Help talk:Maintenance template removal/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

When to remove

As I mentioned on the proposal page, I like this idea, and I think it would be useful for all users, as it's not just the new users who leave templates on articles for years. I suggest a section giving clear guidance on some situations when a template could be removed. SilkTork ✔Tea time 17:44, 18 April 2016 (UTC)

When to remove

Most templates are not meant to be permanent attachments on an article. Any user may remove a template in the following circumstances:

  1. When they have addressed the issue the template has raised
  2. When they notice that the issue has been resolved (perhaps by someone else)
  3. If it reasonably appears that the template was placed in error (discussing the matter with the original placer of the template is advised, though if the user is no longer active this is not required; however, if the issue is contentious, seek consensus on the talkpage)
  4. When there is consensus on the talkpage
  5. When it reasonably appears that the template is no longer relevant or is dormant such as a {{Current}} template on an article that is no longer current
When not to remove
  1. When the issue has not been resolved
  2. When there is ongoing activity or discussion related to the template
  3. When you simply disagree with the template (seek consensus first)


  • I've added this section. Please ticker with as you like. SilkTork ✔Tea time 17:48, 18 April 2016 (UTC)
Hey SilkTork. I actually did not intend the page to be only directed at new users, and reading it over I don't think it makes that assumption directly, but possibly in what it did not contain, which I think you have remedied well – Thanks!--Fuhghettaboutit (talk)

Dormant

There are a few templates, where a process of consensus forming determined that a dormant discussion is a good enough reason to remove them. For example, if there is a POV template, but no active editing or discussion, then that is a reason to remove the POV template, see Template:POV#When_to_remove #3. A few very long discussions on the talkpage of that template came to the conclusion that the best way to make sure a tag really points to an issue, is to add this criteria. This is meant to make sure that people can't tag non-issues, with the implication that if no edit is made an no discussion is ongoing, then the issue is not serious enough to warrant a tag.

I think this helppage should mention this. Turning this into a general rule, would IMHO require broad consensus, but we should mention that on some templates, like {{POV}} there exists such a rule for removal too. Something like: "Local consensus based on specific template characteristics can add removal criteria, like e.g. on Template:POV where the absence or dormancy of discussion for a reasonable amount of time is a removal criteria." Debresser (talk) 14:51, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

Hey Debresser Sorry, I'm confused. What you're stating seems to directly support keeping in the When to remove section "When it reasonably appears that the template is no longer relevant or is dormant..." but you removed that with a pointer to this post. What am I missing? By the way, the treatment of {{POV}} in the specific template guidance section already includes the consensus rules for its removal.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 21:51, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
First of all, let me say that I hadn't paid attention to the section dedicated to specific templates, and yes, I see that it includes this rule, making my proposal fairly redundant.
I still think that removing the word "dormant" in this edit of mine, was correct, because first of all, templates' can't be dormant, just discussions, but most of all, because dormancy of discussion isn't a general criteria for removal, if I am not mistaken. I would be all in favor for it to be, by the way, but then it should be mention separately, because relevancy and dormancy are not related at all. Debresser (talk) 19:46, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

I have mixed feelings about this revision.

On the one hand, as an editor who has fielded many questions at various help desks, including OTRS, it is clear that many brand-new editors assume that there is some automatic process by which the issuer of a mintenance template automatically follows up on it. As we know, that is not the case, and that has led to a couple of existing or proposed initiatives.

One is to encourage editors leaving tags to do the follow-up - I wrote about this at Meta.

Phoebe had a related proposal at Meta.

The approach here is a lowerkey approach, not quite to encourage the original tagger to follow up, but to at least inform readers not to assume that someone else will take care of it.

I applaud that aspect. What troubles me is the implication that anyone can remove the template when they think the problem has been addressed. Of course, that's our official position, so all that has happened is to state it clearly. However, I';m troubled because I think (and I'll bet I'm not alone) that many new editors do not have a sense of what constitutes promotional material.

In a bit of a coincidence, I took a break while composing this post to look at my watchlist, and I ran across this message to MRG. In short, an editor is asking for advice because they had some information deleted as promotional. They don't think it's promotional. If they are pointed to the advice on this page, They are informed "Any user may remove a template in the following circumstances: When they have addressed the issue the template raises;" (Emphasis added).

This editor (whose editing career consists of six edits) is being told that if they think the material is not promotional they can remove the maintenance tag.

I was taught that it is not a best practice to raise a problem unless you proffer a possible solution. I'm probably gonna fall short of that best practice. Unfortunately, I think the right answer is that we ought to identify a class of editors whom we feel are qualified to make this assessment. It is narrower than all editors, but doesn't neatly fit into any of our existing categories. One shouldn't have to be an admin to make this assessment (and we don't even vett admin candidates to see if they understand this). I'm tempted to suggest some minimum activity such as one year and 1000 edits. The problem is, I'm leery of proposing yet another category of editors so it might be nice if we could agree on something that already exists. In fact, it occurs to me that we do not have to make this a formal position — if we could agree on a hurdle such as number of edits or length of time or combination, we might simply add it as an informal rule. E.g. "any user with sufficient experience in these areas may remove the maintenance tag — in general, a user with fewer than 1000 edits and less than a years experience ought to defer to someone with more experience." I'm not wedded to that specific hurdle and would be happy to discuss.--S Philbrick(Talk) 19:47, 5 May 2016 (UTC)

@Sphilbrick: I have similar concerns coming from the other perspective, the problem might be coming from privileged editors. I arrived here while inspecting an edit summary where the editor tags hundreds? of articles with Wikipedia:Page Curation. Tagging with non-specific edit summaries like, "Added tags to the page using Page Curation (refimprove)" and without opening a talk page discussion. (On the article in question, no notice was sent to the creating editor.) Apparently, Page Curation already requires some sort of elevated privilege. I think a better idea might be to remove the article (header) tags from the Page Curation tool and limit it to section tags and inline, as they are much more helpful. Additionally, maintenance tag templates should require a signature, searching through edit summaries to find out whether the editor who tagged the article months (or years ago) is ridiculous. Finally, an expiration date could also be added to maintenance templates, where they remove themselves after one year? I've seen articles with maintenance tags that are years old, and there are a hundred(s) of edits since the tag was placed. 009o9Disclosure(Talk) 05:17, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
Comment on 'auto-remove', I frequently come across articles on peripheral subjects where the tag is X years old, but little has been done to fix things.Pincrete (talk) 08:49, 13 May 2016 (UTC)
@Sphilbrick and 009o9: I agree there is a concern, and what I have been meaning to add is some language in the section about removal addressing that: though not forbidden, when removal of a maintenance template is performed by the article's creator – and especially one with an apparent conflict of interest – it is subject to much higher scrutiny and the person must take great care to make sure they understand the issue and blah blah blah, but I have not quite crystalized just what to say and the reach. Would that address your issue, at least in part? Any suggestions?-Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 23:02, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
Ah, I note that Pincrete made a suggestion along this line at the village pump proposal.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 23:06, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
@Fuhghettaboutit:Sounds like a step in the right direction, but, at the risk of pouring more cold water than being truly helpful, the phrase "it is subject to much higher scrutiny" implies a nonexistent and nontrivial mechanism. My concerns are not strong enough to oppose the publication of this page; I just think we will be revisiting it soon.--S Philbrick(Talk) 00:59, 13 May 2016 (UTC)
@Sphilbrick and Fuhghettaboutit: I don't see a problem with section and inline tags, header tags are dirty laundry, lazy and unsightly. Perhaps this advice page should have a section, encouraging that (unhelpful) header tags be moved to the appropriate section, regardless of the WP:STEWARDSHIP of the editor.
Also, with subjective tags like, "reads like an advertisement", it's just as likely that the defect is with the placing editor as it is with the content of the article.

Like the other neutrality-related tags, if you place this tag, you should promptly start a discussion on the article's talk page to explain what is non-neutral about the article. If you do not start this discussion, then any editor is justified in removing the tag without warning.

IMHO every (subjective) header tag should have the above guidance on the page because any script kiddie can place them. The guidance is from Template:COI. Template COI is often used to punish the editor (even declared ones such as myself) even when the article 99% neutral. (Which is why they won't start a conversation or use section/inline.) The proper tag, Template:Connected contributor, is undesirable to them because it's a talk page template and does not publicly prejudice the article. 009o9Disclosure(Talk) 04:54, 13 May 2016 (UTC)
  • Since the conversation appears to still be open, I added my concerns at the Village Pump.[1] 009o9Disclosure(Talk) 05:56, 13 May 2016 (UTC)

Maintenance templates (or "tags") are never removed automatically.

The first section reads, "Maintenance templates (or "tags") are never removed automatically."

My question is, why not? As illustrated in Template:highlight, templates can have an expiration date. If the maintenance tags were also reprogrammed to capture the tagging editor's user name (ridiculous that they don't already). The user could be automatically notified that her tag has expired. The tagging editor could then re-review the article to see if the tag still applies and extend the date if necessary. I've seen tons of cases where numerous editors improve the article and ignore the banner tags, in fact I removed a 2008 and 2010 banner tag today. 009o9Disclosure(Talk) 21:35, 15 May 2016 (UTC)

Would it be useful to also inform article talk page that the tag has been in place for 12 months. Yes I come across articles with out of date tags, but I also come across those where little or nothing has been fixed, or is likely to be fixed. Pincrete (talk) 12:01, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
The problem with this automatic expiration date is that sometimes the issues are not fixed at all. In these cases, it would not be justifiable to remove the tags automatically. --Lemongirl942 (talk) 12:41, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
For finding out the tagging editor's name, I just use this. --Lemongirl942 (talk) 12:42, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
Nifty tool. Would have saved me a lot of effort in some cases. Debresser (talk) 13:56, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
Again, the tag is your "opinion", if nobody else agrees with it, it's hardly an "issue." Implementing the blame tool would be a good idea for inclusion here, for less sophisticated users, the referring article and tag type could be captured and the tagging editor(s) names could be displayed automatically. 009o9Disclosure(Talk) 18:47, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

It would require a site wide discussion to set up a nagging bot to remind folks that a tag is still in place, and I'm not sure that the tagger should be expected to be perpetually responsible for checking that the clean up has been done. The fault, after all, for tags still being on articles years later is not the fault or the responsibility of the original tagger. I think this help page combined with the link to it that is now on tags, is in itself very helpful and positive, and should be given time to work. SilkTork ✔Tea time 18:05, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

I would envision a single notification to the tagger who would then either re-review the article, or ignore the notification and allow automatic removal. I see no reason not to nag the naggers (on header tags only). 18:47, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
The reason is that it defeats the purpose of tagging. Most people tag because they see a problem which they are not able (for whatever reason, time, ability, motivation) to fix themselves, but they can at least alert the community and the reading public that there is a problem. If there is an assumption that taggers become responsible for the problem then it is likely that fewer people will tag. If we value tagging then we don't want to discourage people from doing it. I read a comment by User:SandyGeorgia a few years ago - a high profile, respected, and confident user, in which she said that she was reluctant to do minor clean up on articles and leave behind faults in that article in case people felt she was responsible for those faults, or wondered why she had not dealt with them.
Personally I prefer to deal directly with problems in an article, but I do tag when I see problems but don't have the time or motivation to deal with them myself. I would rather tag than ignore the problems. But if the attitude toward tagging is that the tagger becomes responsible, then I will stop doing it. Like Sandy, I would rather ignore the problem than become even more burdened with responsibility. We do enough. We are, after all, unpaid volunteers. SilkTork ✔Tea time 06:20, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
Just for the record, I agree with the opinion that tags should not be removed automatically, because of the reason mentioned above, that only a person can assess if the issue has been resolved. By the way, some technical tags are removed by bots, like the removal of expired protection templates, and that is fine. Debresser (talk) 06:49, 17 May 2016 (UTC)

2 Reverts I don't agree with

@Fuhghettaboutit:The first rollback,[2] concerns a switch to collapse the Template:Multiple issues wrapper. Collapsed used to be the default and the template serves no purpose otherwise. Maintenance tags are not supposed to punish the article publicly, they are primarily internal business, what reader cares if an article is orphaned? Perhaps information about the switch (also) belongs on the template/doc, or the template should be deleted.

