Wiktionary:Page deletion guidelines

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Accessories-text-editor.svg This is a Wiktionary policy, guideline or common practices page. Specifically it is a policy think tank, working to develop a formal policy.
Policies: CFI - ELE - BLOCK - REDIR - BOTS - QUOTE - DELETE - NPOV - AXX

What to delete and what to keep

  • When in doubt, it is usually better to give the benefit of the doubt to keeping the entry. This has a positive effect on the overall communal mental health.
  • The general rule is that anything that doesn’t meet the criteria on Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion is a candidate for deletion.
  • Any of the following may be the basis for a deletion request, though there is often a better alternative.
    1. Complete Rubbish: The contents don’t make sense or are clearly someone’s idea of a joke. If the material is clearly obscene or libellous, you should also edit the page to a blank state. Before you request to delete, try to make sure that the article doesn’t fall under “Never heard the word” or “Good title, garbage content” below.
    2. Title misspelled: Move the article to the correct title. If there is already an article at the correct title merge any useful material on there. Occasionally, a misspelling may be so common that it needs to be noted, or it may be an accepted variant spelling of the word. In that case the article should be retained, but reduced to a simple explanation of the situation. In the case of alternate spellings, the substantive article may be under either spelling. Preference should be given to the more common spelling, but where this cannot be determined give preference to the spelling under which the article was first created.
    3. Contents have been moved to another project: Depending on the reason for the move, an article for the term may still be warranted, but you are under no obligation to write it, or to save inappropriate material while you wait for someone else to do it. If you make a request to delete it will give some new user a chance to start afresh, though at the expense of losing track of any useful work the original poster may have done.
    4. Protologisms (i.e. words that have been made up by the poster) have their place in Appendix:List of protologisms. Usually, it is decided during the RFD process whether a word deserves listing, but you can also be bold and add it yourself. The remaining entry can then be tagged by {{delete}} to be deleted.
    5. Self-promotion: Pages which appear to promote some specific person or entity are discouraged, but should not be removed without time for discussion on Wiktionary:Requests for deletion. Widely-used trademarks are generally OK, since including them in Wiktionary is not likely to have any significant impact. The main concern is that Wiktionary not be used as a vehicle to promote a person or entity.
    6. Licence violations: Pages whose content has been copied from another source, where that source is protected by a current copyright or otherwise incompatible with our Terms of Use.
    7. Good title, garbage content: Someone either didn’t know what they were doing, or was having their idea of fun.
      1. Check the history. If a legitimate entry has been overwritten, click on the link for that version, click on “Edit”, and save with the comment “rv vandalism”.
      2. If not, but you can provide a good definition, do so.
      3. If you don’t have anything meaningful to put there it is better to delete the page; this will leave all links to the page in red telling everyone that the page still needs to be done.
  • Things to Keep
    1. Stubs: These are not the problem that they are in Wikipedia. Some short short articles are satisfactorily complete when they only describe that a particular word as a variant spelling of another, or that it is an inflected form.
    2. Frequently occurring misspellings and ungrammatical forms: This is not a mandate to keep all manner of misspelled words and typos; there should be an instructive quality to the retention. These should explain the error and link to the correct form. Forms with diacritics missing should also be kept, explained and linked to the correct spelling. For example, Worterbuch contains the text German without umlaut, see [[Wörterbuch]].

User pages for non-existent users

User pages may have been inadvertently deleted for this method. Simply checking for “User contributions” to appear is not enough - check Special:Listusers in each case first. Apparently after the username is created, the user is still not logged in, initially. This causes their user page (typically their first edit) to be entered by an anonymous IP.

How to do it

  • If, having read the above, you feel sure an entry should be deleted:
    1. Put {{rfd}} at the top of the article so that anyone working on the article in the future knows that it may be deleted.
    2. Add a link to the unwanted page in Wiktionary:Requests for deletion.
    3. Include a brief explanation as to why you think the page should be deleted.
    4. Sign your suggestion for deletion (use four tildes, ~~~~, to sign with your user name and the current date). This will allow people to contact you in case of questions about your proposal.
  • Then just wait! If there is no objection to deleting the page, or a clear consensus emerges to delete, an administrator will come along to do the work, and will update the request page. A record of the deletion will automatically appear in the Wiktionary:Deletion log.

Notes to administrators

Administrators have no special status in determining which pages to delete. Their job is to implement the consensus of the community. If there is any uncertainty about whether there is such a consensus, it is safer not to delete the page, but instead flag it RFD or RFV.

Some entries are clearly rubbish and should be speedily deleted. However the following checks, as a minimum, should always be made:

  1. Check to see if it’s in any other dictionary, for example using onelook. Urbandictionary and the like do not count as dictionaries. If it can be found, rewrite, format, RFV or RFC the page as required.
  2. Check Google. Google can easily throw up hits for random strings of letters. This means that likely pages need to be read to see how the entry is used.
    • If lots of web pages can be found that support the disputed page, then RFC or format the page as required.
    • If only a few pages can be found that support the disputed page, then RFD or RFV the page.
    • If at most a handful of web pages support the disputed page, then delete it.

If a solution other than deletion has been found for a page, it can be useful to add the reasoning to the talk page of the article, so that everybody can see why the page was retained.

To delete a page

  1. Click on What links here, and fix any links that are going to be broken.
  2. Delete the talk page and any subpages first, since these are not automatically deleted along with the page.
  3. Delete the page.
  4. If the page is listed on Wiktionary:Requests for deletion or Wiktionary:Requests for verification, add a comment saying that it was deleted.

Undeletion

If a page gets deleted accidentally, it remains in a state from which it can be undeleted for a while. Anyone with delete authority also has undelete authority. If you consider that a page has been deleted unfairly you could either

  1. create it again (this may annoy people), or
  2. ask an administrator to undelete it, giving a valid reason. The optimal situation is to address this to the administrator who deleted it in the first place, as they might have had cause to delete it that another admin would not be aware of.

See also