Wikipedia talk:Deletion policy

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RfC Request for Comments announcement[edit]

Please see the RfC at Wikipedia talk:The answer to life, the universe, and everything#RfC: Is this an information page or is it an essay? --Guy Macon (talk) 01:25, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

Hopelessly irreparable[edit]

I would like to add another reason for AfD, hopelessly irreparable, which is described in an essay, Wikipedia:Blow it up and start over. It comes up from time to time. TFD (talk) 00:17, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

Yes it should be added explicitly, for it is already well accepted. Any reason for deletion is good which has the practical consent of the community. DGG ( talk ) 23:31, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Does contentious discussion on the talk page create standing to delete the article?[edit]

No one has reverted the recent change in which "contentious" discussion creates standing for the use, and also inevitably the misuse, of admin tools.  "Contentious discussion" is a definition of "content dispute", so this edit is internally inconsistent with the section WP:DEL-CONTENT#Editing and discussion, which says that content disputes do not belong at AfD.  While this issue seems clear to me, and I could revert this edit, my puzzle is why one of the long-time editors at Wikipedia has not already done so.  Unscintillating (talk) 07:17, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

Only if the contention is about whether there should be no such article[edit]

Contention about converting an article to a redirect is not a mere "content dispute" --SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:51, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

  • How many times and ways are there to explain this?  The contention that concerns you does not need admin tools, so it does not need AfD, and it does not need to risk the misuse or misapplication of admin tools.  This policy page specifically mentions RfC, but this is not the only option for dispute resolution.  If you look at WP:DR, it has a list on the side for resolution of content disputes:
Content disputes
  • Get a third opinion (⇒)
  • Request comments (⇒)
  • Dispute resolution (⇒)
  • Formal mediation (⇒)
The formality of AfD creates the all-too-common reality that people who don't understand WP:ATD will !vote to delete a topic that should never have been allowed at AfD.  Do you remember the long-running issue with the articles about the Guantanamo prisoners?  Many or most of those articles had to be restored when the community accepted that WP:ATD was applicable.  Unscintillating (talk) 00:33, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Not really. Can you link to some examples. In the meantime: WP:3O and editor mediation are not appropriate for bringing to a head a dispute over spin out articles. RfC is fine, but maybe overkill. Redirect outcomes are a common outcome at AfD, and often a nomination option. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:49, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
  • The Guantanamo prisoner-articles were discussed at ANIUnscintillating (talk) 19:22, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia:Deletion review/Log/2013 July 20 is a case where the initial AfD was begun by an advocate of using AfD for discussions that cannot theoretically end in the use of admin tools.  You will see that in the AfD being discussed there, there was a minority delete !vote, only two of the four delete !votes agreed on why they were !voting delete, yet there was a supposed consensus for delete that emerged for a case that could not theoretically have ended with the use of admin tools.  Unscintillating (talk) 19:22, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Again, AfD opens the door to the use of admin tools.  The issue you want to solve does not need admin involvement.  If you don't think our dispute resolution processes are adequate, how is that a reason to open the AfD door to the problems which from your viewpoint are not currently solved on Wikipedia?  Unscintillating (talk) 19:22, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
  • What about a parallel process to AfD, which is AfR, or "Articles for Redirection"?  Unscintillating (talk) 19:22, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
  • User GeoSwan's Guantanamo captives articles were hard cases which do not make a good example. A large part of the problem was the shear quantity overwehlming the processes. I remember the MfD discussions. Unhappy business. not inserted 01:14, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
Your posts here don't make sense to me. Contentious pseudo-deletions by redirect are often sent to AfD, even though there is not need for admin tools. Currently, due to the lack of policy as per my edit, these cases are sold as proposed deletions, with weak rationales delete-vs-redirect. Editors do this to achieve finality on silly little disputes. See Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/David Grannis, where deletion would suffice, except that disagreeing editor(s) may not accept it. (Are we using deletion heavily because we are too light on page protection on redirects?)
I'm not sure what lesson you think Wikipedia:Deletion_review/Log/2013_July_20 provides. I think there is strong case for reviewing, relisting and arguing for a redirect with history, but your style of DRV nomination shot yourself in the foot. You did not make a logical case for your desired outcome.
You seem to primarily fear/oppose inviting admin involvement any more than where absolutely required? I'm not sure what problem you think I think I am trying to solve, but I think I am updating policy to reflect practice. Cases of pseudo-deletions by redirect, simple two outcome discussions, article or no article, are welcome at AfD, and these would be welcome for review at DRV. Bold conversion to redirect is not welcome at DRV.
