Wikipedia:Blanking sections sometimes violates policies
|This essay contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. Essays are not Wikipedia policies or guidelines. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.|
This essay is an explanation of why article sections should often be discussed beforehand before being removed (or totally rewritten) on a page.
There are several policies which should be considered before blanking sections from within an article. Hence, consider the action of deleting an article section to be a potential violation of some Wikipedia policies or guidelines.
- WP:CONSENSUS - Many Wikipedia decisions are based on consensus discussions with all concerned users. Of course, the author of a section is to be included among those concerned. If the author says, "Go ahead and delete that whole section" then that can be used to gain an agreement with other users. However note: just because the author of a section wants it deleted, that opinion does not override others who want the text to remain. Consensus means an agreement discussed with everyone concerned.
- WP:PRESERVE - Appropriate text should be preserved, as much as possible, according to WP policy WP:EDIT. Within the section WP:Editing policy#Try to fix problems, the policy advises to consider fixing questionable text "instead of deleting text" (quote), such as by rephrasing, or by correcting inaccuracy while keeping the rest of the content intact, or by moving text within an article or to another article (existing or new), etc.
- WP:VANDALISM - Please remember the use of unexplained or bad-faith blanking is often considered a form of vandalism.
- WP:NOTCENSORED - Wikipedia text cannot be deleted even if many people find the text to be "objectionable" as offensive to their religion, ethics, or moral code. Often, the best solution is to move on to another article, or add text that offers an alternative mainstream view, which can be verified in reliable sources (WP:RS).
There are several policies which support the removal of sections and other content. The Wikipedia:Editing policy discusses the various circumstances where content can and sometimes should be removed if it can't be improved. Among the other policies which support the removal of content in some circumstances are Wikipedia:Copyright, Wikipedia:Vandalism, Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not, and the core policies of Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, Wikipedia:Verifiability, and Wikipedia:Original research. The Wikipedia:Libel and Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons policies also describe when it is policy to remove certain content.