"**Pure Wiki Deletion (page ..."


by Eric Bruylant Feb 26 2016

Pure Wiki Deletion (page blanking creates redlinks)

Handling deletion on wikis is delicate, since it renders user generated content hidden from the user and the world. Wikipedia handles this poorly, but their users did come up with a beautiful solution (which never got implemented):

Links to blank articles will appear the same as links to non-existent articles

This removes a large part of the need for administrator intervention (providing some barrier to detached bureaucracies forming, and giving editors the power to remove their own content from view without requesting admin intervention), while making deletion transparent, open, and reversible. The normal deletion mechanism would stay, but only be used for illegal or banned content. The page linked has detailed reasoning about pros and cons.


Alexei Andreev

People can already delete their pages on Arbital. You can bring it back by reverting to a previous edit.
We won't make the page appear blank, because there is no reason to reuse an existing id. You can remove the alias from the old page, create a new page, and assign it the alias.

Eric Bruylant

Ah, okay, current arbital deletion already corresponds to this. Good :). (tests), deleting a page in my group made it inaccessible? I can still access the edit screen/reverse if I know the url though. Maybe having deleted pages show a "this page has been deleted, click here to view the edit history" thing would be better?

Also, if all deletion is soft/reversible by everyone, there's no tool to actually remove things from public view, which may be problematic on rare occasions where making it hard to find is not enough (e.g. illegal content), so eventually there would need to be another layer of deletion which renders it visible only to staff. Probably low priority though.

Alexei Andreev

Yeah, that's a bug.

Yes, hard delete will be a thing too.