Wikipedia talk:Deletion guidelines for administrators/Archive 1

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Rough Consensus

In general, only delete pages where there is consensus for deletion. You may also choose to delete pages where many people have expressed an opinion and there is a substantial majority in favour of deletion.

This guideline is bad. It contradicts the spirit of consensus and can lead to some very very bad decisions. You can't have both the dictatorship of the majority and consensus because then the majority will always win out. Not to mention that substantial majority is awfully subjective. BL 15:43, 24 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I had just noticed that myself. It gives two contradicting recommendations. First, it says to only delete where there is consensus, but then it says you can delete when there is merely a substantial majority. -BuddhaInside
Going with Buddha's definition of consensus is ridiculous. You can't keep a page because one person wants it kept. Deleting when the majority (75 per cent has been proposed in the past) is fine. Otherwise you get one person who is severly anti-deletionist who simply objects to anything being deleted. That is not workable. Angela 16:13, 24 Sep 2003 (UTC)
Angela, if you want to delete articles with a 75% majority, just say so. But don't start claiming that a 75% majority is somehow consensus, when 25% have not consented. -BuddhaInside
Ok, I want to delete articles with a 75 per cent majority. I don't claim such a percentage is consensus, but I don't think one dissenter prevents the decision being viewed as consensus either. Angela 16:29, 24 Sep 2003 (UTC)
No it is not fine. Majority has never been a reason for deletion before and I don't think it is now either. MyRedDice added that statement Sep 20, 2003 and it cannot be considered policy. IF the deletion policy should be changed, it is not the guidelines that should be changed that if I understand correctly is a more straightforward description of the policies, but the policies themselves. See Wikipedia:Deletion policy. And yes, in the classic definition of consensus, one dissenter prevents the decision from being viewed as consensus. The point of VfD is not to delete pages but to create consensuses. BL 16:31, 24 Sep 2003 (UTC)
But those objecting just for sake of it or to prove a point will never consent. Hence, a policy which demands consensus is unworkable. Angela 16:36, 24 Sep 2003 (UTC)
Then neither demand consensus, nor claim to have it when it does not exist. Having a policy of deleting anything which achieved a 75% vote against would at least be an honest policy, even if whether it is the right policy is debatable.-BuddhaInside
That is what the current policy says: "You may also choose to delete pages where many people have expressed an opinion and there is a substantial majority in favour of deletion." That is being honest. Trying to remove this statement from the page is wrong because we do not (by your definition) require consensus. Angela 16:44, 24 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Consensus requires people to be rational and reasonable. That people actually are, is the reason that WP is such a success that it is. When or if someone objects just to prove a point isn't it possible that it is a valid point that the majority hasn't gotten? Examples where people actually are totally unreasonable and are objecting just for sake are few and far between. Those few examples are not a reason to change something that has worked very good before. It's akin to the idea that only registered users should be able to edit WP pages because there is a few vandals out there.

Your constant reverting is quite childish. You are reverting to a new position that wasn't there before. And you might remember me from such edits as removing "wikipedia is not a slang or idiom guide" in which you suggested that I'd call a vote to get that rule changed. I suggest you do the same. BL 16:52, 24 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Wasn't there before what? It was certainly there before you started this edit war today. Angela
It must have been somewhere before because this is what people do. Angela
Angela, that is circular logic. It wasn't there before Martin put it there three days ago. Does that mean that Martin started an edit war? -BuddhaInside
Well his edit is what triggered it but clearly he is not involved in the edit war as he has not edited it since. Angela
Angela, if you are only concerned with the second part of the statement then you should remove the first part that says In general, only delete pages where there is consensus for deletion. - what you are saying is consensus doesn't matter as long as you have a substantial majority. Since consensus doesn't matter, why even mention it. With regards to the definition of consensus, while I grant that other definitions exist, I believe that every dictionary that you and I consulted gave unanimity as the primary meaning. You also wrote (revert - this is how it has always been done - you can't just delete it now) - I assure you, this is not how it has always been done. Wikipedians were far more reluctant to delete anything in 2001 then they are now. -BuddhaInside
As you missing the in general part of that sentence? Whether anyone was reluctant to delete anything in 2001 is irrelevant - it doesn't mean they demanded absolute consensus before deleting it, so your statement proves nothing. Angela
And what do you think that "general" means? Check your dictionary and see if the primary meaning isn't defined as something like "in all cases" or "applicable to the whole". -BuddhaInside
It is used here to mean "usually". In other words - there are exceptions to the rule and consensus is not always going to be necessary before deletion can occur. Angela 17:13, 24 Sep 2003 (UTC)
Then we are not in agreement as to what the word is supposed to mean. Go back to the definition of consensus and you will see many dictionaries use the phrase "general agreement" in the primary definition. Look up the word general, you will see that the primary definition means something that applies to the whole. In fact, Mirriam-Webster's says that "General Agreement" is synonymous with unanimous. So what you are saying above appears to be that despite the fact that the primary meaning of "general" is "in all cases", you want to read it here as "usually". Fine, if that is what you want then why don't you edit the article to begin Usually only delete pages where there is consensus for deletion. Heck, I'll do it for you. -BuddhaInside
Perhaps it an British English thing but I use "in general" to mean "not always". Angela

Let's get practical. It is obvious that we cannot allow deletion only when there is unanimity. If nobody wanted the information there it wouldn't be there. The sentence above seems to describe two cases, and makes perfect sense if you think of it like that. Deletion should occur if either there is a consensus, or there are many votes and a substantial majority. So two votes for and one against is not a consensus, and although 66% is a pretty substantial majority there should be no deletion. On the other hand twelve for and two against is both many and a substantial majority, so it gets deleted.

Let's also remember we can't lay down hard and fast rules about this. If Wikipedia is not to dissolve into bureaucracy then we have to rely on the judgement of administrators. DJ Clayworth 17:28, 24 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I agree. Angela

How is stating that a consensus is not required an "impractical" statement? Angela 17:57, 24 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I have already explained to you why a writing that basically gives leeway to administrators to chose however they want to delete articles is dangerous. BL
Yes, but as David states above, admins do need to be able to make judgements about these things. Angela
Admins are mere Wikipedia contributors. I think it would be very unfair to them to burden them with that requirement. And unfair to the non-admins whos judgement does not count. BL
But they are also people who are trusted to make these decisions. Angela

I have also explained why such an ambigious writing as "many people have expressed an opinion and there is a substantial majority" is very impractical because it can be interpreted in so many different ways. BL

Well then that needs to be defined better. Perhaps adding the 75 per cent guideline? But it needs to be realised that in the case of a very small number of votes, such a percentage is less applicable. Angela
Details. What is more disturbing is that, more often than not, when a consensus is not reached is that someone is listed on Wikipedia:Problem users and someone mails the mailinglist. BL


I hardly think this is the general case. There would be a lot of problem users if everyone who disagreed on a deletion was listed. Angela

What YOU have NOT answered is WHERE, except for the edit MyRedDice did Sep 20, it states that "a substantial majority" is enough for an article to get removed. BL

When Martin added that statement, he was merely codifying what is already accepted procedure. Angela
Then it was a sneaky way to codify it. No offense to Martin who obviously tried to solve a perceived problem. I don't think it was the right solution and I don't believe it is accepted procedure.
Adding it to the policy page is about the least sneaky way you can do anything. Angela

Neither have you cared to explain how that guideline is compatible with consensus decision making. BL 18:28, 24 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I haven't explained that because, as I stated above, the demand for consensus here is impractical. Angela 18:41, 24 Sep 2003 (UTC)
How do you want consensus to be interpeted? BL 21:26, 24 Sep 2003 (UTC)
As a majority but it's irrelevant when consensus is impractical. Angela
A lot of conversation while I was away. DJ Clayworth wrote Let's also remember we can't lay down hard and fast rules about this. Hard and fast rules are exactly what are needed here. There should never be an ambiguous vote where an administrator has to make a decision whether to delete or not. The purpose of holding votes is to have a process where the decision making is transparent, not a process were some administrator is trying to interpret the best solution. Regarding consensus, if the article simply dropped the first part of the phrasing all together at least it would be honest. -BuddhaInside
But there will be times where an admin needs to make a decision for themselves. That's why admins are (supposedly) trustworthy people who are allowed to do this. Regarding consensus - which article? The consensus one or this one? If you wish to talk about definitions of consensus, go to talk:consensus. You might want to add it to List of words having different meanings in British and American English as well. Angela 23:59, 24 Sep 2003 (UTC)
You misread my statement about consensus. I was talking about the use of the word in *this* article. The language in question was In general, only delete pages where there is consensus for deletion. You may also choose to delete pages where many people have expressed an opinion and there is a substantial majority in favour of deletion. In other words - Hey admin, only delete articles when there is consensus, unless you really want to delete them, in which case a majority will be sufficient. Why even bother playing lipservice to consensus when what the statement really is asking for is a "substantial majority". As far as whether an admin should ever make a decision, no, there isn't. As the article says When in doubt, don't delete. -BuddhaInside
The necessity to make a decision does not mean I am in doubt of anything. What the policy is saying is that consensus is a good thing, but this isn't always possible, so an admin should use their judgement rather than depend on any hard and fast rule. Angela
The author of an article is very rarely going to consent to it being deleted so how can you propose to enforce consensus? If I just create a load of absolute nonsense (staying just on the right side of patent nonsense) and then oppose its deletion - is that then supposed to stay in the encyclopedia? Angela
Do you read me saying "we need consensus, we need consensus"? What I am saying is if you are going to delete things without requiring consensus, then just take all references to consensus out of the article. Why on earth would you pretend that consensus matters when you are saying that is does not. -BuddhaInside
Perhaps I was confusing your views with those of BL who certainly does seem to be saying we need consensus. Perhaps the aim is to get consensus which is why it should stay in, but it should be recognised that it will not always be achieved. Angela
My two cents on what the "consensus" of the Deletion Guidelines, as well as anywhere else within Wiki actually is:
From the IETF's The Tao of IETF ([1]):
Another aspect of Working Groups that confounds many people is the fact that there is no formal voting. The general rule on disputed topics is that the Working Group has to come to "rough consensus," meaning that a very large majority of those who care must agree. The exact method of determining rough consensus varies from Working Group to Working Group. The lack of voting has caused some very long delays for some proposals, but most IETF participants who have witnessed rough consensus after acrimonious debates feel that the delays often result in better protocols. (And, if you think about it, how could you have "voting" in a group that anyone can join, and when it's impossible to count the participants?)
That seems to perfectly describe the process here, and makes it fairly simple for anyone to understand. So I would suggest altering the language to use "rough consensus" (with the quotes). The last parenthetical bit in the IETF quote, I think, sums up Angela's arguments against a unanimous-style consensus, as well as why a pure percentage style assessment doesn't really work either. It strikes me that the "exact method of determining rough consensus" here is the discretion of an admin.
Ducker 02:13, 25 Sep 2003 (UTC)
Well put Ducker. I fully agree. Angela 02:30, 25 Sep 2003 (UTC)
A "rough consensus" is aimed for before deleting a page - That fails to state what happens when you miss what you are aiming for. What if you are exactly one vote short of rough consensus? -BuddhaInside
I've tried to clarify the language a bit, but I'm sure Buddha will find something to complain about, since it doesn't serve its interest to concede.
Ducker 05:04, 25 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Ducker's IETF quote is fantastic, and I think highly appropriate for this page. Since Angela agrees too, I stole it. As per usual, revert if you object. I'll go edit wikipedia:deletion policy to match. Martin 22:32, 25 Sep 2003 (UTC)

