given an example of three stubs about companions of Muhammed that were deleted by one administrator within minutes. I have no idea why you continue to attack me with demonstrably false statements, but it is a fact that you have done so.
  • You say you need "very little" research to determine whether some specific articles should be deleted, but your recent deletion of WEG. suggests that you have a considerable predisposition for deleting reasonable, encyclopedic stubs on good subjects without, apparently, conducting even a google search.
  • Finally I think we can agree, surely, that listing a bunch of articles that do get deleted after listing on VfD is a good example of VfD as a success, which is why I find it amazing that you seem to think that this is a sign of failure and evidence that something drastic should be done. The fact that administrators VfD (and occasionally wrongly speedy) articles that shouldn't be deleted, because they wrongly believe, through lack of research causes by either ignorance or laziness, that there is nothing notable about the subjects, cannot be countered by saying "oh look how many other nominations we make on VfD and they aren't kept." That just isn't logical. A process that would result in good articles being deleted cannot be better than one that already is in action and results in the bad ones being correctly identified and deleted and the good ones (for the most part) kept. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 8 July 2005 17:09 (UTC)
  • I disagree with Tony's assessment of the situation. Just because an admin nominates a biographical article for deletion, doesn't mean that he would have speedied it by this or any other criterion. If an admin considers Pseudoscience to be nonsense, that does not mean that he will speedily delete it as patent nonsense. Most admins are hesitant about using admin abilities, and those that use them wrongly are quickly rebuked and tend to learn from the experience (and if not, we have mechanisms to deal with disruptive admins).
  • As a side point, all of Tony's examples either assert notability, or ended up deleted (I would consider 'replace content with a redirect' a form of deletion). Radiant_>|< July 8, 2005 10:53 (UTC)
  • This is simply incorrect. None of the examples asserted what the administrator considered to be notability, all of the nominators, who were administrators, cited NN in listing for deletion.
  • As a counter-example to your belief that administrators wouldn't use this rule to delete articles that they now VfD, I'll again cite WEG., which was deleted in quick succession by User: El C and User:FCYTravis within minutes of creation although even at that early stage it contained ample context (link from List of cartoonists, external link to cartoons held in the National Library of Australia, australia-bio-stub template and category "Australian cartoonists". This article wasn't speediable under current rules but it was speedied twice. If two of our administrators do that now then they'll do it much more readily if proposal 1 passes. We are already losing good articles to good administrators now. They're not chosen for their research skills. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 8 July 2005 17:09 (UTC)
    Now you're falsely accusing me of violating guidelines. That article contained NOTHING but links elsewhere. *No* content at all. That's not even a substub. It's a blank document with templates and links. That's already deletable under the "Very short article with no content" or "external link" rule. --FCYTravis 8 July 2005 18:28 (UTC)
    From the deletion log: 04:06, 8 July 2005 FCYTravis deleted "WEG." (Contentless article. content was: '==External links==* Cartoons by WEG - held and digitised by the National Library of Australia{{Australia-b...' (and the only contributor was '')). That's clearly deletable as an "external link." Speedy Deletion Article Guideline 3: Any article whose contents consist only of an external link, "See also" section, book reference, category tag, template tag, or interwiki link. Speedy Deletion Article Guideline 1: Very short articles providing little or no context. --FCYTravis 8 July 2005 18:43 (UTC)
    • I'm not accusing you of doing anything but make a poor deletion decision. I agree that you believed it to be a "contentless article", however it contained ample content and (more important) context. People who like to delete stubs often say that the article can be recreated better if it's deleted (I find this implausible but it's often said). Here is an excellent example of why deleting a stub is *bad*. The stub contained a link to some excellent digitized copies of cartoons held online at the National Library of Australia. It seems unlikely to me that a person rewriting from scratch would have found and included this treasure. So the result of deletion was that someone clicking on the WEG. link in List of cartoonists would not have been given the opportunity to see an example of WEG's work. This is a loss to Wikipedia, an appreciable one, and an avoidable one. It makes my point very well, I think, that people equipped to follow and interpret rules are not necessarily going to make the right decision.
