Wikipedia talk:Centralized discussion/Removal of many individual date articles

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Recently I saw an article June 30, 2003 and noticed that all of its information was transcluded in 2003, so I put it up for an AfD. During the discussion we found that this article was completely unnecessary, but somebody found that there actually were a whole load of articles like this (see Category:Dates in 2003 and Category:Dates in 2004). Can we reach a consensus on an uncontroversial decision on how to deal with these? I an others suggest that we should all transclude the appropriate facts to corresponding articles for years and dates. STYROFOAM1994talkReview me!

You don't need a list of users to do this, but rather a discussion to make sure the community accepts this as a norm in order to avoid many AFD debates. Let's use this page to reach consensus on that (which shouldn't be too hard given the uncontroversial matter) and then just apply this to the articles. I suggest merging with other articles and then deletion, to remove redundancy. - Mtmelendez (Talk) 21:11, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm with Mtmelendez on this one. It seems stupid to have an article for EVERY single day. Merging and redirecting to each specific year article makes more sense (delete is not an option under the GFDL). ♠PMC♠ 23:33, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't think we should prohibit day articles altogether, but there should have to be pretty high standards for keeping such articles. An example could be December 7, 1941, one of the most important dates in the 20th century, which contained tons of separate events, unlike September 11, 2001, when the many bigname events of the day were all related to the terrorist attacks. We shouldn't have simple articles on average days, like all of the 2003 date articles that I looked at. Moreover, most of the information on these pages is likely on In the News, or on the month articles, organised by day: it's simply redundant to have them in separate articles. Therefore, I agree with Mtmelendez: merge any information that isn't already on the month pages, and then redirect. And yes, we can delete pages (AFD has it happen all the time); the reason I don't think we should delete the titles is that redirects are cheap, and it won't hurt to have them redirect to the months. Nyttend (talk) 15:10, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
I really don't see a big problem with having articles for individual dates, but if other people do, I can think of two options I would support:
A) Move every article in Category:Days in 2003, Category:Days in 2004, Category:Days in 2005, Category:Days in 2006, and Category:Days in 2007 into the Portal:Current events namespace (like Portal:Current events/2008 March 9)
B) Merge the articles into their appropriate month article (for example, merge June 30, 2003 into June 2003).
I would like input from the creator of the articles, but it looks like Pcb21 has not made an edit since March 5. --Pixelface (talk) 18:54, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree with the proposal to merge these "day" articles into "month" articles. You probably don't remember this, but early in my career here, someone started a blanket AFD for all these articles, and the AFD was closed with a note advising that AFD was not equipped to handle a blanket nomination of 1500 articles, and Centralized Discussion was the correct venue. So here we are, I guess. :) Shalom (HelloPeace) 06:13, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
I FOUND IT! Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/December 16, 2005. Please take a look. Shalom (HelloPeace) 06:25, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
But they didn't get anywhere besides just deleting the article. STYROFOAM1994talkReview me! 12:40, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Having an article dedicated to every day is a bit much. All of the information that is included in these articles should already be in the date articles (January 1, etc) and if it isn't already there, it probably isn't notable enough to be anywhere. Just deleting the articles might be a little tricky. We have {{ThisDateInRecentYears}} to worry about which is on every date article. Moving all of the content to month articles (January 2003, etc) seems reasonable. Could a bot do it? Perhaps a bot could move all of the content to the month articles then redirect the old pages to the month articles. I'm still not sure about how useful {{ThisDateInRecentYears}} is but that is what links to most of these articles. -- Mufka (u) (t) (c) 21:14, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Just go and merge them. Stifle (talk) 23:13, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
How? It's going to take such a long time to coordinate and remove 100s of articles. STYROFOAM1994talkReview me! 00:59, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
I think the first thing we need is to make a list of all of the articles. We could put in a bot request for that. Once we have a list, we'll have an idea of what we're looking at. -- Mufka (u) (t) (c) 01:13, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

I noticed that individual dates are still appearing. For example April 1, 2008. STYROFOAM1994talkReview me! 23:13, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps April 1 will be one of the exceptions because people look to it to find what pranks took place(?). Just a thought. -- Mufka (u) (t) (c) 18:59, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
April 1 is an exception, since those pages are used to list (among other things) notable media pranks for April Fools' Day. Whether those pranks are notabl;e enough for April 1 pages to exist is, of course, another matter entirely, but I'd say they at least should probably stay if other days are removed. There are bound to be some days notable enough in their own right for articles (I doubt anyone here would have the temerity to try to get September 11 2001 deleted, for instance, if such an article exists). Grutness...wha? 23:41, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

We've got our list. Here it is. -- Mufka (u) (t) (c) 14:28, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

