FamilySearch Wiki:Deletion Guidelines for Administrators

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Deletion vs. Editing, Redirecting, and Moving:

Deletion is an optional activity for moderators. Not all problems should be resolved with deletion. Included below are guidelines to help moderators understand whether a problem merits deletion, editing, redirecting, or moving.


Users may use flagging to notify adminstrators and moderators that a page needs to be deleted or otherwise edited. Learn more about flagging. Learn more about using flags for Deletion Requests.


Deletion is intended to permanently remove an item both from the current view of a FamilySearch Research Wiki page, but also from the history of that page. To permanently delete articles or pages ultimately requires an administrator/sysop and follows a consensus process. Obscene or provocative pages will be deleted immediately. Those labeled or flagged as controversial may take longer to reach a consensus. To request a page deletion, users may add the deletion flags to pages they deem worthy of deletion. The flag should be left on the page for five days, except if the material merits immediate deletion. Examples of content that may justify flagging for deletion:

• Copyright violations

• Vandalism

• Offensive or slanderous materials (See below for immediate deletion guidelines)

• Articles or comments that fall outside of the scope of the FamilySearch Research Wiki

• Articles that include detailed instructions on FamilySearch products such as PAF and the new FamilySearch Common Pedigree

• Biographies or images of living individuals

• Pages used to store genealogical data

• Other information not suitable for a genealogical research guidance wiki.

Immediate Deletion

Articles, pages, images, categories, etc. may be immediately deleted if they are obscene, offensive, profane, or disruptive. Pages with controversial topics should go through the deletion process.

Category deletion

Deleting categories follows the same process as articles/pages. Categories that do not follow naming conventions can be immediately renamed; however, articles in the deleted category should be re-categorized first.


Editing may be used to correct information in many situations in lieu of deletion. Below are included instances in which editing or flagging may be used instead of deletion:

• Incorrect, inaccurate, or unreliable information appears on the page.

• The article conveys a biased opinion about a specific record collection, organization, or research strategy.

• An article is poorly written

• An article has been translated into a foreign language

• An article or page contains formatting errors


Redirecting may be used to forward users from one page name to another title. This is preferred to deleting an old article. Redirecting maintains other titles of articles, while sending the user to the same location for information. Redirecting is ideal for dealing with spelling variations, including diacritic usage in titles, and having more than one article name ultimately direct the user to one article or page. Redirecting articles means that anytime a user attempts to visit the former page name, they will be redirected to the new page name. Redirecting involves some careful considerations. Redirecting a page requires first creating a new page, second moving all of the content from the old page to the new page, and then clearing all of the old material out of the old page and replacing it with the redirect code. To learn how to redirect articles. Because of the considerations involved in redirecting pages, if the title has been incorrectly named, or needs to be changed, the preferred method to use is Moving a page.


The way to re-name a page is to Move the page. Click on the “Move” tab for a page, type in the desired new page title, and click “Move page.” The old title of the page will automatically become a redirect to send users to the new page title. To move a page, click on the "Move" page action located in page actions box above the navigation bar (the same box containing the "Edit" page action.) Type in the desired new article title, and a reason for moving the page. Click "Move Page." The page with all current content will be moved to a page with a different title.

Deletion Procedures

  • Moderators are not required to delete pages. If the moderator does not feel comfortable deleting a page, a sysop or administrator may be asked to assist.
  • To delete an article, a moderator makes sure that the deletion flag has been left on the page for five days to allow other users to dispute the deletion (except in cases of immediate deletion). Controversial article/pages can be proposed or flagged for deletion. Once proposed, if not contested within 5 days, an administrator or moderator may delete them.
  • The moderator should read the discussion page prior to deleting a page to review users comments and determine if the page is truly worthy of deletion. If the page deletion is being contested the moderator may choose to wait until adequate discussion has been made before deleting the page. Moderators should consider all comments and arguements regarding the proposed deletion.
  • To delete the page, click on the "Delete" page action located in page actions box above the navigation bar (the same box containing the "Edit" page action.
  • Select a reason for deletion, and include additional details about the deletion as needed, and then click "Delete Page." The page will no longer be visible to users.
  • NOTE: Deletion should be done with caution. If a page is mistakenly deleted, contact a Sysop or administrator for assistance.