The second rollback,[3] concerns the must start a talk page entry when placing a COI tag Advert tag. This is not "tangential" to the purpose of the page and such an accusatory tag, from a disinterested drive-by editor who will not defend his accusation, should not be sustained.009o9Disclosure(Talk) 06:28, 13 May 2016 (UTC)

I just realized the second revert, concerns a different template, but ill-placement is the issue. Template:Advert has the guidance:

The advert tag is for articles that are directly trying to sell a product to our readers. Don't add this tag simply because the material in the article shows a company or a product in an overall positive light or because it provides an encyclopedic summary of a product's features.

If there is no "selling" (i.e., the placing editor has never read the guidance, only the face of the tag) in the article, interested editors are clearly justified in removing and challenging the tagger's understanding of the guidance.009o9Disclosure(Talk) 08:01, 13 May 2016 (UTC)

Content concerning tagger's responsibility to open the talk page discussion

  • Sorry, I have reverted this edit. At the moment, there is no such requirement that the tagging editor has to compulsorily open a dialogue on the talk page. If there is consensus on this issue though, it can be added back --Lemongirl942 (talk) 08:11, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
  • @Fuhghettaboutit and 009o9: I disagree with placing that information there. There is no compulsion as this time that a discussion has to be opened before adding a POV template. (This differs from a COI template, which is usually placed when attempts to contact the COI editor have not been successful or if the responsible editor is not active for a long time). The tags are not supposed to be removed without a discussion. Of course, it may be removed if the editor who places the tag is contacted but doesn't respond for a reasonable amount of time. --Lemongirl942 (talk) 08:56, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
Your understanding is not representative of the template guidance, which paraphrased is that the tag can be removed if the tagging editor does not initiate the discussion (talk page implied where not implicitly stated). The template guidance in these cases say nothing about contacting the tagging editor, and the dormant editor argument is incorrect because an inactive editor, by definition will not be removing a tag. 009o9Disclosure(Talk) 10:43, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
Lemongirl942|Debresser (Debresser thanked for my edit, so editor is active in discussion) Lemongirl942 appears to be unwilling to read the guidance in Template:COI (yellow highlight) and Template:POV #3, both state that the tags can be removed when the tagging editor fails to open a talk page discussion. Lemongirl942 has reverted twice and since I was thanked for the edit, there appears to be consensus with the template guidance. Because of misuse of these templates, I'm reverting her revert. 009o9Disclosure(Talk) 09:10, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
@Debresser: Can you clarify? In addition, I didn't know that thanking is a form of consensus. --Lemongirl942 (talk) 09:21, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
IMHO, the (thank) function is just a shortcut for typing Agree. I'll wait for Debresser to clarify his or her position. 009o9Disclosure(Talk) 09:36, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
One editor agreeing doesn't mean consensus. But I will wait for a clarification. --Lemongirl942 (talk) 10:04, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

When to remove: 6. Some neutrality tags such as Conflict of Interest (COI) and Neutral point of view (POV) require that the tagging editor initiate and participate in a dialog (generally on the article's talk page), to sustain their placement.

The question: "Is this a fair representation of the guidance in Template:COI, Template:POV and Template:OR?" 009o9Disclosure(Talk) 10:10, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
I don't know whether this IS a fair representation of guidelines, but something of the sort SHOULD be said. The circumstance that I am aware of is tags being added as 'I don't like', but the tagger not attempting to resolve, or, in some cases not to even identify what the claimed COI, PoV etc. is. 'Thanking' shouldn't be interpreted, since it can mean 100 things, though usually 'agree'. Pincrete (talk) 11:57, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
I agree with what Pincrete said. I have seen circumstances where a tagger adds tags but doesn't bother to reply to subsequent comments. In such circumstances, the tags can be removed. However, the burden of initiating a discussion doesn't lie solely on the tagger (as this revision implies). My understanding is that anyone can add a tag. And there is no discussion, an attempt is always made to contact the original tagger before removing the tag. --Lemongirl942 (talk) 12:32, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

There is a long standing expectation that Template:COI tags should be supported by a discussion. It is part of the advice given on the template page, and has been highlighted in yellow since October last year. Template:POV is similar, though less strongly worded. The new wording seems fine to me as it is helpful, and follows best practise. Folks putting POV or COI tags on articles without an explanation can expect to have those tags removed summarily, and if they continue to place such tags without an explanation, they can expect that someone will point out to them that their actions are mildly disruptive, and if they continue doing it, they may end up facing sanctions. SilkTork ✔Tea time 17:10, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

I am clear about the COI tags. In practice, COI tags are usually inserted after attempts to contact the COI editor have failed. The POV tag on the other hand doesn't require the tagging editor to initiate a discussion. It does require them to respond to any discussion though. I have seen cases (in NPP) where an article was legitimately tagged for POV but the tagging editor for some reason didn't open a discussion. The tag was then promptly removed by an opposing editor without any explanation or effort to start a discussion - even though there was clearly a POV in the article. The problem with the wording above is that it creates a loophole. It may encourage editors to remove the tag without actually looking into the problem. --Lemongirl942 (talk) 17:49, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
Contacting first was not my experience with you, your first edit was the Advert tag,diff Your edit summary was "Added {{advert}} tag to article (TW)". Then you removed 5000 bytes of copy in the following four minutes without opening a discussion. Pretty hard to assume good faith, my COI statement (and therefore interest in the article) is prominently placed on the talk page.
Without the tagging editor opening a discussion the COI tag is nothing more than an opinion not a problem. It simply means that some Twinkle user looked at the article for a moment and injected their opinion. No more relevant that an Amazon user review from a customer who hasn't purchased the book.009o9Disclosure(Talk) 18:28, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
In addition, Template:POV states:

Please also explain on the article's talk page why you are adding this tag, identifying specific issues that are actionable within Wikipedia's content policies.
When to remove
3. In the absence of any discussion, or if the discussion has become dormant.

My content is not creating a loophole, it is identifying WP:DRIVEBYTAG. Here's what you are really saying when you tag an article:
  1. Header tag = The article is shit, redo it.
  2. Section tag(s) = The article is okay, it needs some work here
  3. Inline tags = I'm modestly pointing out some some defects, maybe you, or another editor will have a better source or can fix the prose.
So don't be surprised when your undocumented header tags, or pruning binges are not warmly received. 009o9Disclosure(Talk) 20:19, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
For your information, I added the Template:Advert in this edit. I did not add the Template:COI tag. And I started editing the article soon afterwards. Your understanding is incorrect in this case as there is nothing specifying that a discussion has to be compulsorily opened when an advert tag is added. (Please point out the sentence in the Template:Advert if I am wrong). I added the tag and I started fixing the article soon afterwards. Note that my adding the tag was constructive as I started fixing the problems within a short while. --Lemongirl942 (talk) 03:36, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
You did nothing constructive to the article, and I did not say you placed the COI tag. You went on wholesale deletion spree and did not add a single sentence -- and pruned with complete disregard to content that establishes notability. But you can't know anything about notability challenges because you've never created an article that has a notability requirement. You've created exactly seven stubs in your esteemed six month editing history, topics that are presumed notable because they are WP:GEOLAND. Additionally, the Advert tag you did place was completely in error, there was no selling in the article and supporting references (like press releases) are WP:NNC as long as they are WP:ABOUTSELF.old version
Finally, my statement doesn't say that it is "compulsory" to open a discussion, quit changing the subject, It says that the tagging editor has not followed the guidance, is likely just another drive-by vandal as a it is to be a constructive edit, and the tag can be removed. Besides, if the editor reverts, you'll be notified and you can go on the warpath about it. 009o9Disclosure(Talk) 04:22, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
Your AfD stats (50.9% match rate) shows something completely different about your knowledge of notability. I also see that you have a habit of sidetracking discussions which now explains everything about your understanding of policies ([4],[5]).
But I digress. If you statement doesn't say that the tagging editor is "required" to "initiate" a discussion, then I guess we agree on this. My view is that per the guidelines for Template POV at this time, the tagging editor is simply supposed to participate in a discussion without which tag may be removed. --Lemongirl942 (talk) 05:59, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
So you will flat out lie too? Number of AfD's where vote didn't match result (red cells): 14 (26.4%)AfD stats 73.6% is pretty damn good since I'm voting against the same team of deletionists when I find a decent article that deserves a keep vote. Are you sure that you are cut-out to be a wiki-cop with your reading comprehension level? Try this Wikipedia:Template messages/Disputes according to the guidance, for almost all of the tags discussed here, a numbered list is supposed to be provided with the tag, and you, by placing the banner tag, go to the last resort first. The way you operate is completely disruptive and I'm not going to shut-up like some third-class citizen when it is directed at me. You opened this can of whoop ass, deal with it. 009o9Disclosure(Talk) 06:45, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
If you have more to say, take it to my talk page. 009o9Disclosure(Talk) 07:00, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
Stop selectively quoting stuff. Here are your AfD stats
Number of AfD's where vote matched result (green cells): 27 (50.9%)
Number of AfD's where vote didn't match result (red cells): 14 (26.4%)
Number of AfD's where result was "No Consensus" (yellow cells): 12 (22.6%)
You vote matched in 50.9% of the cases, didn't match in 26.4% of the cases and there was no consensus in 22.6%. I'm not sure where my "flat out lie" is. Anyway I'm gonna drop the stick and move on, since this is not productive and as an unpaid volunteer I only have so much time. --Lemongirl942 (talk) 07:40, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
Duh! Subtract the "didn't match" from 100% and you end up with 73.6%. No Consensus is the same as a Keep in AfD when you are voting keep. I only vote Keep because voting Delete may appear that I am trying to create business for myself. If I cared about this statistic, I would just vote delete on a bunch of hopeless articles. 009o9Disclosure(Talk) 08:09, 17 May 2016 (UTC)

Edited to reflect that I by mistake switched the editors. I agree with User:009o9.I have been looking at the ongoing edit war and discussion, and am very unhappy with User:009o9 turning this this was turned into an issue. First of all, this criteria is only a reflection of the consensus on those templates. Also, it seems clear to me that there is only one editor who has a problem with this (and is wiling to edit war over it and to tag it and do all kinds of things). It is time for him to remember WP:CONSENSUS and WP:DEADHORSE. Debresser (talk) 14:26, 17 May 2016 (UTC)

@Debresser: I'm going to go ahead and restore Wikipedia:Template messages/Disputes to the See Also section. It's another guidance source that describes tagging etiquette and supports item #6. I believe you reverted in connection with the misunderstanding above. Odd that there is no MOS on how and when to tag, nothing is in a central location. 009o9Disclosure(Talk) 03:45, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

New edit to "When not to remove section"

Nothing really wrong with the Lemongirl942 edit, with the exception that we usually call each other editors around here.

  • "A user should not remove a template if any of the following applies:"

But it does expose that item #1 and #4 are vague. I'd suggest:

1. When the issue(s) described by the tagging editor on the talk page have not yet been resolved;

This because the guidance is clear about the tagging editor's responsibility.

4. When you simply disagree with the template (seek consensus first)

If you disagree, and there is no discussion, remove the template. If there is an active discussion, per item 2, don't remove the template. There is no need for a #4. Another choice is to do nothing, but that is what we are trying to discourage here.009o9Disclosure(Talk) 05:52, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

Oppose this proposal. 1. There is nothing vague about these criteria. 2. Specifically regarding #1, issues can be resolved without discussion, e.g. with a good edit. 3. There is no rule that in absence of a discussion a template can be removed, and that is definitely a huge change to common process, and not a good one at that. Debresser (talk) 07:31, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
@Debresser: The way the section guidance is currently written, a tagging form disruptive editing is perfectly fine as long as you use a template -- a consensus of one prevails. Would it be better then to respond like this, so my opinion will also prevail?
When the tagger uses the edit summary like, "Added xyz template (TW)" with no further discussion (with a header tag that could apply to any line in the article), this is a classic definition of WP:DRIVEBYTAG and there is nothing constructive about the edit. Header tags introduce WP:OR into the article, in the most highly visible location, maintenance tags are in fact, WP:USERGENERATED content, exactly like an Amazon book review.
WP:EDITCONSENSUS makes no distinction between maintenance tags and other edits and WP:BRD would apply to vaguely placed templates as well. Finally, I personally don't feel that we should be interpreting "common process" in this help page, that is also OR without a reliable source (Guideline or Policy, not essays). Somebody chose to make this help page extremely visible by placing it on the face of a bunch of templates, let's not allow the page to become an endorsement of disruptive editing.

────

==When not to remove==

A(n) user editor should not remove a template if any of the following applies:

  1. When the issue described by the template is readily apparent and has not yet been resolved;
  2. When there is ongoing activity or discussion related to the template issue;
  3. When you do not understand the issues raised by the template;
  4. When you simply disagree with the template (seek consensus first).

