At the moment there are about 40 CommonsTickers (CT) set up. That is
quite good coverage, considering that a project is likely to need a
certain critical mass before it can support a CT. We have all the top
10 Wikipedias except English, of course (due to technical reasons).
There are another 35 Wikipedias that have 10,000-100,000 articles and
increasing our coverage there is definitely something to work on.
As CT coverage increases so does scrutiny of Commons admin actions,
namely, deletion of images that are still being used.
Why does this happen? Not because "Commons admins are arrogant and
don't care about local projects" (gee, that's defensive :)) but
because it's too much menial and manual work that arguably should not
fall on our shoulders. Or at least not solely.
I think we should adopt a clear policy that images shown to be in use
by CheckUsage should not be deleted unless:
* the image is currently being used by a vandal in a mass vandal
attack (this is rare, but appropriate to stop a vandal)
* [[en:w:WP:OFFICE]]-style intervention from Jimbo et al.
And also, we should create further ways of sharing responsibility with
the local projects and reducing menial tasks required by delinking.
One way which might help a bit, would be to create a tag (possibly
invisible) that would trigger a notice on CTs that said, "please
delink this image now or risk redlinks!" At the moment it seems
projects are not paying enough attention, perhaps. For example...
Image:Princesymbol.png - on 30th June I re-tagged this as a copyvio,
in an attempt to get the dozen-odd projects linking to it, to stop
doing so. On the 4th August it was deleted by another admin. Today, on
the 7th of August, it's _still_ being used by two projects (despite
being deleted) - ja: and fr:. Two of the top 5 projects!
So on one hand we have local projects upset at us for deleting images
in use and on the other we have projects who seem not to even care
when we notify them. It is a difficult balance to walk.
Another easy and obvious way is to get [[User:Orgullobot]] delinking
for us. User:Orgullomoore is happy to implement the bot with
translations and we have a good 40 languages already done. I have
thought we should wait until the single login is implemented before we
do this, but it's been 6+ months "coming soon", so I think we should
go ahead and if single login happens, well good for it.
If projects complain about an unregistered bot, they can
a) get a CT and delink themselves
b) live with redlinks
the only exception being en.wp where the bot should be registered.
(because en.wp technically can't have a CT yet, no other reason)
Having this policy ("images shown to be in use by CheckUsage should
not be deleted") will do a few things:
* send a clear message to projects that we are not interested in damaging them
* allow us as a community to start examining our own actions more
clearly. Commons at the moment has no process or practice to
discourage reckless admin actions, partly because we've had this
ambiguous policy of allowing used-images to be deleted (ambiguous in
that it is policy, but can be very damaging). If we are clear that
this is not acceptable, we can be clear when our admins are in the
wrong and we can start a process, for example, "3 strikes and you're
out": 3 occasions of images being used and deleted (possibly in a
timeline, eg one year)-> automatic de-admin. You can forget once,
CheckUsage could be lagging twice, but three times... I don't think
so. (Note 3 occasions, not 3 images.)
I am not saying all the fault is Commons admins and they're terrible.
But we do make mistakes (as do all admins on all projects), sometimes
we do screw things up, and we should be prepared to be held
responsible on those occasions. That would be adult.
* it will probably increase the deletion backlog. After a period of
frustration with the unwinnable War on Copyvios, I've come to a
Zen-like acceptance that Commons, like all wikis, will always be a
work in progress, will never be a clean professional database -
because it's an ad-hoc arrangement run by volunteers. There will
probably always be thousands of images awaiting deletion. So in the
long run, whether we delete copyvios today or tomorrow probably
doesn't matter. Deleting them tomorrow (that is, with no urgency) has
the added bonus of pissing off fewer people. I like it.
Sorry for being so verbose. Doubtlessly people disagree with me. If
you have other ideas about how to solve this problem, or constructive
criticism, I welcome it.