    • Your behavior here and in one or two other decisions seem to indicate the lack of a certain instinct for preservation of valuable information,and you're certainly not alone in this among editors or administrators. The Lee Latchford Evans VfD is an excellent example of this. The administrator who listed that could simply have redirected to Steps. It required another administrator to come in, after some days of discussion, and do the right thing. The point isn't that administrators aren't to be trusted, but that certain activities essential to the maintenance of information on Wikipedia take time and thought. Administrators, like other editors, often seem to act on Wikipedia as if they were being paid by the decision, and thus do not seem to spend time researching. Sometimes it seems to be that they would rather delete a poorly written stub than rewrite it, and that isn't a healthy attitude for Wikipedia. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 8 July 2005 20:29 (UTC)
      • You said "this article wasn't speediable under current rules." That was untrue. I do attempt to expand and properly tag reasonable stubs I come across. But WEG. wasn't even a subsubsubstub. It was an external link with a bio-stub tag. --FCYTravis 8 July 2005 21:29 (UTC)
    • The article was only speediable under current rules if you ignore both content and context, which I summarised about as: 'link from List of cartoonists, external link to cartoons held in the National Library of Australia, australia-bio-stub template and category "Australian cartoonists"'. You clearly didn't make any attempt to expand this, which could have been improved simply by saying "WEG was an Australian cartoonist" (although this would have been redundant in the circumstances. Instead you deleted it. That's fine, everybody makes mistakes. But that's my point. As administrators we're not much good at deciding what is deletable. VfD is much better, and you will readily admit, I'm sure, that the article would have easily survived a VfD. Speedying such articles obviously isn't the right thing to do. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 20:34, 9 July 2005 (UTC)
      • It wasn't a mistake and I am utterly incensed at your attempts to pretend it was one. If I was faced with the same article I would delete it again. --FCYTravis 02:49, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
      • Well you're saying you think you can speedy an article that clearly identifies its subject as a published Australian cartoonist and provides a verifiable external reference containing mainstream newspaper cartoons published over a period of some forty years. You can't. Don't try it again. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 17:08, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
        • I can, and will, under current guidelines, speedy any article that contains nothing more than an external link and a category template. If you wish to attempt to change the guidelines which define articles containing nothing more than an external link as speediable, I invite you to do so. If you are successful, I will comply with those guidelines. Until and unless that happens, I am perfectly in conformance with current policies. I am not particularly afraid of your apparent threats. --FCYTravis 18:25, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
  • As long as the guidelines are followed this proposal will not delete any worthwhile articles. The sorts of articles this proposal will affect are along the lines of "Dick Plotter is a cool kid who likes anime and sci-fi. He is popular with the ladies." Now if someone googles "Dick Plotter" and finds, say, he won the Congressional Medal of Honor, that doesn't mean that suddenly it turns out Dick Plotter is notable after all. It just means there are two people named Dick Plotter in the world, and as this article is about the unnotable one, it should be speedied without any accusations that we're deleting medal of honor winners. That's a separate article which could be created at any time. I've already seen cases of two such articles combined. In an effort to "save" a vanity article rather than deleting it, someone had an intern at a bank as a member of European Parliament. If an article doesn't assert notability, and it turns out a person with that name is really notable for something, the chances are its a different person with the same name. And even if someone speedies the article "Bobby Fischer is good at chess" as no claim of notability (assuming we had no article on Fischer already), two minutes later someone could write "Bobby Fischer is one of the greatest chess players of all time" which would not be speediable. I fail to see how anyone could argue that the first case was the deletion of a "good article". -R. fiend 8 July 2005 17:31 (UTC)
  • In an effort to "save" a vanity article rather than deleting it, someone had an intern at a bank as a member of European Parliament. Yes, but an article containing bad information can be remedied by editing the article. In this case, ditching the stuff about the kid would be the thing to do. Deleting the article would be pointless if you have good, encyclopedic information to put into it.
  • And no, an article that says "Bobby Fischer is good at chess" isn't speediable. It's *editable*, which is of course the point of having a Wiki. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 8 July 2005 20:29 (UTC)
    • They would have to delete 100% of the content of the vanity article anyway. The difference between deletion of the entire content and deletion of the article is minimal. It's not "saving" a decent article; it's writing an entire new article in the same space. This can be done with or without deletion. If it had been deleted we wouldn't have had a awful article claiming that a European Parliament member was interning at a bank on this site for a week. Your argument is very close to saying that if someone were to write an article on a potentially encyclopedic subject with the entire content being" gfhsduighsdkjf" it shouldn't be deleted but edited. It can (and should) be deleted, and a real article can still be written about it. -R. fiend 9 July 2005 01:41 (UTC)
  • I agree with you that in this case the article wasn't saved--a poor bit of research was done by someone trying to save a bad article. However you're missing the point, here there was good information and the resulting information would form a good article, irrespective of the original content. Any article can be a victim of poor content editing; this is never a good reason to delete.
