Comments:Wikimedia fundraiser highlights webcomic community's frustration with Wikipedia guidelines

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Deletionism is a scourge upon Wikipedia. Wikipedia is not a social club, but the collection of knowledge (in the form of Wikipedia) serves human purposes, and a little bit of socialization on the side also serves human purposes on its own, in addition to facilitating the former goal.

They abhor trivial articles on trivial information; and while I support them in this, they did not stop there. They targeted the userboxes; thankfully, these were moved to the User namespace. Now they've targeted the user categories, and those are now largely gone. I wonder what they're going to go after next, if there is even anything left to go after—I'm sure they'll find something. — 22:33, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

They went after spoiler warnings; you can start at around archive 5[1] and the RFC [2]. Discussion has been spread everywhere, but basically, a couple of admins with automated tools (that other users cannot manually undo) and circular reasoning (the fact that nobody puts the warnings back proves consensus to keep them out, but anyone who tries to put them back is not allowed to do so *because* there's consensus to keep them out) deleted all the spoiler warnings from Wikipedia.
They also have gone after "attack sites". Link: [3] (note that this is actually an attempt to mitigate the damage caused by interpretation of an earlier RFC). --Ken Arromdee 14:28, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Web Comics are not being targetted simply because they are web comics. Wikipedia's articles need constant maintanance due to vandalism and misinformation. If all not-notable articles were allowed, Wikipedia would quickly be inundated with large amounts of data which current editors would have difficulties maintaining. For this reason, Most web comic's articles continue to be deleted. 03:58, 30 October 2007 (UTC) New Zealand

This article was very interesting and made me think about the utility of establishing notability rules. After reflection I think they are useless, Wikpedia is a repository of knowledge, the inspiration of the paper encyclopedia is today breached by the way that media evolved, the fact that they are a nearly limitless capacity of knowledge make consideration like "is this subject notable enough to figure in the encyclopedia" dubious. An encyclopedia basis is to inform people about a subject, not to inform people of a notable subject, "I want an information, I go to my favorite encyclopedia and seek it" Wikipedia spread knowledge. Why should we bother by creating a bureaucratie who just enforce useless policies.

And as for the previous comment, the number of editor on wikipedia is potentially infinite. I have yet to see a reason why Wikipedia wouldn't be able to handle such a flow. The current editor would be helped by the new editor that will be created by the flow of new reader that will come from the people who will read those new article. —Esurnir 04:10, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Obviously it's not about potential new editors (everybody is an editor!) but about current editors defending their terrain, and deleting everything they don't have the time or knowledge to "maintain". Kill everything they can't control. I know that sort of people. I feel sorry for them.-- 12:19, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Oh this is great!Edit

Wikinews reporting on flaw with Wikipedia, finally. Of course, we reported on flaws after they've made the big time, however, this is an original reporting flaw discovered by Brian. Those anti-elitists should watch their back. ;) --TUFKAAP 04:37, 30 October 2007 (UTC)


It seems to me that much of the bulk of this criticism relates to the Wikipedia:Notability (web) standards for inclusion. The webcomics group at Wikipedia:WikiProject Comics/Webcomics work group were the ones who more or less came up with the guidelines for web content, including webcomics. If anyone can propose any reasonable changes to them, I believe that discussion would certainly be welcome. 13:05, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

While it is true that the Wikipedia:WikiProject Comics/Webcomics work group created the standard that became Wikipedia:Notability (web), in their present form and the form they were in at the beginning of the year, they are a far cry from the standard created by Wikipedia:WikiProject Comics/Webcomics work group. Don't forget that standards can and will be edited by many people and can change dramatically from their original form. In my view, this is a serious shortcoming of Wikipedia. Standards and guidelines should only be revised after extended debate. -- 12:09, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Who else is slighted?Edit

I doubt it's just webcomics. Surely there are other new media publishers who get slighted by the notability policy. Perhaps by understanding the groups that are overlooked, we could work towards a more equitable policy.

Any subject which is deemed "fancruftish," i.e., prone to the inclusion of minutiae and detailed articles on obscure topics, will be subject to too-high standards. The root problem is actually Wikipedia administrators failing to wait for an actual rough consensus to delete in order to delete; they are supposed to err on the side of keeping articles, but by and large do not close consensus-less AFDs as a "no consensus" result.
An example of another article deleted recently as "fancruftish" was the Star Trek vs Star Wars article; in spite of a fairly recent compilation of scholarly articles edited by Dr. David Brin [4], the article was dubbed fancruftish and deleted as "lacking reliable sources" in spite of having about a half dozen.
As I pointed out during the webcomics purge, many of the webcomics articles met the standards for notability as currently written; however, an instinctive revulsion for "cruft" on the part of a number of editors and administrators led to their deletion in spite of that.
Primarily, in spite of Wikipedia guidelines on the issue, it is in large part because the editors do not appear to count online publishers - such as webzines, bloggers, or web comic collectives - as "real" publishers in the same way print magazines and newspapers with similar circulation would be. Major online communities are regularly slighted because of this. Balancer 02:35, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Well of course webzines and blogs aren't reliable sources. They don't have any editorial oversight or standardized fact checking. Web-based entities that do have such oversight are considered reliable, not random blogs. As to the star wars v. star trek issue, I'll take a look at that in more detail. If the sources are in fact good I'll put it up for a deletion review. JoshuaZ 14:23, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
A webzine may just as readily have editorial oversight or standardized fact checking as a print magazine or newspaper, e.g., (source of David Brin's first articles on the comparison between Star Wars and Star Trek) is more reliable than many newspapers and trade magazines (some of which amount to product advertisement for rent). Branching out from there, the most comprehensive source for detailing the popular fandom reaction to Brin is, of course,, on which he wrote additional supplementary material further clarifying his article. He recently published a book titled Star Wars on Trial, in which the Star Trek vs Star Wars phenomenon was taken to to a new level by bringing in about twenty other science fiction authors (many of which had written for Star Wars) to write serious critical essays on the topic.
It is, of course, difficult to treat that section of the Star Trek vs Star Wars phenomenon properly without relying - in depth - upon the webzine at a minimum, and even just that section is difficult to write an encyclopedic article on without referencing other websites. Other sections are worse; the few traditionally published works documenting the rivalry are often very sparse in information. Even webcomics have done a better job of documenting the phenomenon through art than most print newspapers and magazines.
Most of the webzines I encountered while trying to find reliable sources documenting webcomics during the webcomics purge listed editors on staff in much the same manner as a print magazine - and in one case, it turned out that what everybody thought was just a webzine was also published in print form. Which shouldn't have made a difference in the opinion of AFD participants, but as I recall, it did. Balancer 17:42, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Balancer, Salon is of course reliable for most purposes but the vast majority of 'zines are not. Again, if you can point me to where the Star Wars v. Star Trek AfD is I will take a look at it. From your description it looks like it should have been kept. However, I can't find the AfD from a quick search. Point me to it and I'll be happy to look it over. JoshuaZ 15:27, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Link if you really want to look at it: [5]. Balancer 17:39, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. There appear to be from my count at least 6 good sources listed in the AfD. What it looks like to me is that their existence got lost amid all the bad keep arguments (this isn't the first time I've seen t his occur- badly reasoned keeps or mob keeps from non-Wikipedians can easily backfire that way). JoshuaZ 18:02, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Hey good news! There apparently already was a deletion review and a recreated article using the reliable sources has been made: See w:Star Wars vs. Star Trek. It looks like it needs a lot of work but it is there for you. JoshuaZ 13:32, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
I remember there being a hullabaloo over digg's article about two years ago. It was deleted a few times as unnotable, and at one point was a locked redirect to "Dig" (As a "common misspelling") before they finally got a page up that stuck.--Mxg75 18:42, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Could someone please tell me why an article written by the author of the webcomic, is automatically presumed to be a "less reliable" source (per convention espoused here) than an article written by someone else? I have routinely seen newspaper and magazine articles- those ones that the Wiki elitests insist are a superior source since they have "editorial oversight"- misspell names (a newspaper once misspelled mine three different ways in the same article) get factual information wrong (that same article stated that carbon dioxide was an explosive gas) and twist what's left to make "good copy". (A second article years later claimed the orange and yellow paintballs we were using were "simulated blood" for our "war games".)
Wiki entries on webcomics are not on the same level as entries on Jesus or Mohammed or even George Bush. As long as the information posted is reasonably accurate, not libelous or insulting, and not overly fluffed ("this is teh best comic evar!!!1") than why does it matter in the least whether it was written by the author of the comic, the author's best friend, or some nameless guy from his or her forums? Why does it matter that no disinterested outside writer has bothered to do an article on that particular comic? If somebody did want to do an article on my comic, you know who they're going to ask? Me! The same person that could have written the article directly, rather than filtering it through somebody elses' notebook first.
Yet by the deletionists standards, that secondary article is somehow "more trustworthy" and therefore somehow "more valid". -DocsMachine 05:04, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
It's not that secondary sources are more reliable across the board, but rather that they're necessary for having a decent, well-rounded article. For fiction and other works of art, we look to external sources for their opinions, not raw facts. Having an external view or two lets us put articles into a better context, and goes above and beyond summarizing the comic. In my mind it's ultimately a quality issue: If it's impossible to write a decent, well-rounded article due to lack of sources, there's no sense having the article in the first place. Nifboy 06:34, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Why do I get the feeling you guys are making this up as you go along?
"Opinions" are precisely what the deletionists are telling us "don't belong" in the articles. An opinion is "I like this comic" or "I don't like that comic"- Dragonfiend in particular is on record saying it "doesn't matter" how many people "like" or "don't like" a webcomic, and that popularity itself is irrelevant to the article's notability.
Which is yet another example of people either not understanding or not wanting to follow, the guidelines, which has most of the webcomics people up in arms. If you're going to apply guidelines, apply them equally and fairly. We've gotten neither.
Secondly, we've been told that essentially the only thing that matters IS the "raw facts". When my own article was being worked on, we were told to leave off the "fluff"- opinions, that is- and only include that which was relevant, factual and verifiable. I can see how additional information, say a write-up by Websnark, could enhance an article, but again, when the bulk of the article is little more than faw fact, how is Eric's version of them any more important than the authors' own? -DocsMachine 08:21, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps I wasn't clear enough. Where there's a neutral third party we can trust (i.e. a reliable secondary source), Wikipedia can put their views into article because we're not going to get very far without asking something to the effect of "Did people like it?" Here's one example of what I mean. Our article on Megatokyo, which was recognized as one of the best articles Wikipedia has, does, in fact, cite Websnark for Eric's opinions. That sort of thing is vital to articles: Imagine talking about Gigli without talking about how much it sucked. Nifboy 15:24, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
I was under the impression - during the webcomic purge - that Websnark wasn't being counted as a "reliable source" by those, like Dragonfiend, who were AFDing webcomics wholesale. Balancer 17:39, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
It varies both by editor and by what's being said in the source. Name-dropping, even in a source like the New York Times, isn't useful at all and often "doesn't count" for determining what's enough for an article (and the Megatokyo article cites a lot more than just websnark). For Websnark, Eric's treatise on Megatokyo is one of his most thorough reviews, of which he's only written two others of its kind (on It's Walky and GPF). Compounding matters, the rules on blogs-as-sources has receded somewhat recently: It's gone from "No, we don't want them, period" to "We don't like them because there's no editorial oversight, but if you can make a good case for it we'll look at it individually". Nifboy 18:11, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

common problem....Edit

its not just webcomics. i did an excerpt from a published research paper i wrote a while back and it was fine til a nazi admin decided that it constituted NOR and deleted it. forget about the fact that 2 dozen papers had later been written which cited mine. and this was typical of the nazi admis that run wikipedia.

You can deal with that by adding a citation to the orignal paper. If you'll point me to the article I'll be happy to take a look at the matter again. JoshuaZ 18:06, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
It is nice that folks like you, Josh, are interested in helping. But it feels a bit broken that it takes this kind of negative attention to get someone to intervene. Kisc 07:57, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

RPGs seem to suffer from this as well.Edit

There is a similiar spate of "notability" deletions surrounding table top role playing games. For example the article on award winning authors David Pulver and Kenneth Hite have both recently weathered a deletion tag. I believe that the Roleplaying Games Wikiproject was created to fight this. Perhaps something similiar can be done for webcomics.

There's been one for a while for webcomics. The problem is that certain deletionists (like Dragonfiend) were within the project, or at least this is what I've heard as to why she was given so much leeway up until now. Jigsaw 00:04, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Those so-called 'notable' webcomics...Edit

You know, there's something in this news article that amuses me highly. I read a *lot* of webcomics--I badly abuse my poor Firefox installation on a daily basis with a folder of 120+ webcomic bookmarks that I open all at once in tabs.

Why is this amusing? Well, out of the 4 webcomics that 'Dragonfiend' is listing as being 'notable' enough to have wiki articles, the only one I've ever even *heard* of before is Penny Arcade. So much for being 'notable', huh?

