Wikipedia talk:Notability (fiction)

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Deletion of articles about fiction[edit]

User:JuneGloom07 left this message on my talk page:

Hi, thank you again for replying to my old message on Talk:Summer Bay. I've noticed a number of fictional characters/elements being nominated for deletion, and I was just wondering if there was a discussion about doing this somewhere, maybe at a WikiProject? As someone who edits in this area (mostly soap opera related articles), I feel like I've missed something.

@TTN:, @Piotrus:, can you answer this? JIP | Talk 10:24, 17 December 2019 (UTC)

Not much I can say since there since the question is not precise. In the past few months I just felt like enforcing NFICTION guideline more than I've been doing in the past, that probably accounts for part of the spike. I guess some other editors (TTN) felt the same. Random coincidence, and part of growing up for the project and us (~15 years ago some of my first edits here were fancruft, like articles on fictional stars and planets; now I feel this kind of content does not belong here, and the policy based consensus, i.e. this very page, seem to agree). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 10:27, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Coincidence, I'd say. I was very involved with NFICT 10 years ago, and following my wiki return a few months ago, I noticed that there was finally progress at AfD to reduce fancruft, largely led by TTN (whom I knew from the old days but had believed to be gone for good). This renewed my interest in cleaning up fiction articles, which was simply not possible 10 years ago when special-interest wikias were not as well-known as an alternative. – sgeureka tc 11:42, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
  • About the same. Looked up something here, went down a category rabbit hole, and decided to return after seeing everything was still a stagnant mess. Other than falling into a pissing contest with another user recently, this is all meant to be a personal attempt at helping clean up the space. What confuses some people is that it's easier to focus on a category at a time, so they get this mistaken idea that it's a personal crusade against "their space" rather than a broad attempt to get the fiction-based categories up to the standards of fifteen years later. It's still very 2005-2008 in these often long forgotten or heavily protected areas. TTN (talk) 11:58, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Piotrus talks of "policy based consensus" but this page isn't a policy; it's not even a guideline; it's a failure. This deletion spree is violating actual policies such as WP:ATD, which states "If editing can improve the page, this should be done rather than deleting the page.". As I recall, when we had a similar situation about TV episodes, the matter went to arbcom and TTN was sanctioned for being too over-zealous. Now that arbcom has been re-staffed, it might be appropriate to take the matter there again but I'm not sure whether there have been other recent discussions. Andrew🐉(talk) 12:15, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
  • I guess if you want to compare my overzealous mass redirection of thousands and thousands of articles in the space of a few months to slowly PRODing and AfDing (acts of seeking outside consensus), go ahead. Though even when I was doing some 10+ AfDs per day after the case and enforcement way back, I'm pretty sure it was deemed non-controversial. TTN (talk) 12:21, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
  • I've not been counting but my impression is that we've had "thousands and thousands of articles in the space of a few months" again. It has certainly been more than I can engage with in the time available and so seems to be a breach of WP:FAIT, which is a relevant arbcom ruling. Andrew🐉(talk) 12:49, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Only if you consider yourself the only person capable of responding to AfDs, which by far is not the case. There's also a difference in that AfDs are a consensus based system, not the whims of a single person. TTN (talk) 12:55, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
  • I am not alone and the mills are turning. I already talked with a former arb about the Tolkien purge but he was too busy to do much. Now I see that Darkknight2149 has plans. Piotrus and TTN have both been sanctioned by arbcom before and so they must be familiar with the way in which their actions provoke a reaction.

    "He is plotting to become a Power. He does not care for growing things ... He and his foul folk are felling trees... Some of the trees they just cut down and leave to rot but most are carried off to feed the fires ... in the third day of their moot, the Ents suddenly blew up. It was amazing. The Forest had felt as tense as if a thunderstorm was brewing inside it: then all at once it exploded.

