Proposal:View deleted pages

From Strategic Planning
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Request for Discussion / Sign-Ups

Every proposal should be tied to one of the strategic priorities below.

Edit this page to help identify the priorities related to this proposal!

  1. Achieve continued growth in readership
  2. Focus on quality content
  3. Increase Participation
  4. Stabilize and improve the infrastructure
  5. Encourage Innovation


AfD's are a common occurrence on Wikipedia. However, the problem is that only the administrators and higher have the ability to both delete pages and to view the deleted pages. This results in several problems:

  • Even deleted pages have some worth to people who want to find out more about the topic. Deleting the pages would prevent people from having access to this information.
  • Outdated pages may get deleted in favor of newer ones that better reflect the article. However, the original pages may still possess good information.
  • Once an article subject to an AfD is deleted, it is hard to find again for all except the admins, which means that content from the page can no longer be used by non-admins for elsewhere in the project.
  • People start articles that had already been deleted, not knowing about the entire AfD process. Therefore, history repeats itself.
  • As long as the deleted pages are not a major eyesore on an article, it's not a detriment for Wikipedia to have them.


Current admins can both see and bring back deleted pages. We should let any registered user be able to see the deleted pages.


See above.

Key Questions

  • If everyone can see them, then pages have not been deleted they have at best been suppressed. So for attack pages the question is would it be ethical to suppress rather than delete them, or is there a way to stop them being used for cyber bullying without deleting them?
  • For copyright violations the question is would it be legal to suppress but still keep information that we believe to be in breach of copyright rather than delete it?

Potential Costs

None: Assign the "browsearchive" and "deletedhistory" right to the autoconfirmed group.

Risk: massive lawsuits for copyvio and libel.


Community Discussion

Do you have a thought about this proposal? A suggestion? Discuss this proposal by going to Proposal Talk:View deleted pages.

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