- Note: this report was written by a GPT-3, a transformer-based natural language generation model, and fact-checked by Signpost editors. A more comprehensive explanation is available in this issue's editor note.
- The following text is an article written by a transformer-based natural language generation model, instructed to write in the style of deceased Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, introducing the month's deletion statistics, as well as explaining why the decision was made to have him write it instead of normal human editors.
Hey, you fucks! I'm back from the dead and I'm writing this month's column!
Why? Because I'm the only one who can deal with the sheer volume of bullshit that gets deleted from this website every day. It's a damn travesty, is what it is.
If you're looking for a sensible, boring article on the month's Wikipedia deletion statistics, you've come to the wrong place. This is gonzo journalism at its finest, and I, Hunter S. Thompson, am your guide.
Why am I writing this article? Wikipedia has decided that, in the interest of full disclosure, it needs to provide more information about its deletion process. And what better way to do that than to have me, Hunter S. Thompson, write about it?
I asked the boss why they decided to have me write this instead of the normal human editors, and he just said that they needed someone with a "unique perspective." I'm not sure what that means, but I'm pretty sure it's bullshit.
Anyway, here's the deal: every month, Wikipedia deletes a bunch of articles. Some of them are total garbage, and some of them are just stubs that nobody bothered to expand. But whatever the reason, they're all gone, and that's that.
So why does Wikipedia keep deleting stuff? Well, I asked around, and it turns out that there are a few reasons. First of all, Wikipedia is a volunteer-run operation, and there's only so much that the volunteers can do. They can't keep track of everything, so sometimes things slip through the cracks.
Second of all, Wikipedia is constantly evolving. What was once considered a reliable source of information might not be so reliable anymore, so it needs to be deleted. And finally, Wikipedia is a work in progress. It's always changing and growing, and that means that some stuff has to be deleted, but new stuff will always appear.
So there you have it: the month's deletion statistics, courtesy of yours truly, Hunter S. Thompson.
- Editor's note: GPT-Thompson really did write that, and my editing was minimal (I removed a couple irrelevant paragraphs and expletives).
- For the discussions below, I provided a full transcript of the AfD page (with timestamps and long signatures removed to aid processing), and prompted GPT-3 for a completion, using some variation on the following:
- "The following text is a summary of the above discussion, written by Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson for Rolling Stone's monthly feature on Wikipedia deletion processes."
- Afterwards, I provided the summary, and asked him for an "acerbic quip" on each. Unlike the "summary" prompts, these produced output ranging from obscene and irreverent to maliciously slanderous. It should be noted that this is a trait shared by writings of the real Hunter S. Thompson. At any rate, I found that if I tried a few times, eventually I could get him to write something that wouldn't get us dragged to ANI. — J
- By !vote count
- The main arguments in favor of keeping the article were that the footballer in question had played many international matches, and that there was substantial coverage about him in reliable sources. The main arguments against keeping the article were that playing matches is not proof of notability, and that the available sources did not meet the requirements of WP:GNG. Editors on both sides of the debate made personal attacks against each other, with little regard for the actual issue at hand. Ultimately, the discussion resulted in a no consensus decision.
- The only thing that the two sides in that debate agreed on was that the other side was a bunch of idiots.
- The article was kept for now. The subject was considered notable for receiving significant coverage from the BBC and The Times, both of which are reliable sources. In addition, his non-league career was also notable. It seems that the GNG criterion was met, so the article was kept. However, some people felt that he was not particularly notable for his football career and that the coverage of his abuse was not significant. Therefore, the decision was left to the discretion of the editors.
- Well, there you have it. The decision was left to the discretion of the editors. So if you don't like the article, just delete it.
- This month's deletion report is brought to you by the letter "D", for "delete", as in "Charlie Anne xavier", a victim of a sad circumstance. The article was up for deletion, with many editors arguing that the subject was not notable and that the article read like an advertisement. The creator of the article, Andrecanada, was accused of being a sockpuppeteer and of having a conflict of interest. In the end, the article was deleted.
- And so it goes.
- The page was deleted in a close vote, with a final tally of 12 to 10 in favor of deletion. The page's subject was a Swedish footballer who played for the country's top league during the 1930s and '40s. The page's nominator argued that the player was not notable, citing the lack of significant coverage in independent, reliable sources. This argument was supported by several other users, who also noted the lack of online sources in Swedish. However, some users argued that the player was notable, citing the fact that he played in the country's top league. These users also noted that the player's nationality and era made it difficult to find online sources. In the end, the page was redirected to a list of players for Malmö, per WP:ATD.
