Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Biographies of living people/Phase I

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The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

This is a request for comment regarding biographies of living people.


View by MZMcBride

Any biography that is poorly referenced or completely unreferenced should be deleted on-sight. If a user wishes to re-create the biography, they may request undeletion (or simply re-create the page) as long as they provide adequate sourcing.

View by Jehochman


  1. Any article that satisfies the attack page criteria should be deleted on sight.
  2. Biographies of living persons (BLP) articles that are unreferenced should be proposed for deletion (prod).
  3. Prodding should proceed at a reasonable rate to allow interested editors the chance to add sources. The volume of proposed deletions should not be unreasonably large. Discussion can establish what is a reasonable pace.
  4. After five seven days, any article so tagged may be deleted, or moved to the Wikipedia:Article incubator if it shows promise.
  5. Prod notices should not be removed, nor should articles be undeleted, unless proper references are added. Anybody who engages in mass de-prodding or undeletion without adding references risks a block for disruption.
  6. All editors are invited to participate in this BLP cleanup campaign.

Thank you for your consideration.

View by Jclemens

BLPs have certainly been abused in the past, but the simple fact remains that most BLPs, even those that are unreferenced are innocuous, provide useful material, and do no harm. The issue with the status quo hasn't been the wording, but the implementation: page protection (as it exists today, leaving alone discussion of future technology) has been applied too stingily to BLPs, even in inexcusable cases like Joseph Farah where he's both a vandalism target and an Internet journalist who's been critical of Wikipedia. The choice set before us is a false dichotomy. Do we really need to delete every unsourced BLP? If we do that, we're cleaning up the 80% of them that are only 20% of the problem, and we're not touching the issue of false information appearing in sourced articles.

The risk reduced--and let's be clear, there certainly will be some--is insufficient to justify the widespread deletion of accurate, useful, and innocuous information, sourced or not, and ultimately damages Wikipedia without helping BLP vandalism subjects.

  1. After four years this argument is balding and long overdue a retread. --TS 17:06, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

View by Collect

Controversial or contentious material with no references should be deleted on sight. Existence of a person is not, however, controversial nor contentious. WP has policies for deleting articles lacking notability, and no Draconian policy of automatic article deletion should pre-empt the orderly functioning of processes already existing. Collect (talk) 16:13, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Note to those who query the use of "controversial or contentious" -- See WP:Good article criteria. I would presume that use of the term should be neither controversial nor contentious. Collect (talk) 18:31, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Proposal by Aymatth2

This proposal does not cover the issue of preventing the pool of unsourced bios from growing, but suggests an approach to cleaning it up. A great deal of the content in these articles may be valid and useful information about notable people, with a lot of work put into creating the content, but there are no sources to verify the information or establish notability. Some of the articles provide significant and valid information about notable people that should not just be arbitrarily deleted unless it is defamatory. But as they stand, none of the articles meet the criteria for retention.

This proposal is to create a mechanically ranked list of all unsourced BLPs, so editors who want to remove inappropriate articles can work up from the bottom of the list, and editors who want to retain valuable content can work down from the top. Obvious ranking criteria would be:

  • Positive: Number of inbound links, number of unique editors, size
  • Negative: Number of days since creation, number of days since last edit

The values would be given weightings in a ranking formula such as:

(inboundlinks x 100) + (uniqueeditors x 150) + (sizekb x 50) - (agedays x 1) - (lasteditdays x 0.5)

With this formula, an orphan article created three years ago, never updated, 1k long would score -800. A 3k article created a month ago, updated by five editors, with 10 inbound links would score 850. It would take experiment to get weighting factors that give reasonable results. More sophisticated measures could be added if needed. The basic goal would be:

  • Most of the articles at the foot of the list would qualify for speedy deletion after a cursory review
  • Most of the articles at the top of the list would deserve review and improvement.

With this list, the clean-up could proceed fairly systematically.

View by David Gerard

Deletion on sight for completely unsourced bios is IMO a good idea at this stage. That said, errors are far too easy. Articles replaced with an unsourced version, references vandalised, etc - there's a bit much that can go wrong.

I suggest a PROD-like template - call it BLP-PROD - which says "Find references for this article or it DIES." Five days seems too long, make it two days. Notices to creator and all major contributors as for an AFD. This would also serve as warning to casual readers that the article is really not up to scratch and should not be considered at all quality content as yet. Perhaps a big red STOP sign icon.

View by Henrik

A significant minority of editors are unwilling to let unsourced, but likely uncontentious biographies remain in the encyclopedia. Deleting content makes the text available to only a select few, and makes fixing the articles a significantly harder process. I suggest an alternative to tackle the backlog of the roughly 50k articles in question:

  • We institute a process to hide the contents of unsourced biographies, using a template developed for the purpose.
  • We provide clear instruction that sourcing must be instituted before the template is removed (easily checkable by automated means)
  • Those articles which have remained in this hidden state for a reasonable, but fairly long, amount of time, but which have not been fixed are deleted.

This allows us to work towards preserving the content of these articles, while maintaining respect for the potential harm unsourced biographies may cause.

View by WereSpielChequers

Apart from thinking of a timeline of a few months rather than weeks I'm not all that far from MZMcBride. I broadly agree with the destination, but disagree with the route to get there. But I would rather start with all new articles, whilst giving the authors and various wiki projects a set time to source all existing BLP articles. I would rather that this was done over a period of months than that we rush this as I think rushing it would risk mass sloppy partial referencing to rescue articles.

I'm not convinced that old low traffic BLPs that are tagged as unsourced are really our biggest BLP problem, or that starting with our oldest supposedly unsourced BLPs is the best approach. A lot of the "unreferenced BLPs" are really under referenced ones, and I suspect the sneakier vandals have the sense to at least partially source their cyberbullying. Also, in my experience when you search userspace for badwords you find more personal attacks, cyberbullying and {{G10}}s per hour than looking at Category:All unreferenced BLPs, and the worst bits of mainspace vandalism I've ever encountered have not been in BLPs. So despite the current fashion for deleting old unsourced BLPs, I'm not convinced that this is the best or fastest way to improve the pedia or address our BLP problems.

