Wikipedia talk:Closing discussions

Initial posts[edit]

This page has be inactive for a while. I'm going to try and work on it and create a new guideline. I'm moving some of the previous text here because it seems to be more a discussion than a guideline. -- SamuelWantman 20:46, 18 June 2008 (UTC)


I adjusted somewhat the proper role of the closing administrator to match actual policy. DGG (talk) 09:43, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Moved sections from first draft[edit]

This page is an attempt to develop some guidance on how and when talk page discussions should be closed. Closings are termed "archiving", although unlike traditional archiving, the discussion in question is not moved to a separate page, but is kept in place and enclosed in a shaded box. This can be accomplished by placing {} and {} around a discussion. For the sake of avoiding confusion between traditional archiving and the kind of discussion archiving described above, this page will refer to the practice as "closing".


Discussions are usually closed in situations where someone, usually an administrator, decides that the discussion is irrelevant or disruptive. This practice is used quite often on pages that attract heated dispute, although there are no rules in place governing its use, and there are times when closing a discussion can create even more strife than had existed before.

Rationale for this (future) policy[edit]

Closings are meant to stop discussions from continuing. So far, the practice is regarded as de facto, and the right of any administrator to exercise when they deem it necessary. Being that Wikipedia runs on discussion, it is imperative that the power to stop a discussion from continuing not be given or handled lightly. Rules for its fair and proper use should be laid out, including the scenarios in which it is proper to close a discussion, who can do it, and what the possible consequences are should someone reopen a closed discussion. Reopening closed discussions is something editors have been blocked for in the past, which underlines the need for a policy.

(end of moved section)

I don't believe that there needs to be rules for its fair and proper use. Guidelines with describe and explain the de facto practices should be sufficient. -- SamuelWantman 22:36, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Having been an active contributor for two and a half years, and also having participated in several discussions, I am off the top of my head unable to recall having witnessed any vituperative discussions being closed in the manner which is described here. Could you direct my attention to some such discussions so that I can gain an impression of their dynamics and the appropriateness of the closing action? __meco (talk) 07:17, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
I don't think the original author of this page is still contributing to this page. The section above, was a section I removed from the previous unfinished version. I assume your comments were about the moved section, and not the newer emerging version. I made it clearer that the section was moved.-- SamuelWantman 03:00, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Better policy[edit]

If the discussion shows that some people think one policy is controlling , and some another, the decider is expected to close by judging which view has the predominant number of responsible wikipedians supporting it, not select himself which is the better policy. (emphasis mine) I think this may need to be tweaked. The xfd discussion for an attack page (category, etc) could be filled with keeps for varying reasons, from I like it, it's harmless, it's verifiable, and there can be nobody on earth that brings up BLP, or in fact even wants to delete, and the admin can and should be able to say "look, sorry, I know nobody mentioned BLP, but we're going with delete per that." That may be an extreme example, but it's the only one I can think of at the moment. --Kbdank71 14:36, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

I agree. I think the guideline should include the notion of building social capital, trust, and good faith. People become trusted closers because they make wise decisions, build social capital, and have the trust of many editors. I also think that any policy or guideline that would limit a closer to only consider the arguments mentioned in a discussion would be very detrimental to xFD processes. I have noticed that many CFDs get very few comments when the nominated category is very similar to others that were deleted. I would interpret this phenomena to mean that the editors who looked at the nomination agreed with it, recognized that there was precedent, and did not see a need to add a comment (I do this all the time). On the other hand, some CFDs that are very hard to decide, or involve some arcane knowledge also get very few comments. The closer should be able to recognize the difference. Wisdom should be encouraged. -- SamuelWantman 21:22, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
And how are we to evaluate " building social capital, trust, and good faith" The basic principle of Wikipedia administrators is that they are all equal. If you wish to establish a higher level, propose it at the VP and see haw far you get. It's true that on occasion a particularly well respected person will be able to close something because of the personal respect for him, but that isn't something that can be turned into a rule. DGG (talk) 06:26, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
I agree that it should not be turned into a rule. That is my point. The guideline needs to mention these things because we are expecting administrators to be wise, and not to mindlessly apply rules. At the same time, I think it is possible to talk about wisdom without codifying it. I think it is accurate to say that the people who end up closing discussions regularly have built social capital. They do that by closing discussions in ways that are seen to be fair, and hold up to deletion review. Without building this trust, the closings get challanged, the decisions are overturned and the closers credibility gets lessened. If someone were to loose all of their social capital, their decisions would be ignored and reverted on sight. In reality, I don't know if anyone has ever actually let it get that bad. -- SamuelWantman 03:36, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

If someone wants to close a debate based on an novel argument of his own, there is an excellent way to do so--to join the discussion. If I see something being discussed inconclusively, without much in the way of good arguments one way or another, my role should be to contribute what i consider to be my good argument, and let someone else judge it. It's ot up to be to judge that my own argument is the correct one! DGG (talk) 06:26, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Added caution and alternatives to closing[edit]

I made an edit to the section on when a discussion should be closed 1) to caution that closing may be interpreted as intrinsically unfair by the party which feels to be losing, and 2) so that potential closers would consider in some cases merely providing information to the parties about where to request additional resources in handling the conflict. __meco (talk) 09:01, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

Is this verbiage?[edit]

This closing sentence of the introduction, "These customs are grounded in the core principles of Wikipedia etiquette such as assuming good faith, creating consensus, and maintaining civility", I find to be of little pertinance. We SHOULD follow etiquette, assume good faith and maintain civility. Always. This is not, I hope, something that needs to be inculcated to admins on the particular issue at hand. A page such as this gains from brevity and succinctness. Consensus is more important to mention though, and this is also discussed further down on the page. (I might also note that consensus is not a subset of etiquette.) __meco (talk) 09:21, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

Is it on?[edit]

Is anyone still watching this? Is it an active proposal? I think we ought to get it going again.--Kotniski (talk) 10:34, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Still an active proposal?[edit]

Just trying to clean up Category:Wikipedia proposals so wondering if this is still an active proposal or if it can be tagged otherwise? Hiding T 09:39, 25 August 2009 (UTC) ""yes. It needs more attention., but it's still a question that needs resolving. DGG ( talk ) 17:09, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

  • I've sprinkled some links around, I can mention it to a few "committed policy editors" if you want? That might push it up the hill a little further? Hiding T 10:18, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Closing a Talk page?[edit]

After a selective merge, when the old article is being kept as a redirect, should the Talk page be closed and give a link to encourage participants to discuss any issues at the new location? do we leave talk pages open? Cliff (talk) 19:43, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Some users redirect the talk pages, but "merged" and {{Copied}} templates should stay there. Occasionally, there is relevant discussion about the redirect itself, usually its target. I think that closing is generally unnecessary, but if you see a page with recurring comments, archive or message box templates might be helpful. Flatscan (talk) 04:11, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Greater clarity, warning, and clearer recourse[edit]

Hallo, just passing through here because a contentious talk in which I was (am?) involved was closed by a participant in the discussion.

I'm fairly new here, and I hadn't seen that (the closure template) done before, so I'm trying to find out what a closure is about, who can do it, whether there is a best practice (and what it is, and whether it was followed) and what recourse there is if participants in the discussion disagree.

I'm gradually finding the signposts, after some false starts, it shouldn't be as difficult to find as it is.

Subjectively, I felt interrupted in full flow. Whether the others on the page felt the same way, I can't tell. It felt (feels) as if I had been shut up, "dealt with" as a dissenting party (in this, I'm quoting another contributor to the page, one of the attitudes I was already at odds with).

So, I hope this is the right place to make these observations:

  • my first point is that no contributor should be left feeling sidelines & stifled.
  • My second (from another part of good management practice as I remember it), that a sanction like closure should not come as a surprise to any of those involved.
At the very least, there should be a reasoned formal warning, so that parties have an opportunity to change course.
  • My third is that I don't believe it is good practice for an administrator already taking one side of a discussion to do the closing,
  • Next, the closing template should have more sign-posting about what it is, where to read up on good practise, where to appeal
  • AND, I suppose it's obvious, the closure notice should have a clear WP:NPOV-type reason - maybe one of a set of standard reasons -
and not one that appears to be taking sides.
  • My last point goes perhaps to the root of some of the Wikipedia precepts about consensus - and I admit I don't yet know how much of this is already in place - that the thrust following contention should be towards furtherance through conciliation & peacekeeping rather than forcing a win on one side or another.

Memethuzla (talk) 18:11, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Challenging a closing[edit]

I would like to challenge what I believe is a premature closing (not a deletion closing) but the article doesn't explain how to do this. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance. --Nstrauss (talk) 04:55, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

Expanding closure review information[edit]

A discussion is happening at Requests for comment to expand the Challenging a closing section. Please bring the experience and perspective of this board to the discussion there. VanIsaacWS Vexcontribs 21:00, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

Status quo clarification[edit]

I added this clarification and it was reverted.

Remember also to favor the status quo only as a tie breaker. That is, the status quo should only be favored when the other arguments, not including "the status quo is fine as it is" and its variants, appropriately weighed and discounted, favor each side equally.

