Wikipedia:Requested moves/Closing instructions

The following are suggestions for closing Wikipedia:Requested moves discussions. These should generally be applied only after the normal seven-day listing period has elapsed.[a] These suggestions are addressed to formal move requests that occur on talk pages, i.e. controversial move requests, but are instructive as to the necessary page history investigation and preservation and cleanup procedures advisable upon any move. Requests listed in the technical requests section can be simply removed after they have been processed. Where technical moves are contested, move the listing to the contested technical requests section.

Failure of an RM closer to follow the spirit and intent of these instructions, especially about properly weighing consensus with applicable policies and guidelines, may result in the initiation of a Move Review.

Closers may find this guide helpful when considering the technical task of closing a discussion.

Who can close requested movesEdit

Conflicts of interestEdit

An involved editor, admin or otherwise, may not close a move request (with one exception, detailed below).

You are considered involved if:

  • You have ever proposed a move request about the article in question
  • You have ever supported or opposed such a move request
  • You have ever closed such a move request
  • You have ever commented on any talk page in such a way as to make clear your position on the move request (even comments pre-dating the request)
  • Your editing on the page in question or about the page in question makes clear your position on the move request

If you are involved, you may solicit a closure, you may comment, you may make a move request, and you may relist the move request, etc., but you may not close a move request.

There are many, many editors on Wikipedia, many of whom may be nearly as wise as an involved editor like yourself. Trust the process — do not close requests that you are involved with.

If you wish to solicit a closure, go to the Closure requests noticeboard and ask for an impartial administrator to assess consensus. Such an administrator should be familiar with the relevant policies and guidelines (especially WP:AT and WP:PRIMARYTOPIC) and move request procedures. Do not ask for a specific person under any circumstance, and do not ask for a closure before the one-week period has expired.

(There is one exception to this rule: a move request proposer may close their own move request as withdrawn if no one has commented yet, or if opposition is unanimous.)

Non-admin closureEdit

Experienced and uninvolved registered editors in good standing are allowed to close requested move surveys. Any non-admin closure (NAC) must be explicitly declared with template {{subst:RMnac}} placed directly after the reasoning for the close within the {{subst:RM top}} template (or use the |nac= parameter in the closing template).

Non-administrators are reminded that closing a discussion calls for an impartial assessment of consensus or lack of it, although arguments supported by directly relevant policy and guidelines are given more weight (while keeping broader Wikipedia policy, guidelines, and consensus in mind). Any editor wishing to express an opinion on the requested move should join the discussion, not close it.

NACs are not discouraged for requested moves, as long as the non-admin is highly experienced with RMs and our closing procedures. All closures of requested moves are subject to being taken to review at WP:Move review (WP:MR), but the mere fact that the closer was not an admin is never sufficient reason to reverse a closure. Indeed, many high-profile, controversial move requests have been closed as NACs, taken to WP:MRV, and affirmed there. While non-admins should be cautious (as indeed all move closers should be) when closing discussions where significant contentious debate among participants is unresolved, any experienced and uninvolved editor in good standing may close any RM debate.

Occasionally, a move involves a redirect with multiple revisions, and requires technical intervention. Editors are permitted to close the discussion and file a technical move with a link to the closed discussion. The results of discussions in favor of moves should generally be respected by the administrator (or page mover). If an administrator notices a clearly improper move closure, they should revert the closure and re-open the discussion.

In any case where a non-admin closer does resort to a technical move request, the closer should actively monitor that request, and be ready and willing to perform all tidying after the move (as instructed below), such as fixing double redirects, fair-use rationales, and navbox links included on the page. If a non-admin closer is not willing to wait for the technical deletion and to perform the follow up in this manner, they should only close requested moves that do not require technical intervention.