We also need to remember that Wikipedia is a very complex system, and one should always be cautious about making multiple simultaneous changes to complex systems as the interactions between different changes can be unpredictable. Earlier this month User:DASHBot started gently chiding the authors of unsourced BLPs. I think we should wait a couple of weeks to see what effect that has on Category:All unreferenced BLPs, or if people want to give DASHBot a hand, look for retired/inactive/blocked users who DASHBot has spoken to and help them fix or delete their unsourced contributions. Alternatively or as a next step, can someone write a Bot to inform wikiprojects of unsourced BLPs in their remit in the same way that DASHBot has been informing authors? Flagged Revisions is also supposedly on the way, so I think we have quite rapid change taking place on the old BLP front even without admins deleting articles without attempting to fix them or inform the authors.

To my mind treating our oldest BLPs more harshly than our newest is like rounding up escaped rabbits and putting them back in the run without first moving the run away from their escape tunnel. Rather I would suggest that for new BLPs we introduce "delete new unsourced BLP" as a speedy criteria; provided that we very clearly inform article creators that from a particular date this is the new rule, and that articles created after that date with information about living people must be reliably sourced. I think this would stop the problem growing and then there is just a mammoth maintenance task to improve or delete the crud .

After starting with the new stuff, and seeing how much DashBot can improve the crud, and seeing if flagged revisions can protect the rest, and then proding the unreferenced residue in batches over a couple of months, then I agree with delete unsourced BLPs on sight as the policy we should be able to enact in say 6 months. But with the following provisos:

  1. An unsourced biography should at the very least have its history checked to see if reverting a bit of vandalism won't restore it to a referenced article.
  2. Good faith contributions should never be deleted without the author being informed and given an easy route to getting their article restored for their next editing session.
  3. We also need an exception for articles being restored and referenced - some sort of template such as prod that can be added to a restored article so that the person requesting its restoration has at least a few hours to do so.
  4. Any user should be able to request, and any admin permitted to restore an existing article deleted under this process, provided the requester is promising to reference the article ASAP.

View by NJA

Essentially what Jehochman suggested, but with some modifications (tying in what I think is the best of the other views noted above). Everyone seems to agree we need a new BLP PROD template.

Thus, all things listed here, but:

  • reduce the time from five days
  • devise a special PROD template specific to BLP's so that it can have a specialised category for monitoring and tracking (using NOINDEX)
  • set out to add an edit filter to track BLP PROD template removals, as is currently done for CSD template removals for easier admin tracking

View by the Anome

David Gerard's proposal looks good to me. I'd just like to emphasize that any bot activity on this will need to be intensively supervised by humans for some time to avoid serious loss of useful articles. For example: numerous articles are currently tagged as unsourced BLPs when they have references: see Hermann Zapf (from which I've just removed a {{BLP unsourced}} tag) -- any bot would need at the very least to detect this sort of error, and I can think of many other scenarios that might cause errors. -- The Anome (talk) 17:11, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

View by DGG

For old articles, a procedure of summary deletion is particularly reckless. Of course we should we should work on them, at the pace at which we can manage it, with the special problem that the author is generally no longer be around to help. What I think is extremely dangerous is people nominating them or any article for deletion without first looking for sources, because it takes no more work to try for basic sourcing. We might even have a priority category for "I tried, but further help is needed." -- that's the sort of think I'd like to work on. What is even more dangerous is deletion without looking. As a related example, let me give the 40 prods of this nature I worked on in the last two days, about 10 were easily sourceable. About 5 were a real challenge--for some I too needed some help to do it right--and trying and not succeeding with them is not something anyone should be blamed for. The other half I decided could not be sourced in any reasonable way, or were so unlikely I at least wasn't going to bother, and I let them stand. But since they were prods, anyone else could look at them and try. Frequently I see ones I've given up on done easily by someone else. Some of the ones I found easily were ones where I can understand another person in perfect good faith might not think were likely enough to be worth the bother. That is the reason summary deletion is inappropriate--there are only a few special classes of things where one or two people can securely decide. Among the articles listed for deletion, and which could be deleted under the proposed ruling was one which was easily verifiable that the person was an ambassador, and one a member of a state legislature--things said on the face of the article. . In both cases, it took about a minute to source them. With respect to the arbitrary deletions we are concerned with, I note what Rebecca said above--deleting an article that is on its face probably notable without checking is about as destructive to the encyclopedia as one can get.

The offer to undelete on request in ludicrous as a solution--for most editors cannot see the articles to tell. For those of us who can, we would of course be able to check and see if we could source, and undelete if we could. I certainly would not undelete in this circumstance unless I could source, But relying on a few of us to check is only practical if the people deleting are more responsible than some of them so far have been.
An RfC as far-reaching as this requires more than one day;s consideration. Very few people have been heard from, except those with one particular view on BLPs. I shall a little later today propose a substitute suggested policy. DGG ( talk ) 17:10, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

View by Resolute

I am reminded of all of the drama with Betacommand and FU images back in the day. Like this problem, his unilateral actions set off a firestorm. That in itself is not an issue. What was then was his (and his supporters) unwillingness to consider any view but his own as being correct. And since only his view was correct, only his decided course of action was correct, and he felt free to disregard everyone else's arguments, right up to the point he was banned. Well here we stand again with another issue. And likewise, a certain group has determined their actions are right and damned be the view of anyone else. Not acceptable.

A lot of people are viewing this as an all or nothing argument. I don't buy false dichotomies. As with the image problem, suggestions that were grudgingly accepted (and only after much gnashing of teeth) helped mitigate the problem. It did not solve it entirely, and a lot of images were still deleted, but many were also saved. When "deletion is the only option" was finally rejected as the only solution, things became much more productive.

This is a case where Wikiprojects can help. User:WolterBot has a function that generates a cleanup listing by project. Using tools such as this allows the community to break the overwhelming scope of this issue down into manageable sizes. If we repurpose this function as a mandatory listing for all projects - either as a one time run or a quarterly listing - we can at least begin to tackle this problem. I can't speak for all projects, but from the perspective of my primary, WP:HOCKEY, when presented with notifications regarding the image issue, we took as much action as we could. For many active projects, I think the same would happen here. Will this solve the entire problem? Nope. There are a lot of bad articles that have no project banners that nobody watches. Are they useful? Probably not. Can they be deleted? Probably. But at least by developing and utilizing tools that better inform Wikipedia's editors of articles needing such cleanup, we can take steps to save as many as we can. Coupled with a deletion system such as Jehochman proposes, we can begin to address this in a much more productive fashion than by taking a flamethrower to a powder keg. Resolute 17:59, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

View by Power.corrupts

The real problem is unsourced contentious info, not unreferenced articles. The proposal will do nothing or little to the real problem, and at the same time incur tremendous costs. I examined a sample from Category:Unreferenced BLPs from November 2006. Results are reported at Wikipedia talk:Deletion of unreferenced BLPs#What problems will the proposal solve, what will it create. If the articles are deleted there is no gain on the alledged "BLP problem", because the articles hold no contentious info, but we will have lost a number of articles on head of states, academics, artists, etc. etc. This proposal is completely misconceived .

