Wikipedia talk:Articles for deletion/Archive 17

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Proposal - suspension of VfD

Voting for deletion of articles is no longer in the best interest of Wikipedia. Deletion of an article is an action which intends to destroy the entire record of that article from the viewable website. The article's history is removed, and any inward or outbound links are broken. In every circumstance, except for candidates for speedy deletion and copyright problems, deletion for content reasons (as opposed to technical reasons, like preparing for a page move) is not in the best interest of Wikipedia's future endeavours. Alternative solutions are already available, and are always more appropriate:

  • Merge the useful content and redirect - An article which is deleted can unfortunately be recreated by a novice user, or someone who has a personal agenda. This can lead to a repetitive cycle of deletion discussion. Merging the useful content into an existing article (or articles) and then changing the page to become a redirect to the most appropriate target will discourage repeated creation. This new target can be changed later, so editors should not be afraid that their chosen one might be a mistake.
  • Transfer to Wiktionary, Wikibooks, etc. -- The Transwiki process allows article content to moved to one of the appropriate sister projects. The process can be performed by any editor, or they can ask for help. Once the content is placed onto the sister project, a "soft redirect" can be created.

Beyond the benefits outlined above, the chief one is that even non-admins can essentially delete a page (by creating a redirect), and undelete it (by restoring previous versions or creating new ones). No special process is required, and normal consensus-gathering discussions on article talk pages can be used instead. The article's history is also easily available should later attempts be made to make it more encyclopedic. If page is subject to vandalism or continued edits against consensus, it can be restored to a redirect and protected by an admin.

The danger in not adopting this practice is that a significant amount of editorial time is wasted on the current Vote/Delete process. Because of its nature, Votes for deletion frequently attracts editors who lean towards deletionism, so it is impossible to determine whether there is true community consensus - particularly since the deletion act is such an important one.

In accordance with this proposal, I will no longer be listing any pages on Wikipedia:Votes for deletion, and will actively attempt to resolve all such listings in the manner documented above. I encourage others to do the same until such time as "VfD" is recognized by the community as no longer being needed.

