Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Maintenance

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Dozens of articles are listed for deletion every day, making Wikipedia:Articles for deletion one of the busiest places on Wikipedia. The way AfD is currently set up, including all of the discussion on a single page, makes it one of the largest pages on Wikipedia, too. This results in a long page that can be difficult to navigate. More importantly, it results in long page load times, especially for Wikipedians with slower connections. It is a waste of time, bandwidth, and server resources.

Fortunately, the page bloat can be reduced. Certain types of discussion can be safely "un-included" from the main page, but still referenced by a link. This reduces the page size while keeping the discussions close at hand.

Please note that un-inclusion is a purely voluntary procedure. No one has to do it — making this a requirement would be a form of instruction creep, which is to be avoided.

Candidates for un-inclusion[edit]

The following types of discussion are candidates for un-inclusion:

Extremely long discussions[edit]

This is the most helpful type of un-inclusion. Some AfD discussion can become very long. Of course, use your best judgement to decide how long is too long. General rule of thumb: if the discussion is so long that you're thinking: "Hmm, it would be helpful if someone tallied the votes", then the discussion is probably too long for inclusion. If someone's already tallied the votes then it's almost certainly too long for inclusion.

To un-include an extremely long discussion, edit the Daily Log page and replace:

{{Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/pagename}} with
{{Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/pagename/Temp}}

On the newly created /Temp page, paste in:

=== [[pagename]] (long discussion) ===
This discussion has become very long and is no longer being shown directly on this page in order to improve performance. Please click this link to view or participate in the discussion. ~~~~ <br>
[[Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/pagename]]

Replace all the "pagename" instances with the actual name of the page that has been nominated for deletion.

At the end of the discussion period and when the discussion has been closed, return the long discussion to the log page by restoring it as a transclusion. The /Temp page can now be deleted.


Sometimes an article is nominated for deletion via AfD discussion when it clearly qualified for speedy-deletion. In this case, it is not uncommon for an administrator to "close" the discussion early by carrying out the speedy-deletion. While we encourage admins to exercise their discretion and judgment, we are still left with the deletion discussion page.

The consensus decision is that we should leave those orphaned discussion pages in place but should close them early. The discussion should be marked as closed in accordance with the Deletion process. Once marked as closed, all users can safely ignore it.

Why not just de-list the entries entirely? First, AfD is a very busy place so it has a standard operating procedure which keeps everything running somewhat smoothly. Early de-listings throw a monkey wrench into the works. Discussions get lost, users challenge the validity of the de-listing and accusations are made of a "lack of transparency". It's much simpler and smoother to keep all the discussions in one place. Second, closed discussions are harmless other than taking up a little space on the main AfD page. If you see a closed discussion (one marked by the light blue background), just ignore it and move on to the next discussion.

Abusive, invalid or other nominations which are not in good faith[edit]

These are sometimes called the "speedy-keep" nominations. The nominator is being credibly accused of abusing the process either as a form of vandalism or to make a point.

In this case, the community's experience shows that the most effective solution is generally to "shout down" the nomination with lots of "keep" votes but to otherwise let the discussion run its course. Some of our best and most respected articles have been on AfD at one time or another.

Some users have argued that we should be able to close these AfD nominations early. Closing the discussion early tends to just extend the controversy. By the time we finish deciding if the discussion should be closed early, we've often taken the same amount of time as if we'd allowed the regular 5 day discussion period to run its course.

By the same reasoning, the AfD tag should stay on the article during the discussion period even if you believe the nomination was inappropriate. We need to leave some part of the paper trail in place, and the tag will be removed by sysops in a few days anyway.

There are some exceptions which are closed early. As with the "speedy-deleted" discussions above, it is generally best to leave the discussion page in place but just close it early.

Refactoring the discussion thread[edit]

Please do not refactor a discussion thread in a way that makes reviewing the edit history more complicated. Please consider the following guidelines when editing the comments of others in AfD discussion threads.

  1. Do not sort votes into "keep" and "delete" sub-sections. For many of the discussions, it is critical to understand the context of the comment and rebuttal. Refactoring the discussions destroys the understanding of the flow of the discussion.
  2. Do not delete or strike through the votes of others, even if the vote has been made by an anonymous, new or otherwise suspicious voter. Actually deleting the vote from the page creates far more confusion than it solves if/when the anon comes back and starts screaming about censorship.
  3. Unsigned, anonymous or potential sockpuppet votes should be marked in the discussion as suspicious (usually via an italicized sub-bullet). Consider also adding a link to the user's contribution history so that the deciding admin can easily research the allegation. Example:
  4. Some new users add comments at the top of the discussion instead of at the bottom. It is appropriate to move those comments to restore the logical/chronological order.
  5. Refactoring the votes to make indentation consistent is very much appreciated. AfD strongly prefers indenting by bullets. The inconsistent mixing of * and : really screws up the spacing. Because of the way the bullets work, that can mean minor refactoring in order to bring a long rant back into a single paragraph or to re-attach the signature to the vote.
  6. It is appropriate to redact personal attacks which are irrelevant to the facts of the discussion. The general format is to replace the offensive language with ''[[Wikipedia:No personal attacks|(personal attack deleted)]]''.
  7. And, of course, true vandalism (vote blanking or editing the comments of others) should be immediately reverted - usually with a comment in the discussion thread documenting what the vandal did.


When nominating an article, you may occasionally find that there is a previous discussion at the default AfD discussion page. The old discussion must be preserved. Here is the preferred process for adjusting the new nomination:

  1. Tag the article with {{subst:afdx|#th}}, replacing #th with the ordinal (2nd, 3rd, etc.) representing the number of this discussion.
  2. Now follow the link and state your reason(s) for nominating the article. You should also mention the prior discussion and provide a link to it.
  3. When you create the entry on the AfD page, you must make sure that the transclusion link points to the new discussion. The correct link should be provided on the end of the {{afdx}} template.