2nd View by Power.corrupts

The proposal will make the BLP situation worse, not better. Wikipedia has 50k unreferenced BLP articles and 400k referenced BLP articles. Examining the 50k articles at AfD over a year will roughly amount to 1,000 articles per week, about the same amount of articles currently debated at the already strained AfD circuit. This considerable additional workload will necessarily deprive the attention given to identifying unsourced contentious statements (i.e. the real BLP problem) in all BLP articles, not least the 400k referenced articles.

3rd view retracted. Power.corrupts (talk) 07:27, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

View by Themfromspace

My solution would be to create a sort of "holding tank" for all uncited BLP articles. This could be a separate project space altogether, or the subpages of a WikiProject. Each uncited BLP would then be automatically moved out of the mainspace to this holding space where it would not be indexed by Google. Each of these articles would then be considered a work in progress (and could be tagged as such) until they were moved back into the mainspace. Once we have the whole lot protected from sight, editors would then be able to take their time looking for sources, tagging them for deletion (by the usual methods) or moving them back into the mainspace on a case-by-case basis when they are fixed. This solution preserves the material on wiki while sheltering it from the eyes of most casual readers. No content will be deleted out of practice, but none would be publicly visible as a "wikipedia article". I think this is a fair compromise between the hard core eventualist and deletionist proposals given above.

View by Arthur Rubin

Any deletion by an accelerated process (taking less than a week, or with more than 1000 active at a time), such as most proposed here, should, after deletion, restore a (locked, if needed) stub stating something like:

This article was deleted as being an article about a living person without sources. If you wish to create an article about the person, you may

  • Request temporary undeletion or userfication so you can find reliable sources to verify information about the person. (You will have no more than one week to find those sources.)
  • Discuss finding such sources on the talk page, and/or
  • Bring the matter to deletion review.

The stub should not be deleted for 6 months, unless a non-accelerated deletion procedure is followed.

View by Sandstein

The Arbitration Committee has the authority to settle disputes by applying accepted Wikipedia policy and guidelines, but it has no authority to make policy. For this reason, the motion (permalink) about to be passed in the current BLP deletions arbitration case only settles the dispute about the specific mass deletions, blocks and other actions at issue in that case. The motion is not to be understood as changing or superseding general deletion policy and process as applied to the biographies of living persons, and it should be considered void if and insofar as it might have been intended to have that effect. Instead, any policy change should be decided by community consensus, starting with this RfC.

View by NuclearWarfare

It has been agreed upon that blatant violations of the most important policies of the site, such as the copyright policy, are incompatible with adminship. Just last week, we had an administrator who had repeatedly violated that copyright policy resign under pressure, and there is a pending Arbitration case over a similar matter. It would probably be commonly agreed upon that the copyright policy and the BLP policy are the two most important policies on the site. Creation of unsourced biographies of living persons has largely been agreed upon to be a violation of WP:BLP. Therefore, the repeated introduction of unsourced BLPs or the failure to clean up unsourced biographies of living persons that one had created a while back after a reasonable amount of time is a violation of WP:BLP. I would submit that the community cannot fully trust administrators who violate the BLP policy.

To clarify, there are indeed multiple administrators who I had in mind while writing this. However, to avoid making this about personalities rather than generalities, I shall refrain from listing the names here.

View by OrangeDog

As far as I can tell, the only problem with BLP articles that other articles don't have is that of libellous statements. However, an unreferenced article need not be libellous and a libellous article need not be unreferenced. From a technical perspective, not every article with {{unreferenced blp}} is an unreferenced blp and not every unreferenced blp has {{unreferenced blp}}. Therefore, judging whether a blp article requires special treatment cannot just be a check of unreferencedness and should not be done automatically without proper human oversight.

Not every user checks Wikipedia every day. Many will only have access at weekends, or deliberately restrict themselves to weekends due to having real-life work to do. Therefore, no process that assumes or expects the input of other editors should take less than 7 days to complete.

Any article (including blps) that is entirely libellous can be deleted using WP:CSD#G10. Any unreferenced article on a non-notable person can be deleted using WP:CSD#A7. Libellous material on any article is already removed on sight, and WP:OVERSIGHT can be requested if necessary. Articles subject to repeated addition of libellous material can be protected. Unreferenced articles on notable living people that contain no contentious material (including, but not limited to a large number of stubs) should be treated the same as any other article, noting that they provide useful information and provide a mechanism for the encylopedia to grow.

In conclusion, I do not see any reason to create new deletion processes to circumvent or abuse those that we already have. Especially not ones that involve automatic and unsupervised mass deletion.

View by Hut 8.5

Unsourced BLPs are a problem. They are more of a problem than other unsourced articles. But the best possible way of countering this problem is not deleting all the articles but sourcing all of them. To date, there has been very little attempt to source all of these articles. I have fixed a number of them recently, and this has convinced me that a large percentage of these articles can be sourced, most with very little effort. There are many reasons why this hasn't been done so far - it's fairly tedious work with little recognition, to name the most obvious two. But this is a problem that can be tackled.

I propose that we set up a wikiproject to source unreferenced BLPs. The issue has now become high profile, so such a project will probably attract quite a few members. Perhaps the project could involve other wikiprojects in the relevant fields, as has been suggested elsewhere. If, a few hundred editors are prepared to source just one or two articles per day then within a few months there will be a significant impact on the backlog. If little progress is made then, perhaps, we could come back to the drawing board and consider mass deletions. But at least this way we could try to retain some baby when we throw out the bathwater. Hut 8.5 20:26, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Note: if you're interested in sourcing these articles you may want to sign this. Hut 8.5 21:46, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

View by MickMacNee

The recent and ongoing activist campaign of out of process and unsupported deletions was and is a disgusting abuse of power by a small band of rogue admins. Despite what the proposed arbitration motions says, they are condemned by their own words. They did not really care if they had policy on their side or not, what motivated them to abuse their tools in this way was a contempt for the community, and their best attempt at an explanation was a variation of 'I'm fed up and have the power to do something' and 'IAR allows me to do what the hell I want'. The ends justify the means? Well, we'll see what the next campaign might be, maybe it will be something you don't think 'just needs doing'. One thing is for certain, you won't receive any warning on Wikipedia.

