Speedy deletion expanded

Speedy deletion criteria officially expanded

A poll on expansion of the speedy deletion process ended with criteria expanded slightly, and the new criteria went into effect last Monday with the approval of Jimbo Wales.

The massive poll on Wikipedia:Proposal to expand WP:CSD ended last week with three of the eleven proposals passing. Over 200 Wikipedia editors participated in the poll.

Proposal I, which will allow administrators to speedily delete any article with no content other than a category, template, external link, see also section, or book reference, passed with 84% of the vote. Proposal VI, which allows admins to speedily delete mistakenly created articles (if the original editor requests it and nobody else has edited the article), passed with 88% of the vote.

The most widely supported proposal, Proposal X, allows speedy deletion of articles which consists only of someone attempting to correspond with the subject of the article. It passed with 95% of the vote.

Proposals that fell short

Two proposals received majority support, but not the 70% required for passage. Proposal II came closest with 60% of the vote, which would have allowed speedy deletion of extremely short articles that give no information other than what is obvious from the title.

Proposal XI, dealing with vanity articles, received 58% support. This proposal, somewhat reminiscent of previous proposals like Managed Deletion, would have set up a special process whereby the article would first be listed in Category:Articles which may be unencyclopedic, then considered eligible for speedy deletion after three days if nobody objected or improved the article during that period.

Proposed criteria that were considered more subjective and open to interpretation were generally rejected. However, speedy deletion of obvious vanity articles or dictionary definitions did have significant minority support (44% and 33% on Proposals III and IV, respectively). Proposal V, dealing with copyright violations, received only 37% support, as many voters suggested that copyright problems should be left to the existing process for handling such issues.

Ben Brockert submitted the three proposals that passed to Jimbo Wales for his approval, to which he responded affirmatively, "These should be considered policy now."

Practical effects not apparent

However, the changes in the criteria do not seem to have significantly impacted the way speedy deletions and Wikipedia:Votes for deletion operate. Many administrators have speedily deleted articles under the new criteria for a long time, relying on the already existing criteria of patent nonsense, vandalism or spam.

Interestingly, the least widely supported proposal was Proposal IX, which stated that any of the proposals not passed could never be used as criteria for speedy deletion. It received only 2% of the vote and was widely deemed unnecessary and undesirable.

Like related proposals that preceded it, part of the reason articulated for this change in deletion policy was to lighten the load of Votes for deletion. However, the outcome of the poll suggests that it will not have much effect, since of the proposed new criteria, vanity articles and dictionary definitions get listed on VfD more frequently than the other cases, and those proposals failed to pass. Meanwhile, many of the articles under criteria that did pass have been speedily deleted in the past using other criteria, rather than being put on VfD.

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