Wikiafripedia:Arguments to avoid in deletion discussions

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Essays about Wikiafripedian fallacies


Graham's Hierarchy of Disagreement. Try to stay in the top three sections of this hierarchy.

This page details arguments that are commonly seen in deletion discussions that have been identified as generally unsound and unconvincing. These are arguments that should generally be avoided – or at the least supplemented with a better-grounded rationale for the position taken, whether that be "keep", "delete" or some other objective. Some of the infirm arguments covered are those that are irrelevant or at best side issues, do not address the merits of the reason to keep or delete, are based in anecdote rather than evidence, engage in classic logical fallacies and more—and almost all share the trait of not being based upon the issues listed at Wikiafripedia:Deletion policy. It is important when taking part in deletion discussions to anchor one's rationale in relevant Wikiafripedia policies and guidelines, such as notability, verifiability, what Wikiafripedia is not, neutral point of view, no original research and biographies of living people. The arguments covered in this page are far from exhaustive. If an argument you were planning on using is listed here, you might want to reconsider using it. However, just because an argument appears in this list does not necessarily mean it is always invalid.

Remember that a discussion rationale which arguably could be classified as an "argument to avoid", may still contain the germ of a valid point. For example, if a person argues that an article is interesting, and in making that point, cites evidence that could also be used to support a determination of notability, it is wrong to summarily dismiss that argument just because WAP:INTERESTING is a section in this essay. As this essay tries to stimulate people to use sound arguments in deletion discussions, it is important to realize that countering the keep or delete arguments of other people, or dismissing them outright, by simply referring them to this essay is not encouraged (see also the section Just a policy or guideline below).

While this page is tailored to deletion discussion, be that of articles, templates, images, categories, stub types, or redirects, these arguments to avoid may also apply to other discussions, such as about deleting article content, moving pages, etc.

Arguments without arguments[edit source | edit]

This section is about deletion arguments that do not seem to make sense, and otherwise do not point at or even make correct usage of policies or guidelines whatsoever.

Just a vote[edit source | edit]

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  • KeepThoughtlessMcKeep, 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • DeleteDeleteyMcSheep, 23:28, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

This is not an argument for or against deletion at all, it's a vote. As Wikiafripedia:Articles for deletion states, "The debate is not a vote; please make recommendations on the course of action to be taken, sustained by arguments" and the same applies to all deletion debates. Any statement that just consists of "Keep" or "Delete" with a signature can easily be dismissed by the admin making the final decision, and changing "Keep" to "Strong keep" or "Speedy keep" or even "Weak keep" will not make it any more relevant. Try to present persuasive reasons in line with policy or consensus as to why the article/template/category/whatever should be kept/deleted, and try to make sure it is an argument based on the right reasons.

Per nominator/X[edit source | edit]

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  • Delete per nom. – Trustfull, 04:04, 4 April 2004 (UTC)
  • Keep as per User:IvanIdea's statement. – Suckup, 11:38, 1 April 2004 (UTC)

It is important to keep in mind that the AfD process is designed to solicit discussion, not votes. Comments adding nothing but a statement of support to a prior comment add little to the discussion. Participants are always encouraged to provide evidence or arguments that are grounded in policy, practice, or simple good sense to support their positions.

If the rationale provided in the nomination includes a comprehensive argument, specific policy references and/or a compelling presentation of evidence in favour of keeping or deletion, an endorsement of the nominator's argument may be sufficient.

Where reasonable counter-arguments to the nomination have been raised in the discussion, you may wish to explain how you justify your support in your own words and, where possible, marshalling your own evidence. Stating your true position in your own words will also assure others that you are not hiding a WAP:IDONTLIKEIT or WAP:ILIKEIT position.

Per majority[edit source | edit]

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  • Keep per everyone else. – Grouper, 04:04, 4 April 2004 (UTC)
  • Delete since most others here think this should be deleted. – Copycat, 04:04, 4 April 2004 (UTC)
  • Delete Most people are saying it should be deleted, and it looks like that is what will happen. – SelfFulfillingProphecy, 04:04, 4 April 2004 (UTC)

AfD is a discussion in which all participants are encouraged to give their own independent opinion. It is the ideas of individuals, not the propaganda of others, that is supposed to help determine the outcome. One who bases one's statement on that crowd as a whole is not making any useful contribution to the discussion, but instead blocking the progress of new opinions.