See Wikipedia:Petition against IAR abuse for a more general opinion and a way to permanently register your disgust. MickMacNee (talk) 20:34, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

View by Ikip

Addendum: It appears as if there was a offwiki "forum that was dedicated to tightening up BLP practices".[10] which Casliber asked the arbitration committee to investigate in October. To my knowledge no formal statement by the arbitration committee has been issued. Addendum: Wikipedia:Petition against Ignore all rules abuse

This RFC came about by the mass deletion of over 500 articles by Scott MacDonald, Lar, and Rdm2376.[11]

We are rewarding the behavior of administrator Scott MacDonald who holds consensus in "utter contempt"[12], with a Requests for comment to build consensus.

This RFC was created MZMcBride, who in response to "The deletions are well out of process, if the current process isn't working then it should be changed but the community should be involved in making that decision." stated, "The community is incapable of such a conversation and decision."[13] If MZMcBride believes that the community is incapable of decision and supports disruptive behavior in violation of consensus, why did MZMcBride create this RFC?

Some of the same editors who supported Scott MacDonald's, Lar's, and Rdm2376's "utter contempt" for consensus are now trying to build consensus. The irony and hypocrisy is overwhelming.

  1. User:Coffee unblocked User:Rdm2376 after he was told to stop deleting articles with no consensus, unblock reason: "no breach of policy here"[14]
  2. Jennavecia/Lara: "The "community" is irresponsible. Consensus, like perfection, is unattainable. As always, if people are opposed to the idea of taking out the garbage because they can make art out of it, get to making or take your seat."[15]
  3. Trac: "if the rules prevent you from improving the encyclopedia, ten ignore them (sic)...It is rather unfortunate that admins chose to block other admins for improving the Wikipedia in this fashion, and they should be dealt with accordingly."[16]
  4. JBsupreme: "I applaud the bold actions of these editors who stepped forward and did the right thing."[17]

Three cheers to editor Sandstein, Jehochman, etc. who support the end deletion result, but still beleive consensus is necessary first.

I ask that MZMcBride remove his statement, allowing Jehochman's statement, which supports MZMcBride's views, be the first on this page. Jehochman at least consistently acknowledges and respects consensus. It is hypocritical for MZMcBrideto selectively support consensus only when it supports his viewpoint.[18]

As Scott MacDonald and Tarc stated, should we hold the results of this RFC in "utter contempt" and "ignore them"?[19][20]

View by HJ Mitchell

The first thing to say is that, while many of us have conflicting views, there are a lot of highly respected editors here and a lot of very sensible suggestions being raised. The views that struck cords with me personally were those of MZMcBride, WereSpielChequers Jehochman and DGG, however I cannot fully endorse any of those. First of all, userfication is a very good idea for articles which show promise, but it could easily be abused and we risk just moving the problem elsewhere. However, it seems there is a community will to do something about these ~50,000 unreferenced BLPs once and for all. My proposal would be thus:

  1. Obviously, anything which serves no purpose but to threaten or disparage somebody should be obliterated or tagged as G10 on sight (regardless of whether it's 5 years or 5 minutes old)
  2. Any BLP more than a week old with no references (official websites and look X up on IMDb, Facebook, Myspace etc do not count as references.) should be proposed for deletion
  3. Someone who, unlike myself, is not completely incompetent in template space should create a "sub-template" of {{subst:prod}}- something like {{subst:prod|BLP}} which would add the article into a category that can be patrolled by editors willing to seek sources.
  4. The {{subst:prod|BLP}} should not be removed unless at least one reliable source has been provided to verify the subject's name and reason for notability at a minimum
  5. If said tag remains in place for one week (7 days) the article can and should be deleted by any administrator
  6. Articles which are questionable (for example, somebody who appears more than marginally notable) and lack sources should be taken to AfD and this should be a default option for admins dealing with expired BLP prods- it's better to clog up AfD than to throw the baby out with the bathwater
  7. Mass drive-by prodding would be discouraged and attempts should be made to limit the number of "BLP prods" at any one time to ~1000
  8. A log should be created where editors must record the removal of "BLP prods" after proper sourcing or report others who improperly remove the tag (similar to special enforcement)
  9. Administrators should be willing to email the code of any deleted article to any editor who requests it in good faith
  10. BLPs which ahve been sourced but could be tagged with {{refimproveBLP}} should be userfied at admin discretion
  11. The creator of any new, unreferenced BLP (most will be new/inexperienced) should be welcome (if applicable) and asked to add sources to the article and warned in a friendly manner that the article is at risk of deletion or userfication if said sources are not added.

Hopefully my colleagues will see this a sensible solution to the existing problem and a prevention of such a problem in future. HJMitchell You rang? 22:12, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

View by LeadSongDog

  1. Lets just keep a simple hard line for new articles. If the stub isn't referenced the very first time that it is saved with {{blp}}, {{blp-stub}}, Category:Living people or any equivalent, it should immediately be wp:userfied to the creating editors space by a bot, much in the way of user:CorenSearchBot's handling of gross copyvios. The creator should be advised why it happened and invited to correct their omission. By doing it up front, we avoid having editors grow greatly invested in articles that must eventually be deleted for lack of any WP:RS to establish WP:N. This would even be worth considering for non-BLP articles.
  2. The concerns with BLPs are not solely with libel. We've also got the whole band of selfpublishing editors seeking to use WP as part of their personal social networking scheme, or wp:advertising their own books, music, artwork, business etc. The same approach would limit those to the presently extant.
  3. Even in userspace the libel issues persist, so some watch over of the userfied blps would still be needed to address those promptly. LeadSongDog come howl 20:43, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

View by Looie496

This is intended as a clarification, consistent with many specific procedures: No articles should be deleted using automated tools. There is no reliable automated method for recognizing whether references exist, so every article must be viewed at least once before being deleted.

View by Balloonman/technical option

Background: I am personally opposed to any speedy deletion option as this bypasses all other considerations on the project. It denies people the opportunity to respond or fix the articles before they get deleted. Some may say, but they've sat for years un-referenced... and that's just my point. They have sat for months or years without a reference. A little while longer won't hurt (unless it is already a candidate for CSD.)

