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I'm the admin for the Real Life Superheroes Wiki. The question I have is in regards to an anonymous request that I just received to delete a profile created on a Real Life Superhero named Tothian. Prior to this reaching out, I had 2 anonymous edits from different but similar IPs blanking the page out with no explanation as to why. Then it got blanked with the following text:
- This is Tothian who keeps editing this and deleting this. I do not consent to me having a page on here. I do not wear a costume, as costumes are for trick or treaters and actors, not real life superheroes. To call it the c-word is stupid and offensive.
- And stop putting what appears to be my "alter ego" Michael, on here. What the hell is wrong with you people. Fucking seriously.
- Who ever is in charge of this page can email me at Tothian(at)msn(dot)com and we'll talk from there. I'm sick of deleting this page every time I see it.
Here's the Talk page for further info. After rolling back the changes, I tagged the page with the candidate for deletion tag but my issue is there aren't really a lot of regular editors to the wiki so there's no community to form a consensus on deletion so most of the policies that a larger wiki would have to handle cases like this are non-existent. Then, I had someone leave me a message on my wall requesting that I email this person. Here's the thread.
If I had a notability policy, I would say that this page would meet it due to the history the person has in the movement, even if it's been mostly controversial. If I look at it as a living person bio, it doesn't really match either because it's not a profile of a legal identity but an alias, albeit one that shares the likeness of a living person. The profile isn't really defamatory or libelous. I am loath to simply cave into what an anonymous user/user without any edit history requests or waiting period and at the same time, I don't really want to be dealing with someone who might start vandalizing the wiki out of spite since they've demonstrated that they're willing to stubbornly edit it their way without reaching out.
- Several things to bear in mind:
- Many people are not familiar with the ways wikis are managed - everyone knows anyone can edit, but the average person who's never spent significant time contributing to a wiki doesn't necessarily know that they shouldn't blank a page - assume good faith.
- The "real life superhero" in question is both an anonymous entity, but at the same time, a regular person. Generally, when a regular person requests removal of information about them, Wikia grants it (although, this is a more abstract case).
- You have no way of confirming that the email address given to you is actually held by the person in question. Assuming staff allow you to make the decision yourself, you should weigh the reasons given to you for removal of the page against what value the page could have to the world at large.
- If the IP were to vandalize the wiki, blocking it and reverting all of its edits would fix the problem in a short time. Remember that no vandalism is permanent.
- I would recommend contacting the person via the email given to you, no harm can come from that. Consider their position, and consider yours - you may be able to compromise by removing some information from the page, but ultimately leaving it up.
- Thank you for the advice and your quick response! The only thing that makes me hesitate about proactively reaching out to the person by email is that by the same logic, it's possible it's someone who has an email of the same moniker and posing as them (Given their history in the RLSH community for starting drama and the high susceptibility for trolling, it is a possibility). I'm also a little bit worried that it'll set a dangerous precedent of giving the impression that even if you ignore the open invitation/ability to leave me a message on my wall or create a talk topic or forum thread about something you wished to discuss, you can simply leave a message directing me to email them instead and I'll still reach out to you. It also seems to privatize negotiations that I feel should be aired out publicly since it's discussions dealing with why a particular article should or should not be deleted. Maybe a better compromise is to ask the anonymous user to create a post on their blog or Facebook-- something I know for sure is owned and controlled by the RLSH in question-- to confirm their identity.
- I wasn't aware that Wikia had a policy of allowing people who request their info be removed get their way. I was trying to find anything that might cover this-- is there a policy page somewhere that I'm missing? The closest thing I could find was Wikipedia's policies but the thing is if you do a Google search for Tothian, there's a lot of stuff out there on this guy and a lot of it is actually already put out there by him. So, it's possible to see this as a public figure in a limited circle but then again, maybe it's better to err on the side of caution.
- However, the request is wholesale deletion with no reason given as to why they wish the information deleted. My first instinct is to let the article stand with the deletion tag to think on it. I don't want to delete it as a kneejerk or immediately without some time to digest it. Plus, the fact that they want to delete it wholesale seems like there should be some placeholder page listing the reason why it was deleted but again, I don't have too much experience with this. Furthermore, the thread that the intermediary (come to think of it, I don't even know if it's a sockpuppet since I can't view IP addresses for logged in users) created telling me to email the anonymous user just got deleted. So I don't know.
- Update: Now, it looks like they are requesting that the wiki not create a page about a website that they created even though creating a page on the website in question is only proposed and non-existent. They posted this request on the talk page of a meta-page listing proposed pages to be created for the wiki. I get the feeling that they're simply trying to control any information to do with them in general even if the information is regarding something public in nature, such as a website. So this seems to color the previous request to remove the profile with a more negative picture to me... I'm growing more conflicted as to what to do here... Any advice?
- Thank you for bringing up this point. I should add the fair use license to that picture. The fact that it is the public persona requesting the removal of info makes it such a gray area for me. The problem is that right now I'm the only one active on the wiki as the wiki is still building a community of editors so waiting for consensus might not be possible, which is why I'm here asking for advice from the greater Wikia community. I'm trying to hold off on making a decision and instead asking for clarification as to why they are insisting on removing the information on the public persona, as well as trying to forbid the potential creation of an article on their forum website.
- I think I will end up refusing to make any discussions about the deletion in a private avenue such as email because with how wary I am of the drama this person seems prone to, it just seems like a bad idea and it seems to be better protection to have the discussion out in public.
- If I do end up deleting the info on the page, I feel like I should leave a placeholder page up to explain why. Would creating a small explanation with links to the threads and talk conversations created by the IP and registered user be okay?
- Thanks again for any advice that can be given. I just want to do the right thing while balancing the needs of the wiki with following the TOU for Wikia.
- --Monchoman45 for the new sig!) (thanks to