Wikipedia:Red flags of non-notability
This page is an essay on notability.
Those that contribute to numerous WP:AFD discussions, work at WP:CSD, and do similar tasks observe certain recurring characteristics of articles which fail WP:N, particularly biographies. These can be called "Red flags of non-notability", and include things such as:
- An article about a small group written from the group's perspective. Anything containing first person pronouns such as "we" and "us" are almost certainly not notable. If no third party information can be found so all information comes from the subject's perspective, that tells all that no one has bothered to cover the group and it fails notability. Religious, youth, and music groups are most often found in this category. If your religious group can raise the dead, let us know. If your band meets WP:BAND, come back. Until then, you may be great people, love Jesus and make good music, but you don't get an article at Wikipedia. As well, if the only source about the Fraternity of Foo is FraternityofFoo.com, then this is probably not notable.
- A biography (or description of a commercial product) with astounding superlatives but without sources. Adjectives such as "well-known", "best", "renowned", "award-winning", "ground-breaking", "unique", "well-liked" are tell-tale signs. Groundbreaking means the subject works in construction? Award winning means the subject has little trophies given out at the bowling alley? Unique? we're all that so we're told. If the article tells us that Joe Blow is a renowned phrenologist in Foo, perhaps a source would be easily found. However, it usually seems that Joe Blow is best known among Foo's illiterates, because nothing is written about him. Again, failing a notability test. See also: Wikipedia:Peacock terms. WP:Weasel words like "one of the top" or "among the nation's best" may also be tell-tale red flags. This is language more associated with promotional press releases than encyclopedias.
- Biographies with titles where the surname is improperly lower case. If the author cannot bother to capitalize the name of his or her subject, why should anyone bother to read it? Typically, these are done in vanity, in haste or in error, which may indicate that the subject is not notable.
- Biographies that violate naming conventions, such as "Dr. Jordan Marsh", "Mistii", or "Mrs. Ruth Less", unless that is the person's full stage name.
- A product article without telling us what the thing does or who makes it. If we don't know what the gizmo does or who makes it, do we even care to find out about anything else? Presumably, anyone who is looking at the gizmo article would want to know what it does, who makes it. Not in a WP:SPAMmy way, but just the facts. Too often, something is described as a solution or solves problems. An article that claims to be a "web solution" (or a "waste solution") says nothing – is it a spider's sticky goo? That too is a "web solution" and just as non-notable.
- Articles about immovable things that don't tell you where they are. If the author cannot tell us where the school, business, tree, park, church, building, or museum etc. is, it's probably no loss to delete the article, because only insiders can make any use of it. "Joe's Pizza was the first pizza parlor." conveys to some a claim of notability, but without a location we should assume that it means "Joe's Pizza was the first pizza parlor [at that precise location – previous businesses being a bike repair shop, beauty parlor, and a brothel perhaps]." and its non-notability is evident.
- Articles on products, comics, video games and albums which haven't been released and which have only recently been announced, usually for types of media. These articles often have working titles. Sometimes these items may never become actual products and never be previewed or have any impact. If a fan of the content is writing this article, there may also be lots of superlatives about how this comic/game is "legendary" and a "masterwork".