Wikipedia talk:Articles for deletion/Archive 51

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Speedy close nominations

I see this again and again, editors put up articles for deletion for the wrong reason. Take for example:

Mr. President (title) the nominator stated:
"Completely and totally unreferenced for over a year. Claims of original research unaddressed for over a year."
In twenty minutes I found abundant sources and added 8 references. If I hadn't added those sources this bad nomination would have succeed, and the article would have been deleted, because no editor made any effort to fix the article.

I think that we should write into the existing rules here that:

1. if an editor puts the article up for deletion citing only that the article is:
a. Unreferenced,
b. contains original research...and there are no BLP, Copyright, notability issues in the nomination, (list can be expanded)
2. and editors rewrite the article adding references, showing that the original research and referenced,
4. then an administrator can immediately close the nomination, because the reason for deletion is moot.

Again, this would only be in limited circumstances, were the nomination complains that the article lacks sources or is full of original sources.

Ikip (talk) 20:50, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

  • Support Administrative immediate close of bad nominations. No waffling... just a simple note to the nom that policy has not been followed and a quick close of the bad AfD. The rules and essays shared above show the specific policies and guidelines far too often ignored without consequences. And conversely, there are no policies or guidelines supporting the validation of a bad nomination. Allowing a bad nom to remain up for AfD awards such sloppy practices and encourages more of the same. Schmidt, MICHAEL Q. 07:50, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Support But this is going to need a wider audience than just those who watch the talk page. First time someone does this to one of a group of editors who doesn't feel it's their obligation to improve things (and there are more than a few), there will be a howl. Jclemens (talk) 08:00, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Oppose This has been rejected before, in various forms. It is instruction creep, needlessly complicated and provocative.

  • First the CREEP: WP:BEFORE isn't mandated for a reason. We have no way of knowing whether or not a nominator has completed all of the steps. Sure, there are the cases where someone sees something at NPP, speedies it, has the speedy declined, then takes it to AfD. In those cases, we can make a reasonable assumption that they haven't given an article some time w/ {{nn}} on it or "attempted to improve" the article. But even in that case, they may have made a good faith effort to search for sources and come up empty (many of the sources noted on the AfD are related to the organization). In less obvious cases, we have no idea. Should we require editors to rearrange deck chairs on the titanic for truly inappropriate articles? There is no meaningful way to verify that and we run the risk of messing up to many good nominations in order to provide some deterministic rule for the bad ones.
  • Second, it is needlessly complicated. While I support the push to remove "delete, unreferenced" from the lexicon (too many people misunderstand notability to mean "has sources in the article" rather than "the subject has coverage in sources"), this is totally unrelated to an article comprised of original research. An article comprised of original research need not be unreferenced and an unreferenced article need not (though this is more common) be wholly original research (sources could just have not been cited, rather than not used--arguably we can't tell the difference sometimes, but that is another discussion). Why are both on this list of conditions? And what purpose does 3 serve? Rewriting the article is often a helpful outcome at AfD, but it isn't the purpose. In an ideal world, simply noting that references exist should cause editors (and usually does) to disagree w/ the nom and vote keep. Obviously, some people are of the opinion that the state of the article should matter in a run of the mill nomination (I firmly believe that people are swayed heavily by formatting errors, typos, etc. But that is just human nature), but the deletion policy should not be rewritten to make that policy.
  • Third, it is provocative. Why does an admin close it as a "Bad" nomination? Why is there the immediate "because the nominator could not make the effort..."? Speedy keep used to be used only for bad faith nominations, but that has since changed as we find reasons to foreclose debate early without accusing the nominator of bad faith (or in this case, merely incompetence?). This policy shouldn't return us to that point. Do we brand the principal authors of a deleted page "bad editors" because they made an article which didn't meet the inclusion policies? No. This is distinct from having social norms about improper nominations. We should (and do) discourage repeat shoddy nominations. I think you will find that admin candidates with a spotty record of AfD noms do poorly more often than those with records of thoughtful and careful nominations. Likewise editors who make particularly egregious errors are usually corrected on their talk page or the AfD page. We don't need to mandate that AfD closes mark the nominator as "lazy."

I'll make another post with past discussions related to this. Protonk (talk) 08:45, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

I rewrote the proposal. I removed the term "closing as a bad nomination" which will avoid combativeness. Clarifying current policy is not WP:CREEP, there will be no new policy pages, just a clarifying of what should and should not be put up for deletion.
Everyone of these discussions editors bring up WP:CREEP, I have too, and for good reason, WP:CREEP, along with WP:BURO is an effective, simple argument which sways other editors. No one wants to be seen as supporting more bureaucracy. But this WP:CREEP argument ignores the extensive WP:CREEP which led to the discussion in the first place. I see editors not necessarily arguing WP:CREEP as much as they are arguing, "There is no problem which warrants us fixing this, we prefer the status quo," and so nothing is changed.
I think there is some major misunderstanding about what I am proposing here, and for that I apologize, because I was not clear enough. I am not proposing to force editors who put up an article for deletion to follow WP:BEFORE, that is the reason I have number 2 (previously 3), after the nomination "editors rewrite the article adding references", only after editors show that the article is not OR and is not unreferenced, an administrator can close the nomination. Ikip (talk) 09:59, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Ok. I'm still inclined to oppose this, though not as strongly as before. Here's a hash at explaining why. IMO, a nomination that says only "this article is unsourced, delete" is always inadequate. In a perfect world, such nominations would be met with a statement like "Keep, nomination does not state a reason for deletion." We don't live in that world, so we get plenty of "per nom" comments (I've talked about this in other venues...I can link as needed). We do have a strong community consensus against deleting articles simply because they are unsourced (This may not show up in practice, but every attempt to make a deletion criteria for unsourced articles, even unsourced BLPs goes down in flames). So we don't need that third step (the rescue). The second criteria (the OR bit) is still off base--articles which have so much OR that only deletion can save them are not the same as unreferenced articles. People conflate them sometimes, and there is a linkage, but the two are not necessarily the same. Lastly, I hope that any article where the reason for deletion noted in the nom is fixed would not be deleted in the end. In most cases, I see that this is not the case. where it is, those deletions are often overturned at DRV. There is a large interpretive problem here--some people have different thresholds for what qualifies as "having obviated the reason for deletion", but in cases where reasonable people agree that the deletion nom is moot, the article is normally kept. That's what makes this WP:CREEP. Protonk (talk) 22:04, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
thanks for your explantion, I appreciate your time. Ikip (talk) 22:07, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
  • I definitely see the issue and sympathize that there is a problem, but I'm swayed by the need to avoid instruction creep and avoid writing policies and guidelines that encourage people to be combative. If an AfD nomination, or anything else on Wikipedia, is truly ridiculous, you can do anything you want speedily per WP:IAR. If the person is truly out of bounds but sincere and in good faith, just be patient and have a word with them in a polite, supportive way rather than relying on bureaucratic process. If they're an out of control editor or acting in bad faith there's a different pathway for dealing with that. If you're within bounds nobody is going to object to your speedy close or simply reverting a ridiculous AfD nomination. If your IAR-ing tendentiously people will call you on it. I would hate to enshrine any of this as a policy or guideline, it's just an "apply common sense" kind of thing. Wikidemon (talk) 09:03, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. People should still judge whether the added source(s) are adequate (reliable, independent, and really about the subject at hand). By your rule, would you have speedy closed Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of Parallels in the Teachings of Christ and Buddha as a bad nomination? Fram (talk) 09:19, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Since I can't see the article, I don't know. But if editors were able to find good references for the article, which I assume they were not, the OR argument would be moot. Ikip (talk) 09:50, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
The first keep argument gave a source. It is not up to an admin to decide on his own that it is a good or bad source, and to close the AfD accordingly. More people should have a look at the rewritten article and the source(s) used to decide if it is sufficient or not. Fram (talk) 10:09, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose the on-going attempts by the partisan ARS (who now have the gall to proclaim they are saving wikipedia from the rest of us) to slant the project to their liking, so most certainly oppose this. --Cameron Scott (talk) 10:22, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
RE: "usual partisian ARS crap."[1] Please, WP:CIVIL. You weaken your argument by calling other editors suggestions "crap", and you inadvertanly show your own extreme partisan views in the process. Ikip (talk) 10:54, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Dude, aren't you busy with your white-wash? bit late, the cat is out of the bag. --Cameron Scott (talk) 11:04, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Ikip speaks for Ikip only, although others are free to agree with him. I'm proud to be both a member of ARS and to have deleted over 4,000 articles. There's nothing inherently partisan or inclusionist about ARS--I value improving marginal stuff as highly as I do getting rid of stuff that has no place in Wikipedia. Let's not bash the ARS with broad strokes here, please. Jclemens (talk) 16:16, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose along the lines of Protonk's excellent assessment- this is instruction creep. In fact, it may be superfluous to WP:DEL. While the incidents Ikip mentions are worrisome, they're most likely misunderstandings of deletion policy. And in any case, I ask you, why do we even need a "special case" to force a speedy close when there is a good faith, albeit faulty, nomination? Look at it this way:
    • New system: Editor makes faulty nomination, while there are some "per nom" !votes before an administrator sees it, nobody makes a valid deletion argument. The administrator sees the faulty rationale and that there aren't any valid delete !votes. Administrator speedy closes.
    • Current system: Editor makes faulty nomination, there are some "per nom" !votes, but nobody makes a valid argument for deletion over the course of the AfD. It's my understanding, and please correct me if I'm wrong, that the administrator would be very likely expected to close as keep, or at least relist. I see the reason as being that any semblance of consensus established in the AfD is not sufficient to override the consensus described in the deletion policy.
I believe the main difference here is that in the new system, an AfD established on faulty grounds doesn't run to term. I don't like this for two reasons:
  1. The entire purpose of the AfD process is to discuss whether an article should be included in Wikipedia. Speedily closing good faith nominations would in fact serve to suppress discussion, and make the AfD process even more difficult for newbies to understand than it already is.
  2. While the AfD process is not intended for article improvement, it does occasionally have that side effect. The reason being that AfDs, as they should, bring a specific problematic article to the attention of the wider community, potentially containing editors who can help improve the article in question. Speedily closing an AfD on a problematic article (and let's face it, a long-term unreferenced article is problematic) would serve to suppress that drive to improvement.
But all this aside- generally when you disagree with a nominator's rationale (e.g., it isn't in line with WP:DEL) you should !vote "keep". That, and a quick explanation as to why the rationale is faulty, should be reason enough for the closing admin to keep the article when the AfD period ends. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 22:51, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Your assessment is largely correct for rescued articles, but it unfortunately doesn't well describe current conditions for articles that receive no treatment. Unfortunately, it is possible to have a relatively inadequate nomination, a few "per nom" or likewise unconvincing arguments (even "nn" would be better, assuming that the poster knew that that implied), and have an administrator close a unanimous discussion as delete. It happens quite a bit. I don't really know how to fix it, I just have a hint of what might not work. I have a guess that what fixes problems like that is constant vigilance by neutral editors willing to put in gobs of time and effort into shepherding "bad" nominations to an appropriate direction. Just like the BLP "problem", the orphan "problem", the sourcing "problem", the solution is not one that people want to hear. but any solution that isn't dependent upon loans of person-hours (in an environment that I have honestly lost my taste for) will have to be pretty clever in order to not fail. For an example of technical solutions which have simplified seemingly intractable problems on wikipedia, compare WP:SPI to the previously split RFCU/SSP, for an example of a case where architectural and rules changes help but are not sufficient without considerable human effort, see Wikipedia:Stub, which has some helpful processes and procedures but would be pointless without the folks from the stub sorting project. For an example of how an architectural change fails completely, see Wikipedia:New pages patrol/patrolled pages--NPP is a great project and they do a lot of quality work. The physical code change to create "patrolled revisions"....not so much. Many revisions and pages expire from the queue (after a month) without having been patrolled, limiting the flag's effectiveness at differentiating between seen and unseen edits. Just a couple of thoughts. Protonk (talk) 23:10, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
  • As there is a current interest in discouraging early closes of all outcomes (WP:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive182#Wikipedia:Articles for deletion, #Proposal to discourage early "delete" closes), I think there would be general opposition to adding a new WP:Speedy keep criterion. Flatscan (talk) 04:40, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Pretty much in the deletion guideline already. If the sources you added are indeed sufficient to support inclusion, and the nominator agrees that the sources you found are sufficient to support the article, s/he will typically withdraw the nomination, and the AFD will draw a bunch of "keep"-votes while any "delete"-votes are frequently changed; which allows a speedy keep according to criterion 1. I oppose making the addition of sources an automatic close, because sometimes the sources added are e.g. not sufficiently reliable, and some people may still want the article deleted. Sometimes this may be because of an obstinate nominator (for an extreme example, at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Ellen Hambro the nominator wasn't satisfied even when a traditional paper encyclopedia article on the subject was presented as a source), but usually, it is best to wait a few hours to see what course the debate takes after you have added the sources. Sjakkalle (Check!) 10:49, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

