Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 5

Skipping the "Votes for deletion" page

A while ago STG added

If the page contains 'dfdgsfgdgf' and no useful history, this step may be skipped.

which morphed over time to

If the page contains no useful content (all gibberish for example) and no useful history, this step may be skipped.

I strongly believe the second form is vague enough to be misinterpreted (or at least debatably interpreted, which is nearly as bad), and we don't need policies that generate conflict. "Useful content", like beauty, is too much in the eyes of the beholder.

I also don't really agree with the first, in line with the same argument, but at the same time, we shouldn't have policies that allow for zero judgment on the part of Wikipedians unless it becomes an obvious problem. --The Cunctator 03:40 18 May 2003 (UTC)

All well and good. Talk to Jimmy about it. I hardly think changing the policy summary here, without explanation, will convince anyone of anything except that you have an agenda. You're all for keeping things "aboveboard," so why don't we keep the policy changes aboveboard also? Discuss it at wikien or on the talk pages before changing it. Koyaanis Qatsi
You're right. That's why I gave an explanation. Editing the page is certainly aboveboard. It's just not "talk before change". And I've never been all for that. --The Cunctator

There are too many requirements which, if allowed to continue, will, for all practical purposes, make it impossible to get a page deleted:

  1. Every page which should be deleted needs to be listed on the Votes for deletion page, where it will be discussed ad nauseum. Look at how many things sit there forever with nobody bothering to delete them.
  2. Nothing can be deleted for at least a week after being put on Votes for deletion. This is too long a time. What are we to do about nuisance articles being created by banned users who come into the Wikipedia to cause trouble, or those like Michael who keeps coming in and creating articles even though they know that they've been banned? Do we just let those articles sit around forever? There are users such as MyRedDice who will vote to keep any and all entries from banned users because he doesn't believe in banning anybody for anything.
  3. The person who takes the initiative to put an article on Votes for deletion isn't allowed to do the actual deleting. Again, this is a disincentive to even put anything on the list. -- Zoe
  1. No entry sits there forever. Forever is a long, long time.
  2. A week is not a long time. There's no restriction on editing articles immediately. If banned users create useful articles (not saying that that's what happening) then there's no need to delete the articles.
  3. You're right, it is a disincentive. It's also a simple and neutral check on individual bias. Deleting a page is a big decision, usually with many alternatives, and should not be taken lightly. --The Cunctator
  1. I supported the "dsfsdfs", and I assumed that "no useful content" was meant to be a clarification of that. If people are interpreting it more widely, then I support revertion to the previous policy.
  2. I strongly oppose deleting suspected copyright infringements without using votes for deletion and waiting a week.
  3. The current policy of not deleting stuff until they've been for VfD on a week could be made more flexible, I think.
  4. The arguments about dealing with "banned" users are interesting, but a seperate subject. Readers may care to note that I recently "soft banned" user:No-Fx, demonstrating that I do not believe that no user should ever be "banned".
  5. I continue to strongly believe that wherever it is possible to redirect rather than delete, then we should do so. If/when we get a better deletion system (as discussed on meta:deletion management redesign) then this will change, but until then deletion is a sysop-restricted change that is hard to reverse and should be used sparingly.
  6. Please don't take the approach that because I, or someone else, would oppose deleting something, therefore you will not use the votes for deletion page. That's not a very consensus-driven approach, and since, unlike The Cunctator, I regularly review the deletion log, it's not likely to be very successful either.

numbered comments. Very nice. :) Martin 12:44 18 May 2003 (UTC)

interlanguage links only

Am I allowed to delete pages with nothing but an interlanguage link on them? I think that's even worse than a page with a normal external link (since at least in that case I could understand the content), and furthermore it would be entirely unreasonable for en: users to go to all the other wikis and insert pages with nothing but interlanguage links in them... Evercat 11:32 7 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Yes. An interlanguage link doesn't count as content. Actually, I'm not sure I agree with the idea of deleting pages with only normal external links on them, because it's usually a trivial exercise just to follow the link and get enough information from the page linked to to create a vaguely useful stub; the same isn't true of interlanguage links, unless you happen to know the language in question. -- Oliver P. 11:12 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)

"no useful content"

I feel this should be liberalized somewhat. There has been an anon of late bouncing from IP to IP who has been peppering this site with useless substubs relating to B-movies, B-list actors and B-grade TV shows and soaps. Are they factual? Yes. Are they helpful or useful to a researcher or someone who wishes to write a detailed article? IMO, no. Other users and I have cleaned some up, but they just keep coming. I've tried to contact the resposible party in a kind fashion, but no response especially since the IPs keep changing. And, there's no history of the original poster coming back to any of these to add additional facts, meaning they're orphans. What harm would it do to speed-delete these? If someone wanted to write a real article on Meredith Viera, a misspelled example turned into a redirect or Lisa Rinna to which nothing has been done yet, nothing on these stubs is useful. They're barely literate. You can wiki them to death, but these serve no useful purpose as they are. - Lucky 6.9

I'm thinking of changing "no useful content" to "no meaningful content", which I think gives the idea a little better. Good? Bad? Martin

Good idea. GrahamN 15:04 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Bad idea. :-) To use Eloquence's example, "Josh is gay" is content, and it has meaning. But it is not useful, which is why it can be deleted. Evercat 15:08 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)
    • How about "no meaningful and relevant content"? Sara 05:30, 10 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Yes, in my opinion it should be deleted - after it has been up on votes for deletion for a week. I don't think it should be deleted on the spot by a single administrator acting unilaterally. GrahamN 15:16 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Why not? Evercat 15:18 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Because it is very hard to draw a line between articles that everybody would agree are rubbish, and articles that only some people think are rubbish. I hope you agree that the decision to delete things in the latter category should be seen to be made by consensus, and therefore should be subject to the full votes for deletion procedure. The decision on which of those two categories a thing falls into is never going to be clear-cut - it is necessarily subjective. Since this is a community project, I feel that all subjective judgements should be made by the community as a whole, not by an elite of privileged individuals, no matter how highly respected they are and no matter how unimpeachable their personal standards of integrity and honesty. So, the decision as to whether an article is rubbish or not must be made by consensus. That said, I can see the practical difficulties. The votes for deletion page would become very unwieldy. So, in a spirit of pragmatic compromise, I'd like to suggest that the policy should say
Any article that is not a redirect, that has no edit history and that contains fewer than [say] thirty characters may be deleted out of hand. For all other articles, the full "votes for deletion" procedure must be followed.
Since these criteria could be checked by the software, I'd like to make the further suggestion that anybody should be able to delete such very short articles - not just the administrators. GrahamN 16:16 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)
But there are bound to be quite a few pages that are so obviously useless that there's no good reason to list them on VfD, whether they're over some character limit or not. I find it odd that you think "Josh is gay" type stuff needs to be listed on VfD. I just want people to use common sense, really. Evercat 18:21 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)

How about giving four categories where sysops can delete without listing:

  1. pages with no meaningful content (eg "sdhgdf")
  2. test pages ("can I really create a page here?")
  3. pages containing only vandalism (eg "Josh is gay")
  4. pages contributed solely by banned users

"No useful content" can be variously interpreted, as shown by Cunctator vs Zoe and GrahamN vs Eloquence. I don't think that helps. Martin 15:26 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)

What about external-links-only pages? Evercat 15:31 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)

List them on VfD. Someone may want to research from the external links and create an article, and arbitrary deletion doesn't give them that option. Also, someone may begin a page by providing external links, and slowly flesh them out into a proper article over the next few days. Both of these things have actually happened, by the way.
Incidentally, articles with external links only aren't "no useful content", imo. Martin 15:44 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)

banned users

I've removed "Pages created and edited solely by a banned user, after they were banned. (see bans and blocks)." User:DW, for example, made quite a lot of decent pages under different pseudonyms after he'd been banned, many of them not edited by anybody else - I don't think it would serve the Wikipedia to delete them. --Camembert

