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Why Was My Wikipedia Page Deleted?

As far as online content goes, Wikipedia is about as universal as you can find. Information goes online through the efforts of its users as a collective. To be able to create a page you must register. Anyone can edit articles. The concept really is that simple. What a lot of users struggle with is how the finer details of Wikipedia work. A common problem on Wikipedia is that pages tend to disappear. Because the website operates so publicly, many people assume that the content can be less formal. This is not the case. Wikipedia has a system in place to eliminate pages that do not meet the standards. Each day, pages disappear if they do not meet the criteria.

The deletion process that carries out daily on Wikipedia can be difficult to understand. It is often a surprise when people learn that the website uses such a high standard of public information. After all, a website that lets the community contribute so wholly comes off a little carefree. In reality, Wikipedia is still thriving in this shifting virtual landscape because of its commitment to knowledge and execution. Content on Wikipedia must meet the site’s standards of publication. There are four processes for deletion on Wikipedia. Each of them are unique and used for differing levels of misuse.

Copyright infringement & reliable resourcing

Copyright is the most obvious cause of pages disappearing. But it continues to be an ongoing issue for Wikipedia users. While it can be seen as common sense, sometimes it is still easy to slip up. Copyright is blatant copying as well as the direct use of ideas without giving credit or adding additional value. If your Wikipedia page disappears, you can go through the content to reassess. You might find that you are not as crafty with your wording as you think you are. We live in a world where there is an overload of information. It can be easy to forget ourselves. In the online plain you cannot afford to risk losing your footing. That is when you lose your edge.

A similar concept is true for checking your sources. If you do not use credible sources, you risk using faulty information that will be picked up on. It is necessary that the content that goes up is the result of informed thought and reliable sources. Users must research their page’s topic and create a strong, factual basis for their page. If unoriginality is your worst enemy, then misinformation is its best friend. It should go without saying, but uploading faulty information to the internet can come back to bite you. It is no different for Wikipedia pages. Wikipedia editors can make any page disappear that they feel does not meet the requirements of Wikipedia. If your page does not meet these standards, it may disappear from the website.

Speedy deletion

There are 10+ reasons your page may disappear. Familiarise yourself.

Speedy deletion is the process of erasing pages that are wildly unfit for the site. These pages are usually the ones that have no foreseeable future on Wikipedia. When content is obviously out of line, speedy deletion is the process that carries out.This process works on pages that cover recreation of something that has already been through deletion. Speedy deletion may be of use if your page contains vandalism or hoaxes. For example, if your page is an open attack on an individual, then it falls under that umbrella.

Have a think about how your Wikipedia page reads. Is your information from credible, noted sources? Or does your page contain information that is wildly out of context (not making sense)? If your page displays serious dishonesty or lack of concrete facts, this process may come into play. Speedy deletion is seen as the last resort. It only for the most obvious cases. The process is reversible. The power to do so is solely in the hands of the admin officers.

Proposed deletion

If your article disappears but has not gone through speedy deletion, chances are it has been chosen for proposed deletion. Pages set for proposed deletion are “marked” for seven days. If you do not object to the deletion then the case is given to a third party admin. Pages that may be up for this type of deletion consideration vary, but include pages that detail the biographies of living people (there must be at least one source that supports the page’s statement).

If your Wikipedia page is cited for proposed deletion, then you have to object to the marking within the week. If you make no effort to dispute the action within the seven day deadline, then the page will disappear. Proposed deletion is a process that can only be applied to any given Wikipedia page once. This deletion process is also designed to give you the opportunity to dispute the deletion action.

Deletion discussion

Sometimes pages must go under review for proposed deletion, but do not fall into the other processes. These are the cases that move on to go through to this process. A deletion discussion is an open forum among users that explores the case. The pages that contain defamatory or legally suspicious content disappear from public viewing. But these pages remain on the database – if only for a little while. Admin have full access to the deletion discussion bandwidth in most cases.

Your page should not consist of any content that is unfounded, offensive, or otherwise provocative. If your article goes up for discussion, it is important that you understand why. This process is in effect for two purposes. Firstly, for the restoration of pages that disappear without necessary discussion. And secondly, for permanent removal of content that does not meet Wikipedia’s publication standards.

Where does my page go when it disappears?

When your Wikipedia page disappears, it is easy to panic. It will be comforting for many to find out that when a page disappears, it is not completely gone. When a Wikipedia page disappears, a record is set in the internal deletion log. Along with this record comes a summary. That is created by the deleting admin officer. The deletion log houses all the pages that disappear, changes, and article sections on the platform. Accessing the deletion log is simple enough. All you need to do is go to the deletion log window and type in your page’s title. It is important to note that the system only works if the exact title is entered (including caps and spelling). Additionally, the “talk” function may feature a red link to the deletion log.

If you cannot find your page in the deletion log, double check that you did type the title correctly. The simplest of errors can throw the system off. It must be precisely carried out. If you still cannot find it, there is a likelihood that the page is not in fact gone. For example, some pages simply move to a different page. The result of this redirection is that the initial post – your page – disappears. Your page is still there, it just does not exist on the same space anymore. If you go through all the channels and still cannot find your Wikipedia page, try contacting the Wikipedia Help Desk.null

What can I do to recover the page?

If you are not an administrator, you cannot recover your page.

So, what do you do next? Well, there is good news and there is bad news. The good news is that these pages can eventually go online. The bad news is that recovering a page is only possible for admin of the site. Unless you are a Wikipedia admin officer, you probably cannot get the page back online. The reasons that these pages disappear range. Wikipedia can remove your page for whatever point they wish (within reason).

While your page disappears, you can still view it via the Wikipedia: Deletion log section on Wikipedia. This is mostly beneficial if you do not have a copy of your page’s content anywhere else. Being able to still view the page through the deletion log allows you to copy the content elsewhere. A good place to do this is either Google Docs or Microsoft OneNote (both platforms constantly update). This will give you a tidy, reliable copy of all your content. This is also a great habit to get into. Doing so will eliminate the issue if any of your future Wikipedia pages disappear. You might not be able to restore your page’s landing on Wikipedia, but at least you can get your content back.

What to do if you cannot get your Wikipedia page back online

It is comforting to know that if your page disappears from the site, there is an archival version available. At the end of the day you still have a page that you ultimately want online. A solution that many Wikipedia contributors default to is to repost the page. Do not do this. The same thing is just going to happen again. Many people make the assumption that Wikipedia is not strict with its content because of the nature of the site. This is naive and advised against. Wikipedia’s core value is to provide useful information. Any pages that do not do that will disappear. So, what do you do if your Wikipedia page cannot go live?

Firstly, you can try to restructure it. Make sure that no information is already on another Wikipedia page. Next, go through your content. Figure out which pieces make the most sense. Do the same to find out where you can add more relevant information. Change the title if possible. Alter how you write the page so it reads as a stronger tone. If you do all of this and the page still disappears, it is time for Plan B. Have a professional work with your information. This is to structure the page in alignment with Wikipedia’s standards. At Reputio, our three core focuses are digital PR, link building, and Wikipedia page creation. We will create your Wikipedia page for you. We can ensure that it enjoys a healthy, long life on Wikipedia.

Brittany Dean

Brittany Dean is the Content Manager at Reputio. Since graduating from the University of Queensland in early 2018 she has worked remotely, gaining experience in the writing industry as both a writer and an editor.

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