I am very invovled in WP:POKER. I have very little doubt that there are articles under that umbrella that are unsourced. There are possibly articles on my watchlist that are unsourced as well---I've been adding to it before BLP was even an issue. I know that if there was a wholesale deletion without there being some sort of notification, that the project wouldn't be happy, especially if those deletions occured on people the project sees as important. I can't help but think other projects would be upset if a score of articles under their purvue were suddenly deleted and those projects were not notified. Today I saw a template that was sent to a user that listed all of the articles that she had created that were unsourced BLP's. (NOTE: I checked 10 of the unsourced BLP's for that user, and 4 of the 10 had references!)

My proposal: That we create a tool that can notify these projects and key editors what unsourced BLP's exist under their purvue. This could be done in two ways:

First, if a project is concerned about the article, there is an assumption that they have tagged the article on the article's talk page. This is standard practice. The tool should be able to identify unsourced BLP's and cross reference them with the projects in question. Those projects would then be notified, just as the author was.

Second, the tool could look to see if there were any significant editors. (EG somebody who edited the article more than say 10 times, and notify them as well.)

Let me spell out the logic
  • WP:BLP has what 25 active editors, there are an estimated 50K articles that have been tagged as unsourced BLP's. In order for WP:BLP to review each of these articles, each of the active editors would have to review (on average) 2K articles. There is no way that these volunteers can do an adequate job identifying the articles that are worth keeping and those that are not worth keeping.
  • The proposal coming out of WP:BLP is wholesale deletions. This would result in many articles getting deleted that should not be---and has been roundly criticized by people who are interested in CSD and PROD. It goes contrary to trying to improve the encyclopedia as many good and important articles would be deleted under that proposal.
  • We are not going to get enough people interested in biographies of living persons to start haphazardly looking through the haystack and cleaning it up---and even if we did, they might not be able to adequately assess the articles they are reviewing.
  • We can contact the articles creator and ask them for help, this has apparently been done in some cases already. But this method fails as many of those creators are no longer active on WP and those who are still active may not care about the articles---their interests have shifted. Thus, contacting authors may not get more people tackling the project.
  • Wikiprojects will tag articles that they are interested in. Articles that fall into their purvue. Some articles are tagged by multiple projects. Often times Wikiprojects will work on completing a series or theme (EG all of the Lt Governors for a given state.) Many participants at these projects do not have every article on the project tagged (and may not know about all of them.) Asking a project to help is not giving them ownership, but rather asking them for help. By tagging the article, they've already indicated that they would like to know about issues like this. It is a courtesy thing, not ownership.
  • The best way to get the backlog cleared, without wholesale deletions, is to get as many people as possible working towards clearing it. This can be done by tapping into the resources that are wikiprojects. WP:BLP CANNOT do it by itself, and you will not get enough people to make the commitment to WP:BLP, but I can guarantee that if you let many of these projects know that there are unsourced BLP's under their purvue, you will find volunteers to help clean them up and identify the good from the bad. Especially, if we combine the project notification with a PROD of some sort.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 01:19, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

User:Ikip Technical option building on Balloonman's idea

I suggest creating Category:Wikipedia_BLP_sorting which mirrors Category:Wikipedia_deletion_sorting with the same categories. Then moving these unsourced BLPs to new project sub pages.

For example, the unsourced BLP article, bob johnson could be moved to WikiProject Deletion sorting/BLP/bob johnson part of Category:WikiProject Deletion sorting/BLP/Ethnic groups. Ikip 21:52, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

  • addendum: Let the experts in each topic decide whether these unsourced BLP articles are notable, while removing them from main space and search engines. Ikip 22:29, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
  • The problem with moving an article is what do you do with the articles where a half a dozen projects want to help out? Many articles have multiple projects that would need to be notified.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 22:11, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
    • Good question, and thanks for the wonderful idea again balloonman (I loved, absolutly loved your study on CSD). I am sure someone else can answer better than me. Ikip 22:29, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Wow! I'm agreeing with you twice in one day! This suggestion is one of the most sensible I've seen here. Sorting by topic is much better than just chronological and alphabetical order. It also makes it easier for editors to get involved as they can clearly click on a link to articles sorted by a topic that interests them. HJ Mitchell | fancy a chat? 22:11, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

View by Balloonman/no index

Another step that can be taken that is less drastic than deletion, is to modify the template for unsource blp's so that they are not indexed. This will help keep them off of various search engines.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 17:45, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

  1. Idea sounds promising at first, but I think this might complicate things and is the first step towards two mainspaces. Casliber (talk · contribs) 20:22, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

View by ToxicWasteGrounds

As they have been abused in the past, I propose that protection is added to all biographies and user's accounts would have to be of a certain age or they should make a set amount of constructive edits before they can edit biographies. ToxicWasteGrounds (talk) 15:03, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

View by Wikidemon

I'll skip the eyebrow-raising behavioral aspect of what's happening and go straight to a proposal.

Proposal to establish schedule

This is in several parts, and you might agree with some and disagree with others.

  1. We work to create a bot that finds and tags all unreferenced BLPs with a special template relating to its status.
    1. The template could be based on or incorporate aspects of one I just created, {{UBF}}, that hides articles from viewers but preserves the text so that it can be reviewed and improved
    2. The template is not to be removed by anyone (other than in cases of error) until the procedure is followed for clearing it.
    3. Ideally someone could program a more sophisticated bot that flags articles sourced only to sources known to be unreliable, e.g. businesswire, blogs, facebook, IMDB, etc.
  2. We set a schedule and a deadline for processing all of the articles
    1. I would propose we do 4,000 per week for 3 months, either alphabetically or thematically (e.g. politicians, then athletes, etc.)
    2. The bot / template will set a field for when the article's time is up.
    3. Anyone is free to improve the article before then, but if it's not up to snuff by the due date it gets deleted
    4. We can probably include another flag to indicate that the article has been improved, checked, and/or improved and found good enough to keep
    5. Any article can still be speedied, prodded, or nominated for deletion at any time if it looks irredeemable, as long as it is done in good faith and not as a process fork - just like copyvios, clear BLP viols should be blanked or deleted on sight
    6. I'm deliberately omitting from the proposal the question of who decides whether the article is worth keeping, and what the criteria are. That's a different issue. This is just about the schedule.
  3. We create a "BLP brigade" project and socialize it as a noble pursuit on Wikipedia.
    1. We should include userboxes, barnstars, achievement badges, praise, etc., and use it as a way to train serious new editors who want to improve their Wikipedia skills (and old ones who enjoy it)
    2. We probably need 100-500 active editors to be doing this. If we can't get enough that's just tough luck then, we gave it a try and the articles not improved will be deleted (probably at the discretion of a reviewing administrator)

Something like that. Like any proposal this one need some refinement and collaboration, and consensus to adopt. - Wikidemon (talk) 00:08, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

View by Martin451

I suggest that if articles are prodded by one of the above methods then:

  1. No bots should be used, semi automated prodding is ok.
  2. The person prodding, should judge the notability of the person and article, and apply a parameter to the prod accordingly, marking the most notable few for extra work. Prods could then be listed by notability.
  3. An admin (and only an admin) reviewing the expired prod can extend the life of the prod for the most notable people.

