Ethical Management of the English Language Wikiversity/Case Studies/Deletionism

Student Participation Project

Encourage silliness!

The main page says that "students are invited to join us", but this page was proposed for deletion. Is this a paradox?

Study question Why would a user want to delete the portal page for student participants at Wikiversity?



Deletionism and Inclusionism are dueling philosophies on Wikipedia. Is there a simiarity between these philosophies and this dispute?



According to The metawikimedia page on Deletionism, Deletionism is a philosophy held by some Wikipedians that favors clear and relatively rigorous standards for accepting articles, templates or other pages to the encyclopedia. Wikipedians who broadly subscribe to this philosophy are more likely to request that an article that they believe does not meet such standards be removed, or deleted.



According to The metawikimedia page on Deletionism, Inclusionism is the philosophy that information should be liberally added and retained on Wikipedia. It is espoused by users called inclusionists who favor keeping and amending problematic articles over deleting them. Inclusionists are generally less concerned with the question of notability, and instead focus on whether or not an article is factual, with merit, or useful.



Some users (blame me) do not feel that Inclusionists or Deletionists are being fair to the content being created at Wikiversity; Deletionists often delete content which users are actively working on to try to improve; while Inclusionists often keep abandoned content or content with little value. The main danger of Deletionism is the removal of worthwhile content, and how intimidating deletion can be to new users. The main danger of Inclusionism is that new users may come to abandoned pages and feel too intimidated to work on the same or similar content, or that similar content may be made in several locations without any community or cooperation among those developing similar content, because inclusionists believe in forking, but not in merging.

A proposed alternative is Integrationism. Integrationism generally has two primary methods of function: on a content level, and on a participant level. Inclusionists believe that good content should be kept, and poor content should be discarded if someone is not actively working on improving it. As much as possible, related content should be brought together to make it readily accessible to visitors to Wikiversity. Inclusionists feel that participants interested in similar subjects should gather together and lend eachother support, working on the same projects; instead of having multiple separate courses covering Basic Spanish or Early Childhood Development, it would be better to try to get participants to work together on a single, superior, Basic Spanish or Early Child Development project.

The Request


"This page is an ancient relic from a time when it looked like a good idea. It's unlikely this page will ever be developed, and it might encourage silliness. Short of deleting it, we might also tag it as 'historical'."

An ancient relic


At the time the request was made, the page in question had not been edited for over 6 months. Are pages that are no longer maintained worth keeping? Why or why not?

Yes. Distance learning is a basic function of Wiki (for a definition, see, e.g. wiki:WikiDesignPrinciples). That includes distance in time. Hillgentleman|Talk 06:04, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Encourage silliness


Is "silliness" helpful to learning? If not, should it be encouraged? If only some types of silliness are good, how should one encourage that, but discourage other, worse silliness, like vandalism.