[Foundation-l] Request for your input: biographies of living people

Michael Snow wikipedia at verizon.net
Tue Mar 3 16:56:24 UTC 2009

Andrew Gray wrote:
> 2009/3/3 David Gerard <dgerard at gmail.com>:
>> 2009/3/3 Sue Gardner <sgardner at wikimedia.org>:
>>> Can I ask: does anyone reading this thread 1) think raising the notability
>>> threshold is a bad idea, 2) believe defaulting to deletion upon request is a
>>> bad idea, or 3) disagree with the notion that other Wikipedias should shift
>>> closer to the German Wikipedia's generally-less-permissive policies and
>>> practices, particularly WRT BLPs?
>> Deletion upon request is a terrible idea. It will lead to only
>> hagiographies - violations of NPOV - being kept. (This has been
>> discussed at length on wikien-l, fwiw.)
> That said, reacting the other way and *prohibiting* deletion on
> request is also counterproductive - we've skirted close to this on
> enwp in the past, where people have interpreted "subject has asked us
> to delete it" as being an automatic cast-iron reason to keep it in
> place. I mean, I've seen cases where someone's stood up and said "this
> article is atrocious, subject wants it deleted" and it's been kept
> (with a variety of snide comments), whereas had they just said "this
> article is atrocious", it'd have been killed with no objections.
I agree with all of this. Fundamentally, our work as a community is to 
exercise editorial judgment, and we have a responsibility not to 
abdicate it. That gives me a dislike of default deletion upon request. 
But someone making a request is a sign that the article really needs a 
hard look, and quite possibly should be removed for not meeting our 
standards. So the reversed presumption of "default to delete, unless 
consensus to keep" is a good idea for living subjects. I would add that 
when this is in question, arguments that make excuses for the current 
state of the article are not valid reasons to keep it.

--Michael Snow

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