Wikiafripedia:Deletion process

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The deletion process encompasses the processes involved in implementing and recording the community's decisions to delete or keep pages and media.

Normally, a deletion discussion must be held to form a consensus to delete a page. In general, administrators are responsible for closing these discussions, though non-administrators in good standing may close them under specific conditions. However, editors may propose the deletion of a page if they believe that it would be an uncontroversial candidate for deletion. In some circumstances, a page may be speedily deleted if it meets strict criteria set by consensus.

Note: Office actions and declarations from the Wikimedia Foundation Board or the system administrators, particularly concerning copyright, legal issues, or server load, may take priority over community consensus.

Speedy deletion[edit source | edit]

The speedy deletion process applies to pages which meet at least one of the criteria for speedy deletion, which specify the only cases in which administrators have broad consensus support to, at their discretion, bypass deletion discussion and immediately delete Wikiafripedia pages or media.

Before deleting a page through the speedy deletion process, verify that it meets at least one of the criteria for speedy deletion, check the page history to assess whether it would instead be possible to revert and salvage a previous version and to determine whether there was a cut-and-paste move involved, and search for other information which may impact the need or reason for deletion:

  • The initial edit summary may have information about the source of or reason for the page.
  • The talk page may refer to previous deletion discussions or have ongoing discussion relevant to including the page.
  • The page log may have information about previous deletions that could warrant SALTing the page or keeping it.
  • WhatLinksHere may show that the page is an oft-referred part of the encyclopedia, or may show other similar pages that warrant deletion. For pages that should not be recreated, incoming links in other pages (except in discussions, archives and tracking pages) should be removed.

If a page is not appropriate for speedy deletion, the page must be edited to remove the speedy deletion tag—this will, in turn, remove the page from Category:Candidates for speedy deletion. Consider notifying the editor who suggested deletion.

When deleting a page through the speedy deletion process, specify the reason for deletion in the deletion summary so that it will be recorded into the deletion log. Quoting page content in the deletion summary may be helpful, but must not be done for attack content or copyrighted text. In some cases, it would be appropriate to notify the page's creator of the deletion.

Proposed deletion[edit source | edit]

The proposed deletion process applies to articles and files that do not meet the stringent criteria for speedy deletion, but for which it is believed that deletion would be uncontroversial. In this process, an editor places a tag on the article or the file, and any editor can remove the tag to save the page. If the tag remains after seven days, the page can be deleted. For instructions on handling articles and files that have been proposed for deletion, see Wikiafripedia:Proposed deletion#Deletion.

Deletion discussions[edit source | edit]

The deletion discussion processes apply to pages which are formally nominated for deletion through an appropriate deletion discussion venue. Although the steps for closing deletion discussions vary from one deletion discussion venue to another, a few general principles apply at all venues.

Deletion venues[edit source | edit]

Deletion venues (or deletion forums) are the six places to propose a page not eligible for speedy deletion be deleted:

Deletion venues
Discussion type Scope Reasons for deletion / Starting a discussion[note 1] / Closing instructions
Articles for deletion (AfD) Articles and other pages in the main namespace (e.g. disambiguation pages), excluding redirects.[note 2] Reasons for deletion
Starting a discussion
Speedy process: PRODCSD
Closing instructions
Categories for discussion (CfD) Categories and stub templates. Reasons for deletion
Starting a discussion
Speedy process
Closing instructions
Files for discussion (FfD) Files (most of which are images). Reasons for deletion
Starting a discussion
Speedy process
Closing instructions
Miscellany for deletion (MfD)
Reasons for deletion
Starting a discussion
Speedy process
Closing instructions
Redirects for discussion (RfD) Redirects in any namespace. Reasons for deletion
Starting a discussion
Speedy process
Closing instructions
Templates for discussion (TfD) Pages in the Template: and Module: namespaces, excluding stub templates, userboxes, and redirects.[note 3] Reasons for deletion
Starting a discussion
Speedy process
Closing instructions.
Requested moves (RM) While primarily for renaming (moving) pages, may result in deletion (e.g. of a redirect or trivial content at the target page name) or merger.

Use for all rename discussions other than for categories and stub templates (both of which are done at Wikiafripedia:Categories for discussion).

