Wikinews:Criteria for deletion

This is an official policy on English Wikinews. It has wide acceptance and is considered a standard for all users to follow. Changes to this page must reflect consensus. If in doubt, discuss first on the talk page.

Policies and Guidelines

Neutral point of view
Content guide
Style guide


For Wikipedians


The deletion guidelines cover regular deletions, in contrast to speedy deletions, which have strict guidelines on when they can be used.

Anyone using Wikinews may request that an article be deleted, using the process outlined on Wikinews:Deletion requests page, where the case for and against deletion of the article is argued. Only those with administrator privileges, or higher, have the ability to delete pages.

For a page to be deleted, it should meet criteria listed below, and the community should agree that the article needs deletion. If you think any of these guidelines are unfair, please see if you can improve them, or discuss them on the talk page. Please bear in mind that Wikinews is a significantly different project from Wikipedia or any of the others the Wikimedia Foundation hosts.

Wikinews administrators can restore deleted pages following an undeletion request.

If in doubt... don't delete!

While the following guidelines discourage deletion, a maxim on Wikinews is "facts don't cease to be facts, but news ceases to be news."

Please use deletion only as a last resort. Before nominating or voting on an article, consider: is there any way the article could be fixed, instead of deleted. Are you personally really sure the article is a candidate for deletion at all, or are you reacting with what seems to you at the time an easy and quick solution?

Have you exhausted all of the other fixes available, for example, marking specific problems with the article using a template from Wikinews:Article flags, moving the article — perhaps to a user's own area ... have you really sat down and thought about it? Have you tried editing it? Are you advocating deletion simply because you personally don't have time to edit it, and you want it "fixed"?

Being a wiki, a medium which is open and easy for anyone to edit, the correct solution here at Wikinews should usually be to edit the article. If you don't have the time yourself, that does not mean someone else will not find the time. If you think there is an issue that you don't personally have time to deal with, please try to bring it to someone's attention before you promote deletion (and don't use a deletion request to accomplish this).

Have you researched the grounds for deletion, or just kind of decided that it seems right? People who create articles spend time to do so, and will not want to see the time wasted, if there is some other recourse. If you simply mark articles for deletion on a hunch, you may cause offense.

Remedies other than deletion — look here first!

Does the page really belong on Deletion requests?


Read the following table to find out what to do with a problematic article. Note: Review should prevent articles from being published with these problems. If it doesn't, the processes are different: If the article is especially problematic or the problem is not addressed within 24 hours of publication, a correction or complete retraction may be needed. Even if a published article is deleted, a stub will be left behind explaining the situation.

Problems that don't require deletion
Problem with article Solution Add this tag
Article duplicates another
When two articles cover the same event from the same angle and time, you should merge them. {{merge|[article name]|date=[month and year]}}
{{dupe|[article name]}}
Article needs copyediting
Copyedit it yourself, or use {{advice}} or {{tasks}} with up to three parameters. See left.
Article is biased
Remove the bias yourself, or use {{advice}} or the tag at right. {{tasks|npov}}
Dispute over article content or factual accuracy
Discuss on the article's talk page, or use {{advice}} or the tags at right. {{tasks|misleading}}
Article contains material likely to infringe on copyright more than allowed under news writing fair use/fair dealing exemptions
Remove the offending portions. Rewrite them yourself, or add {{advice}} or the templates at right. {{copyvio}}
Can't verify information in article
Add sources or remove the material yourself, or add {{advice}} or the templates at right. {{tasks|src}}

Other pages

Read the following table to find out what to do with other problematic pages.

Other problems that don't require deletion
Problem Solution
Inappropriate user page Talk to the user; if that doesn't work, raise the matter at WN:ALERT.
Revert it and mention it on WN:ALERT, and, optionally, the user's talk page.

Cases where deletion may be required

Below are some cases where deletion may be acceptable to the Wikinews community. Each case still requires discussion according to the procedure outlined at Wikinews:Deletion requests. The table below also lists alternative actions that should be examined first for each case.

Cases where deletion may be acceptable
Problem with page Solution
  • Article not newsworthy
  • Inappropriate content persists on a user page after cleanup requests
List on Wikinews:Deletion requests. For the first, it may be easier to add {{abandoned}} if and when the concerns have not been addressed at least four days after they are raised.
A useless redirect
Don't worry, redirects are cheap. If you must, list on Wikinews:Deletion requests.
A category scheme gone awry
List on Wikinews:Deletion requests as a group.
Add the {{delete}} tag with a parameter and the page will automatically be listed in Category:Speedy deletion.

Incomplete or disputed article not edited for four days

Add the {{subst:aband}} tag and the page will automatically be listed at Deletion requests and in Category:Abandoned.

Background information and tips concerning common cited reasons for deletion requests

  • Suspected copyright violation
Wikinews:Copyright, Wikinews:Fair use
Laws vary from place to place, and Wikinews needs to establish whether the law or guideline applied is specific to the location of originator, or to the location of the suspected infringed material's source, or to the location of the physical servers of Wikinews, or to the location of the people who administer Wikinews, or some combination of the above.
Is there a clear, overriding public interest in the material being made public? If so, this may be sufficient to balance defamation.
Laws vary from place to place, and Wikinews needs to establish whether the law or guideline applied is specific to the location of originator, or to the location of the suspected defamed entity, or to the location of the physical servers of Wikinews, or to the location of the people who administer Wikinews, or some combination of the above.
Will the story stand without the probably defamatory material, if you decide it is that? Can the wording be altered to tone down the allegations?

Access to deleted pages

All admins have access to deleted pages, unless they have been oversighted. If you created an article in good faith, but it was deleted for some reason, and you want to develop it further outside of Wikinews, or want to try to redevelop it into something publishable, you may ask an admin to give you a copy of the deleted article. Assuming the article did not contain any personal or sensitive information, or was overly controversial in some other way, the admin will probably send you the deleted article's contents; however, admins have discretion in this matter, and may deny your request if they do not believe that you have a valid reason.

If you believe a page was deleted improperly, file an undeletion request, at the very bottom of WN:DR.

An admin may not give any deleted contents to a third party without very broad on-wiki consensus. There are no technical options for the current Wikinews community to identify who may have "leaked" a deleted item; those who are granted the access rights to allow such are expected to deal with such issues within the community. "Leaks" of this nature would only serve to fracture the community of contributors granted administrative access, the granting of this privilege bit is a serious responsibility; abuse of access to otherwise private data may have a particularly detrimental impact on the project's ability to get sources to talk to us.

See also