Wikipedia:Deletion reform/Brainstorming

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Add "page_dead" flag[edit]

I think there is a pretty simple solution that would be extremely powerful, which is simply to add a "page_dead" flag to the database. Speaking as a programmer, I think this following suggestion would be reasonably easy to implement.

  • Anybody could "delete" a page (which would be implemented as simply setting the flag in the database to "true").
  • Any page marked as "page_dead" would not appear in ANY of the standard navigation items (categories, random article, all links to it would look like a new page creation etc.).
  • There would be a seperate auto-generated list (like the categories) which would be "Dead pages" ("The Morgue"). This could be sorted by date so that the most recent pages deleted would be seen at the top. Pages thus deleted could easily be restored.
  • Anybody could bring a page back from the dead. If so, it would have simply a new history item created which showed the date/time and the "Edit summary" giving the reason for restoring it. The page would retain the complete history prior to deletion
  • If a "restore" was done to a page which had already been replaced by a page with the same name, then this would be handled in the same way as an edit-clash happens today. The user trying to restore the page would be told that the page has a clash, and they would have to either cancel the restore, or manually merge the 2 pages contents.
  • Super-admins would have a special "remove all dead pages" or "remove this specific dead page" abilities. If an admin removed a dead page, then it would truly be gone from the system.

Brusselsshrek 15:25, 26 January 2006 (UTC)


  • Remove any central processing page from the deletion process, and make all deletions arguments on the talk page of the article in question. This would resemble RfC, and only be used for controversial deletions that users involved can't settle.
    • Then in many cases, only editors of these pages would even know the page was up for deletion. They would naturally be biased toward keeping articles to which they had made contributions.
      • This would also make things harder for deleting admins because there'd be no central place to check for stuff that still needs to be deleted. Often the creator of a vanity article removes the deletion tag and or category which means no one would know it was up for deletion, was it not for the central discussion page listing it. Therefore, I'm not particularly in favor of this option. - Mgm|(talk) 13:14, August 17, 2005 (UTC)
        • Categories would automatically provide such lists, surely? — ciphergoth 21:51, September 5, 2005 (UTC)
          • But when deleting the article with its talk page, the discussion about its deletion will be vanished. CG 09:25, September 8, 2005 (UTC)

Support if the two criticisms can be addressed in the software. Archive the deletion discussion. Protect the deletion tag. Please note that speedy deletions by their nature tend to have neither. Also different topics have a different speed. Popular topics will get comments and corrections faster. A week in the land of Star Trek or Tookie is equal to a month or a few years for some other topics. Also some editors assume something is not notable simply because it isn't their particular thing. This would allow admins to look after those categories they understand.--Gbleem 20:18, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Oppose - putting the argument only on the Talk page will tend to limit discussion to those who are contributing to the article. Johntex\talk 19:43, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
  • This doesn't have to be exclusive, does it? I mean, using templates, couldn't we have an article proposed for deletion appear both on the talk page and the AfD page or a category? -Seth Mahoney 19:53, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure it is time yet to completely remove central processing pages for deletion, but it is going to happen. If wiki ever really becomes a success, then it will be so big that centralised deletion debates will be impossible. Think about it guys, this encyclopedia is currently undergoing exponential growth. That will include exponential growth of deletion candidates. Who will be able to meaningfully check the lists?

Someone above points out that if debate only appears on an article page, how will anyone know unless they read that article regularly? Well, already the converse is true. Unless someone regularly spends hours reading deletion lists, it is impossible to tell if an article which interests them is up for deletion. Deletion debates are so short that an article can easily be voted on and deleted between visits to any relevant page. This is absurd. The only possible solution is to greatly extend the time limit and decentralise to the page concerned. It might be that a special deletion debate page, or at least designated section on the talk page, would be needed specifically for any article proposed for deletion. A mechanism may be needed to save these to satisfy those concerned with keeping a record of the deletion process. What is the obsession with speed of deletion? Sandpiper 09:05, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

  • Oppose. I think that we should continue to have a central location for AfDs. That way people can check to see what is being proposed for deletion. Current policy requests that someone nominating an article for deletion place a warning at the top of the article, thus regular editors of the article are advised. Sunray 01:35, 23 January 2006 (UTC)


Articles in these categories could be listed elegantly with the m:DynamicPageList extension.
How would one go about getting that extension installed? -- Visviva 13:16, 8 August 2005 (UTC)
Is it compatible with older machines and non-PC platforms? Denni 00:12, 2005 August 11 (UTC)
Just to clarify: this is a MediaWiki extension, not a browser extension. The only changes would take place on the server, so there would be no compatibility issues and no user installation required. The extension is already in place on Wikinews to generate the front page headlines. --David Wahler (talk) 14:09, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
A related question, how would one know which articles were VfD-ed today, which yesterday, etc? Oleg Alexandrov 19:16, 18 August 2005 (UTC)
By placing ~~~~~ with the deletion notice? --Mysidia (talk) 20:16, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
But when deleting the article with its talk page, the discussion about its deletion will be vanished. CG 09:28, September 8, 2005 (UTC)
This isn't the best solution, but maybe a good direction: Couldn't we sort by adding [[Category:Articles for deletion|July 12, 1999]] (where, of course, "July 12, 1999" is replaced with the current date)? -Seth Mahoney 19:55, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

Remove or simplify voting[edit]

  • Preserve original system, but reduce confusions by only counting votes of delete or keep.
presumably people vote differently as a form of comment, and also because there really are more than 2 choices.Sandpiper 01:06, 10 August 2005 (UTC)
Yes and no, in many bways, the page can either be deleted or not, ofcourse, surviving a vfd means people thought the content on the page was good enough to keep, but that doesn't rule out a merge... The way I see it it's a binary choice, either you delete the page or you dont. If you dont, then editing resumes like usual - which might involve a merge, and might not. But that discussion should be held at Talk:PageName not at the vfd. Usrnme h8er 08:11, 9 September 2005 (UTC)
I don't like this idea. Incidentally, I also don't like it when mods count a vote for a merge or a redirect as keep or delete, based on the count they are aiming for. It's a middle ground. It means, have some information around, and don't keep it where it is now; keep it somewhere else, possibly in different quantities. Not the same as either a keep or a delete at all. --Jacquelyn Marie 21:33, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
Unfortunately, you can't meld a binary system (keep/delete) into a non-binary one (keep/merge/delete). So either we have to restrict voting to either keep/delete and restrict suggestions to merge to the discussion page, or we have to count a vote to merge as entirely separate from keep/delete, and request that the closing administrator or someone else carry out the merge. I guess I'm agreeing with Jacquelyn Marie. Denni 22:17, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Remove voting; make the page only for discussion that the closing admin would have to read and interpret.
voting already only expresses opinion anyway. This would just make admins choice even less clear cutSandpiper1:06, 10 August 2005 (UTC)
I'd support this one. The major problem I'm having with Afd and CfD isn't that articles spend too much time there (I'd prefer more time), but that a vote that just says "Keep" has as much weight as one with a lengthy, rational justification. Of course, there would have to be some other measures in place. Maybe having a consensus among admins, or requiring admins to find consensus with admins who they regularly disagree with (impractical, but maybe a useful guideline) or a process for de-admining admins who abuse this privilege or something. -Seth Mahoney 22:47, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Shorten the length that they can be on VfD, attempt to orientate it towards discussion by allowing voting only after 2 days discussion, and only allow votes of delete or keep.
means people would likely have to read each item twice over in order to vote. hard enough to find an item once. Also, in time people would just not bother reading posts less than 2 days old as they will only have to come back later anywaySandpiper 01:06, 10 August 2005 (UTC)
Loads of editors don't read VfD daily (or every two or three days); shortening the time doesn't give them a reasonable chance to comment. Fg2 06:20, August 11, 2005 (UTC)
    • Make this work by differentiating Discussion for Deletion (first step) and VfD (second step, if necessary). Only articles not reaching a consensus in a reasonable period of time are moved to VfD.
  • Do not start voting until a keep vote with reason(s) has been provided. Delete any article that hasn't got a keep vote and reason after 24 hours. A keep vote without a reason doesn't count.
that would mean an article only has 24 hours for someone to notice the vote and object instead of a week.

Crazy.Sandpiper 01:06, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

This could work if there was a separate category of unvoted on VfD's, Wiki-admins could patrol this category for speedy deletion candidates. Klonimus 05:02, 14 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Make 100 edits mandatory before votes are allowed; this will reduce sockpuppets and help ensure that voters have a reasonable knowledge of Wikipedia procedure.
not unreasonable, although edit count quotas are edging upwards on everything. Is there a general policy on edit quotas for different things?Sandpiper 01:06, 10 August 2005 (UTC)
No. This is instruction creep; VfD is also a place where new users can learn the policies (and I'd say one of the easiest - much more than TfD, CfD, RfA voting, etc.). Don't take this away from them; you'll drive away some solid new contributors in doing that. See also Wikipedia:Suffrage#The downsides of restricting suffrage. However, informal suffrage is fine in particularly problematic VfDs. The average VfD does not need this requirement. --Idont Havaname 04:12, 13 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Separate the discussion from the voting. Discussion remains the same as at present; voting is by means of a separate screen with two radio buttons: Keep and Delete. Software logs username and time (like four tildes). VfD displays discussion at top, votes at bottom. Fg2 06:20, August 11, 2005 (UTC)
Seems just like simple page-moving. This might deemphasize the discussion/consensus element.--Knucmo2 21:52, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Simplifying so only keep and delete are valid votes would not allow for redirects and merges to be performed which are often valid alternatives. How would simplification of voting even shortening the loads of items being nominated? - Mgm|(talk) 13:18, August 17, 2005 (UTC)
    1. Anything other than 'delete' (keep, transwiki, merge, redirect, etc.) should automatically be a keep. If the user wishes to suggest that the page be merged, etc., he/she writes that in the comments. There should be no options for speedy delete, strong/weak keep/delete, etc. Andrew pmk 17:49, 17 August 2005 (UTC)
    • I disagree. I believe that a vote like "merge" or "transwiki" means "This article is unacceptable and the information should be preserved iff it is in another location. If the information is not moved, it should be deleted along with the article." I have always given those votes with that understanding, and I imagine I am not the only person to do so. The Literate Engineer 14:55, 27 August 2005 (UTC)
    1. Deletion should be undertaken by a strict 2/3 + 1 majority with a minimum number of delete votes (ex. 4). There should be no discretion regarding what is and is not a consensus except where sockpuppets and multiple votes are concerned. Andrew pmk 17:49, 17 August 2005 (UTC)
    2. I fear that Andrew pmk's second idea may be just instruction creep. In my experience, most admins tend to err on the side of caution anyway when closing VFDs, and as many have said before, the stuff that should be kept is usually kept, and the stuff that should be deleted is usually deleted. AlbertR 01:37, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Make the process more protective of minority rights and voices by substantively strengthening the bias towards keeping articles. This might be accomplished by requiring unanimous votes for deletion (minus the article author), or by a unanimous minus 2 system. Even a 2/3 majority carries the risk of democracy being subverted by "mob rule" or "groupthink". Arevich 20:29, 5 September 2005 (UTC)
  • I like the basic premise behind this, but not some of the details. I do agree that "mob rule" is a problem at some VfDs. I think, however, that a unanimous or unanimous minus two carries the risk of simply swinging the possibility of mob rule in another direction. Wikipedia is not a democracy, but some effort should be made to protect minority opinions that some people might delete away as "non-notable." It's often noted that Wikipedia, at least the English one, is a bit western-world-centric, but I think there's more going on than just that. --Jacquelyn Marie 21:40, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
  • I believe we need to create an easier method of voting or some automated system (such as choosing Keep or Delete; adding a reason which is required; and posting it automatically to the subpage; where the number of votes to keep or delete are recorded automatically by the software). Also, there should only be three types of votes: "Keep", "Delete", and "Comment". No "Strong keep", "Weak keep", "immediately delte", etc., Why should "strong keep" mean anything different than a regular "keep"? It shouldn't.--naryathegreat | (talk) 00:45, September 12, 2005 (UTC)
    • An automated system would greatly improve the number of votes cast, possibly making the outcome more representative. --[User:Rakeela|Rakeela]] 07:25, September 29 2005
    • I agree that automation would help a great deal. I also am convinced by this line of reasoning that the strong/weak modifiers should go. I still think that merge, redirect and transwiki should be valid ways of voting. (Please see the conversations above for more info regarding that.) --Jacquelyn Marie 21:42, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
      • I believe there are three legitimate votes; keep, delete, and merge. I've not closed any voting, but if I did, keep, strong keep, and weak keep would each be worth exactly one vote, and I rather suspect closing admins work the same way. Feel free to get your two bits worth in, but don't expect the value of your vote to change. Denni 22:21, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
        • I believe in this as well. A "strong keep" is not counted any differently than a "keep", and complicates the vote counting process. Furthermore, "humorous" votes such as "delete and salt the earth" and "nuke it from orbit" should be banned. These things can be said in the comment that goes with each vote, but the bold text, in my opinion, should say either Keep, Delete, Merge with Articletitle, or Comment.--Aleron235 23:19, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
  • I think we need Single Transferrable Vote to deal with the problem of ambiguity, rather than moving to a binary system. People should select a first and a second choice. The acceptable votes would be Keep(Merge), Keep(Delete), Merge(Keep), Merge(Delete), Delete(Keep), Delete(Merge). First votes(outside the brackets) are counted, and the choice with the lowest number of votes is eliminated mentally by the closing admin. The closing admin then counts the remaining votes(e.g. if Merge is eliminated, Merge(Keep) becomes Keep and Keep(Merge) also becomes Keep). In the event of ties at either the elimination or final stage, the admin may choose between any options which are tied. In the event of a Merge vote, the comments are examined. If there is only one distinct suggestion of where to merge which is supported by strong consensus, the page is merged to there. Other wise the be bold policy applies, with the condition that it may not be merged to somewhere where there has been strong consensus against.A1kmm 22:00, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Don't call it voting when it isn't. it gives new users the false impression that they have a say so and that there is some sort of democratic process when there really is none. The illusion of voting creates ill will when people find out that the decisions aren't made based on votes. -- Anonymous
  • I think we should use Support (delete) and Oppose (keep) to match many other votes in the Wikipedia namespace. --Kuroki Mio 2006 02:31, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Change powers[edit]

  • Give admins free play to delete pages without a bureaucratic procedure. Give every user the power to undelete pages.
    • All-user undeletion is just as open to abuse as all-user deletion.
      • Wikipedia in general is open to abuse. Undeletion is no more damaging or abusive than, say, page-blanking. Deletion is arguably more damaging.
        • One key problem there is that defamatory stuff is commonly deleted to prevent legal problems - we don't want a new sort of WoW trying to give us problems. Ian13/talk 09:59, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Pure wiki deletion system
    • This could be the best bet, but it is, I think, too radical a proposal to be adopted. Denni 00:46, 2005 August 11 (UTC)
    • Yeah, some may see it as radical, but the whole rest of Wikipedia is already just as radical. This would make deleting just like all other editing. If Wikipedia works, then this would work. It's that simple. --A D Monroe III 02:45, 10 September 2005 (UTC)
    • I'd actually be giddy to adopt this system. -Seth Mahoney 20:00, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Be more willing to promote more admin candidates who are experienced in VfD and willing to close off old VfD discussions with clear consensuses right at the end of 5 days, which helps cut down the backlog.
    • However, they should not be allowed to close off discussions in which they participated, unless consensus is obvious.
    • There are over a thousand admins now. Promoting more does not mean they will choose the thankless task of maintaining VfD. Denni 00:50, 2005 August 11 (UTC)
      • There are? I think it was User:FCYTravis who became the 500th admin at this wiki about a month ago. I think you mean for all Wikipedias. We're just arguing about discussing what to do with this one. :-) --Idont Havaname 04:14, 13 August 2005 (UTC)
    • I agree with the suggestion to promote more admins. Many debates remain after a consensus has become clear and 5 days have passed. Promoting more does not mean that all of those promoted would maintain VfD, but at least some would. Cool3 23:49, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
  • restrict Wikipedia namespace to logged-in users.
    • I'm not sure about this one. Some anons are really great users who for one reason or another don't want to sign up. Just because some anons are vandals/trolls/annoying people doesn't mean we ought to screw over the rest of them. Assume good faith and all. [[User:Premeditated Chaos|User:Premeditated Chaos/Sig]] 19:28, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
    • Agree, this is a bad idea. I know knowledgeabe and competent wikipedians who both use and edit the namespace without logging in. Alot of minor copyediting is done by non-logged in users who notice a mistake while reading an article. Usrnme h8er 08:19, 9 September 2005 (UTC)
    • This has been tried and failed. See Nupedia. --A D Monroe III 02:49, 10 September 2005 (UTC)
    • I like this idea. It would deter people from vandalizing pages, and it will make contacting contributors easier. I don't think it will "screw over the rest of them", registering is very very easy and quick. It will also prevent problems with people sharing the same IP address. If people are worried, maybe we could bring it in on a trial basis, to see how it works. Gerard Foley 23:08, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
  • I would like to campaign against the obvious "Deletionists" who attempt to delete any article they have personally never heard of. It is entirely subjective, and inappropriate for a high-standard encyclopedia site. Admins that abuse their "deletion" powers in this way, should be replaced with competent admins who act objectively, and not solemly on the basis "I never heard of this and neither did my friends". I would like to point out that the intention of an encyclopedia is to look up something you DON'T know yet. When it is only allowed to contain information that is already widely known, it loses its purpose. Aneirin 18:50, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Specialised policies/precedents[edit]

