Meta:Deletion policy

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Policies and guidelines Deletion policy
Meta-Wiki's deletion policy codifies instances where administrators may delete pages. Although any user can blank a page, the page remains accessible and older revisions may be accessed through the edit history. When a page is deleted, the previous edit history cannot be viewed by non-administrators. Only administrators have the ability to delete and undelete pages. Note that Meta-Wiki does not back up deleted revisions, and they may be lost in the event of a serious server failure.

There are two processes for deletion, which are the consensus deletion process and the criteria for speedy deletion.

Consensus deletion process


Any user can propose a page to be deleted at Meta:Requests for deletion for any stated reason. Users may discuss the request in any language for at least one week; at the conclusion of the discussion, the entry is archived and the general consensus is applied. When making a request, please place {{rfd}} at the top of the page to notify users of the request, and create a new section at Meta:Requests for deletion. If a page listed there is kept, please remove the above notice from the page before removing the section from the request page.

Conversely, any user may request that a page be undeleted at Meta:Requests for undeletion. A list of recent deletions is automatically generated at Special:Log.

Special cases for images and media

A special case is made for certain images and media, which can be deleted in one week or less.

  1. Images licensed as "non-commercial use only" or "used with permission" which can't count as "fair use images" and were uploaded after May 19, 2005[1].
  2. Images placed in the categories "Files with unknown source" or "Files with unknown license" for more than 7 days after notifying the uploader, regardless of when uploaded.
  3. Copyrighted images uploaded without permission of the copyright holder, or under a license which does not permit commercial use, which were uploaded after May 19, 2005 and have not been used in any article for more than seven days (so-called "orphaned fair use images"). Reasonable exceptions may be made for images uploaded for an upcoming article.

Criteria for speedy deletion

Meta-Wiki's deletion policy allows administrators to summarily delete pages that meet one or more of the Criteria for speedy deletion (commonly abbreviated CSD). If you disagree with such a deletion, you can list it at Meta:Requests for undeletion, where it will be discussed and undeleted if there is consensus.

If you want to propose a page for speedy deletion, insert {{Delete|reason}} at the top of the page. This places the page in Category:Deleteme.


  1. No meaningful content or history: This includes test edits (e.g., "asdf" or "Can I really create a page here?"), obvious nonsense, corrupt images, legitimately blanked pages, or simple vandalism.
  2. Reposted content previously deleted according to this deletion policy, unless it was significantly rewritten in a manner that calls into question the deletion reason.
  3. Banned contributor: content created and edited solely by a banned user after they were banned, where there is possibility of bad faith. Good contributions by a banned user should be accepted, but where bad faith is possible it should be assumed. Note that this is a controversial clause, and such deletions may be contested.
  4. Redundant: A page that is identical to another, with no significant differences between them.
  5. Copyright infringement: Content which is a clear and proven copyright violation, or content previously deleted as a copyright violation.
  6. Author's request: Deletion per request of the author, if the author is the only significant contributor, the request is not in bad faith, and the content is not to the benefit of the Meta-Wiki.
  7. Pages or media files clearly irrelevant to the Wikimedia Foundation or to the Wikimedia editing community, unless they have a known and definable historical context.


  1. Articles transwikied to, or already present on, another project, if a soft redirect is inappropriate.


  1. Noncommercial or by-permission-only images.[1]
  2. Files which are unsourced or unlicensed for more than seven days after the uploader was notified.
  3. Available on Wikimedia Commons: files which are exact or scaled-down duplicates of files available on Wikimedia Commons under the same filename; if Commons' filename is different, local filename must be orphaned or redirected to the former on Commons.
  4. Corrupt, missing or empty: Files that are corrupt, missing, empty, or contain superfluous and blatant non-metadata information.


  1. Trivial deletions that are highly unlikely to be controversial (such as in preparation for a page move or history merge).
  2. Unneeded or broken redirects that do not have a serious edit history.
  3. Unneeded talk: a discussion page for deleted or inexistent content.
  4. Categories empty for at least a week.


All users

Users should remember that the Meta-Wiki is a multilingual project, and that being written in a language one doesn't understand does not make it deletable. If the value of a page in an unusual language or character-set is not obvious, the page can be listed for deletion; however, it should not be deleted until someone who knows the language has seen it and commented on it.

Before nominating a page for deletion because it does not belong on the Meta-Wiki, note the following objectives.

  1. Discussion and formulation concerning Wikimedia Foundation projects, and in particular policy discussion;
  2. a forum for essays relevant to the Wikimedia Foundation or its wikis;
  3. a place to organise and prepare content, or to discuss interlanguage coordination issues;
  4. a place to coordinate the development process.


Administrators should remember that non-admin users cannot see the content of deleted articles, so that a request to see it should be fulfilled by any means considered best by the sysop. They should keep in mind that administrators do not have more rights than non-admins, but rather more duties, and are first of all at the service of the community.

Meta is a place where all languages are welcome. Ideally, all languages used on meta should be understood by at least one sysop. Unfortunately, this is not the case yet. It is recommended that sysops be extra cautious in deletion of pages in other languages. Before deletion, they can look for advice on the embassy pages, and contact those people who are multilingual.

It is very important that meta administrators to be careful in handling deletion, for the following reasons:

  • Meta-Wiki is multilingual and multicultural, which means people may not communicate so easily as on localised projects. Pages may be written in languages that the deleting sysop does not understand, adding to confusion.
  • Meta-Wiki's rules in terms of content are not as clear as those of other Foundation projects, so it is less clear what is welcome and what is not.
  • Meta-Wiki is small and quiet compared to the larger projects; meta sysops don't know each other as well as if they were working together everyday. As a result, the web of trust may not be so easy to establish, so following the rules is important to show good will and respect for the work and opinions of others.

See also