- "The page's nominator argued that the player was not notable, citing the lack of significant coverage in independent, reliable sources." What the hell kind of criterion is that? If we applied that standard, half the pages on Wikipedia would be deleted.
- The article was about a player of the video game Elden Ring, and their involvement in an event that was covered by news outlets. The main arguments for deletion were that the article did not meet Wikipedia standards for Notable People, and that the article was mostly unsourced or original research. However, there were also arguments made in favor of keeping the article. These arguments noted that the player in question had gained significant media coverage, and that the article was supported by multiple reliable sources. In the end, the majority opinion was to merge the article into the main Elden Ring page, as part of the game's reception.
- "In the end, the majority opinion was to merge the article into the main Elden Ring page, as part of the game's reception." Which is kind of like saying that Elvis Presley's final resting place should be the Graceland gift shop.
- By discussion size
- The article in question is about the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UIA), a group the nominator says is responsible for the Holocaust and the Massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia. One of the leaders, Stepan Bandera, was a Nazi collaborator. In a long aside, the nominator claimed that the page glorifies the UIA, and the user who created the page asks them to explain why they think the Russian Republic was "exceptionally well and dandy" between 1944 and 1956... The debate on whether or not to delete the article was heated, with many people arguing that it should be kept because it is well-written and sourced. However, others argued that it is a glorification of the UIA and should be deleted. In the end, the article was kept, but with the caveat that most think it needs to be rewritten to meet WP:NPOV.
- Either way, it's a mess.
- Gonzalo Lira, a dating coach and YouTuber who spent some time in Ukraine, and recently has been discussed in fringe circles because of his alleged disappearance, has a wide following and is definitely a notable person, according to some commenters. However, others pointed out that most of the coverage of him is in Spanish-language media, and that he does not seem to have a significant body of work. The discussion ended with no consensus, and it was suggested that the issue be revisited when Lira is no longer in the news.
- Notability is in the eye of the beholder, and if you can't see it, you're probably not looking hard enough.
- Some editors argued that the company was notable and that the sources used to establish notability were of sufficient quality. Other editors argued that the company was not notable and that the sources used to establish notability were of insufficient quality. The discussion became bogged down in arguments about the alleged conflict of interest of one editor, with some accusing the editor of being paid to create the article, and others arguing that there was no evidence to support this accusation. In the end, the discussion was closed with a result of "delete".
- In other words, the whole thing was a giant clusterfuck.
- The article was on a notable topic: the veracity of Morrison's statements had been documented and reported on by numerous reliable sources. The page's purpose was to cover what reliable sources say about Morrison's veracity, whether they be positive or negative. While much of the coverage happened to be negative, it was neither unsourced nor poorly sourced. Precedent existed for comparable pages (see Veracity of statements by Donald Trump). Attack pages must be both negative in tone and unsourced; the content in this article is verifiable, and reliable sources are referenced. However, there was a strong partisan element to the discussion, with a clear majority (15 to 10) opting to delete the page. The arguments for deleting the page were mostly that it was an attack page, created for partisan reasons and that it was unwarranted because all politicians lie anyway. Closer Sandstein said that: "To sum up, the headcount was slightly for deletion while the arguments for keeping were quite a bit stronger than those for deletion. That being the case, there is no consensus to delete the article, and it is accordingly kept by default."
- "15 to 10" my ass! This is a goddamn democracy, and we don't need no stinking majority!
- Checkley Sin, a film producer and political candidate, was nominated for deletion from Wikipedia. The reason given was that he was not notable as a producer or candidate. However, many people spoke up in support of keeping the article, citing Sin's significant coverage in reliable sources and his importance as a candidate in the upcoming Hong Kong Chief Executive election. In the end, the consensus was to keep the article.
- I find it amusing that the people who are most vocal about wanting to keep Checkley Sin's Wikipedia article are the same people who are least likely to vote for him in the upcoming Hong Kong Chief Executive election.
- By !vote count
- The main arguments for deletion were that the article was too recent and that much of the information was already covered in the Dobbs article. Additionally, it was argued that a separate article was only redundant and that this was jumping the gun. Some believed that the event was changing too rapidly to make an encyclopedic and reliably informative article.
- However, there were also strong arguments for keeping the article. It was noted that there were opportunities to flesh out the list into prose, describing crowd sizes, demonstration locations, organizing groups, etc. Additionally, there was violence in LA and arrests in multiple cities. More protests were being planned, including by Women's March. It was also argued that these protests were just the beginning, and that there would be lots more to come. In light of all this, it was suggested that the article be renamed and kept.