  • Come to a community consenus on deletion policy, however difficult that may be. Certain groups of articles already have policy, e.g. WP:MUSIC. Broaden this. For most categories of articles, there should be some fairly clear rules about whether or not the article should be kept.
    • The problem with this is that it forces us to follow policy. There are some types of articles where there are many people here on each side of an argument (schools definitely come to mind), and being forced to follow policy will make Wikipedia a majority-rule institution. From WP:NOT: "That is, majority opinion does not necessarily rule in Wikipedia. Various votes are regularly conducted, but their numerical results are usually only one of several means of making a decision. The discussions that accompany the voting processes are crucial means of reaching consensus."
    • In fact, WP:MUSIC is not policy, but guideline. While I think it would be a good idea to have a few more policies in place, I understand and appreciate the concerns of those who speak of instruction creep. My wish would be to have clearly constructed guidelines based on clearly stated precedent, and then let WP:IAR be the guide. Denni 00:57, 2005 August 11 (UTC)
    • This is saying that an established interest group can override wiki editors as a whole. The current system means that there has to be a rerun each time, and everyone can have there say, not just a small group who have decided amongst themselves.Sandpiper 21:42, 18 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Nominations ordered by criteria for deletion (and possibly topic, especially where there are topic-specific guidelines). This could be within the page, or on subpages if it gets too busy. At the top of every criterion is a short summary and links to archived discussions for some relevant precedents.
    • How complex would this become? how many separate pages is someone interested in different things going to have to check?Sandpiper 21:42, 18 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Whatever happens to the rest, we NEED a speedy tag for non-notable bands' vanity pages. We get more non-notable bands than non-notable bios, it seems. So, if we could slap Template:Nn-bv in those guys, it would greatly expedite the vfd process. Granted, it would stop an excellent source for snide comments. JDoorjam 02:01, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
    • I agree. I also feel need to find a way to include band vanity in the CSD so those "articles" don't clutter up the VFD pages. AlbertR 02:04, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
      • I completely agree. I've seen tons of those in the past few weeks. It has got to stop. Bands that can't prove their notability should be speedy candidates. [[User:Premeditated Chaos|User:Premeditated Chaos/Sig]] 19:30, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
    • Agree, these are getting really annoying... Usrnme h8er 08:22, 9 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Seems to me that expanded guidelines would help a lot. WP:MUSIC is a very good example. Other useful guidelines would be for biographies, sex stars, pubs, companies, murder victims, fictional characters, and so on. I would definitely prefer having to check a dozen guideline pages over having to make a call over and over again if I want to risk being labeled as 'deletionist'. Also, guidelines are not cast in stone and can be changed if there is consensus to do so. Groeck 21:44, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
  • I disagree with the comments about notability, as concerns bands. Verifiability should be good enough. If a band is "big" enough to be noted in a web page (apart from its own website) then surely it's notable by default? As noted above WP:MUSIC is not policy, merely guidelines. Jcuk 20:13, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I think allowing anyone to delete a page or undelete a page, for that matter, is going to just hurt the encyclopedia, Vandalism would be too easy.


  • Add the current vote status to each section header, so that in the table of contents of the daily logs we can see at a glance which vfds are hotly contested and which are not. Look at the table of contents here and imagine if the current vote status of each article was included, helping you to decide which of the 114 entries to review.
    • Absolutely. It's simply boring to have to look at 20 articles with a clear consensus just to find one that actually requires some discussion. This could be easily implemented if the radio button option mentioned above is implemented. --Titoxd 21:24, 11 August 2005 (UTC)
      • If we're having radio buttons, why not just put it beside the edit summary for Vfd pages (which have to somehow be special now, anyway, under a system like this), and rather than split vote from comment, make the vote the edit summary? This also provides a way the counting could be done without the radio button, with an instruction like start the edit summary with the word "delete" or the word "keep" --Mysidia (talk) 20:29, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
    • Yes.Sandpiper 21:54, 18 August 2005 (UTC)
  • VFD'd Articles for which a consensus has not been reached could be added to a special category, as well as places like cleanup.
    • This would mean that articles which would now be kept by default would undergo a re-run. If there is doubt about deleting, then it should be kept.Sandpiper 21:54, 18 August 2005 (UTC)
  • To save time in voting and scanning, votes are assumed to be for deletion unless otherwise noted - so voting to delete without comment requires just the four tildes; other votes stand out more for easier reading.
    • Is this really necessary? Writing '''Delete''' isn't very problematic or tedious, and this makes it easier for someone to write a bot and spam VfD. --Titoxd 21:24, 11 August 2005 (UTC)
    • No, the presumption should always be to keep unless someone has clearly voted to do something else.Sandpiper 21:54, 18 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Participants should be discouraged from making sarcastic comments about nominated articles in the process of discussion.
  • Move contested articles to another page.
    • Maybe it should be called Requests for Deletion Comments or something more catchy to indicate it is the second step of deletion discussions for very contested articles. --Titoxd 21:24, 11 August 2005 (UTC)
    • That would make the complexity of the system even worse. Two sets of lists to look at. Do you mean, after the 7 days promote contested results to a second stage where more active debate can take place?Sandpiper 21:54, 18 August 2005 (UTC)
  • It would be helpful to provide statistics, such as hits per day or total hits on an article, to help making a decision, especially for older articles. Groeck 21:48, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
    • Limited usefulness - after all Britney probably gets tons of hits, whereas important historical figures might not get any hits except students doing reports Zotel - the Stub Maker 02:20, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

Move things more quickly[edit]

  • Articles for which a unanimous consensus is clear could be deleted before the lag time is up.
    • Such as obvious vanity articles, which could be given 2 days rather than 5, for example.
    • Not acceptable. Sometimes articles get "me too" deletes for a few days and then someone actually uses their brain and does some research, and you end up with a keep.
    • Combine this with a threshhold level of votes. I think ten unopposed delete votes in the first 24 hours, for instance, should allow for immediate deletion. Denni 01:03, 2005 August 11 (UTC)
      • I think this is on the right track. Except I'm a little concerned that 10 votes in 24 hours is a bit unreasonable; can you think of many/any VfDs that would meet this threshold? Maybe widen the scope to 48 hours -- more time for more eyes, and more time to reasonably expect a vote might get that level of consensus. · Katefan0(scribble) 20:52, August 11, 2005 (UTC)
        • What is the need for speed? What is wrong with leaving it for a whole week? All that happens by ending it early is that more people do not get a chance to participate. With the proposal, a group of 10 people in agreement simply nominate on one day and it would be gone before others have a chance to notice.Sandpiper 22:32, 18 August 2005 (UTC)
          • The need for speed is that we might have an inbetween for articles that don't meet CSD criterion but are pretty obvious deletes. Usrnme h8er 08:15, 9 September 2005 (UTC)
        • Why not just agree that ten unopposed votes, regardless of time period, probably indicates a delete is justified. I assume the admin in question will use his brain here to avoid sockpuppetry... Usrnme h8er 08:15, 9 September 2005 (UTC)
          • Can we agree that ten unopposed "Keep" votes, gets the same treatment? (ok, so the originator will be voting delete, but if ten "keep" votes follow, that seems clear enough to me) Jcuk 20:17, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Articles for which a unanimous consensus to keep could be closed in two days
  • Articles which do not fall foul of the Wikipedia:Deletion policy should be removed on-sight.
    • This is subject to interpretation.
    • It's good, though. Needs work.
    • Anyone agrieved would have the opportunity to re-nominate for deletion but stating better groundsSandpiper 22:32, 18 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Anyone can remove nominations on grounds of "bad faith", noting this and justification on the article Talk page. Renomination by original nominating editor or by someone else within a short timeframe would require placement on VfD/Badfaithdispute subpage. Renomination by other editor or after longer period would not. Entries on VfD/Badfaithdispute are for discussion/voting on moving to main VfD, not for deletion proper.
    • The problem is that often, when a nomination is accused of being bad faith, it is in fact a good-faith nomination that would get a consensus to kept of which the nominator was unaware. Sometimes, it is even simply a nomination that the voter disagrees with.
    • This is definitely problematic. It would make things far more acrimonious. Really bad faith or mistaken nominations can be removed anyway--it's just commonsense, but having a rule would encourage gaming.
    • The previous commenters on this are right. Also a bit unsettling is that this suggests that any user - including anonymous sockpuppets and trolls, and newbies - can do it. Even within the admin ranks there seems to be a lot of disagreement as to whether or not a nomination is good-faith.
  • 24-hour adjustable discussion time. A VfD gets by far its most attention and discussion within the first 24 hours. Since most VfDs show a very clear consensus (often unanimous) within the first 24 hours, a VfD with unanimous or almost-unanimous result should be closed after 24 hours. If a consensus has not formed in 24 hours, the debate can continue until one does form, up to a week. This would cut VfD down to size considerably.
    • See above. You can't delete an article after 24 hours discussion, when only a few obsessed partisans may have seen it. Research takes time and effort.
      • While I believe every article should be guaranteed at least 24 hours regardless of how the votes are falling out, I think that if after 24 hours and a sufficient number of votes a clear consensus has emerged, then it should be possible to act on that consensus. The requirement for a threshhold vote acts to negate the influence of "obsessed partisans" (who fall into both camps, I might note). Denni 01:09, 2005 August 11 (UTC)
        • Obsessives may simply play the rules to their advantage, collect a quorum of the required number and nominate before anyone opposed realises. The 7 days are to allow people time to notice and kick up a fuss if they feel it is important. Increasing the 7 days would be better.Sandpiper 22:32, 18 August 2005 (UTC)
          • You need look no further than the schools problem to see that what Sandpiper alleges is already happening -on both sides. Neither extending nor reducing the lag time will do much to slow this questionable practice. I am also of the opinion that most VFDs do indeed get the most attention in the first 24 hours, before getting buried in the daypage archives. As such, I am in favor of some kind of reduction in the lag time. AlbertR 01:43, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
            • It is pretty absurd to introduce any system which says the quickest off the mark wins. Why is deletion a race, and why must it be done quickly? What exactly is the purpose of these time limits and how do they help? Maybe originally a closing date was sensible, after everyone had had time to say their bit. But this is just trying to prevent debate by doing things fast, because no one has found a way of properly organising the debate. What would be wrong with a month's debate? Sandpiper 09:29, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Freefire deletion. All administrators can delete any article on sight. Any administrator can resurrect a deleted article and take it to VfD where discussion proceeds under the current rules. Any non-administrator can appeal to any administrator to resurrect the article and take it to VfD.
    • This would remove the right of ordinary editors to object to a deletion (bad). It would entrench precedent, and increase scope for individual arbitrary bias...unless this is coupled to a general right to delete and undelete. Sandpiper 22:32, 18 August 2005 (UTC)
    • Speedy deletion, per se, would be abolished. Any article could be deleted at the whim of an administrator. But this is already the case now. We trust administrators not to delete good articles and they mostly get it right.
    • One thing I don't like about the current process is that administrators who have participated in AfD debates, sometimes go ahead and judge the outcome too. Surprise! They often see consensus with their own views even when the AfD discussion seems to be much more divided. It would be better if admins without a stongly held opinion of their own made the final decisions. This proposal promotes this kind of problem. CarbonCopy 20:36, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Deferral. Designed to cut down deletion nominations of new school articles, which are controversial and seem to invariably end up with keep. Any administrator can remove any VfD nomination of an article less than 6 calendar months old if in his judgement there are at least five good-faith votes to keep, merge or redirect or any other vote that implies keeping the article and its history. The deferred VfD can be revived at any time if in the view of any administrator one calendar month has passed without a good-faith edit. The deferred listing expires once the article is six months old, at which point it can be nominated for deletion at any time--as with all other articles.
    • The VfD notice would be removed from the article.
    • The article would be listed on a page, Wikipedia:Deferred votes for deletion, say, in date order of article creation date. Six-month-old articles would be pruned from the list.
    • This is designed to act both as a damping mechanism, and to encourage school inclusionists to work on new school articles to avoid revival of the deletion discussion.
    • Possible problems: may be too complex to be usable.
    • Advantages: harnesses enthusiasm to improve listed articles, placates concerns about poor quality stubs.
  • Pre-emptive merging. Any article listed for deletion may be removed from VfD if it is merged with another with the redirect retained. The redirect may be listed on Redirects for deletion. If the redirect is persistently removed to restore the article, it can be listed for deletion again.
    • Advantage: encourages retention of useful information, placates concerns about low quality stubs. Very simple procedure.
    • If an article was pre-emptively merged, then the redirect should specifically be protected from deletion for a period, to specifically allow aggrieved editors to restore it. Otherwise their is no way to object. Having to check redirects for deletion would be an additional work load for people checking VfD lists, or it would become a default way to automatically deleteSandpiper 22:32, 18 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Please note that we need to keep the history of the redirect if something is merged. Deleting a redirect would go against GFDL requirements, maybe copy them to talk before deleting like we do with transwikis? - Mgm|(talk) 13:23, August 17, 2005 (UTC)
  • I like this idea. Then discussion of whether the merged material should be kept can be held on the talk page of the article, leaving less clutter in VfD. --Jacquelyn Marie 21:46, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

The problem I see with these kinds of proposals is, that there are three types of articles on VfD: (a) obvious keeps, (b) obvious deletes, and (c) very controversial ones that tend to rack up a lot of votes. The current problem with VfD, as I see it, is that it processes A and B-type articles too slowly, and C-type articles too quickly. "Speed-up-VfD" proposals would have the side effect of cutting off and crystallizing discussion of the C-type articles. Perhaps there should be a provision that very popular (vote-wise) VfD articles be moved to an RfC policy discussion page, which would set precedent for other articles of the VfD'd article's type. Vacuum c 17:13, August 20, 2005 (UTC)

  • How about a "speed-up VfD" proposal like this: for "obvious" deletes -- vanity bios/bands/schools/etc. (your scenario (b)) -- the window for deletion is 2 or 3 days by default. But any admin who looks at such an article and decides that the 2-day limit is too short for whatever reason can add a tag/template that marks the article as requiring the normal 5-day limit before a delete. This prevents (b) articles from staying around for too long but allows controversial deletes to hang around a lot longer as long as any one admin notices they are controversial. Colin M. 09:19, 16 September 2005 (UTC)
  • It appears points one and two are already a de facto standard. I'm seeing more and more that articles are disappearing from AfD in less than five days, because of a clear consensus one way or the other. There are no complaints that I'm aware of; perhaps this can now be considered for adoption as policy. Denni 22:31, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
I still don't see the reason for speed. How does it help? What harm is done if a vanity article stays on WIKI for a month, or even a year without deletion. Anyone could blank it if it was really bad and plainly contrary to policy. What is the harm to WIKI's reputaion if there are a few hundred (or thousand)articles which people feel ought to be deleted still amongst the very very many which people are not considering for deletion? I agree with the comment above about three kinds of discussion, and the problem of easy cases clogging up those which need more debate. But I do not see a one day listing in AFD as any help to me in checking if an article which I feel is important has been nominated. There are other proposals about automated deletion systems based simply on the article pages, not centrally. It seems much better that an article be tagged as a possible automatic delete after 1 or 3 months. if this fails (by editors registering on the page), then it can be automatically transferred to deletion debate. The idea would be to split off alternative means of deletion without involving the central pages, but this has to still allow debate. Sandpiper 09:29, 30 October 2005 (UTC)


