[WikiEN-l] Article Rescue Squadron: Combat medics urgently needed

SJ 2.718281828 at gmail.com
Mon Jul 16 00:18:01 UTC 2007

On 7/14/07, Eugene van der Pijll <eugene at vanderpijll.nl> wrote:
> SJ schreef:
> > We've renamed VfD this once, to get rid of the 'votes', since it
> > shouldn't be about votes.  Perhaps it is time to get rid of the D,
> > since it isn't really about deletion -- which involves an initial
> > assumption of bad faith -- but about review: what is the author
> > thinking?  If the author is really trying to convey useful information
> > about an encyclopedic and notable subject (good faith), how can we
> > help them improve their work / extract better information from them /
> > guide them to reasonable style guidelines?   "Articles for Deletion"
> > could be something related, very specific, and altogether different.
> AfD really is about deletion: at least 75% (I don't know the exact
> percentage) of the articles brought to AfD are deleted. Naming it
> anything but "Votes for Deletion" misrepresents what is happening. That
> could lead to new contributors missing the point of the nomination,
> and that may lower the probability that the article is improved. (At
> least, that was an objection the last time this was proposed.)

You contradict yourself here -- yes, many articles brought to AfD are
deleted, but you suggest that "the probability that the article is
improved" is important; highlighting that AfD is not simply about
"delete or keep" but about maintaining quality.  And even the deleted
articles should often not be deleted without any further action;
catching up with the original authors, merging useful information from
articles not notable enough to have their own keyword,The current
formulation encourages the occasional bad faith discussion.

But we don't need to speak in the abstract.  Take some of today's AfD
entries, for instance: they include [[Bubbles the Clown]], [[Katie
Hopkins]], [[Chess strategy]] and [[Chess tactics]] -- all of which
(even the first) are well written, contributed to by many people, well
to very-well referenced or linked, and in the latter two cases have
been around for five years.

None of the AfD discussion about these articles had the subtlety of
 - considering original photos or illustrations created for them -- a
PD photo of Ms. Hopkins, disgrams for the chess articles, an audio
recording of the Bubbles article
 - considering the extent of the article's editing history and contributions
 - addressing discussions on their talk pages, some of which was about
merging or POV; contacting WikiProjects committed to the articles that
had templated their talk pages

Instead, while noone claimed that these articles did not contain
useful information that was carefully put together to inform an
audience, the discussions take an oppositional tone: Delete v. Keep,
pushing to persuade in a sentence or two, not to find ways to make the
contributions of the existing authors useful.  [It occurs to me that
having such debates and not transcluding them onto the article talk
pages points to a deeper problem.   None of the four articles
mentioned had a peep of the AfD thread on their talk pages...]

A comment from the chess page AfDs:
  * Keep. If WP:NOT says this article should be deleted, WP:NOT is
broken. JulesH 19:00, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
  ** It may be, but I dont think an AFD is the place to discuss
changes to policy. Corpx 19:34, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Again, a reason these discussions should, in cases that are not
claerly about 'how to delete', be active reviews, providing feedback
to confused editors and broken policy as needed.

> > It might be sensible to have a cleanly generalized "Articles for
> > Review" page that decides what to do with articles that have trouble.
> > Does it get pushed off to a subgroup, say via {{delete}} or
> > {{cleanup}}?  perhaps there are niceties to be followed when deleting
> > something -- check in with the main authors, decide whether or not to
> > delete the talk page as well, archive as appropriate, update inbound
> > links, doublecheck that the authors aren't serially doing something
> > they shouldn't be.  This could go to an "articles for deletion"
> > project -- at which point it is not about WHETHER to delete, but HOW.
> So the decision to delete an article or not is taken entirely at the
> "Articles for Review" page? See above about misleading page names.

You review an article that is causing someone trouble, to consider the
best way to handle it.  One possibility is deletion.

if a review points to deletion, an AfD discussion might decide it
should not be deleted after all -- this might be a more friendly
version of DRV, carried out by people who care specifically about
deletion and deletion policy, but while the article is still public
for all to view its content and edit history.  (NB: this could also
remedy one of the troubles with DRV, pushing the abstract idea of
policy/decision review to a more universal forum for [[Policy

> And what do you mean by "HOW"? There is only one way to delete an
> article: the "delete" tag at the top of the page. (Proposals to merge or
> redirect should not be brought to AfD, at the moment; those are just
> part of "normal editting")

I elaborated a bit before.  One of the purposes of an AfD discussion
would be about whether that was in fact suitable; people at AfD
presumably knowing the most about deletion policy and tips.  Then the
question is how to properly carry out the admin and style guidelines
for deleting something.

A meticulous process would notify the major authors of an article, and
WikiProjects which are following it; looks for content in the article
to merge -- this is no longer a part of 'normal editing' since once
the closing admin carries out a deletion, normal editors cannot see
content to merge it.  Such a process could also check that any
important talk-page sections and the deletion/review discussions are
preserved, and cleans up any images or media that are orphaned as a
result.... and it could offer contributing authors a way to get an
archival copy of the article and its history for their records [since
in the future it would both not be available to regular editors to
view old permalinks, and not be exported in database dumps].

A crude process would delete article and talk page without further
consideration.  And an aggressive process would delete these, and work
to prevent others from archiving copies of the text or edit history.

These last options happen now on occasion with large, long-lived
articles, and can be deeply offensive.  As an example, consider the
deletion (and removal of copies from user-space) of
[[Wikipedia:Eleventy-billion pool]], something I wish had not


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