Internet Tech News

Wikipedia Is Deleting Notable Websites for “Reasons”

Dave Parrack 20-10-2016

MakeUseOf doesn’t exist any more, at least according to Wikipedia. Neither does The Next Web for that matter. Wikipedia has recently deleted the entries for both websites for being “non-notable entities”. And several other high-profile websites are also facing the chop.


According to the infamous online encyclopedia The Origins of Wikipedia: How It Came To Be [Geek History Lesson] Read More , MakeUseOf is no longer deserving of its own Wikipedia page. This despite the fact we’ve been online for 10 years, have millions of readers, and are currently ranked the 811th most popular website in the world according to Alexa.

MakeUseOf has also had its articles cited by countless other websites, plus organizations, institutions, schools, and universities over the years. All of which would suggest it’s notable enough to deserve its own Wikipedia entry. But no, Wikipedia disagrees.

MakeUseOf was exorcised from Wikipedia’s database on October 19, 2016. The Next Web was removed a few days earlier on October 13th. AnandTech and Android Central are among those currently being considered for deletion, with Wikipedia editors busy discussing the validity of their entries.

Most of these websites, including MakeUseOf, are being targeted by a single Wikipedia editor called Light2021. Their profile suggests they are on a personal mission to rid Wikipedia of any technology site or startup which doesn’t fit their arbitrary idea of what belongs in an online encyclopedia.

MakeUseOf Responds to the Purge

Wikipedia has not responded to our request for comment. However, Ryan Dube, the managing editor of MakeUseOf, offered his own commentary on current events, saying:


“I get the sense that Wikipedia is attempting to do some kind of purge of entries focused around blogs. However, it seems that the deletions are being carried out without very much research.”

“MakeUseOf has been mentioned countless times over the years in academic and even official government websites as a notable source for valuable, technical knowledge and information.”

“Whether or not Wikipedia is right or wrong in its judgement of MakeUseOf’s ‘notoriety’ is irrelevant. We already know the impact we’re having. I’m confident Wikipedia will eventually catch up with the rest of the world in figuring that out as well.”

Dube also offered several examples of our notoriety, including PC Magazine’s 2011 List of Undiscovered Websites, a Foundora interview with Aibek Esengulov, and the Alaska State Library’s nod to us as a valuable resource when researching Google Forms.

How Do You Feel About This?

Wikipedia is huge, with over 5 million articles currently jostling for position. Therefore, its editors are constantly looking for articles to delete. And that’s their right. However, it seems that this purge is being driven by the bias of certain editors. And that doesn’t serve anyone concerned, least of all the legion of people who use Wikipedia to learn new things 7 Ways To Learn Something New Every Day With Wikipedia Wikipedia is packed full of content. At the time of writing there are over 4 million articles contained within the English language version, with more being added all the time. All of these pages are... Read More .

What do you think of Wikipedia deleting MakeUseOf from its database? Do you agree with us that we’re notable enough to justify inclusion? Or do you agree with Wikipedia’s rushed assessment that our face no longer fits? Please let us know in the comments below!

Oh, and here is Wikipedia’s Contact Us page, just in case that’s of interest to any of you.

Image Credit: Ervins Strauhmanis via Flickr

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  1. Larry Sanger
    December 5, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    As Wikipedia's co-founder, I gotta say I found this story appalling and hard to believe. MakeUseOf and TheNextWeb not notable enough? Are they high?

  2. Bob
    January 18, 2017 at 7:15 am

    Like others have said, Wikipedia isn't reliable anyway so they're hardly any authority on which sites are "notable". I use quotations because tweens are editing based on what they consider notable. There's little to no expert oversight on Wikipedia articles. I can't tell you how many times I've seen an article with "citations needed" at the bottom. On that note I don't think Wikipedia should be considered notable either. MUO is more reliable than Wikipedia.

  3. A41202813GMAIL
    October 25, 2016 at 4:08 am

    Thanks To DELETIONPEDIA Many Deleted Articles, Including MUO, Can Still Be Accessed Freely.

    And, By The Way, They Do Not Like It When Someone Calls Them nazis - I Know That Because I Did It Myself Around DECEMBER 2010.


  4. Adolfo
    October 23, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Remember this next time Wikipedia panders for donations!