  • You are correct to summarise my statement as being in effect equivalent to saying that an article on a potentially encyclopedic subject that contains nothing significant may far more profitably be cleaned up than deleted. If it's deleted you're gambling on someone actually deciding to write that article. If you write a good stub and link it and cat it, you're adding to Wikipedia. I prefer the latter because adding good content to Wikipedia is the reason why I edit it in the first place. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 20:26, 9 July 2005 (UTC)


    • Just to be clear here, are you in favor of repealing speedy criteria 1 -3 because some could be turned into potentially decent articles? -R. fiend 21:50, 9 July 2005 (UTC)
  • No. The rule may be useful for unimaginative administrators desperate for a reason to delete a miserable article. However the article WEG. was such a clear case of valuable content being deleted by an administrator relying on rule-following behavior rather than doing some research that it does call into question the wisdom of expanding speedy criteria in such a manner as to discourage research. Recall that proposal 1 says that, in effect, the administrator is to rely solely on the article content and perform no research at all. We wouldn't encourage our editors to adopt such an approach, but evidently proposal 1 says it's okay for administrators.
  • Now deletion isn't permanent, and of course we can always trawl the deletion log (as I have done, at first for wrongly speedied school articles, and then for wrongly deleted biographical articles) and remedy bad deletions. However here's a case for VfD. See above where well over a dozen good articles have been wrongly speedied or listed for deletion by administrators who didn't know how to type a few words into an edit box, or didn't know how to find out what words to type, didn't feel like typing anything, or had malfunctioning keyboards and felt that deletion was therefore the best course to take since it's mostly a matter of mouse clicks. Another argument against entrusting us administrators with complete discretion on deletion.
  • This case is made even more acute when one considers the campaign to delete school articles. Now school articles are nominated for deletion all the time--often they're poorly written and don't seem to be going anywhere. However in mid-May one administrator decided to perform mass-nominations of school articles. He nominated some scores of school articles over the space of three days. A couple of weeks later, in early June, another administrator started a slightly more modest campaign of deletion listings. None of the schools were deleted. Wikipedia currently seems to be minded to keep schools, despite or perhaps because of these campaigns by two administrators. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 23:23, 9 July 2005 (UTC)
    • I don't know what the school examples you cited have to do with anything. We're talking about speedy deletions, not VfD's. No one is proposing speedy deletion be applied to schools. And bear in mind that while proposal #1 states that the administrator may rely solely on the article content, so does current criterion #1. No one needs to do a google search to see if the an article with the content "fghdjakghds" is on a subject that can be edited rather than deleted, because even if an article will exist under that title, it will not include "fghdjakghds". Nor will an article on Brian Andrews (a minor actor who could conceivably have a wikipedia article) contain the line "Brian andrews is on the swim team at mohawk valey high. He likes the matrix and dawn of the dead" if such an article were to be written. The current proposal would make that article speediable. Nothing will prevent someone (anyone) from writing an article on the actor 1 minute later or 1 year later. We will have lost nothing of value while lessening the burden on VfD, which is a significant issue. -R. fiend 02:02, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
  • My point about the school deletion campaign is that it demonstrates a matter of poor judgement exercised over an extended period by two administrators in good standing. Their poor editorial judgement only served to incense other editors. As a matter of fact, I routinely rescue wrongly speedied school stubs, so this poor judgement isn't restricted to just two administrators and their activities aren't restricted only to VfD but extend to speedies of articles that clearly identify schools and are easily verified.
  • "And bear in mind that while proposal #1 states that the administrator may rely solely on the article content." This is a very good reason to oppose proposal 1. It means administrators are exempt from the requirement to perform reasonable edits.
  • "so does current criterion #1" Up to a point. Clearly an article under Bobby Fischer containing nonsense should be replaced with "Bobby Fischer is a former World Chess Champion" rather than deleted. Otherwise we're as bad as the vandals, just blindly deleting entries instead of improving them.
  • We'll have to agree to differ on the supposed burden on VfD. I regard this suggestion as utterly inexplicable, having seen no evidence or reasonable argument to support the claim.
  • I propose this rule of thumb on encountering an article containing nonsense:
    • Ask yourself: "Would this article pass VfD?"
  • For instance, obviously Bobby Fischer would pass VfD even if it contained nonsense. An editor would do what editors do--improve it.
  • In such cases, an administrator who goes ahead and presses the delete button, when he can turn the article into a small stub, is being a very, very poor editor. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 17:08, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
    • Look at it this way. Here is a list of several thousand topics that are generally considered encyclopedic. If I decide to make an entry for each and every one of those which reads "fdhfukaslhgfd" (or maybe something slightly less patent nonsense like "X is an important topic..."), any admin who speedies them, or VfD's them, is a "very, very poor editor"? These are encyclopedic topics. They should have articles. Hell if you say you'll edit them all I'll go ahead and "start" these articles for you. Who needs WP:Requested Articles? Just write absolute crap and force someone else to do research and clean up your mess, because otherwise they're abusing the deletion process by attempting to delete "good" articles. This proposal is about content, not subject. I maintain that deleting an article and deleting the entire contents of an article are basically the same thing, only the former requires an admin. -R. fiend 20:13, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
    • I think we're running up the wrong trouser leg here. I certainly do think that deleting an article when you can just as easily type a sentence and make it a good stub is poor behavior in an editor. I don't see how you cannot see that. However I've give some examples of stubs that clearly identified their subject in a manner that invited cleanup, yet even those were speedied. This is again poor editing behavior, poor editorial judgement. You talk about "just writing crap and force someone else to do research and clean up your mess" but that's why we Wikipedia editors are here. Editing articles, cleaning up the mess is what we do. We're not here to delete stuff. Deletion solves nothing. Do feel free to start as many articles as you like, I'll be happy to remedy any shortcomings I find. This is how Wikipedia works. Why are *you* here? --Tony Sidaway|Talk 03:06, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
      • Remember that all of these mind-boggling speedies were performed by administrators who could have performed minimal research and produced stubs as good as or better than the ones I produced. And we're suggesting giving administrators *more* discretion to delete articles without discussion. I have no idea what it is that makes administrators so prone this kind of error, but the abundance of such errors cannot be denied.--Tony Sidaway|Talk 03:16, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
      • Addendum: One of the articles I found speedied this evening, and restored, was Maguire Seven, which identified Gerry Conlon as one of those involved. The article was evidently deleted out of pure ignorance. Another was Conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, which correctly cited Article 133 of the UCMJ but had a minor content problem. Another was Somaliland Politicians. I still haven't worked out why that one was deleted. I moved it to List of Somaliland politicians and did some minor tidy-up.
        • Might I point out that as for the Maguire Seven article, you deleted it as well, in the sense that the current article bears no resemblence to the awful thing originally submitted (all the content was deleted). Undeleting it only puts the original submission in the article history, which isn't terribly useful. The Conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman was also awful (as well as factually incorrect) and again, basically deleted and started over. Yes, in both cases decent articles should be written on the subject, but also in both cases having nothing was better than having what was originally there. Whether they were officially deleted or had their content deleted makles little difference if they're being written over from scratch. True, the admins who deleted those could have (and perhaps should have) done some research and written semi-decent stubs, but with the sheer amount of crap tossed in wikipedia by the minute not everyone feels inclined to put good effort into subjects they have no interest in at the behest of some newbie who has no idea what an encyclopedia is. There's too many articles like that. The admin has 3 options: 1) keep the article as is (or put a cleanup tag on it, about as useful as putting a post-it on your refrigerator), 2) actively work on it (which not everyone is inclined to do for every article) or 3) delete it. While option 2 might be the best, option 3 is better than option 1 (in these cases at least). No one needed to undelete the articles to write them. It's not like anything was really built off of them. Completely new articles were written. -R. fiend 07:02, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
          • Excuse my intromission, but I would like to point out that I fully agree with R. fiend. --Sn0wflake 07:38, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
  • It's simply false to claim that I deleted the Maguire Seven article in any sense. I edited the content, and the original text is in the history--which was not the case when the article was wrongly speedied. In defending the speedy you describe it as an "awful thing", which is obviously false. It correctly identifies the number of the wrongfully imprisoned and their relation to Gerry Conlon of the Guildford Four. You concede that administrators who speedy articles could and even should have done some research--good for you! Then you excuse deletion of good material by reference to the "sheer amount of crap" in Wikipedia. But that wasn't crap, it was just not particularly well written. In other words, it needed cleanup, it needed the attention of editors. And guess what Wikipedia has an abundance of!
  • You claim that the admin has three options: keep and mark for cleanup, work on it or delete it. Well yes. You then dismiss marking an article for cleanup as "about as useful as putting a post-it in your refrigerator" but you do not explain this. Then, oddly, you falsely claim that deleting an article is *better* in cases like this. But the article contained concrete information. How could deleting that information have been better than leaving it alone? That seem to be quite inexplicable. Indeed before I read the article I'd quite forgotten which of the Guildford Four was also involved in the Maguire case and I'd also forgotten how many of them were imprisoned. When I come to perform my next rewrite on the article I'll probably include that information--which I couldn't do if the article had remained deleted.
