Wikipedia:Non-deleting deletion discussions
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Articles are often merged or redirected at the end of a deletion discussion and these closures are often challenged by editors who oppose the outcome. The purpose of this essay is to explain how to do this effectively.
The Deletion Discussion ends in a Merge or Redirect Outcome
Deletion discussions traditionally came to three valid outcomes, Delete, Keep or No Consensus. However, they can also include additional suggestions, Merge or Redirect – almost invariably because the editors contributing to the discussion accept that there is a need for the content but are not persuaded that there is a need for a standalone article. Because Wikipedia does not have a central location for discussing controversial merges and redirects XfDs have been used to garner a consensus for the merge or redirect. Because merging and redirecting are editing decisions and do not require administrative tools, these outcomes are not binding although a consensus for the change may well exist. Ideally, everyone will accept the outcome of the discussion and leave the changes intact, but it doesn't always happen that everyone is happy with the result. So what next?
Challenging Merges and Redirects
Firstly, DRV is not the place to go to reverse merge or redirect closes at XfD. Raising such a DRV is simply going to waste your time as the DRV will be closed on procedural grounds—only editorial decisions have taken place, and they can be undone editorially.
The simplest way to challenge the outcome is to discuss the close with the closing administrator and ask him or her nicely to revisit the discussion. Ideally, you should provide reasoning that amounts to more than "I didn't like the outcome." If this doesn't work, your next option is to seek a new consensus. Theoretically, a local consensus on the article talk page would suffice, but obviously this would not be the case if only two editors commented on the article talk page and 20 commented on the deletion discussion. Unfortunately, because there is no central venue to hold such a discussion, it is not entirely clear how to do this. So,
- Open up a discussion on the article talk page explaining why you think the article should be unmerged or unredirected. Using a helpful link to this discussion, advertise it at:
- The target article's talk page
- The talk page of the XfD discussion
- The talk page of the XfD closer
- The talk page of every participant from the deletion discussion
- At the end of the discussion, there may be a clear outcome and this will stand as an updated consensus that can override the XfD. If you garnered few participants, consider whether you did a good job of advertising the discussion. If you are faced with no objections, then use your best judgment and act.
If you find the redirect has been locked down by an admin (i.e. fully protected to prevent changes); simply follow the above procedure and once you have your consensus ask a friendly admin to unlock the redirect or file a request at Wikipedia:Requests for page protection citing a diff to the discussion.