  • Back to basics: VfD (CfD, TfD, etc...) is a voting/polling/survey procedure. Wikipedia:Resolving disputes is official policy (so: should be common ground already). This "resolving disputes" policy is clear that one shouldn't proceed to voting/polling/survey before previous steps have been run through. These prior steps include: application of guidelines (which might lead to a speedy delete if unambiguous trespass of official policy is in game); Talk/Negotiation (of course: on Talk pages); Call in expertise. So, no listing on a "for Deletion" page before all these previous steps have been accomplished in good faith (or at least: verifiable). "For Deletion" pages themselves use the usual precautions as for any vote (I suppose that's pretty much OK for most "for Deletion" pages by now). Simple, no?
  • Make VfD be a discussion not of "whether the article should be kept" but rather "whether the article meets the inclusion criteria." Disallow attempts to legislate policy on an article-by-article basis. Disallow votes based on the premise that the policy is wrong.
one of the very nice things about vfd is that even when an article violates one or other policy, the voters can still exercise common sense and vote to keep it if that seems appropriate. Sandpiper 01:22, 10 August 2005 (UTC)
    • There are no inclusion criteria except neutrality and verifiability, and notability in the case of people. So is this "Make VfD be a discussion of 'whether the article is neutral, verifiable and (in the case of people) notable'?" If so I think we may have something there.
      • I know it's impossible to define, but "encyclopedic" needs to be considered. Just the two criteria of neutrality and verifiability would allow bus schedules and day cares to have articles. Denni 00:30, 2005 August 11 (UTC)
        • What? You mean they already do? Denni 04:08, 2005 August 11 (UTC)
          • As Wiki is "the sum of human knowledge" dont bus timetables have their place? Personally I think it'd be a deathly boring page to read, but...Jcuk 20:24, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
  • It could also be useful to have tougher criteria for deletion if the article has been edited by many wikipedians. This is probably a sign that it should be rather kept than deleted. Samohyl Jan 19:11, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

Policy Proposal: Higher Criteria[edit]

I think it would be advantagious to have 2 new criteria for putting up something for deletion:

  1. If it was up for deletion less then 3 months (a quarter) previously then the deletion process is nulled. Of course after 3 months it can be resubmitted.
  2. If an article is more than a year old (more/less) there should be a higher threshold for nominating it for deletion. This would prevent censorship, and trolls putting things up on vfd that don't deserve to be there. I'm not sure what the higher threshold would be, any ideas?--ShaunMacPherson 02:58, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

No, it's too weighted toward making "keep" decisions permanent. That's particularly problematic with things that were kept solely as a result of a "no consensus", or as a result of keep votes that were justified on weak or false grounds. I see no problem with resubmitting something within five minutes of its closure, especially (but not only) if the decision was "no consensus." The Literate Engineer 03:57, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

Policy idea[edit]

How's this for a policy? No user can list an article on AFD more than one time. This'd keep people from listing the same article over and over every few months. Luigi30 (Ταλκ το mε) 15:58, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Remove notable requirement[edit]