  • In short, deleting an article containing good information is *never* a good thing to do. It is flatly false to claim that a "completely new" article was built in this case, and it's improbably hopeful to assume that an article you do like will result if you speedy one that you don't like (indeed the very thought seems quite perverse!) I'll say here that it's only because this clear and obvious falsehood is repeated regularly in defense of deletion that anyone gives it any credence. An existing article can be located and edited to improve it. You can't improve an article you never knew existed because someone deleted the accurate, though imperfect, version we already had. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 18:23, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
  • You falsely claim that the Conduct Unbecoming article was factually incorrect (actually it merely had a minor grammatical error) But so what? That's a matter that is fixed by editing, not deleting. You falsely claim that it was "basically deleted and started over". The original article contained an accurate citation of Article 133 of the punitive code of the UCMJ. All I did was clean it up and add a bit about the elements of the offense. You only seem to be able to defend these speedies by making false claims about the speedied articles. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 18:30, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
    • Let's look at the original two entries, shall we? Maguire Seven: "the maguire seven was wrongly convicted with murder of 5 innocent people along with gerry conlon who was also innocent." You say it "It correctly identifies the number of the wrongfully imprisoned and their relation to Gerry Conlon of the Guildford Four". Well, the number of wrongfully imprisoned is in the title, and it doesn't give their relation to Conlon. "Along with gerry conlon" doesn't give any facts on the relation between the two (the article makes it sound like Conlon was killed by the Maguire Seven, in fact). Nor was he even necesarily "innocent"; he was wrongly convicted, which is different. If I were unfamilair with wikipedia and were looking up the Maguire Seven and found no entry in wikipedia for them, I would shrug my soldiers and try google (also, wikipedia's search option would likely have led me to the Guildford Four which explained it much better). If I came across that article I would say to myself "who writes for this? 6 year olds?" and perhaps dismiss this project entirely. I maintain that having nothing is better than keeping that article. As for Conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, we have "Article 133 of the UCMJ defines Conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman as Any commissioned officer, cadet, or midshipman who is convicted of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman shall be punished as a court-martial may direct." Notice anything wrong there? "Conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman" is defined as "shall be punished as a court-martial ". That's not a definition. That article was a travesty. If the editor wasn't going to rewrite it, perhaps he should have VfDed it instead of speedying it, giving it 5 days to get cleaned (unfortunately, VfD is much more affective than cleanup for fixing articles, that's just the way it goes). I've seen things with cleanup tags on articles for eons, the articles completely untouched. A cleanup tag is more of a way of saying "yes, this article sucks, we know, please don't judge us by it; we have much better stuff here, really."
    • Let's say someone wrote about The Battle of Sherrifmuir (a topic I'll probably get to eventually) which said "alot of scots died it was very sad theres a song about it but i forget who its by and then theres jacobites too". The battle is real, Scots did die, there's a song about it, and the Jacobites were involved. Factual information, sure, but I honestly think having a blank article is better than having that. Now, could it be made into a real article? Sure, but it would bear no resemblance to that. If an admin who came across that was not inclined to do a bunch of research he would be well justified in VfDing it, and maybe speedying it. If the admin knew nothing about history of Scotland I would think that person trying to fix it would probably not be a good idea. People completely ignorant of subjects should generally not attempt to write articles on them. Sure, they can do a google search and get some facts, but without some knowledge about it knowing what sources are good and what aren't, deciphering what is POV, interpreting it well, putting it in his own words without messing it up, and fully understanding it to the extent the author of an encyclopedia article should can all be quite difficult.
    • In the final analysis, much of this is moot to this topic. 99% of what this one proposal will cover is obivous vanity, mostly by high school students. Stuff that common sense dictates should not have to remain in wikipedia for 5 days (or often much longer). If you find admins are abusing it and deleting professors without due process and the like, then do some undeletions and take it up with them on their talk pages. -R. fiend 20:25, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
  • Do your research. Tony Blair has apologised to those wrongly convicted and accepts that they were innocent--this has in fact been known and acknowledged for over a decade but our legal system sometimes moves at glacial pace and a Prime Minister customarily doesn't intervene. The number is indeed in the name of the article, but this doesn't mean that the number is common knowledge--the case is often known simply as the Maguires case. "Along with Gerry Conlon" says what it means, and Conlon's identity as one of the Guildford Four is well known.
  • You say that Guildford Four explains it better. Then add text from that article to this one--the cases were distinct, the defendants different people, and the charges different.
    • To clarify, I mean it explained it better than the original article did, as almost anything would have. -R. fiend 01:16, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
    • Oh, and what Tony Blair says is irrelevant. He wasn't there. He can say anyone he likes is innocent of anything. Yeah, Conlon was most likely innocent, but who can say with 100% accuracy. A friend of mine, assuming Conlon was innocent, saw In the Name of the Father and left the theater thinking the guy was guilty. I sort of found that funny. -R. fiend 21:21, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
  • You says you've "seen things with cleanup tags on articles for eons, the articles completely untouched". And yet when I actually look at cleanup I see a different story and can demonstrate that you have gained a false impression (see below).