Andrew🐉(talk) 14:20, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
OK. I feel his venture is ultimately fruitless because he's being extremely protectionist over a specific area of content and making broad generalizations based on what I'd say are extreme mischaracterizations. I do wish he'd just go ahead with it instead of popping up every three days to mention it though. TTN (talk) 14:40, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
I suspect that, if it ever did go to RfC or arbcom, the complaints would fail. And then it will be harder to go around to every AfD yelling "this guy got sanctioned one time! he's still being disruptive!". Reyk YO! 15:10, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Only to comment that I've seen what TTN and Piotrus have been doing with AFD of fiction articles, and I'm not seeing any issues related to FAIT here. The rate is slow enough and across a wide range of topics that no single wikiproject or group of editors should be overwhelmed. And most of the targets are the lowest hanging fruit in terms of inappropriate WP articles: random lists, minor characters, etc. that sourcing is 99.9% sure not going to exist. It's stuff left over from when WP started but before we had notability guidelines. --Masem (t) 15:24, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
  • In reply to Darkknight2149: The way I see it, WP:BEFORE is not policy, and it's impossible to sanction someone for not following that recommendation. One could even twist it around and say the WP:BURDEN is on people wanting to retain material and articles, in particular when articles have been completely unencylopedic (WP:NOT#PLOT) for years. User:Darkknight2149, please do file an ANI report soon or stop threatening to do so -- personally, I find the current limbo really tiresome. However, I don't think an ANI case will do anything about TTN or Piotrus, as the vast majority of their AfDs actually end in the removal of stand-alone articles, i.e. the community believes their readings of inclusion-based policies and guidelines are largely spot-on. – sgeureka tc 23:35, 18 December 2019 (UTC)
As previously mentioned, I'm working on a reply. But a few things I want to get out of the way first:
1. WP:BEFORE is not a recommendation. It's one of the instructions outlined at WP:AfD to follow before nominating an article, let alone a copious amount of articles.
2. Additionally, nothing at WP:GNG justifies what TTN and Piotrus are doing. Other policies and guidelines are no more kind to them than WP:BEFORE is.
3. According to the guideline WP:NEXIST: "The absence of sources or citations in an article (as distinct from the non-existence of sources) does not indicate that a subject is not notable. Notability requires only the existence of suitable independent, reliable sources, not their immediate presence or citation in an article. Editors evaluating notability should consider not only any sources currently named in an article, but also the possibility or existence of notability-indicating sources that are not currently named in the article. Thus, before proposing or nominating an article for deletion, or offering an opinion based on notability in a deletion discussion, editors are strongly encouraged to attempt to find sources for the subject in question and consider the possibility of existent sources if none can be found by a search."
4. According to the policy WP:ATD, "If editing can improve the page, this should be done rather than deleting the page. Vandalism to a page's content can be reverted by any user. Disputes over page content are usually not dealt with by deleting the page, except in severe cases. The content issues should be discussed at the relevant talk page, and other methods of dispute resolution should be used first, such as listing on Wikipedia:Requests for comments for further input. Deletion discussions that are really unresolved content disputes may be closed by an uninvolved editor, and referred to the talk page or other appropriate forum. If an article on a notable topic severely fails the verifiability or neutral point of view policies, it may be reduced to a stub, or completely deleted by consensus at WP:AfD. The Arbitration Committee has topic-banned editors who have serially created biased articles. Disagreement over a policy or guideline is not dealt with by deleting it. Similarly, issues with an inappropriate user page can often be resolved through discussion with the user."
5. According to the policy WP:PRESERVE, "Fix problems if you can, flag or remove them if you can't. Preserve appropriate content. As long as any facts or ideas would belong in an encyclopedia, they should be retained in Wikipedia. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. Likewise, as long as any of the facts or ideas added to an article would belong in the "finished" article, they should be retained if they meet the three article content retention policies: Neutral point of view (which does not mean no point of view), Verifiability and No original research. Instead of removing article content that is poorly presented, consider cleaning up the writing, formatting or sourcing on the spot, or tagging it as necessary. If you think an article needs to be rewritten or changed substantially, go ahead and do so, but it is best to leave a comment about why you made the changes on the article's talk page. The editing process tends to guide articles through ever-higher levels of quality over time. Great Wikipedia articles can come from a succession of editors' efforts."
6. "the community believes their readings of inclusion-based policies and guidelines are largely spot-on" - Then there should be nothing stopping them from pausing their deletion spamming and engaging in dispute resolution. TTN, at the very least, does not agree with what you are saying. He has told me multiple times that he won't engage in dispute resolution because he strongly believes that there is a secret cabal at WP:COMICS and WP:DRN who will overwhelmingly oppose him if he opens a larger discussion on how to limit perceived fancruft. At this point, TTN and Piotrus are not even doing the bare minimum before nominating, and this has led to some of the AFD's being built on false rationales (WP:Articles for deletion/Goblin (Marvel Comics) [1] being a big one).
7. If they make no effort to open a larger community-wide discussion to address their concerns (instead of disruptively and haphazardly spamming deletion nominations), I absolutely am filing an WP:ANI report this weekend. These nominations may have started as a bold attempt to clean up the project, but with the disruption that these spammings are causing, the guidelines and policies they are violating, the erroneous rationales, and multiple users speaking out against it, WP:BOLD has already run its course. DarkKnight2149 00:26, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
Could someone else please take a look at the conversation in WP:Articles for deletion/Goblin (Marvel Comics) and tell me if I'm at all wrong in thinking it's a complete non-issue that Darkknight2149 is unnecessarily harping on? I do not at all believe my analysis is incorrect, and I cannot understand why he seems to think this is some kind of smoking gun proof that I'm devilspawn. TTN (talk) 00:35, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
Your uninformed rationale claimed that the article was a "Collection of several unrelated topics with the same name". This is objectively false and it was repeatedly explained to you that it was objectively false, yet you refused to get the point and continued insisting that the topics were unrelated. Even when several different sources were posted proving the connection, you continued to double down on it and then you started trying to downplay it by saying "Well, that was an irrelevant point anyway, stop being pedantic" (even though it was the lead-in for your rationale that you refused to strike, and two users were misled into supporting a deletion based on it). The entire article was about the same topic, except for a single paragraph about the species that was added years after the article was created. The article was about the Goblin lineage in Marvel Comics, and is demonstrably not unrelated. DarkKnight2149 00:50, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
No point in rehashing the same nonsense here. It would be nice to get a third opinion on if I'm insane or you're just reading way too much into nothing. TTN (talk) 00:54, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
You need to read into WP:IDONTHEARTHAT. Sticking to a point long after it has been proven wrong is disruptive, and this is not an "opinion" situation. The topics were, demonstrably, related. The battleground mentality and inability to admit your mistakes is a major reason this is going to WP:ANI this weekend, if no attempt is made to stop what you are doing and engage in dispute resolution. DarkKnight2149 01:00, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
On your point #1: Please be aware that BEFORE is not required. It is a oft-requested proposal to make it so , but has never gained traction. That said, speaking for the AFDs that TTN has put up that I have spot checked particularly for "current" fiction (existed post-2000), I'm not seeing anything to suggest that a BEFORE test would have helped - sourcing for the bulk of these topics remains limited to fansites and wikis, and not the type of sourcing we expect from the GNG.
On point #2: the GNG is exactly why TTN et al are nominating them for deletion: no shown coverage of the fictional topic in secondary sources. Without that, we should not have a standalone article on that. Though to that point, there are a fair number of these that should be presented as merges and/or redirects to broader topic pages (individual characters to a list of characters, etc.) which should not have to be done through AFD but could be done boldly.
Most of the other points fail to miss the problem with most of these articles being deleted: they are simply regurgitation of the primary source without any attempt to establish real-world importance, and that this can be readily proven with a google search. We used to have articles on every pokemon, but since have applied WP:POKEMON to limit to only the ones that clearly show notability via the GNG, merging the rest to lists. The likelihood of finding multiple secondary sources going into most of these fictional characters or places that are in depth coverage is extremely rare. TTN et al are targetting the worst offenders in the sense that these are fictional niche topics, not major franchises like Star Wars, etc. I would also fully back TTN and others in removing pages like the Goblin example above, as that itself starts getting at wholly improper WP:SYNTH of assuming a topic is there - again, low-hanging AFD-able fruit. --Masem (t) 01:45, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
Let me add specifically to the Judge Death case, where you have given some sources. I looked through the ones you gave and fully agree with TTN that they are name-drops or at best, a tiny bit more than that (eg the mention of "iconic") but because there's no more detail than that, fail the significant coverage aspect of the GNG. If the character is iconic, find the sources that say why the character is iconic; a source that simply says a character is iconic with no reason is no good to us. Ideally, with fictional characters, we want two major things: how the character was created (what influences, what design directions, etc.) and how the character was received with critical commentary. Just saying a character appears in a work - and then using the primary source to blather on about the character's biography - is not acceptable for WP per WP:NOT#PLOT and WP:NOR. And again, Judge Death is a character that is easily searched on the Internet and the lack of appearent detailed sourcing from secondary sources is easy to determine. --Masem (t) 01:54, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
First of all, Masem, let's clear something up right now - There was no synthesis at Goblin (Marvel Comics). That was an erroneous conclusion that TTN jumped to, and you have since parroted, without doing any research. By continuing to push that narrative, you are only highlighting why these deletion spammings are a problem to begin with. Not only are they all connected to one another, but there have been entire storylines focusing on all the Goblins teaming up with one another. Here are several primary and secondary sources that debunk your narrative that they all "unrelated from each other". I previously posted these at the AfD, and no, they are not off-handed mentionings: [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9]. Now that the hubpage for the Goblin lineage (which is notable to the topic of comics) has been redirected to List of Spider-Man enemies, we now have to create an entirely new section for Goblin (Marvel Comics) at that article. Problems like this arise when you mindlessly spam deletion nominations from a position of ignorance.
Second, I would advise you against Wiki-lawyering (I.E. "Using the rules in a manner contrary to their principles in order to "win" editing disputes is highly frowned upon by the Wikipedia community.") WP:BEFORE is one of the instructions outlined at WP:AfD to carry out before nominating an article, so if you are going to claim that it's an arbitrary suggestion, you need to cite a policy or arbitration decision that explicitly states this. But even if we assume that is the case, WP:NEXIST, WP:ATD, and WP:PRESERVE (all of which are being trampled on) don't magically go away just because you have a stance on content. Sorry. If you are nominating a massive amount of articles on a constant basis, it's a given that some sort of BEFORE test is needed. You do not dig up a large amount of start-class or C-class articles, scroll down to the References section, and nominate all of them based solely on that.
It's perfectly fine if you think that there is a fancruft problem at WP:COMICS and WP:CHAR, but if you want to "clean up" these projects, there are legitimate ways of going about it. TTN and Piotrus boldly decided to nominate a copious amount of articles for deletion, and now multiple users have spoken out against it, legitimate problems have arisen with these nominations, and multiple policies and guidelines have been cited. There have also been instances where guidelines such as WP:LISTN and WP:NCOMIC were cited, which TTN chose to ignore on the grounds of "I don't like it." WP:GNG is no excuse. Being bold only extends until you are met with significant opposition, at which point the onus is on you to discuss your concerns instead of continuing the behaviour. Of course, TTN has admitted that the only reason he disruptively refuses to engage in WP:Dispute resolution at this point is because he believes that a "secret cabal" of editors will challenge him as soon as he opens a discussion. In fact, the matter of ownership and fancruft at WP:COMICS has been discussed multiple times in community-wide discussions, most recently in April 2017 when the claims of a "cabal" where shut down. Even here, you admit to targeting specific WikiProjects specifically to impose your own P.O.V. without having to engage in discussion. You don't get to skirt around WP:CONSENSUS, and WP:Dispute resolution just because you are afraid of opposition. If you truly believed that you have as much support as you think you do, you wouldn't be looking for every excuse not to engage in constructive discussion and dispute resolution.
And let me share with you some excerpts from the Judge Death sources. There's a lot more coverage there than what you are suggesting, including major video game appearances, recent potential film projects and way more than you and TTN are letting on:
Geni and Jhenderson777 are also absolutely correct with these points:
Stop deletion spamming and open a legitimate discussion to propose your concerns, or this will soon become an WP:ANI / WP:ARBCOM matter. TTN and Piotrus have until this weekend. And if you insist on creating excuses as to defend why you think you should avoid dispute resolution at all cost, please avoid more Wiki-lawyering in your arguments. DarkKnight2149 05:56, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
Again, I will stress: BEFORE is not required before starting an AFD. This is long-standing consensus.
As to all those sources? That is just enough passing mention to be sources in a "List of Judge Dredd characters" but nowhere close enough to support a standalone article. That is not significant coverage of Judge Death as per the GNG. --Masem (t) 06:27, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
Everything here has been addressed. You added nothing new. Even if what you are saying is true about WP:BEFORE (which you have not proven and borders on WP:LAWYERing), WP:NEXIST, WP:ATD, and WP:PRESERVE all still apply. Mindlessly nominating a copious amount of articles based on the References section alone is disruptive and causes the aforementioned problems when you are doing it from a position of ignorance. Likewise, WP:BRD, WP:CONSENSUS, and WP:Dispute Resolution all come into play here as well. As for the Judge Death sources, they include coverage of a title role in a video game, multiple coverage of a potential film adaptation, explications as to why he's a fan favourite, brief descriptions of his origins, sources describing how Judge Death has influenced other comic book characters and creators, and more. I would also say that the article passes WP:NCOMIC pretty easily. Long story short, I defer to everything I just posted. DarkKnight2149 06:37, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
On BEFORE: you can look through the WT:AFD archives to see how many times it has come up but the lastest appears to be from this May, [10], which was closed as strongly against. That said: from what I am seeing of how TTN and et al post these AFDs in their descripton, they are doing a reasonable BEFORE search and finding no appropriate secondary sources with significant coverage to expand the article. That addresses the NEXIST point, in that they are looking to see if the article can be expanded; you are assuming bad faith that they have gone no further. Your points about ATD and PRESERVE however run against WP:NOT#PLOT policy- we can't preserve content about fictional elements that is really only sourced to primary sources. We cannot preserve everything (see the essay WP:EFFORT). The only thing that I would suggest the TTN and others is to look for merging opportunities first before AFD. I am pretty sure I had a conversation with TTN long ago about this, however, and know that even if they do merge boldly these types of articles, the merge is undone by editors wanting to retain the content, when ends up making the content go to AFD to get the merge done properly. Hence why TTN tends to do AFD (if not a PROD first).
On the sources for Judge Death - appearances in films or games are not elements of notability (notability is not inherited). The topic needs to stand alone from any specific work, hence why these types of articles need to discussion concept/creation and reception as a priority over documenting their appearances. What's there is barely scratching that surface and just a small bit above name-dropping. NCOMIC is also not a guideline (it is an essay), so that can't be used for judging notability. The GNG is not met, but there's appropriate information to be put on a list of characters pages, which retains as much general information about the character that we can expect.
Also, you are very much assuming bad faith of all editors that are not in line with your thinking. That's not acceptable behavior. You may have a beef with TTN and others, but you should not be turning that angry to other editors that are commenting here. If you do take anything to ANI, be aware that there are BOOMERANGs in behavior analysis. --Masem (t) 07:14, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
Comment My three cents. One cent: Slow down with AFD’s and prods. Get some breathing room for someone who is trying to improve one article at a time to do so. The other cent: It’s always the same cliche voting on these AFD’s. The outcome is almost the same. Editors who are treating GNG as the Holy Bible and are saying the same thing over and over. Fails GNG over and over. Like it can’t be subjective and all by determining external links as “notable”. My third cent is that Wikipedia is made to be edited not be passionate about deleting articles and these AFD’s have become breeding grounds to even almost chase a long time editor like me off. Is what they are doing wrong. Not that I am aware. But it isn’t helpful or improving either. Jhenderson 777 06:52, 19 December 2019 (UTC)