Conversely, I barely read webcomics at all, and i have heard of, and could describe characters and themes of, three out of the four. So what does that tell you? 08:17, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Call it further proof that notability is broken, or at the very least highly capricious when it comes to an online-based medium. About the only thing that those four have that most of the other comics I read now don't is that they all started around 2000 or so, when webcomics were still 'new' and 'hipster', so maybe dead tree press was easier to get back then. It seems to be an early-adoption bias over anything else. Likewise, I had seen all of the four at some point, but not at the same time, and the only one I read regularly is Penny Arcade. Jigsaw 23:58, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Would recomend expanding the scope of the article for highlighting issues in other areas.Edit

I think wikipedias editors handle hard science articles efficiently and some of them are extremely well written. My opinion is that this is probably due to the hard science background of many contributors or tech savviness of the wikipedia population. Unfortunately, I am a practicing attorney without the tech savviness required and made several important corrections to several articles in the sections on Law. These were promptly reverted by editors who did not appear to understand the basics of court rulings and the mechanisms by which the courts function. Attempts to reconsider were ignored and I left wikipedia several months ago and stopped contributing.

From what I understood I was attempting to further the good of the whole by contributing a pro bono hour or two to wikipedia for people who might have a need to understand court processes which are often confusing to the layman. However, the lack of appreciation of my efforts ultimately drove me from the web sight. I hope that this problem can be addressed and the wikipedia board can add professional editors who are well versed in specific subjects to allow changes rather than editors who have very little knowledge and experience in the aforesaid matters and make summary decisions thereby driving contributors from the web sight. Thank you.

Similar stuff happens in technology areas too. Current technology will amost by definition not have "reputable third party" articles, which are "required" to demonstrate notability. Secondary sources may be equally rare, for similar reasons. Practitioners wouldn't care, they'd use primary sources since nobody else can be authoritative. (And what's this about policies claiming that primary sources aren't authoritative, only secondary ones? Utter crap! Who cares if that's the way history is researched, this is NOT history. We don't care about how Joe and Jane TradePress mis-understands the technology.)
Part of the issue with technology is, as with comics and I'd think also Law, that the community is self-selecting to a degree that policies based on traditional encyclopaedias don't work very well. Heck, the reasons people don't like traditional 'pedias is that they omit so much information, and so much information there is dated/obsolete! Some of the main reasons to care about WP is that it it can have information that's current and specialized.
If WP is going to say it won't cover certain information, it should pick a less intensely subjective metric than "notability to me". -- 09:40, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't want to see us run a lengthy series of articles on "What's wrong with Wikipedia". This is a published article so major changes are discouraged [This is a Wikinews thing, we archive stuff when it is about 10 days old then no more edits except for typos and the like].
There is Comixpedia, which is much more inclusionist and as was pointed out on Howard's blog, Wikipedia isn't a great place to advertise. People who already know about your site will find it on Wikipedia. The odds of a newbie to your webcomic finding it on WP are pretty slim.
To my knowledge Shlock Mercenary has not been proposed for deletion at any point, I apologise to those who have misread things in that way. Keep sticking up your opinions here, and have a look round at some of our other content. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:58, 31 October 2007 (UTC)


"She has said Wikipedia should only have articles on webcomics like Penny Arcade, Get Your War On, Fetus-X, and Achewood."


I read quite a few webcomics daily (58... hmmm, time to trim that), and yet prior to this article, had not even HEARD of three out of those four.

I'm not quite sure what that says about the "notability" of webcomics in general, frankly.

However, much the same scenario could easily happen with works in traditional print, considering the size of the world market -- what I think is notable, because I am familiar with it, may generate a "Who?" from someone familiar with a different part of the same market. 23:27, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

I read a number of webcomics (Can't quote numbers off the top of my head like the other posters), and I read Penny Arcade, and have heard of Fetus-S and Achewood: They are more critically acclaimed then popular by my understanding. I recall hearing something about genre convention breaking and awards, which would explain why the deletionists would find them notable: Thats the sort of thing that gets written about in print sources.


Well I won't contribute to Wikipedia...Edit

When I see some of the trivial pages on wikipedia they want to delete Schlock Mercenary which has many tens of thousands of fans? How many web comics have posted daily with out missing a deadline for over 7 years? -- 03:20, 31 October 2007 (UTC) Rick Smith.

What? Where in the article does it say Schlock Mercenary is up for deletion? Nifboy 05:53, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

For the Record...Edit

For the record, my complaints about Wikipedia have nothing to do with the Schlock Mercenary article being deleted, because to my knowledge it hasn't been threatened in years. Friends and fans, please relax. --Howard Tayler 05:58, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Possible FixesEdit

As very occasional contributor to Wikipedia, I admit that I do not know what prompted many of the notability policies, but maybe someone with more experience can comment on these ideas.

1) Rename NotabilityEdit

I think one of the biggest problems is its name. Notability guidelines don't actually have anything to do with notability. If a pro basketball player sprained their knee, it would have dozens of reliable external sources that are independent of the subject. Taking a literal interpretation of the guidelines, it would actually pass notability (assuming that the sources thought that the event was significant for example, for that team's playoff chances). However, a webcomic that won a WCCA three years in a row may not have a single reliable source, so would not pass notability. Clearly, notability guidelines are not about the importance of an event so much as the availability of acceptable source material. Calling it notability is just an extra slap in the face to whoever has their article deleted, and it should be renamed to something more neutral such as Source Availability Guidelines.

2) Forbid the use of Notability as a justification for deletionEdit

Quite simply, WP:N is a guideline and not policy. As far as I can tell, this means that that notability is considered by the vast majority of editors to be a good rule of thumb (I happen to agree that it is a good rule of thumb). Notability is not Wikipedia policy, so it alone should not be used as justification for deletion. Editors should actually write out which of the policies (such as NPOV, no original research, and vanity pages) they believe applies, as opposed to a vague catch-all that isn't even an official accepted policy.

3a) Move non-notable articles to user namespaceEdit

I hereby volunteer my username to create a user:techieman\deleted articles space. In many ways its a great compromise. Users can clearly see which articles are being maintained by editors, but can search for other articles as well. Editors don't have to worry about those articles bringing down the quality of Wikipedia. Fans can still see and edit their favorite topics. Wikipedia has an article in constant incubation that can be sprung as soon as a couple of external sources are written. Oh, and it can be done now and unilaterally by anyone with the time to copy articles before they get deleted and write a script to do the same(but not me).

3b) Move non-notable articles elsewhere, maybee to NOT-Notable-apedia (or equivalent non-user namespace)Edit

Clearly, notability will always be an issue (for numerous reasons). As a compromise, deletes should require re-creating the article elsewhere (maybee in NOT-Notable-apedia) until such time an article becomes notable. Deletions should also be replaced with a special page/template warning the article is not noteworthy (by wikipedia standards) and with a link to the related NOT-Notable-apedia article. IMHO, wikipedia has always been more than an encyclopedia and this obsessive/compulsive need to dumb down to the encyclopedia level is counterproductive. Embrace that due to your very nature you are more than that and provide a [properly segregated] space for emergence. PS. Don't get hung up on the name, as that wasn't my point.

1)pretty much all pro basketball players are noteable. 2) if you think that is posible you underestimate the intelligance of wikipedians by a couple of orders of magnitude. You can't stop them applying certian critia to deletion. 3a)um no that is not what the user namespace is for. 3b) nothing stoping you from doing that should you so wish.Geni 20:14, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Reply to Geni: 1) Okay, fair enough. My original point was that a basketball player's injury could be notable enough to justify its own article. Of course, other policies on wikipedia would almost definitely prevent that from occurring. But still, from the criteria used in notability, it should be obvious that the guideline is not used to find how important something is. Failing notability guidelines has nothing to do with not being worthy note (as notability is defined in the dictionary), it only has to do with the fact that the subject hasn't actually been noted yet. Therefore, a more accurate name should be chosen, especially in light of the anger the old, misleading name is creating. 2) Actually, I believe that the average wikipedian is significantly more intelligent than that of the average population. All I'm suggesting is that guidelines not be a substitute for policy. Almost every single deletion for non-notability could have been deleted for lacking in verifiability. A couple of gentle reminders that notability is just a guideline and not a hard and fast rule would go a long way to putting notability in its proper place. 3a) I knew that was not the purpose of the user namespace. However, the user space by its nature seems to be the most natural place to incubate a (as I have heard it referred to elsewhere) Triviapedia. Quite simply, there is no expectation for verifiability or notability in the user space. As far as I can tell, it would be quite acceptable for me to put a couple of paragraphs on why I love Futurama on my user page. I see no reason why it would be unacceptable and against the rules to put a couple of paragraphs of objective information on my user page.

Hear! Hear! I have had these exact same thoughts, but you expressed them better that I ever could have. The only thing I could add is that (3b) would fix the problem that the current deletion model on Wikipedia effectively hides the history of deleted articles which really hurts the open spirit of the wiki way. For example, if someone claims that Wikipedia is unfairly deleting webcomic articles (wink wink), there is no way for the broader community to brows the deleted articles and form their own judgment. The AfD remains part of the open record, but points made in the AfD about the article can't be validated against the actual article since the only copy is closed. 03:40, 2 November 2007 (UTC) (Mdmkolbe on Wikipedia)

Linked by slashdot - who got it wrongEdit

It appears that slashdot commented on this story. However, they put the blame on en.wikipedia administrators, which is pretty unfair and not particular accurate. Deletions are decided by the community, the closing admin doesn't participate in the discussion but just makes a final decision based on what the general consensus might be. - Ta bu shi da yu 09:26, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

In a closely-divided debate, it's still the administrator who has to make the decision over what the concensus is. Far too often, he or she comes down on the side of deleting it if there's any doubt. 15:32, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
If an administrator has to "decide what the consensus is," then there isn't a consensus. I have witnessed, and registered objections to, administrators making closing decisions without the backing of a rough consensus - for example, topically, brenneman closed the first WCCA AFD as "delete" in spite of the fact that there was a clear consensus to keep - a consensus reflected in the second AFD held after an appeal in DRV.
Many contested closings demonstrate a clear lack of consensus, with both sides offering plausible reasons to keep or delete; some administrators seem unwilling to close "no consensus." It is because of this that Wikipedia administrators are being given a share of the blame.Balancer 17:53, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

I'd pay $100US to be able to make a donation.

Think about it.

I agree with the cartoonist's point of view. I read Schlock Mercenary everyday, and find it to be remarkable amongst webcomics. Another one of note is Starslip Crisis. If wiki feels that these are too insignificant to have an article about, then wiki is too insignificant for me to donate to.

Please check your information before complaining. Both Schlock Mercenary and Starslip Crisis are written about in wikipedia, although the latter is only as a subsection on the page about its author. 10:42, 31 October 2007 (UTC) (wikipedia:User:JulesH)
Check your own. Starslip Crisis was one of the comics that was deleted from wikipedia, although it's notable in that the comic's own author, Kristopher Straub, intentionally gamed wikipedia to prove how corrupt it was in this respect. He created a new user, who had no edits. This user nominated the Starslip Crisis article for AFD. He then created ten other new users (sockpuppets) who all voted to delete the article based on totally incorrect and fraudulent information (they said the comic was not in alexa and thus not notable, using arguments that are specifically against wikipedia's guidelines, etc). Result: Article deleted. Thus proving that the admins doing deletions are not only not fact checking, but are also not following their own guidelines. 13:35, 31 October 2007 (UTC)


I think the article almost perfectly points out why I don't donate to wikipedia.

If they set standards requiring that the mainstream recognizes a thing as noteworthy - just to be included in wikipedia - then I fail to see how anything new will surface in wikipedia.

So instead of using wikipedia as a first source, I can only use it as a "oh yeah, what those guys say" sort of source. Makes Wikipedia itself questionble, and reduces it to a search engine with a Really Big Cache.

Ummm...I'm afraid you've been dreadfully misinformed. An "oh yeah, what those guys say" sort of source is exactly what an encyclopedia is supposed to be. Compare the OED (definition 2a), and Merriam-Webster—both define it as a summary of branches of (pre-existing) knowledge. Also see Wikipedia's strong consensus on original research, a summary of the former's history, and some emails by Jimbo indicating that (at least in the opinion of a person who helped design Wikipedia) Wikipedia is ill-equipped except to describe what other guys say. (talk) 06:24, 7 April 2018 (UTC)



Sounds to me as if a WikiComics type web site is needed. Leave Wikipedia in the dust and create a better, more open community where minds are not so closed.

Agreed. Deletionism is bad. What makes Wikipedia superior (among other things) to other sources of information, is the amount of obscure esoteric info available. Even if it's inaccurate or badly written, if it exists it ought to exist on Wikipedia.

The problem is not that Wikipedia rightly discourages fluff; and there is also already a comics wiki - Comixpedia. The problem is that there are Deletionist editors who delete stuff because they either do not understand it or like it. Some even delete just for the thrill of destroying someone else's work. Webcomics were but one, and probably not even the latest, in a long string of incidents. They have just been a bit more careful since Christopher Straub highlighted the absurdity of the issue by AFD'ing his own comic. --11:44, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm not donating this year.Edit

I've given my time and effort to improving Wikipedia, only to see an article I wrote, and several I contributed to, swept away by deletionists as non-notable.

I've seen categories removed from users pages by admins who falsely claimed a consensus to delete, due to so-called "strength of arguments", when the majority voted to keep.

Enough is enough. Only by denying funds can we send a clear message to the Wikimedia foundation: the community is dying because of the deletionists and the corrupt admins who enable them.

