Wikipedia:Deletion reform/Proposals/Uncontested deletions

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A proposal for deletion reform. Please fix any mistakes. Substantive changes should only be made after discussion on the talk page.

Uncontested deletions[edit]

Relevant problems[edit]

  • AFD overload – the are 1,000+ nominations per week and growing. AFD will not upscale with Wikipedia.[1]
  • Effort imbalance – unencyclopaedic articles can take a moment to create but, if not speedable, take disproportionate effort to remove (i.e. tag, create page, list, voting debate, close, delete).


  • According to Dragonsflight’s 100 days survey, 58.2% of all AFD nominations resulted in uncontested deletions. No one, not even the creator, voted to keep those articles.
  • The AFD overload, and the effort involved in AFD nominations, leads to pressure for broadening speedy criteria (or worse speedying out of process).[2]

The proposal[edit]


To provide a simple process to delete 'uncontested' nominations without recourse to AFD, whilst retaining the ability for editors to scrutinise deletions.
To reserve AFD for 'contested' deletions where a full debate is required. (Perhaps renaming AFD 'Contested Deletions'.)

The process

  1. Any editor may tag an article with {{proposedelete|20 Oct 2005}} (or {{pd}}) (preferably giving reasons on the talk page) [3]. The tag will place the article in a 'deletion category’ for that date, if the tag remains in place continuously for a specified number of days (say 5/7/14?) the article can be deleted by an admin.
  2. Any editor may dispute the proposed deletion by sending the article to 'contested deletions' (operating as per current AFD), or by simply removing the proposal tag (giving reasons on the talk page).

The small print[edit]

  1. Nominations for deletion that are obviously going to be controversial may still be sent straight to 'contested deletions'.
  2. Tags may be removed without sending to ‘contested deletions’. However, once removed, they may not be reapplied by original nominator, the only option shall be to re-nominate as a 'contested deletion'.
  3. If retagged by another editor, the deletion date is reset.
  4. Closing admins shall ensure the tag has remained constantly for the specified period.
  5. No article that has in the past survived a 'contested deletion/AFD' nomination may be deleted by this method.

Vandalism provisions[edit]

One problem may be with vandals de-tagging (perhaps simply by blanking the article). To allow for this, tags may be reapplied without the date reset if reapplied within 12 hours of removal, and no reason has been given (in the talk page, or edit summary) for the removal.

Safeguards against good articles being deleted[edit]

  1. Any editor, coming across the article during the specified period or having it on a watchlist, can remove the tag - or send to 'contested deletions'.
  2. Tagged articles will appear in the deletion category for that date - any editor may patrol this and remove tags.
  3. Closing admins must check that tags have been continually on articles for the entire period, but may still elect to send the article to 'contested deletion' if they see merit in the article.
  4. Certain categories of articles (e.g. schools) could perhaps be agreed as being always ‘contested’.
  5. Editors who contest the deletion after it was deleted can, as normal, list the article at Wikipedia:Deletion review
  6. AFD/'disputed deletions' would be limited to nominations of articles where tags had been removed, or which were of a nature that was fundamentally controversial.


  • Relatively simple.
  • Less time consuming to delete uncontroversial articles
  • Could reduce AFD load by up to 60%, ensuring proper scruting for remaining nominations.
  • Ensures scrutiny for uncontested deletions (at least more so than with speedies)
  • Should be 'impact neutral' on notability deletions (otherwise no consensus will be possible)

Impact on notability deletions[edit]

This proposal is designed to have no impact on notability questions. 'Inclusionists' would be able to check tagged articles in the categories and remove the tags. In practice, those wishing to nominate on grounds of notability would usually send the article straight to 'contested deletions' - as notability nominations will (almost) always be disputed.


  1. ^ Of course, one might say 'who cares'. It has often been noted that, in terms of inclusionist/deletionist wars, the inability of AFD to stem the flow of 'low-notability' articles means that the inclusionists win by default (see e.g. [4]). But AFD also weeds out unverifiable, hoax, near-nonsense, POV fork, and other unacceptable articles. Thus, its inability to upscale is not only a problem for deletionists. Reform is needed even if notability were dismissed as a grounds for deletion. In any case, notability may be something of a sideshow in terms of the AFD overload, on October 2nd, Snowspinner deleted 16 AFD nominations on grounds of 'notability invalidity' (at least 4 of which could have been nominated under other headings). There were 130 nominations that day. Ergo, 80%+ of AFD’s work does not concern notability (anecdotal admittedly).
  2. ^ Speedy creep is dangerous, A7 is already fairly (perhaps too) subjective, and more expansions are likely to be more so. But perhaps more worryingly, existing criteria are being pushed to catch ‘common sense’ deletions – which don’t fit careful rules. It is currently easier to tag nonsense, which is not patent, or things like advertising, with {{d}} and hope an admin will be flexible, than to go through the full AFD process. Increasing speedies answers the ‘deletion imbalance’, but can leave subjective and practically unscrutinised deletions.
  3. ^ Tagging should produce a boilerplate such as:
This article has been proposed for deletion on [date], and may be deleted after 14 days. Please see talk for reasons. This tag may be removed if disputed, but if the issue becomes contested the [contested deletion ] procedure should be followed.


All discussion on the discussion page please.