  1. Netoholic @ 05:51, 4 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Comments on the proposal

  • Where do we have the important reorganization discussions that we currently have on Votes for Deletion? ---Rednblu 06:22, 4 Sep 2004 (UTC)
  • You can't be serious! I strongly oppose this idea.
    1. Some articles really do need to be removed entirely from the Wikipedia, because quite frankly, they're crap. Storing their history helps no one. We can't speedy everything (are you opposed to speedy, too?) since that just means fewer eyes get to judge such articles. VfD is a good thing.
    2. Relisted articles that were already voted for deletion in the past are generally removed at once; Syed Hussain comes to mind. We can't stop people with agendas from repeatedly copying and pasting pages, but we can make it clear that they are wasting their time: we can delete, block, protect, and ban.
    3. VfD is no more a waste of time than CfD, TfD, IfD, Copyright problems, or any of the numerious maintenance pages that all Wikipedians ought to frequent. It merely gets more traffic.
    4. I am a deletionist. This is an encyclopedia, and content that is not encyclopedic has no place here. For instance, if I encountered my own biography on the Wikipedia, I would flag it for speedy deletion. I'm simply not that important in the grand scheme of things (yet.) Those who want a more inclusive wiki can always download MediaWiki and fire up a project of their own.
    5. The VfD chopping block has saved a large number of articles thanks to the extra scrutiny it provides. I think that this is both good (VfD is more effective than cleanup) and bad (VfD is not cleanup!), but suspending VfD altogether is not the answer.
    6. Only a minority of articles on VfD are worthy of TransWiki, so we're essentially left with speedy deletes and merge + redirects as the only way to remove unneeded content. You know as well as I do that that is not enough.
You may do what you wish with your own VfD nominations, but you can't be serious about suspending the entirety of VfD when you offer no viable alternative. --[[User:Ardonik|Ardonik(talk)]] 06:26, Sep 4, 2004 (UTC)
In response to your points:
  1. No, A well-defined speedy-deletion process has its benefits, as well as retaining the undelete process (mistakes happen). I only propose that it's arrogant to assume an article has no potential, or that its history is useless. VfD is a good thing, gone horribly wrong.
  2. Redirects will only help avoid re-creation, but won't eliminate it. Troublesome users can be dealt with as usual. What we do on VfD has no bearing on that though.
  3. Yes, far too much traffic.
  4. If I saw your biography on WP, I'd redirect it to your user page. A redirect is harmless, so long as it doesn't interfere with regular searching. WP:RFD still has its place.
  5. You made my argument - if we didn't spend so much time on VfD, maybe we'd spend it on Cleanup.
  6. I think redirects and speedies by themselves offer solutions to nearly every article listed right now on VfD.
-- Netoholic @ 06:49, 4 Sep 2004 (UTC)
The main problem with VfD is that too many items are referred to it. I rarely now list anything, deleting/redirecting/editing instead. Although there are pages where discussion may be appropriate, there are many obvious junk pages listed for VfD, which I would delete if they were not effectively protected from a speedy. jimfbleak 06:38, 4 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Dunno. 1) I take your point that in many or perhaps cases, an appropriate redirect is equivalent to and better than deletion. But what do we do about true vanity pages or utterly non-notable topics? I realize that not everyone acknowledges the existence of such things. But let's suppose I were to create an article about, say, four guys who occasionally sing barbershop together but have not even bothered to register as one of several thousand SPEBSQSA registered quartets. Where does that redirect to? What about junior high school bands that have never had a paying gig?
2) I have a problem with the transwiki solution, just as I do with the occasional suggestion that people use Everything2. The problem is this. Wikipedia has, currently, achieved a degree of success. It's useful. I look stuff up in it. When I actually want to know an answer, I always start with a Google limited to before proceeding with general Googling. To may way of thinking, and apologies to any hardworking Wikipedians associated with these projects, Wiktionary and Wikibooks are not yet close to being useful and I am frankly skeptical as to whether they were will be. "Transwiki to Wikibooks" is basically sending recipes to Siberia.
I agree that if we are convinced that "Wiki is not paper" and "disk is cheap" we probably could afford to create WikiVanity and WikiGarbage and WikiUnverifiable and WikiDeadStorage and just transwiki everything instead of deleting it—BJAODN on a grand scale—and this might really be preferable to destroying information. But the psychological effect is the same, and I think if we did that we would soon see a need for Votes for Transwiki-ing. [[User:Dpbsmith|Dpbsmith (talk)]] 13:42, 4 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I think that it's still necessary for pages to be deleted, such as wiki-spam. And it's true that lots of pages on VfD end up getting improved and kept.
One problem I see is that people get addicted to VfD; it gives them a feeling of power, and it probably is the place where they can most easily impose their views of what should be on Wikipedia. It seems that people ignore all the rest of the maintenance pages and go to VfD, because it's more fun.
So here's an idea: what if VfD was merged with something like Wikipedia:Pages needing attention? If there were some pages that just need to be improved, not deleted, mixed in, then VfD addicts might be more prone to contribute to pages. I'm not entirely sure how this would be structured, just throwing out an idea. RSpeer 17:32, Sep 4, 2004 (UTC)
The whole concept outlined above is intriguing, and probably needs thrashed out more. But in essence, I am in favour of investigating alternative options to VfD. Apart from anything else, VfD drags the whole seedy underbelly of Wikipedia into one place. As it is, it would suit a different colour scheme – a black background with red text or something. It's a horrible, horrible, nasty place. zoney ▓   ▒ talk 18:02, 4 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Not at all. What are Netoholic and Zoney complaining about? In the case of many articles submitted to VfD exactly what Netaholic reccommends doing is exactly is done, material is merged and a redirect is created or it is trans-wikied to another wiki. This happens a lot.
And why don't other cleanup pages get the same attention? First, there is no time limit on the other lists, no reason to rush. Also, the articles are often not in such obviously bad shape or obviously unsuitable for Wikipedia at the moment as most articles on VfD. And most of the articles in other lists are best discussed and handled by someone already familiar with the topic of the article. If they were easy cleanups, most people who posted them on the list would have done the work themselves. Many of us are already doing a lot of cleanup work in areas we are familiar with. The articles that appear on the lists are a very small percentage of articles that need fixing. I could probably list over two hundred further articles, many of them in far worse shape than most articles currently in the cleanup lists. Others have similarly mentioned the many, many articles that need improvement in their areas of expertise. There is an enormous amount of garbage in Wikipedia. What mostly happens is that people work through articles that need cleanup in areas they know as they find such articles and don't post them on lists. I think that mostly concentrating on articles on topics I am familiar with is better use of my time and better helps Wikipedia than either throwing them onto a cleanup list or jumping into cleaning up an article whose topic I am not familiar with. I feel this especially, because many articles I have cleaned up have been in bad shape because they have been built up indiscriminately by users from misinformation or created to fill a precieved hole in Wikipedia but created from bad information. The errors are so often embarrasingly glaring and obvious only if you know the topic, but not so otherwise. I would certainly make similar errors in tyring to clean up articles on subjects which I am not familiar with. Ofthen the same misinformation is found on website after website and seems authoritative to the average reader. So I've no particular interest in working on an article just because someone else has marked it for cleanup or marked it as a short stub or marked it for merging unless it happens to fall into an area I know well.
Also, I've personally often moved information from many short articles into larger articles and made the former short articles into redirects. I've also changed redirects into full articles. So have many others. Both are appropriate at different times. That an article is currently a redirect or has been made into a redirect does not necessarily indicate, as Nethoholic seems to think, that it should not be made into a topic. I've sometimes moved information from a short article into a large one and made the former short article into into a redirect because that seems to me best for the current state of information in Wikipedia, while believing that the article that is now a redirect does deserve future expansion into a full article. Better a reasonably sized article than five short articles containing overlapping information. But eventually the material might be expanded again so that we have again five articles, but this time five full articles plus a sixth summary article.
Jallan 19:18, 4 Sep 2004 (UTC)
  • Keep. That's my vote. I rarely ever post anything to VfD, choosing instead to devote time to the less visited and what I consider to be more interesting CfD. But I think VfD caters to a certain segment of interest which is important and it should be kept. That of course doesn't mean that people can't also use Netoholic's option. I don't see this being restricted to only one method. —Mike 21:14, Sep 4, 2004 (UTC)

I agree that Vfd, as it stands now, needs serious help. But removing it is not the answer. There are pages that maybe should stay in, maybe not (fairly obscure bands, for instance) that need discussion, and that couldn't be merged elsewhere. What Vfd really needs is more people. As is, it's populated by the same small group, and those are people who are self-selected, for the most part, to want to delete articles. If you don't like the way Vfd is (and I don't), then you must become part of the solution. A plea to the regulars to avoid snide remarks and hostility wouldn't be out of place either. But this reform won't work. [[User:Meelar|Meelar (talk)]] 21:21, 2004 Sep 4 (UTC)

Once again, those who don't deign to sully themselves by visiting the slum which is VfD want to screw up a process which WORKS. If you don't like the WAY it works, visit the slum and participate -- don't pontificate from upon high. RickK 22:25, Sep 4, 2004 (UTC)

Rabid inclusionists strike again. People, there really is crap that should be deleted. Most of what gets listed here actually deserves it (at the time). The only real problem with VfD is that it's becoming unmanagably large, and I haven't seen any solid solutions for that. -- Cyrius| 02:24, 5 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Yes, yes, there couldn't be any remotely conceivable failure on the part of VfD that's responsible for the lack of participation from some!
"Rabid inclusionists strike again." - Exactly the kind of commenting plaguing VfD. Not exactly going to ensure peace, love and happiness! How would you respond were someone liberally labelling people "deletionists"? zoney ▓   ▒ talk 09:25, 5 Sep 2004 (UTC)
They do. In fact, it's those who want to do away with VfD who throw around that term as a slur. You might want to read some of the emails on the mailing list which have become very personal in their attacks. RickK 20:19, Sep 5, 2004 (UTC)
Oppose to the idea of suspension. While some issues may be solved using be bold, it is generally bad idea to be too bold, It our cases IMO it is too early to be bold. Usually VfD are populated by articles that didn't go through sufficient scrutiny. Non-destructive actions, such as merge and redirect are IMO of no harm, but pure deletion should be left restricted according to the current policy. Mikkalai 03:19, 5 Sep 2004 (UTC)