This is good stuff. I agree strongly. DJ Clayworth 13:14, 26 Sep 2003 (UTC)

request or orphan

Sometimes we delete stuff for being something we'd never want a wikipedia article on. In these cases, we should also remove links to that article. That will discourage the article's recreation, which is good.

At other times, we delete stuff because it's crap, but we're aware that a good article on this topic would be welcome. For example, some newbie creates an article on someone that just says "why don't you have an article on this?". In these cases, if that person is right, we should list the article on wikipedia:requested articles.

I think there's a balance between these two options: one of them will almost always apply. Martin 19:21, 11 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I'm with you on orphaning useless titles, but I'm not so sure about listing others on Wikipedia:Requested articles - that's heading towards listing everything that has a link to it but doesn't have an article. I think it would be better if that page only included articles that people wanted enough that they were bothered to list them there - that would make the page more meaningful (mind, the page is already massive, so maybe it's too late for that). I certainly don't feel strongly enough to remove the guideline, but I probably won't be following it myself. --Camembert
fair point. :) Martin 22:33, 11 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I've removed "whether those voting are doing so in good faith" (recently added) from the "Deciding whether to delete" section. We don't "vote", as the paragraph below the list to which this was added makes clear. Bearing that in mind, the question of whether somebody is commenting on an article in "good faith" (difficult to define in any case) is irrelevant, I think - a good argument is a good argument, no matter why it's made. That said, if somebody wants to add it back as "Whether those commenting on an article are doing so in good faith" or something similar, I won't complain too much. --Camembert

But people do vote. A lot of the time, the only comment they make is "delete". If given without reason, are you saying this should not be counted in a decision on whether or not to delete an article? Angela 00:50, Oct 31, 2003 (UTC)
I'm not sure I'd go that far, but I do think that deciding whether to delete a page should be more than a case of simply totting up how many people have said "delete" and how many people have said "keep" and then declaring a winner. Pages should be deleted for a reason, preferably on the basis of a policy page (Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not, or whatever). I think it's only really in the last few months that people have been taking the title of "Votes for deletion" literally. It would be better renamed "Requests for deletion", in my opinion. Anyway, I think this overlaps with the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Deletion policy, so I'll say nothing more on this page.
At a more basic level, though, I'm not sure I'd know how to define "good faith", and it's very odd to have a line concerning which votes you can ignore and then immediately after it have a paragraph saying that we don't have votes anyway. --Camembert

speedy deletion reminder

Before an admin deletes a page, he or she is prompted with this message:

You are about to permanently delete a page or image along with all of its history from the database. Please confirm that you intend to do this, that you understand the consequences, and that you are doing this in accordance with Wikipedia:Policy.

I think the following should be added:

If this is a speedy deletion, please review the criteria for speedy deletions.

Kingturtle 19:55, 27 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Once we get the new MediaWiki namespace, sysops will be able to change that text, but there are bugs in it at the moment, so the namespace was removed a couple of days ago. Angela 20:30, 27 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Window for votes, Comments

After reading Eric B. Rakim's email to WikiEN-l about some articles he wrote that were quickly deleted, I took a look at this page to get a sense just how long a candidate should sit on VfD before it is deleted -- & found that was an undefined variable.

I have no problem about a majority of a quorum voting to delete an article, nor about articles being deleted. But I do have a problem with decisions being made quickly -- especially if it is faster than the average interested Wikipedian can learn about the issue. (Not all of us visit VfD every day, nor even once every week or three.) I'd like to see some kind of Window for voting on deleting a given article: 3-5 days would be good, a week would be best, but I can live with 48-72 hours.

I hope someone else has something to add; I wrote this to start a discussion on this point, & find a suitably wide window of time for all. -- llywrch 01:55, 20 May 2004 (UTC)

There are guidelines at Wikipedia:Deletion policy#Lag times. Articles that are candidates for speedy deletion can be deleted instantly. Anything else waits at least 5 days (on the main VfD) or 7 days (on the VfD subpages, like redirects, images). There is currently some disagreement on what should be done with articles that are both candidates for speedy deletion and listed on VfD. See Wikipedia talk:Votes for deletion and some examples on votes for undeletion. Angela. 02:31, May 20, 2004 (UTC)

Now that you pointed the section out, Angela, I see what I was looking for. It'd be helpful to find a term that is a little more obvious to describe the period for discussing the deletion of an article. (And yes, I admit "window" isn't it.) -- llywrch 02:43, 21 May 2004 (UTC)

Nonsense "rules"

I just deleted "# Please do not include {{delete}} in the summary.". If you want the delete template removed then get it changed in the code. I'm not going to waste my time. RickK 05:37, Aug 11, 2004 (UTC)

making links to good titles instead of putting them on Requested articles

I aplogize if this has already been discussed to death(I see that it was talked about some last year). I suggest that we change the line "then consider listing it on wikipedia:requested articles" to " then consider listing it on wikipedia:requested articles or adding a link to it on a sensible page" or something like that. I think having a red link(or more than one) is a better way to get an article created than listing it on wikipedia:requested articles. I doubt if most admins have time to do that, so it might not be worth it, but I thought I'd mention it. Thanks for all you do for Wikipedia. JesseW 08:13, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Confusing instructions?

I simply not sure I grok Wikipedia:Deletion guidelines for administrators#On deleting pages #11, because it appears to have one step (the move) duplicated. Or maybe I'm missing something? If not, would it be better put as:

If an article title needs to be deleted, but some of the content could be used in a different (existing) article, proceed as follows: move the article from really silly article title to a better title, in order to preserve the history (as this may be required for the GFDL). Next, copy the content to the existing article, with an edit comment like (moved content from really silly article title - see the page history of better title for author attribution). The Really silly article title will then be a redirect with no page history which can be deleted.

If I correctly understood what was meant, I'll do the fix. If not, came someone please explain what was meant, because I sure can't figure it out! :-) Noel (talk) 14:19, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I've implemented your fix. dbenbenn | talk 04:31, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Another option for edit preservation

Also, there's another option for preserving the edit history on a duplicate article, when content from it is merged into the other article, and it's one which I much prefer, as opposed to merging the edit histories (which usually creates an incomprehensible mess in the history). I would like to add it here, and in other places where it is appropriate. (I think WP:RfD and WP:RfM already have it.)

If I have FooBar1 and FooBar2, I simply move FooBar2 to Talk:FooBar1/FooBar2, and put note at the top of Talk:FooBar1 to the effect that some of the content in FooBar1 is from the duplicate article now archived at Talk:FooBar1/FooBar2. (One can also put the same message in the edit summary for the edit of FooBar1 where the content of FooBar2 is merged in, but it's easy to miss that, which s why I prefer the belt-and-suspenders method of doing it both places.)

Comments? Noel (talk) 14:19, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Rough Consensus. The infamous question.

"If you think about it, how could you have "voting" in a group you can't count the participants of, and which anyone can join?" . There are answers to that question but, for some reason, some administrators dont wants to discuss them. Admins still refuse to define Consensus accurately, and this is not by chance. It is because they actually want to be able to decide whatever they want, and they acctualy refuse consensus in favour of their subjective opinions.

Rough consensus is not a matter of voting, so it doesn't matter if you can count the participants of the group. It certainly doesn't matter that anyone can join (that is the wiki way). —Stormie 11:19, Jan 13, 2005 (UTC)

On deleting pages, point 4

Point 4 under "On deleting pages" says

Do not delete a page containing a personal essay or other content from the main article namespace without first posting a copy elsewhere ... unless the content is simply vandalism.