I will continue to support Wikipedia through writing and editing articles, even though some of those edits may not survive. 12:41, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Cry more. People might care then. 12:44, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree, an article I started on w:Timesplitters (Race) has now been reduced to a redirect to the game that they originate from after existing happily for several months. Most other games have their antagonists own articles FFS.--Bisected8 12:57, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Other Places I've Seen ThisEdit

I've been following the story on Howard Tayler's blog, and he asked for readers to note other places they've seen this policy crop up. I have to say, that the two other times I've seen major discussions on Wikipedia's deletion policy (regarding conlangs and fanfiction), the situations have had three things in common with webcomics:

  • They are chiefly internet subcultures, with few print sources documenting more than the basics.
  • The articles in question were things that the subculture expected 'anyone except a novice' to know about.
  • Because of the lack of print coverage beyond a 'this exists on the 'net' level, the subculture lacked print sources (and mainstream sources in general) to point to to show the importance, though they could have drummed up plenty of internet articles written by people in the subculture.

I can't help thinking that, were these hobbies ones with a large offline presence, and using magazines and newsletters to communicate information, rather than mailing lists, message boards, blogs and websites, it would be a lot easier to keep the articles on Wikipedia for the same information distributed to the same people.

It's troubling to me, since something like Wikipedia would be incredibly useful in documenting the basics of internet-based subcultures and hobbies(1) -- Wikipedia allows for a wide number of people to write it, can be changed quickly, and has a lot more space than a print encyclopedia. However, the reliance on Notability, with a bias towards print publications, makes this a bit difficult.

(1) I do agree that esoteric details could be reserved for subculture or hobby-specific wiki applications, which do exist and can be linked to the Wikipedia page.

I really do quite agree with the points raised in this article. I've found plenty of good webcomics on wikipedia, only to come back the next day so I can bookmark the URL and find the article has gone. --Bisected8 12:54, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

The problem with articles about internet subcultures is that one of Wikipedia's core content policies, which supercedes the notability requirement, is that there is no original research in Wikipedia articles. This means that you can't simply use primary sources (such as comics, blog posts, etc.) - they must be supported by published, reliable secondary sources (i.e., other people's research.)
On the internet, while other people (bloggers, etc.) may be considered secondary sources, they are far from being reliable, especially as they are mostly self-published. You need reliable information from secondary sources to form an article.
Now, here's the ticket: Wikipedia's notability guidelines actually help articles that do not have reliable secondary sources that extensively cover the topic. The notability guideline says "If you can use secondary sources to establish that the topic of an article is notable, we'll let you use primary sources to fill in the blanks." Far from being the first line of defense against cruft, Wikipedia's notability guideline actually allows in more articles than it kicks out. - Chardish 15:24, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
The sad part is, some editors will AfD (NOR) such an article.

Just a wordEdit

I will not be donating financially to wikipedia until it allows an permanent entry for GNAA, a legitimate subject that deserves an entry. Social/political/emotional positions are not legitimate reasons to censor reality. To put it as politely as possible, those whom have worked against this entry deserve to be civil servants in the afterlife, with the book burners, an intolerant information controlling dictators. It is these types of people that ruin everything for everyone. This latest webcomics issue just highlights the problems letting democracy sort out truth and value. The voices of the petty and selfish are motivated and the rest of us suffer. Thanks for ruining a great idea, jerks.

GNAA is different because it's an organization of trolls whose aim is to cause disruption, and having an article it doesn't help readers so much as it helps trolls who like to see Wikipedia forced to use the phrase "gay nigger". Notability is working correctly in this case. 14:35, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

wikipedia becomming an elitist source?Edit

"notability" sound too elitist for my taste. I'm a professional researcher in computer science and clearly understand that for some fields, information MUST come only from reputable sources to be valuable, but the when talking about popular culture, what is a reputable source?

tag reputable articles, leave the others aloneEdit

I saw a similar threat of deletion while looking up a particular episode of the TV show M*A*S*H.*A*S*H_episode)

The elitist attitude is very annoying. A chief benefit of Wikipedia is that it HAS articles on things that the esteemed editors of other encyclopedias deemed unimportant. Let's face it, there are times when you need to do serious research and there are times when you want information on an episode of Ren & Stimpy.

This is not "cleaning up" Wikipedia, it's making it less fun and useful. The wannabe Britannica editors really need to find another way to vent their frustrations at modern culture.

Video games notable, movies not?Edit

I find it puzzling that a fictional virus from a movie is being considered for deletion, while a fictional virus from a video game is not. Double standards?

(Personally, I'd keep them both.)

-- 14:28, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Personally, I'd delete them both. I don't see why either is notable on its own. They may be noteworthy as examples of the type of virus each represent, but that doesn't change the fact that they are only a minor issue in a piece of *fictional* work. If they had been revolutionary ideas, from which science or new art was developed, well then they'd be noteworthy. I say move this kind of junk to the fan wikis. MJKazin 18:02, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Why? Who is hurt by the extra 100kb used for these articles?

"There is concern among some webcomic groups that these notability guidelines are too rigorous for the typical webcomic."

Doesn't this qualify as "weasel wording"?

About Time Someone Brought This Up AgainEdit

I was furious about the web comics deletions when they happened earlier this year. What irritated me the most was that the notability guidelines didn't seem to account for actual popularity. If TIME magazine happened to run an article on a unique (but new) web comic, that turns out in the end not to be very popular, it ends up on Wikipedia. But a long running web comic with tons of readers (like White Ninja Comics) gets deleted because no one has bothered to write an article on it. And why should they? All the information anyone ever needs is on the web... but that's not good enough for notability.

The idea of not donating to Wikimedia in protest sounds like a marvelous idea to me. I will happily contribute if this issue is taken care of.

"She has said Wikipedia should only have articles on webcomics like Penny Arcade, Get Your War On, Fetus-X, and Achewood."

Ironically, of said admin's selections I am familiar with but one. I think I will move to have the other three deleted.

Great piece. . . but will the admins read it?Edit

Thanks for pointing this out. I'm a huge fan of webcomics and of Wikipedia. In this instance, I'm firmly on the side of the webcomics creators. The guidelines should be revisited to see if there is a bias against webcomics. Also, those who specifically look for webcomic entries to delete them should remove the sticks from their orifices and realise that, just like wikipedia itself, webcomics are new mediums and should be treated with respect, not derision.

Thank you and welcomeEdit

I'd like to extend a welcome to all the folks who've wrote something here and not gotten a welcome template on their talk page. The comments have been kept civil, they've been spirited, and there's nobody deleting anything. ;-)

Wikinews welcomes new contributors, and as you've seen with this article we can be a lot wider in scope than Wikipedia. So, if you read the news and find a story that you really think more people should be reading, come visit us. Go to our front page and check out the "Best of" section, the stories about the Virginia Tech. shootings and the London Underground bombings saw scores of people making contributions. That's this project at its best.

The people from the webcomics community who contributed to this article did a great job, I only had to remove one personal attack from the article and the links and details added onto my initial draft kept well within project policy. Thank you people, you prove the webcomics community can be mature and professional and make a better case for your beef with Wikipedia.

In closing I'll disagree with what a lot of people above me have said... The Wikimedia Foundation does need your money. It is more than just Wikipedia, it is sites like Wikinews too. You also have to bear in mind that the Foundation stands as far back from Wikipedia as it can to avoid legal liability for anything like slanderous content. Personally I find doing anything other than trivial details on Wikipedia a chore, but I use it a lot and it adds huge value to our Wikinews articles to have links to an encyclopedia available. So... How's about five bucks for more information about anything your doctor prescribes you than the pharmacist knows? Or more about science and physics than you really need to learn? Wikipedia does hard stuff superbly, isn't that worth a donation? --Brian McNeil / talk 15:36, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

I guess my only concern is, how else will our protest be heard? It obviously wasn't taken care of when the incident first happened, despite the protests. (I remember talking to one admin who said, "if you can prove notability then we'll re-add the article." When I found some evidence I was ignored.) I don't think any of us want Wikimedia to suffer terribly, but at the same time we don't know any other way to signal to the system that we want some change.


The problem with deletionism is that you have too many people on Wikipedia who have too much of their self-worth wrapped up in their work on what has become an influential website. They like the sense of power that judging something or someone unnotable gives them.

There are clearly unnotable people and things out there, and I understand (and agree with) the base idea that Wikipedia should not be a jungle of minor information. For instance there was a group named Atlanta (who proudly proclaim themselves a boy band) who have done nothing notable, started a Wikipedia page, and then on their MySpace listed that as their homepage. I don't think anyone wants Wikipedia to be used in this way, and it shouldn't be - that's not what it exists for; as a homepage. If the band is so notable, they should have their own website (and they don't).

However, deletionists are often lazy. They don't do their research; they barely use Google. Instead, they seem drunk on some bizarre sense of power that they judge what is notable. That's pretty sad. That smug sense of satisfaction makes not a lick of difference in the waking world, neither in their own or anybody else's. It also hurts Wikipedia, which is meant to be a place for human knowledge. There are some deletionists I respect who do good work in keeping it from becoming a morass. But there are some who simply want to flex their muscle in the only place where they feel they have any influence: on a website anybody can edit. --David Shankbone 15:07, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Alcoholism groups also hit by thisEdit

This problem has also bitten the various groups that aid alcoholics. They've basically culled everything except AA. It's difficult to meet notability requirements with this group because, even if a group has 10,000 members and hundreds of chapters nationally, nobody wants to actually talk about them or write articles about alcoholics. Although they're definitely notable to alcoholics and family and friends of alcoholics, it's specifically something that the rest of the public would like to pretend doesn't exist. It's quite a quandary. Mythobeast 15:33, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree, many topics are not really writen about, but that doesn't make them non-notable. I mean, do you know how difficult it is to find a good (by wikipedia's standards) article about something like Otherkin. Does that meant Otherkin don't exist? No, of course not, but they're just not being discussed. -- 00:47, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
This appears to be a common misunderstanding, Notable doesn't mean important. It has nothing to do with whether or not something exists. It is essentially a term of art simply describing whether there is enough material in reliable secondary sources that Wikipedia can have an article about it that doesn't rely on original research. JoshuaZ 00:56, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
But, by your own admission, if an topic lacks secondary sources, it isn't notable. But not everything that is notable is always reported by mainstream media and university professors. Wikipedian's problem is that many of them have decided that they have to have the same standards for an article on Transformers or Otherkin as they do on an article on Quantum field theory or the War of 1812. Sources are always good, but it cannot be expected that they will exist for every subject that may appear in Wikipedia, because frankly, very few CNN reporters are reporting on the latest Meme on the internet or subcultures.-- 02:40, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
No, as I said, notable in this context is a term of art, that is it is a specialized term in this context which doesn't connect that much to general notion of notable as "importance". All it means is are there enough reliable secondary sources for the Wikipedians to right an article about a subject without engaging in original research. It says next to nothing about how important or influential the matter is in the real world. JoshuaZ 15:25, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Other than Penny Arcade and Fetus-X ...Edit

... I've never even heard of any of these other comics. Which is weird. I guess I came here expecting Wikipedia only had stories about the most successful and well-known webcomics, so to see that they have these others too is surprising.

Delete away!Edit

I'm hopeful that Wikipedia will keep removing this dross. Notability may be contentious, but only because some people are more concerned with being known than doing anything noteworthy. Keep up the good work and delete more, please!

  • Ah, the opposite of Assume Good Faith...ascribing motivations to people. --David Shankbone 16:14, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
I knew there was a reason we had WP:POINT. (And yes, I do find deleting otherwise useful articles to be disruptive to the function of Wikipedia.) Jigsaw 16:25, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
  • RE: Ascribing motivations to people, that's exactly what David Shankbone does above when he writes, "you have too many people on Wikipedia who have too much of their self-worth wrapped up in their work on what has become an influential website. They like the sense of power that judging something or someone unnotable gives them." Badnewz 16:30, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Totally true; the difference is that my musing doesn't actually affect what happens on Wikipedia; whereas the above deletionist musing causes material to be removed. That's a pretty big difference. --David Shankbone 16:56, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
So pretending you know the motivations of other people is ok when you do it, but not when other people do it. Thanks for making your hypocrisy clear. Badnewz 17:09, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Shankbone said that pretending he knows the motivations of other people and making a comment about it is not the same thing as pretending he knows the motivations of other people and deleting articles on that basis. Your assumption of hypocrisy is unwarranted. Kisc 08:18, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
You completely missed the point I made, but that's fine. I'm not the only one saying that, such as this Scripps Howard columnist, who says, "Wikipedia is now managed by a group of fanatical editors that nit-pick everything from a person's "worthiness" to be listed to arcane, subtle additions." Like I said, they hurt Wikipedia. --David Shankbone 17:16, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Me as wellEdit

I will not donate to Wikipedia either until this is resolved. I used to donate until the deletion nonsense came about. Wikipedia has no space limit like a normal encyclopedia and the presence of an article on "The Noob" won't hurt the accuracy of other articles and will only help Wikipedia. Articles of lesser known computer games are also hit by this pretty hard.

I fully support this fundraising boycott and will be encouraging people I talk to to support it as well.