That's a nice opinion and all but Jimbo agrees with the exception you removed. Pages created by banned users and have not been edited by anybody else can be reverted to be a red link again. Otherwise you are allowing the HardBaned user to circumvent the ban without changing the behavior that got them banned. While under a HardBan a person cannot edit at all - period. So anything they create should have never been there to begin with. That doesn't mean all such articles have to be deleted - but it does mean that they can if/when it becomes obvious that the person creating them is the user under the HardBan. I'll restore the exception. --mav 21:58 26 Jul 2003 (UTC)
In matters of opinion, I agree with Camembert.
In matters of Jimbo's Word, I think mav is subtly overstating Jimbo's position here.
Perhaps I can put "(controversial)" after that rule, just to reflect the range of opinions on the subject. Martin 00:36 27 Jul 2003 (UTC)

very short with little or no definition or context

I really do wonder if this new "tightening-up" of deletion policy isn't going to cause trouble. As I was thinking about this, an example came up on Recent Changes. A page about some guy was deleted, with the sole content:

one word

Now. It's content, it's meaningful, it's not vandalism. Is something like this really supposed to be listed on VfD? This is why I prefered "no useful content". Evercat 23:16 26 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I'd have to see the article in question, but in that sort of case, surely the best thing to do is to turn it into a stub, and ask the author if they could add a few more words? If you list it on VfD, you give the author a week to flesh the article out, which is surely only polite. Martin 00:36 27 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I've quoted the article in question in its entirity. :-) (well, actually, I removed a newline to save space, but...) It was Musiq Soulchild. Evercat 00:42 27 Jul 2003 (UTC)

If you feel strongly about it, you can call it a test page, and delete it on that basis. If it was a test page. You'd have to talk to the author to find out. Hey, a policy that encourages sysops to speak to people before deleting their stuff? That's radical... Martin 00:57 27 Jul 2003 (UTC)

But if wasn't a test? You think the above needs to be listed on VfD? Evercat 13:13 27 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I'm guessing this is all hypothetical, since nobody has actually asked the author?
Hypothetically, suppose that this isn't a test - it's a genuine attempt to write an article on Soulchild, but by a newbie who doesn't quite understand our ways yet. Well, it doesn't need to be listed on VfD. But I think that if you want to delete it, and you don't feel you can call it a mere test, then you should list it on VfD. Like I say - give the author, or a third party, a chance to expand on it, before deleting it. Martin 13:27 27 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Well, if the author wants to expand it later, deleting it doesn't prevent that. Am I right in thinking the motive behind your suggestion here is that you don't want newcomers to be scared off, or think that their edits are mysteriously disappearing for some unknown reason? If so, how about straight-off deletion, but with a note to the author's talk page to the effect that there are certain minimum standards for articles, and they're welcome to try again...

(I've already started doing something like this for pure test pages (see User:Evercat/text)... Evercat 13:31 27 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Yes, that's basically my concern. But you've convinced me. I think you're right here - I've been unnecessarily conservative. But is there a way we can phrase this that's a bit less vague than "no useful content"? Because that vagueness has lead to TWO nasty flame wars, and I really want to avoid that. Martin 14:07 27 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Um, I'll try and give it some thought... how about "very short pages that don't even contain a definition of the subject"? Evercat 14:12 27 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Sounds reasonable. Perhaps we should encourage people to add such articles to wikipedia:requested articles as well? Would that be good? Martin 14:44 27 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Yes. Also in cases where the content is "why doesn't this page exist? I need it for my homework". :-) Evercat 14:47 27 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Nice edit, Evercat! That was exactly what needed to be said! :) Martin 23:15 28 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Cool. One last thing - I think we should explicitly say whether pages with external links only should be deleted straight off or not... I've no amazingly strong opinions, as long as they are deleted eventually (7 days as per VfD?) if nobody ever stubbifies it... Evercat 23:29 28 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Well, I've made the omission explicit. I favour listing on VfD, personally... How many pages would this affect per week? Martin 23:33 28 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Probably not that many... from a glance at Wikipedia:Deletion log, we seem to get a couple a day... Evercat 23:41 28 Jul 2003 (UTC)

more speedy deletion

  1. Deleting a redirect (which has no useful history) to make way for a non-controversial page move.
  2. Temporarily deleting a page in order to merge page histories after a cut and paste move.

I added these because we already do this. Any objections? Martin 13:28, 31 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Personal subpages

Can the deletion of user pages requested by the user be added to the list of things that can be deleted immediately? See also Wikipedia talk:Personal subpages to be deleted. Angela 22:51, 6 Sep 2003 (UTC)

number 7: "Personal subpages that have been listed on Personal subpages to be deleted". I think that covers it. We could change that to "on request (eg, being listed on Personal subpages to be deleted)", but I like the additional transparency of having them listed someplace (aside from the deletion log, that is): cf wikipedia:protected page.
Either way, it looks like we need to clarify the issue a little :) Martin 22:37, 7 Sep 2003 (UTC)
Oops. I'm sure that wasn't there yesterday. :) I'm not sure about the necessity to record them anywhere though. A lot of other pages are deleted without record. Angela 22:50, 7 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Little or no content?

One of the rules for speedy deletion is Very short pages with little or no definition or context (eg "He is a funny man that has created Factory and the Hacienda. And, by the way, his wife is great.").

The Cunctator changed this to say Very short pages with no definition...'.

I replaced the "little or". Any objections? Angela 14:08, Nov 6, 2003 (UTC)

I think that saying "little definition" is fine as shown in the example given in the guideline. Angela 00:12, Nov 7, 2003 (UTC)

But I think you are wrong. Since "little" is such a subjective word, when an administrator finds that something with "little" context, he or she should be in doubt and follow another "rule". "Rule" since the "rules" you talk about someone trying to change are at most 1.5 months old and werent meant to be "rules" to begin with. BL 01:21, 7 Nov 2003 (UTC)

My apologies Angela - I thought you had given way here. I'm vaguelly with BL and Cunctator here, but I can see your perspective, and I think both are valid. Martin 00:28, 28 Nov 2003 (UTC)

No, I just wasn't in the mood for an edit war that day. [1]. Angela 00:40, 28 Nov 2003 (UTC)

"very little" might be one compromise, if the issue flares up again. *shrug* Martin 00:42, 28 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Shortpages should be deleted

