Magnus Manske wrote:
Increase the number of admins, which will increase the number of deletions.
True, but also increases the number of controversial deletions; on a
normal project, any time you delete something, you risk being yelled at
by the people on that project. On Commons, you risk being yelled at by
everybody involved with Wikimedia. That's a lot of pressure to put on
someone, especially when they can't easily leave a "Hey, I noticed
[image] seems to need deletion, but you're using it" message (because we
have hundreds of languages, and nobody can hope to speak them all).
Have a bot automatically delete files in certain categories that have
been there since X days.
The vandals will love this one: "Hey, want to really wreak havoc? Go
start tagging images with this category. Do it to images with
descriptions in small languages, where there's not likely to be anyone
who can tell you're actually vandalizing, or anyone watching the image
to know to untag it. Even better if you do it to a hundred at a time;
they'll assume you're a good contributor, and won't eve ask you
questions! Then, this bot will come along and delete it for you, and
they won't be able to get it back!"
I would expect that most problematic uploads come from new users.
Disable the creation of new users (or their ability to upload) while the
total backlog is >X files (no pun intended).
Mmmm, DOS opportunity from the
same vandals: Tag all kinds of images, no
matter what they are, with deletion notices, it will stop new user
creation [or uploads by new users] until they can get it back down.
Don't worry, even if they revert you, you'll still DOS them for a while,
waste thier time, and by the time they've caught you and started
reverting, you'll have another account and be doing it again!
Have a messaage displayed prominently to put social
pressure on the admins ;-)
Attention, admins: Quickly, resign adminship, because no matter what
you're doing, you're going to be blamed for the problem! Oh, and note to
vandals: All the admins are resigning, now's the time to hit, because
there's even less of them to stop you!
(disclaimer: I am not an admin on commons)
Now, don't get me wrong, my responses above are comically
over-dramatized to make the point. They're all good ideas (except that
last one, don't blame the admins!), they're just prone to abuse, and
with the language-barriers and lack of staff on Commons, it'd be an open
and waiting target.
I am a Commons admin, and the thing that scares me most about Commons
admin work is deletion: Almost everything on Commons, if deleted, cannot
be recovered, and Commons materials are used on all Wikimedia projects.
There are good tools, like the one that checks usage on other projects,
and I'm glad we have them, but we still have the problem that there is a
major language barrier, and very low participation from projects.
However, the thing that would make me feel most comfortable deleting
would be a way of getting things back. If deleted images could be
recovered, I'd have no problem whatsoever with deleting things in those
categories left and right. And, it solves the problems raised above with
the idea of deleting by bot: As long as we know we can get it back, why not?
I'm sure that the reason images aren't recoverable is an issue of space:
We don't have the server space to store tens of thousands of images that
were deemed unwanted. Likewise, we don't want to be holding on to copies
of images that could get us in trouble, like copyvios. However, it would
be incredibly useful to be able to restore an image that shouldn't have
been deleted. I wonder if it wouldn't be possible to hold on to deleted
images for a period of time, and to then have them be automatically
purged. Though I've never gone to a deleted page and been unable to
restore content, I'm told that it is possible for very old deleted pages
to be purged off entirely, so I wonder if something similar couldnt' be
done for images.
It seems to me that an image being deleted is something you would
probably notice right away (at least within, say, 7 days) if the image
was really important; would it be possible to make it so that deleted
images were kept for 7 days, an then purged after that? Even if it was
only done on Commons (and it strikes me, it would be a feature that
other wikis would want as well, to deal with the possibility of a
compromised/rouge admin account) it would help tremendously, because we
would no longer have to worry about being in hot water if we deleted
something that was mistagged. It might produce a space problem for the
first week, while we were all cutting through the 12,000 image backlog,
but after that, it seems to me the space requirement of just holding on
to things for a week wouldn't be that much. (I'm not a programmer, but
common sense suggests moving an image from a to b doesn't really
increase the amount of space required by the image, it just adds a log
entry, which should be fairly cheap.)
Since we have a developer on the list, thinking about possible solutions
<lays out a carrot under a box to trap Magnus> perhaps he could provide
us with some more information on what would be needed to make this
happen, and perhaps even provide the needed code to make it happen.
I'll pledge, personally, to delete at least 1,000 of the backlogged
images if this is implemented.
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