Wikipedia talk:Deletion policy

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#14. Any other content not suitable for an encyclopedia[edit]

This is so open ended to be meaningless and is a deletionist gift from heaven. For example one editor claims that because an article contained some promotional content, the entire article should be deleted since it is "not suitable for an encyclopedia". This is not an isolated incident, this editor claims this rational has been used "thousands" of times at AfD. -- GreenC 22:52, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

What are you talking about? --SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:14, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
@SmokeyJoe and Green Cardamom: WP:NOT includes an extensive list of things that should not be included in Wikipedia. This is the policy that #14 refers to. Jarble (talk) 03:31, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
  • No. WP:NOT may be long, but it is defined. If you cannot keep clear of anything at WP:NOT, then you are on dangerous ground. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:23, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
It is only a gift from heaven to a "deletionist" if said deletionist's idea of heaven an encyclopedia without non-encyclopedic content. These are not speedy deletion criteria and criteria under WP:NOT specifically do not fall under speedy deletion. Anything deleted under this clause goes through community review. This is working just fine, no need to fix it.
I am afraid the examples given are pretty meaningless without links. When only a second hand description of things is provided it often tends to favour a point of view. For example, how successful was this person at getting a whole article deleted because they thought it is "not suitable for an encyclopedia"? Where are these thousands of arguments using this part of policy? Chillum 13:02, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
A bit late but I would certainly like see some evidence that there have been thousand of AFD's in which people have argued that WP:NOT mandates that an article has to be deleted if it contains any promotional material whatever and that the argument is anywhere near successful enough to be a major issue. Perosnally I find it hard to believe that thousands of notable articles have been deleted solely due to containing a small amount of promotional material since it would be far simpler to just remove the material in question that wait 7 days for a deletion discussion to commence.-- (talk) 03:04, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
what has been successful, and ought to remain successful, is the argument that borderline notability combined with clear promotionalism is an equally good reason. Sometimes the best way of expressing this is NOT DIRECTORY and similar policy. Frankly, this rule #14 is the ' actually relevant rule--people normally decide on this basis and then justify it by whatever more specific policy fits best. DGG ( talk ) 01:29, 20 December 2015 (UTC)

RFC: delete and redirect[edit]

Should our default standard practice be to delete article histories and contributions when a small article is converted into a redirect to a larger article? The argument is being made here that since it is not directly mentioned in WP:Deletion policy, it is a valid tactic up to the discretion of the closing administrator. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 23:50, 30 November 2015 (UTC)


This RfC is part of a complex multi-part RfC with a long history which is closed following a prevailing consensus to PRESERVE the material rather than delete it. A reformulated RfC would need to take into account that the complex structure of this RfC may need to be simplified to a simpler description of the issue such as "Defining the default for the Wikipedia deletion policy along with then clearly identifying any exceptions to the default as separate issues." Wikipedia has a long standing concern for copyright violations, incompatible licensing violations, and compatible licensing issues which require clarity in exposition to be effective. Fountains-of-Paris (talk) 16:06, 15 January 2016 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

  • Preserve There is no reason to delete the article content and history before turning a topic into a redirect. It appears to be done to prevent consensus from ever changing in the direction of resurrecting the article with new information. Consensus can change and we have many articles that have had 10 AFDs before deletion. Consensus can never change back once the material is hidden from 99.999% of editors. I can see deleting copyright violations and libel in BLPs from the history and that has always been done, but not the entire history. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 23:50, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
  • The standard action has always been to keep the history behind the redirect unless there is a case made to delete it. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 23:56, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
  • It should default to keeping the history behind the redirect, per SmokeyJoe's statement. There are reasons to delete the history before recreating the redirect (BLP-type ones spring to mind), but most of the time there is zero harm in leaving the history in place for other editors to build upon if they wish to try to recreate the article. --MASEM (t) 00:45, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
    • I will add that this is only in the case where the !voters intent is not clear from their "Redirect" !vote. If they provide a "Redirect" !vote that is clear they don't feel the content is appropriate, the admin can take that as a deletion (Ideally we'd like these !votes to read "Delete and Redirect" but we can't always force that). But if there's any doubt or lack of reasoning, preserving should be performed. --MASEM (t) 15:16, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Yes, this makes the most sense to me. Unless there's a sound reason to delete before redirecting (i.e., a speedy deletion criterion), there's no real reason to. Protection is always an option. Eman235/talk 04:03, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
    • Changing this slightly to preserve by default. In other words, a "Redirect" !vote should be interpreted as "keep the page history, but turn into a redirect". I want to make it clear, however, that I am in no way opposing the use of the "delete then redirect" approach. This is apparently standard practice anyway. Eman235/talk 07:42, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
    • On second thought, moving my !vote to below... Eman235/talk 22:04, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
I'd say preserve unless there is otherwise a reason to delete based on consensus.-Serialjoepsycho- (talk) 04:07, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Kendrick, I think that's absolutely correct for "merge" consensus outcomes at AfD: if verbatim text is moved from one article to another, then the edit history of the source article needs to be preserved. There are work-arounds for selective merges, such are paraphrasing/rewriting the content to be transferred, but for formal "merge" outcomes that implicitly means "merge, redirect, and preserve the article history for attribution purposes." Of course, most merges are improperly documented: they should be noted in the surviving article's edit history at the time of text transfer, as well as acknowledged on the article talk page. The redirect and preserved edit history at the non-surviving article page complete the paper trail for Commons licensing and attribution purposes. Bottom line: it is not necessary to specify "merge, redirect and preserve edit history" and more than it is necessary to specify "keep and preserve article history". It goes without saying to anyone who understands the process (or has thought about it for five minutes). Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 21:40, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Preserve article history whenever I vote redirect, I intend for the history to be kept, otherwise I would vote delete and redirect. There are a multitude of reasons for this, such as articles on individual book, show, or comic characters where there is not enough for a stand-alone article and the recommendation is to redirect to "list of characters in X", but the article taken to AFD might have some sources, or content that could be useful in the future if the character becomes independently notable, or useful to content-reusers with different standards than WP. If consensus is to re-direct, then the history should be kept. If there are concerns about edit warring the deleted article back in without substantial changes/improvements, then the redirect can be protected. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 16:33, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Preserve article history This is our standard policy for reasons of attribution, transparency and so that the content is readily accessible for future development. Content should only be restricted to admins when there is some legal issue such as copyvio or defamation. Andrew D. (talk) 17:48, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Preserve Redirecting but keeping the redirect history makes it easier to recreate a redirected article if it becomes notable, and helps with attribution purposes. As someone who performs a lot of non-admin closures and relistings at AfD, I'd also like to note that requiring the deletion of redirected articles will clog up AfD since only admins would be able to close them. I'm honestly not seeing any benefit to deleting all redirects, and think it will do more harm than good. Spirit of Eagle (talk) 01:05, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Preserve. There is no reason to remove useful content which is not illegal. The reason why we delete articles with no plausible target is to avoid cluttering up the main namespace with useless titles. But if a title is going to be occupied anyways (by a redirect), then having all the history behind it won't make a difference. -- King of ♠ 06:29, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Is this a real problem or an isolated argument? If there is no consensus to delete and no obvious reason to do so I would think most admins would not delete already. They shouldn't be, but I don't see the need to codify it. Beeblebrox (talk) 17:56, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Preserve Very often the text has been merged, or even may be revived from the history for another article in the future, if it is still available. Johnbod (talk) 04:17, 5 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Outside of BLP and other legal concerns, I see no good reason to delete the content. There would appear to be attribution issues on occasion, as well. --Tt(talk/contribs) 08:40, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Preserve article history Redirecting a deleted article shows that it had sufficient merit for the existence of the title to continue, and for the valuable portion of the content to be preserved in the master page. Removing the history is overkill for such a page, and it makes it impossible to trace the proper authorship of the content. Sbwoodside (talk) 04:18, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Preserve There is no reason to delete the article content and history before turning a topic into a redirect. SmokeyJoe (talk) has said it very well. --DThomsen8 (talk) 13:36, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Preserve - Our default practice should not be to delete article histories and contributions when a small article is converted into a redirect to a larger article, unless specific consensus at AfD says to delete the redirected article's history & contributions. Guy1890 (talk) 23:38, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Snow Preserve - there is already too much aggressiveness in deleting content when unwarranted by compelling reasons. Deleting content in a way that it cannot easily be accessed from history should be an exceptional circumstance, and a decision to redirect isn't a decision to delete. LjL (talk) 18:25, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
  • @LjL: Snow? Are you presuming the subsections are discrete alternatives and the one with the most support is the one with consensus? I see one section for "default to preserve" and several others based on the idea that we should not default to preserve. That there is a lack of consensus among those who disagree with you doesn't change the fact that they disagree. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 18:41, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
The fact of the matter is that most of those sections are based on (and titled as) "delete if ..." arguments stemming from overriding exceptions to a general presumption that content should be preserved. Of course there can be exceptions based on various overriding factors, but nothing about that takes anything away from the above overwhelming support for generally preserving. LjL (talk) 18:47, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
I suggest you re-read the confused RfC question, the mixed and qualified supports in this section, followed by the clear support for preserving "delete and redirect" as articulated below. There is no "snow" consensus here; if anything, there is arguably a consensus for "redirect" means "redirect and keep history," and "delete" and "delete and redirect" collectively mean "delete history". Stop spinning. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 18:58, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
Soooo... you're saying that "delete" means "delete", while simply saying "redirect" should not, in general, mean "delete"? Gosh, that sure takes an RfC to ascertain! But it's entirely compatible with my response. LjL (talk) 19:02, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
LjL, I've already said as much several times below, while quoting the WP:Guide to deletion, which has said exactly that for over a decade. But this RfC isn't really about "redirect" !votes meaning "redirect with history preserved"; it's about folks who want to redirect and preserve article history even when the !votes and consensus outcome of an AfD are "delete" or "delete and redirect". Read the entire thread; there are a lot of very confused comments coupled with some who advocate for interpretations of the applicable policies and guidelines which are not supported by a literal reading of the policies. If the RfC question weren't a hopelessly confused example of poor drafting, the actual goal of the primary proponents might be more clear. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 19:19, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
Actually there is a clear consensus in favour of preservation. I have no objection to an admin doing a WP:SNOW close in favour of preservation. I don't agree with your analysis of this thread either. What it is really about is folks who want to argue that "redirect" !voters really meant to say "delete and redirect", and put their own opinions into the mouths of others. James500 (talk) 10:07, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Preserve unless there's a problem with the text: copyright infringement, libel, past history of un-redirecting against consensus, etc. There's no good reason to get rid of the redirect's history in ordinary cases, but at the same time, there's no reason to complain at an administrator who deletes a redirect's history because past editors have repeatedly defied consensus and turned the redirect into an article again. And finally, if there's consensus to "delete and redirect", the administrator should do exactly that. Nyttend (talk) 04:30, 25 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Preserve  This is the current meaning, where there is no risk of creating attribution problems.  The comparable current !vote with deletion is "delete and redirect".  Redirect is a flexible !vote that returns editorial decisions to the content contributors, where the article might be retained as a redirect, merged, or restored.  A slight variation is to move the article to draftspace and create a bare redirect.  I am aware that there has been some long-term confusion in the community that redirect out of AfD used admin tools and deleted the edit history, yet the idea is contrary to the common language used in the editorial redirect, "#REDIRECT".  Because redirect does not use admin tools, it is not a valid nomination argument at AfD, as all discussion and actions can be handled by non-admins.  A related valid nomination argument would be "redirect and salt".  Unscintillating (talk) 22:37, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Preserve. Contributions to redirected articles are nonetheless contributions. We would violate our own license if some of the short article history were used in the larger article (WP:ATTSIT) or if the shorter article were restored at some point in the future (WP:RUD). I can't think of any good reason to do this, beyond special-case revision deletion. Ivanvector 🍁 (talk) 22:00, 14 January 2016 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