I have started fixing incoming links to the ca. 130 redirects listed at User:SQL/Months and have nominated the first batch for deletion here. I'm not sure if there is a quick and simple way to deal with all of the articles, but I think those redirects lacking a useful history can be orphaned and deleted fairly easily. Black Falcon (Talk) 03:47, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
Another nomination, this time of 40 redirects without useful page history: Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2008 May 3. Black Falcon (Talk) 05:44, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

Ideally.[edit]

I think it's ridiculous to have articles for every single day (June 14, 2003 for example). But having the date get its own article (June 14) is quintessential. I support deletion of the individual day articles. Perhaps they could all be merged into month articles (June 1-June 30, 2003 would go into June 2003). I'd be willing to do that. It would give an opportunity to cover events notable on a month-by-month basis that wouldn't get included in the main year article (2003), but it wouldn't have the inanity of every day. Ziggy Sawdust 00:20, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Personally I don't see the problem. My advice would be to leave it alone, it's all working pretty fine. Some people even find it useful. If you find you can't leave it alone, note you can't delete any of it per the GFDL, since it was all cross pollinated and is all required to maintain the legal history. Hiding T 10:25, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Can you expand on what the negative GFDL ramifications of deleting the redirects are in this particular case (without pointing me to some other article)? -- Mufka (u) (t) (c) 14:05, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
There's no problem with deleting redirects as long as no merge has taken place. If content is merged from one article to another, the page history of the merged article, which is needed for proper attribution of edits, must be preserved in the form of a redirect. There is also the option of combining the page history of the two pages (i.e. a history merge), but that is generally reserved for fixing cut-and-paste moves. Black Falcon (Talk) 17:09, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
We're not really talking about encyclopedic articles here. The date articles which would be the targets are just lists. They don't use references and anything that is added just links to its support in another article. If we start by just deleting the redirects, there should be no issue. We can cover the ones that require merging separately. The merges do not have to be truly merges - we could just ask members of WP:DAYS to go through and add relevant information to the respective date articles (there shouldn't be much that isn't already there). Then the source articles can just be deleted as not notable. -- Mufka (u) (t) (c) 17:24, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
That's true. In many cases, there is nothing to merge, as the information is already contained in the target article (or is too trivial to merit inclusion). As for the redirects, I'm currently (slowly) working on orphaning them and intend to nominate another batch today or tomorrow. Black Falcon (Talk) 17:45, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Can you clarify for me what is going to happen to an article like January 1, 2003? This is part of January 2003. In fact it looks to have been split out by User:Pcb21 in 2005. Note this splitting didn't adhere to the GFDL. Articles like this either need to be merged back in or what would be better is that they are page merged back in. They should not be deleted unless the month articles themselves are deleted, which I think would be a tragic loss. Hiding T 18:25, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
A page like January 1, 2003 should probably be merged into January 2003 (the transclusion could be substed) and redirected. I think that deletion is more applicable to pages such as February 22, 1732 (currently a redirect), which do not contain content worth merging. Black Falcon (Talk) 18:34, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
As long as note is made in the edit summaries of what is happening, with wiki-links, and the pages aren't deleted but kept as redirects per GFDL, I don't have a problem. I do object to Mufka stating that such articles can be deleted as nn. That violates our license. It might be worth adding {{Merged-to}} to relevant talk pages. {{merged-from}} would probably swamp the month pages. <edited to add> Note I agree on an article like February 22, 1732. Are you agreed on preserving edit hostory per GFDL for articles like January 1, 2003. </end addition>Hiding T 18:48, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I do agree. Deletion is not really an option for an article like January 1, 2003, since non-trivial edits have been made to the article since it was split out in 2005. Per the GFDL, these edits need to be preserved if the content is to be merged. (Technically, the individual date articles could be deleted if someone did a history merge for each one, but I don't think it's worth doing for 1500 articles to "fix" a merge, especially when redirection to preserve history is a common and accepted practice.)
{{merged-from}} on the talk pages of month articles might be feasible if they could be placed into a collapsible list. It would increase the size and load time of the talk page, but would not substantially affect its visible length. Black Falcon (Talk) 19:34, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