When to use RM
Starting a discussion
Speedy process
Closing instructions
  1. The process of starting a discussion is greatly aided by the use of Twinkle, a software package available to any autoconfirmed user.
  2. There is also proposed deletion, an alternative system to suggest uncontroversial delayed speedy deletion of pages in the article namespace after a notice has been present for seven days.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Established policies, guidelines, and process pages, along with templates related to them, should not be nominated at deletion venues, because it is outside of their prerogative to modify or revoke policy. Instead, start a discussion on the talk page of the concerned page or at the village pump.
Review venues
Discussion type Scope Closing instructions
Deletion review (DRV) For appealing the deletion of a page or outcome of a deletion discussion that appears to be against community consensus, if the request is outside of the scope of requests for undeletion, and after discussing with the deleting administrator or closer respectively. Purpose
Starting a discussion
Closing instructions
Move review (MR) For appealing the closure of a requested move, including one that resulted in a deletion or merger, if it appears to be against consensus or proper closing procedure, and after discussing with the closer. Purpose
Starting a discussion
Closing instructions

Consensus[edit source | edit]

Consensus is formed through the careful consideration, dissection and eventual synthesis of different perspectives presented during the discussion, and is not calculated solely by number of votes.

Outcomes should reflect the rough consensus reached in the deletion discussion and community consensus on a wider scale. (While consensus can change, consensus among a limited group of editors, at one place and time, cannot override community consensus on a wider scale.)

Concerns about conduct or views[edit source | edit]

  • Inappropriate canvassing and suspected meatpuppetry: Evaluate whether it has influenced the outcome of the discussion in a way that compromised the standard consensus-building process. If appropriate, remind participants that deletion discussions are not a vote, and link to a suitable information page. Remember to assume good faith in your tone – the participants may well intend to help by doing what they think is right.
  • Sock-puppetry: If blatant, individual comments may be tagged (this is likely to be seen as lacking good faith or offensive if the case is not clear). If unsure, report as usual for suspected sock-puppetry, and indicate your concern and reason in the debate for the closer and future participants, but in a way that addresses the debate rather than attacking the user.
  • Conflict between the views expressed and Wikiafripedia's policies and guidelines (e.g., an inappropriate supermajority view without an appropriate basis): Remember that you have quite a few options. These include commenting yourself, rather than closing, or extending the period of discussion, noting this is done due to concerns and to allow other editors to comment. Also remember that nobody is obligated to close a discussion, nor is it crucial that a discussion be closed immediately once its week-long run has ended.

Deletion requested by subject[edit source | edit]

Deletion discussions concerning biographies of living persons who are relatively unknown, non-public figures, where the subject has requested deletion and there is no rough consensus to keep, may be closed as 'delete' per the deletion policy and BLP policy (request for deletion). Closers should review these policies to confirm the criteria are met, and then use their discretion.

Common outcomes[edit source | edit]

A deletion discussion may end with one of a number of distinct outcomes, with certain outcomes being more common at certain deletion discussion venues.

When considering closing a discussion, be aware that:

  • Other (non-standard) decisions, and "combinations", may sometimes be appropriate at the closer's discretion. For example, "Merge and delete" or "Rename and merge". The closer should aim in any case, to decide based upon consensus, and policy and community norms.
  • It can sometimes be useful to provide a brief explanatory note, to make the rationale for the decision clear – this is especially true in heated and high public profile cases, or where many views will be given little weight (or a few views given substantial weight), or where the basis of the close may be misunderstood or reviewed by others.
  • There is never an obligation to close – in some cases (see "concerns") it may be preferable to comment oneself, instead, even if the "due date" for closing has been reached, and leave the close to another user.
Common outcomes
Outcome Commonly used for Details
Keep All A rough consensus to retain (i.e. not delete) a page, though not necessarily in its current form. To implement a 'keep' outcome: close the deletion discussion as 'keep'; edit the page to remove the deletion notice; and record the outcome on the page's talk page using one of several venue-specific templates (see 'Step-by-step instructions' for details).
Delete All A rough consensus to remove (i.e. not retain) a page, including its entire revision history. To implement a 'delete' outcome: close the deletion discussion as 'delete'; delete the page, and link to the deletion discussion in the deletion summary; and, if the page should not be recreated, remove incoming links in other pages (except in discussions, archives and tracking pages).
No consensus All A lack of a rough consensus for any one particular action. To implement a 'no consensus' outcome: close the deletion discussion as 'no consensus'; edit the page to remove the deletion notice; and record the outcome on the page's talk page using one of several venue-specific templates (see 'Step-by-step instructions' for details).
Move (non-category pages), or
Rename (categories)
All Issues to be addressed by changing the page title (and perhaps then expanding or improving its content). This can happen at AFD especially, if the article could be suitable for Wikiafripedia, but is created under an inappropriate title, and was nominated for deletion, but consensus agrees it is fixable if the title is changed. Categories require a different method than other pages:
  • Non-category pages – renaming is achieved using the page move function without deletion.
  • Categories – deletion is required to change the name.
Merge Articles, categories, templates This combines two separate pages into a single page. Merge votes should be specific and clear. If you wish to merge templates or categories, use the deletion discussions. If you wish to merge articles, do not use a deletion discussion, but instead discuss it on the talk page.
Disambiguate (or "Dabify") Articles, redirects If the discussion concludes that the title can refer to many topics, it can be changed to a disambiguation page to list all of them.
Redirect Articles, templates, miscellaneous pages This would be used if the page has no unique and usable content, but information about the topic is found in another article.
Userfy Articles, templates, miscellaneous pages This would move the page into the creator's userspace so that they may make improvements. If Wikiafripedia essays are nominated, they will sometimes be moved to userspace if they are found to violate policies or guidelines.
Incubate (or "Draftify") Articles This changes the article into a draft to be improved so that it meets inclusion requirements.
Delete but allow undeleting with an appropriate licence Files If a file is only deleted due to copyright issues, it could be re-uploaded if these issues are resolved
Listify Categories This means to delete the category and create a list article instead.
Retarget Redirects This means that the redirect should lead to a different page.
Refine (or "Keep and refine") Redirects The redirect should lead to a specific section of the page it currently targets (e.g. AfricaAfrica#History)