What the? Non-vandalism pages are deleted via VfD every day. As far as I know, no one posts all this stuff on Meta before deleting. Shall I simply delete this point (without posting it anywhere else :) ? dbenbenn | talk 00:26, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Well, I think that sentence is meant to be parsed as "personal essay or other personal content". But anyway, while I would certainly expect anyone who lists such a thing on VfD to make a good faith effort to let the creator know so they could make their own safe copy, I very strongly oppose any directive to not delete a page which had consensus for deletion just because it contained personal content which had not been copied elsewhere!! I certainly support your suggestion that that point be removed. --Stormie 02:57, Feb 10, 2005 (UTC)

Addition to the guidelines

In a discussion at Wikipedia talk:Votes for deletion, a user recently expressed confusion about "Votes for deletion" not really being about "voting". It has also come up several times in recent VfD discussion threads. The reply below seemed to answer the question and clarify the user's confusion. It was based on the contents of this page, the deletion policy page, prior versions of the header at the top of the main VfD page and many now-archived discussions either in VfD discussion threads or at Wikipedia talk:Votes for deletion. To the best of my knowledge, it isn't written down anywhere in one place. I'd like to propose that some cleaned up version of this discussion be included here so that everyone can see what decision criteria and process are used. Rossami (talk) 21:49, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)

What we are doing on VfD pages is not a "vote" at all. The intent of the page is to arrive at concensus through discussion. The "votes" are merely a way of gauging the current degree of concensus achieved.
Regardless of the "vote count", the final keep or delete decision is the responsibility of the deciding admin. That admin is allowed and expected to exercise discretion when evaluating the comments. The comments are far more important than the simple "keep" or "delete" votes.
In addition to the more widely known caveats about discounting of votes by unsigned, anonymous and very new users and proven or suspected sockpuppets, the admin may also have to make hard choices to discount certain votes in other circumstances. For example:
  • If the article is substantially rewritten during the discussion in such a way that the early comments no longer apply (This is why many experience contributors periodically return to the discussion and either change their vote or explicitly comment no change of vote.)
  • If new facts are presented late in the discussion which invalidate the reasoning that early voters used to make their decision (Another common reason why experienced folks return to the vote.)
  • Opinions of experienced users who have demonstrated over time that they understand Wikipedia's standards and conventions may be weighted over the opinions of users who through their comments clearly demonstrate a lack of such understanding.
  • If the conclusion is completely unsupportable by any reasonable interpretation of policy and precedent, the deciding admin may have to completely override the decision. (A common example is when the vote count says "delete" but material was merged. In order to preserve attribution history for GFDL, we "keep as redirect" instead.)
  • Comments determined to be trollish or abusive of the process may be summarily ignored.
  • Comments presented without reasoning or rationale may also be ignored at the admin's discretion.
The bottom line is that it's the deciding admin's decision. The "vote" advises the decision but only that.
There are established checks and balances against "abuse of admin power" and "elitism". An inappropriate decision can be challenged at Votes for undeletion. Users can appeal to other admins. A pattern of misconduct can be addressed through Request for comment, etc. It's not a democracy. It's not a tyranny. It's not anarchy. And somehow it all works.
If the above is part of the Wikipedia:Deletion guidelines for administrators why isn't it actually on that page in some form? It seems quite sensible. Esquizombi 00:51, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Rossami didn't say it is part of the deletion guidelines. It's just a proposal that nobody ever replied to, apparently. I can't think of any good reason to keep it off the page, though. If there are no objections, I'll add it in (with some revisions to reflect the fact that we now call VfD AfD and VfU DRV). Johnleemk | Talk 17:50, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Version deletion

A comment on the recent addition of version deletion guidelines (thanks, Isomorphic; didn't realize there weren't any). As for GFDL compliance: I recently deleted several revisions of an article due to libelous content in the history; during the time the libelous content had been in the article several good revisions were made as well. In the edit summary for the edit in which I removed the problematic text I mentioned that the current revision contained changes by the intervening authors (which I listed: fortunately not many), then deleted the intervening revisions. It's not an ideal solution but it does at least retain it on the history page. Thoughts/improvements? Mindspillage (spill yours?) 05:22, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

"Redirect" option

Your opinion please in Wikipedia talk:Deletion policy#"Redirect" option. Mukadderat 23:49, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

"Personal essay"

There is a text:

"Do not delete a page containing a personal essay or other content from the main article namespace without first posting a copy..blabla".

I am wondering who invented this? Why I I shall bother with someone's musings? This is wikipedia, not Hyde Park. there is plenty of blogs around. If the author does not care, why should we? I suggest to delete this item. mikka (t) 06:36, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

PROD and consensus bypass

I put the following on the article; User:Cryptic reverted it.

===Consensus bypass=== Wikipedia:Proposed deletion bypasses consensus. If no person removes the proposed-deletion tag, administrators are encouraged to delete the article after 5 days are elapsed. No forum for discussion of the proposed deletion is made available. No guidelines are specified as to what criteria admins should use in deciding whether to delete an article with this process.

Since "proposed deletion" is live and operating, some mention of it is appropriate here. User:Cryptic has not responded to me; does anyone else have any input? -ikkyu2 (talk) 23:33, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

The standard way of showing consensus for changes is by failure to object. Proposed deletion does not bypass consensus, it uses the standard way of showing consensus. If nobody objects for five days, the article is deleted, and it remains deleted until somebody objects. Your suggested text is sufficiently wrong that it needed to be removed. The guideline is straightforward, and is located at Wikipedia:Proposed deletion#Procedure for administrators; the most we would need here is a pointer there (not a copy, as otherwise they will become different over time). But it doesn't need to be here at all, because this is really about closing XfD discussions. GRBerry 18:28, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Removal of links

The more I get involved in article deletion cases the more I see admins failing to follow guideline #9 on deleting pages - to delete leftover links to the deleted page. This makes it confusing when one comes across a redlink as to whether an article needs to be created or a redlink removed; I make an effort to clean up these links as I find them, but it would be much more efficient if it was done when the deletion took place. I don't know what I can do about this except make a fuss here. Please do try, admins! Perhaps if it's too much work when articles need to be efficiently speedied then a list could be made of deleted articles that need links removing, for non-admins to clear. BigBlueFish 22:28, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

I think that it is a good idea to create such a list. Remember, admins are often quite busy in other aspects of Wikipedia and that could be one of the reasons why some articles are left undeleted. This could idea could greatly decrease the burden of admins, considering how few admins Wikipedia has. --Siva1979Talk to me 15:08, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't suppose it would be possible to make an automated list of deleted articles with links (or even just a list of deleted articles) would it? Deletion logs don't seem to come with the database dumps. This would make it possible to identify the backlog being created and allow non-admins to more efficiently help maintain it. BigBlueFish 20:09, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Closing an AfD when you have been involved in its discussion

The Deletion process states "Non-administrators should not close discussions in which they have been involved."[2] I think this should apply to administrators as well. I propose adding a statemetn to this guideline that says "Do not close AfD's if you were involved in the AfD discussion, unless the AfD has run the full five days and reached unanimous agreement." Johntex\talk 03:41, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

I think this is too prescriptive. Administrators, by their very nature, are experienced and responsible - if not, they can be casdministrated. Also, administrators have a chance to point out why the article is being deleted in the discussion, which could improve future articles. This should not prevent them from closing the discussion. I am happy to accept that some mistakes will be made, but these can be fixed later. Stephen B Streater 06:39, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Exactly. Some tightasses will probably go nuts over this, but WP:SNOW (despite its non-policy status) clearly applies. A wrong close can always be reviewed by DRV, and I think it's assuming bad faith to assume an admin who was involved in a debate can't close it appropriately. Personally, I avoid closing AfDs where the result is close, but otherwise -- where WP:SNOW clearly applies -- why bother leaving a backlog? Johnleemk | Talk 14:24, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Blanking of AfD discussions

This page is missing a note about blanking AfD discussions if they requested by their subjects. I haven't found it in the other deletion discussions as well; I'm sure there is also a template, but cannot find it any longer. Any objection to updating this page. - Liberatore(T) 17:22, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Informing the creators is being ignored

This was crossposted and has little to do with the specific workings of this page. Please discuss at Wikipedia talk:Deletion policy#Informing the creators is being ignored. The comments have already been moved. Please do not spam such complaints across multiple pages. Rossami (talk) 19:23, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Category instructions

The Category_deletion subsection seems badly out of place. If no one screams I'm going to move it.
brenneman {L} 11:36, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

Move it where? - EurekaLott 00:05, 3 October 2006 (UTC)


WP:BIO

Should we also explicitly add WP:BIO concerns to the policy declarations in Rough Consensus? It seems to me to be implied in the WP:BIO policies as well as the recent attention to WP:BIO issues. --Tbeatty 00:13, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Given that WP:BIO is a guideline, not a policy, no such addition would be justified.
This question is prompted by a particular recent hotly contested AfD, which has now become a hotly contested DRV. Editors concerned with the deletion guidelines for admins might want to grit their teeth and look at Wikipedia:Deletion review/Log/2006 October 22#Andy Stephenson as a case study. The subject of the article was a U.S. political activist, definitely on the left, and particularly interested in pursuing the issue whether the 2004 presidential election was stolen. Given the nature of his life, both sides of the deletion debate are inevitably colored by politics. Putting that aside, though, the case raises some important issues about how admins should close a contested AfD.
The admin who closed the Stephenson AfD wrote only, "The result was Delete, per WP:BIO." Several of us have argued that deletion was incorrect, because editors disagreed about whether WP:BIO called for deletion; there was no consensus. In response, it's been argued that "an AfD discussion is not a vote" and even that "the nose count is irrelevant, the strength of the arguments is what is most important." This view gives far too much importance to the personal opinion of one Wikipedian (the closing admin). Based on the example of this article, it appears to me that the guideline for admins needs to spell out more clearly that the admin is generally not supposed to substitute his or her personal opinion for the determination of consensus or lack thereof. JamesMLane t c 07:42, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Closing an AFD you're involved in

The guideline says "as a general rule, don't delete pages you nominate for deletion". There's a thread above suggesting not closing an AfD you've been involved in unless it's run 5 days and is unanimous. Perhaps not the best wording, but the idea of generally not closing a discussion you're involved in seems like a very good idea to me, and has been suggested by a user (who felt ramrodded). Any objections to changing step #3 under deciding whether to delete to:

3. As a general rule, don't close discussions or delete pages whose discussions you've participated in.

The idea is to eliminate even the appearance of admins acting as judge, jury, and executioner. -- Rick Block (talk) 00:42, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

I think that's an extremely good idea. I've noticed the same issue at CFD from time to time, and actually meant to bring it up here before I got myself sidetracked. It would be a great way to avoid the appearance of impropriety. - EurekaLott 01:59, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
It's a good idea. But, there can be some exceptions. Eg. if the voting is towards a unanimous delete (without any controversy such as sockpuppetry). utcursch | talk 13:29, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
"As a general rule" is meant to imply there may be exceptions. There's a point I forgot to include as well which is that nominating an article for deletion involves you in the discussion (and the existing guideline has more text). So, the proposed wording would be as follows. -- Rick Block (talk) 14:56, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
3. As a general rule, don't close discussions or delete pages you nominated or in whose discussions you've participated. Let someone else do it.
Wow, I always thought (obviously presumed) this was already policy... as well it should be.  Glen  06:07, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

"Bad faith".