  • Of course I noticed the grammatical problem with Conduct unbecoming. The solution to content problems is not deletion, it's editing. Read the deletion policy on this, it's all there.
  • Should the person who speedied it have VfD'd it? Of course he should, if he thought it should be deleted. We both know that it would have sailed through VfD and come out much improved. Fine if you want to use VfD as cleanup.
  • On The Battle of Sherrifmuir you give a very brief and unencyclopedic outline of a battle, I get a hint that there's a song about it. If this information is verifiable then I don't see what the problem is. If I found this I'd verify and cleanup. When I was made an administrator, nobody told me (and it isn't written anywhere, I checked) that I was not still an editor. Nobody told me that I was not to clean up salvageable articles any more now that I had the power of deletion. We are here at Wikipedia to edit, not to just trash stuff we can't be bothered to fix. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 21:09, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
    • Later on I took your basic outline as a start and had a basic history stub article up and running in minutes. What were my chances of producing anything like that if I hadn't read your vague outline? This is how wikis work best. We don't wait for some expert to come along and write the definitive article, we put down what we can and the next person who comes along can use that as a handhold to move onto the next version. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 23:57, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
    • You write: "You complain that if you came across a poorly written article you might dismiss the project entirely. This hasn't happened. In practice people edit poorly written articles, it's a wiki."
    • This has happend. I was discussing my recent participation in Wikipedia with a relative today. She said "oh that". She had encountered several very poor articles, and had decided, based thereon, that the project was worthless. When it comes up in google searches she now simply ingores it -- just as if it were obvious porn spam. This is the kind of loss that very poor articles can cause. (In fact, she wondered why I bother spending time on the project.) If there were a way to move such things onto some sort of temp page, or perhaps a talk page, where an editor might see them but a user would not be fooled into thinkig that this is what this project considers an acceptable article, I would feel differently. Note this applies to substubs with some possibilities, such as are being discussed by the others here. It does not apply to the obvious vanity which is the intended target of this proposal, and which I think will be the main thing caught under it. DES 00:12, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia has gone beyond the point where people looking at rubbish in the articles dismiss the project. The opinion-makers have had their say: the Wikipedia works, but not in the conventional way. Stuff guddled at random from Google News:
  • You get the picture. Wikipedia was once a new idea but now there is a wide acceptance of the idea that, eventually, everything is all good. Which is how Wikipedia grew in the first place. Some of the earliest articles on Wikipedia were pretty crappy. Punk started out as "See punk rock". Chink was originally a redirect to Chinese! Slut originally had an example that was judged offensive. Cunt originally redirected to Vagina but again this was judged offensive. Twat started out as "A mean, bitchy person". It was later redirected and then edited to give three meanings: a vagina, an incompetent fool and a pregnant fish (!) It isn't just naughty words. Gerund started out semi-coherent and might even be considered a speedy candidate nowadays. The reaction to all of these substandard articles was to follow wikipedia policy: to improve the article. Nobody seems to have bothered to delete the unsatisfactory versions. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 02:32, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
    • No one is saying you can't edit stuff, the question is should people be forced to. No. You can't force someone to improve an article. I'd hate to think what sort of shoddy work you'd get if you tried to. If someone wants to take the time, then that's great. Hats off to them. But if they see an article that really is worse than nothing (which I maintain my Sherrifmuir example and the Maguire Seven both were, and I think DES explains quite well why) instigating deletion is not a bad thing. And for really bad articles speedying is sometimes the perferable way. In your examples above (way above) you do site a few examples of very poor use of speedy deletion (I think Robin Moore must have been some sort of error, or abuse, that doesn't fall into anyone's real or proposed criteria for speedies), but also some where I do wonder what you're thinking. Faisal Ahmad Shinwari, as it was initially written, had absolutely nothing going for it. It's like saying an article under the title Brian Andrews (my example from above) that read "Gerald Ford was the 38th President of the USA" should not be deleted. Again, a real article could be written on Brian Andrews, as well as Shinwari, but for what the articles consisted of at first they might as well have read "gtrshuiigserghufgs". Editors should choose what articles to write, not be forced to create articles because a vandal decided to take an e-crap in the middle of wikipedia. I'll get around to expanding the Sheriffmuir article soon; but I'll do it on my time. I wouldn't do it any sooner if instead of writing a decent stub you had written "Sheriffmuir! Wooooo-hooo!". I'd have tagged that for speedy deletion and written a real article at another time. -R. fiend 02:26, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
  • Oh come now. Where did anybody say that someone should be forced to edit an article? You mentioned three or four options your self: leave it, edit it, mark it for cleanup or delete. I'm only arguing that articles that are clear good faith attempts to write something on a subject, and give useful factual information, should not be summarily deleted. You say "if someone wants to take the time, then that's great." But that cannot happen if they don't get a chance to see the article. The Maguire Seven article was deleted 90 minutes after creation!
