User:Extreme Unction/Header

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Redirects for deletion (RfD) is the place where Wikipedians decide what should be done with problematic redirects. Items sent here usually stay listed for a week or so. Then they are either deleted by an administrator, kept, or retargeted.

Note: If all you want to do is replace a currently existing redirect with an actual article, you do not need to list it here. Turning redirects into fleshed-out encyclopedic articles is wholly encouraged at Wikipedia. Be bold.

Before you list a redirect for deletion...[edit]

...please familiarize yourself with the following:

The Guiding Principles of RfD[edit]

  • The purpose of a good redirect is to eliminate the possibility that an average user will wind up staring blankly at a "Search results 1-10 out of 378" search page instead of the article they were looking for. If someone could plausibly type in the redirect's name when searching for the target article, it's a good redirect.
  • Redirects are cheap. Redirects take up minimal disk space and use very little bandwidth. Thus, it doesn't really hurt things much if there are a few of them scattered around.
  • The default result of any RFD nomination is delete. This makes RFD different from all the other various deletion discussion pages aside from Wikipedia:Images and media for deletion. Thus, a nomination made in good faith and in accordance with RfD policy will be deleted, even if there is no discussion surrounding that nomination.
  • Nominations made in contravention of Wikipedia:Redirect will be speedily kept.
  • RfD is not the place to resolve editorial disputes. If you think a redirect should be targetted at a different article, discuss it on the talk pages of the current target article and/or the proposed target article.

When should we delete a redirect?[edit]

The major reasons why deletion of redirects is harmful are:

  • a redirect may contain nontrivial edit history;
  • if a redirect is reasonably old (or a redirect is created as a result of moving a page that has been there for quite some time), then it is quite possible that its deletion will break links in old, historical versions of some other articles—such an event is very difficult to envision and even detect.

Note that there could exist (for example), links to the URL "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attorneygate" anywhere on the Internet. If so, then those links might not show up by checking for (clicking on) "WhatLinksHere for Attorneygate"—since those links might come from somewhere outside Wikipedia.

Therefore consider the deletion only of either really harmful redirects or of very recent ones.

Reasons for deleting[edit]

You might want to delete a redirect if one or more of the following conditions is met (but note also the exceptions listed below this list):

  1. The redirect page makes it unreasonably difficult for users to locate similarly named articles via the search engine. For example, if the user searches for "New Articles", and is redirected to a disambiguation page for "Articles", it would take much longer to get to the newly added articles on Wikipedia.
  2. The redirect might cause confusion. For example, if "Adam B. Smith" was redirected to "Andrew B. Smith", because Andrew was accidentally called Adam in one source, this could cause confusion with the article on Adam Smith, so the redirect should be deleted.
  3. The redirect is offensive or abusive, such as redirecting "Joe Bloggs is a Loser" to "Joe Bloggs" (unless "Joe Bloggs is a Loser" is legitimately discussed in the article), or "Joe Bloggs" to "Loser". (Speedy deletion criterion G10 may apply.) See also: § Neutrality of redirects.
  4. The redirect constitutes self-promotion or spam. (Speedy deletion criterion G11 may apply.)
  5. The redirect makes no sense, such as redirecting Apple to Orange. (Speedy deletion criterion G1 may apply.)
  6. It is a cross-namespace redirect out of article space, such as one pointing into the User or Wikipedia namespace. The major exception to this rule are the pseudo-namespace shortcut redirects, which technically are in the main article space. Some long-standing cross-namespace redirects are also kept because of their long-standing history and potential usefulness. "MOS:" redirects, for example, are an exception to this rule. (Note "WP:" redirects are in the Wikipedia namespace, WP: being an alias for Wikipedia:. Speedy deletion criterion R2 may apply in some cases.)
  7. If the redirect is broken, meaning it redirects to itself or to an article that does not exist, it can be immediately deleted under speedy deletion criterion G8, though you should check that there is not an alternative place it could be appropriately redirected to first.
  8. If the redirect is a novel or very obscure synonym for an article name, it is unlikely to be useful. In particular, redirects from a foreign language title to a page whose subject is unrelated to that language (or a culture that speaks that language) should generally not be created. Implausible typos or misnomers are candidates for speedy deletion criterion R3, if recently created.
  9. If the target article needs to be moved to the redirect title, but the redirect has been edited before and has a history of its own, then it needs to be deleted to make way for move. If the move is uncontroversial, tag the redirect for G6 speedy deletion. If not, take the article to Requested Moves.
  10. If the redirect could plausibly be expanded into an article, and the target article contains virtually no information on the subject.

