Wikipedia:Last Resort Solution

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When you have an article that is overloaded with pastel-shade colored boxes to the point it's unbearable, what should you do?

Delete the text![edit]

That's right! You should start fresh, and wipe out every bit of the article except for a bare definition of the article. More preferably, if you can re-write the article from scratch, do that. An almost-entire wipeout should only necessitate in the situation that it simply is not your interest to re-write the article.

How to apply this policy[edit]

Phase 1: Deletion[edit]

When you see an article tagged with enough "maintenance boxes" to take up the first fold of an article, you blank the entire article except for the definition. You can remove the warning templates, however you still need to settle with the appropriate stub template.

In the edit summary, you really ought to note that you've blanked most of the article in accordance to the Last Resort Solution. Otherwise, and even if you do this, you may feel the wrath of editors who object to the blanking. For what to do, see Phase 2.

Phase 2: Reporting[edit]

Immediately after you proceed with the page blanking, be sure to explain yourself. Claim that the number of boxes made wipeout inevitable, and be sure to cite WP:BOLD and this page. Even if you do a quality job of explaining your actions, certain Wikipedians might accuse you of vandalism and maybe even revert your blanking. If they revert your blanking, do not revert them. This may culminate in an edit war, and may result in a blocking. When applying this policy, be very careful, as this is controversial and exclusively experimental.

Phase 3: Rewrite[edit]

Now, it is time for the community to write the article again. Do not use the old content! Instead, do new research, treating the article as if it were brand new. The goal through this is to start anew, when rewriting parts at a time just won't cut it. While re-writing the article, observe the edit history meticulously. If you're noticing plenty of vandalism, particularly from anonymous users, it'd be wise to request semi-protection. If you notice any edits that might end up in the article being labelled with maintenance boxes all over again, work with the users so that they may edit in accordance to our policies and guidelines. After you've noticed plenty of improvement in the article, be sure to request a peer review, and improve the article from there.

If you really insist on not being involved with the re-writing, that's okay. Please do your best to find a person in your place to work on the article.

Case study[edit]

Jack Thompson (attorney)[edit]

Due to Mr. Thompson's opinion towards certain games, he has earned a lack of respect among certain people. As a result, biased information (and even libel) has managed to enter the article, resulting in the POV tag. In the future, he complains to the Wikipedia Help Desk and even the Wikimedia Office to have his article taken off. Eventually, the Wikimedia Office replaced the article with a picture of Jack Thompson and a short definition of him. Shortly after un-protecting the article, it managed to receive positive development, and may end up becoming a quality article.

This is an example of the Last Resort Solution in effect; a POV article receives positive editing after a near-total blanking. As a result, the article is also an example of how this policy can work well.


  • Simple: What could be simpler than highlighting most of the article then hitting the Delete key?
  • Quick: Rather than waiting until all the problems are solved, one maintenance box at a time, you can simply eliminate them all at once.


  • Doesn't guarantee positive results: What if the article is rewritten with a POV?
  • Could be considered vandalism
  • May encourage edit wars
  • May end up being a stub - not necessarily a con if you don't mind short articles without POV.
  • Wiping out the article depends on one person's opinion, and it may differ from person to person


In conclusion, be sure to edit this policy as you see fit, and discuss it on the talk page.