Wikipedia:No big loss
|This essay contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors on Wikipedia:Deletion policy. Essays are not Wikipedia policies or guidelines. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.|
|This page in a nutshell: Deletion of any article is a loss for the wider community and the encyclopedia in the long term, as that's knowledge lost because one person forgot to add references or tagged the article for Speedy deletion as meeting one - or more - of the criterion, tagged the article for proposed deletion - which was uncontested - or sent it to AfD.|
The deletion of any article, great or small, on Wikipedia is a loss to the wider community and the encyclopedia, because in the end the information lost could have improved the understanding and knowledge of someone else. Wikipedia is, after all, an interactive learning experience and as luck may have it, however, not all articles go down the gurgler. Some survive because of zealous editors in the community who improve the quality of articles needing serious maintenance.
There's plenty of fish in the sea
Still not convincing enough? You're probably still thinking that the deletion of an article is no big loss to Wikipedia, since it's got millions of articles already and there's probably a related article on the same topic or that there's always 1 person who's going to recreate that deleted article to an acceptable standard. Well, yes there is ALWAYS 1 person, but chances are that article will probably stay deleted for a LONG period of time. It would be lucky if they were already creating articles of the wider topic that the deleted article belongs to.
Did that get your attention? Now consider this, a plethora of articles are deleted from the encyclopedia yearly because:
- They lack reliable third-party sources, such as newspapers, other encyclopedias and more
- They have significant media coverage (newspapers, magazines etc.), but the article contains little to no information
- The author was too lazy to create the article to an acceptable standard
- As a result they then fail to assert the importance and notability of the subject
It is because of the above factors that articles get deleted. It all comes down to laziness and the "I can't be bothered" attitude that most of us are so fond of.
Not all articles belong on Wikipedia
However, that does not mean that all deleted articles do not deserve to be deleted or were in anyway assertive of the subject's importance. Most articles are deleted because they:
- Contain material that violates copyright
- Consist of nothing but spam or promote/advertise a person or organisation
- Contain private information
- Contain patent nonsense or vandalism
- Attack an individual, group or organisation
- Are otherwise defamatory in nature and serve no purpose nor contain information beneficial to the encyclopedia
Articles that consist of copyright violations, spam, advertising, attacks, private information, vandalism or otherwise defamatory do not have a place in the encyclopedia because they do not improve the knowledge and understanding of users and are most probably only there for the amusement of the article's creator.
What can I do?
So when you're looking at what appears to be a lost cause, consider the knowledge accrued that will be lost due to the idiocy of a page-creating vandal or the poor quality of the article. Don't be lazy... be bold and fix it!!! You'll be doing yourself, the community and your fellow Wikipedians a big favour and the satisfaction of knowing you helped to fix an inherently problematic article is well worth the trouble. Consider joining the Article Rescue Squadron and improve the quality of articles nominated at Articles for Deletion or ask for an administrator to userfy a deleted article so that you may improve its quality before finally moving it back into the article mainspace.
Yearly article edits
Here are the total yearly article edits since January 15 2001. As you can probably see, Wikipedia's total monthly article edits have been increasing at a rapid rate. from the hundreds to the thousands in the matter of 1 year. In recent years approximately 1/3rd of all edits made are vandal reverts or constitute vandalism or policy violating material, just look through Special:RecentChanges and see for yourself.