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DDO wiki:Deletion policy

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Overview

The DDO wiki deletion policy describes how pages that do not meet the relevant criteria are identified and removed from DDO wiki. In the normal operations of DDO wiki, very few pages get deleted; generally only the occasional spam or typo in a file name.

Deletion of an article/file doesn't actually remove the file/page from the server. It simply removes the current version and all previous versions from public view - administrators may still fully review all revisions, and if desired fully restore them at any time. Our pages are never purged; even pages deleted several years ago are still stored on the server.

Unlike page blanking, which can be performed (or reverted) by any user, deletion can be performed only by administrators. If in doubt as to whether there is consensus to delete a page, administrators should normally not delete it.

Why Delete Anything?

In general, there is very little incentive to do so. The DDO wiki is not in any danger of running out of space, and rarely gets many off-topic articles added. Given the potential for harm is high, every deletion should be extremely and carefully considered.

Cons:

  • Regular users will not be able view the content.
  • Users who enjoyed reading said content, may become upset.
  • May create unwanted red-links.
  • May break many pages which might have transcluded the deleted content.
  • Even if a page seems unused, deleting it may break previous revisions of many pages. This is especially true for many templates and some files. Maintaining complete and accurate history on the game is a very important part of our wiki as DDO is a game that is constantly changing, and many users come here to learn what's new and learn about how it is changed.
  • Disk space is not saved; in fact more is used up as a deletion record needs to be created, while all revisions remain stored.

Pros:

  • Regular users will not be able view the content. This may be preferable to the alternatives for certain criteria such as spam.

In most cases, the alternative is erasing the content from the page in question, even if it means blanking the whole page and/or redirecting it elsewhere, which will be the preferable course of action; this is much more easily reverted and rectified if need be, with the similar result of the content being not visible to the average users is achieved, as most viewers are unaware of the history function.

Invalid Delete Reasons

The following are not valid reasons to vote to delete a page, so pages tagged for these reasons will quickly be untagged.

  • Outdated and/or Unused: Simply because a page is unused doesn't mean it's not relevant or important. These types of pages very rarely should deleted, but instead the vast majority of the time - improved, or at least tagged appropriately so other users may help improve them. EG: An outdated page may need one of the {{Update}}, {{Help improve}}, or {{Wikify}} tags so that it can be brought up to date. An unused page may simply need some other pages to link to it or have it redirect to another more useful page. The few exceptions to this may be considered as a valid delete reason would be if all of the following three are true:
    • A file (Files can't be directly moved).
    • Outdated AND a newer superior revision exists elsewhere (a redirect may still be better).
    • Unused (The older revision isn't relevant to the history of the game, wasn't included in any other pages (older revision included), and it also exists elsewhere).
  • Deprecated template: Deprecated templates are very frequently in use in older revisions of many pages. Especially item description templates. Given how often items changes and how many times our templates have changed over the years, older deprecated templates are almost always in use in older revisions of item templates. These revisions using a deprecated template can be of particular interest to users wishing to discover the changes of an item they have, which may not be the latest version, as items are most often not retroactively changed. Instead of deleting such templates, tag them with {{Deprecated|template}}. One of our advanced template creators will make appropriate adjustments to the template to properly forward all pages to the current template. Keep an eye on your talk page until you see this process has been completed, as the template editor may pose questions for you there concerning the change.
  • Common page name typos. If users frequently come to the wiki and search for a frequently misspelled topic, having a page with the misspelling redirect to the correct spelling can be very helpful in improving the results of our search engine. Only delete page name typos that are very unlikely to be repeated.
  • Non-empty categories that have invalid names. The process to correctly delete these categories is as listed:
    • Manually visit all member pages and make any necessary adjustments to remove the connection to that category and possibly update it to the correctly named new category.
    • If you can not find the physical link to the category on the page, it is probably linked there by a template. There are two options to correct this:
      1. If you feel that you are capable and the template is not protected outside of your editing abilities (many may be), you may edit the template yourself and fix the link to the category with the correct spelling and/or capitalization.
      2. If you are physically prevented from or do not feel you are capable of that, click on the history button at the top of the page and post a comment on one of the other editors of the template or the creator.