This seems obviously correct. The alternative is nonsensical. Anyone disagree? --B2C 05:06, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

  • Right here. The status quo should certainly be favored when "the status quo is fine as it is" and its variants are in the majority. Suggesting that arguments for maintaining current policy should be considered only when other arguments cancel each other out is, quite frankly, bizarre, and certainly the antithesis of consensus building. VanIsaacWS Vexcontribs 06:08, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for responding and explaining your objection. But isn't "the status quo is fine as it is" quintessential Wikipedia:JDLI#Because_I_say_so ("statements of opinion that the editor expects to be accepted as fact")? Unless of course such a declaration is also accompanied by wording that explains why the status quo is thought to fine relative to the proposed change in terms of policy/guideline/conventions... right?

Regardless, that wording seems to detract from the point I'm trying to make. How about this?

  • Remember also to favor the status quo only as a tie breaker. That is, the status quo should only be favored when the other arguments, not including those pointing out that the default is to retain the status quo, and its variants, appropriately weighed and discounted, favor each side equally. That is, simply stating the fact that the default position in a no consensus discussion is to not move is not itself a valid argument to be weighed in deciding what consensus, if any, there is in that discussion. That fact determines the consequence of what to do in the case of "no consensus"; it is not relevant to determining IF there is consensus.
Does that make sense? --B2C 19:07, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Not at all. If there is no consensus to move, then the move should not take place. There needs to be good reason given to perform the move; if those that oppose see the current title as being better than the proposed alternative, then those supporting the move have not succeeded in convincing. Omnedon (talk) 19:14, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
But how do you determine that there is no consensus? In determining if there is consensus, are you counting JDLI and other irrelevant !votes, or not? If those who are not convinced offer nothing other than an expression of continued preference for the status quo, what argument are they offering that can be evaluated and weighed appropriately in determining if there is consensus?

To be clear, assume you're closing a move proposal with a discussion that is as follows.

  1. Support. Proposed name is more commonly used (Google results and page view counts are provided as support for this claim). --X1
  2. Oppose. I don't like the proposed name.
  3. Oppose. Status quo is fine.
  4. Oppose. I don't think common name should apply in this case.
  5. Oppose. The proposed name is not more commonly used (no basis is provided).
  6. Support. X1's undisputed data clearly shows that the proposed name is more commonly used.
  7. Oppose. Ridiculous. No good reason to change this title.
Is there consensus to move, consensus to not move, or no consensus (keep the status quo) in this hypothetical discussion? How did you determine your answer to this question? --B2C 20:15, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
No consensus, further discussion required.
1. Valid, not compelling. ("more commonly used" is a poor, simplistic reading of the policy; ghits and page views are but one factor, and they can mislead)
2. Needs to be asked "why not"
3. Valid support of status quo. Onus is on the nominator to say whaty is wrong with the status quo.
4. Needs to be asked "why not"
5. Is this a challenge to #1, or does it need to be challenged. Requires more discussion
6. Supports #1. Note: we have just a Single line of argument between them which is not absolutely compelling.
7. Weakly valid. Direct challenge to the nomination. Requires further discussion.
Two valid supports, both challenged by #5. Presumably a procedural (no !vote) nomination. One (#7) weakly valid oppose. One reasonably default valid oppose (#3) requires a clearer case to be made. Four opposes demand follow-up discussion.The five non-supports mean that no closer may reasonably find a consensus to support. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:33, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Since WP:COMMONNAME clearly states that "Wikipedia prefers the name that is most commonly used", when we're deciding between two two titles, which one is more "commonly used" is very relevant. Note that the data provided by #1 is not challenged. That includes nobody suggesting it is misleading (yes such data can be misleading, but it is not in every case, closer presuming it is in this case is a WP:SUPERVOTE). #5's challenge claim is totally unsupported by anything. --B2C 21:06, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
By selective quoting, you have ignored the part on where used. The policy doesn't speak of general usage. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:56, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
It should go without saying (and usually does) that "more commonly used" means "more commonly used in reliable sources" (and that the distinction between "more commonly used in general" and "more commonly used in reliable sources" only matters in the relatively uncommon situations in which the two criteria produce different results). The whole point of looking at usage in reliable sources is because that is a good predictor of what is natural for people in general, and what they are likely to recognize. --B2C 02:03, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
"Google results and page view counts are provided as support for this claim" is not the same as "in reliable sources".
If someone says "more commonly used" and provides google results, I take that as meaning that they mean "more commonly used in these google hits". Google hits are not the same as reliable sources. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 13:17, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
True, but look at the table I built here: Talk:Deadmau5/Archive_2#Break_2. You can use google hits to support usage in reliable sources, by searching with google (or the site's own search) specific reliable sources. This is the way we should usually do these things IMHO.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 16:33, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
I would not accuse your !vote of being a vaguewave to a isolated data, requiring other to guess what you mean. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 13:04, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

SmokeyJoe, the point of the exercise was to assume the assertion was so well supported by data, it was not even challenged. Whatever you need to imagine that is, assume it was in place. The question of what exactly that should be is a separate issue, a worthy one in another context, but a tangent here. --B2C 23:22, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

If you need to define the point of the exercise on a 12th-level post. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 13:01, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
It really wasn't clear to you that the point was to illustrate how a minority of !votes with strong basis in policy trump a majority of JDLI and other irrelevant !votes? --B2C 19:36, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
I was distracted by your very loose assignments of "strong basis in policy" and "JDLI". --SmokeyJoe (talk) 20:51, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
Which completely misses the point that COMMONNAME is neither the only article naming policy, nor is it a cut-and-dried application of indisputable facts. In fact, it talks about a "preference" on article names and completely ignores that many entities have several common names, that disambiguation may require a more formal (or distinctive) article name than COMMONNAME would normally suggest. The fact that there is actually only one distinct argument for a name change, and that without any evidence, suggests that no one is really working to muster an argument for a name change. Likewise, there is only tepid support, again without any supporting evidence, for maintaining the current name. If the above, hypothetical discussion were all that we were given (a single link, no actual exploration of policy), it would be almost impossible to make any sort of closure because the matter wasn't actually discussed in any substantive way. If it had already been relisted (my first preference) I would probably close it as no consensus simply on the fact that nobody cared enough to present anything like a compelling argument one way or the other. Simply mentioning a policy or guideline and having only one out of 6 following contributors willing to stand by such a thoroughly uninspiring argument is not close to sufficient to overturn a heretofore acceptable article name. VanIsaacWS Vexcontribs 23:35, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
I agree with first preference to relist. If already relisted, in this case I might take the trouble to notify the several participants whose !votes demand more information. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:00, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Thank you, Vanisaac. A thoughtful and useful response. I will take that into account when I create hypothetical RM discussions in the future.

However, remember that #1 is based on solid unchallenged data. While there is only one person out of 6 others supporting it, the remaining 5 have nothing of substance to say. If the only responses were #1 and #6, wouldn't that be good enough to move?

Also, it seems to me that the phrase "more commonly used" is regularly used to claim that a given title meets COMMON NAME better than the other. When this is backed up by solid data, unchallenged despite the participation of 6 other people in the discussion, as you've been asked to suppose, that indicates this is the most natural and recognizable choice. The only other criteria to consider are precision, conciseness and consistency. As they have been unmentioned by the participants, wouldn't it would be a violation of WP:SUPERVOTE to assume they might be relevant here?

For example, assume that the proposal was to move the article at New York, New York to New York City. Would that change your analysis? --B2C 02:03, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Rather than this fictional example, can we talk about a real one? More importantly, I'm still unclear as to what the consensus is on status quo, and how does it differ across different types of discussions (e.g. inclusion/exclusion of material; naming/renaming of an article; existence/non-existence of an article; location/re-location of a redirect). It seems the role of status quo is different in all of these cases. In addition, when thinking about status quo, we also have to consider that "silence is consensus" - in other words, if something was some way for a long time, and no-one else changed it, that is a sign of rough consensus that the way it was is fine. However, I don't see status quo enshrined anywhere, except perhaps as a title choice for no-consensus moves. I do agree with B2C that in that particular case, the status quo title should not be invoked by a closer unless the participants themselves invoked it - otherwise it is a supervote - and the status quo title should not be given more weight in the determination of the consensus of a particular discussion. If you read the most recent close at Talk:Burma, the admin there I think said "Ok, if we ignore where the article is now, what should the article be titled", based on policy, etc. --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 15:26, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Right. When the question is whether the title should be A or B, the arguments to be initially considered should not include those based on favoring the status quo simply because it is the status quo. If, doing that, there is "no consensus", then you stick with status quo.

I mean, "status quo is fine" should have no weight in the initial consideration unless accompanied by an argument about why it's fine (in terms of policy), and why (in terms of policy) the proposed title is less than fine. --B2C 16:44, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

But that has nothing to do with whether it's the status quo position or not. When the question is whether the title should be A or B, the arguments to be initially considered should not include those based on favoring the change simply because one doesn't like the status quo. You are mistaking the burden of providing an affirmative rationale to change something as a lack of burden on opposers to refute such affirmative rationale. You could not be more wrong. If an affirmative rationale for change is lacking, there is no need for any refutation, but an actual policy-based argument for change cannot simply be cast aside for simple conservatism, but needs to be met on a policy basis, and a policy-based argument for retention cannot simply be cast aside for simple novelty, but needs to be met on a policy basis, as well. Nowhere in that entire process is there anything that says that you discount or ignore arguments favoring retention. VanIsaacWS Vexcontribs 22:06, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
Arguments favoring retention simply for the sake of retention (or per a JDLI preference) should be ignored, unless the policy-based arguments do not favor either title in question.

In other words, assume the proposal is Move A to B. Now, if there is an argument favoring B based on one policy (say WP:COMMONNAME), and the only argument favoring A is WP:STATUSQUO, this is not a "no consensus" push. We don't retain the status quo due to "no consensus" when the only argument supporting the status quo is that we retain the status quo when there is "no consensus".

That said, I agree those seeking change have the onus; the burden of proof. But as long as they have something that is policy-based, and the pro-status-quo side has nothing other than "the onus is on you", the burden has been met, don't you think?

Now, if the status quo side also has something based in policy, about equal to what the pro-change side has, then it is a push, and then the status quo does reign. Right? --B2C 23:22, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Again, you are singling out opposing a change where it is treated identically to any other position. If there is no policy argument for A, but one for B, it moves to B. If there is no policy argument for B, but one for A, it stays at A. If there is a policy argument for both A and B, then you have a discussion about which one is more applicable, and a close needs to take into account the policy discussion, as well as whether the readings of those supporting policies are being fitted to the argument, or whether the argument is being driven by the policy. The only time when there is any difference between change or retention is if 1) there is no policy argument for either side, or 2) if the arguments for both sides are both equally compelling and similarly supported. In those two cases, you end up with no consensus, and it reverts to the stable state. VanIsaacWS Vexcontribs 02:15, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

RFC/Strawpoll: Clarification of what "consensus of the community" means[edit]

Clarification of what "consensus of the community" means. B2C 23:33, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

This is what it currently says at Wikipedia:Closing_discussions#Consensus:

Many closures are based upon consensus. Consensus can be most easily defined as agreement. The closing editor/administrator will determine if consensus exists, and if so, what it is. To do this, the closing editor/administrator must read the arguments presented.
The desired standard is rough consensus, not perfect consensus. Please also note that closing admins are expected and required to exercise their judgment to ensure the decision complies with the spirit of Wikipedia policy and with the project goal. A good admin will transparently explain how the decision was reached.[1]
Consensus is not determined by counting heads, but neither is it determined by the closer's own views about what is the most appropriate policy. The closer is there to judge the consensus of the community, after discarding irrelevant arguments: those that flatly contradict established policy, those based on personal opinion only, those that are logically fallacious, those that show no understanding of the matter of issue.[2] If the discussion shows that some people think one policy is controlling, and some another, the decider is expected to close by judging which view has the predominant number of responsible Wikipedians supporting it, not select himself which is the better policy. He (or she) is not expected to decide the issue, just to judge the result of the debate, and is expected to know policy sufficiently enough to know what arguments are to be excluded as irrelevant. If the consensus of reasonable arguments is opposite to his view, he is expected to decide according to the consensus. He is not to be a judge of the issue, but rather of the argument.

I bring your attention to the highlighted words above:

The closer is there to judge the consensus of the community

In this context what exactly is the closer there to judge? Does "consensus of the community" refer to the consensus of the participants in that discussion, to the consensus of the broad Wikipedia community as reflected in policy, or to something else?

Please indicate which reflects your position and why:

A) "consensus of the community" in this context refers to the consensus of the participants in that discussion, and the text should be clarified accordingly.

B) "consensus of the community" in this context refers to the consensus of the participants in that discussion, but the text should be left unclarified.

C) "consensus of the community" in this context refers to the consensus of the broad Wikipedia community as reflected in policy, and the text should be clarified accordingly.

D) "consensus of the community" in this context refers to the consensus of the broad Wikipedia community as reflected in policy, but the text should be left unclarified.

E) "consensus of the community" in this context refers to none of the above but to fill in the blank, and the text should be clarified accordingly.

F) "consensus of the community" in this context refers to none of the above but to fill in the blank, but the text should be left unclarified.

Thanks. --B2C 23:33, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

  • I added that section, 5 years ago, to bring the statement here is line with WP:Deletion policy. I added it to indicate that the administrator must be guided not by his own views about what policy ought to be, but on what the community thinks the policy is--a concept long present even then in deletion policy. The intent is not that the consensus is to guide the administrator, but the administrator is to evaluate the consensus. I think this is pone of our basic concepts of the role of administrators. In 2008, it needed stressing, because there were at that time many admin decisions that were much more in accord with the admin's own views, than is common now, when an admin who is deciding against what would appear to be consensus usually gives a full justification in terms of policy. I did not have any thing in mind about what portion of the community was involved.
The question is indeed what is the relevant part of the community. The closer can hardly judge on the basis of what other non-participating people would have said had they participated. I think it is a closer's responsibility, however, to be aware of general community views, and not to close an unrepresentative discussion If the discussion has insufficient or unbalanced participation, we normally extend the discussion -- a much rarer practice in 2008. . For example, I do not particularly care whether or not we include all Olympic athletes, but I know our consensus is that we do include them, and if an AfD were to decide otherwise, I would try for wider participation unless the discussion clearly showed it was intended to make an exception on reasonable grounds. In 2008, an admin would usually have accepted the momentary consensus without question, and this resulted in widely inconsistent decisions. Though we do not follow precedent in any exact way, we do aim at a reasonable consistency --together with a wide latitude for exceptions, and the balance between them can only be what the community thinks it ought to be.
I have usually interpreted the relevant community to be that part of the community interested in the topic at issue. This is a little wider than the people at the immediate discussion; it is in practice narrower than WPedians in general. Some issues concern small groups of people, some concern everybody. Matters involving the fundamental principles require very wide consensus. For example, a small group of people should not decide to ignore the BLP policy for a particular profession.
The question proposed here has context in several current discussions, and it is important to understand this, It is all to common to propose a general change in policy when the actual intent is to decide a specific issue. We don't need to do that, for we always have IAR available for any issue.
the principal context I am aware of is whether the Manual of Style is universally applicable. More exactly, the extent to which the MOS is universally applicable, or whether different subject groups can apply it differently. The current specific relevant question I am acquainted with is the extent to which we ought to be uniform about infoboxes; more specifically, again, if the people working on classical music can decide not to use them. If that is the question at issue here, that is the question that should be discussed. We might perfectly well decide to be uniform on this particular issue more than on other style matters, or just the opposite. (my own opinion is that since the presence of infoboxes affects the general look of the encyclopedia, we should be particularly uniform.)
I am not going to vote in the poll, because the only rational answer I could give is that it depends on circumstances. Ultimately, the extent to which any group can be nonuniform is the extent to which the overall community permits them to be, and this can vary. Essentially, anyone can do anything here, if people will not stop them, but if people do stop them, they have to listen. I see no other basis for reconciling our generally libertarian attitude with our commitment to a community project. DGG ( talk ) 02:37, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry, there has been exactly zero discussion of this matter, and you just decide to run an RfC about it? RfCs are about the 6th level of WP:Dispute resolution, not the first. If you don't understand terminology, just ask someone.
The way the term "community consensus"/"consensus of the community" is used consistent throughout policy pages and is quite clear if you take the time to actually explore it. It refers to the community at large. The way that the larger community is represented in individual disputes is through the policies and guidelines that are cited in discussion as applicable to that matter, and it is the job of closers to assess that larger community input and integrate it in with the specifics of a particular dispute. VanIsaacWS Vexcontribs 05:06, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
  • ditto what Vanisaac said w.r.t what community means - very well put. I think this RFC was out here b/c some recent closes have been based on an interpretation of localconsensus that may have gone against broader community consensus as represented in guidance. If course IAR always applies, but if IAR isn't invoked, a closer should not invoke IAR, but rather apply the arguments of the participants and weigh them against the policies invoked by the participants. The invocation of a policy in an argument, esp by both sides, is a good sign that they believe it applies here. Policies which aren't invoked should normally not be brought in, but there are of course exceptions (eg local consensus cannot just decide to ignore bLP).--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 05:23, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Weigh against policy *only* if the policy was raised in nomination/discussion. There is a lot of "policy", and policy as written can be out of step, and if participants are unaware of documented policy, they require education not overrule. It would be a supervote for a closer to pull a policy out of their pocket, declare applicability and interpretation, and close on a basis not present in a discussion. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 12:17, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
The edge case being that contributors may bring up a point of policy or guideline, but fail to actually mention it as policy, or they cite a related, but different policy that does not actually deal with the matter at hand. This is why having an experienced editor doing closings is so important - a contributor may have encapsulated the notability guidelines, even if they don't mention it, and this needs to be taken into account as more than just one contributors opinion; and accidentally citing the wrong policy doesn't invalidate the fact that an argument is actually based on policy. It is certainly a balancing act in these kinds of situations to avoid casting a WP:Supervote. VanIsaacWS Vexcontribs 20:32, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
more or less agree I clarified above. As to the other point, it it ok to do an RFC, if B2C is convinced there is inclarity, an RFC is appropriate - esp given many recent discussions jumping straight to RFC is not problematic IMHO. Discussions have already been had elsewhere that imply there is confusion on this particular point. --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 17:59, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
As noted above, this page, under Consensus, states:
Please also note that closing admins are expected and required to exercise their judgment to ensure the decision complies with the spirit of Wikipedia policy and with the project goal.
Also, under Policy, it says:
Many closures are also based upon Wikipedia policy. As noted above, arguments that contradict policy are discounted.
There is nothing explicit, and I see no reasonable way to imply, that only policy actually referenced (directly or indirectly) in the discussion is to be considered by the closer in exercising their judgment when determining consensus. The closer does not get to ignore policy just because it's not mentioned in the discussion; in fact the closer is responsible to follow policy even if it's not mentioned. Of course, if IAR is invoked for good reason, the closer can use judgment to choose to ignore it. But normally, no, policy must be followed even if it is not mentioned in the discussion. --B2C 23:20, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
This is a subtle point. In the Hillary Clinton closure which I did (sadly overturned, sniff), and which I know you studied carefully, I only weighed the policies invoked by the participants. I did not bring in other policies not mentioned - to do so would have been a supervote in my mind, because you can't just bring in a policy, you have to make an argument for how X fits with policy. The participants make the arguments, and the closer judges the quality of those arguments against the policy. So if someone says "X is a better title because it is more WP:PRECISE", then the closer can consider that. But if someone says "This title is better per WP:CONCISE, even though it's 18 letters longer than the other option, because CONCISE has a very special meaning to me", the closer should JUDGE that that argument is weak - especially if no-one else takes it up.
If no-one brings up WP:PRECISE, and everyone is arguing about COMMONNAME, I think it would be untoward for the closer to bring in WP:PRECISE. I was (falsely) accused of supervoting at Hillary Clinton anyway, but I had a long discussion with someone who said I should have just IAR and keep the title at the name she said she preferred 20 years ago, even though no-one invoked IAR implicitly or explicitly. Again, for IAR, I think a closer should not use IAR to close unless a REASON for using IAR was put forth in the argument (e.g. "I know this title is the one preferred by policy, but it's offensive and we should IAR anyway, and here's why" - I think an invocation of IAR requires in some sense a recognition of which rules you are ignoring, and in a way you have to make a concession that by FOLLOWING the rules, the result is worse for the encyclopedia. I don't think it's fair to say "Title X is preferred per policies A, B, C, and D, but if that doesn't work, IAR and move it there anyway - you can't argue for rules and against them in the same breath.)
Of course, there's also the meta issue, of a closer ignoring the rules on this page, and at WP:CONSENSUS, and all other policy pages, and doing whatever the F they want, but that's a different form of IAR and would most certainly be a supervote - and again should ONLY be invoked in that case if the closer could defend why the wiki is better as a result. For example, consider a move request from "Hillary Clinton" to "Hillary 'silly' Clinton", and imagine for some reason only 3 people !voted, all in support, citing a few blogs. Here, the closer themselves would invoke IAR to not close per the local consensus, and even in the extreme case not close per WP:AT consensus if we play along and assume 'silly' is used massively in reliable sources.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 23:48, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
read this, for example: "Consensus is not determined by counting heads, but neither is it determined by the closer's own views about what is the most appropriate policy. The closer is there to judge the consensus of the community, after discarding irrelevant arguments: those that flatly contradict established policy, those based on personal opinion only, those that are logically fallacious, those that show no understanding of the matter of issue.[2] If the discussion shows that some people think one policy is controlling, and some another, the decider is expected to close by judging which view has the predominant number of responsible Wikipedians supporting it, not select himself which is the better policy." Thus if participants say X is better per policy A, and others say Y is better per policy B, the closer should not say "Well, none of you mentioned policy C, but X is definitely better per policy C, so I'm closing in that way." the way I see it, the explicit (or, as noted, implicit) invocation of a policy in an argument is a way of the arguer saying "This policy is determining here" - and if both sides invoke the SAME policy, that is even stronger evidence that the policy in question holds for the discussion in question. Then, the judgement comes in - if both sides are saying "X is better per COMMONNAME" and "Y is better per COMMONNAME", clearly it is a COMMONNAME discussion, so the closer must weigh the arguments and evidence presented (which is incidentally what happened at Hillary Clinton, and I ultimately found a weak consensus for COMMONNAME for Hillary Clinton vs Hillary Rodham Clinton, but it was close enough and disputed enough that I did not close on that basis, rather on the basis of other policies invoked by the participants.)--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 00:07, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
That quote from the current version of this information page (para 3 of the section) of course. But does this really reflect what is currently at the polioy [1] to which readers of the page are told to defer... in case of inconsistency between that page and this one? I think we have some work to do. Andrewa (talk) 00:43, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

