Wikipedia talk:Follow the leader

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As I have participated in quite a number of AfD discussions, I have found for there to be a trend. The first editor to give their opinion on the outcome of the discussion, or in many cases, the nom, seems to have a lot of weight in influencing others who comment later, who may otherwise not have the same views.

The result can often be unfair, as the appropriate action by existing Wikipedia guidelines seemingly should logically be something very different than what actually happens due to the heavy influence. These early comments very frequently lead to numerous others just like it, thereby becoming the result.

In many cases, there is one "keep" and 10 "deletes." While that single "keep" has often made very good points, which, standing alone, should be basis for keeping the page, other editors, and ultimately, the closing administrator see the numerous deletes, and make their judgment based on that.

This is also unfair to those who have created or made major contributions to that page, but have not learned of its proposal for deletion until long after others have gotten their dibs first. Wikipedia is not and does not have an instant messaging service. All editors are purely volunteers. Few editors log in hourly and check their watchlist that frequently. Many editors do not even check daily. By the time such a contributor has gotten the news, many other identical and similar comments have already been made.

Many of those who comment regularly on AfDs are not those truly interested an the actual topic, but those who make frequent topics on a variety of AfDs, either because they have a personal interest in doing so, or because they are building their resume toward becoming an administrator. The result can be a skewed view of what concensus among those who have an interest or are otherwise familiar with that topic really is, and ultimately, a different outcome than what the true experts believe. Sebwite (talk) 22:30, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

  • comment This should not be a policy or guideline. This should be an essay. You're free to think however you like about the fairness or unfairness of the deletion process, but the essay tag is the proper one. Protonk (talk) 15:15, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose You'd be a great philosopher, but a policy involving the Wikipedian physche is crazy. --FlagFreak TALK 22:39, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

2009 changes[edit]

Giving occasional editors a chance to comment on an AfD wasn't the only reason for the 2009 extension of typical AfD lengths. Another goal was to get people to stop whining about closures that were hours (or even a few minutes) less than the "statutory" five days (which was being understood as "sixty hours, and not one fraction of a minute less, no matter how perfectly obvious the consensus is"). WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:41, 9 June 2011 (UTC)