There is a major problem with Wikipedia, deletionists. Deletionists, as the name suggests, get off on deleting things. They tear down rather than build up.
Why would they want to do this? There are two primary reasons. First, it is an easy way to increase the number of Wikipedia edits which increases the visibility and power and an “editor” (using the Wikipedia version of the term rather than the more broadly understood meaning). Write something and a deletionist can delete it, effectively negating an edit. Delete something, on the other hand, and it tends to stay deleted unless a person continually undoes the deletion, a tiring and somewhat futile exercise. The second reason is a raw feeling of power that comes from knocking down the work of others.
Of course, like any obstructionists, deletionists do not admit to their underlying and, frankly, ugly motives. Instead, they claim to be gatekeepers to quality, albeit self-appointed ones. Their claimed benefits, besides “vandalism” (which even that they define to broadly mean anything they dislike), are nonsensical and not worth printing. In fact, their knee-jerk tendency to delete information is, in itself, a form of vandalism.
Their self-righteous justification is intense enough they deleted a Wikipedia page that used to exist about deletionism. To reiterate, Wikipedia deletionists deleted a page about deletionists and instead merged it into a page about both deletionists and “inclusionists” as if the latter group, who understand the reason behind Wikipedia, are somehow equal.
For Americans, think of Mitch McConnell, the US Senate leader who blocks everything and uses obstruction to get his way. Deletionists are the same. They derive power not from doing the hard work to create but, rather, by deleting the research and inclusions from others.
Much like McConnell uses power derived from a small minority of the American populace to rule over a larger segment, deletionists use their edit count to become “senior editors” empowering both themselves and other deletionists. That is, they’ve effectively hacked the Wikipedia rules to their benefit and realized the more they delete the higher their edit count and the more authority they have which they then abuse to delete even more material.
If this sounds dysfunctional, you’re right – it is. More than dysfunctional, it encourages abusive tactics from the very worst players, power-hungry basement dwellers who themselves have nothing to say and cannot project their voices any other way than what is, in essence, a form of vandalism.
Rather than deal with deletionists — who should, in a better thought-through scheme, be deleted themselves — we created innowiki as an alternative. We believe innovation is so important that it deserves at least brief, objective descriptions free from the constraints of deletionists. We will sometimes link to our articles from Wikipedia but find deletionists — who have long threads of deleted material — almost always and immediately then delete the links, citing bogus reasons.
There is a simple solution to deal with deletionists: do not credit deletions as edits. Only crediting accepted inclusions as changes as edits would make deletionism a pointless exercise. They may still get off on the power but they’ll likely quickly tire when it leads nowhere.
Wikipedia is a great idea though, like many things that become big, suffers growing pains. There remains a myriad of dubious information and, thanks to deletionists, there is a strong disincentive for knowledgeable people to participate in the community. This has the effect of enabling an ever-shrinking knowledge base pulled from an ever-shrinking set of sources, the opposite of Wikipedia’s original purpose.
If you’re tired of dealing with deletionists but want to write about innovation, feel free to join us. We work on these brief outlines to publish short, accurate statements devoid of political bias with no favoritism towards deletionist vandals. Interested? Join us.