Consensus can change, and it is not uncommon for attitudes to shift during a deletion discussion. When it seems after just a few days that it'll surely go one way, often one single statement can turn the tide. Also, articles can be improved over the course of a discussion, leading others to change their minds. It can be the statement or the salvaging work of one person who is at first in the minority that makes all the difference.

Just unencyclopedic/doesn’t belong[edit source | edit]

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  • Delete as unencyclopedic. – Cyclops, 06:26, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Delete per WAP:NOTNotSpecific, 22:53, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Delete Does not belong here. – MembersOnly, 16:25, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Keep This definitely belongs in an encyclopedia. – TrustMeItFits, 22:53, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

What shouldn't be included in the encyclopedia, what Wikiafripedia is not, has been defined by consensus. However, this includes many types of things, each having its own section within that or another policy. Therefore, the terms "unencyclopedic", and its flip-side "encyclopedic", are too general to be useful in deletion discussions. What we need to know are the specific reasons why the article should or should not be included. Otherwise, you just leave us guessing as to what you meant. Simply answer the question, What policy (or guideline) does it violate or meet, and how? An example of a well-specified deletion nomination is "The article is nothing more than a dictionary definition, and therefore violates WAP:NOT#DICDEF".

There must be sources[edit source | edit]

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  • Keep. This is obviously notable, so it could be referenced. – Prejudger 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Keep. There must be plenty of sources. – Presumer 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Keep. We shouldn't delete this, because it's possible there may be sources that we haven't found. – Speculator 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Keep. You should find sources, instead of deleting it. – ItsUpToYou 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)

We keep articles because we know they have sources, not because we assume they have, without having seen them. Any claim that sources exist must be verifiable, and unless you can indicate what and where the sources are, they are not verifiable.

Just notable/Just not notable[edit source | edit]

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  • Examples:
  • Delete as non-notable. – NotableGuru, 16:25, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Delete: NN. – NNDeclarer, 12:01, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Keep: Meets WAP:NDialNforNotability, 12:02, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Keep It is clearly notable. – NotabilityDiviner, 01:21, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Keep Topic is notable. – OracleOfNote, 09:17, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Simply stating that the subject of an article is not notable does not provide reasoning as to why the subject may not be notable. This behavior straddles both "Just unencyclopedic" and "Just pointing at a policy or guideline".

Instead of just saying, "Non-notable", consider instead saying, "No reliable sources found to verify notability", or "The sources are not independent, and so cannot establish that the subject passes our standards on notability", or "The sources do not provide the significant coverage required by the notability standard." Providing specific reasons why the subject may not be notable gives other editors an opportunity to research and supply sources that may establish or confirm the subject's notability.

Just as problematic is asserting that something is notable without providing an explanation or source for such a claim of notability; this is often seen when trying to assert notability under a sub-guideline (like music or internet content). Additionally, the subject may possibly pass WAP:N, but fails a more stringent set of standards: for example, articles about notable living people may be deleted if they are marginally notable, and must be deleted if they are defamatory. The standards of inclusion don't mandate inclusion; they merely suggest it.

Just pointing at a policy or guideline[edit source | edit]

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While merely citing a policy or guideline may give other editors a clue as to what the reasoning is, it does not explain specifically how the policy applies to the discussion at hand. When asserting that an article should be deleted, it is important to explain why. The same is true when asserting that something does follow policy.

As noted above, deletion discussions are not "votes". They are discussions with the goal of determining consensus. Rather than merely writing "Original research", or "Does not meet Wikiafripedia:Verifiability", consider writing a more detailed summary, e.g. "Original research: Contains speculation not attributed to any sources" or "Does not meet Wikiafripedia:Verifiability – only sources cited are blogs and chat forum posts". Providing specific reasons why the subject may be original research or improperly sourced gives other editors an opportunity to supply sources that better underpin the claims made in the article.

Keep in mind that articles can often be improved, and may not need to be deleted if the specific problems can be identified and corrected (see surmountable problems, below.)

