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Difference between revisions of "Wikitravel talk:Deletion policy"

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(Blanking talk pages: rm misspelled insult)
(It isn't an insult in any way - it's fact. And the fact is if I said he was amazing, you wouldn't delete that.)
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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. [[User:Nrms|Nrms]] 17:35, 8 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. [[User:Nrms|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.[[User:Edmontonenthusiast|<font color="#339989">'''edmontonenthusiast [ee]'''</font>]] <sup><small>[[User talk:Edmontonenthusiast|<font color="#8848d7">'''.T.A.L.K.'''</font>]]</small></sup> 17:56, 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.[[User:Edmontonenthusiast|<font color="#339989">'''edmontonenthusiast [ee]'''</font>]] <sup><small>[[User talk:Edmontonenthusiast|<font color="#8848d7">'''.T.A.L.K.'''</font>]]</small></sup> 17:56, 8 January 2009 (EST).
 +
 +
I have deleted the talk page due to Peters arrogancies.[[User:Edmontonenthusiast|<font color="#339989">'''edmontonenthusiast [ee]'''</font>]] <sup><small>[[User talk:Edmontonenthusiast|<font color="#8848d7">'''.T.A.L.K.'''</font>]]</small></sup> 18:09, 8
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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. -- [[User:Sapphire|Sapphire]] • <small>([[User_talk:Sapphire|Talk]])</small> • 18:39, 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. -- [[User:Sapphire|Sapphire]] • <small>([[User_talk:Sapphire|Talk]])</small> • 18:39, 8 January 2009 (EST)

Revision as of 02:17, 9 January 2009

I added a note to the procedure about adding {{msg:vfd}} to pages listed on Wikitravel: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. --Evan 15:01, 21 Jun 2004 (EDT)


Contents

7 days? and more concrete procedure?

It seems the "7 days" time isn't even mentioned on this page. Also, I think 7 days is too short for Wikitravel. 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... 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 Wikitravel: 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 Wikitravel. 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 Wikitravellers 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 Wikitravel'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. --Evan 19:45, 23 Jun 2004 (EDT)
Guilty until proven innocent doesn't mix wel with assuming good faith.
Pages in the Wikitravel: namespace won't end up in a printed version of Wikitravel. These pages have a different goal, and thus we should allow them to be less focussed on the direct goal. 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 Wikitravel: 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. --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"... 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 Wikitravel: namespace, too. --Evan 13:05, 24 Jun 2004 (EDT)

Shortening Time

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 --MiddleEastern 11:42, 9 March 2007 (EST)

Undeletion procedure

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 Wikitraveller should link to the page on [[Wikitravel: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 Wikitravel: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? --Evan 19:45, 23 Jun 2004 (EDT)

Also: feel free to just edit the suggested paragraph, rather than copying it over and over again. --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? -- Colin 20:17, 23 Jun 2004 (EDT)
Is it necessary to create a rule for this? 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. --Evan 13:00, 24 Jun 2004 (EDT)

Guilty until proven innocent

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. --Evan 14:52, 24 Jun 2004 (EDT)

Consensus on Wikitravel

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-Wikitraveler 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! Veit 01:34, 25 Jun 2004 (EDT)

Changes

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. --Evan 12:04, 30 Jun 2004 (EDT)

Deleting pages in user space

Nils requested deletion of a page in his own user space. Can such a page be deleted immediately? -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. Jpatokal 09:23, 19 Jul 2005 (EDT)

D'oh, I wrote the above before spotting that phma beat me to it! 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. --Evan 09:29, 19 Jul 2005 (EDT)

Policy when pages fail VFD or VFD proposal withdrawn.

The Wikitravel: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.

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

Speedy Delete

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. -- 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. -- 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. -- 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 Wikitravel:About article could have been restored? -- 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. --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. -- 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. 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? 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. — 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? --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 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? -- Bill-on-the-Hill 10:26, 3 June 2006 (EDT)

Orphaning articles/images - how to restore the links?

The deletion policy states that when listing an article or image for vfd that all links to it should be removed ("a Wikitraveller 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. -- Ryan 10:42, 6 April 2006 (EDT)

Comment below copied in from Wikitravel: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. --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 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? -- 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. --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. - Todd VerBeek 10:39, 3 June 2006 (EDT)

Spam on user pages

Apparently User: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? --Ricardo (Rmx) 14:01, 2 May 2006 (EDT)

Page creation vandalism

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. -- 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? -- 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. — Ravikiran 15:17, 10 May 2006 (EDT)
I don't. All you're accomplishing is wasting someone else's time instead of your own. - Todd VerBeek 10:46, 3 June 2006 (EDT)

Union (Maine) and Ocean Park

Copied from User talk: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. -- 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 Wikitravel talk:Deletion policy#Page creation vandalism, User talk:74.69.245.148, User talk:169.244.99.10, User talk:64.222.199.130 and User talk: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. -- Ryan 14:45, 17 December 2006 (EST)
Don't forget User talk:Traveler2006. -- 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 Wikitravel are the same. I had done some research on the other two and I would have supported a "vote" for deletion on those. -- 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 Wikitravel:Deletion policy so that others can contribute. In the mean time I'll stop policing User:74.69.245.148's edits, although the temptation to hit the delete button every time another empty article appears from that IP is pretty high ;) -- 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 Wikitravel talk:Deletion policy to help ensure everyone is on the same page on this. -- 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. -- 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. — 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. --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:216.220.231.226) 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. -- 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. — 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. -- 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/74.69.245.148 and Special:Contributions/169.244.143.119 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? -- 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 Wikitravel. I am just glad that everyone puts up with me. -- 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. -- Colin 14:45, 20 December 2006 (EST)
Agreed with everything above - I see no problem with adding a note to Wikitravel: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 Wikitravel:Votes for deletion. -- Ryan 15:56, 20 December 2006 (EST)

Two weeks to ten days, maybe less?