As has already been pointed out, the attempted boycott doesn't hurt Wikipedia as much as it hurts all of the Wikimedia projects of which the English Wikipedia is only a part. Other projects include Wikinews, the other language Wikipedias and Wikinewses, Wikiquotes, Wikibooks, and a variety of other projects trying to provide information and assistance to areas of the world with minimal internet access. Furthermore, your boycott isn't going to change anything. No one is going to alter policy because of a boycott of the Foundation, there are too many degrees of separation. And if they gave in for that reason it would be a bad thing; imagine what you would say if Microsoft offered to give the Foundation 10 million dollars but only if Wikipedia changed policies as they dictated. JoshuaZ 16:56, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
If there is to be any boycott, it needs to be against Wikimania 2008, IMHO. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 17:03, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Too easy. I'm still ticked they went with Alexandria.Jigsaw 19:35, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
We have no other levers to try to influence Wikipedia. The admins who rule the policies don't listen to peons, and those of us who argue are labeled trolls and wikilawyers and slapped down. If the other projects feel the pinch, they'll apply pressure to the English Wikipedia to clean up their act. -- Jmaynard 18:17, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Sadly, I agree with this statement. Wikipedia may be wonderful for news and science-related things, but it is not perfect. The threat of a boycott is what got the article slashdotted (among other things), and all things considered, is far more likely to have a measurable impact over a 'non-notable' protest by an otherwise 'non-notable' community. Regardless of the financial hit this boycott generates, perhaps the publicity will have the bigger effect.Jigsaw 19:35, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
One would hope that they would apply pressure. But as we saw in the deletion attempt for this very article, there are some people that would rather rally the wagons and snipe at people with legitimate complaints, grievances, and ideas to help instead of trying to reform the system. Attract the wrong people, indeed. -- 19:51, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Yeah... something tells me making the featured story of Wikinews + getting slashdotted more than proves that people wanted to read about this, despite the deletion request claiming it simply wasn't "newsworthy". Jigsaw 22:44, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia hates webcomics, ban DragonfiendEdit

2007? This has been going on for a long time, deletion of the webcomics boils bad blood between the webcomic community, their fans, and their authors regarding Wikipedia.

Look an entire project page about to deleting webcomics.

Look up Dragonfiend in the encyclopedia dramatica. That user has earned the middle finger from the webcomic community.

Look up Jenn Dolari, despite all the effort she put into WikiPedia, her webcomic was deleted, repeatedly.

Look up what happened with the writer of Strange Candy

Look up how any and every comic on ComicGenesis or Drunkduck was deleted for being on ComicGenesis or DrunkDuck. One of these services have high profile people telling their users to never use Wikipedia for anything.

Webcomic awards... are hosted on Comicgenesis. The hosting provider is not relevant to notability. The articles have been tagged for deletion many times.

The people deleting the webcomics constantly use google and alexa as "proofs" despite these being useless benchmarks. They even use the "omg its a free site, DELETE."

Ban Dragonfiend (or ban that user from editing webcomics) Wikimedia is never getting my money, and is never getting ad space. There's a few more editors that need to be sent to the guillotine but Dragonfiend has actively lost wikipedia active editors, potential editors, funding and credibility. If wikipedia was a real business Dragonfiend would have been fired. You know the old story of a bad experience will be told to 10 friends who will tell 10 friends.

Most people in the webcomic community are not high profile outside of it, by deleting the WCCA and 'winning awards', the goal of that appears to be to delete all possible notability for webcomics.

I don't login to my wikipedia account anymore because I stopped bothering with wikipedia. 18:01, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

I stopped logging into Wikipedia because every single Amtrak train station has an article, instead of there being just a "Amtrak Train Stations" article that contains all of that information. If a train station in a town of 10,000 is notable, but a webcomic with a readership of around that much isn't? Something is broken there. -- 19:41, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Original ResearchEdit

I reckon this "notability" thing is a red herring. Wikipedia editors are deleting articles that are essentially "Original Research", but because they're about media subculture instead of, say, Amish cheese-making folklore, the articles are tagged as advertising instead.

No mainstream journalists/authors are publishing stuff about webcomics (or RPGs or garage bands or whatever), so fans are stepping up to the plate and doing it for them, and the publisher they are choosing is Wikipedia. Wikipedia as it is currently defined (an encyclopedia, not a publishing house) is not the place for this -- it's got enough problems with respectability without opening the doors to articles that can't cite "proper" secondary sources.

But despite those IMHO laudable, completely-worth-defending standards, people really really want Wikipedia to be more than "just" an encyclopedia. They expect Wikipedia to be the clearinghouse for *all* knowledge -- not just stuff that has already been published about elsewhere.

Maybe another sister Wiki expressly for "original research", allowing collaborative creation of new content based on primary sources, instead of just regurgitation of previously-published stuff ? It could take peer-review to a whole new level.


The Wiki Annex was set up explicitly for the purpose of being a clearinghouse for the sort of stuff that "didn't make it" on Wikipedia. Anyone can ask an admin to transfer a deleted article there (or to userspace). From anywhere it can be transferred to a more appropriate wiki like Comixpedia. Nifboy 20:02, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Comixpedia is not an equivalent Wiki to Wikipedia. Niche Wikis never are. -Jigsaw 17:28, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

No Interest, Experence or Knowlege: Apply Here.Edit

"""There are people -- and Dragonfiend is clearly one of them -- who are clearly going through Wikipedia looking for articles that should be weeded out as non-notable. and they're doing it in fields they clearly -- I mean, clearly -- have no interest, experience or knowledge.""

You can cirtizize them on this. Look at thei admins user pages! Look at the amount of unanswered questions. ( refrence desk, unanswered questiosn archive ). Look at the amount of sheer disinformation: ( six diffrent pages listed the XXXX YYYY at the ZZZZZ airport, while the thing had been decommissioned for over a decade ). They show little research skills. ( Why would this be needed? )

I would just like to state that my user page HAS STATEMENTS OF POV! Things I KNOW I refuse to be nonjudegemental about.

Your actually encouraged NOT to contribute to articles/subjects which you have experence. That would violate the no sources policy or the NPOV guidelines. What about quoting yourself?

God save them, if a WebComic author actually corrected his own article! Obiviously Dragonfiend was 'just doin his job.' Although its NOT POSSIBLE to notify everyone about deleting a page, how about just a few hints on the last few editors comment pages? ( Might be time to start a-watchin your fave pages! I caught three vandals within hours of defacing a page with the 'watch this page' command, and there are joke pages that have escaped deletetion for years )

The Wikinews page? An eclipse gets removed for lack of interest, but someone gettting promoted to the gang of 60 in the Momorman church( or 7 of 7 or some insiginificant commitee )? I still think its on the front page. ( and news of the Rastafarians?, Santa-rea? )

What does count for news? I am glad that the wikicurrent editors do read BBC News, but how about reading slashdot too? and while your at it, MIT's TechReview? How about just to round out the daily newsloric intake

Tom wrote on Slashdot: "That's the whole point. If half of the effort that some people put into finding articles to mark for deletion, deliberating and discussing deletion, checking, verifying and then finally deleting the article - if half of the effort people put into destroying content were instead put into creating or improving content, Wikipedia would be so much better."

The problem is not the notability standardEdit

I think there's an important misunderstanding going around here. Lots of people say that there shouldn't be a notability standard. I disagree. I think it's okay to have a notability standard. Lots of people say that to the extent there is a notability standard, the existing one is wrong. I disagree. I think the existing notability standard - that is, the one that is written on the relevant policy pages - is okay. The real problem is that the existing notability standard is not really being followed. Lots of people say that the Web comics community is demanding some kind of exception to the notability standard. On the contrary: what the Web comics community is demanding (even if some in the Web comics community don't realize this) is simple enforcement of the existing standard. The Web comics community is demanding to NOT be an exception.

We see this, for instance, in the case of the Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards. Comics that have won one of those should be a speedy keep - no discussion, no questions. Just like Oscar-winning movies are speedy keeps. But that's not what happens when a WCCA recipient gets nominated. Then someone decided to nominate the article on WCCA itself. That person was not banned from Wikipedia. It was pointed out that there was a New York Times article written about the WCCA. That, also, would have been a speedy keep, end of discussion, in almost any field except Web comics... but when it's Web comics, the New York Times doesn't count as a reliable source anymore. There is a special exception in place that isn't in the written policy. The rules that would apply to any other field somehow get re-interpreted in an impossibly restrictive way, just for Web comics.

If Wikipedia would stop making an exception for Web comics and just hold them to the same notability standard used for other articles, almost everyone would be content. The more revenge-minded in the community would probably also like to see some bans for two or three of the most flagrant abusers of process. There was an official Wikipedia "arbitration" filed on Brenneman and Dragonfiend at one point, and you know the result? The arbitrators deliberately did not find any fault. They "cautioned" both the defendants and plaintiffs, equally, to be civil to one another, and specified "none" as the enforcement action. It wasn't a difficult case to arbitrate. If Wikipedia really followed their notability policy, they would have found fault, and punished the guilty parties and not the whistleblowers. Wikipedia does not really follow its own notability policy, and that, not the fine words currently written in the notability policy, is the problem. — 21:23, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't know much about the WCCA. But your arguments seems somewhat flawed. If the WCCA is indeed highly noteable then probably winners would generally automatically be considered noteable. But if WCCA is not highly noteable then it's irrelevant. I could make up my own award for something and give it to anyone I want. Unless my award becomes highly noteable then it is unlikely winners of my award will also automatically be noteable Nil Einne 22:05, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
This is circular logic: Comics BECOME notable because of the WCCA being notable (as evidenced by several of their 'newcomer' awards), not the other way around. It's already been fairly evidenced that the WCCA should not have been deleted, at least in part because LACK of an award from the WCCA was used as justification for deleting several articles; if lack of such a thing is notable, then so is having that thing, QED. -Jigsaw 22:33, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
"If the WCCA is indeed highly noteable then probably winners would generally automatically be considered noteable." The WCCA is highly notable in the relevant field, and if that field were not Web comics, then winners would be automatically considered notable. But in Web comics, the rules (which say that such winners should be automatically notable) are not followed. No amount of notability, and in particular not the amount of notability that is enough in other fields, is ever enough for a Web comic. Web comics are treated as an exception to the notability guidelines - not that they don't have to meet the notability guidelines, but that even if they do meet the notability guidelines they are still deleted at will. - 22:46, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

it's not just webcomics, a number of nationally touring punk bands have been deleted as non notable. as well as many underground punk venues. basicly a lot of things, that while wide spread and reasonably popular, by definition avoid mainstream media attention.


What a lot of people seem to be missing is that there is no way to measure popularity without getting into OR and even then it's usually very reliable. People keep saying that lots of comics are more popular but aren't considered noteable. Really? How do you know they're more popular? Some people say stuff like well I've heard of X but not Y so X must be more popular which is obviously a particularly stupid suggestion. I'm sure there are lots of people in Africa for example who know say their tribal leader but have never heard of George W. Bush, Bill Gates, Wen Jiabao or Vladimir Putin. Going by the earlier logic, we should assume that these people are more popular if we were to ask these people who'd they'd heard of... (Oh an please don't suggest we trust the authors published readership figure. Wanna see my webcomic with 1 trillion daily readers and 1 billion registered?) Nil Einne 22:05, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

With Google Analytics and everything else, surely we can find some way to trust their numbers? Jigsaw 17:26, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

At least you picked a good quoteEdit

Hey thanks for getting my "assholes" quote right. Too bad this article misses most of the points I was making.

Deletionism is not holding to "rigorous standards" of anything. Deletionism the idea that you somehow can help a vast repository of information by destroying lots and lots of the true, factual information contained within it. Whatever does not meet the arbitrary and shifting (and in the case of webcomics, intentionally rigged) standards you call notability, must certainly be harming the worth of Wikipedia as an informational resource by being contained within it.

Right? Let's burn all but the 50 most notable cookbooks anyone ever published, because certainly the recipes in the rest of them are useless and should be lost to all Mankind. Logical! Especially on a web encyclopedia where webpages must be conserved so we never run out!

Webcomics creators and webcomics fans owe nothing to Wikimedia Foundation, and should not donate. As someone (not me) noted on the PartiallyClips article talk page, in December of 2005, I donated $20.00 to Wikimedia with the note "Because Tycho is wrong about Wikipedia!" I used to love Wikipedia. I used to defend Wikipedia. It was once trying to be a compendium of human knowledge, and showed signs of succeeding in ways print media must necessarily fail. But now it's just a bad World Book Wannabe, wrecked by OCD wankers who play it like it's a big game.

