Kill The Hostage

This is a DramaticIdentity for the WikiPage. We do not want to KillTheHostage.

But a save and temporary delete of pages may be required to LetHotPagesCool.

When in a heated EditWar with a persistent party, it's often better to save a copy of the page in question and let it be deleted. When tempers die down, the page can be restored and stand on its own merits.

Killing the hostage in such a way has the effect of ending the EditWar immediately. The deleting party is not going to suddenly restore the page on their own accord (if they do, great!), and yet has nothing else they can do. Eventually they get bored and the page can safely be restored.

If the page in question is still deleted even after opposing party has left, consider the possibility that it is OffTopic and doesn't belong on Wiki anyway: DeleteOnceRestoreOnce.

This is reminiscent of the opening scenes in the movie Speed, where two cops are discussing the best way to separate a hostage from a hostage-taker - the suggestion is to ShootTheHostage?, making it impossible for the criminal to move with the hostage. Of course, it should be pointed out that what was being discussed was shooting the hostage in the leg, inflicting a non-lethal wound and preventing the hostage from moving on his/her own power; not killing the hostage. But the effect appears similar - they both remove a bargaining chip from the recalcitrant person. An example of actually killing the hostage can be found in the movie TheUsualSuspects, where Verbal tells how the criminal Keyser Soze shot and killed his own wife and children when they were used as hostages against him.


Hmm... I was at the range once during a hostage rescue paper target exercise. One guy, on his first attempt, missed the terrorist but put a round right in the forehead of the female hostage image. He said, "Sorry, lady," and the range exploded with laughter.

Our real aim should not be so crude as to kill the hostage when there is a larger enemy to be taken down; namely, the kind of mean-spirited destruction that wanton page deletion represents. Don't kill the hostage. Target the real source of the problem and deal with that.

Occasionally, cops do shoot and kill hostages accidentally...

... And that is reflected in movies?

This could be a very interesting facet in game theory, in fact the whole idea of wiki is one big experiment in game theory.

See also ExponentialBackoffEditing

-- last refactor by AalbertTorsius, when lots of people were engaging in EditWar of Feb05.

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