Wikipedia talk:Deletion reform

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A similar concern regarding "mob mentality"[edit]

I have an article I wrote that is currently under consideration for deletion. I wrote an article about a writer I think has great merit and who was deserving of an accurate record of his accomplishments and recognitions in his field. But I admit, it's not a huge author or anyone known by the person on the street. But there are a lot of authors like that similarly recognized by Wiki articles.

I guess my worry is that I see that the first person to vote for its deletion isn't even a registered user, just a name added to the end of their terse note. And when I did a search for this person, the only reference I find for them is on the article of another author who is a known and vocal critic of the person I wrote about.

It just seems kind of transparent that with recent vandalism of my stub and now, after months since I wrote it, suddenly a request to delete from someone who isn't even willing to register and log-in with some integrity like other members of the community, that maybe Wiki should be more actively using the vandalism-blocks and other tools to ameliorate these issues prior to outright considering removal. We already have some pretty comprehensive policies about reversion, editing, expanding if you think an article is incomplete, warnings for contributors who are just adding nonsense, etc.

I really think a clearer definition of some of the more vague aspects of what is 'vanity' or deletion-worthy could help, and maybe not "jump the gun" straight towards deletion just because a small determined mob of internet jerks have decided they want to abuse the Wiki system for their own "fun." --Zeppelin85

    • Zeppelin85 is lying (or perhaps simply clueless?) when he says that I'm not a registered user, nor am I a vandal. On the other hand, he is most likely the person who has been accused of running a vanity entry, the one currently under discussion for removal. --Kynn 14:55, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

MY GREATEST CONCERN[edit]

My greatest concern IS the five pillars of Wikipedia are slowly being changed to make it easier to delete by Vfd. This will allow "blocks of users" to delete and control.

--Poorman


Threat to remove assertions[edit]

These will be removed unless someone provides evidence that this is actually a problem and occurs frequently enough that we should actually do something about it. This is the place for discussing broad issues, not for anyone's personal pet peeve.

Text removed as this is not a valid approach. The potential for abuse needs to be considered as well as abuse that is currently occuring. That is the basis of, e.g. trial by jury: all the judges in the land may be fair-minded at the moment, but they may not always be without it. OTOH, moving these to another page for comment is not a bad idea. Further, these suggestions need to be refuted before they are thrown out. Mr. Jones 12:20, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

Cons[edit]

Most mainstream Wikipedians who have been around a while are sufficiently fed up with VfD that they do not participate. That's not a reason, that's an assertion -- one for which I'd like to know how it was arrived at, short of demonstratable psychic powers. --Calton | Talk 02:36, August 2, 2005 (UTC)

Well, as Yogi Berra purportedly once said, "You can see a lot just by watching." I watch. Most of the VfD participants are newly minted admins and hardliners from the inclusionist and deletionist camps.
Ah, an assertion backed up by another assertion. Tell me, is it turtles all the way down? --Calton | Talk 03:22, August 2, 2005 (UTC)
No, it's an assertion backed up by personal observation. You don't have to believe it if you don't want to, and if your observations are different, by all means share them. The Uninvited Co., Inc. 16:24, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
I participate frequently in VfD, and I'm far from a hardliner. Fernando Rizo T/C 03:35, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
Yes, there are inclusionist and deletionist. But there are also editors who take the time to read the articles and make a judgement. The fact that new admins hang out there may not be a surprise. In any long running project, people tend to move on and around. So this could be an admin training ground, if not by design, by initial interest, as they find a place to use their new powers. But that begs the question of where do the old admins go? Vegaswikian 23:41, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
I went to mediate something. :> Inter\Echo 20:37, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
Well, if anything, I'm one of those who has stopped participating in VfD. I just got tired of having to work my way through the convoluted system, and that was before I even considered the possibility that there was something wrong with VfD. Johnleemk | Talk 12:39, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

Most articles are deleted unanimously. - That's a comment about the quality of the articles generally submitted to VfD, not a comment on the quality of the process itself. Peek into VfD on any given day and this becomes self-evident. Fernando Rizo T/C 02:38, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

I think that the unanimous deletion of articles is likely to become less common given the recent expansion of CSD. As it should be. The easy cases should be covered by CSD. The Uninvited Co., Inc. 03:20, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
There's still quite a bit of band vanity, advertising, and rants that are just this side of nonsense that sneak past the new CSD. Fernando Rizo T/C 03:35, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
I'm not quite following how it is a con. Is it that if the community deletes something unanimously, it probably should have been covered by a CSD and thus reduce the waste of time?-- Cyrius| 05:14, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
Exactly.
unsigned r3m0t talk 12:16, August 3, 2005 (UTC)

Most articles are deleted unanimously. I added yet remain cluttering up the VfD pages for the full week - I presume this is the problem? Besides, just because the vote was unanimous does not mean that it should be under WP:CSD. r3m0t talk 12:16, August 3, 2005 (UTC)

Also under the topic of Cons, I take issue with this: Hurts new editors with rough comments about articles. I'm sorry, but bullshit. The current process does not hurt new editors. Old editors with little patience, diplomacy, or courtesy hurt new editors. I cannot possibly imagine any community-based process that does not leave open an opportunity for crotchety, callous editors to brush off newbies. I am myself often impetuous and vituperative, but I make a particular effort to keep it in check when dealing with new users. (I hope my contribution history doesn't betray me here!) —HorsePunchKid 05:45, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

Strongly agree with this. As a mechanism, VFD hurts new users perhaps less than any other deletion process by showering their possibly-worthless product with attention and demonstrating some sort of respect for it. The faceless axe of speedy deletion (or immediate blanking) is far more likely to scare away new users. It's analogous to what an experienced editor feels when his edit is discussed on a talk page vs. what he feels when his edit is reverted without comment. Christopher Parham (talk) 06:18, 2005 August 2 (UTC)

Piece by piece - a list[edit]

My comments on the proposed cons. Because others may like to place counterarguments piece by piece, I've signed all my comments.

  • VfD promotes factionalism and strife among editors.
    • Large number of people rarely come into complete agreement. That's we why debate. If editors begin to really squabble, put them in arbitration.- Skysmith 08:18, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
      • However, there is a problem with achieving a consensus on contentious issues. The cricket translusions spring to mind as split fifty fifty. Hiding talk 17:47, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Hurts new editors with rough comments about articles
    • Very many IP "newbies" appear to know exactly what they are doing and rarely come back with the same IP. I have seen couple of genuine IP newbies who have been ready to correct their behavior but their priorities are probably somewhere else than in disruption - Skysmith 08:18, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
      • True. My question was how did someone find one of my first articles existed seconds after it was created? I was irate. But was I hurt? Don't know. I did find out that you can get concensus support for stuff that you write. I also learned that I should have joined the debate team in high school. Vegaswikian 20:22, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
        • Wow that bit struck with me too. I made the article Planes of existence (chat site) and seconds later there was a Vfd tag on it. The original article took me 2 hours to write, and I do not believe it would be possible to read the article, let alone research its validity, in the time that they had to put a Vfd on it. That heavily influenced early voting as well, as a number of broad generalisations were made that were simply not true. Zordrac 18:56, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
  • It is too large to facilitate discussion between a wider variety of users.
    • Not quite sure I understand - there are always large number of participants. - Skysmith 08:18, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
      • The sheer size of the VfD system (it's about 100 a day isn't it?) puts me off from browsing through to see what's on there -- Joolz 17:32, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
    • Not sure about this one. With over 100 entries a day, not everyone is going to see a need to look at every article. So some get no comments and others have page after page of comments that are impossible, for me at least, to follow. Vegaswikian 20:25, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Most articles are deleted unanimously.
    • See above. - Skysmith 08:18, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Sometimes too few people vote on an article.
    • Define "too few". It appears that many people vote on articles that interest them or that they know something about. Only the most obvious vanity pages and nonsense seem to attract large number of votes - sometimes to protest apparent sockpuppet galore. And there has been suggestions that if the vote already appears to go to a direction you'd support, you are advised not to comment in order not to increase the size of the page. If you think that there are too few votes, present a countersuggestion to that - Skysmith 08:18, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
      • "Only the most obvious vanity pages and nonsense seem to attract [a] large number of votes - sometimes to protest apparent sockpuppet galore." Sounds like something to add to the list of cons. Aren't you admitting that VFD is just a big hate fest and waste of time? (comment by anon 70.213.84.132 (talk · contribs) - the only edits to this page)
        • Arguments are different from hate. In the above cases, the argument is between the sockpuppets or meatpuppets (who are sometimes just one person) who want a dubious article to stay and those individual users to want to say their definite no - Skysmith 17:21, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
      • The point is that votes on VFD tend to attract users in proportion to their controversiality, whether they are made controversial by sockpuppets or by their subject. Most contested votes attract a decent number of people, at least five or six, and usually more. The most serious disputes attract on the order of 40 or 50 voters. Asking more people to vote on the uncontested votes -- which may attract a nomination and perhaps one other delete vote -- goes against the recent trend of trying to avoid this clutter on the page. Christopher Parham (talk) 17:30, 2005 August 2 (UTC)
  • The current system cannot grow with Wikipedia, and as as result, there is usually a massive backlog of discussions waiting to be closed out.
    • So editors should be able to close discussions more easily and quicker. Recent policy allowed speedier deletion of obvious vanity articles, other new policies may be necessary - Skysmith 08:18, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
  • The project-wide problem with sock puppets is particularly troublesome at VfD.
    • Sockpuppetry seems to concentrate on VFD because it would be the most effective tactic there - if it were not relatively easy to find out. By sockpuppet's comments if nothing else. - Skysmith 08:18, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
  • VfD voters tend to make confusing votes, such as "delete and redirect," "merge and delete," "keep and merge," that by their sheer diversity make it difficult for the closing admin to ascertain exactly what should be done.
    • Due to practically unlimited variety of potential nominations, I think it is hard to set any hard rules about any small number of allowed votes. Some want to merge into specific page, others may even like to replace the nonsense with something sensible. Limiting comments to just a few, for example, would not be a good idea - Skysmith 08:18, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
    • Seems obvious what the closing admin should do in that case - nothing. (comment by anon 70.213.84.132 (talk · contribs) - the only edits to this page)
    • If an admin is unsure what to do when attempting to close, he should note that in the discussion and allow another five day period of voting to form a consensus. Unfortunately, the procedure encourages votes such as merge and delete, since an article can not be merged whilst up for vfd, and whilst the vote of merge and delete seems logical to me, it seems other people seem to disagree. Hiding talk 17:47, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
      • In other delete pages, there is a section for the cleanup process. Can something like that be added to VfD when the action is not clear? Part of the problem is the restriction on what you can do while the VfD is in progress. Why not allow someone to be bold and do the merge and remove the decision burden from the closing admin? After all, this is what has happened on some articles where the vote did not reach concensus after the vote closed and that action is usually accepted, at least based on my too small sample. Vegaswikian 20:34, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Bad-faith VFDs often appear, and waste everyone's time.
    • Bad-faith editions and various other forms of vandalism appear all the time everywhere in WP. VFD is no exception. That's the nature of the open Wiki project. With VFD, admins should be able to close the poll quicker with an obvious bad faith nomination - Skysmith 08:18, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
      • The big exception is that there is some sort of idea that bad faith edits and various other forms of vandalism on VFD have to be kept around forever rather than reverted or deleted. Even you yourself suggest that VFD is special in that only admins should be able to get rid of an obvious bad faith nomination - in the rest of Wikipedia that can be done by anyone. (comment by anon 70.213.84.132 (talk · contribs) - the only edits to this page)
        • And where did you get that idea? VFD votes stay in archives but bad faith edits and vandalism are constantly reverted. Admins are the ones who can delete the dubious articles (and copyvios) - other users can add deletion tags or put them into VFD - Skysmith 17:21, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
  • VfD, as in other Wikipedia "voting" mechanisms, allows later voters to see the vote and rationale of earlier voters, potentially influencing their perception and decision. I think this leads to ideological inbreeding of Wikipedia culture as well as creation of silly categories such as "deletionist" or "inclusionist." Proposal: Discussion period, followed by anonymous vote. Discussion period requires no new modifications to software and would greatly resemble VfD except perhaps prohibitions on declaring one's own vote (though it would usually be evident by one's assertions). Anonymous vote would have to be accomplished through a software solution... these are widely available but they are novel to the MediaWiki package. The Hokkaido Crow 16:27, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