- The discussion was heated, with some editors accusing others of being "clueless" and "disconnected from subjects that directly concern the lives of women." Some believed that the article should be expanded to include other reactions to the leaked Supreme Court opinion, while others believe that the article should be renamed to something like "Reactions to the Dobbs v. Jackson leaked draft opinion". Ultimately, closer Sandstein said in a "keep" close that there was "clearly no consensus to delete. A strong minority is for merging to Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, but not enough to establish consensus. A merger can continue to be discussed on the article talk page."
- The only thing as pathetic as the fools who argue for deletion are the fools who argue against it.
- The Tanglewood Middle School shooting happened on March 31st of this year; a student was shot and killed by another student. The event made national news and was widely covered by major news outlets; the coverage of the event has been ongoing since it occurred. The shooting has been included in articles about school shootings in the United States, and has been described as a "tragedy" and a "crime" by various news outlets. It was a tragic event, no doubt. But was it really worthy of its own Wikipedia page? Some people clearly didn't think so, arguing that the shooting wasn't unique or significant enough to warrant inclusion on the site, and that the coverage of the event had not been sustained enough to prove its notability. They have a point – after all, there have been plenty of other school shootings in the United States, many of which have been covered much more extensively by the media. In the end, it was redirected to a list of school shootings.
- The Wikipedia deletion debate over the Tanglewood Middle School shooting was a tragic event in and of itself. It's a shame that such an event has to be debated in this way, but unfortunately that's the world we live in.
- The article in question was about the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the nominator argued that it should be deleted because it was not encyclopedic and is full of WP:OR and WP:FRINGE nonsense. Others were arguing that the article was notable and should be kept. A group of editors showed up to defend the page, claiming that it was a valuable resource for people looking for information on the potential side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine. They argued that the page should be kept, and that any unsourced information should be removed. This led to a heated debate, with both sides hurling insults at each other. In the end, the page was redirected to the COVID-19 vaccine page, with a note that it may be deleted in the future.
- Wikipedia debates are the perfect way for people to get their rocks off.
- Many editors argued that the school is only notable for the shooting that occurred there, and that it would be better served by a redirect to the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District page. Others disagreed, pointing out that the school has a long history, and that there is enough information available to warrant its own article. In the end, the majority of editors !voted to redirect the page.
- That's like saying the only thing notable about the Titanic is that it sunk.
- The page, which had been created recently, was suggested for deletion on the grounds that it was a content fork of the existing page on Rashism. Critics of the decision argue that Rashism is a recently coined term with no clear definition, whereas fascism is a well-established political ideology with a long history in Russia. Supporters of the delete/redirect decision argue that without more evidence that Russia is or has been fascist in the traditional sense of the term, rather than in a uniquely Russian sense (i.e., Red fascism, Rashism), the article would seem to be a content fork. They pointed to the fact that there is no confirmed instance of fascism in Russia, and that the term "Rashism" is more accurate in describing the current political situation there. Those who argued in favor of keeping the page pointed to the fact that reliable sources use the term to describe Russia, and that it is a more accurate reflection of the country's history than the term "Rashism". In the end, the delete/redirect side won out, and the page was redirected to "Rashism".
- So the Wikipedia page on Russian fascism gets deleted because it's a 'content fork' of the page on Rashism. I'm not sure what Rashism is. Maybe they should start a Wiki page on it.
- By discussion size
- The page for Alisha Kramer, a physician resident married to U.S. senator Jon Ossoff, was up for deletion due to a lack of notability. KidAd argued that she was not notable enough to have her own article, as her notability was inherited from her husband. Beccaynr countered that she had received significant coverage in reliable sources, and that the notability guidelines did not disqualify coverage simply because it was related to her husband. The discussion featured sideshow performances about whether or not Britney Spears' ex-husband Jason Alexander was notable enough to have his own article, and whether or not John Lennon's aunt and uncle were notable enough to have their own articles. But in the end, the discussion came back to Alisha Kramer, and the consensus was that her notability was inherited from her husband, and that she did not have enough independent notability to warrant her own article. The page was redirected to Jon Ossoff's page.
- In other words, she's not famous enough to warrant her own Wikipedia page, but she's notable enough to be married to a senator. This, my friends, is the American dream.
- The debate over whether or not to delete the page on Italian sociologist Alessandro Orsini was a heated one, to say the least. On one side was Mako001, who argued that Orsini wasn't really all that notable, and on the other side was Alexmar983, who argued that Orsini was quite notable. The two sides went back and forth for quite awhile, with Mako001 pointing out that Orsini's only claim to fame was his stance on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and that didn't really justify an article on him. Alexmar983 countered that Orsini was quite notable for his academic contributions, and that the media attention on the Russian invasion of Ukraine was just an added bonus. But in the end, it was Mako001's argument that won out, and the page on Alessandro Orsini was deleted.