Closure by a page moverEdit

Editors with the page mover permission can perform certain technical moves without administrator assistance, such as a move over a redirect with more than one edit via a round-robin page swap. A user is granted the page mover right after demonstrating a good understanding of the Wikipedia page naming system and decent page moving experience. Since closure by a page mover is a type of non-admin closure, it should be labeled as such using {{subst:RMnac}}, {{subst:RMpmc}} or equivalent (or use the |pmc= parameter in the closing template).

Determining consensusEdit

Consensus is determined not just by considering the preferences of the participants in a given discussion, but also by evaluating their arguments, assigning due weight accordingly, and giving due consideration to the relevant consensus of the Wikipedia community in general as reflected in applicable policy, guidelines and naming conventions.

No minimum participation is required for requested moves. If no one has objected, go ahead and perform the move as requested unless it is out of keeping with naming conventions or is otherwise in conflict with applicable guidelines or policy. Further, any move request that is out of keeping with naming conventions or is otherwise in conflict with applicable guideline and policy, unless there is a very good reason to ignore rules, should be closed without moving regardless of how many of the participants support it. Remember, the participants in any given discussion represent only a tiny fraction of the Wikipedia community whose consensus is reflected in the policy, guidelines and conventions to which all titles are to adhere. Thus, closers are expected to be familiar with such matters, so that they have the ability to make these assessments.

If objections have been raised, then the discussion should be evaluated just like any other discussion on Wikipedia: lack of consensus among participants along with no clear indication from policy and conventions normally means that no change happens (though like AfD, this is not a vote and the quality of an argument is more important than whether it comes from a minority or a majority). However, sometimes a requested move is filed in response to a recent move from a long existing name that cannot be undone without administrative help. Therefore, if no consensus has been reached, the closer should move the article back to the most recent stable title. If no recent title has been stable, then the article should be moved to the title used by the first major contributor after the article ceased to be a stub.

Note that according to Wikipedia:Consensus § No consensus:

Therefore, if a page has been moved from a long-standing title, and it is not possible to move the page back to its original title during the discussion, the default title will be the title prior to the contested move. For example, if an article is created at Soda can and stays there for years prior to being WP:BOLDly moved to pop can, and a move request is filed leading to a decision of "no consensus", the article must be moved back to its longstanding title. This is the case even if the original page was placed at pop can or fizzy drink can or orangutan-flavored soft drink can, as long as soda can took over through consensus and can be determined to be the actual long-standing title.

RelistingEdit

Relisting is an option when a discussion cannot otherwise be closed, usually due to lack of consensus. See Wikipedia:Requested moves#Relisting a requested move for instructions and more details. Editors are under no obligation to wait to close a move request after it is relisted. Once a move request has been open for the full seven days, it may be closed at any time by an uninvolved editor. Closers wait mainly for general agreement, for consensus, to emerge.

Exception: if a page is added while relisting. Sometimes editors may not realize that to move page A to B, page B must first be moved to C. When a new page move request is added to one that is already seven days old, the RMCD bot places the notification tag on the newly added page that day, and the discussion must go a full seven days (more) before being closed. It is helpful to closers when relisters leave a note just below the nomination that this happened.

Relisting and participatingEdit

A relister may later become a participant or closer in the requested move discussion or survey.

Only move involved pagesEdit

A move request about moving X to Y should never be closed in such a way as to require page Z to move if Z wasn't listed in the original move request (see below).

Where a discussion would result in the original title pointing to a "Foo (disambiguation)" page, the practice of pagemovers has been to immediately move the disambiguation page to the base page name, per WP:MALPLACED. This is because a disambiguation page is presumed to belong at the base page name unless that title is taken by a primary topic.

Write a clear, concise closing statementEdit

There are generally three different outcomes for consensus in requested moves. The closer should clearly show which outcome has taken place so that other editors may quickly see the progression of consensus regarding the title; it is much easier to move an article that has never had a firm consensus about the title.