Not all anonymous edits are bad faith, and ignoring them could ignore very good faith positions (PS. This here is a good faith "edit".) 70.101.147.74 00:43, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Permanently locking consistent recreations

I'm trying to lock Category:Northern Irish women from being recreated per the latest deletion vote (Wikipedia:Categories for deletion/Log/2006 December 18#Category:Northern Irish women) but can't find the process for locking it on the guidelines page. Timrollpickering 14:34, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

The instructions are at Category:Protected deleted categories. More details are at Wikipedia:Protection policy. - EurekaLott 15:11, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
Cheers - now locked. Timrollpickering 15:19, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

The Key Policies

The guidelines page currently reads: "Note also that the three key policies..." and goes on to list WP:V, WP:OR, and WP:NPOV. But there are five key policies as per WP:POLICY 9which combines WP:V and WP:OR and has WP:COPYRIGHT as another key policy.. I'm wondering why are WP:NOT and WP:CIVIL ignored here? They are both relevant to deletion considerations. Also WP:COPYRIGHT is mentioned in an almost secondary fashion. Bwithh 04:32, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Do not delete essays???

An extremely dubious guideline is sitting here:

"Do not delete a page containing a personal essay or other content from the main article namespace without first posting a copy elsewhere"

Now what? Wikipedia becomes a repository of each and every babble a teenager does for his school project or a kook elaborating his petty General Theory of Everything?

I suggest to delete this item with prejudice. It is an encyclopedia, not a multiblog. `'mikka 18:04, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, this was just brought to my attention... personal essays are decidedly not appropriate content in the main article namespace, and protecting them like they were some holy writ is just all kinds of stupid; I think we can safely strike that one from the list... EVula // talk // // 05:48, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
It must just be that time of the year. I didn't take a look at the talk page before asking User:EVula about it, but this was brought up in February 2005 and again in February 2006 with nobody suggesting that it be kept (though there was only one person who responded either time, and that was to remove anyway). I agree it should just be removed, so I'm going to go ahead and be bold. ShadowHalo 06:50, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Overriding consensus

A question about the following paragraph:

Note also that the three key policies, which warrant that articles and information be verifiable, avoid being original research, and be written from a neutral point of view are held to be non-negotiable and cannot be superseded by any other guidelines or by editors' consensus. A closing admin must determine whether any article violates such policies, and where it is impossible that an article on any topic can exist without breaching these three policies, such policies must again be respected above other opinions.

Does this mean that an admin can override legitimate consensus not to delete if the article as it now stands violates any one of the three? Or can he/she only override consensus if the article cannot conceivably fulfill any one of the three in the future? What about if there's a verifiable source but it's behind a paywall? Esn 14:05, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Still an active question on may 27. But one of the above questions is clear: Sites behind a paywall are appropriate references if free equivalents are not acailable. The best references should always be used, whether free online, pay online, or print. DGG 20:50, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Guideline

This needs clarified. The title of the page, and the banner is misleading depending on how this discussion goes, however, are we considering this a guideline? Navou 23:30, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

Practicalities

Wasn't there at one time a page (perhaps this one) that provided actual practical guidance on closing (i.e., templates to use, what other things one should not forget to do)? For folks like me, who only help out on AfD very occasionally, this would be very helpful. -- Visviva 13:28, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

What if policy is not followed?

I recently had an image I uploaded - File:Baldbritney.JPG - speedy deleted by User:Can't_sleep,_clown_will_eat_me, and the procedure for the reason given (i4) was NOT followed.. I not only provided the source of the image, but also a detailed rationale as to why no free use image was available. It took 20 minutes to find the appropriate templates and type up a rationale and I'm NOT in the mood to do that again right now. Not only that, but according to Speedy_deletion#Images_and_media the image should have been tagged as unsourced and then, if no action was taken, could be speedy deleted after seven days. Considering I uploaded the image on August 23, that seems a bit impossible. I see absolutely NO justification for this image having been deleted, since the reason for deleting the image was given as "i4" but the procedure outlined in that category was not even CLOSE to properly followed. I have a feeling the person in question simply didn't like the image, and decided to ignore the policy. Is there anything that can be done about that? I don't see the point in investing time to make sure everything is kosher if someone can just come along and delete it all on a whim, not even following policy, and giving me no opportunity to contest the issue, fix the problem, or even revert the (what I consider to be) vandalism. Xoxixox 00:49, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

if you are violating copyright it can be deleted immediately, so procedure was followed yuckfoo 01:55, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Dubious wording ought to be changed

"A closing admin must determine whether any article violates policy, and where it is very unlikely that an article on the topic can exist without breaching policy, it must be respected above individual opinions."

The problem with this sentence is it seems to imply that if an administrator has formed his own opinion that an article violates policy (or that it is "very unlikely that an article on the topic can exist without breaching policy"), then the discussion can be completely ignored and the administrator can close to delete without any consensus at all. I would think that policy has to be interpreted in light of the consensus (or in certain cases the edicts of Jimbo or the Foundation) which backs it, and thus the individual opinions of whether an article violates policy, reasonably formed in light of that consensus (or those edicts) should be taken into consideration (as opposed to individual opinions which ignore or are cleary contrary to policy, which can rightly be ignored). Does anyone have any suggestions on how this could be re-worded to be more in line with our policies on deletion, consensus, and how policy is formed? DHowell 05:23, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

We could add "these" between "violates" and "policy" to make it more clear that the policies in question are those specifically named in the prior sentence: not violating copyright, WP:NOR, WP:V, and WP:NPOV. As these are foundational policies, local consensus to ignore them is always irrelevant. Are we really having problems with this? Any competent administrator will read the discussion and have an opinion formed in light of the discussion, not form an opinion elsewhere and then come close a discussion without reading it. GRBerry 15:09, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Actually I do frequently see closings which dismiss or ignore without any comment keep arguments of the form "this is not original research because ..." without any evidence that any prior consensus has addressed the specific argument being made. Controversial closings often boil down to "I agree with one side and disagree with the other, therefore I'm closing this way", without addressing reasoned objections made by the opposite side, and without recognizing that sometimes no consensus really should be just closed as "no consensus". Wouldn't you agree that interpretation of policy should not solely be determined by administrative closings of AfDs and DRVs, and that policy should not "override" consensus when there is no wider consensus to support a specific controversial application or interpretation of policy, at least without a clear edict from on high? Just because it has been determined that a particular policy is "non-negotiable" does not mean that every possible interpretation or application of it by an administrator is "non-negotiable", does it? DHowell 00:53, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
No, interpretations are no more "non-negotiable" than claims are self-proving. But how to balance? GRBerry 04:46, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
How about this: "A closing admin must determine whether any article violates policy, based on arguments made in the discussion, and where it is very unlikely that an article on the topic can exist without breaching policy, it must be respected above individual opinions which ignore policy concerns or are clearly contrary to established policy. However, where it is disputed that a violation of policy occurred, administrators should take into account the consensus established, either by the immediate discussion, or by wider a consensus elsewhere." DHowell (talk) 01:34, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Rough consenus and votestacking

I have only just noticed that Wikipedia:Deletion guidelines for administrators#Rough_consensus does not specifically mention canvassing or votestacking. This seems odd: it seems only proper that a closing admin should take account of any evidence that has been presented of votestacking, and that's what seems to have happened in many closures that I have seen.

There are many possible permutations of votestacking, which have different impacts on the outcome, so I don't think that any guidance here should be prescriptive. But wouldn't it be a good idea for admins to be explicitly given advice of the principle? Perhaps along the lines of:

"where evidence has been presented of partisan canvassing or votestacking, the closing admin should take account of this in weighing consensus. If it does not appear straightforward to determine what the conclusion of the debate would have been without the canvassing, it may be preferable to relist the discussion."

Any thoughts? --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 19:34, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

That would require the outside admin to know who was canvassed and who wasn't votestacked, etc. How about not even letting the admin count their vote if they don't specify a reason, and not specify a legit reason. It should be the sum of rational reasons for versus rational reasons against, rather than a consensus.

Suppose someone votes:

"I'm her great-grand daughter, so I'm voting her article for keep!"

Should not be considered a vote.

Also, suppose 9 people voted "it passes WP:Bio", and 1 person votes "it doesn't pass WP:Bio." Versus, 1 person votes "it passes WP:Bio" without giving any legit reason, and 9 people voting "it doesn't pass WP:Bio" also without giving a legit reason. That would lead the closing admin to decide whether the article passes WP:etc. In other words, the amount of people who vote keep or delete shouldn't count unless they specify a logical and rational reason, per Wikipedia policies. Therefore, this gives the great-grand daughter to vote a logical vote so she doesn't have to be discriminated for being a relative, per mass noticing the family. Neal (talk) 00:59, 20 November 2007 (UTC).

another opinion along the lines Neal has drawn — In my opinion, vote stacking shouldn't matter a whit. The closing Admin should not be counting votes, but counting opinions and weighing them against policy. I know we don't (myself included) get so fine-grained and proper in every case, but the principle behind AFD closure precludes vote stacking having any substantial influence on the outcome in controversial cases. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 00:29, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Nominator or Commenter also acting as Closer

I believe there is a general consensus that someone who has rendered an opinion in an AFD should not also close that AFD. If there is agreement here that this is general consensus, it would be useful to include that on the Guidelines page in some fashion.

