So how about scrapping afd/vfd and replacing with a system whereby an
editor may tag an article with a 'candidate for deletion' tag and provide
a rationale. Admins can patrol the resulting category, assess each case,
delete as necessary. If someone disagrees with the deletion, they can
either contact the admin who deleted to ask them to review their decision,
or if they want wider community input there's vfu (which could be renamed
This seems to me to have the following advantages:
1. It would de-centralise the process if people mainly contact the
deleting admin to query deletions. This would avoid a giant page of bad
2. An article on vfd might only attract 4-5 votes, which is not enough to
really determine community consensus and so much is kept that probably
should be deleted when things end with 'no consensus'. However, if things
were deleted more quickly and restorations requested on vfu, the vfu
decision would result in restoration if there was a clear consensus to
include. If an article does not attract sufficient community input to
determine consensus then it would remain deleted.
1)So maybe we should allow a merges during AFD listing.
2)Pure wiki deletion is a nice idea, but if people start blanking you
can't see the difference between page blankers and people who are
actually interested in a discussion about the article's validity.
3) Decentralizing discussion will allow a lot of discussion to go
unnoticed by people interested in Wikipedia as a whole rather than the
article. Centralizing will give visibility to the most people and
therefore reflect much better the views of the community.
4) We should have more centralized discussion on groups of articles to
get a concensus. I've seen a lot of inclusionists, but barely any that
think of the WP:MUSIC guidelines as a bad idea.
5) Moving (again) or changing the deletion process won't fix what's
really wrong with it.
It's people's attitudes that need fixing rather than the process we
use to delete pages.
*People vote delete on sockpuppet supported articles without as much
as a word on the actual article itself.
*People vote keep or delete merely because an article is a school or a
road without looking at the content.
*People continuously criticize VFD/AFD but VFU rarely ever gets any
requests. To me that says there's barely any stuff that actually needs
to be undeleted.
On 8/8/05, jjleahy(a)umich.edu <jjleahy(a)umich.edu> wrote:
> This mailing list often serves the purpose of allowing "old timers" to discuss
> Wikipedia policy, but it gets its share of newbies asking things like
> requesting article changes (which if they knew what Wikipedia was they could do
> themselves). [...]
> One idea is to make a new mailing list specifically for newcomers to Wikipedia,
> which would be manned by a group of people that respond to newcomers and lead
> them places where they could learn more
Since this is a great idea and there were no objections to it over the
last month, Jeronim has created this list. It is called helpdesk-l
I would like to encourage anyone interested in helping newbies to join
this list and answer questions there. You can subscribe at
If anyone would like to be the list admin, please let me know.
How about a more natural approach to the function of the AfD? Many sites, including Netflix.com, allow users to rate the articles of other users, or at least click on whether or not these articles are helpful. At Netflix, this determines placement of the review, with the top placed review becoming the default. Alternate reviews are easily retrievable and could be promoted to the top place if people find them more useful for that subject.
At Wikipedia, we could add a stipulation that if most people find the entire subject of the article not useful, it would be placed on a deletion short-list. Items on the short-list would automatically be removed to a compressed archive if they ever go more than thirty days without being accessed. The system could also automatically add any article to the short-list that goes more than six months would being accessed.
The only significant source of contention at Wikipedia is when people try to unduly influence articles. Yet, it is possible to create a system where unduly influencing articles cannot be achieved. Many sites have done this on a small basis. We can get rid of administrators and do it on a large basis here if we are willing to let our influence be based on the quality of our edits and not on the friends we know in high places.
Zephram Stark zephramstark(a)yahoo.com
----- Original Message ----- From: "Daniel P. B. Smith" <dpbsmith(a)verizon.net>
Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2005 6:03 PM
>> From: Geoff Burling <llywrch(a)agora.rdrop.com>
>> is there a point in Wikipedia's size where it's current growth
>> will taper off or stop? I don't mean to repeat the old chestnut that
>> knowledge is somehow finite: put in different words, is there a
>> point where contributors will find it far easier to work on existing
>> articles than to contribute new ones?
> Oddly enough, I wonder about the exact opposite. I fear that people
> enjoy creating new articles far more than they enjoy editing existing
> articles, and that people look desperately for topics that do not
> exist yet so that they can be the first to create them. The
> Wikipedian equivalent of the Slashdot FIRST POST!!!!
> This means that over time a greater proportion of newly created
> articles will reflect an artificial attempt to find a topic that
> hasn't been "taken," and a smaller proportion will be reflect a
> genuine attempt to serve potential readers.
> I do not think its growth will stop. The problem is, will the quality
> of the articles hold up? There's no obvious reason why it shouldn't,
> and no obvious reason why it should.
> One reason why it _might_ not hold up is that when Wikipedia was less
> famous, contributing to it required a greater interest in the project
> and a greater commitment to the project's ideals. As it becomes more
> and more familiar, it is possible that we will see an increasing
> proportion of new "articles" that are really paragraph-long newbie
> To tell the truth, I think many of the "articles" that land on AfD
> are best not regarded as articles at all, but as elaborate newbie
> tests OR as badly executed article requests. I'm thinking of substubs
> that convey no information at all except the fact that someone either
> a) genuinely wanted an article on that topic, or b) simply wanted to
> experience the pleasure of creating an article.