No consensus and No opinion in this RfC with no participants. Closing as part of a complex 6-part RfC. Fountains-of-Paris (talk) 18:36, 22 January 2016 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

  • (add comments here)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Treat it as "no opinion"[edit]


No significant opposition to this proposal. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:13, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Explicitly treat ambiguous "redirect" opinions as if the person doesn't care if the edit history is kept or not. Note: The absence of magic words like "keep" or "delete" does not necessarily mean the editor's opinion is ambiguous. If the closing admin senses the editor favors keeping or deleting the history, then it is not an "ambiguous redirect." Update the instructions or WP:EDITNOTICE on AFD nomination pages so participants know up front they are expected to say "keep and redirect" or "delete and redirect" if they care about the page history. Option added by davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) at 00:49, 1 December 2015 (UTC).

  • Support davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 00:49, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. Great suggestion. It addresses all of the concerns being raised with clear instructions to both AfD participants and AfD closers. It's better to light a candle than curse the darkness. Hoorah for davidwr the candle-lighter! David in DC (talk) 16:42, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment - Please note that the Wikipedia:Guide to deletion explicitly recognizes that a redirect !vote "is a recommendation to keep the article's history but to blank the content and replace it with a redirect." (See below.) Treating a redirect !vote as a "no opinion" is contrary to well-established AfD practice and procedures, but you would not know that from the hopelessly confused and misleading formulation of this RfC, and the language of the RfC has already been amended several times by the proposer after !voting had begun. Given the clear meanings of "redirect" and "delete and redirect" established by the Guide to Deletion (see below), it is unclear what this RfC is intended to establish. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 17:27, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
    • Given the specific DRV in the RFC question and the AFD that it came from, it does not seem clear that editors recognize "Redirect" as implicit "Redirect and Keep History". It seems completely fair to ask if consensus has changed that a plain "Redirect" should be treated as , with this option "Redirect but I don't care what happens to the history". (note that I don't necessarily support this option, just that I think it is a valid option to consider) --MASEM (t) 17:33, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support, as complementary to my proposal below.  Sandstein  18:02, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - a user can sertainly have only a partial opinion about the outcome (i.e redirect, no opinion about history in AFD; rename if kept in CFD). The user's opinion counts only to the degree it can be understood from the text (s)he places with it. And saying "redirect" isn't an opinion about the history, just about the title. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 05:04, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support, this seems like the most sensible option to me, in the absence of a clear preference expressed otherwise at the discussion. Lankiveil (speak to me) 06:37, 6 December 2015 (UTC).
  • Support along with an appropriate edit to WP:Guide to deletion#Recommendations and outcomes. Flatscan (talk) 05:49, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
  • (add comments here)

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Delete, if the content would normally be deleted[edit]


I'm not at all sure this actually changes anything, but the proposal seems to enjoy sufficient support. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:11, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

"Redirect" opinions should be treated as "delete" opinions if they are based on a rationale that would normally lead to deletion (such as non-notability), such that it can be assumed that the editor would support deletion if there were not a target to redirect to (such as a list); and if the opinion does not advocate a merger or otherwise expresses a desire for the content to remain accessible.

  • Support - in my experience, in cases where non-notable characters or people get redirected to a list, the editors requesting redirects do want the superfluous content to disappear (or else they would have proposed a merger); they would have advocated deletion except for the fact that there is a reasonable redirect target. It makes no sense to treat such cases differently only because there happens to be, by chance, a redirect target.  Sandstein  09:19, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - It is important to acknowledge that the Wikipedia:Guide to deletion already expressly recognizes "Delete then Redirect", stating "Redirect is a recommendation to keep the article's history but to blank the content and replace it with a redirect. Users who want to see the article's history destroyed should explicitly recommend Delete then Redirect." As I understand Sandstein's statement above, it is a common-sense qualification of the "redirect" vs. "delete then redirect" distinction that if a "redirect" !voter qualifies their AfD rationale in such a manner as to be interpreted as a "delete then redirect" then their !vote should be treated as a "delete then redirect" !vote. Frankly, I would have hoped that such a statement would not be required, but given the confused RfC question and the obvious confusion over the well-established meanings of "redirect" and "delete and redirect" among several discussion participants, it is probably a necessary clarification. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 18:00, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support "Delete" and "Redirect" are both variations on "Wikipedia shouldn't have an article on this and the content doesn't need to go anywhere else". As such they often use the same rationales and a Redirect !vote can often be treated as equivalent to a Delete one. Hut 8.5 22:18, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
If Delete and Redirect !votes both count as delete and redirect, the Keep and Redirect !votes must count as preserve and redirect. You cannot stack the vote in one direction, it defies logic 101. And of course delete and redirect votes should be ignored unless it discusses concerns about libel or copyright violations, just as we discount votes at AFD that do not discuss notability standards. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 15:08, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
Er, AFD is not just about notability. There are many other reasons beyond notability, copyright, and BLP/libel that articles can be nominated for that are all valid (such as failing NOT, NPOV, NOR, etc.) And best I know, there is no guideline that AFD !votes only be judged for notability. --MASEM (t) 15:15, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
I really don't understand RAN's position here. Suppose an AFD is divided between people saying the article should be kept because the subject is notable and people saying the article should be deleted because the subject is not notable. Someone who leaves a comment saying "Redirect to XY, subject is not notable" is clearly part of the Delete side - they agree with the rationale for deletion, they think we should get rid of the article and they don't think we can use the content anywhere else. The only thing separating them from the Delete comments is that they think the title is a plausible search term for some other article, and deletion doesn't preclude the creation of a redirect at that title anyway. Counting that supporting keeping the article would be ludicrous. "Delete and redirect" is a perfectly legitimate comment to leave ("merge and delete" usually isn't, is that what you meant?) and as Masem points out while notability is the most popular rationale for deletion it is certainly not the only one. Hut 8.5 21:06, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
User:Hut 8.5, it might help to look at the first sentence of WP:N, "On Wikipedia, notability is a test used by editors to decide whether a given topic warrants its own article."  Note specifically the words, "a given topic".  As nothing is said there about the material/content associated with that subject/topic, a !vote of redirect to XY non-notable is a comment about the topic, and says nothing about the content.  Unscintillating (talk) 02:52, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
Well it does implicitly. If the commenter particularly thought that the content would be useful in another article then they would have written "merge" rather than "redirect". Hut 8.5 13:55, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
If the editor wanted the content in another article, yes he/she might have said "merge", but he/she also might have said "redirect" because there weren't editors immediately available to do the merge.  Unscintillating (talk) 18:16, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
No, I don't think so. Whether an AfD can be closed as "merge" has nothing to do with whether anyone is around to do the merge at that point. If someone doesn't leave a bolded comment or a longer rationale indicating support for merging then I think we can safely assume they aren't in favour of a merge. Hut 8.5 11:53, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
Initially you cited implied meaning at WP:N, and now you identify assumed meaning in a !vote.  The meaning of "merge", as stated at WP:Guide to deletion, allows the possibility that the article would remain in mainspace indefinitely, and I think we can agree that our Redirect !voter doesn't want this.  I think that if we are going to assume anything about this !vote, it should be that the editor supports our policies and guidelines.  Unscintillating (talk) 21:11, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
No, I didn't cite "implied meaning at WP:N". You inferred incorrectly that I was from my comment, and when I clarified you accused me of changing my mind. That page you cite isn't a policy or guideline and doesn't say that the merge closure "allows the possibility that the article would remain in mainspace indefinitely". It does say that the implementation of the close may be postponed if performing the merger will be difficult or technical, but that's hardly the same thing. I'm not sure what you're trying to say with this though, as if a Merge closure is clearly inconsistent with a particular comment then we have to count the comment as opposing a merger. Hut 8.5 20:01, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying that there was amibiguity.  I must say that I'm not aware of any such concept as "accusations" here.  You continue to argue that redirect means delete and redirect, but why wouldn't such an editor type "delete and redirect"?  If your point is to eliminate "delete and redirect", what should editors type when they intend the current meaning of "redirect"?  The one thing I have to suggest is "merge 0%".  Unscintillating (talk) 23:03, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment I think the statement at the beginning of this thread is gibberish. Non-notability is not a reason that normally leads to deletion. It normally leads to merger. The word "redirect" frequently does express a desire for merger: some editors say redirect when they really mean "merge and redirect". The contrary assumption assumes !votes are intended to be construed in a rigidly literal fashion. James500 (talk) 23:34, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
"Non-notability is not a reason that normally leads to deletion"??? I'm sorry, what Wikipedia universe are you from? EEng (talk) 06:09, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
1. James500 said: "Non-notability is not a reason that normally leads to deletion." WP:Articles for deletion says: "There are many good ways to advocate keeping, deleting, or even redirecting an article. This includes . . . Arguments commonly used to recommend deletion are: . . . 'non-notable' in cases where the subject does not meet their respective notability criteria." In point of fact, the most common reason articles are deleted at AfD is a failure to satisfy WP:GNG or any relevant specific notability guideline; according to WP:Notability, "On Wikipedia, notability is a test used by editors to decide whether a given topic warrants its own article."
2. James500 said: "The word 'redirect' frequently does express a desire for merger: some editors say redirect when they really mean 'merge and redirect'. The contrary assumption assumes !votes are intended to be construed in a rigidly literal fashion." WP:Guide to Deletion says: "'Redirect' is a recommendation to keep the article's history but to blank the content and replace it with a redirect. Users who want to see the article's history destroyed should explicitly recommend 'Delete then Redirect'." Crystal clear and not subject to interpretation when used properly; if the !voter's rationale does not match their bolded !vote, ask for clarification. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 03:36, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
Answer to point 1. above: You are forgetting that the reasons for deletion are subject to WP:ATD and WP:PRESERVE. A verifiable but non notable topic is normally merged. It is not normally deleted unless there is no suitable target for merger. Mere lack of notability does not indicate a topic is unsuitable for merger. There would have to be some additional problem with the content (eg copyvio). It is unverifiable topics that are normally deleted. That is what is supposed to happen anyway. I have known examples where content suitable for merger has been deleted as a deliberate act of vandalism and disruption. James500 (talk) 23:22, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support – If it is determined that an article should not exist in the form that it is in at the time of a deletion discussion, that article's history should be deleted, regardless of whether a redirect is created. Article history can always be requested through a deletion review if some editors would like to use old bits of content. However, I find that it is often the case that articles are deleted for a reason, and that the "old content" is often flawed beyond repair. It is often better to work on the principle of WP:KIBOSH, and hence I support a default state of "delete means delete", redirect or no redirect. RGloucester 06:10, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
RGloucester is completely right, in every sentence, including "Article history can always be requested through a deletion review if some editors would like to use old bits of content." The problem that has stirred this up is that currently at DRV, some editors, DirtLawyer1 in particular, are taking a hard line against allowing undeletion of history where someone would like to use some odd bits of content. This is completely surprising, never before has there been such resistance to undeleting innocuous material for someone to smerge. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 23:03, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support- I think if people say "redirect" it means they think the article contents should not be in mainspace, ie. there is nothing of value in the article except its title, otherwise they would have said "merge". Reyk YO! 07:27, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - These multiple options overlap or at least have some gray areas that make placement of support complicated. If I were to choose one to support, acknowledging there is precedent for supporting more than one, it would have to be this one. In determining the default, my presumption is that this is for those cases when there is consensus to redirect, but no explicit consensus to redirect and keep the history or redirect and delete the history. In that case, I think it makes sense for the closer to evaluate the arguments and make a judgment about the context that led participants to come to the redirect conclusion. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 13:38, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Obvious. Spartaz Humbug! 10:44, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. The creation of a redirect is substantively unrelated to the nature of the deleted content; the redirect target is not infrequently unrelated to the subject of the deleted content; and the closer retains discretion to create a redirect even without consensus on that point in the deletion discussion. The creation of a redirect is not a justification to disregard the discussion consensus. The Big Bad Wolfowitz (aka Hullaballoo) (talk) 19:28, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment  This is misworded, since notability is not a content issue, and material/content is only deleted for content issues.  The content issue for a notability deletion is WP:Due weight, which is not a problem with the material itself, so does not apply for a redirect.  In fact, that is exactly what notability is about, whether or not the topic should be standalone or redirected and the material/content discussed at another topic.  Sometimes "notability" is sloppily used as a content concept for content that is dubiously sourced, but this is a different issue.  Unscintillating (talk) 23:17, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Unscintillating, you wrote ". . . material/content is only deleted for content issues." That is factually incorrect. Please read the actual deletion policy on the front side of this talk page: "Reasons for deletion include, but are not limited to, the following . . . [a]rticles whose subjects fail to meet the relevant notability guideline (WP:N, WP:BIO, WP:MUSIC, WP:CORP and so forth)[.]" Failure to satisfy the applicable notability guideline is not only a perfectly valid reason to delete an article, in fact, it is probably the single most common reason for deleting an article at AfD. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 23:42, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Sir, if you understand the concept of wp:notability, and you know the difference between the topic and that which is content/material, you will agree that there is no such thing as notable content.  Your logic seems to be slipping between the "subject" of the article, for which I normally use the word "topic", to the content that was deleted at the same time as the subject.  I don't think I am saying anything controversial.  Unscintillating (talk) 00:19, 5 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Unscintillating, I have carefully drawn the distinction between notable article topics and noteworthy article content throughout. Article topics are subject to being deleted when they are not notable; if an article topic is not notable, but the article contains noteworthy content about another notable article subject, we may merge that content to the other, notable article, and preserve the article history under a redirect. While I can imagine (and have encountered) a host of variations on that theme, that is the basic distinction between article subjects and article content we need to draw here. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 04:22, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) Dirtlawyer1, Since the time I made the above 5 January statement about "notable content", you've added the word "noteworthy" in this edit section eight times, mostly in the context of "noteworthy content", but in one case you've used "noteworthy subject".  After James500 noted that the term "noteworthy" is used at WP:NNC, you created your own definition using non-policy terminology. 