  • You say that Faisal Ahmad Shinwari "had nothing going for it. Look again. There's a link from Hamid Karzai and on that article there's a nice little picture of Mr Shinwari congratulating Mr Karzai at the latter's swearing-in. It's as plain as the nose on your face. All the tools required for cleanup were present at the point of creation--and what editor worth his salt needs any more invitation to turn that into a good stub?
  • Now if I'd written "Sheriffmuir Woohoo!" that would not have been what you told me. I just read your starter and expanded it a bit. I had no other information except what you wrote--and rather less than I would have if you'd spelled the placename the same way it is spelled in the other articles on Jacobitism and Scottish history and geography. I moved the article after writing it. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 02:51, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
    • As for being forced to edit an article, while you didn't say this per se, you keep saying that's what editors should do. That's great and all, but since we agree they can't be compelled to we have to look at other options. Ignoring it isn't good, cleanup tags are certainly no magic bullet, and the other option is deletion, whether it's speedy or VfD has to be decided based on content, and is generally off topic for this one proposal at least. I think the biggest issue is that we disagree fundamentally on what qualifies as a "start" to an article. I maintain than an article that offers no useful information in the topic is not a start, but basically the equivalent of a redlink in terms of content. Restoring it to that redlink is a viable option, and I would equate criticism of an editor for doing so rather than "fixing" the article, with criticising an editor for not writing an article every time they come across a redlink. It takes the same amount of effort in both cases. An article that has no useful content is not a "start". The article on Faisal Ahmad Shinwari had no content relevent to the title. It offered no more information on the topic than "fgdbhjkffskhj" would have, even if there is a connection between Shinwari and Karzai. "All the tools required for cleanup" were Google, which existed before the article was created. The creation of the article itself did nothing.
    • The Magiure Seven article was only very slightly better. The sub-literacy of the article was not the only problem, and I do think having nothing was better than having that article. Bad articles do harm wikipedia. Though you insist that one wasn't given much time, but since these things are generally caught through RC patrolling, 90 minutes was more than enough time. At that stage it was quickly falling through the cracks. If there were fewer of these articles it wouldn't be as much of a problem, and people could keep an eye on them, but the sheer volume of very poor articles appearing daily is hard to keep up with.
    • I think DES, above, points out well what awful, or even quite poor, articles can do to wikipedia. The links you provided above are nice, but not exactly huge in scope (news of Bhutan?), some being hardly above a blog, and not always entirely full of praise. We have all probably seen some online or in-print articles highly critical of wikipedia as well. Nor is there necessarily "wide acceptance of the idea that, eventually, everything is all good". Hell, I don't even fully accept that. There are many skeptics about wikipedia's anyone-can-edit policy, and rightfully so. If I knew what wikipedia was before I happened upon it, I probably would have been quite hesitant to use it. That it works better than I have any logical reason to think it should is what I try to let people know, and those who judge it by its best aspects will find it a terrific source, and those who judge it by its worst will find it utter crap, and a fansite for 12 year old anime fans. We have a duty to get rid of the very worst elements, by removing them when they can't be or aren't being fixed. -R. fiend 18:52, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

Cleanup category[edit]

    • This is why marking anything for Cleanup is as useful as putting a post-it on your refrigerator. There are literally tens of thousands of articles sitting around with a cleanup tag that nobody has ever gotten to or probably will ever get to. They will sit around, no matter how awful or pointless - see - for months and probably years. Just on the first page without even looking hard, Adoption (theology) has been cleanup tagged since November, 2004. This is not to disparage the wonderful work of those who work to clean up articles, but there are far too few of them and far too many unclear, poorly written or just downright bad articles being created far too fast for them to keep up. --FCYTravis 18:35, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
      • Christ, it's even worse than I thought. You're absolutely right. -R. fiend 20:30, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
Tosh and I'll demonstrate just how false. Go to that category and click on recent changes. I count 500 changes to articles marked for cleanup in the past 14 hours. has been in existence for less than one month, which hardly supports your suggestion that they sit around for "months and probably years", and if we can identify such tosh so easily by putting a tag on it (which you clearly did just now when you VfD'd it) then this demonstrates the advantage of tagging (I don't think you'd suggest that the article is speediable or would be speediable under the proposals). Adoption (theology) has one or two minor POV problems but is otherwise very well written and encyclopedic, and doesn't belong on cleanup. Its talk page as well as its history show that it gets regular, if not, frequent, attention, and since it's not linked from anywhere I'd suggest that at least some of its attention has been via this category.