Header tags are not sanctified content, there is no required "method" for seeking (WP:EDITCONSENSUS (policy) and WP:BRD). If the BRD method is appropriate for the situation, then use it -- the opinion of an un-discussed tag is a consensus of one person and can introduce WP:OR in the most visible location.

Maybe the above is clearer. Cheers! 009o9Disclosure(Talk) 14:48, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
P.S. per WP:DETAG:
"Any editor who sees a tag, but does not see the purported problem with the article and does not see any detailed complaint on the talk page, may remove the tag."
Also,
"If the person placing the tag has explained their concerns on the talk page, then anyone who disagrees should join the discussion and explain why the tag seems inappropriate. If there is no reply within a reasonable amount of time (a few days), the tag can be removed."
This appears to be the wider consensus on the matter. 009o9Disclosure(Talk) 15:18, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

────

  • I think the current when not to remove guidelines are fine and reflects community consensus. Putting it simply it says don't remove if the issues are not fixed and don't remove if you simply disagree. --Lemongirl942 (talk) 16:01, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
  • Changing "user" to "editor" is an obvious good idea.
Regarding #1: I understand where you are coming from, but I think the present wording is clear enough. The issue does not have to be readily apparent to be there. The word "issue" makes it clear that there must be some issue there. With your proposal, editors who don't understand the issue and are too lazy to search for it, or who are of the opinion the issue is not serious enough to be considered "readily apparent" can use the proposed formula to remove a useful tag. Better err on the side of caution, instead of removing because one didn't understand the issue.
Regarding #4: that one is so obviously needed, because "I disagree" is one of the most used reasons for removal, whether admitted or not, and is completely unacceptable.
In short, I still disagree with your arguments. Debresser (talk) 18:49, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
The problem is that in many cases, it requires a revert to even get a conversation started. The tagger will simply buffalo the new editor and insist that the tag stays without delineating the problem. If the reason for tagging is "the whole article is shit" then it should go to AfD instead. Again, there are two perceptions of what an article should look like, one that displays all of the most notable attributes in the per WP:LEAD for AfC and then the COIN editor(s) view the exact same content placement as advertising and become offended. 009o9Disclosure(Talk) 19:32, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Additionally, a lot of times COI is an issue with the editor and not the article content, in this case Template:COI is an inappropriate tag per the guidance. Other types of revenge tagging are not uncommon. Finally, the verbiage as written, gives the tagger a place to reference and justify their laziness or vengefulness. 009o9Disclosure(Talk) 19:46, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
All these cases can be easily resolved by simple consensus. It takes only one decisive editor, or a majority of two editors against one, to take care of drive-by tagging or revenge tagging. Debresser (talk) 14:20, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

Note

Many paid editing jobs posted on sites like Upwork are for removing tags from Wikipedia articles. Please keep this in mind as this page develops. I made some changes to address this. Thanks. Jytdog (talk) 20:20, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

I am not sure I agree with your addition in this edit: "You have been paid to edit the article or have some other conflict of interest." That would be correct for some tags, but why shouldn't a paid editor be able to remove a tag asking for a source after he provided one, for example? Since I think you are wrong about this, and it was not discussed, I have removed it for the time being.
I am also not happy with your removal of "Wikipedia works because of the efforts of volunteers like you and their bold edits to assist us in building this encyclopedia project. Fixing problems and then removing maintenance templates when you're done is important in that effort." What was so "completely wrong" with that (as you said in the edit summary of this edit? Debresser (talk) 21:58, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
About the paid editing thing... first, paid editors should never edit articles directly, and both the PAID policy and the COI guideline are clear on this. Adding that here is entirely in line with that policy and guideline. Secondly, this is the point of many jobs posted at Upwork for editing Wikipedia. I will take this to an RfC if needed and I believe there will be overwhelming support for it.
What was completely wrong in the content I reverted, was the description of what the advert tag is for, which was very narrow and made it appear that the tag should only be used on tiny range of articles. Please note that the description was added here by a person who discloses that they do paid editing. This was a very conflicted change to this document they should not have made. A paid editor should not not be writing a help document about tags often placed on content created by paid editors and that paid editors are often paid to remove. Jytdog (talk) 22:19, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
For a bit of context, I work on conflict of interest issues a lot. I think there is a place for paid editors in the community - we get great contribs from them. If they want to thrive in Wikipedia, they just need to follow the PAID policy and COI guideline, spirit and letter. Jytdog (talk) 22:21, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
I don't understand. I asked why you removed "Wikipedia works because of the efforts of volunteers like you and their bold edits to assist us in building this encyclopedia project. Fixing problems and then removing maintenance templates when you're done is important in that effort." That text is also part fo the nutshell template on top of this page, and should therefore not be removed. I did not ask about the removal of the paragraph before that, dealing with the advert template. So I don't understand your reply. Debresser (talk) 22:53, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
It looks like collateral damage, so I've restored that.
I would still like to know why Jytdog believes that a paid editor should never edit an article, even to remove an obviously wrong tag. WP:COIADVICE specifies six different types of uncontroversial editing that conflicted editors are permitted to do in articles. Therefore, it appears that the guideline does permit them to do a certain amount of article editing, including adding refs to unsourced statements. I'm thinking that removing {{unref}} on an article that contains refs is equivalent to correcting spelling or reverting vandalism. But removing {{pov-check}} is probably not equally uncontroversial. What do you think, User:Debresser? WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:32, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing Thanks for restoring that paragraph. I also think that was a good faith mistake.
See WP:COIADVICE, which refers to WP:FINANCIALCOI, where the rules are stronger. Still, I dislike the approach as though it were forbidden, and disagree with such an absolute and strict interpretation as Jytdog proposes. I do agree it is a good idea to caution paid editors here as well to make only the most uncontroversial of edits, but not make it sound as though it is forbidden. Debresser (talk) 21:23, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
I'm thinking that the problem from the POV of this essay is that "uncontroversial" is subjective. Certainly thhere are a few COI extremists who believe that any and all edits to the mainspace by a paid editor are always and inherently controversial, even if reverting juvenile libel. But quite a few editors would have difficulty with a paid editor removing some maintenance tags under some circumstances, and I don't know how you could explain exactly what's okay and what's not (even if we all approximately agreed upon where the line should be drawn). :::::::WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:43, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
It's kind of a chicken egg problem. WP:COIADVICE says, "If another editor objects for any reason, it is not an uncontroversial edit" Seems like the way to see if removing it is uncontroversial, is to remove it. I.e. does the tagger care enough about the subject to discuss it. 02:31, 23 May 2016 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Note, WP:COIADVICE very clearly describes the 6 kinds of uncontroversial edits and also says Edits not covered by the above should be discussed on the article's talk page. Removing tags is not included in one of these 6 uncontroversial edits. --Lemongirl942 (talk) 02:57, 23 May 2016 (UTC)

Plus, {{advert}} - which was the specific example used in the page - is probably the most controversial tag for a COI editor to remove. (Maybe replacing the previous text with a different example would ok?) —Cryptic 03:02, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
@Lemongirl942 Again, we are talking about paid editors, who are governed by WP:FINANCIALCOI, which is stricter than WP:COIADVICE.
@009o9 I think the words "uncontroversial" or "only the most uncontroversial" are clear enough for a Wikipedia guideline. This is not a book of law, and we should refrain from adding instruction creep. Debresser (talk) 05:35, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
WP:FINANCIALCOI and WP:COIADVICE are on the same page, if one is stricter than the other, which do we defer to? The stricter one? Maybe we just ignore them both due to instruction creep? You know for HUGE problem everybody makes paid editing out to be, there are only three declared paid editors with more than one article.009o9Disclosure(Talk) 06:25, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
WP:COIADVICE is for any COI, like a volunteer for a non-profit, while WP:FINANCIALCOI is for paid workers, like a secretary at a firm e.g., and WP:NOPAY is for editors who are being paid to contribute to Wikipedia, which is the most serious form. Debresser (talk) 07:21, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
Regardless, we are here to judge the content of the article not the intent of the editor. With the exception of the COI concerning undeclared editors, if a tag is placed based upon one's perception of the editor it is disruptive editing and a personal attack. So this is the factor we have to discuss, does every tag contested have to go to COIN or ANI? 009o9Disclosure(Talk) 13:52, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
  • I just happened upon this discussion. I agree that the guidance on removal of templates should state specifically that editors with a declared COI should not remove template messages. Not just paid editors but COI editors as well. Doing so is a violation of the guideline, hence the need for this instruction. This discussion needs to be more widely advertised so I would suggest that it be noted at COIN. Coretheapple (talk) 15:11, 5 June 2016 (UTC)

Here's the guidance on paid editing, Wikipedia:COI guideline and WP:PAID, neither state that paid editors "should never edit articles directly." Specifically, where a paid editor may edit affected articles is in WP:COIADVICE, note that WP:PAY and everywhere else limits the advice to "articles". So an accusation that I should not be edit here is unfounded. I can't find the guidance for contributing to pages outside of the article space (help:, wp: template: etc.), but my declaration is in every signature, my talk page and my commissioned works, far beyond the Foundation's requirement. I do far more more hours to volunteer work than paid. 009o9Disclosure(Talk) 02:24, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
BTW: judging from Jytdog's manifesto, I have no more conflict in this policy area than he does. 009o9Disclosure(Talk) 02:28, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
There has been a big scandal previously where the editor in question had actually shaped a policy and then used it to support their COI edits. --Lemongirl942 (talk) 03:13, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
Actually, I have started RfCs to to clarify guidance in a few cases, where the WP:Local consensus does not agree with what is posted on project guidelines. I really don't care what the guidance is, as long as it isn't inaccurate. Again, paid editors are not precluded from policy discussions and WP:BRD is a valid way of getting attention. The Lemongirl942 and Jytdog (partnership?),[6] simply come from an opposing POV on the matter, opposing efforts to clarify what the guidance actually says, and now their objection to any dissent at all is disturbing. I contend that fixing/updating the guidelines is more productive than ignoring them. 03:44, 22 May 2016 (UTC) Signature not working occasionally, signing again 009o9Disclosure(Talk) 04:16, 22 May 2016 (UTC)

─────────────────

For instance, Jytdogs' removal of this content,diff with the edit summary "→‎Overview: That was completely wrong. fixed it" seems more like censorship than anything else.

....– unless the tag was unjustly applied.

Maintenance templates (or "tags") are never removed automatically. If you fix the issue, the tag will still remain until you or someone else manually removes it. The mechanics of removal is usually as simple as clicking edit at the top of a page or in the section involved, removing the code that produces the display of the template, leaving an edit summary, and saving the page. However, it is not okay to remove maintenance templates until the issue flagged by the template is remedied first.

For instance, the public face of the Advert tag says, "This article contains content that is written like an advertisement"; however, the template's documentation says: "The advert tag is for articles that are directly trying to sell a product to our readers. Don't add this tag simply because the material in the article shows a company or a product in an overall positive light or because it provides an encyclopedic summary of a product's features." In articles marked with the Advert tag, check for passages that, "tell users to buy the company's product, provide price lists, give links to online sellers, or use unencyclopedic or meaningless buzzwords", and when none exist, remove the tag. If the tagging editor objects to the removal, request that (s)he use the section version of the tag, or an inline-tag to clarify the location of the problem passage(s).

Wikipedia works because of the efforts of volunteers like you and their bold edits to assist us in building this encyclopedia project. Fixing problems and then removing maintenance templates when you're done is important in that effort.

I'm not seeing where the guidance is incorrect and I added it because "– unless the tag was unjustly applied." (also removed) was entirely vague. Requesting section or inline is a completely valid (and preferable per guidance) way to resolve. 009o9Disclosure(Talk) 04:16, 22 May 2016 (UTC)

Edits to the template's docs

  • BTW Here's an interesting diff, just moments before Jytdog removed the content above, he completely changed Template:Advert/doc guidance [diff] with no talk page discussion. Note that his edit history does not appear on the editor facing version of the template Template:Advert (sans the /doc) and it makes it appear that the old guidance never existed. Anyway, here's the old revision that supports what I wrote for the Help example. 009o9Disclosure(Talk) 07:28, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
    • I think that it may be helpful to take some time to consider the difference between an advertisement (a specific form of promotion) and the variety of things covered by WP:PROMO and other parts of WP:NOT. There are different templates for different types of PROMO problems. For example, a good deal of PROMO #3 should be addressed with {{db-attack}} rather than {{advert}}.
      Changes to the /doc pages turn up in the history for the doc pages, which experienced editors often place on their watchlists. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:15, 22 May 2016 (UTC)

When to Remove continued

Continuing on from the worthy suggestion in the section above - "Section: When to remove" - and ([[Blaise_Pascal#Quotes|I would have written a shorter comment, but did not have the time), but it seems to me that the scope for removal of a Maintenance Template Message (MSM) needs to be widened and that these help pages need to become more helpful to Wiki's shrinking band of editors, who contribute to the expansion of wiki's utility, than to its jobsworths.

