User talk:Atsme/MR

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Comments from AircornEdit

I am a bit confused by this. Is it a new guideline or are you just collecting relevant guidelines? Anyway I will leave some thoughts regarding Merge closes at AFD discussions here. I mentioned most of these at Wikipedia talk:Merge what?#Thoughts and re reading that they are still very relevant. I can provide examples of everything below if you want, but that will take some time looking through diffs.


  • Merging is the only deletion result that affects articles outside the one discussed
    • This can be problematic as editors only interested in the target article may be unaware that a discussion essentially discussing changes to there article is taking place.
  • Merging is the most difficult result to reconcile
    • Delete, keep and redirect require little effort whereas a merge close can sit in no mans land for years
    • Some merges require in depth knowledge of the subject to conduct
    • Can be very time consuming
      • I generally read the nominated article, the target article and the discussion. I conduct the merge as close to the closed discussion as I can, even if I have reservations about the information I am merging. Hardest ones I have found are when two reasonably well developed articles are written about the same topic. Often they overlap in every section and it can take a while to make sure you have covered all the information without repeating things.
  • Articles are often sent to AFD because they have problems, merging the article into another one does not always fix the problems
    • Occasionally it can make a decent article worse, which is something no one here should be doing
      • When closing merge discussions I refuse to merge information into a good article and instead will sometimes leave a talk page note so editors who have worked on and are familiar with the target article can decide what needs merging
  • The majority of merge !votes do not describe how the merge should be conducted
    • This gives the person conducting the merge no idea on what the !voters wanted to be merged
      • I suspect that many don't really look at the target article before !voting as often the information is already there.
  • Undue is a major issue. Many articles closed as merge are very specific and merging this information to a main article can seriously unbalance it.
    • Undue is part of WP:NPOV a pretty important policy (part of our WP:5P. We should avoid this at all costs.
  • Sometimes the target article is not very well chosen.
    • We have a lot of sub articles and they are often better targets than an overview one


  • Get rid of merge !votes
    • It is not a deletion option, but an article editing one.
    • It is sometimes a valid way to keep information and often the easiest way to get consensus on a merge is to nominate for deletion.
    • Pretty much enshrined in AFD results so unlikely to change
  • Close all merges as redirect and leave a note at the chosen target article informing editors that a discussion has closed as merge
    • Allows editors familiar with the topic to do the merge
    • Doesn't stop participants in the discussion or at the nominated article from doing the merge
  • Status quo (or what I think is the status quo)
    • Whoever conducts the merge decides (based on the discussion) what to merge
      • This can be nothing if no one has indicated what should be merged and there is no obvious way to merge
      • It could be a single sentence or adding a name to a list
      • It could be a virtual copy paste of the article to its own section
      • It may need to be spread through multiple sections
    • Once merged the information becomes editable like any other content. This means it can be removed completely, moved to a different section or reworded.
      • If there is disagreement then we follow consensus protocols
  • Everything is merged as is
    • Follows the close to the letter
    • Will most likely have major implications to the target article

My protocolEdit

  • I usually do not merge uncited content
  • I usually will not merge into a well developed article (I may drop a note on the talk page though)
  • I avoid merging articles with obvious neutrality issues
  • I avoid merging long lists of stats, results and other data to main articles where they would overwhelm the prose
  • I will however merge anything (uncited/poorly written (although I will probably copy edit it)/undue/non-neutral or otherwise) if it has been mentioned specifically at the deletion discussion and no one has objected
  • If merged content is reverted I do not revert back. In fact I am happy as it means someone familiar with the topic has seen it
  • I will probably have broken these at some point, but do try to follow them.

I am adamant that redirect needs to be a valid choice in conducting a merge. Just pick some articles at Category:Articles to be merged after an Articles for deletion discussion at random and decide if they would be better merged or redirected. I believe through practice that this is already the case, but if nothing else getting this put into a guideline or policy should be the aim of this discussion. You might like to ask @Northamerica1000: for their ideas as we have clashed over this issue a few times and they might provide a different perspective. AIRcorn (talk) 10:32, 18 December 2017 (UTC)


I have looked around the different links and think that the best one to target is WP:ATD-M. I would propose inserting the following in the third paragraph.

  • If a deletion discussion is closed as merge then involved editors will decide through consensus what information to merge. This can include merging nothing and leaving a redirect if there is no specific and clear consensus on what should be merged.