  • Remove the requirement that an article must be "notable". The recent fundraising page says, "Imagine a world in which every person has free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing." That is not we are doing here. We are not collecting the sum of all human knowledge, but the sum of pages deemed notable by Google and Alexa. If pages could no longer be deleted solely for being "non-notable" (which seems to be a non-NPOV designation when using any criteria besides Google and Alexa), then we would greatly reduce the load of pages nominated for AfD. -- Reinyday, 06:16, 16 September 2005 (UTC)
  • I agree with this. I think the most obvious examples of "notability" issues (personal vanity pages) are already covered under the requirements to provide good sources. If someone truly non-notable writes an autobiography in Wikipedia, they will be in violation of the No Original Research policy, as they will be unable to find third-party sources that support their self-promotion. Disk space is cheap, so the one problem with allowing non-notable articles is that it will clutter the search space and lower the probability of getting something good with the "random article" feature. My suggestion would be to add a {{notable}} or {{non-notable}} template or category (just one of these; I'm not so sure which), which we could use to separate "notable" from "non-notable" articles for default searches and the random page. But if you want to search everything, you enable the "non-notable" articles as well, and all of Wikipedia is available to you. Colin M. 08:03, 16 September 2005 (UTC)
  • I agree with most of this. I would also add that Wikipedia is different from a library, mostly in good ways right now. We aren't limited much by space or budget limitations. Granted, I don't think we should become some sort of archive of everything, and of course vanity and spam pages should be gotten rid of as quickly as possible, but based on the Wiki-not-being-paper philosophy, we could afford to keep a lot more than we do. --Jacquelyn Marie 21:27, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Absolutely not. Removing the notability criterion means Wikipedia becomes an unusable morass, not an encyclopedia. Here are three practical problems with it, completely aside from the fact that an encyclopedia by definition is selective:
    1. No defensible basis for the rules against spamming, vanity, and so forth. Those policies would become ad-hoc and indefensible. If encyclopedia articles don't have to be about notable subjects, then why shouldn't I make an article about myself and my dog? (I don't have a dog.) We currently do allow notable people to edit articles about themselves -- "original research" only deals with unverifiable claims -- although we discourage anyone from creating an article about themselves. If notability really doesn't matter, why bother doing this?
    2. We would effectively be abandoning the precept that Wikipedia is supposed to report upon things rather than being used to make them more famous. If something doesn't have to already be notable in order to have a Wikipedia article, then it becomes acceptable to create a Wikipedia article about something non-notable for the purpose of making it famous. Right now, such articles are deleted as non-notable; that would no longer be possible.
    3. Categories and the random article feature would both cease to be usable, since they become completely filled with articles that nobody is ever likely to want to see. --FOo 15:01, 16 September 2005 (UTC)
  • I totally agree. I am not suggesting we keep un-encyclopedic topics. I am not suggesting we keep vanity pages. i am not suggesting we keep unverifiable articles. I am suggesting that we do not allow articles to be deleted solely for being "non-notable". Although Wikipedia:Notability says, Lack of "notability" is not a criterion for deletion, there are "notability" requirements set forth for biographies of people (sadly, these can be speedy deleted without even going through the voting process), bands (even though album and song articles are allowed to stay), webcomics, number articles, companies and economic info, and websites. -- Reinyday, 16:26, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Disagree. If you made a one-to-one scale map of the world, people wouldn't say "Wow! Look at the amazing level of detail!" because they'd never be able to unfold it or fit it in their glove compartment in the first place. (I know, I know... Wikipedia isn't paper. It's a metaphor.) If we want Wikipedia to remain the amazing, useful, interesting and entertaining site that it is now, we need to continue to apply an encyclopedic or notable criterion to pages. Bunchofgrapes 15:11, 16 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Notability is not currently a criterion for a Wikipedia article, but if it were, I would agree with this proposal. Why do you think a Wikipedia with a billion pages would be an "unusable morass"? The vast bulk of Wikipedia's readers are directed to specific pages by 3rd party search engines, blogs and portals. A non-notable page will simply suffer the same fate as any non-notable piece of writing - it will not be read. There is no technical reason to delete pages. Appropriate categorization is an entirely separate issue. There is no reason there should not be a tourist map of the world that is Wikipedia. You can argue over what should and should not be on high traffic pages like maps/portals, but why allow the erasure of an article that a thinking human being has taken the time to write just because some self-proclaimed Czar of What-Is-Notable sneers at it? Such a policy can only discourage contributors. --noösfractal 07:15, 19 September 2005 (UTC)
      • It would be come a morass because all the power of categories would be drowned in the sludge of human vanity. Disambiguation pages would become the rule rather than the exception. Search engines might take you where you want to go, but they might also pull up dozens of potential hits through which you'd have to sort. Just because people don't want to use something doesn't mean they're not going to end up tripping over it anyway. There is also a credibility issue. Wikipedia already struggles because people see us as not-quite-credible, in part because we are already rather indiscriminate in what we accept. (Just try to get that article about Helen Mayhak, a township clerk, forgodssake, into Brittanica Online and see how far you get.) And if we can't get people to believe in us, whatthehell's any of this about?
I see the goal of the Wikipedia Foundation as being to produce the most comprehensive encyclopedia ever written. That's "encyclopedia". In my measure of things, encyclopedias do not contain articles on every pebble and leaf which grace the planet, yet there are some here who would make it so. Perhaps someone would like to begin a project to create such a work; let them pay for the servers that will be consumed on the task. Everything2 seems to want the job of compiling every indiscriminate flake of dust known to Man - why should we duplicate their task? While you may wish to keep something because a "thinking human" created it, I caution you against placing too much faith in the "thinking" part. Hang around RC for a few days and find out what kinds of drivel "thinking humans" are capable of delivering to us, and perhaps you will see things differently. My question - what's wrong with exercising a little discrimination in what we choose to keep and in what we choose to reject? Denni 02:16, 20 September 2005 (UTC) Denni 02:04, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Disagree. This is not just a matter of disk space, but also of noise. If I search for George W Bush or Bill Clinton, I expect to get exactly one hit, not thousands of hits for everyone with the same name. If I search for Jade, I expect to find an entry for a jewel, not for hundreds or even thousands of Chinese restaurants with the same name. Even if disk space and server space was unlimited, the content itself should be limited. Otherwise the information itself would become useless since it would be buried in all the useless information surrounding it. At the same time, I would agree that a better definition Notability would be very helpful, but that would be a different discussion. Groeck 19:21, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
  • This proposal would not change the fact that when you search for an article, you get the most relevant result, or a disambiguation page with the most relevant result on top. -- Reinyday, 13:26, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
  • I would strongly oppose any such proposal, if it were formally made, Several of the above users, but particularly Groeck express my reasons quite well. If anything I think we are too lax about this requiement in a number of cases. We now allow in completely non-notable fictional topics such as pages about individual minor characters and places in novels and video games, which ought to be pared down and merged to larger articles about the overal fictional works or worlds from which they come; and the requirement of notability has been effectively suspended for elementry schools. This is wrong, IMO. DES (talk) 18:44, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Disagree. The key problem is not size, or searching - it's that non-notable content won't attract enough interest to be kept accurate. — ciphergoth 15:47, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Keep Wikipedia notable We should not remove the notability requirement. To the contrary, we should strengthen it. We already have too many articles on minor garage bands, fictional characters, slight variations of existing products, etc. Focusing on notable articles allows us to do a better job in documenting them and policing them for errors and vandalism. Johntex\talk 19:42, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Keep Wikipedia notable Wikipedia isn't a link repository or a phone directory. I agree that the examples given above would be a problem, and for the reasons cited above--if the qualification were removed, this would become just a massive web-page collection, which the Internet itself already is, thanks very much, we're trying to sort through the infinite amount of data noise and select that which is "important" by some meaning of the word. Yeah, there's always the problem of where to draw the line, but I think we should continue to draw it higher rather than lower. But I do think that if someone can make a case for notable for an individual article, google or no google, that shd be the criteria. Elf | Talk 22:59, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
  • I don't see how this proposal can be interpreted, at its core, as meaning anything but "keep everything no matter what". If notability is removed as a consideration, then there are essentially no grounds to ever delete anything. Bearcat 19:33, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Keep "Delete, non-notable." Otherwise we can't delete much of anything, save for patent nonsense. The inclusionist idea is good in theory, but not in practice. If anybody can write an article on themselves and put it here without our having the power to contest it on AfD, Wikipedia will accumulate enough of these silly articles to be toilet paper. It would also open the door to more linkspam and websites writing articles about themselves, unrestricted, to use our site to gain them publicity before they've gained any outside WP. So let's not give vandals an inch, or they'll take a mile. Regarding the notability of people and bands: Wikipedia is not Myspace. --Idont Havaname 03:18, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Keep the "notability" criterion. I think you are making several mistakes in your logic. First, you are confusing knowledge with data. Someone wiser than me once analyzed Wikipedia using node theory and argued that the real power of this encyclopedia grows as each article is added and as they are cross-linked. That analysis only holds true if and only if every node in the network has positive value. Non-notable entries and irrelevant links hold negative value to a user of the network because they obscure the information the user is attempting to find. Second, Wikipedia has every right to be concerned about reputation and usability. Two of our core and non-negotiable principles are that every article be written from a neutral point of view and that they be functionally verifiable. Verifiability in particular is relevant here. When we use that term, we do not mean that the facts alleged could theoretically be proven true if you personally went and visited the place. Instead, we require that there be sufficient independent coverage that the sources can be easily confirmed by any educated reader/editor. Notability has been a reasonable proxy for our ability (or inability) to write a verifiable article, especially on topics of current interest. Third, the fact that we have not yet established effective standards in some areas of the encyclopedia does not mean that we should abandon the attempt to establish criteria altogether. That would be compounding the mistake. Rossami (talk) 04:57, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
    • Actually, I think it is this line of reasoning that is flawed. One person's data is another person's knowledge. Notability and verifibility are also not completely related. For me, most of the articles about computer languages, for example, are irrelevant, and to me "not notable." I'm not voting them down just because I don't use them. On the other hand, I did do a paper here at college about communications systems in popular culture. Had the list of songs whose title includes a telephone number existed at the time, it would have been very notable and useful to me. It didn't exist then. Right now it is on AfD as being "non-notable" and "useless." --Jacquelyn Marie 15:50, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Keep requirement of notable. Only things that are notable have multiple, independent sources to reference. Without that, misinformation gets into Wikipedia, with no way to refute or delete it. This would degrade Wikipedia. --A D Monroe III 16:57, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
    • You are arguing for verifiability, not notability. There are plenty of things that are verifiable that are not notable. --Jacquelyn Marie 15:55, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Keep requirement of notable as we need to prioritize resources on what others care about. Softening is one thing, but removal is not ok. Although, I disagree about the "verifiable" issue. Verifiability *must* be a requirement, regardless of notability. The two issues are distinct. An article making an unverifiable claim of great success is vastly worse than an article honestly documenting mediocre success. Frankly, I'm often disappointed to see AFD keep votes based on unverified notability claims, even unverified existence; while seeing delete votes of easily verified minor celebs. --rob 17:08, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
  • The problem with information is that there is more of it than there are particles in the universe; knowledge is not data, but the (yes, of necessity biased and POV) selection of that data. It depends on how you define the '"sum of human knowledge": as the addition of data, or as the aggregate or the summary of that data. Notability is a tricky concept because it deals with the question of selectivity, but the solution is not the removal of all selectivity, or the ceding of selectivity to (also of necessity biased and POV) third-party sources. Instead, notability needs to be refined as a concept to minimize selection bias (remembering that it can never be completely removed). How that should be done ... I dunno. A good definition of notability would be mutable (scalable as the practical considerations of Wikipedia change in the future), precedent-driven (aiming for consistency), and debatable (selectivity is an important question, and one that should be discussed!), perhaps? Ziggurat 01:48, 27 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Retain Current Policy That was a long read - i doubt anyone will ever get this far down - WikiP is not a paper encyclopedia it can be as big as it wants, with storage an technology getting cheaper the possibilites are endless... who knows some 'Deep Thought' computer may need what many consider to unnotable 1000 years from now when working out the meaning of life the universe and everything... Bjrobinson 22:23, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Agree: notability should be scrapped in favor of enforcing the current verifiability policy. Here is how I see the situation. We currently have some problems:
  • Notability is a very fuzzily defined notion which it is hard to get people to agree on in all but the simplest cases.
  • As far as I know, there is no official policy requirement (other than {{nn-bio}}) that articles be written on notable subjects, not least because few people agree what notability is. Despite this, people cite notability all the time as a justification for deletion.
  • Manu people feel that without some requirement of notability, Wikipedia will be flooded with useless articles.
I propose the following solution:
  • require that articles provide solid references and sources - references to the facts stated in the article which appear in a credible, non-primary source (this is already policy)
  • delete articles that fail to do so
This would have the following advantages:
  • A relatively easily understood criterion for keeping or removing articles
  • vanity articles and the like will generally not be able to find non-primary sources in credible publications, so will be deleted
  • Wikipedia's reputation for unreliability should lessen as it will in principle be possible to independently verify articles
  • Subtle vandalism should become (slightly) easier to detect
What do others think about this? Lupin|talk|popups 02:09, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
    • I agree with that very much but I think this should not be applied retroactively to current articles to give some time for sourceless articles to be verified. (Let's face it, there are lots of good articles with very few or no sources, or sources the author grabbed off Google.) purplefeltangel (talk)(contribs) 22:45, 3 October 2005 (UTC)
      • I second purplefeltangel. --Jacquelyn Marie 15:57, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
      • Concur with verifiable sources being more strictly enforced, disagree with deletion being first and/or only option - add tag, and correct or edit document as necessary. (Correct: Add sources, Edit: remove that which is not verified.) This is not the same as deleting entire article hastily because it does not contain sources (or enough sources), which I see too much of on AfD right now. "Delete - unverifiable!" I have found to mean "Delete - I never heard of it and I'm too lazy to investigate!" far, far too often. I am concerned about this. I suggest if "unverifiable" or "insufficient sources" is only complaint about article, there be a requirement that it be tagged as such before listing on AfD. There is such a loose policy already, but it is ignored. KillerChihuahua 17:14, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Remove notability requirement You know what, I've changed my mind. Any article that is truly non-notable is also unverifiable, as long as it is very clear what the criteria for verifiability is. Verifiability = several (not just one!) independent legitimate sources that discuss the facts presented in the article. (Also, regarding Purplefeltangel's question on retroactivity, any good article that is nominated will have sources popping up very quickly if AfD is working as it should.) So pretty much everything that is deleted for being "notable" could also be deleted for being "unverifiable": article on a garage band? No external reliable sources for it and it's gone. Ditto for websites, vanity bios, and so forth. The real issue should be to be completely explicit about what a legitimate source is:
  • encyclopediae, academic texts, prominent newspapers and magazines, non-vanity-press books, popular websites, and websites produced by a legitimate (academic?) source are legitimate
  • hearsay, obscure websites, vanity-press books, and obscure newspapers or magazines are not legitimate in the context of Wikipedia and cannot be used as a defence against a claim of verifiability.
Here's a challenge: show me an article that is non-notable, but is also verifiable according to the current criteria, and you'll convince me that notability is necessary as a criterion separate from verifiability.
Ziggurat 23:40, 3 October 2005 (UTC)
Every article in this VfD. purplefeltangel (talk)(contribs) 02:11, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
Amply covered by Wikipedia is not a directory. If a road is 'notable' (possible) it will have verifiable independent sources about it. Ziggurat 02:17, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
If it's amply covered by WP:NOT a directory, then why did enough people vote "keep" to warrant a no consensus? Something has to be done to get through people's heads that just because it exists doesn't mean it belongs on Wikipedia. purplefeltangel (talk)(contribs) 02:22, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
Agreed! But if people aren't following the directives we have now, how will adding new ones help? Ziggurat 11:14, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Keep "Delete, non-notable." - almost missed this one and I find it most important - Tεxτurε 16:48, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Agree: "non-notable" is a non-argument. The problem with writing "Delete, non-notable" is not about whether there are articles that should be in Wikipedia, but that it's a quick phrase that does not tell another person why the article is non-notable. It is harder to logically prove a negative condition than an affirmative, & relying on only this short phrase to carry a nomination is unconscionable. Unless a given category has a defined standard for notability, you gotta make a good argument & explain why. -- llywrch 19:40, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
    • I disagree. "Non-notable" is self-explanatory. Is it necessary to go on to say "no hits on Google, no listing on IMDb, no verifiable sources"? On the other hand, if an article is about a notable subject, I believe it is incumbent upon the article to demonstrate its notability, so that one reading the article can see that it is about someone or something worthy of note. Denni 22:42, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Keep the notability requirement. It's obvious that Wikipedia would become unmanageable if anyone could add any information about anything. The idea that we are recording the "total sum of human knowledge" is a nice one, but in fact we already have a place where anyone can write whatever they want, no matter how obscure; it's called the World Wide Web. Unverifiable is also not sufficient to keep the volume down. If I wanted to write in Wikipedia about myself and my dog (which I also don't have) then all I need to do is put up a website describing myself and my dog and Hey Presto! the information is verifiable. DJ Clayworth 22:02, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
"Only legitimately verifiable information" does not equal "whatever they want". Your personal website is not a reliable source, therefore it cannot be used to verify the information on the page. Unless there has been press, a few academic studies, or considerable external attention paid to yourself and your dog there won't be any legitimate verifiable sources to corroberate the information put in the page, therefore it would be deleted as unverifiable without even needing to mention or refer to notability. Ziggurat 22:31, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
I agree wholeheartedly with Ziggurat's analysis. The key to making a verifiability-or-bust policy work is to have rigourous standards of what constitutes a reliable source. We also need to decide whether or not to accept material consists solely of data, or data which is very lightly dressed up as an article. (Personally, I think that wikipedia is not the place for data dumps). Aside from this minor wrinkle, I think that using verifiability as the only acceptable discriminator between what stays and what goes is the most effective policy idea I know of. Lupin|talk|popups 22:59, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
I, on the other hand, most heartily disagree. Verifiability is a good arbiter, to be sure, but it is not the only one which ought to be considered. The post office down the street from my place is a verifiable public institution. It has an address which is immediately verifiable, and a function which also verifiable. Yet as far as I'm concerned, it would be ludicrous to have an article on it. An encyclopedia is not a place for all information, it is a place for important information. The definition if "important" is certainly open to discussion, but we could all come to a fairly broad consensus fairly quickly, I would think, of the broad strokes of the term. Verifiability has the advantage of being cheap and easy. But important (or "notable", as some would have it) is a much more powerful indicator. Denni 00:13, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
Someone on a road VfD said that a good indicator of the notability of something local is whether or not someone from another city would have heard of it. (ie, had it been featured in national or international media.) I think this is an excellent criterion -- what does anyone else think? purplefeltangel (talk)(contribs) 02:12, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
A quick demo of how I would deal with the post office example: if there's no other reliably verifiable information about the post office (famous architecture, got robbed several times, had a mail bomb explode in it...) then it can be deleted on the basis of being unexpandable; alternatively it's too small to be an article and can be merged into an article on the town. Importance, and especially notability, is not for Wikipedians to judge (carrying with it all the problems of bias that inevitably turn up), it's for the world to decide. The question of notability isn't actually being erased, it's being referred to outside sources like books and newspapers to adjudicate instead (and, admittedly, introducing the external bias of the press / publishing). And there still must be multiple sources for an article; anything that gets one mention doesn't qualify. Ziggurat 03:15, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Drop notability requirement. I think it is uneeded since SPAM and vanity pages are always biased anyway and often unverifable. As to the issue of clouding the wiki with junk, well, make sure that the most notable thing is on the page with the name, and that the others, in rough order of notability, are on a disambiguation page. Disk space is, indeed, cheap. Bryce 13:45, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Keep (or tighten) notability requirement. Eliminate excess junk. -- SGBailey 14:28, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Strengthen requirements for notability We need to make our articles more notable, not less. Stricter criteria should be added for keeping articles, and more categories should be added to the speedy delete category. Johntex\talk 21:24, 12 October 2005 (UTC)
    • Bah. Wikipedia is not paper. 10 'excess' articles are less harmful to the encyclopedia than a missing important one. Wandering oojah 23:02, 12 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Oh, yes, in my opinion notability requirements should certainly be lessened in some cases, though I don't necessarily support their complete removal. As just one example, the requirement that bands have to have been on some top 100 chart is completely ridiculous.....wikipedia should be removing articles about garage bands, certainly, but shouldn't be turning away bands that have tens of thousands of fans just because they didn't make a chart. Wandering oojah 23:02, 12 October 2005 (UTC)
      • Getting in the top 100 is sufficient, but not necessary. Kappa 00:02, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Have a minimal notability requirement. The level of notability for inclusion should be set at a minimal level to filter out spam and 'noise' but not so high as to remove any material that users would reasonably hope to look for an encyclopedic treatment of. We can tell if something has at least a minimal amount of notability because wikipedias will be willing to defend it. This will create a reasonable approximation of "the sum of human knowledge". Within that, we can use a tagging system such as that suggested by Jacquelyn Marie above to provide a "very notable" encyclopedia to random page users looking for education, and a "very useful" encyclopedia to real people who need information. Kappa 00:02, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Notability is a POV NPOV is a non-negotiable founding principle. People who are worried about "junk" or a "morass" here should consider that the third party verifiable and no original research policies will keep the junk out far better than arguing their POVs in individual cases over and over. Unfocused 07:05, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Strengthen requirements for notability see Johntex's comment Ryan Norton T | @ | C 12:54, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
  • disagree - Otherwise, any can link to themselves at Wikipedia and say "Look, I'm credible. I'm in Wikipedia" and of course at that point, you can't believe anything you read in Wikipedia. To this end 80% of bands and albums should also be deleted immediately. Tedernst 08:50, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Agree - I agree, but I think it would be much easier to simply create a policy that says something along the lines of "Articles for deletion must be done so because the article breaks Wikipedia policy." That way, if the Wikipedia community does agree on notability being a clause, then it perhaps it should be a clause. But people won't be able to use it, until it's been accepted.--John Lynch 11:39, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Agree absolutely: as it stands, voting simply "nn, d" is shorthand for "I never heard of it, and I can't be bothered to spend more than 5 seconds looking for it…if it's not on-line it can't exist" which makes a mockery of what Wikipedia is intended to be about. HTH HAND —Phil | Talk 14:06, 28 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Strong Disagree I don't even understand really how one could argue that notability isn't important. Notability does not equal verifiability. I could start an article on every street I drive by, or every type of drink available at starbucks, every intersection in new york city. These are all factual, and verifiable. They are not notable, or encyclopedic, because they are of no conceivable use to people using an encyclopedia. Please spend some time in recent changes to see what people make articles about. If I made an article about the fire hydrant at the corner of my street, what rule would allow that to be deleted, or should it not be? I am not joking at all, I would really like an answer, because as I see it people have successfully removed all requirements for notability. The article would still get deleted, but I think it would not be within policy. - cohesiontalk 00:15, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
  • It seems to me that notability is a PoV in itself. What exactly makes something notable? Usually a PoV - either of a historian, or pundit. Someone/something notable to me isn't notable to someone else. Notability also changes by the day. If there is to be notability requirements, there needs to be a rigorous principle to apply. The google index seems like a test. If you can find something on Google under specific termenology, it should be notable enough for Wikipedia. glocks out 20:40, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Strong Disagree - Wikipedia is not a collection of everything that has ever existed. I could list every bleeding restaurant in chinatown, even bus stops in my local area and create a List of kebab shops in Pimlico article. As mentioned before, a disambig page for George Bush should rightly only display notable names, not every man who has ever been named George Bush. Are people here seriously saying that they would keep an article on List of kebab shops in Pimlico if the only criteria for deletion is "lack of notability"? A recent afd that I participated in, was about a totally new webcomic with 4 strips, yet it still managed to clock up a keep vote, with the reasoning "notability doesn't matter". Wow, so every website article ever created no matter if it's a defunct site on geocities, or AzNpr1ncEsS14's livejournal would be kept? Ridiculous. - Hahnchen 18:31, 3 November 2005 (UTC) Sorry, I'm having an awful difficulty signing.
  • Agree absolutely: It can be the only reason many pages can not see the day light! If something is not notable to me and all users of Wikipeida, there could be millions of things like that, that something could prove to be should-be notable. This kind of votes are used in many places, everyday. At this moment, someone else may be casting another one on my entry "Princeton Community Works" (a worthy entity not 'notable' on-line yet). (Take a look at the discussion, While this 'Remove the requirement that an article must be "notable"' is continuing, many pages like "Princeton Community Works" are deleted only on that reason. WangWeiHsing 05:02, 5 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Keep "Delete non-notable". How come such a proposal arise ? So many void (not even bad) articles and still some thinks one could add anything in WP? I am baffled. The problem is not volume, or search or technical. The point is about creating a "noisy" system, in which the level of non significant signal (= noise) spoil the significant one. The point is about what is the idea behind WP ? The goal is not to do the job of a Google, just with a few extra lines under each urls. The all inclusive behaviour reveals a lack of understanding: ultimately that would leads to the entire web (and more) being in... WP. Keep "Delete non-notable", formalise (even arbitrarily) a notability criteria, and speedy many articles instead of vfd. The risk here is to have too much signal. There is no threat of laking it. Gtabary 19:26, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Strong Disagree. There needs to be a minimum threshold of notability. Otherwise we risk seeing the number of biography articles balloon, moving the problem from too-many-AfD-submissions to too-many-articles with unverifiable or NPOV content. By deleting these articles before they have the chance to stick around and be revert warred to death, we save editors a lot of headaches (certainly more than a clogged AfD system). --Locke Cole (talk) (e-mail) 19:46, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Delete notability requirement. There is no neutral way to enforce "notability". Wikipedia is not paper, so if we can verify information, there is no reason not to keep it. Guanaco 23:30, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Keep notability requirement. I can prove that I study economics, who my family and friends are, and what I have worked with, that means I whould be able to write an article about myself? This is not google or a phone dictionary, it's an encyclopedia! /Grillo 14:37, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Keep notability requirement. The first of the five unchangeable pillars states that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia and nothing else. This is "Wikipedia", not "Wikivanity". /The Phoenix 15:01, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Ditch Notability Quite simply, notability is used as the primary deletion criteria in many cases even though it is NOT a vaild deletion criteria. Personally I think that unless 'notability' is made an official policy, all 'delete, not notable' votes should be counted as NO VOTE AT ALL. Too many exclusionests are deleting articles and turning wikipedia into a useless shadow of what it's supposed to be, articles that by rights ought to be on here are deleted and protected solely because certian, VERY SMALL, groups of users decided it was 'non-notable'. It's basically being used as an excuse for eliteism in many cases, often being used by people to delete articles on subjects they simply don't like or have no interest in. As there are NO hard rules at present on 'notability', it is entirely a matter of opinion...and as wikipedia is supposed to be neutral, your opinion on a topic shouldn't factor into it being deleted or not, only facts should. and as wiki is not paper, we can afford to have more detail on things most people wouldn't care about. That's part of the magic of wikipedia, being able to come on and browse for hours, finding out things you never knew, often in a vast amount of detail. We ought to err on the side of inclusionism, not exclusionism. Better to have a few articles that are hardly read than to have people thinking wikipedia is crap because elitests deleted an article on a topic they were interested in. Frankly, a better idea to clean up wikipedia would be to set up some kind of system where articles that get a very small number of views in a certian timeframe(both the timeframe and number of views would have to be set) could be considered for deletion, rather than allowing people to delete anything they don't like or don't care about. -Graptor
  • Delete Notability The problem with the notability requirement is that it is being highly abused. There is a LOT of good material with tens of thousands of Google hits that the Wikipedia Kabal have declared to be not notable. When authors complain they are accused of being "disruptive". The policy is creating a lot of ill will towards Wikipedia. --Anonymous
  • Strongly Agree One of the reasons I don't contribute to wikipedia as much as I would like to or even create an account or give money to the project is how corruptible the deletion process is when it comes to notability. This generation has the ability to record and categorize every single non-notable event from now until disk space runs out. Imagine if that ability was around during the US Civil War, or during Apartheid, or we had it in place of the fossil record. There would be no gaps in the story. Someone made an analogy with a 1:1 map. It's unusable because of its size when that format is paper, yes. But what if you had an electronic 1:1 map, one that could be viewed in sections and easily stored then there is no downside to too much detail. Wikipedia should be the ultimate archive and truth, and it can't do that with something as subjective as notability.-- 01:05, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Agree I have read through many of the comments here, and I see no good reasons for the notability requirement. Wikipedia would become unmanageable No. Random Page would become useless Who cares? Cathegories would become too big That is a problem the cathegory system will have to take care of itself. Search would become less useful Then improve the search function. I dont care if a search for "Bill Clinton" gives 1 or 1000 matches, as long as the first hit is the article about the former presiden. Also, I think the notability requirement scares away many potention new contributors. I see a lot of new users writing a long and good article about some obscure topic, only to see it deleted. It has happened to me many times that I look for information about a topic in Wikipedia, and find that there has been an article, but it has been deleted for non-notability. --Apoc2400 07:20, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Drop Notability. We should take advantage of the freedom of the Web and stop insulting people. AaronSw 01:11, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Replace notability with verifiability, and eventually make software changes to accomodate this decision. In other words:
    1. Articles that do not contain at least two verifiable sources and seem unlikely to ever get at least two verifiable sources should be deleted (non-speedily).
    2. Ultimately (we can wait several years or more on this), refine the category system to be "multi-layered", and then make categories such as "famous", "notable", and "non-notable". What I'm saying that instead of having Category:Americans be divided into millions of subcategories, such as Category:American authors, instead there should be a Category:Americans and a Category:Authors, and someone interested in finding American authors would be able to go to the intersection of those two categories (such as by going to a page Category:Americans+Authors or something). This would be a good change to the category system anyway, and it's one I thought of unrelated to this subject, but it fits perfectly here, and would allow easy filtering of things deemed non-notable.
Has anyone made a project page for this yet, or should I? —Simetrical (talk) 03:46, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Have a notability requirement. Wikipedia is first and foremost an encyclopedia. Think about what you would want to see in an encyclopedia. Seriously. Enochlau 12:15, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Notability is the key to interpreting WP:ISNOT an indiscriminate collection on information. And yes, I would happily vote delete on all those MTG sets and crap non-notable novels. - Just zis  Guy, you know? [T]/[C] AfD? 15:17, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Keep the notability requirement. I can't possibly imagine the amount of vandalism we would have without verifiable entries. John Smith from Portland, Maine might want to say he's an avid fisherman, but someone can come along and say he's really into ice skating instead. How can this info be verified if there's no other information out there about this sort of thing? How will we know which edits are the true edits: fisherman or ice skater? One day, John Smith will come back to Wikipedia and find his page all askew and what good will it be doing then? JHMM13 (T | C) 03:26, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
    • You misunderstand the nature of the proposal. Verifiability will be kept, notability will not be. John Smith will be able to provide no evidence from reliable sources, so his article is unverifiable and deleteable at will. —Simetrical (talk) 06:20, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Agree: Remove notability criterion. I truly believe that no facts, no matter how trivial, should be considered unsuitable for inclusion. Facts are still facts. No fact is more important than another simply because it is of greater interest to more people. Everything little fact that is verifiable and might be of interest even to a single person other than the author who visits this website should be allowed recognition on Wikipedia. Shouldn't factualness, verifiability, and neutrality be sufficient parameters for inclusion on Wikipedia? Why should we throw in an extremely subjective and easily offendable test of what is notable and what is not? I'm sure there are people who'd like to know about every television documentary ever aired, every penguin living in a zoo, etc. As for multiple articles with a common title, that's what disambiguation pages are for, chaps, and if anything, I think there are too little disambiguation pages here. Also, if there are 20 articles with the title "Bill Clinton", then I would of course expect the article about the president to appear first in the disambiguation page. Thus, the argument about expecting a search for "Bill Clinton" to turn up an article on the president is moot because the disambiguation page would make all that clear. My vision for Wikipedia: The ultimate encyclopaedia, the ultimate website, the ultimate data bank, a one-stop destination for almost all serious, verifiable information that anyone might ever possibly want to know at any point of his or her life. Lapin rossignol 10:20, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Drop notability. I think the notability policy's heart is in the right place, and weeding out spam and vanity pages is obviously important, but I also think we all know the difference between somebody creating a page about his friend's garage band and a legitimate page for a legitimate subject that doesn't happen to be super-famous or mainstream, and the notability requirement seriously blurs that distinction. Through a combination of being too vague and overly strict, the notability requirement lends itself to a lot of VfD abuse. The fact is that nominating something for deletion is, for people who don't necessarily have the writing skills to write articles, the easist way to contribute to Wikipedia. It's the only thing even easier than making a page that just says "JOHN SMITH IS GAY LOL." In my relatively short time here, I've seen a lot of bad-faith deletion nominations and votes, just because the notability requirement lends itself to them so handily. If it's not dropped completely, it should be liberalized to prevent legitimate and helpful articles from being wiped out. MrBook 15:59, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Drop notability. I would like to campaign against the obvious "Deletionists" who attempt to delete any article they have personally never heard of, and call it "not notable". It is entirely subjective, and inappropriate for a high-standard encyclopedia site. These are Admins that delete articles on the basis "I never heard of this and neither did my friends". I would like to point out that the intention of an encyclopedia is to look up something you DON'T know yet. When it is only allowed to contain information that is already widely known, it loses its purpose. What is "not notable" for one, is very notable for another. A decision on what is notable or not, cannot be made objectively, and should therefore not be made at all. Aneirin 18:50, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Drop notability, but... I may be late to this debate (I just learned there was deletion reform, but my feeling is that content shouldn't be removed, but articles should. I don't mind having "list of minor LotR characters", or even having "XRandom_GUY (Lord of the Rings)" as an article. I mean, if we have hundreds of pages in the category "Cleveland local bands", oh well, it's still human knowledge, and I don't think someone is going to mistake "XRandom_Band (Cleveland local band) for U2 or someone, the articles can be clear on that.

