[WikiEN-l] Changing fair use tags

Fastfission fastfission at gmail.com
Mon Feb 6 00:22:49 UTC 2006

On 2/5/06, Anthony DiPierro <wikilegal at inbox.org> wrote:
> On 2/5/06, Fastfission <fastfission at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I'm not sure what you're getting at here. You seem to be saying that
> > 1. there are instances of images with this template on them which are
> > mistagged and that 2. people might think the tags are correct when
> > they might not be.
> Yes, but also 3) this problem is becoming more and more widespread
> among these types of image tags.

Have any evidence? Most of these tags were revised three months ago as
part of a general overhaul. The hope was that by improving the wording
on the tags and making it more specific, it would be easier to spot
inappropriately applied tags. Checking over all existing media is of
course a much slower affair, but I think the goal was good. And I
haven't seen any big changes of this sort for quite awhile, certainly
not anything which deserves to be called "more and more widespread".

> It's different because when the template changes it makes makes tens
> or hundreds of tags incorrect all at once, as opposed to when an image
> is simply mistagged, that affects only one image.

So, are you arguing that we should never change image templates? Or
that we should go through each one after each change to check if it is
up to date? Give me a break. You want to organize people do to that,
go for it, but it seems like a foolish way to approach this.

Which is not to say that templates of this sort should be changed
often or changed regularly. But these fair use templates have changed,
what, once? At that was for a specific reason, which was discussed
amongst editors both on the 'pedia and on the mailing list. And yeah,
there will be some images for which the template no longer applies.
And when we stumble across them, as good editors, we should change
them. Same as anything else.

> You're right that both are a problem.  The one of changing image tags
> seems to be easier to resolve, though.  Don't change image tags except
> for minor grammatical changes.  If you break that rule, at least go
> through all the tags and remove the tag from the images where it no
> longer applies.  If that's too much work, start a new tag instead of
> changing the existing one.

Well, in an ideal world we'd have hoards of people willing to do this.
In reality we have only a handful. And there have been a number of
re-cat projects. Anyway, if you really think this category should be
gone over with a fine-toothed comb, there are ways to get this

> It is, of course, possible to define when a tag is supposed to be used
> without rewriting the actual text of the tag.  Personally I'd suggest
> that policy changes should not be enacted by changing the text of
> templates, but that's just me.  Another possible solution would be to
> remove the tag from the images where it no longer applies - a job
> which most naturally would fall upon the person changing the tag.

This was raised on this list and on multiple places on the 'pedia
months ago when it was undertaken. Nobody voiced any real objections,
and lots of people were supportive. I don't know where you were then
but this wasn't something which was just done out of the blue and
without any notification and deliberation. The goal was a re-haul of
the fair use templates from their original forms ("This image is fair
use") to something which would encourage better tagging and better
understanding of fair use ("This image, when used in X and Y fashion,
should be fair use"). Personally I think it has done a lot of work in
getting people to better use fair use tags and helping people decide
whether or not a given image is properly tagged.

> It seems to me that the result is quite obviously a bad thing - lots
> of images are mistagged.  I don't really understand how you can
> suggest that there's nothing wrong with that.

All I'm suggesting is that a unilateral dismissal of all change is
foolish, and that not everything gets fixed overnight. And that there
are actually places to discuss this thing if you are really trying to
get things fixed, rather than just to complain.

> Probably.  But if a tag isn't correctly applied, what's the point of
> having it in the first place?  Seriously, I'd rather have no tag at
> all than have an incorrect one.  Image tags were originally
> descriptive, not prescriptive, and frankly I see no reason that should
> be changed.

Because it wasn't working AT ALL originally. There is some backward
implementation which needs to be done, but the newer tags are, I
think, better on every level in moving forward.


More information about the WikiEN-l mailing list