AFD nominator

I'm not sure what the prerequisites are for being an AFD nominator, but this user:

has less than 40 edits and has made 4 afd nominations. My question is are there some type of "requirements" for afd nominators? Smallman12q (talk) 21:39, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

I don't see any such edit count requirement in the policy. Even IP users can nominate articles for deletion. —Magic.Wiki (talk) 09:27, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
...Although they can't complete the nomination, since you need to create a page for an AfD nomination, which IP's can't do. Apart from that procedural aspect, everyone can nominate articles for deletion (speey, prod or AfD), and everyone who does so correctly (not technically correct, but correct according to our content policies) is encouraged to continue doing this, even if it is the only contribution they make to Wikipedia. If we would e.g. have a user whose only edits were nominating hoaxes for deletion, and said editor was correct in most cases, then he or she should receive a barnstar for that work. Fram (talk) 09:50, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

It's possible that such nominations are long time IP editors who create accounts to nominate due to the previously mentioned technical barriers to completing such nominations. IMHO WP:AGF requires us to assume that this is the case unless we have evidence to the contrary. --Ron Ritzman (talk) 15:04, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Modification to AfD template

Hi, I have requested a feature to be added to Twinkle but it needs consensus here. Basically this is a proposal to modify the AfD template to automatically add the {{firstarticle}} template to new user_talk pages along with AfD notification. Thoughts and comments are welcome. Thanks!—Magic.Wiki (talk) 02:09, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

So you mean that in the event that the user being notified has no talkpage (i.e., it's a redlink), they'll get {{firstarticle}} in addition to {{AFDWarning}}? Why not just use {{AFDWarningNew}} as the AFD page currently suggests, which somewhat combines both welcome and warning? Don't get me wrong though, I think it's a good idea in terms of minimizing the BITEyness of AFD and generally support this idea. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 21:21, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
That'd be the logic, yes. {{firstarticle}} offers quite a bit more than {{AFDWarningNew}}; I could actually see using both. There'd be a bit redundancy with the "please sign with four tildes" advice, but that could easily be removed from the AFD warning if they are used together.
The automatic welcome messages were added to the CSD warnings in late November 2008, and seem to have been recieved quite well. They are added automatically by both Twinkle and Huggle, and by some of the manual warnings. With the AfD warnings, I was thinking about changing {{AFDWarning}} to add that functionality, which means it would leave the welcome message on a previously redlinked user talk page when added manually and when added through a tool. --Amalthea 04:01, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes please, I think it's a good idea. I usually add {{subst:welcome}} or a customised equivalent to an empty talk page before a warning (and was a bit surprised when the automatic CSD ones started adding a second welcome); but it would save trouble and help avoid BITEyness. JohnCD (talk) 12:26, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Protecting closed AfD debates from further editing

I have encountered a few instances where, despite the red warnings at top and bottom, people have continued to edit the AfD debate after it has been closed. Would it be a good idea to have the AfD page routinely protected by the closing admin? JohnCD (talk) 17:53, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Not unless there's a good indication that the after-the-fact edits make a widespread problem. If someone's going in and changing the outcome with no good reason, there's good reason to block the offender, not protect the discussion. Jclemens (talk) 17:59, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
But what valid reason could there be for anyone (except perhaps the closing admin) to edit the discussion after close? JohnCD (talk) 18:01, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
Adding an update or explanation for one's actions, apologizing for or striking an incivility added in the heat of the moment, and other minor notations, as an example. Further, I think there's a general preference not to protect things. A regime of automatically protecting archive pages would be a non-trivial amount of work. There are nonadmin closures and we don't allow admin-bots. Wikidemon (talk) 18:13, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
I try to watchlist all the AfDs I close, and very rarely is there ever an edit after the fact. I think there have only been two that needed protection (actually, just semi-protection) because editors kept coming back and changing or adding after the close.--Fabrictramp | talk to me 19:34, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
Comment to Wikidemon: I can see those are reasons why people might want to revise, but I think there is a good reason for the red warnings: if the question is revisited, say at DRV or a later AfD, the record ought to show the actual debate which led the closing admin to his conclusion, not what people wish they had said or think they ought to have said. But I agree it's probably not a serious problem. Irrelevant aside: I'm reminded of the rhyme about the secretary writing the cabinet minutes, who "...strives to record and report, what he thinks they will think that they ought to have thought." JohnCD (talk) 22:03, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Occasionally there is a valid reason to edit a closed AFD discussion. The closer's rationale in this AFD referenced a WP:AN/I thread. I changed it to point to the archive.--Ron Ritzman (talk) 00:22, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

One of my pet hates is that closers leave the {{REMOVE THIS TEMPLATE WHEN CLOSING THIS AfD}} template on closed AfDs's, which includes them in Category:AfD debates and its related subcategories - these categories are for open AfDs. I have twice recently gone through all the AfD's in Category:AfD debates and removed this template from many that are closed (see my contributions on Feb 15th and Jan 23rd). I have no objection to closed AfDs being protected due to concerns over editing a closed debate, but it annoys me when I click on a link in a category to find the debate has already been closed. Could a bot check and fix this? Here are some closed Afds (which I have not fixed) currently affected by this problem:1 2 3 4 . Otherwise I would support a protection of closed AfDs, regards ascidian | talk-to-me 23:40, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
The first one by MBisanz was likely closed using the Mr-Zman AFD closing script which is suppose to dot all the I's and cross all the T's but occasionally it leaves something undone. I probably should start checking my script closes to see if it's removing that template. --Ron Ritzman (talk) 00:31, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

Help? So lost.

Owen (Total Drama Island)

Been deleted before for non-notabillity. Would have done an AFD but apparently I need the previous article name? I only know an old bio about Owen had been deleted, but it might have had a different format for the title for all I know. So confusing. Lots42 (talk) 01:48, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

AfD nomination statistics

From the October 1 2008 through February 18 2009 AfD logs, here are aggregated statistics for AfD nominations and a breakout of nominators with 35 or more nominations:

User Noms Nominations Keeps Deletes Keep % Delete %
1-10 5211 1238 2909 23.76 55.82
11-20 2028 349 1269 17.21 62.57
21-30 1206 238 735 19.73 60.95
31-40 814 156 509 19.16 62.53
41-50 467 67 328 14.35 70.24
50+ 3526 649 1902 18.41 53.94
ALL 13252 2697 7652 20.35 57.74

Nominator Nominations Keeps Deletes Keep % Delete %
Kww 36 4 27 11.11 75.00
Epbr123 36 2 31 5.56 86.11
VirtualSteve 36 11 15 30.56 41.67
The Rolling Camel 37 9 22 24.32 59.46
Fvw 37 5 30 13.51 81.08
Stifle/wizard 37 21 11 56.76 29.73
NurseryRhyme 38 10 23 26.32 60.53
Tnxman307 38 2 29 5.26 76.32
Roleplayer 39 1 32 2.56 82.05
Sandstein 39 3 28 7.69 71.79
Rtphokie 40 16 3 40.00 7.50
Flewis 40 10 22 25.00 55.00
Mattinbgn 41 5 30 12.20 73.17
Mr Senseless 41 6 27 14.63 65.85
Graymornings 46 10 30 21.74 65.22
Ros0709 46 12 30 26.09 65.22
Suntag 47 11 26 23.40 55.32
JohnCD 47 1 43 2.13 91.49
JaGa 49 8 33 16.33 67.35
Fabrictramp 50 3 42 6.00 84.00
McWomble 50 9 29 18.00 58.00
TheFarix 50 2 40 4.00 80.00
Paul75 51 2 34 3.92 66.67
MacGyverMagic 53 8 41 15.09 77.36
JBsupreme 53 18 18 33.96 33.96
WikiDan61 54 5 40 9.26 74.07
KurtRaschke 57 10 36 17.54 63.16
Oscarthecat 57 8 42 14.04 73.68
SchuminWeb 57 10 40 17.54 70.18
Roux 57 8 39 14.04 68.42
VasileGaburici (page does not exist) 59 11 32 18.64 54.24
Undead warrior 60 4 37 6.67 61.67
THF 61 20 28 32.79 45.90
Ecoleetage 62 2 47 3.23 75.81
JzG/help 63 30 25 47.62 39.68
Hello Control 64 4 48 6.25 75.00
Biruitorul 64 13 41 20.31 64.06
Michellecrisp 64 22 21 34.38 32.81
Mufka 66 11 39 16.67 59.09
Largoplazo 66 8 49 12.12 74.24
Ironholds 73 4 54 5.48 73.97
Gmatsuda 74 17 42 22.97 56.76
Collectonian 75 32 21 42.67 28.00
Timtrent 77 15 45 19.48 58.44
Carlossuarez46 85 15 57 17.65 67.06
RHaworth 90 12 70 13.33 77.78
Mr. Vernon 90 10 71 11.11 78.89
Girolamo Savonarola 91 16 61 17.58 67.03
Magioladitis 98 7 64 7.14 65.31
Richardcavell 114 7 93 6.14 81.58
Blanchardb 115 6 88 5.22 76.52
ScienceApologist 119 67 26 56.30 21.85
Bongomatic 128 32 65 25.00 50.78
Tavix 129 32 60 24.81 46.51
Mayalld 133 19 86 14.29 64.66
Schuym1 237 33 131 13.92 55.27
TenPoundHammer/Country 265 67 120 25.28 45.28
TTN 465 64 103 13.76 22.15

(These results were obtained by scraping AfD results using an automated script; there are most likely errors arising from this process, but I believe the general results are valid. Nominations not resulting in a "keep" or "delete" are included in the nominations count, but not the keep or delete counts. Please let me know of any discrepancies. – 74  01:04, 2 March 2009 (UTC))

(Table updated to reflect removal of a few bugs that mildly over-counted nominations and mildly under-counted keeps and deletes. Signatures with a link to user's talk page are now also included, leading to moderate to large changes for those editors. – 74  12:11, 2 March 2009 (UTC))

(Table updated to remove the influence of another bug: nominations with links to other users' pages were being mis-attributed to those users. This was discovered when JohnCD pointed out his AfD nomination stats were missing. Now the last valid user link in the nomination line is used (which may still fail for multi-line nominations and oddly-formed nominations). – 74  16:11, 2 March 2009 (UTC))

(Aggregate statistics table added. – 74  14:09, 3 March 2009 (UTC))


From the data, it would appear that some users take WP:BEFORE significantly more seriously than others. Now I would expect some variation based on the controversy of the nominations, but I think some of the excessive results above are a clear indication that process is not being followed in all cases. I believe we need a system to reign in those who are abusing AfD for their own purposes and limit the amount of effort wasted debating poor AfDs. – 74  01:04, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

  • I appreciate the work that went into this, but I'm not sure that the information presented here is sufficient to judge whether or not someone has followed BEFORE. I understand the connection, those with high rejection rates are probably less likely to have done their due diligence. But it could also come from types of articles they nominate, persuasive ability in the nomination or ability to search for sources. And also, if these folks are making bad nominations and the community is rejecting them by keeping the articles, then the system is working. I agree that some improvement can be made wrt to keeping the really bad nominations out, though. Protonk (talk) 01:19, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
    • The purpose of the system is not to churn endlessly—after all, we've got an encyclopedia to write. Every minute spent handling a poor/invalid AfD is one minute not spent improving Wikipedia. I'm not proposing we go ban the top X offenders; I'm simply proposing we come up with some type of control system to minimize wasted time in the future. The exact details of such a system are open for community debate. – 74  01:35, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
      • The problem with that is the assumption of some zero sum tradeoff. I submit that people don't edit AfD because there are lots of nominations there, but because they are looking for something to edit that isn't mainspace. It is honestly much easier to quick-check some sources and say "yes" or "no" to a deletion nomination than it is to find some subject where you have some expertise, get a source, summarize it and cite it. I'm not saying that we shouldn't be crapping on the bad nominators. But this list isn't sufficient to identify them. Protonk (talk) 02:40, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
        • That not enough for sure but it's a good lead, digging those Afds might give more clues if a nominator is repeatedly suspected not to have checked WP:BEFORE during those Afds then it's a proof worth sanction. --KrebMarkt 07:55, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Excellent stuff :) I pity we can't have merge statistics. --KrebMarkt 07:23, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