    The thing is, that the concept "wp:notable content" is not at all related to any of the three definitions that have been used for "noteworthy" since 5 January.  So when you say, "I have carefully drawn the distinction between notable article topics and noteworthy article content throughout.", it comes across as a non-sequitur.  We should be able to easily agree that there is no such thing as "wp:notable content".  Unscintillating (talk) 07:32, 9 January 2016 (UTC)

  • Unscintillating, WP:NNC states in full:
"The criteria applied to article creation/retention are not the same as those applied to article content. The notability guidelines do not apply to article or list content (with the exception that some lists restrict inclusion to notable items or people). Content coverage within a given article or list (i.e. whether something is noteworthy enough to be mentioned in the article or list) is governed by the principle of due weight and other content policies. For additional information about list articles, see Notability and lists and Lead and selection criteria.
[begin insert]I have edited the above quote to include the Wikilinks.  Unscintillating (talk) 18:38, 9 January 2016 (UTC) [end insert]
The use of the word "noteworthy" in reference to content is emphasized with italics in the original. The only appearance of the word "noteworthy" anywhere within WP:N is the single instance in the section quoted in full above. I'm pretty certain that I am using the word "noteworthy" in this discussion in the same manner as WP:NNC. I have never used the phrase "noteworthy subject" in this thread, and I cannot find any comment by me where I refer to an article subject as "noteworthy" or content as "notable". Others may have used the words "notable" and "noteworthy" interchangeably with regard to article subjects, but I have not.
As to your larger point, when an article is deleted because its subject is not notable, the article's content and edit history are also subject to deletion. That's exactly what a "delete" !vote and consensus outcome at AfD mean. "Redirect" and "merge" are available as !votes and consensus outcomes at AfD as an alternative to outright deletion. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 08:46, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
  1. Search for "subject that is not noteworthy" in this edit section and you will find it.  Unscintillating (talk) 20:36, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
  2. Regarding the word "noteworthy", a related word used at WP:DUE is "prominent".  Unscintillating (talk) 20:36, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
  3. "wp:noteworthy" is not "wp:notable" (I believe that User:James500 erroneously states below, "The word 'noteworthy' is given as a definition of notability in the notability guidelines.").  Unscintillating (talk) 20:36, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
  4. Now then, can we get back to getting agreement about "wp:notable content"?  The title of WP:NNC is Notability guidelines do not apply to content within an article.  It should be easy to agree that there is no such thing as wp:notable content.  Unscintillating (talk) 20:36, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
  • To add to Dirtlawyer, a content issue is rarely allowable as a reason to delete an article unless the article's content fully fails polices of WP:NOT, WP:NOR, or WP:NPOV (for example, even if well-sourced, a page that only serves as an attack page on a BLP would be deleted). In nearly all cases where there's a content problem, deletion should be the very last result, and fixing of that content, merging that content to another article, or other action that otherwise retrain the contribution should be done first. --MASEM (t) 23:50, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
  • I said nothing about articles deleted for content problems.  The point you are making is that we want to keep good topics with bad content when possible.  My point is that we want to keep good content with bad topics when possible.  Unscintillating (talk) 00:37, 5 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Unscintillating is actually entirely correct. The 'reasons for deletion' are entirely subject to WP:ATD. (They are also subject to WP:PRESERVE and, in practice, we also follow WP:R). WP:ATD requires that articles be merged or redirected unless there are valid arguments against merger and redirection. Since non-notability alone is never a valid argument against merger or redirection, it follows that the effect of WP:ATD is that no article can be deleted for non-notability alone. Attempts to delete mergeable content or plausible redirects on grounds of non-notability are trollish and disruptive. James500 (talk) 18:53, 8 January 2016 (UTC) '
  • That's wrong. If a topic is non-notable and there is no reasonable merge target for it, such as a garage band where neither the band, any of its members, or any of its songs are notable, deletion of content is completely appropriate. If there is a potential merge target, by all means we should try to retain what can be retained even if under the history of a redirect. --MASEM (t) 19:25, 8 January 2016 (UTC)
  • When you say "deletion of content is completely appropriate", this is because there is no place in our encyclopedia for the content, not because of a WP:V problem with that content.  There is no such thing as wp:notable content—only article topics/subjects can be wp:notable.  Unscintillating (talk) 02:20, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
  • As you often do, James, you rely on an extremely one-sided interpretation of WP:ATD. As quoted above, WP:Deletion policy is crystal clear on this point: "Reasons for deletion include, but are not limited to, the following . . . [a]rticles whose subjects fail to meet the relevant notability guideline (WP:N, WP:BIO, WP:MUSIC, WP:CORP and so forth)[.]" Failure to satisfy the applicable notability guideline is not only a perfectly valid reason to delete an article in and of itself, in fact, it is probably the single most common reason for deleting an article at AfD. ATD provides alternatives to deletion if (1) subject is notable in and of itself (fix the article and keep it), or (2) the content is noteworthy and significantly related to a subject that is notable (possible merge). There is nothing in ATD that requires us to keep an article whose is subject is not notable, nor to preserve article content or article edit history for a subject that is not noteworthy and significantly related to a notable subject. For all of the unwavering conviction with which you repeat your opinion across multiple policy and guideline talk pages, yours is the decidedly minority interpretation of WP:N and WP:ATD specifically, and WP:Editing policy and WP:Deletion policy generally. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 19:33, 8 January 2016 (UTC)
  • WP:ATD contains no such restrictions. Nor is there any such 'majority interpretation'. Any requirement that content be noteworthy is out of the question because of WP:NNC. It is true that a merger can be precluded on the principle that the content falls foul of some content policy or guideline such as NOT, but the point is that such policies etc have nothing to do with notability. Likewise "no suitable target" (such as where a redirect would be confusing) is a valid argument against redirection under WP:R that has nothing to do with notability. Such an argument could not be invoked against merger because every topic are part of some broader notable topic. The garage band and its members, for example, could in theory be included in the article on the town or other area in which they are located as they are part of that topic. To prevent such inclusion, one would have to invoke a content reason at the target. Whatever that reason is, it will not be notability, because WP:NNC says so. I can think of a number of non-notability content policies that could be used to exclude the garage band from its town article, and I'm surprised you can't remember them. In spite of the conviction with which Dirtlawyer1 repeats his opinions across multiple talk pages, they are and remain totally wrong. James500 (talk) 01:35, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
  • James, I will try to be gentle with you, despite your zeal to turn the literal meanings of policies and guidelines upside down and draw the odd conclusions and interpretations you advance as a result. In my RL profession, we choose our words carefully, not accidentally. When I write topics are (or are not) "notable," I am referencing WP:N and our other notability guidelines; article topics must be "notable" -- in the Wikipedia sense -- to be included as stand-alone articles. When I say content must be "noteworthy," I am stating that content must be germane, pertinent, meaningful and not trivial. That's why Wikipedia is not a collection of indiscriminate information, and why we have policies like WP:BLP and WP:UNDUE. Non-notable subjects get deleted; that's policy (again, see WP:N quoted above). Noteworthy content about notable subjects should be preserved per WP:ATD; whether article "content" is noteworthy is a matter of editorial judgment. I regret you did not understand what I believed was the obvious distinction I was drawing between notable article topics and noteworthy article content. To state the obvious, an article topic is not the same thing as article content; and article content is not the same thing as article edit history (edit history being the subject of this entire thread). Significantly, WP:ATD does not mention the phrase "edit history" even once, and that's not an accident. I suggest you (a) re-read the applicable policies, and then (b) re-read my comments above in that light. Cheers. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 03:52, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