Themes[edit]

  1. We say vfd is not "voting" but "consensus"
    • Yet vfd means Votes For Deletion (which involves voting).
    • Also the method for determining consensus always includes counting votes
  2. Criteria ought to be simple enough that admins can be trusted to apply them, according to their judgment. After all, becoming an admin "should not be a big deal".
  3. Often voting on an article's vfd page becomes a nasty political contest, exactly the sort of thing "consensus" was supposed to avoid.
  4. There are are only two ways to make a decision in a group: we count the votes, or someone just takes action. The myth of "consensus" conceals this dichotomy poorly. There IS NO THIRD WAY. Uncle Ed 15:45, August 2, 2005 (UTC)
I have seen productive action being taken during long and contentious VfDs. I wish I had an example off the top of my head, but I can't seem to think of any. (Maybe GNAA, which is now a serious FAC?) But one thing that makes your dichotomy somewhat shaky is the assumption that the decision is the only possible or desired result from a VfD. This is false. A VfD does not have to reach consensus in order to be productive, nor does an editor have to take unilateral action and delete the article. —HorsePunchKid 19:06, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
These are interesting themes. However, (1) is fixed by renaming the process in any number of ways, the wording is not important compared to the effect. (2)is important: we should harden the deletion threshold to e.g. two-thirds or some compromise like 72-75% or something. Clear guidelines cause less agony. On-the-threshold cases, and only those, can be decided by reading the votes: a job I'd suggest handing to the bureaucrats since there would be statistically few such cases. Hands up, Bureaucrats! (3) is unfortunate: there is no such thing as pure consensus; we can have either a majority or unanimity. We rarely make unanimity and the minority will always feel tyrannized, no matter how small they are. Such is the way of the world. (4) is true (although in fact, the present operation of VfD is combination of the two outcomes listed: we count the votes and then someone takes action). But there are 3 principal outcomes for a VfD, and more as far as most editors are concerned: keep, delete, no consensus. The no consensus discussions usually result in work being done on the article, however small, and that can only have done good for the Wiki. There are of course other outcomes (merge, move, redirect without merge etc) that also result in improvement, if we trust the voting editors' judgement. And we surely do? -Splash 03:01, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

Bold moves[edit]

I'm going to continue moving proposals to userspaces and wikipedia namespace articles. If all the proposals that are springing up were discussed on this page., then we'd get buried by them. humblefool®Deletion Reform 20:06, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

Trouble is, now we have several groups of people discussing the same problems but spread across several pages (all as a result of Ed's attention-grabbing move). It is getting, frankly, impossible to follow... I'd rather it was all on one page, myself. Dan100 (Talk) 20:25, August 2, 2005 (UTC)

Deletionism[edit]

I've written up a short essay on my views of deletionism at User:Malathion/deletionism. Maybe it would be of some use to consider what I wrote there. --malathion talk 20:09, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

  • Thanks. It's a lucid and interesting exposition of the views of a small but very active Wikipedia faction. I personally find the point of view that "the majority of subjects that deserve articles have already had articles created about them" very novel indeed, not to mention patently false, but given that assumption the views and activities of deletionists aren't so surprising. --Tony SidawayTalk 16:07, 6 August 2005 (UTC)
    • On a related note, it is appalling that Votes for Destruction has so many contributors, but WP:Missing topics is making progress only through the slog work of a small group. Everyone, please come and help out, and make Wikipedia the best encyclopedia. Pcb21| Pete 16:39, 6 August 2005 (UTC)
    • That's all very well but it's hard to make Wikipedia the best online encyclopedia when certain "elitists" aka deletionists attempt to restrain certain articles from being published simply because it does not fit into their system of what they deem to be correct - they rarely have a good reason or enough evidence to delete a worthy article other than throwing the terms "nonsense" or "rant" about. Piecraft 05:26, 24 August 2005 (UTC)
      • I'm sorry, but calling it "Votes for Destruction" just goes too far. I can't reconcile that statement with any rational opinion. Do you believe deletionists are mad destroyers who won't be happy until they've reduced Wikipedia's page count to zero? You may consider that a ridiculous straw man, but it's the impression I get. Why is it acceptable to make these sorts of attacks? -- Cyrius| 18:30, 6 August 2005 (UTC)
    • I'm not sure how you could say it's "patently false" since it's impossible to know such a thing for sure. --malathion talk 10:08, 15 August 2005 (UTC)
      • I'm not sure it's patently false, but it may well be false. Wikipedia:WikiProject Missing encyclopedic articles alone probably points to 100,000 articles, and there are many articles on recent discoveries and culture which would not make that list. Decrease the main page total by the articles which ought to be redirects or gone, and the numbers are in the same range. Septentrionalis 16:30, 15 August 2005 (UTC)
  • I too agree with Tony Sidaway in that there are many articles yet to be written. What has been written about is generally the easy articles that are well known. It is funny that if you try to improve some articles using a google search, and find the only source material available is from wikipedia! Personally I think too often the tag of deletionists gets applied to people who worry about quality. Also remember that even deletionists create bad initial articles when it is something they are interested in. Vegaswikian 20:15, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

Fork[edit]

Is this about Wikipedia:Deletion policy? So it should be discussed there. Nabla 22:59, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

  • Not exactly. This is for corralling the various pages that contain proposals to restructure VfD. I'd consider Wikipedia:deletion policy to be for discussion of the currect policy. humblefool®Deletion Reform 23:10, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
    • Oh! Right! This is about the deletion procedure, not the policy. My misunderstanding, sorry. I'll take a look at it then. Nabla 23:28, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

Relax[edit]

It seems to me that the single easiest way to fix VfD is to stop worrying about it quite so much. Its existence vexes the inclusionists (thus they deleted it), and they in turn vex the deletionists (who are presumably not vexed by VfD's existence). It is what it is: it serves a purpose that an encyclopedia must, imo, necessarily undertake. Rarely do the votes reach a wildly inappropriate decision — although they can be 'interpreted' by a creative admin — and a deleted article can be (and frequently is) recreated in no time. Indeed, deleted articles can be and frequently are restored by an admin with no harm done. If an editor doesn't like VfD, they can just get on with writing an encyclopedia (yes, we really are) and leave VfD to those it vexes less. -Splash 03:01, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

I completely agree. If admins (others also) spent less time discussing reforms and more time using their admin powers to improve WP this discussion would show up as pointless as it is. Nabla 01:11, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
I've entered three ideas (some old ones I've played with before, some new) in the brainstorming section. However I'd not too hopeful about consensus for change arising from this procedure.
I think the most likely solution to VfD's supposed "problems" will be that eventually we'll see the number of articles for deletion reaching a saturation point because Wikipedia will become increasingly impatient with inconclusive and sometimes rather tendentious nominations. More research skills will be sharpened and focussed on VfD, and this will continue to discredit "me too" deletion votes, making VfD more acrimonious in the short term but acting on the long term to improve the quality of decisions made. Obvious rubbish will continue to be deleted. The predicted scaling problems of VfD will never come to pass. The problem will be solved by the obvious solution: a diminishingly smaller proportion of Wikipedia articles will be listed for deletion in future. --Tony SidawayTalk 16:18, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

Merged discussions[edit]

It was driving me a little nuts that the same debates were taking place between different people over different pages. Therefore I've had a bold stab at centralising this debate.

I know the page is now huge, but isn't better that we're all "reading from the same page"?

I didn't move anything from other pages - I only copied - but left pointers on the pages I copied from alerting people to this central debate.