1. Not moved should be used when a consensus has formed to keep the current title and not rename the article(s) in question. For instance, a proposal to rename Bob Dylan to Squeezy Joe would likely result in everyone (or nearly everyone) agreeing that the proposed move should not take place; this notifies other editors that they should probably not propose this move in the future until and unless circumstances change. There is a positive consensus found, and that consensus is for the page to stay exactly where it is.
2. Moved should be used when consensus is found to rename the page. If there is any question whatsoever as to which title it should be moved to, please note this in the closing summary (e.g. "moved to Squeezy José"). This almost always sets a consensus for the new title, and further requests to move the page are likely to fail unless new information or arguments are brought forth.
3. No consensus should be used when there is neither a consensus to move nor a consensus to keep the current title. This may be because a discussion has fractured into several possible titles and none seem especially suitable, or simply because equally strong arguments and appeals to Wikipedia policy and outside sources were found on both sides, without any clear reason to move the page found in the discussion. Of course, as elsewhere on Wikipedia, this usually means that no action is to be taken at the present time.

While it is usually bad form to re-request a move if consensus is found against it (until and unless circumstances change), it is not considered bad form to re-raise a request that found "no consensus" to move. (Successful move re-requests generally, though not always, take place at least three months after the previous one. An exception is when the no-consensus move discussion suggests a clear, new course of action.) Because of this, it is almost always unnecessary to place a moratorium on future move requests, and doing so can frequently be counterproductive.

Discussions involving multiple optionsEdit

Most move requests are simple. Alice proposes that we move X to Y. Bob, Carol and Dave chime in. Edgar analyzes the discussion and decides whether there is a consensus, and then gives one of the three outcomes above.

But sometimes things get complicated. Alice proposes moving X to Y, but then Bob raises real concerns about Y, and proposes Z instead. Carol says, no, we should stay with Y. Dave says we actually need to keep the article at X. Edgar shows up and is very confused. What does he do?

If you as a closer are in doubt because too many titles have been proposed and there's no real consensus anywhere, it is generally best to close as no consensus and allow someone to re-propose the move to a more specific or better title.

But then again, there are situations where multiple names have been proposed and no consensus arises out of any, except that it is determined that the current title should not host the article. (There are good arguments for Y, and there are good arguments for Z, but there are virtually no good arguments for it to stay at X.) In these difficult circumstances, the closer should pick the best title of the options available, and then be clear that while consensus has rejected the former title (and no request to bring it back should be made lightly), there is no consensus for the title actually chosen. And if anyone objects to the closer's choice, then instead of taking it to move review, they should simply make another move request at any time, which will hopefully lead the article to its final stable title.

Closing the requested moveEdit

When you complete an entry on the project (whether the move was accepted or rejected), remove the {{requested move/dated}} tag from the talk page, or change {{requested move/dated}} to {{subst:requested move/end}}. You should also add and sign a comment to indicate whether the move was accepted or rejected in the discussion area for the requested move. This can take the form of an informal note or a more formal close (see below). To ease things a little bit, you can use this script by Andy M. Wang or this script for page movers.

While historically, there have been other options for formally closing the move request survey on the affected article's talk page, nowadays we exclusively use the twin templates {{subst:RM top|result of the discussion.}} and {{subst:RM bottom}}. For requests that for some reason did not apply, you can use {{subst:notmovedmalformed}} or a similar statement based on the circumstances.

Step-by-step formal closing procedureEdit

After clicking the [edit] tab next to the move discussion, you may follow these step-by-step instructions for closing an RM discussion:

Before closing After closing Description
==Requested move== ==Requested move== Leave the heading alone; the close starts below it.
{{Requested move/dated|Foo}} {{subst:RM top|'''RESULT.'''}} Replace text on left with text on right. Add {{subst:RMnac}} within the template if necessary.
DISCUSSION DISCUSSION Body of the discussion stays unchanged.
{{subst:RM bottom}} Add the bottom template.
  • If additional explanation is provided as to why you have closed the move discussion as a certain result, add additional comments immediately after '''RESULT'''..
  • Save the page with an edit summary such as "Closing requested move survey; page moved/not moved".