I accept that editors do not have the time to entirely rewrite articles or even to make substantial revisions (those that extend beyond a few additions or rephrasings), and in that position, as I have found, the ability to add MSMs to articles is useful; but when doing so I always link to a Talk page section that explains why together with my suggestions for ways of resolving the issue(s) identified (if the edit description is not alone sufficient). I PROPOSE that:

  • 1 such a linkage be made mandatory for MSMs, and
  • 2 satisfaction of the justifications given should be considered sufficient for an editor to remove the MSM, and
  • 3 reasons given for the MSM addition be reasonable.

nb While the standard of resonableness is popularly railed against by pundits as being unenforceable, its centrality in English and derivative legal systems around the globe (in respect of tort and commercial but also criminal law) is ample evidence to the contrary.

My reason for commenting here is that I am seeing a rapid increase in the number of pages carrying demands for maintenance that seem so extreme as to be absurd. Such a pattern of behaviour is not only unhelpful to readers but is a form of vandalism as it falsely disparages the value of wikipedia.

Bootstrapping this comment, and as has been noted at length by many others elsewhere, the increasingly labyrinthine quality of these help pages is inversely proportional to their helpfulness. IMO they should in general be simply deleted and replaced by a minimal number of sets consisting of a few simple semi-recursive principles each, such as the one I have tried to put forward above. They should focus on addressing the "editor on the clapham omnibus" who is practicably literate and posessed of sufficient common-sense to maintain the quality of this social undertaking. Jobsworthy or pedantic approaches to codes of conduct inevitably lead to the abandoning of the target of their application, as the experience of wikipedia seems sadly to be proving (sad that wiki is doing the proving that is)

A third, more complex proposal I would like to make is that MSMs should be designed so as to be fullt integrated with article classification generally. e.g as requests for better sourcing etc are implied by stub status, MSMs requesting such improvement should automatically be disallowed, and this behaviour should hold for MSMs relating to the other article classes.

Seasons greetings

LookingGlass (talk) 10:10, 26 December 2016 (UTC)

Section: When to remove

Suggestion:

5. When it reasonably appears that the template is no longer relevant, such as a {{Current}} template appearing in an article that no longer documents a current event.
5. When it reasonably appears that the template is no longer relevant, such as when a substantial amount of edits have occurred since the article was tagged; such that, the tagging editor's edit-summary cannot be located on the first several pages, and there is no open discussion concerning the maintenance tag on the article's talk page.

Banner tags are not sourced back to the editor (data that should be captured at the time of placement), it is unreasonable to search through pages of edit summaries on legacy placed tags. 009o9Disclosure(Talk) 05:49, 14 May 2016 (UTC)

I don't think the suggestion will be helpful as the number of edits is unlikely to be an appropriate reason for removing a tag. If an article is unsourced it doesn't matter how many people have edited the article, nor that the original edit summary (if there was one) can't be easily found. If sources have been added, then the tag is no longer relevant so can be removed, but if there have been a 1,000 edits and the article is still unsourced then removing the tag would be inappropriate, and may even be regarded as disruptive. SilkTork ✔Tea time 16:54, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
The number of wiki editors is crashing it appears. Yes I! And my heart is already sinking at what I fear is the futility of trying to interven .. but hope springs eternal, sort of. So, here, Silktork seems to have interpreted the suggestion being put forward, from the singular perspective of the example of edit numbers. Yet that aspect was clearly given as a "for instance", for the use of and interpretation by human editors not for machines. The expression of the suggestion MIGHT be able to be improved so as to approach a machine coded version to achieve the desired end, but even if not, as it is it would be a functional piece of guidance for human editors, and rests upon the (almost) universal legal (forensic) definition of "reasonableness". If the example of edit numbers is considered misleading a better example could and should be chosen. The words baby and bathwater spring to mind. LookingGlass (talk) 08:45, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
I think the criterion should be left open-ended, and a simple and unambiguous example provided, which is exactly what is done by the existing language, using {{current}} as the educational example. We cannot define what is "reasonable" in the criterion, because it is dependent on what maintenance template is involved and what has occurred in response to its placement, and is, in any event, a matter attempted to be explained throughout the page and treated in detail by the Specific template guidance section for high use templates.

You say in response to SilkTork, as if it blunts the criticism, that is was just a "for instance". Well exactly. That's just another way of saying it was an example, which is what the criterion already contains, and again, I think a good one, being easy to understand and unambiguous. You're suggested language change is replacing the example provided, with a different set of examples so I don't really understand your response. I agree with SilkTork that the suggested replacement does not work at all. Besides being overcomplicated, each constituent part is not a good example of a reasonable basis for removal.

The suggested replacement language contains three examples of supposed reasonable bases for removal—that are not. The first, number of edits is not just irrelevant but would enforce a common misunderstanding and improper basis for removal. The second, the edit summary that accompanied the maintenance template's placement, is usually irrelevant and uninformative, and as SilkTork says, often difficult to locate. The maintenance tag should speak for itself. Lastly, the fact that there is "no open discussion concerning the maintenance tag on the article's talk page" can make up part of a reason for removal, but only for a very specific and limited cross section of maintenance tags, that is already directly covered in the very next (#6) criterion.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 18:16, 31 December 2016 (UTC)

Hamster wheel of infeasible resolution

I've often been asked to define an "issue" in the context of an issue tracker. I name two requirements: first, it has to be something that can be owned by one person; second, it has to be something with a feasible resolution (it can ultimately be marked as "fixed"). If an issue doesn't have a feasible resolution (e.g. dueling office temperature "issues": Karen is too cold / Bob is too hot) it can't ultimately be marked as fixed, short of installing individual climate controls (no office does this).

As a more pertinent example, I've come across new and important technical topics where a template demanding third party citations is Not Feasible: a useful secondary literature simply does not yet exist.

So I land on such a page. I see the template. I think, "well, I'm interesting in learning about this topic anyway, so why don't I see if I can't find some nice third party citations". I find nothing. I come to this page. I don't see "infeasible resolution" as a valid reason to remove the template. I leave the template in place. Next nerd comes along, takes another spin on the same hamster wheel. Lather, rinse, repeat. Opportunity cost: none of us used that squandered time to improve any other articles.

In fact, from time to time I've simply removed annoying hamster-wheel templates where I saw little upside even in the best case (if the upside is significant, I tend to leave the hamster wheels in place, because one can at least set the hope that maybe the next guy is more inspired against the probable waste of time and talent).

What I'm trying to point out here is that there ought to be an economic perspective expressed here (at least in some minimal way) on whether the template is successfully mobilizing contribution, or merely acting as a participation sink hole.

In an issue tracker, the typical response is to flag the issue as a "would be nice" and simply close the bastard. Perhaps from time to time someone peruses the list of "would be nice" issues (issues closed as a resolution, but without satisfaction) and rescues one or two that have subsequently become more practical. — MaxEnt 22:49, 1 February 2017 (UTC)

Hi MaxEnt. If I understand you, the page does address this issue. It says in the Overview section: "It is not okay to remove maintenance templates until the issue flagged by the template is remedied first – that is, only once the maintenance tag is no longer valid, unless it truly did not belong in the first place", and then, as the third stand-alone criteria for removal "if it reasonably appears that the template did not belong when placed or was added in error". Now I can hear a possible objection. If, say, an article has no reliable, secondary sources written by third-parties, and none exist, you might say – but only at a surface level – that since all articles must be able to be supported by such references, the tag belonged, and still belongs even if they cannot be added. But the real response to this is that an article for which such do not exist may have unverifiable content, may necessarily be based on original research, but certainly is not on a notable topic. When this is the case, the article does not belong on Wikipedia at all, and so the proper response is its removal – its deletion by an appropriate method. If no speedy applies on some other basis, then a prod should be placed, if uncontroversial, and if not, then some form of XfD. Though this may be tacit to old time users, since this help page is not directed at them, I have just now added an explicit criterion directed at the issue. Best regards --Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 22:23, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for taking the time to respond. My first point is that I disagree with the implicit reference to the prevailing policy of deletionism, because deletionism is exactly the same hamster wheel. (There's no article. Maybe there should be an article. Long citation hunt. Oh, bother, there's a big thing at the core of this subject that's so darn obvious, no one important has given a moment's thought to writing it down. Now I don't know if this should be an article or not. Maybe I should start a discussion on the talk page of the article that doesn't yet exist.) From where I sit, I wouldn't be the least bit upset if editorial participation on Wikipedia declined to the point where the deletionism policy was substantially relaxed, in order to encourage a rebound in participation. One factor which drives participation is the feeling that your "free" time is valued enough by the project so as to not be wantonly squandered by misguided policy. As far as I can see, Wikipedia policy admits no proper place to efficiently record that the citations available fall short of a perfect world; by "efficient" I mean that the next editor to come along instantly discovers this unhappy fact of life before squandering time in any editorial capacity. This includes the churn of adding a maintenance template "citations are not great" and someone later removing that flag because it "didn't belong in the first place", the trace of which is a pure absence. This is central to the flat-earth workflow problem with Wikipedia: beyond the cut, The Great Void. The Great Void has almost no memory whatsoever. (Deleted pages have a deletion notice: "A page with this title has previously been moved or deleted", but the talk page associated with this is Toast City.) Buridan's ass, for the purpose of this exchange, is that page that appears, on first reasonable glance, to have enough support to initiate page creation. But then the page never quite makes it to adolescence. Editorial templates come and go (in cycles of counter-productive efforts). Finally, the page is sent back to The Great Void. Another editor comes along. Is this page now worthy of recreation? Good effing luck figuring that out, what with no original talk page to even consult about why the previous effort was found wanting. Sensible editorial response: choose a better outlet for your cognitive surplus. Given that deletionism has this massive fly in the ointment (a battle I'm by no means attempting to win, here) at least we can not invoke it implicitly in the associated editorial process documentation (why should quibbles about deletionism automatically be assigned to the same void? deletionism is not a charter policy in whole cloth; portions were negotiated, and present stressed could reasonably lead to it being renegotiated—though by braver souls than myself). Let me know where you stand after taking this extended, somewhat narrow clarification of my original remark into account, and I'll be happy to return to comment on any point from your side I've yet to respond to, to your satisfaction. In summation: whether a page should or should not exist can only be efficiently determined in the context of a social editorial process that leaves a cogent, conspicuous, permanent record. It's not a 2+2=4–style eternal predicate suitable to be fed into simple syllogisms. — MaxEnt 02:47, 12 February 2017 (UTC)

Changing tags

Can there be 'a convenient list of tags' (with associated actions) - so that i can 'convert' the tag on Municipalities of Argentina to the 'translate from corresponding Spanish Wikipedia page' (which is more appropriate in the context)? Jackiespeel (talk) 15:38, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

In effect the equivalent of the 'trouble shooting guide' at the back of the 'How to use your new (machine) booklets', aimed at those who wish to do a quick update. Jackiespeel (talk) 10:41, 18 February 2017 (UTC)

2nd or 3rd person

Can we please decide whether we want this help page to speak to the reader or not? Currently it addresses the reader with a mishmash of "you", "they", "an editor", "any editor". Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 10:42, 13 March 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 20 April 2017

Sweetie76716 (talk) 00:04, 20 April 2017 (UTC)


May I edit some things? I found some more interesting facts on some things!