I hope people understand why I did this, and I apologise to those who will not like it. Dan100 (Talk) 10:21, August 3, 2005 (UTC)

  • Excellent idea, and most of those other pages should redirect here for simplicity's sake. No sense in rehashing the same discussion in a dozen different places. Also for the record, the referenced discussion on meta is two years old so not particularly relevant. Radiant_>|< 11:41, August 3, 2005 (UTC)

A proposal[edit]

I think VfD could be reduced by a substantial proportion if non-encyclopedic articles could be made ubto redirects when possible. The inane content would be out of WP and no admin would have to spend time deleting. Therefore I propose to remove the word merge from the VfD template, and add to the page: if you convert the article into a redirect, put a link to the previous content on its VfD page.

Ideally vapid articles would be made redirects instead of coming to VfD, but that's not being done, Septentrionalis 02:52, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

See my pre-emptive merge proposal. That an article listed on VfD can be merged with another and removed from VfD. --Tony SidawayTalk 16:20, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

Sounds good. Where is it? Septentrionalis 20:47, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

VfU - give people more power to delete obviously bad pages[edit]

Not sure this has been mentioned, so I'll give my 2 cents.

While VFD is swamped with requests on a daily basis, Wikipedia:Votes for undeletion is rarely visited (or at least gets a lot less requests and is quite scalable. I'd say we could give admins a little more freedom in deleting pages. After a while, we'll notice what pages absolutely need to go through VFD to reach a conclusion (those would end up on VfU with a concencus to keep).

Of course, this isn't as simple as I make it out to be with this post, but I think we should pay more attention to taking load off VFD as has been tried in the recent CSD expansion. - Mgm|(talk) 16:00, August 6, 2005 (UTC)

If you going to give the deletionists a carrot, you should give the inclusionists one too. For example, make it easier for admins to use the deletion log. At present, from the deletion log you have to press three buttons to see the deleted content, but it could be just one. Then it would be easier to check up on all those baby/bathwater folk. Pcb21| Pete 16:33, 6 August 2005 (UTC)
Why is it that only admins can see that content? Factitious 19:46, August 9, 2005 (UTC)
I think it might be because sometimes, the deleted content is a copyright violation. --malathion talk 01:14, 16 August 2005 (UTC)
It also makes it at least a little more difficult for an editor to repeatedly recreate the same validly-deleted article. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 02:01, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

I'm Being Bold[edit]

I remade the page to look a little better (basically I put everything into subpages). Everybody fine with how I did it? Please improve it, especially the short summaries on each proposal if you aren't happy with them. Is it kosher? gkhan 17:00, August 7, 2005 (UTC)

Anything is better than the huge unorganized lump there was before. Everybody who cares, keep on refactoring it. JRM · Talk 18:04, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

I think you did a good job. NoSeptember 18:46, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

Ahh, that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside :P gkhan 19:22, August 7, 2005 (UTC)
Sight unseen: Thank You!Xiongtalk* 19:14, 2005 August 7 (UTC)

Plain English, please?[edit]

I'm afraid I'm going to have to vote against any and all changes to the VfD process because with the way that the deletion reform page is organized, I can't make heads or tails out of any proposal. Can't have consensus sans comprehension. Almafeta 08:22, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

Are you talking about my changes to the page [1]? I did that because before it was a huge unreadable mess of a page, and Xiong had requested it on the village pump. I figured that it would be alot easier to get an understanding about what people wanted to get done. The reason that people haven't started voting about a proposal yet is because, well, there is no consensus right now! Everybody disagrees with everone else. However, if you feel that a vote should be needed soon, why don't you create a sub-page that's called Wikipedia:Deletion reform/Voting or something and put all the main suggestions there, put a notice on the top of this page that voting has begun, and we'll see what happens. Be bold! I suggest however that you post something like "we should start voting soon" at the village pump or here or someplace and let people edit the voting page before the actual vote starts. How 'bout it? gkhan 13:25, August 12, 2005 (UTC)
  • Most of the debates died down the instant they were split. Nothing is being voted upon, don't worry about it for now. Radiant_>|< 13:57, August 12, 2005 (UTC)
For heaven's sake, let's not vote on this! Voting is what got us into this mess. Voting is Evil.
Further debate is blocked because he who comes onto the main page is staggered by the sheer range of proposals. A single page is better (right up to the point that it gets so big that it can neither be loaded or edited). It seems I have to take responsibility for stifling the debate I so dearly wanted to see flourish. — Xiongtalk* 15:06, 2005 August 12 (UTC)
Hey, you broke it, you fix it :P I spent like an hour trying to fix it and make it look nice! You could just revert I guess but then you wont get the discussion that has been done since (although I gather that isn't much) gkhan 16:16, August 12, 2005 (UTC)
I disagree that the page appears "disorganized." As I see it, all the proposals are on separate pages, summarized on the main page. This, to me, seems very organized. Perhaps you need to purge and see the latest version? Xaa 16:30, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
Xaa, Almafeta is seeing the current version. Radiant is right; debate has overcooled. Gkhan, I applaud your effort. You achieved the short-term technical goal: Break the page so that it can be loaded and edited. It does appear that the current version fails larger social goals, but who is perfect? You did well for an hour's work.
I have just finished printing the entire text of all the deletion-reform-related pages. It comes to a stack over half an inch thick of ten point type -- redundant, discursive, digressive, and impenetrable. I consider myself blessed with a powerfully analytic temperment and I do not even know where to begin. The sheer mass of words blocks comprehension.
Gkhan has taken the first step and now others must follow. Let me meditate on this situation a day and see what can be done. — Xiongtalk* 17:41, 2005 August 12 (UTC)
Hmmm... On a second consideration of the material, I see your point. I sometimes forget that not everyone was blessed with growing up when I did. In my day, there was a thing called the "Evelyn Wood Speed Reading Course." I think it's still available today, but when I was in High School in the late 70's it was tremendously popular - so popular that Cheech & Chong (if anyone remembers who they were) made a comedy spoof of it on one of their albums. Still, my experience with the program was that it was a godsend. Today, thirty years later, I breeze through long dissertations with a reading speed of 350 to 450 WPM, depending on the subject and whether or not the author follows standard grammatical conventions. The basic idea was to read sentences, not individual words. But, on review of the material, I understand your point. These proposals are so lengthy, they *require* speed reading skills to review them in any reasonable period of time. I now see what you and the original poster are getting at - it is literally too much information. Unfortunately, I have no solution to the problem. Asking everyone to take a speed reading course to be able to grok the VfD reform suggestions is NOT a reasonable solution. =/ Xaa 18:15, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
Ok Yoda, you do that, and if you sense a disturbance in the force, give me a holler! Seriously though, what I think needs to be done is start up the discussion all over again, start a new page with all the ideas that came up during the discussion and then some sort of poll (note:poll not vote) to gauge the communitys thoughts on each of them (ie. use of categories, centralized discussion, binary voting, etc.) I could do that if you wanted to, I kinda enjoy doing stuff like that, it's like participating in creating policy without actually having to have an opinion :D gkhan 18:31, August 12, 2005 (UTC)

This may be a dumb question...[edit]

But why does a wiki need a deletion tool? Except for occasional pages that are illegal, imoral in some serious way etc, can't most of this be dealt with by page blanking? A brief look at the things that are being proposed for deletion leads me to think that most of them could be quickly blanked by regular users. Others could check it, and, if necessary, discuss it on the talk page. Am I missing something? Trollderella 23:55, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

It's certainly not a dumb question, infact, your blanking proposal is one of the suggested proposals on this page (see m:Pure wiki deletion system (proposal)). If you want deeper discussion go see that article and its talk page. There are a number of reasons why people might not like this idea. Off the top of my head:
  1. Transparency, there would be no transparent process
  2. Little or no discussion, if a single user doesn't like a page he could delete it and it would be gone forever (ie no one would notice it'd be gone).
  3. Revert wars, people would get into delete/undelete wars
  4. Giving users the power to essentially delete a page (which blanking essentially would be in this proposal) could lead to massive vandalism.
  5. Many, many articles are horrible attack-pages and copyright violations and other things that really shouldn't be accesible to other users than admins (yes I realise that you covered this in your question, but it is alot more common than you'd think). Pages that shouldn't be in an encyclopedia shouldn't be accesible.
  6. You wont get that neat "The article "John Smith is a stupid fag!!!" does not exist yet in wikipedia. If you'd like to create it....." message :P
These are the main reasons I can think of at the moment. Does this answer suffice? gkhan 12:02, August 17, 2005 (UTC)
Thanks! That makes sense, although I still think that a system like that could deal with 50-80% of the stuff on vfd. re your points:

1, 2 and 3. The process would be as transparent as editing is now, since the blanking could be reversed by anyone (I am thinking that the history would stay, just with a blank page). Page blanking is a possible type of vandalism now, and I don't think it would become much more common or difficult to detect. Disputes would take place on the discussion page as they do now, and 3 revert rules would apply as per any other deletion. Contentious issues could still be taken to vfd or some other process to get a ruling. 4. Users already pretty much have this ability, except that links don't change colour when you blank a page. Like any wiki action, it would be easily reversible. Perhaps a couple of extra steps to slow down the process of page blanking might detter massive use. 5. Libelous, illegal pages should be deleted using the regular tool. 6. Erm, no, you wouldn't... It's obviously not a total solution, but it seems to me that at least a substantial portion of the massive load on vfd could be dealt with in this way - do you disagree? Trollderella 16:21, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

"Keep/delete" versus "No consensus"[edit]

I may be opening up a can of worms here, but I think since this article is here, it's worthwhile to see whether the community wants to tackle some of the issues raised by User:Tony Sidaway's recent RFC over VfD closures and how some votes are interpreted by admins (see Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Tony Sidaway). Tony, who is a self-defined inclusionist, seems to prefer to count votes of merge and delete and merge and redirect as keep. But to me, the vote is clearly saying "this article doesn't belong, but the information does -- somewhere else." (See comments here specifically: Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Tony Sidaway#Outside view by User:Texture). FWIW. · Katefan0(scribble) 20:19, August 17, 2005 (UTC)