  • More blather. WP:N does not say that non-notable topics get deleted. Nor is it a policy. Nor does the deletion policy say that (because of ATD). "Germane, pertinent, meaningful and not trivial" appears to be your own personal invention. ATD and INDISCRIMINATE say nothing about that. Nor does that wording come from UNDUE or BLP. Whilst UNDUE is definitely relevant, you are distorting its meaning, which is actually about balance, and removing all the nuance. You are choosing your words with almost no care at all. The word "noteworthy" is given as a definition of notability in the notability guidelines. Wikipedia notability is not supposed to be a separate concept from ordinary meaning of that word (although GNG is a bad piece of OR in this respect). I can't for the life of me see why content should need to be both germane and pertinent at the same time, since both of those words just mean "relevant" according to the Compact OED and Klein's Etymological Dictionary. "Meaningful" doesn't seem relevant and "not trivial" is far too vague. So I don't like the inclusion test you've invented, and I don't think it adds anything of substance to the word "relevant". WP:ATD says nothing about merging only "noteworthy content" in your intended sense or any other. I am not the one trying to turn the literal meaning of any policy or guideline upside down here. James500 (talk) 06:02, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
  • It's been long established that's definition of notability is not the same as the standard english definition, and while there are suggestions for changing that word, "notability" still is what best captures the content. And yes, subjects that are not covered by third-party sources are supposed to be deleted per WP:V. --MASEM (t) 06:52, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
  • I disagree. WP:BIO begins with dictionary definitions of notability drawn from Encarta and the American Heritage Dictionary. The rule established is that GNG and SNG are proxies for notability in the ordinary sense of that word. The part of WP:V to which you prefer does not preclude merger of such topics, though I agree that they are less likely to be suitable for inclusion. James500 (talk) 08:55, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
  • True, WP:N does not say non-notable topics get deleted; WP:N says that "On Wikipedia, notability is a test used by editors to decide whether a given topic warrants its own article." As previously noted and quoted above, WP:Deletion policy states "Reasons for deletion include, but are not limited to, the following . . . [a]rticles whose subjects fail to meet the relevant notability guideline (WP:N, WP:BIO, WP:MUSIC, WP:CORP and so forth)[.]" The notability guideline and the deletion policy are complimentary and their meaning is crystal clear: article subjects must be notable to be included, and articles whose subjects are not notable may be deleted. WP:NNC states two basic principles: (1) article content does not need to be "notable" in the Wikipedia sense to be included in an article, but (2) article content must be "noteworthy" as determined in accordance with WP:UNDUE and other content policies. If content is not otherwise consistent with our content guidelines, then WP:ATD does not come into play with respect to that content. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 08:46, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
  • So you agree that the question of "merge or no merge" is determined by content criteria such as UNDUE, not notability. Therefore non-notability can't preclude merger, because that isn't a content criteria. Which is exactly what I said before. Good. That said, I think NNC's application of the word "noteworthy" to content criteria is gibberish in that context and should be replaced by a word that is not normally a synonym for notable. I was, as Unscintillating correctly pointed out above, wrong in appearing to suggest that notable was defined as noteworthy using that word, but it is expressly defined as "worthy of notice" or (by BIO) "note". So I think that "noteworthy" in NNC should be replaced with something less awesomely confusing. James500 (talk) 09:55, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
  • James500, Regarding an edit to NNC to change "noteworthy", I'm concerned that this may create a bigger can of worms than the problem that now exists.  The alternate choice of "prominent" may not be quite that as used at WP:DUE.  Meanwhile, please take a look at WP:INSIGNIFICANCE.  Thanks, Unscintillating (talk) 00:48, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment  Given the old hands who may still think that notability is a content concept, it seems appropriate to mention that prior to 2008, WP:N was a concept associated with material/content sufficient to write an article.  It still seems to be unclear in that context if there was "non-notable content".  Unscintillating (talk) 00:22, 6 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Support deletion If content is merged then keep the article history. If the article content is deleted and nothing is merged then delete the article. This proposal is about the case when content is removed without a merge and the article name becomes a redirect. In that case, delete the history. Blue Rasberry (talk) 20:50, 6 January 2016 (UTC)
  • "Delete because it is not yet merged" is not a policy or guideline.  There is no deadline at Wikipedia.  Why would you want merger to be done on an assembly line and before the end of the AfD?  Also, AfD volunteers are not content experts.  They don't necessarily have a clue about what content should be merged.  Especially difficult is knowing whether material in an article is verifiable.  WP:Verifiability allows published sources that require considerable effort or expense to obtain.  Unscintillating (talk) 19:25, 10 January 2016 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Delete only if consensus is "Delete then Redirect"[edit]

This RfC is part of a complex multi-part RfC with a long history which is closed following a prevailing consensus to SUPPORT the deletion of material as an exception to the established default when there is consesus to do this. A reformulated RfC would need to take into account that the complex structure of this RfC may need to be simplified to a simpler description of the issue such as "Defining the default for the Wikipedia deletion policy along with then clearly identifying any exceptions to the default as separate issues." Wikipedia has a long standing concern for copyright violations, incompatible licensing violations, and compatible licensing issues which require clarity in exposition to be effective. Fountains-of-Paris (talk) 16:11, 15 January 2016 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

  • Support Per Wikipedia:Guide to deletion (mentioned below at #General comments): "Redirect is a recommendation to keep the article's history but to blank the content and replace it with a redirect. Users who want to see the article's history destroyed should explicitly recommend Delete then Redirect." No reason to reinvent the wheel here.—Bagumba (talk) 06:30, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Users who recommend "Delete and redirect" must provide policy-based arguments for why the article's history must be deleted. Policy-based arguments for deleting the article's history include BLP violations, copyright violations, and WP:OFFICE actions.

    Unexplained "Delete and redirect" votes should be given as much weight as unexplained "Keep" and "Delete" votes. Non-policy-based "Delete and redirect" votes should be given as much weight as non-policy-based "Keep" and "Delete" votes.

    The comment I made in the other proposal also applies here. Cunard (talk) 06:48, 2 December 2015 (UTC)

    • Closers are expected to follow Wikipedia:Closing discussions#Consensus, which would cover all outcomes, not just "Delete then Redirect".—Bagumba (talk) 07:00, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
      • Agreed. For deletion discussions in particular, AfD closers should follow Wikipedia:Deletion guidelines for administrators#Rough consensus, which says, "Consensus is not determined by counting heads, but by looking at strength of argument, and underlying policy (if any). Arguments that contradict policy, are based on opinion rather than fact, or are logically fallacious, are frequently discounted."

        And Wikipedia:Deletion guidelines for administrators#Deciding whether to delete, which says, "When in doubt, don't delete." Cunard (talk) 07:08, 2 December 2015 (UTC)