I was asked to detail more. What additional information we can't get is the number of merge discussion started and their results as most Afd nominators are also in the merge business. Yet again WP:Before somewhat apply and bad habits appear again. A personal example Talk:Wanted_(manga)#Merge. That issue doesn't concern just one editor. I truly regret we can have merge discussion numbers & statistics so we could get some input about Afd in the guise of merge practice. --KrebMarkt 08:48, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
  • I can see at least one OTRS volunteer in the list (not sure of a couple more and can't be bothers to log into OTRS to check) and you need to bear in mind that OTRS members often end up nominating articles on behalf of the subject. I think for any meaninful analysis we need a breakdown what type of article as well as the reason for the nomination were affected. Otherwise this is all headline but no context.Spartaz Humbug! 09:12, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
    • It need to be seriously scrutinized before any conclusion. --KrebMarkt 09:16, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Wow, that is incredible, no one here will be impressed, and most people will downnplay or dismisse the results but I sure am impressed, you deserves a barnstar.Ikip (talk) 16:25, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Protunk: "I'm not sure that the information presented here is sufficient to judge whether or not someone has followed BEFORE." to do this you would have to delve in to the realm of the "subjective".
First you could find out if editors did any work on those articles before the AfD (I would guess that 95% had not). The subjective question, which requires access to all of those deleted articles, is, "Was the article worth saving"? Because WP:BEFORE is not necessary if the article is worthless. Wait, maybe you could study the articles that were saved, and see what percent the editor attempted WP:BEFORE before putting the article up for deletion? I would happily help you with this endeavor. Ikip (talk) 17:13, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) Before making too many conclusions (and it is indeed clear that some have a much laxer standard for what they consider deletable than they ought) we should try to categorize the AfDs in some way -- I would suggest "by reason given" as a suitable one -- and see whether any given reason ("notability" or any other reason) appears to be stronger or weaker than others. We should also eliminate clearly procedural ones from the counts (Misspelled titles and the like). My guess is that would reduce the number to analyze by at least a third. Collect (talk) 17:30, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

It's a bit too simple to make the equation, which is implied here, "AfD followed by Keep = bad nomination." I can think of cases where an absolutely nonsense, in fact probably hoax, article at AfD attracted a specialist who, recognising that the title was relevant to his subject, rewrote the article completely so that only the title survived. Without the nomination the nonsense article, perhaps tagged for cleanup, would probably have lingered on. It's unfortunate but true that cleanup tags don't give as much visibility to a problem article. JohnCD (talk) 17:40, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
  • I think this is an interesting starting point, but tells us almost nothing by itself. I'm sure that some of these editors failed to follow WP:BEFORE. But then others did follow WP:BEFORE. Maybe they failed to find a way to improve the article, but someone else did. Maybe the article didn't improve, and the nominator has a habit of trudging into subject areas that have fallen under the WP:OWNership of one or a few stubborn editors. Maybe the AFD closed as no consensus, and will be deleted later once people have had time to conclude that the article has no potential.
  • Moreover, even if there are a few sloppy nominators -- which there always have been and always will be -- I think this actually shows how the system is working just fine. An AFD is really just the start of a discussion, and a nominator won't get too far without cooperation from the community. Whatever you're doing -- creating articles, nominating articles for deletion, adding alleged facts -- you need a consensus to make it happen. That's the way Wikipedia has always worked, and the system still basically polices itself. Randomran (talk) 17:44, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
    • Your comparison is all well and good, but we do have a process to handle users whose inputs are clearly against consensus: vandals get blocked, trolls get blocked, etc. We appear to have no such process for AfD, allowing users free reign to apply whatever standards for nomination they like. I believe "sloppy" nominations should be discouraged, not accepted as a necessary part of the system. Currently only the most flagrant violators draw enough wrath for sanctions—that's akin to not blocking a vandal because half his edits aren't bad. – 74  18:02, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
      • But they're starting discussions. Vandals don't discuss, they cut to the chase and actually blank entire sections or articles. These nominators are not actually doing anything to articles that isn't supported by consensus. If they nominate something that has no consensus to delete, the end result is no effect. Either there's a consensus to delete, or there's no harm. I'd agree with you that there are a lot of people who constantly find themselves on the wrong side of consensus in our various discussions... but what measure do you use to separate good faith discussion from outright disruption, and what do you do with them once you've found them? Randomran (talk) 18:22, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
        • In much the same way as trolls "start discussions". A discussion is not harmless simply because it fails to remove content. Trolls are blocked for wasting time and inciting disagreement; is a "sloppy" AfD all that different? – 74  18:37, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
          • I think we're making progress here, because now you're talking about a specific problem. Can you tell me -- how do you distinguish between someone who trolls a discussion, and someone who is a tough advocate for a viewpoint? Randomran (talk) 18:43, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
            • Presumably patterns of behavior, which I attempted to conveniently illustrate with the numbers above. How do you identify a troll, and what actions would you take? (I also note that "tough advocates" often find themselves on the wrong end of a block as well.) – 74  18:51, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
              • Right. Patterns of behavior. What pattern of behavior represents trolling? I myself have been fed up with some editors who repeatedly find themselves on the wrong side of consensus, sometimes even raising the exact same proposal over and over after a failure to reach consensus for it. I've seen editors who reply to literally every comment they disagree with, sometimes doing little more than saying "you're wrong" over and over. These users have been brought to RFC, AN/I, and WQA, and the response there is that "these people are not trolls. they're not disruptive. they make a number of positive contributions. just because you disagree with their viewpoint it doesn't mean they lose the right to raise it, let alone cling to it with toughness. assume good faith." I'm hugely sympathetic to your concerns, but I think you'll find this problem much harder to deal with when you actually try to explain what the problem "pattern of behavior" is. Randomran (talk) 18:58, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

A link to for each user will give a rough estimate of AfDs that resulted in redirects (one way or another). I suspect that if we group "redirected" with "deleted", that the percentages for some of these folks will increase a bit, especially guys like TTN. there may be some discussion was to whether or not "merge" goes with "keep", but that's another element of subjective analysis. Protonk (talk) 17:47, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

A view that is neither supported by Wikipedia:Deletion policy nor the big box at the top of Wikipedia:AFD. AfD is for deletion; other issues should be handled by other means (or the policy should be updated if it conflicts with consensus). – 74  18:12, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Sigh. If you are going to take the position that an AfD which ends in "merge" or "redirect" is a sign of malfeasance on the part of the nominator, this discussion will go nowhere. Merges happen at AfD. Redirects too. Especially on fictional articles, which all (by their very nature) have some natural parent article. Protonk (talk) 18:21, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
The result I agree with—they just happen as you say. But that is no reason to use those results to justify nominating articles haphazardly. *If* the nominator truly intended deletion (per process) then "other results" do not indicate that the nomination was warranted, nor that it was unwarranted. – 74  18:34, 2 March 2009 (UTC) (edited – 74  19:00, 2 March 2009 (UTC))
In some cases the nominator truly does intend deletion but the community has decided that redirects are more palatable. I bring up TTN for a reason. I suspect that most (if not all) of his nominations intended to have the material deleted, but because we prefer to merge, they ended up as redirects or selective merges, even though the consensus at the AfD was that wikipedia should not have an article on a particular subject. Specifically, he went to AfD because merger discussions involved only vested contributors in articles and were routinely shot down. I fully agree that there is some division in the community on how AfD interacts with mergers. I also see that my position is not necessarily the most commonly held one. But we do have to note that not all AfDs which result in merge/smerge/redirect are poorly thought out. Protonk (talk) 19:18, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
I fully agree with that. Again, I'm not proposing that any specific nominations or nominators are acting in bad faith—such issues should be dealt with elsewhere. What I *am* trying to do is raise the discussion that the system is potentially operating inefficiently because there isn't an effective balance/oversight process for nominations. The statistics are only an indication of that, not an indictment. – 74  19:33, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Again, I am certain that the majority, up to 95% of the nominations no one followed WP:BEFORE. I will study JohnCD's keeps, who posted above, to test that theory. There is no way to satisfactorily answer the question: Was it worthy of deletion, was it worthy of being kept? This is subjective. johnCD, and I only bring him up cause he is on the list, and he posted here, of course thought that all the AFDs were worthy, and still does.
I think Randomran's comments sums up the majorty of people's feelings here on this policy page:
"Moreover, even if there are a few sloppy nominators -- which there always have been and always will be -- I think this actually shows how the system is working just fine."
It is the same opinion I hear over and over again on this page, no matter what evidence is presented. When I posted User:Ikip/AfD on average day, which showed that 76.5% of articles deleted were created by editors with 350 contributions or less, this was the same reaction.
The challenge is too show that these are more than a couple of "mistakes", but their are fundamental problems with the entire AfD system, and not present it here, but present it to the entire wikipedia community.
When PC Pro editor had the article The Political Quarterly speedy deleted, the nominator apologizde, then went on to delete an additional 2585 images and pages. The same it was a "mistake" argument was given, and Cameron Scott, who stated today, "Great job with the table - I'm a strong deletionist and would delete half of the wiki if I got my way, which is why oversight is important", closed the discussion.
Giving a distinct message, similar to Randomran's, Move on, there is nothing to see here... Ikip (talk) 18:04, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Well...what's the solution? I mean, part of this isn't the problem. This isn't the soviet union--we don't consider it a success if everyone agrees to every nomination. There is going to be some expected percentage of nominations that result in "keep"--that is a good thing. I agree that one of the principal problems of AfD is the participants, but that is true of any process. If you have some solution to ensure that new editors don't have their work deleted, that we don't have "bad" nominations, and that we follow our guidelines and policies for inclusions, we are always all ears. I suspect that the solution requires a lot of person hours. someone has to go through every nomination and close the inadequate ones, improve the marginal ones and police the proper ones. Someone has to ensure that sources get looked for on every "non-notable" nom. someone has to clean up pages which might be on their way to deletion so that participants aren't fooled by poor formatting into thinking that an article is bad. That's a lot of work, and it is just off the top of my head. There usually isn't a replacement for work like that. We can just make it policy that BEFORE be followed, but then what do we do, block everyone who has bad nominations? Tell me how well WP:CIVIL is enforced on this project to get an idea of how well that goes down. We can make it policy that people don't use any argument for or against deletion that violates WP:ATA, but I can't imagine that gaining consensus and we would effectively have to ban half of the participants in AfD (inclusionists and deletionists alike). We aren't going to get rid of AfD. So what is the solution that gets those effects, without that work and without closing AfD? Protonk (talk) 18:19, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
  • I think you're missing the point. These people can't delete articles. They can only nominate them. The community blocks bad nominations -- they only need to reach "no consensus" rather than "consensus to keep". So there's no content problem here. There might be a few behavioral problems, but that should be addressed on a user by user basis. Randomran (talk) 18:22, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
  • No, but it's a strong inclination to say your article's not worthy of Wikipedia, especially for newbies. Sure Wikipedia does have stuff it doesn't want, but by nominating you are sending a loud and clear signal to everyone, loud enough that whether it passes or fails, it's permanently recorded on the talk page as an important milestone.じんない 08:23, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Frankly, those stats mean nothing. Some of the people who have high percentages of failed deletes I recognize are ones who nominated articles which by typical standards would have had no problem being deleted but ran into coordinated campaigns of people who want to keep them for bad reasons, such as POV-pushing, tagteaming, etc.

