Wikipedia:Articles on suicides/FAQs

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  • Shouldn't there be an article on my child/sibling/parent/partner/friend who committed suicide? He was just as brilliant/talented/accomplished and just as cherished by his loved ones as Person X was, and Person X has an article.
    If she or he meets the notability guideline for people, she or he should indeed have an article. However, it is important to understand that the threshold for meeting the notability guideline has absolutely nothing to do with any person's worth; it only deals with her or his suitability for an encyclopedia article. Under Wikipedia's notability guideline, the person must have been written about in a significant way by multiple reliable, published sources that are independent of the subject and from each other. Lack of notability under Wikipedia's rules doesn't mean lack of worth. As strange as it may seem, on Wikipedia, a contestant who appears on a reality TV show for a few months may have her own article (if multiple published sources discuss her), while a Professor with a Ph.D who taught at a major university for decades may not be deemed notable enough to have her own article, if she has not been discussed in multiple reliable sources.
  • Shouldn't the article be about the individual who died, not the suicide? It's the person who'll be rememered, not the way the person died.
    The relevant Wikipedia guideline states:

    People known only in connection with one event should generally not have an article written about them. If the event is notable, then an article usually should be written about the event instead.

    Wikipedia articles are deliberately focused on—and titles based on—the most notable aspects of their topic. If the individual meets the notability guideline for people, it is possible that she should have an article of her own as well as an article about her notable suicide.
  • Even if the focus is on the suicide, isn't there room in the article to celebrate the individual's life?
    Policy states that "Wikipedia is not the place to memorialize deceased friends, relatives, acquaintances, or others who do not meet [notability] requirements". Wikipedia is an encyclopedia; that is its sole reason for being. It is not also a social networking site, a blog hosting site, or any other kind of site, and watering down its mission for other purposes is unacceptable, no matter how noble those purposes may be. If you wish to create an online memorial for a loved one, there are a number of other websites that permit this activity.
  • Isn't all this talk of guidelines and policies seems really abstract and unfeeling?
    Wikipedia's rules may seem abstract, but they are a reflection of the will of its community of editors, and those editors are all human beings. It may be safely assumed that all of them have lives away from Wikipedia and that some of them are living with the aftermath of a loved one's suicide. It is best not to equate any Wikipedia editor's determination to follow the rules with callousness or lack of feelings.