You are right that admins make mistakes. Fortunately, we have a robust review process at DRV, and I don't recall any admin being dragged uncomfortably through it twice, so I think all is well.
A parallel process for Articles for Redirection? No. Pseudo deletions belong at AfD. And explicit pseudo-deletion by redirect (history preserved) rough consensus at AfD, nominations welcome to resolve talk page stalemates, should probably result in protection of the redirect. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:03, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
I certainly agree with SmokeyJoe--processes that can result in the total or near-total deletion of all content about a subject from article space belong at AfD if disputed. They need to be properly called to the attention of the community, including not just those particularly interested in the article, but those active in deletion processes.A redirect made for the purpose of removing content that is thought not suitable for WP can be non-contentious, and is then suitable just for editing, but once such editing is challenged or reversed, the only practical way of avoiding an edit way and resolving the issue is AfD. Similarly for a destructive merge. A true merge is usually just an editing question, and does not involve the removal of content. We have had too many examples here of the surreptitious deletion of articles by first merging, then reducing the merged content progressively to zero, and then asking to remove the redirect because there is no longer anything to refer to. All such processes can and should be unified. This has been proposed, and even had consensus, but nobody did the necessary steps to carry it out, and the consensus dissolved.
Basically, the reason for using AfD whenever possible is that it is one of the few WP processes that actually work--compare it to other means of Dispute resolution--compare it especially to ANI. Part of the reason it works is because it has a regular process for appeal. Because of the availability of DelRev, it does provide for the stable settlement of disputes. Even people who do not like the result normally accept it. Getting things to work at WP is not a matter of debating what theoretically might be most consistent, or elaborating additional procedures--it's a matter of seeing what is working, and using it. DGG ( talk ) 23:30, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
So, shall we revert the revert? Pseudo deletions can go to AfD to resolve if contested. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 11:33, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
Removing all the content of an article is a kind of deletion, so it belongs at AfD. That venue is also well attended, so taking a contentious redirect proposal there guarantees opinions by uninvolved editors. I'd say you're good to go, Smokey. Reyk YO! 11:52, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
  • You say you want an interaction ban with me, Reyk, but here you are, attempting a pile-on argument in a discussion I initiated.  Unscintillating (talk) 13:33, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Removing all of the visible content does not remove content, removing content requires tools.  Making this change because the forum is well attended seems to be a variation of forum shopping, perhaps forum subversion.  AfD is for worthless articles.  Unscintillating (talk) 13:33, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
  • "AfD is for worthless articles. ". Articles converted to redirects, with no content merged, are considered "worthless articles" by those pushing for the redirect. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 20:06, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
  • To respond to your question Smokey, DGGs position on this is well known, and he is engaging in what I would call civil disobedience by opening AfDs on articles that are not worthless.  A significant amount of my limited time for AfD has been spent recently on his nominations, just as the DRV I mentioned above was one of his nominations and IMO should never have been brought before AfD.  (FYI, I notified him of this discussion.)  You might want to ask yourself why Reyk is here, it suggests that he thinks that your position needs propping up.  You can argue that there is an on-going problem with non-deletion arguments being allowed to run at AfD, but you don't explain why the solution is capitulation rather than enforcement.  We don't really know how much AfD would be affected if editors who respect our policies have the door opened to place their arguments at AfD.  For my part, I am entirely uncomfortable being the only editor representing the policy.  A policy is a "widely accepted standard that all editors should normally follow".  I was not a part of the consensus that built this policy page, so I don't directly represent the current consensus.  Where are the people who designed this policy?  This is a major policy change, and as stated in the OP there are problems with the wording.  Regards, Unscintillating (talk) 13:33, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
  • If you consider precisely your view concerning redirects being protected, such is the use of admin tools.  Maybe this merits more discussion, as it would be a way to expand AfD consistent with the use of admin tools, and without reference to "contentious" or ambiguity relative to the concept of "content dispute".  Unscintillating (talk) 13:33, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

Renominations with nothing new[edit]

There was some discussion of whether there should be a policy against the same person re-nominating in hopes of a different result: Wikipedia:Deletion_review/Log/2014_March_19#Favorite_betrayal_criterion_.28closed.29. I'd support such a policy, and I think that that discussion should be continued here. Homunq () 22:45, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