Deletion discussions needing action before their end date[edit source | edit]

Nomination errors and issues[edit source | edit]

In certain situations, a deletion discussion may require correcting, moving elsewhere, or a null outcome ("procedural close"), due to issues with the deletion nomination rather than the merits of the page itself:

Error Correction
No deletion notice on nominated page The best course of action is to add the tag and note that you've done so. The time of tagging would then be treated as the nomination time.
Currently linked from Main Page If the nominated page is currently linked from the Main Page, remove any tag from the page itself. Then, if there are legitimate concerns, please use Wikiafripedia:Main Page/Errors to have the link removed before nominating the article. If there are clearly none, or the nomination is disruptive, the nomination page should be closed early (see 'speedy close').
Nomination is an immediate objection to a prior deletion outcome, more appropriate for deletion review List it at deletion review on the nominator's behalf, and link it appropriately (including linking it from the closed discussion), notify the nominator, and close the deletion discussion.
Venue inappropriate (e.g., a file hosted on Commons, category or redirect at AFD, or discussions that the chosen venue is unable to address) List the topic at the correct venue, notify the nominator, and close the discussion and provide a link to the new discussion. Never close a discussion as a wrong venue without opening a discussion at an appropriate one.
Page does not exist or has already been deleted prior to the nomination Close the discussion, and place a notice on the nominator's talk page. It is entirely possible that they may have mistyped the page name, or that the page was already deleted before they could start the deletion discussion. If the former was the case, politely tell the nominator to properly start a new discussion with the correct title, and the time they start the new discussion will be treated as the nomination time.

A deletion discussion that is poorly formatted should not be closed for this reason alone, in order to avoid biting new users. Instead, fix it.

Early closure[edit source | edit]

In general, deletion discussions should remain open for at least seven days (168 hours) to allow interested editors adequate time to participate. However, under certain circumstances, discussions may be closed prior to the seven-day timeframe.

Closers should apply good judgment before speedily closing a discussion, since often it is best to allow the discussion to continue for the entirety of the seven-day period.

Reason Explanation
Withdrawn nomination

While the nominator may withdraw their nomination at any time, if subsequent editors have suggested an outcome besides keep or added substantive comments unrelated to deletion, the discussion should not be closed simply because the nominator wishes to withdraw it.

