Wikipedia:Don't ignore all rules if your decision is biased

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If a user feels that an article does not meets the criteria for inclusion in Wikipedia, the common next step is to list the article for deletion. In deletion discussions, there will usually be users on each side that think the article should go or stay. But when arguing why the article in question should stay, there is some reasoning that should be considered – especially when it comes to lists.

Ignoring rules completely[edit]

A user might say:

In other words, the user likes the list. While this reasoning is honesty, that should not be the only reason for keeping the list. A good example of this is the article List of television show casting changes.[1] Users that said “keep” simply stated that the article contained information that couldn’t be found in other articles, yet it was never stated how the list doesn’t go against Wikipedia guidelines.

Not trying to ignore rules, but…[edit]

An article that is commonly nominated for deletion is List of one-time characters in The Simpsons.[2] The main problem the nominator (and those who agree with him/her) has is that although the article has some sources, it doesn’t have enough sources to make the article look like more than just listcruft. Opposers of the deletion argue that The Simpsons has been on for a long time and that simply using a search engine to find some of the names would take too long. The response would be, if the AfD wasn’t for a Simpsons-related article, would there even be an issue?

This leads to another point. A user that endorses the deletion of such an article might look at the contributions of the users voting “keep” and then learn that those users mainly edit articles related to that subject. While this doesn’t necessarily prove a conflict of interest, endorsers sometimes can’t help but feel that way, especially if a similar list up for deletion doesn’t elicit nearly as many “keep” comments.[3] If you cannot keep a neutral point of view in such a discussion, it might be best to stay out of the discussion. Do not cloud WP:IAR with WP:ILIKEIT.

Basically, if you want to make a list about a certain subject, make sure the subject of the list itself is notable. Also make sure there are enough sources to make the list qualify for inclusion.

See also[edit]