        • Cunard, I am curious: will you likewise demand that "redirect, with article history retained" !voters provide valid policy-based reasons for the retention of article history, while disregarding those that advance "no harm," "it's useful" and other weak arguments routinely disregarded in our XfD discussions, or do these added burdens only apply to AfD participants who want the article history deleted? Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 07:20, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
        • Cunard, "When in doubt, don't delete" is a general principle applicable to articles, not article edit history. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 07:22, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support, with clarification - As noted by Bagumba above, "delete and redirect" is perfectly valid and well-established AfD !vote and outcome recognized by the WP:Guide to Deletion for over a decade. It has been a part of our AfD process and procedures since the earliest days of AfD. It is important to note that both "delete" and "delete and redirect" !votes carry the well-established meaning that no article edit history will be retained or restored. That said, and contrary to Cunard's assertion immediately above, there is no more burden on the "delete" and "delete and redirect" !voters to provide "policy-based reasons" than other "keep," "redirect" or "merge" !voters, and when they do provide express rationales for their !votes they are certainly not limited to the small class of reasons identified by Cunard above. Likewise, the weight afforded to "redirect, with history retained" !voters should be greater when they provide valid reasons for retaining edit history -- while according very little weight to "no harm," "it's useful," etc., that are routinely disregarded as weak arguments in our XfD discussions. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 07:20, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - Theoretically redirects could still be converted into full-fledged articles if necessary, and deleting the article history will only discourage that. Plus, if an AFD consensus is to merge a small article into a larger article, then there's still the chance that content may need to be retrieved, and per Wikipedia's use of CC, it's required anyway. From experience, "delete and redirect" outcomes mostly seem to occur when consensus determines that the article should be deleted as there's nothing to merge, but a redirect is suggested as an alternative. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 11:54, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose As a general rule, I agree, but there are always exceptions and the reason we have admins in the first place is we expect them to be able to excersise their own judgement, not because we expect them to be slavishly obedient to the letter of "teh rulez" Beeblebrox (talk) 17:59, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
    • @Beeblebrox: I take it that your "oppose" is for the rare case of IAR? If so, IAR is always a possibility, but I'm assuming you don't oppose everything merely because of it. Frankly, I (and probably others) found the wording in the RfC proposal confusing regarding what "default practice" was referring to. If the question is whether a "Redirect" consensus should mean to keep the history but redirect the page, then that is consistent with Wikipedia:Guide to deletion, and I believe is also consistent with a !vote in this section.—Bagumba (talk) 04:51, 5 December 2015 (UTC)
It's more per WP:CREEP than IAR. I am not at all convinced this is a widespread issue in need of any new rules, it seems more like a knee-jerk reaction to a recent incident. Beeblebrox (talk) 16:41, 5 December 2015 (UTC)
@Beeblebrox: According to Dirtlawyer1 at #General comments, "Delete then Redirect" has existed at Wikipedia:Guide to deletion since September 2005. So I agree this RfC is CREEP to need more verbiage. Or perhaps you are saying the Guide to Deletion itself is CREEP?—Bagumba (talk) 19:16, 5 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Supporting this option, now that it's here. This is basically what I said up there. My only suggestion: make this rule very simple and in big letters, so this doesn't happen again! Eman235/talk 22:04, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - I do not think !voting for a redirect implies that the voter thinks that the article history should be deleted. I know I've !voted for redirects before expecting that the article history would be kept. Without an explicit statement that the history should be deleted, I don't think the history should be removed. Calathan (talk) 16:31, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support assuming a CSD criteria doesn't apply and IAR cases of course. Isn't this what the policy/guideline already says? Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 12:12, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support – This is standard practice at AfD. As always, however, common sense should overrule a strict interpretation of the rules. Mz7 (talk) 17:15, 16 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support though it will take educating closers to say this, because most of us have not been specifying. DGG ( talk ) 01:44, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Meh Requiring discussion participants to consistently identify content that should be deleted (e.g., BLP) is likely unrealistically optimistic. --joe deckertalk 03:08, 20 December 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Delete if and only if there is consensus to delete[edit]

This sub-RfC in a complex 6-part RfC has two supporting opinions with a single qualification as noted in the discussion. Closing as "SUPPORTED", and closing as last part of a complex 6-part RfC. Fountains-of-Paris (talk) 18:39, 22 January 2016 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

  • Support. This is how it has always been and how it should stay. Some of the above subsection titles are making this overly complicated. The CSD criteria represent presumed consensus. There is some leeway to presume deletion by default on the basis of BLP concerns (why BLP has not mention at WP:CSD remains a mystery to me). Consensus to delete comes from the rationales offered, and bold !votes should not be read separately to the supporting rationales. Where there is a subsequent request for undeletion, the request should be weighed against the old reasons for deletion. A new rationale for a suitable place to include the information is a good reason to undelete inoffensive content. Old contributions now reused should be undeleted to give full credit to the contributors, both as a matter of politeness and the WP:COPYRIGHTS mandate to provide attribution generously. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 23:14, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support in principle, Oppose making it a hard-and-fast rule. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:15, 4 December 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

General comments[edit]

  • @Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ): Richard, either rephrase the RfC question in a neutral manner, or I will have an uninvolved administrator shut this down as an improperly biased RfC. Biased words such as "tactic" and "standard practice" are not acceptable. You cannot make your partisan argument in the RfC question. Furthermore, you have couched this RfC an either/or situation, when that has never been the case. The AfD outcomes "delete", "redirect" and "delete and redirect" have always been acceptable AfD !votes and outcomes during my 6 and a half years actively editing Wikipedia, so this is a misleading statement of standard practice within the RfC question itself. Moreover, "merge" !votes and outcomes have always embodied the "redirect with history preserved" because of the necessity of preserving the history for licensing and attribution purposes after content from the subject article is moved to the target article. The RfC will also need to be widely advertised to gain far wider participation from the community as a whole. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 00:34, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

You explained why you employ it as a tactic against recreation, you wrote: "I favor a delete and redirect because of the recent history of contentious article recreations after delete AfD results". You are employing it to prevent article recreation in the future by deleting the history to ensure consensus can never change in the other direction. I applaud it as a clever move, I just want to make sure we all agree it is the right/wrong thing to do. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 01:00, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Redirect should either be presumed to mean merge or the closer should ask for clarification. redirect and delete is clear.-Serialjoepsycho- (talk) 03:42, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
Not clear at all. I think "redirect" means there is already sufficient content at the target. "Merge and redirect" means more content on this topic currently here is needed at the target. "Delete and redirect" means that the content here is not OK, and there is already sufficient content at the target. "Redirect and Delete" sounds like you want a deleted redirect, for some reason for admins only to be able to see? --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:08, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
Well if any closer thinks that someone wants them to create a redirect and then delete it they could also ask for clarification.-Serialjoepsycho- (talk) 04:28, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
It is not necessary to specify "merge and redirect"; every formal merge of verbatim content from one article to another must necessarily include a redirect and preservation of the blanked article's edit history for Commons licensing and attribution purposes. See WP:Copying within Wikipedia.
I cannot say with certainty what "redirect and delete" means; I assume it means an editor has confused "delete and redirect," but it would be better to poll the !voter and ask him or her what was intended. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 21:55, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Guide to deletion - Please note that the Wikipedia:Guide to deletion explicitly recognizes "Delete then Redirect", stating "Redirect is a recommendation to keep the article's history but to blank the content and replace it with a redirect. Users who want to see the article's history destroyed should explicitly recommend Delete then Redirect." The Guide has incorporated such guidance regarding "Delete then Redirect" since September 2005; before that, it previously included the concept of "Delete and then re-create as Redirect". Anyone who is suggesting that "Delete and redirect" !votes and outcomes are either improper or unheard of clearly does not know the history of established AfD procedures as well as they think. Moreover, anyone who suggests that there is a built-in policy preference for keeping and/or restoring article history after a consensus "delete" or "delete and redirect" AfD outcome needs to do some more reading. I hope that removes all doubt as to what is actually permissible as an AfD !vote or consensus outcome. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 06:11, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
    • I would presume we are talking about the case when the !vote is for "Redirect" (or "Merge and Redirect") and not for "Delete and Redirect" the latter being the explicit consensus to delete the history and redirect. If the !vote is just "Redirect", then per PRESERVE, there is no need to delete that when the redirect is made. --MASEM (t) 15:02, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
      • I believe that the Guide to Deletion is already crystal clear on this point: "delete" and "delete and redirect" mean no article history is kept or restored; "redirect" means the article history is kept. For somewhat different reasons related to Commons licensing and attribution purposes, a formal "merge" outcome necessarily includes a redirect and the preservation of article history. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 21:49, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
        • There really needs to be a major clarification and maybe some new terminology developed here. There's really two levels of Delete votes — (1) delete and this material is dangerous and needs to be nuked completely from the wiki, or (2) delete because this page does not have enough notability to exist (but it's not dangerous material). Most deletions are because of notability problems, not danger to the wiki. Deleting full history is like deploying a nuclear weapon on the article — all traces are eradicated. It's a classical example of overkill. And it's such an easy button to push, that most editors don't realize how destructive it is. Sbwoodside (talk) 04:26, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
  • I think the !voter needs to have a valid reason based on policy to demand a "delete and redirect" such as a copyright problem or a libel problem for a BLP. If I just said to "delete" in an AFD it would be rightfully ignored. "Delete and redirect" is currently being used as a tactic to prevent access to the information so it is never resurrected. Consensus can change, but once info enters the memory hole, it is almost impossible to resurrect. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 03:21, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
  • I agree with "I think the !voter needs to have a valid reason based on policy to demand a "delete and redirect" such as a copyright problem or a libel problem for a BLP." Cunard (talk) 06:21, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
  • There is absolutely no basis beyond your own opinions for limiting "valid reasons" for the deletion of article history to the small class identified by you above. It is yet another attempt to strangle the long established "delete and redirect" AfD !vote and outcome to which you are personally so vehemently opposed. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 07:28, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
    • I agree a bit, but on the whole I disagree. The core of Wikipedia is content donation; the fundamental purpose of deletion is content curation--that is, improving quality by removing things of insufficient quality to stay "live". There's really a whole separate type of deletion, which is "deletion with prejudice": Attack, Copyvio, vandalism, and other limited, but narrow, reasons why we want to not just curate the content out of view, but destroy it so non-admins cannot see it ever again. This is the sort of deletion with prejudice that rightly deserves to be deleted and redirected, if appropriate. Lack of noatbility, inappropriate promotion, essays in mainspace... while these are not appropriate, they are also clearly not candidates that need to be hidden from non-administrator eyes. Jclemens (talk) 07:56, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
  • @Richard Arthur Norton: "tactic to prevent access to the information so it is never resurrected.": There is Wikipedia:Requests for undeletion to retrieve content after deletion.—Bagumba (talk) 10:03, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
  • I agree with BD2412. I seem to recall suggesting multiple levels of deletion, whereby edits undergoing the lower level of deletion (ie deletions for non-legal reasons of content that is not obviously trash etc) can be viewed, and undeleted, by non-admins, at one of the 'village pump' pages some time ago. James500 (talk) 04:37, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
  • I also agree.  The threshold for inclusion is verifiability, which is a part of content policy; while a deletion for notability is not based on there being a content problem.  Unscintillating (talk) 02:19, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
  • It just occurred to me that there's a big terminology problem here. "Articles for Deletion" implies that the choice is Delete, or Don't Delete. It also tends to mean that when an article is nominated, it's nominated for Deletion, not for Redirection. This might seem like quibbling but the names of things go a long way to determining how people view them. Shouldn't it be renamed Articles for Redirection or Deletion? Sbwoodside (talk) 08:03, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
  • If the name is changed, "Articles for discussion" would make the most sense. Plus, no need to redo the shortcuts. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 00:11, 30 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Redirection is a part of editing policy, and was added as a non-binding exit from a deletion discussion in 2009.  Were it to be considered a binding result, the AfD would be a path to coerce admins into subsequent content disputes, which while some admins jump on board at the concept, not all admins want to be coerced into content disputes.  Unscintillating (talk) 02:05, 30 December 2015 (UTC)