  • Early closure is inappropriate where it appears that the withdrawal is simply an attempt to short-circuit an ongoing discussion.
  • If the nominator appears to have genuinely changed their mind due to other views expressed, the discussion should not be considered withdrawn. Instead, consider whether to use any of the early closures below.
Speedy keep A "speedy keep" close is warranted when the nominator withdraws the nomination or fails to advance an argument for deletion or redirection—perhaps only proposing an alternative action such as moving or merging—and no one other than the nominator recommends that the page be deleted or redirected. A "speedy keep" outcome is also appropriate when the nomination unquestionably is an attempt to vandalize or to otherwise create disruption. For example:
  • Nominations which are clearly an attempt to end an editing dispute through deletion (possibly in an attempt to game the system), when dispute resolution would be a more appropriate course.
  • Nominations which are made solely to provide a forum for disruption (this includes editor harassment).
  • The nominated page is a policy or guideline. The deletion process is not a forum for policy concerns.
  • Frivolous or vexatious nominations (recently featured articles, for example). This includes re-nominating the same page with the same arguments immediately after they were strongly rejected in a recently closed deletion discussion.
  • Nominations which are so erroneous that they indicate that the nominator has not even read the article in question.
  • The nominator is banned, so their edits are not to be retained. In that case, the nominated page is speedily kept while the nomination can be tagged with {{db-g5}} and speedily deleted as a banned contribution. However, if subsequent editors have added substantive comments in good faith, the nomination should not be speedily closed (though the nominator's opinion will be discounted in the closure decision).
Speedy delete
(see also § Speedy deletion)
When the nominated page unambiguously falls within any criteria for speedy deletion, particularly criterion G10 (attack page) or criterion G12 (copyright violation), it is not necessary to wait until the end of the discussion period.
Snowball clause The "snowball clause" exists to avoid process for the sake of process, or when the outcome of the deletion discussion is, or has become, almost certain, such that there is not a "snowball's chance in hell" that the outcome will be anything other than what is expected, and there is clearly no need at all to prolong discussion further.

This clause should not be used to close a discussion when a particular outcome is merely "likely" or "highly likely", and there is a genuine and reasoned basis for disagreement. This is because deletion discussions are not a vote; it is important to be reasonably sure that there is little or no chance of accidentally excluding significant input or perspectives, or changing the weight of different views, if closed early. Especially, closers should beware of interpreting "early pile on" as necessarily showing how a discussion will end up. This can sometimes happen when a topic attracts high levels of attention from those engaged (or having a specific view) but slower attention from other less involved editors, perhaps with other points of view. It can sometimes be better to allow a few extra days even if current discussion seems very clearly to hold one opinion, to be sure that it really will be a snowball and as a courtesy to be sure that no significant input will be excluded if closed very soon.

No quorum[edit source | edit]

If a nomination has received few or no comments from any editor with no one opposing deletion, and the article hasn't been declined for proposed deletion in the past, the closing administrator should treat the XfD nomination as an expired PROD and follow the instructions listed at Wikiafripedia:Proposed deletion#Procedure for administrators. Generally, this will result in soft deletion (see below), but administrators should evaluate the nominating statement as they would a PROD rationale. Closing an unopposed XfD nomination under this procedure does not require the discussion to have been relisted any particular number of times.

If the nomination has received very few or no comments but appears controversial to the closing administrator, or has been declined for proposed deletion in the past, the discussion may be closed at the closer's discretion and best judgement. Common options include, but are not limited to:

  • relisting the discussion (see the section 'Relisting discussions');
  • closing as "no consensus" with no prejudice against speedy renomination (NPASR);
  • closing in favour of the nominator's stated proposal;
  • soft deleting the article.

Soft deletion is a special kind of deletion which may be used after an article's deletion discussion. If a deletion discussion receives minimal participation, the article may be deleted. However, in this case, the article can be restored for any reason on request. If your article was soft-deleted, you can request it be restored at Requests for undeletion. The closer should make it clear the deletion is a soft delete as part of the close, ideally with a link to this guideline.

There is consensus among the community that problematic or likely-problematic articles[1] with an appropriate redirection target may be blanked and redirected by any editor if there are no objections. This similarly applies to deletion nominations as well; if no editor suggests that the corresponding article should be kept, then redirection is an option.

Closing discussions that run their full time[edit source | edit]

Discussions are usually closed after seven days (168 hours). If there is a lack of comments, or the action to take is unclear, the discussion may be relisted for an additional seven days. Usually, both closing and relisting are administrator actions.

Closing instructions
Discussion type Information page Instructions for closing
Articles for deletion (AfD) Wikiafripedia:Articles for deletion

Wikiafripedia:Articles for deletion/Administrator instructions

Categories for discussion (CfD) Wikiafripedia:Categories for discussion

Wikiafripedia:Categories for discussion/Administrator instructions

Files for discussion (FfD) Wikiafripedia:Files for discussion

Wikiafripedia:Files for discussion/Administrator instructions

Miscellany for deletion (MfD) Wikiafripedia:Miscellany for deletion

Wikiafripedia:Miscellany for deletion/Administrator instructions

Redirects for discussion (RfD) Wikiafripedia:Redirects for discussion

Wikiafripedia:Redirects for discussion/Administrator instructions

Templates for discussion (TfD) Wikiafripedia:Templates for discussion

Wikiafripedia:Templates for discussion/Administrator instructions

Deletion review (DRV) Wikiafripedia:Deletion review

Wikiafripedia:Deletion review/Administrator instructions

Relisting discussions[edit source | edit]

The intent of the deletion process is to attempt to determine consensus on whether an article should be deleted.