> I've been casting "votes" recently in AfD that say "delete, and enter
> a request for the article." So far, nobody but me seems to think this
> is a good idea.
> Daniel P. B. Smith, dpbsmith(a)verizon.net
> "Elinor Goulding Smith's Great Big Messy Book" is now back in print!
> Sample chapter at http://world.std.com/~dpbsmith/messy.html
> Buy it at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1403314063/
Do You Yahoo!?
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While it may be annoying when a favorite type of article is listed for
deletion, it's best viewed as a chance to argue your case to not delete it.
Remember that the case for deletion needs a consensus, which is actually
pretty hard to raise if an article has any merit.
In particular, the notability argument is extremely weak, and in most cases
directly contradicts deletion policy.
Deletion policy states explicitly that if the only problem with an article
is that it's on a branch of a subject so trivial that it doesn't merit an
article, it is *not* a candidate for deletion, but should be merged to a
more comprehensive article.
This isn't only policy, it's also a pretty sensible argument for merging.
On 9/30/05, Tony Sidaway <f.crdfa(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> On 9/30/05, David Gerard <dgerard(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> > Sounds very like an obsessive deletionist who's more concerned with
> > process than product. AFD seems to encourage that sort of thing.
> Have you tried visiting Votes for undeletion lately? I did so recently and
> argued for undeletion of an article. I was asked if I was addressing the
> content or the process. Why the content, of course, I said. I was then
> told that this wasn't what VFU was for. Sure enough, the phrase in the
> undeletion policy that refers to Wikipedia being a better place with an
> article than without was nowhere to be seen on the page. I updated the
> instructions *directly* from the undeletion policy. This was reverted
> several times. Some people claimed that policy had been changed. I pointed
> out, by reference to the actual policy, that it hadn't. Whereupon a
> proposal to change policy was made--to exclude any reference undeletion
> based ona judgement that the content was good for wikipedia.
> At that point I decided it was time to leave people who wanted to play
> silly buggers to get on with it.
That's really breathtakingly stupid behaviour. I suppose I'm going to
have to look and find who these morons are.
> Subject: [WikiEN-l] Crap vfd nominations
> I have speedy kept the following vfd nominations, and been threatened
> with a block:
> "Here is another nn traffic circle. Roadcruft. Delete --JAranda | yeah
> 02:40, 28 September 2005 (UTC)"
> "I don't normally get into the road wars on AfD, but this is a former
> traffic circle, now converted to a traffic light. Its notability
> from the notability of the history of the traffic light. Delete. Chick
> Bowen 21:36, 26 September 2005 (UTC)"
> "This is one of three traffic circles in Flemington, New Jersey, a
> village of 4000 people. Pilatus 18:34, 29 September 2005 (UTC)"
> "Oh cmon its a traffic circle nn Delete --Aranda56 01:26, 22 September
> 2005 (UTC)"
> What the fuck is with people?
If a nomination is crap, explain why in the AfD. If your explanations
are convincing, people will vote to keep. If nominators notice that
their nomination has been buried by a near-unanimous string of keeps,
they'll be embarrassed and stop making problematical nominations.
This procedure has the great advantage in that it works and that it
does not making people angry thereby provoking counter-responses
directed at your manner rather than at the merit of the topic.
In _any_ AfD discussion, it is much more helpful to address the
_particular_ article under discussion than to pass blanket judgments
on an entire class of articles. Nominations that say "oh cmon its a
traffic circle" and "roadcruft" are not helpful. Neither are
responses that say "all traffic circles are notable." Even if you
believe that all traffic circles should be deleted or that all
traffic circles should be kept, neither of these extremes is a widely
held opinion and repetitive, strident assertions of these general
principles are not going to create a consensus. (Neither do
repetitive, strident assertions that there _is_ consensus in areas
where there actually is not).
When nominating a traffic circle, give reasons why _this particular_
traffic circle shouldn't be kept. Two of the nominations mentioned
above do this, although not in a very coherent way. When arguing that
an article on a traffic circle should be kept, say why _this
particular_ traffic circle is worth keeping. Is the article
particularly good? Do traffic reports in the city reference it?
The reason for doing this has nothing to do with The Principle Of The
Thing. The reason for doing it is that these techniques _work_.
(Another technique that works for keeping articles is to improve them
a bit _before_ entering the nomination discussion).
Daniel P. B. Smith, dpbsmith(a)verizon.net
"Elinor Goulding Smith's Great Big Messy Book" is now back in print!
Sample chapter at http://world.std.com/~dpbsmith/messy.html
Buy it at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1403314063/
Begin forwarded message:
> From: Fred Bauder <fredbaud(a)ctelco.net>
> Date: September 26, 2005 10:56:17 AM MDT
> To: wikipedia-l(a)Wikimedia.org
> Cc: Fred Bauder <fredbaud(a)ctelco.net>
> Subject: New Internet Rules in China
> These new regulations will undoubtedly affect both the English and
> Chinese Wikipedias: