Deleting Deletionism

Everyone who isn’t wrong loves Wikipedia and how it has affected the world. But there are many people who feel alienated and disillusioned by the culture that has developed within the editorial ranks.
The disillusionment obviously has many different faces (which is how the bizarre and ridiculous Conservapedia got started) and disagreement is always going to be an issue in a site like Wikipedia. But there is one aspect of the editor culture that really gets on my tits, and on the collective tits of most people that I know in the real world (who care about wikipedia); it’s the new concept of Deletionism.
Apart from having an abominable name, it is an abominable concept: that removing articles on the basis of the nebulous concept of “notability” improves the quality of Wikipedia. This idea, under reductio ad absurdum, results in removing all articles to achieve total quality.
Now, in my case at least, this isn’t a NIMBY argument; weirdly, articles that I have created or care about still exist. My personal beef is with articles I’ve linked to in the past, which have since disappeared! Surely, if people link to them from an article deemed “notable” they they themselves are notable! Google would defend me on that assertion.
But all is not lost, and if you are also annoyed by the deletionist vandals then it is your duty to take action! Stop whinging, and take action people! It doesn’t take much work either.
One random evening I was particularly irritated by the deletion of the article “Bhuna” and, if you follow the previous link, you’ll see what was said. For posterity, the sage advice given to me was as follows:

  • Importance is not a reason for inclusion or exclusion, notability is. You have to find references to it in newspapers journals or books. That’s the only way Wikipedia has of measuring ‘imporance’, not the number of interested people which no one has measured. If you can find a survey saying lots of people are interested that would establish notability in itself! You can always contest a proposed deletion by removing the tag – it says so when such a tag is stuck on an article. Dmcq (talk) 11:39, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
  • You can also recruit people to contest a deletion by putting a notice about it on a relevant project page or closely related article talk page. See WP:Canvassing and beware of votestacking described there. Dmcq (talk) 12:17, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Talking to the deleting admin, going to WP:REFUND or seeking a deletion review are options. Only articles meeting the criteria for speedy deletion can be deleted by a single user. WP:PROD stays open a week and can be contested by anyone at any time, even after deletion. WP:AFD invites input from anyone and the closing admin considers consensus, so rarely does one user’s whim decide AFD debates. Fences&Windows 01:15, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

So, here’s what to do if an article you value is deleted:

  1. See if you can find the original article’s source somewhere (Google is your friend here because so many sites scrape and keep Wikipedia).
  2. Recreate the article using the material.
  3. Wikify it as much as you can and link to references!
  4. Check it regularly! if someone tries to delete it, take the above advice and fight your corner.
  5. Repeat.

Good luck.


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