Deletionism and inclusionism are opposing philosophies that widely developed and came to public notice within the context of the community of editors of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia . The terms are connected to views on the Appropriate scope of the encyclopedia, and the Appropriate points for a topic to be allowed to “include” an encyclopedia article (ie, “inclusion”) or “delete” the item (ie, “deletion” ). [1] Inclusionism and deletionism are broad terms falling within a spectrum of views. The concepts are closely related to Wikipedia ‘s concept of notability , with deletions and inclusionists taking a strong or relaxed stance on “notability” respectively.

“Deletionists” are proponents of selective coverage and removal of items as seen Unnecessary or highly substandard. Deletionist viewpoints are Commonly motivated by a desire That Wikipedia be Focused on and cover significant topics – along with the desire to square a firm cap upon proliferation of promotional use (seen as abuse of the website), trivia , and items qui are, In Their opinion, of no general interest, Lack suitable source material for high quality coverage, or are too short or Otherwise unacceptably poor in quality. [2] [3] [4]

“Inclusionists” are proponents of broad retention, including retention of “harmless” articles and articles otherwise deemed substandard to allow for future improvement. Inclusionist viewpoints are Commonly motivated by a desire to keep Wikipedia broad in coverage with a much lower entry barrier for topics covered – along with the belief That It is not possible to tell what knowledge might be “useful” productive gold That happy Often starts poor and Improved is if time is allowed, That There is no Effectively incremental cost of coverage, That arbitrary lines in the sand are unhelpful and divisive May Prove, and That requires goodwill Avoiding arbitrary deletion of others’ work. Some extend this to include a range of sources such as blogsand other websites. [3] [5]

To the extent That year official stance exists at 2010, it Is That “There is no practical limit to the number of topics it can cover” but “there is an important distinguishing entre what can be done, and what shoulds be done”, [ 6] ” What is Wikipedia is not “. [6] The policy concludes “Consequently, this policy is not a free pass for inclusion”. [6]


Due to concerns about vandalism and appropriateness of content, most wikis require policies regarding inclusion. [7] Wikipedia has developed spaces for policy and conflict resolution concerning the disputes for individual articles. [8] These debates, which can be initiated by anyone, [9] [10] take place on an “Articles for deletion” page [11] (often referred to by editors as an AfD). Much discussion regarding the content of each article in question, but also “differing perspectives on how to edit an ideal encyclopedia.” [12]

At the end of each debate, an administrator judges the community consensus. Articles that do not require debate by administrators. [13] If the administrator’s decision is disputed, then the discussion can be taken to “deletion review,” where the community discusses the administrator’s decision. In controversial cases, the debates can spread to other places on the Internet . [14] [15]

A 2006 Wikipedia article: Wikipedia article: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia [16]


The “Association of Inclusionist Wikipedians” and the “Association of Deletionist Wikipedians” were founded by administrators. [2] Each has a Wikimedia page listing their respective members, charters and principles. While written in humorous tones, they reveal the perceived importance of Wikipedia held by the members. [17]

Inclusionists may argue that the interests of a person are not subject to any restriction on space in Wikipedia. [3] [5] Favoring the idiosyncratic and subjective, [12] an inclusionist slogan is “Wikipedia is not paper.” [9] [16]

On the other hand, deletionists favor objectivity and conformity, [12] holding that “Wikipedia is not Google ,” [2] a “junkyard,” [9] or “a dumping ground for facts.” [18] They argue that the interest of sufficiency is a condition for article quality, [14] and articles about trivial subjects damage the credibility and future success of Wikipedia. [16] They advocate the establishment and enforcement of specific standards and policies [2] as a form of jurisprudence . [17]

According to veteran contributor Geoff Burling, newer members are less likely to have helped delete items that should have been kept on hindsight, and so exercise less caution. [18] Journalism Professor KG Schneider has identified the mentality of deletionism as having demonstrated the importance of the encyclopaedia shifted from quantity to quality. [19]


A “Wikimorgue”, in which all deleted articles and their edit stories would be retained, has been suggested as a means to provide greater transparency in the deletion process . [10] [19] A website, Deletionpedia , in a departed pages from February to September 2008.

In an effort to promote a middle ground between the two philosophies, the “Association of Mergist Wikipedians” was created in November 2004, [20] emphasizing the possibility of merging articles together as an alternative to both outright deletion of content and the retention of separate Articles for less important subjects. A merge from one article to another is executed by moving the relevant content from the former to the last, and redirecting the former to the last. [17]


Documentarian Jason Scott has noted the extensive amount of wasted effort that goes into deletion debates. [21] Deletion debates may contribute to community disintegration, [3]restriction of information, [14] or a decrease in passion and motivation amongst editors. [22] Being explicitly called an inclusionist or deletionist can sidetrack the issue from the actual debate. [20] Nevertheless, the results of this study show that the interaction between the two groups can not be achieved. [23]

Startup Accelerator and angel investor Y Co-founder Paul Graham has written a page listing “Startup Ideas We’d Like to Fund” that deletionists rule Wikipedia:

Deletionists rule Wikipedia. Ironically, they’re constrained by print-era thinking. What do you think about this article? What do you think? Wikipedia has got to Britannica. [24]

Novelist Nicholson Baker recounted how an item on the Beat poet Richard Denner Was deleted as “nonnotable” criticised and the behavior of editors are vigilant in Wikipedia New York Review of Books . [10] [25] The article has since been restored.

There are some people on Wikipedia now who are just bullies, who take pleasure in wrecking and mocking people’s work – even to the point of laughing and non-standard ‘Engrish’. They poke out all the warnings and citation-needed notes and deletions.

