Wikivoyage talk:Deletion policy/Archive 2004-2013

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I added a note to the procedure about adding {{msg:vfd}} to pages listed on Project:votes for deletion. I think this is courteous to people who are reading or editing the page -- not everyone checks v.f.d. frequently. Comments, suggestions, or changes welcome. And, of course, any modifications to MediaWiki:vfd to make it clearer and more helpful would be useful. --(WT-en) Evan 15:01, 21 Jun 2004 (EDT)

7 days? and more concrete procedure?[edit]

It seems the "7 days" time isn't even mentioned on this page. Also, I think 7 days is too short for Wikivoyage. It's okay for the English language Wikipedia, since there are many active people there, but for instance the Dutch Wikipedia, with nearly 30.000 articles, waits a fortnight before going over to deletion... Here the activity is a bit lower, and many people don't come here every 2 weeks.

Another thing is that there is no mention of what majority is needed to delete an article... (WT-en) Guaka 07:26, 22 Jun 2004 (EDT)

Articles and images are presumed guilty until proven innocent. This is too harsh! Especially if there are only 7 days of discussion! This way any article can be deleted if there are only couple of people of bad will..!

Also, there is no mention of the different namespaces. Also, articles in the Wikivoyage: namespace should be treated differently: why delete a page that won't stop anyone from improving the travel guide when some people who think it can actually improve the process?

A couple of responses: I'm perfectly happy with expanding the time limit for input to 14 days. I wouldn't want to go much longer than that, though.
Second, I think having an undeletion policy -- see below -- would probably help alleviate any problems a short voting cycle may cause.
There's no clear majority needed for the "votes", because we try to reach consensus. Voting makes winners and losers, and I don't think we need that. I'd rather get to creative solutions together.
The rule that articles and images are guilty until proven innocent is a philosophical choice for editing this guide. It's one of our main policies -- that content that doesn't help us meet our goals doesn't belong in Wikivoyage. I think it's helped us keep focused on the work, rather than having a lot of rambling.
As to bad will: we AssumeGoodFaith here. I think if we generally treat other Wikivoyagers with respect, and trust them to try to do what's best for the project, we're all going to work together well and get good results. It's expected that people won't put pages on VfD maliciously, and if they do, consensus will weigh against it. This has worked pretty well so far. When pages have been listed by mistake -- people who don't grok how Wikivoyage's laid out -- those cases have been dealt with pretty well, too.
Lastly, I don't see a good reason to have pages in different namespaces handled differently. I think every page should be considered on a case-by-case basis. --(WT-en) Evan 19:45, 23 Jun 2004 (EDT)
Guilty until proven innocent doesn't mix wel with assuming good faith.
Pages in the Wikivoyage: namespace won't end up in a printed version of Wikivoyage. These pages have a different goal, and thus we should allow them to be less focussed on the direct goal. (WT-en) Guaka 05:50, 24 Jun 2004 (EDT)
I don't think we have to ascribe any intentions, emotions, or thoughts to articles and images themselves. I think we'll have a very hard time doing any editing if we personify the words and pictures!
The point of having articles and text be guilty until proven innocent is that we have a higher standard for keeping pages around than "somebody wants it" or "it doesn't do any harm".
I don't think the Wikivoyage: pages have a different goal from the rest of the site. They're just the underpinning. They help us get our work done and communicate with each other. I think the same rules are fair for all the namespaces. --(WT-en) Evan 12:07, 24 Jun 2004 (EDT)
I agree that text in the article namespace is without any intentions or emotions. But the text on Talk pages, and other pages, is often written to express a certain view or emotion. And that is good. Go and take a look at Wikipedia... The goal is to create an encyclopedia, but people are using it for lots of other things, to meet up even. And all these things help creating the encyclopedia, although that is not clear at first sight. The list of Wikipedians by pet for instance. One can laugh about it. But these people tend to socialize and write good encyclopedic articles about their pets together...
In my opinion there is a huge space between the higher standard and "somebody wants it" or "it doesn't do any harm"... (WT-en) Guaka 12:41, 24 Jun 2004 (EDT)
So, you're arguing something very particular, and my more general point is that I don't think we need to make special deletion rules for the different namespaces.
Where we want to deal with those namespaces differently, we can do it on a case-by-case basis, rather than enshrining them in rules. We don't have any special handling for User: pages in the deletion policy, for instance -- we just understand that there are different metrics for deciding whether or not to delete a User: page than a page in the main namespace. I think that can work in the Wikivoyage: namespace, too. --(WT-en) Evan 13:05, 24 Jun 2004 (EDT)

Shortening Time[edit]

I actually think that the length of time for VfDs for Images should be decreased to seven days, the possible repercussions of image copyright theft are very serious, and certain users have recently been posting images straight from commercial travel websites! I think that some images which can't be sent to speedy deletion, still need to be deleted quickly for obvious reasons, therefore the voting period should be shorter --(WT-en) MiddleEastern 11:42, 9 March 2007 (EST)

Undeletion procedure[edit]

So, we've had our first really contested deleted page, and some requests to undelete it. We don't have a process for this, and I'd like to propose one. Here's the suggested text:

It may occur from time to time that we delete an article by mistake -- that is, that the article doesn't actually meet the standards for deleting articles listed above. In this case, a Wikivoyager should link to the page on [[Project:votes for undeletion]], with an explanation of why the deletion wasn't in accordance with the deletion policy. Articles and images are still considered guilty until proven innocent. After 14 days of discussion, if a consensus arises that the page was deleted unnecessarily, then an administrator should reinstate the page. Otherwise, the page will stay deleted.

This would go in an Undeletion procedure section at the end of the deletion policy, and at the top of Project:votes for undeletion.

I realize that keeping these arguments open for a long time is pretty divisive, but I also think that having a safety-valve for page deletion is a good idea. Any comments? --(WT-en) Evan 19:45, 23 Jun 2004 (EDT)

Also: feel free to just edit the suggested paragraph, rather than copying it over and over again. --(WT-en) Evan 19:57, 23 Jun 2004 (EDT)

I would suggest that if a undelete "vote" fails, a specific period must pass before it may again be proposed for undeletion. Three months? Less? -- (WT-en) Colin 20:17, 23 Jun 2004 (EDT)
Is it necessary to create a rule for this? (WT-en) Guaka 05:47, 24 Jun 2004 (EDT)
We don't really have a time limit for re-nominating any of the other things you have to vote for. I'd like to think that we can count on contributors to avoid unnecessary conflict. At the very worst, we have someone re-proposing the same article on the votes page over, and over, and over... which probably won't help to get the page re-added. --(WT-en) Evan 13:00, 24 Jun 2004 (EDT)

Guilty until proven innocent[edit]

One other thing I wanted to ask is if we should maybe change the wording of "guilty until proven innocent." I don't want to change the procedure, since I think it's pretty good, but maybe these words are too weighted.

They do clearly indicate the editorial policy and how VfD works, and people familiar with English and with American and Commonwealth court systems grok the idea pretty quickly. So they win for clarity.

But we also understand that "guilty until proven innocent" is unfair for people, so we might make the mistake of thinking it's unfair for articles and images, too. Most folks understand that digital objects don't have the same need for extraordinary consideration that people do, but the term seems to leave a bad taste. --(WT-en) Evan 14:52, 24 Jun 2004 (EDT)

Consensus on Wikivoyage[edit]

As the one who arguably started all this "mess" I would like to give a quick opinion. I was on my way out from here, but this comment by Evan (see above): There's no clear majority needed for the "votes", because we try to reach consensus. Voting makes winners and losers, and I don't think we need that. I'd rather get to creative solutions together. got me to stay for a minute more of opinion sharing. I think while a project like this needs some guidelines and rules, you can kill it with over-policing and bureaucratic procedures. This is what I feel happened in the case of the HC-Wikivoyageer page. But not only there. As I said before, basically everything I did here on WT was deleted or moved or whatever, and actually mostly by Evan. So I am afraid, it is a personal thing. You have to retreat Evan, and actually stick to your words. In our case you did NOT try to reach consensus and you did NOT try to find creative solutions. In fact, once you could not or did not want to answer my arguments on the talk pages anymore, you just pulled out the big gun and deleted those pages or contributions without discussion.

How does all that tie in with the deletion policy? Quite simple: relax! Don't delete pages until there has been a major outcry of users and 50 people voted to delete it over a course of 3 months. Why all this deleting here? Of fun pages? Of useful pages? Why do you want to kill your own community? Anyway, take it as critical, but sympathetic word of advice. You didnt hear me when I first said I am sick of playing children's games here. Maybe you hear me now. And don't delete this contribution from the deletion policy page. Good luck! (WT-en) Veit 01:34, 25 Jun 2004 (EDT)


Based on discussions above, I've added an undeletion procedure to the deletion policy page. I've also extended the discussion period from 7 days to 14 days. I started a votes for undeletion page so people can post nominations for pages to be undeleted. Comments, criticisms, or fixes welcome. --(WT-en) Evan 12:04, 30 Jun 2004 (EDT)

Deleting pages in user space[edit]

Nils requested deletion of a page in his own user space. Can such a page be deleted immediately? -(WT-en) phma 17:33, 19 Jul 2004 (EDT)

This is a point of such nitpickery that I'm not sure it needs to be enshrined as policy, but might as well — so a user's own namespace (User:Foobar/MyPage) should be exempt from deletion policy, and admins can thus delete a user's subpages immediately upon the user's request. Normal policy should be followed in the unlikely event that a user namespace page gets VfD'd by somebody other than the owner. (WT-en) Jpatokal 09:23, 19 Jul 2005 (EDT)

D'oh, I wrote the above before spotting that phma beat me to it! (WT-en) Jpatokal 09:25, 19 Jul 2005 (EDT)
I don't think it's "exempted" from policy, but why don't you add it to the policy? It sounds pretty safe and sane to me. The only thing I'd ask is that people don't create tons of pages and then ask me to delete them all. --(WT-en) Evan 09:29, 19 Jul 2005 (EDT)

Policy when pages fail VFD or VFD proposal withdrawn.[edit]

The Project:Deletion policy is unclear about what happens if deletion is opposed or if the original proposer withdraws the proposal for deletion. Here are my thoughts for page survival.

Page survival
If a page survives a vote for deletion; that is:
  • Deletion is opposed,
  • An alternative solution is found to deletion,
  • Proposer withdraws the deletion proposal (e.g. proposed in error),
  • Need for deletion no longer exists,
  • No consensus is reached and discussion is inactive for at least 14 days.

Then the following should happen.

  1. Move (copy) the discussion about deletion to the article talk page.
  2. Explain what action has been taken as a result of discussion, if any.
  3. Briefly summarise the fact (in 10 words or less) on VFD page together with where to discuss, what action taken, user actioning and date this happened.
  4. Leave summary note on VFD page for at least 14 days.
  5. After at least 14 days anyone may remove summary note. (Or All pages surviving VFD get copied to a page listing VFD survivors and their discussions.)
  6. Further discussion to continue on the article talk page.
  7. If, in the future, it is decided to delete such survivor articles, then some way needs to be found to preserve the discussion about deletion of that article, so the talk page either needs to be preserved (defeats purpose of deletion), or the discussion needs to be summarised on the VFD page, when the article is again proposed for deletion.

-- (WT-en) Huttite 07:24, 19 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Speedy Delete[edit]

As we grow vandalism increases, and frankly voting on some items bores me. I think we need a speedy delete for articles named in a vandalistic way: Bite me, I am 313T3, explicative deletive. If we do this, we need to be very clear that an oddly named article which could plausible be a real locale should not be deleted. The 51st and 52nd US state articles (Boynave) would be good examples of things whose names (but not content) pass the remotely plausible test and must therefore be voted on. -- (WT-en) Colin 15:36, 7 Jul 2005 (EDT)

Under "Deletion Procedure" is the following: "Administrators may also, at their discretion, delete obviously violating articles and images, such as vandalized pages. If there is any chance that an article or image could be considered useful, they should go through the deletion voting procedure." I think that covers it. -- (WT-en) Wrh2 15:40, 7 Jul 2005 (EDT)
Um yeah. I keep forgetting that's there because we've never used it. Sadly I think we've got a guy who will keep making new pages unless we use it. If I thought it was only going to be a half-dozen new pages, I'd go for voting on it.
Also, all admins have delete ability... it's just that for CPU-efficiency reasons, Evan has disabled the buttons. Just click on the 'history' tab, then edit the URL to say action=delete instead of action=history. Do NOT do this for an image, just normal articles. -- (WT-en) Colin 15:53, 7 Jul 2005 (EDT)
One more case where this seems to be called for, it seems that it is possible to move a page (see today's fun) in such a way that there is no way to move it back without first deleting the original page and then renaming the vandalized page with the same name as the original article. I did this in two cases today, possibly violating policy, but it was the only way I could see to restore the original article content & history. Is there a policy change needed, or does this fall under the administrator discretion clause? Alternatively, is there some other way that the Project:About article could have been restored? -- (WT-en) Wrh2 18:45, 7 Jul 2005 (EDT)
Colin, all admins should see the "delete" and "protect" tabs across the top of every article. There's some fancy footwork that goes on to make this happen, and it's done on the client side with JavaScript, but if you're not seeing them let me know. --(WT-en) Evan 09:52, 10 May 2006 (EDT)
My comment was made last July during the long period of time when the delete tab did not exist. The delete tab has thankfully reappeared. -- (WT-en) Colin 13:58, 10 May 2006 (EDT)

So I've been using this a little more lately to reduce the logjam in VfD. Should we lay down stricter guidelines about when it's OK to speedy delete? My rule of thumb so far is that if it's painfully obvious from the name that the page can never be an article (eg. "Superman is teh r0xx0r" or "Port Hope Simpson clues"), then it's fair game. (WT-en) Jpatokal 04:27, 1 May 2006 (EDT)

I plunged forward and wrote up some draft criteria. Comments welcome, there's only two points now but I think they should suffice? (WT-en) Jpatokal 08:54, 10 May 2006 (EDT)
Do you think deleted pages if recreated without going through the undeletion procedure, should be speedily deleted? I am undecided, but I think we should treat it as a request for undeletion and discuss it. — (WT-en) Ravikiran 10:07, 10 May 2006 (EDT)
I think the criteria are fine, and they're good suggestions. However, I think it might be worthwhile to formalize the informal rule, which is that admins can and should delete stuff that they think needs deleting, but they should be prepared to defend their action. That was the point of the original wording here. Maybe it should stay tacit, rather than explicit? --(WT-en) Evan 14:26, 10 May 2006 (EDT)

Strikes me there's one other time when a speedy delete should be done: when the creator of the page (which has not been edited by anyone else) requests it. That could happen because of a screwup, a test, something that got thoroughly obsoleted before the author could add to it, etc. I took the liberty of honoring (WT-en) Andrew's request for a rapid delete of a test page he created, policy or no policy, but it wouldn't be bad to codify this. Any reason not do to a speedy delete under such circumstances? -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 10:26, 3 June 2006 (EDT)

Orphaning articles/images - how to restore the links?[edit]

The deletion policy states that when listing an article or image for vfd that all links to it should be removed ("a Wikivoyager should do any preparatory work (like orphaning an image, or combining the article with one it duplicates)..."). However, in cases where it is decided to keep the article/image, is there any easy way to figure out what was previously linking to the article/image and restore all of those links? I've been orphaning articles/images only when the vfd is fairly obvious, but in corner cases (such as images where the uploader might have permission to upload the image, but it isn't clearly stated) I've been leaving the links and only removing them prior to the actual deletion.

It would be good if the deletion policy at least mentioned how to un-orphan an article/image that is kept, or if that can't be easily done then it may be best to change the policy. -- (WT-en) Ryan 10:42, 6 April 2006 (EDT)

Comment below copied in from Project:Votes for deletion:
Maybe make a note on the Image talk: page? Or, if you're doing a mass delete, do it on a scratchpad sub-page of one's user page? I don't know. It might also behoove us to figure out a way to list potential copyvio images that need to be investigated, without putting them on v.f.d. and starting the 14-day clock ticking. I'm still not sure about these pictures, for example. --(WT-en) Evan 11:08, 6 April 2006 (EDT)
The "unwritten" process right now seems to be that for questionable content a comment is left on the user page, and only if the user fails to respond or the response indicates a copyvio is the image listed on vfd. I think that accomplishes the same goal as your "list of possible copyvios" page, and does it without the added overhead of having to deal with another listing page.
In addition, since I've been contributing here (more than a year now), anytime (WT-en) Colin or myself (and probably most other admins, but we seem to do the bulk of the deletions) deletes anything we always check what links to the content, and probably at least one-third of the time clean up any remaining links. That seems to work well, and it avoids the added work of creating lists of "what used to link here", which I think would be problematic. Granted, this makes more work for the admin who processes deletes, but it has the advantage of being less error-prone. Is there any reason not to continue with this practice? -- (WT-en) Ryan 11:30, 6 April 2006 (EDT)
Well, I really like the idea of candidates for deletion being 'ready to delete'. Checking copyvios with the uploader, making sure the article or image really isn't needed, etc. I think it makes the discussion easier on v.f.d., and streamlines the process. I don't like having to make a lot of decisions or use my discretion when I'm deleting, since it should be a sure thing, almost mechanical, at that point. Of course, like you say, judgement is needed at that last step, for a final check. But I'd like to see that judgement front-loaded when possible. --(WT-en) Evan 12:18, 6 April 2006 (EDT)
A list of possible copyvios to be investigated is trivial to maintain. As long as they're tagged upon discovery with {{copyvio}}, just look at Special:Whatlinkshere/Template:Copyvio. Between MediaWiki's categories and what-links-here, the phrase "maintain a list" should never have to be used. - (WT-en) Todd VerBeek 10:39, 3 June 2006 (EDT)

Spam on user pages[edit]

Apparently User:(WT-en) Testwiki was created with no other purpose than to improve a linked page's google ranking. Should we take that as a legitimate user page, blank it or delete it? --(WT-en) Ricardo (Rmx) 14:01, 2 May 2006 (EDT)

Page creation vandalism[edit]

I sure wish we could speedy delete pages where a) the page is not linked to b) there is no content and c) the page gives no indication as to where it is. Currently I have to go play research librarian on Wikipedia to handle our page-creation troll. He likes to create articles named "Foo" with the content "Foo is a place", and he is often just guessing the place might exist somewhere on the planet (e.g. "Red"). I don't mind templatizing his page when it's an actual place, but I'd like to cut the Research part out. -- (WT-en) Colin 14:04, 10 May 2006 (EDT)

a), b) & c) sound like good, well-defined criteria to me. I'd tweak b) to "no usable content" (to cover instances where we have to blank stuff due to copyvio or whatever) and then this looks like a special case of the speedy delete that could be written as policy. If it turns out it's an actual place, how bad is it to make people re-create? -- (WT-en) Jonboy 15:12, 10 May 2006 (EDT)
If in doubt and I am feeling lazy or short of time, I just put it up for VFD and someone else does the research for me. I think that is a better way. — (WT-en) Ravikiran 15:17, 10 May 2006 (EDT)
I don't. All you're accomplishing is wasting someone else's time instead of your own. - (WT-en) Todd VerBeek 10:46, 3 June 2006 (EDT)

Union (Maine) and Ocean Park[edit]

Copied from User talk:(WT-en) Wrh2:

This town has a population of over 2,200 people. I don't think it should have been deleted. I can understand the frustration caused by the person from Maine, but some of the additions can be made into an article and expanded. I don't believe this one meets the Speedy Delete criteria. -- (WT-en) Tom Holland (xltel) 14:17, 17 December 2006 (EST)