People are currently voting keep or delete for random reasons, rather than actually checking to see if deleting is a good idea at all. You remember that VFD has always been a dirty hack on the wiki process, right? The Code smell is starting to come on a bit too strong by now! Time to refactor. :-) Kim Bruning 03:44, 5 Sep 2004 (UTC)

As I just posted to the mailing list, I think this proposal is deplorable. There is plenty of junk here that there isn't any reason whatsoever for keeping. Look at how many items on this page have unanimous delete votes. It just seems like the inclusionists realise that they're outnumbered, and so try to go over the community's head rather than accept community consensus. In my book, that's unethical. I don't consider myself a deletionist (rather, an anti-vanity, anti-pure-dreck inclusionist). But this page so obviously needs keeping, and if it goes, I think it's fairly safe to say where Wikipedia is headed, and it isn't nice. Ambi 06:40, 5 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The reason they're "outnumbered" is that so few feel welcome in vfd. Please assume good faith; everybody's trying to build an encyclopedia here. The negativity of this place is far, far too much, and I'd ask for people to tone it down. We're a long way from "the process works" when most regular users can't even stand to come here. [[User:Meelar|Meelar (talk)]] 07:21, 2004 Sep 5 (UTC)

As others have said, VfD needs work. The idea of merging it with other cleanup/help this article! pages and creating one grand quality control page sounds intriguing to me. However, as I have stated on the mailing list, plenty of articles just need to go. Removing a way for the Wikipedia community to propose removal of articles effectively disenfranchises the community, and nearly ensures that Wikipedia will go down the same Internet hole of spam and trash that so many other sites go down. --Slowking Man 08:51, Sep 5, 2004 (UTC)

Yes, VFD is just a sop to deletionists who think that because they are not interested in something, no one else should be able to be. Keep, of course! 11:04, 5 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Excuse me? Are you implying that everytime I vote to delete, the entire reason is that I'm not interested in it? Assume Good Faith. My feeling is that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, it's not somewhere that I can go and have my time wasted sorting through the various junk and web-detritus that other places offer. VfD is a very necessary part of what makes Wikipedia useful. I vote oppose on this proposal. -Vina 23:43, 5 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Wha? Get rid of VfD? As a deletionist who doesn't frequent VfD, I strongly object! Inclusionists mean well, but some unverifiable junk just doesn't deserve to be here. Jimbo has said it before, and I'll repeat it: We don't delete vanity articles for being vanity. We delete them for being unverifiable. That's about all I have to say. Johnleemk | Talk 11:28, 5 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I'll agree (borrowing from someone wittier than I; who, I can't recall) to getting rid of VfD entirely if all those in favor of doing so will agree to give up showering. —No-One Jones 04:05, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I'd like to say that I simply don't understand why this proposal is needed. Whenever I've participated in VfD (which is on and off - I'll occasionally stop by and look through some pages to vote), I've never seen any glaring instances where a page that should have been saved was deleted. Usually what's deleted is, well, crap. And the deletion process encourages people to write decent articles on the subject - I've several times seen something I knew about listed on VfD, looked at the article and seen it was total crap, and then written a new article. I don't believe that my article has ever been deleted in such instances. So what's the issue here? Can somebody provide any horror stories of how VfD has gone horribly wrong? john k 04:48, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)

In too many cases I've seen (and confirmed even by the people commenting here) is that the main purpose of posting on "Votes for deletion" is to encourage cleanup of an article so that it doesn't get deleted. My suggestion is that every article can somehow be improved over time - even if that improvement is to replace it with a redirect. Noone here should ever presume that they know a badly written article can never be improved. I see a lot of laziness going on at VfD - its easy to vote delete and hard to improve an article. I find that completely anti-Wiki. -- Netoholic @ 06:07, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I think that VfD needs to be retained. Noisy 03:08, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I vote to retain VfD. There are plenty of articles which are about subjects of massively restricted interest (e.g. an average 13 year old student) and therefore can't be checked, or articles which contain one line and leave you none the wiser on the subject, and we therefore don't lose anything by losing the article. Also, we have deliberate nonsense articles added - do you propose keeping them? Average Earthman 12:55, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I think there are at least two different categories voted for deletion. The first category is about copyright infringement, for example, but the second is about only the article's importance (more exactly: about only the voter's opinion). So why not to delete the first category and create a "shadow-Wikipedia" for the second one? You could search the normal wikipedia" by typing words into the search box, but you would have an opportunity to search an extended (normal+shadow) wikipedia, if you prefer.

  • Idea: instead of removing VfD, generalize it. The main problem with VfD is when people use it as a cleanup replacement. We should change VfD into a general point where people can raise an issue with an article and people see what to do with it - Clean it up, replace with a redirect, delete it, or do nothing. People usually use VfD as Cleanup because people will be more impelled to save it before the gillotine comes down on it. I recommened that a lot of the action-request pages be merged into a general system. Except for speedies, those go straight to speedy deletes. KirbyMeister 00:19, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)


The trouble is those who oppose deletion on principle don't usually have time to vote to keep on everything that is listed for deletion, because there is so much. How about a page that people can list their intention to oppose any deletion, and those votes automatically being counted as 'keep'? 04:54, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)

How about we list such people so their votes can automatically not be counted? —Morven 06:01, Sep 8, 2004 (UTC)
Now, I would vote for that. RickK 21:21, Sep 9, 2004 (UTC)
(Sigh) likewise. (;-> Andrewa 20:24, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Shorting the VfD page for modem users (Proposal)

I would like to nominate the following text as a template to help shorten the VfD page when the discussion has reached well over a certain size. --[[User:Allyunion|AllyUnion (Talk)]] 10:09, 5 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Because of its size, the text of this discussion is no longer being included on the main VfD page. It can be viewed at Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/ARTICLE_NAME, where you are welcome to state your opinion on the matter.