Valid Delete Reasons

  • Making room for move (This one will automatically show up when a page is moved over another).
  • Copyright violation
    • In the case of most game content, it may be used under Fair-use. In the game of content created outside the game, by users other than yourself, in most cases you must first ask for permission or it may end up deleted as a copyright violation.
  • Page name typo
    • As explained above. This is OK, but only for typos that are not likely to be frequently repeated.
  • Vandalism / Spam-bot
    • Fair reason, and also the primary valid reason for Instant deletion.

Policy for Deletion

If after you fully understand all the risks, you still believe for one reason or another that a page needs to be deleted, you must follow these steps:

  1. Try to avoid deletion...
    • Place the appropriate {{Update}}, {{Help improve}}, or {{Wikify}} tag at the top of the page and give everyone an opportunity to make the page conform to all other standards and be useful.
    • Save the article.
      • You may also provide a reason directly in your edit summary: xxx needs a review/update because ...
    • It is recommended that you give other editors one calendar month to do so, although in some cases it may be okay to escalate the page in two weeks.
  2. Escalate the page by placing the review for deletion template tag at the very top of the article - type {{Delete}} as the very first line of the article.
    • This will place a large banner at the top of the page, notifying visitors that it is a candidate for deletion, and their vote on the talk page would be appreciated.
    • This will also place the article in Category:Flagged for deletion.
    • Save the article.
      • You may also provide a reason directly in your edit summary: xxx needs to be deleted because ...
      • You will automatically be counted as the first vote to delete.
  3. You are done. You may request that your friends/administrators review your request and vote on it by posting on the pages talk page.

Now that the page is marked for deletion, you wait for enough members to vote before anything actually happens:

  • For the deletion to be confirmed and done, at least two administrators or five regular registered users must agree the page should be deleted.
    • If enough votes are made for deletion, the page will be deleted in seven days assuming no objections, or not enough objections, are made.
    • If no opposing votes are cast within two-weeks, the page will be deleted.
    • Should any administrator disagree, the page may undergo a longer review and not be deleted until any questions posed have been answered and at least two users agree that the answer satisfies the question.
  • In all cases, Administrators have the final say on if a page is deleted or not.

Orphaned files

This section is still under development - no pages are currently deletable per this section of the policy.
  • Please try to find a use for files instead of tagging them for deletion.
  • Orphaned files must be tagged with {{OrphanDelete | <code>date }}</code>
  • They must remain at least 30 days from the date they are tagged.
  • This section of the policy currently does not apply to item description images
    • Working on trying to get filemover fixed to be able to move them to the proper pagename and merge the histories
This section is still under development - no pages are currently deletable per this section of the policy.

Criteria for Instant Deletion

In some cases a page/file may fit criteria to be instantly deleted, without using the above voting process. Generally this should only be used for a few reasons only:

  • Particularly offensive page names.
  • Obvious spam/automated bot content
  • Page name/file name typos where the typo is unlikely to be repeated by other users (and thus not useful as a search result).
    • They must be duplicated with the correct filename someplace else
    • They must not be linked to -- Correct the links to go to the properly typed pagename above.
  • Author request (and you're the only author) - A page you created that you believe will no longer be needed and meets all of these criteria:
    • No one else has ever edited it.
    • It's not the exact name of any item, spell, feat, etc that exists in the game.
    • You strongly feel it won't be useful to anyone in the future.

In cases such as this, administrators may instantly delete these pages at their discretion.

If you, as a regular user, feel a page should be deleted instantly and probably doesn't need a vote, you can use the instant deletion process. Tag the page with a {{Instantdelete}} tag, and an administrator will decide if it is safe to delete the page or if it needs a regular deletion vote.

Any user can remove the {{Instantdelete}} tag and replace it with a standard deletion vote in accordance with this policy if they feel the page should not be deleted without a vote.

See Also