Without endorsing any specific behaviors, I do believe that Tony's interpretation of "merge" votes is the "officially sanctioned" view (at least, to the extent that anything in Wikipedia is "officially" anything). The reason is that we have an obligation under the Gnu Free Distribution License to preserve attribution history. Keeping the old article's history is the easiest way to preserve the encyclopedia's attribution history and redirects are cheap. That's why the old versions of instructions about VfD explicitly said that "merge and delete" was an incompatible vote. The more nuanced discussions about "merge and delete" votes admit that it is possible to use other means to preserve the attribution history. You could, for example, use the edit summary, copy the old article's history page to the merged article's Talk page or go through the multi-step process to merge two pages histories. In practice, though, I haven't seen very many VfD closers who have that much time. I might go to that much trouble if parts of the content were salvagable but concensus was clear that the article's title was patently objectionable. Without a very good reason, though, turning the article into a redirect is easy and it achieves basically the same effect. The article's not there anymore.
Those nuanced discussions go on to say that even though "merge and delete" may be technically achievable, it's an ambiguous vote and should probably be discouraged.
For the same reason, a "merge and redirect" vote is clearly a "keep" vote unless you explicitly argue for extraordinary measures to preserve the attribution history. The thing to remember is that "merge" does not require a VfD-level decision. The fact that the article was "kept" does not mean that it must be kept as an independent article. Any editor can be bold and merge an article. That can happen within seconds of the closing of the VfD decision. The comments in a VfD decision may inform that decision but a disputed merge is decided on the respective article Talk pages.
A straight "redirect" vote without further comment is ambiguous. The user in that case has not expressed an opinion on whether there is a reason that old article's history must be destroyed. Absent an opinion, the "safe" interpretation is to consider it a "keep and redirect" vote. As with a merge, any editor can be bold and immediately turn the article into a redirect.
About the only unambiguous vote in this class is "delete and redirect" which can safely be interpreted as "delete to get rid of the history then replace it with a redirect".
It's not really a "can of worms" but it is a common and recurring misunderstanding. Rossami (talk) 22:50, 17 August 2005 (UTC)
Well, I can see what you're saying about m/d and preserving edit histories. But, my personal opinion anyway, is that a closing admin has a responsibility to not only close the VfD, but also to carry out the will of the voters. It's not, or shouldn't be, enough to just close a VfD where a majority of people approved of the content, but not the article (i.e. voted to merge), without actually doing the merge. Or at LEAST placing a merge tag on the article. Neither of which many admins do. I realize this is a lot to ask of admins who do VfD closures, as their time is already taxed. But that doesn't mean it shouldn't happen any less. Just my opinion. · Katefan0(scribble) 22:55, August 17, 2005 (UTC)
As a fairly new user, I see the Merge vote in a slightly different context. This vote is really for deleting the article but to preserve the information. So it is truly both a delete for the article and a keep of the information. To determine if the article is kept, the merge and delete votes should be added together and compared to the keep votes. This will decide the fate of the article. Then the keep and merge votes should be added and compared to the delete votes to see if a merge should be done. Yes, this is a little harder on the admins. However it should result in fewer no consensus votes and actions more responsive to the community desires. If the merge votes are really being treated as described above, I would have to vote delete more often since the information is usually easily created in another article so no big harm is done by deleting. I would not be happy doing that, but if policy says that is how I need to vote, then so be it. Vegaswikian 23:14, 17 August 2005 (UTC)
One problem may be that a Keep vote is being widely interpreted as: "I approve of the present text", whereas, the sense of Wikipedia:deletion policy is that it means: "There should be some sort of article, even a blank or a redirect, in this location. We don't need to scrap it and throw away its history." This is why I'm a rampant redirectionist (except for spam, vanity, and unsalvagable OR - and, yes, there is a lot else on VfD.)
Renaming Keep might help. Septentrionalis 23:30, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

Merge results are sometimes tricky. Sometimes it is a simple copy and paste job, then go back and make a redirect. Someimes, it needs a little bit of accurate editing to avoid the "seams" showing. Two examples:

  • Two days ago I closed a debate, Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/M*A*S*H developments in Korea, which really resulted in a merge. However, carrying out a merge like that was not something which I was willing to spend my time on, so I decided to close it as a "redirect" and let somebody else do the merge if they wanted to.
  • The first VFD debate I ever encountered, as an anon, (my first article even!), was Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/TCS Victory, yet another merge result but which the closing admin, understandably, did not want to set about merging. Afterwards it was decided on the talkpage of the article that merging probably wasn't such a good idea after all since it would make a really long article. Note that the possibility of merging this to something less ambitious has not been ruled out, and if anybody wants to do this, they can just be bold and do so.

Some VFD closers, the ones which take on 30 or more debates in one go, often don't perform any merges at all, but satisfy themselves with just slapping on merge tags when that is the result. The administrerial role of the VFD closer is after all to either delete the article, or to not delete the article. Any other things which the closer does is done as a regular editor. Sjakkalle (Check!) 07:38, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

    • I don't have a problem with an admin inserting a merge template with the comment that this a VfD result. Vegaswikian 07:48, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

Two points from a self-described deletionist:

  1. The only consensus vote that requires admin action to pefrom or revert is delete. Therefore, there is no need to count a vote of "redirect" or "merge" as delete since these actions could be taken by any user. If you want an article merged, merge it! Which leads me to point #2.
  2. An article that is deleted cannot be merged. The content is inaccessible to anyone who is not a sysop. So we cannot possibly interpret a merge vote as a vote of delete. To desire an end is to desire the means to that end: Therefore, someone who wants content merged wants that content to stay in the edit history. You can't merge it if it's deleted. Thus all admins count merge votes, or just about anything besides an explicit delete, as a vote to keep. There is no other way to do this and be consistent.

The upshot of all this is that I agreed with every VfD that Tony Sidaway closed. There is just no other rational way to go about it that I can see. --causa sui talk 14:45, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

I see what you're saying, but I have to believe there's a better way to get at preserving vote intent than just reading every merge vote as keep. It's a hybrid. Keep the information, but not in its present form (i.e., there should not be a separate article). I don't think that there's any way to change that kind of voting behavior, nor should there be because I think it's a valid compromise between discrete sides. Maybe the solution, then, is to create a message board where admins can report VfDs closed with a consensus of "merge." It could even, perhaps, be something the Wikipedia:Cleanup Taskforce could take on as a side project. My fellow WP:CT'ers will probably kill me for suggesting taking on such an extra workload, but I can't see any other way to preserve the intent of peoples' votes without loading down VfD closers, who are already scarce. At the very least, we coudl ensure that merge tags are being placed. · Katefan0(scribble) 15:21, August 18, 2005 (UTC)
The problem–as I see it–is with articles where there is no clear consensus reached, which are closed as an explicit "keep" by the closing admin. The admin has done the correct thing; where there is no consensus, the article (usually) should not be deleted. The difficult arises when other editors read that admin's "keep" as meaning "article should be kept, and is irrevocably committed to remaining under its current article name, and may not be merged."
What an admin's "keep" often means is actually a very different and much more limited statement: "there was no consensus to delete this article. Whatever else you might do with it doesn't require admin intervention." Many articles are not deleted under circumstances where there is signficant disagreement over how they should be handled.
An article receiving five delete and five merge votes would likely be a "keep" in the sense of not being deleted, but is an obvious candidate for merger. Most closing admins state this explicitly in the closing and add the appropriate merge tags to articles. Some of the most enthusiastic will actually carry out the merger, too. (Bonus points for those admins.) Others will close as a plain "keep", because consensus for deletion was not achieved.
Perhaps the easiest solution is to encourage closing admins to explicitly state the meaning of their "keep" closures. Saying "No consensus, article not deleted" would leave the door open for mergers and whatnot, and cut down on the wikilawyering ("You can't merge that, the admin said 'keep'!")
In Scottish criminal law, there are three available verdicts. Loosely speaking, Guilty is handed down when guilt is proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Not guilty indicates the jury found the case very weak, or that the accused is innocent. Not proven is an intermediate case: the jury doubts the accused's innocence, but the prosecution failed to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. 'Not guilty' and 'not proven' have the same legal effect—the accused goes free. They are perceived very differently by the press and general population, however. I would suggest that we move to a similar system for closures here. A clear consensus to keep results in a stated verdict of "keep", whereas articles kept through lack of consensus receive a "not deleted; no consensus" closure. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 15:39, 18 August 2005 (UTC)
Is it not possible to limit VFD to keep and delete votes? All those people who wish to merge the article should vote keep and once the poll is finished perform the merge in the consensus is keep. Likewise those wishing to vote delete and redirect should vote delete and then create a redirect page after the deletion is such is the outcome. Hiding talk 21:28, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
Oh I missed this discussion (I'm not Kibo Parry so I'm not (yet) vain enough to grep my name. I like Ten's point about the (non-existent) distinction between Not Guilty and Not Proven (a legacy of the merger of the Scottish and English legal systems) and it helps me to understand why "not deleted" might be considered a better way. However isn't the problem with the (deprecated) "Not Proven" verdict sometimes brought by Scottish juries the very fact that it creates a nuance which is undeserved. The Scottish legal system is adversarial, in criminal law a person is either guilty or not guilty. Similarly an article is either deleted or not deleted. There is no middle way, and the Scottish verdict is a mere accident of history.
Whatever the case with "not proven", here we have a specific rule, one of the most fundamental of Wikipedia, that an article is not deleted without consensus.
Rather than have this idea of a second class keep, I'd rather do away with the word keep altogether and record all of them as "not deleted". However an even deeper concern suggests to me that we shouldn't prescribe a form of words here. The article Wikipedia:Deletion process was edited over a week ago, but I see little sign of sysops changing their verdicts in the time since. Instruction creep tends to be resisted, and that isn't a bad thing.
I think Hiding's suggestion is good. Again, of course, we can't expect people not to express a preference during discussion, and such discussion should be welcomed. However it really shouldn't be any of the closing sysop's business what happens after an article is kept/not deleted or whatever. The editors know themselves what they think should be done and they're perfectly capable of doing it. As a closing sysop what I've usually done is to separate the decision into two: whether to delete, well that can only be taken by me as closer because I've got the magic button. What to do if it's kept, well sticking on a merge tag or (as I do) noting the suggestion to merge in the oldvfdfull template I stick on the talk page may be one way. Being bold and performing whatever you think should be done, after closing, and making it plain that you're acting as an editor (which is what I frequently do myself) is another. This leaves a continuity in the editing activities and ensures that those who did not participate in the deletion discussion but have their own ideas as to the disposition of the article are not left uncertain whether they're allowed to discuss redirects, merges, unmerges or whatever at a later date. We run the wiki on consensus so of course an old VfD merge/redirect is not binding for all time, though it would be a very bold editor who undid such a merge immediately after a VfD close. I've seen one VfD merge close that I did challenged at VFU, and emerge supported; however it could have gone the other way. There weren't that many votes in it. --Tony SidawayTalk 06:34, 30 August 2005 (UTC)
  • The problem is that the view of VFD as binary (keep/delete) is outdated. The VFD page itself lists in fact five possible outcomes, and there is strong precedent that a nomination can have a result to merge, or to transwiki. Forcing everything into the neat pigeonholes of 'deleted' or 'not deleted' is needlessly bureaucratic. A closed VFD should display what has happened to the article as a result of the VFD. Radiant_>|< 08:57, August 30, 2005 (UTC)