Also, while citing essays that summarize a position can be useful shorthand, citing an essay (like this one) just by one of its many shortcuts (e.g. WAP:ILIKEIT or WAP:IDONTLIKEIT), without further explanation, is similarly ill-advised, for the reasons explained above.

Assertion of notability[edit source | edit]

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  • Delete No assertion of notability. – If It Was It'd Say So, 01:10, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Delete There's no way anyone could be notable just by doing that. – Not a chance, 01:10, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Keep Text of article explains why it is notable; that is good enough – VouchingForMyself, 01:10, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Keep Article says that the topic is very important to the history of underwater basket-weaving. – RightOnTheTin, 23:05, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Keep The article's content asserts importance and significance for the topic. – WhoNeedsProof, 23:05, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

An assertion of importance or significance (not "notability", as such, though these are often and unfortunately conflated and confused) is related to a potential reason to delete an article, but not one that is relevant at Articles for Deletion, where the merits of notability are determined. This formula is the purview of CSD A7, A9 and A11, three of the criteria for speedy deletion. These criteria are a test of what is seen in the article content and only apply to specific subject areas and conditions. If an article on an A7- A9- or A11-eligible topic does not make a credible assertion of importance or significance for that topic, it should be nominated for speedy deletion, which is a much faster and simpler process than nomination at Articles for Deletion. Notability, on the other hand, is based on whether the topic itself meets the criteria – not on what is or is not currently in the article. Thus, whether an article asserts significance for its topic is not germane when notability is at issue at an AfD discussion; what matters is the existence of reliable, secondary sources that are entirely independent of the topic that have published detailed content about it, regardless of the present state of the article.

Begging for mercy[edit source | edit]

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  • Keep I worked so hard on this article. Do you really want to put my contributions to waste? – DoNotHurtMe, 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Keep You would be doing me a big favor if you changed your "deletes" to "keeps" – Mindchanger, 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Keep I need more time to work on it – NotFinishedYet, 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Keep I am on vacation now, and I won't be able to work on it until I get back home – InTahiti, 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Keep I placed this template on top of the page so it wouldn't get deleted – ConstructionSign, 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Keep I placed hidden text at the top of this page telling others they were not supposed to delete it – WarningMarker, 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)

Such arguments make no use of policy or guidelines whatsoever. They are merely a campaign on the part of the commentator to alter others' points-of-view. They are of no help in reaching a consensus, and anyone responding to such pleas is not helping either.

You should also make yourself familiar with Wikiafripedia's canvassing guidelines before you solicit "votes" one way or the other in a discussion.

If you feel you need more time to work on an article you just created that has been put up for deletion early on, an option may be to request userfication, where you can spend as much time as you wish to improve the article until it meets Wikiafripedia's inclusion guidelines. Once this has been accomplished, you can reintroduce it into main article space.

Over the years, several templates have been created to be placed on top of pages indicating that they are new and may take time to complete to Wikiafripedia's standards. These include {{newpage}}, {{construction}}, and {{newlist}}. If such a template is found on a newly created page, as a common courtesy, new page patrollers and others should not rush to delete the page unless it is obvious that it can never meet inclusion guidelines. If one is uncertain of this, or if it appears no progress has been made in a reasonable amount of time, the creator should be contacted regarding his/her intentions, and given a reasonable amount of time to reply. It is recommended for one who is considering putting it up for deletion to consider userfication as an alternative.

Did not win[edit source | edit]

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  • Delete The person lost in the competition/event, so he/she couldn't possibly be notable. – Didn't win - No good, 00:00, 1 January 2000 (UTC)
  • Delete He didn't make first string, so delete. – Only the best, 00:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Delete The company went bankrupt, so the article should be deleted. – Out with the old, 00:02, 1 January 2002 (UTC)
  • Delete The film has a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so it doesn't deserve its own article – Roger that, Ebert!, 00:03, 1 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Delete This awful game has a well-deserved 8/100 on Metacritic! – The Angry Video Game Nerd, 00:04, 1 January 2016 (UTC)