WP:CWW (aka Wikipedia:Copying within Wikipedia)[edit]

  • I don't see why a "delete, then redirect" !vote should receive less weight than any other. But because of the potential attribution issues there are some special considerations with it. Someone has to take responsibility for any WP:CWW issues arising from a "delete, then redirect" outcome. In some cases this will be simple and obvious, but in others it won't and in that case, I think it should work like this: If we're redirecting to a list or article of larger scope, then the person saying "delete then redirect" ought to indicate whether they've gone through the edit summaries checking to see if any revision of the target article includes content from the subject article. If either the subject article or the target article was itself made from a merger, then the constituent article histories would also need to be checked. If the editor recommending "delete, then redirect" does not say they've done this, then the closing admin should not delete the material without checking this point themselves.—S Marshall T/C 19:55, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
Re "indicate whether they've gone through the edit summaries checking to see if any revision of the target article includes content from the subject article": Obviously no one's gonna to do that except in trivial cases, so here's an easier way... rephrase the information being transferred to the list article, just as one would do when taking facts from an external copyrighted source. Then attribution is no longer an issue. EEng (talk) 20:08, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
If it's possible to do this without WP:CLOP problems then that may be a valid way forward. Redirect targets in this kind of situation are often lists or list-articles where close paraphrasing may be harder to avoid.—S Marshall T/C 20:17, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
If the information is so simple and straightforward that it can't be presented any other way, then it's no protectable anyway. It's a myth that there can be "close paraphrasing" in a list; there can't, any more than there can be close paraphrasing in a phone book. EEng (talk) 21:25, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
OK. I think that would be a WP:SMERGE really, rather than a redirect. I think here we're really talking about "delete, then redirect" articles where what needs to be checked is whether any of the information has already been merged, so there are unresolved problems here.—S Marshall T/C 21:44, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
I disagree with EEng. Rewriting our own valid content is a waste of time. That is exactly the sort of disruptive nuisance obstruction that editors should not be subjected to. James500 (talk) 19:03, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
We constantly paraphrase content -- do it all the time when drawing from external sources. Anyway, all I said is that this would be easier than going through the article history to figure out who contributed which tiny bit of text. You might want to tone down the hysterics about "disruptive nuisance obstruction" because you're beginning to look ridiculous. All I did was open another possibility, not close anything off. EEng (talk) 19:50, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
This encyclopedia aims to be free to reuse. That includes past revisions as well as present ones. Asking me what universe I come from is hysterical and looks ridiculous. James500 (talk) 06:04, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
No, that's not actually true. The key thing about the revision history is to track contributions, not necessarily what those contributions are, for purposes of meeting CC-BY. It just so happens that the revisions submitted are also visible if you view contributions. --MASEM (t) 06:44, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
  • I recently wrote a mini-essay related to this topic. included by reference. -- RoySmith (talk) 23:57, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
    • Yes, exactly. There are really two kinds of delete: (1) nuke this because it's dangerous and needs to be expunged, vs (2) delete the page because it doesn't currently meet our standards. But there's only one delete vote. I agree with your proposal to create a new Deleted: namespace, and I also think that these two kinds of deletes could be given different names, for example (1) Delete and Expunge vs (2) Delete (preserving history). Sbwoodside (talk) 04:31, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
      • I think this idea for a deleted namespace is an excellent idea. I note its similarity to the draft namespace. James500 (talk) 05:44, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
  • It is my understanding that in this proposal, non-admins can move articles into and out of the new namespace.  This means that this new namespace would be a part of editing policy, so there is possibly a name less confounded than "Deleted:"; but in general, this appears to be revolutionary without needing new software.  Unscintillating (talk) 02:46, 30 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Sometimes an article is more trouble than it is worth, with regard to determining whether there are serious violations in the history, or whether when problems are removed the creative contribution is zero or virtually zero. A common response to such things is WP:TNT. I think, when an article is delete and redirected, it is typically not because there is something inherently wrong with the topic. In these cases, it is probably a good idea to call it a WP:TNT, to copy the reference list to the AfD page, and to state that there is nothing productive in the history, if you want go back to the sources. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:36, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
  • TNT is a load of nonsense. It does not result in improvements. It makes topics disappear forever. James500 (talk) 05:44, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
  • I don't agree with you there, James500. I've found that sometimes a user with an agenda creates an article that Wikipedia ought to have, and it really can be a whole lot better to start over. I think a user arguing WP:TNT ought to be someone who's credibly going to create an article in that space, though; someone who's been actively editing in the topic area, for example.—S Marshall T/C 13:09, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
  • We still haven't bottomed out how to resolve this. EEng has convinced me that there isn't a problem with "delete and redirect" in cases of a WP:SMERGE close; but there's a class of other cases, where content from the subject article might have found its way into other articles before the AfD took place. The question is how to identify when this has happened.

    One option is to assume that the target article will always contain {{R from merge}}, {{R with history}}, {{R with old history}}, or something similar and do a search of category:Templates for redirects resulting from merges or moves. The two challenges there are (1) that these categories are very large, so we'd want to write a bot or script to search them, and (2) they're of relatively recent origin so "delete and redirect" could not be a valid outcome for pages with content from before (say) 2008.

    This is a technicality, but it's a rather important one. It's about compliance with the terms of use.—S Marshall T/C 13:28, 12 December 2015 (UTC)

Proposed wording change for future AFD pages[edit]


while there is support for the general idea, there is no agreement on the actual wording. A new proposal with improved wording may be in order. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:05, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I propose adding

:Help for editors new to deletion discussions can be found at Wikipedia:Guide to deletion#Discussion and Wikipedia:Guide to deletion#Recommendations and outcomes.

which displays as

Help for editors new to deletion discussions can be found at Wikipedia:Guide to deletion#Discussion and Wikipedia:Guide to deletion#Recommendations and outcomes.

to the top of all newly-created XfDs.

I've updated Template:Afd2/sandbox and Template:Afd2/testcases to demonstrate this.

Among other things, this will point to documentation that says exactly what "redirect" means, avoiding the confusion that sometimes happens at XfD or Deletion Review. Sidebar: For the past few years, that page has said that "Redirect" implies "Redirect and keep" but if the discussion immediately above this one changes things, then that document will need to be updated).

If there is an affirmative consensus to make the change or if there are no objections within a week then I'll make the "edit request" in a week or so. If a consensus becomes obvious sooner, I will make the edit request sooner (personally, I think this is a "no brainer" but I've been wrong about "no brainers" before). davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 17:28, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

  • Support - David's proposal is a no-brainer. The meanings of "redirect" and "delete and redirect" have been well established by the Wikipedia:Guide to deletion since at least 2005, and the present argument over these meanings of these AfD !votes and consensus outcomes is more than a little pointless in the face of this history. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 17:32, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
    Just to clarify my proposal has nothing to do with the current wording of that document and everything to do with the fact that editors at AFDs and DRVs are either unaware of it or, as happened to me the other day, could not find the document when they were looking for it. In other words, I would make the same recommendation of the current wording said the exact opposite of what it says today if there was a similar level of confusion going on in AFDs and DRVs, and I would still consider it a "no brainer" proposal. The meaning of "redirect" is irrelevant to this section - editors who want to contribute to that discussion should look at the discussion that is already on this page and discuss away. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 19:44, 1 December 2015 (UTC) David, I would still support your inclusion of the links to the Guide to Deletion, etc., regardless of any changes to the Guide, etc. Making these links readily available should help alleviate the obvious confusion some editors have regarding the meaning of particular !votes and outcomes at AfD and DRV. Cheers. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 20:37, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. (1) The Guide is an essay. (2) It isn't clear to me why the guide should be singled out over all our other policies, guidelines and essays. James500 (talk) 02:02, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
    I have no objection to a general header at the top of XfDs with links to all polices, guidelines, and essays or parts thereof which are specifically relevant to those participating in the deletion discussion, provided it doesn't become a link farm. Feel free to modify that sandbox. For convenience, here's a permalink to "my" version: Template:Afd2/sandbox. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 04:22, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
  • I doubt that a link farm could be avoided, so I oppose any additions. In view of the following comment, I think I should point out that, in general, the accuracy of information pages tends to be poor. New users may not even understand the difference between policies, guidelines and essays. If we must link to something, the deletion policy is the obvious choice. James500 (talk) 22:23, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - I support providing people with information about our processes -- especially when people are about the participate (or considering participation) in that process. As we do not have a policy or guideline that provides the same kind of help as this information page, and the information page is both based on and defers to the policies and guidelines, this seems extraordinarily logical. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 05:58, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 20:19, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:BLOAT. The guide lost me at the point that it started talking about "multiple layers of swiss cheese". Andrew D. (talk) 20:46, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support instead adding "help" to the AfD template {{la}} (or to a new template) which will link to Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion#How_to_contribute. It is a problem that editors can find their way to individual AfDs without passing the instructions. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 03:07, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support concept neutral on wording. Spartaz Humbug! 10:45, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support the concept Now write something clear, concise, and direct. Use wording that's direct and not wording that's so open to interpretation that everybody comes up with a different answer! --MurderByDeletionism"bang!" 03:28, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment If you're going to ask people to read the guide, why not start by renaming it "Guide to Redirection or Deletion" — you're putting a lot of assumption on people reading up to the section on redirection. Assuming as you are that they don't know much about deletion in the first place. And in addition, probably need to change "Deletion Review" to "Redirection or Deletion Review" and AfD to AfRD and XfD to XfRD etc. Sbwoodside (talk) 08:07, 24 December 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Delete and redirect wording change[edit]


no consensus for implementation. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:02, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

"Delete and redirect" should only be used when an article contains copyright violations or contains libelous statements about a living person. Deleting an article history to prevent it from being recreated in the future is not a valid reason for deleting the article history.