To me, closing administrators should follow the same criteria for closing and deletion review should determine whether they have done that. But there are a number of editors at deletion review who think administrators have discretion in how they close discussions, making one wonder what the purpose of deletion review is. But if the view is that how a discussion will be closed depends on which administrator closes it, then it would be wrong to preclude a person re-nominating an article and hoping for a different outcome. TFD (talk) 01:48, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
???? Isn't that equivalent to saying that the most deletionist admin wins? How is it "wrong" to think otherwise? Homunq () 02:26, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
The best policy would be that administrators follow the same criteria and deletion review checks that they have done so. Since that does not happen, there is no reason why someone should not re-nominate. If that means the most deletionist administrator wins, that is a problem of the deletion review process, not AfD. TFD (talk) 16:36, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
Such a policy might make sense in situations in which an article is repeatedly renominated with the same rationale despite repeated Keep closures, at least when the nominations are close together. But the particular example isn't one of these. It was nominated for deletion six times. Nominations 1, 4 and 6 were closed as Delete while nominations 2 and 3 were closed as Keep and 5 was No Consensus. That doesn't look like someone refusing to accept an outcome, it looks like a situation where people can't make up their minds. It is true that consensus can change, and our policies/guidelines do change over time, as do interpretations of them, so it may actually be appropriate to renominate something with the same rationale if a significant amount of time has passed. It might also make sense if the previous discussion was closed as No Consensus. Hut 8.5 21:14, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
Obviously, the article was rewritten from scratch (by different authors) after each delete, so calling it the same article is iffy. Also, the conclusion of nomination 6 was "soft delete".
But if people here have no problem with renomination, then at the very least, I ask that it be policy to consider the arguments made in previous nominations, insofar as they apply to the current article. The real problem in this case was not anything about the closing admins; it was the fact that when you re-nominate, eventually you will get a situation where the article supporters will not notice. In this case, I had actually explicitly asked on the article talk page that somebody let me know on my talk page if the article was re-nominated, and that never happened. Since the number of active editors on the project is (if I'm not mistaken) going down, I think it would be appropriate to have an explicit policy of considering old arguments and/or notifying participants from prior AfDs. Homunq () 11:07, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
Let me clarify that the specific problem has been resolved to my satisfaction. The only reason I'm here is to see if I can help make things work better in other cases. Homunq () 14:06, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
The content of the article shouldn't really make any difference in this case. The concerns raised involve notability and lack of available sources, which it shouldn't be possible to address by rewriting. It is true that it is possible to keep renominating the article in the hope that people eventually stop noticing, but it is also possible to do the exact opposite. It is extremely easy to create an article and provided it gets past G4 (which frankly isn't hard) the article has to be sent to AfD again. Possibly we could add a recommendation that people renominating articles notify people who participated in previous discussions, as long as the nominator doesn't only notify people who agree with them. Hut 8.5 17:49, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
There is another way to notify editors of a previous discussion, which is to post a notice on the talk page of the previous discussion.  Unscintillating (talk) 18:27, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
I recommend that WP:SOFTDELETE should be abolished. The reason: WP:SOFTDELETE doesn't really close a discussion; it only moves this discussion from WP:AFD to WP:UNDELETE. Markus Schulze 09:55, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
Nor does deletion end discussion, we are here to build an encyclopedia.  Unscintillating (talk) 18:27, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
I would support Hut 8.5's proposal, that any new nominations to AfD should notify participants in former deletion discussions. To make it practical, I'd be fine with limiting it to the last 10 or 15 such participants; anything with more than that number is probably a high-traffic article, and so going beyond that point should not be necessary. (And I'd be OK with leaving the exact cutoff point within that window up to the nominator's judgment). That would mean a notice on people's talk page; the idea is that there should be something that people could, in some cases at least, notice even if they were not logging in regularly to Wikipedia, so I don't think Unscintillating's answer suffices.
How could this proposal progress towards being policy? Is there anything I'd need to do to help that process?
Homunq () 22:03, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
Such a behaviour could be interpreted as a violation of WP:OWNER and WP:CANVASS. Markus Schulze 21:04, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
[by whom?]? I mean seriously: did you even read those policies? Because in both cases, they very clearly delineate things like this which aren't actually inappropriate at all. Homunq () 01:03, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
Actually, it happens very frequently that users, who notify other users about an ongoing deletion discussion, are accused of WP:CANVASS. Markus Schulze 08:57, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
I recommend that a bot should be implemented that notifies the participants of earlier deletion discussions. The advantage of this automated process is that the nominator cannot be accused of WP:CANVASS. Markus Schulze 11:43, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Proposal needing input[edit]

User:AnomieBOT III will currently convert attempted interwiki redirects into soft redirects. It has been proposed that the bot also apply {{prod}} to such redirects in article space, as WP:Soft redirect discourages these. Please comment at WP:VPR#Proposal to automatically ProD redirects to other language versions of wikipedia, instead of turhing them into soft redirects. Thanks. Anomie 13:13, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

