Wikipedia is fancruft. Fancruft is the reason for Wikipedia's success, and its saving grace.

The value in Wikipedia, and its popularity, comes from the huge amount of random articles on nearly any topic imaginable, with all the relevant information in one place. Wikipedia is a great resource because of breadth and depth; no matter how good an article we have on evolution or the United States, a hundred thousand similar articles can be found everywhere. What distinguishes us from the paper encyclopedias is our versatility and our ability to constantly expand on any topic one can think of. We thrive on the attention from people all over the globe searching for some random little factoid. It does no harm to have loads of articles on things that would never be in the scope of Britannica.

Pokémon articles

So what if there are 500 Pokémon character biographies or articles for every episode of a TV show? While it's unfortunate that we may be covering Pokémon or Star Trek better than heads of state or political movements, the solution is not to delete the Pokémon articles.

The deletion of all the Pokémon articles was a particularly disappointing time on Wikipedia. Pokémon characters have lots of media and sources associated with them, have a lot of fans who would be interested in reading these articles and editing them, and are "notable". They are also a great way to get people involved in Wikipedia: They come to the site, see how good our coverage of that subject is, and begin contributing and getting interested in the project. Pokémon characters are "notable", verifiable, have the potential to become Featured articles, have a lot of users to support them, and may get people interested in Wikipedia. The only reason to oppose articles on Pokémon characters is that a traditional encyclopedia would not have these articles; however, these kinds of articles are precisely what we can and positively should preserve.

Deletion creep

Those who go forth with the intent of getting rid of entire categories of article generally start by nominating some of the worst of them for deletion, generally the stubby ones. With luck, almost nobody has edited them and thus nobody editing in that topic field notices the deletion debate until it closes with either a delete or merge result. Once they get perhaps half a dozen of them deleted, they start counting that as precedent in future deletion debates or force-merges. They also start writing out a notability guideline that generally requires that something not only be verifiable (that would be no problem) and have multiple independent sources (again, not too controversial) but that notability requires more than that; it requires demonstrable importance. The article must claim and source that its subject matter is Really Important™. Sooner or later, we have an alleged consensus and documented pseudo-policy that only truly historically important topics get an article. Then there's generally a move to redirect them all into a single article or a few articles on the subject. This harms Wikipedia immensely and damages the collaborative effort of building an encyclopedic compendium of human knowledge.

The actions being taken by a select group of editors to remove huge swaths of information on fictional characters and topics all in the name of upholding some pseudo-guideline is greatly harming the encyclopedia. Editors spend a lot of effort crafting and contributing quality material under a free license for the whole world to use, readers enthuse about how comprehensive Wikipedia is to include such things, and then we throw it all away and chide people for having contributed it in the first place. We steadily delete valuable content that is not reproduced elsewhere and will not be reproduced elsewhere. These actions are driving away good faith contributors and, more importantly, our readers.

See also