The biggest problem with wasted time here is not deletions that do not go anywhere -- as AFD typically leads to improved articles for those that are kept -- but the people who remove prods for no reasonable rationale and force an AFD process on what should be completely obvious deletes. And, in general, far too many articles are improperly kept than improperly deleted, either because of bizarre votes or because people feel like they do't have the time to fill out an AFD for everything they run across. If we had a better process for ensuring that articles are created well in the first place that'd be the biggest help.DreamGuy (talk) 18:17, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

anon wrote on User talk:Ikip:
"Regarding this post:
If you're going to delve into a nominator's history, I'd suggest you investigate one of the editors with a significantly lower success rate. From the statistics, JohnCD's nominations appear to succeed better than 90% of the time."
Good points. I won't single out any editor at all. I don't want anyone to feel like I am picking on them. Instead Maybe I will choose four random editors. Ikip (talk) 18:29, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Protonk, there have been several proposals on this talk page, those which I have particpated in, you opposed them. Right now I am interested in the collection of information, a solution which most everyone agrees with is much later. Ikip (talk) 18:33, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
I think we need to distinguish between a systemic problem and a behavioral problem. A systemic problem would happen when the system is being used properly, and it leads to bad results. But when you focus on a list of users where some of those users are inaccurate, the best you can do is identify a behavioral problem among a few users. And this isn't the best channel to deal with the behavior of individual editors. Randomran (talk) 18:40, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Wouldn't you consider a system's failure to deal with behavioral problems a systemic problem? – 74  19:07, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Right, but then that's a discussion we should be having at a behavioral guideline talk page. I tried to start something at the guideline for WP:GAME, but it didn't get very far. People are legitimately worried about using an "anti-troll" guideline to silence any minority viewpoint, let alone to target one viewpoint while giving a free pass to an opposite viewpoint. Randomran (talk) 19:15, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
My opposing your proposals may not be a sign that I'm opposed to proposals in general. Take a look at this proposal I made to protect new articles. I think I made a pretty good effort at proposing it and justifying it and it went down in flames. I'm interested in changing AfD for the better. I'm interested in changing WP:N for the better (should I assume that you are against any changes in WP:N from your opposition to WP:FICT?). But we aren't going to get there by suggesting that nominators be treated like trolls and vandals. Protonk (talk) 19:35, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

74, I'm curious what "their own purposes" would entail. Improving AFD's signal to noise is an admirable goal, but it just won't work if you start out from the assumption that anyone whose AFD success rate is low is misusing AFD in bad faith. (Contrast this with misuse of AFD in good faith, which would also be a problem worth solving but not one you can solve even if you could magically identify all of the bad faith noms.) Right now, admins (and non-admins!) can close obvious bad-faith AFDs. It happens all the time.

How would you more accurately identify AFDs which are bad faith? How would you accurately identify notability AFDs for which no effort to check notability was made? What would be gained by doing this, and how does it outweigh the negative consequences?

You've identified a low signal to noise ratio. What we don't have is a clearly identified problem, a clearly identified cause, or a clear proposal for a solution. - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire - past ops) 20:39, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

There is one way to answer those interrogations checking every single Afds and count the number of bad faith and non-respect of WP:BEFORE allegations, and the number of unique users making those accusations. If a nominator has a lot of negative comments made by a somewhat large number of users then we have a beginning of Afd misuse proof (Not a full proof IMO). However i doubt we have the time and the desire the go to that point and beside doing a such thing is somewhat like doing a witch hunt --KrebMarkt 21:29, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't like the sound of that at all, per WP:CIVIL and WP:AGF. The next thing would be people being encouraged to go and shout "Bad Faith!" at AfDs they disapproved of. There has been a bit of that lately - too much. JohnCD (talk) 21:51, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Agree with JohnCD here; I've seen a lot of AFDs, and only in a few cases is it clearly done in bad faith; every other one, the nominator appeareed to have felt the AFD was in good faith, or to the point where distinguishing between bad and good faith would be impossible to determine. The only statistic that I think could be useful are any nominators with a large proportion of "speedy keeps" that clearly don't understand how to use AFD. --MASEM (t) 21:58, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Got the point of both of you. Unfortunately the can of worms is open and i truly hope that those numbers won't be exploited and misused to spread smears on the editors mentioned in that table. --KrebMarkt 22:14, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Simply put, the problem is all the time spent in AfDs in the "Keep" column. Can we reduce that to zero? No. Can we reduce it to less than 50%? I'd hope so. Regardless of faith, if your contributions are a net negative to Wikipedia then we shouldn't be accepting them as a matter of course. While you all might enjoy a full plate of AfDs to digest, it is hardly a stretch to claim that excessive AfDs have some negative impact on the editing community at large. Can we quantify that impact? Not with the numbers presented, and most likely never if we refuse to accept that there is an actual problem in the first place. Editors acting in good faith get blocked all the time for actions detrimental to Wikipedia; why should AfD be an exception? Heretical, I know, but in my opinion good faith is no excuse for continually wasting other editors' time. That said, I'm clearly in the minority here so I'll stop wasting *your* time before *I* get blocked. – 74  02:27, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
A point that would help to determine if and what the problem may be is to determine of those keeps, how many required improvements to earn that keep, and how many rode without significant changes (notably , sources to show notability). Same with the deletes. And probably same with the inconclusives too. --MASEM (t) 02:38, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Here's where the reference to WP:BEFORE comes in; AfD is not intended as a cudgel to force editors to improve an article to "earn a keep". I'm sure there are some cases where a difficult search yielded results following a diligent nomination, but I'm equally sure there are trivial cases of improvement following a "sloppy" nom. Thus, I wouldn't classify all cases involving improvement as "good" AfDs by default. – 74  05:18, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
  • I tend to disagree as atleast a couple times I have seen what appears to have been attempts to "force" sites to be shown by bringing an article for AfD that were readily available and completely ignoring WP:BEFORE as well as WP:IMPERFECT simply because it was taking too long for that person and they couldn't wait.じんない 08:32, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
How do you suggest we know the result of a discussion to establish consensus before that discussion is held? We can't do it with clairvoyance. We can only do it with limits or punishments, both of which have chilling effects and beg gaming.
I'm also curious about "editors acting in good faith get blocked all the time for actions detrimental to Wikipedia"; generally, this is only when the detriment is clear and the user pushes on, unrepentant and unsupported.
Let's take two examples of users with strong views and a broad-scale editing plan that caused a lot of friction: TTN and Kappa. TTN has AFDed many articles, and Kappa deprodded many articles shortly after prod was introduced. Both of them had middling-low success rates, as TTNs AFDs often end in merge or no consensus, and Kappa's deprods often found themselves deleted at AFD.
Both of them have a wide base of support, for getting a lot of important cleanup work sort of sideways through imperfect systems.
I would not see either censured for this work, and any system that would do so isn't one I could support. - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire - past ops) 07:09, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
One thing I think that there has been a general and growing consensus for is merging/redirecting of spinout articles rather than deletion (except when they are obvious hoaxes, faudulant information, etc. If spinouts, especially for fiction where most come from, were required to go through an AfM it would reduce the overall potential for abusing AfD a lot as well as stengthening the intent of merging (since AfD doesn't have the authority to do anything but keep or delete).
It wouldn't solve everything and their is still the problem of editors blatantly ingoring WP:BEFORE and abusing AfD to bypass WP:IMPERFECT, in both cases because they don't want to do the work that a quick search on google's first 20 or so refs would meet WP:N as well as WP:V.じんない 08:42, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
I think an AfMR procedure - "Articles for Merge or Redirect" - would be a good idea. Anyone suggesting this at AfD gets told "you don't need an AfD, just boldly do it," but in many cases boldly doing it leads to an edit-war, and a talk-page suggestion attracts only supporters of the article. I think nominators sometimes use AfD as a means of getting a broader community view on a merge/redirect proposal - not what it's intended for, but there isn't another way at present. JohnCD (talk) 14:54, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, most people do not really understand when to apply WP:BOLD in regards to merging/redirecting I've seen. They assume it should be applied liberally.じんない 17:10, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Or one person de-merges a valid merge without addressing the issues that caused it in the first place, and then 3RR requires more than one editor to take turns re-doing the legitimate merge against one editor who is determined to undo it. Maybe a 3RR exception for "re-enforcing merges or redirects agreed upon at any XfD process which have not been overturned by a subsequent XfD process" might help? That may be premature, though. Jclemens (talk) 18:03, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

A question or three

Just to get a flavor for things, I want to ask some questions:

  1. What do we think (or know, if we have some data) the average "keep rate" is (here I'm leaving this open to be inclusive or exclusive of mergers, if you answer, please note which measure you are using)?
  2. What do we think a good efficient equilibrium keep rate is? In other words, if we 'fixed' AfD, what percentage of nominations to delete would end in keep (Same caveat for the accounting of the above question)?
  3. Do we know how the "keep rate" is distributed among individuals? Does it increase with nominations? Decrease?

Thoughts? Protonk (talk) 03:21, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

  • I think right now, it's probably 50/50, but I have no clue. A lot of people get it wrong on their first few AFDs, in good faith. They aren't aware of alternatives like merging or redirecting, let alone clean-up. So bad articles with potential get kept. A lot of other keeps are based on articles that do fail our guidelines, but either people disagree about potential, or a small group of editors simply don't care about guidelines. I'm not sure we can quantify what a good equilibrium would be, but it really depends on what the fix is. Personally, I think the number of editors who outright waste peoples' time with stupid nominations, let alone nominate in bad faith, is few and far between. A more important fix is clarifying guidelines to standards most reasonable people can deal with, and otherwise finding a way to tear down walled gardens of people who are simply oblivious to basic standards. Randomran (talk) 04:06, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Over the same span as the statistics above, the aggregate number of nominations as determined by my script (excluding "grey results" and subject to the standard scraping disclaimer):
User Noms Nominations Keeps Deletes Keep % Delete %
1-10 5211 1238 2909 23.76 55.82
11-20 2028 349 1269 17.21 62.57
21-30 1206 238 735 19.73 60.95
31-40 814 156 509 19.16 62.53
41-50 467 67 328 14.35 70.24
50+ 3526 649 1902 18.41 53.94
ALL 13252 2697 7652 20.35 57.74
I have no idea what a "target" rate would be; there are, as many have pointed out, extenuating circumstances in some cases listed above. – 74  05:07, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
In retrospect, I should have included this information originally as a baseline for the statistics above. Sorry for the omission. – 74  05:22, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
So if we posit that there is a problem (I'm not convinced there is, but I wholeheartedly support looking at hard data to see if there is, and props to all the people who are doing this), the target for keeps should be below the current 20% rate. Naturally, I like my own 6% rate. ;-)
To tie into the above discussion about improving the merge/redirect discussions, I notice that 21.91% of the AfDs aren't included in the above percentages, so I assume they closed as merge, redirect, or no consensus. Is there an easy way to see how those break out between merge/redirect and no consensus?--Fabrictramp | talk to me 17:19, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
The "grey results" include everything that didn't match the patterns "keep" and "delet(e|ion)" (case insensitive). This includes merge, redirect, no consensus, withdrawn, various CSD section numbers, garbage, and one "Complete trainwreck". Some pattern separation of "grey results":
Merge Redirect No Consensus Withdraw Other Overcount
590 1158 876 266 292 279
(Subject to the usual scraping disclaimer; the first four are case-insensitive pattern match totals, "Other" is the total number of "AfD results" that didn't match any patterns, and "Overcount" is the total number of extra matches for results matching multiple patterns.) – 74  22:24, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
  • You know, this is pretty good empirical evidence for how the system works, much better than focusing on the stats for individual editors. If I understand the stats correctly, it looks like people who nominate more articles for deletion eventually get quite good at it, and reach a point where they're better at predicting what will be kept / deleted. People who nominate 20 articles are more accurate than people who nominate 10, and people who nominate 30 are more accurate than people who nominate 20. However, that stops being true once people break 50.
  • If I had to guess as to why the accuracy falls apart for the highest volume, I'd probably say it's because they're being much more indiscriminate with their nominations, and counting on the community to figure out if they're being accurate. Or maybe it's because they're more zealous, and are trying to brave their way into the "walled gardens" of users who don't care about guidelines. Or maybe they're straight up being mean. We'll never know, but it arguably doesn't matter *why*. We have evidence that if we limit people's nominations to approximately 50 in 20 weeks, or 2.5 per week, they're more accurate. If forced to limit their nominations, they'll learn to prioritize their efforts where it will actually pay off. Randomran (talk) 19:35, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
    • I'm not following that we have evidence "that if we limit people's nominations to approximately 50 in 20 weeks, or 2.5 per week, they're more accurate". Yes, the people who did 41-50 are more accurate as a group than the 50+. But the "why" does matter here. If an editor doesn't grasp the deletion guidelines, then limiting them to 50 won't make their success rate any better. If they are being careless, limiting them to 50 may just cause them to be careless on those 50 and then rush off to other tasks. We can't know (from this data) for sure that throttling back the noms will cause those nominators to have a higher deletion% rate. What we can know is the differences between these two groups could be a fruitful thing to study.--Fabrictramp | talk to me 19:47, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
      • I agree with Fabrictramp. Evidence that people who nominate more than 50 are less accurate is not evidence that if you legislate to limit them they will become more accurate. One reason the accuracy falls apart at the highest volume is that a fairly small sample is heavily distorted by TTN, with 465 nominations and only 22.15% "delete". It doesn't follow that he's a "bad" AfD-er: his "keep" rate is also low at 13.76%, because his nominations are specialised and tend to end up as merge or redirect. JohnCD (talk) 19:57, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
        • Actually, I think the sample is heavily distorted by ScienceApologist with a 56.30% keep rate. But that's basically the point you're making. My first interpretation is that this is, at most, a problem with a few individual users, and you're persuading me that my first interpretation was right. Randomran (talk) 20:01, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
          • A further support for the hypothesis that it's just a few outliers with bad success rates skewing the average is the fact that the median success keep rate for the 50+ group is 15.88%, which is better than the median of 17.16% for the 41-50 group.--Fabrictramp | talk to me 20:16, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
            • So, systemically speaking, people who nominate more *are* more accurate. But there are a few people who are out of step with the community. Do we have a way to deal with them? I don't know. Even looking at TTN, nobody could really point to a policy or guideline he was breaking, and we tried to discuss creating a new policy, and tried to assume good faith that he would follow it if we agreed upon it. But people couldn't agree on what constituted a misuse of AFD. Randomran (talk) 20:19, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
            • I suppose that would depend upon your definition of "few". By my count 9 (25%) of the > 50 group are exceeding your suggested 20% keep rate. Also, these outliers are probably skewing the average (since a keep rate of less than 0% is impossible). – 74  22:35, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
              • That's why an enforceable AfMR should be used for merges/redirects and while someone could be bold and merge/redirect, if it's undone once then it would need to be brought up. Right now, AfD is being used as the defactor place to get articles merged/redirected which is beyond it's scope, but there is no other outlet that people who are frustrated waiting for months and want enforcable actions taken, which ironically AfD can't do except delete. If you consider all merges/redirects into the equation for articles as keeps (which by AfD standard they are), it clearly changes the picture.じんない 22:45, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Relisting? Why?