After closing, the page should look similar to this:

Requested move
The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: RESULT. [Additional comments]. Example (talk) 11:36, 14 August 2022 (UTC)


FooFoobar – rationale of nominator. Example (talk) 11:36, 14 August 2022 (UTC)

  • Supports/Opposes with discussion
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Add {{Oldmoves}} or {{Old move}} to the talk page if so desiredEdit

After the move is complete, the {{Oldmoves}} or {{Old move}} templates may be added to the top of the talk page (or updated if already present), allowing editors to see previous move discussions that might otherwise be archived. This is helpful for titles that are likely to be challenged again, so that any would-be re-proposer can make reference to previous arguments and consider how a consensus may be formed to move. In the case of pages with multiple move discussions, these templates should always be added/updated after the closure of an RM.

Automatic removalsEdit

Once the article's talk page has been updated, there's no need to return to the Wikipedia:Requested moves page and delete the article's entry there; this will be performed automatically by a bot.

Likewise, RMCD bot will remove the {{Title notice}} from the page itself within 15 minutes.

Using move protection during RMs and immediately after RM closesEdit

Some RM discussions are contentious; undiscussed, unilateral page moves during a discussion or page moves made immediately after and contrary to an RM close decision are disruptive and hurt the integrity of the RM process. Admins monitoring RM discussions should use their discretion to move protect articles during contentious RM discussions when they believe a premature, undiscussed unilateral move would be disruptive to the discussion. The same discretion should be used to start or continue move protection immediately after the RM close. Generally, such move protection should be limited to no more than 30 days under normal circumstances. The RM closing comment should reference the move protection.

Moving proceduresEdit

Edit history of destination pageEdit

The majority of target names for move requests already exist as redirects to the present names. Whether a redirect or otherwise, that existing target title should be investigated to see whether it has a minor or major page history. If it has a minor page history, generally meaning it only existed as a redirect, and was never a duplicate article, never had content that was cut and pasted to the present title, nor merged there, it may simply be deleted. However, if the target page title has a major history it should never be simply deleted, as we need to retain such page histories for proper copyright attribution. There are three ways to deal with target pages with major histories, dependent on circumstances. In the event this situation presents itself on a move, click "show" below for instructions.

Procedure for redirects with major histories
  1. For page histories resulting from cut and paste moves, the correct way to fix this is to merge the page history of the present article and the redirect, using the procedure outlined at Wikipedia:Administrators' guide/Fixing cut-and-paste moves. On rare occasions, this procedure will not work correctly. Once a history merge is done, it cannot easily be undone, so don't pick this option unless it is definitely the right one. You can request history merges at Wikipedia:Requests for history merge.
  2. For duplicate articles and merged content, or alternatively for cut and paste moves, the page histories of the article and the redirect can be swapped with a round-robin move. For cut and paste moves this leaves a bifurcated history, but has less chance of causing problems. Simply move the redirect with a major history to a temporary name (Draft:Move/NAME is suggested), suppressing the creation of a redirect (in the event you forget to suppress the redirect, delete the same); next, move the article to the move target location, again suppressing the redirect and deleting the same if you forget; next, move the redirect from its temporary location to the title at which the article you just moved was formerly located. At this point the redirect will be pointing at itself; re-target it to point to the new location of the article. See also WP:SWAP and WP:ROUNDROBIN.
  3. Another option is for redirect pages with major histories to be archived into a talk namespace, and a link then placed on the article's talk page. (An example of such a page is at Talk:Network SouthEast, which was originally created as a duplicate article at Network SouthEast and later archived, when the original article was moved from Network South East).