Another cent: This is what amazes me. We are determining notability by opinion. AFD is just a democracy now with the majority winning by this opinion of what is significance coverage. We find sources and editors are still picking apart that it isn’t enough. Judge death has an in popular culture article and our job is still to find modern source coverage. That amazes me! The Goblins article AFD was a case of I don’t like it and it belongs on Wikia it was definitely an notable set index like topic even though imperfect. I didn’t even notice the Fenris Wolf AFD or I would have tried to help improve. Jhenderson 777 07:12, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
The larger problem is that notability as a concept did not exist when WP was launched, so some of the first major content editors rushed to fill in was on popular fictional works, because hey, WP could be about anything, right? Then the idea of notability (tied to verification, etc.) came into play circa 2006, and now we have all these articles on fiction that violate that. But there are so many that it would be disruptive to try to deal it with one big swoop; when that was done before (Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Episodes and characters 2 in 2008) that created massive problems and that's where action against TTN was taken before. I know since that some Wikiprojects that deal in fiction have tried to have drives to eliminate non-notability fiction elements - again, the WP:POKEMON test is one example, and I recall the WP:TV project trying to cut down on non-notable episodes of shows.
If Wikipedia launched with notability guidelines in place, I can tell you we would definitely not be at this point as we'd have far fewer articles on fictional elements, instead favoring lists and summaries built into a larger topic and breaking out a single character or the like when notability could definitively be shown. We aren't going to try to enforce that approach instantaneously (that would violate WP:FAIT) but this has been a long-lingering issue on WP for some time. Heck, this essay of NFICT dates back around the time of the above Arbcom case as a means to try to get some type of resolution on notability for fiction, but after a few years of trying it is clear that fiction is not going to get a special pass on WP. --Masem (t) 07:24, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Couple of quick points. First, WP:BEFORE is not strictly mandatory; we have had numerous discussions about that already. Second, most of these AfDs are ending with consensus against a stand-alone article. Hard to argue disruption when TTN and Piotrus are gaining, and acting on, consensus. Reyk YO! 07:55, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
  • BEFORE is always good, and not that hard, through of course there is a difference between a quick scan for sources on google vs 10-20m checking coverage in Books/Scholar. Editorial judgement and experience are required to determine how extensive BEFORE should be. And if it is not extensive enough, the odds are someone at AfD will spot it. If anyone wants to save an article and the don't have time now, they can always ask for userfication (or to have something restored and userfied, there's no time limit on such requests). Per WP:V, unreferenced content can be challenged and deleted, and GNG requires some RS. Articles that don't meet that criteria need to be removed, since they are lowering this projects credibility ("the encyclopedia of Pokemons and spam"). For popular culture topics, there is always wikia. We should have entries only for topics that are above the average fancruft level, just like in other topics we should cover only important, notable topics (ex. major companies, not every business per WP:NOTYELLOWPAGES, etc.). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 10:22, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Another general point: It's hard to argue that AfDs and prods are happening too quickly, when the fiction ARBCOM cases are over 10 years old, and the GNG and NOTPLOT are even older. It's virtually impossible to have missed the ever-impending Sword of Damacles over wp's in-universe coverage on someone's favorite fiction. Unless we're talking of actively edited WP:WALLEDGARDENs, in which case I laud the editors who have the energy and necessary ruthlessness for trying to apply long-standing policies and guidelines on these sets of articles as well. I know I don't have that energy. – sgeureka tc 10:41, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
    • Exactly. This is a phenomenon I've seen several times now, for instance with Transformers articles and microstubs about single-match cricket players. There's a belief that, because they were able to brazen out a few AfDs in 2012 (usually by shouting at the nominator) the issue is settled for all time. No need to deal with the issues about quality, verifiability, and notability. Just go on treating Wikipedia as your own enthusiasts' Wikia. Then there's a lot of shocked pikachu faces when the articles get nominated again some years later, and in greater numbers, because (surprise surprise) sweeping problems under the rug does not in fact cause them to go away. "Nooooo! Ten AfDs in a day is too much! How can we cope?!" Well, actually, it's ten AfDs for half a decade of ignored problems. Reyk YO! 11:53, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
    • All of this particular crusade ultimately stems from the above users being extremely protectionist over Comic Project related articles. I have been focusing on those more than others simply due to the fact they are by far the absolute worst offender on this site. Any dive into a fiction related category, and you get comic articles. To show the insanity, just their "character stub" categories for only the two major franchises (Marvel and DC), their initial count exceeded 300. Outside of D&D, Tolkien, and Soap Operas, that's more than most general series ever had by themselves. Darkknight2149 launched this crusade partly due to that and has formed several bizarre mistaken opinions to reinforce his preconceived notions. The most ironic thing is that I've been accused of being combative and "refusing to listen" (despite the fact that only Darkknight2149 is preaching), but now Darkknight2149 is displaying exactly that right here. TTN (talk) 12:25, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
I could of swore it’s more than 10 but that’s beside the point. They are still being done simultaneously with no way of other editors beside the same editors who are passionate to to be deletionist and admire the deletion purges anyway. Like I said I didn’t even notice Fenris Wolf AFD. That’s on example. I also notice two prods at the same time. I just ignored them. I also noticed TNT being uncivil with one editor who voted keep so much so that Pietro warned him to be not do that. That and an AFD on Cylon is example of something that is being made terrible but notable. I merged a whole bundle of comic book related articles but keep thinking that TNT is the only editor who is actually responsible for getting something done on these. I myself boldly merge all the time if they did seem notable. Or ignored the AFD. Anyways I think DarkKnight might of gotten too far with assuming bad faith here but now you editors are doing the same thing now. So take off the speck on your own eye first guys. Jhenderson 777 15:39, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
I don't think anyone is trying to argue that people wanting to keep these articles at AFD are acting in bad faith, but they are not doing a great job to demonstrate why the articles should be kept. Of the AFDs I've seen, numerous !votes are "Keep - clearly an important character" or something to that regard that lines up with arguments to avoid in AFD. To Darkwarrior's credit, they are seeking out sources to try to better support the article (just that in some cases they are not the type of sourcing to meet the GNG) and that's what we want keep !votes to do. When the majority of these !keep votes though are simply contesting without proof, it is hard to take them seriously. --Masem (t) 16:02, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
In particular, the "keep or merge" brigade without any other commentary has me pretty confused. TTN (talk) 16:17, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
  • I went through TTN's AFD nominations for the month of November 2019, most of which were articles and lists about fictional topics. The breakdown of the 127 total nominations: 88 (69.3%) were deleted, 27 (21.3%) were redirected, 8 (6.3%) were merged, and 4 (3.1%) were kept. That's a 96.9% "success" rate of nominations. There are now three administrators who have commented in this discussion. All three do not appear to see an issue with these mass nominations, and an ANI discussion will likely not change matters. If you are upset with these nominations, I suggest finding a way to better argue in favor of keeping these articles instead of grasping at straws by attacking the nominator. If you disagree with the close of an AFD and believe the closer used a majority vote instead of identifying a consensus, go to deletion review. A confirmation with WikiProject Comics to make these nominations is not required, and it is clear through the numerous closed AFDs that a consensus has formed against including these minor character articles. I also have read through many of the more "contentious" AFDs, and I am impressed with the self-restraint TTN has shown in the face of very combative language and behavior by a particular user. Eagles 24/7 (C) 14:15, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
@Eagles247: I would advise to go back and re-read the exchange at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Goblin (Marvel Comics) that spilt over into Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Harley Quinn in other media. What TTN doesn't seem to understand is that you don't need to "mischaracterise" his statements to find problems with them. I'm not assuming bad faith, or even making any assumptions at all. It's the statements themselves that were problematic. Other users have been a bit more reasonable in this discussion, but these are certainly not the points that TTN was using. I also used to spend most of my time (back in 2015-2017) going through comic-related articles and removing large amounts of original research, so TTN needs to stop making disingenuous remarks about me being some "extreme protectionist" that he pulled out of thin air.
This all started at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Goblin (Marvel Comics), when TTN made the erroneous assumption that the article was "a collection of unrelated topics". When I told TTN about this, he was very combative and ultimately refused to get the point. Even after being provided with sources that blatantly demonstrated that the topics were not unrelated, TTN continued to double down. Then he started trying to downplay it by saying "Well, that was a minor point anyway" while refusing to strike it, even though it was half of his deletion rationale and two different users (including JIP) based their vote entirely on the false rationale that TTN was making. It was during all of this that I began to express extreme concerns for the large amount of deletion nominations that TTN and Piotrus have been pumping out.
Aside from the obvious WP:IDHT, TTN has also displayed a clear WP:BATTLEGROUND mentality, would go on about "winning" some imaginary argument ([11], [12], [13]), he repeatedly claimed that there was some massive secret cabal at the WikiProjects and WP:DSN, he would constantly repeat what he had already said over and over without addressing any of the points raised (another trait of WP:IDHT), and he has made it clear in our interactions that no research went into these deletion nominations, despite Masem's presumptions above. Let's not treat TTN like some martyr just because you have the same content stance he does, because he was supremely disruptive and handled himself very poorly. His justifications were not the justifications that you, Reyk, and even Masem are making.
My concern has always been users mindlessly and overzealously spamming deletion rationales without research, leading to misinformed deletion rationales like the one seen at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Goblin (Marvel Comics). I'm also not convinced that some of these articles even fail WP:GNG. Judge Death looks like it's getting enough support to pass, despite Masem's confirmation bias against the sources that people are providing, and Goblin (Marvel Comics) received enough coverage and was primarily a hub article to begin with. The deletion nominations are getting enough support that I am willing to relax my position on two conditions:
1. A bare minimum amount of research goes into these deletion nominations. Obviously this doesn't necessarily apply to stub articles of every ultra-obscure character, but TTN and Piotrus need to exhibit more caution than they are right now. If it's a lengthy article about a character related to more notable characters, do a quick search to see if this character might be notable themselves. If it's a hub article about a group of characters, look into whether they are connected to each other before assuming they are not. In fact, avoid jumping to conclusions entirely. There are also instances where an alternative to deletion should be considered.
