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Wikitravel:Deletion policy

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Not everything belongs in Wikitravel. We will frequently have to delete work from Wikitravel; this policy defines why and how we do that.

Reasons to delete articles[edit]

The full or partial content of any article can be deleted at any time, by any user. That's not to say that it should be deleted, but each user can delete article text. Only administrators can delete the article's title and entry on the site, though.

Article entries should be deleted from the site when...

  • ...they don't fit in with our goals for making a free, complete, up-to-date and reliable travel guide.
  • ...they are too fine-grained. As a rule, restaurants, hotels, bars and sights don't get their own articles on Wikitravel. As an exception, some sights justify their own article as a travel destination in and of themselves, like Angkor Archaeological Park or Disneyland. See What is an article? for details.
  • ...they are vandalism. Sometimes articles get created when a user vandalised the wiki. These articles may have nonsense, inappropiate or even obscene titles. Verify them first though: for example, both Dildo and Fucking are actual places. While deletion is often appropriate, sometimes a more creative solution can be found, such as making the article a redirect for a common mis-spelling or typo of a place name.
  • ...they are duplicates of other articles. For example, if an article for "Holland" and another for the "Netherlands" exist, their content should be merged, and the one that doesn't fit with our article naming conventions ("Holland") should be redirected to the one that does.
  • ...they do not meet our article threshold.
  • ...they are itineraries that have been at outline status without being 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. Note that sufficiently famous, marked routes such as Alaska Highway or Annapurna Circuit are exempt regardless of the status or age of the article.
  • ...they are travel topics that have been at outline status without being substantially edited within one year, and there is no suitable travel topic to redirect to. Template:Outlinetopic should be used to tag topics at the outline level.

Article entries should not be deleted from the site when a legitimate article can be written for the subject. Some examples:

  • Bad article titles. If the name of the article is wrong (for example, if there's a spelling error, or if it doesn't conform to our article naming conventions), try to rename the page instead of copying all its contents to a new page and then deleting it.
  • Copyright violations. Just because someone abuses copyright in creating an article doesn't mean the subject doesn't belong in Wikitravel. Copyright violations should be handled by removing the offending material.
  • Really bad articles. Sometimes articles are a sloppy mess, or just a bunch of notes and ideas. These articles should be improved rather than deleted.

In these cases, rather than deleting the article, its text should initially be replaced by a stub and later with a real article.

Reasons to delete redirection pages[edit]

Redirection pages that link to non-existent pages show up as Broken redirects and Dead-end pages. As a general rule redirection pages should not be deleted. Redirection pages provide alternative page titles for articles and allow search engines to locate articles by their alternative names. If you are deleting a page, be sure to check that any links to that page are also changed to point to the right place, especially if content has been moved. Unlinked redirect pages can, and should, also be changed if possible, though consider deleting it if:

  • ...the redirect is unlinked and redirects to a deleted article and changing the link does not make sense. For example: If the title of the redirection page is very similar to the article being deleted and there is no alternative logical link, then changing the redirect page would not make sense and it should be deleted.

Deleting vs. redirecting[edit]

Redirecting non-articles, when possible, is usually preferred to deletion because a) anyone can make a redirect and b) redirects may help with search engine optimization. The rule of thumb is, if it is a real place, redirect rather than delete. Major attractions and geographical areas can and should be redirected, but articles about restaurants, bars, hotels, and other such commercial establishments should be deleted rather than redirected, in order to curb touting.

Reasons to delete images[edit]

Unlike articles, images and other media can't easily be edited within the Wiki. For this reason, it's more reasonable to delete them than articles.

Some reasons to delete images are:

  • Copyright violations. A great tool for checking for these is Tineye [1].
  • Orphaned images, that is, images that aren't used as part of articles. Images are for supporting articles, not to be left on their own. If no article uses or links to an image, it should be deleted.
  • Privacy rights violations. Photographers submitting pictures with people in them are responsible for getting model releases from the subjects of the photos. If they haven't, we need to delete the photo.

Deletion procedure[edit]

  1. First verify that the article or image really is a candidate for deletion. If you are unsure, bring up the issue on the talk page.
  2. For the article or image being proposed for deletion, add a {{vfd}} tag so that people viewing the article will know that it is proposed for deletion. The {{vfd}} tag must be the very first thing in the article, right at the very top, before everything else.
  3. Add a link to the article or image at the end of the VFD list, along with the reason why it is being listed for deletion. Sign your vote using four tildes ("~~~~"). List one article or image per entry.
  4. If you're nominating an image for deletion, make sure it's actually located on the English Wikitravel... many images are located on Wikitravel Shared, in which case they should be nominated for deletion over there instead.

Other contributors can discuss whether the article or image should be deleted. Articles and images are presumed guilty until proven innocent. 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.

Speedy deletion[edit]

Administrators may also, at their discretion, delete obviously inappropriate articles and images:

  • Articles that cannot possibly ever be destinations or travel topics, as they are either much too limited in scope or entirely outside the scope of Wikitravel. Examples include the names of people, companies, hotels, restaurants, hospitals, schools, and just plain gibberish.
  • Images uploaded to English Wikitravel. Wikitravel shared is now the repository for all images used on Wikitravel. Any image uploaded to English Wikitravel 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 Wikitravel a message should be left on the uploader's talk page explaining that images must be uploaded to Wikitravel shared.
  • Images that are blatant copyright violations from commercial, governmental, and non-commercial sites that clearly attest copyright. Examples include copyrighted maps and commercial PR materials. The deleting admin must provide the source URL.
  • Images that have been moved to the shared repository may also be speedily deleted on request.
  • Talk pages that contain only spam or gibberish, or otherwise contain no legitimate content.
  • Non-contributing user pages created for the purpose of non-travel related spam or vandalism.

If there is any doubt whether the criteria above apply, or any chance that an article or image could be considered useful, they should go through the deletion voting procedure. If the content has potential but the name is hopeless, the content should be moved to the proper place before deletion. If the name is okay but the article content is a copyright violation, it should be blanked and replaced with a template, not deleted.

New pages that are plainly spam and that qualify for speedy deletion will be deleted as soon as they are noticed by an administrator, and therefore do not need to be listed on the votes for deletion page. If such a page remains for more than 24 hours, add it to the nominations page as a way to ensure that it isn't overlooked.

To contest a speedy deletion, raise the issue on Wikitravel:Votes for undeletion.

Non-administrators may tag an article for speedy deletion by adding the {{delete}} template.

Speedy keep[edit]

In some cases an article or image may be nominated for deletion, and a consensus to keep the content is then reached before fourteen days have passed. In this case leaving the article or image as a candidate for deletion is no longer necessary and the VFD may be ended early. When ending a VFD early:

  • Remove the VFD tag from the article or image.
  • Copy the VFD discussion onto the article or image talk page.
  • Archive the VFD discussion from the Wikitravel:Votes for deletion page.

Do not end a VFD early unless a clear consensus is reached. A consensus is not the same as a majority, nor do a small handful of comments in favor of keeping an article constitute a consensus. If you are unsure about whether a consensus has been reached, allow the VFD to continue.

Deleting articles in personal namespaces[edit]

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 intact if anyone other than the user has commented.

Undeletion procedure[edit]

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 fourteen (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.