I recently created a one-line article, and then posted it on VfD. Everyone who replied said "Keep"? What gives? If I create a one-line article, can't I just as easily delete it? Maybe I originally intended to write a longer article but then realized I wouldn't have time to turn the article into a decent stub or long shouldn't I be able to just delete it? It's just common sense to me. Wikipedia needs a stronger policy on deletion. Whenever a stub gets put on VfD, some person just adds one line and tada! it's no longer a stub. Pretty soon people are going to figure this out and every time they need some articles created they'll just post them on the VfD page! This is not the point of VfD. The point of VfD is not to expand on stubs/shortpages, it is to delete articles which should be deleted, and shortpages CAN be deleted under rule #4 on the deletion policy. Sub-stubs/shortpages should be instantly deleted IMHO, because as all people can agree, they can be re-created in a second. Sub-stubs are a waste of time, you click on a link, wait for it to come up, and are extremely disapointed when it does come up, as it is only one line of information you already knew. I'd rather it be a red hyperlink, meaning the article was not written yet, so that I don't have to waste my time clicking on it. That's my rant. dave 15:20, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Rule 4 of the deletion policy states that you may delete sub-stubs. Angela 17:39, Oct 14, 2003 (UTC)
That's what I thought as well, until User:Jiang reversed my deletion and stated on my user page that Stubs are not useless. Its a start in content. If it is a genuine stub, it will say something as opposed to nothing. I personally don't like stubs, but I see no point in deleting them. Besides, it's against the current policy. --Jiang 20:43, 13 Oct 2003 (UTC) The reason I deleted it was because I was looking at the List of British Columbia premiers page and clicking on all the premiers. I clicked on John Hart and saw the following: "John Hart was a premier of British Columbia". What is the use of that!!! And it just wasted 5 seconds of my life having to click on it when it should have been a red link like the others. Clearly we know he is a premier since all the pages on "What links here" say so anyways! Jiang undeleted my delete, and he also added two dates to the article, in order to justify keeping it somehow. Anyways, I'm a bit frustrated that as an administrator I was overruled by another administrator (User:Jiang) for doing something which was well within the policies of Wikipedia. dave 22:27, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Everyone gets overruled now and then. When it happens to me, I try not to take it personally. It all worked out for the best, didn't it? Even your experimental sub-stub got turned into a seed stub. -- Cyan 22:32, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I don't take it personally...I'm just trying to get to the bottom of what I did wrong so it doesn't happen again. I think I know what went wrong...I pissed off Jiang by first blanking the John Hart article (a Wikipedia no no because the link stays blue I guess). He unblanked it, and then I deleted it (which was my real intent all along when I first blanked it). He then undeleted either because he was annoyed at me, or just because he is an inclusionist? That's my only theory. He says it is "against wikipedia policy" to delete a stub. Perhaps it is, but the John Hart article wasn't a stub, it was a shortpage, and gave no new information (the disambiguation page said the same thing). Deletion policy exception #4 applies here I think. dave 01:59, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)
In as much as Wikipedia is a "work in progress" I think it is to be expected that any article (long, short, or stub) may or may not yet have information useful to the reader. I think stubs serve to remind editors (everyone) that there are articles in need of work. They should not be listed at VfD (and seldom are, actually) unless there is a sense by the lister that the "proposed" article will have problems (POV, troll bait, etc.). In general, a valid term used as a stub article is best just edited to a redirect if, IYHO it has no present hope to become anything. You can do that without listing or eliciting peer review. This practice can become very useful if later a disambiguation is required. - Marshman 17:43, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Dgrant, if you look at the timing of the votes, you'll see that people were voting on Delerium's update of your stub. I believe that if your original stub had remained unimproved, people would have voted to delete. -- Cyan 18:07, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Damn Delirium.  :-) dave 22:27, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Dave, instead of Trolling, just write the article or not, in accordance with whatever standards youve got. Such a thing can be either a newbieism or trolling --the latter, applying best to you, simply because you should know better. Thats really what this is about -- treating a perennial newbie phenomenon like if it was something you want to eradicate -- like you cant simply improve upon the thing. Of course people would look at who wrote it (you) and it had some bearing on how the vote went. Duh.戴&#30505sv
How on earth is it trolling? He's just trying to establish the policy and it is not surprising he needs to do that considering the conflicting advice he has been given. Angela 00:21, Oct 15, 2003 (UTC)
Steve, this is not whether or not I'm a troll (I'm not and never have been), whether I'm a newbie (I'm not), or whether or not I should know better. It is about the fact that I deleted a useless article (the John Hart article), and someone else went to the trouble of undeleting. I'm trying to figure out a) who is right? b) is anyone right? c) what IS the correct Wikipedia policy on this? Here's what I think: I was correct for deleting the John Hart article, it was a sub-stub/shortpage, and was useless. No need to put it on VfD IMHO. I was perhaps slightly lazy for not ADDING something constructive to it, but I wasn't interested in writing that article. Jiang was incorrect for undeleting it. If he was so inclined to write >100 words about John Hart, he should have then created the article and done so. But to re-create this useless article was pointless. And about c), I think Wikipedia's policy on deleting articles needs to be made more clear, through debate and discussion. dave 01:59, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I think in this case, it is clear. The words "John Hart was a premier of British Columbia" do not make an article. Although having said that, Tarquin once claimed that an article consisting only of the words "Jim was born in 1968 and likes hedgehogs" would not be classified as something which should be immediately deleted. I don't think you're going to get any sort of consensus on this. Some people are far too adamant that everything remains and others simply say it is up to you to make a decent article out of such nonsense. However, in terms of policy you did not do anything wrong. Angela 02:12, Oct 15, 2003 (UTC)
Thanks Angela...I think I have also come to the conclusion that there is no conclusion, and I will thus drop the issue, but I will certainly stick my nose in if these kinds of debates about deletion crop up, and I will also perhaps not hesitate to delete certain things, assuming the Wikipedia deletion policy stays the way it is. Perhaps your redirect trick is the way to go, so that they don't notice, although I don't think it should have to come to that. dave 02:57, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)
And this is why we should have a meta:deletion management redesign. Martin 10:51, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)

dictionary deletions

I suggest we should add "Dictionary definitions" to "Candidates for speedy deletion." Kingturtle 19:45, 27 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I don't disagree with this suggestion, but I expect others will strongly oppose it. Angela 20:30, 27 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Angela is correct. Note that "dictionary definition" isn't even a reason for non-speedy deletion. The actual criteria for deletion is "dictionary definition, can never become more than that". Note that quite regularly people have listed articles on VfD, claiming that they can never become more than a dictionary definition, and they have become significantly more than dictionary definitions. This indicates that individual Wikipedians are poor at judging whether an article might become more than a dictionary definition. This indicates that devolving this decision to a single sysop may produce a number of incorrect decisions. Martin 23:44, 27 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Defamation and personality rights

Not to be confused with copyright issues or fair use are the problems that we may have here under the rubric of Wikipedia:Personality rights and defamation deletion policy. These problems can be summed up briefly, libelous statements, publishing private personal information about anyone (including other users). Personality rights are a general category of rights known by terms such as privacy rights, right of publicity, and rights of private life. They include publishing things like a personal information, one's address, one's social security number, etc.. It can also include one's image. Generally speaking it is not proper to publish the image of a private person without their permission (this obviously does not apply to public figures, or people in public in historical images).

There does not seem to be a clear statement about these kinds of postings when done by third parties. I am not discussing the subpage or the personal page issue where someone publishes their own personal information. But the case where a third party does so (of course there is the issue that someone may have a user account and say they are one person but are really another person, good reason not to post anyone's personal home address or telephone number on Wikipedia).

Should not there be a quick deletion policy once such a violation is identified? Alex756 07:18, 26 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I'm moving this back down to the bottom of the page as it was previously overlooked. I support the addition of defamatory articles to the criteria for speedy deletion. Are there any objections? Angela 01:14, Nov 10, 2003 (UTC)
I agree this should be a situation that merits speedy deletion. I regarded the Craig situation listed below not as trolling, but as borderline defamatory instead. In these cases, delete first to prevent these things from escalating, and further decide under more reasonable circumstances. Fuzheado 03:15, 10 Nov 2003 (UTC)
That's why it was deleted. 142.177 has stated on several occasions that my assertion that he was in fact Mr. Hubley constituted defamation. This same person has stated that the "Murder of vast numbers of people who believe as you do becomes justified, when you use control of a technology that they don't have." [2] In another post he said "There are very few things you will regret more in your life than defending your little clique of friends here," and "you deserve what you get."[3] So given his severe dislike of my 'outing' of him combined with his implied threats of violence, I thought that an encyclopedia article stating, as fact, that he was Craig Hubley and stating where he lived, was the most severe form of trolling, which could potentially majorly piss off an anti-social maniac. So yes I deleted the article instead of letting it sit in the article space. This form of trolling clearly rose to the level where instant nuking is justified. --mav 03:53, 12 Nov 2003 (UTC)
I object, because defamation is very much open to interpretation (being legal), and hence subject to debate. I'm unclear that there is significant legal risk involved here - if there is, it would appear that Jimbo is willing to accept that legal risk. Therefore I oppose adding "potentially defamatory" to the list of candidates for speedy deletion. I would, however, accept speedy deletion of some allegedly defamatory page if someone obtains a paid legal opinion indicating that the material is certainly defamatory. Martin 21:01, 10 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Much after the fact, I also object to speedy deletion in this situation. The Communications Decency Act appears to provide ample protection for everyone but the contributor and has been exercised and found applicable to defamation, notably in April 1998 Blumenthal v. AOL (part of the case against Drudge and AOL) which held that the CDA protected AOL for Drudge's writing that Blumenthal, an assistant to the US President, had a spousal abuse background (retracted in two days) even though it paid Drudge US$3,000 a month for his columns, had editorial control and might well have been liable if it was not an online publication. [4] Significant caution for a print edition is necessary in this area, though - it's just the online process where we have the time to consider things before acting. For print, such things are not likely to be at all wise. Jamesday 03:08, 21 Jun 2004 (UTC)