2. If another user points out a factual error that TTN makes in his deletion rationale, he needs to be more willing to accept this and listen to other editors. We all make mistakes. It happens. TTN needs to lose the battleground / WP:IDHT mentalities, and accept when he has made an error. When someone points out a mistake in a deletion rationale you make and expresses their concern, they are not challenging you to some imaginary battle that needs "winning" (as TTN has repeatedly insinuated during our interactions).
If we can agree on these terms, I will step down from this dispute and recede the (very valid) WP:ANI report I was planning on filing. DarkKnight 2149 20:13, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
The fact that you're that obsessed about the Goblin thing is just astounding. I have yet to see a single impartial person agree with you that it's some kind of big deal. You mischaracteristic almost everything I say. You say I have a battleground mentality, yet her you are writing ten paragraph responses about how everybody but you is incorrect and tossing down frivolous ultimatums like you're in charge of something. You're acting like you have a unanimous backing despite several people here disagreeing with you. Go make your report already. This is just tiresome. TTN (talk) 20:21, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) This petulance is what is tiresome. Nobody has mischaracterised anything you have said. Seriously, give me some examples. Am I mischaracterising that you have a battleground / WP:WIN mentality? Nope, you blatantly displayed that yourself ([14], [15], [16]). Am I mischaracterising the fact that you claimed that you won't engage in dispute resolution because there's a massive WP:CABAL? Nope, you said that multiple times. Am I characterising the fact that you continue to claim that Goblin (Marvel Comics) being a "collection of unrelated topics", despite it having been proven wrong multiple times now? Not at all, and facts and sources don't care about what you want to believe.
No, the only one mischaracterising anything here is you. Not only have you tried to paint me as some extremist content protectionist based on zero evidence, but it is also you who is acting like you have unanimous support. Do I need to remind you that several people have spoken out against you? Including myself, Andrew Davidson, Miraclepine, Jhenderson777, Rtkat3, and several others have all spoken out against you, and you have users like BOZ who have to type Keep or merge on every single nomination. You keep pretending like you have some overwhelming consensus when it is you who is afraid to engage in the Dispute Resolution process on the grounds of people disagreeing with you. As I have pointed out multiple times already, we are waaaaaay passed the WP:BOLD stage. DarkKnight2149 20:45, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
It's called being snarky out of annoyance. When someone is preaching at you like they're a god-king, it gets kind of annoying, you know. Not the best way to react, but I'm human. You keep saying proven wrong, but it's just you spinning your wheels. You're keeping up this heavy preaching, but there are people in this very conversation that disagree with you. People disagreeing with you doesn't inherently mean you're wrong, but you're not even addressing them without shoving it down their throats that there's no way they're in any way correct. I simply explained why working with the Comics Project would be utterly worthless because it's a fragmented walled garden full of people with little to no cohesion and a complete lack of major action. You turned that into a nonsensical narrative on how I'm supposedly avoiding something. I repeatedly asked you to name a broken local consensus that would even require DR in the first place. You failed to do so. You turned that into that I'm scared of something. This is and has never been a Comics Project problem. You're the one who tried to turn it into that, and thus my accusations of ownership and protectionism. You're only now trying to spin this into some big general thing unrelated to that project. TTN (talk) 21:13, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
Being ambiguously sarcastic in a genuine content dispute is not a constructive way to handle the situation. The fact that we are here right now, when some of us could easily be working on other projects, says it all. There is also nothing "preachy" about someone pointing out a factual error you made, nor was there anything preachy about my original comment. It has been explained, over and over, that the topics are not unrelated and sources were even provided proving this. The only thing off-topic in that entire article was a single paragraph about the species added years later that could have easily been blanked. Some things are open to opinion and consensus, but facts are not one of them. It has also been pointed out that you don't need to go to WT:COMICS to engage in dispute resolution. Venues like WP:DRN are perfectly fine places to take it. When something bold you are doing becomes controversial, it's disruptive to keep doing it just because you believe in something. I should also point out that groups of users who have problems with the project like yourself have discussed it in community-wide discussions and it has led to change. Although claims of a cabal were shut down then as well, this is how the WP:NCC was changed back in 2017.
"I repeatedly asked you to name a broken local consensus that would even require DR in the first place. You failed to do so." - This never happened and I have mentioned WP:DRN more than once. DarkKnight2149 21:34, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
"The subject of change and potential ownership at WP:COMICS already has been discussed multiple times community-wide in the past, discussions that you are choosing to circumvent because you are afraid of opposition (as you yourself admitted)" (as diff'd directly above). TTN is looking to find out where he can find the "multiple times community-wide" discussion you are referring to here in terms of "local consensus". Eagles 24/7 (C) 21:49, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
You brought up the idea of DRV like four days into this nonsense, so please don't act like you've always called for neutral discussion. Also please don't act like one party asking for it requires another party to act. You are ultimately the one with the problem with me. I am in no way mandated to follow your suggestions like you so heavy handily have demanded since the start. You were also free to start a wider discussion, RfC, or simply post the damn ANI if you truly think you have a case, but instead you've just been hanging only this "looming threat" of an ANI report like I'm going to be grounded if I don't clean my room. You know what, I'm done responding unless it's to refute a report. This is a waste of time, same as the previous two discussions. TTN (talk) 21:52, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Yes, I have always called for a neutral discussion and my original comment simply asked you to open a larger discussion. At no point did I say that it had to be at WT:COMICS. This is the crucial element you can't seem to grasp, and you keep acting like I'm asking you to go to the gallows or something. You have outright said that you are afraid to engage in any real discussion because you are afraid of people disagreeing with you ([17]). Yet, for whatever reason, you and Reyk keep grandstanding as if you have some overwhelming consensus and that I'm the only who has ever challenged what you are doing (when, in fact, several people have). This is a community-wide issue, this isn't just a user vs. user disagreement like you keep asserting.
@Eagles247: The discussions of users claiming some sort of cabal has been brought up more than once. A number of users, including SMcCandlish, made similar complaints. Here are some of the links: [18], [19], [20], [21], [22], [23], [24], [25]. The topic of ownership and whether or not comic books are treated unjustifiably differently from any other Wiki-topic is something that has been hotly debated multiple times in the past. Those claims were also shut down in a discussion in April 2017 at Talk:Joker (character). This content disagreement has been alive in some form or another for years now. It's nothing new. You can also ask others, such as Darkwarriorblake, about this. DarkKnight2149 22:56, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
Here you directly tell TTN to "open a larger discussion expressing your concerns against the WikiProject before making anymore nominations" and again here. Thank you for providing those examples, but I'm not sure they definitely prove that WP:COMICS doesn't have an ownership problem. I think many (if not most) WikiProjects have experienced issues with ownership, and it's understandable that those with significant interest in comics would be offended by these mass nominations. Eagles 24/7 (C) 23:25, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
And at no point did I say that he has to go through the WikiProject to do it. The reason I brought up up the WikiProject specifically is that, when people accuse comic book articles of being handled differently, they usually cite WP:COMICS as the problem. The WikiProject is also where past discussions have taken place over the issue. As I have already stated all throughout this dispute, WP:DRN is perfectly fine.
"Thank you for providing those examples, but I'm not sure they definitely prove that WP:COMICS doesn't have an ownership problem" - It's definitely enough to prove that this topic is a hotly contested issue. It also sounds like you're implying that we (the people who have spoken out against TTN, not the WikiProject) take issue with these nominations simply for stepping on some imaginary turf. The people who have spoken out against the deletion spammings have cited legitimate reasons. The whole ownership thing feels like it's being used as a strawman fallacy to justify not having to open a discussion. At this point, I don't see how anyone can say "TTN and Piotrus can keep doing exactly what they are doing. They don't have to engage in dispute resolution because they have all the consensus in the world!" and keep a straight face.
To build on what JIP and Jhenderson777 have said, I'm not convinced that a lot of these nominations (including Judge Death and Goblin (Marvel Comics)) even fail WP:GNG to begin with. Aside from the fact that the Goblin AfD was built on blatantly false pretenses, any AfD is only as good as the nominator, the attention it receives, and the number of people who reply to it. As we saw at Goblin (Marvel Comics) and even here, some people will simply take the word of the deletion rationale if they are not informed on the topic. Some users (including Masem and TTN) also seem to have pretty absurd standards for what sources constitute "passing" GNG. Judge Death has been proven notable and looks like it's on the verge of passing the AfD, but they still insist that it isn't notable. DarkKnight2149 00:02, 20 December 2019 (UTC)
Good luck at ANI. Eagles 24/7 (C) 00:35, 20 December 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Again with the assumption that TTN doesn't at least do a basic search of topics before he nominates them for deletion. I've read those two discussions you pointed out multiple times and each time I re-read them it looks worse on your part. The burden is on you to prove a topic is notable if another editor believes it does not merit inclusion here. You have pointed out WP:IDHT and WP:BATTLEGROUND over and over again, when it is clear you need to heed your own advice. File the ANI already and stop holding it over editors like blackmail, I'm only advising you to steer away from it because it won't end the way you think it will. Eagles 24/7 (C) 20:29, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
I'm going to profess crap knowledge of the Marvel universe, but reading the state of the Goblin article before the redirect, it seems patently obvious the article is trying to connect the characters in the Spideyverse that have been exposed to the same or variation of the formula made the Green Goblin (which as a group is fair enough), to a race known as the golbins which do not seem in anyway connected to the formula. It is SYNTH: it like like saying that Will Smith must be related to Matt Smith because they share the same last name. If it were the case that for some reason in the Spideyverse that the formula that made the Green Goblin was actually based on the golbin race, and thus directly connected, *maaaybe* you have something, but not as it stood. And that's something that clearly isn't seem by a quick search for confirmation. --Masem (t) 20:36, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
If you need to be a Marvel superfan to understand the connection while an average reader can't understand it even with preliminary research, it belongs on a fandom website instead of Wikipedia. Eagles 24/7 (C) 20:43, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
@Masem: No, nothing is blatantly obvious. This persistent WP:IDHT is exactly why dispute resolution is needed. Some of you seem way too biased to see past your own noses. As it has been explained repeatedly, the article was specifically about the Goblin lineage and multiple sources have already been listed proving that they are indeed connected. The only thing in that entire article that was off-topic is a single paragraph about the species that was added years later by Rtkat3. That section alone does not justify deleting an entire article. The fact that you are still pushing this is, to put it bluntly, fucking ridiculous. DarkKnight2149 20:52, 19 December 2019 (UTC)