I'm not opposed to someone re-creating the article with content, but the author in question has been trolling the site for a long time creating empty articles, and at this point I've been deleting any empty article he creates. I can't find all of the discussions that have occurred, but Project:Deletion policy#Page creation vandalism, User talk:, User talk:, User talk: and User talk:(WT-en) Mainer2006 cover some of it. If desired I can stop deleting his empty contributions, but I really feel if someone is creating pages solely for the purpose of trolling that we really shouldn't treat their contributions any differently than someone whose contributions would normally be handled with the rollback button. -- (WT-en) Ryan 14:45, 17 December 2006 (EST)
Don't forget User talk:(WT-en) Traveler2006. -- (WT-en) Andrew H. (Sapphire) 14:47, 17 December 2006 (EST)
Deleting valid articles created by this user is playing into their hand. I have been happy to add content to the small places added by this user(s) and continue to do so. My point here is the deletion does not meet policy. The policy says "Administrators may also, at their discretion, delete obviously inappropriate articles and images:". The articles being deleted by this person do not meet those standards and should be VFDed and voted on by the normal process. The argument that the article had no content is not valid, because it did have a template and indicated it was a town in Maine. Many articles on Wikivoyage are the same. I had done some research on the other two and I would have supported a "vote" for deletion on those. -- (WT-en) Tom Holland (xltel) 15:16, 17 December 2006 (EST)
My personal opinion is that this user has worn out his welcome, has been provided more than adequate information on how to make constructive contributions, and until he begins following that advice any contribution should be seen as vandalism - I probably don't have enough tolerance for people who troll. That said, this discussion should be moved to Project:Deletion policy so that others can contribute. In the mean time I'll stop policing User:'s edits, although the temptation to hit the delete button every time another empty article appears from that IP is pretty high ;) -- (WT-en) Ryan 15:34, 17 December 2006 (EST)
I too am done with this troll and taken a fairly hard line toward deleting his so-called contributions. Perhaps the discussion should be moved to Project:Deletion policy to help ensure everyone is on the same page on this. -- (WT-en) Colin 16:04, 17 December 2006 (EST)
Now that we are discussing policy, I would like to make my point in that area. I believe the policy is clear and does not need to be changed. If an article is "obviously inappropriate", then delete, if not then use discretion. If this user is "that" bad, then why waist our time deleting "all" of the additions.... just ban the ip's as they appear. My suggestion is keep the policy and use discretion. If this person tweaks you, then ignore him and his creations, others will clean up. If you feel it is a waste of time for you to join a VFD discussion, then don't... others will do it. Do things you enjoy, stay away from things you feel are a waste. There are plenty of people here to help clean up. -- (WT-en) Tom Holland (xltel) 19:15, 17 December 2006 (EST)

What policy change is required? We've all lost our patience with the troll, and as we do not want to ban anyone, we've decided that we will just revert his changes on sight and we will delete all articles that he creates. Obviously, some of his changes will turn out to be valid ones — that's part of his style. So we just bring those changes back on a case-by-case basis and move on with life. Do we want to keep an article deleted because we don't like the person who created it the first time? Or do we want to put an admin on trial for good-faith deletion? If neither option is on the table, then I don't see what policy change is required. — (WT-en) Ravikiran 19:56, 17 December 2006 (EST)

I realize this is an unpleasant situation, and I'd like to avoid any extra work for the great people making this guide. I have two points that I do want to make, however: 1) because this person uses different user names and anonymous IPs, we need to be very, very careful not to suspect or accuse every user or anonymous IP who adds an outline for a small US city of trollage. There will be many people who do this, and do it with good faith and good intentions. So let's be careful. 2) It's OK to delete these articles, expand them into real articles, or undelete ones that were deleted in the past. I think I've done all three. Whatever response works for the kind of energy you want to put in on these articles is fine.
Thanks again to everyone for remaining cool and collected in the face of apparent provocation when we have so much other work to do. --(WT-en) Evan 20:15, 17 December 2006 (EST)
This is getting blown way out of proportion! Can we all just take a breather? I told Tom where I stand on the issue and I think both camps have valid arguments, but I think this has gotten to the point where we're doing more harm to the community and the project by bickering than an annoying troll, who creates sometimes random and sometimes valuable articles.
The troll (used to have this IP User talk: has created some useful pages like "Swift Current" (created by the aforementioned IP). He didn't include any information, but I was able to dig up a fair amount of information on the destination.
I'm all for speedy deletion if there is no content other than a template, but if there's a useful contribution (like a sleep listing) then it shouldn't be immediately deleted. I don't understand what the harm is in VFDing an article and letting the community to decide if it should be a speedy delete victim.
People have been talking about how they want to take a hardline against this troll, because of his actions, but don't want to ban him because that's against the wiki-way. I'll tell you it is worse to dismiss every single contribution the troll has given us than to ban him. In fact, banning him would be more appropriate, because if you don't want him here then make sure he can't contribute. There should be absolutely no ill will toward him from the community, even if he may annoy us by purposely creating a lot of useless articles. If I may, I'd like to make a personal plea to everyone to stop freaking out about this. No change in policy is needed, but some change in attitudes may need to be. -- (WT-en) Andrew H. (Sapphire) 20:19, 17 December 2006 (EST)
On rereading what I wrote, I see that my tone came out as too harsh, but I did not mean it to be... I just don't want people to get into fights over this silly little thing. — (WT-en) Ravikiran 20:29, 17 December 2006 (EST)
As an aside, I'm not feeling attacked on this at all and I recognize that Tom has entirely valid and good-faith criticisms to make here. And I have some sympathy for the position having been the guy who used to spend an hour or two a day templatizing and locating the contributor's edits. The problem is that the guy wants to do the minimum possible. Here's the history as I see it:
  1. He added places at random including words he thought might be names of places.
  2. Our vfd rapidly filled up with words that turned out to be non-places
  3. We began speedy deleting non-places
  4. He changed course to only adding actual placenames. Including going through some geographic index alphabetically at one point.
  5. We got tired of locating the places, and began speedy deleting the places with no specified location
  6. He began writing locations
  7. We got tired of adding templates, and began speedy deleting places with no templates
  8. He began adding empty templates
  9. Some of us got tired of this, and began speedy deleting even when an empty template existed
  10. He began cut-n-pasting places from an online review site without any formatting
  11. I decided that due to the risk of a WikiPedia:Mountweazel, that content was too dangerous.
I beleive that the only way to deal with this guy is to insist on a minimum level of helpfulness to his contributions. But at the same time if anyone wants to restore one of the Speedys and run with it -- and that includes this contributor -- then I fully support that too.
And I'd like to emphasize that I welcome Tom's criticisms since this really should be a community effort. -- (WT-en) Colin 20:54, 17 December 2006 (EST)
First, I believe that every admin and most users of the site contribute in ways that they feel help make the travel guide better, even if those ways sometimes differ. Tom, Colin, Andrew, myself, and others are all trying to deal with the current problem in ways that we think are best. In this case, there are good arguments to be made that any new article should be researched, cleaned up, and sent on its way towards Star status. However, there are equally good arguments that not every place gets its own article, and randomly creating articles for places with tiny populations is simply vandalism. The current policy is that vandalism is subject to speedy deletion, although there is also a policy that if a place might be a valid destination it should be kept.
Which leads to my second comment: in the past two days this user has returned and created many more questionable articles. Tom edited quite a few, which is great, but looking at Special:Contributions/ and Special:Contributions/ there are still several remaining, including some that were edited and are now "stub disambiguation" pages that link to places that may or may not be article-worthy. It's likely we'll continue to see these articles added on a regular basis. Given that we're all trying to make a better travel guide, is it OK to allow each admin to handle these articles as he or she judges best? If the person who first sees them researches them and edits them, that's great; if the person who first sees them views them as vandalism and speedy deletes them the site is no worse off than before the contributions were made. Both approaches seem (to me) to fall within established policy, so can we agree to trust that whether the person dealing with these contributions chooses to templatize them or speedy delete them that he or she or doing so in a way that they judge best? -- (WT-en) Ryan 23:10, 19 December 2006 (EST)
I believe these are excellent comments and suggestions. Thank you Ryan for proposing it. I would only add that if an article is deleted due to spam creation and another admin finds that it can be make into a valuable article they are allowed to undelete and template the page to maintain history. At that point if there is any disagreement we would go via the normal vfd process. This would allow admins to fight "article spam creation" without doing a lot of research. And those that want to do it, would still have the option to make it into an article. Non-Admins would also have the option to list it on Votes for undeletion with Admins allowed to do a speedy uundelete if the article was deleted as part of a spam creation attack. I really like Ryan's comments, even if my suggestions are not added. I know there are numerous creations I would leave in the bit bucket, but it would be nice to revive one also. We might also add a note about this in the policy if everyone is in agreement. So, I vote in favor of Ryan's suggestion as modified by my comments. I would also say I am in agreement with Ryan that the Admins have been dealing with issue as they believe best and I hope that my bringing up the issue was not considered as a personal attack. We all have our own thoughts and ideas about how things should be done. But, I do believe we all are doing it with the best interest of Wikivoyage. I am just glad that everyone puts up with me. -- (WT-en) Tom Holland (xltel) 11:34, 20 December 2006 (EST)
I agree -- and I'd particularly like the speedy undeletion to be considered reasonable and acceptable. I'd even go one step further and say that if the original creator wants to work on it some more we should assume good faith and speedy undelete it and see if they get anywhere with it. -- (WT-en) Colin 14:45, 20 December 2006 (EST)
Agreed with everything above - I see no problem with adding a note to Project:Deletion policy#Speedy deletion stating that any speedy-deleted article may be speedy-undeleted by another admin, or that a speedy-deleted article may be speedy-undeleted if requested by a non-admin, although it should still be OK to list the article on Project:Votes for deletion. -- (WT-en) Ryan 15:56, 20 December 2006 (EST)

For detailed history of this story up until the end of 2009 (it is still ongoing), see discussion at User talk:(WT-en) Peterfitzgerald/Archives 2009#pcv?. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 19:10, 12 January 2010 (EST)

This issue of empty outlines being created for tiny places is still continuing, and apparently the user (users?) in question is also active on Wikipedia. The recent purge of empty outlines eliminated a large number of these articles, but since this issue appears to be ongoing I wanted to draw attention to this thread so that other editors can keep an eye out for potential issues and also understand what is going on if/when those articles are deleted. -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:05, 8 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
This user, or a copycat, is still active on Wikivoyage as well as other Wikipedia wikis. User talk:Peterfitzgerald/Archives 2009#pcv? has a useful overview for identifying the user's editing pattern for anyone new to this particular user. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:51, 9 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Recent accounts[edit]

For anyone new to this thread, here is a partial list of some recent accounts:

New articles created by the above accounts have been deleted, but contributions that were simply reverted, comments left on talk pages, and contributions on other wikis, might help others in recognizing this user in the future. -- Ryan • (talk) • 20:16, 23 November 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Fall 2019: User:Cactusflies22 --Ypsilon (talk) 18:57, 1 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Two weeks to ten days, maybe less?[edit]

Moved from Project:Votes for deletion by (WT-en) Evan

Seems to me that the fourteen day period that has to be waited until an admin can delete an article or image requires too much space on the VFD page. Should this be changed to ten days or one week? Obviously, we would hold off on deleting articles or images with an ongoing discussion. For example why do we really have to wait 14 days when ten people have already voted delete and no one opposing the deletion? - (WT-en) Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 23:56, 19 May 2006 (EDT)

I heartily agree. 10 days for unopposed deletions? -- (WT-en) Jonboy 20:23, 20 May 2006 (EDT)
Agree. (WT-en) SHC 20:28, 20 May 2006 (EDT)
Support, and even ten days is pretty generous. -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 14:23, 28 May 2006 (EDT)
The longer the wait, the more likely some needed deletions will not get done. In cases of obvious copyright violation, outright spam, or misplaced pages (standalone pages for a hotel, or restaurant, for example), there is no reason to drag out the process. Since the premise for Wikivoyage is up-to-date info, corrected on the fly by users, there is no reason why obviously problematic articles or images shouldn't be zapped promptly. Or at least sooner than 10 days. Clear out problems as soon as possible. (WT-en) SHC 15:32, 28 May 2006 (EDT)
The current situation with the Discount airlines in Europe article seems another example of how shortening the waiting period might be useful. Perhaps language to the effect of "After fourteen (14) days of discussion, if a consensus is reached to retain an article, it won't be deleted. Otherwise it will be deleted by an administrator. Alternatively, if a clear and obvious consensus to keep or delete an article is reached prior to 14 days then the process may be shortened."
In this case "clear and obvious" can be an exception similar to the current "speedy delete" process, and a note should be made that it should be used only in cases where a consensus is clear. This would then prevent future scenarios where we get articles VFD'd for inappropriate reasons, such as retaliation, and also help keep the list shorter by providing a way to delete obvious offenders. Thoughts? -- (WT-en) Ryan 13:54, 31 May 2006 (EDT)
I agree with Ryan above and fully support a speedier decision in those cases. I'd even say 1 week for unopposed deletions is enough. (WT-en) Ricardo (Rmx) 14:07, 31 May 2006 (EDT)
I'm a little concerned that we're getting a little quick to vfd things in general and worry that reducing the discussion time might result in discouraging new contributors. Thing about the newbie who creates an article one weekend and then comes back the following weekend only to find that there stuff has been tried and executed in their absence. Not everyone is on the site 12 hours of every day ;-) If the concern is the length of the vfd page, I think there're suggestions above for a)splitting out images to their own page and b)holding the initial discussion more on appropriate talk pages instead of whippin' out the vfd right off the bat. Sometime a gentle suggestion ("maybe this would be better as part of this" or "could you help me understand where you're going with this idea...") can be all it takes. (WT-en) Majnoona 14:26, 31 May 2006 (EDT)
What about shortening the required time only when the obvious unopposed decision is to keep the article? That would work in cases such as the Discount Airlines example above and still leave 14 days for those who want to defend any articles from extinction. (WT-en) Ricardo (Rmx) 14:31, 31 May 2006 (EDT)
That'd be cool with me. (WT-en) Majnoona 14:35, 31 May 2006 (EDT)
A few "speedy delete" or "speedy keep" votes that go unopposed for a few days ought to be enough to settle the objectively obvious cases. As long as people don't start abusing those phrases on cases that are really subjective judgment calls, that will leave an appropriate amount of time and space to discuss the grey areas. - (WT-en) Todd VerBeek 15:32, 31 May 2006 (EDT)
I disagree with this idea. I think there've been some complaints in the past that shorter deletion times aren't a fair process. Not everyone logs into Wikivoyage every day or every week. Our deletion process is pretty stacked against pages and images, and deletion is such a permanent thing, so I think we need to take some time to discuss. For every 5 articles that we're all clear should be deleted after 1 day, there's 1 article that someone comes in on the 14th day with a good reason to keep.
Anyways, what's the rush? I don't think there's any pressing need to delete articles. If the VfD page is getting too crowded, let's look at rearchitecting that page, or separating images from articles, or some other tools. Speedy deletes seems to cut more casual Wikivoyagers out of the conversation. --(WT-en) Evan 16:56, 31 May 2006 (EDT)
I added this suggestion, because of comments on User talk:(WT-en) Evan by Jonboy and also a few times that I've added something to the long list there were already many more proposed deletions than there were days in the month! That said, I like the idea of shortening the waiting period for keeping articles/images to a week or so after a clear consensus to keep has been obtained. I'm still undecided what I think is best solution for the scenario that two people want to keep an article and fifteen want to delete the article. I'd say there is an overwhelming majority, but Wikivoyage doesn't work by majority. Thankfully, Wikivoyage works on consensus so I'd say keep the fourteen days for deletions unless by the 10th day there is only one vote for keeping. I have to add a disclaimer to the preceding solution should there only be three or four votes on a proposed deletion. I.e. 1 person - keep, 3 - delete. Wait out the 14 day period so that others may interject their opinions and thoughts. - (WT-en) Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 23:13, 31 May 2006 (EDT)

I do think we err a bit much on the side of indecision. In the case of a retaliatory VFD which has a bunch of people worrying that we're about to delete Discount airlines in Europe, or someone uploading a bunch of copyvio images, there's no need to keep things up in the air for two weeks. And acting more quickly to enforce policies would help to educate users about them. Shalom Alechem stopped uploading images of dubious origin right after I managed to pull one of them off a page while he was still editing it... an extreme example I admit, but if we'd let the articles sit with "his" pictures intact for a couple weeks, he probably would've continued ignoring Talk messages and uploading copyvios, believing he was "contributing". - (WT-en) Todd VerBeek 10:42, 1 June 2006 (EDT)

I'm in agreement with Todd here - for articles that don't quickly reach a consensus then 14 days is fine, but the current process offers no quick resolution for obvious cases. The argument that a long VFD period is a useful educational tool is somewhat questionable - comments should (and almost always are) left on a user's talk page when they upload a questionable image or create a non-article (for a museum, for example), and it could easily be made a policy that before something can be VFD'd a comment must be left on the creator's talk page. I'm not sure that keeping VFD notices on pages that are obviously going to be kept, or delaying deletion of copyvios is a good thing for the site. -- (WT-en) Ryan 12:55, 1 June 2006 (EDT)

So let me see if the following summary is accurate:

  • For most things, we simply let the process go to its normal 14-day completion.
  • There continue to be things that get a "speedy delete" per the deletion policy (spammage, etc.), but they're a minority.
  • There appears to be a feeling that some articles are rapidly and universally found worthy to be kept (e.g. in the case of retaliatory VFDs), by consensus, and acceleration of the process may be appropriate in these cases.
  • In cases where the consensus seems to be to delete, the process should be allowed to run its course, owing to the possibility that someone will show up late in the game with a reason why the article should be kept. This isn't fully agreed by all parties yet, but seems the trend.
  • We still aren't sure whether to handly copyvios via speedy delete, but there are some good reasons to move quickly on such things.

Does this capture it? If so, modifications to the policy page should probably be made. If I've missed something, please correct me, but let's not leave this hanging indefinitely -- there's too much stuff in the queue for deletion, and the queue is going to get longer and longer as time passes. -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 13:05, 17 June 2006 (EDT)

Since there does not seem to be any disagreement on ending vfds early when they have a "consensus to keep", how about we at least modify the policy to reflect that sentiment? Having a VFD on a page for two weeks (or even a few days) when that page is clearly going to be kept is confusing, ugly, and not really in the spirit of why there is a VFD page. -- (WT-en) Ryan 14:01, 17 June 2006 (EDT)
Sounds good to me. If someone comes in late with a really good reason to delete the page, they can VFD it again. It's a lot harder the other way around. Ryan, can you edit the policy, please? --(WT-en) Evan 14:23, 17 June 2006 (EDT)

Self-nominated deletions accelerated?[edit]

Lately there have been a few candidates posted to the vfd that basically say, "Oops, I screwed up and made this page erroneously, please delete it." Can anyone see any reason why such pages should not be deleted as soon as this request is made, providing that nobody other than the nominator has written stuff there? -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 09:58, 11 June 2006 (EDT)

Seems perfectly reasonable to me. - (WT-en) Todd VerBeek 12:27, 11 June 2006 (EDT)
Agreed, this would seem to be an exception similar to the request to delete a page within someone's User: namespace. The only caveat would be that valid article titles should still NOT be deleted. -- (WT-en) Ryan 13:43, 11 June 2006 (EDT)
Agree. Would've been useful with those Pattaya/?... articles I created. I didn't have a map and was trying use contextual clues within the article to create district article. What a pain. - Sapphire

Images moved to shared[edit]

I added a policy allowing speedy deletions of images that have been moved to shared. It looks like an obvious case to me. — (WT-en) Ravikiran 02:19, 13 June 2006 (EDT)

This is certainly reasonable, but a minor technical question: how are we to know when such a move has occurred? I've done this with a couple of my own images, and User:(WT-en) Hypatia has been quite good about alerting us to the occurrence in her images, but how about for the general case? If there's a way of tracking down these moves systematically, I don't know about it. -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 13:14, 17 June 2006 (EDT)
I don't know really. I recently found that my (experimental and amatuerish) Image:India Map.png was uploaded to shared by the German Wikivoyagers and used for the German India article. Reasonable thing to do, but with so many languages and combinations, it will make tracking difficult. (I did not clean that up because I got a better SVG version which I can now use to create maps at will. ) — (WT-en) Ravikiran 14:37, 17 June 2006 (EDT)

Fix it later[edit]

I've got a bit of Wiki wisdom, or perhaps wiki practical advice, that I'd like to share, but I'm not sure where to put it.

There's a long-standing principle in Wiki circles to let problem pages and incorrect content created by newbies sit for a little while until some discussion on the problem has happened. The idea is to let new users learn by experimenting a bit. Often they'll come back and fix their own mistakes; if not, there's ample time to fix them later.