This would hopefully mean that a few of the most notable unreferenced BLPs would be saved. As an example, I have just found Kenneth Baker, Baron Baker of Dorking in the list of unreferenced BLPs. He was a top UK politician, and held the position of Home Secretary, one of the four top political offices in the UK. Whilst a lot of unreferenced BLPs are boarderline notability, it would be a shame to loose ones like this.

View by Jake Wartenberg

Deletion or sourcing of all of our 50,000 unreferenced BLPs would, if achieved, solve only a small part of the BLP problem. We have over 400,000 BLPs in total, many of which are still of marginal notability and are waiting to collect libel. In a similar manner to the Targeted flagging proposal, unwatched BLPs should be indefinitely semi-protected. ⇌ Jake Wartenberg 02:38, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

  1. If the dilemma is automatic deletion vs. automatic (semi-)protection, I'd definitely go for the latter option. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 20:11, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

View by Vyvyan Basterd

Politicians talk, leaders act. Those who oppose these initiatives have had years to acknowledge the problem and show at least some willingness to address this. Opt-out was shot down, semi for BLPs was shot down, flagging was shot down and then stalled. We're not waiting any longer. This is gonna happen and by repeatedly opposing the far less radical solutions that have been proposed in the past you've shown that you cannot be relied upon to take this seriously. BLP incubation and ridiculously low throttles on how many articles can be dealt with per day are all just more ways to stall this. We're not buying that anymore. Vyvyan Basterd (talk) 07:05, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

View by Juliancolton

The community had years to expand, reference, and improve problematic BLPs. Now it's time to be responsible. –Juliancolton | Talk 16:49, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Collaborative views

How to edit here: if you can tweak an existing proposal for clarity, or add an additional argument that strengthens it, do so. If you agree with the basic idea but would prefer different parameters, say so in your endorsement.

BLP incubation

A big part of the problem is that the stream of new unreferenced BLPs is never-ending. Unsourced BLPs should be incubated after a time (or in some cases userfied). Articles in the incubator are automatically {{noindex}}ed and in general are deleted after a month of incubation.


  • New unreferenced BLPs (new = created in 2010 or later), if they are more than 1 month old, get tagged with {{prod|newunrefBLP}}. The tag may not be removed without the article being sourced to the minimum standard. If at the end of 1 week of being tagged they're referenced to the minimum standard, the tag is removed. Otherwise, the article gets either incubated, userfied, at admin discretion (in consultation with the creator).
    • minimum standard is demonstration of notability with reference to reliable sources which are independent of the subject.
    • in the incubator, articles have around a month to come up to minimum standard (as standard for the incubator), or risk deletion. This period could be extended for BLP incubation, particularly if the volume of articles suggests it's necessary. (It's at admin discretion anyway.)
  • Old unreferenced BLPs (pre-2010) go through basically the same process. The difference is that because of the backlog, the rate of nomination has to be kept low enough to be manageable. Starting point for discussion: max 1000 old articles tagged for BLPincubation at any one time (i.e. max 1000 in Category:Old unreferenced BLPs proposed for incubation).

Template by Wikidemon

Following Henrik's suggestion above, I have created {{UBF}} (short for "unreferenced BLP flag") that can be used in place of {{BLP unreferenced}}, the primary difference being that this flags and hides the text of any BLP. By setting a parameter you can decide to show the article anyway, put it in a collapse box, or blank it for the viewer. If we can get people to hide all of the unreferenced BLPs for now that should take the pressure off while we consider different approaches to improving or deleting them. The template could use some more work, and I invite people to play around with it and help me over at the template page. Thanks, - Wikidemon (talk) 23:30, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

As I understand it, the NOINDEX magic word and templates that use it does not work in the main articel namespace, and this cannot be easily changed. I could be mistaken abut thios but I don't think so. To have the effect of noindexing, pages would need to be moved into project space, as the Incubator does (the incubator template includes the noindex function. Aside from that this template might be useful. DES (talk) 02:34, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I noticed that. The __NOINDEX__ magic word, and the {{NOINDEX}} template that calls it, are disabled on Wikipedia's instance of the software. I'm wondering if there's a WML hack that will get around that, e.g. inserting an HTML noindex tag directly into the article.- Wikidemon (talk) 03:00, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Please don't try. They are off for a reason, not just because of lack of care. They do work in other namespaces, they are specifically and deliberately disabled in the article space. Circumventing both the developer's intent in disabling them and the previous community consensus to not ask devs to make them work there would be bad. Gigs (talk) 03:30, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Wouldn't that suggest then that the content should remain indexed? Alternately we could move all the articles to a different namespace and leave just a placeholder and a link in main space. - Wikidemon (talk) 19:37, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
I think a move to another namespace as is done now with articles in the Incubator would be the best solution. See the draft idea below. DES (talk) 20:52, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

View by FT2

BLPs are the sharp end of a problem that potentially affects all articles. Also referencing alone, while important, is not sufficient to ensure high standards.

In parallel with other ideas, I would urge the creation of a "Draft:" namespace as follows.