I only very rarely even vote in these deletion discussions. I only bother voting if I feel strongly about the subject. Quite frankly, even I am amazed of how many articles about non-notable fictional things there are on Wikipedia. I mean, who keeps track of births, marriages and deaths of soap opera characters? And then there's the countless minor superhero/supervillain articles. But I'm also amazed how TTN and Piotrus think pretty much every Transformers character fails WP:GNG. Sure, I don't expect Wikipedia to have articles about characters like Terror-Tread and Cement-Head, but I'm also amazed how Spike Witwicky, the single most prominent human character in the entire franchise, who appeared in pretty much every episode of the original cartoon, was considered non-notable. I would have voted keep on almost all of the Transformers nominations, but didn't bother, because I would have been the only one. JIP | Talk 22:36, 19 December 2019 (UTC)

And yet, dispute resolution isn't needed apparently. You are only the umpteenth person to speak out about this, but they seem completely unwilling to listen 🤦🏻‍♂️ DarkKnight2149 23:08, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
@JIP: This is very disappointing to hear. One !vote can easily change the outcome of an AFD discussion with a strong argument, and WP:SILENCE helps form a different consensus. Eagles 24/7 (C) 23:25, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
I don't know how notable Spike may be, but you do present a common fallacy that often comes up in these AFDs, in that "this character was in every episode of this long-running series, thus should be notable". Notability is not inherited, and notability is not about importance. An article about the Transformers show that doesn't mention Spike alongside characters like Optimus Prime and Starscream is wrong, but that doesn't mean Spike should get a standalone article. (Part of the problem is that likely Spike didn't "make it" to other iterations of the show/franchise). --Masem (t) 23:52, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
  • I said I was done, but in this particular case is silly. These editors are specialty editors using print media and knowhow on to find things. I don't particularly agree that such specific sources even establish notability, but this is a case of only they are going to be able to make heads or tails of this stuff regardless. As far as I can tell, pretty much none of the sites they've added even come up in Google News. BEFORE is reasonable search, and some kind of never ending deep dive into the depths of Soap Opera news is not reasonable. The best Google News gives is some trivial award nominations. TTN (talk) 00:47, 20 December 2019 (UTC)
  • I think "specialty editors using print media and knowhow" may mean "people with an interest in the topic and access to independent reliable sources". Google News doesn't contain all the knowledge that's in the world; if information that's in a book or magazine needs to be in Google News to be a worthwhile source, then we would lose a lot of important articles. Toughpigs (talk) 20:01, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
  • There's no question that if the articles being sent to AFD were all based on, say, 1960s properties that had no modern coverage, then yes, relying only on Google News to see if there were sources would be inappropriate. But that's not the situation on most of these: these are all contemporary topics that have significant publications post-2000 when the Internet was around. Google News will still miss some sources but it becomes *very* easy to tell if a topic has any shot at notability from that in such cases. --Masem (t) 20:22, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Well, what I'm trying to say is that print media is appropriate to use as a source. It sounds to me like TTN is suggesting that "print media and knowhow" is a poor substitute for a Google News search. Toughpigs (talk) 20:34, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Actually, rereading it, I see that the question is about whether TTN did a BEFORE search. Still, I think print media should not be discounted. Toughpigs (talk) 20:36, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
  • What? I was saying that looking over Google News (or books depending on the subject) and a quick perusal of the others is the definition of a basic BEFORE. Ready access to print media and the ability to navigate specialty websites that do not appear on Google News makes someone a speciality user beyond what one would expect from a casual search. If print media is what is needed to save an article, then someone will have to make a good faith assertion that they can provide it in a reasonable time or actually have it on hand. We cannot hold articles indefinitely on a hunch. For the article in question, everything in Google News is just a single name mention with no commentary. I feel like the overall sourcing on a lot of these soap opera articles is kind of improperly weighted, so I'm not really in agreement that the article has been saved. But that's an argument to be held elsewhere. TTN (talk) 20:48, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Unfortunately, I have to disagree with TTN on this point. If you are looking at an article to AFD, and it is more than likely that the bulk of the sourcing is going to be in print rather than online (due to the time frame of the material or the material being more regionally-covered), it is not good practice to be nominating these for AFD because you can't find anything at Google News. Or, another way is that if this type of article is nominated, it is a fully-fair argument for the keep !voters to say "This time is likely covered in print" or "no demonstration of a good-faith BEFORE search of print sources was made" and retain the article. It is wrong that we cannot hold articles indefinitely, though there is the WP:V factor that articles need third-party sourcing or we should not have articles about them. And with many fictional topics, it's rather easy to judge that case knowing the work, how big the fan base was for the work, and so forth. A possible obscure "Star Trek" topic has a much higher chance of having sources than the same from, say, The Flying Nun. But WP:DEADLINE remains important here.
  • That said, when it comes to nearly anything from the 1980s onward, while a Google search will not reveal all sources, there's an extremely good chance that at least a few sources should be revealed with a direct search. There may be print sources not identified, but again, talking about fiction, its rather easy to figure out the difference between a popular work likely to have sources and an obscure one. And my judgement from what I've seen go to AFD, this is where the bulk of TTN's and others AFDs fall into. --Masem (t) 01:57, 22 December 2019 (UTC)
  • I'd agree when it comes to real world topics and events, but fictional works/items are simply an extension of an author or work. Much less benefit of the doubt should be given to such topics when they can easily be retracted into the parent article and split out again at a later date should sourcing be found. Given that the only content without sourcing is plot material, it's not particularly necessary to discuss it. Though everything should obviously be determined on a topic by topic basis. TTN (talk) 02:07, 22 December 2019 (UTC)
  • I tend to agree on that basic point, and nearly for any fictional character or similar, a google search is going to be a metric to judge if sourcing may be available, even for the older fictional works, with a low rate of "false positives" (that being fictional characters that may actually have sources but that don't show up on a similar search). I'd also be very indifferent about any articles on singular fictional characters/etc. lacking any non-primary sourcing created after, say, 2008-2009, given that notability was in place before that point. The guideline was on the books, so at that point, editors crafting articles and ignoring that advice basically were ignoring consensus. Howe, for those articles created before that point ( something like Moria (Middle-earth) and created in 2001 and probably a whole raft of Middle Earth topics) those I would be careful with in sending to AFD without really considering print sources. (and no, I am not suggesting Moria be deleted, just an example I figured provided my point). --Masem (t) 07:09, 22 December 2019 (UTC)
  • I think if you want to take this to ANI, you should do it now instead of continually threatening to. Reyk YO! 09:52, 20 December 2019 (UTC)
Running out of strawmen, it seems. [26] [27] DarkKnight2149 10:17, 20 December 2019 (UTC)
Pile-on support for Reyk's suggestion. This discussion has run its course here. – sgeureka tc 10:29, 20 December 2019 (UTC)

Tolkien and Middle-earth articles[edit]

I am a bit late to this discussion, but from personal experience the number of articles being nominated is a bit overwhelming. I disagree with Masem that "The rate is slow enough and across a wide range of topics that no single wikiproject or group of editors should be overwhelmed." To take the Tolkien and Middle-earth area, I am not sure how to come up with an exhaustive list of nominations, and in some cases the very pages and lists used by the WikiProject to track the pages that existed are being nominated for deletion, so it is difficult to work out what has been nominated (other than going through AfD).

  • If you look at the 8 January 2020 version of Wikipedia:WikiProject Middle-earth/Article alerts/Archive, you can see that since 09 Oct 2019 there have been 97 AfDs (that is in a period of just over 2 months). That is too fast for me to keep up with. There have also been some categories nominated for discussion (for some reason not all the nominations are showing up on that alert page, e.g. the nomination for Category:Kings of Dale which shows up on my user talk page but not at the WP M-E alerts page). In addition, since 12 Nov 2019 there have been 66 articles that were PRODed. I am not sure which ones of those were later sent to AfD, but if there is little overlap, then that is a total of around 163 articles nominated in two months. That is a rate of around 2.7 a day, which is too fast for me to keep up with. I am not sure what a reasonable rate would be. The majority of those nominations are by Piotrus and Hog Farm with some by Jack Upland and Clarityfiend. I am not sure why four recent nominations by Susmuffin (1, 2, 3, 4) are not showing up at that alerts page (oh, I am being silly, it is the archive page, so the current nominations are on the current page!).
  • If you add in the discussions currently (8 January 2020) on the alerts page, you get the following figures over two months: 144 AfD, 73 PROD, 11 CfD, 24 merge discussions. That is a total of 252 nominations over around 70 days. i.e. a rate of 3.6 articles a day. It also appears that the rate of nominations is accelerating as those doing the nominating are encouraged by the results. What is actually happening is those who might be able to work on the articles are being overwhelmed (I have no problem with the results, as the articles do need work, it is the rate of nomination I have a problem with).
  • To give some context here, the total number of 'articles' at User:WP 1.0 bot/Tables/Project/Tolkien is currently on 8 January 2020 at 1299, but that is really only 603 articles (including 17 lists - though as some lists got deleted recently, that might be misleading), with a large part of the rest being 201 redirects (this is, if I recall correctly from a wave of merging into lists that took place some years ago). If you go back to 5 January 2010, you will see that there are no redirects listed there (either they weren't tracked or that was before the 'merging' period) and that there are 822 articles (of which only 4 are lists). So the trend is clear: many years ago, lots of perma-stubs got merged to lists, and now those lists and some of the remaining articles are being deleted in the latest wave of nominations. It is possible to do this merging and deletion in an organised fashion, but that requires an active WikiProject which isn't the case here any more.

Finally, to answer TTN's comment above ("the "keep or merge" brigade without any other commentary has me pretty confused"), the reason for that is so that non-admins can access sources and content in the page histories and merge/add useful and encyclopedic content from these articles to other articles - when deletion occurs, that process is a lot harder. Also pinging J Milburn, Johnpacklambert, BenKuykendall and Goustien who have all started various XfD or merge discussions in this area. Ending with a small plea: is there a way to take a step back here, to slow down, and allow those with access to the sources (and familiarity with the sources) in this specific topic area to try and do some work here? Carcharoth (talk) 14:21, 8 January 2020 (UTC) PS. Am also going to ping Hullaballoo Wolfowitz as their comment here reminded me of what is possible. Carcharoth (talk) 14:39, 8 January 2020 (UTC)