Sorry about the quoting. I just joined and I'm copying this from the
archives. The issue is important so at the risk of breaking quoting
netiquette I just have to argument with the practical points which Brianna
"One way which might help a bit, would be to create a tag (possibly
invisible) that would trigger a notice on CTs that said, 'please delink
this image now or risk redlinks!'"
This already exists. From simple: "+VfD Conscious puts deletion marker
Duplicate on Image:IC_(400x).jpeg" and "+VfD Wikipeder puts deletion
marker Copyvio on Image:Hésiode.jpg". CommonsTickers should have
instructions on what to do in these cases. And some do:
From de-wiki on +VfD (translated loosely): Check the image and if
necessary comment on Commons. If the image is properly marked for a speedy
deletion, remove the image from use and, if possible, replace with a free
From fi-wiki on +VfD (translated loosely): Check the image and if
necessary comment on Commons. Specifically:
"puts deletion marker": replace the image
"copyvio, logo, noncommercial, speedydelete": If valid, take image out of
Note, that I have specifically adviced against removing images marked with
subst:nsd or what ever. If the deletion request is removed and proper
source is given, no one in fi-wiki could know it if someone had delinked
the image. In fi-wiki I have adviced to remove images only in the two
cases mentioned above and naturally also after the image really is gone.
The problem is that less than 10 tickers have any instructions.
"So on one hand we have local projects upset at us for deleting images in
use and on the other we have projects who seem not to even care when we
notify them. It is a difficult balance to walk."
On the third, the largest, hand we have projects that are just fine. I've
never heard a complaint from most of the wikis and not even from fi-wiki -
although they have had the opportunity. And do we have projects upset at
us, or just induhviduals from them? I actually find it very strange that
some users (like two ever) come to Commons to blame the admins. They
should go yell at the person who uploaded an image or who took it in use
in a local project.
All in all, I don't see a reason to change anything in the way we delete
images and I don't think that anyone should remove links to images marked
with subst:nsd/nld/delete/deletionrequest/deletebecause. However, I don't
oppose to having a bot that removes links to images *after* an image has
> interiot wrote:
> Okay, do individuals' deletion totals need to be made opt-in then?
Not sure - I would have thought that is uncritical, but Paddy's comments
on Commons-l imply the opposite.
> If I have a question about whether specific feature is okay, who is the best person to ask?
I think it would be a very good idea to ask the Foundation to develop a
privacy guideline for MediaWiki and tool developers.
> Does a user's total number of edits count as "intelligence that is not relevant to Wikipedia activity"?
Since several wikis have policies requiring a minimum number of edits to
the main namespace, etc, it *is* relevant. OTOH, I'm a bit undecided if
it's really OK to expose this information without asking.
Ideally, new users would be presented with a text explaining what data
they expose when they contribute, and how this may be analyzed. This may
even be made a click-through part of the account creation process.
Also ideally, users would be able to state which types of analysis they
want to allow. Perhaps a simple scheme of "no statistics", "simple
statistics" and "detailed statistics" would be enough, with a default of
"simple". "Simple" statistics would basically be total counts (number of
edits, maybe per namespace, number of deletions, etc), "detailed" would
be "anything goes". A per-project policy could then require admins to at
least allow simple statistics, or something like that.
I'm not sure if this would be feasible and/or legally sound. I'm just
PS: sorry for cross-posting again. I guess this discussion should be
moved to the foundation list or something.
"Brianna Laugher" <brianna.laugher(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> Another easy and obvious way is to get [[User:Orgullobot]] delinking
> for us. User:Orgullomoore is happy to implement the bot with
> translations and we have a good 40 languages already done. I have
> thought we should wait until the single login is implemented before we
> do this, but it's been 6+ months "coming soon", so I think we should
> go ahead and if single login happens, well good for it.
maybe someone is able to created a bot like CommonismNow, that can be
operated by any user, who is registered with the bot. Maybe it would even be
able to unlink images as fast as Checkusage scans them. Maybe I can win
de:user:HardDisk for this, after he returns from vacation.
PS: Brianna, decent POVs you mentioned in your posting!