User:Northamerica1000/Eager to delete

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"Eager beaver" says "don't be too hasty regarding deletion matters."
Hasty pudding is nice, but hasty deletion can be unsavory to Wikipedia.

There are many valid reasons for deletion, but at times, Wikipedia users may be a bit too eager or hasty to delete articles, content within articles, and other pages. This can create problems in terms of Wikipedia's accuracy as a whole, problems in the factual accuracy of content within individual articles, and even problems in other areas, such as when content on transcluded pages is deleted without first checking how it affects pages that the content is transcluded to!

Articles[edit]

Alternatives to deletion[edit]

Sometimes article deletion nominations occur without consideration regarding various Alternatives to deletion that have been in place for years. This phenomenon has occurred among seasoned veteran editors as well as new editors. The alternatives to deletion are common-sense directives that are a part of Wikipedia's policies, and should be considered.

Preliminary source searching[edit]

Users may not always perform due diligence WP:BEFORE source searches to objectively determine potential topic notability or lack thereof, despite the fact that per WP:NEXIST, topic notability is not based upon the state of sourcing within articles. Rather, notability is based upon the availability of significant coverage in independent, reliable sources. Time and time again, articles are nominated for deletion based only upon the state of sourcing within articles (e.g. "delete: article only has one source"). This is sometimes corrected by users that provide sources in AfD discussions, which are sometimes easily found using the Google News and Google Books in the {{Find sources AFD}} template.

Not all topics are notable, but WP:BEFORE source searches are important to prevent articles about notable topics from unwarranted deletion. In instances when a topic is actually notable, but its corresponding article is nonetheless deleted for lacking notability, the encyclopedia suffers, and is made inferior.

Not a paper encyclopedia[edit]

Another type of misconception that can lead to hasty deletion is the notion that Wikipedia should emulate the style of print encyclopedias. However, per WP:NOTPAPER, Wikipedia is a digital encyclopedia project, rather than a paper encyclopedia. As such, Wikipedia is not bound by the same constraints as a paper encyclopedia, or even most online encyclopedias. In print encyclopedias, some topics are only covered briefly, but Wikipedia can include more information, provide more external links, and update more quickly.

Subjective opinion[edit]

Personal opinion about notability can also be problematic, such as when a user feels that a topic is non-notable based upon their subjective opinion about a topic, rather than upon Wikipedia's notability guidelines. If a user does not like the topic or topical focus of an article, this does not necessarily mean that a topic is inherently non-notable. Some users may eschew notability guidelines entirely, and instead rely upon their gut instincts regarding the notability of various topics.

Drive-by !votes[edit]

Users occasionally contribute to AfD discussions in a rapid "drive-by" manner, !voting in succession in multiple AfD discussions over a very short period of time. This can be a potential indicator of subjective evaluation regarding topic notability, or that sources may not have actually been read or examined.

Article content[edit]

Article degradation[edit]

Users sometimes perform hasty edits that remove large amounts of content from Wikipedia articles, providing an insufficient, generic edit summary summarizing their edits, but ultimately lacking a valid qualification for the content removal. Sometimes users provide no edit summary at all. Hasty content removal can be problematic in terms of removing key information about a topic that should naturally be in an article, which can make an article inferior, and even ambiguous or confusing. This can also have an unintended effect of making articles outdated.

Citation errors[edit]

Content blanking can create significant referencing problems and errors in articles, such as when a named reference used more than once in an article becomes orphaned. This creates a citation error, whereby a named citation has no corresponding text for the reference. When this occurs, an article's verification becomes flawed, and an error message automatically appears in the References section. This type of error can sometimes exist for months or even years in articles.

Primary sources[edit]

Sometimes content is removed per being based upon WP:PRIMARY sources. However, while secondary sources are preferred, primary and tertiary sources can be used in articles to properly verify simple descriptive statements of facts that can be verified by any educated person with access to the primary source but without further, specialized knowledge. Furthermore, sometimes a secondary source can be easily found in an internet search, which can then be used to replace or backup a primary source.

After AfD discussions[edit]

Rapid content removal sometimes occurs after an AfD discussion has concluded, whereby users may blank content from an article after the AfD discussion closes with a result contrary to their desired result. This can occur for a variety of reasons.

When in doubt[edit]

When in doubt about nominating an article for deletion or removing content from an article or page, consider first discussing the matter on the article's talk page, contacting the page's creator and significant contributors, or tagging the article or article section with a maintenance template to alert other users of the potential problem.

See also[edit]

Wikipedia in your hands.gif

External links[edit]

  • Jemielniak, Dariusz (March 6, 2017). "Wikipedia's battle over very short articles". Slate.
  • James, Andrea (February 16, 2017). "40% of Wikipedia is under threat from deletionists". Boing Boing.
  • James, Andrea (February 14, 2017). "Watching Wikipedia's extinction event from a distance". Boing Boing.