Visualizing the deletion process on Wikipedia

David Weinberger sez, "Notabilia has visualized the hundred longest discussion threads at Wikipedia that resulted in the deletion of an article and the hundred that did not. The visualized threads take on shapes depending on whether the discussion was controversial, swinging, or unanimous. For those whose brains can process visualized information (as mine cannot), you will undoubtedly learn much. For the rest of us: Oooooh, pretty! They also have analyzed data using words. E.g., Delete decisions tend to be unanimous."

Visualizing Deletion Discussions on Wikipedia (Thanks, DavidJoho, via Submitterator!)


  1. Very nice visualization.
    Weird that a lot of AfDs that resulted in deletion are about judaism, and several which resulted in keeping are about Harry Potter. In particular, why is ‘List of jewish communists’ almost unanimously voted for deletion, while ‘Second Wizardry War’ was kept? Is “communist” still considered some kind of insult?

    And ‘North America’ was deleted (It now exists again), while Boxxy was kept?
    Or am I misreading the graph?

  2. Just to be clear: this isn’t a visualization of Wikipedia’s entire deletion process. It’s a (really cool) visualization of one deletion process, the one called Articles for Deletion that involves a request for comment that lasts a week.

  3. It’s sad that this visualization exists at all, as the true information it conveys is:

    a) the amount of well-intentioned, hard work that is deleted on a regular basis

    b) the amount of meta-work that is wasted on these “notability” discussions

    All well-formed, well-cited articles belong in the wikipedia. Hard drive space is cheap and plentiful, and the existence of trivial articles in the wikipedia does not in any way hinder your usage of the articles you find “notable”.

    1. But all “well-formed, well-cited articles” do remain on Wikipedia. Most deleted articles are deleted for legitimate reasons, i.e. they are unsourced and there’s no evidence that the subject is notable at this time. It has nothing to do with trivial articles. If you want trivial, Wikipedia has it.

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