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Forums > Consensus track > CT Archive/Remove "Notability requirements" section from Deletion Policy

As has been pointed out in recent discussions, Wookieepedia:Deletion policy currently only has two bullet points under the "Notability requirements" header. The first is:

  • Notability of an article is determined via the Google test. Articles failing this test (usually fanon) are deleted.

This standard was created in the earliest days of the Wook, when there was more information on Star Wars elsewhere on the Internet than on our site. Clearly, those days are long since past, and there are countless articles on Wookieepedia and its mirrors that are the sole sources of information on their topics available on the internet. This is not even counting our many conjecturally-titled articles, which describe unnamed but nonetheless canon topics using, by necessity, titles that are non-canon. The Google Test hasn't been used as a criterion for article deletion for half a decade or more, and it is high time it be removed from our policies, especially since, as shown in the abovelinked discussions, it's being used to hold clearly-canonical material hostage.

The second bullet point is narrowly focused on fan articles:

This bullet point simply restates that fan articles must adhere to other policies already detailed elsewhere on the site. It's redundant, and if the obsolete Google Test bullet point is removed, it would be confusing standing on its own as the sole element discussing notability in our deletion policy.

I propose removing the entire "Notability requirements" section. If need be, it can be recreated at a future time if other notability criteria are adopted, but for right now, it is performing no useful function, and the only unique part of it is serving as a bad-faith lever in site discussions. That said, for completeness, I am also adding options should users feel one or the other of the above bullet points should be retained. jSarek (talk) 08:21, August 26, 2013 (UTC)

Support removing entire section

  1. As nominator. jSarek (talk) 08:21, August 26, 2013 (UTC)
  2. Makes sense. Trip391 (talk) 08:37, August 26, 2013 (UTC)
  3. The google test has become useless, as simply put we are the most complete Star Wars encyclopedia, period. As stated above, what other sites would use the same conjectural names as we do. Supreme Emperor (talk) 10:13, August 26, 2013 (UTC)
  4. You beat me to it, jSarek.--Exiled Jedi Oldrepublic crest (Greetings) 14:24, August 26, 2013 (UTC)
  5. Yep. Google tests would actually harm our site now, and the second bit is redundant per jSarek's explanation. ~SavageBOB sig 15:20, August 26, 2013 (UTC)
  6. A Google test should NOT be the factor that determines whether or not a Star Wars article is notable. Something notable could have occurred in the Star Wars universe and it is possible that there are no other sites on the internet that refer to it. That doesn't mean it's not notable. As for the second point, it can be moved to another section where it would make more sense or simply removed completely.--Richterbelmont10 (come in R2!) 16:10, August 26, 2013 (UTC)
  7. I'm ok with this option, if only if it means we might start addressing WP:NFP, which has been weak since its inception. What started out as a decent policy to keep stupidly ridiculous fan project articles off the wiki now has the unfortunate effect of keeping stupid things like this on the wiki. We probably couldn't realistically delete that article at present because enough people would vote for keeping it just because of WP:NFP's LFL-recognition clause, which is ridiculous. And this is why I oppose a notability policy, because it will never perfectly cover every circumstance and will invariably end up keeping out more valid articles than it should. Or, in WP:NFP's case, keeping in more stupid articles than it should. If we had case-by-case flexibility with fan projects, I imagine we could send Phineas & Ferb off to the Fan Wiki, where it belongs. Toprawa and Ralltiir (talk) 17:58, August 26, 2013 (UTC)
    • I'd like to determine everything case-by-case too, and that used to work on here. The problem is that it no longer works because Wookieepedia has been invaded by too many hyperinclusionists that, in the absence of a notability policy to guide their votes, will automatically vote to keep anything and everything, making it virtually impossible to get a consensus to delete anything in-universe without a notability policy. Hence why we need a notability policy. —MJ— War Room 18:36, August 26, 2013 (UTC)
      • You mistake a policy that "dictates" their votes for a policy that "guides" their votes. An imperfect notability policy forces people into a corner with how they are allowed to vote because it allows no flexibility exceptions for the instances in which the policy does not perfectly cover every circumstance, as with this Phineas & Ferb article, which should be deleted but can't because of WP:NFP's restrictive imperfection. Toprawa and Ralltiir (talk) 18:59, August 26, 2013 (UTC)
        • But if there is any leeway at all in the policy, the hyperinclusionists will exploit that leeway to try to keep anything they can. And they will succeed because there's too many of them for the sensible users like me and you to get the necessary supermajority to gain a consensus to delete, and so practically every single TC thread started on notability grounds will end in no consensus and nothing gets deleted, which is different from the status quo exactly how?