Not done: this is not the right page to request additional user rights. You may reopen this request with the specific changes to be made and someone will add them for you, or if you have an account, you can wait until you are autoconfirmed and edit the page yourself. — IVORK Discuss 01:40, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

"not appropriate" vs "should not"

The "should not" language has been here a long time, see for example here. It is the typical language that we use to express widely held views on what people... should and should not do. Jytdog (talk) 13:27, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

The "should not" wording was readded by me less than 48 hours ago. It has previously been removed for an extended period. A Help-page should not give policy level orders, especially considering comments above here that state it does. Carl Fredrik talk 13:29, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes I understand that this is how you view things. The written documents and their specific status are just expressions of actual community consensus. The actual writing and actual status are important but they are secondary to the reality of community use and practice. The proposed change to the long standing language is unhelpful wikilawyering. The tags should not be removed in certain situations - this is widely held. Jytdog (talk) 13:33, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Your statement above also oddly misrepresents what you are doing. You are trying to force in "inappropriate" "not "should not" - diff 0, diff 1, diff 2, diff 3. Am filing an EWN case now. Jytdog (talk) 13:40, 18 May 2017 (UTC) (withdrew it Jytdog (talk) 13:59, 18 May 2017 (UTC))
(edit conflict) I consider it to be more likely that this suggestion will hold if it actually lays down the strength of the recommendation (i.e. a Help-page can not forbid anything without citing some other guideline). For a COI-editor to do things that are "inappropriate" is more often than not enough to get them blocked. If this page inaccurately "forbids" things that aren't forbidden — it might end up being overlooking entirely. Carl Fredrik talk 13:45, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
A broader question is, why isn't there a guideline of template removal? The first half of this page is phrased like a guideline, it's commonly treated as a guideline, and it's consulted more often than almost any policy (as you can see from the page view counts). Perhaps this was done to avoid the hassles of making a formal guideline proposals, but I think it has gotten us to a bad place where a high-impact de facto guideline has a paltry 67 watchers and weak stability safeguards. Unfortunately, my attempt to get admin attention at WP:AN seems to have gotten no interest. I want to at least do a well-publicized RFC to bring this to the broader attention of the community, but I would welcome any insights from editors who have been watching this page longer than me. Eperoton (talk) 13:57, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Yeah we could seek to formally elevate this. If you want to do that please feel free; i would support that. It is kind of a separate discussion tho. Jytdog (talk) 14:00, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
I will support elevating this, but it is going to need some more work — template fatigue and banner fatigue is an issue. Carl Fredrik talk 16:49, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
  • "Should not" is the correct phrase. As this is a Help page, it is entirely appropriate to give directives, both for the sake of simplicity, and because you should not remove them. We aren't advising them that it might hurt someone's feelings, we are saying "Don't do it if these situations apply". Watering down the language does not benefit the reader. Dennis Brown - 22:33, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
    • To add, you might say "this isn't policy" but if someone repeatedly removes templates where the problem still exists, they are going to get blocked. Giving them diluted advice here isn't helping them or changing that fact. Dennis Brown - 22:36, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

COI editors

Editor note: No, that's not an example, Janweh64, it's a change of topic. I'm inserting a new topic header and reducing talk indentation three steps to match. Please discuss one topic in each talk page section. Thank you all. CapnZapp (talk) 12:26, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

Example: an editor recently pointed to WP:WNTRMT to tell me that I should not remove maintenance tags they placed inappropriately since I have a declared COI. This section is incorrect. COI editors are only Strongly discouraged from removing. I had made an edit to correct it. I had initially deleted the line all together but was reverted by Murph9000 who later "Thanked me" for my latest version which read "You are also strongly advised not remove a tag if you have been paid to edit the article or have some other conflict of interest."

This has all been reverted returning to an incorrect interpretation of WP:COI—አቤል ዳዊት?(Janweh64) (talk) 01:37, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

I haven't had a chance to look into the COI dispute, but there seems to be a misconception about WP:CONSENSUS at work in both of the last two comments. The policy says: "Any edit that is not disputed or reverted by another editor can be assumed to have consensus." So, there is a consensus version of this page, which expressed a consensus simply by virtue of having been up for some time without being disputed. As noted in WP:TALKFIRST, in modifying policies, guidelines and other pages affecting the entire project, it is especially critical to obtain a (new) consensus for the change. If none is reached on the talk page, the next step is normally a well-advertised RFC. I haven't given up and will open an RFC over our dispute when I have time, though it is editors wishing to make changes who are normally expected to take the lead in working toward consensus. If you'd like to make your change, Janweh64, the next step is to start a discussion with the editors who oppose your change in a new section on this talk page. If this page does in fact contradict a policy, you would have a strong point per WP:POLCON, though note also the part just above about making such changes while being involved in a dispute. Eperoton (talk) 02:35, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
This is a how-to guide. —አቤል ዳዊት?(Janweh64) (talk) 03:11, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
That's true, but the first half of it reads like a guideline and it is commonly treated as such. Regardless of whether you subscribe to that particular argument, most of what I just wrote would apply equally if you follow normal WP:DR procedures. Eperoton (talk) 03:24, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Janweh, the community is never going to agree that paid editors can remove tags from articles they are paid to edit. Please walk away from this discussion. The discussion is a waste of volunteer time and so is bad for the community, and is bad for you, as your efforts to do change the "rules" to help you make money will lead to an indefinite block. Jytdog (talk) 03:39, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
@Jytdog Please do not tell editors to not discuss. This is a community project, not a dictatorship. As you may remember from Help_talk:Maintenance_template_removal/Archive_1#Note, this issue is controversial, and not all agree with your interpretation. And you should definitely not threaten this editor with a block for proposing to discuss this issue at its correct place. Debresser (talk) 04:36, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the link to the previous discussion Debresser. Jytdog was perhaps a little too strong there, but the point stands that Janweh46 has a COI in regards to whether or not COI editors can or cannot remove templates. Consequently they shouldn't be involved in changing consensus about whether or not they can remove them. There is a long-standing consensus that {{coi}} shouldn't be removed by COI editors because they will of course not agree with the tag most of the time. If it is only "strongly advised" then this is no different to saying that they can and there is no point in having the tag. For other tags I agree that the situation is more complex, but as Jytdog pointed out in the previous discussion, jobs are frequently posted for editors to simply remove tags rather than deal with the issues. It is a much clearer message to say that COI editors can't remove them and should instead request that someone else removes them. SmartSE (talk) 09:47, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
I think your post confused two questions: the question whether COI editors should or should not remove tags, and a second question whether COI editors can participate in the discussion on that question. The answer to the first is "no" and with that I have no issue, although there can be discussion to which degree. The answer to the second is IMHO "yes". On Wikipedia we do not prohibit editors from taking part in policy discussions even if they have a certain interest. Debresser (talk) 10:43, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
I disagree with you on the second point although obviously cannot stop it. I just feel that it should be up to disinterested editors to decide based on what is best for the project, not what is best for paid editors. It is very different from most discussions where editors have only an intellectual rather than financial interest. SmartSE (talk) 14:32, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

Editor note: Here ends my bookkeeping edit. CapnZapp (talk) 12:26, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

A comment to clarify my involvement in the change and my views on it. I did indeed click the "thanks" link on Janweh64's second edit which just changed the COI instruction rather than removing it. I was unaware at the time that Janweh64 was a paid editor, so was just thanking for essentially responding to the substance in my earlier revert and appearing to make a good faith constructive change. It was not an absolute endorsement of the change. As a paid editor, I feel that Janweh64 actually has a COI with all help and project pages which deal with paid or COI editing. I.e. I believe you should not be making any potentially controversial edits to them, and no edits which potentially change the meaning of them. Had I known you were a paid editor at the time, I would have reverted the second edit with a request to discuss the change on talk.
I do believe you should be allowed to discuss all possible changes in talk, within normal bounds of constructive discussion, especially if you feel that there are contradictions or inconsistency between the various different documents. I also believe that COI editors should be allowed to propose or discuss removal of tags, just as they are encouraged to discuss any other changes to an article. I'd even consider it reasonable for paid editors to make completely uncontroversial tag removal edits, e.g. removing {{Orphan}} where there are clearly relevant incoming links, but they need to be completely uncontroversial. So removing {{COI}} is always going to be a bad idea for a COI editor, and best to just never do that. Other tags, it depends on the circumstances, but better to let someone else do it if there's any doubt or potential controversy.
To be clear, I'm actually ok with paid editors, but believe that they need to stay quite strictly within certain limits, so that we can easily demonstrate to any observers that their editing has not been harmful to NPOV. It may introduce some extra bureaucracy to things, but that's a necessary evil to preserve and defend Wikipedia's core policies. Changing the rules or instructions around tag removal while involved in an active issue (which is directly related) on COIN does not look good. Frankly, that was a really terrible idea.
Murph9000 (talk) 10:01, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Community editing and restricting access are antithetical. There is logic to restrict article edits for COI editors, but talkpage edits no. For the simply reason that their edits will be evaluated in the knowledge of the fact that they are COI editors. Especially when we are discussing their privileges, audi alteram partem demands we allow them the right to voice their opinion. Debresser (talk) 13:40, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
In general of course that is true. My advice to Janweh was very case specific. He had edit warred to try to remove tags from an article he was paid to work on, which spurred a COIN thread, which led him to come here and edit war to try to try to change the "rules" underlying the earlier dispute (which is never kosher and extra loaded here) and then came to the talk page to keep arguing. This, after 2 recent ANI threads about aggressive editing and arguing to support his paid editing. In that context his continuing to argue here to change this help guidance was a waste of time and self destructive, which is why I warned him off. Even outside of that context, it is extremely unlikely that the community will ever agree to loosen the instructions here to support paid editors removing tags. Jytdog (talk) 14:23, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying that, Jytdog. Debresser (talk) 15:28, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
I am correct in interpreting all this to mean that I should NOT contribute to this particular discussion. —አቤል ዳዊት?(Janweh64) (talk) 22:05, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Do what you judge is best. You have received extremely clear, absolutely unambiguous advice. Jytdog (talk) 22:27, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
There is no policy or guideline prohibiting participation in discussions regarding the policies and guidelines for COI editors. More than one editor has stated clearly that it is your inalienable right. What is true, however, is that major changes are unlikely to occur in the pertaining policies and guidelines. Debresser (talk) 23:25, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Actually that is bullshit and in this case, dangerous bullshit. Editing Wikipedia is a privilege, and editors who abuse their editing privileges, lose them. Janweh is on the cliffedge of an indefinite block. Whether it is good judgment for him to continue arguing here is not hard to figure out. But no, nobody has a right to do a god damn thing in WP much less an "inalienable" right. Jytdog (talk) 23:33, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
This page seems to disagree with you. As does common sense. Please also try to be a bit more civil in your language. I'd appreciate it. Debresser (talk) 23:55, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
@Debresser: User rights is a technical term, in that context; it has absolutely nothing to do with civil liberties, freedoms, etc. It is roughly equivalent to "user privileges". Murph9000 (talk) 00:02, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
I didn't mean the term. I mean the rules laid out on that page, and confirmed by common sense. Anything that is open for all except those who have proven themselves unworthy is IMHO closer to a right than a privilege. But okay, technically it is a privilege. Still, my point stands: editing Wikipedia is a privilege that is not restricted but for good reason, and COI editors are not restricted from participation in discussions on policy making on Wikipedia. If Jytdog has a problem with COI editors, because he has been worn out by his activity in the field, perhaps he should take a break, but taking it into his own hands to decide that COI editors can not take part in policy making discussions is overstepping his mandate and unacceptable behavior towards his fellow editors. I am not commenting on any specific editors and their behavior and possible sanction, but as a rule, Jytdog is dangerously wrong. Debresser (talk) 00:37, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
That is a misrepresentation of what I have written here (diff) Jytdog (talk) 01:00, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
I would love to be wrong on this one. Could you fix the link? Debresser (talk) 01:23, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

not permanent = temporary? If so, for how long?

This page fails to answer or even address that (in my view) common case where an editor comes here because he or she has seen a maintenance template that is several years old, possibly with no work done in years.

Can I remove a template for the sole reason it is old?

The page does not say how old too old is, or even if templates can become too old. On the other hand, it says templates aren't permanent. So they must be temporary. But are they indefinite?

I can guess this lack is because a consensus could not be reached. But it is all too common that Wikipedia chooses silence instead of active acknowledgement some questions can't be answered.

I am guessing templates should not be removed simply because they are old (for whatever value of "old), and am boldly saying so to get the ball rolling. If you have better info on Wikipedia policy feel free to update or change, but please do not revert to a state where the issue isn't even brought up. That is, if the policy is to not have a policy, then let us say that.

NB. Please note I am not challenging or questioning policy here, which is why this conversion is here instead of elsewhere. (I don't even know what the policy is!) Feel free to raise the issue to whatever level you feel is appropriate. My sole aim is to make this information page actually address the question I feel is very common.