If I had a spare million bucks around, I wouldn't donate to Wikimedia Foundation, I would sue it. RBalder 23:25, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Rob, and sue it for what exactly? Based on your comments here and elsewhere I imagine that you think you could sue over lost revenue for the people who have gotten less traffic to their websites since their Wikipedia articles were deleted. Frankly, no court is going to take that seriously since Wikipedia has no obligation to stick anything up and the Foundation is a separate company that hosts Wikipedia but would likely be immune to events occurring on Wikipedia(the laws for that sort of thing are complicated).
Furthermore, this actually goes straight into the hands of the people who have favored deletion of most of these articles, since Wikipedia does not exist by any stretch of the imagination as a means to promote other peoples websites. If that were the case we'd simple leave it completely open and it would be filled with "Go to VIAGRAAH.COM to get your junk up!" and whatever anyone else wanted to put up. I'm also a bit disappointed that after all this time you are happy that a quote from you involving profanity is used. As I remarked earlier on the talk page, when someone use's strong language about an opponent, it often says more about the person in question than the targets.
Finally, I must ask if you had a million dollars is the first thing you'd do with it really sue an organization of volunteers devoted to spending their time and resources making free information available to all? Just because you disagree with what information they think they should spend their time and effort on? You wouldn't give the money to a different charity, or use the money to start another rival website that didn't have notability rules? JoshuaZ 00:08, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Technically, if he had a million dollars I think the first thing he'd do with it is bathe in it, but maybe that's just me.
Hyperbole about suing the Wikimedia Foundation aside, this is not merely about website promotion; this is about recognition of webcomics as a cultural art form. Yes, people make money off webcomics. We've determined this very well. This should hardly be a reason NOT to put them up on Wikipedia; people have to make a living off the things somehow. I'm sure Apple turns a tidy profit, and Radiohead can't be in it just for the fans, even if they did put their recent album up for whatever fans felt like paying them. A Wikipedia article would be validation for most of these comics, and capricious notability standards make that hard to accomplish; WP:NOT a 'feel good site', sure, but certainly if someone was willing to put the effort into an article and it's a good article (and not spam or nonsense), deleting an otherwise fine article could be seen as an insult. (And for the record, an article about the storyline and characters of a webcomic is NOT equivalent to spam articles selling counterfeit Viagra. I don't think I need to explain why to you; since you're an admin and all, I'm going to assume you know a logical fallacy when you see one.)
The problem is that notability is circular: While I'm sure Wikipedia means well to ask for secondary sources, there are probably a few people with comics where their potential readers are going "XXXX? I've never heard of it, it's not on Wikipedia... but Wikipedia has comic YYYY listed, and it looks horrible, so it must be worse than YYYY... maybe I won't visit XXXX." Jigsaw 01:47, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Joshua, why do you assume that people who oppose Wikipedia's deletionism are doing so because they think it's a good advertising medium? This is a common counterargument, but it's severely fallacious: people don't go to Wikipedia to find new things, they go there to find out about things they already know about. Howard's 0.136% of hits in September being referred from Wikipedia is, I'm certain, quite typical.
The simple fact is that the only ones who are making this argument are the deletionists. It's time to use an argument that actually makes sense. -- Jmaynard 02:39, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Actually, Webalyzer rounds it to 0.00%, so I'm pretty sure the number is something on the order of 400 out of three million. Seriously, my article is completely insignificant in terms of the real traffic to my site. Also, I suspect most of the traffic comes from my site to begin with.--Howard Tayler 03:34, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm doing slightly better than Howard, with a whopping 449 referrals from my Wiki entry in the eleven months it's been up. That's 0.04% of my total referral traffic. Also, I can't say for sure, but I strongly suspect that the bulk of that occurred during both the creation of the article (I know I repeatedly 'tested' links to be sure they worked properly) and during the AFD itself.-DocsMachine 04:38, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm assuming that that's what he wants to sue over because its hard to see what else he could possibly sue over. In that regard, I'm giving Balder a minimal amount of credit. If he wanted to sue saying to a court "There's this website and we're not included. And I haven't lost anything from that other than my self-esteem" he'd be even more laughed out of court than he would be if he sued for damages. Heck, I doubt he'd be able to find an ethical lawyer willing to take the case (the only reason an unethical one might be willing to take it is because they might be willing to take the fees for something they knew would fail massively). So if you can explain what else he might be suing for I'll change my opinion. JoshuaZ 15:19, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
The first of a series of cases would begin with proving that Wikipedia has set itself up as arbiter of professional notability across a broad range of professional endeavors. You'd start with a living individual, maybe an interested academic, whose biography should meet existing notability guidelines but which was deleted or speedy-deleted. You win the case (and establish the precedent) by proving that allowing the article to be deleted on those grounds damages the professional reputation of the person in question. Once you win that one, you use it to back a class-action suit on behalf of everyone who has ever had an article about them or their work deleted from Wikipedia. You could also subpoena Wikimedia Foundation for the identities of deletionist editors, so that individuals like Dragonfiend could be sued for libel. Beyond that, there are other possibilities. You can keep bringing suit after suit, not with the goal of winning damages but of revising or reversing WP:N and other troublesome deletionist policies. When they change to inclusionist policies, you stop suing.
Yes, this is the best use of a million dollars that I can think of. A million dollars would not cure cancer, but you maybe could cure Wikipedia with it. I have suspicions that it would ultimately be more important to Mankind to do so than the curing of any disease. RBalder 19:33, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Rob, I strongly suggest you discuss this with a lawyer so you can understand how little this resembles to anything about how the legal system would treat any of this. First, the notion that "Wikipedia has set itself up as arbiter of professional notability across a broad range of professional endeavors" is simply put ridiculous. Wikipedia doesn't make the claim, and I doubt for that matter any academic field (as you suggest) this would be the case. Most academics don't like Wikipedia at all or don't care about it. If I talked to any of the many academics I know such as Andrew Casson, I doubt he even knows he has a Wikipedia article. And I can assure you the presence or absence of an article about him has no bearing on what other people in his profession think of him. And that applies to many others (in fact there's at least one academic I know who has a Wikipedia article because he meets WP:N who I've been bugging for a while now about giving me his list of press clippings so I can expand the article and he hasn't simply because it is such a low priority). Second, even if this had somehow damaged professional reputations, it isn't at all clear why that would matter to a court; I can't even begin to construct what on its face sounds like a plausible legal argument. Third, as to the notion that you could sue individual editors for "libel" I suggest you familiarize yourself with libel laws. In the United States saying someone isn't notable would likely not even be libelous per se, and the burden of proof for a public figure is that person engaging in libel had "knowledge that the information was false" or had " reckless disregard of whether it was false or not." So if you try to claim the person isn't a public figure then you'll have even less ground to stand on regarding the claim that the saying the person is not-notable is libel, and if you think they are public good luck meeting the above burden of proof.
Finally, if you really think that having every little thing mentioned on Wikipedia is somehow more important than giving a million dollars to some other cause, then wow, as a Wikipedia admin and frequent contributor that's almost flattering, but combined with your comment about academics I think it just shows that you really don't have a sense of proportion here. It's just Wikipedia, and I'm not aware of any industry where they insist that you have a Wikipedia article (maybe fashion? Acting? I dunno). Frankly, I think you need some perspective on this. At the end of the day, it really is just Wikipedia. JoshuaZ 20:04, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Okay this is about the last time I am going to spend squabbling with one of the people my quote describes. At least in a forum like this. From all of Joshua's posts in this thread, it's clear he's one of the ones who is playing Wikipedia as a game, someone not actually open to considering the worth of his views but just really, really invested in "winning" the argument by whatever means. People like him are the reason the system will have to be changed from without, if it is ever to change.
But it's worth stating my views, once and for the record.
Point one, final statement, then. Wikipedia is the #8 highest traffic site in the world. Wikipedia has set policies of notability. The combination of these facts makes Wikipedia a (not the, but a) de facto arbiter of notability across nearly all fields of human endeavor. If you allow an article about "The Palm" restaurant in New York City but not one for a competing upscale steak house, you harm the competitor's perceived importance in the marketplace. You certainly can prove that in court and you certainly can seek damages for it, particularly if you can show that the policy is being unevenly and arbitrarily applied.
Point two, final statement. A shared compendium of all human knowledge is needed desperately, and Wikipedia is failing that mission. It is critical to humanity's present and future needs that Wikipedia return to the inclusionist policies it started with. The world needs a resource which allows more or less unrestricted sharing of true, factual information, not subject to some self-important dipshit's view of the subject's notability. If Wikipedia cannot be fixed, it must be supplanted by something fitting that description (which would probably mean you'd have to destroy it and replace it, because you'll never dislodge the #8 website in the world).
From your "just Wikipedia" comment I see that do not understand why the sacredness of knowledge ranks among humanity's highest values. You really do see this as a game, and a low-stakes one at that. You couldn't possibly be hurting real people by deleting an article, right? It's just Wikipedia.
So let me put it to you this way, just in case you (or more likely, someone else reading this) might actually give it some thought. You're transported back in time to the 3rd Century and told that you can either cure everyone on the planet currently suffering from a disease, or prevent the burning of the Library of Alexandia. What would you do? I'd save the library, because there are things more important even than lives. That's why I'd put my million dollars into an effort to stop deletionism.
But I think you'd light a torch and join the burning, because that's what you're doing today. You and your kind "edit" with matches and shredders, and the saddest part is that you genuinely think you're helping.
So that's the last of what I'll say here. Say or think what you will about me; I've got more important stuff to work on. This forum, like all attempts to change Wikipedia from within, is useless and impotent. I have given up on the possibility that I can change WP:N by any means other than a lawsuit, and I lack those means. So I have not given it much thought since I wrote those rants this article quotes. I intend not to give it much thought until it flares up again. Goodbye. RBalder 11:46, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Early libraries were firetraps. They burned down all the time. Besides, if you read what was actually getting deleted, it would be clear we aren't losing the works of Homer here. There are plenty of avenues for fancruft, Wikipedia is not one of them. Take it to Geocities or whatever. --Phirazo 12:52, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
...WP:ABF much? I have contributed to several articles over the years on Wikipedia that were deleted afterwards. How does deleting the evidence of a local "Hacker Con" (Outerz0ne) while keeping an anime convention of the same age (MomoCon) benefit anybody? And all things considered, how can you say one's article is 'cruft' over another? Jigsaw 14:41, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
I guess RBalder still thinks he can sue Wikimedia for not including webcomics. This is the equivalent to suing a bookstore for not carrying your book. Wikipedia is protected by the First Amendment here, and can say (or in this case, not say) whatever it wants. Besides, you'd need a magic lawyer who can handle Florida state law, Federal law, common carrier law, 1st amendment law, and take on the EFF and FSF. Besides, Jimbo is eloquent enough to turn public opinion massively against anyone who would try to sue the Wikimedia foundation. --Phirazo 01:13, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
You guess wrong. It's not about webcomics. See above. RBalder 11:46, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Rob, I'm going to reply to your points in order: first I object to your ad hominem attack saying "From all of Joshua's posts in this thread, it's clear he's one of the ones who is playing Wikipedia as a game, someone not actually open to considering the worth of his views but just really, really invested in "winning" the argument by whatever means. People like him are the reason the system will have to be changed from without, if it is ever to change" - I'm not "playing Wikipedia as a game" I'm genuinely interested in making Wikipedia the best free encyclopedia on the internet. Just because we have different ideas about what that means doesn't make me somehow playing a game or somehow evil; Rob, you need to get into your head that people can legitimately disagree with you and doesn't make them evil or "assholes" or "game playing".
Now as to your other points: to point one, even if Wikipedia policy is being applied arbitrarily and even if it people are using it to consider restaurant choices that's their problem not Wikipedia's. Furthermore, I have trouble believing that any restaurant would be serious hurt by lack of a Wikipedia article (are you suggesting that when you want to find somewhere to eat the first place you go to is Wikipedia?) Even if you could show that Wikipedia was being used that way and that Wikipedia's inclusion standards were being arbitrarily applied there's still a non sequitor; no court would consider that to be sufficient to make Wikipedia liable when even you admit that this would be happening at a "de facto"(your words not mine) level. Do you think a commonly used book of restaurants could be sued solely because they decided not to include one and that hurt the business of that restaurant? I strongly suggest you spend 5 minutes bouncing this whole thing off of a tort lawyer so you can understand how incredibly unrealistic this whole thing is.
To your second point: Wikipedia isn't the library of Alexandria by any stretch of the imagination; the resources at the Library of Alexandria didn't exist elsewhere and when they were destroyed things were lost. That stands in direct contrast to the sort of data we have here where it exists elsewhere on the internet. Indeed, you ask for "The world needs a resource which allows more or less unrestricted sharing of true, factual information, not subject to some self-important dipshit's view of the subject's notability" and that resource already exists- it is called the internet. Anyone can put up their own website; and if you object that that has no guarantee of truth to it, how do you intend to guarantee truth? Wikipedia's notability policy is precisely about being able to guarantee verifiability(which is close to truth) by not just letting in random speculation and original research. (I'm incidentally curious about your earlier comparison between saving lies and improving Wikipedia - does this mean you'd be willing to die if it "fixed" Wikipedia?).
Finally, even more disturbing than your personal attacks are your repeated comparison's to book burning. I'm from an ethnic background that has had our books repeatedly censored and burned for centuries, so I have some minimal idea of what constitutes book burning. Frankly, the notion that saying something like "no you can't put this here. Please put it on some private website" is akin to book-burning trivializes book burning. And frankly, if anything is close to book burning its the notion of suing a volunteer website, run on a shoestring budget, that provides free information to everyone with internet access including people in the developing world and living under oppressive dictatorships; a deliberate attempt to destroy such a project simply because it doesn't include everything you want is much closer to book burning. JoshuaZ 15:21, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

You guys who went all crazy about the "I would sue wikipedia" comment are fucking idiots. There were three preceding paragraphs. Those were the important parts.

