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Deletionists are beings who are believed by some to be editing Wikimedia Foundation projects. Although most people see these fairy-tale like animals as purely mythical, some subscribers to the wikien-l mailing list claim that not only does this species really exist, but that it is devouring the English Wikipedia!

According to folklore, deletionists hold the point of view that deleting poor articles is the only True Way. This is humorously known as deletionism. Previously thought to be solitary creatures quietly defending their right to remove substubs, recent claims have suggested that deletionists in fact gather in groups, known as cabals.

Certain physical evidence found in deletion logs is cited as proof for the existence of the species. Unusual tracks looking like {{delete}} have allegedly been found scattered on newly written pages. This is held as proof by some that deletionists are real. Rational people dispute this, and suggest that such logs and templates merely show signs that someone is cleaning up the wiki.

The home of the creature is said to be an unusual dwelling known as "AfD". Enthusiasts speculate that the D stands for deletion, and somehow come to the conclusion that deletionists must be present there. Although there is little evidence that deletionists exist at all, there have been large scale attempts to track them down and capture them. Groups of hunters calling themselves inclusionists regularly attempt to lure the deletionists from their homes with cries such as "VfD is broken", hoping to scare them out as they stumble onto the wiki in a desperate attempt to find policies, or other tools, that would help them repair their damaged abodes.

Well-financed expeditions have failed to turn up any positive evidence of their existence, although pages looking remarkably like the supposed home of the creatures have been recorded on numerous occasions. In addition to this, believers have noted that the Wikipedia namespace is so densely populated that there could be vast quantities of deletion policy lurking there unnoticed by all but the deletionist creatures themselves.

After careful examinations of unpersuasive eye-witness reports and statistical evidence, professional wikiologists have concluded that the deletionist is only a legend, with no firm evidence to support the supposition that it ever lived. Supposed evidence and sightings are said to be the product of mythology, folklore, misidentification or hoaxes perpetuated by trolls.

See also deletionism. exclusionist