It would appear that some people regard trolling as something meeting the criteria for speedy deletion. I don't feel the current policy makes this clear, and there are some who feel such deletions are 'out-of-process'. Two recent examples:

  • 21:04, Nov 9, 2003 Daniel Quinlan deleted "Engime's Theory of Pure Absurdity" (about deletionism/inclusionism, issue is already discussed in meta space, repeated trolling by same user)
  • 01:06, 4 Nov 2003 Maveric149 deleted "Craig Hubley" (deleted trolling)

Are there any objections to adding 'trolling' to the criteria for speedy deletion? Angela 01:14, Nov 10, 2003 (UTC)

  • Not here. -- Mattworld 01:19, 10 Nov 2003 (UTC)
  • No objection from me, obviously. Daniel Quinlan 03:08, Nov 10, 2003 (UTC)
  • I strongly object. I don't know of any test that can be performed to decide whether something is "trolling". As far as I know, there isn't even a universally agreed definition. Is there a discussion on this somewhere? What is or is not "trolling" is not something that any single Wikipedian should have the authority to decide. People are accused of trolling all the time, often for no good reason. In fact, I propose doing away with the term "trolling" altogether, as it is nothing but a personal attack. Each case of alleged trolling should be judged on its merits, by the community as a whole. -- Oliver P. 03:25, 10 Nov 2003 (UTC)
    • Those pages were vandalism. The only thing that separated them from most other vandalism was the lack of profanity and capital letters. We should not be putting forward such articles as part of the Wikipedia. Also internet trolling is a well-defined term. Daniel Quinlan 03:36, Nov 10, 2003 (UTC)
    • Oliver, I don't accept your arguments against this proposal as you could say the same thing about vandalism. Is there any test that can be performed to decide whether something is vandalism? Sysops are expected to make this judgement, and others relating to the criteria for speedy deletion, so I don't see why they can't tell if something is trolling. I think the examples above, particularly Engime's Theory of Pure Absurdity demonstrate exactly what trolling is. No-one can argue that such an article should be kept, so it seems a waste of time to debate it on VfD for a week, thereby feeding the trolls who produce such articles. Angela 03:40, 10 Nov 2003 (UTC)
      • The term "trolling" is familiar enough when applied to discussions (the article Daniel Quinlan links to only talks about it in that context), but not when applied to the creation of articles. Two random anecdotal examples that everyone will agree are rubbish aren't enough to tell us what class of pages we are talking about here. Anyway, I'm not even sure that everyone would agree even about deleting those examples. Who is to say that an article on Craig Hubley is not a good thing to have? It looks a bit dodgy to me, but I wouldn't presume to make a unilateral decision on its deletion. The existing policy refers (I hope) only to content; accusations of "trolling" apply only to the motives of the person behind the content. And that's not something that we should be making policies about. Motives should be irrelevant. We should judge all content on its merits. -- Oliver P. 04:37, 10 Nov 2003 (UTC)
        • My label of "trolling" applied to the content. I don't think it's good to leave such material in the article namespace while we wait for everyone to agree it can be deleted (well, everyone except for a few people against any deletion). It is similar to the following: Except for the worst vandals, I look at pretty much all edits before reverting — content is what matters. I should qualify that a bit, though. If someone has proven themselves to be a vandal or a troll over time, I tend to pull the reversion/deletion trigger more rapidly (meaning I will take less time to verify the addition of a questionable fact). I think that is only common sense. I mean, do we want 5 days to delete vandalism from a new "Michael" user? More like 5 seconds. Daniel Quinlan 05:03, Nov 10, 2003 (UTC)
          • Thank you for clarifying that. But I'm still unsure about what content is being referred to. A lot of articles described as "trolling" just sail through Vfd without any objections raised to their deletion, and end up getting deleted. But a lot of others are defended, and kept (see e.g. Slogan 'AIDS Kills Fags Dead'). Some are hotly debated, and all sorts of things end up happening to them, which I shudder to recall... It's difficult to predict in advance which articles will fall into which category. I'd say you'd need to be a genius to work it out! Sysops aren't supposed to make difficult decisions; they're supposed to just do routine and fairly mindless tasks, just keeping the place running smoothly. If you're talking about articles with no meaningful content, then they're already covered by the policy. If they do have meaningful content, they should be put up for discussion. What's the problem with that? What harm do they do in the meantime? The lovely new Vfd warning will tell any passers-by that the material is of debatable merit, so I doubt that they will be misled by it. So what's the rush? -- Oliver P. 06:52, 10 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Like Oliver, I would oppose "trolling" as a reason for speedy deletion. Many articles which one or more people have described as trolling were eventually kept: the AKFD article was one; some of Ed Poor's articles (lighting flatulence, etc) are another; various user: and user talk: pages are a third. In any case, don't think we have sufficient consensus on what is and is not trolling (eg, some have challenged the deletion of Craig Hubley) for this to be a workable rule - I think it would increase, not decrease, controversy.

I don't see any huge risk in having Craig Hubley and the other one hanging around for a bit, and the number of articles (2, ever) would not add significant extra burden to VfD. I propose that we add the following comment to clarify:

Perceived trolling, in itself, is not a reason for immediate deletion of an article, though it typically is a reason for listing on VfD. However, where the perceived trolling takes the form of vandalism, that is a sufficient reason for speedy deletion. Repeated trolling may result in a block of the offender's editing rights on Wikipedia.

Martin 21:17, 10 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Ah, I do like it when you agree with me, Martin. I take it as a sign that I am right after all... ;) I've been bold and added your parargraph to the policy page. -- Oliver P. 03:59, 11 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Boldness follows boldness. I think trolling can be deleted sometimes and sometimes it should be removed from the article namespace (and listed on VfD). I changed the policy page accordingly. I don't think dirty laundry of trolling should be aired outside of Talk: or Wikipedia:. This is not Slashdot. Daniel Quinlan 04:19, Nov 11, 2003 (UTC)
Folks, if "trolling" is to become a criteria (and quasi-legal term in Wikipedia) we should put in a more concrete definition in. Right now, the only definition is in Troll, and several categories down points to Internet troll which is generic Internet trolling. Meta's m:Troll entry is a tongue-in-cheek article and not useful. Perhaps we should populate Wikipedia:Troll for real. Fuzheado 04:34, 11 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Daniel's text:

Pages created for the sole purpose of trolling that border on outright vandalism. However, troll articles that may have any redeeming value should either be (1) posted on VfD or (2) moved outside of the article namespace (deleting the redirect in the article namespace so trolling is not published), and added to VfD so others may evaluate.

As noted above, various people questioned whether AKFD was a troll piece with no redeeming value, but we would have got into all kinds of trouble had it been unilaterally deleted. I continue to feel strongly that unilateral deletions should be reserved for cases that could not possibly cause controversy. I'm also dubious about this comment about "publishing", mainly because I don't know what is meant here. Martin 18:54, 11 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I think articles that are trolling should not appear in the main article space. We don't need to look like Slashdot. So, the main article space is what I mean by publishing. I find the questions about "what is trolling?" to be a bit disingenious, internet trolling is well defined and I think this works fine. As far as controversy goes, when some editors are opposed to any deletion, the potential exists for controversy over every deletion. I'm satisfied to trust sysops to have good judgement about deleting trolling. If a sysop repeatedly deletes articles with no justification, they will lose their sysop rights. Many sysops watch the deletion log and "unilateral" decisions are not really unilateral. They are constantly monitored by other sysops. I actually think it would be fine to just delete trolling immediately. If you're not going to make any attempt to compromise and will disagree regardless, perhaps I should just change the policy back to the way I liked it and then we can disagree from there. Daniel Quinlan 22:06, Nov 11, 2003 (UTC)
It's not worth a policy page edit war over this. I just made the suggestion to see if others felt that the policy should be brought into line with what sysops already do. I expect that those making such deletions could justify the deletion along lines other than trolling anyway, so whether it is officially part of the policy is not that important. Angela 22:14, 11 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Probably not worth an edit war, but (prior to my last revision to the policy), the policy explicitly said trolling could not be deleted speedily, which I think is a huge mistake. Do other encyclopedias let angry editors include internal memos in the encyclopedia as published? But, that's exactly what those last two "trolling" deletes were (especially the one I deleted). We get published every day and we should not let people fly off the handle into the main article space whenever they feel they can provoke controversy or generate a response. No sysop is going to be able to justify deleting something worthwhile, at least not for long. Daniel Quinlan 22:34, Nov 11, 2003 (UTC)

Daniel, the prior version stated "Opinions differ as to the correct approach to [...] pages that are perceived as purely trolling". I did not mean that to be interpreted as an explicit statement that trolling could not be deleted speedily - merely note the difference in opinions on the matter. My apologies if there was any confusion here.