The argument about asking for more time is a bit weak. While it is true we have no deadline, most of these articles appear to be in the range of 10 to 15 years old, pre-dating the notability guidelines but now at least 10 years since notability was introduced as a concept. We've well established what is expected of articles on fiction, even for something as perennial as Middle Earth, but little has been done. At some point, push has to come to shove to bring these articles in line with policy and guideline.
Also, if I understand most of the noms, most of the failed PRODs should be read as being converted to AFDs, so that brings it down to 2 day instead of 3. Is this too fast? I don't believe so given the articles which are being AFD: minor facets and minor lists involving ME where the chance of there being secondary sourcing is very low. --Masem (t) 14:56, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
Hi Masem. If someone (possibly me, possibly someone else) finds time to work on these articles, to take a careful approach to adding sources and expanding the encyclopedic content, merging and to restoring the articles as redirects (this is needed to attribute the authors of the original content), would you object to that? It would take me a couple of years if I started soon. I can do some of this because I am an administrator and I can see deleted content. Those who are not adminstrators won't be able to do this, so it might be an idea to put the page histories somewhere where they can be accessed by non-admins. Carcharoth (talk) 15:21, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
I'm only spot checking but most of what is being proposed or ending up deleted (not redirected, those can be recovered) are pretty much 100% plot summary with no real-world aspects and no sourcing (or if sourced, to the primary works of Tolkien). I don't think there is a harm in considering WP:TNT for these types of articles, where after it has been established that there is real-world and secondary sourcing for the topic that the plot summary facets can be reconstructed appropriately - that is, in very few of the cases I'm seeing, improving the article is not going to start with the exiting plot summary parts but with establishing the topic from secondary sources first. And what are being hit by AFD/PROD are definitely the more minor facets of the ME universe, the stuff that I would be extremely surprised if you found any type of secondary sourcing on. Certainly, there's REFUND and the like, but I would strongly encourage that any work be done in draft space for these articles (eg if there's a good reason to undelete per REFUND, that can be moved to draft space to keep the page histories). I am aware of some of the scholarly facets of ME, and know that the major characters and themes certainly can be backed by strong academic sources as well as others, but most of what I'm seeing deleted are very minor facets, one-time characters or locations that we as an encyclopedia should not be documenting and that I would be flabergasted if extensive secondary sourcing existed. --Masem (t) 15:37, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
I think I see the misunderstanding here. I am not proposing to reinstate and retain small stubs with references to passing mentions in Tolkien scholarship (that would be silly). What I am proposing is that where existing scholarly references have been used (many have been lost in the deletions) that these are rescued and used appropriately in summary-style articles that take the correct approach (as described at Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Writing about fiction). However, when reviewing deleted article revisions and using the sources and article text that were used there, I have to attribute the original authors. The best way to do this is to restore the article as a redirect to the article where I am placing the content (effectively performing a post-delete merge of encyclopedic content - example here). Does that make things clearer? Carcharoth (talk) 15:53, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
I see no problem with you, as an admin (or for users that aren't admin, either going through you or REFUND) to restore those that have been deleted that do have at least one scholarly source and moving it to a draft or user space to work on as to retain the history. I wouldn't recommend that for those that are strictly plot-only and sourced only to the main ME fiction works (including the The Silmarillion) , if sourced at all. --Masem (t) 16:28, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
I thought this thread was about the speed of in-coming AfDs, not about how to deal with deleted page histories of potentially salvageable material (which is a legitimate concern). But like with WT:WikiProject Dungeons & Dragons (when the above discussion was hot), I see no editors joing up for a merge&cleanup discussion at WT:WikiProject Middle-earth, so it might be just you who wants to clean them up. And as Masem said, you have the admin flag and can look into the page history easily. – sgeureka tc 16:33, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
I personally haven't been too involved with nominating these articles, but I'd say this is a situation in which I don't see any great loss if a few potentially notable articles get tossed out. The idea of no rush has been a pretty constant argument used by many an advocate of keeping fictional articles over the years. The contrary is true as well. There is no rush to have these article exist when the parent articles exist to hold the core concepts. The only time mass deletion is truly a negative to Wikipedia is if a salt the Earth approach is used so not even the main article escapes. If they're deleted, they're clearly not yet in a state where they can stand alone, so there is little harm in their current incarnations being tossed. Should existing content be desired when making an attempt at recreating them, it can be restored upon request. There's no such thing as true deletion on this site. Middle-earth is clearly a long unattended walled garden, so there may be some areas that need to be replanted. I personally have little faith in "give us time" campaigns because I have yet to see a single time where it worked out. TTN (talk) 14:59, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
Hi TTN. Could you give this area a chance? There really has been lots of scholarship in this area in the last ten years. The 'in-universe' approach is not really appropriate for presenting this scholarship in Wikipedia articles (much of which will not mention the minor places and characters being deleted), and there are many areas of that scholarship that are not really suitable for Wikipedia articles, but some of it is. An example is Tolkien's Intellectual Landscape. Some of the topics of the articles being deleted are ones that are discussed often in such scholarship, and you need to be familiar with the topic area and the sources to know the difference. Carcharoth (talk) 15:21, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
  • " I don't see any great loss if a few potentially notable articles get tossed out. "
Then I'm sorry, but I'd have to ask just why the hell you're here in the first place. Andy Dingley (talk) 16:34, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
We we're dealing with franchises with hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of articles on fiction that have been in place for up to fifteen years with no major work, then we've gone beyond the point where a careful, measured approach works. If TNT takes out something with unused potential, it's not that big of a deal in these scenarios. It's very easy to bring things back when someone wants to take them on. That also should give people the ability to take a look at some of these topics and decide if they actually need individual articles. There are a lot of cases where combo articles of many smaller topics would be preferable to a dozen permastubs, assuming the topics fit together cohesively. TTN (talk) 16:45, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
That is a bit disingenous. You know full well that this approach of merging to lists was taken in the past. That doesn't seem to prevent future nominations such as Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of Middle-earth rivers (2nd nomination) and Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Middle-earth plants (see also List of Middle-earth animals). There are about 10 list or summary articles (not all have 'list' in the title) where lots of effort was taken many years ago to carefully merge content to reduce the number of stubs and produce summary articles. An example is the edit history of List of Middle-earth rivers - I am looking at the edit history and from what I can tell most of the merging took place in 2007, 2009 and 2012. This merging was done in good faith, only for much of this work to be recently undone by deletion discussions that took place years later (7 to 12 years later). Can you understand how that makes it difficult to trust someone who says "merge" now? Why would anyone believe people now when they said the same before and then supported deletion later? Sometimes all that those working on such articles want is consistency. Not 'keep' one year, then 'merge' another year, and then 'delete' another year. Sorry if this is a bit strong, but sometimes people take the absence of objections as people thinking that there are no objections. Part of the reason little work was done was because people might have thought that the merging that was done previously meant that either (a) things were OK if not ideal; or (b) that time would be given to try and bring things up to scratch. As far as I can see, no attempt was made to give any warnings or any time to work on these articles. It feels like people found a deserted area, where hundreds of stubs had years ago been merged into lists, and instead of seeing if anyone was willing to do a bit more merging and tidying, decided to take the chance to 'tidy' up using deletion discussions rather than asking around to see if anyone was still active in the topic area. Carcharoth (talk) 17:25, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
Those lists are clearly a separate issue from the rest of this. They have hit the point of being too in-depth for a general encyclopedia. No matter how much attention Tolkien has received, I wouldn't in a thousand years believe a list of plants or rivers in his works would have enough real world information to produce proper, self-standing lists. Those would be the usual collection of absolute trivia with maybe two or three bits of real world info. That is the kind of information that belongs on a fan wiki. But hey, all the power to you should you ever prove me wrong and turn them into encyclopedic lists. That kind of disconnect on what information is seen as inherently encyclopedic is another reason I'm particularly wary of cleanup projects. TTN (talk) 17:36, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
I see and understand the points you (and others) are making. I do absolutely get that much of the content is in-universe and not salvageable. It is difficult though. There is a personal and 'Wikipedia historian' element to this, in that it feels like the early edit history of Wikipedia is melting away and being erased from the public record. Some of these articles are ancient and have hundreds and hundreds of edits (List of Middle-earth rivers has 523 deleted edits over a period of 15 years; Middle-earth wars and battles has 770 deleted edits over a period of about 11 years; to give just two examples). It is actually going to be difficult for anyone without the ability to view deleted revisions to make sense of the early to recent history of Wikipedia articles in this area. Some people who edited heavily in this topic area (I only did so for a few years) will be seeing a lot of their personal editing history disappearing. It is difficult to put into words the effect that can have. I would mind a lot less if the edit history were not poured down the memory hole. Carcharoth (talk) 17:54, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
  • WP:TNT is not policy. Now maybe it should be, I've been advocating it for years, but we can't use it to get rid of articles which are unsourced or utter crap. Yet AfD is so ignored these days that a handful of editors, bulk nominating the same topic, can (and have) remove much of Tolkien, just because they're aren't enough other editors with the time to question this many. Andy Dingley (talk) 18:43, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I am only a little way into this. I am one of the people who has contributed to these nominations. I am currently limited to one deletion nomination a day, so my contributions is not going to be very large. I think though seeing that we had articles on non-characters like Queen Beriel, or what ever her name is, who once Aragorn mentions her cats, as in one time ever, without any explanation, just showed how absurd some of the articles we had on fictional entitites were. In the case of LotR articles, the biggest glut came right after the release of The Return of the King, yes we havve literally had some of these articles for 16 years. Some even 17 years, some of which have been deleted with unanimous support at AfD.John Pack Lambert (talk) 18:42, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
  • A previous commentor said of this stuff "It's stuff left over from when WP started but before we had notability guidelines." In the case of LotR material this is literally true.John Pack Lambert (talk) 18:44, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
  • At least in the matter of LotR related material there have been several merger proposals (such as merging Celebrían into Elrond). That proposal was made December 28th. I am the only person besides the nominator to have commented on it, I did so on December 30th. Merger proposals are not centrally logged. I short of wish merger discussion and deletion discussions for articles were all in a central listing, sort of like what we have in Categories for discussion. In fact thinking about it, this might get much better results. Too many of our deletion discussions come down to debates on weather to delete or keep the article, when in some cases (especially those related to the unneeded multiplication of fictional articles) maybe what we need is a more broad consideration of eactly what articles are needed to cover a topic. I used to, and occasionally do, go through the whole categories for discussion log. In part this is easier to approach all of it because the issues of categories is much more internal organization than with articles, but some of the broad issues of article content, like how many articles we really need reated to LotR have never been approached. In the same way, some cases of people who are primarily known for a company, or companies that have only had one CEO/owner/director etc. maybe should be approached as a broad discussion about 2 article with options of keeping, deleting or merging fully on the table.John Pack Lambert (talk) 18:55, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
  • On the purely technical side, ME-merge discussions are listed here. But I understand this is just a list of links, unlike CfD where you can view all the discussions by scrolling down. I think the appropriate venue for a a broad discussion about 2 (or more) articles would be a RfC, probably on the project talk page. But I think AfD is an appropriate venue for such a discussion as well: discussions can certainly end with keep, delete, or merge. BenKuykendall (talk) 19:05, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I don't disagree that articles must be nominated for deletion slowly enough to give invested editors a chance to respond. However, I want to look at the flip side: at the current rate (or a slower rate per User:Carcharoth's request) how long will it take until all the poorly sourced and primarily in-universe articles are deleted? There are about 600 actual articles in the ME-project per the tracker. Depending on the quality of those articles, it could take up to a year until the apparently non-notable ones are deleted. I wonder if "ripping off the Band-Aid" so to speak, and deleting these articles in a reasonable time frame, would be healthy for the project. If these deletions where to drag on for years and years, all of the resources of the project would be wasted on fighting against deletion. But, once the deletions wrap up, editors can focus on writing new articles (perhaps with the same titles) that are written to today's standards of notability out out-of-universe perspective (potentially relying on undeletion to a limited degree). BenKuykendall (talk) 18:56, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
    • As long as those that are pushing the AFDs are doing what I would consider the lowest-hanging "ripe for deletion" fruit - ME articles about extremely minor characters or objects, unremarkable lists of geography or things, and especially when there are no existing secondary sources in place and a Google Books and/or Google Scholar search test does not reveal any such possible sourcing, that's fair enough for the current situation. There's clearly a grey line of quality in the existing articles that we should definitely give time for interested ME editors to try to improve. But I mean, if there are 1200-some ME articles prior to this that most were recreated in the midst of the Jackson films but before we considered notability, there's probably a good reason to think that easily 25% of these if not more are just not appropriate at this point, and we do have to "rip that bandaid" off at some point. --Masem (t) 19:04, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
      • If the articles have already existed on the site for 16 years without destroying the encyclopedia in any noticeable way, then why do we need to hurry through 600 deletions? As BenKuykendall says, it might take years to finish that project, but that doesn't mean "all of the resources of the project would be wasted on fighting against deletion." I expect the vast majority of people working on the project couldn't care less about the Tolkien articles, one way or the other.
BenKuykendall says that "once the deletions wrap up, editors can focus on writing new articles (perhaps with the same titles) that are written to today's standards of notability out out-of-universe perspective". If the ultimate goal is for the people who want to write Tolkien-related articles to improve those articles up to today's standards, then I think we should ask whether "ripping the bandaid" encourages or discourages those editors from doing that work. -- Toughpigs (talk) 19:22, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
