Wikipedia talk:Deletion process

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Deleting links to userboxes[edit]

Having just closed an MfD for several userboxes, I was wondering whether there's a way of getting a bot to delete their transclusions? I can't seem to find any instructions on this, and the boxes have a lot of transclusions - would take hours to sort it myself. Number 57 16:32, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

Well as a user I would be unhappy about a bot delinking them of my page. It is OK if the bot does something useful, such as renaming, but I think it would be preferable to let a redlink remain so that the affected user can take care of the situation. Perhaps they want to use a different box or delete, or recreate the text on their own page. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 07:57, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
OK, thanks. Number 57 08:16, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

XFDs for category redirects[edit]

When a category redirect is proposed for deletion, should the discussion be held at RFD or CFD? I'm not sure, so I've made a proposal at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 113#Deletion of category redirects. Your participation would be appreciated. Nyttend (talk) 21:39, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

Soft deletion[edit]

What exactly is soft deletion? And when would you use it? It is very poorly explained here. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 14:23, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

If someone nominates an article for AfD and after several relists the discussion receives no discussion or very little discussion, the closing admin can close the debate as "soft delete" and delete the article. But afterwards, if anyone wants the article restored for any reason whatsoever, the article will be restored (same as pretending like the article was never nominated for AfD but was instead deleted under PROD). Formerly (like several years ago), admins were advised to close discussions with little participation as "no consensus," but it didn't make a whole lot of sense given that if they had nominated it under PROD, the article would have been deleted already. So the change in policy was made. -- King of ♠ 05:35, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

Question about WP:NACD[edit]

In Wikipedia:Deletion process#Non-administrators closing discussions (NACD), there is a sentence Decisions are subject to review and may be reopened by any administrator. which is, as far as I can see, often ignored: I usually see involved non-administrators who disagree with the close reverting (though, they're often right) and sometimes even edit-warring to keep it open. (Wikipedia:Non-admin closure has the same commonly-ignored instruction: Inappropriate early closures may either be reverted by an administrator ("Decisions are subject to review and may be reopened by any administrator", from Wikipedia:Deletion process#Non-administrators closing discussions) or could result in a successful request to redo the process at Wikipedia:Deletion review. Inappropriate early closures thus waste everyone's time.) Now, if my observations are true (and please, tell me if they are or not) - that most of the time, this rule is not known or ignored - should it be enforced or removed? It seems to me that, if guidelines follow community consensus and practice, that it should be the latter. Ansh666 18:29, 4 August 2014 (UTC)

@Ansh666: You might consider checking out these closure reviews of RFCs that have been brought up. Cunard (talk · contribs) has been maintaining it since 2013. It's not a long list, but there are cases when a non-admin close is contested and subsequently reviewed by an administrator; some have been endorsed and others reverted or the RfC reopened. I, JethroBT drop me a line 20:09, 4 August 2014 (UTC)
@I JethroBT: My concern is more about deletion discussions (and AfD in particular), which is where I see most of this behavior. Part of the problem, I feel, is that people at AfD are often new(er) content creators and don't know the ins and outs of policy as well as RfC participants. Ansh666 21:26, 4 August 2014 (UTC)
  • The premise here doesn't make sense to me.  What evidence is there that the sentence is ignored?  I don't see the relation between the sentence and the issue of involved editors (both admin and non-admin) re-opening RfC and AfD.  Unscintillating (talk) 02:20, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
    • The sentence often ignored states that non-admins should not re-open a deletion NAC, which does happen. Ansh666 03:05, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
      • Perhaps you are thinking of the Template used in closing the discussion, that says that the page should not be edited thereafter.  Unscintillating (talk) 03:23, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
        • I am most definitely not. Ansh666 03:58, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
          • In the sentence, "Decisions are subject to review and may be reopened by any administrator.", I see the word "administrator", but nothing about non-admins.  Unscintillating (talk) 22:59, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The implication would be that non-admins are not allowed to reopen discussions. Why mention administrators specifically if anyone can do it? (See Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/GamesRadar, which is the latest example and the one which prompted this question.) Ansh666 01:30, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

I think this might require an RfC on this matter so we can get a clear consensus on this matter. I'm going to start one now. Lord Sjones23 (talk - contributions) 21:49, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

RfC: Should non-admins reopen deletion discussions after an NAC?[edit]

Should non-admins reopen deletion discussions if it is closed by another non-admin per WP:NACD? Lord Sjones23 (talk - contributions) 21:51, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

  • The problem in the example, and I could give others, is that a participant is re-opening the discussion.  This is not a problem of whether or not the editor is an admin, as an admin has been known to re-open an RfC whose close they didn't like.  Unscintillating (talk) 23:42, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
    • Yes, that is another issue, but I'm pretty sure I've seen uninvolved non-admins do it before too. It's hard for me to find examples, because I've participated in a lot of deletion discussions and read through even more without leaving a trace of involvement. Ansh666 03:35, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
  • As a description of best practice, implying that users should seek admin review rather than simply reverting closes they dislike is fine. I oppose making any stronger statement in either direction, however, because these cases are always going to need to be judged on their individual merits. --erachima talk 11:43, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
  • You mean at an AfD? No. That's what deletion review is for. Discuss it on the closer's talk page, alert a friendly admin, or take it to the due process. Re-opening a closed discussion is disruptive. It leads to edit wars where people repeatedly open and close the discussion, and then newcomers get pissed off when their comments get removed in the crossfire. I've seen it happen, and it's too much drama. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 03:00, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
  • As per WP:TPG (WP:TPO) neither admins nor non-admins should revert a close, as doing so changes the meaning.  Unscintillating (talk) 22:51, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Given subsequent developments, I should clarify that reverting a close is not the same as reopening a discussion.  WP:TPO does not say that the edits of other users are inviolate.  The two key principles are (1) Don't change the meaning, and (2) We are here to build an encyclopedia.  Reverting violates WP:TPO by changing the meaning.  Unscintillating (talk) 00:33, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
...and here is another. Non-admin closed as "keep" at a time when there were five !votes for "keep" and five (counting the nominator) for "delete". Reopened and relisted by an admin. --MelanieN (talk) 03:31, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
@MelanieN: wrong section. This one's about non-administrators. Ansh666 03:39, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
OK, sorry. MelanieN (talk) 04:06, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
  • The last thing we want is edit wars over NACs of deletion discussions. However, if an editor feels that the close was inappropriate then there should be a mechanism to air their concerns. The best way to do that is to ask an admin if they think it was a non-appropriate closure based on the concensus shown. If the admin concurs, then he/she (i.e. the admin) can reopen it. If not, then the decision stands and we avoid a lot of potential drama.  Philg88 talk 18:21, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Of what? Ansh666 04:11, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
  • It seems I should reiterate the framework of the discussion here to answer that question.  The premise of this RfC is that non-admins reopening a discussion is problematic and that admins reopening a discussion is proper.  I've objected that the problem in the initial example was not an example of a problem with a non-admin reopening, because it would also represent a problem had it been an admin reopening.  The poster I questioned has made assertions that are plausible based on reading the guideline, but I'm wondering if the assertions are also founded in practice.  Examples might include both NAC reopened by nonadmins, and NAC reopened by admins.  Unscintillating (talk) 05:26, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Sorry, but I don't have any examples. This is a guideline discussion about a "what if?" situation, i.e. what do we do at some future point in time when a particular event occurs.  Philg88 talk 06:59, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

I think you can just ask an admin or go to DRV. I suppose a non-admin could revert a NAC but it would accomplish little, ultimately someone needs to make a binding decision. Chillum 04:21, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

RfC: Can admins revert NACs if they disagree with the closer's interpretation of consensus (WP:NACD), pertaining to AfD?[edit]

Withdrawn per WP:SNOW. Best of regards, MrScorch6200 (talk | ctrb) 17:20, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

It's a little funny seeing another current RfC involving the same section of this guideline. If a NAC closes an AfD, can an admin revert the close if they disagree with the closer's interpretation of consensus and completely avoid WP:DRV? An admin recently reverted my controversial close to Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/2009–10 Liga Bet, even though an involved editor already attempted to seek Deletion Review, albeit on the wrong venue. The guideline he cited says nothing about an admin being allowed to do this and only states the following points for basis of an admin reverting a closure:

  • Deletion discussions must be decided in accordance with consensus and taking account of Wikipedia policies and guidelines. If you are not familiar with deletion policy or the workings of deletion discussions, please avoid closing discussions.
  • Non-administrators should not close discussions in which they lack the technical ability to act upon the outcome.
  • Close calls and controversial decisions are better left to an administrator.
  • In cases where an administrator has deleted a page, including by speedy deletion, but forgot to close the discussion, anyone may close the discussion provided that the administrator's name and deletion summary are included in the closing rationale.
  • Closing discussions in which you have offered an opinion or for a page in which you have a vested interest (i.e. a page that you have edited heavily) should be avoided. The sole exception is if you are closing your own withdrawn nomination as a speedy keep and all other viewpoints expressed were for keep as well.

It also states, "Decisions are subject to review and may be reopened by any administrator." While it doesn't state why an admin can reopen, logic tells me that the statement is paired with the 5 criteria directly above (also how it is laid out in the guideline). If it is meant to be a standalone statement, it contradicts WP:BURO and WP:EQUALITY. Allowing an admin (not even an uninvolved non-admin, WP:EQUALITY) to reopen a closed AfD discussion is disruptive and should be taken to WP:DRV which is meant for these exact situations. Also, reopening the discussion violates WP:TPO (which applies to AfD). And as a note, DRV has no prejudice against the closer's userrights.

Final point: Admins shouldn't be allowed to judge a NAC's interpretation of consensus, the community should, which is why we have DRV.

Additional info: The admin stated "......I am entitled, as an administrator, to revert your NAC because it was not an accurate reflection of consensus." Even though it should be decided by the community, not an individual person, at DRV which states: "Deletion Review may be used: 1. if someone believes the closer of a deletion discussion interpreted the consensus incorrectly;....." MrScorch6200 (talk | ctrb) 06:34, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

  • Policy and practise are both clear that any admin can revert any NAC for any reason. The rest of your TLDR rant is simply making you look childish and petulant. Thanks. Spartaz Humbug! 06:35, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
    • Since you appear to be getting fixated on an incorrect understanding of policy let me refer you to Wikipedia:Non-admin_closure#Inappropriate_closures which states inter alia "Inappropriate early closures may either be reverted by an administrator ("Decisions are subject to review and may be reopened by any administrator", from Wikipedia:Deletion process#Non-administrators closing discussions) or could result in a successful request to redo the process at Wikipedia:Deletion review. " That's pretty clear that reverting admin can act on their own authority without needing a consensus at DRV behind them. Spartaz Humbug! 06:39, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
      • Moved from ANI: ....."Inappropriate early closures may either be reverted by an administrator... [redacted - I already disputed this line above. Also, it only applies to the bullets listed above it; it is not a non exhaustive list] ...or could result in a successful request to redo the process at Wikipedia:Deletion review" That essay says nothing about reverting due to disagreeing over interpretation of consensus.
Also it is an essay; it is not enforceable nor does it reflect community consensus over the ability that "any admin can revert any NAC for any reason". MrScorch6200 (talk | ctrb) 07:12, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Agree with Spartaz. Decisions are subject to review and may be reopened by any administrator does not have any strings attached, so in the current text any admin can undo any NAC for any reason. It may or may not be particularly appropriate, especially if the admin participated in the discussion, but it would still be legitimate.
Even as such, Daniel's reversion of your close on the example given above is perfectly fine, because of this sentence: Close calls and controversial decisions are better left to an administrator. NACs are supposed to be reserved for very clear-cut cases (the exact text in WP:NAC is beyond doubt a clear keep). Ansh666 07:08, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
So you are telling me an admin can arbitrarily revert an NAC closure based on their own agenda not listed in that policy (preceding that first statement) and against the purpose of DRV? Also, Close calls and controversial decisions are better left to an administrator does not say 'must' or anything of the sorts. MrScorch6200 (talk | ctrb) 07:15, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes. Ansh666 16:25, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
I've temporarily removed " and may be reopened " from the phrase " Decisions are subject to review and may be reopened by any administrator ". I agree that it goes against TPO, as both are guidelines, it creates a situation where two equal proceedures say "yes" and "no" to the same thing. My suggestion (suprisingly) would be to allow the admins to remove inappropriate AFD closes if the close is shown to either be something only an admin can do (like a close to Delete) or the consensus can be shown to be wrong. This would put the onus on the NAC to document how a close was determined as well. KoshVorlon Angeli i demoni kruzhyli nado mnoj 10:58, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Yes, they can - and KoshVorlon you really shouldn't be editing a guideline while and RFC is being conducted to determine whether the guideline should be edited or not. If you're going to determine the consensus of this discussion you should close it (a spectacularly bad idea after less than 24 hours, especially given the subject matter) but editing things while they are being discussed is just confusing. Stlwart111 11:07, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Yes they can. Chillum 11:40, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
  • @Chillum, Stalwart111: Do you both disagree that this action violates WP:TPO and goes against what DRV is meant to do? Never edit or move someone's comment to change its meaning..... MrScorch6200 (talk | ctrb) 18:20, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
  • NACs should be rare. Want the power to close discussions? Submit an RFA. DRV is designed to allow the community to review (generally) admin decisions relating to deletion. Non-admins can't delete articles so the number of non-admin closures being brought to DRV should be pretty low and people take a pretty dim view of bad NACs there. If you're a non-admin and your decisions are being overturned at DRV then that's a big problem in my view. Stlwart111 22:55, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
Comment - Actually my removal was a bold removal, so if anyone re-instates the removed text, I won't pull it back out. The point is, it was put in boldy, now it's removed and being discussed, so if the concern is to follow policy and guideline, the proper steps would be, get consensus via this RFC, if the consensus is for the belief that admins can't just close out NACs as they had before, then the wording needs to stay out. If the consensus is that they can, the wording can be returned just as it was. KoshVorlon Angeli i demoni kruzhyli nado mnoj 16:01, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
  • I've restored it. Your removal was bold and in good faith, but premature. It should stay in the guidelines UNTIL consensus develops to remove it. --MelanieN (talk) 18:22, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Obviously good faith, just confusing. All good. Stlwart111 22:55, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