While you may be confident about the correctness of the recent two deletes, the deletion of Craig Hubley has not been uncontroversial. Since we have had only two examples of "trolling" articles in the history of Wikipedia (maybe three if you include "wikicide"?) I think it would be more sensible to take such articles to VfD for the time being, and build up some precedent in terms of prior consensus-based decisions. Once we're sure that we're all on the same page of the hymn book, then by all means let's add another exception as you and Angela propose.

I'm going to bring mav's attention to this, if he's not already aware. Martin 22:42, 11 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I did wonder whether Wikipedia:Problem User:Petermanchester was an example of trolling, in the sense meant. Me, I think that redirecting it would have been a better approach. Martin 22:04, 13 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Hmmm, I'm not sure which bit of the deletion policy supports my deletion of that. I was thinking along the lines of it being a duplicate page would be the most defensible as the content had already been on problem users. However, that isn't actually in the policy. Perhaps it should be. I've deleted pages for that reason before if they've only just been created and a redirect is not necessary. I could have redirected it to the problem users page, but then I would have deleted it as being an inappropriate redirect as it had been established that Peter was not a problem user, and this matter had been removed from the problem users page. This strengthens my view that trolling ought to part of the policy. Angela 22:13, 13 Nov 2003 (UTC)
I was thinking of redirecting it to Peter - but that has the same problem, so that would have been wrong. Incidentally, I don't believe that Nightcrawler intended that page as a troll or flamebait. This is one of those cases where if anyone could delete and undelete, I'd have had no problem with a bold deletion, but while it's a sysop only tool, I think there's a risk of inflaming things rather than cooling them down.
Still, as you say, it's another example. Thanks for your comments. Martin 22:31, 13 Nov 2003 (UTC)

home pages accidentally created in main article space

This seems fine to me - though I wonder if it would be better to leave the redirect hanging around just until the user in question has seen the new location? Otherwise they might mistake the move for a delete, which would be bad. Martin 18:39, 12 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I think moving it and leaving them a message explaining on their talk page would be sufficient without the need for the redirect. Angela 18:59, 12 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Sometimes people don't get the "you have new messages" message - I never do. Also, they may return logged out (cookie expired, etc). Belt and braces, perhaps, but I think worth it - especially as we have many such redirects already. Martin 20:56, 13 Nov 2003 (UTC)

As long as they are not kept permanently I don't mind. I feel strongly they should be deleted after seven days at most though. Angela 21:18, 13 Nov 2003 (UTC)
I can agree on that, definately - maybe even less than that. Martin 21:29, 13 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Does using the "Move this page" feature move the history in the usual way, even if the destination page is a user page rather than a normal page in the article space? I thought it did, but when I looked at that page in the article space that was apparently some version of User:H.J.'s user page, it still appeared to have a history, even though Martin said he'd moved the history. This rather confused me, but I didn't get round to bringing it up at the time. -- Oliver P. 02:44, 23 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I did move the history: I just checked. But I forgot to move the history of the talk page. I'll fix now. Martin 02:52, 23 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Thanks for explaining. I suppose I must have somehow ended up looking at the history of the wrong page... Anyway, in light of this I have reworded the bit on user pages to say that people should move the whole page using the "Move this page" tool, rather than just cutting and pasting the content. I hope that's not a controversial change... -- Oliver P. 03:08, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)


I've added "Articles which have already been moved via the transwiki system" to the candidates for speedy deletion. My reasoning is explained more fully at m:talk:transwiki. Angela. 03:21, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)

It's not deleting. It's just moving. Discuss...

It's not just moving, as most of the information in the edit history is lost. (The edit history contains the full text of every past version of the article, not just the list of authors, and can be used to work out which author wrote which section.) But I won't comment any further until I've got to grips with how this "transwiki system" works... -- Oliver P. 04:00, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Remember that the Wikipedia and WikiSource are different works, so a move from one to the other is a deletion from the source work. It's possibly not in accordance with the GFDL unless the edit history is preserved. It also short-circuits the process at VfD which routinely has articles rewritten to the point that they are no longer deletion candidates - that routinely happens for source text and dictionary entries. Listing these at VfD and then at TransWiki after this work has decided that they don't belong here would be fine. So would deletions from here as part of a TransWiki move for any category where there's no chance that they would be reworked to remove the reason for deleting them from here - which currently only seems to mean works in a foreign language. On the question of consensus, it's entirely routine to see 9-11 victims and dictionary entries pass through VfD, so there doesn't seem to be consensus that deletions from one wiki to place in another don't need to go via VfD. Article types which are routinely rewritten and kept after a run through VfD aren't candidates for bypassing vfD, IMO. Speedy deletions are supposed not to be controversial - anything else needs VfD due process first. Jamesday 08:56, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Perhaps we should recommend people copy the info, and then list the articles for deletion to turn that copy into a move? Dunno. Martin 18:41, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Copying then VfD if it's considered to be possibly unsitable for a source work works for me. Jamesday 22:56, 4 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Delete them, and delete them quickly. A page can always go through the process to be undeleted if the old history is needed. Atributing the authors is easy enough by copying the page history from the old location, thus no FDL problems. We have had data forks occur to articles that have been moved to the new project but not yet finished their time at VfD that then recieved a concensus to delete, meaning the article had to be transwikied twice. Gentgeen 14:02, 3 Feb 2004 (UTC)
It's not only the history which may be desired. It's the work itself. One work wanting an item does not mean that the other doesn't want it. You're assuming that the original work will always want to delete it. That's not the case. I trust that you are copying the history over both when copying and listing on VfD, because the history will not always be available via undeleting and in any case has to be available for normal inspection, not admin-only inspection. If I recall correctly, every deleted item and all of their history was lost during the database problem in early June - deleted items and their history weren't backed up. I forget how long the deleted items are normally retained for but it's not life plus several decades. Jamesday 14:49, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)

External links

I think we should add to this list: Articles that contain *only* one or more external links. On Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not, #12 says Wikipedia is not "mere collections of external links." Letting such articles linger send a message to users that such posts are okay. Such posts should be deleted immediately. Kingturtle 03:34, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)

It's kind of already there, just not in the list. Just below the list it says "Opinions differ as to the correct approach to pages with only external links, and also to pages that are perceived as purely trolling", which I took to mean that you can't be accused of deleting out of process if you delete it but that some people might complain anyway. Angela. 03:37, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I was already deleting such articles. I considered them covered by exception #4 : 'Very short pages with little or no definition or context (eg "He is a funny man that has created Factory and the Hacienda. And, by the way, his wife is great.").' -- Cyan 03:39, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I suppose I can't really complain if people do this, because "little or no definition or context" does seem to cover it. (However, I don't think it's the best course of action to take, as expanding into stubs would be better.) -- Oliver P. 04:04, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I don't see how a page that starts off by saying that it will be deleted in about a week is encouraging anyone to create similar pages. Quite the reverse, I would have thought. Martin 02:47, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Vandalism / Creative fiction

The articles Bonnie, Jayne Bryleigh, Bryleigh's Theorem, and Slope field have been deleted without being listed for five days on Vfd, on the grounds that they were "vandalism".

