Speedy deletion changes proposed

New effort to overhaul deletion being voted on

After working for over a month, a group of editors seeking to reform the deletion process submitted a proposal to the community, calling for a vote on a number of changes to the criteria for speedy deletion.

The complex proposal managed to include even more separate items to be voted on than did an earlier poll about expanding the speedy deletion criteria (see archived story). Its development was initiated by Radiant, who helped draft guidelines that have been credited with reducing the amount of debate over schools being nominated for deletion. A sizable group of people helped shape the proposal, most of whom are fairly regular participants in deletion debates.

Objectives and details of proposals

The primary purpose of this effort was to deal with growth in the deletion process and make it more manageable. Numbers were cited indicating that the number of pages being listed on Votes for deletion has roughly doubled since January. Over the course of the past year, it was contended that the number of votes for deletion has tripled.

A particular target in drafting the proposals was the attempt to formulate criteria that could apply to vanity pages. As these are frequently created and routinely deleted, they have been repeatedly suggested as grounds for speedy deletion, but this has always encountered objections that the definitions of "vanity" were too subjective.

Among the proposals, therefore, were separate new speedy deletion criteria for people, bands, websites, and clubs. In general, these focused on articles that fail to assert some basic level of significance for the subject. Other proposals being considered include speedy deletion for certain transwiki and translation material, duplicates of content on other projects, and some categories and templates. In addition, it was suggested that one of the existing criteria, "Very short articles providing little or no context", be deprecated in favor of new criteria that tried to define this more specifically.

Current status of vote

The vote provided that 70% support would be required in order for any individual item to pass, just as the earlier proposal had. When last checked, five of the proposals had the necessary level of support. These included one for articles where the transwiki process had been properly completed, two proposals covering very short articles (those with "no information other than a rephrasing of the title" and those that "serve no purpose but to disparage their subject"), and a revision of the policy dealing with previously deleted content. Voting continues for another week and is scheduled to close 19 July at 15:11 (UTC).

Only one of the measures for dealing with vanity pages looks like it may pass, that being the proposal dealing with individual people. One of the critics of this proposal, Tony Sidaway, pushed for a counter-proposal that was also being voted on, which would require such articles to be tagged first and held for 48 hours before being deleted. Sidaway also launched a vote for the proposition that the deletion process was not actually broken, and that all of the proposals were unnecessary instruction creep. Neither of these motions currently has support from a majority of voters.

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