[WikiEN-l] Deletion of user subpages

Mark Gallagher m.g.gallagher at student.canberra.edu.au
Fri May 19 16:01:51 UTC 2006

G'day Fastfission,

>>From my reading of [[WP:USER]], it seems to me that a subpage in the
> user namespace which expresses opinions about Wikipedia or admin
> behavior, or one which is the beginning of an attempt to organize
> users towards one goal or another (a pre-born Wikiproject), should be
> totally legal, irregardless of whether other users think the idea is a
> good one or whether or not it "takes up resources".
> And yet, at [[Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion]], there have been a
> number of cases lately where things are nominated for just this
> reason. People seem to vote without any consideration other than
> whether they think the subpage is "a good idea" or a "waste of
> resources" (of course, the MFD votes often taken up almost exactly the
> same amount of database space as the pages in question, but let's not
> let logic get involved here).

It sounds like our descriptive policy is lagging behind actual practice. 
  I guess it needs updating.

(And xfD is not a vote.  If the reasoning behind a "vote" is lacking, it 
can and should be ignored.  This applies even in the case of (imagine 
we're on AfD now) 20 "NN D"s and 1 "Keep, he was the World Champion in 
nude pipe-smoking three years running, represented Canadia in the World 
Nude Pipe-Smoking Championships, and was Leader of the Conservative 
Party in the UK for a period in the 90s".)

> There are two things I think we should do here. One is to try and
> hammer out if all user subpages must be "useful to the encyclopedia"
> (as many claim they must, when they are on the chopping block), and,
> if so, ADD THAT to the user page guidelines. If we DO want to go down
> that path, we should come up with some clear cut guidelines for what
> counts as "useful". Must it be useful for writing articles? For
> organizing research? For telling others about yourself? Does something
> which facilitates the community count as "useful", even if it does not
> directly apply to article writing?


Define, and define, and define.  Broad definitions are tyrrany.  We 
can't let random people decide what "useful" means!

> For example, I have a page on my subpages which is a list of all free
> images I have drawn for Wikipedia. It serves no direct purpose except
> maybe for me to feel good about my accomplishments, and to encourage
> others to feel good about them too. Does that make it "useful"? Maybe.


> Since I'm not getting paid monetarily for my contributions (which take
> hours to create, mind you), a little ego stroking is a good way to
> make sure that I (and others) keep working at it. So in that sense,
> the page is very "useful": it guarantees that I will keep coming back
> and spending my valuable time on this project. (I of course do not
> mean this to refer only or even directly to "me", but mean it as "the
> hypothetical editor".)
> But where do we draw the line? Is a page which criticizes the
> implementation of Wikipedia policy "useful"? Is a page which
> criticizes the policy outright "useful"? What if it makes blanket
> statements about the actions of "admins"? Does that go too far? Where
> does "useful criticism and disagreement" end and "personal attacks"
> begin?

If you're talking about one subpage I've seen, it ended when the user 
said "X, Y and Z admins are ignorant morons who don't know copyright 
law.  I say we fight back and pepper our userspace with purdy pictures 
we have no right to use!" (in a somewhat less inflammatory fashion, 
admittedly).  Core principles are not negotiable, and attempts to 
organise the community in revolt against being an encyclopaedia, being 
NPOV, respecting copyrights, etc., should not be tolerated.


Mark Gallagher
"What?  I can't hear you, I've got a banana on my head!"
- Danger Mouse

No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.1.392 / Virus Database: 268.6.1/343 - Release Date: 18/05/2006

More information about the WikiEN-l mailing list