VfD is not distributed in time the way normal editing is.[edit]

It makes sense to me that articles that do not exist are null articles, as are blank ones. This is not the only way to address the problem, though. e.g. articles could be restored to another server by (automated) request for review to avoid cluttering up the namespace. This seems to solve nothing as the voting mechanism for deletion and restoration is kept in place. However, it removes the urgency of participating in discussions to save or ensure the removal of an article, objections can be spread over time and crucialy decisions are fairly easily reversible.

Due to the contentiousness that surrounds what is neutral and what is not (despite, and in the case of "original research", I would suggest because of, the guidelines), and the possiblity of rogue admins, it is important that one can review previous versions of articles by some means. This is obviated to some extent by the deletion log, though the fact it only covers relatively recent deletions is unfortunate. However, it would be much better if old versions could be reviewed.

It would be useful to be able to search the text of all revisions of deleted articles. I include all revisions, because it is possible to arrange for an article to be filled with junk, say "this article is junk" and speedily delete it before an objection can be raised.

This is particularly relevant in the sphere of politics, for instance, where proponents of a particular viewpoint may make somewhat subtle efforts, to promote a particular POV by selectively enforcing rules with respect to their selection of titles (as well as which source material can be used, what topics can be presented without direct citation, etc), for instance by claiming "not relevant enough" when something is ignored by well-known media organisations, and "original research" when the article has not yet developed to the level where citations are provided, and so on. I say this just to illustrate why one might be concerned about what is deleted. More charitably, one might simply believe people to be mistaken in their actions and wish to check them.

A possible exception is copyright violation. But here, specific revisions should be deleted, not the entire article. Nontheless, rogue admins are still a potential problem unless there is a non-time critical verification process. I believe that the terms of fair use would allow alleged CV versions to be provided for review. Further, IIRC, the point of removing CV material is to ensure that the wikipedia is covered by the GNUFDL, not for fear of imminent legal prosecution per se. (I'm not entirely confident about the points in this paragraph, so I'm interested in others' opinions).

So deleted articles, and thus the deletions themselves, should be reviewable as any other edit history is, and further their histories searchable.


Deletes for new articles[edit]

Many of the items that show up for deletion are new articles, and many of them get nearly unanimous delete votes, but would not strictly fit the criteria for speedy deletion.

Furthermore, Vfd are used for two different kind of reasons, either: there should not be an article on the subject, or there should be an article on the subject, but this content is not salvagable

Therefore I would like to suggest a cleanup deletion option, which would apply to the latter case, for any article that seems to fit the ordinary reasons for deletion, where the speedy deletion criteria do not seem to apply.

And let Vfd be for making decisions when a controversy arises -- in other words, a cleanup deletion would be the default.

If someone objects to a deletion, other than the author of the article and/or any sockpuppets, then the article has to go to a full Vfd.

--- Step 1: Nominator for cleanup deletion, places a cleanup-delete tag, similar to a cleanup-rewrite, etc, but called cleanup-delete, with a message explaining the reason.

Step 2: [3 days pass]

Step 3: If the tag is still on the article, and the article was younger than 3 months when cleanup-delete was added, then any admin has the option of deleting the article (except the nominator, if the nominator is an admin).

Anyone who objects to a cleanup deletion other than the author of the article may replace the cleanup-delete tag with a vfd tag.

Cleanup-delete tags would not be allowed to be removed, except by a person nominating the article for Vfd.


In this manner, less time is wasted -- if noone objects to the deletion, obvious deletes just happen, like they should.

It should be possible to categorize Vfd, too, if needed, but is there no way to stick with a simple solution to deletion that doesn't involve massive code changes or institution of pages and pages of new rules? --Mysidia (talk) 17:09, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

This is Wikipedia:Countdown Deletion, except that their period is 7 days. (I have seen 30 days in other discussions.) I approve in general, but three days is much too short; give the writer time to notice. And what's the rush? If the article has genuinely been abandoned, and most of these have been, any time-limit will kill it. Septentrionalis 14:00, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

Keep vs. Delete vs. Cleanup[edit]

I have seen dozens of VfD votes where people vote to keep because they value the topic of the article, but they condition it with something like "if cleaned up". They don't plan to do the work themselves and so the article is kept but in an unacceptable form. We need a real "cleanup" vote and a "cleanup" outcome which says that the article will have 14 days to be cleaned up and then be subjected to VfD again. The second time, it's either voted up or down. –Shoaler (talk) 14:56, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

We usually give people more than 14 days. Other than that, we already allow what you suggest. If an article is not cleaned up in a reasonable time (usually months), it is acceptable to renominate it. If you do so, please be careful to provide a link to the prior deletion discussion. Also note in the nomination that a majority of the prior opinions were conditional and that those concerns were not addressed. Rossami (talk) 15:43, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

Another proposal[edit]

Someone must have thought of this before, but I couldn't find it anywhere, so... Why not give everyone some form of deletion/undeletion powers, effectively bringing deletion into line with everything else people can do to an article? Of course, it's not quite so simple, and I'm certainly not proposing that the current powers be given to everyone. What I propose is this:

  • Anyone can flag an article as 'deleted' by clicking a little tab at the top. The tab will bring them to a page asking them if they're sure they want to do this, suggesting that they check for consensus, and giving the current hints to deleting admins (e.g. check what links here), but nothing stops them from going right ahead. Doing or undoing this just adds a flag to the article, and doesn't put much load on the server.
  • Anyone else can still view or undelete the 'deleted' article for set number of weeks (or some other predetermined unit of time); if nobody rescues it within that month, it automatically goes into 'real' deletion, and can only be accessed or restored by an admin. This is when all of the real behind-the-scenes moving and housekeeping takes place, the stuff associated with deletions today.
  • Going to the page during that month will not immediately show the page, but will bring up a brief explaination of what's happened to it and offer a link where you can see the deleted page, browse its history, and, perhaps, choose to restore it.
  • The 'deleted' page cannot be edited during that month, nor can a new page be created at its old place (which is occupied by the deletion notice.) If someone wants to create a new page, all they have to do is restore the deleted one and edit it into what they want.
  • Speedy real-deletes would still be available to admins to use when appropriate.

Although at first glance it might seem that spurious deletions would be a problem, they really wouldn't be; they'd be no more of a problem than random blankings today, and just as easily fixed. The real impact of this change would be to eliminate all of the current methods attached to deletion, and instead channel them into the existing Wikipedia dispute resolution process. Yes, there would be deletion-wars and troublesome editors who make it difficult to reach consensus; but I would argue that Wikipedia has survived those problems with regard to everything else related to articles, and that the same dispute-resolution methods we use for any other dispute can be just as effectively applied to disputed deletions. Aquillion 22:04, 26 August 2005 (UTC)

This is essentially a more complicated version of the m:pure wiki deletion system (proposal), which I happen to think is a great idea. Your ideas are good. I'd suggest backing the PWDS proposal because it's been discussed longer and has more momentum. RSpeer 22:58, August 26, 2005 (UTC)

Vote stuffing/tampering[edit]

An issue where an article's editors and their friends gang up and vote vanity "keep" votes (often unexplained or laced wit hthreats or insults), and the resulting vote ends in "no consensus". See Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town (Mariah Carey song), Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Do You Know Where You're Going To? (Theme from Mahogany) (Mariah Carey song), and Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Billie Frank. The AfD process is worthless if we've got little Mafias preventing the deletion of unneccssary articles, and moderators not working around such. --FuriousFreddy 07:55, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

I agree. Voting is flawed when it is able to be manipulated in this way. The only fair vote is when everyone has an opportunity to vote. Whilst theoretically this is true on Wikipedia, realistically it is not, as most people do not vote on a given article, and hence, as you suggested above, people can get friends to gang up. Consider my suggestion below as an alternative that I believe would work around this problem. Zordrac 01:01, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Uncontested deletions vs. Pure wiki deletions[edit]

see discussion Wikipedia_talk:Deletion_reform/Proposals/Uncontested_deletions#Uncontested_deletions_vs._Pure_wiki_deletions.

there... here 08:19, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

My opinion on how Vfd should work[edit]

In my opinion, there should be set criteria made for what qualifies an article to either be kept or deleted, and voting should be *ONLY* in cases where the article in question does not automatically either meet or not meet the criteria. I think that this would make things a lot easier. I believe that the process for determining qualification should be based on a legal process, in that examples of prior decisions made through voting can be used as precedents and hence be used to determine the changing in the rules.