          Perhaps we need to abandon fixed ratios for consensus and do TC threads Wikipedia AFD style, where consensus is determined based on the merits of the reasons given for the votes rather than simply by counting votes. That's the only way I can think of that a notability policy with leeway will ever work as intended. —MJ— Training Room 02:27, August 27, 2013 (UTC)

  8. Ok JangFett (Talk) 20:33, August 26, 2013 (UTC)
  9. IFYLOFD (Enter the Floydome) 00:13, August 27, 2013 (UTC)

Support removing only the first bullet point

  1. The Google test is not an actively used policy, and would be actively harmful if enforced now. Reminding users of the second bullet point may be of value, so it might as well be kept in the policy. I am 100% convinced Wookieepedia needs some sort of notability standard for in-Universe articles, but the Google test is not it. —Silly Dan (talk) 13:36, August 26, 2013 (UTC)
  2. Heh. I was just contemplating a CT on removing this when I first woke up 30 minutes ago. I'll decide whether the second point needs addressing later. Cade StupidRepublicEmblem-Traced-TORkit Calrayn 14:03, August 26, 2013 (UTC)
  3. Agreed, although the Google test is good for fanon, a lot of conjectural articles probably haven't had a chance to get disseminated out past here yet. Corellian PremierJedi symbolThe Force will be with you always 14:41, August 26, 2013 (UTC)
  4. Per Cade. I'll consider the other part at another time.—Cal JediInfinite Empire (Personal Comm Channel) 14:54, August 26, 2013 (UTC)
  5. Per Silly Dan. Regardless of whether or not we make a notability policy, it shouldn't change the fact that the Google test policy should not be there, so no real reason to oppose removing the first bullet point at least. Cheers, grunny@wookieepedia:~$ 14:59, August 26, 2013 (UTC)
  6. <-Omicron(Leave a message at the BEEP!) 15:21, August 26, 2013 (UTC)
  7. Ayrehead02 (talk) 16:17, August 26, 2013 (UTC)

Support removing only the second bullet point

Oppose removing any of it

  1. No-no-no. We need more Notability requirements rules, not less. No fanon seems to be evident and universally accepted. Fan projects are also clearly defined after several itterations, so far so good. Now, merchandise stuff seems to be exported to merchandise wiki on a pretty much case by case basis, I'd like so see clearly writtem rules on which stuff stays and which goes. The other subjects you already know my opinion on. Oh, and articles in question are neither held hostage nor clearly-canonical. My notability suggestions may have failed already, but as of this writing they have 42-46% support of all voters. No majority and not even 50/50 split, but their notabiltiy is clearly debated. LOST-Malachi (talk) 08:59, August 26, 2013 (UTC)
  2. Agreed. I don't like the idea of stripping down our notability rules to nothing and then forever continuing with our garbage case-by-case basis that inconsistently sees lightsabers kept one week and deleted the next. Yes, the google test is outdated, but we should be replacing our notability rules with something better, not just plain getting rid of them. Menkooroo (talk) 11:22, August 26, 2013 (UTC)
    • I think this will probably be my final comment on the whole notability fiasco --- we absolutely need a notability policy, and that's why I voted oppose. If we kill our current notability requirements, then nobody will make any effort to write new ones, and we'll be stuck with our current case-by-case basis. Why do I think the case-by-case basis is a bad thing? Take a look at some of the reasons that relatively new users have given for voting "keep" in recent TCs: "It is definitely interesting." "It's a well-written article." "Some people could find it interesting." "We're a wiki, for crying out loud. We're supposed to have articles in it for people to read." These are all, to be frank, hilariously bad reasons for voting to keep an article --- none of them have anything to do with the articles' notability. Our standards for what deserves an article seem to lower every year, and if we continue with the case-by-case basis, then our standards are only going to keep getting worse as new users join the site and view the then-current standards as the norm. That's why we need some hard-and-fast rules. Otherwise we'll one day have articles on Luke's severed hand, Luke's prosthetic hand, Han's vest, Mara's red hair, etc. Those are admittedly sensational examples, but a notability policy will prevent our standards from falling anywhere near that low. Menkooroo (talk) 15:07, August 26, 2013 (UTC)
  3. For now. I can't in good conscience support removing a notability requirement of any kind, even one as bad and outdated as this, until new, modern requirements are passed. Regardless of what some people seem to think, we need a full-fledged notability policy, and perhaps the threat of this one being enforced will be the only way to get people to agree on something and stop the ridiculous keep reasoning that Menk referred to. —MJ— Comlink 17:57, August 26, 2013 (UTC)
    • So what exactly are you trying to say? That you would in good conscience start deleting out of hand copious amounts of perfectly legitimate canon articles with canon names and canon descriptions from canon sources just because they don't show up on a Google search engine result? Because that's exactly what this policy amounts to (as Mauser correctly points out here, though I like to think none of our admins would be brainless enough to actually enforce it). You're smarter than that, Jonathan. Toprawa and Ralltiir (talk) 18:15, August 26, 2013 (UTC)
      • I never said that I would personally enforce it, but perhaps the simple threat of the Google test hanging over everyone's heads will push people toward a permanent solution rather than this Band-Aid fix. —MJ— Training Room 18:30, August 26, 2013 (UTC)
        • And what happens if someone does start enforcing it? And even if they don't? You're going to feel comfortable voting to maintain this ludicrous policy just to prove a point? Jonathan, no one is ever going to start supporting your guys' notability efforts through threats and force, especially one as hollow and stupid as this. Toprawa and Ralltiir (talk) 18:35, August 26, 2013 (UTC)