Strawpoll[edit]

Please specify your position below as

* '''X''' - reasoning/explanation --sig

Where X is one of A, B, ..., F from above. To help the closer determine, please be clear about your reasoning and explanation.


  • F – It means what it says; leave it alone if you don't understand. Dicklyon (talk) 17:30, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
  • B - If arguments against policy are removed, all you have left is local consensus in agreement with policy. No clarification is needed. Chris Troutman (talk) 04:05, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Mu. Options A through D implicitly assert a difference of consensus between participants and policy. Such a discussion should not be closed, instead the participants must be educated on policy, or the policy corrected, or there is no consensus yet findable.
Some refinement of the text is probably in order. Consensus does not need to be judged. Consensus is obvious and is supported by consensus. The need to "judge" implies an application "rough consensus". See WP:Rough consensus or Rough consensus. Rough consensus is necessary to keep things moving on unimportant questions. I oppose NAC Non Admin Closes being allowed to invoke a "rough consensus".
In "discarding irrelevant arguments: those that flatly contradict established policy, those based on personal opinion only, those that are logically fallacious, those that show no understanding of the matter of issue". I think that B2C seeks to weaken the usual meaning of "irrelevant", "flatly", "only", fallacious" and "no understanding". These are extreme wordings that do not apply to reasonable experienced editors. In normal circumstances, a closer should not be discounting reasonable opinions not criticized by other discussion participants. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 08:15, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
You are one again failing to distinguish WP:CONSENSUS from consensus. Your assertions, like "consensus is obvious and is supported by consensus", are true if consensus is referring to consensus, but are not necessarily true if they're referring to WP:CONSENSUS.

Many if not most most RM and AfD discussions are riddled with comments which can be fairly characterized as "based on personal opinion only" without weakening any usual meaning of this phrase (this problem is so common there is a frequently cited essay that describes it). Logical fallacies, and policy-contradicting arguments are quite common as well. All of these irrelevant arguments should be discarded. That is the plain meaning of these words when a closer is evaluating the discussion in order to determine WP:CONSENSUS. --B2C 03:04, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

I don't fail to distinguish, you speak of a false difference. Your edits to WP:Consensus, spinning a more deterministic, all-wise closer-judging authority-assuming version are appropriately reverted. This is a community run, consensus based project. Consensus is not to be short circuited just because it is difficult. If we don't need consensus, we don't empower the community. Without an empowered community ... see citizendium.org. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 06:29, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
  • G — "consensus of the community" in this context (which is not binding in any way because this is just an information page, not a policy or guideline) refers to the consensus of the broad Wikipedia community as reflected by that part of the community which chooses to join in that discussion, but subject to policy (and guidelines) such that the result reached in that discussion should not be deemed to be consensus if it contradicts the clear application of policy unless there is a clear awareness in the discussion that the result contradicts policy and thus at least an implied intent that an IAR local exception to policy is to be formed, but the text should be left unclarified. — TransporterMan (TALK) 17:06, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
  • G Per TransporterMan, with the minor additional comment that the availability of an IAR exception is going to depend on the importance of the policy. For some policies, such as BLP, a local IAR exception is going require a Major RFC, widespread participation, a strong consensus on the point, and maybe even foundation input; while for some guidelines, a handleful of editors without much objection may be enough. Monty845 18:54, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
  • C  WP:IAR is a policy, so WP:IAR-based arguments are policy-based arguments.  Without an actual example, I doubt that a consensus to ignore BLP as per WP:IAR would be a case that would need community-wide discussion, because if so, it would not be a valid (read reasonable) WP:IAR argument.  Although I'm !voting for "C", if you want me to do the rewording, I might be swayed toward DUnscintillating (talk) 05:49, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