Notability proposal[edit]

Wikipedia:Notability proposal is a proposal to explicitly make "notability" a requirement for Wikipedia articles, and to explicitly include "lack of notability" as a reason for deleting articles. Please visit Wikipedia talk:Notability proposal and express your view on the proposal. DES (talk) 23:47, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

  • Agree Drop Notability As its already not wikipedia policy in the majority of cases, why on earth would we need it?!

User:Jcuk 17:07, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Strongly disagree. It's not just a matter of having millions of articles that no-one will ever read. They would be certain to infect other articles. For example, some guy who wrote a non-notable book - or even a blog - about George Bush and then inserting a link to it in that article. How can we get rid of it if notability doesn't matter? Who wants a list of high school players at the end of the football article? If we stopped being discriminate as to what information we include, Wikipedia would lose all credibility to the outside world.
  • Strongly Agree based on my reading of the discussion I see three major objections here:
1-Spamming, vanity, advertisements, autobiographies, etc. make rules against these things then. I'm sure the majority of wikipedians would support a ban on spamming and advertisements even if there was no notability requirement. As for vanity, we would just continue to delete claims that can't be sourced so the people on wikipedia would be limited to those who appear in some literature. I think there should be more articles about "non-notable" people on wikipedia, as long as they are sourced so that (theorhetically) anyone can edit them.
2There would be articles about non-notable things in an attempt to make them notable-No one has given a specific example yet that shows why this would be especially bad. Notability is in the eye of the beholder. If something truly is non-notable, most people will not give much weight to the wikipedia article. If a person truly does become notable, that should lead us to question the original judgement to delete an article as non-notable. Again, articles would have to cite sources, etc. If there is interest in an article about X, that should be more indicative of notability than any other standard.
3Random article feature would cease to be useful-Was this feature ever truly 'useful'? Most people who use it are probably bored and want to read just that: a random article. Note that people who use this feature are not searching the list of featured articles. They want to read something random. Having articles that are non-notable would truly showcase the depth of wikipedia. If they dislike the article, they merely need to click the "random article" link again. Due to literature constraints, it is improbable that "non-notable" articles would become a significant percentage of articles and thus it is unlikely that this would cause real problems. Savidan 20:37, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
  • The problem with having no notability requirement (and incidentally, we do have one in the shape of ""ikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information") is that the already-evident tendency for real encyclopaedic articles to be swamped by cruft of every kind. Gamecruft, porncruft, Godcruft, fancruft, traincruft - there is already far and away too much of this on WP (and I speak as a railway modeller, SF fan and practising Christian).
There has to be some bar. That which is not notable is not neutrally verifiable - only the committed will be able to verify it, and they are rarely neutral. Articles on individual preachers, for example, are unlikely to be verifiable from neutral sources. Yes, that's WP:V, but people will argue that because five Christian magazines say X and nobody gainsays it, then X is verifiably true - the lack of gainsayers being, of course, due to the fact that nobody else cares about X in the first place.
More importantly, as with candidates for office and many musicians, the issue is one of continuing verifiability. Once something is included, and the facts as of date X can be proven to be verified, however trivial, if there is no significance / notability bar, the current status of many subjects will be functionally unverifiable. Who is going to check the facts when new data is added five years later to a bio of someone who failed to be elected as mayor of Pitstop, Ohio? Who will bother? The existence of a notability bar helps keep the numbers of articles down to a level where there is at least some chance that bogus claims will be spotted. I think WP:NMG, WP:BIO, WP:CORP and WP:WEB are excellent working guides as to what is, and will continue to be, verifiable.
There's also the issue of bias. We already have a bias towards the modern, a systemic bias towards Western and particularly US culture, bias towards the iconoclastic. Remove all requirement of notability and half the high school kids in the USA will add their school football heroes, while we will still have no articles on most of the Indian parliament. Let's make at least some attempt to remain an encyclopaedia, not a repository of trivia. Divert the energies of Wikipedians into refining and expanding subjects of genuine merit. And if that means deleting articles I've worked on, on subjects which are interesting to me but which are (as I know in my heart of hearts) of little global significance, then so be it. Less is more.
One last thing: I have spent half my life involved in a tangential way with music. I have met people like Yehudi Menuhin, given Ralph Downes, chatted with Evelyn Glennie, Barry Tuckwell, John Williams (guitarist) and Timothy West (and found a seat for his wife at a concert), bought beer for Jake Thackeray, sung with Sarah Walker. I have also held John Cunningham's coat while his picture was taken, wire-brushed the inlet manifolds of the first prototype DeHavilland Mosquito, been interviewed on BBC Radio 4, profiled in the Times Educational Supplement, published in the British Medical Journal, libelled by a future senior journalist on the Sunday Sport and The Sun newspapers, exchanged emails with Vincent Hannah, and met, corresponded with or worked with several hundred famous people (any red links in that list are due to systemic bias - they are all very well known in England!). I consider myself entirely unremarkable, I score under 1,000 reliable Google hits and if an article on me survived AfD right now I would leave Wikipedia. Which some people might think a good thing. - Just zis  Guy, you know? [T]/[C] AfD? 23:23, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree , too. Everyone has a different point of view as to whether someone or something is notable. Pages get put up for deletion because the person who sees it thinks "oh I never heard of that" and never gives the subject or page a chance to grow. -- Eddie 11:41, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

  • Drop notability. I would like to campaign against the obvious "Deletionists" who attempt to delete any article they have personally never heard of, and call it "not notable". It is entirely subjective, and inappropriate for a high-standard encyclopedia site. These are Admins that delete articles on the basis "I never heard of this and neither did my friends". I would like to point out that the intention of an encyclopedia is to look up something you DON'T know yet. When it is only allowed to contain information that is already widely known, it loses its purpose. What is "not notable" for one, is very notable for another. A decision on what is notable or not, cannot be made objectively, and should therefore not be made at all. Aneirin 18:50, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
  • We should keep notability as a requirement, IMO. I'm no deletionist, but do think that a serious encyclopedia should have some standards. Notability is the de facto standard for inclusion of articles. It ain't perfect, but it is a mesurable standard. It could be better defined in policy, to reduce subjectivity. Sunray 01:47, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Drop notability - or at least lower the bar. I've seen too much stuff get accused of being non-notable and removed (or proposed for removal) just because it's of interest to a narrow field of people. It seems to me that a great advantage of wikipedia over other encyclopedias is the depth and breadth we can go into. Jamse 21:52, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Keep notability. Nearly all of the current inclusion criteria are based on notability, and without notability requirements, Wikipedia would rapidly fill up with millions of useless stubs which no-one will ever edit or read. Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia, not a repository of all information ever. Every person who wanted a biographical page could presumably have one, as could every club and society and band and website ever, and we'd just end up with a ton of badly-written short articles, which would probably be largely unverifiable. If good articles are written about niche topics, which ideally present the topic at a level understandable to the average reader, then that's fine (and notability should be considered a guideline, not a hard-and-fast rule), but I don't feel that opening the floodgates to every topic ever is a good idea. -- Mithent 12:00, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Delete notability deletions. If this were to be really implemeted it would be one of the best things that has happaned to Wikipedia, but it never will be implemented for the lack of consensus. Accept it, most of our editors don't like to see articles they don't feel to be important. The fact that at least one person somehwere may find the reason to look up the article should be enough reason to keep the article, but sadly that's not how things are and they are likely to stay that way. Good luck anyway. Loom91 18:43, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

  • Notability hurts Wikipedia. In my limited experience, Notability has been used by editors with an axe to grind to remove articles about people they dislike. It is a way of suppressing useful information in order to give preference to a personal POV. Notability is too subjective. It hands a loaded gun to a child. Wikipedia is becoming increasingly crippled by the limiting view of some editors that it must model itself after paper encyclopediae, and mimic their limitations. The Notability criterion is one painful, destructive manifestation of that policy.Aminorex 02:03, 15 April 2006 (UTC)


  • Wikipedia:Countdown_deletion, which applies mostly to new articles and questions of notability and expansion possibilities.
  • Wikipedia:Preliminary Deletion, a proposal for a third category of deletion candidates, beyond the speedy delete and yet not to the level of votes for deletion.
  • a "middle ground" between "regular articles" and deletion. We should allow "locked stubs" , which means some non-notables, minor places, etc, would have a stub, with a message telling people they can't change it. Comments for "unlocking" would go on the discussion page. This would avoid "red links" which often invite attempts at undeletion. Currently, wiki "invites" people to create articles, that are simply going to be re-deleted. It also avoids the problem where what's initially an unfamous name becomes famous. Such stubs are useful to future editors to determine if links using the name (person,place,company,etc) is supposed to point to something or not. It avoids non-standard naming of "red-links" (which is a huge wiki problem). Also, "locked stubs" give an ongoing place for discusion of new information, that may change the consensus. This idea would only apply to names of real people, places, products, things, etc... that are easily verifiable, and have a conceivable hope of a future "normal article". These "locked stubs" would be quite helpful in disambiguation, present and future, for editors and readers. Generally names (person,place,thing,whatever) are not unique identifiers, and one funciton a valid link serves, is to "precisely" identify(qualify) who/what the name refers to. No external links would appear on these "locked stubs", so they would not be exploitable by link spammers.
    • Unless somebody keeps a locked stub on their watchlist (why would they do that anyway, if it's locked?) or went browsing around random pages, they'd have no way of telling if somebody wanted to add useful content to an article. One-sentence stubs can easily become full-length articles quickly. Taking away the power of users to do that would vastly curtail their ability to contribute useful knowledge on topics that we haven't covered in much detail to the encyclopedia.
  • Unsure where in the morass of discussion to put this, so other gets it. The existing administration of AfD is too complex. Having to edit three pages to submit an AfD when wikipedia is (still) so slow - especially when editing. A method of doing an AfD in one edit needs to be created. -- SGBailey 14:24, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

New Wikis[edit]

If someone creates a Wikibio, WikiMusicGroup etc. it gives people places other than Wikipedia to create articles. Maybe that will result in fewer articles of the sorts that often appear on VFD. And if articles appear on Wikipedia that are more appropriate for another wiki, those articles can be transferred to the new wiki. Fg2 03:49, August 11, 2005 (UTC)