    • bjhodge8
      April 29, 2017 at 4:59 pm

      gratify or indulge (an immoral or distasteful desire, need, or habit or a person with such a desire, etc.).
      "newspapers are pandering to people's baser instincts"
      synonyms: indulge, gratify, satisfy, cater to, give in to, accommodate, comply with
      "David was always there to pander to her every whim"

    • bjhodge8
      April 29, 2017 at 5:00 pm

      gratify or indulge (an immoral or distasteful desire, need, or habit or a person with such a desire, etc.).
      "newspapers are pandering to people's baser instincts"
      synonyms: indulge, gratify, satisfy, cater to, give in to, accommodate, comply with
      "David was always there to pander to her every whim"

  5. Kev Quirk
    October 21, 2016 at 9:05 am

    Honestly, I think Wikipedia is quickly becoming a bit of a farce. It's renowned for being wildly inaccurate for a lot of things. Wikipedia is a great idea, but this is the Internet, it can't be controlled. :-)

    • Kelsey Tidwell
      October 25, 2016 at 2:24 am

      I go there for alternate perspectives, or to find a bunch of reference links really quick so I can go read even more alternate perspectives. But it's definitely not my end-all and be-all source of information.

      Wikipedia is like a doctor you visited for the first time about that pain in your side. Better get another opinion before you operate in order to avoid some regrets later.

  6. CyberRanger
    October 20, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    Wikipedia is becoming increasingly irrelevant. It's name means "knowledge of the people" , but it's becoming "knowledge of certain acceptable people." If you or your site violate some vague/unknown rule of the admins, you're gone. That thinking will end Wikipedia.

    When MakeUseOf is still around & Wikipedia is a distant memory, keep that in mind.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 21, 2016 at 12:11 am

      I've been reading reports of Wikipedia editors acting like Nazis for years, and yet the same thing keeps happening. I guess this is the downside of having a crowdsourced encyclopedia.

  7. Rmg
    October 20, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    I would not worry about it, Wikipedia is not a reliable source anyway...

    • Jouni "rautamiekka" Järvinen
      October 20, 2016 at 7:23 pm

      It is. If some just fixed the wrongs instead of complaining while knowing what's wrong.

      • NoWikiei
        October 20, 2016 at 11:50 pm

        It's not. like someone said above, it's a place for a certain kind of people who want to change the world according to their beliefs, and thus it's mostly biased, incorrect. I just read another article which states, there are teen admins too in Wikipedia who writes and edit articles, teen like 13,14. So indeed it's not reliable at all. Professional people write books to earn money, not waste their time on sites like wikipedia.

  8. Edward W
    October 20, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    Anandtech used to be one of my favorite daily go to sites in the early 2000's. I think certain sites should remain as a nod to historical relevance, even if the current state and activity of the site is lacking now.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 20, 2016 at 4:30 pm

      Indeed. It may not be the force it once was, but it's still a well-known entity people will want to learn more about. Which is surely what Wikipedia is there for.

  9. dragonmouth
    October 20, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Can any Tom, Dick or Harry just go in and delete entries from Wikipedia? Isn't there any kind of oversight?

    OTOH, Wikipedia is a private enterprise that can tailor its content any way it sees fit.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 20, 2016 at 4:27 pm

      There is oversight. Basically one editor recommends something for deletion, and they discuss it before making a decision. Some were for our page being deleted, and others were against.

      Of course Wikipedia can do what it wants, but we can still call those actions into question if we want.

  10. Smallbones
    October 20, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Wikipedia was never intended to serve as advertising for your website. You can go pay for advertising elsewhere. Trying to start a campaign to get a Wikipedia article? Sorry, that doesn't make your company more notable - lots of non-notable companies do this. It's more like proof that you are non-notable.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 20, 2016 at 4:23 pm

      We're not looking for advertising. We're saying Wikipedia have made a mistake in deleting our article. It's not like we're asking for them to create an entry for us, we were on there for many years.

      Should Engadget be deleted? Or Gizmodo? Then why us?

    • Kelsey Tidwell
      October 25, 2016 at 2:19 am

      They're notable enough for you to come a-trolling I see.

    • Jeremy
      January 7, 2017 at 12:32 pm

      Ars is notable. Engadget is notable. Reddit is so notable it's almost a lifestyle. Anand's website is notable, but MUO? Came here today for the first time.

      • Larry Sanger
        December 5, 2017 at 6:55 pm

        Hell yes they're "notable."

        Notability is a ridiculous standard for inclusion in an encyclopedia anyway. Wiki is not paper, you eedjits.

  11. Rashid Ali
    October 20, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Oh Heck!! whats wrong with them...!!