  • "Can admins revert NACs if they disagree with the closer's interpretation of consensus?" Of course they can. This is longstanding practice. Admins are entrusted by the community, via the RfA process, to make this kind of decision. Nobody "vets" or approves of non-admin closers, they just jump in and do it as volunteers. Their help is appreciated, but ONLY if they are willing to defer to review and possible reversal of their closures by an admin. Admins have been given the "keys" to do this; non-admin closers have not. If someone reopens a NAC close, the person who closed it should view it as a learning experience, from which they can gain experience and learn more about evaluating consensus. User:MrScorch6200, this principle has been confirmed to you by many people, both here and at the original ANI discussion. Your stubborn refusal to accept it makes me wonder if you should be forbidden from doing any more non-admin closes. --MelanieN (talk) 18:30, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
    • I don't see why I would need a ban (or how a ban would help the community) if I we are not debating my ability or my closure(s). I am debating the ability of admins to reverse closed discussions. First of all, I would've re-opened it if I was asked, but I wasn't and it wasn't discussed with me before he re-opened. Second off all, it is a clear violation of WP:TPO. Admins shouldn't be exempted from a guideline. Third of all, it goes against the use of DRV and once again, the action violates TPO. MrScorch6200 (talk | ctrb) 18:39, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
      • Huh? The guideline at TPO says that in general one should not edit or change the comments of others on a talk page. I am baffled what this has to do with the case. A closure is not a "comment", it is an action - one normally taken by an admin, but allowed by non-admins if the case is clearcut enough. Your attempt to WP:Wikilawyer this situation is not gaining you any adherents (have you noticed that not a single person in either discussion has agreed with you?), and IMO your continued refusal to understand the limits of NACs casts doubt on your ability to do NACs. --MelanieN (talk) 19:17, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
      • P.S. As for following vs. violating guidelines: the guideline for non-administrators is that they are only supposed to close cases where the result is pretty obvious. "Close calls and controversial decisions are better left to an administrator." The case you closed, the one you are now so indignant about, had five "keep" !votes and four five (counting the nominator) "delete" !votes when you closed it as "keep". That is a textbook example of a discussion that should not have been closed by a non-administrator. --MelanieN (talk) 19:32, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
        • Actually, TPO applies to AfD. And User:KoshVorlon agrees (above Up-arrow) that it goes against TPO. See the top of the guideline, "All guidelines here also apply to Wikipedia discussion pages, such as articles for deletion." MrScorch6200 (talk | ctrb) 19:47, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
MrScorch6200 I appreciate your passion, however, pull back a bit, or at least re-read your responses, you're coming across harshly, and I don't think that's your intent. Let me point out that as of this second, Admins can reverse NAC closes on AFD's, however, that idea is being challenged at this time as it (IMHO) conflicts with WP:TPO. KoshVorlon Angeli i demoni kruzhyli nado mnoj 20:12, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
Well, if TPO (which is a guideline, not a policy) forbids admins from acting according to NACD (which is also a guideline), one solution would be to simply forbid all NAC closures, and say that only admins can close discussions from now on. However, I don't think that would be a positive development for the wiki. Better solution: if anyone other than Scorch and Kosh actually finds this "conflict" to be a problem, we could add "admins reverting NAC closures" to the permitted exceptions at TPO. Even better: consensus could agree that TPO refers to comments but not to actions. --MelanieN (talk) 21:15, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
I think that your third proposal shouldn't be decided here, but rather on the respected talk page. We still have a lot of time for this RfC, so let's wait for other users to come along and comment. MrScorch6200 (talk | ctrb) 21:19, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
I posted a note at Wikipedia talk:Talk page guidelines asking for input here. --MelanieN (talk) 21:27, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Yes, this is longstanding practice. Referencing WP:TPO is an attempt at wikilawyering IMO. Non-admin closes have always been subject to review and unilateral overturn by an admin; they were first introduced around 2005 to reduce the admin backlog at AfD. I remember back then, hundreds upon hundreds of articles showed up at AfD since PROD didn't exist, CSD was less robust, and people in general were bad at selecting articles that actually deserved deletion. So non-admins were allowed to close obvious "keep" discussions in order to reduce admins' workload and get some "admin practice" (for prospective RfA candidates). Just because TPO does not explicitly mention this as an exception (assuming it even applies to closures) doesn't mean the intent isn't there that mistakes by non-admins acting in an admin-like capacity can be overturned. -- King of ♠ 21:48, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Yes Admin's are !voted in by the community on the basis that they are able to judge what's good for Wikipedia and what isn't. Allowing anyone to close an AfD (albeit as a non delete outcome) is certainly subject to admin oversight and reversion if appropriate. I've also closed the similar discussion on this topic at ANI as administrator intervention is not required.  Philg88 talk 22:21, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Yes There is no system of governance that is problem free. However, imposing the view that any passing non-admin can perform a close that can only be challenged with DRV would not help to reduce problems. Johnuniq (talk) 00:01, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Thanks to all for chiming in and pointing out to this editor that their relative inexperience has led them to an interpretation of policy that conflicts with how it has been executed consistently for 7 or so years. As I wrote on ANI, I had the courage of my convictions that I was acting in line with both policy and general precedent, although one naturally doubts themselves slightly when an editor so belligerently insists that you're wrong. Your kind words and confirmation is appreciated. Daniel (talk) 00:09, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Yes The value of this oversight is quite clear, and the AfD that led to this discussion is a pretty clear example of that value. GoldenRing (talk) 01:59, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Yes As a matter of practice. Protonk (talk) 17:02, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


