Wikipedia:Drafts are not checked for notability or sanity
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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: The criteria that would get an article in mainspace deleted mostly don't apply to drafts.|
Miscellany for deletion is a small and somewhat eccentric place with different norms to its big brother. People pattern-matching AfD norms to MfD sometimes encounter drafts that, while not eligible for a speedy deletion criterion, would be deleted with prejudice in the mainspace. When they send those drafts to MfD, they're often surprised to run into a snow keep. What they're missing is that drafts are not checked for notability or sanity.
Notability standards do not apply to draftspace; indeed, the weaker significance standards involved in the A7 mainspace speedy deletion criterion don't apply, either. They are not necessary as drafts are not indexed by web search engines, Wikipedia's majority source of traffic.
The archetypal "12 year old's Minecraft YouTube channel" draft is, if it's harming no one, entirely unproblematic. In fact, the biting effect of going out of one's way to try to delete such drafts (rather than just letting them disappear in six months) can leave someone with a long-term bitterness towards Wikipedia that persists at a life stage where they might otherwise be a productive editor.[note 1]
Unproblematic non-notable drafts can happily sit for six months, and nominating them for deletion only makes them problematic. By nominating a draft for deletion, and by extension editing it, you reset the clock on G13. In cases where a draft is nominated late in its lifecycle, this can extend its life to nearly a year. It's far more valuable to extend the life of promising drafts than useless ones.
Article speedy deletion criteria do not apply to drafts. Most such criteria don't check notability – they check sanity.
The corollary of this is that matters such as "could never conceivably be an article", "obviously made up in one day", or "not in English" are of much less concern in draftspace. This is not to say they have no value in MfD discussions – certainly the same draft has much less of a shot in Albanian than it does in English. (Be careful, however, that the Albanian draft isn't actually a notable topic needing translation!) However, there's no urgent need to nominate them either. The same caution above about the issue of leaving a lasting negative impression holds.
This may seem bizarre, but there's a method to the madness. The purpose of speedy deletion is to chunk out the most going-down-in-flames obvious cases, the matters for which it is unambiguous and inescapable that the topic is inappropriate for Wikipedia. Drafts are almost never unambiguously and inescapably inappropriate, particularly on the matters of their content. There is very little a draft can do to cause harm to its subjects; draftspace is an unindexed "storage bin" that's only accessible if you know what you're looking for and actively look for it. Letting the garbage collectors get it in six months solves everyone bureaucracy and frustration, rather than causing it.
All these considerations hold even truer for userspace drafts. "But userspace isn't self-cleaning!", you say. Yes, and it isn't meant to be. Userspace is a scratch pad for the person who has it. Unless a page (of any kind) in userspace is either an attack or blatant advertising, there's not much reason to mess with it.
The General speedy deletion criteria apply to drafts. Drafts may be deleted if they are any of the following:
- WP:G1 "Patent nonsense", which refers to gibberish of the "fuurger8t8eg9grgnwe7e8rwnieaioad8" keysmash kind and absolutely nothing else
- WP:G2 "Test pages" ("Can I really make an article here?"), which recent consensus has determined does not apply to drafts that if in mainspace would be deletable under A1/A3
- WP:G3. Vandalism and blatant hoaxes
- WP:G4. Pages entirely identical to those previously deleted under AfD or MfD[note 2]
- WP:G5 Creations by banned or blocked users after their block or ban, e.g. by sockpuppets
- WP:G6 Uncontroversial maintenance
- WP:G7 Requested deletions by a sole contributor
- WP:G10 Attack pages, and WP:BLP private identifying information
- WP:G11 Unambiguous advertising
- WP:G12 Unambiguous copyvio
Consider the repetition of 'unambiguous' and similar insistence on clarity. The key for CSD is "do you have literally any doubt that the criteria applies?". If so, assume it does not.
So when is MfD appropriate?
It's possible, though rare, for a draft that isn't a speedy candidate to require deletion pre-G13. The biggest cases of this are when someone's manipulating the system. There are two big ways drafts can be problematic and require MfD:
- A draft is being tendentiously resubmitted without approval, especially if combined with a deleted mainspace article
- The G13 clock is being reset through minor edits near the end of the six-month window, without substantial improvement
Both of these will generally be uncontroversial MfDs, and are the major indicated use case for draft deletion discussions.
A more controversial indication for MfD can be a draft that's harmless but clearly inappropriate well past "not checked for notability or sanity", usually involving WP:NOT violations. While many such drafts are deleted at MfD, the regulars tend to prefer these be left to G13.
- ^ Your essayist still has conflicting feelings about the unsympathetic speedy of an (out-of-scope, rightly deleted) article when he was eleven.
- ^ This does not mean 'pages recreated after deletion', it means 'the exact same page'. If you're unable to see deleted revisions, there's a good chance you're putting this on mistakenly.