And WikiSchoolProjects? Fg2 04:00, August 11, 2005 (UTC)
There are a few ideas at work here: (1) Even if Wikipedia doesn't want some information, maybe someone else does. (2) As long as we're not destroying information, but instead transferring it to a worthy destination, barriers to transfer from Wikipedia get lowered. (3) New communities can grow, and develop their own identities and criteria for inclusion, while Wikipedia concentrates on being an encyclopedia. Fg2 04:05, August 11, 2005 (UTC)
They're out there. Just check out Wikicities for all the wikis a person could ever want. Denni 04:07, 2005 August 11 (UTC)
Although I had in mind Wikimedia projects, unrelated commercial wikis might be ok too. But if we create wikis tailored to the types of things that are clogging VfD, we gain more control. For example, suppose we create a Wikibio, and allow anyone to post bios of themselves or their teachers or their favorite participant in online discussion groups. No matter how "non-notable," it's ok. Wikipedia then can adopt a "speedy transwiki" for all these, preserving edit history, keeping it within Wikimedia, and if someone later becomes noteworthy, copying it back. Inclusionists who almost never vote "delete" might happily vote "transwiki"; those who say "keep, Wikipedia is not paper" might relish the idea of what they perceive as a minor league of articles ready for promotion to the limelight, something no paper encyclopedia has. Fg2 22:24, August 18, 2005 (UTC)
I think the Wikibio idea is one of the best reform proposals I've seen here. It would be nice if there were a "speedy transwiki back to WP" option available as well, just to ensure that marginally notable or stub biographies can be quickly "promoted to the limelight" if someone spends more time expanding the articles/making a case for relevance. (On the other hand, we need some sort of system is resistant to a "transwiki war"; perhaps policy can be that once something is sent to WikiBio, it can't be transwiki'd back for at least a week?) Colin M. 08:50, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
This sounds like and excellent idea. A Wikifiction, for example, would remove a lot of AfDs for fictional characters and other fictional information. Questions is, though, what the boundaries would and should be. While there are relatively clear boundaries in some cases (e.g., fiction vs. reality), other categories might be much more difficult to determine. The list of wikis mentioned above is a good example. From my perspective, wikies should be mutually exclusive; to take my example, fictional characters would never find their way into Wikipedia, but be all listed in Wikifiction. Groeck 19:36, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
Holehcrap, I love that. I would love to see this implemented. purplefeltangel (talk)(contribs) 22:52, 3 October 2005 (UTC)
  • I like this idea too, but call it WikiPeople instead. We have wikis like Memory Alpha for Star Trek, so why not WikiPeople for people? Both Memory Alpha and Wikipedia have articles on Spock, but only MA has an article on subspace communication. Both Wikipedia and Wikipeople would have articles on someone like Bill Clinton but, only WikiPeople would have an article on John Doe. Of course we need to have people watching to make sure that no one uses this to vandalize the page of someone they don't like. Also, we need to have some guidelines stating how long an article needs to be, i. e. no articles that only say something like "cool dude" or the like--WolFox 02:19, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
  • New wikis are a bad idea if they are supposed to be specialist encyclopedias of whatever. There's no point making a separate wiki-encyclopedia of music, because wikipedia can be that. Instead of making a wikibio and a wikipokemon and a wikischools, acknowledge that wikipedia is already a wikieverything and use a technical method to separate general-encyclopedia material from specialist-encyclopedia material. Kappa 00:09, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
    • The intent of my suggestion was not to make specialist encyclopedias. Rather, supplemental. Taking music as an example, Wikipedia would contain articles on what the community deems worthy of inclusion. Wikimusic would be a repository for all the information that the Wikipedia community currently deletes, typically under the description "non-notable." Some Wikipedians who vote to keep articles on performers who are not yet known might be perfectly happy to vote to "transwiki" to Wikimusic, since the information is still part of the Wikimedia family. If a performer achieves recognition, the article could come back to Wikipedia. Some Wikipedians might think of Wikimusic as a minor league. If those Wikipedians previously voted to delete articles, they might have no objections to transferring articles to Wikimusic. The hope is that the proposal makes it easier for both deletionists and inclusionists (as well as people who don't identify with either philosophy) to reach agreement and create an online collection of knowledge. A slogan to describe this idea is Lower the barrier. Make it easier to reach agreement on moving information out of Wikipedia by keeping it somewhere in the Wikimedia family. At the same time, Wikimusic would give performers and fans an alternative to Wikipedia as a place to spread the word about up-and-coming groups. If some editors put new articles in Wikimusic instead of Wikipedia, it can further reduce the load on AFD. I chose Wikimusic as an example, but the same thoughts pertain to biography, schools and other categories. Fg2 00:38, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
  • What rules would these things keep, and which would they lose? Verifiability? NOR? NPOV? Not a directory? Kappa 00:53, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
    • These are good questions that the Wikipedia community, and the users of the new Wikis, would decide. Presumably, if Wikipedia were to give birth to Wikimusic (I'll continue to use that as one example), it would initially give it a set of rules, which might change. Wikimusic would decrease the load on Wikipedia's AFD if it has a much lower notability requirement, or none at all; Wikipedia seems likely to keep something like the present criteria. Would we be surprised if Wikimusic were to gain the excitement of a frontier town with less attention to rules, while Wikipedia remained the capital? Ultimately, though, the communities of users will decide, and my crystal ball is not very clear. Fg2 01:33, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
  • I would be very cautious about accepting this idea, because I see it diluting the efforts of Wikipedians. While there would be no question about finding an article about Bill Clinton in Wikipedia and Wikipeople both, articles on lesser lights may never make it to Wikipedia even though their presence there would be important. I think it would be far worse to have an article on Kevin Taft never make it to Wikipedia than it would be to deny Fred Blintz his moment in the sun. Denni 22:54, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
  • I like the idea of passing non-notable articles onto another wiki. I'd especially suggest wikicities which are add suported. This could allows all the minor bands out there to get some exposure and also generate a fair chunk of income to help keep the main encyclopedia running. --Pfafrich 23:52, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Limbo: New Namespace[edit]

We can create a new namespace within Wikipedia. Moving an article to the new namespace is sort of like putting it in limbo. Articles in the new namespace will not go out to Google and Yahoo and mirror sites, and perhaps will only be visible to logged-in registered users. After entering limbo, an article will be considered for deletion or return to the article namespace by the normal procedures. Speedily moving an article to limbo takes some of the instant gratification out of posting an unwelcome article on Wikipedia, and so might discourage some would-be posters of unwelcome articles. People who voted against criteria for speedy deletion might vote in favor of allowing administrators to speedily transfer to the new namespace. Fg2 04:00, August 11, 2005 (UTC)

The new namespace takes time pressure off of VfD since disputed articles, being less visible and being marked as part of this namespace (with a title like Limbo:Braindead (band), only visible to logged-in users), do not threaten the credibility of Wikipedia. (The namespace in the title can be made a link to an explanation.)

Links to articles in the new namespace should appear blue to logged-in users, red to others; however, clicking on a red link would bring up the edit window with the existing content pre-loaded, so that we wouldn't have multiple versions of the same article, all being considered for deletion. Fg2 01:45, August 12, 2005 (UTC)

I like that okay, but I'm sure there's some problem with it. purplefeltangel (talk)(contribs) 22:53, 3 October 2005 (UTC)
This is an interesting proposition. Ofcourse Limbo: namespace wouldn't count towards the total articles count. This would take off the huge load of VfD from Wikipedia I agree. However, if only administrators can move the article to this new namespace, it would mean more work for them. Perhaps better would be to allow anyone to move an article to limbo, but moving it back would be done by administrators, after a vote/discussion. All the articles that haven't received any attention, would be free to delete after a fixed period, like one month.
Then again, if anyone has a right to move article to limbo, this would make a perfect tool for vandals/deletionists. What if we created a new user level, like power-users, that had the right to move the article to Limbo? Privileges for this would be acquired after a certain amount of edits, like 1000? --rdnk 21:45, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
Ugh, power-users? That was originally what an admin was supposed to be. (Someone who had a low possibility of abuse, and was therefore entrusted with administrative activities.) Why create elitism among users? WP:DOESNOT have a caste system. purplefeltangel (talk)(contribs) 02:08, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
  • I think this is an excellent idea. And yes, it would be an excellent tool for deletionists. It would allow us to remove non-contributory articles out of main namespace without actually having to delete them. It would be sort of like being able to put that wretched picture Aunt Ethel gave you into the back closet yet still have it on hand if she actually came to visit. Seiously, the real issue with so many of the junk articles is that they jam up search engines, create needless disambig pages, and put Wikipedia's credibility to question. Something like this proposal would help to reduce that. Denni 23:05, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
  • I've renamed this section with the word "Limbo" in the title. If you see an article on AfD that should be removed speedily but the debate should continue at a normal pace, please feel free to remark that we could get that article out of the article namespace (so that search engines would not locate it) speedily if we adopted the Limbo proposal. Fg2 03:03, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

*The Limbo template limbo will accomplish that. Simply add the following: limbo Fg2 01:41, 11 May 2006 (UTC) to any AfD where you find it appropriate. The full text is available at Template:Limbo. Fg2 10:11, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure what implementation would be best but the general idea sounds like it might be worthwhile. - Haukur 10:26, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

  • Excellent idea. Uppland 17:53, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Excellent idea. I cringe a bit every time I see Google echoing some nonsense a prankster has entered in Wikipedia. Perhaps the burden on the administrators and the problem of deletionists could be minimized if the “Move to Limbo” action was only available on the corresponding afd page and the criterion required some number of editors (3 maybe?) to agree. That way the deletionist would have to go through a bit of effort to do it and it would be fairly obvious to an administrator if it was being abused. Ucanlookitup 00:57, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Comment: Isn't there a simpler way to accomplish this goal? I'm not too familiar with some of the tags that you can put on an article to stop search engines from indexing an article, but recall something like <meta name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow"> to stop them from indexing the article. Wouldn't it be a relatively simple procedure to add such tags to the xFD or SD template that is placed at the top of the article so the search engines know to ignore the article and its links entirely? I may be oversimplifying the technical changes required because that meta tag may actually need to be in the html header for it to take effect, but it still seems much simpler than creating a whole new bureaucracy involved with transferring articles between different namespaces and the broken links, disputes, and ongoing monitoring that would go along with it. If the article still appears within Wiki's search engines seems to be minor, once the user opens the article and sees the deletion banner at the top of the page. Neil916 21:26, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Notification of Interested Parties[edit]

When an article is added to VfD, software (a bot) reads the edit history, determines all registered users who have made edits (other than minor edits) to the article (say, within the past month or six months), and leaves a notice on their Discussion page. Fg2 06:27, August 11, 2005 (UTC)

I would anticipate some people might not like this sort of thing. If a person does this, some folks consider it ballot box stuffing. Would they still find it objectionable if done by a bot? (Note that I don't necessarily agree with that viewpoint, I'm playing devil's advocate a bit.) · Katefan0(scribble) 20:56, August 11, 2005 (UTC)
To me, it's common courtesy to notify people who work on something before you delete it. One fault of VfD is that it can be over before someone even knows the process has started. Presently, Wikipedia does not attempt to reach a consensus of the community; it only attempts to reach a consensus of the few people who know of the proposal for deletion. This would at least notify the people who have some involvement with the article, some of whom might even vote for deletion (or merging or something else). Fg2 21:49, August 11, 2005 (UTC)
But most likely, somebody who put in any work on an article will vote for keeping their own article, so Katefan0's point about ballot box stuffing will be right in most cases. Just think of all of those vanity articles written by anons armed with sockpuppets. :-) --Idont Havaname 04:19, 13 August 2005 (UTC)
But if you can recognise them as sockpuppets, then they can be discounted, and if they can not be so recognised then there is no grounds to claim that they exist.Sandpiper 00:05, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Major instruction creep. Interested parties are expected to keep the relevant pages on their watchlist, that's what it's there for. Radiant_>|< 14:00, August 12, 2005 (UTC)
    • The problem with this is that the watchlist entry shows only the result of the last edit. If three or four days pass before you check your watchlist, the article may have had several edits. I have also noticed that sometimes the articles on my watchlist seem to get edited without my being aware. I try to keep on top of it, but more than once I've gone back to one of "my" articles and found changes I was unaware of. Denni 23:09, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
    • I don't. It becomes totally unmanageable to keep an eye on every page you have contributed to, and I have only been here a few months. Most courts insist that the defendant is told about the charges and allowed to produce evidence in their own defence, which here would presumably mean the contributors.Sandpiper 00:05, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
I've got over 1200 items on my watchlist. It isn't a problem.Geni 13:40, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
Not everyone does, and it's entirely inappropriate to assume that they do or to tell them "tough crap; you shoulda done this" after they get burned. Bearcat 18:44, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
Software should do it automatically. Fg2 21:46, August 12, 2005 (UTC)
Personally, I don't see the harm. Just because someone has edited an article doesn't automatically mean they'd vote to keep. (I've done plenty of copyediting to articles that I think are not particularly article-worthy.) I also don't see the harm in campaigning for a viewpoint, and find the "ballot box stuffing" epithet that sometimes gets applied to such things to be a bit unfair. But, be that as it may, I would anticipate that many others would resist this suggestion. · Katefan0(scribble) 19:22, August 17, 2005 (UTC)

I whole-heartedly support this proposal for two reasons. First, it would serve as a regulating mechanism for the creators of large numbers of VfD'd articles, causing them to think more carefully of the quality of the articles they have created. Second, in the Image: namespace, it's customary to put a {{idw}} (image deletion warning) tag on the talk page of the uploader when an image is put on Wikipedia:Images and media for deletion. This is done largely so that the uploader can retrieve the image before it gets deleted. I think it's rather unfortunate that a text that one has worked hard on can be irretrievably deleted without notice. Why not give the same courtesy in the main namespace? Vacuum c 02:29, September 3, 2005 (UTC)

  • I think this is a great idea. purplefeltangel (talk)(contribs) 22:54, 3 October 2005 (UTC)
  • I like the idea, would limit to registered only to avoid the mess... What about adding a box to the page, next to "This is a minor edit" and "Watch this page" to "Notify for Major Events" or "Notify if Article appears on AfD" or somesuch? KillerChihuahua 17:25, 26 October 2005


  • Although the suggestion clearly has some merit, a high proportion of AfDs appear to have only one editor (i.e. this is a solution to a problem which may not be very big in the first place), and any active editor will have the article on their watchlist. I'm not opposed in principple, having (through clueless newbie syndrome) nominated long-standing articles with dozens of editors, but it does look a lot like increasing still further the number of no-consensus debates. Sometimes it's good if only disinterested parties look at the case, editors of an article are not always entirely objective about its subject. We do have a deletion review and appeal process, after all. - Just zis  Guy, you know? [T]/[C] AfD? 11:22, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Notifications to the editors of articles up for AFD would save a lot of time that would otherwise be sucked up just monitoring a long watchlist or patrolling through the AFD's. I'd rather spend that time editing & reading articles for fun. ColtsScore 18:56, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

"Keep/delete" versus "No consensus"[edit]

I may be opening up a can of worms here, but I think since this article is here, it's worthwhile to see whether the community wants to tackle some of the issues raised by User:Tony Sidaway's recent RFC over VfD closures and how some votes are interpreted by admins (see Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Tony Sidaway). Tony, who is a self-defined inclusionist, seems to prefer to count votes of merge and delete and merge and redirect as keep. But to me, the vote is clearly saying "this article doesn't belong, but the information does -- somewhere else." (See comments here specifically: Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Tony Sidaway#Outside view by User:Texture). FWIW. · Katefan0(scribble) 17:56, August 17, 2005 (UTC)

  • I'm in agreement with you. I've always assumed that my merge, redirect, or even transwiki votes, if written in full, would be phrased "This does not deserve to be an article; keep the information iff it is moved somewhere else." And as such, "binary" proposals disturb me greatly, because I don't like the idea that what I believe is a delete vote is going to be forced, either by policy or admin interpretation, to become a "keep" vote - or lead to a "no consensus" that still results in the preservation of an article I believe should be deleted. The Literate Engineer 14:49, 27 August 2005 (UTC)
    • You have completely encapsulated my opinion on the subject, except I would add that it can go in the oppostie direction too, as I have seen my merge votes tallied for a delete "consensus." The information, instead of being transfered somewhere else, completely disappears, which wasn't what my vote intended at all. So why include my vote as part of "consensus" for deletion? --Jacquelyn Marie 00:58, 12 October 2005 (UTC)
      • I think the best way to handle this ambiguity is to state your own preference in the vote itself. I'm going to propose a new shorthand here: merge or keep would work for your intent; merge or delete would work for The Literate Engineer. A vote of just merge without any qualifiers shouldn't be counted as a vote for keep or delete. Thoughts? Colin M. 01:28, 12 October 2005 (UTC)
        • I think there are three (well, four) distinct votes: Keep, delete, and redirect (either through a merge or through a transwiki). They should all be counted separately. And most definitely should a vote to merge not be counted as a vote to keep. Denni 23:12, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
    • IMHO, VfD is a way for a consensus of non-admins to make an administrator decision. It is a request for sysop assistance. The question on VfD should be, 'Is administrator help needed with this article?' The merging, moving, redirecting, or transwikiing can all be done afterward. It doesn't need to be voted on at VfD, as any user can perform the action, so it would be better discussed on the talk page. Actually, what I think would be best if VfD were to be completely overhauled is the following: A discussion would be held on the Talk page first. If necessary, a poll would be taken to assess consensus on the proper course of action (i.e. deleting, keeping, merging, redirecting, etc.) for the article. If consensus dictates one of the options that requires administrative help, a request would be posted on a certain page (Wikipedia:Requests for administrative assistance??). An administrator would verify that consensus had indeed been reached on the talk page, and then delete the article. Vacuum c 02:40, September 3, 2005 (UTC)
      • Indeed, this appears to be how the current deletion policy is already supposed to work. Under Wikipedia:Deletion policy#What to do with a problem page/image/category one of the cases where VfD is explicitly not called for is where the article in question is "such a minor branch of a subject that it doesn't deserve an article", in which case the suggested solution is to "merge the useful content into a more comprehensive article and redirect." I do this every once in a while myself without ever touching VfD or any of my admin powers. There should be no need to "enforce" this sort of thing, editors should just do it. Bryan 07:43, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

Separate deletion categories[edit]

Pages that are marked for deletion should also be marked as 'ad', 'offensive/POV content', 'poor quality' or 'vanity/not notable'.

