The Damned Commons Image Deletion Cycle

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The Damned Commons Image Deletion Cycle

George William Herbert
I have just had to deal with this - AGAIN - and would like to rail for a
moment, hoping to provoke discussion to promote change.  I posit that this
is big enough to deserve a Foundation-wide venue for initial discussion so
am including Wikitech-L.

Most of us are probably familiar with the cycle:

Person A on en.wp (or, any project) uploads an image which is apparently
public domain or free use by any reasonable standard.  It gets put on
article X.  There is much rejoicing.

Person B later thinks "Oh, this is something other projects might use, and
it's 'free', so..." and uploads it to Commons.  It then gets deleted at
en.wp by a helpful bot.

Person C on Commons later identifies that it fails to be an entirely free
piece under the much-stricter Commons rules, due to some factor that A and
B were unaware of.  Person C nominates it for deletion there.  Poof.  Gone.

Now, we have NO image, for something that is sufficiently legal under our
rules and the law for use on en.wp (and likely, most of the rest of the
projects).  A delinker bot helpfully comes along and nukes references to
the image off the pages that used to have it.  Maintainers who miss the bot
edit fail to notice that it's gone.  Many months or years go along and
finally someone notices, and either is an admin and restores the image on
en.wp or finds an admin who restores it on en.wp.


Now, for someone who sees images as an integral part of the total
READERSHIP value we present, in terms of helping people understand things
by drawing their attention and expressing ideas and history in a visual
manner, the long periods where we've lost all image are mind-numbingly
counter to our core mission.  That we've evolved into this cycle due to
bureaucratic friction does not make it acceptable.


PROPOSED: This is not acceptable.  Something must be done.

SUGGESTED FIX #1: Create a parallel "Uncommons" project, for shared images
which meet minimum project legal non-copyvio standards but do not meet the
threshold Commons is insisting on (or we have defined Commons to be).  This
requires coding in the WMF to allow a parallel project as image source, and
would require that Commons' deletion process be modified such that
deletions for copyright niggles be a shift-to-Uncommons rather than an
outright delete.

SUGGESTED FIX #2: Stop deleting things from local projects when they're
uploaded to commons.  This requires additional diskspace from the
Foundation (by some as-yet unknown amount).  Ops team - Could you attempt
to determine if this would be significant, troublesome, small enough to not
be significant, etc?


These are not the only two possible solutions, but they come to mind
immediately (and have previously when I thought of this).  Additional fix
concepts solicited and welcomed.


--
-george william herbert
[hidden email]
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Re: [Wikitech-l] The Damned Commons Image Deletion Cycle

George William Herbert
On Mon, Aug 5, 2013 at 12:43 AM, Tyler Romeo <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Mon, Aug 5, 2013 at 3:40 AM, Huib Laurens <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Suggestion 3: Restore the file on en.wiki if it gets deleted on
> Commons...
> > No coding needed at all.
> >
>
> This right here. It should be trivial to just have an admin restore the
> deleted file.


I am an admin, it took about five minutes to find the proper file name and
undelete it again.

HOWEVER - this was 16 months after it was deleted in the first place.

The imperfect nature of people catching such changes in watchlists is the
problem.  This means that the delay until local restore can be arbitrarily
long on non-super-popular pages.

IF the Commons upload were to include the origin file / project and require
the deleter at commons to notify en.wp admins to restore it there, that
would solve the problem.

Or, alternately, we could require that the image be added to all the
constituent projects now using the file in article space upon commons
deletion (undelete on the origin, add it to the projects for other ones
that started using it).  Put the onus on commons deleters to do that and
make it a policy requirement that they did.

I put wikien-l back in the cc list as these are non-technical proposals and
would require ... I guess, commons process.  I don't know what the commons
list is, and am not on it to be able to post to it.


--
-george william herbert
[hidden email]
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Re: [Wikitech-l] The Damned Commons Image Deletion Cycle

David Gerard-2
On 5 August 2013 08:53, George Herbert <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I put wikien-l back in the cc list as these are non-technical proposals and
> would require ... I guess, commons process.  I don't know what the commons
> list is, and am not on it to be able to post to it.


commons-l, but the actual decisions are made on Commons.


- d.

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Re: [Wikitech-l] The Damned Commons Image Deletion Cycle

George William Herbert
In reply to this post by George William Herbert
On Mon, Aug 5, 2013 at 12:54 AM, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 5 August 2013 08:43, Tyler Romeo <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On Mon, Aug 5, 2013 at 3:40 AM, Huib Laurens <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> >> Suggestion 3: Restore the file on en.wiki if it gets deleted on
> Commons...
> >> No coding needed at all.
>
> > This right here. It should be trivial to just have an admin restore the
> > deleted file.
>
>
> Or, indeed, for the delinker bot to mark it for restoration.
>

...if the same filename was used in Commons as in the source wiki.  That
does not solve the "now used on other wikis" problem, however, for those
other wikis.

That is quite possibly a least-effort trajectory however...


--
-george william herbert
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Re: The Damned Commons Image Deletion Cycle

geni
In reply to this post by George William Herbert
On 5 August 2013 08:36, George Herbert <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
> These are not the only two possible solutions, but they come to mind
> immediately (and have previously when I thought of this).  Additional fix
> concepts solicited and welcomed.
>

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Do_not_move_to_Commons

Already exists.


--
geni
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Re: The Damned Commons Image Deletion Cycle

George William Herbert

Do you want to apply that to all millionish of our local media files, or do you want me to?