Exactly What's happeningEdit

This just isn't about Webcomics, over the last year or two Wikipedia has be deleting mounds of articles, whether because they don't meet so-called standards and guides on Wikipedia or because it's 'not notable'. It's really very sad. The worst part, in my mind, is that when an article is put up for deletion, it is thrust into a list of editors that have nothing better to do but vote for an article's deletion, in fact, if an article is orphaned, or isn't part of a popular and active wikiproject, they're almost always going to get the deletion they want.

This one article I've recently been trying to shpae up has been reduced to literally a single line and a citation, because whole sections of information where removed because deletationists simply do not want to edit Wikipedia anymore. As fast as they're concerned, if it's not fixed when they discover the article, the article/section/sentience should be removed.

It's not that Wikipedia should allow any article on the site, I understand that, but it seems to me that the population of Wikipedia is now composed of, and excuse my rudeness, "Policy-tards and Guideline-tards" and they're loosing sight of the whole point of the project. I mean, seriously, the whole reason Wikipedia is worth anything is because it can have article on dozens of topics that may not meet a Encyclopedia like the EB's so called standards.

I feel sorry for the creators of these webcomic who appearently don't 'exist' under some editor's POV, and I hope they keep fighting. -- 00:37, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Privileges without accountabilityEdit

There is no effecient mechanism to deal with abusive or over-zealous administrators. Moreover aggressive admins tend to cluster into the "clans" of their own kind, thus further strengthening their position against any external critique. There should be a way to rank or to vote admins out of their adminship. Until then this abuse of AfD and Speedy Delete on the grounds of being deleted before is going to continue. I've been editing Wikipedia for few years now and the problem with moronic self-righteous admins has definitely gotten worse in a past few months. Not by a notch, but more like by an order of magnitude. It's really disturbing. And this sounds like a good idea. I donated few hundreds the last time around, but now I'm going to wait and see if the admin abuse issues are addressed first. 03:35, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Last I checked Admins can loose their powers via De-admin request, or if they piss of the arbcom. What more do you want? As with any system as complex and as big as wikipedia, there is going to be problems. Someone isn't going to like each others descisions. Theres going to be cliques. While this is not a good thing, its something unavoidable with something so big. Bawolff 04:39, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
De-admin'ing is an action of last resort against an abusive admin. There should be more elaborate accountability mechanism for keeping tabs on editors with extra privileges. In the end, and to answer your "what do I want" question, I want an effective way of preventing admins from destroying WP content. Specifically, POV'd admins that don't pay much attention to the context and do a lame-a#s, formalities-driven job when closing AfD discussions. And, unfortunately, there appears to be a spike in their numbers in a past few months. 06:51, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
The problem here is that any de-sysop procedure would invariably turn into "Votes to tar and feather". I think a shield against trolls and spammers is a good thing, and if an admin really is acting horribly, there are ways to desysop an admin. --Phirazo 04:33, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

"Deletion" should be a special case of "Editing"Edit

I think Wikipedia fundamentally treats the act of deleting an article incorrectly. At its core, a wiki is essentially a revision control system for knowledge. In every other source control system with which I've worked, you never permanently delete anything (but for some exceptional cases, such as legal reasons). Instead, deleting content is simply submitting a new revision with the "nothing to see here" flag set.

I admit I'm perfectly fine with articles being deleted. In fact, it shouldn't involve an admin. Regular editors should be able to delete pages. When a page has been deleted, the "no article here" page points out that an article *was* here, and here's the revision history. If the deletion was a mistake, then let editors revert the "delete" revision the same way they would revert any other vandalism. Likewise, any delete/undelete wars could be handled the same way as edit wars. WP already has a system in place to fix this.

I can't help but think that if deletion worked like this, then this whole situation, as well as lots of the bad blood between XYZ community and the WP Regime, could have been avoided. -Pi 04:57, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

I strongly agree. I have never understood why Mediawiki (or any other wiki for that matter) treats page deletion - the most violent act you can do on a wiki - as so magic and special that it can't be documented in history or safely reverted. This has always jarred me. I think this issue is showing us why hard non-user-revertible deletion is not just obviously the Wrong Thing To do from a technical elegance point of view, it's actually an extremely politically and socially damaging mistake to build into a piece of infrastructure. There's a simple technical fix to this whole ball of flames - why aren't we fixing it already? -- natecull, who has a user account on Wikipedia but apparently not on Wikinews. Aren't they both Wikimedia sites? Can't we get OpenID working either?
I think it's so that copyright violations can be dealt with in this way. It isn't acceptable to keep a copy of the violation in a revision history that can be easily linked to. Any admin can resurrect a deleted page, though, so it isn't final. I've dealt with pages that have been incorrectly speedy-deleted, and always been able to find an admin to undo it. 11:22, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Deletionists Are Idiots and AssholesEdit

I totally agree with Rob Balder. Deletionists are the politest bunch of book-burning assholes on the planet.

It's not just webcomic articles.Edit

The speedy deleters also love to kill articles on fandom conventions they don't like.

I don't disagree with you, but it may help to cite examples (For example, the Atlanta security conference Outerz0ne had its article removed, while its sister conference PhreakNIC in Nashville still has their article. Granted, PhreakNIC has gone on for over a decade and has a dedicated 2600 group running it, but still). Jigsaw 15:50, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Committee, a beast with several heads and no thoughts to play with.Edit

This was (if I recall) the Yahoo business model. This is (I would imagine)the reason everyone uses Google. icecycle-- 06:26, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Google doesn't automatically take you to a reliable encyclopedia article with references every time you put in a search term or click a link, dumbass.
Neither does Wikipedia for ever increasing numbers of search terms and broken links. -- 07:20, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

The way I see it, incusionism is the way to go. I see absolutely no harm in including articles on slightly notable subjects or questionably notable subjects, though I would hardly classify webcomics as either. If you are interested in the subject it is not difficut to find and if you are not interested in the subject then it is easy to ignore.

As was mentioned before, "notability" is the wrong term. As was also mentioned before, Wikipedia has virtually no limits on storage space, so the only things that should count towards an articles' inclusion or deletion (at least as far as webcomics go) are whether or not it's factual, whether or not it's actionable (IE, it's not insulting or libelous) and whether or not it's "fluffed up" with more opinion than fact.
Yes, I fully understand that some articles need more restrictions than that. But again, as far as webcomics are concerned, it's a comic, it's on the web, anyone reading the article can click a link and see, yep, that's a comic strip on a website all right. There's your "verification". If the comic has some other purpose, such as Erfworld's, then that should be included in the Wiki article.
If the comic has enough readers that one of them is moved to make a Wiki entry, and/or the author is interested enough to bother to correct, expand or modify it, then that's all the justification it should need. -DocsMachine 08:35, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

How about this for a compromise and a solution. Have a flag on every article. You could call it marginally notable or just simply curiousity. If and when Wikipedia gets around to making a print version they can exclude all articled labeled as such since they would unnecessarially clutter such a compilation, but their incusion in the website would be unaffected except to possibly deprioritize them to near the bottom of a list of disambiguations.

This would allow anyone who wants to read up on the subject to find it without inconveniencing other users or cluttering up a printed version.

Just my two cents on this issue. I love Wikipedia and one of the things I love about it is the in depth articles on trivial topics. I often spend hours reading through link after link after link. Anything that would limit the removal of such topics would make me happy.

Why would Wikipedia ever want to make a print version? That's what Britannica'a for.

This should not be done as he uses the site himself.

You can look at the activity of admins or wikipedians with WikiDashboardEdit

For example, you can drill down to the edits made by Dragonfiend:

-- 16:56, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Interestingly useful. In particular I wonder why she has such an interest in Fetus-X; perhaps that's the only comic she apparently likes enough to constantly maintain its article versus deleting it. -Jigsaw 17:22, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Good LordEdit

Get out of the High School Comic Book Mentality and get out of the house and get a life.

Wikipedia is not a zero-sum gameEdit

A print encyclopedia has limited space. For every topic that has an article, some other topic has to be cut short or eliminated. That's not true for Wikipedia. Having a bazillion byte article on xenobiology does not mean that underwater basketweaving can't have its own article. Similarly, some other, more "notable" topic is not slighted by articles on webcomics.

The wiki editors were deleting webcomic articles because of lack of "notability." I understand that some garage band may not be notable and an article on the band should be deleted. But a webcomic with several thousand readers is surely notable. Unfortunately, because the mainstream media has not noticed that webcomic, the wiki editors have decided it's not notable. So the article gets deleted.

I can certainly understand Howard Tayler's refusal to support Wikimedia. Why should he? Wikipedia has gone out of its way to refuse to support his community. 19:00, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Again, Wikipedia hasn't "gone out of its way to refuse to support his community" but is rather applying the same standards as everywhere else. As to the claim that this isn't a zero-sum game, that's true at some level but misses the two main reasons why articles not meeting notability are excluded: 1) Because they make navigation more difficult since most of the time people are looking for notable matters (and yes this is a weak argument but it is a serious consideration) and 2) (this is the real biggie) Wikipedia cannot write original research. So the project need sources such that the statements made are not original research. That requires reliable secondary sources. JoshuaZ 19:09, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Dear Sir, will you kindly reference the publication or research to support your claim that "most of the time people are looking for notable matters", thank you. 21:04, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't have a citation, but there has been some informal investigation of what people search for using the Wikipedia search tool . They've been discussed in the Wikien mailing list whose archives can be found here . I can't locate them from a quick search of the archived mail at the moment, but one upshot from those examinations is that most searches were for topics where we either had an article about the topic directly or had an article that dealt with the topic. JoshuaZ 22:50, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
The problem, JoshuaZ, is that Wikipedia admins are not applying the same standards universally. They are far harsher on some subjects, one of which is webcomics, than they are on others. Examples have been given several times already in this article, so I won't go over it again, but one of the biggest problems is that because of the personal bias of one admin, an entire community may be slighted on Wikipedia, and do nothing about it, because all channels towards reform are ineffectual or flawed. That is why so many people are driven towards just a general refusal to donate money; there's just this general sense of frustation that no attempt to fix this ever seems to work.

On the contrary, Wikipedia IS going out of its way to refuse to support the webcomics community. Dragonfiend, who admits to being unknowledgeable about webcomics, was hacking and slashing away, deleting a lot of articles on webcomics. I'm sorry, but you're going to have to talk very fast to show that this doesn't show disdain, if not hatred, of webcomics.

Also I fail to understand how a group of articles on webcomics is a hindrance to looking up information on the Thirty Years War or Rayleigh Scattering. I suppose that following a lengthy, convoluted series of links could get me from "chlorophyll" to "Schlock Mercenary," but so what? One of the more useful things that Wikipedia does is give links that start at Point A and end at Point ZZ. So you'll have to excuse me if I'm unimpressed by the "navigation" argument for trashing webcomics articles.

The "research" argument is also unimpressive. If the vast majority of items written on webcomics are solely on the internet, and Wiki (an internet entity) decides, by fiat, that internet sources are not "reliable secondary sources," then there's no way that webcomics can even prove their existence. I've been reading "Schlock Mercenary," "Penny Arcade" and "Sinfest" (among other webcomics) for years, but I don't remember seeing any mention of them anywhere except on the internet. Yet Wikipedia considers all of these webcomics to be notable. I fail to see why these three are notable and "Evil Inc." was considered unnotable.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)

Most of these points have already been dealt with so I am merely going to deal with the most serious issues: if Wikipedia allows original research then the general trend of reliability goes down drastically. For example, is original research ok on science articles? If not, why are they different. If someone has their own theory and little following should they be allowed to add a note about it in say light or evolution? I would think not. The above comment also demonstrates a serious misunderstanding which we've tried to correct; the reliable sources guideline does not say that internet sources are unreliable. What it says is that sources which don't have standard editorial oversight and fact-checking procedures are not reliable. That's just as true for many printed zines and they aren't reliable sources either while many internet-based sources are reliable. JoshuaZ 21:59, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Then that brings up another question: What makes a source 'reliable' enough for notability? Does appearing in several blogs of other webcomic authors count? Does it have to be a 'multi-person operation' to count? Eventually the whole argument just substitutes the idea of 'notability' for that of 'reliability', and I wonder if people would really give a printed source more than a second glance, whereas an online source would be scrutinized more. --Jigsaw (Talk) 00:50, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
It is probably true that there is an imbalance in how much scrutiny occurs for printed v. non-printed sources. Sometimes local newspapers are taken as reliable sources even though local newspapers rarely have much in the way of actual fact-checking or editorial oversight. This is definitely an issue that we do need to work on. If you want more details on the notion of what is supposed to constitute a reliable source w:WP:RS discusses it in nauseating detail. Without going into all those details, it would be pretty hard for a single-person operation to meet the criteria discussed there. JoshuaZ 01:22, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Why do we have editors? Are we not all editors?Edit 20:58, 1 November 2007 (UTC) unsigned

Why not start an inclusionist version of Wikipedia?Edit

Why not start a Wikipedia clone (a la wikinfo or conservapedia) that has much more lenient notability standards, or even none at all? It would be a great place to move stuff that would otherwise have been deleted from Wikipedia due to lack of notability. 14:52, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Howard Tayler interviewEdit

Howard has given a brief interview about some changes within the LLC he is part of - Blank Label Comics. You can find it here. --Brian McNeil / talk 16:16, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

A good read, if a little short and tangential. Are you planning to do an article on this too? ;) --Jigsaw 16:49, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
No, I wasn't. Just thought it might be of interest to some of the people following this out of control comments page. :) --Brian McNeil / talk 17:32, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Give upEdit

I've given up on WP. I don't even use my log to my account anymore. I use it as necessary and hold my nose while doing so. I can only hope WP undergoes changes that make it a fun place to contribute again or a competing project starts up. Until then, you won't have to worry about deleting my work again.