Yes, it's true that subjects winning notable awards or landing on "best of" year-end lists by independent publications can significantly impact their notability. However, arguments which base notability or lack thereof upon winning, wins, success or popularity make no use of policies or guidelines. In fact, plenty of subjects, like The Room, Birdemic: Shock and Terror and Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing, are significantly important and covered in several reliable sources due to their unusual amount of failure. We do not have articles only because people and/or organizations are successful; everyone and everything makes mistakes! We have articles rather because they are notable and have verifiable and reliable sources. If a celebrity or organization is “failing”, then the content can mention that failure in a neutral point-of-view, provided there are reliable sources. Yet also take the unpopular video game Hotel Mario for example. Even though this game received very bad reception, gameplay, cutscenes and all, this doesn’t make the game any less noteworthy. In short: Just because a celebrity or organization is “losing” doesn’t mean it’s not notable!

Not built[edit source | edit]

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  • Delete The proposed complex has not been built yet, therefore it is not notable. – UN-Finished, 00:00, 1 January 2000 (UTC)
  • Delete It is still under construction, so it can't be notable. – Under Construction, 00:01, 1 January 2000 (UTC)
  • Delete Construction work was delayed and has not resumed; not notable. – Delay Time, 00:02, 1 January 2000 (UTC)
  • Delete The article is incomplete, so it's not notable. – Not done, 00:03, 1 January 2000 (UTC)

Such arguments make no use of policies or guidelines to substantiate claims of non-notability.

Personal point of view[edit source | edit]

This section covers deletion arguments based on personal biases rather than policies or guidelines.

I like it[edit source | edit]

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  • Keep The Angry Young Popes are the best rock band in the world right now. – Superbestfan, 02:02, 2 February 2002 (UTC)
  • Keep Because he's so cool! – CoolestGuyEver, 02:03, 2 February 2002 (UTC)
  • Keep This is a really great article, and I think it should stay. – Peacock, 02:02, 2 February 2002 (UTC)
  • Keep I firmly believe this article is notable. – EpicBeliever, 18:38, 17 September 2018 (UTC)

Wikiafripedia editors are a pretty diverse group of individuals, and potentially any subject or topic may be liked or disliked by some editor somewhere. However, personal preference is not a valid reason to keep or delete an article or other content.

As stated at Wikiafripedia:Verifiability:

In Wikiafripedia, verifiability means that anyone using the encyclopedia can check that the information comes from a reliable source. Wikiafripedia does not publish original research. Its content is determined by previously published information rather than the beliefs or experiences of its editors. Even if you're sure something is true, it must be verifiable before you can add it.

In other words, a person or group may well be the greatest example of what they do in the history of everything, but if no other verifiable reliable sources have been written about them that are relevant to the scope of the article, they cannot be included. If your favourite song/computer game/webcomic/whatever is as great as you believe, someone will likely write about it eventually, so please just be patient.

In general, the scope and purpose of the article must be kept in mind when considering inclusion or exclusion of information or sources. When sources significantly deviate from the scope of an article's topic, or subject, this may create room for disputes. Therefore, careful considerations such as weight and relevance should also be taken into account in making decisions.

I don't like it[edit source | edit]

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  • Delete: The Great White Dopes are the worst rock band ever. – SuperCritic, 02:03, 2 February 2002 (UTC)
  • Delete: It's annoying. – IAmReallyAnnoyed, 03:03, 3 March 2003 (UTC)
  • Delete: No need. – NecessityIsTheMotherOfInvention, 06:07, 5 April 2004 (UTC)
  • Delete as cruft. – Cruftbane, 16:16, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Delete as trivia. – NoTriviaHere, 01:56, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Delete: I'm so ashamed this article is on Wikiafripedia. – Mortified_Molly, 01:31, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Delete: Got bored of reading. Not of interest to English-speakers. – HastyHannigan, 03:07, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Delete: This makes me look stupid! – Reputation Defender, 19:10, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Delete This offends me. – OnTheDefense, 11:47, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Delete It's offensive to my religion. – MyGodIsBetterThanYours, 16:56, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

This is the converse to I like it directly above. While some editors may dislike certain kinds of information, that alone isn't enough for something to be deleted. This may be coupled with (or replaced by) the unexplained claim that they feel that the information is "unencyclopedic" (see Just unencyclopedic, above). Such claims require an explanation of which policy the content fails and explanation of why that policy applies as the rationale for deletion. (See also Pointing at policy.) In fact, by the Law of Chance, everything will have likes and dislikes.

