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Memory Alpha:Deletion policy

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Memory Alpha  AboutPolicies and guidelines → Deletion policy
Memory Alpha
This page describes one of Memory Alpha's policies and guidelines

Please read through the policy below to familiarize yourself with our common practices and rules.
If you have any questions, suggestions, or complaints, please post them on the talk page.

All content on Memory Alpha is regulated by several policies. Failure to meet any or all criteria set forth by those policies may lead to the deletion of an article or other page. This deletion policy describes proper procedures for this.

General guidelines

What does "Deletion" mean?

From time to time, it is necessary to delete pages from Memory Alpha's database. While any user may be able to simply blank a page (i.e. delete all its current content), the original text will still be available in the page history for other users to view – and also to restore if they wish. However, when pages are deleted, all versions, past and present, are removed from the user-accessible part of the wiki.

Only administrators have the authority to delete and undelete pages on Memory Alpha. Administrators are trusted to use their best judgment in determining whether a page should be deleted or not. However, administrators must also follow the procedure described below to help make such decisions.

Deleted pages can also be restored by the administrators, if and only if support is expressed on votes for undeletion. This is essentially a safeguard against permanently deleting articles.

See also:

Content policies

This section identifies some of the policies and guidelines which may apply to a specific type of article. Refer to these pages for a detailed description of what is or isn't considered permissible content on Memory Alpha. This list may be incomplete; see policies and guidelines for more.

All pages 
What Memory Alpha is not, Copyrights, Patent nonsense
All articles 
Don't include copies of primary sources
"In-Universe" articles 
Canon policy
Images & Image description pages 
Image use policy

Deletion procedure

Suggest deletion

Any logged-in archivist may submit a page for deletion on any of the pages listed below. When you list a page, include a reason why you think the page should be deleted, and also add an appropriate message template to the page suggested for deletion. The submission will remain on the page for a specific period of time, during which other contributors will have a chance to discuss the deletion suggestion. After an appropriate delay (generally 5-7 days), the page may be deleted by an administrator – if the page content clearly violates existing policies, or a rough consensus for deletion is reached.

Note: If you're not sure that deletion is the best approach, you can also choose to mark the article as a page needing attention instead.

Discuss suggestion

Any logged-in archivist may join the discussion of any deletion suggestion. When doing so, please include your opinion complete with your reasoning, and sign with ~~~~ (four consecutive tilde characters). The following list contains suggested wordings for "common" opinions:

  • delete
  • keep
  • redirect to [[article]]
  • merge into [[article]] and delete
  • merge into [[article]] and redirect

You may want to place one of these wordings in front of your comment to allow other participants to easily discern your opinion, although this is not mandatory.

Note: A deletion discussion is not a voting procedure with the result being determined by simply counting votes for and against a suggestion. Instead, the final decision to keep or delete a page should always be based on existing corresponding policies or, if such don't exist, on a "consensus". A discussion as described above is a way to allow an administrator to make a correct decision.

Resolve a suggestion

A deletion suggestion can be resolved by any administrator. Typically, this is done 5-7 days after a suggestion was first made - however, this "lag time" can be shortened if a page is clearly violating existing policies, if a consensus has already been found, or if a suggested page has been considerably altered, so that deletion according to the initial reasoning is no longer necessary. It can also be extended, if no consensus has been found yet.

Note: As described in the section above, the administrator deciding on a suggestion should do so based on policies and the discussion consensus. The discussion should not simply be considered a majority vote. Deciding on a suggestion may include ignoring comments without proper reasoning, comments suspected to be from sockpuppets, etc. As a general rule of thumb, an administrator should not delete a page he suggested himself.

When resolving a deletion suggestion, the discussion should be archived in the relevant discussion archive (if a page is deleted), or on the page's talk page (if a page is not deleted).

See also

Suggestion pages and templates

Table

Discussion page Purpose Available message template(s)
Possible copyright infringements Possible copyright infringements, both images and articles, should be listed here. {{copyvio}}, {{copyvioimage}}
Pages for immediate deletion Use this list for uncontroversial deletion suggestions as detailed below. {{delete}}
Images for deletion Use this list for images and image description pages, not including possible copyright infringements. {{delete image}}
Pages for deletion Use this list for all types of articles and suggestions that do not use a special list. This includes standard article pages as well as talk pages, categories and templates. {{delete page}}

Candidates for immediate or speedy deletion

There are a few, limited, exceptions to the above rules. In the following cases, pages may be deleted immediately:

Template:Pfid-exceptions

Additional notes:

  1. In all of the above cases, administrators may choose to delete the page without it being listed on pages for deletion, or after it has only been listed on PfD for a couple of days. If you see a candidate for speedy deletion, and you are not an administrator, add it to pages for immediate deletion.
  2. Images without the necessary image licensing template after 5-7 days will be deleted. A current list of images without a copyright disclaimer can be found here.
  3. Remember that possible copyright infringements are not candidates for immediate deletion (in most circumstances).
  4. Redirects are immediate deletion candidates only in cases described in Help: Redirect. In all other cases, redirects to be deleted should be listed on pages for deletion.
  5. Ideally, when an administrator deletes a test page or other page with no useful content, it is helpful to put a note on the author's talk page explaining things, and preserving the deleted content, pointing them to the sandbox in cases of tests. And remember, be considerate to new members!

Overview: To delete or not to delete?

If a page does not fall into one of the categories for immediate deletion listed above, then the page cannot be deleted without it first being listed on the pages for deletion page first. However, some pages should not be listed at all, and should just be kept and developed further.

  • Don't list stubs for articles that have potential, but list stubs that are nonsensical. Also, redirect or list stubs that likely will never become more than a simple definition. See fix a stub for more information.
  • Don't list articles that just need heavy editing; instead, list them on pages needing attention. However, consider listing articles that are just patent nonsense.
  • Redirect pages should be listed only if the problems they cause outweigh their advantages. For more info, see our recommendations on deleting redirects.
  • List pages that have no potential as encyclopedia articles. This includes non-canon topics or content, as well as unverifiable material.
  • List orphan images where you can't think of an article where they might be useful.
  • If a page has some useful content but is too small to even be a stub, try moving that content to a different, larger article and change the page into a redirect. However, do list a page if turning it into a redirect would cause problems – see recommendations on deleting redirects.

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