Near miss

A Wikipedia page I was largely responsible for has been spared the axe, and I feel like a successful defense lawyer.

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia that’s free for anyone to edit, that aspires to surpass other encyclopedias in quality. To meet both goals it has evolved a series of rules, a few arbitrary but most well thought out and endlessly debated, that determine what stays in and what goes. Rules like “Wikipedia is not a directory” and “Wikipedia is not for promotion” are self explanatory; “Wikipedia is not a memorial” may take more careful reading. (I find this page a helpful summary.)

So when Wikipedia editors get in an argument about whether something belongs, it is through a formal process called AfD, for “Articles for Deletion.” And the discussion often goes down the various principles listed above, frequently referred to by initials rather than by name.

That the ensuing debate is called Wikilawyering is unsurprising, as is the fact that that term itself can refer to misuse of rules to obey the letter of the Wikipedia policy while violating its intent.

But in the end, your article is likely to prevail if you have taken steps to ensure you write about notable things, cite your facts, and avoid original research and puffery. It’s a great educational process, in that way.