(ducks)


George William Herbert
Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 5, 2013, at 5:05 PM, geni <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 5 August 2013 08:36, George Herbert <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>>
>>
>> These are not the only two possible solutions, but they come to mind
>> immediately (and have previously when I thought of this).  Additional fix
>> concepts solicited and welcomed.
>>
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Do_not_move_to_Commons
>
> Already exists.
>
>
> --
> geni
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l

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Re: The Damned Commons Image Deletion Cycle

Alan Liefting
In reply to this post by George William Herbert

On 5/08/2013 7:36 p.m., George Herbert wrote:
> I have just had to deal with this - AGAIN - and would like to rail for a
> moment, hoping to provoke discussion to promote change.  I posit that this
> is big enough to deserve a Foundation-wide venue for initial discussion so
> am including Wikitech-L.
>
It is probably one of the causes of the increasing backlog at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Articles_with_missing_files
I had tried to clear the backlog but it is futile.

A


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Re: The Damned Commons Image Deletion Cycle

Jonathan Cardy
Suggested Fix 3, this is a problem of deletionism, and the best way to deal
with delietionism is to stop deleting things and seek alternate solutions.
In this case Commons deletion discussions need a "return to source Wiki"
option as opposed to deletion of files migrated from other wikis. And those
versions of Wikipedia that allow "Fair Use" need to think about importing
files from each other, or even looking for files on more than one other
wiki - first look on Commons and then look on those wikipedia that have the
same fair use policy. But if Commons were to close more deletion debates as
"it may be allowed there but not here so move it back" then most of the
problem would go away.

The corollary of this and the obvious fourth option is to stop accepting
"fair use" images and only host ones that are genuinely freely licensed

Jonathan

On 6 August 2013 03:04, Alan Liefting <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> On 5/08/2013 7:36 p.m., George Herbert wrote:
>
>> I have just had to deal with this - AGAIN - and would like to rail for a
>> moment, hoping to provoke discussion to promote change.  I posit that this
>> is big enough to deserve a Foundation-wide venue for initial discussion so
>> am including Wikitech-L.
>>
>>  It is probably one of the causes of the increasing backlog at
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/**Category:Articles_with_**missing_files<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Articles_with_missing_files>
> I had tried to clear the backlog but it is futile.
>
>
> A
>
>
> ______________________________**_________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/**mailman/listinfo/wikien-l<https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l>
>
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Re: The Damned Commons Image Deletion Cycle

Matthew Brown-5
The problem is not just one of fair user images.  A lot of the problem (at
least when I dealt with it in the past) was about freely licensed images
that were deemed unfit for commons because of things like trademarks, right
of panorama, privacy rights of individuals, etc.  English-language projects
tend to take US law as a guide on those; Commons does less so, and things
that are generally considered OK in the US are not necessarily permitted
worldwide.

-Matthew


On Tue, Aug 6, 2013 at 12:11 AM, WereSpielChequers <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> Suggested Fix 3, this is a problem of deletionism, and the best way to deal
> with delietionism is to stop deleting things and seek alternate solutions.
> In this case Commons deletion discussions need a "return to source Wiki"
> option as opposed to deletion of files migrated from other wikis. And those
> versions of Wikipedia that allow "Fair Use" need to think about importing
> files from each other, or even looking for files on more than one other
> wiki - first look on Commons and then look on those wikipedia that have the
> same fair use policy. But if Commons were to close more deletion debates as
> "it may be allowed there but not here so move it back" then most of the
> problem would go away.
>
> The corollary of this and the obvious fourth option is to stop accepting
> "fair use" images and only host ones that are genuinely freely licensed
>
> Jonathan
>
> On 6 August 2013 03:04, Alan Liefting <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> >
> > On 5/08/2013 7:36 p.m., George Herbert wrote:
> >
> >> I have just had to deal with this - AGAIN - and would like to rail for a
> >> moment, hoping to provoke discussion to promote change.  I posit that
> this
> >> is big enough to deserve a Foundation-wide venue for initial discussion
> so
> >> am including Wikitech-L.
> >>
> >>  It is probably one of the causes of the increasing backlog at
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/**Category:Articles_with_**missing_files<
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Articles_with_missing_files>
> > I had tried to clear the backlog but it is futile.
> >
> >
> > A
> >
> >
> > ______________________________**_________________
> > WikiEN-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/**mailman/listinfo/wikien-l<
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l>
> >
> _______________________________________________
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>
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Re: The Damned Commons Image Deletion Cycle

Alan Liefting
In reply to this post by Jonathan Cardy
Having to delete things will be an ongoing problem because adding things
is quite easy to do, so inevitably stuff that is not suitable will
always be present and eventually put up for deletion.  The old
deletionist vs inclusionist and open vs restricted access arguments some
into play.

Alan


On 6/08/2013 7:11 p.m., WereSpielChequers wrote:

> Suggested Fix 3, this is a problem of deletionism, and the best way to deal
> with delietionism is to stop deleting things and seek alternate solutions.
> In this case Commons deletion discussions need a "return to source Wiki"
> option as opposed to deletion of files migrated from other wikis. And those
> versions of Wikipedia that allow "Fair Use" need to think about importing
> files from each other, or even looking for files on more than one other
> wiki - first look on Commons and then look on those wikipedia that have the
> same fair use policy. But if Commons were to close more deletion debates as
> "it may be allowed there but not here so move it back" then most of the
> problem would go away.
>
> The corollary of this and the obvious fourth option is to stop accepting
> "fair use" images and only host ones that are genuinely freely licensed
>
> Jonathan


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