That would be very nice if it were workable (I don't know if it is, but I'm just saying). Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 14:47, 5 Sep 2004 (UTC)


I agree this is one area in which VfD needs serious work. Would it help if we were a bit bolder in creating talk pages for VfD subpages, and moving any slabs of conversation there?
Very few VfD subpages do have talk pages, but it's where a lot of this discussion belongs IMO. It's then not included in VfD. VfD subpages should contain only votes and brief comments, which can of course include see the talk page preferably with a link to make it clear which talk page (tutorial advice on wikilinks gladly given).
I guess this a counter proposal, but it might achieve the same thing, and all within existing policy. And it doesn't have to be a sysop who does this of course, although IMO it should be a signed-in user. Andrewa 19:05, 5 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Interesting idea, might be worth a trial run or two. One issue I have with this though: it's a form of m:instruction creep as it creates more work for everyone involved. First, the voters who want to discuss will have to post in two places. Second, it creates work for maintainers cleaning up after verbose voters who forget to be brief on the main vote page (leaving maintainers to move long comments to the talk page). Third, it creates more work for sysops when archiving older discussions (two pages to juggle instead of one). • Benc • 01:25, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I've had a go at Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Tran Van Ba which seemed a good candidate. Points taken about instruction creep and extra work! This technique should only be used when it's the lesser of two evils. Maybe there's a better way, but until someone comes up with it let's consider this an experiment. Andrewa 20:29, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)
And there now has been some feedback, both at my talk page where one user commented I dislike the "experiment" of moving comments from VFD to talk pages (where they will never be read). Despite the name, the purpose of VfD is discussion, not votes, and also at Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Tran Van Ba. It seems to me that Wikipedia:Deletion policy#Commenting on a nomination for deletion is worth a look in this regard. Andrewa 00:53, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I usually connect by modem (and not a particularly fast connection, either) so I clearly feel the same pain but I oppose the first suggestion for all but the very longest discussions. Even when it's a long discussion, I'm going to read the whole thing. Please don't make me waste countless clicks to find it. I also oppose the second recommendation (sub-sub-pages) because they will make the maintenance steps after the discussion is complete almost impossible. It's hard enough figuring out who voted what when the discussion's all in one place. When there are multiple page and multiple responses (all with different time stamps)... I can't begin to figure out how we would determine what had actually been decided. Rossami 01:27, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)

In reply, what I'm talking about is not a sub-sub-page, but the talk page of an existing subpage, and in the default skin there is a tab linking to this (generally non-existent) page already. My proposal is not to move any votes or even brief comments there, only lengthy discussion. IMO the problem is not that there's anything wrong with existing policy, the problem is it's being ignored, and the solution I'm proposing is to follow it. Andrewa 01:03, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)

First proposal clarification

I said "Certain size" -- I didn't define the length... What I meant was to use the template after the discussion was too lengthly. We'd still do the same thing as we do on the VfD page. But when someone thinks the discussion is too big (anyone care to define 'too big' in this case?) then the template is used. Several examples for candidates to use this template is like "Gay Nigger Association of America" or "Elros (and other rulers of Númenor)" (which this template example has been borrowed from) discussion. --[[User:Allyunion|AllyUnion (Talk)]] 05:47, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Removing submissions etc.

I'm very much in favour of removing unnecessary submissions to VfD. This is something which for some reason is viewed as unacceptable at present. Nevertheless, there's currently a number of "merge and delete" pages - these shouldn't need to be voted on (the content is kept). Usual procedures if such action results in edit war.

But I very much think there needs to be agreement on criteria, etc. before people hack at VfD willy-nilly (i.e. avoid the situation of random removals)

Also, I REALLY think VfD should get a level-headed careful evaluation. Some of the stuff here is such tripe that it should just be speedy-delete (an appeals process would be useful to handle "mistakes" or "over-eager" speedy deletes).

It's hard to appeal when you can't see what's been deleted because, err, it's been deleted... 13:10, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I'm sure there are other categories of submission where alternative action could be taken.

There IS some listed of badly written articles here. Either use clean-up, or scrap the idea of keeping bad content live, and VfD everything currently on clean-up. (It's sitting there months in horrible state anyways).

Finally, this is no criticism of any individual. It's perfectly valid to look at matters critically though. Plus "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is a rather flawed argument IMO.

