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: This page is a response to the WP:EVERYTHING argument. Wikipedia must have content.|
During WP:AFD discussions on topics that editors may view as relatively obscure and not notable, editors supporting deletion of those articles will often quote WP:EVERYTHING, stating that "Wikipedia is not about everything."
- Keep I thought Wikipedia's purpose was to provide information on everything. KnowItAll 7:04 am, 3 August 2006, Thursday (8 years, 17 days ago) (UTC−5)
- Delete WP:EVERYTHING states that "Wikipedia is not about everything" WhoNeedsIt 8:14 pm, 3 August 2006, Thursday (8 years, 17 days ago) (UTC−5)
It is true that Wikipedia is not about everything, nor can it ever be about everything. To that end, the Wikipedia community has decided not to document every verifiable fact and has established notability guidelines on what should be kept.
On the other hand, Wikipedia is not about "nothing", either. The guidelines established by the community are far broader than those of any paper encyclopedia.
The WP:EVERYTHING essay noted above states that the purpose of the "everything" argument "is to prevent Wikipedia from becoming unmaintainable." This is a worthwhile goal. However, as more enthusiastic editors come to Wikipedia and as technology advances to ease support and maintenance tasks, this system is increasingly able to handle expansion and Wikipedia guidelines for notability should broaden concomitantly.
Editors who use the "everything" argument are urged to provide more detail of their argument. Why does a certain article not meet notability standards? Why should it be excluded? These kinds of questions lead to more details and can provide a more fruitful discussion.
The "everything" guideline states: "So think carefully and exercise judgment when determining what should be included in an encyclopedia." True—but also think carefully and exercise judgment when determining what should be deleted from an encyclopedia.
- WP:EVERYTHING Wikipedia notability essay on "everything"
- Nothing Wikipedia article
- IEFBR14 IBM mainframe program designed to do nothing