Wiki: Is it customary for users to remove comments from their own talk page?

Hi,

on OSM wiki, is it customary for users to remove comments from their own talk page?

Like here:
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Mnalis&diff=0&oldid=2417429

I’m not concerned about this particular deletion, but I’m wondering if this practice is approved. In more serious cases, this could obscure valuable information about a user’s history from others.

I’m thinking of vanadalism or other misbehaviour like edit wars, ignoring guidelines, etc. Cases may be handled differently depending on whether a user has a history of similar incidents; and their talk page might be a valuable record of their history.

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I think that’s not really an issue. You can always inspect the version history and draw your own conclusions: Revision history of "User talk:Mnalis" - OpenStreetMap Wiki

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What mmd said. I had similar situation where after a reply is a user’s talk page, they blanked the whole page. I read the the version history and saw that they replied to my reply. Otherwise I would never know about that reply.

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I prefer to move discussions to archive subpage, but this is also fine.

On some Wikipedias copying to to archive subpage is mandatory and just blanking is forbidden, but we have no such norm on OSM Wiki.

I would not expect this to work, checking history of relevant pages is basic Wiki investigation tool.

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No, it is not customary.

Take a look at the talk page guidelines on Wikipedia. The OSM Wiki does not define these guidelines, but the Wikipedia guidelines is a good reference.

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Quoting from that same wiki page: Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines - Wikipedia

Personal talk page cleanup
See also: Wikipedia:User pages § Removal of comments, notices, and warnings

The length of user talk pages, and the need for archiving, is left up to each editor’s own discretion.

Although archiving is preferred, users may freely remove comments from their own talk pages

(emphasis added by me)

I quoted this section, as this discussion is mainly about personal talk pages. It makes sense to have some rules for “normal” talk pages, but that’s another story, really.

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Me too. It is a good practice.

Wikipedia technical pages almost entirely apply on OSM Wiki.

Wikipedia cultural guidelines are a good reference, but should NOT be assumed to apply on OSM Wiki.

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Thanks for all the replies!

Well, that seems quite normal to me. It’s Talk page of that user (likely me in this case :smile:) and it seems to me only natural to me that the owner should clean it when the issue is resolved (like I would remove an item from my shopping list after I bought it, for example).

  • If the comment left on the talk page needed longer discussion, I’d leave them all there until the issue is resolved (or replied with a comment on their Talk page, if it seemed more appropriate).

  • If the comment had some permanent or recurring importance, I would have elaborated on it on my main user page (or even created separate subpage there)

  • But after the issue is resolved and no longer relevant, I’d clean it up from my Talk page (as I’d expect others to cleanup their Talk pages, at least periodically).

  • And sometimes the matter does not require any special explaining (like in this case, comment left seemed to be just a friendly thumbs-up about them adding forgotten signature to some page on my behalf), I’d just clean it with a comment, my reasoning being that the user who left a note on my Talk page is auto-subscribed to that page, so would get notified automatically by wiki with my simple thanks (unless they opted out, in which case it so no big deal either as there was no useful information being exchanged, just courtesy acknowledgement).

I’d expect that especially parties interested in investigating potential abuse suspicions (or anybody interested in that page) would peruse wiki history to see more and absolutely not rely on the current state of the page (if the person was abusing wiki, they’d surely change any such page anyway to show themselves in best light, would they not? So wiki history would be absolute must there).


I personally actually find it very untidy when I come across Talk pages which contain months and years old and obsolete information, wasting everyone’s time. Cultural differences I guess. :heart:

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I think a user should have a chance to both change their opinion on a given topic later on and to assert their rights according to GDPR relating to being forgotten.