Why would you delete (valid) pages on Wikipedia?

Why the heck is wikipedia *deleting* articles for not being universally notable rather than simply assigning a "notability" level to them?  It's a computer system, and you store all of the revisions anyway, so why delete something rather than simply marking it less-widely relevant (and thereby decreasing search-result ranks and the like)?  I gather somebody drank the cool-aide a bit too much and started thinking of Wikipedia as a paper book with limited space that should only cover high-school-level knowledge.

Here's a suggestion: instead of a deletion, mark with "relevant to a given group/tag", such as "This article is primarily of interest to Open Source programmers" or "This article is primarily of interest to biologists researching gene sequencing algorithms"...  That wouldn't neatly provide a "level", but it would at least mark them as "less notable", while allowing the content to still be discoverable.

Does Wikipedia not love the HHGG? Why *shouldn't* there be an article on Earth, just because it's an insignificant spec in an insignificant arm of an insignificant galaxy. If it's important to the people who live there and they're willing to write the articles for each other, maybe we could let them document their world. I understand the arguments about personal promotion, etceteras, but Wikipedia is far closer to the HHGG than the Encyclopedia Galactica, and if something is relevant to even a relatively minor community, why not let them have a few spare tracks on a hard drive? Sure, mark the knowledge as of limited appeal, but don't toss it away for no reason.


  1. David

    David on 02/23/2011 9:28 p.m. #

    I completely agree. This is my only complaint for Wikipedia, and I feel that this suppression of knowledge and information should be considered blatant censorship on the part of the elitist attitudes of many admins.

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