Moved from Wikitravel talk:Votes for deletion by 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? - Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 23:56, 19 May 2006 (EDT)

I heartily agree. 10 days for unopposed deletions? -- Jonboy 20:23, 20 May 2006 (EDT)
Agree. SHC 20:28, 20 May 2006 (EDT)
Support, and even ten days is pretty generous. -- 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 Wikitravel 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. 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? -- 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. 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. 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. Ricardo (Rmx) 14:31, 31 May 2006 (EDT)
That'd be cool with me. 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. - 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 Wikitravel 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 Wikitravellers out of the conversation. --Evan 16:56, 31 May 2006 (EDT)
I added this suggestion, because of comments on User_Talk: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 Wikitravel doesn't work by majority. Thankfully, Wikitravel 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. - 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". - 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. -- 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. -- 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. -- 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? --Evan 14:23, 17 June 2006 (EDT)

Self-nominated deletions accelerated?

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? -- Bill-on-the-Hill 09:58, 11 June 2006 (EDT)

Seems perfectly reasonable to me. - 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. -- 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

I added a policy allowing speedy deletions of images that have been moved to shared. It looks like an obvious case to me. — 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: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. -- 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 Wikitravellers 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. ) — Ravikiran 14:37, 17 June 2006 (EDT)

Fix it later

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 Wikitravel 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 Wikitravel. --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 Wikitravel." 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 Wikitravel community builders so good at what they do. --Evan 15:11, 17 June 2006 (EDT)

Redirect, don't delete

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 (Wikitravel: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? --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? - 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 Wikitravel 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? -- 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. 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 ... -- Bill-on-the-Hill 12:53, 15 November 2007 (EST)

Images containing advertising

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.jpgcacahuate 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. - 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 Wikitravel 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. -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:46, 26 May 2007 (EDT)
Yeah, good points... agree then, no speedy deleting of that – cacahuate talk 15:13, 26 May 2007 (EDT)

Deletion procedure revisions

Under "deletion procedure", we recommend:

To delete an article or image, a Wikitraveller 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. – cacahuate talk 19:52, 8 September 2007 (EDT)

Privacy rights

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 shared:Image policy says:

At Wikitravel, 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. 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...! Jpatokal 02:31, 7 April 2008 (EDT)
Sounds reasonable – 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 Wikitravel 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. -- Ryan • (talk) • 00:50, 7 October 2008 (EDT)

policy on deleting in personal namespace

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?

--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. --Peter Talk 01:33, 6 October 2008 (EDT)
Can we incorporate this to the policy article? --DenisYurkin 02:05, 6 October 2008 (EDT)
Sounds fine to me. --Peter Talk 13:03, 6 October 2008 (EDT)
Here's my first draft: [1]. Improvements/comments would be absolutely welcome. --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. --Peter Talk 15:44, 22 October 2008 (EDT)
Attempted to take that into account--improvements and comments are still welcome. --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 Wikitravel: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.

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

Implemented just verbatim. Thanks, Cacahuate! --DenisYurkin 04:33, 23 October 2008 (EDT)
) – 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: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 Wikitravel administrator may not be deleted, except with explicit permission of the administrator. 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. --Peter Talk 02:57, 7 January 2009 (EST)
I really dislike both the wording and the idea behind "formal disciplinary notes from a Wikitravel 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. 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. Jpatokal 10:45, 7 January 2009 (EST)

Blanking talk pages

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

So, there was recently a bit of a kerfuffle over User: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. 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 Wikitravel intentionally leaves room for personal interpretation in the Wikitravel: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). -- 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 → Wikitravel:Deletion_policy#Deleting_articles_in_personal_namespaces --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. --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 – 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. 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. LtPowers 14:46, 7 January 2009 (EST)
I will think about if for a few days and let discussion pour. 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. 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. -- 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 Wikitravel: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 Wikitravel:Sex tourism policy" to a policy page. --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. -- 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 :) – 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, JYolkowski 17:25, 8 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. 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.edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 17:56, 8 January 2009 (EST).

I have deleted the talk page due to Peters arrogancies.edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 18:09, 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. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 18:39, 8 January 2009 (EST)

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

Guilty until proven innocent, and privacy rights

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 wikitravel in a manner which infringes someone's privacy rights, they are surely responsible. As for wikitravel, 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 BlueMosqueMazariSharif.jpg (from the Afghanistan article) and 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. Arpitt 18:20, 8 January 2009 (EST)

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