This may include subjective opinions concerning the usage of fair use images (see also WAP:NFCC), and the inclusion of what may be deemed trivia, or cruft. For example, while the "cruft" label is often used for anything perceived to be of minor interest (such as individual songs, or episodes of a TV show), it is worth considering carefully whether or not so-called "cruft" has potential for verifiable inclusion.

They don't like it[edit source | edit]

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  • Keep: It would be censorship to delete this. – For We Are Many, 13:37, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep. The Fooians don't want anyone to know this, we shouldn't bow to Fooian interests. – AntiFooian, 12:08, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep. We can't get rid of an article just because it makes people uncomfortable. – PoliticallyIncorrectHero, 17:26, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep. Baz supporters want to delete it because it makes Baz look bad. – OccupyBaz, 23:42, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

And on the converse of that converse (see I don't like it, directly above), while some editors may feel that deleting a page would be playing into the hands of a certain group, that alone isn't enough by itself for something to be kept. Wikiafripedia is not censored, but this fact does not supersede its guidelines on notability, verifiability, neutral point of view, original research, etc. In addition, if such an argument is used against the nominator specifically, it constitutes a failure to assume the nominator's good faith and if severe enough may constitute a personal attack.

It does sometimes happen, of course, that a user will nominate an article for deletion out of a desire to censor or hide the content, but one should be able to respond to these nominations with reliable sources and policy-based arguments. If the deletion rationale really is that thin, it should be easy to refute.

It's interesting[edit source | edit]

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  • Keep Interesting. – Fascinated, 05:05, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Delete Not interesting. – Borrrrrinnnnng, 05:05, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Delete Who cares about this stuff anyway? – Indifferent, 17:28, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Wikiafripedia editors are a pretty diverse group of individuals and our readers and potential readers include everyone on the planet. Any subject or topic may be of interest to someone, somewhere. And on the converse, there are any number of subjects or topics which an individual editor may not care about. However, personal interest or apathy is not a valid reason to keep or delete an article.

See also I like it and I don't like it, above.

It's useful/useless[edit source | edit]

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  • Keep This isn't encyclopedic content, but it's still useful. – Usefulisgood, 05:05, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Delete: No one is going to use this content, so we don't need it. – Judgmental, 03:03, 3 March 2003 (UTC)

Wikiafripedia is an encyclopedia, so it should include useful encyclopedic content. But many useful things do not belong in an encyclopedia and are excluded. Just saying something is useful or useless without providing explanation and context is not helpful or persuasive in the discussion. Remember, you need to say why the article is useful or useless; this way other editors can judge whether it's useful and encyclopedic, and whether it meets Wikiafripedia's policies. Without that explanation, it does not make a valid argument.

A list of all the phone numbers in New York would be useful, but is not included because Wikiafripedia is not a directory. A page simply defining the word useful would be useful, but is not included because Wikiafripedia is not a dictionary (we have Wiktionary for that). A guide to the best restaurants in Paris would be useful but is not included because Wikiafripedia is not a travel guide (there is a Wikivoyage for that). Usefulness is a subjective judgment and should be avoided in deletion debates unless it supports a cogent argument.

If reasons are given, "usefulness" can be the basis of a valid argument for inclusion. An encyclopedia should, by definition, be informative and useful to its readers. Try to exercise common sense, and consider how a non-trivial number of people will consider the information "useful". Information found in tables in particular is focused on usefulness to the reader. An argument based on usefulness can be valid if put in context. For example, "This list brings together related topics in X and is useful for navigating that subject."

There are some pages within Wikiafripedia that are supposed to be useful navigation tools and nothing more—disambiguation pages, categories, and redirects, for instance—so usefulness is the basis of their inclusion; for these types of pages, usefulness is a valid argument.