I do not think there is a similar consensus regarding someone who has nominated an article for deletion also being the person who closes the AFD. In other words, I do not know if there is a consensus around the AFD-nominator also being the AFD-closer. For PROD, I think the general consensus is that it is OK to both nominate and close, but for AFD, I'm not sure. Is there a general consensus on this?

Regards, User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 16:23, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

For an AfD, the users who nominate or discuss an opinion should never close an AfD. Bearian (talk) 17:32, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Those who nominate or discuss the opinion should not close an AFD. (A few IAR cases have been fine in exceptional circumstances, such as cutting off enmass abusive sockpuppetry combined with BLP violating opinion statements.) For PROD there is also clear consensus that the nominator should not delete. Wikipedia:Proposed deletion#Procedure for administrators "Note: To ensure independent judgment, an article should not be deleted by the same person who placed the tag on it." GRBerry 17:49, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the clarifications. I agree with the line of reasoning and where it leads to. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 00:17, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Relisting and AFD closure

This question is somewhat related to the last I put here. I often (and perhaps to the chagrin of some) relist AFD discussions that I feel need more input to lead to consensus. I subsequently monitor those discussions and do not wait for the passage of another 5-day period before closing them if I feel that a consensus has been reached, but rather close them myself (recent examples: 1, 2, 3). Is this a generally accepted practice - closing a relisted AFD as soon as rough consensus appears to have been reached? I think that this practice is consistent with the spirit of the AFD process, but if the general consensus is that I should stop this type of closure, I will cease and desist. Thanks for your input, User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 00:24, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

New process for pages with over 5000 revisions

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical)#Deletion_restrictions_for_pages_with_long_histories

The software has just now been changed so that it won't let non-developers delete anything that has over 5000 revisions. If there's a page with a BLP violation or some other emergency (like the virus put in the sandbox that caused this latest incident) that needs deleting, then until developers can be contacted and they handle it, someone with oversight needs to be contacted and the page oversighted. Deletion of such a page stalls the system, while oversighting doesn't. WAS 4.250 (talk) 06:49, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

'Protecting deleted pages' needs an update

The section on Protecting deleted pages tells you to go see either Wikipedia:Protected deleted pages or Wikipedia:Protected titles, both of which have big red Xs on them. This suggests that a new page of explanation *without* a big red X ought to be created. My surmise is that the new MediaWiki feature is now the preferred method. I assume, never having done this, that an admin should go through the dialog to create a new page, and then before creating it, hit the 'Protect' tab. Presumably this causes the result to show up in Special:Protectedtitles. Is it correct that this replaces the cascading protection method of doing protected titles? I won't try to revise this section due to my obvious lack of knowledge. EdJohnston (talk) 05:17, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:non-negotiable does not exist

Wikipedia policy, which requires that articles and information be verifiable, avoid being original research, not violate copyright, and be written from a neutral point of view is not negotiable, and cannot be superseded by any other guidelines or by editors' consensus. A closing admin must determine whether any article violates policy, and where it is very unlikely that an article on the topic can exist without breaching policy, it must be respected above individual opinions.

Wikipedia:non-negotiable does not exist. Wikipedia:Consensus is policy. So this paragraph has been taken out and shot. (yes, I know that this also means that I might actually get into trouble in certain MFD situations later... I'll just have to live with that.)

--Kim Bruning (talk) 11:14, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Non of the linked policies now claim to be non-negotiable. The only exception was NPOV, which I corrected back in line with m:Foundation Issues. --Kim Bruning (talk) 11:27, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
However, there actually is a difference between guidelines and policies, and the core content policies are non-negotiable. WP:CONSENSUS does not trump any of them. Jayjg (talk) 22:32, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
WP:Policies is fairly clear that consensus does trump policy; "Both need to be approached with common sense: adhere to the spirit rather than the letter of the rules, and be prepared to ignore the rules on the rare occasions when they conflict with the goal of improving the encyclopedia". Taemyr (talk) 00:56, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Unless anyone objects I will remove the offending statement. Taemyr (talk) 03:46, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
I hadn't noticed this had happened. I object and have replaced it. Without it we are more or less reduced to a head count, which is a bad idea. dougweller (talk) 11:52, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
The removed text talks about policy vs. consensus. We are still not reduced to a headcount, because deciding on consensus is separate from counting heads. WP:Policy is fairly clear that consensus can override policy. Taemyr (talk) 00:31, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Consensus says, "Consensus" among a small number of editors can never override the community consensus that is presented in Wikipedia's policies and guidelines; instead, consensus is the main tool for enforcing these standards." Rather than removing or restoring the paragraph, perhaps it should be clarified in intent? It isn't consensus that's being trashed, but the scale of involvement in forming consensus. 10 editors at an AfD can't decide that BLPs are okay after all; the community consensus is that they aren't. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:25, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
I disagree with the current wording on WP:Consensus, it is a recent change and does not appear to have been discussed. When you say "10 editors at an AfD can't decide that BLPs are okay after all; the community consensus is that they aren't." You are trashing consensus, you have to consider consensus amongs those that participate in the discussion. Silence implies consent. However BLP is a bad example, consensus can not override foundation decrees. So amongst other things we have to stay within the laws. If the paragraph is reworded I would want a wording along the line of "The policies and guidelines of wikipedia have broad consensus and must be seen as weighty arguments that can not lightly be set aside." Taemyr (talk) 18:15, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
Absolutely, and our guidance needs to make that clear, as you say. I'm happy to have the statement clarified so long as have have it clear that consensus at an AfD can't over-ride policy. dougweller (talk) 17:16, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
Then we are certainly not in agreement. I am of the opinion that consensus can and do override policy. Policy springs from consensus, it's not the other way around. More importantly, policy is broad in scope and there might be specific reasons to set it aside. Also, consensus can change and policy change is expected to lag behind. So my stance is that consensus can override policy, it can't ignore policy. Taemyr (talk) 01:55, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
Okay. Let's look at older versions: "When consensus is referred to in Wikipedia discussion, it always means 'within the framework of established policy and practice'. Even a majority of a limited group of editors will almost never outweigh community consensus on a wider scale, as documented within policies."March 2008; "It is assumed that editors working toward consensus are pursuing a consensus that is consistent with Wikipedia's basic policies and principles - especially the neutral point of view (NPOV). At times, a group of editors may be able to, through persistence, numbers, and organization, overwhelm well-meaning editors and generate what appears to be support for a version of the article that is actually inaccurate, libelous, or not neutral, e.g. giving undue weight to a specific point of view. This is not a consensus."January 2007; "Consensus should not trump NPOV (or any other official policy). A group of editors advocating a viewpoint do not, in theory, overcome the policy expressed in Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not concerning advocacy and propaganda. However, a group of editors may be able to shut out certain facts and points of view through persistence, numbers, and organization. This group of editors should not agree to an article version that violates NPOV, but on occasion will do so anyway. This is generally agreed to be a bad thing."January 2006; "Consensus should not trump NPOV. A group of editors advocating a viewpoint do not, in theory, overcome the policy expressed in Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not concerning advocacy and propaganda."March 2005 (before it was policy). WP:CONSENSUS has always been clear that consensus does not trump established policies. That said, I think the wording you propose is probably well within the spirit of it. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 18:28, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
The march 2008 version also includes; "Consensus is not immutable. It is reasonable, and sometimes necessary, for the community to change its mind. A small group making a decision does so on behalf of the community as a whole, at a point in time. If the community disagrees, the decision was badly founded, or views change, then the updated consensus replaces the old one." The paragraph you point to have since been sharpened down to noting that when a local consensus sets policy aside this singular event is not in itself a proof that the policy should be changed. The January 2007 version notes that a group of editors is able to give a false impression of consensus. This is irrelevant, since we are talking about what to do when a consensus exist. It goes on to note that the way to handle this problem is to insure wider community input, it does not in any way indicate that the policy overrules consensus.
A concurrent look at WP:Policy indicates that through all this time it's been established as a fact that practices change before policies do; March 2008, January 2007 and January 2006. All of which indicates that not only can consensus override policy, but consensus overriding policy is the preferred way to change policies.
I hardly need to point out that WP:IAR have been policy throughout all this. (Well, in 2006 it was just recognized as "very important")Taemyr (talk) 01:55, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
WP:IAR is unrelated to consensus, though. It's a separate consideration; we can WP:IAR when it comes to judging consensus just as we can WP:IAR when it comes to applying policy. Consensus overriding policy is the preferred way to change policies: on wide scale. Hence why I say it's not consensus that's being trashed, but the scale of involvement in forming consensus. This is why I'm comfortable with your wording that "The policies and guidelines of wikipedia have broad consensus and must be seen as weighty arguments that can not lightly be set aside." I believe this is within both the spirit of Wikipedia:Consensus and Wikipedia:Policy. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 02:15, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
I see WP:IAR as the cleanest application of consensus wikipedia has. The best WP:IAR applications are those that pass at a nod, everyone that sees it agrees with the decision taken, hence consensus. If WP:IAR decisions is challenged it immidiately becomes a consensus concern. This is starting to veer of from the topic at hand though. Taemyr (talk) 06:30, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

