Doom Wiki talk:Information removal requests
Requests predating this procedure
- Thomas Lutrov (Lutrov71): Subject requested deletion of the article, which was granted. During the later CodeImp discussion, the admin reconsidered and it was undeleted.
- Pascal vd Heiden (CodeImp): A few editors agitated for the removal of a paragraph about the so-called Trojan controversy. This eventually came to the attention of the subject, who asked that the article be deleted if we couldn't make up our minds. Finally the paragraph was taken out on the grounds that it was mostly forum drama, therefore non-encyclopedic.
- Mike Lightner (Mancubus II): Subject requested removal of an external link to his blog, which was granted.
- Category:Mephisto levels: Initially this category used the real name, per our convention. The subject asked an admin to delete it. The admin initially declined, pointing out that the name was already publicly available in WAD readmes, but then deleted the category and moved the maps into this one.
- Ralph Vickers (Ralphis): Subject requested deletion of a photo of himself (having removed it from the article), which was granted.
- Derek MacDonald (Afterglow): Subject (editing as an IP) removed an external link to his blog. Multiple admins endorsed this after the fact, saying that the blog wasn't related to Doom and could be incriminating.
- Andrew Cardinell (Tenchu): Article was apparently deleted at the subject's request.
- Doubt anybody else would have done it, so I guess so. --Quasar (talk) 08:22, 9 January 2018 (CST)
- Likely obvious now, but I contacted him on Doomworld and it was indeed him who made the edits. --Eris Falling (talk) 10:30, 9 January 2018 (CST)
Should this policy still extend to full article removals?
In the past, requests to remove information from the wiki have ranged from removing an old (but public) alias to an undesirable external link to (part of) a full name to removal of the entire person article. These requests have sometimes been debated, and in many cases been granted. And in all but the last case I think that is still the consensus among editors and admins, e.g. removing a person's real name or date of birth out of privacy concerns is understandable.
However, deletion of an entire article out of courtesy to the pertaining person's request has been extensively debated in the distant past (here, here, here, and that's probably an incomplete round-up) and while I haven't digested that entire history, the take-away was that there was no consensus to grant courtesy deletions. But since then, that has still happened a few times. So while the policy does not formally allow it (as far as I see) it still happens in practice, and people come to see it as precedent.
I feel this contradicts the mission of the wiki, and have discussed it with a few people on #doomwiki, but the topic belongs here publicly on the wiki so other interested admins/editors can participate.
The wiki aims to be an encyclopedia covering notable people in a neutral point of view, and as long as the article is based on a person's public accomplishments and activities (mod releases, speedrunning records, video channels, writing contributions, etc.) that was digested from simple Internet searches, then I think the request to delete such an article is without merit. We often look at how (English) Wikipedia does things, and while we have far fewer policies about everything, I think one principle we share is: the person does not own the article written about them. A notable guitarist, writer, politician, scientist, etc. will not get their own article removed from Wikipedia if it meets their standards. Similarly I think our wiki should not remove a person article just by that person's request -- which can happen on a whim and be retracted a few days later, btw.
The article that brought this topic to the fore is Billa, as I was contacted via Doomworld PM within 15 minutes of its creation by Billa, requesting its deletion on the ground of "issues with stalking and harassment in the past". Despite my pointing out the article simply digests publicly available info, contains no personal identification, and that other private avenues like their DW and Discord accounts carry a far higher risk of such behavior than the public (talk) page here, they persisted. And so after some IRC chats, that brings us to this point. Personally I am against removing neutral encyclopedic information, just as a journalist won't stop writing about a notable person just because they don't like to be in a newspaper. In other words, if you don't want a site to summarize what you published (in the broadest sense), perhaps you shouldn't have published in the first place. What do other editors/admins think? --Xymph (talk) 07:30, 2 January 2024 (CST)
- I mostly agree with your position. We do bend over backwards to be accommodating to community members but there is a line where it becomes damaging to the mission. It's definitely beyond legal requirements as far as I'm aware as well. --Quasar (talk) 07:50, 2 January 2024 (CST)
- I completely and fully agree. We have done tremendous work to turn the wiki into the useful community resource that it is, and such requests are damaging to the overall mission. I agree with removing real names and things like that, but a list of works based on publicly available information is, like you said, something that does not belong to the mapper or speedrunner in question. Even more so because most people cannot be contacted directly via the wiki to begin with, that's what Doomworld and whatnot are for. --Dynamo128 (talk) 07:56, 2 January 2024 (CST)