Cyan has convinced me that the list of candidates for speedy deletion can be interpreted in a way that allows the speedy deletion of those sorts of articles. (I deleted them as simple vandalism (#3 on list of candidates for speedy deletion) of the "sneaky" variety (see Wikipedia:Dealing with vandalism for definition).) But I'm not convinced that the list was meant to be interpreted in that way. Wikipedia:Dealing with vandalism is talking about bad edits to pages, not the creation of new pages. Perceived vandalism of existing articles can be dealt with boldly, because anyone can undo the edits if they disagree with them, without having to follow any laborious procedure beforehand. Perceived vandalism in the creation of articles should not be dealt with so boldly, in my opinion, because it is more difficult to reverse deletions. In the cases under discussion, the articles were certainly not simple vandalism. Some of them, at least, required some knowledge of the history of mathematics to detect their silliness. Articles which appear to make sense on the surface should definitely be up for discussion for the usual amount of time, in my opinion. So I think the deletion policy needs clarifying.

I actually think that the "vandalism" category can be removed altogether. After all, what types of vandalism really need to be covered, apart from those that are covered by "No meaningful content or history" or "Very short pages with little or no definition or context"? Anything that has a non-negligible amount of meaningful content should at least be up for discussion, in my opinion. -- Oliver P. 22:38, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I've got no problem with the idea that articles which appear to make sense on the surface (but are actually sneaky vandalism) should be listed of VfD instead of being subject to speedy deletion. That's what accuracy dispute headers are for. I can't think of a type of really simple vandalism that isn't covered by "No meaningful content or history" or "Very short pages with little or no definition or context", but I reserve the right to be swayed by arguments. -- Cyan 22:54, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)
The pages you are citing as examples were created by the same vandal who I have listed on Wikipedia:Vandalism in Progress. The same vandal has also participated in more obvious examples of vandalism (like various user pages, changing articles to profanity, and so on). The "vandalism" entry in the deletion policy has never been abused as far as I can tell. If you want to admit you made a mistake in undeleting these pages, then it seems like we wouldn't really need to retroactively change the deletion policy. ;-) Daniel Quinlan 23:01, Dec 11, 2003 (UTC)
I don't think I made a mistake in undeleting the pages. I still don't think that pages that appear to make sense on the surface (regardless of who wrote them) should be covered by the list of candidates for speedy deletion, and I thought that the list as it stood unambiguously supported me on that. However, I now see that there may be some ambiguity. So the policy needs to be clarified one way or the other. The word "vandalism" itself is, I think, a problem, because different people use it in different ways, and in any case it describes the motives of the contributor rather than the actual content. In my view, the motives of the contributor are irrelevant. If the material is useful, we should keep it; otherwise, we shouldn't. And if the content is in any way non-trivial, it should be up for discussion for the usual amount of time before a decision is made about which it is. That, I think, is what the policy means to say, even if it is slightly unclear at the moment. Doesn't that sound like a reasonable policy to have? :) -- Oliver P. 13:15, 12 Dec 2003 (UTC)

moved from the village pump

As a relative WP newbie, I was a bit surprised to find that Wikipedia:Deletion_policy does not have a "Candidates for speedy deletion" category for "creative fiction", i.e. deliberate and demonstrable inaccuracy.

I'm refering to articles like Bonnie, which appears to be a deliberate attempt to misinform, by a known vandal.

Right now if I posted an article called "Paris, Capital of Germany", the policy requires it wait five days for a vote, while people confirm that Paris is not the capital of Germany. In practice, I'm sure someone would ignore the policy and delete it.

I can see that such a category may be open to abuse - particularly for esoteric subjects not easily researched online.

Any thoughts? Anjouli 14:50, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)

In the light of the activity yesterday around this and related articles that fell into the "creative fiction" category (see Wikipedia:Votes for deletion, I agree that this should be added to the list of reasons for speedy deletion on Wikipedia:Deletion guidelines for administrators. Bmills 14:59, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I think it's dangerous to assume sysops can make the judgement about whether something is purely fictional or not. In many cases it is obvious, but there are also times where it isn't and real content might be deleted. However, instant deletion of such pages could already be justified under the "no meaningful content" or "pure vandalism" criteria if someone did want to delete it. Angela. 15:10, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Agreed. What is or isn't fiction is not always obvious. Secretlondon 15:13, Dec 11, 2003 (UTC)
If the author could be asked to provide verifiable references and failed, maybe the full 5 days could be shortened? Bmills 15:17, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Even five days isn't a lot of time to find verifiable references: some people only login every weekend, for example. Not every contributor is an addict. Martin 19:37, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)
In such cases, it is appropriate to blank the article when adding the boilerplate deletion notice to it. Then, there is no possibility that the article contents may be misconstrued by a casual visitor and yet the history is available to facilitate deletion discussions. Louis Kyu Won Ryu
Better, add a wikipedia:accuracy dispute. Martin 19:37, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Yes, much useful comment. I did not actually mean things that could not easily be verified. I meant things that could immediately be shown to be false. I take the point that "no meaningful content" could cover disinformation as well as no information. Probably that's the best way to go, with Martin's suggestion for borderline cases. Anjouli 14:22, 12 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Exact copies

Deleting something that is an exact copy of something else.

I may have missed the discussion on this - but wouldn't a redirect make more sense in these cases? If someone is just pasting random text under random titles, well that's vandalism. What are the use cases for this?

I'm a little concerned about cases like the death camp/extermination camp thing - such issues would not be improved by delay-free sysop deletion. Perhaps we should restrict such deletions to uncontroversial cases? Martin 00:37, 10 Jan 2004 (UTC)

This was added in relation to an issue that arose over the deletion of a duplicate image. Obviously a redirect couldn't happen there but for articles, I agree a redirect would normally make sense. However, are there GFDL issues of someone just copying a whole page without attribution to another title? It might be better in such cases to delete and then redirect. Angela. 01:24, Jan 10, 2004 (UTC)

OK - shall we change "something" to "images"? I think that makes perfect sense, and it means that sysops can handle trivial cases of images uploaded with wrong name/wrong format without bothering wikipedia:images for deletion. Martin 01:33, 10 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I put this rule in so that Angela could delete an image for me when I uploaded a version with a corrected filename. That was really the only case it was designed for so I tried to clarify a little. silsor 20:56, Feb 3, 2004 (UTC)

Problems with speedy deletion...

I have a small problem. My small problem is this: admins will often delete articles that are poorly written sub-stubs. This is not neccssarily a problem in and of itself; the problem is that there are no checks on this system outsid the admin community (those capabale of un-deleting deleted articles). There have been several occasions where I've seen page be posted on RC; thought I might be interested in working on it, only to find it deleted by an over-zealous admin who rapidly sent the article's meager contents sent into the great ditigal abyss. This is highly frustrating; even a poorly written sub-stub can contain starting points for further expansion and exploration. The "lack of meaningful content" speedy deletion criterion is *highly* subjective; what I'd like to suggest is some system whereby the past text of those deleted articles is preserved so that those who want to go back and work on it. Right now there's no way to go back and check to see if speedy deletes were really justified... -- Seth Ilys 03:55, 8 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I'm afraid all you can do at present is ask to be a sysop, or post on wikipedia:votes for undeletion, or ask the deleting sysop directly (the name will be in wikipedia:deletion log. :( Martin 04:13, 8 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I just stumbled across the deletion log for the first time today... I notice that many of the entries list the test of the deleted article... is done automatically? If so, it answers my concern; if not, why can't it be done? - Seth Ilys 05:22, 10 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Yes, this is automatic. It only includes 150 characters. Angela. 08:00, Feb 10, 2004 (UTC)
That's good. My concerns are alleviated. Thanks. - Seth Ilys 22:01, 10 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Wik's addition

  1. Pages that are to be deleted according to Wikipedia deletion policy.

I don't see that this makes any sense. Wik, perhaps you could explain why you want this to be added? Martin 21:28, 28 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Well, it happens that pages run through VfD with a 2/3 majority for deletion, and they aren't deleted. It might help to list them here. --Wik 21:41, Feb 28, 2004 (UTC)

Since such pages are already listed at the top of wikipedia:votes for deletion, I'm unclear why listing them on yet another page, wikipedia:speedy deletions will help.