Another option is Wikipedia: Merging#Merger as a result of a deletion discussion, but it is not a PAG. AIRcorn (talk) 08:45, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

Aircorn the problem I've encountered typically involves a controversial FORK or SPIN-OFF which may have been created because of an OWN situation at the main article; i.e., certain content was denied inclusion via local consensus, an editor creates a FORK or spin-off, the opposition files an AfD soon after the article is created. Based on my experiences, there appears to be some benefit for POV pushers to file an AfD in such situations because (1) it's much quicker and more likely to bring wanted results than an RfC, (2) if the reasons to delete are weak, an argument can be made to merge, which typically ends in the material being deleted instead of merged, and (3) POV pushers maintain OWN. On the other hand, if the wider community determines the material should be merged because the content belongs in the main article, then a merge should be executed - ideally a new section added to the main article for inclusion of the content. If the opposition continues to oppose and refuses to merge a substantial portion of the content (which speaks to a potential gaming issue), then we have a case of noncompliance with consensus/policy. That is the scenario that lacks clarity in our existing policy and should be included in order to prevent gaming and/or ignoring consensus, resulting in the deletion of contents instead of merging. Atsme📞📧 18:46, 13 March 2018 (UTC)  
I think it would be wrong to create a content policy based on bad faith editing. There are other processes to deal with that. I don't really look into the reasons why an article was created when completing the merge. My view comes from the other end and the biggest frustration I find are merge !votes that are not properly thought out. As you can see from my examples below, merging is not always the best option. In some ways this may be related as in your situation people are !voting merge when they really mean redirect. As you can see from the linked AFD discussions we have some very experienced editors doing this. I have come to the conclusion that !voting merge is the standard position for many editors when they think there may be some notability, but not enough to justify an article. This is fine, but there are consequences of this to the target article that I don't think editors appreciate until they actually try and merge the content. Ideally I would like to change this attitude, but at a minimum redirecting needs to be an option for AFD merges. AIRcorn (talk) 19:49, 13 March 2018 (UTC) said: "I think it would be wrong to create a content policy based on bad faith editing." While I understand what causes your frustration, we need to keep in mind that it isn't wrong to create/modify policy to resolve conflicts/bad faith editing; rather, it is among the reasons for doing so and why we have PAGs: (my bold underline) Wikipedia: policies and guidelines are developed by the community to describe best practices, clarify principles, resolve conflicts, and otherwise further our goal of creating a free, reliable encyclopedia. Our goal is to find a way to resolve the conflicts, and I believe we can accomplish that goal if we focus on clarifying/modifying existing policy to eliminate the ambiguities and establish a standard practice (#1, #2, #3 instructions). Retraining 30,000+ editors will be far more difficult to accomplish than clarification of the policy, which will actually work toward better closes and less disruption for those who actually execute the merge. Does that make sense? Atsme📞📧 23:10, 17 March 2018 (UTC)
I understand. I am kind of guessing a bit at what you actually want to change the PAGs to say, but given how we came to this discussion I am assuming it is along the line that AFD's closed as merge through the community process (AFDs) should be merged over local consensus (or in my case the individual consensus of one editor) as redirect. While I, for obvious reasons, would be opposed to such a move I don't think it should stop us coming to some sort of agreement on how to word a rfc or what scope it should follow or even finding one we both agree on. Let me know how you plan to proceed. I am not sure myself and have been wondering if a more open RFC is needed to see if editors besides ourselves see this as a major problem. I will keep working on closing the merges and if you are happy to host it will continue to put my results here below. AIRcorn (talk) 03:37, 18 March 2018 (UTC)

Recent mergesEdit

I started merging from old AFds again. There were over 200 when I started the oldest being 679 days since the merge discussion closed. I will list below the results of the merge. I started with the oldest and worked my way forward.

Out of the 11 oldest AFD merges 3 were actually merged, two of which I judged reasonable merges. Only one AFD discussion had any specifics on how to conduct the merge. AIRcorn (talk) 17:56, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

5 of the 11 merged (although 1 was redirected due to a previous merge). 4 were reasonable mergers. 1 a very bad idea to merge.

Tried a different tack. Started a talk page merge discussion for the five newest afd merges and invited the AFD participants. Will see if and how editors respond. If nothing else will hopefully make them realise that more is involved than simply !voting merge.

Will give editors of the target pages a heads up too. AIRcorn (talk) 09:31, 20 March 2018 (UTC)