Now to see how much editing articles in cleanup get, I chose to jump into the middle of the alphabet somewhere (the beginning might get disproportionate amount of attention if the category is used for access), and chose K at random.
I found the following:
K'ai Men created 20 June, marked for cleanup same day, edited twice following day. Seems to be okay to me. Removing tag.
KNUU, created 14 June, marked for wikify same day, expanded same day, three edits since 1 July.
Key performance indicators created 16 November, marked for cleanup 24 March, edited regularly in April, May and June. Removing cleanup tag, added cat, it's fine now.
KREM created 2 July, edited 19 times by two editors. They seem to know what they're doing and the article is coming along just fine. I added a cate, but other than thatn I'm leaving them to get on with it.
KRVN created 13 May, good article from the first, though lacking references. Marked for cleanup 23 June. Has had attention of four editors in its brief life.
Kadrina created 22 April, some attention late April, marked for cleanup early May. The article is perfectly fine but the language isn't perfect--perhaps because those who created it have another language than English as their mother tongue.
Kagami, Kumamoto created early 2004.Marked for cleanup last December. Cat and stub added January. Nothing wrong with this article. Removed cleanup tag.
Kagera created August last year, edited regularly ever since and greatly expanded. Stub template removed and cleanup added as part of stubsensor project in May. Style a little tourist-guide-ish but an excellent article.
Kaimingye germ weapon attack and Kaimingye germ weapon attack. Well I tried to merge these dupes but the move failed for some reason. Despite that, and despite lack of references (copious references are on associated, linked articles) this is a reasonably well written article and not in significant need of cleanup.
Kajika. Created 30 April, not much editing since. Marked for cleanup 16 June, no edits since. This is the nearest I've seen to a failure in cleanup as the article lacks context--it's actually a Shonen manga by Akira Toriyama. I added the attribution and cat.
Kakawaka article about a noise artist, no edits since the day it was created. Vanity article.
Kalanj. Cleanup tag added day creation and was cleaned up (neatened slightly" was an understatement) after about three weeks. Article has a signature (now removed). Spellings of some names follow French convention rather than English, otherwise fine.
Leaping around a bit at random (listing all I look at):
Ken Batcher: cleanup tag was added yonks ago and nobody got around to removing it. Removed it.
Koan Undergoing regular editing since it was created late last year. No real need for a cleanup tag. Excellent article.
Well looks like there's precious little evidence to support the contention that cleanup is full of articles languishing unedited. This is a mixed bunch, but nearly all articles are showing signs of regular (if not frequent) editing and improvement. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 20:48, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
  • On the other hand, picking ten articles by randomly clicking on the first page of cleanup,
  • Ah beng - created last week.
  • Aikensville, Ontario - no major edits since last september, which was when the cleanup tag was added
  • Alice Notley - no edits other than stub sorting, since the cleanup tag was added over a month ago
  • Alfred Dundas Taylor - created last week
  • Abdullah ibn Ja'far - created last week
  • AN/SPN-46 aircraft control radar - cleanup tag added two months ago; it had one edit since that added content, but it wasn't actually cleaned up.
  • All-Star Comics - no edits since january
  • Abuse prevention - cleanup tag added in april; no cleanup or large edits since
  • Aku - created a month ago and has had a bit of cleanup, but not fully
  • A Yellow Raft in Blue Water - cleanup and wikify tags added in april; was wikified since but not cleaned up.
  • Since three of the articles were created last week, let me pick three more...
  • Alexandrovsk - cleanup tag added in may, no edits since
  • A.W.A. "Artie" Phair - cleanup tag added two weeks ago, no edits since except for stub sorting
  • Affect heuristic - cleanup tag added in january, no edits since
    • This hardly supports the notion that articles marked as 'cleanup' are actually cleaned up for that reason. There appears to be no systematic effort to clear up the category. There is evidence of people clearing random articles, but they tend to use Special:Randompage rather than this cat. Articles that are ongoing efforts will get quickly cleaned up regardless of whether they have a cleanup tag. Articles that are not such efforts show no systematic evidence of being cleaned up, tag or no. Radiant_>|< 08:40, July 12, 2005 (UTC)
    • As a side point, 500 edits is not really that much if there are over 10000 articles in the category. Google finds about 19000. Radiant_>|< 08:43, July 12, 2005 (UTC)
  • These seem to support my theory that the more an article needs cleanup, the less likely it is to get it. Sure, those that need wikification and a few grammar fixes will probably get them eventually (it may take a while). Those that are sub-literate, semi-coherent jumbles of ramblings with a few vaguely discernable facts are less likely to. They need real work, not some light patching up. -R. fiend 19:48, 12 July 2005 (UTC)