This morning found me browsing the “worst x of all time” category on Wikipedia.
I do this from time to time when I need schadenfreude. There’s something delightfully enjoyable about seeing stuff that got hyped to high heaven getting torn down, and at the same time there’s the “Oh, come on, it wasn’t THAT bad” when you find one of your own favorites on one of these lists.
I reached a list, however, that was… well, there was the obligatory header that stated what the criteria were for inclusion in the list, but then there wasn’t, well, a list afterwards.
Fortunately wikipedia keeps article histories around, so I went digging. After spending 15 minutes or so looking at histories and talk pages and so on, I came to the following conclusions:
1) About a week ago, someone realized that one of their favorite ever X was on a list of bad Xs, and was offended that their particular sacred cow wound up on this list.
2) In response, they tried to get the article deleted, saying that there weren’t generally accepted criteria for being a bad X, the list was Original Research, and anyway the list wasn’t sourced. I didn’t see anywhere where they also said that it wasn’t notable enough, but I really didn’t look very hard.
3) Their deletion attempt was a miserable flop. Several people found corroborating criteria for being a bad X, and then sources for why X met those criteria. Sources were also provided for the entire list of bad Xs, and the point was clearly made that a list is not in itself Original Research.
4) In response, the original deeply offended party said “Ah hah! Your list of bad Xs is taken from these sources, hence it is a copyright violation!” and deleted the entire list out of the article, fulfilling his original goal of making sure that his favorite X was no longer listed with the bad Xs… and also removing all actual CONTENT from the page.
Someone needs to look up “Sense of humor”. I think it’s probably in Wikipedia.