It seems to me that having an encyclopedia article recording all the notable events that occurred on a specific day is a good thing. In fact, they are in a certain sense more useful than general days of the calendar articles: what occurred on May 1, 1000, May 1, 1500, and May 1, 2000 have nothing meaningfully in common; the date is just coincidental. But the events occurring on the same day all take place in the same narrow span of time, and reading those articles assists in getting a chronological consciousness about what was going on in the world on that day, as year or century articles also do. Everyking (talk) 18:07, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Hiding and Everyking, let them live. - Peregrine Fisher (talk) 16:34, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
The same information that is given in these extremely short day articles can easily be, and usually is, given in the corresponding month articles; I find it a waste of space and maintenance effort to keep articles repeating what is essentially non-content from other pages. Furthermore, these pages are in their overwhelming majority days in the twentieth century, and a modern-history bias is something which this encyclopaedia has long tried to avoid. We have year articles, we have month–year articles (basically a result of the operation of the "Current events" portal), and we have day articles (for births, deaths, and events). Anything else is arguably redundant, and for this I support the removal of this pages (I have not yet made up my mind on how). Waltham, The Duke of 21:05, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Some of these pages were created by splitting the monthly pages which resulted from the operation of the "Current events" portal into days. The reason you can find the same information in the month articles is because they're transcluded there. Therefore there is no extra maintenance, and there is no waste of space. Your options on the method of removal of these split pages is limited to what the GFDL allows. Hiding T 21:23, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
By removal I meant removal from sight; I do not favour deletion over merging. In any case, I fail to see how transcluding a full-date page is better than simply having the text incorporated in the page for the month. It makes the maintenance of the month page more complicated, and it keeps the full-date page in full view of the readership as an independent page; a page which, at least in my opinion, should not exist. Why? Because, firstly, this is an encyclopaedia, and most of these days are simply not important enough for their own articles; secondly, this sets a dangerous precedent: do we really want to start what could easily develop into a cataclysm of articles for as many days in recorded history as there are people willing to write about? Wikipedia is supposed to be trying to shift the balance from quantity to quality, and the proliferation of these articles is most counter-productive in this respect. Waltham, The Duke of 21:42, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
It's long been established Wikipedia is also an almanac of sorts, so this sort of thing falls into our remit. As to people creating more articles of the same, I'm amazed that part of our purpose is to discourage the addition of well sourced information that would inform people. I would posit the counter argument that such articles in fact aid, inform and educate, are useful tools for readers and researchers and that it is actually against our core purpose to remove these types of information. I find a lot of things I don't like, when they tend to fit with WP:V, WP:NOR and WP:NPOV, can easily be made to disappear by ignoring them, safe in the knowledge that those who find them of use are aided by them, and in the assumption that a similar task is performed for pages which inform me and also meet the above policies. Hiding T 22:04, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Again you misunderstand me. I am not claiming that the content in these articles is useless; I merely contend that it is not worth having thirty times as many pages as we can have for exactly the same amount of information. How is January 1, 2003 any better than the January 1 section of January 2003? Since the page is transcluded, the content is identical, only that instead of one article for January 2003 we end up with a total of thirty-two. On the contrary, having all the days for a month together (as they are in the month's page) aids the reader in allowing them to see the progression of events beyond the single day; in the full-date articles, information is completely isolated. The almanac side of Wikipedia's character will not be affected in the least by dispensing with the individual full-date pages, as long as the month pages retain that information, and I do not, by any means, support the deletion of this data. I repeat: I only object to the day pages being independent, not to the existence of their content, and to its presentation in a proper form. I believe that I have now made my positions quite clear(er), Hiding, and I hope that your reply shall directly address them; I do not wish to resort to making references to straw men. Waltham, The Duke of 23:18, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

I was asked to comment on this in relation to the currently active AFD debate regarding March 23, 2004. There are good points on both sides of this argument. I do feel that some sort of policy needs to be put in place -- either yay or nay -- regarding these individual date articles, otherwise we could find either pick-and-choose AFDs such as this one, or someone might attempt a mass AFD of the whole lot. It's a case of we need to settle on this one; if the decision is live-and-let-live, fine, and if the decision is "they're not allowed" then a bot can be used to delete the individual articles. Problem is, of course, is editors are probably adding unique content to each one, meaning we wouldn't be able to just do a mass blind delete and assume all the content is duplicated in the month articles. 23skidoo (talk) 15:01, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Cruft[edit]

In addition to unnecessary redundancy in having articles 2008, May 2008, May 8 and May 8, 2008 listing the same event 4 times instead of 3, I think we're opening ourselves up to a whole lot of cruft and non-notable events filling up each individual date page. While it may be fairly easy to fill the first 3 above mentioned articles with useful (encyclopedic), notable and verifiable information, May 8, 2008 might end up getting loaded up with arbitrary news reports of that day if there is nothing else of obvious notability to write about. At that time, the article will become nothing more than a repository of previously published information where one can read the day's baseball scores or what's new in the Fritzl investigation. We hold the month, year and month-year articles to fairly high standards but I fear this may change when an article such as May 8, 2008 (which, by the way, would exist for no reason other than the fact that May 7, 2008 and May 6, 2008 also exist) is completely empty due to the fact that absolutely nothing notable happened that day. How do we deal with empty articles in that case? Should we leave them empty or should we force notability onto an event to justify to ourselves the reason for inclusion? SWik78 (talkcontribs) 13:41, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