If the articles have been on WP for 16 years and show the current state with no sourcing, why should we keep them? There is a balance between maintaining the expected quality of the encyclopedia (meeting policy, etc.) as well as that we are under no DEADLINE, but at some point, something has to be done. We clearly can't let them sit there forever, but we definitely don't want to delete them in one rapid (read: over just a few days) deletion spree - WP:FAIT does prevent an excessive rate of deletions in one area. And particularly when it comes to fiction, even if editors interested in keeping such articles go "Wait, give us time to go through them and we'll clean up", this rarely actually achieves anything, as TTN has described. It's not a straightforward answer because there's pros and cons both ways this could be done. --Masem (t) 19:29, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I am unconcvinced that most of the Tolkien articles have any potential to be written up to modern standards. Fingolfin is as reasonable a place to start as any. This article has had a "primarily in-universe style" tag on it since May 2011. That is 8 year and 8 months. Elrond who might be notable enough for the article to survive (OK, since he is a minor character in the Hobbit, but does tell them of their swords origins even if I still think "my sire was born in that city and barely survived the destruction of the city" if Tolkien had when writting the Hobbit yet decided who Elrond was. He is a significant character in The Lord of the Rings and given a bigger role in the films. We have had that article tagged for improvement for 8 years. The article on Barahir which is not yet nominated for deltion has been tagged as sourcessless since March 2012. That means the article has lasted for 7 years 10 months with no source at all. How is this possible? Clearly these taggings have not moved any editors to improve these works. This may be because the article on Barahir dates back to December 22nd, 2002. It was created about the time The Two Towers was released in theatres. That puts the sourceless article on Barahir in the first 100,000 articles created on Wikipedia, well at least created when there were less than 100,000 articles. On Jan 1, 2002 there were 95,500 articles on Wikipedia. Considering there are now nearly 6 million articles on Wikipedia this fact is stunning. I just nominated Barahir for deletion, he is only a minor character. It gets better, the article was created by someone using only an IP address, not a registered account. This is the 4th LotR related deletion discussion connected to that IP address user. They created another 6 articles the same day, 3 of which have since been made redirects.John Pack Lambert (talk) 19:55, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Above there were 5 editors mentioned who have made multiple LotR deletion related nominations. I would come in as a 6th editor who has done so. If there are this many editors making such deletion nominations this is maybe a sign that this is a long overdue for being addressed issue. I think the turning point came when some of us realized that an article existed on Queen Berúthiel, creating such an article required close reading of LotR, and I mean close, her name only appears 1 time. I seem to recall this may have actually opened with a discussion of a category. I did find the discussion on the Shire category that is not at the list, but there seems likely to be something else as well, but I lack the patience for looking through them all. There has been over 8 years notice on these articles. Editors can not refuse to do anything and then try to use the very size of the mess they created as a reason to leave the mess intact.John Pack Lambert (talk) 20:18, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
  • In fact I just noticed that Elwing was a redirect to the list of Middle-earth chracters, so I created an entry on Elwing in that list. In response an editor who has not been identified as one of the deleters of LotR related content sent me a notice saying he thought Elwing was not a major character. Part of me is tempted to argue that Elwing is one of the two most important chracters in the plot of the Silmarillion. Without her Morgoth would remain in power, but I am not sure. Is she named in LotR, I can't remember what Bilbo may say about the events connected with her life. Well evidently she is mentioned in the poem Bilbo says at some point during the LotR action in Rivendell. Is being named in a poem within a fictional work enough to make someone notable enough for a list? I am hesitant to say yes or no, but maybe the answer to that question is yes enough to justify her being in the list. She is clearly more notable than Eldarion unless "having been played by an actor or actress in the LotR movies" is a key sign of notability.John Pack Lambert (talk) 20:30, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
  • The fact that the person who started this subsection has gone on the attack against me for speaking the truth of the Silmarillion and it being a work where stick figures get up and move around is a sign of them being hard core not understanding either issues of fan cruft or the fact that outside the Hobbit and LotR the works of Tolkien are truly minor works that are so minor it is unclear weather we should have articles on any characters. Instead "Characters in the Silmarillion" has 50 entries, 31 of them are articles. One of the redirects is Olorin, which goes to Gandalf. I am not sure he does much of anything in the Silmarillion. The same for Saruman, Galadriel and even Elrond. The overkill here is not the pace of deletion discussions, but the amount of articles that exist on fictional beings who have never had any significant scholarly analysis.John Pack Lambert (talk) 20:36, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
  • To continue on the issue of AfDing to merge, too many AfD discussions have people say "keep or merge". If people would choose one outcome they would be more workable. Also too many of these "keep or merge" nominations seem to be fan attempts to keep content they want in the face of a total lack of secondary sourcing. On the merge cases we have Radagast who has been under discussion for merger since 18 August 2019. I also think that the removal of all non-blue linked entries from the List of Lord of th Rings characters was not justified.John Pack Lambert (talk) 21:38, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I don't really understand what is proposed here. This scouring seems to me to be a coincidence. I nominated Radagast for merging in August. I received no response and forgot about it. Then in November Piotrus nominated Radagast for deletion (which failed). Then I became involved in other mergers and deletion of other Tolkiencruft, far more trivial than Radagast. I think the request for more time is illogical. From August to November no one responded to me about Radagast. I would have been quite within my rights to carry out the merger. Radagast would have been gone, and no one would be any the wiser. Generally speaking, no one is working on these articles, and no one is watching them. People have been given all the time in the world to fix these articles, if indeed they are fixable, which is highly dubious. I don't think slowing the rate of merger and deletion proposals would achieve anything. As the Radagast example shows, isolated proposals don't necessarily receive any attention. At least at the moment, a few editors are aware that the scouring is going on. And what is the solution? Some kind of quota of Tolkien articles? How would that be enforced?Jack Upland (talk) 02:08, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Responding here to a couple of points, as I simply don't have time to respond to everything (the time I have would be better spent working on the articles). The comments by Johnpacklambert are particularly difficult to address (and discouraging) as he clearly simply does not get what I am saying and is focused on his own personal issues and opinions about the works, rather than what secondary sources have to say. Yes, this is a neglected area, and the WikiProject is moribund and those who used to work in this area (including me) are no longer active. I don't dispute any of that. What I am asking is whether it is worth my time to even try, to become active again. It might save time spent on yet more deletion discussions, and I would be willing to commit to spend the time (a few months) carrying out a lot of merging (this would also require undeleting some of the page histories to merge encyclopedic content that was lost in some of the deletions), but there is a fundamental difference between deleting and redirecting, and merging and redirecting. In the case of this topic area (where there is little activity), there is very little chance that the redirects will be reactivated and turned back into articles. But deletions loses the edit history and it is very difficult to work out what came from where once that has happened. From the sounds of it, those who are actively commenting on the articles are not willing to slow the rate of nominations, and are not willing to give any time for work to be done. So I think it may be best if I simply walk away from this, which would be disappointing. So before I take that step, is there any willingness at all to give me a bit of time to see what can be done? Carcharoth (talk) 13:59, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
    • Carcharoth, this is my experience with WP:STARGATE (which got abandoned around 2006, before my en.wiki time): Over 10 years ago, I merged and redirected literally hundreds of Stargate articles in fear they's get AfDed otherwise. Then I went on an extended semi-wikibreak that eventually lasted 10 years. When I returned to en.wiki a few months ago, I found nearly all Stargate articles in the same bad INUNIVERSE shape of 10 years ago (though with article potential), and merged 80% of them in fear of the current AfD fiction waves. The resulting Mythology of Stargate article is still pretty bad, although it has obvious article potential. My impression of all my work, looking back, is that it was a waste of (my) time. If you want to improve fiction coverage of any franchise, then you should start at zero with reliable secondary sources at hand (like I did with Mythology of Carnivàle), not from the "I want to rescue and salvage the plotty page histories". They're just unusable cruft, and need to be excessively trimmed and rewritten so much that you might as well summarize the plot from scratch to achieve DUEWEIGHT. – sgeureka tc 14:20, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
      • Thank you sgeureka. That is genuinely helpful. It shows that you understand what I am talking about and it has helped a lot. It is still distressing that others seem tone-deaf to what I have been trying to say and keep repeating what they have said without actually listening to what I am saying. It really helps to have someone who has listened and understood. Thank you. Carcharoth (talk) 15:02, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
        • I agree that was a good comment.--Jack Upland (talk) 21:10, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
    • One thing I tried to stress before: if the losses that would happen due to AFD with failure to redirect (eg outright deletion) and the articles being deleted are 100% plot summaries of the works with zero attempts at non-primary sourcing, this is not a great loss. I would definitely be wary when some non-primary sourcing and text to support that may be lost, but the bulk of what is being deleted is just plot summaries, things that simply do not have a place on WP through a few separate policies. Losing those histories should not be seen as an issue.
    • I'd also again go back to the fact that many of these articles have had 10+ years to improve with no attempts. While no specific ME article had been "on call" about improvement, the establishment of notability principles, and more specifically the multiple attempts to try and fail to carve out any more specific notability allowances for fiction works, are not recent changes. Since at least 2010, any editor should have been aware that 100%-plot only summary of fictional topics was not supported by WP policies and guidelines. I'm all for giving the few with a chance of being improved that chance, but again, the ones being targetted by AFDs and PRODs here do not seem to be those cases. --Masem (t) 14:26, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
      • Thanks for responding Masem. I do get what you are saying, but you do seem to miss subtle points here and there. The missing bit here is that deletion nominations took place without the chance being given for redirections and mergers. I can say, hand on heart, that if I had known that there would be a wave of deletions like this, I would have done the work needed to merge articles and consolidate things a bit more. It is the absolute unbending and unyielding insistence on the iron-rule of deletion and losing the edit histories that does shake me and makes me lose that little bit of faith in Wikipedia every time it happens. Edit histories are important for the history of Wikipedia - not so much for the content but for the history of what happened as we tried to build Wikipedia. Erasing such large and extended edit histories from the public record (and this will increasingly happen the longer Wikipedia is around) is as if Wikipedia is ashamed in some way of keeping a record of what happened. And with that, I really do need to move on for a bit. Thanks to all who responded here. Carcharoth (talk) 15:02, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
I didn't know of this discussion. I suspect that way back in the Paleozoic Wikipedia, many Tolkien fans assumed a) that citations weren't needed; b) that a Tolkien citation guaranteed notability; and c) that what non-fan academics and critics wrote, let alone pre-Tolkienian writers like William Morris, was something far off the waterfalls off the back of the giant tortoise that held the world up, and not worth thinking about. I have added reliable secondary sources to a dozen of the more obviously at-risk-but-worth-keeping articles in the past few days, and will have my work cut out for many more. The key considerations should be 1) genuine notability, i.e. the existence in the world of reliable secondary sources (which means we need to add those sources, because people at AfD likely won't know of the existence of such things), and 2) arranging matters so that the hundreds of redirects which should rightly exist can point somewhere sensible, rather than all being misdirected to "Middle-earth#Geography" where there isn't any mention of them. That means pointing them somewhere vaguely sensible, like "Mordor#Ephel Duath", which means quite a lot of work cutting things down, adding mentions and citations, and changing a lot of links. All the best, Chiswick Chap (talk) 19:27, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
We absolutely should be trying to id cases where the non-notable character or the like can be merged into a list, retaining the original article behind a redirect. This is effectively what happened with Pokemon (see WP:POKEMON). What we don't want however are detailed minor character lists. Of course, the ME works are so vast that there's probably a "core character" list (like Gandalf, Frodo, Bilbo, Gollum, Sauron, etc.) , "major character" lists like Théoden, Boromir, etc., and then the more trivial minor characters that we should not have lists of if we can't source them in secondary material. WP is not so ignorant of popular culture to where we shun it: core and major Tolkien characters should be searchable terms, even if they end on lists. --Masem (t) 19:40, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Masem, what you say about lists and their limits is absolutely correct. But some of the characters you mention have easily enough coverage in secondary sources to justify standalone articles. Could I encourage you (and others) to please look at what Chiswick Chap is doing in terms of adding secondary sources to articles. They are showing what is possible, what (as I said elsewhere) should have been done earlier and which I had always intended to do one day (mea culpa). See the work done on the articles on Eärendil, Fëanor, Silmarils and Shelob as examples. Take that work alongside what they said here ("I think we are deleting in great haste, and that we may well have cause to repent of much of it in due time."). Chiswick Chap is handling some comments with more grace than I did, per the comment here. See also the productive discussions taking palace at User talk:BenKuykendall and Talk:List of Middle-earth characters#Inclusion criteria. It is clear that the current wave of deletion nominations have, as well as forcing some tidying up, prompted some serious editing activity. What would help is some time, a bit less AfD pressure. Is that possible? Carcharoth (talk) 13:09, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
Masem, I'm becoming more and more convinced from my work around the Tolkien articles that lists are very close to useless, and never as good as linking to items in a proper context. The major characters can of course have their own articles, and I agree with you that the minor ones mostly don't need articles at all - or, I think, list entries: they should have redirects pointing to decent places in context in the other 'story' articles, whether about the books, places, or major characters. I'm also realizing that there is a class of articles that is currently largely missing: Tolkien's themes and methods, and it is those that chiefly interest the critics, not lists of elvish characters. Tolkien's language-making and his cosmology have been covered, but Tolkien's verse, Tolkien's maps, Tolkien's mythology for England, and Tolkien's genealogies, all of which are elements of a larger topic, Tolkien's method, remain unaddressed. Perhaps it is towards these that we should be looking; many of the characters will then find natural homes in these new articles (like Gil-Galad in Tolkien's verse, for instance). Chiswick Chap (talk) 14:26, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
We also have the Tolkien section at Mythopoeia. Plus the Tolkien material at Eucatastrophe. There are the articles Tolkien's legendarium and Middle-earth canon. Plus Tolkien research and Reception of J. R. R. Tolkien (see also various related categories). There is some tension between Elvish languages (Middle-earth) and Languages constructed by J. R. R. Tolkien. There is also a 'citation needed' on J.R. Tolkien (schooner) if anyone wants a laugh. Carcharoth (talk) 14:52, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
The thing about lists and redirects in the short term, however, is that they allow for a redirect from a likely searchable term, and with that, allow for the content history of the original full article to exist buried under the redirect, available to non-admins to pull from or recreate if they can expand it. And if you have a character that really only can be discussed in one of the larger topics you are proposing, you can always drop an {{anchor}} on the relevant section for the redirect. Just keep in mind that redirects help with searching, it does not require that we have a full discourse on the topic searched on.
In terms of the current AFD effort, I would still state that if there is no other sourcing on the page outside of the primary novels, that's generally fair game. The examples Carcharoth has provided of what Chiswick Chap has been improving start from a state that non-primary sources are present, so these shouldn't be touched by the AFD efforts at this time. --Masem (t) 15:00, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Television#Cleanup of very bad character articles[edit]

