Wikipedia:Deletion reform

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The deletion procedure on Wikipedia, Wikipedia:Articles for deletion, has recently come under harsh criticism from many users on Wikipedia, and there seems to be a general opinion in the community that it has to be somehow replaced or changed. This page is an effort to coordinate the different discussions and make it into a coherent, readable format.


Anyone can edit Wikipedia. They can create, extend, correct, change, revamp, trim and rename pages freely. The only thing they can't do is freely delete pages. Unlike these other types of editing, deleting a page is more severe, and harder to correct for mistakes or vandalism.

This is because removing a page from Wikipedia removes the history of the page. Even if the page text is somehow restored, the edit history of all the contributors is still lost, which can violate Wikipedia's GFDL rules.

To prevent this, from very early on in Wikipedia, page deletion was reserved only to editors who (in theory) are less likely to delete pages by mistake or vandalism. These select few are called admins. Over time, rules have developed about how and when editors become admins, and rules about how and when admins can use their privileged ability to delete. There are also many special additions to the Wikipedia software engine to handle listing, reviewing, and restoring of deleted pages.

As a method of allowing ordinary editors to still participate in this exclusive activity, the Votes for Deletion (VfD) system, now renamed as Articles for Deletion(AfD), evolved. This is a forum (now a series of forums based on types of pages), where anyone can suggest pages be deleted, and others agree or disagree.

Wikipedia:Articles for Deletion works on the system that one user lists the page he wants deleted on a subpage of the main deletion page, he puts a template on the page specifying that the page is under consideration for deletion and then a vote/discussion takes place where a consensus decision is attempted. Eventually, an admin reviews the whole discussion, and may delete the page.

Although there are many editors that spend a lot of their time in Wikipedia participating in AfD, most also think the system can be improved in some way. This may be because AfD is dissimilar to the way the rest of Wikipedia works: without classes of editors, without voting, and without its own special centralized system.


These are areas being brainstormed by the community. They are not complete, specific proposals, nor are they necessarily mutually exclusive, but categories for ideas.

Removing a central page for discussion
Using templates to include an article in a category and have the relevant discussion on the article's talk page.
Keeping the system, but reform the voting-procedures
Changing the role of the administrator in AfD
Make specialized policies for inclusion or deletion for different subjects, see WP:MUSIC for instance
Change how the current system displays information to easily see how each vote is going
Different ideas for how the current system can be done more expediently, such as removal of AfDs with clear consensus.
Different ways of making AfD policy instead of a procedure and how that would affect the system
Prevent articles from being deleted solely for being "non-notable"

Current proposals for a new system[edit]

These are the proposals that are or were active, as of March 2006.

Disallow content as a criterion for deletion, replacing it with topic.
A project to create a workable system for Deletion sorting.
Allow article blanking as uncontested deletion method. ( Optional and reversable precursor to AfD )
Allow articles marked for deletion to be deleted without AfD if uncontested. ( Optional and reversable precursor to AfD )
This is based on one idea only: deletions should be a normal part of article history, visible to all, rather than being a special case.
In testing. If proposed deletion uncontested after 7 days, no need for AfD.

Historical proposals[edit]

These proposals have either been inactive for a few weeks or have been specifically withdrawn.

A minimalistic, easy to implement system which focuses on increasing the number of votes in a given time, and prioritizing AFDs.
Add a category to the article and present your case on the talk page.
A variation on Requests for Deletion which simplifies many procedures
Heavily revising the procedures for the current system, for instance moving votes to talk pages and introducing binary voting, ie either delete or keep.
A mix between Wikipedia:Requests for deletion and Wikipedia:Votes for Deletion, the next generation
Establishing firm rules for articles on different topics and other ideas.
Pre-emptive redirects. This was an idea; now it's a proposal
Use daily article categories and have discussion on talk pages, and a little more.
Move to categories and talk pages, binary voting, any user can close and admin s review if requested
Proposed system whereby all articles get a numerical rating and poor scores are automatically placed on the AfD page (after enough time and votes).
Understanding where the system is breaking down, streamline AfD by eliminating much of the guesswork and opinion/adjudication required by the process. Withdrawn at the request of Amorrow, please see this article's Talk Page. (Note: Xaa is being stalked by Amorrow, and wishes to avoid further confrontations.)
Similar proposal to the version system sketch, but more automated, applying to every version, and without AfD
Variation on the version system sketch, whereby randomly selected editors have the ability to say that a version is better or worse than it could be, the random selection of editors being changed every 2 hours, with better (determined by scores for versions they have worked on) editors having more chance of being selected, and no AfD
A clarification of user's choices and administrator's powers.
Reduce the number of articles that need to go through AFD by adding a new speedy deletion criteria requiring at least one citation for any new page.

General comments[edit]

If you wish to make general comments or participate in the discussion, you can do so here. If you wish to comment on a proposal, please do so at the page relevant to the proposal in question.

See also[edit]