  • Followup: I posted a question at Wikipedia talk:Talk page guidelines, asking whether something should be added to WP:TPO about admins re-opening non-admin closures. --MelanieN (talk) 17:50, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment  I think this was closed too quickly.  The issue of WP:TPO has gotten mixed into the discussion without being properly aired.  In this entire discussion, there is only one example of an NAC being reopened.  Not saying that it should be reopened, but IMO this is far from conclusive.  Unscintillating (talk) 03:22, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
    • And the issue of WP:TPO has also been deemed irrelevant by several uninvolved commenters. Besides, Scorch, who initiated the RfC, closed it themselves. Ansh666 03:27, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
  • That there is a general consensus clearly emerging that this accepted process either does not conflict with the aforementioned guideline or takes precedence over it, both of which come up with the same answer to the RfC question. Ansh666 04:56, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Ahh, ok, but there is no consensus that WP:NACD takes precedence over WP:TPO.  The issue of WP:TPO that was raised here was based on a misunderstanding that WP:TPO makes other editors' edits inviolate, and also, editors were using the word "revert" ambiguously.
    I don't know if the admins are claiming the right to literally revert closes, but if so, that is something that would be good to discuss.  I suspect that they are rationalizing reverts as expedient, and wouldn't object if we expanded the WP:NACD reopening guideline to mention WP:TPO.  Unscintillating (talk) 05:53, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment  I've updated the WP:NAC essay to change the word "reverted" to "reopened" with the edit comment "revert is not normative practice as per WP:TPO".  Unscintillating (talk) 04:43, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment  The issue with the word "revert" is confounded on this talk page in that it is being used with multiple meanings, and in some cases ambiguously.  Unscintillating (talk) 04:43, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
    • Agree with that change. My opinion is that as long as the original close is mentioned either up top or at the bottom, it's fine. Ansh666 04:56, 27 August 2014 (UTC)