Building a solid case for deletion on the basis of uselessness is unlikely because of Wikiafripedia's notability policy. All of this project's notability criteria imply that knowledge about a subject that meets them is useful. Whether it's through substantial coverage in reliable sources, receipt of major awards, winning international competitions, or writing oft-cited scientific papers, we can infer that somebody has found the subject to be of substantial interest. Therefore, if information about a subject is genuinely of no use here, the better bet is to argue against inclusion on the grounds of a lack of notability.

It's harmful/harmless[edit source | edit]

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  • Keep Why delete this, it is not harming anyone. – Hippocrates2, 05:05, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Delete This article is very harmful to many people. Get rid of this now! – BiographyPolice, 15:01, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

No content on Wikiafripedia is censored. Just because an article does not directly hurt anyone does not mean the article should be kept. For example, if there has not been any verifiable information published in reliable sources about the subject, then there is no way to check whether the information in the article is true, and it may damage the reputation of the subject and the project. Even if it is true, without the ability to check it, false information could very well start to seep in.

As for articles that do not conform to our basic tenets (verifiability, notability, and using reliable sources), keeping them actually can do more harm than one realizes – it sets a precedent that dictates that literally anything can go here. (See below for that.)

But the purpose of an encyclopedia is to provide information: the potential readership or subjective usefulness of each item does not have to be justified if the material is notable.

The "it does not do any harm" claim and its rebuttal are at the center of the philosophical editing debate of inclusionism versus deletionism. For more information and arguments, see the Meta articles Inclusionism and Deletionism.

Note that in miscellany for deletion debates, whether or not something is harmful is often a relevant issue, since the rules provide that inherently disruptive pages, for instance, may be deleted. The argument "it's not hurting anything" is less persuasive, however, when WAP:NOT clearly prohibits the content in question (e.g. a full-fledged blog in userspace) from being hosted here.

Whether something is harmful or harmless are also valid arguments for and against deletion of redirects at Redirects for discussion. This normally centres around harm (or lack of) to the encyclopedia, e.g. from a redirect being misleading or in the way of other content. See Wikiafripedia:Redirects for discussion#When should we delete a redirect?.

It's funny[edit source | edit]

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  • Keep This article is hilarious. – ComedyExpert, 12:34, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Keep LMAO...this article is SOOOO friggin' funny!!!!ha ha ha . – Stand-upGal, 4:22, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Delete This article is hilarious. Obviously unencyclopedic!!!! – Meta-Parliamentarian, 12:34, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Wikiafripedia is not a repository of humor. Articles cannot be kept for their humor value alone, nor are they outright disqualified because they are on a topic an editor finds humorous. Furthermore, the intensely subjective nature of humor means that it can never be used as an indicator of worth in an encyclopedia where the merits of an article are determined by objective criteria (what is funny to one person may be dull and uninteresting to another; and perhaps downright offensive to a third.) This does not mean articles on humor-related topics have no place on Wikiafripedia: The Office (US TV series), Red vs. Blue, Buttered cat paradox and even unintentionally funny articles such as Exploding whale all have a place on Wikiafripedia. Articles should be kept or rejected because of ideas such as notability, verifiability, and lack of original research – not because they meet an editor's subjective view of humor. There are more appropriate places, even on Wikiafripedia, than in the article space.

It looks good[edit source | edit]

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  • Keep Article is well laid out with good graphics – Styleoversubstance,
  • Keep Very nice format and design, esp. the use of multicolour layout – Bauhaus11:0,
  • Keep Has been written by a professional Wikiafripedian; is complete with an infobox, pictures, and a navbox. – CompleteWellwrittenPage,
  • Delete This article has such an ugly format – FormatCritic,

While it is certainly a good thing for Wikiafripedia articles to be aesthetically pleasing or well laid out from a graphic design perspective, the mere appearance of an article is not a factor in whether the subject of the article is justifiably suitable for an article on Wikiafripedia.