I invite interested editors to join the discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Television#Cleanup of very bad character articles. One main question: How to deal with fiction articles that may be notable, but do not pass content policies (WP:NOTPLOT, WP:OR) and guidelines (WP:WAF). – sgeureka tc 15:19, 12 January 2020 (UTC)

More restrictions on List of fictional elements[edit]

I noticed we have large groups of lists for fictional elements.


In my humble opinion, these types of lists aren't useful, informative, or encyclopedic. I understand that lists and articles have different criteria for notability, but I think lists of fictional "category X" should have specific rules.

One of the rules I propose is making sure it has its own article to prove it's noteworthy of having a list instead of just a category.

So for example, we wouldn't be able to have a List of fictional doomsday devices without Fictional doomsday device or History of doomsday devices in fiction. For those who want to make these list, it would also encourage to validate them by creating articles for them. This also discourages making these ambiguous lists related to fiction now that we have better criteria.

This also seems like a band-aid to a bigger issue: outdated, difficult to manage, category system.Blue Pumpkin Pie Chat Contribs 18:21, 24 February 2020 (UTC)

I'll point to List of fictional badgers and its current AFD as a starting point for discussion that these lists need to have two things going for them to keep:
  1. That either the list as a whole is sourced to appropriate GNG-type sourcing, or you can talk about the nature of fictional X (but not the entire set) with GNG-type sourcing. This latter is the case for the fictional badgers list as identified at the AFD. It would likely be the case for a "Fictional doomsday device" too without doing any research on that.
  2. That the inclusion metrics for the list are either 1) that the entire list is sourced to one or more RS sources that cover the entire list (highly unlikely), 2) each item is a blue-link to a standalong article dedicated to the fictional item, or 3) the item is sourced to a third-party, independent RS that affirms the item should be on the list, avoiding WP:TRIVIA.
Without either, these are just random pop culture lists and need to be removed, they just simply aren't appropriate for WP. --Masem (t) 18:28, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
And to BPP's point, I wouldn't necessary expect that we need to have separate article on the fictional trope, just that we have in-depth coverage of that trope somewhere. If it is atop the list, that's as good as a standalone article. Ideally, I'd want to see the list attached to that unless for some reason SIZE issues come into play. --Masem (t) 18:30, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
There should be a real crackdown on both those and in "popular culture" articles. There are certainly a few examples where they make sense, but they're mostly just completely trivial. TTN (talk) 18:54, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
I think WP:NOTESAL should be discussed here. If there are lists and sets discussed outside of Wikipedia, then a list can exist on Wikipedia. It doesn't matter if editors think the topic is trivial. That perception can exist with prose too, like toilet paper orientation, but sources exist. If a list article lacks sourcing from lists and sets, then WP:BEFORE should be performed and any potential sources put on the talk page. Of course clean-up through removing unsourced content can be appropriate, but it helps to replace it with some sourced content. Erik (talk | contrib) (ping me) 19:36, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
We sorta need a line that distiquishes between a topic that actually has gotten some level of "academic" discussion like the toilet paper orientation (making it appropriate for an article), verses some random list of X in popular culture which may often have sources in "listicle" article ("Top 10" lists) that give no "academic" element for inclusion. (I use "academic" loosely here, I don't expect journal articles, but I expect something more transformative on the whole of the topic from a reliable source). --Masem (t) 19:44, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
I agree with Masem. There are so many ambiguous lists being created by random journalists that may have zero specialty in the topic. It has to be recognized by multiple recognized media outlets IMHO.Blue Pumpkin Pie Chat Contribs 19:49, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
Also, because I brought this up in the Badgers AfD, that we should distinguish fiction from folklore/legend/mythology as that is cultural that wasn't explicitly known as fictitious.Blue Pumpkin Pie Chat Contribs 20:11, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
There is a weird line between the folklore and the popular culture factors, to the point I wouldn't necessary separate these elements in different lists (unless, after all inclusion metrics are met, there is a size issue), but I would make sure they were grouped clearly to distinguish folklore from pop culture. --Masem (t) 20:23, 24 February 2020 (UTC)

I think that we need reasonable guidelines for pruning and improving these lists, for the simple reason that they make readers happy. There is anecdotal evidence that these lists offer serendipitous delight to readers, who are charmed by the discovery that they exist.

As a first step towards a guideline, I would suggest that to be included on a list like this, each item should be a significant character in the work or receive a reasonable amount of independent coverage, to be determined during the discussion of the guideline. (Another possibility is to only include items that are notable enough to have their own page.) Each item should be supported by a 2-3 sentence explanation of their significance within the work -- not just a bare listing of "x in an episode of y". If there isn't enough to say about that item to make 2-3 sentences, then it's not important enough to be included.

As an example, the List of fictional pigs should include Miss Piggy, Porky Pig, Babe, Piglet, and Wilbur from Charlotte's Web, and not the Peking Homunculus from a brief appearance in a Doctor Who story, or Little Cory from two episodes of Boy Meets World.

Just in the last 24 hours List of fictional badgers closed as no consensus and Centaurs in popular culture closed as keep, which strongly indicates that there is not currently a consensus to delete these articles en masse. If folks would like to get consensus on a new guideline, then it should probably be an RfC or some formal process, rather than a brief, unheralded conversation at the bottom of this page. -- Toughpigs (talk) 14:03, 26 February 2020 (UTC)

Should we start an initiative to delete the majority of these lists?[edit]

I'm wondering if we should start deleting some of these. At least the more obvious ones that are invented topics.Blue Pumpkin Pie Chat Contribs 17:41, 25 February 2020 (UTC)

No, too early. We should first establish the minimum expectations for these lists (previous section), make sure there's community consensus for those, and then give a time frame like 6 months or so for editors to clean up. THEN we can start a deletion spree as we have given editors fair warning throughout this. (Any such RFC and results would be posted to relevant wikiprojects and VP). --Masem (t) 17:44, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
I agree with Masem here. There's no huge rush and decency demands at least some prior warning before starting an enormous cleanup campaign. The voice of cynicism- and prior experience- says that no amount of prior warning will actually get the defenders of these lists to sort out any of the problems, or prevent them from complaining loud and long when they are nominated at AfD. But we should still behave properly. Reyk YO! 07:20, 26 February 2020 (UTC)