I've seen AfDs where relisting to gain more comment was appropriate; but my opinion is that relisting is a result similar to Keep or Delete, but one indicating that the closer believes that it's worth the community's time to consider the AfD for an extended time. That is, it should be an active decision, not merely some passive and automatic reflect when there are only few !votes. In a present AfD, a IP editor vandalized an article, was warned, asked the warning editor for assistance getting the article deleted, which was denied. And within a minute, a new account was registered and immediately began deletion process. Now, new editors can't file AfDs. But I suspect they can create an incomplete MfD, and that's what this editor did. Another "helpful" editor then copied this to AfD and set it up for the vandal. The AfD sat there with four !votes. Two Keep, one Delete, and the nominator, as the original IP, also voted Delete (i.e, sock vote, technically; it was unsigned, which seems to have escaped notice until today). Normally, this would be likely to close as Keep or as No Consensus. However, another "helpful" editor relisted, "to gain consensus," thus creating what became a much more contentious AfD, currently running 8 !votes for Keep and 7 !votes for Delete, if we neglect the SPA/vandal's !votes.

I don't see the value of relisting an AfD like this. If there is no clear delete consensus, or an editor taking responsibility for a close, we may gain by extending discussion, but automatically relisting, and especially without considering that the nominator was a vandal/SPA, seems to only extend debate to a larger community, which is more disruptive, wastes more time. Simply letting the AfD sit there would have eventually attracted a decision, with no further fuss, and only if there were reason for more debate would someone have gone to DRV, or waited for a decent time with renomination. We are discarding the benefits of the process as designed: decisions are mostly made without excessive disruption, and only discussed further if someone wishes to appeal to DRV. For reference, the AfD is WP:Articles for deletion/Garrison Courtney, but the specific notability of that article isn't the issue I'm bringing here, just the process. --Abd (talk) 21:03, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Note: This is also being discussed at Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#Relistings_of_AfDs_by_non-administrators.--Fabrictramp | talk to me 22:14, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Another plea for a working AfD summary

Can I make another plea for a working AfD summary. I used to contribute to AfD almost exclusively using User:Dragons flight/AFD summary/, and then User:ArkyBot/AFD summary/. Both are broken. Are there any others? I see little point in loading a page, studying its issues, following links, etc, for an AfD that already is showing consensus. I do not find that I like using categorized discussions, and not only do I not like browsing an entire day's nominations, it grinds my computer to a halt. It become an accessibility issue long ago. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 12:02, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

agreed. Dragonsflight was the one i used. The size of the age is increasing yet again, & if we cannot get more problems handled otherwise, we need something to facilitate participation. The solution to many of the problems here is wider participation. If more new people would join in occasionally, people who frequent here regularly like myself could work some of the time on other things.DGG (talk) 21:54, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
I may be in a position to re-activate ArkyBot, although I am significantly more busy these days. I will look in to where I left off and see what I can do. Shereth 13:22, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
That would be fantastic. I think the summary makes AfD so much easier. In the meantime, is there a way to navigate to relisted XfDs that are still open? --SmokeyJoe (talk) 23:16, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Request for help on messed up nomination

I'm sorry. I did something wrong in nominating an article (UK Adult Film and Television Awards) for deletion and each try to fix it looks like I'm making it worse. I'm sure it's easy to correct but I can't figure out how to. Could somebody please rescue this. Thanks. Hullaballoo Wolfowitz (talk) 19:36, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Sorted, I think. Just a linking problem. :) --Malcolmxl5 (talk) 21:21, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

82.6% of articles put up for deletion are by new users

After a couple of months of compiling data, I finally finished the first section of my research: User:Ikip/AfD on average day, thanks to a dozen admins who gave me a copy of the deleted material. I found what many article squadron members already know, that our current deletion policy overwhelmingly affect new users:

  1. 31 out of 98 articles, nearly one third, which were put up for deletion were created by editors whose very first contributions was the new article.
  2. 66 out of 98 articles, 67%, which were put up for deletion were created by editors who had 100 contributions or less when they created the article.
  3. 81 out of 98 articles, 82.6%, which were put up for deletion were created by editors who had 1000 contributions or less when they created the article.

Any ideas how I can figure out if there is a definite link in the drop in editing since October 2007 to the treatment of new users? Ikip (talk) 05:23, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

  • Well, it won't really be easy. You would have to show somehow that without the deletion policy written as it was that the userbase would have grown. Otherwise you are stuck. The userbase of wikipedia could show a pattern of growth fitting a Logistic function (which is what is suspected). It could have been some other event (the Seigenthaler incident or the Essjay incident or anything else). Some other internal problem could have pushed users away. In order to dispense with those explanations you need to show both a causal link between deletion and users being discouraged or not signing up in the first place (probably not too hard) and show somehow that this is significant among elements impacting the size/growth of the userbase. The biggest thing to worry about is endogenous variables. For example, towns with stiffer penalties for speeding probably also have a police force that patrols for speeding more closely than towns with more minor penalties. As such, it would be improper to compare the rate of traffic violations in the two towns and conclude that stiffer penalties lead to reduced speeding. You would have to control for the increased enforcement. For wikipedia the argument may go that a culture of editors which brought about Notability may have driven away contributors as much as the deleting itself may have. So we couldn't just look at that decline and say "deletion created this", even if we could factor out other changes. Protonk (talk) 05:40, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
Wow, thank you Protonk, you are incredibly intelligent. I really appreciate you taking the time to write. I figured there was no way to pin the drop in editing on one factor. I just needed to here it from someone as eloquent as you are. Ikip (talk) 06:17, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
It's not that there is no way. Just that it is hard. Talk to User:Dragons flight. He runs a number of scripts gathering data on wikipedia for various reasons (he even has an old "votes in AfD" breakdown). The big glaring question is "what model best fits wikipedia's growth in area XYZ?" (be it users, edits, pages, and so forth) Once that is answered, the smaller questions of "the model predicts that wikipedia should be at 15,000 active users on July of whatever but we are at 10,000. Is this a significant difference? What may have caused it?" Here is a good (short) paper on general questions of growth. It is out of date (the data they use comes from the August 2006 dump) and newer studies will still be out of date because we haven't done a database dump since 2007 (I think). Protonk (talk) 06:28, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
This survey has alternate interpretations; I interpret it as being intuitive in that it reflects new editor's lack of understanding of our policies, and as they become more experienced less of their articles get nominated for deletion because they're more careful to follow policy. To support your argument, I think a far more basic question to answer would be whether editors whose articles are nominated for deletion quit significantly more frequently than those who don't, as established by some kind of statistical significance test. Dcoetzee 07:17, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
Assuming that 80% of all wikipedians have less than 1000 edits (a not-too-outlandish assumption), and 80% of the deleted articles are from editors with less than 1000 edits, then your numbers would indicate simple scalability, and the deletion policies wouldn't affect newbies any differently than established editors. – sgeureka tc 09:41, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
It would indicate scalability if 80% of new articles were created by editors with less than 1000 edits. This shouldn't be very difficult to find out from Special:Newpages and someone having enough time on their hands. --A. di M. (talk) 11:06, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Alternatively, when WP was "wide open" and all the users were "new" the number of deletions was minimal, even though they would have been deleted in droves by the now old-timers. If they used the same criteria all through WP history, we might have a vastly different view. I do know, however, that some people seem to go out of their way to bite newcomers, usually because the newcomer brings a new view to the "owned" articles. And this undoubtedly causes a huge "door slammed on my foot" effect. Collect (talk) 11:29, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

FYI, I posted this message at: WP:VPP. It is facinating how both postings take a different path. Ikip (talk) 14:22, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
Please refrain from multiposting - it fragments discussion. Dcoetzee 20:11, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Ikip, you really need to put those numbers in context. Right now, it's not much more useful than saying that breastfeeding might reduce the risk of leukemia in children -- without mentioning that even if it's true, you'd have to exclusively breastfeed four million babies to prevent a single case of childhood leukemia.

So: How does the experience level of the other Wikipedia editors compare with that of the people being sent to AfD? Do 80% of accounts also have fewer than 1000 edits? Were the newbie editors actually more likely to end up with a delete conclusion than the highly experienced editors? Looking things over, I don't see any evidence of that. The two most highly experienced editors both had their articles deleted or merged.

Did the AfD process actually change in (or shortly before) October 2007? (You can't blame October's decline in editors on December's change in process, after all.) Did something else change, like preventing newbie editors from starting articles? (This doesn't appear to be the current rule, but it might have been then.)

Also, I note that a remarkable number of those "less than 1000" editors are accurately described as "less than 350 edits." Perhaps there's a more natural way to present the limited information that you have. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:25, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

That is why I am here, to get clues on how to answer these questions:
How does the experience level of the other Wikipedia editors compare with that of the people being sent to AfD? How can I answer this?
Do 80% of accounts also have fewer than 1000 edits? How can I answer this?
Did the AfD process actually change in (or shortly before) October 2007? (You can't blame October's decline in editors on December's change in process, after all.) That is what I am asking. Could there be a correlation? And how can I measure it. I have seen this argument before: Did something else change, like preventing newbie editors from starting articles? (This doesn't appear to be the current rule, but it might have been then.) There is a red link argument too.
"less than 1000" editors are accurately described as "less than 350 edits." Perhaps there's a more natural way to present the limited information that you have. Good idea.
Thanks for the good suggestions. Ikip (talk) 16:08, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Good data. The rules have become way stricter on many articles then when I started and rule lawyering is a much more serious problem. There is no question my earliest articles never would have happened, under the rules as they are applied now. There is no question the articles I work with are substantially worse because of how strictly the rules are being applied. We need emphasis that the primary goal of wikipedia is to provide information with good articles. The other policies (with exceptions like copyright) are there to help provide good articles; but if they get in the way of a good article drop them. WP:IAR for example should be linked on all other policies. The change in image policy has been insane. For example: promotional images, images licensed to wikipedia for use and redistribution (but not derived works), images falling under fair use... should be permitted. jbolden1517Talk 05:26, 12 March 2009 (UTC)


Some song like Bop to the Top and What I've Been Looking For has already redirect to High School Musical but Juanacho keep createing page, Bop to the Top (song) and What I've Been Looking For (song). Can someone please delete these 4 songs?? or should it be delete? Dennissell (talk) 12:59, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

You can either redirect the extra articles yourself or propose them for deletion. No help is needed.--Fabrictramp | talk to me 18:28, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
But the user will still undo and create the page again!Dennissell (talk) 10:23, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
This needs to be dealt with through the usual dispute resolution process. I have temporarily "protected" the spaces to prevent further editing for a period of two weeks since this reversion has been going on for some time. This is not meant to endorse the current version. Although AfD from two years ago closed as "merge", it's always possible that consensus can change, and this matter needs to be reasonably discussed at the articles' (or redirects') talk pages. I will leave you and the other editor notes with some links to help clarify how such disputes are resolved. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 11:37, 11 March 2009 (UTC)


Is anyone else bothered by the recent fad of prefacing AfD replies/comments/repetitions with Comment? I find it rather hard to follow who is saying what in an AfD discussion when two thirds of the bold "titles" are actually replies from people who have sometimes already !voted? This is hardly a big problem, but maybe we could suggest avoiding the bold font (except for the actual keep/delet/merge/redirect) as part of our Wikietiquette guidelines. Opinions? yandman 20:32, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Doesn't bother me any, and I often use it, although I admit it might be a bit redundant. I can think of many bigger problems in AfD which I'd rather see addressed, however. Jclemens (talk) 20:45, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
Not too bothered. If it's due to a discussion taking place, that is to be encouraged rather than discouraged. --Malcolmxl5 (talk) 19:44, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree that a long exchange of of indented comments that each begin with Comment would look a little silly, but I think that there's value to labeling a comment as "Please do not interpret this as a !vote in either direction". Furthermore, I think that the existence of such labeled comments reminds new editors that they can contribute to the discussion even if they aren't certain whether a subject is notable according to our guidelines. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:13, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

What's up with the early closures?