zoney ▓   ▒ talk 13:30, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I'm in favor of immediately removing the following: proposal is "cleanup" or proposal is "merge and redirect" as non admins can do both. But non admins can not do "merge and delete". The problem with posting stuff as patent nonsense for speedy is that people often disagree on what constitutes on patent nonsense. If you have an appeals process for that, then why not just list it in VfD in the first place and save some time? -Vina 00:32, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)
While a non-admin cannot do a "merge and delete", they can do "merge and redirect". Then submit on Wikipedia:Redirects for deletion if they think the redirect is not usefull (though it most cases it is, since it discourages re-creation of the article under that name). -- Netoholic @ 00:40, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Please be considerate of the GFDL implications of merging an article and then deleting it, i.e. losing the authorship history. Kate Turner | Talk 14:48, 2004 Sep 7 (UTC)
Good point, seems to be an excellent reason to keep any redirects created from this process. Wikipedia:Redirects for deletion#When should we delete a redirect? already covers that, since only redirects which have useful edit history should be retained. Even the simple act of renaming an article is considered usefull, and a merge even more so. -- Netoholic @ 18:28, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Can we put BIG MAD INSTRUCTIONS at the top of the page not to list "cleanup", "merge and redirect" or "merge and delete" (what Netoholic says is true, just list the redirect for deletion - housekeeping, not a voting issue). zoney ▓   ▒ talk 11:31, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I disagree with this. True: any user can perform a "merge and redirect." True: this is arguably the right disposition for 80% of current VfD nominations. The problem is that such situations is that they still ought to receive a thoughtful five-day discussion in a place where the discussion is likely to attract notice and have a well-defined conclusion. Many of us are not subject matter experts. We can say "that really sort of looks like something that probably ought to be deleted," but "be bold" goes too far. On articles like Hubert Dreyfus I'd much rather see ready-aim-fire than ready-fire-bury-exhume. I am not convinced that a high volume of truly ruthless editing would be any better than a high volume of VfD nominations.
I would, however, suggest that at the point when someone becomes convinced that merge-and-redirect is the proper disposition for an article on VfD, they should just do it, then edit the VfD discussion to a single line stating what they've done. Most of the time that would be the end of it, and both the edit and the discussion could be reverted if anyone took exception. In other words, a VfD discussion can be provisionally terminated early if the article becomes a redirect. [[User:Dpbsmith|Dpbsmith (talk)]] 18:06, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I think it'd be a good idea if articles that are put on VfD by somebody who proposes that they be merged and/or redirected, or cleaned up (rather than deleted) were removed, since there's really no need for them to be on VfD. Gwalla | Talk 22:50, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)

This is another issue - can we have a CLEAR POLICY that inappropriate VfD submissions can be removed by anyone? (For that, we need a clear definition of inappropriate). zoney ▓   ▒ talk 11:31, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Probably not. You're welcome to have a go at proposing one. But until one is accepted, there is AFAIK no policy preventing any user from removing inappropriate listings from VfD, such as those in which the proposer suggests redirect and nobody has validly voted to delete. If the removal is reverted, then I'd think twice about any further action, just let it go through the process. But this could shorten VfD a great deal, and postpone the need for breaking it into smaller pages (which I think will come eventually). Andrewa 01:26, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Another Proposal

It takes me 10 seconds to load VfD on a DSL connection. How about making pages like Wikipedia:Votes for Deletions/September 1 and then linking there from the main Vfd page? Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 18:04, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Maybe if the page gets too unwieldy, people will stop posting articles that have no business on VfD. Davodd 18:30, Sep 6, 2004 (UTC)
Not likely. I only see VfD traffic increasing in the future. Now, I use Firefox with tabs, so the VfD page gets loaded once (takes longer than 10 seconds for me) and then I can do "drive-by voting" by opening the "add to this discussion" links in new tabs. That doesn't fix the problem, of course--I think diligent archiving and delisting will end up being the most viable solutions. I'm not sure what criteria we should use, though. It seems that no one's sure. 18:42, Sep 6, 2004 (UTC)
/me has visions of people shouting "keep" and "delete" from the windows of passing cars :) Chris 01:55, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I'd be careful of this suggestion, which seems logical to me. It's been proposed at least twice in the past. The first time it was tried briefly and IMO it didn't get a fair go. I wasn't involved in this trial except as a user. When I proposed that we have another try at it, the replies were rather forcefully to the effect that it didn't work the first time. Good luck! Andrewa 01:11, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I would only support this suggestion if the pages can some how magically be included on to the VfD page, and allow you to edit the subpage from the main VfD page. One then can change from including to an article link, if one wished. --[[User:AllyUnion|AllyUnion (talk)]] 13:16, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Yet another proposal

Is there already a "Votes for redirect" page, where pages that we really don't want deleted, but just want to turn into redirects can go? It seems like I see a few of these every week listed on VfD, and that a lot of articles listed on VfD end up turned into redirects rather than actually being deleted. If it doesn't exist, something like that and maybe a "Votes for merging" page could both break up the VfD page (making it load faster and easier to parse) and reduce the number of articles that get actually deleted, which would preserve the article's history. -Seth Mahoney 02:24, Sep 18, 2004 (UTC)

I don't see the point. If you want something to become a redirect, you can just do it. You don't need any special permission. If you want to announce a merge ahead of time, you can add {{merge}} so other editors have a chance to say if they think it's a bad idea. Deletion requires admin priviledges, though, which is why VfD exists: so regular non-admin users have a say in what stays and what goes. Gwalla | Talk 03:29, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Yeah, you're right. I was just thinking that a lot of votes end up being for merging or deletion, and that this would cut down the traffic to this page. Back to the drawing board, I guess. -Seth Mahoney 21:05, Sep 19, 2004 (UTC)

Autovoting proposal

The suggestion above is an interesting one - how a page where users can list themselves as wanting to vote for not deleting anything? They would sign a page that was a template, and then anyone putting that template onto a vfd proposal would automatically invoke those names. The page would be constructed so that at any time they could remove their name from the list, or manually override it if they felt they disagreed in some rare circumstance. This would overcome the problem that many people would like to vote against deletions, but the sheer number of them, and the difficulty in doing it en masse means that in practice the number of pro-deletion folks is over-represented. In this way a vfd could pass, but deletionists would have to get a majority of users who wanted it to be deleted - the 'silent majority' would get a vote. Is there a procedure for setting up templates, or a better way to impliment this? Thanks, Moooo! 12:38, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Ah come on, I don't think it's sensible that anyone should be voting to keep everything!!! There's piles of <insert expletive> listed here all the time as well as the dubious listings. But the current VfD has become insane - I'd like a filter to ignore all the obvious deletes for a start (why bother voting on these unless there's an attempt to keep nonsense?). Finding the "less obvious" keep or deletes is more difficult than ever. Signal to noise ratio. Stuff. Lots of stuff. Glad I have DSL/T1. There must be some amount of people don't bother to VfD due to the size (even DSL people, it's a lot to trawl through). zoney ▓   ▒ talk 14:53, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I must oppose the autovoting suggestion. (Comment: It has been discussed and rejected before.) These questions are too important to try to think that a "one size fits all" answer can possibly work for every situation. If someone can't take the time to research the article and make a careful decision, then I don't want them to get a vote either to keep or to delete. People who disagree with the policies should express their displeasure by opening discussions on the policy Talk pages, not by cluttering up VfD. If the policy is changed, then the votes on VfD will follow. Rossami 15:21, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Oppose. VfD is not a vote in the usual sense, it's a determination of rough consensus. There are no quorum calls. There is no sergeant-at-arms to check ID and boot people with improper credentials.
I rather imagine that many sysops, in judging consensus, faced with delete votes from selective deletionists, that give short but valid and coherent reasons, and keep, famous votes from inclusionists-on-principle who systematically vote keep on everything and don't attempt to justify their assertions of fame, would not give quite as much weight to the "keep-on-general-principle" votes. A cluster of people automatically voting "keep" on everything would probably succeed in creating contention between sysops, some of whom would feel obliged to consider these votes in judging consensus and some of whom would ignore such votes. It is unlikely to have an overall positive effect on the process. It transforms votes that are supposed to be on individual articles into votes on general policy.
It seems to me that the only rationale for such autovoting is disruptive—to deliberately break VfD in order to prove that VfD is broken.