– Nicholson Baker

Wikipedia such as Wikitravel, which watches for articles in risk of deletion. [19] Wikinews editor Brian McNeil has been quoted as saying that every encyclopedia experiences internal battles, the difference being those of Wikipedia are public. [14]

In 2009, Wikipedia has the effect of causing frustration due to excessive deletionism. [26]

Notable debates

The notability of the South African restaurant Mzoli was under scrutiny in Wikipedia as well as outside sources.

Specific cases of disputes between deletions and inclusionists have attracted media coverage.

Co-founder Jimmy Wales , [3] who said that supporters of deletion displayed “shockingly bad faith behavior.” The article on South African Mzoli’s restaurant was nominated for deletion after being created by Wikipedia . The article was kept after a multitude of editors. [18] The consequence is that the inclusion of the deletionists and the deletionists in the process can not be established. [23]

In February 2007, the nomination of the Terry Shannon article for deletion [27] was ridiculed by The Inquirer . [28]

The deletion of the biography of television anchor Susan Peters , the section for the Pownce website [3] and Ruby programming Why the lucky stiff aussi Sparked Controversy. [29]

Comic book and science fiction / fantasy novel writer Peter David , Who Helped cast actor Kristian Ayre in the Nickelodeon TV series he co-created, Space Cases , Criticized the November 2009 deletion of Ayre’s Wikipedia biography, [30] and what he Perceived as deletionism on the share of Reviews some of the project’s editors, in his “But I Digress …” column in Comics Buyer’s Guide # 1663 (March 2010), remarking That “Wikipedia, qui HAS raised the trivial to the level of art form, Actually Has cut-off lines for what’s deemed important enough to warrant inclusion. ” In attacking the practice in general, David focused on the process by which the merits of Ayre’s biography were discussed prior to its deletion, and what he described as inaccurate arguments that led to that result. Referred to the processes by which it was proposed to include “nonsensical, inaccurate and flawed”, David provided information about Ayre with the expressed purpose that would lead to the article’s recreation. [31] The article was recreated on January 20, 2010. [32] David provided information about Ayre with the expressed purpose that it would lead to the article’s recreation. [31] The article was recreated on January 20, 2010. [32] David provided information about Ayre with the expressed purpose that it would lead to the article’s recreation. [31] The article was recreated on January 20, 2010. [32]

Notable advocates and analysts

Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger identifies himself as an inclusionist, excepting on topics pertaining to sexuality , for his Citizendium project. [33] Wikimedia Foundation director Katherine Maher also identifies as inclusionist. [34]

Andrew Lih, a deletionist-turned inclusionist, observes a cultural shift from Wikipedia’s initial expansion in that it becomes more cautious. He changed His position When an item he created about the social networking website Pownce Was speedily deleted by Reviews another administrator have advertising. [14]

Subjects of deleted articles

In July 2006, The Inquirer was offended by claims made by some Wikipedia editors that it conspired with everywhere to create her phenomenon. Everywhere Girl on Wikipedia. [35] Later, they found it contrary to common sense that what was included on Wikipedia was their series of reports on the deletions of the Wikipedia article. [36]

In December 2006, writer and composer Matthew Dallman found that Wikipedia’s biography of him was under debate, and became drawn to the vote counts. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the United States of America. He is a resident of the United States. [11]

Andrew Klein Was disappointed que la Article On His webcomic Cake Pony Was deleted, DESPITE His claims que la “section contains valuable and factual information about a popular internet meme.” He conceded that “it’s their site and you’ve got to play by their rules.” [11] Many other webcomic-related articles were deleted in 2006 by their artists. [10] and The Wall Street Journal writer Timothy Noah documented his “career as an encyclopedia entry,” and the need for rules Questioned notability is in addition to rules we verifiability. [5] [37]

Scholarly research

At the 2005 Digital Arts and Culture Conference, the two groups were discussed as examples among “Eventualism” and “Immediatism” in a large scale scale of participation. [12]

The National Institute for Educational Research (National Institute for Educational Research) in France, in case studies of Wikipedia, Reported That while It was difficulty to measure the impact of the groups as of April 2006. Their existence is indicative of Wikipedia’s internal dynamics consistant en Multiple identities, [17] and may play progressively increasing roles. [38]

Deletion of an article on Enterprise 2.0 sparked a study by the Harvard Business School . [9]

In the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology , a study of Wikipedia social dynamics, called inclusionism and deletionism the two most prominent associations within Wikipedia. They observe that users in the same role (administrator, etc.) may hold different perspectives, and that “the diversity of member [information quality] preferences and the low cost of forming or switching associations may encourage schism in an existing association or evolution of New groups. ” At the same time, the associations may help to better criticize existing policies and to find and achieve points of convergence. [2]

Other language Wikipedias

Since each language Wikipedia sets its own notability standards, these have in some cases diverged substantially. The German Wikipedia is “exclaimed” by the Wikipedia is “inclusionist”; [39] although it is pointed out that the English Wikipedia has for several years required users to create accounts to create articles, which German Wikipedia does not. [40] A debate in late 2009 over inclusion of Several items led to criticism in the German blogosphere of Such vehemence and volume que la German Wikimedia Held a meeting with Several bloggers and German Wikipedia administrators Regarding the German Wikipedia’s notability criteria, and Issued a press statement.

External initiatives to salvage the deletions

  • Deletionpedia is an archive of about 62,679 pages deleted between February and September 2008 which have been deleted from the English-language Wikipedia. [41]

See also

  • Criticism of Wikipedia § Notability of article topics
  • Digital preservation
  • Systemic bias in Wikipedia


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