We've followed this principle on Wikivoyage for a long time, which is why you see a lot of comments on talk pages like:

I think that this page should be deleted. It doesn't seem to match our manual of style or our goals. Any reason not to get rid of it? I've copied most of the relevant data to another page. I'll leave a message on the creator's talk page to get their opinion. --SomeUser, 13 March 2004
Oh, I thought this would be a good page. Thanks for moving the content to another page. I sure like Wikivoyage. --Creator, 18 March 2004
No problem. I've added the page to votes for deletion. --SomeUser 20 March 2004

Especially when an article has had one contributor, and that contributor is a brand new contributor, this kind of inclusionary discussion can pay off copiously. Most new contributors think of contributions on the per-page level. Like, "I created my guide to Destination X on Wikivoyage." When we VFD their only contributions very early without discussion, it's extremely off-putting. They see their work being rejected by the community, and they either disappear forever, or get PO'd.

Is it officially OK to VFD stuff early? Yes, of course. Do we want "bad" pages sitting around forever? No, they set a bad example, and it's important to FixBrokenWindows. But... it is much easier to deal with content that's out-of-place than it is to get back a once-enthusiastic contributor who's just seen their hours of work stamped with a big NOT WANTED box from the VFD template.

There's an unfortunate scatological analogy that comes to mind from the California drought years I grew up in. I'll just use the relatively clean second verse: let it mellow. Sometimes it's OK to let relatively harmless unwanted edits sit around for a while. Sometimes what seems like an off-topic or bad page may turn out to be another way of seeing travel that helps us make better guides.

So, I guess the upshot of this long message is: while it's extremely commendable to deal with unwanted articles promptly, it's also important to balance this against the community-building requirement of slow, deliberate, inclusive discussion. Gauging the right timing and the right level of discussion is what makes the most skillful Wikivoyage community builders so good at what they do. --(WT-en) Evan 15:11, 17 June 2006 (EDT)

Redirect, don't delete[edit]

So, the case of Yoyogi Park has made me wonder if there's a general principle that can be extrapolated. My jab at it: if someone has tried to make a not-an-article page (Project:What is an article?), and there's an appropriate place for the information, a redirect is a gentle way to point them to the right place to contribute. Also, if one person has made the article, it's not impossible that someone else will try to do it again (especially for big or well-known attractions). If that's the case, a redirect will take them to the right place, and we'll get their input rather than just another page to VfD.

Is this principle at all correct? If so, is it worth codifying somewhere? --(WT-en) Evan 15:22, 9 July 2006 (EDT)

I'm on the fence about the example you gave, which we see quite a bit... what I came here to ask though was about total nonsense pages, which I also see redirected sometimes... Slovakian Treats (content: Slovakian treats are yummy!) just happened, and was redirected to Slovakia. Is there any reason to keep rather than delete these pages? Should we try to keep the site cleaner with less pages, or does it at all matter? This policy page lists nonsense as a reason for deleting a page... but does anyone really care either way? (WT-en) - Cacahuate 20:50, 18 February 2007 (EST)

I'd like to revisit this, in light of the increased frequency of not-quite-a-destination articles that we've been getting (e.g. Golden Temple, presently up for VfD). To me the key principle is: if a Wikivoyage reader could plausibly use the name of the place as a means of navigation, the article should be redirected rather than deleted; if not, it should be deleted. That's consistent with the TTCF principle. In the above examples, Golden Temple and Yoyogi Park are entirely plausible things for a reader to enter into the "Search" box, while nobody's ever going to search for "Slovakian treats" except the guy that wrote the "article." One, does this make sense, and two, what's the appropriate language to incorporate into the policy? -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 10:12, 15 November 2007 (EST)

Agree: the cost of having a redirect sitting around is minimal. I think it's operative to use common sense here, instead of trying to codify exactly what qualifies down to the last exception. One rule of thumb I'd suggest, though, is that only attractions and geographical areas qualify: hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and, yes, Slovakian Treats should not get even a redirect. (WT-en) Jpatokal 10:53, 15 November 2007 (EST)
Sounds right to me, as long as one allows for the possibility that a restaurant, hotel, etc., may actually be an attraction. If someone were to create a "Big Texan" page, I'd have no compunctions about redirecting it to Amarillo rather than deleting, even though the Big Texan is a restaurant/hotel. Thing is, it's also a serious piece of Americana, and there are people who follow the Route 66 itinerary who know more about this particular restaurant than they do about the city it's in -- perhaps justifiably, as Amarillo isn't exactly a tourist hotbed ... -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 12:53, 15 November 2007 (EST)

Images containing advertising[edit]

I see these creep up occasionally, images that have logos or contact info for a certain hotel, website, etc... I propose adding a line in the deletion policy that these can be speedy deleted so we can avoid wasting extra time and space vfd'ing them. They obviously can't stay, so why drag it out? Today's example: Image:Flores from the South East.jpg(WT-en) cacahuate talk 04:21, 26 May 2007 (EDT)

An image of that sort could justifiably be included in a business owner's User page, so I don't think we should simply delete them on sight. - (WT-en) Todd VerBeek 09:11, 26 May 2007 (EDT)
One downside to speedy deletes is that while the reason for deletion may be obvious to longtime Wikivoyage contributors, it often is not obvious to a new user. Allowing an article or image to sit on the site for at least a few days with a VFD tag on in increases the chances that the original uploader will return, see the VFD, and read the reasons for the VFD on the VFD page. Simply deleting the offending content immediately doesn't allow for that period of education. Note that I'm not suggesting everything be allowed to sit on the site for a few days, but I don't think it hurts to allow good faith contributions to stay around for a bit. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 13:46, 26 May 2007 (EDT)
Yeah, good points... agree then, no speedy deleting of that – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 15:13, 26 May 2007 (EDT)

Deletion procedure revisions[edit]

Under "deletion procedure", we recommend:

To delete an article or image, a Wikivoyager should do any preparatory work (like orphaning an image, or combining the article with one it duplicates) and then put a link to the article or image on the votes for deletion page.

I'd like to revise that... I don't think images should be removed from the pages until we're deleting them (or nearer to it, if it's heading that way)... if an image survives VFD as a keep, I think there's little chance that anyone's going to make sure it gets back on the page(s) it was removed from, unless the original contributor happens to be watching. – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 19:52, 8 September 2007 (EDT)

Privacy rights[edit]

I've stated my objections to the current privacy rights policy previously, but the increasing interpretation to say that any people anywhere are not OK goes against policy itself. This is what Wikivoyage:Image policy says:

At Wikivoyage, this is generally interpreted conservatively to mean that identifiable people in a picture should be peripheral to the picture content. For example, you can upload a picture of a crowded market or plaza, as long as you could take out or substitute any given person in it without materially affecting the picture.

So, no, we don't need to delete pictures like Image:Crowded.JPG or Image:La Rambla.JPG. (WT-en) Jpatokal 02:28, 7 April 2008 (EDT)

Incidentally, Wikimedia Commons has now started tagging pictures of identifiable people with this template:
This work contains material which may portray an identifiable person who is alive or deceased recently. The use of images of living or recently deceased individuals is, in some jurisdictions, restricted by laws pertaining to personality rights, independent from their copyright status. Before using this content, please ensure that you have the right to use it under the laws which apply in the circumstances of your intended use. You are solely responsible for ensuring that you do not infringe someone else's personality rights. See our general disclaimer.
I think this would be the right approach for WT as well. At the moment, our privacy policy seems to imply that we are vetting all images for unrestricted re-use, which is probably legally more dangerous...! (WT-en) Jpatokal 02:31, 7 April 2008 (EDT)
Sounds reasonable – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 23:47, 6 October 2008 (EDT)
Would this template replace the current "delete photos with identifiable people (as defined in the initial blockquote above) in it" policy? If so then I'm not convinced it's a good idea - I understand that it's impossible to review every image, and we shouldn't claim to do so, but in cases where an image contains a photo of an identifiable person and there is no indication of a model release I think the photo should be deleted. Doing so has benefits related to privacy concerns, issues related to ensuring (as much as possible) that Wikivoyage content is freely distributable, and to a lesser extent dealing with the fact that photos of identifiable people are seldom useful for illustrating a travel destination. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 00:50, 7 October 2008 (EDT)

policy on deleting in personal namespace[edit]

Can we expand the policy with 2 things?

  • what a regular user should do if he needs to delete a page in his personal namespace?
  • what if that user has admin rights and has buttons in his hands to delete his own page himselves?

--(WT-en) DenisYurkin 17:15, 5 October 2008 (EDT)

My understanding is that users can do whatever they want with their own userspace. So speedy deletes upon user request seem fine. And I don't think an admin should have to even notify people before deleting his/her own userspace pages. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 01:33, 6 October 2008 (EDT)
Can we incorporate this to the policy article? --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 02:05, 6 October 2008 (EDT)
Sounds fine to me. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 13:03, 6 October 2008 (EDT)
Here's my first draft: [1]. Improvements/comments would be absolutely welcome. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 15:35, 22 October 2008 (EDT)
Actually, I forgot something—discussions/comments should generally not be deleted, unless they are spam, vandalism, or abusive. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 15:44, 22 October 2008 (EDT)
Attempted to take that into account--improvements and comments are still welcome. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 17:22, 22 October 2008 (EDT)

Oops, edit conflict :) Here's my attempt at a rewrite, replace the whole section if you think it's an improvement:

Articles in your userspace can be speedy-deleted by an administrator at your request. You can do this at Project:Votes for deletion, or by contacting an active admin via their talk page.
Admins can delete their own pages as they wish.
A notable exception is talk pages... We don't usually delete discussions, even on user talk pages, so these will generally be left in tact if anyone other than the user has commented.

(WT-en) cacahuate talk 17:29, 22 October 2008 (EDT)

Implemented just verbatim. Thanks, Cacahuate! --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 04:33, 23 October 2008 (EDT)
) – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 17:42, 23 October 2008 (EDT)

I told EE that he could do as he wished with his user talk page. Evidently, that was in conflict with the edits introduced here in October — I hadn't checked this page since then. We've let people like User:(WT-en) Kleinzach blank their own talk pages (but not remove their comments from an article talk page). We've also established that people are allowed to add whatever drivel they wish to their user page, like that guy who kept his travel journal on his user page a couple summers ago. In any event, the 'usually' and 'generally' are problematically vague in this policy. I'd rather see something more clear-cut, such as Users are encouraged to keep discussions on their user talk pages intact, but may delete comments if they wish. However, formal disciplinary notes from a Wikivoyage administrator may not be deleted, except with explicit permission of the administrator. (WT-en) Gorilla Jones 00:42, 7 January 2009 (EST)

Hmm. There are two problems I see with that. First, I don't think we should ever give users encouragement to delete comments. Second, in the one case of EE, the "abusive, spam, or vandalism" part doesn't quite go far enough. He caused a ton of mischief by spamming irrelevant or pointless comments, and I do think it has been necessary in order to keep that in check. I don't want to enshrine that into policy, though, since it most certainly hasn't been necessary to do that for anyone else.
I guess I have trouble drawing the precise line in theory as to when it stops being ok for users to delete comments on their talk pages. In this case, the information being deleted seemed very relevant to the community. Whereas the messages on Kleinzach's page were just ordinary talk page conversation. The point you make about messages that are basically trying to get a user to stop doing what they're doing, particularly an active user, makes some sense. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 02:57, 7 January 2009 (EST)
I really dislike both the wording and the idea behind "formal disciplinary notes from a Wikivoyage administrator may not be deleted, except with explicit permission of the administrator". We're janitors, goddammit, not people dishing out formal discipline and explicit permissions.
If a user is behaving so badly that they're blocked, temporarily or permanently, I think it's OK for admins to insert a note on the Talk page (which the blocked user obviously can't remove) saying so. But that's about as far as I'd be willing to go with policing people's user pages, and even otherwise oh-so-bureaucratic Wikipedia doesn't attempt to stop people from doing that they like to their own pages. (WT-en) Jpatokal 10:39, 7 January 2009 (EST)
Also, the current wording is quite ambiguous. I think we're all in agreement that User talk pages should not be deleted, which would lose the history as well. However, we're not talking about deletion at all, just blanking, which keeps the history intact. (WT-en) Jpatokal 10:45, 7 January 2009 (EST)

Blanking talk pages[edit]

moved from Project:Using talk pages, so we can discuss in one place:

So, there was recently a bit of a kerfuffle over User:(WT-en) Edmontonenthusiast blanking his talk page. The current guidelines suggest that "in general", comments are archived instead of deleted, but this is (IMHO) not an ironclad rule and I don't think the community has any right to attempt to enforce this via blocks and protections.

In my view, it's the user's page and they can do what they want with it; the history is still there if you want to dig it up. (WT-en) Jpatokal 01:41, 7 January 2009 (EST)

I'm with Jani on this one - while I think there is great value in keeping a record of all warnings, guidance, etc that has been provided to a user, and while I think it's very disrespectful for a user to unilaterally wipe out that information, if it's the user's page then they have that right. It's also worth noting that I don't think any admins have necessarily acted inappropriately as Wikivoyage intentionally leaves room for personal interpretation in the Project:How to handle unwanted edits policy, but I do suspect that consensus would be to leave a user's personal pages alone unless they are clearly inappropriate (spam, hate speech, etc). -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 02:08, 7 January 2009 (EST)
Hmm, this does contradict some previous practice, where we have policed user talk pages when users have blanked them. The guidance at the deletion policy (We don't usually delete discussions, even on user talk pages, so these will generally be left in tact if anyone other than the user has commented) is also a bit at variance with this. So I'll dissent—I think it's important that troublesome users not delete discussions that are relevant to the rest of the community. We are, though, having this discussion in two places → Project:Deletion_policy#Deleting_articles_in_personal_namespaces --(WT-en) Peter Talk 03:02, 7 January 2009 (EST)
I'll add that in this case I'd be inclined to archive his talk page to my own userspace and link that on my userpage. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 03:04, 7 January 2009 (EST)
Mmm, I think I disagree guys. I would normally look the other way and not really care, if there's not interesting stuff being deleted. But with a user who is constantly raising a ruckus, I think it's important that new users or ones that are unfamiliar with his patterns be able to see those conversations easily when they click on his talk page. Yes, history is there, but that's unlikely to go noticed. Our sometimes hardline approach to some of this user's edits look strange, unwelcoming, and possibly unwarranted to someone who's unfamiliar with the situation, and the quickest way they'll become familiar if they're curious is by seeing the discussions on his talk page. I feel pretty strongly that at the very least they are archived and linked to at the top of the user's talk page. I don't really see any reason not to enforce that, I think user talk pages where multiple people contribute are vastly different that just the user page – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 11:24, 7 January 2009 (EST)

Simply - it is my talk page and it isn't an article and doesn't discourage travelers so I should be able to do with it what I choose. Thank you for some of ya agreeing. Anyways, I understand the other side totally - you want new people to see what I have done/been talked ta about. But still I stand my point. I just don't want all that negativity so open on the internet - i would still use it as reference because it is important and will be in the history it is just harder to get at. Hopefully you guys see where I am coming from. (WT-en) edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 12:04, 7 January 2009 (EST).

I would encourage you to archive it rather than delete. I realize that still leaves the information exposed, but I think it best serves the goal of transparency. (WT-en) LtPowers 14:46, 7 January 2009 (EST)
I will think about if for a few days and let discussion pour. (WT-en) edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 21:22, 7 January 2009 (EST).
Gonna throw my hat in with Peter and the others too. I think it's important to keep that stuff around and accessible without such a dig in the history. If you delete it, it becomes no longer searchable and hence harder to find where a particular conversation took place. There are a number of discussions which took place there in good faith which would be useful to point out to future users with similar issues without having to dig in the graveyard. (WT-en) Texugo 06:06, 8 January 2009 (EST)

If the consensus is that users cannot control their own talk pages then that would be a fairly big change in policy that I'm not entirely comfortable with. Would it be possible instead to come up with a way in which a user's talk page could still be theirs to control, but perhaps we could modify policy to state that when conversations are deleted and not archived anyone involved in that conversation could (optionally) add a template to the talk page that should not be removed which would be of the form "To see an archive of conversations that have been removed from this page see: xxx" which would link to the point in history prior to the blanking or to an archived page? Would that be a reasonable compromise? This approach would take us out of the business of judging when it is OK to revert changes a user makes to his/her talk page without taking control of those pages from the users in question. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 11:08, 8 January 2009 (EST)

I really don't think this is a change in policy. There is no policy sanctioning the right to do whatever one wants with their talk page. With userpages and userspace subdomains we have had several conversations ending with a consensus to allow anything except significant spam, advertising illegal services, or advertising services in violation of our Project:Sex tourism policy.
Moreover, we have in the past restored deleted comments on usertalk pages, when they were in clear relation to violation of community policy (I haven't found an example, as this is very hard to search for, but I believe my memory is intact). As I understand the current policy, it is purposefully vague, although we very clearly state that removing comments is inappropriate, unless they are abusive, disruptive, or spam. Further still, we grant significant discretionary latitude to sysops to instate temporary blocks and page protections for one day or less. We very rarely police user talk pages, and I think that's a good thing. But this was the most egregious case of all time. I don't think any change in policy is needed, since it's not a good idea to promote the idea of policing user talk pages, but the latitude currently displayed in our policy articles seems like a good thing to keep for extreme cases, when the mass removal of comments would actually affect the site.
On a separate note, I think it would be a good idea to add that "With userpages and userspace subdomains we have had several conversations ending with a consensus to allow anything except significant spam, advertising illegal services, or advertising services in violation of our Project:Sex tourism policy" to a policy page. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 15:43, 8 January 2009 (EST)

It seems to me that a number of traditions have cropped up beyond what is actually written as policy, and these traditions have slid down the slope a bit. While I have no opinion either way on the issue of allowing or disallowing deletion of commentary on a user talk page, I just want to say that I see only good intentions on both sides of this issue. -- (WT-en) Colin 15:55, 8 January 2009 (EST)

I think what Peter just said sums up my feelings pretty much exactly. Not sure about the verbose policy addage, but all else :) – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 16:11, 8 January 2009 (EST)

In my experience elsewhere (as an admin on Wikipedia), I've found that reverting a user who removes comments from their talk page is probably one of the easiest ways to escalate a minor dispute into a major one. While I realise you're talking about one specific case here, I would highly recommend not reverting another user's talk page in general. If someone's removed a comment from their talk page, they've obviously read it, so it served its purpose. The purpose of user talk pages is to communicate with other users, not as a record of past transgressions. Cheers, (WT-en) JYolkowski 17:25, 8 January 2009 (EST)

I agree with that interpretation of the purpose of talk pages. If we're trying to establish a history of abusive behavior by a certain user, we can do so with links to specific edit histories — we do that already. (My proposed compromise policy above did risk a move toward the bureaucratic, which is a disease I'd absolutely like to see this site avoid.) (WT-en) Gorilla Jones 01:38, 9 January 2009 (EST)

To be frank guys, this whole thing is starting to get out of hand... I really do think that a user should be left to use their talk page as they wish; providing what is put there falls under the bounds of common sense - nothing illegal, unfounded accusations/personal attacks, etc. If someone really feels so strongly that something they have said be kept, why can they not put it on their own talk page? That way it is still there on a first-level page, so to speak. OK, it means that it's not directly accessible on the "educated" user's talk page, but do we necessarily want to air our dirty laundry in public? If I were a new user and saw the edit/flame/sulk war that went on, I'd probably think I was getting into something that was filled with petty vendettas and cliques and turn my back on the thing (I've been involved in enough organisation committees to spot this sort of thing a mile off!) And surely, if a user's transgression of policy is so bad that we need to make them feel unwelcome or constantly tell them off, surely a polite cease and desist is in order, followed by a final warning, followed by a ban nomination (with good detail of why this is being done)? I really do have to agree wtih JYolkowski about this sort of thing escalating minor disputes. (WT-en) Nrms 17:35, 8 January 2009 (EST)

Nrms, that is the best comment in this discussion and I am glad to see more and more people seeing my side than just Peter's.(WT-en) edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 17:56, 8 January 2009 (EST).
I've been trying to follow this, but I'm not as well versed in the conflict as others are, yet. I haven't fully developed an opinion on the situation or the policy proposals, but, I offer a compromise: We give users complete control of their user talk pages, but, move relevant community discussions to policy talk pages. It may subvert the idea that the user control over things that are posted on his/her userpage, but those materials are released under CC-by-SA 1.0 and can be used by anyone in the world, so I don't see why we couldn't or shouldn't move relevant discussions, at the very least. -- (WT-en) Sapphire(Talk) • 18:39, 8 January 2009 (EST)
Do we have a page where user conduct can be discussed? I see Project:Vandalism in progress and Project:User ban nominations, but both of those are generally not appropriate for discussing user conduct because posting to those pages implies that a user's actions are vandalism and/or merit a ban, which can be needlessly inflammatory. If we don't have anything else, maybe we need to create one (or move Project:User ban nominations to a less inflammatory title). (WT-en) JYolkowski 21:55, 8 January 2009 (EST)

I'm inclined to agree with Nrms on this. (WT-en) LtPowers 18:55, 8 January 2009 (EST)

Interestingly, the stated intention of blanking the talk page in the first place was to put past behind, yet the quickest way to do that would have been to just archive the talk page as recommended... instead a long conversation about how problematic this user is has ensued, drawing far more attention than an archived talk page – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 22:13, 8 January 2009 (EST)
That would not throw away the history - that would just make it 1 more click. (WT-en) edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 22:27, 8 January 2009 (EST).

