Wikipedia:Non-admin closure

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For the actual guideline on non-admin closures of deletion discussions, see WP:NACD.

In most instances, deletion discussions are closed by administrators. However, there are several situations in which an editor who is not an administrator can close a deletion discussion. This essay offers guidance to editors considering doing such a closure.

This concept is sometimes applied to other discussions, such as RFCs when the outcome is fairly obvious.

Which discussions should a non-admin close or not close?[edit]

AfD[edit]

After an AfD discussion has run for at least seven days it is moved to Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Old, and experienced non-admins in good standing may consider closing a discussion on that page which is beyond doubt a clear keep. However, a closure earlier than seven days may take place if a reason given in either Wikipedia:Speedy keep or Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion applies. Non-admins may not use a "speedy delete" close, but may close a nomination as "speedy keep" if there is no doubt that such action is appropriate. Otherwise, non-admins are encouraged to recommend a "speedy keep" in the body of the discussion, and allow an administrator to make the decision.

Appropriate closures[edit]

Experienced editors in good standing are allowed (although not necessarily encouraged) to close some XfD discussions. Non-administrators should restrict themselves to the following types of closures:

  • Clear keep outcomes after a full listing period (stated in the instructions to each XfD, this is usually seven days), absent any contentious debate among participants. This also extends to other clear closes in which the final task can be performed by a non-admin i.e. Redirect or Merge (when a history merge or deletion is not required).
  • AfDs with little or no discussion may be relisted if they're relatively new, or closed as no consensus with no prejudice against speedy renomination.
  • Speedy keep closures, per the criteria at that guideline.
  • Pure housekeeping, such as closing a debate opened in the wrong place, or where the page under discussion has been noncontroversially speedy deleted, yet the debate is not closed.

Inappropriate closures[edit]

Shortcut:

Non-admin closure is not appropriate in any of the following situations:

  • The non-admin has demonstrated a potential conflict of interest, or lack of impartiality, by having expressed an opinion in the discussion or being otherwise involved.
  • The result will require action by an administrator:
    • Deletion
    • Moving an article into a page (such as a redirect) that can't be accomplished by a regular editor
    • Unprotecting a page
    • Merging page histories

Inappropriate early closures may either be reopened by an administrator ("Decisions are subject to review and may be reopened by any administrator", from Wikipedia:Deletion process#Non-administrators closing discussions) or could result in a successful request to redo the process at Wikipedia:Deletion review. Inappropriate early closures thus waste everyone's time.

Pitfalls to avoid[edit]

  • Extra care should be taken if a closure may be controversial or not clearly unambiguous. With the understanding that the closure may be reversed, non-admins should generally avoid closing such discussions.
    • The nominated item is a controversial topic. This may be indicated by the broad topic area, related discussions, and previous XfDs.
    • That the item meets appropriate closure is a close call, for example, does "10-2" in favor of keep count as "nearly unanimous"?
  • Contrary to popular belief, especially among newer editors, discussions are not a vote. Administrators use rough consensus to determine the outcome. The process of rough consensus requires administrators to occasionally ignore opinions (sometimes called "!votes") because they are against policy, made in bad faith, etc. If you are reviewing a debate and find yourself trying to decide if a !vote should be ignored per the rough consensus guidelines, and doing so or not doing so would likely affect the outcome, then this is not the kind of debate that an inexperienced editor ought to be closing.

Other deletion discussions[edit]

In general, XfDs other than AfDs and RfDs are probably not good candidates for non-admin closure, except by those who have extraordinary experience in the XfD venue in question. If there is a serious backlog on one of these venues, consider asking a very familiar admin who closes many of this type of discussions for their advice. Many of these venues have complicated criteria to consider, employ complicated templates, require additional logging elsewhere, or require the use of bots to run jobs to complete the tagging or other cleanup tasks that are required. If a non-admin closes such a discussion and does not take all of the steps, it can create a mess.

In particular, closing FfDs should be avoided by anyone who is not experienced in closing debates in this venue. Images are frequently transcluded into articles, templates and user pages. Those closing these type of debates often have to review the "what links here" special page and determine if other cleanup needs to be done, such as removing the "deletable image caption" templates everywhere the image is used. Those who regularly close these venue debates likely know how to use bots, scripts and third-party tools to help them do so.

Requested moves[edit]

Moving a page generally does not require administrator permissions. Although requested move discussions are conventionally closed by administrators, it is also sometimes appropriate for non-admins to close requested moves. See Wikipedia:Requested moves/Closing instructions#Non-admin closure.

See also[edit]