First of all, a clarification: I should like to repeat that the articles like May 2008 are a by-product of the operation of the Current events portal and can (or at least should) only be encountered from 1999 onwards; if you will see at the bottom of the portal, the links for the two previous years take to the month sections of the corresponding year articles. Therefore, we can probably take them out of the equation in regards to the greater date system within, and function of, the encyclopaedia. These pages are little more than archives, even though they do retain a certain encyclopaedic value.
Apart from that, I do agree with SWik78: what on Earth are we going to fill these thousands of articles with? They are redundant by nature, they constitute clutter, and they promote the inclusion of unsourced cruft. Furthermore, this promotes unencyclopaedic recentism, because only in the later years are there enough sources to provide information on events (even if insignificant ones) for every single day. What about the Middle Ages? Hell, what about the 19th century? Information-gathering this efficient is a recent phenomenon, and we should try to keep Wikipedia balanced, both thematically, and temporally. Waltham, The Duke of 17:40, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
This issue of historical "balance" is interesting. If I have no money and you have one hundred pounds, we can balance that because you can just give me half of your money. However, if I have one eye and you have two eyes, the only way to achieve balance is for you to gouge out one of your eyes. In the same respect, the only way to achieve balance in this historical sense is to eliminate the content on recent events in order to balance the comparative lack of information available for earlier times. Since the available information regarding the 20th century is vastly greater than the available information on the 10th century, this means that we'd need to remove most of our content on the 20th century, even if we bolstered our 10th century content as much as we possibly could...isn't that how this logic goes? And of course, ultimately it's impossible anyway, because if you go back further in time the only way to achieve balance is to delete everything. My view is that there is no use whatsoever in seeking some kind of historical balance; it does the past content no good to delete the recent content, just as it does no good to the man with one eye if the man with two eyes gouges out one of his own. We include whatever is recorded and is notable for recent times as well as for past times, and the imbalance that results is inevitable. Everyking (talk) 06:36, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
You are right: as I wrote it, my argument is a bad one. Allow me to rephrase.
We know much more about recent events than about those before them, and the further back one goes the less information one will have. Our duty, as an encyclopaedia, is to record and present this information in articles, and to provide as many facts and details as we can, to the extent that our content-related policies and guidelines (mission statement, notability, verifiability, etc.) allow us to. This inequality in the available information is natural and unavoidable. I feel, however, that we should not try to amplify this phenomenon by placing all this data in a system which would make no adjustment for the varying availability of events. Having every day in 2005 sport two to five events and only, say, eighty days in 1627 show more than one event makes for an inconsistent and inefficient system.
Not to mention that the full-date articles would only repeat information already stated in thematic articles and in individual day and year articles by creating yet another class of pages which would simply repeat the same information in more or less the same way as the aforementioned day and year articles (and, in the latter case, in the same order as well). A waste of resources, as I see it, especially considering that with the transclusion system the month articles will be identical to the sum of the full-date ones. Waltham, The Duke of 13:09, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
I hope that we can get, if nothing else, an "attorney general opinion" that month/day/year articles are inappropriate, in general. The current policy, as I understand it, is fine. If it's ever to be varied, then I hope that the transition is handled on a limited basis, such as starting with a project for articles about each day within a limited range (such as January 1, 1900 to December 31, 1999). And if that ever happens, then the dates within that range (and only those dates) should be considered inherently notable, similar to the deference shown to articles about people who have served in Congress or the House of Commons or a national legislature. The worst possible choice would be to allow such articles to stay or go on the basis of "notability", with predictable arguments coming from between 10 and 20 people who happen to visit the articles for deletion monkey house. The time may come where articles about a particular date in history can be written consistently. Keep the door closed on all such articles, or throw open the door to all such articles, but please, nothing in between. Mandsford (talk) 22:09, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
(changed indentation above) I agree with Mandsford here. These articles should never be allowed to exist, but if it should ever come to pass that they would be officially permitted, this ought to be on a very limited basis, and following a well-defined set of criteria. Personally, I find that an article about a specific day, no matter how important it is, has nothing more to offer than the corresponding section in a month (or, for older times, year) article. In my opinion, there should be criteria determining which days are important... so that these days could be redirects. Waltham, The Duke of 12:38, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
I just want to throw my support to the "please no individual date articles" side. Notable events don't have trouble getting onto wikipedia, so there is no pressing need for these articles. They only serve a categorization role. Remember, it is events that are notable, dates are just conventions to mark the time. Any content that only shows up in the May 6, 2008 article is probably not notable, so the other big problem is that you create a shadow system of content that doesn't get any scrutiny. Nobody is going to put dates from 2003 on their watchlist. maxsch (talk) 03:20, 25 September 2008 (UTC)