CapnZapp (talk) 15:27, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

Please await discussion and consensus before you add to the guideline. Especially since you admit that you can only guess.
How old a template should be to remove it depends on the specific article and on the editor. I'll explain. Certain articles are heavily visited and heavily edited. On such an article even a month or a few months should be enough to justify removal of the tag. On other articles there are hardly any editors, and a tag can stay even a year before it would probably be justified to remove it. It also depends on the editor, in that certain editors have less patience then I do in these matters. There is no strict guideline in this regards, and as long as the period is reasonable, that is probably for the best. Debresser (talk) 11:18, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
Thank you. Please note my aim is not merely getting an answer for myself, it's getting the article to address the question. Even a vague "it depends" along the lines of your reply is better than nothing. In the current version, neither the "when to remove" nor the "when to not remove" sections address the issue. This creates uncertainty.
You might think I'm just repeating myself here, but since your reply merely addresses me rather than the article, I thought I might have been unsufficiently clear about the aim for this particular talk page discussion. Cheers CapnZapp (talk) 13:42, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
I think there is good reason the issue has not been addressed. Nevertheless, perhaps some general words are in order, along the lines I wrote above, that this can vary and no rule of thumb exists. I would support such an addition to this helppage. Debresser (talk) 13:56, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
Very nit picking now, but I understand there might be good reasons why the issue isn't resolved (one way or the other) on the page. I do maintain there is no good reason why the issue isn't even addressed! Face-wink.svg CapnZapp (talk) 14:08, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
I only wanted to acknowledge you edit.[7] It is careful, and probably correct, but because of the lack of input from other editors, I want to make clear that I will not be claiming that it necessarily reflects consensus. Debresser (talk) 21:39, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
@CapnZapp: Let me clarify the guideline and explain why I reverted your change. The age of the template in itself is not germane to its removal. If it's clear that the template is appropriate (for example, if it correctly indicates that the article needs additional sourcing), then one shouldn't remove it until the issue has been addressed, no matter how much time has passed. The template isn't meant to be permanent in the sense that it is expected that the problem will be eventually addressed (you could say that we believe in progress here). On the other end of the spectrum, if someone has put up a template without leaving an explanation and you believe that it is unjustified, you can remove it no matter how recent it is. If someone disagrees, they can revert your removal and start a discussion. The only scenario where the age of the template is relevant is if there has been a dispute on the talk page and it has gone dormant. For example, someone may have put up an POV banner, someone else may have disagreed, and the original editor has abandoned the discussion. The relevance of the template's age here is that you don't want to remove a template which marks an active dispute. I believe all these scenarios were already covered. Eperoton (talk) 22:19, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Contrary to what you say, on maintenance templates that are not objective but subjective, the absence of an active discussion has always been considered good reason to remove the tag. For example, if somebody says a certain statement is POV, and then there is no discussion (or even there is, but nobody really does anything about it for a long time), then that shows that the issue really wasn't an issue, and after sufficient time the tag can be removed. As opposed to objective tags like "this statement is not sourced", which do not expire, because there can be no disagreement that the issue exists. Debresser (talk) 05:28, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
Thank you Eperoton. I don't mind you reverting, as long as this discussion ends up being reflected in the actual (help) article. I guess it boils down to the question Does the article adequately adress the age issue? I would say, no, it doesn't. Even if all cases are actually covered (which, as you can see from Debresser's reply is not a closed case) I maintain this is not explained clearly enough.
Let's look at this from another point of view: I came here with the question "how old should a template be before I can remove it for no other reason than because [it is old / discussion has gone stale or never happened at all]?" and could not find a clear answer. In fact, I could not even find an unclear answer. None of the numbered points address this, in my mind, common question directly. That is my complaint. In other words, even if were to reach a quick consensus that the policy covers all the cases adequately, I still maintain it must be much more openly and directly explained.
Let me also reiterate - I am not asking for a policy change here. I am (probably) quite okay with the policy, I just don't know what it is because it is not clearly and directly addressed!
What I propose is adding some text that directly talks about templates that does not fall under any other condition: A template that isn't controversial. I don't necessarily think it is malplaced. It's just old. Nobody has bothered fixing it. Nobody has bothered contesting it. Can I remove it purely based on it being old? Yes, is okay. No is equally okay. Not answering the question is ALSO okay, as long as the question is at least addressed. In fact, why no clear answer can be given can be as vague as you like, as long as the article anticipates editors coming here with the age question in mind. Thanks CapnZapp (talk) 12:32, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
See Template:POV#When_to_remove, #3: "In the absence of any discussion, or if the discussion has become dormant". And there are a few more examples of such rules, like Template:POV check and Template:POV section. Compare also the documentation of Template:Disputed, where it says that if no discussion is opened, that is reason to consider removing the tag. Debresser (talk) 13:16, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

─────────────────────────

@CapnZapp: I think your question is clearly answered by When not to remove #1 and the absence of age alone as reason for removal in When to remove. Am I missing something?

Edit: I started this discussion because none of the bullet point addresses template age. To resolve, a bullet point should address template age, directly and overtly, so a reader finds it quickly with no elaborate parsing needed. Again, I feel it is paramount to clarify I am requesting "Address the issue" as opposed to "answer the issue". Thank you CapnZapp (talk) 14:44, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

@Debresser: Hmm, it sounds like you're advising removing a POV tag without an active discussion even if you agree that the article violates NPOV, but I would be surprised if I'm reading your point correctly. I can make a couple of further qualifications. I don't think templates can be neatly classified into objective and subjective ones. More precisely, perhaps there are a couple truly objective ones (e.g., Unreferenced -- unless someone lists some books at the bottom and it might be No footnotes!), many subjective ones, and some in the grey area (e.g., one might think that Refimprove is uncontroversial and doesn't require discussion, but I've been involved in some disputes over its removal). Furthermore, having just read our page in full, I see that it counsels against being bold in template removal (When to remove #3 and When not to remove #4), and having thought more carefully about my own approach, I realize that I have largely followed that approach myself. For example, I've always tried to track down talk page comments for a POV banner, and if there aren't any, then track down the edit which introduced it to see the edit summary. If there's an unanswered justification that I suspect others may agree with, I would use the talk page before removing the template. The reason is that the lack of response is likely to mean that other editors agree with the template but haven't yet found time to address the issue. A banner that hasn't been challenged or removed shows some evidence of consensus. The situation is more equivocal for inline tags because of their lesser prominence, but inline tags don't link to this help page. Eperoton (talk) 01:06, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

To answer your first question. Basically I am. If there is no action and no discussion on subjective matters, then providing enough time has elapsed, that is a clear indication, that the consensus is that the issue is a non-issue, and the tag should be removed. That is also why the documentation of Template:POV says specifically to remove the tag in such a case. The nature of subjective tags is such, that people would feel more motivated by them to edit the article than by objective tags. I don't think we need to try and define "subjective" and "objective" in detail, because in practice it works fine. As to what would be "enough time", that question was addressed above, and I think that CapnZapp's edit to the help page was careful enough in reflecting the vague definition of that time. Debresser (talk) 06:52, 5 May 2017 (UTC)
@CapnZapp: Your position is duly noted, but for the text to be changed we need WP:CONSENSUS on two issues: that a clarification is needed and on its wording. Since I believe the current text reflects community norms and is reasonably clear in enumerating different considerations regarding template age in different situations, I'm acting here as a keeper of the current version, which is assumed to represent an existing consensus. In order to change it -- an especially for a page with high project-wide impact like this one -- we need to be sure that we get consensus for any change. If you'd like to try to do so by further discussion among us, I'm glad to continue talking. If you'd like to open a WP:RFC to get broader participation, I can help with that too. RFCs on potentially contentious changes to pages with project-wide impact are normally widely advertised.
One thing that occurs to me based on the title of this section is that perhaps the source of confusion is the sentence "Maintenance templates are not meant to be in articles permanently." In fact, I don't think that sentence contributes anything to the guide, and I would support taking it out. I could see how one could interpret it as meaning that all templates have a kind of expiration date. The guide is clear that it's not true: if the issue hasn't been resolved, the template shouldn't be removed. This is a clearly expressed general principle, though, as with many WP policies and guidelines, its application to specific cases has varying room for subjectivity.
@Debresser: It sounds like we do have a different understanding of community norms on some points of substance, but I'm not sure if you're proposing any changes besides CapnZapp's edit. If we do an RFC, I would suggest fleshing it out in terms of general questions rather than specific text to be added, but I'll leave this choice up to the two of you. Eperoton (talk) 01:16, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
I'm still not sure you fully understand my position, Eperoton, since you appear to go through the motions of somebody answering a call of policy change. Please drop the talk about being a gatekeeper; it only makes things personal, and I am not here to attack you. Also, I really am not asking about a policy change, so please can we leave RFCs aside for the moment?
Let's address this head-on: can we all agree that we can make edits to this help page without that necessarily implying policy changes? In other words, if you feel you cannot allow any edits at all without an RFC, please say so right away, since that itself is a problem that needs to be addressed first. Otherwise I will assume these talks are constructive going forward. I really feel the discussion should be about my edits - that is; if you revert me, you ought to provide me with specific advice. That is, it really is not enough for you to say "current text is okay" - you also need to explain why.
Now then. You say you think the text is "reasonably clear in enumerating different considerations regarding template age in different situations". Can I then ask you to detail the exact steps you took to successfully resolve my question? That is "first I read sentence X, then I made conclusion Y" stuff. The purpose is to discuss if these steps are something we can reasonably expect a greenhorn to take, or if possibly your status as an experienced editor gives you hidden assistance (knowledge/asumptions) that we can explain better = write out explicitly in the text?
Regards CapnZapp (talk) 09:18, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
@CapnZapp: You got to the heart of the matter with your head-on question. The answer is I don't know, and you chose a very appropriate term "implying". This page is a how-to guide, but it is certainly phrased like a policy/guideline because it states not just how to do something (that's the second half), but also if and when it should be done. A page doesn't have to be a policy/guideline in order to be used like one in practice. Witness the common reference to WP:BRD and how rarely anyone points out that it's just an essay. I've seen editors point to this page as an authority in disputes, and I did so myself without noticing its official status. Moreover, unlike an essay, which requires editor initiative to make an impact, there are likely hundreds of thousands prominent templates directing editors to this page. Consider the approximate page view counts: 80/day for WP:BRD, 700/day for WP:NPOV, and 3000/day for this page. Changes to this guide have potential for major impact on the project, so when I half-jokingly said that I'm playing the role of its keeper here, I was also referring to the weight of responsibility I feel as the sole representative of the prior consensus. This page has only 50 watchers, compared to 1350 for NPOV. Frankly, I don't know why it was created as a how-to guide rather than guideline, but I'm convinced that we shouldn't make potentially contentious changes to it without broader input from the community. An RFC should also help to clarify community standards, which may be needed, seeing how Debresser, who is a veteran editor, differs from me on some key substantive issues. If nothing else, this should bring more watchers in the long term.
In response to your other question, if an editor comes here wondering Can I remove a template for the sole reason it is old?, they will find these statements:
1) It is not okay to remove maintenance templates until the issue flagged by the template is remedied first—that is, only once the maintenance tag is no longer valid, unless it truly did not belong in the first place.
2) Making sure that the issue has been fixed is the condition you need to fulfill before removing the template.
3) [When not to remove] A template should not be removed if any of the following applies: 1. The issue has not yet been resolved;
If you think these statements don't answer your question, please help me understand why. I have no problem with continuing this discussion among us, either in order to attempt reaching consensus or to formulate questions we want to pose to the broader community. Eperoton (talk) 17:09, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
I like the idea of asking for wider input through an Rfc. However, I would like to stress that as far as I am concerned removal of old and inactive tags is only justified for subjective tags, like POV or Dubious e.g., not for tags that point at an objective problem, like Citation needed or Page needed. Debresser (talk) 17:28, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
Eperoton: running through your statements,
1) "no, the issue isn't remedied... but the tagging wasn't clearly wrong either"
2) "i don't want to fix the issue; I mostly think the issue has died out by now [template is several years old]"
3) "what does 'resolved' mean? Here we have somebody tagging an article but nobody caring enough to actually fix. How much time needs to pass before we can assume the issue - while formally correct - is never going to be resolved, making the template useless, so I want to remove it on basis of age alone?"
After considering all three statements, I am still left with no clear instructions. None of them actually adresses my question. My issue "falls between" all three "chairs". Another label for the issue would be, do we want templates to "rot", or do we want editors to clean away templates that clearly will never be resolved?
Now, I can see several ways of adressing this. It does not have to be a clear "yes, go ahead". It can be "no, age alone isn't considered a valid criteria to remove, so let the template stay". It can even be "There is no consensus on template age as a criteria", that is a non-answer. But this would still be valuable, since now the article would at least address the issue.
This explains why I am not talking about policy changes and RFCs. If you feel we can't say anything on the issue, let's at least write that (i.e. something similar to my last example in the previous paragraph). Again, there's a difference between not answering and not addressing an issue. I firmly believe we can and should be able to make (not really) bold edits to the article without awaiting laborious processes, and I am again asking you if you can agree to this, since otherwise I'm just wasting my time here. CapnZapp (talk) 07:08, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
Let me add that discussing Debresser's talking points is a fair question, but it should be a separate issue. We do not need to first discuss possible changes to policy, before we even address the issue on the page. I propose we first write what we believe the current policy is saying or not saying, and only then you lot start discussing Debresser's question (about, I guess, whether to formalize justification of removal of old POV tags). Again, I never came here to question policy, just to make the help page address the question! CapnZapp (talk) 07:14, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
@CapnZapp: Sorry, you lost me right at the start. You start "no, the issue isn't remedied". If the issue hasn't been remedied, then each of the statements I quoted tells you not to remove the template. That's all. You have an answer for your particular situation. What's the point of bringing up other considerations? Eperoton (talk) 03:49, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Sigh. How difficult can it be? Am I especially difficult to talk to, or what? If you come across, say, a five year old notability template which is still not fixed, can I remove it? That is the question the help file never addresses directly.
Now, if the answer is obvious (to you) and that answer is "No, you may never remove a template on basis of age alone" that is perfectly fine (I am not questioning policy) but let's write that in the text. Let's not rely on inference and forcing the editor draw conclusions based on the absence of conditions. Readers aren't robots or lawyers. Help files should be user-friendly and use common sense. If a template's age has no relevance on whether to keep it or remove it, let's say so.
Not saying so means the omission could be intentional. Or it could be accidental. This causes uncertainty and doubt, not to mention it requires a reader to read the entire text, probably twice to double-check he hasn't missed anything. If we instead state the policy on template age directly, a reader will instantly know he has found the answer to his question. Thanks CapnZapp (talk) 11:29, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
@CapnZapp: Ok, now I think we've finally fleshed out the essence of your request. I'm not convinced that this would be a common source of confusion (you're the first editor whom I've personally seen bring this up), but I'm not opposed to adding a short clause for emphasis, as I've just done. That sentence needed a syntax fix anyway. Eperoton (talk) 03:47, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
I strongly protest your edit. You decided the issue in one direction, which is not necessarily correct. I for one disagree with it, as I argued above. It seems to me that CapnZapp too agrees that old templates can sometimes be removed by virtue of that fact alone. Debresser (talk) 09:21, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
Well, if we can't even agree on what the guide should say, then we just don't have consensus for change and would need an RFC to move forward. Eperoton (talk) 14:24, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Thank you for finally understanding my impetus here. Now there was a recent spate of edits, so I need to strongly emphasize that we don't need to discuss policy changes at this point. It is entirely possible to first add in the current policy on template age, and only then contemplate Debresser's points. I am saying this explicitly so my issue isn't bogged down in administrative actions such as RPCs.

