Commons:Deletion policy

From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository
Jump to: navigation, search
This project page in other languages:
Alemannisch | asturianu | brezhoneg | català | čeština | dansk | Deutsch | English | Esperanto | español | français | magyar | italiano | <!-
Deletion (all)
Fairytale Trash Questionmark-05.svg


  • Deletion policy

This page sets out the deletion policy of Wikimedia Commons. For simplicity, images, sound files, videos, source files and other files are referred to as "files", and galleries, categories, templates, talk and other pages are referred to as "pages". This page does not explain copyright issues and the Commons licensing policy. See Commons:Licensing instead.

Overview of procedures

There are 3 main deletion procedures. These are applied in different cases, depending on the reason for deletion:

  1. Speedy deletion: in some cases files may be deleted more or less immediately. If you are absolutely certain that the deletion of a page or file falls in the speedy deletion criteria such as an upload error of yours, a clear copyvio, "non-free" and such (more outlined in detail below) the file is a candidate for speedy deletion. All affected (tagged) files can be found below Category:Candidates for speedy deletion.
  2. Deletion tagging: for a variety of situations there are specialised templates to apply, which result in deletion after a time (often 7 days) if the problem hasn't been resolved.
  3. Regular deletion: If there may be the need for discussion (which is in many cases the recommended way especially if you are new to Commons and have concerns about licensing issues), the file/page should be listed as a deletion request. In any case involving doubt, use deletion request instead of asking for speedy deletion. Please tag the file/page in those cases with {{delete}} and please don't forget to give a reason below the tag and to add the image at Commons:Deletion requests and inform the uploader.

In all cases consider using GlobalUsage to get some idea of where images are in use before deletion.

Reasons for deletion

Legal issues

Copyright violation

The speedy deletion tag {{copyvio}} is for obvious copyright violations. Use {{copyvio|1=Reason}} or {{copyvio|source=URL}} to explain why it's a copyright violation. Note that if a media file or article is a suspected but not clear copyright violation, it should be placed on Commons:Deletion requests.

Missing legal information

If there is some licensing information missing, then the file gets tagged as missing information and the uploader is informed and given 7 days time to correct the problem. After this period the file can be deleted by an admin on sight without further debate, if the information is indeed missing. All affected (tagged) files can be found below Category:Missing legal information.

Files missing source or licensing information should be tagged with one of the following messages.

  • {{subst:nsd}} (no/missing source, tagged by date)
  • {{subst:nld}} (no/incomplete licensing information, tagged by date)
  • {{subst:npd}} (no/missing permission, tagged by date)
  • {{subst:dw-nsd}} (derivative work, no/missing original source, tagged by date)

Please notify the uploaders that you have tagged the file as well (see notes on the templates after tagging a file with them). After this they will have 7 days to fix the information.

If after this period of time sufficient license and source information is provided, the tag should be removed. If it is not fixed, the file is then eligible for speedy deletion. However, you should not list such files for deletion or speedy deletion. Because they are tagged by date, an administrator can automatically see which ones are eligible for deletion by navigating subcategories of Category:Missing legal information.

Non-free licenses and fair use

Per Commons licensing policy, Wikimedia Commons accepts only free content, that is, images and other media files that can be used by anyone, anytime, for any purpose. Commons also does not host "fair use" copies of non-free content (see Commons:Fair use), other than some non-free symbols of the WMF projects.

  • Files licensed only under a non-free license (like fair use, noncommercial or permission-only) may be speedy-deleted using the {{speedydelete}} tag (be sure to give a reason: {{speedydelete|Reason}}).
  • The speedy deletion tag {{fair use}} is for files that have been tagged with a fair use rationale.

Other licensing/copyright issues

A file or page can be listed for deletion on Commons:Deletion requests in the following cases:

  • The file/page has an unclear copyright status but the method described at Missing legal information cannot be used.
  • The file/page violates the licensing guidelines in some other way than being a clear copyright violation.