My opinion for criteria should, essentially, be quite simple:

  1. "Could a teacher feasibly set a research question for a student in which this article would assist them with their research?"
  2. "Could a person with an interest in this topic learn something new from this article that is better than they would learn elsewhere?"
  3. "Could an author learn from this article and use it in order to write a book, magazine or other published work?"

If an article meets any one of those criteria, then in my opinion it should automatically be kept, and should not be able to be deleted. Thus, I believe that articles on topics that have been proven to have met this criteria should be blocked from being able to be deleted.

Conversely, if the topic does not meet any of these criteria, then it should be automatically deleted.

The issue of "verifiability", "notoriety" and "original research" should not be a factor in the deletion process - the topic should be the only criteria, not how it is written. If an article is poorly written, or is factually inaccurate, then it should be improved - it should not be deleted.

In cases where there is some debate about an article's ability to either meet or not meet these criteria, then and only then should a Vfd take place (thus meaning that an awful lot less Vfds take place). However, if an article is proven to be of the same type as another article that has passed a Vfd (or failed) and a confirmed precedent is set, then I believe that the article should be automatically either kept or deleted, thus making this a legal process.

My case in point was an article that I wrote as part of a history of talkers, which was about an influential and important talker, planes of existence. The page was nominated for deletion after 30 seconds, with a note that it was a "non notable dead talker". Yet no assertions were made as to what qualifies it as being non notable. It easily meets WP:WEB per its Alexa rating alone, influenced society outside of its core user base (indeed, outside of talkers generally) in at least 4 major areas, and was both the most popular of its type as well as the first of its type. It is also of historical importance because it was a big part in the death of talkers, and why talker users moved to instant messenger programs like ICQ.

So per the criteria above, could it be used as part of a research project? Answer is yes.

Consider the question that a teacher might ask students. "We all know that instant messenger services are what people use today on the internet, and before that IRC. But 10 or 15 years ago people used talkers. Investigate what they were, how they came about, and how and why they ended". Answering that question, you could feasibly just say "ICQ came" and end it there. But if you want extra credit, you'd include the above article.

It also meets criteria 2, in that it is important with regards to the history of talkers, so a person who had an interest in talkers, or who used them, would learn something from it.

And of course if an author was going to write about the internet generally, or about say the security of using the internet, they would probably want to include talkers, which are the most secure method yet invented for chatting on the internet (no chance of hacking, you were totally anonymous, etc).

And then of course there is a precedent set, with the voting for the Star Wars MUSH which passed, on a similar kind of article.

So if we used simple rules like that, then Vfds would not be required. As it stands, the Vfd for that article has focussed around assertions about whether or not the references are able to be used, whether they were personal homepages and so forth, but really that is not relevant to a vote for whether or not to delete it - arguments like that are relevant with regards to cleaning up the article. Thus the article should have had a cleanup tag added to it rather than a Vfd.

The problem is that a lot of people who vote do not know what they are doing. Some of them are deletionists who just like to delete things as some sort of exclusiveness uppity manner. Some of them will do things like check new articles created and randomly delete them if they don't automatically agree with them - just seconds after creation, as was the case here. Some of them will start reeling off wikipedia rules, without any kind of verification that they actually apply. So they will write down - "doesn't meet WP:WEB" yet refuse to say why not, and then influence other votes.

The voting thus becomes a matter of who can argue the best and who can manipulate voters the best. It should not come down to this. It should not be a matter of us all being required to spend a long time looking at the article and researching everything before voting. Nor should it be a matter of us writing so quickly.

If we had a simple case of law, whereby rules could be directly applied, then things would be a lot simpler. We could still argue things if we liked, but then it would take a lot of the pressure off and we wouldn't have to worry about spending so much time voting. Zordrac 19:17, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

Just adding a bit here. I obviously missed out things like Copyright breakings as well as cases of Libel. Whenever an article makes assertions about someone, they should be able to be backed up with facts. Case in point is Encyclopaedia Dramatica which in my opinion should be deleted solely due to it being used to advertise a place that takes part in slanderous activities and hence it is not encyclopaedic. That they use parody to try to justify it is irrelevant. By including it in wikipedia, thusly we are using Wikipedia to spread lies about people, which is not the aim of wikipedia. However, that one was kept solely on the basis of user numbers and notoriety. Should that be the only criteria? I don't think so. I think it should be wiped. Places that advertise sites that are patently non-encyclopaedic should not exist, in my opinion. But again, a strict set of rules would clarify this. Zordrac 19:25, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
Slander is a crime, and notorious criminals are a notable matter. So if a Web site is infamous for being used to commit slander (or rather, libel), that would make it more notable, rather than less! :) --FOo 22:30, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
Yes, it makes it notable, I am not disputing that, but does it make it encyclopaedic? Zordrac 00:58, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Editing "Do Not Delete" and other words that mean "Keep" in to "Keep" equates to vandalism?[edit]

I received a talk message today from someone accusing me of vandalism, because I had edited the votes on 3 articles, where users had written "Do Not Delete" and were being incorrectly counted as "Delete" by administrators. I changed their text from "Do Not Delete" to "Keep". Now, "Do Not Delete" and "Keep" are exactly the same thing, yes? I do not see how there is a problem with doing so. I was disambiguating things to avoid confusion.

Many times closing administrators have incorrectly counted votes because of this. There is one case recently where a vote was closed as "delete by consensus" when in fact it was 1 keep, 1 delete - but the 1 keep was written as "Do not delete".

A lot of people make poorly worded votes and it can be confusing at times. We should encourage people to be clear, and write "Keep" or "Delete". However, just because they write a confusing entry, we should not ignore it. "Do not Delete" and "Delete" are NOT the same thing. Nor is "Do Not Delete" a "comment" vote - it is entirely different.

I would also like to say that I do not for a moment believe that this counts as vandalism on my part, as I was accused of. For one thing I commented to say what I was doing. It was done purely for the purpose of cleanup. I was not changing anyone's vote - I was making it clearer for people quickly skimming through it.

The alternative to doing this kind of thing is to either go around every admin who counts poorly and advise them of their errors, or to go through the laborious undeletion review every time that someone makes a blunder. Why not just help out our fellow people?

Why is helping someone seen as the equivalent of vandalism?

I would like to hear a bit of an official response on this.

By the way, the user who accused me of vandalism, User: Splash AFAIK is not an administrator on Wikipedia, yet seemed to be pretending to be one in making the threats/accusations towards me. Is there some way to confirm whether or not he is an administrator? Zordrac (talk) Wishy Washy Darwikinian Eventualist 00:19, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Okey dokey. I said:
"Hi Zordrac. Please do not ever change other editors comments in AfDs (or anywhere else), such as in Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Sholom Keller. It is for them to get it right. It in fact aids counting to be able to see the unusual phrasings from less experienced users. Thanks".
Then, I said
"Amending other's comments is frowned upon very heavily, and should not be done (unless it's a simple link fix or something). Admin's should be able to read the debates for themselves and in doing so it should be very easy to see what the editor meant. If an admin closes a debate incorrectly when there are such comments, then WP:DRV or their talk page is the remedy. In fact, changing people's comments is defined as Wikipedia:Vandalism, except for the fact that your changes were clearly meant in good faith. Just the other day, for example, I wrote a snappy edit-summary because someone had added a colon to the front of one of my posts: it changed who I was replying to."
So I didn't come anywhere near accusing Zordrac of vandalism, but I did accuse him of good-faith. The inter-editor conflict I had in mind was the Brenneman-Sidaway affair over chaning the "Delete per Wikipedia:School arguments" to "Delete per Wikipedia:School arguments#Delete". It went on for days. -Splashtalk 00:27, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Splash is definitely an administrator: his name is at Special:Listusers/sysop, one of our most active ones at that. Reading both his comments and yours, he just told you that some users might see it as vandalism (because it has happened before), he didn't accuse you of it. Don't over-react. As for the issue at hand, errors aren't made that often - any administrator who is closing AfDs is (or at least should be) reading the debate carefully, and obvious errors are quickly corrected in WP:DRV. Titoxd(?!? - did you read this?) 00:30, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
For the record, this [2] is the edit that I made. I think its pretty clearly NOT vandalism and did not need to be reverted. Zordrac (talk) Wishy Washy Darwikinian Eventualist 00:31, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Oh, and so you know, the dreaded sock puppet accusations were rearing their ugly head in that Vfd, and IMO were being used to push forward a deletion that was not warranted. That was why I thought it was important to make it crystal clear that they were voting keep. I have since made comments in the article to make sure that administrators do not make mistakes. I am going to start putting in requests for undeletion whenever this happens from now on. Zordrac (talk) Wishy Washy Darwikinian Eventualist 00:34, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
No, it isn't vandalism, but it wouldn't matter anyways, since it is not a vote, and a closing admin would discount them anyways, following our Sockpuppet policy, whether they are signed or not. That said, don't do it again. Splash was right to revert, these are their comments, don't play with them. Titoxd(?!? - did you read this?) 00:37, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Wait on, why are they not votes? Is there proof that they were sock puppets? Zordrac (talk) Wishy Washy Darwikinian Eventualist 00:41, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
First, AFDs are discussions, not votes. There's no stuffing ballots, since there's not a box to stuff. Also, it is very easy to check the contributions of every user, through Special:Contributions, and they are discounted by closing admins if the account is very new (created during the debate) or has very limited activity, in the discretion of the closing admin. Titoxd(?!? - did you read this?) 00:43, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Okay, well what about the 1 keep, 1 delete example? Why was that considered to be a unanimous delete? Voting or not, there was clearly an argument each side. I would have thought that in such a case the correct procedure would have been to relist. Zordrac (talk) Wishy Washy Darwikinian Eventualist 01:05, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
I use non-standard wording all the time, and would not appreciate any help. here 00:49, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Thanks "here". Unfortunately, I don't see anything in there that seems to help with this discussion. Care to elaborate? Zordrac (talk) Wishy Washy Darwikinian Eventualist 01:05, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Okay, now it is getting ridiculous. I just had User: Peyna put in a newbie tag [3], and User: RoySmith "revert" my comments [4]. Now, if it is said that we are not allowed to revert comments, then what the hell is Roy Smith doing there? This is just turning in to a circus. So why are you guys saying one thing then doing the opposite? Its nice to see that all admins stick together, but come on now, this is ridiculous. Zordrac (talk) Wishy Washy Darwikinian Eventualist 01:10, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

