User:Hiding/Points to note regarding deletion debates

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The following are a list of points to bear in mind when reading deletion debates for templates, images, categories, stub types, redirects and especially articles. The reason they need to be kept in mind is because these debates perform a central role on Wikipedia in generating consensus as to what is included. All participants are expected to make robust arguments and to respect other people's opinions in order to build consensus.

This essay is written in part in response to Wikipedia:Arguments to avoid in deletion discussions, building from the crucial admonishment within that essay that a reason which arguably could be classified as an "argument to avoid", can still have some valid points in it. Editors, and administrators when closing debates, need to remember that building a consensus does not allow us to disregard opinions or arguments made in good faith and which take into consideration the rebuttal of others, and that per Wikipedia:Deletion guidelines for administrators we have to respect the judgment and feelings of Wikipedia participants.

I Like it and I Don't Like It[edit]

Whilst these points are guided against in the related essay Wikipedia:Arguments to avoid in deletion discussions, all contributors should be reminded that arguments, opinions and decisions made by contributors to a deletion debate are ultimately subjective. As our article points out, an opinion is a person's ideas and thoughts towards something. It is an assessment, judgment or evaluation of something. Whether someone has used policies or guidance upon which to base their opinion, they have still formed an opinion based on either liking the item under discussion or not. They may have referred to WP:NOT as their criteria for what should be in an encyclopedia, but it should be remembered it is still their opinion. It may be that others disagree with their interpretation of policy.

It should be remembered that using policy to bolster your own opinion is strongly recommended. The point here is to remind editors that opinion is simply that, a subjective assessment.

Debates on binary issues[edit]

When a debate centres on a binary issue such as whether a template is of use, the debate is going to hinge on whether people agree or disagree. They are going to base this agreement or otherwise on their subjective feelings, especially when policy and guidance is unclear or somewhat lacking. Editors must not lose sight of the fact that they are contributing to the debate in order to build consensus, not in order to win the argument. They have to respect the opinions of others and accept that there may not be any agreement at the end of the debate.

See also[edit]