Wikipedia:BLP courtesy deletion

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This page is about the failed proposal. For current policies, see Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons#Deletion of BLPs.

Biographies of living persons, where the subject is of marginal notability, may be deleted by any administrator if the subject of the biography requests deletion, within the process and criteria described in this guideline.

Speedy deletes[edit]

Subjects may approach any admin to request that their biography be deleted. Admins should take reasonable steps to satisfy themselves that they are dealing with the correct person by, for example, telephoning the subject at work, or by making sure that the subject's correspondence does not rely on webmail.

If the admin is satisfied that the request is genuine, and that the subject is, at best, only marginally notable, the BLP should be tagged as a "proposed BLP courtesy deletion." If no editor with over 100 edits in the main namespace objects within 72 hours, the BLP may be speedy deleted, along with its talk page.

A tag will be added to the page to explain that the article has been deleted at the request of the subject, and the page will be protected against recreation. Plausible alternative article titles ("John R. Smith" as well as "John Smith") should also be protected against recreation.

If there are objections[edit]

Any editor with over 100 edits to articles may object to the proposed courtesy delete. Objections may only be made on the grounds that the subject is a non-marginal notable public figure, according to reliable published sources.

The objecting editor should nominate the BLP for deletion (BLPfD), at which point he must produce his evidence of unambiguous, non-marginal notability. Any nomination opened without such evidence may be closed immediately by any admin.

BLPfDs are conducted like any other AfD, but the presumption is in favor of deletion. That is, consensus is required to overrule the subject's deletion request.

If the discussion is closed in favor of deletion, the closing admin should also blank the discussion and its talk page.

Deletion review[edit]

A BLP that has been the subject of a courtesy delete under this policy may be re-created if the courtesy delete is overturned by a two-thirds majority at deletion review, if and only if the subject's situation has changed, since the deletion, in a way that makes him more notable than before. If the deletion review is unsuccessful and the BLP stays deleted, the closing admin should blank the discussion.

Assessing marginal notability[edit]

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. Ideally, we aim to be an observer of the events we report, not a participant in them. For that reason, a key question to ask when assessing a subject's notability is: "To what extent does the Wikipedia article affect the subject's life and increase his or her notability?"

If we publish that a famous actress is having an affair with her local priest, and our sources are the New York Times and Washington Post, the Wikipedia article has no additional effect on the actress's life, and does nothing to increase her notability, so long as we stick to what the sources are saying. The better known the subject, and the more widely published the material, the less influence our article can have.

At the other end of the notability scale, a Wikipedia article can have a significant effect. A man known only within the world of stamp collecting may see his life badly affected when Wikipedia publishes a newspaper article from 20 years ago reporting that he spent two years in jail for fraud.

When assessing notability in the course of applying this policy, editors should use the rule of thumb that, the greater the role of Wikipedia in increasing the subject's notability, the more we should incline toward deleting the article on request.

Some useful questions:

  1. Has the person been the subject of multiple non-trivial published works, the sources of which are independent of that person?
    • Published works refer to newspaper articles, magazine articles, books, scholarly papers, and television documentaries except for works carrying merely trivial coverage, such as newspaper articles that just mention the person in passing, telephone directory listings, or simple records of births and deaths.

See also[edit]