User:Mangojuice/Administrators are not slaves

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Administrators are not slaves[edit]

The purpose of deletion debates on Wikipedia is to have a clear process by which the merits of an article are debated before deletion, so that the community has a chance to come to a consensus about the fate of an article. In some cases, however, consensus develops toward a different solution from a mere keep or delete decision. In such cases, it is important to keep in mind that the deletion debate is normally closed by an administrator, who will be tasked with implementing the decision in addition to deciding what the debate outcome was. This process is clearly necessary when the result involves the deletion of pages, since only administrators can do that. However, at a certain point, recommendations cross the line from suggesting a simple solution to a complicated one. Such recommendations are inappropriate: the closing admin is needed for only two things: (1) deciding the outcome of the debate, and (2) performing any necessary administrative actions that arise from the outcome. Administrators are not slaves, so don't ask them to do large amounts of work under the guise of a deletion debate. Also, proposing complex solutions can make consensus much harder to reach; "Too many cooks spoil the broth", as the expression goes.

Some implications[edit]

The following are some behaviors that should be discouraged, based on the above observations.

  1. Don't start a deletion debate when the outcome you want doesn't involve deletion. Instead, consider {{mergeto}}, or simply editing the article.
  2. Don't ask for rewriting as part of the solution. Instead, ask that the page be kept, to allow rewriting to occur. Or, {{sofixit}} yourself. If you can't bear the thought of the page being kept until someone rewrites it, maybe you should consider deletion?
  3. Don't ask for a merge without being clear about the request.
  4. If you must make a complicated request, do volunteer to do the work if your request is accepted.


By far, the most common occurence of administrators being asked to do an unreasonable amount of work in a deletion debate is when the outcome recommended is a merge. Suppose that a minor Star Trek character, Ferengi Anglu, is up for deletion. Some helpful merge suggestions include:

Some unhelpful merge suggestions include:

  • Merge.
    Here, it's not clear where the target is supposed to be, or if you want all the material merged, just some, or a mere mention.
  • Merge to a new article List of Ferengi in Star Trek.
    Do you expect the administrator to compile the rest of the list? Or do you think that this one character should be the only one ON the list?
  • Merge what's useful to Ferengi.
    As a non-editor of the page, the closing admin shouldn't be expected to know or do a good job figuring out what is "useful."