Deletion and censorship[edit]

Wikipedia has a policy that aims to prevent censorship of Wikipedia. At the same time, the deletion policy allows articles to be removed from Wikipedia for a variety of reasons, including various subjective reasons that could easily undermine Wikipedia's safeguards against censorship. How should we resolve the apparent contradiction between these two policies? Jarble (talk) 20:23, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

  • There is a difference between censoring material for politically motivated reasons, and removing material because it does not fit into the scope of an online encyclopedia. In my experience, that line doesn't really get crossed or blurred. Where is the evidence that our inclusion requirements are being misused to push an ideological censorship agenda? Reyk YO! 20:53, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
@Reyk: Misuse of administrative privileges does occur on some occasions. It is difficult to monitor the misuse of these privileges, since there is a significant lack of transparency in Wikipedia's deletion processes. I hope it will be possible to allow public access to deleted content at some time in the future. Jarble (talk) 21:30, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
Agree strongly with Jarble that there is a problem. People are prejudice --- even Wikipedians. We probably all realise how sujective some discussions can be but here's an illustration from a discussion that I am currently in: "Are the ************************ a notable enough concept to spend a list on, or are we descending one step too low on the ladder of notability here? I believe this is taking things too far, not all verifiable aspects of notable concepts are acceptable list topics." Clearly this was not a decisive argument but it shows how people's individual values, even in regard to things like concepts, can have an influence in discussion. Moreover .. and I can't make judgement on the mentioned situation .. but sometimes people may just not like a particular subject matter. I would suspect that articles may have, perhaps, on the odd occasion, maybe .. have been subject to prejudice. Gregkaye (talk) 15:34, 21 June 2014 (UTC)
@Gregkaye: Indeed, it is possible that some deletions may have been politically motivated. Articles about certain controversial political topics (such as Far-right politics in the United States and anti-conservatism) have been deleted because they lacked references, although both of these topics are clearly notable. Jarble (talk) 21:19, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
  • There is no contradiction. WP:CENSOR prevents us from removing content just because we find it offensive. WP:N allows us to delete content that doesn't satisfy some fairly objective standards of significance which don't relate to offensiveness at all. The policies and guidelines can't be made to contradict each other without completely abusing them. If someone is going to argue that our deletion processes are being widely abused then they ought to present some kind of evidence of that. The idea of allowing public access to deleted content has previously been vetoed for legal reasons and isn't going to happen. Hut 8.5 23:03, 21 June 2014 (UTC)
Access restrictions on deleted content are not always legally necessary, but it appears that they are being enforced nonetheless. Jarble (talk) 03:09, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
The problem is that there are often many reasons to delete problematic content, some more clear than others. If I see something that unambiguously violates WP:CSD A7 and sounds like it was copy pasted from somewhere, I may delete it A7, and not worry about searching out where it was copied from, what the license there says, and deciding on whether it is a copyright violation. If we make that available to everyone, we are then committing a copyright violation. Essentially, we would then need to devote admin time to policing deleted content to remove from public view content that was already deleted once. Its a huge waste of effort. The foundation has also indicated that there are legal issues with opening up unrestricted access to our deleted content to everyone. It may be possible to have an additional user group for those who can't pass RFA, but want to seek out improperly deleted articles to request review, but I don't think the idea has ever gotten anywhere. Monty845 03:22, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
  • There is a conflict, but not a contradiction. It is an issue as old as the project. It is largely controlled, which is why the issue rarely boils. The solution is a fairly bureaucratic regime for deletions. Unilateral deletion is tightly constrained by Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion policy, "The criteria for speedy deletion specify the only cases ... immediately and unilaterally deletable on a single person's discretion. All other deletions must go through WP:XfD, a moderately heavy procedural process that ensures some level of advertising and the opportunity for anyone to comment. In all cases, a questionable deletion is welcomed for review at WP:DRV, which is a fairly robust review forum where again anyone may participate, and where deleting administrators take very seriously any supported criticism of their actions in deleting pages. Perhaps slightly outside this are BLP deletions, oversight deletions, and revision deletion. All of these are reviewable at WP:DRV, though I have not seen it happen, probably because the cases are clear cut, and colleagues can see what individuals delete. As oversight deletions are not open or advertised, a oversight oversight mechanism was created, see Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Audit Subcommittee. The conflict is thus controlled, but of course never resolved. If you have any specific case in mind, you are welcome to raise it at multiple fora, including here. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 23:00, 30 July 2014 (UTC)