If an administrator believes that there is a rough consensus for deletion, as discussed on Wikipedia:Deletion guidelines for administrators, then they will be deleted in due course. For controversial pages, this sometimes takes a few days, but there's always a decision eventually, one way or the other. The five day lag time is a minimum time, not a deadline.

Still, I'm interested to hear what others think on the matter. Martin 21:53, 28 Feb 2004 (UTC)

The problem is that not everyone agrees 2/3 is enough for something to be deleted. I very rarely delete anything now with such a low percentage, and on occasions where I have done, people have complained. If people are not prepared to make controversial deletions, like Richard Genovese, then listing them here won't solve that. Either you need to encourage people to take the risk involved in deleting it, or you need to accept that a lot of nonsense is going to remain in Wikipedia just because some people on VfD happen to like it. Angela. 17:23, Mar 2, 2004 (UTC)

I think Wik does have a point. See my comment on Crotopo soup on vfd, at the top of the page there is a request that all recipes be listed for deletion on Talk:List of recipes/Delete. This particular article was listed there for five days and received consensus to delete, but because administrators rarely look at that page it had to be listed somewhere so that it could be brought to the admin's attention. I listed it on speedy deletions (I didn't have sysop status at the time) to bring it to someone's attention. It was then moved back to vfd, which is precisely where it started in the first place, thus meaning that after achieving consensus to delete on the recipes list, it's now got to receive consensus after five days on the vfd page. This is a totally ridiculous system, which Wik's suggestion above would solve. -- Graham  :) 17:30, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)

For this example, perhaps we should say "Pages that have already been agreed to be deleted (please link to the discussion).". The parenthetical comment is so that radnom visiting admins can easily verify the decision. I'm farily anti-deletionist, but I can support that as just a sound way to manage policy. (But I do not support listing things that are still on VfD!) -- Toby Bartels 05:25, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC)

The vote is not the sole deciding factor. Among other things, one person showing that the reasons for the original listing were invalid eliminates the article as a deletion candidate, unless there's some other reason to delete given. Wik's probably upset because one page he wanted deleted previously had a delete result, was subsequently recreated, then survived VfD, VfUD and VfD again. It turned out that the reasons for the original listing weren't valid and the subsequent decisions reflected the new information. See Yellow Pig's Day, the related results and development of the article once it stayed around long enough to be improved. Jamesday 17:33, 5 Mar 2004 (UTC)

What are you talking about? How was the original reason not valid? What "new information" are you talking about? It was always clear from a Google search that the day exists, but is totally obscure, equivalent to a random nonfamous person, which may be perfectly verifiable but is not encyclopaedic. --Wik 17:40, Mar 5, 2004 (UTC)

Vanity Pages

Cant we promote Vanity Pages as Kilian Knote to Candidates for speedy deletion? If a mistake is made and the person is indeed famous, the article will reappear anyway. This could help reduce the size of VfD. Muriel 08:19, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I don't see why, sometimes its difficult to tell the difference between a vanity page and an article on an encyclopedic subject thats badly written and looks like vanity. Saul Taylor 08:37, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Of course not. Most "vanity pages" aren't actually vanity at all. The person may reappear, but all the previous information would be lost. Anthony DiPierro 12:38, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Ah! Ah! Muriel 22:24, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I oppose this ideal Muriel. Perl 13:29, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Oppose. Some people don't do enough checking of what are vanity pages, one example being [5]. The reasons for the deletion listing were both shown to be wrong. Not doing even basic checking before listing on VfD is way too common and making these speedy deletions woould get these things inappropriately deleted. Jamesday 17:15, 5 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Other so called "vanity" pages were Sidney Morgenbesser (deleted as a copyright violation from Vanity Fair magazine), Richard Haynes (TIME magazine once referred to him as one of the top six criminal lawyers in America), and Pei-Yuan Wei (creator of one of the first graphically-based web browsers). Anthony DiPierro 17:43, 5 Mar 2004 (UTC)
From the current VfD: Adam_Jacob_Muller, James_S._Baker, Trevor and Lemuel Longley, Daniel_Pak, Derek_Arnold... All of these are clearly pranks/nonsense, in the sense that I would stake my future reputation as arbiter of 'patent nonsense' on my claims that they can be speedily deleted. It would be nice to allow for quick (1-day?) VfD listing and deletion of pages, which could then be viewed for another five days (they might get their own page w/a link from VfD) and commented on only if people thought the deletion had been inappropriate.

Is there some kind of rush? Martin 21:44, 20 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Foreign-language pages

One type of candidate for speedy deletion was: "Articles that already exist on another Wikimedia project, as a result of having been copied and pasted in to Wikipedia after their creation elsewhere, or as a result of having been moved via the transwiki system, where there is consensus that Wikipedia:Votes for deletion is not necessary. Applies to foreign language articles at present."

Reworded to: "Foreign language articles that already exist on another Wikimedia project, as a result of having been copied and pasted in to Wikipedia after their creation elsewhere, or as a result of having been moved via the transwiki system." That is what it was saying, wasn't it? -- Oliver P. 20:29, 25 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I believe so. It was originally meant to apply to any transwiki'd pages, but was changed when people disagreed about it and in the end, the only one people could agree was the foreign pages. Angela. 22:03, Apr 25, 2004 (UTC)

Identical images

After some concerns about the speedy deletion of two clitoris images, I changed the speedy deletion text for images to add the text in italics: "Deleting an image which is an exact copy (all bits the same) of something else, redundant, and unused. To assist those reviewing the deletion, please edit the image description page first and identify the alternative image and the article where it is used". The intent here is to avoid unnecessarily wondering whether the deleting party is acting properly and reduce unecessary friction between admins. Please see Wikipedia:Speedy deletions and the talk pages of those involved for more background. Jamesday 03:19, 21 Jun 2004 (UTC)

That doesn't make a lot of sense when that image description page is about to be deleted. Perhaps suggesting using a decent edit summary when deleting it mightbe more helpful? Angela. 02:11, 22 Jun 2004 (UTC)
The image description page is only going to be deleted if the image is a candidate for speedy deletion. The information is intended to assist with assist with confirming that it is an eligible candidate. A good comment to go with the deletion would also be welcome, of course. Jamesday 14:53, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I don't understand. You're about to delete a page, so why on earth would you edit it and then delete it? Do you mean this instruction to apply to non-sysops adding the {{delete}} tag? If so, perhaps that instruction should go to Wikipedia:Speedy deletions. There is no requirement for sysops to edit a page they are about to delete. Angela. 06:15, 13 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Overuse of speedy deletes