Users should further have the opportunity to place a 'status of article is disputed' tag on the article if they feel the article isn't an ad, or whatever else, as claimed.

Deleted articles that were tagged 'Poor quality' should never be locked (as presumably the article should have an opportunity to improve). Articles that are tagged as 'vanity' should have special consideration: the notability of people, in particular, is very POV; any telling signs that a person is at least notable to some people (article edited many times, clear presence of fan base, several thousand hits on google, whatever else) should result in an automatic keep regardless of votes. 'offensive/POV content' should probably result in an automatic lock after the decision to delete. 09:24, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

Encouraging different point of view[edit]

Not everything is well resolved by a consensus of opinion. Articles tagged VFD on any grounds of a difference of opinion, should on request of the author be kept but divided into two parts to present point and counterpoint, arguments for and against the different opinions. Rktect 16:45, September 4, 2005 (UTC)

  • I agree with this point of view. There needs to be room for unpopular articles and opinions in wikipedia. Articles should be kept unless they are libellous, deliberate misinformation, or submitted only for the purpose of attempting to discredit the project. Unanimous or near unanimous consent should be required for any deletion. Arevich 20:38, 5 September 2005 (UTC)
    • NO, NO, NO! There is no room for opinion on Wikipedia. This is an encyclopedia, not an op-ed column. Nor is Wikipedia Everything2. Our purpose is not to collect articles on every bit of lint and dust in the universe. There are some things which are mercifully non-notable. Denni 23:18, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
      • WP:NPOV explicitly says that all opinions with significant support should be covered, so we really have to make room for them. Kappa 23:25, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
  • I like this. Actually, perhaps arbitration could be expanded and these sorts of things could go there. I think that place isn't utilized enough anyway.

I do think that Arevich's keeps might be a bit broad, though. Perhaps s/he simply forgot about things like copyvios. --Jacquelyn Marie 21:50, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

  • I like this too. Wikipedia should put facts first, but certain types of opinions could be included if they are clearly labelled as such. What I mean by "certain types of opinions" is that the author should not be allowed to add his own, personal opinions, but should be permitted to cite Op-Ed columns of newspapers, the websites of campaign groups, etc. provided that such citations are labelled as opinions. Now that I've abandoned the battle against "No original research", I can say that I support the inclusion of opinions provided that they do not constitute "original research". Lapin rossignol 10:37, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
To Denni: I'm simultaneously campaigning for Wikipedia to be exactly a collection of articles on every bit of lint and dust in the universe, as you put it. My vision for Wikipedia: The ultimate encyclopaedia, the ultimate website, the ultimate data bank, a one-stop destination for almost all serious, verifiable information that anyone might ever possibly want to know at any point of his or her life. There you go. Lapin rossignol 10:39, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Don't Change Anything[edit]

I'm still largely unconvinced of the existence of structural flaws that provide a need to change anything about the present deletion system. The Literate Engineer 04:25, 8 September 2005 (UTC)

  • No criticism, but you have not been here long enough to know when articles for deletion all fit on one page. Now there are more in just one day than the whole list used to be. Wikipedia has outgrown the old process. Denni 04:30, 2005 September 11 (UTC)
    • That may be so, but the current process has a resonable amount of protection against type I error. Klonimus 04:59, 14 September 2005 (UTC)
      • Sorry, I'm not sure what your point is. Denni 01:44, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
  • I disagree. The current process, at the very least, is very cumbersome. While it only takes a few seconds to create an article, it takes three steps to just submit the entry for AfD, a substantial amount of research by several people, and the action of an admin to actually remove it (or to remove the AfD tag). This is a very unbalanced approach which needs to be fixed. Groeck 19:41, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Reply to Denni's concern: maybe there are more AfD in one day than there used to be in a week. But how does that compare to the total number of editors? If there AfD backlog is 10x what it was a couple years ago, but there are also 10x the amount of editors than there were a couple years ago, there's no problem -- each individual AfD still gets enough attention. The fact that it's now practically impossible for a single editor to keep track of everything in AfD is not really a problem. I'm sure that if you went back far enough, it used to be possible for a single editor to keep track of every change made to Wikipedia. The fact that Wikipedia has grown so much that such a thing is no longer possible is a benefit, not a drawback. Colin M. 01:16, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

Three proposals[edit]

1. The proposal was made above to get rid of the AfD page in favor of a "proposed for deletion" category. This is a good proposal. There are three problems with it, however:

a. There is (AFAIK) no way to list in a category the current vote count, which would be good.
b. The category would be freakin huge!
c. Additions to categories don't show up on watchlists (changes to AfD also don't currently show up on watchlists, which is bad).

2. We all know Wikipedia is not a Democracy. AfD and CfD, however, are. I can randomly add Keep or Delete to any article listing I want, with no justification. This is bad.

a. Maybe requiring a really, really good reason (with some explanation of what constitutes a really, really good reason) for an article to even appear on AfD is a good idea. Admins can watch for new additions and decide if the listing has a really, really good reason. If not, the listing is removed and a note sent to its author.
b. Maybe we should automatically not count votes that only say Keep or Delete (or Whatever). Only votes with some rationale get counted. In fact, maybe "Keep, same as so-and-so" and "Delete, same as above" type votes should be removed, too. Only votes where something is actually contributed to the discussion count.
c. It was proposed above that maybe extending Admin powers to a sort of judiciary level might help to solve this problem. The voters make their cases and the Admin (with supposed impartiality) then makes the final decision.

3. It happens (all to often in my experience) that an article gets listed on AfD (actually, I've seen it happen more often on CfD) and I have no idea, despite the fact that its on my watchlist and I'm interested. So increasing the amount of notification that happens when an article gets listed may be a good thing.

a. The "this article is listed for deletion" template must accompany all listings. If not (with a given period of time), the listing gets removed. If the lister wants to add it again, this time adding the template to the article, that's fine.
b. Whether its through a page or a category, some way of seeing that AfD has changed (that someone has added an article) would be good.
c. I'm wondering if there might be a way to include the AfD votes in the article's talk page. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the current AfD page uses some fancy templating to list the votes in one place. Would it be possible to just copy the template's info onto the article's talk page? (Let me know if I'm not being clear here.) This would increase the visibility of the AfD process, and also make it easier to participate.
d. There are several active Wikipedian "groups" that sort of claim articles. Maybe adding an article's talk page to a group's category could serve as notification that that group has interest in that article, and then the group would also need to be notified (automatically, preferrably) when an article is added to AfD.

-Seth Mahoney 22:24, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

Regarding #2... I was under the impression that the keep or delete votes with no rationale were not counted with the same weight as ones with rationales anyway -- because it is indeed not a democracy. And I personally think that agree with someone else's rationale as written is not a problem. Why is it a problem if someone seconds someone else? It's a signal to the administrators that others endorse that particular way of thinking, which I do think should be taken into account. Regarding #3... I also agree that more notification is a good idea, and I like all of the suggestions you put forth. --Jacquelyn Marie 00:54, 12 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Re: #2 - agree with Jacquelyn Marie. Point a): I think a good reason must be given, but must it be a "realy, really good reason"? Point b): A vote is a vote. And even if voters were required to justify their votes, it's unfair to expect each voter to come up with a unique reason. How many different ways are there to say "no Google hits" or "non-notable bio"? Point c): This is administration creep, and goes against the wiki principle. We already separate admins from regular users; I think creating yet another layer would be unwise. Denni 23:38, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

Making combined AFDs mandatory[edit]

I suggest that when a bunch (10+ maybe) are submitted for deletion by the same nominator for the same reason, and the articles are of the same type, there should be a requirement that they be grouped up for a combined vote. This would avoid clogging things up with separte AFDs where people are likely to vote the same way. This seems to already be done voluntarily, and effectively, for things like streets, fictional characters, unofficial neighborhoods, songs, and other things. It is quite obviously not done for schools. Bulk AFDs could potentialy also be a problem in other areas, where there's controversy over deletion. Instead of voting the same way 20 times in 20 AFDs, let use vote once in an AFD for 20 articles. Now, currently, this approach is an option of the nominator. But, I think it should be mandatory in cases meeting a certain criteria. This approach would benefit all sides. Votes wouldn't be won by who's prepared to nominate and/or vote the most number of times. In the odd case where a group-vote is inappropriate, people could could simply vote to quickly ungroup. Deletionists will be happy that they can remove "spam creation" of article stubs. Inclusionists will be happy they can stop "spam nominations". Closers will be happy they don't have to re-count the same person's votes 20+ times in a day (where each vote is usually the same, but can't assumed to be). Everybody would save lots of time. It would also avoid lots of redundant arguements in AFDs, which often become uncivil. --rob 05:30, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

  • Sure. I do this a lot myself. Easy enough to make it a requirement. purplefeltangel (talk)(contribs) 02:14, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

The con of this is that a voter's opinion of the individual articles won't necessarily be the same as that of the nominators. As a voter, I might decide that 3 of 4 articles should be deleted, but the 4th should be kept. If we have to vote "in block", than I'd have to vote keep as that one keep would outweigh the three deletes. If we allow vote by article, than each person's votes would still need to be tallied. Counting a person's votes by article might actually be harder in this case as the admin will have to correlate the votes to the entries ("I vote delete for 1,2,4,6; keep for 3,5,7; redirect for 8" - okay, a bit of an exaggeration, but possible).

I do think bunching has a place in particular cases. I think that if a pattern of contentious nominations are observed, than there should be a way to group them together for consistency. School Afds and the recent "List of [religion|ethnic] [occupation]" Afds are a prime example. These are items that probably should have a consistent outcome and would the community would be better served if a policy was established vs. repeating the same contentious arguments over and over. -- JLaTondre 15:53, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

This is a lovely idea, but for one thing. POV-bearers will find it easy to create 19 utterly crap articles, add to their list the 20th (with which they have POV issues), and then look for the combined vote to acheive their ends. Given, then, that recreation of a deleted article earns speedy delete, but creation of an article with new content under an old title is permitted, they can also stand ready with their POV article, ready to insert it (as totally new material) as soon as the one they opposed gets deleted. Wiki-warring in the extreme. -- SockpuppetSamuelson 13:29, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

  • new suggestion: their needs to be someone managing the "to be deleted" and should have the ability to stop deletion requests for the page and mark it "enstablished" and if the document is to be deleted, just place a notification on the page, and provide relevent replacement links... once a page is "established" it cannot be deleted... or removed. they become the stone on which the rest is linked too... just a thought - hope i didn't make a edit in a place i shouldn't have. --Dsgncr8or 22:59, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Start a new wikipedia where admins cannot delete articles[edit]

Best way to stop all the admins who sit around and just delete but never contribute articles. (unsigned by User:

(There's no need to propose a new Wikipedia here; you're free to start it without getting consensus from this one.)
Who would delete articles if not admins? --A D Monroe III 01:50, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
Isn't it obvious :: User: on behalf of All Right-Minded People and the Moral Majority ?? -- SockpuppetSamuelson 13:30, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
Not entirely ridiculous, wikia allows the setting up of new wikis and if sufficient people were interested a wiki for non-notable bands would be quite popular. --Salix alba (talk) 16:38, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Extend AfD beyond just deleting[edit]

Many have said that nothing needs to be done; AfD is perfect. But I wonder why no one has proposed this before.

Why limit the system to just deleting pages?

Adding sections, changing wording, splitting articles, replacing articles, and so on, could all be handled by a system like AfD. Perhaps we should go all the way, and start AfE (Articles for Editing)? Make it so only admins can edit articles. If a common user wants to make a change to an article, they first propose the change on AfE. Other common users review this, add comments to the proposal, and vote yea or nay. If a few days, an admin reviews this, and resolves it as he or she sees fit.

Yes, I know about WP:POINT, but I'm serious. Although I don't think AfD is the best way, I don't think AfD is truly broken. Shouldn't we use the best system available to handle all article changes? I would continue to support Wikipedia if it adopted AfE, even as a lowly non-editing user who can only vote on AfE. I'm just asking if this is the Wikipedia we all want? I'll go with the majority.