It contains valuable information[edit source | edit]

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  • Keep: This was not an advertisement, but VALUABLE INFORMATION about our groundbreaking product that everyone on the Internet seeks on Wikiafripedia! – I. Wanda Publicize-Sumthin,
  • Keep: This article is for a really good is about a charitable group that is trying to save children – SaveTheKids!Please!,
  • Delete: The government of Utopistan notes that military information on this article helps insurgents to plan attacks. – SaveTheTroops!Please!,

Wikiafripedia is not the place to seek publicity for a cause, product, individual, ideology, etc. Promotional or partisan "information" in particular generally fails Wikiafripedia's requirements of neutrality and verifiability. See also WAP:INDISCRIMINATE, WAP:NOBLECAUSE and "It's useful".

It's valuable[edit source | edit]

Template:ATA shortcut notice Examples:

  • Keep valuable. – My precious, 05:05, 16 Demember 2012 (UTC)
  • Delete adds nothing of value – Scrouge, 05:05, 16 Demember 2012 (UTC)

Value is subjective. Simply saying it has value or no value without substantiating the position of why or how is not a helpful or persuasive contribution to a discussion. Remember, you need to say why the article or addition has value or does not; this way other editors can judge its value in a certain context, and whether it meets Wikiafripedia's policies. Without that explanation, it does not make a valid argument.

See also WAP:VALINFO and "It's useful".

Surmountable problems[edit source | edit]

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A common maxim is that "Articles for Deletion is not cleanup". Consider that Wikiafripedia is a work in progress and articles should not be deleted as punishment because no one has felt like cleaning them up yet. Remember, Wikiafripedia has no deadline. If there's good, eventually sourceable, content in the article, it should be developed and improved, not deleted. (If there is no usable content, however, it may well be best to delete.)

Note: The question on whether a poor but improvable article ought to be deleted has been a major point of contention, and has given rise to the wiki-philosophies immediatism and eventualism. However, some articles do reach the so-called TNT tipping point: an article should exist, but the article (and all the versions in history) is too deeply flawed to work from. When that point is reached, deletion provides a reset, and give editors a clean slate.

Poorly written article[edit source | edit]

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  • Delete The article is rubbish. – TrashTalker, 13:13, 08 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Delete Article is messy and poorly laid out. – LostWillToFix,
  • Delete It's not referenced properly – Lazy1, 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Delete It has such an awful title – JudgeAbookByItsCover, 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Delete Half the article is in Spanish! MonoLingual 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Keep We'll find some sources later – NotRightNow, 01:01, 1 January 2001 (UTC)
  • Keep This article needs improvement, not deletion. – ButIgottaGo, 04:23, 2 January 2001 (UTC)

In the Wiki model, an article which may currently be poorly written, poorly formatted, lack sufficient sources, or not be a comprehensive overview of the subject, can be improved and rewritten to fix its current flaws. That such an article is lacking in certain areas is a relatively minor problem, and such articles can still be of benefit to Wikiafripedia. In other words, the remedy for such an article is cleanup, not deletion.

By the same token, asserting that an article merely needs improvement to withstand a deletion nomination is not a persuasive argument to retain it. Perhaps improvement in the form of adding multiple references to reliable, independent, non-trivial discussion of the subject would indeed demonstrate its notability, but asserting that an article "needs improvement, not deletion" is not the same as providing evidence of such a possibility.

Some articles have well-written text and references. But the one thing poor about them is the title. There is a simple solution to this: rename it! If you are not able to move the article yourself for one reason or another, request someone else do it rather than nominate the whole article for deletion.

With that said, if an article is so bad that it is harmful in its current state, then deleting now, and possibly recreating it later, remains an option. For example, problems like copyright infringement, advertising, patent nonsense, or unsourced negative statements in biographies of living people, need to be resolved as quickly as possible.

Offline sources only[edit source | edit]

For further information, see Wikiafripedia:Offline sources

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  • Delete The only sources given are offline. – Cantmakeittothelibrary, 03:29, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Delete With only offline sources given, there is no proof that this is not a hoax. – The Secret Keeper, 03:29, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Delete One look online shows that this does not even exist. – Jumping to conclusions, 03:29, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Delete Google Books only allows you to see pages 1-45 of this book, and the source claims it's on page 57. – Restricted access, 03:29, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Delete All the sources given have fallen victim to linkrot. Therefore, we have no way of knowing about this. – Evidence Destroyed, 03:29, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Delete The book sources don't have any ISBNs, so they must be fake. IAmANumber, 03:29, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

On Wikiafripedia, we assume good faith. There is no distinction between using online versus offline sources. Offline sources are just as legitimate as those that are accessible to everyone online. If offline sources, even exclusively offline sources, are used to reference an article, we give the creator (and other contributors) the benefit of the doubt in accepting their accuracy. Since Wikiafripedia is written collaboratively, it is always possible for other editors to add online sources on top of the offline ones already there. However, this is not a requirement, and they need not exist to sustain the article.

