Deleting and undeleting

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Normal users cannot permanently delete a wiki page. This is a deliberate design feature, and is an important part of why wikis work. Every kind of editing operation can be reverted by any other user, and that includes resurrecting deleted content. It doesn't cause significant wasted space. And unless the page is spam, advertising, gibberish, contains offensive content, or was created by mistake, there are often better alternatives to deletion.

Most Gamepedia wikis provide {{Delete}} to use to request a page deletion. Someone who does not have the rights to delete a page themselves can simply edit the page, put {{delete}} at the top, and save. Alternatively, the entire page content can be replaced with {{delete}}.

Wiki Guardian and Administrators are the two groups that most commonly have the right to delete a page. Usually, they will periodically check for pages tagged for deletion, but this can take a while. In some rare cases, such as pages with offensive content, a page may need to be deleted quickly. The wiki's admin noticeboard, usually accessible by a link on the left, is usually the best way to inform guardians or administrators that a page needs prompt attention.

Alternatives to deletion[edit | edit source]

Typically a page would be deleted only if the contents are entirely inappropriate and do not match the purposes of the Wiki. In other situations, less extreme actions are almost always more appropriate. For example:

  • If the page should have a different title, moving it is the better option. On wikis, this is the same thing as a rename.
  • If the contents should have been placed on a different page, add the contents to the other page, and replace the original page content with a redirect. See Redirects.
  • If the contents are already on a different page, replace the page content with a redirect. That way, the page title, which made sense to somebody, will helpfully redirect to the information. See Redirects.
  • If the page is already a redirect, there is rarely any good reason to delete it unless the title is offensive. Redirects do not take up any meaningful space.
  • If the page is out-of-date, reword sentences to be in the past tense, to make the page an historical record. Alternatively, label the information as out-of-date, with a warning notice. Many wikis have templates such as {{historical}} or {{removed}} to mark out-of-date content, but this depends on the wiki.

An actual delete is generally necessary only if the title of the page is inappropriate. In other situations, a merge and redirect is more appropriate.

Proposing changes[edit | edit source]

Deciding on appropriate content/page titles can be a difficult aspect of wiki organization, and one which can often provoke debates. If the merge or deletion you have in mind is one which might cause upset, you should propose the change first. Do this by leaving a note to give your reasons on the talk page. If you need to get more attention, you can also leave a message on the talk page for the wiki's community portal.

Guardians and administrators[edit | edit source]

Before deleting[edit | edit source]

Before deleting you should perform various checks:

  • Use the "What links here" tool. This gives an indication as to how important a page is, and what subjects it relates to. Perhaps the page is still linked to prominently from many places. All incoming links will become red links if you proceed with the delete. Ideally all incoming links should be changed or removed if there is genuinely no need for this page to exist. You could do this work prior to deleting, or ask others in the wiki community to do it.
  • Check the page history and the associated talk page. Who was proposing the deletion? Does anyone disagree? Has it been properly discussed? Did people have adequate time to raise objections? Did somebody vandalize a page, which then led to a deletion proposal?

The care taken over these things might depend on the size of the wiki community and how clear-cut the case for deletion is. Naturally, when a wiki is young, deletion decisions may be made more quickly and with less deliberation, but when a wiki has an established community, only the most obvious deletion decisions can be made quickly. Remember that only users with deletion rights can undo a delete action. To a normal user, the information is inaccessible and appears to be lost forever.

Unlinking a page[edit | edit source]

The 'What links here' toolbox feature (bottom of left sidebar) will tell you which other Wiki pages link to the current page. Always use this feature to check before proceeding with deleting. These related pages will need to be edited for their links to reflect the change.

Use the 'delete' action[edit | edit source]

Those with deletion rights should see a 'delete' link in the right hover menu at the top of the screen. To find the action menu, look for a down arrow or triangle next to the "View History" tab. If you mouse over the triangle you should see "delete", "move", and "protect". Click the delete action to delete the page. When using browsers which support keyboard shortcuts, you can also use (Control-Alt-D). You will be asked to confirm, and to supply a "Reason for deletion". This is a short textual description of why the page is being deleted. Your action will appear on the recent changes display, and in the deletion log (Special:Log).

Undeleting[edit | edit source]

To undelete a page you must navigate to the exact page name of the page. One way is to type the page name into the search box, and then click the red link as if you were going to recreate the page. You can find this in the deletion log (Special:Log) if you don't remember it.

You should then see a link to "View or restore n deleted edits". Tick the box next to the revision you wish to restore.

Configuring deletion reasons[edit | edit source]

The list of reasons in the dropdown box is maintained at MediaWiki:Deletereason-dropdown, which administrators and guardians can edit.

See also[edit | edit source]