I also agree with Nrms's points on this. I'd prefer EE (or any other user) not to blank his/her talk page, but if they really want to I don't think we should stand in the way. (WT-en) Shaund 02:25, 9 January 2009 (EST)

Just to add to what I said earlier, while I do think a user's talk page is theirs to use as they see fit, I would prefer discussion to be archived by the user; but I'm reluctant to want to force that on anyone as it does, IMHO, feel like an intrusion into the user's personal rights. (WT-en) Nrms 03:50, 9 January 2009 (EST)

If I really wanted to, I could also go into the history and delete it from there, then it would be gone forever :). Simple as that. Either way, I am alright with bringing back all the stuff on my talk, I just did it out of frustration with Peter. (WT-en) edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 13:33, 9 January 2009 (EST).

Guilty until proven innocent, and privacy rights[edit]

I posted something in a talk page about how articles needed to credit the copyright holder of images which appear in the article in the article itself, so that people can print the article without infringing copyright. In retrospect, my suggestion was a mistake. As many rightly pointed out, the onus is surely on the printer to avoid infringment. However, that can be applied to the context of privacy rights and the guilty until proven innocent concept too. The two concepts work in tandem to produce bizarre results. If someone uses a picture from wikivoyage in a manner which infringes someone's privacy rights, they are surely responsible. As for wikivoyage, pictures should surely be taken on a case by case basis to see whether they infringe privacy rights, rather than be victim of an overly harsh and blunt policy. Does anyone else share my sentiments? I won't be put out if you don't. If you disagree with me, however, I suggest that you nominate Image:BlueMosqueMazariSharif.jpg (from the Afghanistan article) and Image:CattleHerderSudan.jpg from the Sudan article for deletion. If a model release can't be produced within seven days, according to the deletion policy, since the images are 'guilty until proven innocent' they should be deleted. Obviously, I don't think they should be deleted. They serve the articles well. I merely illustrate the absurd results of the policy. (WT-en) Arpitt 18:20, 8 January 2009 (EST)

The current official policy is spelled out on wts:Privacy rights, and it says "this does not apply to crowd scenes or bystanders near monuments", so the Blue Mosque pic is OK.
That said, I agree with you -- our current privacy policy is misguided and unnecessarily strict, and I've argued so on wts:Talk:Privacy rights. Personality rights are all about commercial use of images, and a Wikivoyage picture of some random guy standing near the Blue Mosque is editorial, not commercial use. If somebody else wants to use that picture commercially ("This Random Guy Says: Buy Blue Mosque Brand Qurans!"), that's their problem. (WT-en) Jpatokal 22:08, 8 January 2009 (EST)

Copyvios in article history[edit]

Copied from Project:Votes for deletion#Ria formosa

Copyvio from [2], no content otherwise. Redirection to Algarve is another option. - (WT-en) Dguillaime 20:25, 6 March 2009 (EST)

  • Keep - Copyright Violation is not sufficient reason to delete a page. Tag it as a copyright violation and/or redirect to the page where the attraction is best listed if it cannot become an article. (WT-en) Huttite 09:29, 7 March 2009 (EST)
  • Delete. We can't keep copyright-violating text in the history of an article. Better to delete it outright, and if a redirect is desired, one can be created afterward. (WT-en) LtPowers 15:49, 7 March 2009 (EST)
    • Where is the POLICY that says we cannot keep copyright violating text in the history of an article? Besides, it could be the anonymous user did have the rights and had permission to post but just forgot to tell anyone. I would have thought that keeping copyrighted text in the history, identifying it as such, and asking for permission to use, shows we are policing copyright openly and transparently. Also isn't there fair use exemptions? Yes you can see the violation in the history but it is a historic version that is not published. You have to look for it. Besides, the history is not indexed by search engines as it is disallowed by robots.txt - None of the working wiki pages should be visited by robots, only the cached versions should be indexed. That means links to historic pages do not show up in search engines. If and when the OWNER of the copyrighted material asks for their copyrighted material to be deleted from the history, then by all means delete it. But as far as I am aware there is no legal obligation to delete copyright material pre-emptively. What country's law are you working to that requires such action? - (WT-en) Huttite 07:43, 8 March 2009 (EDT)
      • Are you seriously suggesting that violating copyright is okay so long as search engines don't notice and no one complains? The very first policy item in Project:Community policies says "All Wikivoyage content is 100% free. No copyrighted work can be included in Wikivoyage without the express permission of the copyright holder to license it under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License 1.0." Period. Unequivocal. If we have content that is not 100% free, we are in violation of that policy. As for fair use, you yourself have stated why we can't do that. (WT-en) LtPowers 10:47, 8 March 2009 (EDT)
Using deletions to excise copyright violations from article histories runs counter to current practice, and has implications reaching far beyond this one vfd; as such, it is a good topic for discussion, not a deletion rationale. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 17:38, 8 March 2009 (EDT)
The deletion policy seemed clear to me: "Copyright violations should be handled by removing the offending material." That's exactly what I'm suggesting. Where is the harm in deleting this and recreating it as a redirect? (WT-en) LtPowers 21:00, 8 March 2009 (EDT)
I don't think there's any harm in it, but we've never had a policy of having to excise copyvios from article histories, so if we're going to set that as precedent, maybe it should first be discussed and a consensus built and then written into the policy. FWIW, it isn't that difficult to delete articles, and restore all but the copyvio edits, but I don't think that it's necessary, personally – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 22:48, 8 March 2009 (EDT)
Would anyone be opposed to moving this discussion to Project:Deletion policy since it is about a broader issue than just the current VFD nomination? My understanding of copyright law is limited, but as far as I'm aware the first option for fixing a copyright violation is to remove the offending material - it seems to me that by maintaining article history (including the copyvio) we are fulfilling that obligation since the history shows we identified the problem and removed it from the main article. That said, it's probably best to see how a site with available legal representation (like Wikipedia) handles this scenario and then follow their lead. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 08:55, 10 March 2009 (EDT)
Nope --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) Talk 09:23, 10 March 2009 (EDT)
  • Wipe and redirect to Algarve, unless someone wants to argue it deserve an article of its own. There are plenty of instances where copyvio text has been inserted into an existing article along with our original content, and it's been dealt with by deleting the copyvio text. The history is there to show we fulfilled our obligations. Seriously, think through the consequences here. As a vandal, I could nuke Paris by dropping copyvio text into the second paragraph. Then Wikivoyage would have to delete the entire history of the article to get rid of that copyvio. After it was recreated, the entire valid revision history (and contributors) would be lost. Nose, spite, face, etc. On the other hand, we would need the contributor to explicitly say he or she had rights to re-license that text. We absolutely should not assume they did. (WT-en) Gorilla Jones 13:56, 8 March 2009 (EDT)
    • What's this about deleting the entire history to get rid of one edit? (WT-en) LtPowers 09:18, 9 March 2009 (EDT)
You're saying that we have to delete Ria formosa to get rid of the copyrighted text. Simply editing Ria formosa to remove the copyrighted text is not sufficient, by your definition, because the copyrighted text would still be resident in the history of the article. Hence, editing Paris to remove copyrighted text would not be sufficient, by the definition you have put forth, because the copyrighted text would still be resident in the history of the article. We would have to delete Paris to get rid of the copyrighted text. (WT-en) Gorilla Jones 18:36, 9 March 2009 (EDT)
You misunderstand. In this case, all of the revisions in the history of Ria formosa (since there are only two edits) contain copyright violations. In the case of Paris, we can delete the article and then restore every edit except the one that contains a copyright violation. The contribution history would absolutely not be lost. I promise. For Ria formosa, there are no other edits to restore, so that's why we can just delete it and recreate it. (WT-en) LtPowers 08:46, 10 March 2009 (EDT)
Are you seriously suggesting that we go through a delete and restore process every time we run into Wikipedia text or users insert text from a listings website? Again, I think that calls for a separate policy discussion, I would personally stop policing copyright violations, if a undo or revert is no longer sufficient. --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) Talk 09:21, 10 March 2009 (EDT)
That would be the ideal, but I'm not prepared to suggest it be mandatory. However, in this case, where the article has no free content at all, I see no reason not to delete it and start over with a redirect. If it's simple to get rid of non-free text, I think we ought to. If it's complex, well that's a different discussion. (WT-en) LtPowers 12:54, 10 March 2009 (EDT)
In this particular instance, if it's going to get wiped one way or the other, it would be nice to recreate the redirect with the proper capitalization. Moving it still leaves the original name around. (Okay, it doesn't really matter in the greater scheme of things, but it's ugly!) - (WT-en) Dguillaime 13:34, 9 March 2009 (EDT)
  • Keep, either as an article or redirect if needed. Copyright text and images are removed, we've never wiped history before for that. I also removed a line that was confusing in the deletion policy – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 16:09, 8 March 2009 (EDT)

Wikipedia's Policy on this issue[edit]

The relevant Wikipedia policies are WikiPedia:Wikipedia:Copyright violations on history pages and WikiPedia:Wikipedia:Copyright violations:

The discussion has concluded that a copyright violation in the page history of a previously uncopyrighted article does not require the article or the copyrighted version in the history to be deleted. However, the copyrighted version will be selectively deleted from the page history if a complaint is made by the copyright holder.

I'd suggest following their lead. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 09:33, 10 March 2009 (EDT)

REedit: I did the same thing Ryan did, at the same time, and reached a slightly different conclusion?
As noted at the end of each history revision, in the text at MediaWiki:history copyright, the page histories may contain material that is subject to copyright limitations. While we attempt to remove such material from the current version (see copyright problems) it is kept in the history for research and author attribution purposes. As Wikimedia is a not-for-profit company, this is believed to be fair use.
This gives us a problem following wikipedias lead, since wikivoyage is a for-profit company. --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) Talk 09:38, 10 March 2009 (EDT)
To nitpick, it is Internet Brands, our server host, that is a for profit company; Wikivoyage is not a company at all. I'm not a lawyer, but our article histories serve the same purpose as Wikipedia's. Requiring page delete/restore for copyvios would be undesirable for simply being a pain in the ass and because it would be impossible for non-sysops to perform. It would allow a vandal to paste the same copyvio offense into 100 articles at once and then require us to perform multiple steps, which only an administrator could take, to remove each one. If there is a complaint, easy enough to remove it from the article history. But to make this a policy strikes me as very over-conservative, and would create terrible site architecture. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 15:18, 10 March 2009 (EDT)

In general the way to deal with copyvio text is to delete it from the article. If it survives in the history, that's OK, evidence that we are handling the problem. It might even become evidence against a contributor in a lawsuit. Legally, I'm not sure if any obligation we might have to preserve such evidence might outweigh our obligation to eliminate the copyvio material. In any case, we do not want to be mucking about trying to manually delete copyvios in history on articles with any non-copyvio history.

However, there should be tags on the history pages to prevent search engines looking there. We want them searching our current live text, not the history which has copyvios, touting, vandalism, obsolete info, ....

In the specific case, though, of an article where both the title is wrong and the text is all copyvio (or all touting, vandalism, etc.), I'd say just delete it. These can even be speedy deleted. We don't want an article by that title. The only reason to move or redirect instead of deleting would be to preserve the history, and there's nothing worth preserving. Just nuke it! (WT-en) Pashley 10:00, 12 March 2009 (EDT)

I'm fully behind that idea. To clarify, though, there already are tags in the history pages to prevent search engine indexing, as well as on all talk pages past and present. - (WT-en) Dguillaime 14:23, 12 March 2009 (EDT)
Despite this discussion, current policy still states the following:
Copyright violations. Just because someone abuses copyright in creating an article doesn't mean the subject doesn't belong in Wikivoyage. Copyright violations should be handled by removing the offending material.
Can we update policy to note that when the only contribution to an article is a copyio that the article is subject to speedy deletion? If someone adds copyvio text to an existing article then removing just that copyvio text seems fine, but when the article starts out as a copyvio we might as well just delete that content so that we're not unnecessarily maintaining copyvio text in the article history. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:01, 7 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Done. --Peter Talk 21:18, 7 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Unattributed copies of Wikivoyage content[edit]

Apparently our copyright provisions don't apply to Userspace. If that's the case, the footer text on userspace pages needs to be modified.

Take User:(WT-en) Maj/Sandbox/Lausanne. The footer text at the bottom says "This page was last edited at 16:00, on 5 March 2009 by Ryan Holliday. Based on work by Wikivoyage user(s) W66LinkBot and Anonymous user(s) of Wikivoyage. Content is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0." That turns out to be false; it is actually based on work by W66LinkBot, anonymous users, plus Maj, Evan, Karen Johnson, Mark, Allegra, Jani, and a whole lot of other people who edited it prior to the copy Maj made. The content is specified as being available under CC-by-SA, which requires attribution for reuse, but anyone reusing it would not be able to accurately list the contributors -- and that person also wouldn't know that they were violating the attribution requirements of the license.

This strikes me as a serious problem.

-- (WT-en) LtPowers 11:20, 6 March 2009 (EST)

I don't think anyone is saying that copyright provisions don't apply to userspace, but rather that an article copied to a user sandbox is implied to be a copy of the (attributed) main article. I tried to find Wikipedia's policy on this issue and only came up with Wikipedia:Wikipedia:User page#How do I create a user subpage?, so hopefully someone can determine how they handle this issue; since most of us aren't qualified to provide a legal opinion on this issue it would probably be best to determine how a site that does have some legal representation (like Mediawiki) handles the issue and then follow their lead. Note that the problem raised by LtPowers applies not only to user sandbox pages but also to merged articles and any article that was renamed without using the "move" button (including many of our disambiguation pages). -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 11:29, 6 March 2009 (EST)
I think I found a relevant passage on Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Userfication#Cut and paste userfication: "If text is copied to user space, rather than moved via the page move tool, a list of all the contributors to the original text (obtained from the page history of the original page) must be kept to meet the requirements of the GFDL." I believe CC-by-sa requires similar measures. (WT-en) LtPowers 17:24, 6 March 2009 (EST)
Copying attribution information to the talk page seems like a reasonable solution, thus there would not be a need to delete these pages. Thanks for investigating. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 20:39, 6 March 2009 (EST)
Sounds like a super fun expedition is being hatched! – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 20:40, 6 March 2009 (EST)
Well it would presumably be up to the person who copied the text to make sure proper attribution was maintained, so I'm not sure an expedition is necessary. (WT-en) LtPowers 23:12, 6 March 2009 (EST)
This all seems like "a storm in a cup of water", for something as innocent as a sandbox - though, if anyone can come up with a more technical solution to this problem, i'd wholeheartedly support it, as it would also ease the technical obstacles to a wikivoyage fork (the more I look at world66 the more worried I get - that linked page uses over 50% screen real estate on adds). --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) Talk 18:05, 8 March 2009 (EDT)
That is hideous. I tend to forget what these things look like without AdBlock Plus... (WT-en) Gorilla Jones 18:11, 8 March 2009 (EDT)

Considering how strict we are with making sure all images are licensed properly, we seem oddly cavalier with the text. (WT-en) LtPowers 20:58, 8 March 2009 (EDT)

Well, partly, partly the consequences of enforcing a strict policy, is mind boggling, for example, it would also mean the we will no longer be able to do something as simple as sweeping the pub, or archiving anything from one page to another for that matter. Neither would moving content around different talk pages, or just having a temporary sandbox. And as Ryan said, people would be able to force us to nuke the whole history of pages just by pasting a copyrighted paragraph. That's very far reaching consequences for something that has yet to turn out as a tangible problem. Enforcing image copyright is much more straight forward --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) Talk 21:55, 8 March 2009 (EDT)
Wait, why would we have to nuke the whole history for one inserted paragraph? (WT-en) LtPowers 09:15, 9 March 2009 (EDT)

Images uploaded on en:[edit]

I'm almost certain there are other discussions about this subject, but currently there is a very non-subtle message on Special:Upload indicating that all images should be uploaded to shared, yet we still get a significant number of images uploaded to en: each day. It's safe to assume that if someone failed to read the giant "DO NOT UPLOAD HERE" message that they also didn't read the license or other policies, so it's a bit dangerous to assume that these images are within the guidelines, non-copyvio, etc. I'd propose one of two actions:

  1. Modify Project:Deletion policy to state that from this point forward, all images that get uploaded to en: that are not used in userspace will be speedy deleted. In addition, add a note on the Special:Upload page to the effect that anything uploaded here and not used solely on a user page will be deleted. This is pretty harsh, but again, there is no reason why anyone should upload given the giant warning box, and most images uploaded to en: seem like they are likely to violate policy or be copyvios.
  2. If possible, disable uploads on en:. I assume that IB could do this, but they have been less-than-responsive in the past so option #1 might be easier. In addition, we would then need to have people start uploading images meant for user pages to shared, which might not be ideal.

Thoughts? Is this issue already discussed elsewhere? -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 11:47, 13 March 2009 (EDT)

I agree with your first proposal, with a requirement that the uploading user be notified at least once on his or her talk page that images should be uploaded to shared. (WT-en) LtPowers 13:50, 13 March 2009 (EDT)
I agree with the second proposal -- what's wrong with having user images on shared? Until that could be implemented (or if others object(, the first sounds good.--(WT-en) Jonboy 14:26, 13 March 2009 (EDT)
Does changing the link in "Upload file" to Shared instead require IB involvement? if we just changed that, I think we wouldn't have too many mistakes. --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) Talk 15:50, 13 March 2009 (EDT)
I think that the toolbox links are Mediawiki config variables, but maybe someone else can verify that they aren't editable messages... if the links can be easily changed then modifying the navigation makes sense to me. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 16:14, 13 March 2009 (EDT)
I can't find a way to remove the "Upload file" entry on the toolbox completely (the toolbox appears uneditable, unless there is a way to edit Mediawiki:monobook.css to change the skin to hide that link), but you can change the text "Upload file" to whatever you want, except for a blank line. I changed it to "Don't upload file," but I'm not convinced that that will get the message across. If someone can think of a way to change MediaWiki:Upload so that the link becomes hidden or otherwise hard to click, that would be better. In any rate, I support Ryan's proposal. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 16:45, 13 March 2009 (EDT)
Alright! Consider en:special:upload a thing of the past, as I've now figured out (with ja:User:(WT-ja) Tatata's help) how to remove it from the toolbox. Hopefully we won't see any further uploads to this site. --Peter 12:52, 22 May 2009 (EDT)
Any chance of making a regular link to shared? newbies won't have a fighting chance figuring out where to upload, as it is now (though, I think prefer that over the previous option). --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) Talk 13:02, 22 May 2009 (EDT)
What do you mean by regular link? I figured labeling the Shared link in the navbox as "Uploads & bug reports" would make it easier for newcomers to find our image repository. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 15:45, 22 May 2009 (EDT)
Can we revisit this issue? At this point given the ridiculously large "don't upload here" warnings when uploading on en: and the links to shared: from the left nav, anyone who uploads images here isn't reading our copyleft policies, and thus the license and validity of the image has to be questioned. Can we modify the deletion policy to state that any image uploaded to en: that doesn't specifically indicate why it wasn't uploaded to shared: (since occasionally someone uploads an example image for discussion purposes) is subject to speedy deletion, with a note left on the uploader's user page? Here's suggested wording:
Wikivoyage shared is now the repository for all images used on Wikivoyage. Any image uploaded to English Wikivoyage is subject to speedy deletion unless there is a clear explanation given about why the image was not uploaded to shared instead (these instances should be very rare). When speedy deleting images uploaded to English Wikivoyage a message should be left on the uploader's talk page explaining that images must be uploaded to Wikivoyage shared.
This proposal addresses (WT-en) Jonboy's point that user images can go to shared, too, and (WT-en) LtPowers' concern about notifying the user. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 14:06, 30 January 2010 (EST)
I think this makes sense. Any user uploading images here and ignoring the policy clearly (and largely) stated on the upload page is going to be somewhat suspect of ignoring other policies relevant to uploading files. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 14:18, 30 January 2010 (EST)
Yes. (WT-en) LtPowers 15:02, 30 January 2010 (EST)
Hear ye, Support, Support --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) talk 15:17, 30 January 2010 (EST)
*Bump* It sounds like there's support for this idea, but since it's a fairly significant policy change let's give it a few more days for people to give their opinions. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 14:36, 31 January 2010 (EST)
I'm fully in support. We should be sure to edit the text on the upload page itself as well — despite all attempts, users do still find it, and on rare and unreproducible occasions (including once just yesterday) I've still seen the "Don't upload file" link appear in the toolbox. - (WT-en) D. Guillaime 15:16, 31 January 2010 (EST)
Supported. (WT-en) Gorilla Jones 15:37, 31 January 2010 (EST)
Full support. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 21:45, 31 January 2010 (EST)
Given the lack of objection I've updated the deletion policy page. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 13:13, 2 February 2010 (EST)

More on non-contributing users' pages[edit]

Now that we have already come to a consensus on deleting non-contributing users' userpages that consist purely of non-travel relevant spam, I'd like to see if there is support for a slightly stricter policy. Namely, extending the policy to cover non-contributing users' userspace for spam pages that are related to travel. User:(WT-en) Visitstaugustine is a good example of what I'd like to delete. It's a big page designed purely to boost their search engine results, and the user has never made any non-spam edits to Wikivoyage. So what I'm proposing is to change

Non-contributing user pages created for the purpose of non-travel related spam or vandalism.


