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Wikipedia:Wikipedia does or does not need that article

On occasions, editors in discussions about articles may state that Wikipedia does (or does not) need that article as an argument. This essay supports the idea that "need" is the wrong measure for including or excluding an article or topic.

What does Wikipedia "Need"?

Wikipedia doesn't "need" anything. It exists because it was created and has continued to receive support by people who "want" it to exist. Naturally, there are rules to follow: policies, guidelines, etc. But "need" is an arbitrary definition that will likely vary from one user to another, from one reader to another.

Because this definition of "need" can change from one editor to the next, it would be more fair to say that the editor does (or does not) "want" the topic on Wikipedia. Now we have delved into personal preference for choice of inclusion and exclusion of material--which has already been covered by reasoning at I Don't Like It. Therefore, the measure of "need" should not be used in determining inclusion or exclusion of material in Wikipedia. There are many standardized, customized, defined, measurable methods that have already come to consensus, and can even be modified by consensus. "Need" is not one of them.

When something truly does "need" to be removed or added

Policy

When an item could be said to be "needed" to be removed would be when it is determined to be against policy. For example, entries in articles that violate Wikipedia policies about biographies of living persons do "need" to be deleted because we have already determined that by policy.

Wants

Sometimes on talk pages editors will state that an article "needs" something like more information, more sources, or a photograph. Use in these cases should be taken in context, such as "The article needs X to make it better." This means that the editor wants to improve the article, and that is okay of course.

See also