[Foundation-l] An image filter proposal from German Wikipedia

Andreas Kolbe jayen466 at yahoo.com
Fri Oct 14 23:40:28 UTC 2011

An editor on the German Wikipedia has proposed an alternative approach to the personal image filter -- I provided a translation here 



1. There is no central
categorisation of all images in different filter categories.

2. Instead, a new "hidden" attribute is
introduced in Mediawiki when adding an image. "hidden" has the
following effects:

   - Unregistered users see the image
"hidden", meaning it is not visible.

   - One click on a show/hide button displays the
image, another click renders it invisible again.

3. For registered users, there is a new option for
"hidden images" in the user preferences: a) invisible, b) visible.

4. There are no separate

5. One and the same image can be "hidden"
in one article, and "not hidden" in another (principle of least

6. The same image can be "hidden" in an
article in one language version (e.g. Arabic Wikipedia) and "not
hidden" in an article in another language version (e.g. French Wikipedia).
Each language version has its own community and can determine the use of the
attribute according to its own guidelines and policies. Cultural aspects can
thus be given due consideration. This is exactly analogous to the current
principles informing article illustration.

7. This solution would leave it to the individual
wikis to decide which images are encyclopaedically relevant (informative,
illustrative) – but still "critical/controversial" – in which
articles. Images of spiders could be handled in the same way as images of
Muhammad, sex or violence.

8. The presentation of images outside of the article
context – e.g. in galleries for Commons categories or Commons search results –
would require a separate solution, perhaps to be implemented in a subsequent


What I like about this proposal is its simplicity and elegance. It has the great benefit of leaving the communities and content writers in charge of where and to what extent they use the filter, and it also includes non-logged-in users. 


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