It is information, not articles, that must be verifiable and must not be original research. Unsatisfactory material may be removed. As for copyright material, it must be removed. Articles, not individual information, must provide a neutral point of view (and lack of neutrality could almost invariably be remedied). It seems to me the paragraph in question is rather mixed up about all this and article deletion is unlikely to be an appropriate remedy for any of thsese ills. However, if such issues have been noted in discussion, and if, after time has elapsed, no one is willing or able to provide remedies, and if removing the unacceptable material leaves an unsatisfactory article, then it may well be appropriate to seek to have the article deleted. I am very concerned that a such stern "non-negotiable" stance should be advocated in circumstances where it is merely a closing admin's opinion that it is "very unlikely" that a satisfactory article could exist. I think this unfortunate paragraph should be very substantially reworded or, preferably, removed. Thincat (talk) 18:44, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Fairly clear that conensus can override policy? Are you saying that an article can be copyvio if there is a consensus on the talk page? Maybe the paragraph needs revision, but it needs to be clear that policy should be taken into account. Otherwise canvassing, SPAs, etc can defeat any policy related arguments and it does turn into a headcount. dougweller (talk) 05:31, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
Well, if an entire article was a copyright violation then, lacking alternative material, the article should indeed be deleted. If Egregious civil rights violations by Xxxxians had been created I find it hard to think of any argument, by any number of people, that would persuade me that it should be kept. However, this is not what the paragraph says, nor comes close to saying. I actually think we may be agreeing with each other! Thincat (talk) 11:15, 7 February 2009 (UTC)


I said to myself "Self, I am just going to look around and not do anything right now" Yeah, like that was going to happen. First I am glad to see this has been discussed more. It was only few days ago I realized this paragraph had been removed and I am glad it is back in and being discussed. Several month sago I questioned what I saw as a slight trend to count "voted" is deletion discussions rather than look at the underlying policy and/or guideline. I was told that this was the guidelines that was followed and that some mistakes happen. Fair enough. But recently it seems to have come to a head overall, and it is not just AFD - it is MFD as well. In reading through the discussion so far I agree with the fact that a deletion discussion is not for setting a new policy or guideline and as such arguments that are not based on them or or clear misreading of them should be "counted". There was, for example, an article for an unreleased, at that time, album. It was first a PROD and, when that was removed, sent to AFD where the "rough consensus" was a "keep" but whose arguments avoided the nom for not meeting the WP:NALBUMS criteria. Matter of fact the entire discussion was mainly about WP:CRYSTAL which, under the same WP:NALBUMS criteria, specifically says "should be discussed only in the artist's article." The closing admin seemingly just "counting votes" (all 3 of them) aside, if the idea here is that an AFD with only 3 editors (excluding the nominating editor) participating is a "consensus" that can overrule policy (or guidelines) than I am fully against that notion. On the other hand if numerous deletion discussions all start to show the same pattern, than it may be time to consider that the overall consensus is changing in a certain area. In which case there needs to be wider input - RFC, Village pump a newly worded Policy, etc. However the fact is, still, that simply a "rough consensus" in a deletion discussion should not over rule existing policy or guideline at the time of the discussion. I also think it is key that the current wording that indicates any deletion discussion must take into account that "where it is very unlikely that an article on the topic can exist without breaching policy" than the policy needs to "be respected above individual opinions" needs to stay. As Moonriddengirl has said above it is "the scale of involvement in forming consensus" in regards to Policy - and that scale is "on wide scale", which deletion discussions usually are not. Also a "slight" secondary issue is the use of the word "article" - it has been pointed out to me, more than once, that anything contained in userspace is not an "article" thusly any policy or guideline that relates to an "article" is not relevant to anything in userspace - and that includes this guideline, at least any portion that says "article" and not "page". So I would suggest simply changing the word "article" to "page". Soundvisions1 (talk) 04:13, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Yes, if no more than 4 editors care enough about a nomination to comment then the discussion must be closed on the basis of what those editors argue. And, yes if there is consensus amongst those 4 then that consensus should be capable of overriding WP:NALBUMS. It sounds like the closing admin might have been too quick to discount the argument of the nominator, but I can't really comment unless I get a link to the discussion.
In addition, note that WP:NALBUMS is a guideline, the paragraph we are discussing is about policies special standing in regards to consensus. The idea that guidelines overrides consensus is one that consensus is very much against.
The problem with wide scale vs narrow scale is, as I have pointed out highter up in this discussion, twofold. For the first are policy discussions by necessity general, there might be special circumstances that is not taken into account. So the goal of writing an encyclopedia might be better served by ignoring policy. For the second, consensus can change, what the community agreed on a year ago might not be what they agree on today. This means that written policy might lag behind de facto policy. Taemyr (talk) 06:26, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
First I see you again removed the entire paragraph replacing it with one line - I see no consensus here for doing that. I see you make a suggestion and Dougweller said "I'm happy to have the statement clarified so long as have have it clear that consensus at an AfD can't over-ride policy" and Moonriddegirl said they were "comfortable with your wording". Thincat seems to neither agree or disagree with the wording but s/he says that the paragraph should be "very substantially reworded or, preferably, removed". My comments make no mention of removing anything at all but rather keeping some of the wording. There was no consensus to remove the entire paragraph or replace it with only your wording, so I have reverted.
I Used WP:NALBUMS as an example as it is tied into Policy - namely that in order for an album to have an article it must be verified in reliable sources. It was not - "...requires that articles and information be verifiable, avoid being original research... is a requirement across the board for articles, this line is important not only in this guideline but in all guidelines. The idea that "if no more than 4 editors care enough about a nomination to comment then the discussion must be closed on the basis of what those editors argue" goes against this guideline that indicates to not count heads. Three editors coming into a deletion discussion and arguing a keep based on valid opinions but non-arguments should never, IMO, be allowed to override policy or guidelines. The accepted, and current, Policy is that information on Wikipedia be "be verifiable, avoid being original research, not violate copyright" and you seem to be indicating that 3 editors in a deletion discussion can argue, for example:
1. "Keep: There is no requirement this article needing to be verifiable."
2. "Keep: Doing no harm"
3. "Keep: It is not WP:OR"
And that those three opinions simply be counted, ignoring "Arguments that contradict policy, are based on opinion rather than fact, or are logically fallacious", and, if the page in quesiton contained information that said "My friends high school band is great and their CD is coming out December 2010", this is now "consensus" and that these types of articles be allowed to stay. Maybe a better question/statement would be is there any Policy that says such arguments as "Keep: Not doing any harm" or "Delete: I don't like it" are valid and, more direct, are non-arguments (i.e- not based on policy or guideline, based on an essay or personal opinion, or a belief that no such policy or guideline exists) allowed as valid arguments in deletion discussions. Likewise, as your wording hints at this, as Policy is what is currently being discussed in relation to deletion discussions and not guidelines I do agree that it needs to indicate that Policy and Guidelines are allowable arguments.
Suggested wording, including Taemyr's wording (Changes in green):
Wikipedia policy, which requires that articles and information be verifiable, avoid being original research, not violate copyright, and be written from a neutral point of view is not negotiable, and cannot be superseded by any other guidelines or by editors' a deletion discussion's rough consensus. A closing admin must determine whether any article information (possible alternate text "any information contained on the page being discussed") violates policy, and where it is very unlikely that an article on the topic subject can exist without breaching policy, it must be respected above individual opinions. The policies and guidelines of Wikipedia have broad consensus and must be seen as weighty arguments that can not lightly be set aside.
Does that read better? Soundvisions1 (talk) 13:31, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Regardless of whether the rest of wording is accepted I strongly object to adding the "and guidelines". Guidelines themselves say that they can be "treated with common sense and the occasional exception". I cannot find this page ever referring to guidelines as such. As an example if this is added then I am strongly concerned that this will lead to articles such as on inhabited towns/villages which are fully verifiable but do not meet the notability guidelines at this time being deleted by admins closing AFDs despite there being a consensus to keep (or no consensus to delete) in the AFD. Admins could then cite this guideline as a reason for ignoring the keep opinions as not based on the main notability guideline.
Adding that wording to this page would also contradict the Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines policy in my opinion, as that policy says that "Guidelines are considered more advisory than policies, with exceptions more likely to occur". Given that exceptions are likely we should not set up guidelines as something for admins to enforce at AFD above the consensus of established editors in AFDs. Davewild (talk) 18:00, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
The use of guideline/s is not being added anew and from what I can tell it was first added on June 12, 2006. My reading of all things "wiki" is that policy trumps guideline and that guideline trumps a few (some? Less than 10? Less than 5?) users personal opinion. For me this stems from a policy that might say "Don't do this" that needs to be better defined - thusly guidelines. "Don't do this unless you have that". Yes the guideline is "more advisory" however it would be hoped there had been a wider "consensus" than is normally found in a deletion discussion. If you take a random look at deletion discussions you see guidlines being cited all the time. I see no policy, for example, that says winning a Grammy allows for an article - but there is a well used, and established, guideline that does say that. I would hope that a deletion discussion that showed a nom for "Fails "Criteria for musicians and ensembles", number 8" was met with 8 "Delete:Subject did not win a Grammy" opinions as a "rough consensus" would not mean that the other 11 criteria found at "Criteria for musicians and ensembles" are now useless. I think most are looking at this as a "Keep" issue but really it goes both ways. "Delete" opinions not backed up with valid arguments based on either established policy or guidelines should be discounted as much as "keep" opinions not backed up with valid arguments. Soundvisions1 (talk) 18:52, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
I am not arguing against this being a guideline or against there being guidelines. That version you refer to (and the rest of the history) you are citing shows that guidelines have never been cited here as a reason for ignoring/downgrading opinions in AFDs - indeed that version of the page only made 3 policies non-negotiable (WP:V, WP:NOR and WP:NPOV) The point about citing a guideline in an AFD is that you will very likely persuade other editors to agree with you thus gaining a consensus for that view on the AFD because guidelines reflect what the consensus of editors on wikipedia is (or at least they are meant to). Unlike with policies where there are legal (WP:Copyright) or foundation principles (WP:NPOV), etc. that require that we enforce them strictly guidelines reflect the consensus of the community. As you say this works both way, WP:N even says that "Editors may reach a consensus that although a topic meets this criterion, it is not suitable for inclusion". Arguing based on guideline will likely gain consensus in most cases, but there are too many cases where there is support (or at least no consensus) for not strictly enforcing guidelines (such as for towns and villages in WP:N) for admins to start ignoring opinions established editors because they are not based on guidelines. Davewild (talk) 19:21, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
I wasn't arguing for or against this being a guideline or not either - what I was saying was that omitting "guideline" from the wording may seem as though we are implying guidelines are not valid arguments to consider. And what I was pointing to had to do with the wording saying that a Policy "cannot be superseded by any other guidelines" or "rough consensus". I get what you are saying now though as far as "strictly enforcing" a guideline vs "strictly enforcing" a Policy but I still think that wording needs to be in place that suggests the hierarchy of things which is general accepted as: policy > guideline > deletion discussion consensus. That affirms the wording that has existed since 2006 that we are talking about now but perhaps was either laid out, either not explicitly enough or too explicitly via the use of "is not negotiable" (Or "held to be non-negotiable" as it was worded when first introduced on June 12, 2006). I think the removal of "is not negotiable" might help to ease some concerns that feel policy is unchangeable, although in sense it should be "non-negotiable" as far as deletion discussion go. Guidelines on the other hand - that is more what you are wanting to clarify if I am reading your comments correctly. Soundvisions1 (talk) 21:29, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
What I am wanting to say is something like "Arguments based on guidelines can be weighted more than arguments not based on policy or guideline. However neither passing nor failing a guideline is grounds for overuling the clear consensus of established contributors to an XFD." Guidelines are given some weight but are distinct from policy, where a very clear failure of policy, such as an article being shown to be a copyvio, requires deletion regardless of however many people in an AFD are arguing for keeping the article for other reasons.
Distinct from this I have never liked the wording of this sentence "A closing admin must determine whether any article violates policy" as I do not like the case where an admin can come along and decide an article violates policy, in cases where there is a reasonable dispute over whether the article does or does not violate policy. If there is a reasonable disagreement with no clear consensus either way in the AFD then the admin should not impose their own opinion. Something should be here about a clear policy violation requiring deletion but the admin should not overrule reasonable opinions on whether an article violates policy. There are many cases where the interpretation of policy reasonably differs among editors and the closing admin should avoid just imposing their own view. Davewild (talk) 22:36, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Davewild; WP:Policy says, "Both need to be approached with common sense: adhere to the spirit rather than the letter of the rules, and be prepared to ignore the rules on the rare occasions when they conflict with the goal of improving the encyclopedia." So it is not just the guidelines that can be set aside. The only thing that consensus can not set aside is foundation decrees, including that wikipedia should adhere to California laws.Taemyr (talk) 23:00, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Soundvisions, if the only arguments other than the nomination is the ones you list then the closing admin should discard them. The first as being an unsupported personal opinion, and one that is unlikely to gain weight amongst other editors. The second as being meaningless. The third is a bit more tricky, if the deletion argument is based on OR. However as it stands it is just an opinion, with no real argument as to why the article passes WP:NOR. So all three can be disregarded pr "Arguments that contradict policy, are based on opinion rather than fact, or are logically fallacious, are frequently discounted.", which I am not arguing should be removed. However the admin should also note that all except the nominator all those discussing the issue have been of the opinion that the article should be kept, so he should be reluctant to close as a delete. The solution is to relist to gain a wider consensus. Taemyr (talk) 23:00, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