Non-contributing user pages created for the sole purpose of spam or vandalism.

Thoughts? --(WT-en) Peter Talk 13:11, 3 June 2009 (EDT)

For my part I'd rather just leave those pages alone... it's enough work to police articles, much less going after user pages. If we suddenly get ten users all promoting St. Augustine on their user page I suspect there would be a quick consensus that someone was abusing Wikivoyage, but a single user page doesn't seem to be doing any harm and also provides a quick way of identifying tourist professionals. see below -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 13:44, 3 June 2009 (EDT)
Well, the rationale from the previous discussion was:
1) having large quantities of irrelevant spam throughout our sites may lower Wikivoyage's search engine ranking (indeed, I think it should); 2) having large quantities of irrelevant advertising throughout hundreds or thousands of userpages makes Wikivoyage look like an unprofessional, unmoderated, and unreliable website to casual users who come across these pages in search results.
I'd say we get about one of these every other day, so it's neither a single user page, nor a big patrolling burden. And since it only would apply to non-contributing users, it wouldn't get in the way of identifying tourist professionals. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 14:22, 3 June 2009 (EDT)
I bet you there must be some hotel owner forum somewhere, where they have figured out our policy, and hands out advice that creating user pages is a good way to improve google ranking. I wouldn't mind them, if it wasn't for the fact that they are actually correct - another reason I'm getting really discouraged with wikivoyage and the lack of control - would have been so much easier to figure out how to fix up robots.txt to exclude userpages instead. --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) Talk 15:00, 3 June 2009 (EDT)
Yeah, although this may be a comparably small issue now, it's not hard to imagine it happening more often. A year ago, hotel tout-bots were virtually non-existent, and now they're here every day. (WT-en) Gorilla Jones 19:48, 3 June 2009 (EDT)
(WT-en) For example... (WT-en) Gorilla Jones 09:15, 11 June 2009 (EDT)
I would support that wording change, spam is spam – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 11:05, 11 June 2009 (EDT)
Eight months after my previous comment, my opinion on this issue has changed - with IB's refusal/inability to implement nofollow tags and Wikivoyage's increasing popularity as a way to increase page rank I'd be in favor of the wording change Peter proposed to allow removing obvious spam on non-contributing user pages, even if it is travel related. The key point, however, is that the spam should be obvious - ten spammy links on a page or a user page that includes a speedy delete template from Wikipedia is obvious, but "I work for Foo Bar Baz Travel" is not. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 23:43, 29 December 2009 (EST)

Incomplete travel topics and itineraries[edit]

Swept in from the pub

It is easy to think up a travel topic or itinerary. Four days hiking across XYZ park, country, city or continent. Make the article, put a template in, write a day or two, or a bit of info, and then put it down. Add it to travel topics, and then it languishes. Don't bother trying to post a VFD, because someone will object (quite rightfully) on the basis that if someone did some work with it it could become a very valid article. Only two problems, no one probably will, and therefore it probably won't. I can handle woefully incomplete destination guides. Someone will come along someday, and fill the info. Every place gets visited eventually. I fear that for itineraries and travel topics this won't ever be the case. Often it is easier to pick a new different topic name, then go back to work with an existing topic or template. Often it is a very small group of travellers who could even contemplate finishing the topic off. Often the approach to the topic is so off-the-wall it is difficult to update (1 month in Asia, but the itinerary only does two countries, and flies between them) I'm thinking of a namespace, or other location, for nursing fledgling travel topics or itineraries. This will encourage people or groups who create them to at least get them to be usable, before moving them to the main namespace, or linking them into articles, etc. If they fail, they fail, we accept it graciously and move on. Another option would be more of a presumption against travel topics that languish for months, years with bare bones information. --(WT-en) inas 02:45, 3 June 2009 (EDT)

Here's my suggestion: itineraries should tagged for quality like other articles, and those that have been outline or below (read: not usable) can be deleted after (say) 1 year if no work is being done on them. (WT-en) Jpatokal 03:58, 3 June 2009 (EDT)
I like that idea. Additionally, we could write on the creator's talk page or email them to fix it or delete it. Will we eventually delete Visit United States in 30 days? Sorry, but it really stands out as ludicrous. Deletion has been brought up on its talk page and on the Vote for deletion page. (WT-en) AHeneen 04:32, 3 June 2009 (EDT)
The only reason I haven't closed that VfD is because I participated in the discussion. (WT-en) LtPowers 09:35, 3 June 2009 (EDT)
This should probably be moved to Project:Deletion policy. But I think Jani's suggestion is a perfect solution. (WT-en) Gorilla Jones 19:49, 3 June 2009 (EDT)
The initial discussion point wasn't about deletion. The approach to just delete stuff not up to scratch is one way of approaching this issue. I would have preferred a nursery approach, where we can try and make more of these articles initially, ensure they are named correctly, ensure that there aren't similar pieces of work that should be built on, or incorporated, and encourage more complete coverage before we make them mainstream. In effect, build a procedure for creating a new itinerary or travel topic. As I said, the destination articles will retrieve attention one day. Someone will go there, want to go there, or live there. There is no such guarantee with travel topics or itineraries. However if all that sounds too unrealistic, too much administration effort etc, and the consensus is just to make this part of the deletion process, it is better than nothing, I guess.. --(WT-en) inas 20:23, 3 June 2009 (EDT)
The nursery idea does sound too involved to me. I'm usually skeptical that stubby itineraries are ever going to be written after the initial contributor moves on. Ditto travel topics, although some can be general enough where they will develop organically. But a year is plenty time to judge in an objective fashion whether the article will likely languish forever, so I like Jani's idea. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 21:09, 3 June 2009 (EDT)

Re: "nursery", the easiest approach would be to include a category in the itinerary-stub/outline templates and then link that in from Itineraries. Here's my first shot at an outlineitinerary template, complete with pink border to highlight impending doom and a displayed date of last revision -- what do you think?

This itinerary is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present for it to be of real use. It was last edited on 2020-06-1 and will be deleted if not modified for one year. Please plunge forward and rescue it!

Articles tagged with this are listed in Category:Outline itineraries. (WT-en) Jpatokal 22:10, 3 June 2009 (EDT)

Looks good! --(WT-en) Peter Talk 22:39, 3 June 2009 (EDT)
Will the automatic revision time/date work? How many articles go a year without being hit by some kind of random edit? Perhaps simply remaining an outline after a year is sufficient, rather than not being edited for a year? If is a fair break for an outline, don't you think? Also, I'd like to volunteer to write the article linked to under rescue it. I think there could be a better link there, than How to edit a page, but that is something we can change in due course.. --(WT-en) inas 22:47, 3 June 2009 (EDT)
So how about changing that to "...if not improved to usable or better within one year"? Unfortunately there's no creation timestamping, but if it really is obscure and deletion-worthy, it's unlikely to get changed much: spammers and vandals target high-traffic articles, and cleanup/interwiki bots do nothing if there's nothing to cleanup/link to. (WT-en) Jpatokal 06:14, 8 June 2009 (EDT)
A person adding a vfd is motivated enough to manually set a final date after which the article should be deleted if not improved. When a final date arrive, a person considering to implement a deletion can manually check whether there were any substantial changes. Therefore it can work without any automation or extra programming. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 15:42, 8 June 2009 (EDT)

On a related note: how about travel topics around specific destinations? To repeat my question from Talk:Travelling with children:

I wonder if (WT-en) this draft can become a separate article just as it is right now--and hopefully its growth will benefit from being well-focused, instead of being "spread thin" over Barcelona article. Opinions?

--(WT-en) DenisYurkin 13:17, 4 June 2009 (EDT)

My opinion is that a travel topic related to a specific destination should begin life within the destination article. There should be a section With children, within the Barcelona article, probably a subsection of Do. This goes back to my nursery philosophy. Only when it has outgrown its parent article, with rich content, should it be split off. This gives it he best chance to develop. The same should essentially apply to itineraries within regions. They should develop within the region article, and then when they can justify it they should be split off. Really, there is not much content there right now, an it would benefit more from being in the much visited Barcelona article, then split off somewhere. --(WT-en) inas 01:22, 5 June 2009 (EDT)
Thanks, I've followed the advice. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 17:15, 6 June 2009 (EDT)

Back to the original proposal, my only objection is: please don't treat itineraries and travel topics as synonyms, they are quite different. I support that itineraries should be managed differently than today; but I am not sure for travel topics. Similarly to destination articles, "Doing X in the region Y" or "What is Activity X and what are world's best places to experience it" will find more contributors some day (of course provided that a topic is somewhat popular, which is the case for most topics I've seen here so far). --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 17:15, 6 June 2009 (EDT)

I agree that we should limit this experiment to itineraries only. (WT-en) Jpatokal 06:14, 8 June 2009 (EDT)
Or possibly travel topics that are itinerary-esque - if that makes sense. Particular activity in Particular destination. --(WT-en) inas 21:45, 8 June 2009 (EDT)
I'll update the deletion policy with what I can distil as the consensus here. --(WT-en) inas 23:06, 18 August 2009 (EDT)

Giving a second thought to the deadline to reach a usable idea, I think it will discourage creating new itinerary unless (a) it's a really full-of-contributors region, or (b) a person starting the itinerary is able to write it himself to the usable condition. This means that most of the world will get no itineraries at all. Writing a good itinerary is not much easier job than to write a good region guide--so why should we put a deadline for former, when we don't have for a latter?

An alternative I can see is to use the same "7+/-2 per region" rule as we use for number of cities / destinations. I.e. as long as there's too much iterinaries, we can discuss which of them to list--but still allow other topics to develop in the background, giving them no "official mentions" until they become better than any other itinerary at this level of region hierarchy. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 04:52, 19 August 2009 (EDT)

I don't think the bar for a usable itinerary is very high, you can do it with a list of bullet points. The "deadline" idea is only to clear out useless outlines with practically no info at all. (WT-en) Jpatokal 07:10, 19 August 2009 (EDT)
Probably you are right. But then we should revise requirements for usable travel topic/itinerary: right now they are somewhat more than just a list of bullet points, as I understand them. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 21:26, 2 September 2009 (EDT)
What if instead of requiring usable status, we just said "significant changes". "Significant" is relative, but it's kind of nice, because then we can judge each deletion nominee case-by-case. For example, those who are familiar with Japan's 88 Temple Pilgrimage would (I assume) strongly oppose deleting it, even if it were not at usable status. Currently, it is basically just a list with some useful but too-vague-to-be-usable tips and sleeping info, and no info about how to get to any of the temples (many of the city articles do not yet exist). If articles need to be usable, then we'd have to delete this article, which I think we would NOT actually support. The same would probably apply to the one I started Chugoku 33 Kannon Temple Pilgrimage. These are both OFFICIAL pilgrimage routes though, so I sometimes question whether or not they are itineraries at all. Are they really travel topics? Anyways, do you think "significant changes" would be better? (WT-en) ChubbyWimbus 21:49, 2 September 2009 (EDT)
You may want to refresh your memory on Project:Itinerary_status. It is, as others have said, quite lenient. 88 Temple Pilgrimage fits the usable criteria, and Chugoku 33 Kannon Temple Pilgrimage isn't far off. You also started working on it recently enough that it wouldn't be subject to review here. (WT-en) Gorilla Jones 22:47, 2 September 2009 (EDT)
So, there are essentially three criteria to become usable, Firstly, a way to get to the first point and out from the last, secondly, a list of the points in the itinerary, and thirdly, an understand, or a raison d'être for the itinerary. These really are the basics that you expect the author would put in an itinerary at the time it is created, I would have thought. A year later, it is more than likely abandoned, with no guarantee anybody will every return to it.
However, what about at a compromise, we exclude itineraries that are well known from this policy. This policy really isn't aimed at the Silk Road, or Route 66, rather ad-hoc itineraries that are highly unlikely to see further attention. --(WT-en) inas 23:15, 2 September 2009 (EDT)
Ah, I should have read the actual requirements. I was just thinking on an, "if I were going to use this as my sole resource to do the pilgrimage, would I call it usable.", but that's a really long walk, so I imagine it would take a while to make it comprehensive. Anyways, I like Inas' idea. The "official" or well-known routes should be exempt, regardless of status or age of the article, because those sort of itineraries will definitely be used by travellers, and the arbitrary "One Night in Bangkok"-type articles will then be up for scrutiny. Sounds fair. (WT-en) ChubbyWimbus 23:21, 2 September 2009 (EDT)

Based on the fact that Template:Outlineitinerary has been added to a number of itineraries and there seems to be some consensus on this matter shouldn't the deletion policy mention the fact that outline itineraries that have not been substantially edited within a year will be deleted? I'd suggest the following under "Reasons to delete articles":

Itineraries that are at outline status that have not been substantially edited within one year. Since just about any topic can be an itinerary, itineraries must either be actively worked on or achieve some level of completion to be kept. Template:Outlineitinerary should be used to tag itineraries at the outline level.

-- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 12:19, 2 May 2010 (EDT)

Looks good to me. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 13:52, 2 May 2010 (EDT)
Policy page updated. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 23:44, 20 May 2010 (EDT)

Travel topics[edit]

While the above discussion established a "one year without a significant edit" criteria for itineraries, travel topics did not reach a similar consensus. My opinion with travel topics has always been that they should follow the same rule as geographic content, namely the topic should ALWAYS start out as part of a larger article, and only be split out when there is enough content to warrant doing so. However, the reality of Wikivoyage is that we tend to allow new topic articles to be created on almost any subject, so I'd suggest that any new topic articles that are not quickly worked up beyond the "outline" status be tagged with a merge. That would address the fact that there is some support for allowing topic articles on almost any travel-related subject while also allowing us to keep this part of Wikivoyage more organized. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 17:01, 4 September 2010 (EDT)

Merging often won't be workable—I don't know to where we would merge literary travel, for instance. For simplicity and consistency's sake, I'd recommend applying the same one year criterion to travel topics, in addition to itineraries. They are similar in that there is no limit of any sort to possible such articles, and we don't need endless aimless and basically useless articles proliferating about the site. And, as with itineraries, hopefully this type of policy will encourage good work, as contributors try to "rescue" articles in which they see potential. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 17:49, 4 September 2010 (EDT)
How about "merge, or if no appropriate merge target exists the article may be deleted if it does not receive any significant edits within one year"? That would address your literary travel concern while also making it clear that the preference for topics is that they are worked into broader articles whenever possible. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 18:13, 4 September 2010 (EDT)
Sounds good to me. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 18:23, 4 September 2010 (EDT)
*bump* Anyone else care to comment? It would be good to get some closure on this issue. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 11:28, 5 September 2010 (EDT)
So far we have a unanimous consensus of two for changing the deletion policy. I'm not sure if lack of further comment means assent by silence or that people simply haven't seen this discussion, so here's one last request for comment - any further thoughts on changing the deletion policy for travel topics as mentioned above? -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 11:18, 7 September 2010 (EDT)
I really don't have much of an opinion either way. (WT-en) LtPowers 16:24, 7 September 2010 (EDT)
Policy updated. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 18:08, 11 September 2010 (EDT)

Sorry for not replying earlier.

1. I disagree with the recent change to the policy, as, similar to Expeditions, travel topics can take years before there is enough interested people to move a topic forward. And seeing a risk of deletion, some of them will never start (even when there's more than one contributor interested in topic, many be sitting silent each in his own cave). I don't think there are really so many ways of seeing travel, at least those not connected to a specific continent/country/region like "doing X in Y", but global ones.

2. Partially regardless the objection in 1., looks like while destination-centric outline topics are most easily sticked to a respective destination, most global topics should be easier merged into one of articles named under our section headers. It will help merging most articles we can think of as useful, while "not fitting any of them" will be a another signal there's potentially something wrong with the topic. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 17:24, 13 September 2010 (EDT)

My concern with point #1 above is that the vast majority of travel topics should start out as part of a broader topic, and only be split out when there is sufficient content to warrant doing so. Otherwise we end up with content in articles like Carnival freedom and Carnival Elation instead of in a more general (and more useful) article about Cruise ships. In the rare case where a topic is so specific that it can't be incorporated into a broader article it seems reasonable to expect that it should progress beyond outline status fairly quickly (the criteria for "usable" is fairly minimal), and if not someone who is willing to invest some time in the topic can always re-create it later.
I'm not quite sure I understand point #2, so any clarification would be appreciated. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 21:45, 13 September 2010 (EDT)
In #2, I meant general articles like Talk (already exists), Eat (I failed to find support for creating it), Drink (no enthusiasts seen :), Sleep (great rename for Travel accommodation, BTW), Get around, Cope etc. Beyond that, I would suggest creating Special needs (where business travel, with children, disabled, minorities, elders, just married etc etc each can have their own section). And we already have Travel activities. For everything else, I would suggest allowing adding content to the end of Travel topics itself, to follow the nursery approach defined above.
The above list of "containter" topics should fit most topics one can think of, and instead of frequent VFD wars will help us to focus on creating useful content. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 16:56, 3 January 2011 (EST)
Isn't your proposal the same as the current policy? The guideline is to merge where possible, and there are a number of broad "umbrella" topics that exist for that purpose: Travel transportation (Get around), Travel accommodation (Sleep), Travel health (Stay healthy), Travel safety (Stay safe); if we need more they could easily be created. The change in policy was made to handle cases where people create stubs that can't be merged into any broad parent topic - for example, Literary travel, which is an brief list that wouldn't be useful in a broader parent article. In those cases there is a one year grace period to allow the article to develop, after which it is subject to deletion. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 17:26, 3 January 2011 (EST)
Ah, I forgot I find Literary travel useful in a long run :-) Then I have two questions:
1) what would be a valid "umbrella" topic which could include both Literary travel and dozens of other similar something-inspired/based-on travel (thematic travel)?
2) what exactly does specifically the Literary travel topic needs to become usable (and hence become a "valid" topic here)?
As for my proposal, I think I meant that for travel topics on verge of deletion but with useful content, we should default to either merging their content to an "umbrella topic" if such already exists, or to create "umbrella" topic from the list above, starting it with the content of only one aspect of such an "umbrella". --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 17:42, 3 January 2011 (EST)
  1. "what would be a valid "umbrella" topic which could include..." That's the point of the policy change - if there is no good umbrella topic available (such as with an article like Literary travel) and the article hasn't move beyond a stub within a year, it gets deleted. Someone is always welcome to create a new article, but the expectation should be that if it's really worth writing an article about that someone will make the effort to present at least a usable amount of information.
  2. "Usable" status is outlined at Project:Travel topic status.
If there is a good place to merge to, current policy is that the content should be merged. But we are constantly getting new travel topics that don't fit into the existing travel topic hierarchy, and the policy change was designed to deal with those. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 00:17, 4 January 2011 (EST)
IMHO Literary travel is already usable, per link you provided. If there are any objections, please detail them.
And how should we proceed with "something-inspired/based-on travel (thematic travel)" umbrella travel topic--are there any obstacles to creating such an umbrella travel topic? --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 19:34, 5 January 2011 (EST)

Speedying VFD-listed articles[edit]

Quite often non-admins spots some silly article (eg. Vfd#Gelato, Vfd#Fiji tours) and lists it on VFD, and then it's speedied by an admin. This works well 99% of the time, but unfortunately the policy doesn't technically cover it. I suggest the following addition:

Articles that have been already listed at Votes for deletion may also be speedied if they meet all the criteria. However, if anyone has objected to the deletion (which includes suggesting redirection or merging), the article must not be speedied and should go through the full process.