I think this is quite a disturbing trend, actually.—S Marshall Talk/Cont 20:06, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

What do you have in mind? If you're referring to three procedural keeps I did, that was a unique case of undoing the work of a prolific sockpuppeteer whose M/O involves carpet-bombing one particular subject area with bad faith AfD nominations, often the same article again and again. Nonadmin early closures can always be re-opened, best if there's a real question about the outcome rather than to make a WP:POINT about process. Wikidemon (talk) 20:26, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
It's not just you; there are quite a few sysops closing very early today, and I'm concerned.—S Marshall Talk/Cont 20:37, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
Do you disagree with the outcome in particular AfDs? If so, I'd suggest that you ask the closing person to reopen the discussion (if not deleted), or take it to WP:DRV (if deleted).
I don't like early closures as a general rule, but I still see no advantage to keeping a discussion open for exactly 120 hours (especially if the outcome is anything other than wholesale deletion) when the outcome is obvious before then. Following the procedure exactly, solely so we can say that we jumped through all the hoops, with no actual difference in outcome, is just as silly as keeping an article RfC open for precisely 30 days on the grounds that the bot is programmed that way. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:23, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
No, I don't necessarily disagree with specific cases. I'm simply expressing the concern that this shouldn't be allowed to become a norm.—S Marshall Talk/Cont 22:46, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
We've dealt with this question fairly recently, at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive182#Wikipedia:Articles for deletion. After a lengthy discussion, the consensus appeared to be that AfDs, with rare exceptions, should last the full five days unless a CSD criterion applies. (I was one of the people arguing in favour of the full five days so I may be biased, but I don't think I have misread the consensus there.) Paul Erik (talk)(contribs) 23:22, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
I wonder if it might need raising again, cos it looks like we've got sysops forgetting about that.—S Marshall Talk/Cont 23:47, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

I've seen one DRV where one of the nominator's complaints was that the AFD was closed 11 minutes early. (or was it 20 minutes? In any case the DRV was choc full of wikilawyery) As I've recently said on WP:AN, AFD closers should be free to evaluate discussions on the 5 day old log for closure without having to worry about exactly when on that day it was filed. Now usually the oldest discussions will be at the bottom of the log so it makes sense to start there first but if one sees one at the top that's an obvious "keep" or "delete", he should be able to close it without being yelled at because the discussion didn't go for exactly 120 hours. --Ron Ritzman (talk) 20:01, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

You aren't the only one. I was bitched at for closing an AFD .5 hour early, yet no action was taken against an administrator when they closed an AFD I started only 2 hours into it. Being pointy is one of the only resolves and methods to bring the situation to light; otherwise, it gets shoved and buried in the archives. I amended WP:AFD to coincide with what the policy clearly states, and will enforce this when I run across it. seicer | talk | contribs 07:21, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

What does policy say about moving articles to user space when they have been nominated for deletion?

Over the last several years I started articles on Guantanamo Bay attorneys. Recently thirteen of them were nominated for deletion. They are not getting much support. In retrospect I must have had some kind of tunnel vision not to have anticipated that they would not survive an {{afd}}, in their current state.

For some of these articles I remain the sole author of their intellectual content.

What I would like to do is move those articles to my user space. There I could have more time to look for more material. If I found more good references I would beef them up, or if I couldn't find more material, I'd cannibalize the references for use in other articles. I asked someone more experienced, and they didn't know how the policy would affect this kind of move. They suggested I ask here.

I have a couple of questions:

  1. Does policy prohibit this kind of move? I'd acknowledge the good-faith tunnel vision in the afd, and tell people what I had done.
  2. What would I do about the restoration to article space if I think I have improved some of these articles? I am basically acknowledging I now recognize they won't survive {{afd}}. Would I request a deletion review for each one I thought had been improved?
  3. A deletion review is normally required when someone has requested the userification of a deleted article, and then thinks they have improved it to the point it belongs in article space? Contributors who request userification, make some improvements, shouldn't skip the step of having them reviewed, and then silently move the improved new back to article space?
  4. When administrators close an {{afd}} as delete, but agree to userify the article for possible improvement, can they then review that contributor's improved version, and authorize restoring it to article space without a full formal deletion review discussion?

Thanks! Geo Swan (talk) 22:16, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Assuming that everything you say here is true, and that you know what you are talking about, I suggest that you make the moves to userspace, remove all incoming links from other articles, and explain yourself in each of the AfDs. I assume that there are not lots of incoming links, lots of incoming links suggests that the articles should be kept in mainspace. In the open AfDs, you could pose the question as to what should be required to return the articles to mainspace. If you can confidently name the improvements needed, then the closing admin may explicitly state in closing that it is up to you to decide when to move these articles back to userspace. If you fail to engender confidence, then you may be expected to run through DRV. However, we don’t want to overwhelm processes when an experienced contributor is capable of making good decisions. See WP:PPP for related advice. If you can get the agreement of the nominator(s), then I suspect that everyone will be happy.
I could also say that if you are a sole or main author of articles, then the nominator should have talk to you directly, or at least on the articles talk pages, before listing the cases at AfD. AfD is creaking under excessive use. Note: I don’t know what specific articles or AfDs you are talking about. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:44, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
Geo Swan asked me this, & I suggested he come here to get some opinions, as I could find no specific rule, and one person's idea of IAR is not prudent with respect to articles that are strongly challenged. Myself, I think SmokeyJoe has said it very well, & we perhaps ought to incorporate it into the afd deletion policy. the principle of getting as many things as possible out of AfD is very important--I think we really need to find some way of reducing the items in half so we can pay proper attention to the ones that need it. DGG
(talk) 04:17, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
IMO, SmokeyJoe's answer is conservative. I would argue that there are two major categories of articles that require deletion. The first category consists of articles that violate Wikipedia policy and have no business being on Wikipedia (e.g. violations of WP:COPYVIO or WP:BLP). The second category consists of articles that are not "ready for prime-time". Assuming Geo Swan's assessment of his articles is accurate, it seems they fall into the second category. If they do not violate any Wikipedia policies (e.g. COPYVIO or BLP) by being in userspace, it should be sufficient for Geo Swan to close the AFD by announcing that he is userfying the nominated articles. Furthermore, if he subsequently makes significant changes to these articles such that he believes they are now "ready for prime-time", he should just move them back into article mainspace as if they were new articles. To be courteous, he might notify the original nominator and ask him/her to review the revised articles (this notification could happen either before or after the move into article mainspace). He could ask for a DRV but I think that is not necessary if he has made substantial changes.
--Richard (talk) 04:32, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for your replies. I don't think anyone thinks any of these articles violate any polices, except BLP -- specifically BLP1E. Several people have claimed some of these articles lapsed from BLP1E.
Frankly I have long thought that BLP has a split personality. Protecting individuals from having wikipedia articles used to libel them, and protecting the wikipedia from being sued by victims of libel and slander, unquestionably merit emergency measures.
Personally I don't think concerns that an article might seem to be about a single event should be considered an emergency. Everytime I see someone advocating the use of the extreme measures included in the policy to fight libel and slander against articles because, in someone's personal opinion, it concerns a single event, I am reminded of what one wise-guy wrote about former British Prime Minister Tony Blair -- aka "Bush's poodle".
The wiseguy argued that the Tony Blair article should be deleted, as a violation of BLP1E. The wiseguy claimed that no-one would ever have heard of Tony Blair if he hadn't supported George W. Bush's war policies, and that everything important about him was already adequately covered in the George W. Bush article. I don't remember the wiseguy pointing this out, but there were multiple editorials published that called Blair Bush's poodle
Cheers! Geo Swan (talk) 06:42, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't really know why we have WP:BLP1E as a section in an emergency-oriented policy when, as you say, 1E isn't an emergency situation. We already have WP:BIO1E as a section in a notability-oriented guideline, where it seems much better suited. But it does not apply in user space of course. I can't see anything in WP:USERFY prohibiting userfication of these. —JAOTC 08:28, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
While SmokeyJoe's answer sounds reasonable, someone did this just yesterday at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Kriss Perras Running Waters and got blasted for it. (My only involvement was to fulfill his request at WP:AN to reverse the move, and don't really have an opinion yet about the move itself). --Fabrictramp | talk to me 16:23, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
I did this twice without problems here and here. However, in both cases there was a consensus for it so I also closed the AFDs. However, do this in most AFDs and you'll get fish in the face. --Ron Ritzman (talk) 05:04, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
I don’t see the blasting, but if it happened, it shouldn’t have. It looks like the page was userfied, unuserfied following a complaint, then userfied again by a closing admin. Perhaps the initial userfication shouldn’t have happened because the AfD was a bit chaotic. However, if a page move is a mistake, it can easily be reversed by a normal editor (contrary to the understanding of the first mover), and so this all fits comfortably within WP:BRD. Where a clear solution is apparent, and you know what you are doing, you should do it, as per (essays) WP:PPP and WP:DEMAND. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:16, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
The question here is about pre-close moves of the article. Moving the article is an acceptance or assertion of the AfD result as Delete. If an article is not a policy violation, the problem is mere lack of notability or reliable source, and the topic is potentially encyclopedic, and there is a user who is clearly responsible for the article (sole author, for example, or very little other contribution), that user should be able to userfy. However, we don't own the articles we create, so if there is any apparent support for keeping the article, it should stay in place until the close. Any editor may request a userfied copy of a deleted article, and these are routinely supplied where the article isn't a policy violation. (And, sometimes, an admin will remove the offending material as part of the userification process. So: if anyone wants the article kept in mainspace, it should stay there until the AfD closes. An editor may request userification as a comment in the AfD, and if the closing admin doesn't think it harmful, the admin will userfy instead of deleting. It's more efficient than the user asking the admin or another for a copy. The purpose of the copy should be to assist with work on related articles, or to support discussion of articles in mainspace, or for eventual return if sources are found showing notability, or other purpose related to building and maintaining the project.
There is no harm in a move of an article under AfD, but it should never be done if opposition is expected, and if an editor moves it back, and isn't a sock of a blocked user, that should be accepted. But, likewise, if an article is a policy violation, it can and should be speedied without AfD, so we can assume that, on request, an editor should be able, with any AfD, to comment Userfy and the request should be granted. Userification is better than getting, for example, an email copy of the article, because History is included, and the Talk page, if it contains any meaningful content, should be moved with the page. If there is any dispute over where the file should be userfied, the closing admin should make that decision as part of the close.
Note that a Userfied close can be done by a non-admin, so such closes could less the burden on administrators, no special tools are required, except to delete the move redirect, which, if this is a reasonable AfD closure, can be handled by a speedy tag on the redirect explaining that the article has been userfied, with reference to the AfD. Deleting such a redirect would be a matter of seconds for an admin.
If a user moves the article during an AfD, the redirect remains in place, so editors considering comment will still find it linked from the AfD, so it's really harmless and only if an editor sees a problem with it should there be any question.
Yes, we need to look at how to make AfD more efficient and less contentious. Ultimately, I see much of the contention being resolved if the project were layered, with a top layer being very notable, and with layers of lesser notability below that, with a bottom layer of articles that are still verifiable but not considered sufficiently notable by present standards (which frequently decide on deletion for stubs where every fact is verifiable). Ultimately, Flagged Revisions could accomplish this (and then readers determine the notability depth that they view). Normally, then marginal AfDs would not have such a drastic, black-or-white conclusion, and it is marginal AfDs that create the most fuss and possible disruption. Appropriate layer would become a kind of simple editorial decision-making; by the time an article was being seriously proposed for true deletion, it really would be either POV-pushing deletion, or the article actually is a violation of WP:V, which is usually much easier to decide than notability questions, where balancing arguments is required. --Abd (talk) 16:43, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
Excellent comments. I have often longed for a "Userify" button while doing speedy deletios; it would make {{db-band}} and {{db-bio}} that much less contentious to implement. Jclemens (talk) 18:45, 13 March 2009 (UTC)