  • Question - what is the issue or case prompting this strawpoll? In ictu oculi (talk) 01:15, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
I would guess it has something to do with the user essay User:Born2cycle/Yogurt Principle and particularly with User talk:Born2cycle/Yogurt Principle#Userfied. --MelanieN (talk) 15:54, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
    • If this is the case, then I would say that title changes is the sort of trivial issue where uniformity is less important. There should be a preferred way as a convenient guide to people making articles, but for every long-disputed individual title, the reason they are long-disputed is that there are equally good reasons for both positions, and it really doesn't matter what the final result is. This is one of the relatively trivial issues where each individual case may be different. The principles are Leave well enough alone and We are here to write an encyclopedia. I would suggest a permanent limitation that nobody may contribute more than twice to the discussion of any single title. Any effort beyond that is misdirected. Even if someone isn't here to write but to argue, there are things more worth argument. DGG ( talk ) 17:47, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
      • Except I see over and over with long-disputed individual titles the situation is often NOT "there are equally good reasons for both positions", if "good reasons" means "well-grounded in policy", and it's the very assumption that long-disputed probably means "there are equally good reasons for both positions", when it doesn't, that is largely responsible for not resolving these disputes, needlessly stretching them out for years. I think Yogurt is a perfect example of that, as explained in the WP:Yogurt Principle essay (though that is not what prompted me to start this RfC). --B2C 20:20, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
The problem is that by substituting your own convictions about what constitutes a "good reason" and what is "well-grounded in policy" you risk crossing the line from summarizing the discussion to casting a WP:Supervote. No matter how much you think a given argument is absolutely representative of a policy, can it honestly be called compelling if other contributors don't agree with it? There are almost always multiple policies that are applicable to a dispute, and just because it doesn't get explicitly cited doesn't mean that it's not being argued by participants. By choosing to ignore arguments that somehow don't meet your particular standard of how to invoke policy, what you are actually doing is failing to accurately summarize the discussion and are substituting your own judgement for that of the participants, ie supervoting.
Now don't get me wrong, I work very hard to avoid closing as "no consensus", and really try to find the knife's-edge middle ground in all my closes, but the job of a closer is not to decide who won the debate, it's to summarize the conversation into an actionable conclusion. If the participants don't agree that commonname is compelling as the policy basis for the article name, you probably shouldn't move it, even if you think that's the policy that should carry the day.
In the end, treating closes as a cut-and-dried, methodical application of pre-existing rules is just as wrong as wantonly throwing about WP:IAR. VanIsaacWS Vexcontribs 00:27, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
DGG: I think you make a good point about the nature of many long-running article title debates: that they tend to occur because there are indeed reasonable arguments on both sides. Speaking purely from my own experience, "slam-dunks" tend not to go on for years... and those who assert that a long-lasting dispute is a slam-dunk one way or another are often committed to one particular side in the debate, and as such may not be as objective as less-involved editors. I agree with the common-sense principles you mention.
Vanisaac: Also good points, which I agree with. ╠╣uw [talk] 19:46, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, Yogurt is the perfect example. It's clear there are various spellings; the article can only be at one of them, and I don't see that it matters much. I obviously will have a preference for the form I find familiar, but if the decision is otherwise, how does it matter? The proper Yogurt principle is to leave such matters alone. Many people get very involved here on such issues, and anyone doing so has in my opinion lost at least temporarily their sense of proportion. Sometimes a matter of true meaning might be involved, and I've recently made comments at one or two such discussions myself, but if the decision goes against me, the only rational thing to do is to clarify the article. Article content is what matters. DGG ( talk ) 04:04, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
The principle to leave such matters alone is highly responsible for preventing that issue from being resolved for seven years. SEVEN YEARS! Whether people getting involved on such issues have lost at least temporarily their sense of proportion is irrelevant, because people do get involved, and will continue to get involved, especially when one side is clearly favored by policy. These are the types of excuses that keep people, including closers, from looking closely at the underlying issues, and seeing what's really at issue, and making an appropriate decision consistent with policy. The sad thing is that that is exactly what the closer did in RM #2 (of 8), but then that was overturned by arguments similar to what you're talking about here. --B2C 04:14, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
In most cases people suggest this primarily when they don't like a particular decision, or a string of decisions. That's a very poor basis for changing a very general policy. This is the sort of policy which needs to leave options open, because actual cases must be decided on their individual merits. DGG ( talk ) 22:20, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
My own personal essay argues the very opposite to this... See User:Andrewa/Andrew's Principle. And as you know, I interpret the yoghurt debacle as an excellent case in point, where people seem to have been arguing for the sake of arguing (or of being proven right, same thing) rather than for the sake of improving Wikipedia, and nothing significant was achieved in the article namespace simply because nothing significant was ever at issue. Andrewa (talk) 07:45, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
"Somebody once said that one of the reasons academic infighting is so vicious is that the stakes are so small. There's so little at stake and they are so nasty about it." --108.38.191.162 (talk) 19:53, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

There's a lot of policy out there! See Wikipedia talk:Consensus#Picking this up again. That discussion should probably be referred to here, or perhaps this discussion moved to that policy talk page. This information page should reflect the policy, otherwise why have the policy? Andrewa (talk) 07:45, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

Additional instructions for challenging a close[edit]

I've repurposed some new (and very welcome) additions to § Challenging other closures. I wanted to start up a discussion on what we think the best verbiage is for this. My understanding from having researched previous closure reviews is that reviews that try to reargue the underlying dispute are pretty much doomed from the start. A closure review is usually only successful when it describes a concrete misinterpretation or misapplication of policy by the closer, or if there is an underlying pre-existing situation (prior consensus or a related conflict) that was not explicitly cited in the discussion, but was a base understanding of participants in the discussion. I'd love to get any feedback on how to best incorporate that idea into the new verbiage, as my contribution is less-than-polished. VanIsaacWS Vexcontribs 11:39, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

The way I see it, there are a couple reasons a close is likely to be overturned. First, is if there is something wrong with the closer, in most cases that means they are WP:INVOLVED. While there are some uncontroversial closes an involved editor can make, such as withdrawing their own proposal, if the close is controversial, INVOLVED is likely to get it overturned. Second, is if the close could not reasonably be supported by the discussion, and there is no outcome demanded by a particularly important policy. Finally, a close may, rarely, be overturned if the local consensus in the closed discussion is seriously at odds with an important site wide policy. The vast majority of closes with objections are not overturned, and using when there is a rejected challenge, its a case of an editor being unable to accept that they may not be right about something. Monty845 23:09, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

Requesting a close[edit]

Hi. I may have missed it, but I'm not seeing that the guideline articulates how to request a closing of a discussion on an article Talk page, in those cases where the edtiting dispute has been contentious and it is time to move on. It has more on AfD's and AN/I incidents, but not so much on Talk page discussions that may warrant a formal close, either one that never was an RfC, or one that was an RfC and should not perhaps wait the nominal 30 days for delisting by the RfC bot.

Is there a suggested forum or place to request such a Talk page discussion close? If so, or even if not, it might be good for this guideline to clarify on that point. Cheers. N2e (talk) 13:52, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Since this page is not much monitored nor very active, I also made a request on 26 November 2013 at the Wikipedia:Help Project in this Talk page discussion. That page, likewise, is not very active.
Therefore, I asked at the teahouse on 27 November 2013. It was quickly and helpfully answered by Fuhghettaboutit on 28 November 2013, and the discussion may be found here. The answer was: "Tailor made for just this type of matter: Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Requests for closure."
 Done I have (now, two months later) updated the "Closing discussions" page to now make it explicit on where such requests should be made. Cheers. N2e (talk) 14:08, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
Glad my post at the Teahouse helped! I made some tweaks to the language (please feel free to modify). I basically added in some of the language from the board referred to as to its instructions/mandate. Best regards--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 14:31, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
Oh yes, your additions have much improved my little edit. Thanks for your help at the Teahouse in November, and for now finalizing this much-needed fix to the "Closing discussions" page. N2e (talk) 14:44, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
I have slightly tweaked the section headings and added a couple of sentences of introductory text to improve clarity. Others please review and improve. Cheers. N2e (talk) 12:11, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Question About a Question About a Close[edit]

I closed an RFC a few days ago. Subsequently an editor posted to my talk page and asked me to add some additional text to my closure. My question is whether this would be an appropriate action. Closing an RFC, on a talk page, boxes the RFC section, stating that it should not be edited further. On the one hand, I think that the request is reasonable. On the other hand, it violates the concept that the boxed section is truly closed. My question is: Should I ignore all rules and add to a closed RFC, or should I request that the other editor request closure review at WP:AN? I am only involved to the extent that I closed an RFC that I had otherwise not taken part in, and I don't have a strong opinion as to how to move on. Thank you for your advice. Robert McClenon (talk) 03:25, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

Generally we give the closer significant latitude to amend (or even revert) their own closes. Just be careful that your not overly influenced by the post close discussion. Generally, you should only amend in things that you now realize should have been in the close to begin with. Monty845 12:24, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

!vote counter?[edit]

Where's that !vote counting tool that attempts count support / oppose !votes? I remember seeing it once but don't remember where or what it's called. http://toolserver.org/~nakon/cda.php was one, but I can't find a replacement at tools.wmflabs.org, though I recall one exists, somewhere.--Elvey(tc) 20:30, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

I don't see it in the list of tools. Your best bet is probably to contact Nakon directly, and ask Nakon what happened to it. --IJBall (contribstalk) 00:32, 8 July 2015 (UTC) (And now I see that this is quite an old post!) --IJBall (contribstalk) 00:33, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
I'll see about getting that one back online in the next few days. Nakon 00:51, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

Guideline Requires Clarifications[edit]

There is discussion underway at WP:AN (concerning the Ayurveda) close that points out that these closure guidelines are ambiguous in two important respects. First, the guidelines state that most discussions can be closed by any uninvolved editor. However, there is no standard definition of an uninvolved editor. There is a standard definition of an uninvolved administrator, but an editor who is an admin may be an uninvolved administrator but an involved editor, and the definition of an uninvolved administrator does not apply to non-admin editors. An editor who has edited heavily in a particular area with a particular view, for instance, is typically involved, and should not close. Second, while the guidelines do state that some contentious closes should be done by administrators, they do not specify what is a contentious close. In particular, they do not point out that the applicability of ArbCom discretionary sanctions render a discussion contentious. Robert McClenon (talk) 19:14, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