All in favor? (WT-en) Jpatokal 10:34, 8 October 2009 (EDT)

Seems like a useful clarification. Perhaps "However, if anyone has objected to the deletion," instead of "if there is any dissent"? (WT-en) LtPowers 13:05, 8 October 2009 (EDT)
Changed. (WT-en) Jpatokal 22:14, 8 October 2009 (EDT)
OK, but what constitutes objection? "Keep", obviously, but what about "Redirect and delete" or "Merge and delete"? (WT-en) Pbsouthwood 01:57, 9 October 2009 (EDT)
"Redirect and delete" is nonsensical. "Merge and delete" should be avoided, IMO, but in the case where it is not, a speedy is clearly incorrect since the content should not be deleted before it can be merged. (WT-en) LtPowers 11:59, 9 October 2009 (EDT)

Sounds good to me. (WT-en) Texugo 02:07, 10 October 2009 (EDT)

Fine by me. (WT-en) Pashley 08:09, 29 October 2009 (EDT)

VFD required for new pages created that are spam[edit]

I notice there are some comments to the effect that it really isn't necessary to nominate new pages that quality for speedy deletion. These pages stand out like a sore thumb, and are usually speedied quite readily. Shall we just add some text to the deletion policy - like "New pages that are plainly spam and that qualify for speedy deletion are usually noticed and deleted readily. If no action has been taken for 24 hours, by all means add them to the vfd page". WDYT? --(WT-en) inas 01:01, 9 November 2011 (EST)

I was one of the people who commented on this issue - my concern is that a spambot page will be deleted by the first admin who sees it, so there really isn't a need to put it on the VFD page. It doesn't hurt anything to do so, but there really isn't any point unless there is a worry that the page would be overlooked. How about a slight tweak to your wording: "New pages that are plainly spam and that qualify for speedy deletion will be deleted as soon as they are noticed by an admin, and therefore do not need to be nominated for deletion. If a page hasn't been noticed in more than 24 hours feel free to add it to the nominations page as a way to ensure that it isn't overlooked." -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 02:16, 9 November 2011 (EST)
Happy with that. --(WT-en) inas 03:22, 9 November 2011 (EST)

Deletion policy for templates?[edit]

What is the deletion policy for templates? Wikivoyage:Votes for deletion is about pages and images, and as "Articles and images are presumed guilty until proven innocent", a heavy criterion, I assume it does not apply to templates and other non-page or image entries? So what is? Consensus? -- Eiland (talk) 22:13, 2 November 2012 (CET)

For new templates, we need consensus that we should have it, per Wikivoyage:Using_Mediawiki_templates#New_Mediawiki_Template_proposals. Thus, unpopular new templates are likely to get deleted, as they technically shouldn't have been created without a discussion. Vfds for templates that have already been around for a while and are in use would have a higher bar set for deletion proponents. --Peter Talk 23:49, 2 November 2012 (CET)

Images that should be on Commons[edit]

What is our plan for images that are uploaded here, but belong on Commons? Will we delete them outright? Or create a category to mark them for bot transfer to Commons? Other ideas? --Peter Talk 08:58, 6 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]

If they're good images that conform to our policies, it would be a shame to just delete them outright, as you say. Bot transfer to Commons sounds good to me. Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:17, 6 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]
These shouldn't be being put on VfD, unless the image itself is worthless or has copyright problems. Template them with {{move}} and move them to Commons. I've used images in articles here which were on commons: only because en.Wikipedia tagged them and moved them there (their standard handling of free images which don't depict copyrighted logos or works), no sense in discarding good and usable content. K7L (talk) 14:23, 6 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]
The assumption is that if someone ignored the huge "Freely licensed materials should be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons" message on Special:Upload then they probably also did not read the information about Wikivoyage:Copyleft, so the licensing of the image could not be trusted (see #Images uploaded on en: above). The current policy states that an image is subject to speedy deletion when:
Images uploaded to English Wikivoyage. Wikimedia Commons is now the repository for all images used on Wikivoyage. Any image uploaded to English Wikivoyage is subject to speedy deletion unless there is a clear explanation given about why the image was not uploaded to Commons instead (such as non-free content). When speedy deleting images uploaded to English Wikivoyage a message should be left on the uploader's talk page explaining that images must be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons.
This policy ensures that images really are free to use and we don't spend unnecessary time chasing down copyvios. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:33, 6 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Considering how many free files are still uploaded to Wikipedia (only some of them by particularly recalcitrant editors who want to have nothing to do with Commons), I don't think it's reasonable to assume that any locally uploaded files (without a non-free tag) are copyvios. We can revisit that decision if we end up with a flood of images, but I think moving to Commons is only marginally more difficult than tagging them with VfD. LtPowers (talk) 18:24, 6 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I've updated my original comment to include a quote from existing policy that notes local uploads are subject to speedy deletion. I'd be opposed to changing that policy and allowing local uploads except for the already-noted exception cases. Images uploaded to Commons can be shared by all WMF projects, are organized and curated by a larger group, and we then don't have to deal with migrating images and ensuring they are properly attributed to an uploader who may or may not have actually understood copyleft in the first place. Asking someone to create an account on Commons doesn't seem like a very high bar to clear. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:40, 6 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]
It would be nice to force local uploads to tick a box or select an option justifying the local upload. --Peter Talk 18:58, 6 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I guess I'd be okay with speedy deleting local uploads if the uploader is explicitly asked to upload to Commons instead. Otherwise it seems a bit churlish to simply delete what may be an otherwise-fine image because they failed to read some fine big print. LtPowers (talk) 21:36, 6 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]
That's already current policy: When speedy deleting images uploaded to English Wikivoyage a message should be left on the uploader's talk page explaining that images must be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. A request was left at User talk:Pratyeka for the user to use Commons instead. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:32, 7 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Should we assume something is a copyvio if we don't know, or that it isn't one? Why, in either case? Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:03, 7 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]
If a user uploads an image here without specifying why it wasn't uploaded to Commons then they have ignored the giant "Freely licensed materials should be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons" message on the Special:Upload page. In that case it is more than reasonable to assume that they have not read the other (smaller text) disclaimers about licensing, copyright, etc. In that particular case, an assumption that the image is not a copyvio seems extraordinarily dangerous if we want to ensure that content on this site is truly free - that was the original motivation for adding the "speedy deletion" clause to the deletion policy for local image uploads back in 2009. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:22, 7 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I agree that all free files should be on Commons but it would be a shame to delete free and usable files. We can easily move them to Commons. It only tage 5 seconds with a bot.
It would be a big help if an admin would go through the files in Category:Files on Wikimedia Commons and after that Special:UncategorizedFiles and delete all useless files and file pages where the file is on Commons. --MGA73 (talk) 18:15, 25 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Images that should be here[edit]

I've written in the policy that "The only exceptions would be images for your local user page or non-free images kept here under our exemption doctrine." I'm not sure that we've talked about images for local user pages, so I may just be making up policy on the fly. I have four of such images (example), which would seem weird to upload to Commons.

Does this seem right? Is there better verbiage to explain what "images for your local user page" means? Would we define it as photos of yourself or maps of your travels?

I'd like this page to basically cover our now defunct image policy (I intend to import the talk page from that page, but not the article). --Peter Talk 18:55, 6 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]

User page images can be uploaded to commons under commons:Category:User page images by using commons:Template:User page image; I've done that with my profile image. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:49, 6 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Indeed. I've struck that part from the deletion policy. --Peter Talk 20:24, 6 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Deletion of local file pages[edit]

Swept in from the pub


There is a lot of files showing up on Special:UncategorizedFiles. In most cases it is probably just a text page where the actual file is located on Commons.

I think that all relevant information should be copied to Commons and the local file page deleted. That will make it much easier to maintain the local files.

It would also be a good idea if some local users checked Special:ListFiles often and checked if everything is ok. If the file is free it should be copied to Commons. If there is no source and license then uploader should be told as soon as possible.

--MGA73 (talk) 18:18, 16 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

special:newfiles and special:newpages might be more suitable than listing absolutely everything? K7L (talk) 02:43, 17 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
ListFiles also have a description but feel free to use whatever tool or list you (or anyone else like) as long as someone checks new files I'm happy :-D --MGA73 (talk) 08:47, 17 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Unused Geographical Categories[edit]

Now that we're creating hidden categories for the geographical hierarchy, when the hierarchy changes, we can be left with categories that don't correspond. I think these can be deleted/tidied up upon sight. Is that a reasonable thing to do. Has this been discussed elsewhere that I've missed? --Inas (talk) 23:10, 10 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I don't know if there's a discussion on the subject elsewhere. Is there any value in just redirecting the categories unless there is no good redirect target? That might be easier than deleting, and we could potentially get a bot to do it for us. -- Ryan • (talk) • 00:48, 11 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Does redirecting a category even work? This type of category is never going to contain anything anyway, and I don't think it is in our interest to start thinking in terms of likely search terms for categories. I think it is preferable to just speedy delete them.Texugo (talk) 01:14, 11 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Per mw:Help:Redirects#A redirect to a page in the category namespace a category can be redirected. I don't have strong feelings on doing redirect vs delete for unused categories, although a redirect would be consistent with the deletion policy's guideline that "redirecting non-articles, when possible, is usually preferred to deletion for several reasons". -- Ryan • (talk) • 01:26, 11 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think those "several reasons" apply in the category namespace where we should not actually be concerned about likely search terms/ease of search. I think leaving a bunch of redirects in the Category namespace could get messy, because it is possible for a category page to redirect to another page, yet also contain items in its own category at the same time (which you won't see unless you follow the redirect back to its source). I cannot think of any good reason we would need such redirect pages. Texugo (talk) 01:43, 11 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
As per Texugo, I believe we should avoid redirects in the Category-space, as it will only become confusing and disorganised. Unused categories can and should be deleted upon sight. JamesA >talk 03:41, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I don't feel strongly on the delete/redirect issue and don't want to block consensus, so updating policy to allow speedy deletion of unused geographic categories seems fine. -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:47, 16 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Proposed new policy on deletions[edit]

OK, this is the roughest of a draft, but I would like discussion on it, because I think it would be fairer and more transparent than current practice, and also better for the site than deleting templates that perhaps 75% of discussants wanted kept and an article on which opinion broke about 50/50 (Edit: See discussion at Wikivoyage talk:Votes for deletion#Guilty, unless proven innocent? for more context):

If after 14 days, there is no clear consensus (at a minimum, obviously over 50% of discussants) to delete an article, it will be kept. In case of substantial controversy (at least 30% or so opposition to the article), further comments will be solicited on how to address some of the concerns of the article's detractors and weak supporters. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:09, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Do you want to sweep this to the deletion policy talk page? --Inas (talk) 05:12, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Done. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:23, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
While obviously more transparent, this would turn the votes for deletion into an actual voting page, which I would not support. If anything, I'd prefer we change the name to "Deletion nominations" to make it more transparent that it's not about voting! --Peter Talk 05:30, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
But then how would decisions be made, and by whom? The nub of my proposed change is to require a majority for deletion, rather than a consensus to keep, except that decisions don't seem to be consistently made on either basis now. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:32, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
My concern is that this proposal would change our procedure from a reasoned debate about how our policies apply to specific cases to a popular vote. Voting is inherently problematic online unless we're going to go the work-intensive, privacy-incompatible, and at least somewhat hopeless route of using checkuser investigations to keep voting free of sockpuppetry. It also would get rid of the need to apply policy, making this just a popularity contest—basically rendering our deletion policy moot. --Peter Talk 06:04, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Your point about sockpuppetry is well taken. So I propose a rider to the proposed policy: Voting would be limited to users who were already registered at the time the vfd was posted. I'd also propose another rider that if there is a clear consensus (at least 75% of discussants, or if you like, 80%) to keep an article (template, etc.) in spite of a preexisting policy that would cause its deletion, the article will be kept. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:24, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I'm with Peter that we don't want to turn this into a numbers game as that can be easy to manipulate and doesn't give weight to strong arguments, but I'm amenable to changing the standard from "consensus to keep" to "consensus to delete" if so desired. Also, rather than ending contentious VFDs after 14 days, it probably makes sense to say that in cases where there isn't a clear consensus after 14 days that the discussion should be extended for an additional 14 days - that's been the unofficial practice, so we might as well codify it. As to stipulations for citing policy or dealing with sockpuppets, why don't we just follow Wikipedia's lead (w:WP:DPAFD):
"These processes are not decided through a head count, so participants are encouraged to explain their opinion and refer to policy... It is considered inappropriate to ask people outside of Wikipedia to come to the discussion to sway its outcome; such meatpuppet comments may be ignored."
-- Ryan • (talk) • 06:49, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I can definitely live with your counter-proposal, Ryan. My main concern is to have an atmosphere of tolerance and cooperation. I prefer to be more permissive on content, and to draw a hard line on real misbehavers (spammers, vandals, persistent touters, and other destructive or seriously time-wasting folks) only. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:57, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I certainly second that sentiment! Re: sockpuppets, they're not an issue as long as we're not voting. Someone can create ten socks and make irrelevant arguments, or invite 100 like-minded Wikipedians who assert that we should keep the page, but ultimately the decision is to be made based on the quality of the arguments and their relation to policies. --Peter Talk 07:18, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I know that in the scope debate we had those who thought that to maintain focus we need a defined scope, and those that thought that as long as it was good content that no matter how tenuous the link to actually being a visitor to a place it could stay. I know we didn't really find consensus in that argument. Since we currently have real difficulty deleting even the most irrelevant and sparse article, I'm afraid that moving to a consensus to delete would seriously widen our scope without the discussion to pin it down that should happen first.

On the overall issue, I feel this problem has arisen now because we have deleted a good article, with good content. Deleting a template, or outline article is easy, but this one is hard. Perhaps we consider having a reject pile, of good articles that are out of scope. That way the content can be reused in other articles or other sites, and not disappear entirely before they can be redeployed? --Inas (talk) 08:58, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I'm with Inas. I think moving to a consensus to delete would just be removing a few tines from our rake, letting random things through that are not really worth keeping just because not enough people took notice to join the discussion. Also, deleting only with consensus is tantamount to allowing exceptions to policy by default if even a couple of people want them. I do not think the system is as broken as some of you seem to think. There will always be contentious items like Marriage in China or Template:Busy regardless of the system we have in place, but in general I think our current policy has served us quite well.
I would be amenable to Inas' suggestion of a slushpile/purgatory, provided things are given a reasonable time limit to live there and be otherwise incorporated before deletion. Texugo (talk) 11:28, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I agree that switching the burden of proof is not a good idea at this point in time. LtPowers (talk) 12:46, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
By "reject pile", the content could be moved to a user subpage, much like Underground Railroad. K7L (talk) 14:11, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I like that idea- that way someone claims it, and in the user namespace there is no need for a time limit. Texugo (talk) 14:17, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I don't feel strongly changing the burden from "consensus to keep" to "consensus to delete", but I do think that the fear of keeping contentious articles has proven itself to be overblown throughout the years, and that losing or alienating new contributors is a much greater danger. If an article is truly out of scope then the consensus (citing policy) would be to delete or merge it, but if it's a borderline case I don't think it hurts us to keep it around. Marriage in China is a good example - that isn't an ideal article subject, but I'm not sure how that article is any worse than something like Off-roading in California, and the site is no worse off for having had the latter article around over the past nine-and-a-half years. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:04, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I find those two articles to be a very odd comparison. I don´t think Off-roading in California has the type of scope issues that Marriage in China had. And I think changing to a "consensus to delete" would have us hanging on to Diabetic Pakistani students coming to Finland with their pet goats for as long as its creator is willing to stick around and vouch for its usefulness. Policy would then seem to default for it to be kept rather than deleted, which I think is totally backwards. Texugo (talk) 15:17, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
With regards to articles about anyone taking their goat to anywhere, if such an article is being kept then per many of the points being made at Wikivoyage talk:Votes for deletion#Guilty, unless proven innocent? then that's an indication that our policies on valid travel topics need to be tightened. I think Ikan's original point in opening this discussion was that in cases where policy isn't clear we currently delete articles, rather than keeping them or updating policy to be clearer, and it does seem unfair to punish good faith creators who may or may not have tried to follow existing site policies just because we didn't create clearer guidelines. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:38, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Travelling with pets is a perfectly valid travel topic and already exists, but why limit this to goats? K7L (talk) 15:46, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
(edit conflict) Ryan, you are saying all gray areas should be kept by default and if anybody cares enough that they want to delete such a page they need to go get consensus in a policy discussion first? I am not comfortable with keeping gray areas because keeping them does nothing to ensure that the appropriate policy discussion will ever take place, the gray areas end up getting kept indefinitely, and thus they appear to set a precedent. Texugo (talk) 15:53, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Texugo: I'm not sure that speaking in the abstract has been useful, so to try some specific examples: Marriage in China would have been kept if we switched the burden of proof to "consensus to delete". "Diabetic Pakistani students coming to Finland with their pet goats" would likely have been deleted or merged as it is out of scope, but if the consensus WAS to keep that article (or any similarly questionable article) then it would be an indication that we need to update the criteria for travel articles so that it would be clearly out of scope. The idea of a "gray area" is a moving target, but if our policies are sufficiently clear then anything that is truly a gray area article should be something that we can live with such as "Marriage in China" or "Off-roading in California", while overly-specific gibberish like "Diabetic Pakistani students coming to Finland with their pet goats" should fall clearly into the "not an article" category. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:32, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I have no problem with "Off-roading in California", but for some of us "Marriage in China" is also out of scope and not something we should live with either.Texugo (talk) 19:26, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Sorry for another tangent, and not to single you out, but I'm concerned that lately there have been a lot of comments that are to the effect of "for some us X" that seem to not consider that those with the opposite opinion feel equally strongly about the validity of their argument, and may in fact be proven correct over time. I'm happy to admit that keeping an article like "Marriage in China" may open a can of worms that forces us to later revisit the decision, but I also feel strongly that when there is a group of people committed to keeping an article that a deletion is a very, very final act that essentially prevents them ever demonstrating the value in their arguments by allowing such an article (or idea) time to develop further. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:49, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I know you feel strongly about it too, and I would be glad for people to develop whatever iffy articles they like in outside of the main namespace, but I don´t see why these things should be allowed to live on in the main space effectively sanctioning the creation of other similar articles based on such precedent. If people are interested in putting the vfd on hold for further development or policy resolution, we should just move the article to a user subpage or other designated non-mainspace location, basically what Inas suggested above. Texugo (talk) 20:05, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Basically, to risk irritating you with a little more abstraction, I think things which fall into the gray area should be given their own gray area to live in until we figure out if we really want them or not. Purgatory. For the vast majority of other things that crop up here though, the "consensus to keep" system has always worked fine. Texugo (talk) 20:13, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
How about moving them to subpages of Wikivoyage:Limbo? It's good to remember that users (especially newer users) often have trouble processing our more esoteric ways, and might not get that they should move an article nominated for deletion to their userspace to keep it for development. For that matter, most are probably too intimidated to even take part in the vfd discussion—having just taken their first steps at wiki editing, and seeing that they screwed something up. --Peter Talk 20:21, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
That would work splendidly in my opinion. And the main Limbo page can be used to keep track of these things which otherwise tend to disappear into the ether and resurface on the vfd page again a couple of years down the road.Texugo (talk) 20:25, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Project:Slushpile? K7L (talk) 22:00, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I like where this discussion is going. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:05, 12 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Deleting empty articles[edit]

As requested by Texugo and AndreCarrotflower, I'm opening here a discussion to clarify what is correct to do with an empty article.

FYI The doubt has started here.

Let's clarify a couple of things:

  1. Definition of empty article: an article that has just the template structure, with no content in it
    • Note: An article that contains a list of "red links" of cities located in that specific region (also without a description) can't be considered empty. Empty means empty :-)
  2. Group of empty articles in scope: all the articles that are NOT in the middle of a breadcrumb

The question is: is better to keep or delete or redirect the current empty pages?