There is no way that policy can be worded to avoid human judgment. Even the case of a copyvio, there is the question of whether material can be rescued from it, or whether there is actually a free license, or a fair use justificiation/. We all agree on V. , but we do not agree on what constitutes sufficient verification , nor on what sources can be used for different things. Attempts to write hard and fast rules always fail--the world does not come in conveniently labeled packages. We all agree on some matters of BLPO, but the rules leave a great deal to judgments: after what amount of publicity does Do No Harm no longer have a meaning? We agree that OR is not permitted. We do not agree on just what is OR. And for t he guidelines such as RS and N that permit exceptions., there is very little guide about just what ought to be excepted. We reject spam, but its much harder to define it. Our basic concept, that we are making an encyclopedia, founders of the question of just what sort of an encyclopedia we want to make. That's why I sometimes think we'd do best with arbitraty rules: shopping malls above a certain size are notable; others aren't , and if necessary pick a number for the cutoff by chance--or even by poll--do we want 1, 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, or 10 hundred thousand square feet? How large is a city before its mayor is notable? How much need an academic publish before being considered an authority?

the on only way we can fairly use this is to have not one but many people decide. And then accept what ever they do devicde. Admins can removed sockpuppetts and spas, and people who refuse to give a reason. And then we assume the others have weighed t he various rules, decided which are the most important factors, and come to a conclusion. The admin that states what it is. His role is to count the jury, after making sure the jury consists of people willing to do things fairly. The only cure for not trusting the general public here is to have a chosen group who can decide independently of them. I do not trust either myself of my fellow admins are accepted as authorities for this/, just to be able to tell what people in general want. Yes, i wouldnt mind an encyclopedia in which i could make all the rules-- but who else would want to joint? DGG (talk) 09:37, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Why was "my page" deleted?

Sorry to bug you guys, but I don't know where to start or how to talk to the Admin, like Nawliki or wiki.. I was wondering why my page was deleted, as it is a legit company (the IUWA) and not a backyard company, as is WAR Pro Wrestling and Stars And Stripes Wrestling, yet the Stan Pain page was deleted. As one of the promoters in Chicago, his shows have consistently drawn well in venues like the Windy City Fieldhouse, St. Sylvester's Gym, and Joe's Bar On Weed Street. There was much work to be done but due to personal issues at home and at work, the write-ups had been postponed. There is a new company that has opened up in Southern Wisconsin called The Lords Of The Ring, with shows regularly running at a small concert venue. Stan Pain is the promoter. We would like to ask that the Stan Pain page be re-instated. If the issue was the man's involvement in a backyard league when he was a child, then his childhood years will be omitted. Thank you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.162.86.56 (talk) 07:00, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Each user has a talk page, NawlinWiki's is at User talk:NawlinWiki, and you edit that page as you edited this page, to contact the user. Please do this and then you could also remove this message (the one here) as this isn't the place for this comment. Cheers - Kingpin13 (talk) 07:07, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Suggestion for additional section on deletion summaries

I propose to add something like this to this guideline, as separate section titled "Deletion summaries":

The deletion dialog contains a space for a deletion summary. This summary should be concise and informative, explaining the reason for the deletion and linking to any relevant debate. It should not contain an explicit or implicit attack on any editor, nor should it make light of the page's creation or deletion. Admins should remember that the likeliest person to read a deletion summary is the creator or editor of the deleted page, and that such a person has put effort into the page and will not want to see that effort disparaged.

Comments and further suggestions are welcome. This is probably a little strong as I've written it--it ought to be possible to allow for some leeway and still make the point clear. Chick Bowen 02:26, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Does the "should not contain an attack on any editor" mean that we can't use G3 as a speedy deletion reason, because that would be an implicit assertion that the creator of the page is a vandal? —David Eppstein (talk) 02:49, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Of course not. What alternative language might make this clear? Chick Bowen 02:56, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
A couple comments: "make light of the page's creation or deletion" - This seems to be specifically aimed at the recent "Secret pages" thing, is there anything else to suggest this is a real issue and not a one-off or extremely infrequent occurrence? "and that such a person has put effort into the page" - Vandals and other disruptive users have their pages deleted too. I'm not saying we should insult vandals in the deletion summary, but that statement about effort is certainly not universally true. Mr.Z-man 03:23, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
This is true, but hardly a big deal, I think--the important thing is professionalism. As for jocular summaries, it has come up from time to time, but I'm having trouble putting my finger on an instance at the moment. As I said, I do think this is probably too strong as written. Perhaps a simpler statement would work better:

The deletion dialog contains a space for a deletion summary. This summary should be concise and informative, explaining the reason for the deletion and linking to any relevant debate. Admins should keep in mind the No personal attacks policy.

Or something like that. Chick Bowen 03:35, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

I think this is so obvious, it doesn't need to be written down. Of course you can't make personal attacks in a deletion summary, just as you shouldn't make personal attacks anywhere on the project! Apart from that I think the guidelines for deletion summaries should be the same as for edit summaries: concise and informative, explaining the reason for the edit/deletion, as you've worded it above. Martinmsgj 13:11, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Deletion is to be a last resort

this edit was reverted, prompting this discussion.

Administrators should be admonished to delete articles only 1) when deletion has been the consensus AND 2) no other alternative per WP:ATD is reasonable. In most cases, this won't apply, but I've seen a large number of cases filled with "non notable--delete" !votes, and a suggestion or two to merge the article to somewhere reasonable and notable. An admin comes along, counts noses, and nukes the article without ever commenting on the possibility of a merger.