Comments? Robert McClenon (talk) 19:14, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

Also, if the RFC discussion has involved personal attacks, or if one or more editors have tendentiously argued with every contrary !vote, an administrative close is desirable, especially because the block button may be needed. (However, if there were personal attacks, maybe there should have been admin attention while the RFC was running.) Robert McClenon (talk) 20:27, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

As an editor who closes RFC's I would like to address the personal attacks issue. Some RFC's I have seen have accusations of personal attacks. But in reality, the accusation is just an attempt to discredit a vocal participant of the opposite viewpoint. I dont think the accusation necessary should stop an uninvolved editor from closing, unless there is some proof that the accusation moved off of the page to say AN/I and it was found to actually be a personal attack, but then again if thats happened it shouldnt stop the editor closing as it should have been taken care of. Another thing that may stop an editor closing is if the attack is recognised easily as such. AlbinoFerret 23:49, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
I meant actual personal attacks, not allegations of personal attacks. However, the allegation of a personal attack, when there is no personal attack, is often itself a personal attack. Robert McClenon (talk) 16:49, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
@Robert McClenon: I've always thought that the criteria for being uninvolved as a non-admin are a logical extension of the same concept, i.e. an RfC close is an "administrative-type" action and follows the same rules as admin actions in general. So I would avoid closing anything where a reasonable editor might think that I have an investment in or preference about the outcome of the discussion. I've never seen anyone suggest that DS make a discussion contentious, though, if you mean it in the sense of requiring admin closure. They indicate that the topic area in general is contentious, but as usual that just means that NACs need to be done more cautiously and with extra description of the reasoning. Sunrise (talk) 12:20, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
I agree. It should say so. Robert McClenon (talk) 16:55, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
Okay, let's see if this change sticks. If not, we can always edit this page instead. Sunrise (talk) 23:12, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
It probably wouldn't hurt to have similar language on this page, as this page will likely be read by those considering closing. AlbinoFerret 23:28, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
I agree, that's a good point. (Also, the addition at WP:INVOLVED was reverted, so I've opened a talk discussion there.) Sunrise (talk) 04:44, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
I suspect that your addition would have been kept, if it said "same rules apply to editors closing discussions" rather than "closing discussions is an admin action". "Closing a discussion" means figuring out what the consensus is and writing it down. Anybody ought to be able to do that, and it is not inherently an admin action. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:13, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
  • An editor who has edited heavily in a particular area with a particular view, for instance, is typically involved, and should not close. That sounds reasonable and common-sensical to me, however in the motivating discussion veteran Wikipedian WhatamIdoing disagrees, suggesting that an editor who has no edits to a given article is sufficiently uninvolved, even if that editor has contributed heavily to related topics. In that case the closer had even voiced an opinion on the specific question addressed by the RfC before it was created, though WhatamIdoing may have overlooked that.
Something like the green text above should probably be added, if that is the consensus view. I realize that writing something down is an invitation to wikilawyering, however an undocumented consensus can cause confusion and protracted debate because those holding non-consensus views may not realize that they do. Manul ~ talk 02:08, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
I'd support that, though I would add "usually" or "typically" in front of "should not close," to allow for exceptions like closing your own proposal when there's a SNOW consensus against. Sunrise (talk) 04:44, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
I don't think that we improve our rules by adding something like "Physicians who edit heavily in the area of health-related content with an evidence-based view, for instance, are typically involved, and should not close, especially anything about vaccines, junk science, and alternative medicine." I also think that it would be counterproductive to write "Editors who edit heavily in the area of policies and guidelines, with the particular view that they should be practical and not self-contradictory, for instance, are typically involved, and should not close any discussion about a policy or guideline." How about "An admin who has been heavily involved in deletion work, with a particular view about following notability guidelines instead of counting votes, for instance, is typically involved, and should not close AFDs".
The rules cut both ways, and what you have written doesn't work both ways. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:57, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing, I didn't write the green text; I was quoting Robert McClenon above.
Could we back up and approach this from the other direction? In your view, what would constitute involvement? In the Ayurveda discussion you referenced a comment from a semi-protected edit request in which an editor expressed a view that Ayurveda should not be called pseudoscience. That editor would later become the closer of the Ayurveda pseudoscience RfC. Are you still arguing that this editor was uninvolved, or did you not read the editor's comment that you referenced? Manul ~ talk 19:28, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
I hadn't read it before making my first comment, but it doesn't significantly change my view.
The editor offered a comment about whether a particular word should be used in a particular way in the lead of the article, using an excellent, but psychiatry-specific, source whose applicability to non-psychiatric treatments (i.e., the whole field) had been WP:CHALLENGED. That first comment was in response to a proposal from a dedicated anti-quackery POV pusher (who is also a wiki-friend of mine and does much good on the project) that had already been discussed ad nauseum with no firm consensus. "Should this highly contentious word be added to the lead, with a source that speaks only of one fraction of the field, via an edit-protected request, despite the ample evidence that there is no clear consensus to do so on the talk page?" (keep in mind that the article just spent three solid months under full-protection because of edit warring related to these questions) is not the same question as "Should the navigation system be used in this way?".
To give another example, I would normally support adding Category:Breast cancer survivors to a BLP while simultaneously opposing the inclusion of that medical history directly in the lead (unless the person is also an activist for breast cancer, and assuming that there was a suitable source in the article). I do not consider these answers about how to describe a BLP's personal health to be contradictory, and I do not even consider the questions to be related to each other. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:18, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing, this is all very abstruse. Which comment is "first comment"? I don't know why you are making random remarks about an unnamed editor containing both praise and brick-bats, and in any case it's not relevant. All the nuances that you bring up are also beside the point, and the closer neither discussed them nor showed any understanding of them. Indeed by referring to the previous RfC ("Since the last RfC, the major points still remains unchanged"), the closer was in fact not making the distinctions that you make here. This is also beside the point.
An editor had a expressed an opinion about X being in article Y, then months later closed an RfC related to whether X should be in article Y. I cannot imagine a clearer example of involvement. WhatamIdoing appeared to be arguing otherwise. I have attempted (and failed) to ascertain if this is the case. Manul ~ talk 01:20, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
No, you have simplified too much. The editor expressed an opinion about X being handled in a particular way in article Y. The editor never said that X should be excluded entirely from Y; the editor only said that it should not be "in the begining" (sic) of the article. Months later, the editor closed an RFC related to whether Wikipedia's navigation system ("categories"), which (a) is notorious for its inability to provide any explanation, context, or sources, and which (b) exists to help readers find articles, not to announce facts about subjects, should be used to connect the concepts of X and Y.
I do not believe that opposing an imperfectly sourced change to the lead – once – makes you "involved" for a separate question, discussed months later, of whether readers scrolling through a category will be interested in this article. A long-standing pattern of POV pushing on the page would be a different story, of course, and the editors who contested the RFC certainly were "involved" on those grounds, but this editor does not seem to have done anything like that.
This is all coming from a practical reality: if the standard is set too widely, then anyone who has ever expressed an opinion about an article is barred from closing all discussions, even when we have no actual reason to believe that close is affected. For example, I have expressed opinions about whether Cancer should contain information about ==Causes==. In fact, I wrote a good deal of Cancer#Causes a few years ago. Would you therefore bar me from summarizing a discussion about which pages belong in Category:Infectious causes of cancer (which is currently being discussed) on the flimsy grounds that you can trivially discover that I know something about the subject merely by looking through my contributions? Would you prefer closes only from people who cannot be proven on wiki to know the difference between an infection and a medical procedure?
Also, let's keep the context in mind here: the actual problem with this close wasn't the identity of the person who closed it. The problem was that they didn't get the answer that they expected and wanted. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:37, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
To review, the comment from the closer prior to the RfC -- the comment you proffered as evidence of uninvolvement -- is:[2]

I see that already the lead mentions that it is not scientifically prooven and pseudoscientific means that some one has to claim this is science first, and then to call it a pseudo later. I see no point in adding mis guiding words in the begining