Author keeps removing nomination tag. Not sure I'm doing it properly. Could someone else please follow this up? There are reliable reference. It's fake. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:28, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

I've AFD'd it for the IP editor, but I'm clearly doing something wrong as it's not showing up in the AFD log - anyone able to fix this? --Cameron Scott (talk) 11:35, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Done, you need to list it manually. --Amalthea 11:43, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

March 17 log

Can someoe fix today's log? Category:AfD debates (Games or sports) is showing up at the bottom and I can't find out which AfD is causing it. Ten Pound Hammer and his otters • (Broken clamshellsOtter chirpsHELP) 20:27, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Looks like it's been fixed.--Fabrictramp | talk to me 20:49, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
These seem to be occurring quite often - one way of finding them is using Special:ExpandTemplates and searching for the category name in the page. —Snigbrook 03:13, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Policy change proposal: BLP subjects requesting article deletion

I started a discussion at WP:VPP regarding the highly sensitive issue of BLP article subjects requesting deletion at AfD. I have transcluded (hopefully correctly) that discussion over here at the suggestion of another user.

(begin transcluded text)

I normally don't get involved with BLP issues, but I somehow got involved with the recent debacle of Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Rod Dreher 2, which had tentacles at both WP:AN (by me) and Jimmy Wales' talk page (by the alleged BLP subject). In short, after several requests for the alleged BLP subject to email the Wikimedia Foundation to establish his identity, and after several contributors to the AfD (on both sides of the keep/delete debate) automatically assumed the nominator was the BLP subject, several users finally determined (by emailing the BLP subject at a verifiable email address) that the user was an impersonator, and the AfD was speedy kept as a bad faith nomination.

So, should we revise the AfD policies for the specific case where a BLP subject requests deletion? My proposal:

  1. All BLP AfD's made by someone purporting to be the article subject should be immediately closed as "pending identification of nominator as article subject."
    1. A blatantly obvious impersonator (e.g., username "Michael Jackson") would be immediately closed as a bad faith nomination and appropriate block(s) made.
    2. In the case of an uncertain impersonation, replace the AfD tag on the article with a tag indicating that deletion has been suggested, but pending verification of the request's validity.
  2. The nominator would be requested on his/her talk page to contact the Wikimedia Foundation via e-mail from a verifiable email address or in the case of a person who has a publicly available email address, an administrator or bureaucrat email that person to verify that he/she is indeed requesting deletion of his/her Wikipedia article.
  3. If there is no timely response (5 days?), or if impersonation is verified, close the AfD as a "bad faith nomination" and block accordingly.
  4. If nominator is confirmed as the BLP subject, re-open the debate.

I should note that another user expressed some good ideas at the discussion on WP:AN. I have copied his/her post verbatim from that board below, with one minor formatting change. KuyaBriBriTalk 18:23, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

(begin copied text)

Is this a good spot to review Lessons Learned?

This might happen again. Possible ways to prevent it:

  1. Don't let an editor with the user name of the BLP propose an AfD without verification of that user name first. Otherwise, sympathy for the BLP can interfere with the judgment of the AfD participants.
  2. Don't wait to block an editor with the user name of a BLP. Block first, then let the person clear the name with the WP office. Block before the editor does damage to the BLP's reputation. This doesn't need to be spelled out. In order not to be too rough on a real notable person who opens an account under his or her own name, when the block is done it should be done very, very politely, perhaps with a super polite template. No harm in that. That's all I can think of. Perhaps other people have ideas. -- Noroton (talk) 17:08, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

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Since I posted the words above at A/N, I looked up the policy about using real names of people. It's worth looking at: WP:REALNAME. Perhaps that policy should be changed to encourage admins to immediately block any editor with the name of a well-known person who is trying to influence Wikipedia coverage of that person without first having confirmed their identity with the WP office. The automatic sympathy generated for the subject of a BLP is an underhanded way for imposters to game the system. A super-polite template for these kinds of blockings would be a good idea for the cases where the editor and BLP are actually the same person. -- Noroton (talk) 01:40, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
This could have happened with any username, it is the claim to be the subject of the article that caused the disruption; if the user had made it clear that they were not the subject this would have been like any other AFD by a new user. One problem is although BLP subjects have been impersonated before, the deletion discussion continued despite the lack of confirmation - I agree with KuyaBriBri, that there should be a way of putting AFDs on hold in circumstances such as this. —Snigbrook 21:06, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
An alternate approach is to say that an article may not be nominated for deletion by a user who claims to be the subject of that article. They would have to nominate it using a different account. This would allow the article to be considered on its own merits (I hope we're not giving BLP subjects any special control over their own articles). Whether the user is an impersonator or not is not an issue, BLP policy is not about how the subject feels (e.g. BLP subjects frequently attempt to remove well-sourced negative material, which we don't allow). Dcoetzee 21:36, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
Whether the subject requests deletion is relevant, as it is mentioned in Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons#Deletion and Wikipedia:Deletion policy#Deletion discussion as something that should be considered. —Snigbrook 23:43, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Kuyabribri's suggestions, except for 1.1, which I think is problematic in that admins don't need to be distinguishing between obvious and possible impersonators. I think that's just too difficult, and the decision to block should be made quickly, since the editor could be making the BLP subject look bad (the Rod Dreher impersonator was posting on Jimbo Wales' high profile talk page, for instance, and could have done a lot worse). I'm curious, can admins immediately tell if some editor who claims to be a well-known person is, in fact, that person? Is there a list put out by the WP office somewhere that admins can check immediately, even when the WP office is closed? If not, I think there should be. Or perhaps some kind of mark that can be put on the user's talk page to show that confirmation. Also, anyone trying to nominate a BLP for deletion, while claiming to be that person, should be blocked if their identity is not confirmed. WP:REALNAME states that it's very possible that this could happen, but it should be automatic if an AfD is started on the BLP. -- Noroton (talk) 01:50, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

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Please continue the discussion below. Thanks. KuyaBriBriTalk 13:48, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Could someone renominated this properly?

Ian Winson (for notability concerns). I'm cleaning up a bunch of copyvios and I don't have time to figure how to do it right now. Thanks.Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 00:52, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

It's done. :) --Malcolmxl5 (talk) 01:37, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
Thanks.Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 01:57, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

why don't closing admins summarise the consensus?

very often, an afd is close with the closing admin saying, simply, "consensus was keep" or "consensus was delete". this i believe does everyone a disservice. consensus as defined by wikipedia is not simply "yes" or "no" - consensus is double talk for "the best argument". "consensus was keep" is not an argument.

when someone sees an afd for the first time and sees the afd closed with a "consensus was keep" type comment they're liable to think "if that's all an admin needs to say maybe that's all i need to say!". well, that's wrong. wikipedia isn't a vote and summing the results up as though it were does a disservice to new users.

further it does not provide a framework with which people can understand wikipedia's policies. if someone justifies keeping an article with a bad argument and the afd is closed they may walk away thinking "my argument did that or atleast helped!" when it's very possible that the argument did nothing of the sort and was completely ignored because it was completely off base.

the whole notion of consensus is that the best argument will present itself. to the closing admin, that's quite correct, but not to average users.

besides, if an admin can't be bothered to actually say what the best argument was, the closing admin could abuse their power. it's hard to know whether or not a closing admin made a correct decission when they don't discuss their decission at all Misterdiscreet (talk) 23:51, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

They usually summarize on the AFD page itself, which you can get to on the link to the results on the article talk pages. But I don't even trust the results some admins offer to be accurate, based upon problems in the past, so having them write a summary on the talk page and having people there trust it as accurate is certainly not as good as seeing the AFD itself. DreamGuy (talk) 00:05, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
the afd page itself is actually what i am talking about. check out my user page. very very few of the afd's i've were closed with comments of substance. indeed, i think there are only three:
Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Matt Kaufmann
Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Cuil
Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/James Atkinson (software developer) (2nd nomination)
also, i think no consensus is a cop out closure and double speak for "i don't want people to get mad at me for endorsing one side or the other". well, tough. if you want to make friends, you shouldn't be an admin. Misterdiscreet (talk) 00:23, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
Consensus means that the dominant view prevails. Clearly there will be times when there is no dominant view and it is then correct to say there is no consensus. --Malcolmxl5 (talk) 01:55, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
Probably every admin who has ever made use of the bit is well aware that "if you want to make friends, you shouldn't be an admin". :) But truly, there are AfDs where no consensus is the correct closure. For example, notability may hinge on whether a particular source is independent and reliable, and the community may not agree on that. There traditionally hasn't been consensus on whether MiLB (minor league baseball) players are "fully professional", so if the debate hinges on whether they meet WP:ATHLETE, there may not be consensus.
If you think a closure isn't clear and reasons should have been included, a nicely worded note to the admin in question asking if they wouldn't mind adding that to the close would be the way to go. Emphasis on the "nicely worded" -- believe me, admins already get plenty of notes that start with "You stupid piece of..." :) --Fabrictramp | talk to me 21:56, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Mergers for discussion

I have created a discussion on the policy village pump about a proposed process called Wikipedia:Mergers for discussion. One of it's goals is to be a complimentary process to AfD, as well as assist in complicated or controversial mergers. Interested editors should comment there, or on the process' talk page. --NickPenguin(contribs) 04:48, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

deleting invalid votes from afd's

i propose any WP:JUSTAVOTE edit in an afd be deleted. since afd's are intended to build consensus and are not polls, any edit that would treat them as though they are polls are to be ignored. so i propose that that policy of ignoring them be formalized.

a closing admin potentially has a lot to sift through already and they don't need to sift through junk. besides, such junk is likely to beget more junk. someone sees a WP:JUSTAVOTE violation and thinks they can violate it as well.

if someone violates WP:JUSTAVOTE there edit should be reverted and they should be warned on their talk page. opinions? Misterdiscreet (talk) 18:42, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