It's not trying to show it's broken, it's just saying, since we have it, I want my voice to be heard - I don't want things deleted, and I don't want to spend upwards of an hour every day saying that. Moooo! 02:27, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)

By the way, is there a proposal to allow users to automatically vote "delete" on everything? [[User:Dpbsmith|Dpbsmith (talk)]] 15:31, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I think it is harder to imagine someone wanting to delete something without seeing it, whereas redirecting and/or merging is a pretty benign thing, so I have no problem automatically recomending it. Moooo! 01:28, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Good lord! You're actually serious, aren't you? Autovote keep? If this passes, it's probably time for me to take a permanent wikivacation. -Vina 01:14, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I'm perfectly serious, and no, I'm not suggesting that we should keep rising tides of crap, nearly all of those should be on Speedy deletion anyway, and yes, there is, in my opinion, maybe 5% of the contents of vfd that really do need to be deleted, although, if it didn't it would really be the end of the world. I think 95% of things listed on vfd should be improved or redirected and merged. I don't have time to vote on each article to say that, so in essense I have no voice. I would like the option, and I suspect others might too, to have my preference to keep everything listed, without having to say so between 25 and 30 times a day. There may, of course, be occasions when I want to manually vote to delete something. What is unreasonable about that? Moooo! 01:26, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)

  • Your proposal, if adopted by enough people, would lead to the destruction of VfD, with people looking over articles and arguing for their deletion being pitted against {{autokeep}} "voters." Can't you see this? Like I said to Netoholic on my talk page, I find archinclusionism and archdeletionism to be equally silly. We are an encyclopedia, we do have standards, and if we dropped them, it would mean the death of this work. 05:04, Sep 8, 2004 (UTC)
  • According to policy, you're supposed to please include your opinion and your reasoning when voting on VfD, whether it's for Keep or Delete or something else. That might be a problem. If User:Moooo! is serious in his/her time-saving scheme, how about constructing the page so that it adds a template reasoning to all the automatic Keep votes? Something on the lines of "Keep: this article is a valuable addition to the store of human knowledge." (Note: satire. Shoot, that's hard to do with this proposal.) Bishonen 22:03, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)

We've had this discussion before. It was nonsense then, and it's nonsense now. It was a troll proposing it then, and it's a troll proposing it now. It wasn't going to happen then, and it's not going to happen now. Now, can we please stop it and get back to writing an encyclopaedia? sjorford 07:43, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC) (note to self: must...preach...peace and love...)

Well, I think it is born out of frustration at the amount of deleting that is going on - it is virtually impossible to read and comment on all of it, and there do seem to be a cadre of people who make listing things for deletion pretty much a full time job ;). I think that being able to register your general disaproval of deleting would be useful. It might be good to have a list of people who would, in principle, oppose most deletion, just to get a feeling for the level of discontent. Right now VfD is populated most by pro-deletion folks. Mark Richards 18:16, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)
1) Although there "do seem to be a cadre of people who make listing things for deletion pretty much a full time job," they cannot delete articles by themselves. (Or: they can, but the mayn't, and they adhere to Wiki-process). 2) I think if you actually examine the voting records of people who have a reputation as "deletionists" you will see that they do not form a monolithic bloc and that many of them vote "keep" fairly frequently. 3) Some of the people who list a lot of things for deletion do so in a curt, brusque, irritable manner. Nevertheless, their actual judgements are pretty good; most of the stuff that is listed for deletion is pretty darn delete-worthy. 4) The stuff that is listed out of simple ignorance ("Some non-notable alleged composer named Ludwig van Beethoven; vanity") usually gets fixed pretty quickly. 5) Borderline and controversial cases usually acquire enough "keep" votes to prevent destruction. Do you really think large number of worthwhile articles are getting deleted because trigger-happy deletionists list them, a wolfpack of their deletionist buddies all mechanically vote delete, and that huge numbers of diamonds-in-the-rough are getting flushed down the VfD toilet faster than cool heads can assay them? [[User:Dpbsmith|Dpbsmith (talk)]] 01:13, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