{{afd-newbies}} are placed where an external website asks their users to come influence the debate. That is usually unacceptable, since those users would not be up to speed on our content policies. As for Roy, he reverted your tagging of others' comments, which some admins would consider insulting to their intelligence. Please stop, admins don't need that kind of help. Titoxd(?!? - did you read this?) 01:14, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
LOL. They don't? So, apparently, all these errors they are making are just by chance? Oh, and not to forget that my tagging of other user's comments counts as part of the "discussion", and you, and others, have ALREADY clearly stated that in your view removing or editing other user's comments equates to vandalism. Ergo, per your logic, User:RoySmith vandalised the page. You can't have your cake and eat it. Start making a bit more sense with arguments please. Whilst it is nice that you are trying to justify decisions made by your friend User:Splash and are becoming very defensive in support of him, your logic is not working. What you are saying makes no sense! Now, I am happy to accept that Splash may have not meant any harm, and I'll sort that out. However, I think that your attacks on me and on the page in question are unacceptable. Let's stop this fighting and make peace and sort things out. I was never meaning to attack Splash. I felt that he had made a wrong decision, and I still think that he did. Splash in turn has insisted that he wasn't meaning to attack me. That is good enough for me. Ergo, we can end it now. No need for anything else. And you've contradicted yourself with regards to the interpretation of vandalism. FWIW the article is an article that I would argue strongly needs to be kept. He is an important figure with influential views on the war in Iraq. Whilst the war in Iraq is a contentious issue, deleting all opposition to the war is really a very immature way to go about things. Zordrac (talk) Wishy Washy Darwikinian Eventualist 01:27, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

New Page Edit Reform[edit]

I wasn't quite sure where I should post this, but I just wanted to voice my opinions on the whole "only users can create pages" thing that just got put into effect. I'm not entirely sure that's going to help too much, because although less bogus new pages might crop up, I think it'll be harder to catch them. For instance, I often scour through the edits made only by IP users when I look at "Recent Changes." Sorry I'm not articulating myself too well, I haven't slept in a day and I've got three finals tomorrow before driving 12 hours the next day. I hope you understand what I'm talking about. Adios JHMM13 (T | C) 08:29, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

I understand exactly hat you're talking about, and I think the best way to do it is to scrutinize more closely the articles from users that don't have a user page (the names in red). worthawholebean talkcontribs 23:20, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm sorry for getting back to you so late, but I agree wholeheartedly. Over the past few weeks, I have seriously looked at all pages with "N" next to the page in RC, but if I've been short on time, I've filtered my searching to only those with red names. This has helped a lot with catching nn-bios and other candidates for afd. The tough thing is catching the vandals with a user name and a user page (name shows in blue), because obviously not all vandals are either IPs or non-userpage-having users. Fortunately, those guys are caught sooner rather than later through other means, and not necessarily RC Patrol. JHMM13 (T | C) 04:29, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Admin closer has ultimate power[edit]

I've been going over all of the AFDs that I've voted on to see how they go, and I've noticed the odd error made by the closer. Now, I've taken the liberty of writing to admins when they've made errors. Most admins have appreciated this. Once or twice I made an error in saying it was an error too. But then we get to the point of 2 admins, who I will mention by name here User:Splash and User:Johnleemk. Now, I am sure someone will say "No no! You are attacking admins! You should boil in oil!" but just listen for a moment before you jump up and down. These two closers have consistently got it wrong with closing. Now, I am not going to say outright that they don't know what they are doing or anything, because my point here is to look at the process, not at individual examples. I think that the process needs to be improved in order to deal with individual issues. There may well be quite a lot of other closers who are bungling along like these two.

Some really bad closing:

Those were the ones I picked up as really bad in the last few days.

Now, I asked Johnleemk on his talk page about why he was making these decisions, and he told me that "Consensus is 80% or more", yet Wikipedia:Consensus says quite clearly that it is 2/3 or more majority for AFDs (66%). But not only that, but he has admitted to doing them arbitrarily. Whilst he sees no problem with deleting something "by consensus" after a 6/5 vote in favour of delete, he thinks that getting "only" 10/4 in favour of keep isn't enough for a consensus.

So the question then is that if it is entirely up to the closer, then what is the point in commenting? Why not just say to people - hey you're an admin, with closing powers, so you can delete or keep whatever you like and whatever anybody else says doesn't matter. Why not say that?

Now, I know that most admins for the most part go by what people say, and follow the standard guidelines. However, clearly not all admins do. There seem to be at least a few admins who are going about just doing whatever they like, and are not just using "discretion" but making up their own rules to suit themselves.

This of course is associated with the argument about the difficulty of being able to be made an admin. Once you are an admin, you are an admin for life, for all intents and purposes. It is next to impossible to ever go down, as it has to go through ArbCom and then you have all of your friends to help you out to make a very biased decision in your favour. I'm not going to go over specific examples of this for obvious reasons.

And as for deletion review, it quite simply doesn't work. I put up 2 terrible deletion decisions up for deletion review, and they were steamrolled by the self same people who steamrolled the original deletion - but on top of that, because I had tried to get the process right, I got attacked by people, who then decided that they had a god-given right to attack me because I dared to question their decisions.

So this kind of thing is highlighting a major problem in the process. In my beliefs, a closer's job should be automatic. Count up the votes, dismiss repetitions, and then occasionally use discretion. The discretion should be occasional, only in exceptional circumstances. The discretion shouldn't be just every single time where you do whatever you personally feel, as if your vote is the only one that counts, and you can disregard the rules.

And closing AFDs after 1 vote? What's with that? Zordrac (talk) Wishy Washy Darwikinian Eventualist 11:37, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

I reject entirely the notion that there was anything wrong in my closures above. I reject entirely the notion that they are inconsistent. I note that Zordrac has miscounted the Forest dwellers, and that it had the most common number of particpators in AfDs - 4. Deletion review is currently upholding the Treigloffobia deletion, which could be reversed in an instant by provision of sources.
If you're after an ad-hoc RfC Zordrac, then file one, rather than carping about me in backwaters such as this. -Splashtalk 22:58, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

It has been noted that you believe that you are beyond reproach. I will not bother to try to help you ever again in the future. I think that it highlights the problem with this kind of belief, however, because certain personalities will believe that they are perfect. Zordrac (talk) Wishy Washy Darwikinian Eventualist 23:34, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm beyond neither reproach, nor reform. I don't see where you've tried to help me, particularly since you posted this here before you posted to my talk page. But I don't need reproaching when I didn't "bungle" the closes, although reform is always fun to undergo. I do not find it "helpful" when you merely complain in 3 different fora at once. If you were offering help and/or advice, then perhaps. But simply complaining and using this talk page as an ad-hoc RfC is neither helpful, nor appropriate. -Splashtalk 00:10, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

See my note at the top. LOL. This is just so stupid. It is not the first time that I have raised valid issues and instead of answering them, it has turned in to an excuse for personal attacks and abuse against me for daring to raise the issues. Zordrac (talk) Wishy Washy Darwikinian Eventualist 00:46, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

First Thoughts[edit]

I am a new user to Wikipedia, and I wished to voice concern that having started work on a few inserts, the first thing I find is "Deletion". Now if I knew how to complain, I wouldn't be writing here!

I don't believe it serves Wikipedia for new users to receive notices of deletion without as the very first feedback from Wikipedia - I at least expected an email to say hi - and if someone didn't like a post - perhaps they would do the courtesy of contacting me to say! In particular I felt it was wrong not to:

1. Any reason given for deletion (or at least difficult for new users to find)

2. Advise actionable help - just saying "improve" isn't helpful if you don't know how you have infringed someone's idea of what is "right" - much better to point to another insert and suggest using that as a template!

3. Give any contact details to contact those who have made the request for deletion

Remember You may think it is rubbish - but the author has spent time and effort to try and put together something they think others may be interested to read. Rubbishing an article by simply pressing "delete" is bound to be detrimental to Wikipedia in the end

(unsigned comment left by User:Haseler on Wikipedia:Deletion reform/Uncontested deletions, 11:30, December 10, 2005)