Where keep means "create more empty pages" and delete/redirect means "provide content for the page created and that we are going to create".

My vision is that to have a huge number of empty pages that (obviously gives no info) to a visitor and that never will be indexed & found by Google (et similia), hence it's better to keep just the pages with contents inviting user (by policy and most of all by attitude) to enrich them because the content of a page is the real value of a website. --Andyrom75 (talk) 13:20, 18 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I fully agree with you, Andyrom. I am always very annoyed when I open such skeleton article and ask myself why on earth it was created in the first place. When these articles are not in the middle of a breadcrumb, I find it difficult to justify their existence. They can be created any time anybody feels like adding some real content in it. I have noticed similar discussion was also initiated at our German cousins, without any obvious consensus. Danapit (talk) 13:37, 18 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Such articles are the reason why we have the Outline status. It's much less intimidating for a new editor to add something to an existing article than to create one new from scratch, and having the outline already there makes it easier for everyone. Maybe you could clarify what harm you think it does? LtPowers (talk) 14:32, 18 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
We do generally discourage people from going on empty article creation sprees, but once such an article is created properly with the right article template and the IsPartOf and introduction line properly filled in, I do not see any advantage to deleting it. Chances are it will just get recreated at some point, and as LtPowers said, creating the article is more intimidating than simply editing an empty one which already has the appropriate sections. A first time user with a only sentence worth of stuff to say about a restaurant they tried will be much more likely to add it to an existing outline than to create the whole article themselves and then add their bit of info. And despite the easy template addition buttons we have on the page creation page, people do often create pages without the template or they make up their own headers or, most often, put the template in without properly filling in the IsPartOf or the introduction line (X is a city/region in X). Moreover, empty articles can have information such as geo and interwikis filled in by bots, which at least gives someone who happens across the article links to other pages which may have more information. Texugo (talk) 14:44, 18 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
The harm I see can be illustrated by this example: a reader wants to get an information, about a certain region. He/she opens a region article with a list of destination, Laguna, for example, and clicks municipalities: Biñan - empty. Goes back, tries Cabuyao - empty. Liliw - grrrr, empty. I don't know how about you, I would have enough by now and look for other source of information.
It is disappointing and doesn't leave a good impression. We try to set a high level of visual quality in our articles by adding banners etc., but finding empty articles doesn't have much to do with quality. And the traveler doesn't benefit from an article skeleton. Danapit (talk) 14:49, 18 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Well, as for that, neither traveller nor visual quality really benefits from having a red link either, but both traveller (via bot-inserted info/links) and potential contributors can benefit from having geographic hierarchy groundwork and article outlines already laid out for them. Texugo (talk) 14:55, 18 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Ad red links: we don't have to put a link to a non-existent article, do we?
Sure there are advantages and disadvantages for both delete and keep, for me these are shifted toward delete, although I understand your arguments for keeping, as well. Danapit (talk) 15:24, 18 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
We don't have to put red links, but for underdeveloped regions, having at least the names of the towns/subregions is at least some non-negligible groundwork which has been researched and put into the article, and may serve as at least a jumping-off point for a traveller to continue researching elsewhere. If we were to start eliminating outline articles and red links, we would be effectively saying that no such geographical groundwork should ever be done without actually filling in the articles. Texugo (talk) 15:35, 18 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I don't have anything against a list of regions, cities and municipalities to form the geographical hierarchy. The names just don't have to be red (linked to non-existent article) if it is an esthetic problem. Danapit (talk) 16:08, 18 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I can share my experience on it:voy. Since January over 700 new articles has been created and excluding the pure spamming one (that has been deleted immediately) only a couple of article has been created without the proper template, so I don't consider a red link a barrier for creating a new "good" article. And I personally see a red link as an opportunity to give my contribution to the project creating a new article if I have to say something for that place.
Taking as an example a region, a list of "redlinked" cities gives me the information that those cities can be found there... maybe it's not a lot, but it's a beginning.... we have to start from something :-) ....but I find a fully empty article really useless and gives from one side a bad image to the project, and from another side a tedious usage as per Danapit explanation above (roaming around empty pages). I don't see any kind of issue or "shame" :-) on having red-link, wikipedia is full of redlink but as well is full of usefull pages.
IMO it's not possible to seriously discourage people to open useless empty article if it's allowed ... it's a countersense :-) We should think "quality first". --Andyrom75 (talk) 16:17, 18 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
On pt: we seem to get untemplated articles created relatively often. Anyway, we haven't heard many opinions yet, but I very much doubt that we are going to get consensus to delete the hundreds and very probably thousands of outlines which have an article template and filled-in intro/IsPartOf but don't happen to have anything else yet. It's still work that would have to be redone. Texugo (talk) 16:25, 18 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
The work to be redone it's just one click :-) --Andyrom75 (talk) 16:28, 18 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Actually, it's deciding the appropriate template for that one click, plus properly filling in the intro line, plus determining the appropriate parent region name for filling in the IsPartOf template, plus making sure it is linked to from that parent article. These are the steps most often missed in article creation. Plus, now we have the additional task of determining and filling in the proper default banner image. This is not a completely negligible intimidation factor for a new user wanting to have an article to add a tidbit to. Texugo (talk) 16:34, 18 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Come on :-) The real effort is developing the content of an article. --Andyrom75 (talk) 17:47, 18 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Sure, for someone who already knows how to put in the boilerplate text. LtPowers (talk) 01:52, 19 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
The one good reason I can think of for deleting empty articles is to rid ourselves of the totally unnecessary "this article is just a bunch of content-stealing from some evil corporation's site" disclaimer, which apparently is to be left there for all perpetuity to presumably harm our search results position, when there isn't even any content that was migrated. --Peter Talk 04:32, 19 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Peter are you referring to "This article is derived from the article xxx on in its revision as of YYY"? Well it quite funny a statement like that on an empty page :-D --Andyrom75 (talk) 14:24, 19 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I might not be averse to a one-time cull if we are reasonably sure it would help our search ranking, but I oppose changing our practice to where we always delete such articles on principle. Texugo (talk) 14:33, 19 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Agreed; articles devoid of non-boilerplate content that were imported from WT can be deleted to get rid of the import message. LtPowers (talk) 17:13, 19 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I'd be happy to make this policy: a speedy delete with a recommendation to recreate. I'd extend it to articles with no content other than business spam, since we might as well delete that anyway. --Peter Talk 20:05, 19 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I suggest to recommend to recreate them at least few basic information. A description in Understand section? A list of cities for a region in the Cities section? Generally speaking, anything that gives a sense to those pages :-) --Andyrom75 (talk) 22:34, 19 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Peter, where this new policy (or amend to the existing one) will be stored? --Andyrom75 (talk) 09:28, 25 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
It's an unusual enough situation that I don't think we need to write this into a policy page. Admins will be aware either from watching this page, or from seeing a link to this discussion in the edit summary of a deletion/re-creation. --Peter Talk 18:05, 27 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not sure to get your point. Could you rephrase me what happens when a void article is met by an admin? --Andyrom75 (talk) 21:59, 30 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I would recommend that admins, coming across articles that are either empty or only have one-two worthless hotel spammer-added listings, should delete them and recreate them, making sure to keep the breadcrumbs intact. --Peter Talk 22:20, 30 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Meaning only articles which have the craptastic WT credit message at the bottom, correct? Texugo (talk) 22:26, 30 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I'd think that pretty much all of the special:shortpages mess of blank articles with empty templates was imported and has the pointless WT credit message. Anyone here creating stubs like Rome (New York) seems to put at least one listing in them so that they look like real articles. K7L (talk) 13:54, 31 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Well, this would only involve articles with no valid listings and no other info worth keeping, and I would say that recreation of the article should be more than a mere suggestion, and should be part of the point of this effort, which shouldn't really be a problem, since only admins will be able to do this anyway. would we want to have a "recreate" template with which to tag such articles, so that admins can easily find them in a category and take care of them more systematically? Texugo (talk) 14:12, 31 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Do you think that it's really important to delete & recreate an empty article just to hide Wikitravel credit? At least you can say that this shame has been done by someone else :-D --Andyrom75 (talk) 14:02, 4 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

If stuff is added to the article later it will be too late to get rid of the WT credit, i.e., nobody will think to dig back through the credits to see if it came from there or not. Texugo (talk) 14:07, 4 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Correct, but I would care more about publishing usefull/useless information instead of crediting someone else contribution. --Andyrom75 (talk) 14:35, 4 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
An empty article template with no content and no listings is useless and just makes WV look bad by inflating wiki page counts while conveying no useful information. Effectively, we're pretending to have an article on Anytown when we for all intents and purposes do not. We need to look better than WT and inflating pagecounts by importing empty templates as articles isn't the way to do so. K7L (talk) 15:28, 5 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
It's not useless, the skeleton encourages readers to add content to the right section. Globe-trotter (talk) 15:41, 5 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Two discussions are getting kind of conflated here:
  • Current policy is that real destinations are never deleted. We have always done it that way, and there are some advantages: it a) what Globe-trotter said, b) saves the next contributor, as I said above, from having to recreate the article with the proper template, IsPartOf, intro line, and links from parent article (and now default banner), which is not an intuitive process for a newbie, c) allows for automatic interwiki linking, filling in of geo fields, etc., and soon, a dynamic map. I understand the disadvantages you point out too, but that would essentially be a proposal to change our policy and will require a much wider discussion and consensus.
  • Deleting and recreating articles with nothing but a template is an operation which essentially complies with current policy and simply gets rid of the pointless WT attribution.
Let's try to separate these two things when discussing. Texugo (talk) 15:59, 5 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
We really need to lose the "We have always done it that way" attitude if we are to attract new users, especially if their previous experience is with Wikipedia and WP:BOLD. Yes, we've padded the article count with pages of empty templates in the past (mostly on WT) but that's no reason to continue doing so.
a) The traveller (not the editor) comes first. A blank skeleton is useless to the traveller, who expects pages to contain information on unfamiliar places.
b) The skeleton does little to "encourage readers to add content to the right section" as, when creating a new page, that prefilled template is just a click away.
c) "Automatic interwiki linking" to destination pages with no content is not helpful to the traveller. A dynamic map which only serves as an index of empty articles is just as useless.
Certainly, deleting imported articles with nothing is necessary to get rid of the pointless WT attribution, so that any subsequent article created by WV articles is attributed to its WV author(s) and not some random commercial/mercenary site. A subsequent recreation as a blank skeleton, while not currently prohibited by any policy (What is an article? only asks "can you sleep there?" not "did anyone bother to add even one listing for one bed?"), serves no useful purpose to the traveller. K7L (talk) 17:51, 5 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I think you make a strong argument for doing a one time deletion of existing empty outline city articles and not re-creating them. Doing so gets rid of a lot of cruft that has built up over the years. However, I don't think we necessarily want to change the overall policy to encourage deletion of empty outline articles precisely since we've always encouraged contributors to plunge forward and create an article about his or her home town, and people often return a week or two after creating an outline article to flesh it out a bit more. We may instead want to revisit this issue and occasionally do another prune of empty city articles on a yearly basis. That said, I would very much support a one-time delete of empty outline articles to get rid of the pointless WT attribution and also get rid of some old and rather useless articles - if we need them in the future they can always be re-created, but it can't hurt to do some housecleaning. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:20, 5 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

(edit conflict) "We've always done it that way" is not being offered as a reason in itself to keep doing so, but as evidence that wide discussion and consensus is needed before changing it. a) A blank skeleton is not more useless to the traveller than a red link, but is more useful to an editor. b) Already answered that twice above. It is considerably more than "a click away". c) It is not harmful to the traveller either, but it may be considerably helpful to the editor in translating from other versions. And a map showing the place and its location is inarguably better than absolutely nothing. If you're really concerned about these, I think an expedition to find them and give them some basic information would be a much better use of time than an expedition to hunt them down and kill them. Texugo (talk) 18:27, 5 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Not sure where to reply... I just wanted to say that I absolutely support the idea. In my opinion, Wikivoyage will not lose anything from the removal of empty articles. In fact, it will gain a lot, because the project will look more tidy, and readers will not have to surf through stub articles in order to find useful content. --Alexander (talk) 20:29, 5 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Take a look at the code behind fr:MediaWiki:Newarticletext. When displayed for creation of a new mainspace page, it does the equivalent of this:
To begin, click on a link below to fill this page with the Article templates :
RegionSmall cityBig cityHuge cityDistrict...
Indeed, the empty article template is just one click away. No reason not to use the same solution here. Displaying blue links for articles which contain an empty template and no useful info is not helpful. K7L (talk) 20:33, 5 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
As I have explained twice above, the article template alone is not enough though. For an article to be started correctly, you have to find the parent region, make sure it is linked from there, fill in the IsPartOf and intro line correctly, select the right default banner. New users tend not to get any of these steps right, much less all of them. With a skeleton article there and all those things already done, it is more inviting for someone to start adding info. And I don't know why any reader would be less disappointed finding no mention of a place than they would to find that the place has at least been placed within our hierarchy and given a framework ready to receive contributions. Texugo (talk) 20:58, 5 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
An empty stub of an article does nothing to ensure the link exists in the parent region; conversely deleting the useless stub does nothing to add or remove the corresponding red link from the region page. The proper way to do this is create a red link on the region page, so that the desired topic actually appears on special:wantedpages. Pretending the article exists when it for all intents and purposes does not defeats that mechanism. The framework is already a click away (or should be, no idea why mediawiki:newarticletext seems to work on fr: and not en:), as is the help page if choosing a template is somehow such a complex task. There is no reason to spam large numbers of empty templates as articles. K7L (talk) 21:02, 5 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I would support a one-time mass deletion of empty articles to get rid of the import message. I'd be okay with not directly recreating them, but I do agree with Texugo that editing an existing article seems to be a smaller step than creating a new one. Was that never researched by Wikipedia or other projects? The one downside I see, is the article count. It may be blown up now, but it might fall back a lot, also compared to that other site. Is there any chance we could use Wikidata in the future to recreate some of those stubs but with some basic info? JuliasTravels (talk) 21:15, 5 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I don't understand what problem you're trying to solve. A new user can go to Geldrop, click [add listing] beside the Eat section, fill in the form and add his/her favorite restaurant in the correct section with the correct markup. Deleting the page serves no point because it will have to be recreated later anyway and it will be more difficult to add content. Wikipedia has a tendency to delete more articles because they don't have standard sections and it's possible to write an article about nearly everything. Also, they are more dependent on writers that contribute long pieces of prose instead of casual travelers just adding the restaurant they have just visited. That's why a similar policy to Wikipedia is in place here for travel topics. But even on Wikipedia many articles are not outright deleted, see e.g. w:Grand-Ouest. An article has to start somewhere and if it's deleted after someone has started it, it will never grow into something good. Globe-trotter (talk) 21:18, 5 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
There is no [add listing] button and I have no idea why you just created a useless, empty article at Geldrop. K7L (talk) 02:49, 6 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
There will be an [add listing] button very shortly. Texugo (talk) 11:21, 6 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
To the argument that "someone would have to recreate the article later", the empty skeletons on this site have in most cases been empty for years, and a specific non-goal of the site is that we do not have articles for every dot on the map (see Wikivoyage:Goals and non-goals "not an atlas"). For every empty skeleton there are probably 100 places that don't yet have an article, and if we're deleting these skeletons anyhow then re-creating them seems pointless unless we're going to change a core goal and also create articles for every other map dot that's out there. By deleting them we lose a geo tag and an isPartOf tag for an article that might not even be needed, but I think that is outweighed by being able to clear out very questionable articles that have been languishing in the dark corners of this site for years. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:32, 5 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think anyone here wants to keep skeleton articles for tiny crossroads on a map? They should always be redirected to a notable place. Globe-trotter (talk) 21:50, 5 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
An article on w:Agloe, New York might not even be worth redirecting now that the general store is gone. If an article has only ever had zero content (or copyvio/spam), perhaps there should be a time limit after which it is discarded - much like currently an incomplete itinerary which hasn't been edited in a year is fair game for deletion. K7L (talk) 02:59, 6 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Well, right, any destination which is empty because it's tiny and there is literally nothing to put in it should be redirected to the nearest logically-relevant destination (not deleted). But I oppose deleting a destination just because you personally can't be arsed to dig up some stuff to get it started. Texugo (talk) 11:21, 6 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I do second what Globe-trotter said about how deleting empty articles makes sense for Wikipedia in ways that do not make sense for a site like ours where we have article templates and hierarchies and it is relatively easy to verify whether something is a real destination worthy of an article. Texugo (talk) 11:27, 6 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Toronto (Prince Edward Island) makes Agloe look like a sprawling metropolis. I have no idea why this was created; it was only redirected because no one could be arsed to find an admin to delete it. There was one user who was creating a long string of speck-on-the-map entries for individual population-100 points in Maine which were deleted as page creation vandalism.
If it's a real destination worthy of an article, is it too much to ask that a description and at least one listing be created ab initio? This looks a lot like "I can't be arsed to write an article about X so I'll dump a blank template there and expect someone else to write the page for me" which is really not helpful. Keep a blank page on a valid destination for a short time (maybe a week or so) to see if the original poster can be arsed to add any content... if not, at some point these either need to be expanded or deleted. K7L (talk) 13:53, 6 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
You're very adamant about that, but you haven't really given a good explanation as to why. Do you really think a reader would rather see a search page (possibly with no relevant results) than a page with an outline, a link to the parent region, and hopefully a link to Wikipedia? LtPowers (talk) 20:15, 6 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, IMO is more honest if the reader sees we haven't got an article for the destination yet, as opposed to an empty skeleton. I agree with K7L's reasoning above. Everyone can find out from a map that some place exists or find a place at WP without being linked there from WV. In a skeleton article we don't provide any additional useful information. I understand if we don't want to waste resources getting rid of all the empty articles we have as a legacy from that other site, but Geldrop, for example, is not a way to start - it is very likely to remain like that for months and years. Danapit (talk) 07:26, 7 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
So? What harm does it do? Its presence makes it much, much easier for a user to add information to it when the time comes. LtPowers (talk) 15:40, 7 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Harm? None really, except of the annoyance of opening content free articles. I guess it is just a matter of preference of quality over quantity. Danapit (talk) 16:06, 7 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
No, if we wanted to inflate our article count, there are ways we could do that. That's not the goal. But these bare outlines are useful for encouraging people to add content to them. Granted, we don't go around creating bare outlines systematically, but if someone does happen to create such an outline, we might as well leave it in place so that future visitors have a skeleton on which to add content. LtPowers (talk) 17:18, 7 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
In some cases, it may be preferable that users add the content to the closest city with an actual article; a Yarker-sized village with only one thing to see or do might never get "usable" status as a standalone page as the village has at most a store and one tiny cabin camp. It meets "can you sleep there?" but by such a narrow margin that an empty skeleton for it is quite useless to the traveller. :::::::::::::::If a goal is to be able to print these and carry them while on the road, each should be larger than a skeleton but not book-sized. K7L (talk) 18:25, 7 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Let's not conflate issues. Yes, many small "dots on the map" can be, should be, and are redirected to the nearest destination (not deleted), and I support that completely. Those are not the ones we should be talking about here. What is being suggested will have us deleting valid destinations which will likely end up with decent articles one day, cities like Ilave, pop. ~57,000, Azazga, pop. ~70,000, Franca, pop. ~300,000, and Jiangyou, pop. ~870,000. That is what makes no sense to me. Texugo (talk) 19:01, 7 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

All of these have the WT link on the bottom, even though they are empty. They should be deleted to avoid misattributing any subsequent content to WT or WT contributors when no content was present on import. If someone finds even one listing worth including for these cities, at that point they should be re-created as pages using mediawiki:newarticletext links (like the ones on fr:, no idea why they're not appearing on en:) to prefill the smallcity_skeleton when a user finally gets around to adding some content. In the meantime, leave redlinks to the pages in the region articles so that we can easily spot that these are wanted pages. K7L (talk) 20:02, 7 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
As I stated, if we are talking about a one-time thing, I might not have a problem with deleting them to get rid of the WT attribution, though I would strongly prefer that they be recreated so as not to lose the breadcrumb, geo, etc. However, if you are talking about changing the policy so that we always and repeatedly delete any article which hasn't sprouted yet, that is where I find it to be an unacceptable and counterintuitive assumption that we should operate just like Wikipedia does. Of course, I don't and we have never condoned massive skeleton creation sprees for every dot on the map, but to me, those articles I mentioned, and many others like them, are significant enough that they should be out there, primed and ready for any contributor who happens across our site. It's the "reduce all to redlinks" thing that I disagree with. It's like digging up seeds that haven't sprouted yet when all they need is a little water. Casual contributors would be a lot more likely to come along and water them than they would be to get their hands in the dirt to plant new ones. Texugo (talk) 20:27, 7 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I'd suspect many of the useless blank, templated pages imported from WT fail Wikivoyage:Geographical_hierarchy#Keeping_it_together ("Sometimes it may be better to keep things together rather than subdividing further. Do not create an article about a geographical unit just because someone has given a name to some part of the countryside. Geographical unit articles need to meet the criteria for articles too. There should be enough scope in the article to have at least 4 or 5 good quality destinations or attractions, especially for regions.") as we will never have four or five good points to list for every Yarker-sized speck on a map. As such, I don't support automated re-creation. It seems arbitrary that tiny Yarker be a blue link and larger, more notable Oswego a red link while we have no information on either. Delete the WT skeletons, all of them. If someone wants to re-create them manually, apply existing policy to determine what is the start of a valid article, what is too tiny to meet "what is an article?" or the wikivoyage:geographical hierarchy definition and what is merely page creation vandalism. K7L (talk) 15:20, 9 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]


Summary (correct me if I got this wrong):

  1. We agree to the proposal of deleting & recreating empty articles to void the nonsensical import notice.
  2. Some propose that we don't bother recreating, and let that happen organically.
  3. Some propose that we apply the 1 year "empty outline rule" to destination guides, as we do to itineraries & travel topics.