When "keep" autovoting goes through I'm going to create an article on every family member and their pets along with my own ideas on politics, religion, sex, and my favorite words and when I use them. No one will be able to delete them so why not? I won't be the only one. Those "pro-deletion folks"? They are trying to rid the garbage and keep a valid encyclopedia we can be proud of. - Tεxτurε 18:29, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Well, people would be able to delete those, and I'm sure most people who had an autovote would manually override it for that. If there wasn't so much stuff that shouldn't be deleted, you would be able to spot articles that really should be. The problem is that this kind of page makes up perhaps 2% of what is listed for deletion. Mark Richards 18:44, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)
A rhetorical, POV, statistic of "perhaps 2%" pulled from the air is not a compelling argument. And who is "you"? "I" can often spot the articles that should be deleted quite well among the articles I look at despite the mass of stuff. Why should every person have to look at everything? I don't. I don't think most do. And I don't vote either way or comment on all the articles I do look at. Still, I agree with Mark Richards that it is often easy enough to spot those that should be merged and redirected, and so forth. But surprisingly, others don't always agree with me, or each other. Hence the necessity of considered votes instead of Mark Richards or someone else deciding unilaterally for everyone which articles "really should be" deleted and that every article he or she hasn't personally looked at should be accepted, despite what anyone else thinks. Autovoting? People wanting to automatically vote on something they haven't looked at? Seems to me those people shouldn't be voting at all because they don't understand the concept of a considered vote, don't value it. Imagine even thinking that uninformed opinion on an article they haven't bothered to examine should be counted as highly as the opinions of those who have bothered to look at it. Jallan 20:30, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I'm not asking to unilaterally decide for anyone else, just that someone who opposes deletion of nearly everything have a change to have that voice heard. Unless the vast majority of people also think almost everything should be kept, things could still be deleted. Mark Richards 21:23, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)

If one is opposed to deletion, they should list their reasons and vote to keep. If one is opposed to keeping, they should list their reasons and vote to delete. In either case, each article must be considered on its own merits, and a voter should be prepared to defend his or her ideas. It's an outstanding system--VfD is responsible for a lot of the behind-the-scenes cleanup on the Wikipedia. It is bulky, and we're all aware of its flaws, but template:autokeep is an absolutely dreadful idea (we've been having a spate of those recently.) I notice that people have been arguing in favor of archinclusionism around here but not archdeletionism. Both extremes are equally unhelpful. 21:30, Sep 9, 2004 (UTC)

First off, I'd like to register my opinion that this was a silly proposal and still remains one. However, I think many people arguing in favor of it are missing a very important point: Votes do not necessarily dictate what gets deleted. I haven't voted on VfD in a while, but when I did, many of the valuable articles were expanded by the people who were strongly in favor of keeping (which I think is a great reason for VfD in and of itself; people are going to get on the ball and improve an article they like when it is facing extinction rather than when it is simply listed for cleanup.) Also, when I voted, most votes were discussions (as VfD is meant to be), not simply votes. People vote and give their reason. When the article had merit, more often than not, someone would come along and vote to keep and give strong reasons.

But the basic concept being missed is that sysops are the only ones who can delete. VfD is designed to give sysops informed opinions on what should and should not be deleted. When a page is easy to see that it should be deleted, it should be listed for speedy deletion. But either way, sysops are generally trusted members of the Wiki-community. If there is a largely sock-puppet vote or a majority vote without decent reasons, no matter what the vote says, I trust most sysops to use their own judgement. They are not robots looking at the vote count and deleting if it is above a certain percentage. They are (for the most part) responsible individuals capable of independent thought and reasoning. Let's not forget that VfD is only votes for asking that something be deleted. Not actually votes forcing deletion if there is a consensus.

Still, I agree that the system needs an overhaul and speedy deletions should be more common and chat on the article talk page should be more common before an article is listed on VfD. But, while I can't speak for everyone, when I choose to spend my contribution time on VfD, I am trying to improve the quality of Wikipedia based on established standards. When an article is not clearly in violation, I usually give the benefit of the doubt and vote to keep.

Deletionists aren't vandals or mean-spirited (generally), they are simply trying to improve our project. Let's keep this in mind. Skyler 13:58, Sep 10, 2004 (UTC)

I strongly oppose for an autovoting idea. As I've written before, "If there is no reason to keep, do not vote. If there is no reason to delete, do not vote." Simple as that. I mean, why vote to keep simply because there is no reason to delete? Likewise, why vote to delete simply because there is no reason to keep? Autovoting would be just as the same of not having a VfD page at all. --[[User:AllyUnion|AllyUnion (talk)]] 12:58, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Talk page issue

Ok, I'm new at this, so I'm in doubt as to what should be done, if anything, about a talk page I stumbled upon. The article itself is valid (I guess), but it's one of those "invites for vandalism". The actual problem concerns the Rocco Siffredi (the Italian porn star) article's talk page. Really, I have no idea whether that's a joke or just some clueless visitor, but I just thought that stuff had to go. I didn't delete it though, since we do not do that with talk pages. So what should we do in that case? Just delete it? Leave a message in case that guy shows up again? Regards, Redux 04:18, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)

  • I blanked it. What nonsense. 04:57, Sep 8, 2004 (UTC)
All right, now I've found another crazy talk page, so I once again turn to more knownledgeable Wikipidians. My doubt is whether I should just go ahead and blank crazy stuff like that or put it to a vote here first. Here is the problematic talk page. You will notice that all the edits in the talk page are by some anon user identified only by his IP address. Unlike the previous case above, this one edited repeatedly (although he did it in an 8-minute timespan) in order to compose his idea of a joke. Shouldn't this guy be blocked from editing? Regards, Redux 04:00, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I blanked both that talk page and another that the anon posted "what" to (that was the entire post). I also left a message on the anon's talk page welcoming them to the Wikipedia, along with a link to the Sandbox. SWAdair | Talk 04:42, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Looks like a newbie confusing the main article space for the sandbox ("hey, you really CAN edit these pages! Wowie zowie!") I'd leave {{test}} ~~~~ on the anon's talk page. If they actually try to damage a live talk page or an actual article after that, you move to {{test2}} ~~~~, {{test3}} ~~~~, {{test4}} ~~~~, and finally Wikipedia:Vandalism in progress, though some people take the fast track to the final step.
Shouldn't this question have been put up on the Village pump? 04:53, Sep 10, 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Pages needing attention

Have the people who keep arguing for the suspension of VfD actually seen what's on Cleanup and Wikipedia:Pages needing attention? Those pages are enormous, and very little is getting done about the items listed on those pages. RickK 22:09, Sep 9, 2004 (UTC)