However, if at the end of the initial seven-day period, the discussion has only a few participants (including the nominator), and/or it seems to be lacking arguments based on policy, it may be appropriate for the closer to relist it, to solicit further discussion to determine consensus.[2] Discussions where there is minimal participation should be evaluated by the closing administrator as an expired PROD before deciding whether it is appropriate to relist. A relisted discussion may be closed once consensus is determined without necessarily waiting a further seven days.

That said, relisting should not be a substitute for a "no consensus" closure. If the closer feels there has been substantive debate, disparate opinions supported by policy have been expressed, and consensus has not been achieved, a no-consensus close may be preferable.

Relisting debates repeatedly in the hope of getting sufficient participation is not recommended, and while having a deletion notice on a page is not harmful, its presence over several weeks can become disheartening for its editors. Therefore, in general, debates should not be relisted more than twice. Users relisting a debate for a third (or further) time, or relisting a debate with a substantial number of commenters, should write a short explanation either within the {{relist}} template, or in addition to it, on why they did not consider the debate sufficient. However, if adding comments within {{relist}}, please keep in mind that this is a Wikiafripedia administration template, and should not be used to give priority to one's own desired outcome.

When relisting a discussion, it should be removed from the log for its original date (this does not apply at Categories for discussion) and moved to the current date's log where the discussion will continue. Scripts such as User:Evad37/XFDcloser automate the process.

Non-administrators closing discussions[edit source | edit]

For further information, see Wikiafripedia:Non-admin closure

In general, administrators are responsible for closing deletion discussions, but non-administrators who are registered (i.e. not IPs) may close discussions, with the following provisions:

  • Like all discussions, deletion discussions must be decided in accordance with consensus and Wikiafripedia policies and guidelines. If you are not fairly experienced, or are unfamiliar with deletion policy or the workings of deletion discussions, do not close such discussions.
  • Close calls and controversial decisions are better left to admins.
  • Non-administrators should limit their closes to outcomes they have the technical ability to implement; for example, non-admins should not close a discussion as delete, because only admins can delete pages.
    • Exception: a non-administrator may close a TfD as orphan.[3]
  • Do not close discussions in which you have offered an opinion, or for a page in which you have a vested interest (i.e. a page that you have edited heavily). Exception: closing your own withdrawn nomination as a speedy keep, when all other viewpoints were for keep as well.
  • Non-admins should indicate their non-admin status with the
  1. REDIRECT Template:Template link

("non-admin close") template, which should always be substituted e.g.

    • {{subst:afd top}} '''Keep''' per [[WAP:SNOW]]. {{subst:nac}} ~~~~

If an administrator has deleted a page (including by speedy deletion) but neglected to close the discussion, anyone may close the discussion provided that the administrator's name and deletion summary are included in the closing rationale.

Closures may only be reopened by the closer themselves; by an uninvolved administrator in their individual capacity, giving their reasoning; or by consensus at deletion review. If this happens, take it only as a sign that the decision was not as obvious as you thought. Editors reopening discussions are advised to notify the original closer.

Transwiki[edit source | edit]

If consensus indicates a transwiki should take place, but you do not want to complete the transwiki process immediately:

  1. Add a new entry to Wikiafripedia:Articles for deletion/Old/Transwiki.
  2. Add the appropriate tag to the article:

Pages with many revisions[edit source | edit]

The deletion of pages with long histories may impact server performance. As a precaution, therefore, deletions of pages with more than 5,000 revisions require the special "bigdelete" user right, which administrators do not have. Such deletions can be requested of stewards at meta:Steward requests/Miscellaneous.

Search all deletion discussions[edit source | edit]

To search for any mention of an existing fullpagename of interest in "all discussion types" listed above, go to the page of interest, and preview this line in any of its wikitext: {{ #lst: WAP: Deletion process | search links }} These three search links will then appear in this box (but in warning coloration):

From that preview, activate a search. From search results, modify the query, return to the preview, or not. Preview is safe. Return and search all three.

Notes[edit source | edit]

  1. Usually articles unreferenced for years.
  2. However, discussions with minimal participation where no one opposes deletion should be closed per WAP:NOQUORUM.
  3. See this July 2015 discussion.

See also[edit source | edit]