[clug] Wikipedia and Deletionism

Daniel Pittman daniel at rimspace.net
Sat Apr 10 19:35:25 MDT 2010

Karun Dambiec <kdambiec at fsfe.org> writes:
> On 1/04/10 3:32 PM, Daniel Pittman wrote:
>> Like any group, my experience is that what you really need are clear social
>> goals for the people around the project, and both the will and the ability to
>> enforce those.[1]
>> Wikipedia might do it, or it might not — thinking about this more I don't see
>> it as more significant than the next fight over what matters, or doesn't
>> matter: it isn't much different to the fight about deletion of relevant
>> historic figures as "not notable", while every individual Pokémon creature
>> had a page.
>> The interesting part will be how well they handle the social aspects of the
>> problem, and until that settles *and* we see how people react[2] to their
>> enforcing whatever social stuff.
> Looks like today there was another example of these issues with
> Wikipedia. For instance
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_response_to_the_2010_Polish_Air_Force_Tu-154_crash
> was split of from the main article and almost instantly proposed for
> deletion.
> It seems very strange to propose an article for deletion immediately that is
> still being worked on, and when the significant international event is still
> happening.

Actually, that seems less surprising, and more reasonable, to me than the
earlier deletions of "not notable" FOSS projects and long-standing parts of

Specifically: if this is a significant international event, and the details
are changing in real-time, it is almost certainly *not* the ideal subject
matter for an encyclopedia.

Also, that very, very specific split-out section of another page seems an odd
choice of topic for an article; I have trouble imagining any reasonably person
looking for *that specific topic*, rather than just the root incident.

(Also, does proposing the page for deletion suggest the content is worthless,
 or just that people thing it belongs elsewhere?  AIUI, that is possible to
 answer only by reading the discussion about why it is proposed to delete the

I strongly suspect that if this was somewhere more appropriate, such as
wikinews, this issue wouldn't be coming up.

> Perhaps Wikimedia and Wikipedia as a whole needs to look into these issues a
> lot more.

...it looks like, at least in local opinion.  I am not sure, myself, that the
wikinews / wikipedia distinction is worth anything, but apparently the people
running the projects are.

So, if nothing else they probably want to work at better communicating the
distinction to people. :)

✣ Daniel Pittman            ✉ daniel at rimspace.net            ☎ +61 401 155 707
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