  • Support I think this wording should be included in the guideline. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 15:30, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
  • I support the principle of the second sentence of this proposal ("Deleting an article history to prevent it from being recreated in the future is not a valid reason for deleting the article history"), though I'm not sure the wording is perfect. James500 (talk) 18:42, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Consensus can easily change, especially as discussions are so poorly attended. There should be no ratchet effect making it difficult to reuse the content in question. This is already our policy per WP:PRESERVE. Andrew D. (talk) 20:54, 4 December 2015 (UTC)


  • Delete and redirect should be used whenever the only useful thing in the article is its title. For instance it is correct to delete the page history of an article on a non-notable individual if it's going to be redirected to a notable person with the same name. Hoaxes, unsourced cruft, articles where the entire content is already at the redirect target, and NPOV violations are also reasons to delete. Finally, this prevents people sneaking back to restore the article when they think nobody is still watching, which I have discovered times in the past. Reyk YO! 15:45, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
  • I strongly oppose this. There is a far wider variety of reasonable and perfectly valid reasons for a standard "delete" !vote (i.e., delete with no redirect) or a "delete and redirect" !vote (i.e., delete, redirect, no article history preserved) than those stated above, and the burden on "delete and redirect" !voters to state their reasons for their vote should be no greater than those on "redirect" or "merge" !voters to state their reasons to preserve the article history. The ongoing efforts to bias the AfD process by effectively de-legitimizing the well-established practice of "delete and redirect" needs to stop. This has disrupted our AfD and DRV processes for the last year and a half and has led to numerous instances of gamesmanship and disingenuous requests for overturning perfectly valid "delete" and "delete and redirect" consensus outcomes. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 15:58, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
  • D&R is a valid option for any type of content, though expected to be used more for copyright vios and BLP issues. There should be a valid reasoning given when this is expressed as a !vote as to why to remove the content, but it cannot be eliminated as an option save for limited cases. --MASEM (t) 16:16, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
  • According to established policy and practice, reasons for deleting content (whether in conjunction with creating a redirect or not) are not limited to copyright, libel and similar problems, but include any reason that results in a consensus for deletion, such as non-notability or material not compliant with WP:NOT.  Sandstein  16:48, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
  • "Delete and redirect" is an acceptable outcome if deletion is a valid result of the AfD and the title makes a good redirect. Reasons for deleting articles are certainly not limited to copyright violations and BLP violations. Hut 8.5 19:49, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
  • This is more than a wording change and, like Sandstein notes, based on a false assumption. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 23:53, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose There are plenty of good reasons beyond copyright for a decision to delete and then redirect. Reyk offers one, and others above offer several more. Also the comments above indicating that this would be a policy change, rather than a mere clarifying wording change are spot-on. It seems odd to me that this proposal is made while an RfC on this same topic is still open. I guess the proponent of the RfC has concluded the proposition is failing there, so it's time to open up a new front in the WP:BATTLEGROUND. David in DC (talk) 21:19, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
  • No See my reasoning in the section below,. Spartaz Humbug! 10:49, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per just about all of the above. The Big Bad Wolfowitz (aka Hullaballoo) (talk) 14:23, 13 December 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Alternative proposal[edit]


There is clearly not a consensus to implement this. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:00, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

"Delete and redirect" should only be used if every revision in the history of the page satisfies the criteria for revision deletion.

  • Support This is not only desirable, it is existing site consensus, it is a necessary consequence of having criteria for revision deletion which forbid admins from indiscriminately deleting revisions, and is necessary to maintain consistency with those criteria. I have proposed this rephrase because I am not convinced Richard's proposal includes everything in REVDEL (eg pure vandalism at a valid title). This should prevent the page history of an article about to undergo redirection only on grounds that its topic is not notable being deleted for the purpose only of obstructing the future expansion of the prospective redirect into an article as that is not allowed by REVDEL, though I'm not sure how to word that part. James500 (talk) 18:42, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Much better wording, but may still need work. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 20:17, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - There is absolutely no policy or historical basis for limiting "delete and redirect" !votes in this manner. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 19:32, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose for the same reason given above. Deleting an article as the result of an AfD can only be done if there is consensus for that outcome, so this has nothing to do with admins indiscriminately deleting pages. The normal outcome for pages on topics found to be non-notable is for the page to be deleted, so you can hardly argue that deletion isn't appropriate for such a topic. Otherwise we would have a rule mandating that articles be redirected whenever possible as an alternative to deletion. Hut 8.5 19:49, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per my oppose to the other suggestion. Reyk YO! 20:44, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose, that is in substance the same proposal as above, and it is based on a similar false assumption: we do routinely delete whole articles (as opposed to specific revisions) for reasons other than that their content is offensive or illegal.  Sandstein  21:03, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support This would be consistent with the empharic guidance of WP:DGFA: "When in doubt, don't delete.". Andrew D. (talk) 21:21, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
  • "When in doubt, don't delete.": refers to articles and article content, does not mention article history, and suggests that inadequate articles should be (a) fixed or (b) merged rather than be deleted. The guidance must be read in its context. There is no emphatic guidance regarding article history. Cheers. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 21:29, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Dirtlawyer1 has it backwards. It is possible to delete article content simply by editing the article and removing text. The thing about deletion which makes it special is that it removes the history too, so that the change can't easily be reverted. So, the guidance about not deleting in case of doubt applies especially to the history. Andrew D. (talk) 19:53, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Okay, Andrew, for the sake of those watching this show at home, let's be crystal clear: I was referring to articles and the content of articles nominated for deletion at AfD, where a determination must be made what to do with the nominated articles and their content. The article and its content may be deleted outright, with no history preserved ("delete"); the article and content may be deleted and the article page redirected, with the history preserved under a redirect ("redirect"); the article and content may be deleted, the article page redirected, and no history preserved ("delete and redirect"); and the article may be deleted and the article page redirected, with some or all of the content transferred to a related article ("merge"). Both "redirect" and "merge" are supposed to involve the deletion of the article, but the replacement of the article page with a redirect, and the preservation of the article history under the redirect. As noted by you above, of course anyone may delete content from an existing article (subject to article-level consensus); that's part of the ordinary editing process, and has nothing to do with the treatment of articles, content and history as a consequence of the AfD process. Your argument above completely disregards the well-established AfD terminology which already distinguishes incrementally between articles, article content, and article history, as each of the AfD !votes and outcomes leads to a different outcome for the nominated article, its content, and its history. Please note that under this well established scheme that article, article content and article history are each treated discretely; hence article content and article history are NOT the same thing (as asserted by you). No new revelations or insights are required here; these have been the established AfD procedures for over a decade; please see WP:Guide to Deletion. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 20:43, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
  • I've been patrolling AFD for about 10 years and had never heard of WP:Guide to Deletion before but it's just an essay and so I haven't missed much. It originally started as Wikipedia:Votes for deletion phrases. That title is now a redirect but I can still see all the original versions in the history. This is the importance of preserving the history; it provides a clear audit trail showing all the incremental changes which are quite helpful in understanding the provenance of current content. Take away the history and you destroy the institutional memory – it would be like a lawyer working without a library of decisions and precedents. This is not the way that wikis work. Andrew D. (talk) 08:51, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I don't see this getting any support beyond the proposal above. There are reasons for deletion beyond the reasons for revision deleting. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 23:53, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - This is even more narrow than the previous case (not all BLP violations are necessarily revdel'ed). --MASEM (t) 04:10, 5 December 2015 (UTC)
  • This is already covered at least with respect to explicit "delete and redirect" !votes: Such !votes are effectively saying "there is no revision to go back to that doesn't fit into Wikipedia:Revision deletion, including item #5, Wikipedia:Deletion policy#Reasons for deletion, which includes its own #8 (lack of notability) along with a lot of other reasons." Yes, there are some occasional exceptions, such as when the few revisions that don't fit the above fit the essay known as WP:Blow it up and start over or the policy known as WP:Ignore all rules, but those are the exceptions, not the rule. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 17:46, 5 December 2015 (UTC)
I don't think criteria 5 of REVDEL applies criteria 8 of this policy to revisions, because it requires "valid deletion" under this policy. Revisions in the page history of a redirect cannot fail any notability guideline, as those guidelines, in their own express words, only apply to the existence of articles, not revisions. The deletion of such revisions for failure of guidelines strictly inapplicable to them under the terms of those guidelines would be invalid. James500 (talk) 05:25, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Comments. "Delete and redirect" is practically exactly equivalent to revision deletion, so there is no practical reason for treating them differently. Treating "delete and redirect" as different to revision deletion would produce inconsistent outcomes in practically equivalent cases. Exactly the same content could appear in revisions at either location (ie the prospective redirect and its prospective target). It is difficult to see why its fate should depend whether it is in one place or the other. An article that is a suitable target for merger, which did not exist at the time of the AfD, might be subsequently created after redirection. The normal outcome for pages on topics found to be non-notable is for the page to be merged. The only case this does not happen is if content issues (eg problems with WP:V etc.) prevent merger. We do have a rule mandating that articles be redirected whenever possible as an alternative to deletion (WP:ATD, WP:R). If editors above want to effectively delete revisions in page histories of redirects for reasons other than reasons not presently authorised by REVDEL they should go to WT:REVDEL and seek the changes they want there. James500 (talk) 05:50, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. No better than the initial proposal. David in DC (talk) 21:22, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
  • No Admins and users should be capable of parsing the commentary as well as the specific vote and the actual outcome is inevitably a synthesis of the meaningful parts of the discussion. Seeking to fetter such nuance seems to be trying to bind outcomes of discussions rather than allowing participants voices to be heard, Spartaz Humbug! 10:48, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. There are all sorts of valid reasons for deletion which don't justify RevDel. The Big Bad Wolfowitz (aka Hullaballoo) (talk) 14:26, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose WP:REVDEL has quite a narrow set of definitions for deletion. There can be many more reasons that would means no revisions are wroth retaining, such as test, nonsense, regular vandalism, blank or no context pages. The criteria for speedy deletion would be more appropriate. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 10:06, 27 December 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Recommended deletions[edit]

Given that IP's can't create AfD's there needs to be a more formal process to recommend deletions for users to act upon if they agree to do so. The following articles should be going to AfD; Hartley Jackson, Amy Action, Steve Rackman, WrestleClash, Explosive Pro Wrestling, Melbourne City Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Alliance Australia. (talk) 09:43, 27 December 2015 (UTC)