To this end, I am making an edit that I hope is neutral on the issue on whether old templates can be removed on virtue on age alone but at least addresses this fact (that the editor isn't getting a clear answer on this issue). Hopefully we can move past the point where the help page left the question hanging at last!

I trust that you can separate my issue from Debresser's and I would take this opportunity to formally ask Debresser to start a separate talk section (preferably wherever the policy is discussed instead of here, where its consequences are explained). I shall be happy to comment on what you wrote earlier, Debresser; just link us to the continued discussion (or RFC or wherever). I just want to put this issue behind us first - it has required far too much verbiage already. Thank you CapnZapp (talk) 15:12, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

@Eperoton I know that Rfc's are the latest rage, but if we had sufficient participation here, instead of just the 3 of us, we could use simple consensus. Even though it seems we have 2:1, I consider that not enough for a Help page which sets Wikipedia wide guidelines. Debresser (talk) 16:38, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
I think you could just start a discussion here, and then link it at Village pump (policy) or the {{centralized discussion}} template, but I'm no expert. I definitely agree policy changes need wider participation. CapnZapp (talk) 18:12, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

Back on topic, I edited your second recent edit Debresser for two specific reasons:

  1. by removing the phrase on time, you (inadvertantly?) returned the article to the state where age isn't explicitly addressed! Look, I understand your desire to be not-wrong, but my entire argument here is that not saying anything is worse than literally saying "nothing". Feel free to edit me mercilessly, but please keep in mind whether the article still addresses an issue before wholesale removing a statement. Thanks.
  2. I believe not even you yourself supports removing POV templates with *ongoing* discussion. Let's highlight the difference between an ongoing discussion and a resolved one - the first kind can be "ongoing and active" and it can be its opposite: "not yet resolved and inactive". Regardless, even if deliberate (and I don't think you meant to), any edits of this sort belong in the policy-changing rather than policy-clarifying category, so please hold them off at this stage.

Again thanks CapnZapp (talk) 18:24, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

High-impact policy/guideline/etc pages should not be significantly modified without consensus. Since I'm not able to keep this discussion within appropriate consensus-building channels on my own, I'm asking for admin participation at WP:AN. Eperoton (talk) 19:13, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

This issue is now addressed in the helppage, after this edit by Fuhghettaboutit, which I think summons up he situation pretty well. Debresser (talk) 18:09, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

Excellent. Regards, CapnZapp (talk) 16:23, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

Actual policy?

I just realized - I don't know where to find the actual policy that this info/help page is based on! It is not linked to or otherwise mentioned anywhere on the page.

The page notice for this page, {{Editnotices/Page/Help talk:Maintenance template removal}}, or rather the involved template used on that page; {{Wikipedia information pages talk page editnotice}}, has boilerplate text saying "the associated policy or guideline (typically identified at the top of the information page)". But the |interprets= parameter of the template used, {{Wikipedia how to}}, is empty.

See also: the talk archive - plenty of illustrative examples of confusion regarding the incomplete and inexact instructions that my earlier issue is just the latest example of (see above)
See also: WP:TAGGING, the essay, for a separate attempt at clarifying policy. Btw, this essay is failed, but several (active, in-use) shortcuts still redirect to it. It is entirely possible to follow WP:DRIVEBY, for instance, and never spot the failed essay status. As a secondary consideration, I feel every shortcut redirecting to failed/inactive essays should be re-redirected.

Regards, CapnZapp (talk) 17:49, 17 May 2017 (UTC)

That's what I've been trying to explain all along. There's no separate official policy or guideline on this. This page is the de facto guideline on template removal and it's turned into a free-for-all where everyone can change whatever they want without establishing consensus. Eperoton (talk) 18:04, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
Precisely, there is no guideline (and surely no policy). At the same time, I would not go as far as Eperoton, and say that anybody can make up what they want. This page reflects common practice and previously existing rules on template documentation pages and as worked out on talkpages. Debresser (talk) 18:51, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
Eperoton: No reason to give up just yet. Just because there's a flurry of edits right now doesn't mean we can't later agree to revert them all. The page might be heavily edited right - that doesn't mean it's gotta stay that way. My own plan is to lay low for a few days to see where these new editors take it, and to restart my issue only afterwards. Too many things going on right now. CapnZapp (talk) 22:44, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
Debresser: Don't get me started on mythical praxis... Let's just say I'm of the strong opinion every policy we have needs to be written down if we allow experienced editors to use it to justify shooting down newcomers. If your change is reverted with the "against consensus" argument you don't want to just take the reverter's word for it - you need a reference to where said consensus was arrived at. Referring to unwritten standards and practices is great only for one thing: to avoid change, since how can we question something that isn't written down and defined? Regards, CapnZapp (talk) 22:44, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
I am unaware of previous history in this area, Debresser: feel free to add pointers to "previous rules" and the talk page "work outs" you refer to. Thanks.
Also - if there really is no policy, we need to change our instructions, and stop referring to nonexisting things. CapnZapp (talk) 22:44, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
Cont'd at Actual Policy? take 2 below CapnZapp (talk) 17:04, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

Actual policy? Take 2

The edit notice for this talk page currently uses the general {{Wikipedia information pages talk page editnotice}} template, which is inappropriate in this particular case by at least two counts:

  1. the notice claims there is some other place where consensus has been reached, and that this help page is only an accurate reflection of that consensus. This is false.
  2. the notice instructs talk page editors to discuss related to this consensus somewhere else, without actually specifying where. This is most unhelpful, and worse: it actively stifles discussion and progress.

I propose the edit page notice , {{Editnotices/Page/Help talk:Maintenance template removal}}, is amended to use a variant of the general {{Wikipedia information pages talk page editnotice}} template, which renders as the following (or similar):

Where aaa, bbb, and ccc are placeholders for actual good places to flag your discussions that I'm sure editors more experienced than me can fill in. Regards CapnZapp (talk) 17:01, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

For the most part, statement 1 is true. I see no problem with the notice not specifying which are the actual policy and guideline pages. Also, I prefer using templates to making a text for every individual page. Vote to keep as is therefore. Debresser (talk) 18:22, 23 May 2017 (UTC)
For the most part? Please specify what parts you believe are true, Debresser, so we can focus on the parts that aren't. Thank you. As regards to not specifying, I would not have had a problem either, if it wasn't for the fact editors are sent "there" to discuss. I find this profoundly unhelpful. Thoughts? CapnZapp (talk) 19:19, 23 May 2017 (UTC)
Debresser? You voted to keep, but didn't write in your justification on sending editors on what amounts to a wild goose chase. And you didn't address the way changes here are first actively discouraged by sending editors to non-existent targets, and then shot down with reference to "policy" and "consensus". This ends up being profoundly dysfunctional, since it means conservative participants can conveniently shoot down suggestions for changes by referring to policy and consensus (and "this page isn't generally monitored") without providing any practical means to actually discuss it, since they're established in some mythical place which can't be touched. But after MUCH cajoling I find out that this exact place is the only place on English Wikipedia to have these kinds of discussions! Why should we not have the instructions say this, then? CapnZapp (talk) 10:46, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
Okay. I can actually agree with what you say, that this page is at least in part becoming the central place for discussion on the subject of maintenance template removal. If you could push through a change of this page from a help page to a guideline, then I would a gree with the changes to the template you propose. As long as this is only a help page, the template can only remain as is. Debresser (talk) 20:03, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
Is that last part your opinion, Debresser? Because the way you say it, it sure sounds as if there is a law that says all help pages must use the same {{Wikipedia information pages talk page editnotice}} template...? Changing the page from help to guide sounds like a sisyfos job; thanks for the suggestion but I'd much rather simply use a customized template for this rather special help page. (Actually, {{Wikipedia information pages talk page editnotice}} I can clone and edit myself, it's how the specific edit notice, {{Editnotices/Page/Help talk:Maintenance template removal}}, uses the standard one, I can't change without admin assistance, and before doing that, we obviously must reach a consensus here). Which brings us full circle: if I read you correctly, you base your keep vote on "For the most part, statement 1 is true". So I'll ask again, what parts? More importantly, which parts of the current message can you agree are misleading and uninformative, and we can then proceed by changing them first. CapnZapp (talk) 14:27, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
Not a law, but common sense. I was not talking about template use, rather about the text in the template. We can't claim discussion is here as long as this is a help page rather than a guideline. Debresser (talk) 17:13, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
To be honest, I have lost track of what you're talking about. Of course we're talking about the text in the template!? I don't understand what you talk about when you mention "common sense". It seems wholly disconnected to the two points I raised above. Since you seem unable or unwilling to discuss statement 1, let's drop that. Instead I'll work on a custom talk page note box we can add to the top of this talk page, where we qualify the information from the edit notice. Trying to elevate the status of this article from help page to guideline sounds like a long and ardous process and I am frankly not interested in doing that much work for something that should have been an easy fix. Regards, CapnZapp (talk) 21:28, 7 June 2017 (UTC)

Actual Policy - take 3

Here's a draft of an info box I propose we add to the top of this talk page (see previous Actual Policy sections for rationale) CapnZapp (talk) 21:51, 7 June 2017 (UTC)