I doubt that'll fly. A policy of systematically moving WP:JUSTAVOTEs to a Just A Vote subsection might. Contributors can then have the option of revising with more detail and move their contribution out of the subsection. Usual definitional problems might apply though, eg how to handle "!vote per UserX". Guidelines on that might be reachable. Rd232 talk 19:07, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
i would support a Just A Vote subsection. Misterdiscreet (talk) 19:11, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't know of any policy or guideline that actually forbids people posting vote-like comments on discussion pages. WP:JUSTAVOTE is an essay, and WP:POLL doesn't actually forbid it. Simply writing "Keep" or "Delete" will be given very little weight by the closing admin, and that ought to be enough. Hut 8.5 19:20, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
Moving the !votes will paradoxically give the closing admin more to sift through, not less. I'd feel obligated to check all the moves to make sure they didn't (inadvertently or not) refactor any part of the discussion. I'd like to think when I close an AfD I'm smart enough to ignore the !votes that add nothing to the discussion. Instead of spending time moving comments around, it might be better spent encouraging actual discussion at AfD.--Fabrictramp | talk to me 19:29, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
What about striking through pure votes? A cursory glance at struck through items should confirm that they're pure votes and the striking through process would enable you to know when you can give cursory glances and when you ought not. Hopefully that'd also discourage pure votes just as much as deleting them or moving them to a subpage. Misterdiscreet (talk) 19:40, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
How do you define a "pure vote"? I see very few one-word "keep" or "delete" statements. Even the "Keep/Delete per X" responses usually have a few extra words--a restatement of X's position, perhaps, but something. If you're talking about removing anyone who doesn't add original content to the discussion, I'd say that's a very subjective decision, and I'd be extremely wary of it. Rklear (talk) 20:05, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, my suggestion was a possible solution just off the top of my head. I'm not sure either that the problem is bad enough to require solving, or that this or any other solution would be better than the status quo. In general, recent discussions I've seen have been fairly good. If necessary, maybe a deletion-related Template:Talkheader-type message could be included in the AFD discussion page template; this might help for those who enter WP at deletion discussions without prior knowledge (or those who get lazy and need reminding...). Rd232 talk 20:13, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
i think this would chiefly help for controversial or contentious afd's. afd's that drew comments from a grand total of three people aren't going to be problematic to go through. it's the ones that have i dunno - 50+ comments - that are problematic. if we assume 20% of votes are "pure votes" (ie. one-word "keep" or "delete" statements or statements that just say "per Bob (excellent point!)") then 20% of 3 isn't a whole lot, but 20% of 100 is a bit more problematic Misterdiscreet (talk) 20:40, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
Actually 20% of 3 would be more problematic (=0.6 comments...) :O Anyway, it's not clear what you mean by "this" - the template extension or the vote-moving. Rd232 talk 20:48, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
i think both would qualify as "this" in this case. i think both template extension and vote-moving would solve the problem or at least help to solve it. heck - i think vote deleting would solve the problem, too, although as has been pointed out, that would introduce new problems Misterdiscreet (talk) 21:17, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
Eh, we already have Template:Not a ballot. Generally, while your intentions may be good, attempts to force users to participate in AfD a certain way are liable to be co-opted for political purposes. Essentially, you are shifting the power to weigh votes from the closing admin to every editor who happens by. If you give that power to everybody, somebody somewhere will abuse it. (Compare to political use of Template:spa.) – 74  20:59, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
OK, so Not a Ballot could be included in the AFD template; this could be discussed if enough people thought it worthwhile. Separately, not to nitpick about a passing idea I'm not recommending, but moving votes to a subsection wouldn't affect closing admin ability to exercise judgement (unlike deletion, which was the starting point for this discussion). Rd232 talk 21:08, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
How would you feel if I moved your comment above to a new subsection titled "Comments that don't matter"? – 74  21:31, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
why do we care what people think? how the creator an article might feel after the fact does not factor into an admins decission to delete. some people may even be offended at the fact that anyone would propose an article be deleted but that's not wikipedia's problem - that's their problem Misterdiscreet (talk) 21:39, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps because Wikipedia depends on the support of volunteers. Perhaps because WP:BITE and WP:CIVIL say to be polite. Perhaps because we're decent human beings. Take your pick. – 74  21:50, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
WP:CIVIL doesn't trump WP:N. articles get deleted even if their non-notable and pure votes are not counted regardless of how people may feel. besides, i'd rather know my vote wasn't being counted instead of being lulled into a false sense of security because i thought it was Misterdiscreet (talk) 22:00, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
Indeed. Now please establish your notability or I will be forced to delete your comments, civility be damned. Seriously, you have proposed a solution that is worse than the problem it purports to fix. If you truly want to "inform" participants that their !vote is unlikely to carry much weight then might I suggest you use Template:Afd-welcome to inform them directly? – 74  02:57, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
in that case, how about we delete your comments, as well, civility be damned? my comments are about as notable as yours.
do keep in mind that what i'm saying (and indeed what everyone is saying on this talk page) has a bit more substance than "yes" or "no". deleting comments because they're not notable serves no point - deleting comments that have no substance does. there may be drawbacks to doing what i propose but that does not mean that there isn't a point. deleting comments on talk pages has no point. or certainly you have yet to present one Misterdiscreet (talk) 00:10, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
Relax; I'm not proposing anyone actually deletes any comments. I was just pointing out, in my own obtuse way, that notability has as much applicability to comments as to !votes (specifically: none). You haven't explained what benefits you expect from deleting !votes nor have you addressed any of the concerns raised so far. To be thorough, I reviewed some AfD discussions you have participated in; with the way you swing WP:JUSTAVOTE around like it's a hatchet ([2] [3] [4] [5] [6]) you seem to be the exact type of user I wouldn't want to have !vote deletion privileges. – 74  00:41, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
Strongly disagree with authorising or advocating the deletion, or even strikethrough of !votes. The downsides (edit warring over such things in AfD, BITEing of new contributors, ostracising of new participants in the AfD process) are significant, and closing admins are expected to recognise invalid !votes. If a !vote bothers you, you are entitled to say so, in your own comment preferably, or in an indented comment if you wish to be more confrontational. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 21:00, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
Strongest possible opposition. You're proposing removing editors' voices from AfD based on an essay? Saying that editors are "violating" WP:JUSTAVOTE is incredibly misleading because it's an essay, which is more or less a glorified editorial. Warning people for going against what essays say is a terrible idea. --Hemlock Martinis (talk) 21:02, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
while WP:JUSTAVOTE may be an editorial, WP:POLL, which i did cite in my original edit, is not - that's pure policy. WP:JUSTAVOTE presents a discussion of WP:POLL that i agree with. afd's are for establishing consensus whereby the best argument presents itself. straight unjustified keep / delete votes do not that. they are, like the editorial implies, just votes and do nothing to establish consensus whatsoever. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Misterdiscreet (talkcontribs) 21:13, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
Nevertheless, we make enforcement decisions (especially ones as potentially complicated as this) based on policy and not someone's editorialized interpretation and extrapolation of it. If WP:POLL contained the criteria you're proposing by which we'd exclude opinions, that'd be different. But it doesn't; the essay WP:JUSTAVOTE contains the criteria by which we should be excluding editors' opinions in AfD discussion. That means we'd be removing them based on an essay, and that's completely unacceptable. --Hemlock Martinis (talk) 21:20, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
that's why i'm discussing it here. i'm proposing that the policy incorporate the ideas espoused in the essay. that way, it's not the essay that's being enforced - it's the (new) policy Misterdiscreet (talk) 21:39, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree with SmokeyJoe. The closing admin will do the right thing in AFDs. RobJ1981 (talk) 21:06, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
  • I'd really rather not do this. Refactoring/removing comments almost always creates enormous problems. there are rare occasions where where it is merited, but those would usually not match up with "this comment will not matter in the end". Protonk (talk) 21:25, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

OK, let's clarify: deletion (or strikethru) is definitely out, and moving probably a bad idea. How about the template extension? Or at least making the existence of the Not A Ballot template more prominent, as an option to nominators, or to anyone else if discussion suggests it's needed? Rd232 talk 21:32, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

The "Not a ballot" template has, to my knowledge, always been an option; publicizing that fact should be fine. Unfortunately, condensing !voting "best practices" to a reasonable-sized template will probably prove problematic. We already have a recommended method of participation at Wikipedia:AFD#How to discuss an AfD; perhaps you could add a template referring people to that section for help. – 74  22:04, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Requested input on feasibility and good-idea-ness of modifying afd2 at template talk:afd2. Rd232 talk 03:00, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Maybe. However, the problem is that by putting the "Not a ballot" template on every page, over time everyone will begin to ignore it. It's like the problem with the talk page header templates. Overuse leads to people ignoring the content. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 03:02, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
For me that's a non-problem. The template is directed primarily at newbies (especially Just Got Here newbies), so people starting to ignore it over time as they edit more is normal. Sure, a secondary aim is reminding longer-term users of policy, but in the absence of better ways to do this, it's better than nothing. Rd232 talk 13:22, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
If other editors have summarised the position clearly enough, and if I agree witheir position, then I feel I should be able to add delete as per nom or keep as per XXXX or whatver. Jezhotwells (talk) 01:10, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
but your saying so will have much greater weight if you add something to it. At least indicate the policy you think applied the strongest. Otherwise, how can it be seen whether you have actually considered the article? (i suppose its a version of the Turing Test), DGG (talk) 03:49, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

"that's not a policy or guideline"

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Stephen Colbert at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner (2nd nomination)

i cite WP:POKEMON and WP:OTHERCRAPEXISTS and people say "that's not a policy or guideline". the closing admin then cites WP:SNOW, even though "that's not a policy or guideline" either. oh - but i forget - hypocrisy is one of the corner stones of wikipedia. those who support your position don't need to cite policy or guidelines to back it up whereas those who oppose it do. does that sum it up? Misterdiscreet (talk) 00:38, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

WP:SNOW is a widely-recognized and commonly-cited guideline. It's essentially a codeword for "Per common sense, this needn't run any longer". –Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 01:07, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
except it's not a guideline. at the very top of WP:SNOW, it states This page is not a policy or guideline itself. whether or not it's well known is irrelevant - WP:POKEMON and WP:OTHERCRAPEXISTS are well known, as well. my point is that is hypocritical to dismiss WP:OTHERCRAPEXISTS because "that's not a policy or guideline" while simultaneously invoking WP:SNOW even though "that's not a policy or guideline" either. being well known has nothing to do with it and indeed is something of a red herring Misterdiscreet (talk) 01:11, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
WP:SNOW isn't a policy or guideline, true; it's a concept. WP:OTHERCRAPEXISTS is a true essay, whereas WP:SNOW is re-enforced by other policies. –Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 01:14, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
WP:SNOW starts off with "The "snowball clause" is an interpretation". what is an essay if not an interpretation, as well? WP:OTHERCRAPEXISTS is an interpretation of WP:CCC. that WP:OTHERCRAPEXISTS is a "true essay" whereas WP:SNOW is not is little more than a play at semantics. what is a "true essay" and why is WP:SNOW not a "true essay" whereas WP:OTHERCRAPEXISTS is? Misterdiscreet (talk) 01:23, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I don't understand. –Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 01:29, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
you said WP:SNOW "is a concept". isn't that what WP:OTHERCRAPEXISTS is? being a "true essay" and being a concept are not mutually exclusive and indeed i submit that WP:SNOW and WP:OTHERCRAPEXISTS are simultaneously both concepts and "true essays". Misterdiscreet (talk) 01:42, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Misterdiscreet, if you think the AfD was closed unfairly you might want to check out WP:DRV. Yes, essays are interpretations, but they are themselves open to interpretation. I'm not going to comment on whether the article should've been deleted, but I do think your nominating rationale was flawed in the following:
  • WP:RECENTISM says "Recentism is not by itself an argument for article deletion — lack of attributability and notability are — but it may make it more difficult to judge whether notability actually exists". This means that delete per WP:RECENTISM is not to be considered a valid reason to delete itself.
  • WP:IINFO does not seem to apply directly. In my experience, "indiscriminate info" is what it sounds like; general information about a subject that doesn't indicate why it's important. The article in question appears to discuss in depth what the significance of that event was.
  • WP:NOT#NEWS, as a subset of WP:IINFO is also not an appropriate deletion rationale for this article.
You didn't provide any other rationales for deletion as far as I can tell. I cannot tell how WP:OTHERCRAPEXISTS and WP:POKEMON apply to the situation in any way; it seems like you want to delete the article because it's being used as a basis for comparison in Pokemon test-like situations? That seems to be an attempt to use AfD to make a point.
It does seem to me however that the comments in the AfD stating that WP:OTHERCRAPEXISTS and WP:POKEMON should not be counted as they're only essays are kind of cop outs, maybe because the people arguing against your rationale weren't sure why it was faulty. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 01:50, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
  • The relevant policy used by the closing admin was WP:IAR. He cited WP:SNOW as the specific application of WP:IAR that he used. --Malcolmxl5 (talk) 02:14, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
    • kind of like how WP:OTHERCRAPEXISTS and WP:POKEMON are specific applications of WP:CCC. well, except that per wikipedia double standards, specific applications of WP:CCC cannot be cited, whereas specific applications of WP:IAR can be. Misterdiscreet (talk) 21:44, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
      • It's a moot point; neither of those essays were relevant to your deletion discussion. While the reasons for discounting them that were given may not have been specific enough, they were correct in that they did not apply. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 21:56, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
  • I do not think the closing by snow after 2 days of discussion was a good idea. Yes, it was almost certainly headed for a keep. Yes, it probably should be kept, Yes, I would probably have !voted keep myself. But there were objections raised. The simplest thing is to wait the full times, and then these discussions either here or at DRV do not arise. Closing SNOW often looks like it will save time, but if it leads to a review of the closing, on balance it does just the opposite. DGG (talk) 03:45, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
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