Reasons for not deleting[edit]

However, avoid deleting such redirects if:

  1. They have a potentially useful page history, or an edit history that should be kept to comply with the licensing requirements for a merge (see Wikipedia:Merge and delete). On the other hand, if the redirect was created by renaming a page with that name, and the page history just mentions the renaming, and for one of the reasons above you want to delete the page, copy the page history to the Talk page of the article it redirects to. The act of renaming is useful page history, and even more so if there has been discussion on the page name.
  2. They would aid accidental linking and make the creation of duplicate articles less likely, whether by redirecting a plural to a singular, by redirecting a frequent misspelling to a correct spelling, by redirecting a misnomer to a correct term, by redirecting to a synonym, etc. In other words, redirects with no incoming links are not candidates for deletion on those grounds because they are of benefit to the browsing user. Some extra vigilance by editors will be required to minimize the occurrence of those frequent misspellings in the article texts because the linkified misspellings will not appear as broken links.
  3. They aid searches on certain terms. For example, if someone sees the "Keystone State" mentioned somewhere but does not know what that refers to, then he or she will be able to find out at the Pennsylvania (target) article.
  4. You risk breaking incoming or internal links by deleting the redirect. For example, redirects resulting from page moves should not normally be deleted without good reason. Links that have existed for a significant length of time, including CamelCase links and old subpage links, should be left alone in case there are any existing links on external pages pointing to them. See also Wikipedia:Link rot § Link rot on non-Wikimedia sites.
  5. Someone finds them useful. Hint: If someone says they find a redirect useful, they probably do. You might not find it useful—this is not because the other person is being untruthful, but because you browse Wikipedia in different ways. The pageviews tool can also provide evidence of outside utility.
  6. The redirect is to a closely related word form, such as a plural form to a singular form.
  7. The redirect could plausibly be expanded into an article, and deleting the redirect would prevent unregistered users from expanding the redirect, and thereby make the encyclopedia harder to edit and reduce the pool of available editors. (Unregistered users cannot create new pages in the mainspace; they can only edit existing pages, including redirects, which they can expand.) This criterion does not apply to redirects that are indefinitely semi-protected or more highly protected.

Neutrality of redirects[edit]

Just as article titles using non-neutral language are permitted in some circumstances, so are redirects. Because redirects are less visible to readers, more latitude is allowed in their names. Perceived lack of neutrality in redirect names is therefore not a sufficient reason for their deletion. In most cases, non-neutral but verifiable redirects should point to neutrally titled articles about the subject of the term. Non-neutral redirects may be tagged with {{R from non-neutral name}}.

Non-neutral redirects are commonly created for three reasons:

  1. Articles that are created using non-neutral titles are routinely moved to a new neutral title, which leaves behind the old non-neutral title as a working redirect (e.g. ClimategateClimatic Research Unit email controversy).
  2. Articles created as POV forks may be deleted and replaced by a redirect pointing towards the article from which the fork originated (e.g. Barack Obama Muslim rumor → deleted and now redirected to Barack Obama religion conspiracy theories).
  3. The subject matter of articles may be represented by some sources outside Wikipedia in non-neutral terms. Such terms are generally avoided in Wikipedia article titles, per the words to avoid guidelines and the general neutral point of view policy. For instance the non-neutral expression "Attorneygate" is used to redirect to the neutrally titled Dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy. The article in question has never used that title, but the redirect was created to provide an alternative means of reaching it because a number of press reports use the term.