This is a real shame, I love wikipedia and want my kids to grow up using it. Please correct this kind of behavior and I'll consider donating and soliciting donations.


Man, a number of questions I'd like to ask Dragonfiend.Edit

1. Do requirements for print references (which is almost what she's demanded) really make sense for a "web" comic. I've also heard comments of being printed in x university's newspaper, or x-city newspaper being a sign of notability. Doesn't this in fact make it cease to be a web comic? It seems like a poor requirement to burden web comics with. Should we also require web radio to play the same crap as commercial radio in order to be noteworthy?

2. Outside of a few famous and mostly deceased "comic" artists (Schultz). How often does a comic get media attention? Very seldom barring some controversy (Muhammad anyone?) Why? Because comics tend to be commentary in nature and commentary on commentary is mostly relegated to the Talmad.

3. What the !@#$% (comic curse) is up with Fetus-X being pimped by Dragonfiend at every opportunity. There were no less than 4 references to Fetus-X in the web comic sections of Wikipedia. Two of which were "featured images". Dragonfiend mentioned Fetus-X as one of four examples of notable comics. The result on slashdot (a strongly web community) was pretty much no one recognizing any of the four except "Penny Arcade". Yet, Fetus-X is all over the web comic entries.

As mentioned above, Dragonfiend has a disproportional number of edits made to Fetus-X, over any other webcomic (it even appears in her top 10 edits!). Perhaps she has some stake in that comic (beyond mere fandom) that we don't know about? --Jigsaw (Talk) 20:18, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

4. Dragonfiend mentions about all these articles she writes for web comics. Well, most of what I've heard her reference I've never seen, nor heard of. None of them even ring a bell. Why? Well, it's clear that Dragonfiend and I live in different worlds. Our encounters are different from each other. Our interests and likes are also different from each other. So why doesn't she write her crap, and let myself and others write regarding works that interest us. Frankly, if every entry I am going to make on Wikipedia is going to be deleted for irrelevancy or notability. Why should I contribute?

5. Wikipedia, the secondary source. When did it ever become prudent to use secondary sources over primary sources? Secondary sources are good additions, and very good for different views and perspectives on issues that can be seen differently. But facts are always best from a primary source. And in the case of web comics, articles lean more toward facts. Why should I have to find an article of some magazine to include that x author commonly deals with y subject. When the comics clearly demonstrate that themselves. Or why not create a character listing based on the comics. Or mention that said artist also does a few other comics on the side which is clearly denoted from author's own website. To say this is irrelevant since it comes from primary instead of secondary sources is stupid. The excuse given for this need is to ensure accuracy. Well, if you have access to the primary source you increase accuracy. Media (secondary source) is reknown for misrepresenting almost every scientific journal post ever released. And yet we're requiring these secondary sources over primary.

True encyclopedias...balogne, true encyclopedias commission people to write articles all the time. They'll have people with knowledge in a field write a particular piece. If anything, encyclopedias mainly focus on editing such articles. So if someone wants to write a primary article for Wikipedia this should not be an issue. I believe it to merely be a red herring certain individuals like to toss out because they want to be the queen of a scene. They want a better wikipedia entry. But they want only their better and not the better of anyone else.

- Saj

Citing Rob Balder in this case seems inappropriateEdit

Citing Rob Balder, who uses Wikipedia to promote his webcomics and his livelihood seems inappropriate in this context.

In his blog Balder specifically notes that webcomics and the associated merchandise are his primary form of employment.

Balder's contributions to Wikipedia seem focused on promoting projects he makes money off of. A commercial use agenda does imply a bit of a bias that perhaps should be considered in this debate. Given how Balder is known to abuse fans in print and person, I think the citation here is a bit out of place, and panders unfortunately to Rob Balder's commercial interests in the Wiki community.

The ad hominem fallacy is inappropriate in this context. 06:23, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
How does relating Balder's motivations to his citation become inappropriate?
Because the validity of the argument has nothing to do with who states it nor why they do so. Read the linked article. 05:16, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
"Ad hominem arguments are always invalid in syllogistic logic, since the truth value of premises is taken as given, and the validity of a logical inference is independent of the person making the inference. However, ad hominem arguments are rarely presented as formal syllogisms, and their assessment lies in the domain of informal logic and the theory of evidence.[1] The theory of evidence depends to a large degree on assessments of the credibility of witnesses, including eyewitness evidence and expert witness evidence.
He's being cited as an expert on the topic, your own article gives the rebut. It's why I used the word Evidentially. A Bum on the street can have an argument with a Cornell University Scientist, and their credentials can be compared to see whether they're experiences warrant an expert's opinion. The citation invokes two primary aspects, the vehemence of his words which are both insulting and vulgar, and the fact that he is a member of the Webcomic community. If his credentials are being placed forward as a standard for which he is to be evaluated, bringing evidence that shows he has ulterior motives contrary to the projects stated goals, is typically insulting and vulgar to those he associates with, and gains benefit from the citation unwarranted by the comment, then his citation and his points can be attacked. Did I mention that by nature of this being commentary informal logic seems more than appropriate?
If you had a slightly more valid rationale than what amounts to a circumstantial ad hominem, I might agree. However, it's worth pointing out that a critical flaw in the webcomic genre is that expertise is often only gained by those who have been in the printed comics industry for years, or else have become successful webcomic artists. It would be no less suspect if I were to be quoted in the article, simply because of the youth of the genre making it so that there are very few 'true' experts in the field who have no discernible ties to any given project that could not be used against them as a conflict of interest. --Jigsaw (Talk) 20:13, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
And his and your expertise on "Book Burners" is precisely what? You can't counter that Ad Hominem attacks are invalid when they're used to rebut the expert opinion of someone who used them himself. We have experts in the Web Comic field. Scott Kurtz for example, and experts like Scott Kurtz aren't cited in several internet locations calling people names to try and win their arguments. The fact that Rob Balder called someone some bad names, or is so angry he used some vulgarity, isn't news worthy, nor is it valid support for any argument. If it becomes relevant we have to investigate and start aiming inquiries why he's so angry, and then we run into all of his other posts on the internet where he uses the same language and the same arguments.

Robert Balder has used foul language to fans and others on documented occasions and the graphic nature of his insults cited in this article can be used as evidential analysis on the credibility of his statements. His comments are libelous (his quote is merely querulous) and useful in defending against proposed lawsuits, especially given his stated interest in pursuing a legal case against Wikipedia on behalf of the commercial damage Wikipedia can do to a business, not cataloged within it.

His motives can disqualify his position and his statements, and can be considered regardless of the "dirty reputation" ad hominem approaches have gained. His motives are for personal profit, and as such should not be supported by adding an indexable citation to him as an authority with any credibility in this argument. Everything he says in this context is anathema to the Wiki movement of annotating factual and useful information for free and fair use. Citing him grants him benefit, and furthers his aims, not those of someone arguing the case of censorship, which is a more valid exchange than the one provided by R. Balder. 13:11, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

The point that he gains his sole income from webcomics is interesting, and certainly relevant. I would add it to the article but for the matter that the article is dated , and we generally don't modify articles substantially more than a few days after their publication(although this is a wiki, it is meant to be a news wiki). If there is any sort of follow-up article, we will likely mention these details. Thanks for bringing them up! JoshuaZ 13:02, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
As JoshuaZ says, and as I would strongly stress to all, Wikinews is not Wikipedia. Our articles have a date on them so they're not evolving pieces. The age of this article is such that it should not be edited unless it is to correct minor details like grammar. The substance is what most people have read and should remain unchanged. That includes the quote that some have issue with.
This article was covered loads of places, including getting a slashdotting. In a roundabout way I achieved what I wanted - promotion of the fundraiser - and unlike how I'd originally intended it to be I didn't have to pay for the publicity. My gut feeling over this is that a lot of the vocal people who say, "I read this, I'm not donating" either would not have donated anyway or could have been swayed the other way easily. To some extent it is a bandwaggon. This is always one of the growing pains of a social space, and for something as big - and significant - as Wikipedia the armchair analysts have their place. Who knows? One of them might have the bright idea that sorts out the issue. But, I'll admit, if you look at any /. discussion involving Wikipedia the people who post the most detailed proposals haven't a clue how the site works. --Brian McNeil / talk 13:20, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

notability complaintsEdit

Some of the people who complain about Wikipedia's notability criteria seem to be people who want to use Wikipedia to promote their own projects. I'm totally okay with those articles being deleted. Wikipedia isn't your own little advertising medium, boys, and we can smell adverts a mile away. 16:51, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

The assholes have definitely taken overEdit

My friend who used to contribute a lot in terms of articles and even money decided to stop because the deletionist assholes made it such a pain for him that he now despises the site. And although almost none of his contributions were deleted, he hated the way half his time was spent arguing with deletors about his work.

Even Jimbo Whales has experienced this. He started an article on Mzoli's Meats, a butcher shop and restaurant in South Africa. When it was almost speedily deleted, he told the deletors to "excuse themselves from the project and find a new hobby.". In other words, get a life and stop ruining the project. Unfortunately, a bunch of editors added information to the article so it's now kept, and Jimbo doesn't have to confront either the bitterness many have felt in getting their work destroyed or remaking policy so that people like my friend would continue contributing.

These asshole admins are really making Wikipedia a crappy site, and their effect on valuable editors is worse than what any nasty vandal might do since admins are part of the power hierarchy. This is another valuable lesson in what happens when you give thoughtless small minded people a little power. They make their pronouncements and mass annihilations without any consideration on what the effect might be on a person who has spent sometimes hundreds of man hours creating, maintaining, and protecting his/her articles. They dismiss people by spouting some arbitrary interpretation of policy backed up by their cabals, while those who have better things to do like actually create content get screwed over. James Derk of The Daily Southtown wrote an article where he talks about having a similar experience.

Also, here's a good Slashdot thread illustrating the intellectual dishonesty of the deletionist admins. It is part of the Slashdot story Call For Halt To Wikipedia Webcomic Deletions which is filled with former contributors testifying to their own treatment at the hands of these assholes. It's sad how some people seem to really get off on destroying the work of others.

I think it's interesting how when I don't know about a subject, editing an article on it would be considered vandalism. But it's perfectly OK for the deletors to destroy work relating to things they often know nothing about. Sometimes they even use their very ignorance as justification.

I think Wikipedia has a choice right now. Allow a lot more in than they are currently doing and piss off the deletionists, or let these deletionists have their way and piss off the content creators(And I should add, it's not only deleted articles that are targeted, but plot synopses, trivia sections, clearly permissible images, etc. have all succumbed to the slash and burn mentality of these deletionists.). So Jimbo, who would you rather keep around?

The tip of an iceberg.Edit

This controversy is really the tip of an iceberg.

What about everthing else that gets speedily deleted?

This issue only came to light, AFTER SOMEONE ASKED FOR MONEY, and didnt get the response they were looking for. ( i.e. $$$)

What about all the pages that people felt passionate about, but some admin who deleted pages who "clearly have no interest, experience or knowledge."

Mabye that is what the other wiki is for, the 'unopedia'?

Let's be clear on this, I didn't ask for money. What I was hoping for was to persuade Howard to do a quick doodle which I would PAY HIM to run as a sidebar advert on his site. Howard is self-employed and as far as I can tell runs on a tight budget. As do I, so I figured I could get his endorsement and instead of donating 30-40 EURO to the WMF, pay it to Howard and he'd advertise the fundraiser bringing in a lot more money. --Brian McNeil / talk 11:12, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia as bastion of information storageEdit

I would like to talk about the lack of inclusion of webcomics based on a notion of information storage. Wikipedia has theoretically infinite storage space, allowing for the inclusion of information of variable degrees of universal relevance.

What does that mean? It means that while paperbound encyclopediae have to abide by standards of inclusiveness that are based on overall usefulness to an audience because of limited space, Wikipedia does not have that same limitation. In other words, because Wikipedia can store information, perhaps it should.

Information is a tricky thing and its loss can be very painful to society. As a historian who studies the Salem Witch Hysteria, I see this firsthand. Original information on the Witch Trials is scarce, many scholars theorize this is because it was destroyed by relatives of those involved out of fear of a tarnished family reputation. The preservation of this information could have allowed for much more direct study of the event rather than speculation over its possible causes. Wikipedia is an example of how this could be changed for the future through the relaxing of notability guidelines.

One of the things that is important to think about for this proposition is the fact that we do not know in the present what information will be useful in the future. There are many historical figures whose personal lives we know next to nothing about because at the time they were considered irrelevant and information was not kept. Today's webcomic artist could be tomorrows exhibit at the National Gallery in London or the Museum of Modern Art and we in the present can't determine that merely by strict adherence to notability guidelines. We should be a bastion of information storage, standing strong against those who would remove information from people's access. Today's hay may be tomorrow's needles, so we should build the haystack as large as we can.

