In at least some previous years there have been informal agreements with certain Commons admins to keep an eye on things, and notices have been posted on the Admins Noticeboard reminding all admins to watch out for WLM uploads.

There are Commons admins and and editors who are more than willing to help, and have done so in the past. When I looked after WLM-UK in 2013-14 I had a small team of Commons volunteers to help not only with the admin stuff, but also to deal with any category or other enquiries. I may have missed it, but I did not see any requests on Commons this time from the WLM organisers.

As it’s pretty well essential every year to include volunteers from the Commons community, it would make sense to set up a semi-permanent Commons project or task force, with its own page, where volunteers can get together and where liaison with the WLM organisers can take place.

On the specific issue of WLM entries and even winners being deleted, that will always (correctly) happen where uploaders are unaware of copyright problems with their uploads, particularly lack of freedom of panorama in some countries.  What we need to avoid, though, is shortlisted or winning photos being incorrectly deleted before interested parties and knowledgeable editors have had a chance to comment on any Deletion Request. With suitable categories for shortlisted and winning entries, it ought to be perfectly possible to devise a bot that will provide a real-time warning when images are deleted or made the subject of a Deletion Request.

If this seems worth doing, I would be very happy as a Commons admin and crat to help set things up.


31 January 2017 at 3:41 pm

Anyway, as much as I am surprised that no top WLM organizer is a Commons admin (although there's clearly at least one admin on this mailing list),

I beg to differ − Lokal Profil, Romaine, Yarl and myself are members of the international team and sysops on Commons :) [0]

This thread reminded that I planned (and then forgot ^__^) to reach out to the Commons community on behalf of the WLM team, in order to hear their thoughts regarding WLM, how it impacts their workload, etc. Not sure yet how best to do that. Anyhow, feel free to continue posting your thoughts on this list (or to me privately if you prefer) − I’ll compile a summary it for the international team and this list :)

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31 January 2017 at 12:58 pm
Are Commons admins approved temporarily? I know some Wikipedias (including Hebrew) don't have permanent adminship and re-approve admins every once in a while, but it's probably a disastrous policy for Commons if it's the case.

Anyway, as much as I am surprised that no top WLM organizer is a Commons admin (although there's clearly at least one admin on this mailing list), it's possible to get around this, although not easy. Lily has a good channel to the WMF and most of us are long-time users who know many others + many developers. The solution can be technical, and it can come from the WLM: perhaps a new user group that can only see historical revisions and restore without some of the other admin rights, perhaps an options to archive images that "need" to be deleted on groups of Commons policy, but aren't opposed by the foundation's legal team (might be a solution for URAA images as well), etc.

I know that many in the community don't want any WMF interference, and the WMF wants to repair community ties—both are completely understandable. I don't want to suggest that we should interfere with these processes, but do think we can implement some kind of solution on the side. After all, WLM is a big project that costs a ton of resources. Just in terms of money, the WMF (or sometimes local donations) funds it with tens of thousands of dollars, directly or indirectly. It's therefore worth investing a little bit more to technically support projects like WLM.

—Yan (Ynhockey).

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Federico Leva (Nemo)
31 January 2017 at 8:57 am

It's expected on Commons too, see <>.

When mistakes happen on Commons, we're sometimes too quick at generalising. Currently Commons has issues with one or two rampant admins who make semi-random deletions en masse (and even edit war on deletion requests). Hopefully the situation is temporary.


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31 January 2017 at 8:39 am
I've told Jcb about this discussion, reminded them to check for license blanking vandalism and asked if they can check the deleted edits of the license blanker in case they were able to get any other files deleted that way.

I'm not an admin on commons, but where I am an admin it would be expected that you would check the history of a file before deleting it.


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