To be fair, I think we ought to all be looking there more often. But cleanup of unfamiliar articles takes research and time; it's not the easiest thing in the world to do. In a perfect world, newbies wouldn't be giving us substubs to clean up, but I guess it comes with the territory. I've only cleaned up John C. Stennis Space Center so far, and that took the better part of a day. 04:57, Sep 10, 2004 (UTC)
Yeah, I know. I work slowly! 04:59, Sep 10, 2004 (UTC)
I would have to agree with Ardonik. All experienced Wikipedians should take a little time to work on the Cleanup and Pages Needing Attention pages, but having even experienced Wikipedians working on articles they do not understand is no good to anyone. It will only result in more need for cleanup and possible inaccuracies. Personally, I think we need to form some sort of grouping system for Wikipedians who are interested in and/or knowledgable about a certain subject to collect their ideas and work on the articles within their respective fields. However, until something like this happens, the best we can do is keep VfD as an outlet for getting rid of what is not needed and will (most likely) not be cleaned up in the near future. Skyler 13:07, Sep 10, 2004 (UTC)
I only disagree with you in that I think any article can benefit fron the touch of an experienced Wikipedian, even if he or she knows nothing about the subject at hand. That's what wikification is all about--making articles conform to our guidelines, adding links, copyediting, improving sentence structure, categorizing, adding to lists, formatting articles to look like articles on related subjects, and so on. After all, don't we all troll Special:Recentchanges every now and then, looking for a new substub to pounce on? (Or {{subst:vfd}}....) 00:22, Sep 11, 2004 (UTC)
A short, grossly inaccurate article does not benefit from being wikified and improved stylistically and grammatically. Obvious advertising is not improved by someone who knows nothing about the product rewording making it unobvious, actually aiding sneaky insertion of advertising material in Wikipedia. Vanity articles don't improve with polish. I've seen also seen many articles "disimproved" by people adding one piece of misinformation after another. It's depressing to come accross articles that have been given bits of spot editing, a stub notice added, minor bits of cleanup, categorized three different times, had links added to it, and so forth, and through all this have remained fundamentally crap. Jallan 13:40, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)


A new template to put something on the VfD page: {{vfdsec|PageName}} {{subst:VfD warning}} --Sgeo | Talk 23:02, Sep 10, 2004 (UTC)

  • I'm adding {{subst:VfD warning}} to the vfdsec so it stands on its own. Now, will it be faster if we use {{subst:vfdsec|Article name}} or {{vfdsec|Article name}}? 03:04, Sep 11, 2004 (UTC)
I don't believe subst: works with params, so VfD warning would be worthless (unless I'm mistaked, it's to warn authors that they're editing directly on the main page.

First names?

Is there an agreement (as much as there is EVER agreement here) about whether "first-name" articles like Marge and Helga are appropriate for Wikipedia? Joyous 23:54, Sep 13, 2004 (UTC)

Depends on the name and the article. For example, Alexander is a relatively lengthy article, and many people have been known solely or primarily by that name. Names (both first and last) should be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. -Sean Curtin 04:08, Sep 15, 2004 (UTC)


Maybe I've just misunderstood the way that old VfD discussions are archived, but is Template:VfD-Blimey really supposed to be there? - RedWordSmith 23:52, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I've moved it to talk:Blimey. -Sean Curtin 04:05, Sep 15, 2004 (UTC)

This is a hold-over from before we developed the current archiving process (see Wikipedia:Deletion process). Yes, the discussion pages are supposed to hang around forever. For kept pages (including kept as a redirect), they are linked to and referenced on the article's Talk page. For deleted pages, the link is recorded at Wikipedia:Archived delete debates. We formalized the archiving process after several articles were deleted then recreated but no one could find the record of the debate, forcing us to go through the whole mess again. We also had some articles that were kept, were renominated and no one could find that debate either. It's relatively cheap to keep the discussion around forever. Rossami 13:58, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Wired article

Copied from the Village Pump:

Lore Sjoberg, a journalist at Wired Magazine (and who is mentioned at Lightbulb joke) has an entry on his [site] about Wikipedia and specifically the VfD pages, which he finds "endlessly fascinating". Nothing too earth shattering, although he classes Wikipedia as a guilty pleasure equal to Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion. --Roisterer 02:24, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Short and thought-provoking IMO, nothing too radical perhaps but very well put. Recommended reading for all those who wish to discuss whether VfD should change, and how to achieve the desired result either way. I copy it here becuase it's relevant and my experience is there are far too many active talk pages on Wikipedia to regularly read all the relevant ones even to a single policy issue. Andrewa 03:59, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)

header maintenance

It is convenient to edit only the first section of the VfD page when updating the date links (for example, removing a date when all entries have been processed off the /Old page). Section edit reduces the chance of an edit conflict. It's also a lot more usable on a dial-up connection. I've added a (somewhat) discrete link to edit the first section. It is at the end of the "Current Votes" line. Rossami 03:35, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Un-including discussions

I've created a guide to "un-including" large and/or unanimous discussions at Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Maintenance. Comments and edits are welcome, of course. • Benc • 09:13, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

User:Crevaner and User:Old Right

User:Crevaner and User:Old Right almost always vote within one or two votes of each other and on the same entries. Is one a sock puppet of the other? Or should we assume that they are two siblings or friends working the VfD page with side-by-side computers? - Tεxτurε 18:21, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Others have noticed this. But unless these/this users/user care/cares to volunteer information I don't see how we can do more than speculate.
Their user pages both contain similar though not identical images of the American flag, and both user pages consist largely of links to political websites that they profess to admire. According to his usage page, User:Old Right does not seem fond of liberals and admires conservative websites; User:Crevaner admires libertarian websites, which is, of course, not at all the same thing. Their votes are often within a fraction of an hour of each other, but are usually separated by many minutes. User:Old Right usually, but not always, votes first. On nonpolitical articles, both usually vote keep; on political articles, they tend to vote keep on articles that appear to me to have a conservative POV and delete on articles that appear to me to have a liberal POV. [[User:Dpbsmith|Dpbsmith (talk)]] 19:37, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)