--A D Monroe III 15:42, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

  • And thus we lose the main purpose of Wikipedia. Way to go. Just remember -- Nupedia did not work. If this kind of policy was implemented on Wikipedia, many people would be very angry and leave. We would lose an extremely important portion of our userbase, that is, the anonymous user. And adminship would be far too powerful. The purpose of adminship as it stands right now is to make administrative changes that have a high potential for abuse by other users. Edits do not have high abuse potential. On average, vandalism on Wikipedia is deleted within five minutes. [1] By losing users who like Wikipedia the way it is and losing the anonymous community, what do we have left? Not that I think anyone else would take this proposition seriously, but I really want to set you straight here. purplefeltangel (talk)(contribs) 02:06, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
  • By removing the right of all to edit, we deny the fundamental principle of a wikipedia. The whole point is that anyone can edit an article, and that no one stands higher than anyone else in the creation and manipulation of articles. There are those, in fact, who dispute the right of admins to be the only ones able to delete articles, and argue this should be an action anyone can perform as well. Even if it were possible to retract the right of non-admins to edit, Purplefeltangel is correct in hir analysis. A very large number of people would leave the project, and my guess is it would be the end of Wikipedia.
Regarding your proposal for an AfE, such already exists, though in more than one place. Category:Wikipedia articles needing copy edit and Wikipedia:Cleanup are just two places to go to find articles which have been identified as needing assistance. Traditionally, AfD has been the last stop for articles which have already been through a cleanup process but still lack the depth or polish necessary for inclusion in Wikipedia. Denni 00:21, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

24 hour delay of voting and robot makes AFD sub-page[edit]

This might be impossible, but here's hoping: I would like to change the process, so that when nominating, one just puts in an "AFD" tag in article, with a paramater for the nomination reasoning. The sub-page would not be created immediately. A robot, 24-48 hours later (during off-peak hours) would create the listing and sub-page for the AFD discussion. The initial 24 hours would give article editors a chance to improve the article, putting in information about notability and providing citations, before people start voting (though the nomination would count as a delete vote). Currently, I think its absurd how so much of the effort to keep articles is done in the AFD sub-page, with citations showing notability, and often this info is never put in the article itself. Really, keepers should show why an article's subject is notable by editing the article itself. The article, not the AFD, is what should justify an article's existence. This would also avoid the problem where half the votes of an AFD are for an old version, and half are for a fixed version with relevant new information. --rob 19:12, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

  • Agreed definitely, especially with the "provide a reason within the AfD template" part. purplefeltangel (talk)(contribs) 21:12, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
  • I agree as well. Absolutley fantastic idea. I might even propose that the delay be even longer: maybe 3, 5, even 7 days. Wandering oojah 22:46, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Agree. Excellent idea. And if the article is improved in the first 24 hours such that the reason for deletion is no longer valid, what happens? I think letting *anyone* remove the AFD tag would lead to abuse (I can definitely see edit wars happening here), but maybe the person who originally added the tag should be allowed to remove it if he/she can be convinced that the article has been improved to the point where a deletion vote is no longer necessary? Colin M. 04:13, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
  • I oppose - Not on the grounds that it is a terrible idea. Rather I just don't think it will make any difference. People don't improve an article based on the article VfD tag. Very few people see it until it has a VfD subpage. A better suggestion would be to create the VfD subpage and lock it for 24 to 48 hours before voting starts. Then it would get a day or two of public exposure prior to voting. Not creating the subpage guarantees that no one will find it. - Tεxτurε 14:34, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
    • Then wouldn't that be agree with modifications? purplefeltangel (talk)(contribs) 20:01, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
      • Hmm. I guess I'm undecided on my own suggestion... I think this (both ideas) isn't the solution but I don't have anything else. - Tεxτurε 20:47, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
    • I think the core of my idea is a) 24+ hour dealy from nomination to voting b) an automated (e.g. robot) method is used to create the sub-page and listing, instead of the laborious manual approach. If the same goals can be accomplished in a better way, that would be fine with me. Also, please consider, a category with the tag would help people find the pages. --rob 20:30, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
  • I think this is an excellent idea. It will reduce the concerns that "my article went on AfD five minutes, five minutes after I created it." I think it's fair to say, too, that the bulk of the work on an articles is probably done by the original author within the first 24-48 hours. After that, it may or may not get attention from other authors on a much longer time frame. Certainly, by the 48 hour point it is fair to expect an article to shit or get off the pot. Denni 23:46, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

Revised idea: Delay voting at least 24 hours[edit]

I think my original idea might have mixed up too much stuff. I would like to discuss a single idea: Delay voting for at least 24 hours after nomination. Force article defenders to put proof of notability/signficance in the article itself (not arguements in the AFD), and spend their time improving the article, rather than arguing why it should be kept in the AFD. Let voters see revised version before they vote. If article isn't revised, than that too can be factored into voting. --rob 20:53, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

Yes, that one I like.--inksT 20:56, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
Me too. Support. --Jacquelyn Marie 00:50, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

Limit the creation of orphans[edit]

This would reqire a softwear change (ok it could to a degree be done by editing mediawiki:nogomatch) but no matter. The idea is that it shows that any article would have at least two people who think it should exist and probably have at least some degree of interest in mentaining it. It also suggests that at least something about the article should be posible to verify. Finaly it makes it greatly strenghens merge as an option. I belive that this would greatly decrease the number of articles hitting AFD (and probably speedy and copyvio as well) and make it much less likely that those that did would get deleted.

There are of course problems with this: Redirects. I'm really not sure what to do about this one. While a fancy softwear solution might cover it it is a killer at the present time People creating links then articles. This looses you the two people interested thing. Can be delt with by makeing a policy to disscourage this except in the case of breaking news or lists more than a few weeks old.Geni 13:00, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

There are more problems with this as well.
  1. Sock puppets, or groups of people, can still make articles
  2. Someone with interest in the article may not be able to express interest because they can't find the article.
  3. Someone who knows of the topic and finds it notable might not care to look to find the article because they're busy working on other articles.
Basically, this makes a place for people to go to and look over articles for inclusion and most articles are hardly notable to most people, so it wouldn't be very popular. glocks out 20:56, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

Votes for new pages[edit]

Instead of voting to delete 80% of new pages created (no source on that number because I made it up), why don't we have a vote to create new pages? Or, allow unlimited new pages without vote (like now), but have new pages automatically not indexed (thus not showing up in google) until they're voted live? So many of our rfds are 1st day for an article. Would be great to stem the tide. Tedernst 23:12, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

  • Nowhere near 80% of new pages end up on AfD. I don't know the exact numbers, but I do know how many articles show up on a daily basis, of which somewhere between a hundred and 150 hit AfD (that also includes older articles people have stumbled across and submitted). Voting new articles in instead of out would vastly increase the workload (though I personally think the idea has merit in theory).
  • Well, it could certainly reduce the ability of people to push their pet obsessions as encyclopedia (conspiracy theorists, anyone?), but much as I'd love to vote against articles about high schools and television episodes before they got started, I'm not certain that pre-approving articles would be much more successful at keeping out such unacceptable quasi-articles. And it would certainly make it harder to get rid of things later on. The Literate Engineer 02:47, 3 November 2005 (UTC)
  • I agree with The Literate Engineer. We don't need any red tape in creating new articles; we already have enough areas with significant backlogs, and voting against new articles being created allows the voters to censor what gets put into Wikipedia much more than AfD does, as this would be examining all new articles. WP is not censored. --Idont Havaname 03:03, 3 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Rather than voting againt new articles, maybe we should restrict their creation, by saying you have to edit an article (or articles), before you create one. I know my idea will be unpopular, but we do need something to prevent problem articles *before* they're made. Always waiting till after isn't practical, given the massive number of new articles, including many made by people who have never seen wiki markup in their life. It seems, many of the really terrible articles created are made by people who never contributed to any other article, and probably aren't ready to make an article. --rob 03:16, 3 November 2005 (UTC)
    • This sounds to me like a good idea. I have been wondering on ways on how to be sure that a user has read the "minimum" how-to's or welcome pages _before_ articles creation. This "must edit before create" could be a way. I know, this would detter genuine editors, this could be circumvented. But... either way that would add a little delay before new article, make it a little not so-very-easy. Gtabary 22:40, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Okay, it was a brainstorm, get it? Anyway, so that won't fly. What about a system where an administrator has to approve a new article before it's indexed. It can stay in the encylopedia and be worked on, but before it goes "live" on google, one administrator (any one, doesn't matter who) has to approve it? Would this stem the tide in Afd? That's what I'm working on here. Any merit here? Tedernst 05:39, 3 November 2005 (UTC)
    • I think that this gives sysops special editing privilege, as opposed to just having technical ability, which goes against the fundamental grain of Wikipedia. A1kmm 10:17, 3 November 2005 (UTC)
    • Wouldn't that add again some more work load ? AFAIU there is a need of alleviating this load. I don't see a way but to slow down the incomming data at entry time not later. Anyway, this brainstorming is interesting. :-) Gtabary 22:40, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I disagree with voting for page creation on the grounds that it is un-wikilike. However, I would not be so strongly opposed to allowing reversible speedy deletion by anyone within the first 48 hours(i.e. anyone can delete or undelete new articles if they get to them in time. Of course 3RR would apply, and perhaps it can only be deleted once, except self-undeletes, before having to go to AfD). A1kmm 10:12, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

Abuse of Process[edit]

If you want to really consider reform you need to hear the voices of people who have been abused by the editing process by the admins here. If you don't open up a forum where people who are not insiders can really tell you what you need to fix you aren't going to have reform. The reform process here has the illusion of being open but it is really a closed discussion among insiders. If you want real opinion you might want to do a Google search on "Wikipedia Sucks" or some similar phrase and see what people in the real world are saying about the process. You need to listen to the outside world. --Anonymous

For information, this contrib was by 03:59, 3 December 2005 . -- Hello. No one is insider here. Getting an id takes 1 minute, is free, do not need an email AFAIR. All voices are welcomed, but a non identified voice has mechanicaly less impact for it shows a likely ignorance of the system. Please log in. And always sign with ~~~~ even when not logged in.  ;-) Bye. Gtabary 22:23, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
There are definitely insiders here. Here's an example of what one of the insiders did and how the notability process is abused. In this case the abuser insists the Church of Reality has but a single member. Clearly this is not the case but as this abuser states, the religion has only one member.--Marcperkel 19:00, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Something to consider. Association of Deletionist Wikipedians makes people not want to waste their time posting here. --Marcperkel 23:10, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Nonsense. First, ADW is an association in name only. It has no charter, takes no actions, and does not solicit its members for anything. I make my own decisions about which articles I support and which I do not. Second, just because I am a deletionist does not mean I don't vote to keep articles. My only small requirement is that they have something valuable to say. If I make people who contribute trash not want to "waste their time" contributing, then I'm satisfied. Denni 01:07, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
The deletionist position also promotes the behaviour of deletionists who destructively vacate the good work of people who invest time developing good articles. The solution to bad articles is to edit them, not to delete them. The deletion mechanism primarily serves to provide cover for censorship attacks on unpopular information. Aminorex 02:12, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

My idea for deletion[edit]

Alright, why not run my idea up the flagpole and see who salutes it, eh? Here goes.

Firstly - Deletion authority could be decentralized by topic. One that comes to mind is numismatics - so for example, articles squarely within that topic come under the authority of persons empaneled to "hear" cases of deletion. (I'll use some judicial metaphors, since I think that's a somewhat good way of looking at the process - adversarial system and all.) If those empaneled to hear numismatics deletion cases vote decisively one way or another, the decision sticks but may be appealed to a higher level deletion authority (perhaps a standard afd process - although there should be an impartial group who decides whether or not the appeal will be granted, as to prevent this from happening every time. Perhaps a panel of three deletionists, three inclusionists, and one neutral, who are the gatekeepers for this process.)

Secondly - Rather than decentralizing by area, AFDs can be decentralized in a somewhat random fashion. Here's how it might work: some users, trusted and experienced, comprise a deletion panel to whom AFDs are assigned at random. Input from the public is accepted, but the panel members' votes carry greater weight. This also may be appealed to a similar panel who will review the first decision.

These ideas probably sound cumbersome and inefficient, but I would be more than happy to further explain, should anyone be interested in them. Paul 15:14, 7 December 2005 (UTC)


Notify users who have edited a page that it is being AfDd . Rich Farmbrough. 22:00, 27 December 2005 (UTC) Perhaps via a preference setting. Rich Farmbrough. 22:28, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

For a related discussion, see Wikipedia:Deletion_reform/Brainstorming#Notification of Interested Parties above Fg2 06:55, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Burden of proof[edit]

It seems to me that the issue is not where the process is taking place but who the burden of proof lies with. The burden of proof currently lies with the supporters of the articles in question. The issue at hand is that in some cases when dealing with living people or existing companies someone nominates it for deletion without proof that it should be deleted. Quoting Jimbo "I think one of the core problems here is that the original nominator should have raised the issue on the talk page of the article!!! We have gotten to a cultural state where ‘Gee, I never heard of this’ seems to be a good enough excuse to nominate something for deletion, RATHER THAN raising legitimate issues on the talk page first to see if anyone can help improve the article." I think the real issue is that the people nominating it for deletion should carry the burden of proof.

Talking on a talk page could help solve this issue, but it won't stop every case where someone nominates a page for deletion without first providing adequate proof that it should be deleted. Requiring discussion on the talk page might not be enough. If the articles subject is truly not notable then maybe no one will take part in the talk? The real solution is to ensure the burden of proof lies with the person nominating the article for deletion. We should come up with a test or rules to ensure that this burden of proof has been met. Before an article is considered for deletion by an admin, it should be asked if there is any reason to delete the page beside the argument "I've never heard of it." What I mean by this is there should be a well laid out argument like: A is proven to be fake OR bad source OR etc... and here is the proof B, C and D. If a good argument has not been made for the deletion of an article, an admin should deny the request for deletion (regardless of the votes) and direct opponents to the article to discuss the issues on the talk page of the article.

Anyway, I’m not saying this is the best solution, but some process like this could stand to help prevent the deletions of articles without proper consideration. Just one last thing, by admins first checking to see if the deletion request meets the burden of proof test, we can prevent some issues with sock-puppet votes.

mbecker 21:24, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

While I tend to agree with all this, of course, I wanted to just throw in one other caution. Tom Rubython was garbage when it first appeared and the first reaction was for some volunteer to tag it with 'wikify' and 'verify', when instead it should have been deleted on site as an obvious hatchet job. We want to be careful with our redesign of process here to make sure that everyone feels empowered to take swift action against bad content, while at the same time avoiding pointless AfD debates. If the volume could be reduced on AfD substantially, then the rancor, bad decisions, and general depressingness of the entire process could get a lot better I think. --Jimbo Wales 22:13, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
The problems MB and Jimbo present are different facets of the same shortcoming: that judgement, discernment, and discretion are all too often missing from the deletion process. I would expect that Tom Rubython was not deleted because it didn't fall within WP:CSD and all too many admins have been criticized for "out of process deletions" of material that, though clearly garbage, is not within the very objective and narrow criteria at WP:CSD. The ass hook episode is a perfect example of this; a new user (or perhaps an anon, I can't remember) created an article there that was short on facts and long on speculation and nonsense. It was deleted promptly be a new admin, who was then publicly criticized by User:Tony Sidaway for deleting a legitimate article and not following WP:CSD. The ass hook article ended up on VFD and was ultimately moved to butt hook because there was no consensus for deletion, and the new admin quit deleting articles except when they met the letter of CSD. The other side of this, of course, is that there are those admins who just like to delete stuff, and they go around zapping things that meet CSD without concern for whether or not there might actually be some wisdom in leaving the article alone. We can't legislate cluefulness, but there is a lot we can do to encourage it, starting with changing the adminship criteria so as to value insight over edit volume, or rewording the highly prescriptive WP:CSD to give admins wider latitude.
As for "burden of proof," I believe that we adopt legalese only at our peril. In marginally notable topics, proof is elusive. Better that we assume good faith and, beyond that, consider the track record of the contributor. The Uninvited Co., Inc. 18:08, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
All this debate about AfD process is just the completely wrong approach (hence my suggestion currently at the top of this page #Add "page_dead" flag). If, via the mediawiki software, a delete could be made to be just as reversible as any other edit, then a delete should generate no more discussion than any other major edit. If a user wanted to delete something, then let them! That is surely the spirit of a wiki. To those who would object that it gives users too much power, it would be no more power than currently exists today, since any user can delete all the content within a page. The only difference is that today the software does not support a smooth delete/revert delete system. Brusselsshrek 20:13, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Dennis Kucinich has had a near-storybook political career, and is currently the elected co-chair of the largest Dem caucus in Congress. Yet during the 2003-04 presidential campaign he was treated as though he was maybe the dogcatcher in East Treestump Nebraska who got the job by nepotism. He was treated, in fact, as being non-notable.

As long as there are people who unashamedly choose political partisanship or their ego above dispassionate honesty, subjective criteria such as 'notable' will be weapons, not tools. Katzenjammer 18:41, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Tiered procedures for AFD[edit]

If a lot of the volume of AFD's is for articles that only have one editor (and those mostly get deleted), then what about a tiered policy based on # of editors, age of the article, or some combination?

  • Advantages
  • helps streamline the process so more established articles get more attention
    • AFD discussions could be left open longer based upon # of editors or age of the article
  • Disadvantages
  • encourages sockpuppetry
    • (then again, it might make it easier to collect evidence of such activity)
  • longer discussions with many participants get unweildy

Use delegable proxy to get a better sense of what the outcome would have been had more users participated[edit]

We can use a delegable proxy system, in which each user can appoint another user to represent him in deletion debates if he doesn't participate himself. If your proxy doesn't participate, then your proxy's proxy can participate on behalf of both of you. As more and more users designate proxies, the proxy expansion will begin to reflect how the community as a whole might have acted in that debate. It is quite simple to implement using a Wikipedia:Delegable proxy/Table proxy table, which can be copied into a spreadsheet and combined with data from a parsed AfD to generate analyses. Ron Duvall (talk) 15:56, 15 February 2008 (UTC)