-Benjamin Aldred

The nub of the problemEdit

I made a huge post to the wrong comments page, located here. The gist of it was this: both sides are partially in the wrong here, or at least not in the right. The webcomics community needs to see how hard it is to keep Wikipedia clear of complete trash without going overboard on deletionism, and the "deletionists" need to see how hard it can be to create an article on something like a webcomic, which should in all theory be notable[1] enough, but which by all indicators is likely to get deleted very quickly. If everyone got some experience from the other side of the fence, then maybe we'd have the perspective to actually get things working to mutual benefit.

[1] Probably the worst culprit here is the word "notability" itself. In science, there is often a problem when a scientific word has a different meaning in the wider community (compare "It's a well-established Theory" to "It's just a theory", and say hi to the Intelligent Design community). To the non-Wikipedian, "notability" means fame, infamy, importance, and so forth, while on Wikipedia, "notability" means "an interpretation of the policies of Verifiability and No Original Research that makes it easier to make sure that an article is not just based on a bunch of people saying 'I've heard of it'". Again, it's probably the fault of the Wikipedians that that message doesn't get through (and also that it sometimes gets abused), but there really is enough blame to share around. Confusing Manifestation (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 03:44, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Possible solution (a suggestion)Edit

Summary: 1. Set up an alternative site (let's call it "Deleted Wiki" for the time being), and host those articles that have got unfairly deleted. 2. "Deleted Wiki" embraces an inclusionist philosophy that is reflected by its rules, policy, and practice. 3. A contributer (or a group of contributors) is free to upload a copy of his Wiki contribution to "Deleted Wiki" as soon as their article has been deleted in Wikipedia. 4. Web users who would originally have donated to Wikipedia (but withheld it because of the deletionists) are encouraged to donate to "Deleted Wiki" instead. 5. Once a deleted entry has got reinstated in Wikipedia, it stays on in "Deleted Wiki" for one month; and if it remains in Wikipedia in a good state after one month, it becomes a link (found in "Deleted Wiki") to itself in Wikipedia. 6. "Deleted Wiki" only hosts those articles that have been deleted in Wikipedia, and except for those "articles pending" as described in "5" above, no duplication is encouraged. (But whenever in doubt, see "2" above.) 7. The long-term aim is to finally find itself devoid of all wiki contents, because all good entries are already in Wikipedia. 8. The short-term aim is (but perhaps not exclusively) to keep those potentially valuable entries viewable to the public.

Discussion: A good number of volunteers are needed to bring it into existence. "Deleted Wiki" might also become an "index" of some sort, reflecting the amount of injustice generated by the deletionists. Point "2" above has the richest implicit meaning that needs to be, as it were, "handled with care".

This suggestion is the result of following this thread and other related materials for a while. I was originally made aware of all this by a few articles, over a not so short period, in .

--JeromeChiu 05:46, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Re: Possible solution (a suggestion)Edit

Good idea! And, why not create a Namespace on, with a template?

The problem with articles about non-notable subjects is:

  • there may not be enough editors around to verify the accuracy
  • it may hinder searching for articles which share the same keywords
  • some wikipedians fear that a wikipedia entry would provide undue exposure for obscure artists, inviting spammers to contribute about their product

Why not have a namespace: "Candidates:" for articles which do not meet wikipedia's guidelines yet? We could devise some special rules for these:

  • tags should be in place which label the shortcomings of the article
  • it should be forbidden to make clickable external links from these articles, to make sure spammers have nothing to gain by creating such articles. (Let users copy and paste the URLs manually.)

The benefits would be enormous:

  • wikipedia can grow much better, just like in the old days, when it was small, needed input and original research was still allowed
  • it will save tremendous energy from the community, avoiding deletion battles

Of course, even in the Candidates: space, we don't want an article on your favourite pet, etc. 20:17, 23 November 2007 (UTC)


Perhaps if there was an additional criteria associated with articles, regarding whether the inclusion of a certain entry gave satisfaction to a number of searchers? Maybe a user-feedback system whereby an entry flagged for deletion could for a time be one-click 'defended' by visitors that finds that article valuable. If that public is sufficiently substantial, it might indicate that the entry does indeed have value to humankind and thus should be retained. If such a public does not exist, the article might be deemed to be essentially useless as information, in which case there isn't much of a defense against the haystack argument. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:21, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

+1 For InclusionismEdit

Imagine if, years ago, Wikipedia somehow slighted Penny Arcade by deleting their article and saying that it was not up to standard. In turn, donation time comes around and Penny Arcade tells its 4,000,000+ userbase "Screw Wikipedia, don't give them a dime". That would really hurt the foundation overall, no? That has not happened, but it is conceivable that it could and it only serves to hurt Wikipedia in the long run.

Inclusionism does not in any way hurt Wikipedia; how about a more standardized evaluation period instead of "Speedy Deleting"? If an admin finds an article that does not fit the notability guidelines, they could tag the article with something like "Deletion Candidate - Please Find And Cite Sources or this article will be deleted in 14 days." That would, of course, create a whole new category called "Deletion Candidates".

Something like this and the removal of Speedy Delete is the best way to remedy the problem. What is to stop an admin from wholesale deleting stubs because they do not cite sources or contain a significant amount of information? Giving articles time to grow is essential to the overall quality of Wikipedia. --Ihmhi 15:22, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Inclusion is more useful for research and knowledgeEdit

Why should Wikipedia _not_ be a repository for absolutely everything someone wants to share information about? The "needle in a haystack" concern doesn't seem relevant since the search function works well; you're not leafing through hundreds of pages to find something! The guidelines requiring external source references make sense as general guidelines but shouldn't be applied across the board.

Most articles on Hasidic Judaism in Wikipedia are currently tagged with warnings that they may be deleted for similar reasons. This is unfortunate since whoever has been writing these articles brings an insider's perspective to the subject. To me as a professor of Jewish Studies this is incredibly valuable and something I can't readily get from other sources.

Webcomics are not of any particular interest to me but because of these considerations I would argue for restoring the deleted articles and allowing others. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:16, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia and Web 2.0 - The Root of the ProblemEdit

The root of the problem is that Wikipedia is a Web 2.0 encyclopedia, but it WANTS to retain the perks of that while at the same time having the respectability and reliability of a print encyclopedia, leading to almost self-contradictory rules taken to the extreme. For those who don't know, Web 2.0 is a term that describes community-driven sites with user-provided content, such as Youtube, Myspace, Facebook - and, yes, Wikipedia. The benefits of being that kind of site is that once the site is popular, the community provides most of the content as well as a degree of self-moderation with little effort on the creator's part, often leading to a whole lot of content that wouldn't be seen on most conventional-style websites or in print (especially content related to internet communities and independent works, such as webcomics and internet games, information that both print works and conventional websites typically sorely lack); however, content on Web 2.0 sites is generally seen as lower-quality and less professional, since most contributors in fact aren't professionals and such sites are often subject to not only low-quality contributions but also outright vandalism. Wikipedia is, by its very nature, a Web 2.0 site, but it is terrified of the implications of that - it wants to have the upshots of being an encyclopedia that ANYONE can edit, but it also wants to have reliability and quality comparable to a print work such as the Encyclopedia Brittanica. As an Web 2.0 anyone-can-edit internet information repository, it's only natural for Wikipedia to have articles on things like webcomics that aren't significant or mainstream for REAL encyclopedias, but instead of taking advantage of this and becoming the "encyclopedia of whatever you could possibly think of searching for" most non-Wikipedians already consider it to be, it tries to do the impossible and strive for 100% accuracy at the cost of having to prune off all those small communities and niche subjects and strive for only hard information - in other words, losing most of the advantages it has over print encyclopedias in the first place for the sake of trying to do exactly what a print encyclopedia does. Wikipedia can still devote more text to any given subject than a print encyclopedia can, but when it restricts itself to mainstream subjects then most comprehensive pages end up just being copy-pasted from the first result on Google. Additionally, there is the problem of the Wikipedia editor community; since "being a good editor" means adhering strictly to the rules with the intention of fulfilling Wikipedia's impossible aims, many editors take it to an obnoxious extent, and it's not uncommon for someone to decide that subject X isn't fit for Wikipedia and immediately begin a purge against articles relating to that subject, rules-lawyering to their advantage as they nominate articles for deletion by the dozen, and the admin who decides it prefers to listen to the opinions of a few "good editors" who don't know a thing about the subject matter over a few dozen people who are extremely knowledgable about the subject matter but don't do too much editing on Wikipedia.

In short, for those who don't want to read all that, the problem with Wikipedia is that while it's perfectly suited to handling information for independent-type stuff with a very minor real-world impact but large internet communities or influence, such as games and webcomics, it doesn't WANT to handle that kind of information - it wants to be a real, professional encyclopedia, and as such the structure of the rules heavily favors real-world content while putting internet-only stuff at a significant disadvantage, which makes it real easy for the occasional editor with a vendetta (usually completely convinced that they are merely ensuring the greater quality of Wikipedia as a whole) to go and purge the heck out of some subject just because they don't like it. The reason the rules are poorly suited for webcomics is because Wikipedia doesn't really want to have webcomics in the first place, thus the webcomics community complains that the Wikipedia rules are poorly suited to webcomics and the Wikipedia editors claim that webcomics don't fit Wikipedia's rules, and the webcomics community never stops to think that the Wikipedia editors might be RIGHT when they say that webcomics don't belong on Wikipedia in the first place. 23:50, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Consider use of self-published sourcesEdit

Although self-published sources are allowed to be used (and not to establish notability), there is an additional requirement to the use of them. They are usually only supposed to be used as an authority about themselves. I don't know anything about the subject of webcomics. I don't know who publishes the self-published sources or what they contain. But if the rule is being bent so that they are being used to comment on matters other than the book, author or publisher themselves, then they are actually going to detract from the notability. I think that this is supported by the fact that the relationship between use of self-published sources is two-fold. Firstly, as mentioned, they are not eligible to contribute towards the establishment of notability. Secondly, when used, they need to be "relevant to the notability of the subject being discussed." That is not to say that in this case they weren't. But it is an indication that the use of the self-published sources is linked to notability, even when established.

Since all the Wikipedia policies work together, it's possible that editors have seen that the approach to the article seems out-of-order (assuming that self-published sources were used as an authority about topics other than themselves), and then cited a different rule as their reason. The point is that even if the guidelines are difficult to work with, there's no reason to go bending more rules than necessary. If all rules are complied with as far as possible, I believe a more technical argument could be presented as to how the Wikipedia rules and the webcomic articles could co-exist.

As an illustration, the notability of the topic of Jehovah's Witnesses has already been established. However, most of the current sources for the article are published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (or Watch Tower). Besides other rules that are being broken (subject-affiliation is supposed to limit use of a source), these publications, being self-published, are supposed to be limited to comments about themselves, their authors and their publisher. It is a common misconception that Jehovah's Witnesses are the Watchtower Society, but in fact the Watchtower Society is a legal entity based in the US that can be held responsible at law. Most Jehovah's Witnesses are not in the Watchtower Society. So it is questionable whether the extensive use of Watchtower Society publications about a subject other themselves, their books, or their authors - namely, Jehovah's Witnesses as a religion - serves to show the notability of the subject of Jehovah's Witnesses. In fact, it has the opposite effect.

Mandmelon (talk) 22:18, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

A trade-off scenarioEdit

We cannot allow ourselves to deny future generations a glimpse of our time. In the most most extreme (unrealistic) case,'What if all used data and information were to be deleted?' this would somehow hamper development: 1- We as a society rely on old data, and structures as yard-sticks in our movement towards the ideal (better society). 'Without the old how can we substantiate that we have found anything new and original?' 2- The act of 'selective deletion,' suggests that some topics ( or even worldy practices), are less/more important than others (and this is a bias view from whichever side): We (the world) are a complex system sustained by a co-existance and an interdependence of its own sub-systems (of knowledege, data and structures).

Wikipedia and its associated elements should be seen as vehicles of knowlegde dissemination, transformation, and PRESERVATION! Debates should arise (in any development there should be a constructive exchange of viewpoints), but they should not deter us (society, incl: the wikipedian community) from emerging as reflections of a flawless and serene manifestation.

[Excuse in-text errors: WE ARE STILL STRIVING TOWARDS PERFECTION, ('Ha ha ha...!')

Cheers! Infinity&Beyond preserves much online culture that fails the criteria for Wikipedia. There's also Wikia where popular culture is looked at in much more depth.--Brian McNeil / talk 14:15, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm already struggling to document topics on Malaysia, yet I see all this wasted effort on something so trivia as pop culture. If anything, this masquerade only demotivates me further from editing Wikipedia altogether, because it demonstrates how systemic bias has tightly gripped the wiki. There is no future for Wikipedia. - (talk) 19:42, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Migrated from talk pageEdit

This kind of behavior among Deletionists is absolutely ridiculous. One would think that an article which had successfully defended itself from a nomination for deletion has proven that it satisfies the standards for notability and other guidelines put forth by Wikipedia, especially if it's been a target of multiple nominations. It would be far more sensible to protect an article from further deletion nominations if it has survived one already, instead focusing on improving it should fall behind ever-changing standards. But no, Wikipedia allows Deletionists to stubbornly nominate and re-nominate articles as many times as they like until they get the result they want. The Whiteboard's article is just one of many that have suffered at the hands of this kind of injustice. (talk) 11:07, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Migrated from talk page to the comments page. Microchip08 (talk) 12:20, 29 April 2014 (UTC)