If an editor seeking deletion believes the creator placed fictitious references in the article to make a hoax seem legitimate, the burden of proof is on the one seeking deletion. This will only occur with definitive proof or knowledge that these sources are really fictitious, and not based simply on a hunch. As with the offline sources themselves, online proof that they do not exist is not needed. Good faith is assumed just as much if the editor seeking deletion knows beyond a reasonable doubt that the source does not exist or does not state what is in the article.

Nobody's working on it (or impatience with improvement)[edit source | edit]

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  • Delete Article has been here for 2 years and is still a stub! – TheyDidntWork, 03:29, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Delete I gave them six months for someone to add cites, they didn't, and I have lost my patience. – My Way or the Highway, 01:33, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Delete Creator has totally neglected this article – Plant and run, 03:29, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Delete This is not the first, not the second, but the tenth time I put this up for deletion, all because the problems were not solved. Each time, User:WantItKept promised they would improve it after the discussion was closed. But that never happened. And User:WantItKept keeps reneging on his promise. Last straw was long ago, 03:29, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Delete We've been waiting 10 long years for this article to improve. By now we know it'll never happen, and we can all agree this article doesn't belong. Time to give up, 03:29, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Keep I know I can improve it, I just have no time now to explain how. PrettyPleaseWithACherryOnTop, 03:29, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Sometimes an article is nominated for deletion that is not being worked on very much, or has not been edited by a person for a long time, and thus might not be in very good shape. This does not necessarily mean that the topic is unsuitable for Wikiafripedia; it may be that the topic is obscure or difficult to write about. An article should be assessed based on whether it has a realistic potential for expansion, not how frequently it has been edited to date. Remember that there is no deadline.

The article shouldn't be deleted for its current status only because no one has improved it yet. Such deletion would prevent editors from improving it in the future. Conversely it's not enough to promise to make the article better; editors should explain how to do it. If the editor fails to follow through on the promise, other editors who arrive later can step in and keep improving it. This way, the article's fate is not dependent on one single editor doing the work; Wikiafripedia is written in a collaborative way.

A variation of this is a WAP:POINT: an editor wants an article improved but lacks the time or skills to actually improve it, so the article is nominated for deletion in the hope that another editor will take notice and improve the article during its pending deletion period and before the artificial deadline of the deletion process.

In some other cases, especially list articles describing a finite set, the article may already be complete and current. Such an article thus hasn't been worked on in X amount of time because there's nothing that needs to be added to it at the present time.

Not all articles on Wikiafripedia look perfect. Most readers on Wikiafripedia already know they won't get all the information they are looking for from Wikiafripedia alone. Even if an article is not the best, even if it remains that way for many years, it can still provide some readers with just what they're looking for, and this is enough to make it worthy.

The concept of ownership of articles is typically thought of to oppose a creator's rights to have it their own way. It can also be extended to say that once an article has been created and it meets inclusion guidelines, the creator has no obligation thereafter to maintain the article. Therefore, if one creates an article that appears to meet guidelines for a standalone article, but abandons any effort to complete or update it thereafter, regardless of whether that editor has been actively editing on Wikiafripedia, the article cannot be deleted on these grounds.

When the article is a very badly-written article on a small aspect of a bigger field, removing unverifiable content and stubbing the article, or redirecting some of the articles after merging any useful content to a more general article, are better choices than deleting.


  • Articles that are unambiguous advertising or promotion may be speedy deleted; less unambiguous cases might well be deleted at articles for deletion, if there is little to no content worth saving.
  • While these sorts of arguments may not be good arguments for deletion, they are excellent arguments for a merge in cases where an excessive number of subarticles exists. Merge is a perfectly acceptable vote in a deletion discussion.