Discussion

The whole deletion policy may need rewriting anyway, with or without a successful notability policy CT. It should expand on the use of {{verify}} and the similar {{Notability}} for fan topics, point to the image use policy for media deletion, and maybe even say a little about user page deletion and subpage deletion. But that can wait. —Silly Dan (talk) 13:36, August 26, 2013 (UTC)

I'm not voting on this (yet). I see merits of both sides of the argument. My initial reaction was that just because a policy rule is not utilized or invoked in the modern era, it doesn't mean that it should be removed. See the 3rd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. On the other side, it looks like making the "Google Test" a required factor for whether an article stays or goes is completely obsolete and impractical. - Esjs(Talk) 18:36, August 26, 2013 (UTC)

To avoid clogging the actual voting sections with replying back and forth: I stumbled upon this policy while finding examples for my CT arguments and it really struck me as odd. I wouldn't really go as push to enforce it and delete 95% of Category:Articles with conjectural titles, but I find the sheer idea that I could absolutely hilarious and it makes for an excellent POINT =). Now, with Darth Culator basically out of full editing mode it probably wouldn't be too wrong to say that Toprawa is the most respected active editor and authority figure on the wiki, you can see how his opinions sways others' votes even back as in 2007 threads (that's a compliment, not an insult). And while I did hold some foolish hope on at least some of proposed notability rules being passed (IU #1-5 stills seems a no-brainer to me), it was never a very realistic outcome in the first place. I just proposed those for clarity's sake and to see where the majority of votes lie, as nobody else made any attempts for years now.
But the comment above really deserves a specific reply from me. Basically it boils to: "There's a bunch of crap in our house, most people want at least some of it out. But if we set a rule of what stays and what goes, we may end up keeping crap I personally dislike. So let's not make any rules at all and keep all crap where it is, while slowly examining it one piece at a time (the analogy gets somewhat lost at this point)." Trash Compactor only works if there is a strong solid consensus to remove the crap, at even a few votes to the other option and most of the time it will result in crap being kept by default (no consensus). You called fan projects "stupidly ridiculous" and in response I say again: The Leg. If that whole article isn't stupidly ridiculous, I don't know what is. Having rules would mean we'd be obliged to keep some of the "arguably crap" stuff, yes, but in the meantime it's all just sitting there for years: multiple minor lightsaber articles, nameless speechless TCW extras, spoons and chairs, card game illustration made "characters", dozens of unidentified species based on a single debatable appearance (Unidentified light yellow-skinned humanoid species (Mos Eisley Cantina) is truly a name to behold), results of certain users' insistence on describing every tool chest and grocery bag, merchandise projects - many users would love to see at least some of that stuff gone, yet it is clear that even voting on a single bullet rule would result in split consensus.
The Internet isn't running out of space and neither is mediawiki, but the real reason having junk articles is counterproductive is because it eats management resources. Be it AC process, categorizing, cleanup, linking - those efforts are really better spend elsewhere. That's the reason I hate those articles in the first place - when I do come upon another Mounted beasts or something like that, I want to just fix it and everything like it, which diverts my energy from what I tried to do in the first place. A good point has been made in that many minor articles resulted from the fairly recent requirement to pipelink everything in status articles, even if the redundancy of information is obvious to even the nominator (Unidentified snow planet what?). All sort of "stupidly ridiculous" articles are allowed to exist, simply because nobody says otherwise. Just look an an extremely rare example of consensus over a group of minor articles, which does not automatically extend to all of them for some reason unknown.
I can't convince half the users that disagree with me and not even half of that half so that even a single rule can be set in stone (ink?). But the source of the problem as I see it is that articles are being created not to serve the readers, but the editors, be it FAN/GAN/CAN requirements or adherence to an unwritten rule that says "evrything goes in!". And the lack of ANY written and defined rules on what is acceptable and what's not, leads to WAY MORE crap being put into wiki and kept there (a conjectural-named article unlinked from mainspace wtih only 1 category isn't something people just find by accident) than having such rules would allow. Good luck making articles like Unidentified H'nemthe patron and perfecting them, while deluding yourself into thinking they're important and/or interesting. They're not and nobody in their right mind would look for them in the first place, they're only exist to brag on CA count. Wow, I did make quite a rant, did I? LOST-Malachi (talk) 21:47, August 26, 2013 (UTC)
  • Entirely per this. It's the constant instances of no-consensus that demonstrate just how useless our current case-by-case system is. The fact that so many votes in TC discussions are accompanied by harebrained and nonsensical reasons like the ones I quoted above will see to it that our standards for what deserves an article will continue on their steady decline. Menkooroo (talk) 23:22, August 26, 2013 (UTC)
    • Sorry for intervening but...why don't you guys just come up with a new set of notability criteria to replace these outdated ones? I noticed that there is already a draft in the senate hall which I find to be quite quite comprehensive and would probably be very good in guiding future TC discussions. This whole thing sounds like "just keep it because there's no other alternative", well why don't people try to find alternatives? Just my input on the matter. 78.97.91.207 09:21, August 27, 2013 (UTC)

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