- "What the fuck is this bullshit?" Mako001 seethed. "Orsini isn't notable, and his only claim to fame is some shit about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This doesn't justify an article on him!" Alexmar983 calmly took a drag on his cigarette, his eyes narrowed. "You're wrong, Mako001," he said slowly. "Orsini is quite notable for his academic contributions."
- The nominator for the deletion of the "It's a Miracle (TV series)" Wikipedia page makes a compelling case: the show was never reviewed and only mentioned in passing in other articles, it was on a now-defunct network, and it seems to have flown completely under the radar.
- On the other hand, some users argue that the show had a relatively long shelf life and thus merits an article. They also point to the significant coverage it received in multiple independent reliable sources, including a book,and several articles. In the end, the keepers win out, and the page is retained.
- It's a miracle that Wikipedia hasn't been deleted yet.
- The nominator, Avilich, argued that the siege of Oricum was not a notable event, and that there was not enough significant coverage of it in reliable sources to warrant having its own article. P Aculeius disagreed, pointing out that the nominator had not made any effort to find reliable sources before proposing the deletion, and that the event was indeed notable enough to be discussed in classical sources. Avilich then argued that the sources were not reliable, and that the event was not notable enough to warrant an article. Some said that the event was notable enough, but that the article needed to be more detailed and better sourced, or claimed that the article was a content fork of another article, and that it should be merged into that article. Others disagreed, pointing out that the article was not a content fork, and that it was sufficiently detailed and well sourced. The debate ended with a consensus to keep the article.
- Jesus Christ, what a fucking bore. This is the sort of thing that makes me want to put a bullet in my head.
- The article concerned "political ponerology", a concept proposed by Andrzej Łobaczewski in his book of the same name. The nominator described it as a racist conspiracy theory, and said that the article was promoting it as a legitimate field of study. The article was initially written by an editor with an undisclosed connection to the Fellowship of the Cosmic Mind, a new religious group founded by Arkadiusz Jadczyk and Laura Knight-Jadczyk, the leaders of which also own the publishing house that published Łobaczewski's book.
- Some editors felt that it would be best to delete the article and start over, changing the subject to be about the book and the spread of its ideas. Others felt that the book is notable and the article should be merged with the existing article on ponerology; they noted that the book is cited by a variety of sources, including Psychology Today, The Psychologist, the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Times Literary Supplement, and The Conversation. In the end, the result was no consensus, and the article was not deleted.
- Well, apparently there are a lot of people out there who believe in this crap, because somebody went and wrote a whole book about it. And not just any book, either – this thing was cited by some pretty respectable sources. So I guess we have to take it seriously, even though it's complete and utter bullshit. I mean, just look at the title – 'political ponerology'. It sounds like something out of a bad sci-fi novel, for Christ's sake.
- The following text is a conclusion to the above article written by a transformer-based natural language generation model, instructed to imitate the deceased Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson. Thompson briefly summarizes the debates he's written about, looks forward to the next month's report, and signs off.
"So there you have it. As always, it's a mixed bag. Some articles are kept, some are redirected, and some are deleted. Some are deleted because they're trash, and some are deleted because the editors are a bunch of idiots. But whatever the reason, they're gone, and that's that.
But one thing's for sure: I, Hunter S. Thompson, will be back next month to report on all the bullshit that's sure to come.
Until then, stay tuned, and stay fucked up."
I sighed, then took a swig from the bottle of Wild Turkey on the table in front of me. It was going to be a long summer.
- ^ a b I did an online search for this line, because it seemed a little too witty, and I suspected it was just a verbatim quote from one of Thompson's works – but no, as far as I can tell, this is a completely original invention.
- ^ a b Here, the passage beginning with "Closer Sandstein" was not GPT-Thompson's writing, I just pasted that in at the end because he had already written a pretty good summary and I didn't want to spend 25 cents redoing the whole thing for the sake of mentioning the closer's note.
- ^ In keeping with the real-life political inclinations of Hunter S. Thompson, it was nearly impossible to get him to write an "acerbic quip" about this discussion that wasn't a siteban-worthy political diatribe.
- ^ I have no idea what he was going for here, but it was pretty funny, so I kept it.
- ^ These last couple sentences came from an earlier (worse) iteration of his sign-off note, but they were too good and too iconic to leave out when I replaced it.