Cleaning up after the moveEdit

You should not close any move if you are unwilling to do the necessary clean up tasks described at WP:POSTMOVE. Some of the most commonly required cleanup tasks are:

  • Updating the article prose (including the first sentence) to use the new name
  • Updating any navigational templates to link directly to the new title, rather than via a redirect
  • Fixing any mistargeted wikilinks resulting from the move (only applies when the move involves a change to primary topic)

Moves of other pagesEdit

If a page is to be moved as the result of a move request, mention should be made of this in the move proposal and a notice should be placed on the talk page of the article to be moved (unless of course it is hosting the discussion). Generally, a move request on whether to move X to Y should have no impact on page Z's title, unless it is initiated as a {{multi-move request}} that mentions moving Z as a possibility. This is because the editors most interested and aware of Z are not able to contribute their expertise to the naming discussion, since it's happening at a different place without any notice given.

These situations often come up when Foo (barge) is proposed to move to, say, Foo (enormous sailing thing), and someone mentions that they think the barge is actually the primary topic. A consensus of these barge enthusiasts may then informally suggest that the existing article Foo be moved to Foo (bar), without actually notifying Foobar-interested editors by signaling at Talk:Foo that a move request involving that page is taking place. This often leads to strife and another, more contentious move request. If consensus at X signals that Z should move, close the request at Talk:X, do not move Z, and file a new move request at Talk:Z.

Even if consensus is clear, when closing a move request do not move articles that have not been nominated to be moved except in the very clearest and not-even-plausibly controversial situations.

Bot considerationsEdit

Malformed requestsEdit

A request will be listed in a special section titled "Malformed requests" on Wikipedia:Requested moves when the listing bot fails to successfully interpret the request. Please remember to use {{subst:Requested move}} – rather than manually format the request yourself – to avoid this issue. Possible causes and solutions include:

  • The request was appended to an existing talk page section. Add a new section header immediately above the {{Requested move/dated}} template.
  • It is OK to change the auto-generated level 2 header to a level 3 header, thus making the RM section a sub-section of an earlier-started discussion.
  • The page requested to be moved is a redirect. Only pages with non-redirecting content should be requested to be moved.
  • Per WP:SIGPROB the timestamp must adhere to the system-generated format (HH:MM, D MM YYYY (UTC)) and must not be customized.

"Time could not be ascertained"Edit

A request will be listed in a special section titled "Time could not be ascertained" on Wikipedia:Requested moves when the listing bot cannot ascertain the date on which the request was made. Please remember to use {{subst:Requested move}} – rather than manually format the request yourself – to avoid this issue. Possible causes and solutions include:

  • The move request is not signed. Sign the move request, and the problem is solved. If you are signing for someone else and you use {{Unsigned}}, you must place today's time/date stamp for this to remedy the problem, so you can use the form {{subst:unsigned|Foo|~~~~~}}, and note this uses five tildes to place the time stamp, or the actual timestamp can be copied from history - but adding (UTC) is required.
    Also remove the <!-- Template:Unsigned --> comment from the end of the line – the bot allows up to 23 bytes following the timestamp at the end of the line, and that comment is 26 bytes long.
  • A missing – between the proposed move and the proposal description will prevent the description from appearing. This can be fixed by simply adding the missing &ndash;.
  • Unusually formatted signatures will prevent recognizing the end of the proposal description, for example, if the date is formatted Month Day, Year instead of Day Month Year. This can be fixed by editing the timestamp or adding a formatted time stamp.[1] In the first case, December 20, 2012 was changed to 20 December 2012, in the second case, a second time stamp was added.

Header confusionEdit

Occasionally two sections with the same section heading will appear on a talk page. When this happens, the bot will link to the first one, even if the current move request is the second one. This can be remedied by giving the section containing the current move request a different name, such as "Requested move 2", or by giving the older section a different name, like "Requested move (month year)". A duplicate header for the same discussion can be deleted.

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Though a request may occasionally be closed earlier under WP:SNOW if consensus is extremely clear.