I need your help in choosing the proper Wikinomenclature, as well as the most appropriate places to broadcast discussions taking place here. Thanks CapnZapp (talk) 21:51, 7 June 2017 (UTC)

No, again. Please stop posting two threads about one and the same issue. Debresser (talk) 00:19, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
I explained how I abandoned the previous approach in take 2 - despite several prompts, you ignored my calls for further explanation. This is my way of proceeding in a constructive manner - it proposes a different solution, and to me, a new section is an excellent way to handle that. If you feel an info box is the wrong way, saying "Nope" is not going to cut it. It almost reads as if you just want to make me go away; as if there is no problem here.
I invite you to suggest a way moving forward - and for the record: suggesting we get this page reclassified as a policy page is something I personally consider a hard block. It might as well be impossible from my POV; I certainly don't want to delve that deep in Wiki bureaucracy. For you it might be simple, but not me. More importantly: you have not presented any arguments as to why that must the the only way forward. Thinking of it, you haven't actually addressed this approach either. In fact, you haven't really acknowledged the underlying problem fully, so perhaps it's time you first explain your position here. Are you going to help me inform new editors of the... rather special... circumstances of this particular page, or not, Debresser? Or is this going to be the second time on the same page I have to drag people into a resolution...? In other words, I'd appreciate it if you just told me if you're not going to agree to any quick fix. I've wasted much too much time on this page already, so apologies if I come across as out of patience here. Thanks CapnZapp (talk) 18:01, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
WP:DEADHORSE. Debresser (talk) 18:41, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
"If the debate has died, don't revive it." You might want the discussion to die off, but since we still haven't got any useful editor advice, I'm not leaving. If you want to leave the discussion, that's no problem. What I'll do now is hold off a couple of days, and if nobody objects, I'll add something to the info box above (I noticed we already have one, so no need to have two). Cheers CapnZapp (talk) 23:14, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
Please be warned that you should not make changes to pages when you know for a fact that you have no consensus. Such behavior is disruptive and actionable. Debresser (talk) 15:24, 11 June 2017 (UTC)
Talk to me then. Cheers CapnZapp (talk) 21:14, 11 June 2017 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Resolved CapnZapp (talk) 14:07, 21 October 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 22 October 2017

105.138.180.6 (talk) 22:02, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
Not done: Empty Request Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 01:13, 23 October 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 15 December 2017

Dillip kumar kanoongo (talk) 13:28, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

GFMY VILLAGE IS LOVLY VILLAGE

Not done: this is the talk page for discussing improvements to the page Help:Maintenance template removal. If possible, please make your request at the talk page for the article concerned. If you cannot edit the article's talk page, you can instead make your request at Wikipedia:Requests for page protection#Current requests for edits to a protected page. LynxTufts (talk) 14:18, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 23 December 2017

Sri Narayana Guru is not only a social reformer but a saint too. He is the spiritual leader of a Hindu sect in Kerala state, India. Premcee (talk) 03:27, 23 December 2017 (UTC)

@Premcee: Not done This edit request is for a page called Help talk:Maintenance template removal. Your request is not about this page. CityOfSilver 03:53, 23 December 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 2 February 2018

Remove non-academic notable faculty to keep the article apolitical. 183.82.174.64 (talk) 22:30, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

 Not done: this is the talk page for discussing improvements to the page Help:Maintenance template removal. Please make your request at the talk page for the article concerned. JTP (talkcontribs) 00:30, 3 February 2018 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 8 February 2018

Just an FYI, the photo showing next to Andrew Farriss is 'not' that of Andrew Farriss. That photo is of Michael Hutchence (who was also in the same band, (the lead singer of) INXS..// 72.45.20.218 (talk) 21:00, 8 February 2018 (UTC)

 Not done: This is not the right page to make the request. Are you referring to a photo on the article for Andrew Farriss? INXS? Or another article? Please go back to that article, click the "Talk" tab, and make the request there. Anon126 (notify me of responses! / talk / contribs) 21:17, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
Presumably they mean File:Andrew Farriss.jpg. I will alert the uploader to this and ask them to check. SmartSE (talk) 21:36, 8 February 2018 (UTC)

RfC notice

There is an RfC at one of the cleanup templates in this group, Template talk:COI, proposing changes to the conditions whereby the template may be removed for lack of discussion. --RexxS (talk) 19:58, 9 February 2018 (UTC)

Re: recent (minor) ordering revert

I don't care that much, but I disagree with the status quo ordering, which Debresser reverted the template description back to.

Since understanding the templates is a prerequisite for being able evaluate whether the issue has been resolved, it should be particularly emphasized. Unless the statement is so obvious as to not merit a mention (in which case it should be removed), understanding is the first step in the chronological order of template removal reasons. E to the Pi times i (talk | contribs) 01:00, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

Thank you for bringing this to talk! I have no horse in the ordering race; just wanted to express a strong keep on the understanding statement; wiki needs more friendly common-sense instructions like that! Br, CapnZapp (talk) 08:15, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
Whatever. Debresser (talk) 16:53, 17 March 2018 (UTC)
@E to the Pi times i. Since you said in your revert that I don't care, I have to correct you: I do care, and I disagree with you, but not enough to make an issue out of it. Debresser (talk) 17:25, 17 March 2018 (UTC)
If you don't care enough to discuss an edit, then don't revert it. I could have more correctly said "have strong feelings" in my edit summary. E to the Pi times i (talk | contribs) 17:41, 17 March 2018 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 12 April 2018

Sarahaziz123 (talk) 12:06, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
 Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format and provide a reliable source if appropriate. DRAGON BOOSTER 12:22, 12 April 2018 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 4 May 2018

72.69.182.71 (talk) 21:39, 4 May 2018 (UTC)
 Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format and provide a reliable source if appropriate. NiciVampireHeart 23:10, 4 May 2018 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 16 June 2018

There is no such place as Harriton Pennsylvania, as mentioned in the Harriton High School entry. Harriton HS is in Rosemont PA. 108.185.174.225 (talk) 04:40, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

 Not done: this is the talk page for discussing improvements to the page Help:Maintenance template removal. Please make your request at the talk page for the article concerned. L293D ( • ) 14:14, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

ReFill tool

the ReFill tool links should be https://tools.wmflabs.org/refill/, instead of pointing refill to work on this page — Preceding unsigned comment added by 62.1.123.82 (talk) 06:46, 25 June 2018 (UTC)

Actually only when the templates are shown in this page they should act like that. If not possible, should leave as is now — Preceding unsigned comment added by 62.1.123.82 (talk) 06:49, 25 June 2018 (UTC)

Redundancy in "When to remove"?

What's the difference between the first two points of §When to remove?

 1. When the issue has been adequately addressed;
 2. Upon determining that the issue has been resolved (perhaps by someone else);

It looks like the original version was:

 1. When they have addressed the issue the template has raised
 2. When they notice that the issue has been resolved (perhaps by someone else)

But (1) has lost the 'by them' meaning. Could (2) be dropped, and perhaps (1) reworded to cover the 'you or someone else' bit?

 1. When they or someone else has adequately addressed the issue

› Mortee talk 17:57, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

I think we can preserve SilkTork's original distinction = having one bullet point for having fixed it yourself and another for noticing the issues had been fixed (perhaps by others). A more immediate concern is that the article generally addresses the reader directly ("you"), but not here. Suggestion:

Maintenance templates are not meant to be in articles permanently. Assuming no conflict of interest you may remove a maintenance template in any of the following circumstances:

  1. When you believe you have fixed the issue;
  2. If you determine that the issue has been resolved (perhaps by someone else);

...

Regarding the first point, we want to encourage editors to boldly fix things. Removing the template should be a signal that says "I fixed this" (or, longer, "I believe in good faith I fixed it").

CapnZapp (talk) 21:00, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

Addition to "When to remove"

Hello, I would like to suggest adding a new part, that would be #8 and the current #8 (that includes "lastly") becoming #9: I have ran across several tags, many up to several years old, that were vague (no clear edit summary or talk page discussion), as opposed to clear tags with no explanation needed, and the reasoning for the tag(s) was not evident. I feel there is justification for removing such tags. "IF" someone has an issue it will usually result in a discussion which would be a good thing. I have also exchanged some tags for more relevant tags leaving a clear edit summary and talk page discussion.
  • #8: If there is a vague tag that has been added, with no clear edit summary and no discussion on the talk page, especially an "aged" (career) tag, and an editor cannot determine why the tag was placed (as opposed to a clear tag such as the examples above), it may be boldly removed but would be appropriate to initiate a discussion on the talk page. If a discussion does not follow after a few days (optional: 7 days) then it would be discretionary to remove the tag leaving an edit summary and the reasons in the talk page section. Examples: "Removed unclear and undiscussed maintenance tag, see talk.". Talk page section: "Unclear maintenance tag": 1)- Comments on unclear tag and, 2)- Reasoning for removal.
I feel this would help give a solution not mentioned, concerning instances when a reviewing editor cannot determine the rationale behind a maintenance tag (edit summary or talk page), and the article history doesn't seem to offer anything. I have run into several of these and why I call them career tags as their only job appears to be to just hang on an article. This is just a thought if someone would care to weigh in on it. Otr500 (talk) 00:58, 30 September 2018 (UTC)
Nothing wrong with your proposal, but first: why, in your view, isn't #3 and #6 adequate for this? CapnZapp (talk) 13:33, 30 September 2018 (UTC)
Though thank you for not suggesting we giving blanket approval to tag removal without explanation/discussion! However, specific and elaborate instructions for how to have a talk page discussion is out of scope for this article, I would say. CapnZapp (talk) 13:37, 30 September 2018 (UTC)
I would think suggestions (Examples) should not be out of scope for a "information or how-to page" but this can be omitted. I do not like added or removed tags that do not have some form of communication for rationale. I think all tags that are not very specific are "a type that requires support". Many tags have a clear purpose but oftentimes the reasoning for placement may not be clear and this creates a career tag (my term) with dates of from 8 to 10 years. This can be because an article has not had any or recent activity, is not on a watch list, created and left with no apparent interests from others, or tag removal seems complicated.
Maybe adding some content from #6 to #3. "Discussing the matter with the original placer of the template is advised, or initiating a discussion on the talk page' would help.". Possibly adding in that if a tag appears vague, especially long term tags, then bold removal might be necessary with an edit summary of reasoning. My thoughts are not to just place or remove tags but hopefully generate improvements. Some editors may delve into article maintenance issues but many times it is a visiting editor that can help make a change. An article is supposed to be written for everyone that are the readers. An editor that reads an article many times becomes a reviewer.
Under Wikipedia:Template messages/Cleanup it states "Cleanup tags are meant to be temporary notices that lead to an effort to fix the problem, not a permanent badge of shame to show that you disagree with an article, or a method of warning readers about an article.", and a reason why there should never be an article with a career, especially a 5 to 10 year tag.
To me, as it stands now, #3 is specific to notifying the placing editor and #6 presents questions of which tags may be "a type that requires support". If there is a long term tag and the issue is unresolved, then there needs to be something done. This is likely not the area for that discussion but boldly removing the cause of the tag is a desired solution, or per #8 the article may not be acceptable, but there is a difference between tags clearly placed and those vague (maybe not to the placing editor but to others or over time) and I just feel there are far too many of these long term, long ago dated tags that are, and will likely just remain, a "permanent badge of shame".
My "suggestion" is meant to specifically target vague tags, tags with no explanation as to reason for placement, or long term tags that a reviewing editor can not readily determine placement reasoning, that can be considered for bold deletion with reasoning. At the very least such an action may result in a revert, communication of reasoning, or some other action that would be more beneficial than a 10 year old maintenance tag. It is only a suggestion and can be modified as needed. Otr500 (talk) 04:55, 12 October 2018 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 15 October 2018

i have presently the direct acces to referred page, so i should be included as the one who can edit because oyher than the reliable sources and links from the internet, original files could be uploaded. also have to work on its hindi pade as रमणिका गुप्ता . there would be no need to cry out for help if some of the wiki admins there would have acted in more responsible and apprehensive manner. i am here writing thanks to the that. i have provided ample links to qualify as such. its very easy to search and mention them, but still feel haunted by tsome who work hard on discred all that. plz drop a word of support पंकज इंकलाबी (talk) 15:14, 15 October 2018 (UTC)

 Not done: this is the talk page for discussing improvements to the page Help:Maintenance template removal. Please make your request at the talk page for the article concerned. ‑‑ElHef (Meep?) 15:33, 15 October 2018 (UTC)