  1. Clearly defined working space - Provides a communal space where new BLPs can be posted (instead of mainspace and user space) while being worked on and prior to being ready to meet the requirements of WP:BLP. The namespace can also be used for any other article being drafted. Makes draft articles more visible and easier to collaborate and patrol. Also note user space and mainspace are INDEXed; this space would be NOINDEXED and not linked from articles so drafts would be much less harmful.
  2. Benefits for in-work or substandard BLPs - BLPs ready for mainspace can be moved to mainspace; conversely BLPs in mainspace that are in an unacceptable state but may be capable of fixing can be moved to Draft: without redirect. This prevents BLPs doing harm while the wiki process of improvement and collaboration is in process, and is less WP:BITEy, giving a fair chance to improve the problems. The author or major editors are notified of the page move.
  3. Easy to patrol - Bots can automatically patrol for mainspace articles that are in BLP categories and also have major content issues such as no referencing or NPOV tags, and move them to Draft: (basically page move without redirect). As with BLP itself it's better to move a dubious and tagged article out of mainspace upon suspicion without redirect, and then discuss the content issue at leisure, which makes moving a BLP to Draft: less contentious. If consensus agrees the article is okay, reinstate to mainspace afterwards.
  4. Easier to "banner" - all draft pages can be given a banner stating clearly the article below is not an encyclopedia article, it is a user draft and should not be relied upon. Similar to {{user page}}. Also explains how what to do if there are concerns and how to request deletion of a Draft:.
  5. Gives fair time for fixing before deletion - Pages in Draft: that have not been worked on for more than a given period are automatically {{PROD}}ed.
  6. Compatible with current process - Egregious bad BLPs that would still be a problem in draft space can still be redacted or deleted as usual.
  7. Changes onus on new BLP creation - At present BLPs are created in mainspace by default. If AFD is needed, or there are discussions about referencing and balance, it often still gets its 5 days in mainspace by which time it's comprehensively linked and spidered. If there were a Draft: space, then it might be possible to move to a position where a new BLP doesn't get linked or spidered in the first place, until it meets WP:BLP.

Advantages: - solves the brunt of the bad BLP problem; BLPs of unacceptable standard are immediately removed from the encyclopedia on better terms than userspace drafts; much reduces window for questionable or bad BLP spidering (including new BLPs); less BITEy and encourages fixing where able; idea scales to other articles and to drafting in general if it works; sustainable; no more edit-warrable than current process; probably a good idea anyway (userspace drafting is both INDEXed and hard to patrol).

FT2 (Talk | email) 11:02, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

View (and wild suggestion) by Sjakkalle

I think the reason some people are up in arms against unsourced BLPs is that there have been some nasty instances where BLPs have done harm, and that the problem of unsourced BLPs has not gone away. The reason some people are up in arms against deleting them is that many of the articles are on undisputably valid subjects, e.g. I just went ahead and sourced an unsourced BLP about an Olympic gold medalist.

Just a wild suggestion: What if all editors must contribute to source at least one of the BLPs in Category:All unreferenced BLPs for each comment made on this RFC? That would at least force people to see both sides of the issue, crap articles which should be deleted and valid articles which should be sourced. Perhaps that will create some empathy for the opposing viewpoint and lower the temperature. It really would be better if everyone makes a small contribution to make the matters better instead of just complaining about it. Sjakkalle (Check!) 15:52, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

View by Gnangarra

That BLP articles have the biggest potential to create an adverse impact on Wikipedia and The Foundation and that the community needs to take action to mittigate any such potential by ensuring that all BLP articles are sourced inaccordance with WP:BLP by properly utilising verifiable and reliable sources to support any facts. BLP articles that are unsourced need to be sourced or delete in a timely fashion any deletion should occur after editors have had an opportunity to address sourcing.

Wikipedia has been and continues to be a work in progress and that community standards have continued to be adapted to address issue as they arrise. The need for citations was not a primary concern during the early developement of Wikpedia the community has since 2007 focused on ensuring that all facts are sourced. This change in standards should be taken into account when considering how to address the number of unsourced BLP articles. Gnangarra 15:55, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

View by SarekOfVulcan

Since obscure unreferenced BLPs may require offline work to source, no period shorter than 7 days should be used. If an article is tagged on Sunday night, an editor who needs to wait until the weekend to go to the library will be out of luck.

View by Badger Drink

I see no reason to distinguish between unsourced, non-contentious BLPs and any other unsourced junk article. Perhaps all articles should be included in a plan like Jehochman's. Unsourced misleading information about a small town in Arkansas is just as damaging to the end-reader as unsourced misleading information about the Duke of Hull's seventh illegitimate daughter's tennis instructor.

Suggestion by Bigtimepeace

It's too far down the page so no one will read this, but I have a simple suggestion as we eventually embark on cleaning out the category of unreferenced BLPs. In the process of doing that, editors who come across BLP violations in the articles should log that fact on some central page. Not the BLP violation itself (obviously), but either the article where it was present or even just the mere fact that a BLP violation was found (basically making a tick mark somewhere—I think the former is better). Why do this? Because there are some editors who claim that there are not all that many BLP violations in our articles (thus little or no need for reform), and it could be useful to have some data one way or another from a given sample of BLPs. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 20:40, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

View by RoryReloaded

Instead of deleting all those poor BLP articles (60 000 to be exact), why don't we just clean them up, add some sources to the sourceless ones and add more information? It would be a shame to get rid of 60 000 articles. And what about the ones (any that may be under the 60 000) that are beautifully crafted, with many sources in them, well written and that can keep a reader busy for a while? What about the ones which students might use for help on a test or something? It just doesn't add up.

So, if all else fails with the sources and things like that, deletion may then be considered.

I doubt anyone's going to read this because it's like the 50th section but please pay some attention to us bottom views. RoryReloaded 22:47, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Concrete suggestion by Scott MacDonald

Unsourced biographies must not be left lying around. If we are to avoid having to speedy delete them (which is not the best option), we need something workable. Something that gives a newbie a chance to source it, or get help from others, but still does not leave long-term unsourced articles.

I suggest:

For new BLPs, as has already been suggested, we have a special BLPprod. This will state that the article needs sourcing and if not given at least rudimentary sourcing within 7 days is liable for deletion. The prod notice may not be removed unless the article is sourced. If the article is deleted, it may be undeleted by any admin if someone is willing to source it.

For the backlog - we don't want several thousand BLPprods with a seven day deadline, so we do this stage by stage.

  1. Initially, we BLPprod all unsourced BLPs which have been tagged as such for over 2 years. These articles are given one month's grace. During that time the tag can be removed if the article gets sourced (or is already actually sourced). After one month, any remaining articles can be deleted (but again undeleted if anyone is willing to source them.
  2. When that month is over, we BLPprod all BLPs which have been tagged for over 1 year. Rinse and repeat.
  3. When that month is over, we do the same for the remaining backlog.