I find it extremely tendentious to argue that my use of "related to" is insufficiently exact. Unequivocally, the RfC is related to the closer's stated opinion above. That is the essence of involvement.
I suspect what happened is that you discovered that the editor made only one comment to the Ayurveda talk page and cited that as evidence of uninvolvement. You failed to actually read the comment, a simple mistake. But instead of a quick "oops", we get this extreme splitting of hairs to rationalize the unrationalizable. I would be surprised if you can get one person to agree with you that the editor was uninvolved. Early on I wondered if I missed something about your argument, but now I don't think I have.
As others have pointed out, there are many problems with the closing on its own merits. The commotion might have been avoided if the editor was able to recognize their own involvedness. Few read the directions, but that's no reason to condemn everyone to learn by osmosis. Manul ~ talk 05:34, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
The suggestion was made that closing a discussion should be considered an administrative action, and the definition of an uninvolved administrator should be used. Extending that concept to non-administrative editors seems like a stretch. I think that the statement should be made in this policy, not in the administration policy. Also, an administrator who is an uninvolved administrator may nonetheless be an involved editor, and if so, should avoid closing a discussion in which he or she has editorial involvement. Robert McClenon (talk) 02:04, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
Well, I think of it as "administrative-type" action. In the edit I made I thought of several formulations (e.g. "of an administrative nature") but eventually discarded them - I decided to go with "administrative broadly construed" and make it a bit simpler. Either way, I really don't see a difference between placing it here or at INVOLVED, as the statement should have consensus or not regardless of location (at least ideally - though I suppose there's the incentive to be more conservative on the policy page, which I hadn't considered). Sunrise (talk) 05:39, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
In the case in point that started this discussion, the RFC close was reverted, and was closed the other way. A reference to involvement in this guideline might have avoided that drama. Robert McClenon (talk) 02:04, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
The suggestion that closing a content discussion is an admin action, rather than a normal editorial action, is wrong. Also, this is not a policy. And WP:Nobody reads the directions, so it's unlikely to have made any difference at all.
I don't understand why you believe that an admin can be INVOLVED as an editor but not as an admin. The whole point of INVOLVED is that if you are involved in something as an editor, then you are too involved to take any non-emergency admin actions. You have it backwards: you can be involved as an admin but not as an editor (e.g., you can protect a page without editing it), but if you are involved as an editor, then all of you is involved, including yourself as an admin. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:37, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
Robert, perhaps you mean that an admin can be involved as an editor but not involved with respect to the use of their admin tools? I assume you aren't suggesting that an admin could be involved as an editor and also be using admin tools as an uninvolved admin.
On classification of closures as editorial: I think that for content discussions in general it would depend on the specific case, but I have to strongly disagree that closing a content RfC is a normal editorial action, at least for those which are controversial enough to be worthy of listing at ANRFC (e.g. are not SNOW). The purpose of the request is that the involved editors aren't able to agree amongst themselves, i.e. the normal editorial process is insufficient. The role of the closer in this context, at least as I see it, is to abandon any of your own opinions on the subject and only evaluate the consensus among the involved editors with reference to policy. Whether this is "administrative" depends on how you define the word, but either way it's clearly a higher standard than what would be expected for "regular" actions like adding a support or oppose. I think it's reasonable to revert a close in rare cases, per IAR if nothing else, if the closure clearly doesn't meet that standard. I imagine that factors that would affect that judgement would include how controversial the subject is, how experienced the closer is, and how good the rationale is.
On the specific example, I don't know what factors went into this particular judgement. For myself, though: if I tried to close an RfC while involved, I would see myself as sending the message "I think we can all agree on what the consensus is, so let's avoid the needless bureaucracy of ANRFC," and I would probably self-revert at the request of any of the other involved editors. In that circumstance I'd see no problem with them deciding to revert directly instead, again to avoid bureaucracy. Sunrise (talk) 05:39, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
Have you looked at the ANRFC when it gets full? There are plenty of clear cut and at least one or two snow RFC's in the mix. The page isnt all contentious RFC's. The problem is that some editors hope for a supervote, where none should even be hoped for in reality, and will not give in until its closed. Those are the RFC's I try to target as an editor closer. But I do agree that it is above the usual things most editors normally do. Involvement is never a good thing, there are always others to close. AlbinoFerret 11:32, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
Oh, Sunrise, I can tell that you haven't paid any attention at all to ANRFC for the last year. There's one editor who's made it his life mission to put about 90% of the expired RFCs up there. As AlbinoFerret notes, he's including obvious ones, even SNOWs, and occasionally some that are just plain silly, such as a draft of an RFC with no actual comments other than telling the drafter not to put the RFC template on it until he's finished writing the RFC question. If these were actual requests from editors at that talk page, who were saying that (to quote WP:TPG, which applies) that the individual discussion was one in which "consensus remains unclear, where the issue is a contentious one, or where there are wiki-wide implications", that would be one thing, but that's certainly not the case at ANRFC.
WP:RFC says that (most) RFCs are just normal talk-page discussions that any editor ought to be able to handle. See the first paragraph about "normal talk-page guidelines", and also the information about closing under "Ending RFCs", especially "Editors are expected to be able to evaluate and agree upon the results of most RfCs without outside assistance." Every competent editor is expected to be able to figure out what the result of a discussion is. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:39, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
I was very careful in my comment to use the phrase "worthy of listing," in order to specifically exclude the cases that you're describing. Please re-evaluate my comment with that in mind. Thanks, Sunrise (talk) 03:08, 12 July 2015 (UTC)

───────────────────────── I have two other thoughts from your earlier post:

"The purpose of the request is that the involved editors aren't able to agree amongst themselves" – Unfortunately, this is not the only, or necessarily even the most common, reason for participants to request a formal closing statement (as you request, I ignore here that almost none of the requests at ANRFC are being made by participants). Formal closing statements are also used because the editors do agree, but they want to have their consensus formally recorded to make it harder for consensus to change later, or because the consensus is clear, but the page is having behavioral problems and they think that the extra bureaucratic steps will have a calming effect (plausible, but not usually effective).

"The role of the closer...is to abandon any of your own opinions on the subject and only evaluate the consensus among the involved editors with reference to policy." – This is an excellent statement, and we should figure out how to fit it into this page. However, it's not an admin's job. Wikipedia is better off having you or me write a closing statement for a MEDRS-related discussion than having the average admin do it. The overlap between "editors who are admins" and "editors who know our policies fairly well and have enough judgment to separate their own POV from the discussion" is significant, but it's the latter quality that is actually relevant. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:43, 12 July 2015 (UTC)

Thanks. :-) For the two examples you describe for formal closures, I would still consider them part of the same concept (with minor exceptions). So disruptive behavior, where it gets in the way of implementing consensus, would generally be an indicator of contentiousness, and the desire for formal recording means that editors think others may find it contentious in the future. I don't think that a participant's request is necessary to make a discussion contentious; actually, I would say that the existence of an RfC is often prima facie evidence for contentiousness, as it usually indicates that regular talk page discussion was insufficient to resolve the question - or that the nominator thinks it would be insufficient if it were tried, etc. I do think the majority of listings at ANRFC are appropriate, in that it is not clear that the involved editors have agreed on the result. In reference to the guidance at TPG, I assume that "the consensus remains unclear to the participants" unless the discussion shows otherwise.
On avoiding personal opinions as a closer, the point is actually already addressed briefly (section 2.1 paragraph 3), though I think it deserves to be expressed better and more prominently. I think it's a central principle of how to close - I've been drafting an essay to offer advice on writing good closures, and I'm hoping I'll be able to communicate that. I'd just note that I'm not saying it's an admin's job to do closures; as above, I'd call them "of an administrative nature" to indicate, among other things, that they involve higher standards than typical editorial actions. To take the MEDRS example, I wouldn't automatically exclude myself from closing, but I'd be very careful - I'd consider it to be some degree of IAR, excluding specific circumstances like SNOW (or otherwise uncontroversial) closes. If the reference to "administrativeness" is confusing the issue, it can be left out since the core point is the one about the standards. Sunrise (talk) 11:27, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

Change ups / Hijacking[edit]

This is a subject which we should mention and incorporate. Although the following context is Requested Moves, the principle also applies to RfCs, which also need to be closed in a similar manner. The following is a section in Mike Cline's new essay, Arguments to avoid in Requested Move discussions#Change Ups:

Change Ups
* "I think Plutonium (province) would be a better title than Plutonium (city-state)"
Frequently, when the proposed title isn't clear cut, editors will suggest alternative titles. At the beginning of a discussion, such alternatives can gain support or be soundly opposed. However, after a full week or more of discussion, the introduction of an alternative title can be problematic as all the preceding opposes and supports haven't considered the alternative title. Although it may indeed be a good choice, the "suggested late" alternative is unlikely to get strong consideration by the closer unless previous participants weigh-in on the alternative. Adding multiple alternatives without providing sound arguments for each is equally problematic and generally doesn't move the RM forward.

I think Mike makes an excellent point, and the term "change up" is very relevant, because it's a constant problem which complicates RfCs and RMs. "Hijack" is a related/synonymous term. Editors who won't stay on-topic can totally hijack a discussion and disrupt the whole process, holding it hostage so nothing gets done. Then the closer ends up in a pickle, because they have to deal with the resulting mess. Because they are "uninvolved", they may not even realize there is a mess.

Inexperienced closers often just count !votes and close, without discounting/ignoring such improper, off-topic, !votes. If a !vote is not exactly "on-topic", it should not be counted. Such poor closures just kick the problem down the road, resulting in more RfCs/RMs, because the original problem was not resolved. Dispute resolution should not become a disruptive process. It should aim to resolve disruption.

While I understand the reasoning behind having "uninvolved" people closing such things, it has the huge disadvantage that they don't understand all the real issues or complicated history. They don't know which options have already been considered and rejected, and why it happened. Thus their closes can be very shortsighted and create more problems, or ignore previous consensus which has "brought us to where we are now." So instead of getting closer to a solution, the bad close just puts it off, changes its direction, sends it off on a long detour, and/or complicates matters. This seriously disrupts the process, irritates editors, causes burn out, etc.. Ideally, each discussion/RfC/RM should narrow the possibilities left, thus pushing editors closer to a final solution. Dispute resolution should not create more disputes!