I think that IPs could create drafts for these, and then use AFC or a willing user to finish the move. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 10:09, 27 December 2015 (UTC)
Are you proposing that the IP create Draft:WP:Articles for deletion/Hartley Jackson (2nd nomination)?  How would they do that?  Thanks, Unscintillating (talk) 02:44, 29 December 2015 (UTC)
  • I was thinking about this exact concept just minutes before discovering this subsection.  The editors who move IP nominations into AfD-space without adding value seem to think they are relieved of responsibility to prepare the community, so we end up with low-quality AfD noms in the current situation.  Yet it seems entirely possible that experienced editors willing to do WP:BEFORE would volunteer to provide high-quality AfD nominations based on the request on a request page.  Further, such a page provides a working vehicle to topic-ban AfD-nomination trouble-makers from directly creating new AfDs, without the POV-deletionists being able to argue that the right-to-delete was being impaired.  Looks like a win-win to me.  I'd suggest a page something like [[WP:.../Requests for AfD nominations]].  Unscintillating (talk) 17:08, 27 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Interesting that many of those articles have been deletion targets of IPs involved in past and current sockpuppet investigations. GaryColemanFan (talk) 17:11, 27 December 2015 (UTC)
  • My view is that as long as the nomination is being made in good faith, and would not result in a WP:Speedy Keep close, we should facilitate unregistered users who wish to make an AfD nomination. In the past, I have created the AFD page and transferred the deletion rational when I have found AfD templates added to an article by an IP editor, that either had a message on the talk page, or a sufficient edit summary to explain why it should be deleted. Honestly, I think this is a better approach, as it wont involve the creation of additional pages (such as in AFC space) until a registered editor has reviewed the reason for the nomination, while at the same time, respecting the contributions of IP editors who act in good faith to improve the encyclopedia. If the nomination rationale is made in good faith, but insufficient to justify deletion, it can be dealt with through the normal AfD process, just as when a registered editor makes the same type of nomination. Monty845 17:21, 27 December 2015 (UTC)
    • "In good faith" being key words, as several of these are articles targeted by IPs who were then blocked for a year as sockpuppets of a banned user, and others are targeted by a user who is currently the subject of a sockpuppet investigation involving the IP who initiated this thread. GaryColemanFan (talk) 17:28, 27 December 2015 (UTC)
    • By definition, the [[WP:.../Requests for AfD nominations]] page would be used by people who cannot create new pages, so there would only be the one new project page.  Unscintillating (talk) 17:38, 27 December 2015 (UTC)
  • I fear that any "Request for AfD" page is likely to be flooded with large numbers of bad requests, and to result in large numbers of bad nominations, so I don't support this. My provisional preference is to further restrict the right to make AfD nominations (in cases that do not have special considerations, such as BLPs) by creating a new "AfD nominator" user right. James500 (talk) 18:07, 28 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Registered users are already flooding AfD with large numbers of bad nominations, even without the help of anonymous users. Contrary to what is said below, this is a serious problem. What we need is a way to restrict nominations. James500 (talk) 11:22, 29 December 2015 (UTC)
  • It's objectively untrue that AfD is being flooded with bad nominations. The majority of nominations end with consensus to delete the article. Anyone can verify this for themselves. I picked a day at random, (Feb 1 2015), and found that of the 58 nominations only 10 ended as keep. Of the 58 discussions on that day I counted 34 deletions, five redirects, and four merges (and five No-consensus). Thus about 75% of nominations ended up with consensus that the article should not remain, and the maximum possible rate assuming all keep decisions were bad nominations, is about 17%. It just is not true that AfD is full of bad nominations. Reyk YO! 11:50, 29 December 2015 (UTC)
  • So 24 out of 58 nominations failed. My reading of that data is that 41% of the nominations did not match the result and could be regarded as "bad" on that line of reasoning. Even 17% is far too high. That number should not exceed, or even approach, 1%. In any event, there are far too many bad deletions, because AfD is also being flooded with bad delete votes, so the fact that an article was deleted does not mean it should have been. James500 (talk) 12:05, 29 December 2015 (UTC)
  • That's a very unreasonable interpretation. It would be more correct to say that 43 out of 58 agreed that there was a problem and fixed it. Another five were undecided. A proposal isn't bad or unreasonable just because it fails to gain consensus. If you require proposals to have a 100% success rate, I would need to remind you of your own bad track record of proposing guidelines- you're batting .000 with unanimous opposition at the moment. Of course you claim, without evidence or reasoning, that AfD is being flooded with bad delete votes, but that's only because you disagree with them, not because they are wrong. Of course you feel the need to try to restrict or ban people from AfD, because they keep making persuasive and successful arguments to delete crappy articles, and you can't handle it. That's how we get woeful proposals like WP:DELREF2015, where you advocate restricting everyone except an elite squad of hardcore inclusionists from AfD. Fortunately, everyone knows you're always wrong and your bannathon has no chance whatsoever of being enacted. Reyk YO! 16:13, 29 December 2015 (UTC)
  • (1) Please stop violating WP:AVOIDYOU. (2) I have no intention of responding to the substance of your inaccurate and irrelevant off topic comments. (3) The page you pointed to is a 'brainstorming' exercise that attempts to list everything that could be done, to facilitate further investigation, not a list of positive recommendations as to what should be done, as I think you are well aware. (4) The only editor to disagree with my comments above in this thread is you. (5) In nine of those nominations, the problem agreed on was one that can be solved without an AfD, thus constituting a waste of time. But, more importantly, that problem was not the one alleged by the nominator. In another five, everyone's time was wasted because there was no agreement. What concerns me is people making awful arguments that are only 'persuasive' to people who lack the intelligence or education to see through them, or who regard AfD as some kind of computer game the object of which is to rack up as many kills as possible. (6) Deletion is a special case because it is the cause of the editor retention emergency. James500 (talk) 17:48, 29 December 2015 (UTC)
  • (1) How does one stop doing what one hasn't done? (2) You're demanding perfection of AfD nominators but you accept a 100% failure rate for yourself. This is neither inaccurate nor off-topic. (3) Riiiiiiight. :rolleyes: (4) And you're going to interpret that as everyone agreeing with you? (5) You're going to call the majority of AfD participants and closing administrators unintelligent and uneducated? (6) [citation needed]. Reyk YO! 18:45, 29 December 2015 (UTC)
  • (1) You did do it. (2) I have no intention of responding to the substance of your misleading and irrelevant off topic comments. (3) I have no idea what you mean by that. (4) I didn't say that. (5) I did not say that those characteristics were possessed by the majority. (6) WP:BLUE. (7) AfD nominations are not proposals. They are so dissimilar that any comparison would be invalid. I do not propose to restrict the right to make proposals. I am not aware that there is a problem with proposals. There is certainly nothing to compare with the scale of thousands and thousands and thousands of bad AfDs. James500 (talk) 21:10, 29 December 2015 (UTC)
  • What is wrong with the system we have now? Currently, IPs who want to start an AfD need to request a registered user to complete the last step. This stops the obviously invalid nominations because they need to go through another editor. Anyway, there does not actually seem to be a huge demand for this service. Maybe a couple of times a month, tops. I have done this on behalf of an IP before, and I'll do so for any nomination I think sounds plausible whether I agree with it or not. My impression is about ten or twelve times, and about half the time the article ends up deleted, and I have not yet had to decline one for being obviously ridiculous. So I do not think there is any serious problem with flooding AfD with really poor nominations. Reyk YO! 22:00, 28 December 2015 (UTC)
  • I'm only talking about AfDs that an IP has requested someone to complete. That was an unusual situation since the IP editor didn't ask anyone to complete the nomination. If they had, I would have said no. What they actually did was create the talk page of the nonexistent AfD. One of the article's editors asked for someone to do something about it. To clean up, I created the AfD and immediately closed it. I don't remember now why I didn't speedy tag it under WP:CSD#G8, which would also have been OK. Nobody objected to my close so it must have been the right one. Reyk YO! 07:28, 29 December 2015 (UTC)
  • If IPs want a more convenient way for them to nominate articles for deletion, then we already have one: they can register for an account and nominate them like anyone else. Requests for registered editors to complete AfD nominations are just that, requests, and registered editors are perfectly entitled to decline them. The volume of these requests is in any case pretty low. While I certainly wouldn't go as far as saying registered editors have to agree with requested nominations to start them, they should decline any cases where the request is obviously frivolous or disruptive or where the AfD would be speedily closed. Hut 8.5 11:10, 29 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Rather than comment at length, repeating what others have already said, I endorse 100% what Hut 8.5 said immediately above. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 03:31, 31 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Agreed, Hut puts it well and I ahve nothing to add except to note tha the IP who proposed this has now been blocked for all sorts of obnoxious disruptive editing. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:05, 1 January 2016 (UTC)
  • IPs (editors who have habitually been editing as IPs) can register. Registering has benefits that easily outweigh not registering. Also, the changing natures of IPs, and the lack of implied single identity, means that IPs does fit well in meta discussions. IPs are most certainly welcome to participate in deletion discussions on articles they have a history editing, but IPs wandering the project attempting broad managements is uncomfortable due to their lesser accountability. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 23:42, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
  • I agree with Hut 8.5, those who want to take part in the community (rather than just editing) should register an account. I can't really see the advantage of this proposal, it still ends up with the IPs nomination needing reviewing and the process completing by a registered editor. That's pretty much what we have already. SpinningSpark 15:46, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

Draft/Incubation policy RFC[edit]

Currently under discussion at Wikipedia_talk:Drafts#Clarification_over_main-space_to_draft-space_moves.

Wikipedia:Deletion_policy#Incubation and Wikipedia:Drafts states that users may move articles into the draft space. But the article incubator explictly disallowed "articles which have not gone through a deletion process". Current deletion policy allows the movement of any article deemed to "not yet meet Wikipedia's quality standards", does this mean CSD candidates, or can other cleanup candidates be removed from the main space? - hahnchen 22:38, 26 January 2016 (UTC)

Draft deletion discussion[edit]

I started a discussion on draft deletion policy at Wikipedia_talk:Deletion_review#Policy_discussion:_When_is_it_appropriate_to_delete_stale_drafts.3F. It has been pointed out to me that this page might have been a better place to start that, but it's already ongoing, so let's continue it where it is. -- RoySmith (talk) 14:50, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

Sandbox pages[edit]

There should be a discussion of policy and mechanism for an editor dleting pages in his sandbox. Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz Username:Chatul (talk) 17:13, 1 February 2016 (UTC)

There is already such a mechanism: pages in userspace can be speedily deleted under U1 by any admin if the user they belong to requests it. This includes user sandboxes. Hut 8.5 20:21, 1 February 2016 (UTC)