- From the perspective of concerns about potential edit vandalism (which I know has happened in a few cases), I can understand people requesting deletion of their wiki articles, but Xymph does present valid points that I'm inclined to agree with, especially in regards to the person not owning the article about themselves. Ultimately, I feel that such requests are unwarranted most of the time, and unless there are very good reasons behind those requests (which "issues with stalking and harassment in the past", I'd say, doesn't exactly qualify as), I don't see it as beneficial to cater to them as far as the wiki's mission statement is concerned. Then again, I won't pretend to know anything about the legalities involved. --MF38 (talk) 08:10, 2 January 2024 (CST)
- I also agree. This is the Internet, and the only way to be 100% safe from trolls is to go offline. If you've put your creations online, then there's nothing to stop us (or anyone else) from writing about them or discussing them. Yes, abuse and vandalism may occur, but they are usually removed fairly quickly. In this regard, I don't see any difference between a wiki and a public forum. And while we're on the topic - why some pages about people are protected from creation here on the DoomWiki? Either fulfill all page deletion/protection requests or none. --Nockson (talk) 10:50, 2 January 2024 (CST)
Alright, then it would be useful to clarify this consensus atop the project page. How about this draft statement? "Removal can occur of privacy sensitive information, identifying external links, information presenting a liability to the Doom Wiki, and similar material. This does not extend to complete removal of a person article at that person's request, for which the regular delete process applies." Does that need rewording, or tweaks, or is it okay? --Xymph (talk) 05:00, 3 January 2024 (CST)
- Seems good to me. The only thing I would add is the following: "When putting an article about you or your creations up for deletion, a suitable reason must be given, and the author's wishes are not such a reason." (with a link to Wikipedia:OWN) And I'm gonna repeat myself - when you will add this statement to the page, at the same time, all personal articles that were deleted and/or protected from creation must be restored and/or their protection removed. Otherwise, it seems strange that we refuse to delete personal pages for some people, while for others an exception was made without any justification. --Nockson (talk) 05:38, 3 January 2024 (CST)
- I agree with Xymph's draft, IMO there's no need to overcomplicate things for now, we can always focus on aspect Nockson understandably brought up in due time, IMO the "one thing at a time" approach works best here. --Dynamo128 (talk) 05:41, 3 January 2024 (CST)
- That sentence doesn't really work as nobody "puts an article up for deletion"; people typically contact an admin or editor off-wiki. And "author's wishes" is just repetition on the proposed wording, so let's not make the statement longer than necessary for now. The regular delete policy is linked specifically for that reason.
- As for previously deleted articles, I'm not sure this new rule should be retroactively applied to situations preceding it. Thoughts, anyone?
- In practice, Chronoteeth was already recreated last August, by accident because Dynamo didn't realize it was in the removal log. They were active on the ZDoom forums less than two years ago, so I feel it's reasonable to keep it now and have removed it from the log. Aquila Chrysaetos was barely notable when the request was made, but has more than sufficient body of work now. Same for rd, but in both cases I have no insight how article restoration would fly with them, and whether it's fair to do that now. --Xymph (talk) 14:51, 3 January 2024 (CST)
- The rule will work and be well received by people if it is the same for everyone. Imagine the situation: a person came to demand the deletion of their page, and right on this page it is written that they do not have the right to demand such a thing, although below there are examples of such deletions. This is unfair and looks like double standards. --Nockson (talk) 06:19, 4 January 2024 (CST)
- I thought a little more and came up with the following: While I still believe the rules should be universal, I think tackling one problem at a time is a good strategy. So I agree that it is worth introducing the new approach first, and after a while start discussing the old exceptions. --Nockson (talk) 12:04, 4 January 2024 (CST)
- Well, your penchant for consistency is clear by now. :) But consider two things: if an earlier decision is now reverted for something that is probably sensitive to the pertaining subject, how does that reflect on the wiki's fairness and long-term standing in the community? And also, in criminal law if past activities are no longer allowed by a new law, they are not retro-actively prosecuted. That is water under the bridge. So maybe here too, let bygones be bygones. The new rule could be tweaked to "Since 2024, this no longer extends to complete removal..." to make it clear it does not apply to past situations. --Xymph (talk) 12:24, 4 January 2024 (CST)
- Please use the following wording:
- "Doom Wiki Project staff will consider requests for removal of personally identifying information. This can include names, locations, personally relevant dates, gender or sexual orientation, any external links which may reveal additional information or tie together multiple online profiles, and other information on a case-by-case basis. However, this does not include a basic listing of otherwise publicly available published works or accomplishments. Please note that because of this, this policy does not allow for a complete removal of a person article at that person's request, for which the regular deletion process applies."