Number 2 would work well for me, simply because it would save time and make the task much more doable. Number 3 seems sensible enough to me too—it would be a sort of quality control mechanism for keeping our geographical hierarchy sensible. --Peter Talk 23:45, 9 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I think there is little opposition to the first point, and I agree with the second point for practical reasons, as recreating would increase the work load significantly. We do need to be careful not messing up regional hierarchies (and routeboxes?) in the process. The third point is obviously a lot more controversial (and better left as a separate discussion). Globe-trotter (talk) 12:19, 10 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I support all three points, but I think it is reasonable and convenient to start with #1 and #2 and leave #3 for future discussion. --Alexander (talk) 14:32, 10 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I support #1 and #2, but not #3. It seems fair to leave that for further discussion (and still I'd be curious if there's any general or Wikipedia research on the probability of edits on stub pages vs creation of new articles from red links. I haven't been able to find any.) JuliasTravels (talk) 20:46, 13 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I also support. Should we make a new template to add to articles and draw admins attention? Jjtkk (talk) 06:48, 14 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Peter, thank you for summing up. I support #1, #2 and #3 (1 years sounds sensible to me). Danapit (talk) 07:58, 14 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Mission accomplished User:Saqib did an excellent job and i surfed with him the race to 0 skeletons. Was fun, job done! Cheers mates;) jan (talk) 18:02, 23 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
But still there're plenty of skeletons articles need to be deleted. --Saqib (talk) 18:07, 23 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
How do I find the problem articles? At Special:SpecialPages several potentially useful categories like Fewest revisions and Dead-end pages have not been updated since 2012. Pashley (talk) 21:44, 23 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, would be nice to have a list that is further due to be deleted. I have once in while time to do deletions. jan (talk) 07:31, 25 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I've deleted some 475 more outline articles today. --Saqib (talk) 12:32, 25 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Good job but how do you find them? jan (talk) 12:36, 25 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]

You'll have to scan for them here. --Saqib (talk) 12:52, 25 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
This is a very counterproductive idea. People are far more likely to add material once SOMETHING is already there. Instead of spending your time deleting, you should spend your time building. Cheers, Wikidea (talk) 14:23, 6 December 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Au contraire, there is NOTHING already there, just an empty {{smallcity}} template and walk away. That makes the project as a whole look like rubbish as readers attempt to look up destinations and get empty articles instead of a search result listing the most relevant pages which do exist. That, however, is not why this batch of empty pages were removed... they were removed because they were imported from another wiki (outside Wikivoyage) a year ago and maintaining the empty page means retaining the attribution notice at the bottom of the page. That's potentially hurting this site in search engines, as (if anyone later creates content on these pages for some unknown reason) that content is misattributed to the other wiki. Deleting completely empty pages does nothing to prevent anyone to "spend your time building", the two are not mutually exclusive. K7L (talk) 16:32, 6 December 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Undeletion or recreation[edit]

Hold on? We're deleting articles that had listings?? That doesn't seem right. LtPowers (talk) 14:25, 25 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Whoa, yeah.. I have restored that one. You guys need to be careful, because the agreement was only to delete empty articles. Texugo (talk) 14:33, 25 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I think 99.5% were empty skeletons. Some articles had an individual pagebanner (e.g. Wagrain). I deleted the base article and recreated and reinserted the pagebanner + skeleton. jan (talk) 14:49, 25 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
(edit conflict) I restored Farmingdale (New York) for the same reason. Those are just two of the three recent deletions (last 24 hours) that I had on my watchlist. The third is Clinton (Ontario), which had a decent, if short, lead section that listed population and two attractions (even though the article had no listings). Is such an article covered by this agreement? Either way, I think all of the recent deletions need to be checked for compliance with this agreement. LtPowers (talk) 14:52, 25 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I agree. As far as I know, the agreement only covered skeleton articles, i.e. only a template with nothing that couldn't be recreated verbatim without a WT attribution. Texugo (talk) 15:11, 25 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
My watchlist had 14 articles deleted in the last 24 hours, of which 8 should not have been. I have restored: Passo Fundo, Canto de Atins, Bee Cave, Itamaracá, Adilabad (City), Palmeiras, Nilo Peçanha, and Aquiraz; Texugo (talk) 15:19, 25 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Texugo: Are you serious with Adilabad_(City)? Its six words and that's it. I see the discussion above but shouldn't be their a limit of say 8-10 words? I agree articles with intro shouldn't be deleted but skeletons with e.g. just below a dozen words? jan (talk) 15:26, 25 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]

It contained suggestions of where to go, and regardless of the lack of address, etc., I still figure it's better than nothing. Actually, that one could be deleted and recreated, since it doesn't contain any copyrightable prose, but we certainly shouldn't be throwing that stuff out. If there is anything that improves the article over a blank template, it should be kept (if it needs attribution), or recreate (if it does not). Texugo (talk) 15:34, 25 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
One listing with no address and no info isn't an article, it's spam. There's nothing to indicate why the traveller would want to see this one lone business. There seems to be a pattern of pasting {{smallcity}} over top of problematic malformed one-line pages (for instance, North Richland Hills) just to avoid speedy deletion. K7L (talk) 17:37, 25 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
That is because such locations are, by policy, not eligible for speedy deletion. And telling reader the name of a local temple to see as opposed to telling them nothing, I don't see how that can be characterized as spam. Texugo (talk) 17:43, 25 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
From Adilabad (City) "Buy: Dokra metal Crafts". No indication of what a Dokra metalcraft is or why the traveller should buy one... and that's half the "article". Pretty much useless. North Richland Hills looks to have been created as a mistake. If this is just a suburb of Fort Worth it should be listed inline there unless there's some reason this needs an article. K7L (talk) 18:08, 25 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
The point, K7L, is that there's information there. No one's claiming these are exemplars, but they are, as Texugo said, better than nothing. This agreement only covers articles that aren't better than nothing. LtPowers (talk) 18:35, 25 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
How many articles, roughly, would we be talking about? I would be willing to recreate articles with hardly any info manually, adding perhaps a bit more info here or there, if that would solve this discussion. It would however require a list of such (deleted) articles. JuliasTravels (talk) 11:46, 26 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not sure what Texugo said above about "no copyrightable prose" means we're in the clear recreating articles with information in them. The selection of things to list is also copyrightable, not just prose, as there is some (minimal) creative energy required in the act of choosing which items are listed. LtPowers (talk) 15:10, 26 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Well, I'm not sure where the line is drawn I guess. Most of these are small small towns, and if for example, there is a small town with basically one or two tourist attractions, surely it wouldn't be considered copyright violation to list them, given the lack of creative prose accompanying? Texugo (talk) 15:34, 26 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
It's a gray area, which is why this agreement only applied to clear-cut cases where there was nothing more than (essentially) "X is in Y". LtPowers (talk) 19:05, 26 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Fair enough! Texugo (talk) 19:10, 26 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
For an article like Adilabad (City) "Buy: Dokra metal Crafts" where there's really nothing worth saving? It might be best to delete, then if you must recreate for some region, type "Adilabad tourist attractions" or "Adilabad points of interest" into a search engine to see what comes up as a star attraction for this place. That way, you've started from zero instead of creating a derivative work from something not worth citing. K7L (talk) 23:11, 26 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
That article contains a tourist attraction and an example of something to buy. It's not covered by this agreement, however little information it might have. If you think we should be deleting articles that have content, then you need to garner a separate consensus for that. LtPowers (talk) 00:49, 27 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I don't really mind either way, but I don't think anyone will object if we recreate them with more information? Let's get that consensus then to include non-creative articles that will be recreated shortly? For the license to apply, there needs to be more than a place name, it's region and the main sight, without any real prose. Things like that are considered to be general knowledge and don't carry creative rights. I agree however that it seems wrong to just throw them out, and it's not good taste to just recreate them as they are. There's no (legal) problem, however, if we would re-create them with information from other sources. As I said, I don't mind doing that. Shall we just give it a try with some 10 or so and decide then? If someone gives me a few deleted such articles I'll recreate and we can discuss then? (I have no admin rights so can't do it). JuliasTravels (talk) 09:53, 27 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Hmm, I'd say no one has realised you aren't an admin yet :) I intentionally capped the list of short articles above at 500 bytes, as they were really skeletons, and articles in the 500-700 byte range were clearly going to be more questionable, as shown in the various undeletions. They should get an approach as JuliasTravels suggests, to delete and then recreate those particular articles although timewise it'll be more of a hassle, as I count around 450 different articles. Would you like to start with Wschowa for one? -- torty3 (talk) 10:46, 27 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
As for Wschowa, sure, if you'll delete it, I'll recreate it. While you're at it, could you delete Adilabad_(City), Bee Cave and Passo_Fundo too? ;-) JuliasTravels (talk) 12:27, 27 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I would really prefer we resolve the issue of improper deletions before we move on to another stage... or, at the very least, separate these discussions into separate sections. LtPowers (talk) 12:35, 27 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I wasn't trying to push anything forward really, just thought it might help to have a few examples for discussion. I'm happy to discuss it further below, if that's what you meant? JuliasTravels (talk) 13:20, 27 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Deleting and recreating almost empty articles[edit]

I hope this is what LtPowers had in mind above: let's quickly see if anyone objects to deleting almost empty articles, meaning very very short ones with only one or two listing and/or 1 or 2 sentences of intro, when they will be restored shortly with at least comparable info or more. I'm not clear on how to draw a line there. Perhaps we shouldn't discuss too much about exact parameters but rather agree in spirit and discuss individual cases if needed, as long as articles are restored while living up to the license requirements? I try to create new articles regularly, as it is said to help in SEO. I wouldn't mind dedicating my time for a while to recreating articles which can still lose the WT link. Once they gain more info, it'll be harder and harder. As an example, I've gone ahead and quickly recreated Adilabad (city), Wschowa, Bee Cave and Passo Fundo. JuliasTravels (talk) 13:20, 27 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]

No objections here, as long as they are indeed recreated and don't run afoul of copyright issues. And don't forget to restore the geo and IsPartOf parameters and links to WP/Commons. Texugo (talk) 15:09, 27 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I'll try to remember that, thanks :-) As an addition, we wouldn't necessarily have to delete all 400 or so upfront. We could do it in batches of say 50 or so, to make sure the recreation will not take too long or get buried under all the other work. JuliasTravels (talk) 15:13, 27 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Oh no, I wasn't even thinking of deleting them up front. I would think even 50 would be a lot. Texugo (talk) 15:36, 27 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Good :-) Any number is fine for me, I'd just like to be able to work without having to request deletions every day. Let's say 20 or 30 then? JuliasTravels (talk) 16:16, 27 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]

In principle, I don't have an objection, but I do have concerns about copyright if any part of the old article remains in the new... and concerns about easily policing same. LtPowers (talk) 01:33, 28 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Considering that the articles we talk about typically don't even have copyrightable information (or: non-creative content), I would actually say these edits/recreations have less risk of infringing on copyright than most of the daily edits on this site. Most information that people add on WV comes from some source or the other, and the existing skeleton articles are no different from any other source, in this regard. Also, it's not as if there's an army of new editors volunteering to do this... I for one do know my way around copyright quite well. So, shall we go ahead then? Where's the first 20? :-) JuliasTravels (talk) 10:16, 28 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
As I said above, there is creative input in deciding which attractions to list. LtPowers (talk) 23:58, 28 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Sure, but most of the articles we are talking about have no more than the one most famous sight, if any at all. Nonetheless, your concern is noted, so let's just make sure that we apply all the usual rules we have for copyrighted information, even when in doubt if there's anything creative there. Just to be sure. JuliasTravels (talk) 08:32, 29 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
To keep information complete, I've set up a page in my user name space to keep track of currently deleted articles, waiting for recreation. See: User:JuliasTravels/Skeleton recreation. JuliasTravels (talk) 10:56, 4 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Skeleton regions[edit]

Also note that there are around 400 skeleton regions, which may or may not have associated categories so WhatLinksHere has to be checked, and also about 100 skeleton articles with routeboxes. What should be done with them? -- torty3 (talk) 10:46, 27 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]

With regard to skeleton regions, Category:Empty regions might be a help. But I agree - this should be discussed separately, as a separate stage. Texugo (talk) 12:40, 27 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
The skeleton regions I've deleted so far were dead-end regions or islands. I'll stop now. It's a fairly sapping task. -- torty3 (talk) 12:51, 27 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Related question[edit]

I searched for empty articles by looking at the special pages for shortest articles or fewest edits. I notice we have a lot like Bristol virginia, mispelt or mis-capitalised. These have only about two edits, both on WT years ago; one to create it, one to redirect. All have a link to WT down at the bottom.

I would like to delete all of these. Would anyone object? Pashley (talk) 00:22, 14 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Any empty article like that, which has an unlikely search term, should be deleted, in my opinion. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:37, 14 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I think those should have already been deleted in the first place. Globe-trotter (talk) 01:44, 14 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
"Bristol virginia" is an unlikely search term?? LtPowers (talk) 23:15, 14 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
No, but we have Bristol (Virginia) and we'd rather they found that. Pashley (talk) 00:28, 15 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Sure, but that's what redirects are for. LtPowers (talk) 00:59, 15 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
We have Bristol (Virginia) as a redirect to Bristol (Tennessee-Virginia), where the actual article is. A user who searches with any capitalisation, even "bristol virginia", will find those, so having an extra redirect page with bad capitalisation is useless. I would not remove a redirect like "Bristol VA" which might actually be useful for searches, but I see no reason to keep utterly useless redirects. Pashley (talk) 18:44, 17 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
But isn't deleting redirects also useless? --Peter Talk 19:13, 17 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Almost, but it may make the display and choice easier when a user does a search and it gets rid of unnecessary WT links. Pashley (talk) 19:32, 17 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Don't redirects help our search placement? I'm also of the opinion that it's better to take the searcher directly to the article he or she wants rather than display a list of search results. LtPowers (talk) 15:34, 18 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I wouldn't count on redirects helping anything... the search engines might just view them as duplicate pages. K7L (talk) 03:35, 25 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Not to my knowledge; my understanding is that MediaWiki redirect pages are configured such that search engines understand they are aliases. But I could be wrong; I don't remember where I read it. LtPowers (talk) 15:26, 25 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Redirects all have a canonical tag indicating the target page name (view source on USA, for example). This canonical tag tells the search engine that the page is not a duplicate, just an alternative way of reaching another page. The tag also allows the search engine to know that the redirect page name is an alternative term for the actual page name. See [3] for further details. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:25, 25 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

We need readers, not senseless tradition. The sort of empty/re-direct pages discussed above should be deleted. Only if a search for their name is unlikely to produce useful results should they be re-created afresh (without the free plugs for Wikitravel). --W. Frankemailtalk 11:58, 18 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Just an update. I am still doing lots of these deletes. The special page for fewest revisions seems to be updated on about the 15th of each month. I go through it a few days after that and delete until I get bored (20 to 100 pages a month, depending). The targets are all redirect pages, but I leave any created since the move and any that have multiple links pointing to them. For single links, it varies. If the only link is from a User talk:Wt-eng... page or a list of pages lacking WP links, it goes. Otherwise I may leave the redirect intact or eliminate the link by editing the linking page and then delete the redirect.
If anyone either objects or wants to help, please post. Pashley (talk) 02:03, 21 February 2014 (UTC)[reply]
I don't object in principle, but in practice some of these redirects should be recreated, for search engine optimization if nothing else. (To wit: WDW, which I specifically created for just that reason, as well as ease of access by searchers.) Powers (talk) 14:12, 22 February 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, quite a few should be recreated for various reasons. I'd say especially the alternate spellings (Mecca, Makkah, ...) and the alternate names that may be useful as search terms. I am doing almost none of that. Maybe later. Pashley (talk) 15:20, 22 February 2014 (UTC)[reply]
It's considerably easier to recreate them immediately following deletion than it is to try to find out after the fact what redirects were deleted, and where they pointed. Powers (talk) 19:25, 22 February 2014 (UTC)[reply]
...if they're worth re-creating. If something is a likely search term, like Peking or Taj Mahal, fine, but some of these are improbable misspellings or redirections of pages which never should have been created. K7L (talk) 19:51, 22 February 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, which is why I said "some" and not "all". Powers (talk) 01:56, 23 February 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Redirect deletion is continuing. Is anyone keeping track of them so that they can be recreated where this is desirable? (latest example: Liberty Island) Powers (talk) 20:02, 4 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]

They appear as "content was: #REDIRECT..." in the logs, this would seem clear enough? K7L (talk) 03:20, 5 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Update: I have deleted several hundred since Feb 15 when the current list appeared. Criteria I have used are:

  • look at pages with only 2 or 3 revisions, from Special:FewestRevisions
  • anything created since the move stays. Also any disambig page or article with actual content.
  • redirect created before the move and with no links, or only links from a User-Talk:(WT-en)... page, delete it
  • with many links, leave most of them untouched but delete-and-recreate likely search terms like Calcutta or NYC
  • with only a few links, a mix of responses:
child (perhaps a village) redirects to parent (region or town) and only link to child is from parent. Delete child leaving a red link in parent; perhaps someone will fix that.
page has wrong spelling or capitalisation, redirects to correct name (e.g New Dehli & New Delhi) but there are links to wrong one. Correct the links and delete article with wrong title.
leave others unchanged, maybe look again later

I will now knock off until there is a new list, probably March 15. Pashley (talk) 20:47, 5 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]

There were some amusing ones among the rubbish: Riskikesh, Kyrgyzstain, ...
I've done all the old ones at User_talk:Pashley/Archive#Test_old_names as delete-and-recreate. Pashley (talk) 14:33, 7 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Restoring deletes[edit]

Why was Nürburg deleted then restored again with the Wikitravel link. Better just to recreate this one with a little more information. On a related topic, how much should an article be changed before the wikitravel link can be removed, and how can it be removed?--Traveler100 (talk) 06:45, 26 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]

It depends on the kind of information. If it is general knowledge, e.g. "Town X is in region Y in country Z and the main sight is this", just a slight rewording is enough. There needs to be some kind of creative product (even in a minimal sense) for the license to apply. So in this case, change two words and there's absolutely no reason for the WT link to be there (legally). JuliasTravels (talk) 11:38, 26 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Well I could write a little bit more about this location than what was in the original, but after adding data how do I delete the footnote? --Traveler100 (talk) 11:56, 26 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
As you said, better to just recreate this one. It was restored before as part of a batch of other articles many of which didn't quite qualify for deletion under the agreement. I went ahead and redeleted it and created it again. Texugo (talk) 12:05, 26 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Wikivoyage talk:Votes for deletion#Pages VfD'd to remove WT attribution has some discussion of using speedy deletion for this sort of delete-and-recreate activity. K7L (talk) 22:42, 18 January 2014 (UTC)[reply]