This is an essay on the deletion policy.
It contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. This page is not an encyclopedia article, nor is it one of Wikipedia's policies or guidelines, as it has not been thoroughly vetted by the community. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.
|This page in a nutshell: Don't leave our readers in the dark by deleting articles and sourced information.
On Wikipedia, deletion is used to remove articles which do not fit within our remit. There are a number of article types which can be deleted on sight, ranging from attack pages to nonsense (see WP:CSD for a complete list). Articles which do not meet those criteria are deleted through editorial consensus after listing at WP:AFD. The question to be debated is whether or not the article improves Wikipedia, so the argument is whether or not articles add to a reader's knowledge without misleading or biasing them in any way.
Where an article actually does add to a reader's knowledge without misleading or biasing them in any way, it should, in keeping with the editing policy, be kept. Where it is misleading or biased, it should be removed.
Consider what the best way to inform our readers is. It may be better to confront and explain problems of a fringe or alternative theory than to leave our readers to search the web for the information: a well sourced article or section within an article can lead our readers to more reliable information then a search engine can.
Merging information into parent articles may also cause problems. A few questions to ask are: will the information be accessible without having to read a huge amount of unrelated text beforehand, will a merger of information lead to less information because of the overview nature of parent articles, will the information on said topic in a parent article lead to less updates because of our undue weight policies?
A large number of policies and guidelines sometimes conflict with the above approach. For example, the notability guideline states that we need multiple secondary sources to summarise. This can at times conflict with our purpose, which is to inform. The usual safety valve in this instance is WP:Ignore all rules: namely, that we should aim to improve the encyclopedia in whatever we do, as we are here to help our readers find information, not suppress it.