I am uncomfortable with the increase in use of speedy deletes. In particular, I think that case 4 (very short pages with little or no definition or context) is being stretched beyond where it was intended. While many of the pages I'm concerned about should probably be deleted, they deserved the community scrutiny of a listing on VfD. I propose changing the wording back to "very short pages with no definition or context". Let the borderline cases be judged on VfD. Rossami 22:25, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I don't see a need to change it. Are there any examples of articles that have been deleted under point 4 that you feel should not have been deleted? Angela. 00:30, Jul 30, 2004 (UTC)
Good morning, Angela. While your question seems reasonable, there is no way for me to answer it. Speedys are deleted before the community (including me) has a chance to see them. I have no way of knowing if an article was deleted that should have been kept. The evidence that I have, though, is that several articles have been "promoted" (or were proposed for promotion) to speedy after being listed on VfD. Several of those I had reviewed and, while I mostly supported the routine deletion vote, I feel strongly that they did not meet any of the very specific criteria necessary to be a speedy. I have been surprised before by articles that were salvaged at the last minute. Some of these articles deserved their full time on VfD to see if the same could occur. I know it's a long shot, but the cost of letting these run their time on VfD is very small. Recent examples include: "Brewster Jennings & Associates", "Kirkperson", "Federal Republic of Western Niger", "TOaster Oven"
I know that admins have the ability to look at deleted articles and, in theory, can keep the process under control. I also know that admins are stretched too thin to check everything. This particular check-and-balance can be accomplished by the whole community merely by trusting the VfD process to work. Here are some examples which were speedy'ed but then rescued and returned for full discussion (in other words, the system worked but only through the heroics and luck of a sysop who happened to look): "Inverted narcissist", "Mx700" Rossami 14:05, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Neither Federal Republic of Western Niger or TOaster Oven were deleted speedily were they? They are certainly not candidates for speedy deletion under current policy, so I don't see why the policy would need to change in these cases.
Most pages which are speedily deleted are short enough for the full article to be displayed in the Wikipedia:Deletion log which is viewable by all users. The first 150 (? maybe more) characters of the article are displayed in the log, so any user can read that and request undeletion if they felt the article did merit keeping.
Angela. 23:23, Jul 30, 2004 (UTC)
Maybe we should require that #4 speedy deletions should be articles short enough for the full article to be in the log? Martin 21:43, 1 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Is false information grounds for deletion

Several people have claimed that patently false information is not grounds for deletion. This is a position I simply don't understand. If I write "Superman's secret identity is Fred Doe" in an article titled Fred Doe, why CAN'T it be speedy deleted? Why does this patently false garbage need to go through VfD? RickK 18:43, Jul 29, 2004 (UTC)

I believe the argument is something along the lines of "in case Superman really is Fred Doe". Angela. 00:30, Jul 30, 2004 (UTC)
Sometimes admins think something is patently false, and it turns out to be true. It's happened on VfD in the past, IIRC. Martin 21:45, 1 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Proposed new rule

I think the following is a reasonable reason for speedy delete:

Duplicate of existing article, or a duplicate of a previous version of an existing article.

See: Wikipedia:Votes_for_deletion#Minorities_in_U_S_and_IQ_tests_.97_Add_to_this_discussion -- UtherSRG 20:21, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)

  • I disagree. That is a reason to be bold and make the article into a redirect. Deletion (speedy or otherwise) is unnecessary. Rossami 21:06, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Ads and speedies

Should blatant advertisments be speedy deletable? I've seen some ads that have grown into semi-encyclopic, ugly stubs, but for the most part they all get drowned in VfD. It might be better for wikipedia in general if blatant advertisments could be speedy deleted. siroχo 00:21, Jul 27, 2004 (UTC)

  • I have seen enough salvagable articles make it through and become good articles to be worth the trouble of listing them and asking for public comment. Rossami 01:21, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Cut & Paste Moves

I recently found a new user who made a cut & paste move. I reverted the old page, sent the user a message, and listed the new page on Speedy Deletions. Was this the right thing to do? Cut & Paste moves don't seem to be specifically listed on Wikipedia:Candidates for speedy deletion or on Wikipedia:Deletion policy. Wikipedia:How to fix cut and paste moves seems to be aimed at administrators. -- Creidieki 23:50, 29 Jul 2004 (UTC)

In most cases, the best solution is to redirect the new page to the old page. Martin 21:47, 1 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Speedy deleting typos?

"Deleting pages that were recently and accidently created. For example, a page created as the result of a typo."

This isn't even given as a reason for deletion of a redirect. It shouldn't be a reason for speedy deletion. anthony (see warning) 01:54, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Agree that this is incorrect, however i'd support the addition of a clause:
"Deleting pages that were recently and accidently created that do not produce valuable redirects."
(Ex, pages titled like The Beateles\ would not be useful redirects) siroχo 02:15, Aug 4, 2004 (UTC)
why not? you just delete it without even giving a reason why it would be a bad rule? -- 09:48, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Text of speedy-delete tag

(William M. Connolley 18:39, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)) The current text that the delete tag creates doesn't explicitly say do-not-delete-this-tag, and it probably should.

  • Wouldn't one want to delete the tag if the call for speedy deletion is incorrect or no longer relevant? Martin 11:33, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)
    • Some people will choose to improve a page before it is speedy deleted, so removal of the tag is often appropriate. Angela. 07:37, Aug 11, 2004 (UTC)
    • Speedy deletes should only be for completely non-controversial deletions. If someone cares enough to delete the tag, that's probably a good sign that it should have been a regular VfD nomination instead. Rossami 12:54, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)


I've recently come across an article Frank N. D. Buchman with the contents "Sorry... I don't want to promote myself, but I'm active in the MRA movement since 1968. I do have MRA Sing-Out groups in our province in the Philippines, mostly students in different schools and we do toured to other places bringing out peace, hope, joy, togetherness, brotherhood via sing-out songs (speak-outs and drama). Today, for 5 years, again I have a group here at the University of Batangas in Philippines and we still alive singing, teach ins promoting the 4 absolute standards of MRA.

The students had some research about the MRA and even the parents let their children join the group. Thank you. UP, UP WITH PEOPLE!!!!



pls. send me a note"

and no previous history. Could we add such blatant misuses as a speedy deletion candidate? Proposed rule: Articles misused as talk pages or blatant advertisments (including a "drop-me-a-line" statement) may be speedy deleted. I really don't see what we'd gain by letting this article sit around on VfD.

Another rule that seems to be current practice but which I'd like to see codified is Copyright infringing /Temp replacements for already flagged copyright infringements may be speedy deleted if neither the talk pages of the article nor WP:CP show any indication of the suspected infringement being disputed.

Lupo 10:56, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

  • I would oppose deleting these kinds of articles as speedys not because I think the articles ought to stay but because I suspect they will be newbie errors more often than not. Under the "don't bite the newbie" rule, that would mean 1) emailing the contributor, 2) politely explaining the process and our standards, 3) probably moving the page to their new User Talk page and then 4) speeydeleting the orphaned redirect under existing case 7. Rossami 13:47, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
    The advert kind often are "hit-and-runs" by editors who are not logged in, and the copyvio kind is often done by the same user who posted the original copyvio (and who, if he is new, I usually do contact when I find the first copyvio). We could amend the proposed /Temp copyvio rule by also restricting it to cases where the infringing /Temp is posted by the same user as the original copyvio... Lupo 13:55, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  • Disagree on both counts. "Blatant advertisements" can commonly be fixed to not be advertisements rather than deleted. Temp replacement deletion is handled by the rules of the Possible Copyright Problems page. There's no reason for them to be deleted until after the discussion period on that page has finished. anthony (see warning) 13:58, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  • What an invitation! Send your blatant commercial hype and blatant personal hype to Wikipedia and someone will even clean it up for you and help disguise the fact that it is biased hype. Editors here don't have anything else to do but drop what they are interested in and bring someone else's self-promotion up to standard. Jallan 22:00, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
    Indeed. Let me clarify one thing: honest mistakes where somebody mistakenly misuses an article as a talk page of course should not be speedied, but the talk should be moved to the appropriate user or article talk page. Deciding whether some post is a true mistake would need some judgement by a janitor, but in practice, I think it would be a most uncontroversial decision. Furthermore, I forgot to add with no previous history to my proposed rule about this case. I think anyway that my Frank N. D. Buchman example would fall under #4, for it has no context pertaining to the article title (nor to that article's "What links here"). Lupo 06:45, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  • The article in question was patent nonsense. Frank Buchman died in 1961 yet the article started "Sorry... I don't want to promote myself". Angela. 17:07, Aug 17, 2004 (UTC)


Is there any reason not to make empty categories with no text speedy deletion candidates? I would think they already fall under the "patent nonsense" definition, but apparently people disagree. anthony (see warning) 12:40, 28 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Since there doesn't seem to be objection, here's the proposal (under other):

  • Empty categories (no articles or subcategories) whose only content has consisted of links to parent categories.
  • Empty categories (no articles or subcategories), 24 hours after blanking.

anthony (see warning) 12:20, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Still no comments. I'm adding it. anthony (see warning) 02:26, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)