I thought I'd put this here as an example of what I think is the biggest problem with deletion: it's a really crappy welcome for newbies, most of whom thought they were improving the encyclopedia. I've tried to address this a bit with my User:Rspeer/AfDnewbie welcome template, which I've been leaving on the talk page of registered new users who get articles listed on AfD. But if AfD were decentralized, with only conflicts going to centralized discussion, I think the result wouldn't be as hostile and impersonal for the newbies. Remember, every Wikipedian was a newbie once. rspeer 19:13, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
A few comments here. Firstly, I think that as a new user it is only natural to think of "trying it out" to make a new article about a topic that you know about that doesn't already have its own article. You have likely previously tried to edit an existing article that had errors in it only to have your edits reverting, with you being accused of vandalism, right? That's usually how it works. Firstly you are told that your opinion doesn't matter, and you are accused of vandalism, and then after that, when you are off by yourself doing something harmless, someone comes in and tells you that your article is nonsense and deserves to be deleted. This is very bad. Really, I mean I am of the opinion that a newly created article that was a good faith attempt at an article should have a 1 month time limit where it cannot be deleted (the exception being nonsense articles and those that otherwise qualify for speedy deletion). I see far too often that people's articles are nominated for deletion 30 seconds after creation. I would much rather see people sent some friendly notes on their talk page first. The reality is that Wikipedia is elitist and snobbish. This is how people go about things. And the reality also is that, due to the situation with accounts, a lot of people go around with new accounts of new IPs to try to vandalise pages and disrupt Wikipedia. Whilst probably 95% of people are genuinely trying to do the right thing, 5% are not. There are people who go around writing rubbish, some obviously so, and some more subtly. And there is a growing belief that newbies should not be trusted - they could well be old people in disguise. So my tip for newbies is to not create new articles - wait until you have edited other articles for a while first. Sure, your edits might be reverted and you might be called a vandal, but just go to the talk page and argue your point as to why your edits are legitimate. You will soon find out that you are expected to do such things as have web links to prove that what you are saying is true. Then, after you have fixed up a number of articles, then look at making new ones. But then look at following red links that already exist in other articles - in other words implying that someone wants the article to be created. This is much safer than just having you by yourself creating an article. It also helps if you make a user page to describe who you are before making your own page. Zordrac (talk) Wishy Washy Darwikinian Eventualist 23:43, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
"It's a really crappy welcome for newbies, most of whom thought they were improving the encyclopedia." I can't agree with that statement more, but new users need to be taught the rules. Ever since I have come back to Wikipedia a little more than a month ago, I have tried to be as pleasant with new users as possible, but some of them simply don't want to understand the idea of a nn-bio and that if an article "isn't interfering with other pages," then it should be kept because it is "true information." Unfortunately for the welcoming process, we have to maintain some standards at Wikipedia, and the sooner users are told those standards in a respectful manner, the better off for them and Wikipedia. JHMM13 (T | C) 04:33, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a democracy - it is a heirarchy[edit]

It has been pointed out to me many times that Wikipedia is not a democracy. Obviously, this is true. Otherwise, how could we have cases where a vote for AFD had 6 votes for keep and 6 votes for delete, yet it was "deleted by consensus" after the closer disregarded all of the keep votes?

The reality is that policies regarding voting, whether it be for RFA, AFD or anything else, are just that - policies. In the end, the rules can be totally ignored, and the admin in charge can do with it whatever the hell they want to. And, in response, the only people who can do anything about it are other admins.

When we are "voting" at the AFD, we are not really "voting". What we are doing is to try to convince other voters to change their mind. Indeed, this encourages bullying, harassment and a lot of personal attacks. And then, ultimately, what we are really doing is trying to convince the closing admin to agree with us.

So ultimately what is really happening is that all of the votes are meaningless other than to try to sway the closing admin. So perhaps, rather than trying to convince each other to change our votes, opinions instead should be directed towards the closing admin.

To make this fair, of course, we would have to have a closing admin assigned from the very moment that the AFD began. This could be achieved by having a "nomination for deletion" be unofficial until an admin opted to take it on, to be the closing admin. Then, if the closing admin disappeared for some reason, then they could be replaced by a new admin. Their name could appear at the top of the AFD - for example "Closing admin for this AFD is User:Splash." That would then prevent the chance that one admin with a totally different POV could come in halfway through and change the result.

This option would be totally fair and transparent, and represent a Wikified example of the heirarchical business model. Rather than pretend that we are a democracy, as Wikipedia seems intend on pretending to be, we would instead make it much more transparent, and fair.

The alternative to this, however, is to apply strict guidelines of the type put in Wikipedia:Consensus with only minor discretionary powers that were strictly enforced. But as it stands, it is clear that the discretionary powers are having more weight than the strict guidelines, with no repercussions for admins who go against the set rules, hence meaning that it isn't working. Therefore, this is why I suggest this more transparent model (the whole point of my earlier post). Zordrac (talk) Wishy Washy Darwikinian Eventualist 05:30, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

history of wiki deletion process[edit]

I've collected what I could find on the history of wiki deletion process at meta:History of wiki deletion process dating back through c2, usemod, pre mediawiki, etc.. comments and expansion much appreciated. here 08:44, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

This is very interesting and I do appreciate the amount of effort put into this. JHMM13 (T | C) 05:06, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Community (moved from project page)[edit]

I propose that Communities get formed such that only people from those communities can Vote on pages for deletion. It may still be open to anyone to propose deletions, but if there is a Yu-gi-oh! community, a Magic the Gathering community, a Star Trek Community, a Star Wars community, etc. so there doesn't appear to be a consensus that originate from, for example, those who hate Trading card games and those who hate Yu-gi-oh! and those who think MtG is the One True Trading card game. for deleting articles in a given category. This could also be fashione in a manner so as to prevent admins that normally make good admin decisions, but have a pet peeve to scratch from abusing their power. Hackwrench 20:48, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

This sounds like an instant recipe for fancruft that can't be deleted. It also would ridiculously complicate all of AfD. rspeer 22:10, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
This has been proposed several times before and rejected each time. This kind of structure and ruleset is very likely to exacerbate the balkanization of Wikipedia, creating interest groups with wildly differing standards, etc. When considered before, it was felt to be incompatible with our overriding goal of creating an encyclopedia. On the other hand, if someone really wants to create a Yu-gi-oh! specific community (or any other community) that is free from Wikipedia's self-imposed rules, the WikiMedia software is available for free. Anyone can set up their own community-specific spin-off. You could even mirror off the existing content as long as the community-specific project was licensed in a way compatible with GFDL. But creating sub-communities within Wikipedia would, in my opinion, be a very bad thing. Rossami (talk) 01:51, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Daily listings proposal[edit]

I've noticed that nominations made in the last couple hours of a day (UTC) tend to get fewer votes than those made earlier in the day because they're not listed on the "today" list (which gets a lot more browsers than the yesterday list) for very long. So I propose (if it would be technically feasible) that the nominations from say the last three hours of the previous day be listed in a section of the "today" list (though not in the archives). I think if this could be done without too much difficulty, it would reduce the need for nominations to be re-listed several days later. In the mean time, I think it would also be a good idea for the "today" list to have a prominent link to the yesterday list with a note suggesting that people browse through that list too. Blackcats 01:05, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree. I often like to go back and vote on those, but they never seem to be too packed with opinions. JHMM13 (T | C) 03:18, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

Status of Experimental Deletion (XD)[edit]

I realize that this debate has been going on for a while and I am new to it. It is my belief that there is some gathering of consensus around Wikipedia:Proposed deletion as a way to go -- even if details are still being worked out. I was surprised to discover a page the other day that had been XDed, and when I looked at the proposed experiment it seems to be 6 months old but is still being used by only a handful of people. What is the status of this experiment from the point of view of the community, and should people be continuing to use it without consensus? (What is the definition of an experiment anyway, is there anything official on that? Blanking pages is not allowed, after all, except according to policy, which this experiment is not.) cmh 16:36, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Making policy without experimenting would be far worse than experimenting without policy. Anyway, I think that XD led to PROD successfully, and there's not much point in working with XD right now. Perhaps in the future we'll want to move to something even more radical like the pure wiki deletion system, and we'll want to do an experiment for that, but I bet that experiment won't involve the XD templates. I think XD should be considered historical. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 19:28, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for your perspective on experiments. I agree. Now, however, I feel that XD's time has passed and we should be retiring that experiment in favour of new ways. I suspect that the few remaining XD users like it and want it to continue. Is there a reasonable way to retire an experiment? cmh 19:39, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
Yeh, I agree with Rspeer. A lot of random things have led to the community consensus behind the new prod experiment. We'll see if this thing works, but if it doesn't, they'll head back to the drawing board. Hell, even if it does work, there'll be talk soon of ways to improve the deletion process. JHMM13 (T | C) 07:59, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

I still use XD, for the reasons explained at User:Friday/XD. I see no reason to stop using it, but I'm always open to new ideas. Friday (talk) 18:22, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

XD remains an established useful testing ground for deletion process experimentation. I expect further discussion and variations will continue to arise for the foreseeable future. It remains an excellent low-impact 'show and tell' talking point on deletion concepts and techniques. here 21:05, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
Except that certain people still haven't quite accepted the word 'experimental' in the title. Indeed, I see it is now considered to be "established". -Splashtalk 21:27, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
Hmm. All of wikipedia, including the articles as well as the policies and guidelines, are works in progress. In a sense, everything is experimental. To me, the important question to ask in whether to use it or not is not whether it's "official policy"- that's a rather fluid concept. To me, the important issue is is it useful? I happen to think that it is. Friday (talk) 21:35, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
(Some things approach completion in a limiting sense.) We've been several rounds on this before, but I've never been persuaded that there is anything wrong with just deleting the articles (which I entirely agree are in most cases patently awful). I've also never been persuaded that anyone, anywhere, actually provides any kind of feedback into the process which they clearly do with PROD. Last time I picked through the blanked articles, I found at least several that were clearly not in need of anything other than a redirect or a stub tag. One of them went through AfD and was kept, so it absolutely shouldn't have been blanked. But I imagine it's been 5 months since anyone actually did that. If you used PROD instead, you'd achieve the same lightness-of-weight (it seems to be scaling fine) and somebody would actually double-check what is done. Not to mention turning the link red and removing the junk from the article count, contributions lists and Google searches. Does anyone even know if XD exhibits the same problem that PROD does: that anyone removing the tag from the article about their girlfriend a few hours after the PRODder went to sleep gets the article auto-kept? -Splashtalk 21:58, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
The XD methods generally say "take it to Afd if there's disagreement". However, I personally interpret this to mean "reasonable disagreement". A newbie arguing to keep obvious junk doesn't require Afd in my opinion. Heck, the same reasoning would ideally apply to prod as well. You're right though, prod can do much of what XD does. IMO, the biggest thing prod does not currently accomplish is transparent deletion, so those to whom that is important may find they have reason to prefer XD. Friday (talk) 22:18, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
{{prod}} and xd are complimentary. {{prod}} might even be viewed as a legitimate and peer-reviewed derivative of xd (and may other preceding) ideas. regarding template removal -- that {{prod}} or similar template may be removed without ceremony is a deliberate feature of many xd templates. here 03:58, 22 March 2006 (UTC)