We have had this problem at the Kim Davis (county clerk) article. I don't recall a more complicated article situation, and I've been here since about 2003. There have been several RfCs, Requested moves, AfDs, etc., without getting closer to a solution, largely because of several improper closures. One closer even proposed a third "solution" (which had already occurred!!!) in their close! By seeking to open a door which had been closed, they created more chaos which led to more RfCs. Such RfCs become a disruptive and time-consuming process.

Here is a suggested (sub?)section:

Advice to closer
A closer must perform due diligence before they close a controversial discussion. Failure to do so can do more harm than good. They should check the history of previous, related, discussions and RfCs, seeking to solve the original problem by narrowing the remaining options. Each previous and successive RfC should have done that. They should not suggest new or rejected options.
The outcome is determined by weighing the merits of the arguments and assessing if they are consistent with Wikipedia policies. Counting "!votes" is not an appropriate method of determining an outcome, though a closer should not ignore numbers entirely. When analyzing the !voting, they should first discount/ignore any improper !votes. There are several types: off-topic; fail to account for previous RfCs; fail to account for any existing consensus behind the new RfC; purely disruptive comments; and comments by sock puppets. If a !vote is not exactly "on-topic", it should not be counted, but treated as something for a separate discussion/process. Attempts to hijack a discussion should not be rewarded. Instead, such editors should start their own RfC after the current one has been closed.

What think ye? Please ping me. -- {{u|BullRangifer}} {Talk} 01:02, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

@BullRangifer: FWIW, I have about 10 full pages of typed notes for an essay on how to close RfCs, in which I plan to address some of these points. Perhaps I should get back to that... :-) Sunrise (talk) 03:24, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Cool! Keep me oriented. -- {{u|BullRangifer}} {Talk} 04:57, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
@BullRangifer:Ironically, this is one almost entirely unrelated proposal piggybacking on another. These should have been posted in separate threads.

The first is a mostly matter of WP:PINGing previous respondents who supported a similar idea to see if they like the alternative suggestion. This is common and it works. Since discussions are not votes, a closer will sometimes go with an alternative suggested later if it seems to also do what the majority wanted (especially if the nom agrees with the new idea), and resolves a problem raised by the dissenters. These kinds of decisions are fairly often subject to review, but it's not really that big of a deal. Late suggestions that are similar to previous ones also do factor into a consideration of the relative support levels. If proposal A is very different from proposal (or status quo) B, and someone later offers an A1 variant, or a proposal C that is closer to A than B, it can usually be taken as "support A more than B".

The main problem with the first of these barely-related section addition proposals is that it strongly implies that one has to go with the flow, and refrain from offering an obvious or brilliant solution to the problem, and be just content with one of the crappy options already under discussion. This would be a very undesirable result, and this proposal raises WP:BUREAUCRACY, WP:BOLD / WP:EDITING / WP:IAR, and WP:COMMONSENSE problems. late suggestions actually very frequently end up becoming the final solution, despite the fact that people with a PoV to push about something else may occasionally try to challenge it.

As a side matter, this isn't even what "hijacking" means in this context. Thread/discussion/proposal highjacking is essentially the talkspace equivalent of coatracking. It's either a) the misuse of comments in a discussion in ways that distract others from the discussion, to try to derail it (or with the effect of doing so); b) the misuse of comments in a discussion to inject an extraneous issue and try to divert attention to that instead of to what the discussion is about; or c) refactoring the RfC/proposal/XfD itself to change what it trying to do (or to muddy it in hopes of derailing it). These behaviors do need to be addressed, perhaps even in WP:DE policy, but they are not WP:Closing discussions matters. Another thing hijacking is not is suggesting alternative solutions, which is standard operating procedure, yet appears to be what this proposed addition is trying to stop, at least in one form.

It is true that incoming closers are often unaware of all the background. This is not a bad thing. If none of the opposing view can cogently be explained in the current discussion, despite weeks, months, or years of prior debate, than all the former debate is basically noise and should be ignored by the closer. If things were actually decided in previous discussions, these should be linked to in the nomination/proposal, and/or by others in comments so that the closer is aware of them.

All that said, yes, we absolutely do need an advice-to-closers section (I came here to make the same point, below, though for a different reason). Aside from this hijacking thing, the rest of the content suggested for it is a good start, and can easily be expanded upon with the issue I mentioned below. I would clarify that the due-dilligence point cannot require closer to do unusual amounts of digging. It is reasonable to check for previous discussions of the same type for the same or related subjects, previous relevant discussion of different types at the same page and its archive, and previous discussions linked to (or mentioned clearly enough to find them) in the actual discussion at hand. No one is going to randomly trawl through years of different pages' archives and histories to try to find relevant things that the discussion's own participants didn't consider pertinent enough to include. If what has happened is some WP:FACTION has launched a biased RfC in venue X (where few of their opponents will see it) to overturn a prior consensus at venue Y that was well-attended, and no one notices the forumshopping until after the close, there are various ways to resolve that problem, and they rarely favor the new "local consensus". (Sadly, there are exceptions. But it's not a closers'-responsibilities issue) SMcCandlish ¢ʌⱷ҅ʌ 18:07, 20 March 2016 (UTC)

Supervoting[edit]

Its a recurrent problem that people with a strong opinion on the matter chose to close instead of !vote, and do so in a lopsided, WP:SUPERVOTE manner. We need to address this here, and have a short section on when it is not appropriate to be the closer. It's not enough to say "uninvolved"; people generally take this to mean "didn't !vote", and may even interpret it to mean WP:INVOLVED thus not applicable to NAC. Key aspects of the WP:Supervote essay and things at WP:Deletion guidelines for administrators#Rough consensus that can be generalized beyond deletion-specific cases, are probably a good basis for this. SMcCandlish ¢ʌⱷ҅ʌ 17:29, 20 March 2016 (UTC)

Who should be closing discussions?[edit]

Is there no legislation on this?

I ask because over the past year or so, I've seen a new user with less than 400 (mostly minor, gnomish) edits to her name go around closing several GARs in what looked like a less-than-competent manner, and one SPA suddenly leave his area of interest and close about a hundred RFCs in a sometimes dubious manner. I'm not naming names because this isn't about them, but ...

Is there no guideline that closes should generally only be made by experienced editors whom the community trusts to carefully examine the discussion and determine the consensus?

Hijiri 88 (やや) 13:20, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

No, there isn't any such rule.
Also, if we had such a rule, we would then have fights over which among us are "experienced" enough and which of us "the community trusts", and then someone (perhaps me ;-)) would have to point out that the level of experience and trust depends upon the nature of the dispute, and we'd basically be back where we are, only with a rule that says some, but still unspecified, editors are more equal than others.
I don't disagree with the concern, but we handle it as one-off behavioral problems rather than setting up general rules. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:13, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
We had a discussion/RfC about this type of thing: Wikipedia talk:Non-admin closure/Archive 2#RfC regarding unregistered editors. I stated there that "I don't think that IPs should be closing RfCs or similarly important discussions that need closing, especially not contentious ones. Too much room for socking to game the system." I still feel that way, and the discussion closed with that sentiment. But that discussion focused on IPs rather than on newly registered accounts. I feel the same about newly registered accounts that clearly don't have any experience or are suspicious because of their experience, however. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 19:54, 15 August 2018 (UTC)

When[edit]

This is a good page, but something is missing. The lead says: "This page offers guidelines on how and when discussions should be closed." However it doesn't go on to provide any guidance on when to close discussions, i.e. how long a discussion should remain open, whether the closer should wait until the discussion peters out, etc. This would be very helpful. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 18:53, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

Dr. Fleischman, I have finally created the section you requested. Please be bold and improve it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:54, 15 August 2018 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Discussion review[edit]

I created the page, Wikipedia:Discussion review, as a draft for an upcoming proposal of the process. I tagged it as "Brainstorming", so I need your contributions to the working process. --George Ho (talk) 07:53, 18 December 2016 (UTC)

Village pump discussion about allowing non-admins to close FFD discussions[edit]

The discussion Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Allow FFD discussions to be closed as delete via NAC has started. It proposes allowing non-admins to close FFD discussions. I invite you to comment there. --George Ho (talk) 01:54, 30 December 2016 (UTC)

Advice on closing discussions[edit]

As a followup to some of the previous comments above, I’ve written the first version of an essay on best practices in closing discussions, which can be found at WP:Advice on closing discussions. I’ve tried to account for multiple styles of closing, but it probably leans towards my personal style, so feedback/edits/comments would be appreciated. Since it’s quite long, it might need a summary of some kind, although I think the first section does that fairly well. I also have a companion page in my userspace at User:Sunrise/Additional advice on closing discussions to keep a record of everything that didn’t fit in the main essay.

Also pinging BullRangifer, who asked to be kept informed of when this was ready, as well as WhatamIdoing and Giraffedata who contributed to the analogous essay on writing RfC questions. Sunrise (talk) 09:07, 15 August 2017 (UTC)