Likewise, I see many reasonably-phrased articles deleted without a redirect left behind. Merging, or redirecting poor merger candidates, is a preferred outcome: redirects are cheap, history is or can be preserved per GFDL, and the will of the consensus (this article doesn't belong in this place in this form) is enacted. Jclemens (talk) 19:45, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Point 2 only really applies if the alternatives have not been discussed during the deletion debate. Even then, if there is a clear consensus to delete, but the consensus ignores a proposal of merging then it's better to refocus the debate rather than overriding the consensus. Redirects can be created in place of the deleted article, so a plausible redirect is not a reason not to delete. Taemyr (talk) 18:27, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Fair enough. What I'm talking about is something where there are 9 delete !votes, a few uninspired keep !votes, and one late !vote to merge the article to somewhere sensible. If none of the delete responses specifically said "nuke it, don't merge it to anywhere" is a merge outcome really a violation of consensus? I'm thinking not. Mind you, my proposal doesn't dictate outcomes to administrators, just remind them that WP:ATD applies to everyone, and that the admin should be the WP:ATD'er of last resort if the AfD !voters haven't adequately considered those alternatives. Jclemens (talk) 18:32, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
As the reverter, I think the place to propose this major change to current WP practice is on the Deletion Policy page, not here. Nowhere in that policy does it say that the WP:ATD alternatives MUST be done instead of deletion, which is how I read the addition proposed here. The alternatives are only alternatives, the policy does not say they are preferred alternatives. I think admins. need to WP:AGF on the part of !voters, and not infer that someone suggesting Delete was unaware of, or failed to consider, WP:ATD.UnitedStatesian (talk) 04:42, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Also, it would help this discussion if you pointed to specific AfD discussions as examples of what you think the problem is. UnitedStatesian (talk) 04:46, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
The admin should be aware the he is considering arguments, not counting votes. So if none of the delete arguments address the possibility of a merge it's difficult to see how he can infer any consensus. Taemyr (talk) 09:36, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
I would be very surprised to find even one admin. on all of Wikipedia who agreed with that last sentence. UnitedStatesian (talk) 11:32, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure about agreeing with it... actually, I'm not even sure I understand it. Can you elaborate Taemyr? Jclemens (talk) 16:22, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, you are supposed to consider the strength of the arguments. And in general an argument of the type "delete, not notable since none of the sources provided are independent" will not be an argument against merging. Taemyr (talk) 23:19, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Indeed it will. All content on WP has to be cited to reliable sources; if none of the content on a page is so cited, then it can't be merged. Stifle (talk) 08:48, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Not independent does not mean not reliable, which is why I chose this example. Taemyr (talk) 23:50, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
I think we can agree that content which meets WP:V but not WP:N is the ideal sort of content to be upmerged into an article of broader scope and more clearly established notability. THAT is the sort of content which I believe should be generally kept through a merge, even if the topic isn't notable. Jclemens (talk) 05:00, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, it's the clearest example of why articles that can be merged might not be capable of standing on their own. However declaring this content as an ideal example for upmerge is a bit overinclusive. Just because content can be sourced does not mean that it is appropriate, for that other concerns also come into play. Such as WP:DUE, WP:NOT, WP:LENGTH and stylistic concerns. Taemyr (talk) 11:19, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Admins are supposed to judge the consensus at the AFD, rather than bring in their own opinion on what "alternative to deletion" might apply. If most of the people at an AFD !vote for deletion, and the admin closes as merge, you can bet there'll be a stampede to DRV. Stifle (talk) 08:56, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Since when did consensus mean majority? Also see above [3] for my view on this concern. Taemyr (talk) 11:19, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Absolutely right, Taemyr. If 10 people argue for deletion without sound, policy-based reasons, and one for merge based on a policy, then consensus is to merge. I'm not asking that we change consensus rules, simply to remind admins what they are. Jclemens (talk) 16:45, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Arguments not directly based in policy is important too. Also, I don't think there is a clear policy on when to merge, it's always a content issue for the suggested target. So you are over simplifying. Taemyr (talk) 23:33, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, yes, typing all of the conditions and circumstances we already discussed above would be a bit more work. Jclemens (talk) 04:58, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm not talking about what should happen, I'm talking about what does happen. And yes, if most of the people at an AFD !vote for deletion, and the admin closes as merge, there will be a stampede to DRV, like it or not. Stifle (talk) 09:57, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
Possibly, but why is this a problem? Taemyr (talk) 17:47, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
Actually, it could really be a GOOD thing. Pointless "dramah" is to be avoided, but if a ton of people were disssatisfied with a merge vs. a delete, either 1) they're right and the merge should be overturned at DRV, but more likely 2) they don't understand the point, goals, and effects of a merge and the DRV ratification of the close would be educational for them. There are plenty of people, of whatever stripe, whom I've observed trying to use AfD as a de facto censorship court. Making merges a more likely outcome should hopefully frustrate them in those efforts. Jclemens (talk) 18:21, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
Using wikipedia process to force others to adhere to your view in general indicates that there is something wrong with the process. So I am not sure if what you describe is a good thing. Taemyr (talk) 23:50, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, what? Everyone on Wikipedia has their own view of what's good and proper; the policies are an outgrowth of pointed (and sometimes regrettably heated) discussion between people who have differing views of what the encyclopedia should encompass. Eliminating conflict is impossible, and fanning the flames of it is indeed counterproductive, but disagreements on a topic are the only way that consensus can change. My point, then, is that such conflict, since unavoidable, is a necessary part of both ratifying and communicating that consensus has indeed changed. Jclemens (talk) 04:58, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

No consensus on non-free images; defaults to ... ?

Please participate in a discussion about no consensus FfD results for non-free images at Wikipedia talk:Files for deletion#No consensus. --Hammersoft (talk) 13:09, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Voting and consensus

It's still not clear, so I deleted the intro sentence to the "Rough consensus" section:

An aspect of Wikipedia that confounds many people is the fact that there is essentially no formal voting, and informal votes or straw polls are rare.

The section from which the above sentence was deleted seems to both confirm and deny that voting is an essential part of the Wikipedia:article deletion process. Which is it? That we vote? Or that we do not vote?

Seems to me it's that we do vote but that we do not want to say that votes determine the result. If that's it, let's say it - plainly. Uncle Ed 14:22, August 4, 2005 (UTC)


Edit to Version Deletion section

I added mention of CC-BY-SA and specified the concrete reason why care should be applied, following the licensing update but also discussions at WT:REVDEL. MLauba (talk) 07:44, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

on deleting pages

can admins who delete pages please check for WP links to that page and remove those too? I am finding WP frustrating as I cant follow links from one page to another because the second page has been deleted (often because in and of itself it wasn't noteworthy, but did make a considerable contribution to the 'parent' page). perhaps before deleting a page consider it in context as being part of another article. 115.64.111.252 (talk) 07:13, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

use or IAR

I have reverted an undiscussed significant change to the guideline.. ` DGG ( talk ) 16:49, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

IAR should not be qualified in individual guidelines or policies. Any changes or clarifications to IAR should be made at WP:IAR. Jclemens (talk) 17:21, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

What I tell you three times is true

I thought of this issue again when I was read the newspaper a few days ago (on paper; I don't have a link). They were reporting a psychological study on the cognitive bias that "what I tell you three times is true." It turns out that there is some truth to this old line: an opinion expressed three times by a single person is believed to be as widespread or popular a view as an opinion given once by three different people.

How this applies to AfD: Most editors who comment at an AfD add their opinion or information and leave. A few make it their business to argue with any editor that disagrees with them. So you post a fairly normal comment like "Keep. Four books published on this topic, including ISBN 0123456789, plus two recent news stories", and they reply with a complaint that the subject isn't encyclopedic even if sources exist, or that they think the sources are biased, or some essentially irrelevant comment like that. On the other side, you post "Delete. The only sources I can find are the manufacturer's own website and a single sentence in a news article", and they reply with an unsupported assertion that thousands of unnamed sources surely exist.

Because of the cognitive bias, one editor that repeats the same argument a dozen times will loom larger in the human mind than it should. It quits being "one editor" and starts being "a dozen separate comments". Also, most editors don't watch AfD pages, so they don't respond to these comments. The result is that the page may appear, at first glance, to favor the tendentious editor, or to be evenly divided. Thus we occasionally get "wrong" decisions, or "no consensus" closes, when in fact the consensus exists, and is just improperly opposed by a single person.

I propose that we address the issue of single editors that argue with editors that disagree with them at WP:DGFA#Rough_consensus. Perhaps something like this will work:

In contested discussions, it may be helpful to keep track of which editors are making which comments. Occasionally, one editor will repeatedly argue with anyone who disagrees with him (or her). Most editors don't watch AfD discussions and thus will not respond to these comments; their lack of response does not indicate that their views have changed. Don't mistake a verbose repetition of a weak argument for either a popular or well-reasoned recommendation.

What do you think? WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:18, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Fascinating idea. In my experience, however, one editor saying the same thing over and over again does not result in bad outcomes as often as a bunch of drive-by !voters who articulate an often marginal or inapplicable reason and never return to the AfD. Jclemens (talk) 21:36, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

If you don't like an article about you mentioning negative news coverage, can you have it deleted?

Biographies of living people

The possibility of harm to living subjects must be considered when exercising editorial judgment.

With regards to living people, a closing admin must take into account our policy, Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons. When closing an AfD about a living person whose notability is ambiguous, the closing administrator should take into account whether the subject of the article being deleted has asked that it be deleted. The degree of weight given to such a request is left to the admin's discretion.

If anyone at all does something negative which gets mentioned in the news media, can they ask for their article to be deleted and have it done then primarily for that reason? If Roman Polanski objected to having an article, do it mentioning his sexual assault conviction, or the side article specifically related to that crime, would it be deleted? Does how famous someone is determine whether their article is kept no matter what, while someone not so famous could have an article about them deleted? If they were seen as notable enough to have an article for years, could someone have their article deleted by request simply because someone added a bit about a recent scandal they were in, and they didn't like the attention? The scandal of course being something covered by major news organizations a week before. Would it matter if they were a convicted criminal or elected official? I'm thinking in those two cases, the public who they have harmed has a right to know about their actions, if they are seen as notable, regardless of their protest. But if they are famous and notable for other reasons, then what? Dream Focus 15:27, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Mention RevisionDelete

I think that RevisionDelete should be mentioned in this section. It says the only way to remove it is to delete the article and restore. But since RD is enabled now and can remove edit summaries, it should be mentioned. --Bsadowski1 04:47, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

What's happened to the step by step guide to closing AFDs?

From memory, this page used to contain a step by step guideline for the process involved with closing AfDs, including the templates to be used. Is this still available somewhere? It was very useful. Nick-D (talk) 03:02, 16 October 2010 (UTC)