In three months the entire backlog is gone, and no unsourced BLP remains in Wikipedia for any more than 7 days. I strongly suspect that the number of articles deleted (other than those that should be deleted for other reasons) will be fairly minimal.--Scott Mac (Doc) 02:10, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

I've fleshed this out at Wikipedia:Unreferenced biographies of living people.--Scott Mac (Doc) 18:09, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Complementary solution by Father Goose

I've recently created the template {{BLP unverified}}, which allows one to stub an article down to just its sourced material, while leaving a pointer to where to find the unsourced material, for sourcing at a later time. Here's an example of it in action: [23].

If just enough sourcing were added to unsourced BLPs to establish basic notability, then the article stubbed with a link to the remainder of the content provided via this template, I think this would expedite the processing of the backlog via any of the other methods proposed here.

It's an even better fit for Category:BLP articles lacking sources, although that backlog can be addressed after the wholly unsourced articles are dealt with.--Father Goose (talk) 08:48, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

View by otherlleft

Wikipedia has clear processes for deleting articles, which involves (in most cases) a community discussion to determine the merits of the individual article. There is no clear reason to either develop a new process or backlog prod and afd in this manner. If this is a legal concern, the Wikimedia Foundation can make a determine that overrules how the community functions. Otherwise, the process works just fine.--otherlleft 12:08, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

  • Comment. The process does not work fine. It's the major thing I work on here, at its various levels, and I think it goes wrong about 10 to 20 % of the time, and perhaps about equally in both directions. An high proportion of new articles escape adequate screening at NPP,; a high proportion of older ones are seriously wrong, if only from being out of date. The quality of community discussions is very variable, and the participation insufficient. The number reviewed at Deletion review is inadequate, many admins quietly use the criterion of" I don't think it should be in Wikipedia" without making enough of a splash to be noticed, there is no regular audit,and there is almost nothing that is really done as well as our policies pretend it to be. There is not even recognition that the best we can hope for in our system is probably about 5% error. The only positive thing I have to say is that it was even worse when I joined 3 years ago. Given all this, we need to concentrate on the truly major problems. How we can do this is not actually clear, but emphasizing the older forgotten ones is probably one approach which is almost sure to be wrong. DGG ( talk ) 03:11, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Well it sounds like we have different standards for "fine," but I'm willing to work with that. If there's insufficient community participation in our current processes, then certainly introducing a new community-oriented system or glutting the current ones makes even less sense to me. I find that the level of participation varies based on the ownership of articles and other unwritten, emotional criteria like nostalgia; probably couldn't do much more than that end as long as Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy. Any decision which decides to make this site into a bureaucracy should be made by lawyers. Wikipedia has a tremendously high accuracy rate for a self-recruited volunteer community, one that will never be perfect. I think our present system is much, much better than a group of editors aggressively prodding thousands of articles, adding to the likelihood that they will not be properly reviewed before being deleted. Again, if we really need that sort of fear response it should come from the Wikimedia Foundation. Let the community find a sensible way to focus community energy and let the lawyers keep the Foundation from harm. If they say remove all unreferenced BLPs, it can be done by a bot in a few minutes. If they don't, then this RfC isn't necessary, or rather its urgency is being given undue weight.--otherlleft 11:46, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

View by The-Pope

Can I first state how appalled I am that the actions of the few editors admins in arrogantly and in direct opposition to the established deletion process, used a process that had been rejected many times before to highlight this problem to the wikiworld. I agree that it's a major problem, but how about highlighting it to us, the common editor, first, before you bring in the big WP:POINTy stick next time?

You claim that three year old unreferenced BLPs have no right being here, and we all had three years to fix them. Well, unreferenced BLPs is just one of the 108 cleanup categories that are listed on the current Wolterbot Cleanup list. Sorry that I wasn't aware that #82 on the list was the one area I really should have been working on, or that it was those 2000 articles, out of the 17000 articles with clean-up tags on them, that were the real problem.

Since this mess has begun, no actually, even before this mess had begun, back in early January, another overly enthusiastic editor moved a long-term unreferenced BLP into the WP:Article Incubator. After working out that this wasn't really what the incubator was meant to be used for, User:Gnangarra told us about the task force that had been set up to deal with the 50,000 unreferenced BLPs. I then created a list of Australian related ones - about 2028 of them. This morning, I suggested to WP:Australia that this should be our Collaboration of the month. So far, in about a day or two, we've got it down to 1811 pages. Maybe it's an initial rush, maybe were more organised that other projects, but 10% in a day or so by a few people shows that it's possible. So my proposal:

1. Make it known that this is the site's current main priority. Most users have their own priorities - whether it be new page creation or patrolling, improvements to get to FA/GA (maybe stop FA/GA assessment for a month to get everyone to work on the bottom end, not polishing the top end), DABing, stub sorting, vandal fighting, etc. We don't sit around wondering what to do next. Get the banner/talk page spam/ whatever to tell EVERYONE that unreferenced BLPs are to be our priority. I mean if it's OK for three admins to invent their own CSD category, delete a bunch of articles and then be commended for doing so, it has to be the #1 item for all of us, right?

Also get Wolterbot to change the order of the cleanup list to highlight what are the real problem areas, and which ones are "nice-to-haves" (ie MOS type ones).

2. Get ALL of the projects on board. Get a bot/code/something quicker and smarter than me to auto-generate the lists based on the intersection of Category:Unreferenced BLPs and Category:WikiProject XYZ articles It needs some smarts, cause the project cats are on the talk pages, but the unreferenced BLPs are on the main pages, but I can do it for a project at a time using WP:AWB, so it must be able to be done. Then create a Wikipedia:WikiProject Australia/Unreferenced BLPs page for EVERY project. Update the list daily. Hold a competition to see who can zero their list the quickest - winner gets money/fame/links on the main page for a month/etc. Create a hall of fame for most removed each week. Do whatever, but get the projects on board. As the BLP Task Force page says The BLP Task Force should not be encumbered with fixing individual biographies. The Arbcom/Crats/Admins aren't going to do the grunt work to fix this problem, we are. Projects are. Get them onside.

3. Review the progress after a couple of months. If it isn't working, then either up the profile/rewards for the projects that are doing well, or then bring in some of the more dramatic suggestions by others. And how about the BLP Task Force actually publish something, or is that just another death by committee organisation? I note that one of the rogue admins who did, or strongly supported, the deletions is actually a member of that task force. Nothing like jumping the gun, or trusting that they might come up with a solution, heh? -The-Pope (talk) 13:31, 23 January 2010 (UTC)