The exceptions to this rule would be redirects that are not established terms and are unlikely to be useful, and therefore may be nominated for deletion, perhaps under deletion reason #3. However, if a redirect represents an established term that is used in multiple mainstream reliable sources, it should be kept even if non-neutral, as it will facilitate searches on such terms. Please keep in mind that RfD is not the place to resolve most editorial disputes.

See also: Policy on which redirects can be deleted immediately, and /Precedents for precedents that are followed with regards to redirects.


How to list a redirect for deletion[edit]

To list a redirect for deletion, follow this two-step process:

I.
Flag the redirect.

  Enter the following text above the #REDIRECT on the redirect page you are listing for deletion:

{{subst:rfd1}}

Be sure to include "subst:", not just {{rfd1}}; this is easier on the servers. Please include "Nominated for deletion" or similar in the edit summary and don't mark it as a minor edit. Consider checking the "Watch this page" box to follow the page in your watchlist. This will help you to notice if your RfD tag is removed by a vandal. Save the page.

Note: The {{rfd1}} tag must be placed above the #REDIRECT. This will ensure that people who use the redirect will be able to see the RfD banner, and will thus be informed of the fact that the redirect has been nominated for deletion. Placing the tag anywhere else on the page will cause the redirect to function normally (which is not desired in this case), and people will not see the RfD banner unless they choose to view the redirect page itself.

II.
List the entry on RfD.

  Enter this text under the current day's section:

{{subst:rfd2|redirect=RedirectName|target=TargetArticle|text=Reason why the redirect should be deleted}} ~~~~

Put the redirect's name in place of "RedirectName", put the target article's name in place of "TargetArticle", and include a reason after text=. Save the page.

Notes for admins closing RfD nominations[edit]

  • When you delete an entry from this page, please make sure to put in the edit summary for that deletion a message indicating i) the name of the removed entry, and ii) the date it was placed here (i.e. the header it was listed under). This makes it easy for people looking through the page history to find when a particular request was dealt with; since this page gets so much traffic it can otherwise be a lengthy binary search to track something down.
  • Per policy, pages need to stay here for at least a week before they are deleted, unless they fall under one of the general criteria for speedy deletion, or are one of the criteria for speedy deletion of a redirect.
  • Note: Sometimes a redirect has history, and the history is significant - i.e. contains information about the addition of text. (This often happens because someone did a cut-and-paste "move", instead of using the "Move this page" button.) Never simply delete the redirect page, which we need to keep for copyright reasons. There are two ways to deal with such pages.
    • For cut-and-paste moves, the "right" way to handle them is to merge the history into the appropriate page, using the procedure outlined here. This is a procedure fraught with peril, however, and on rare occasions doesn't work correctly. Once done, it cannot be undone without a lot of exceptionally tedious gruntwork. So don't pick this option unless it's definitely the right one for the case at hand.
    • Another option, useful for pages which were merged (for example), is for redirect pages with significant history to be archived into a talk namespace, and a link to them put into an article's talk page.
  • If you delete a redirect, don't forget to delete the accompanying talk page, if applicable.
  • When you remove an entry from this page because people decided to keep it, don't forget to remove the {{RfD}} tag from the page (alas, this has to be done manually). It's worth periodically checking either here and here to see if any pages missed this step. Checking either of these regularly has the side-benefit of finding pages where people added the {{RfD}} tag to the page, but didn't realize they needed to edit RfD as well.
  • Once you've resolved an issue, please archive the nomination and any applicable discussion in the RFD archives.

Other deletion discussion areas[edit]

Contested decisions from any of the deletion discussion pages (including this one) may be discussed at Wikipedia:Deletion review.