Privacy

The tag {{speedydelete}} is available for speedy deletion nominations where there is not a more specific speedy deletion tag. Don't forget to add a reason like this: {{speedydelete|Reason}}. Such cases include:

Out of scope

Not educationally useful

  • The file is not realistically useful for an educational purpose. Examples of files that are not realistically useful include:
    • Private image collections, e.g. private party photos, photos of yourself and your friends, your collection of holiday snaps and so on. There are plenty of other projects on the Internet you can use for such a purpose, such as Flickr. Such private image collections do not become educational even if displayed as a gallery on a user page on Commons or elsewhere.
    • Self-created artwork without obvious educational use.
    • Files that add nothing educationally distinct to the collection of images we already hold covering the same subject, especially if they are of poor or mediocre quality.

Self-promotion or vandalism/attack

  • Advertising or self-promotion.
  • Files apparently created and/or uploaded for the purpose of vandalism or attack. Pre-existing designs and symbols that are or have been associated with nationalistic, religious or racist causes are not out of scope solely because they may cause offence. Provided they are legal to host and otherwise fall within Commons scope (e.g. if they could for example be used to illustrate a Wikipedia article on a hate group) they should be kept.

Social issues

Photographs of identifiable people

Commons respects the legal rights of the subjects of our photographs and has a moral obligation to behave ethically with regard to photographs of people. This means certain photographs are unacceptable on Commons without appropriate consent from the subject. See Commons:Photographs of identifiable people.

Courtesy deletions

Even when not required to do so for legal or other policy reasons, Commons may at times choose to delete images, for example as a goodwill gesture to a photographer who has made a mistake. See Commons:Courtesy deletions.

Maintenance

General: speedy deletion

The tag {{speedydelete}} is available for speedy deletion nominations where there is not a more specific speedy deletion tag. Don't forget to add a reason like this: {{speedydelete|Reason}}. Such cases include:

Files
  • Corrupted, infected by a virus, unintentionally blank, etc. (if in doubt, list it on Commons:Deletion requests as an unknown format/content)
  • Has previously been deleted under Commons deletion guidelines
  • Was uploaded with the intent to be used solely for purposes of vandalism, personal attacks, and/or spamming
Pages
  • Empty and has no significant history
  • Patent nonsense, a test or vandalism
  • A user page or subpage whose deletion has been requested by the user
  • A user page or subpage of a nonexistent user
  • A redirect over which another page must be moved
  • A redirect to a nonexistent page
  • A category with no content or containing only a parent category
  • A talk page of deleted content (unless they contain anything worth saving)

General: deletion nomination

Files/pages should be listed at Commons:Deletion requests if

  • The content of the file/page cannot be determined (consider tagging with {{description missing}}).

Naming issues

  • Please don't upload files again to change file names. To rename files, use {{rename|new_name|numeric rationale|additional reason}}.

Duplicates

Shortcut
COM:Dupe

If the file is the same file type and you're sure that it is exactly the same content (colours, quality, etc) tag it with {{duplicate|File:example.jpg}} and give for the parameter (File:example.jpg) the file which can replace this duplicate file.

  • A bitmap (PNG, JPEG or GIF) file superseded by a vector graphic is not considered to be exact enough a duplicate. Such files ought to be listed at Commons:Deletion requests so that they may be decided upon, case by case.
  • If one of the duplicate copies of the image was uploaded by the author, keep that version, and redirect the others.
  • If there are varying descriptions in the different image description pages, ensure all the relevant information is merged into the copy to be preserved.
  • After deleting the duplicate, redirect the deleted filename unless it is misleading or a very recent upload. (This avoids breaking links from external reusers of images.)

Note: if it is a work that is very similar (or identical) to another, but not an exact duplicate, it's a redundant file, which mandates a different procedure. See below.

Redundant/bad quality

Shortcut
COM:Redundant

Redundant or low quality files only get deleted on a case by case basis after they are listed at Commons:Deletion requests. At deletion requests you will need to provide reasons why a particular file is inferior to the alternative version. (Note: for more information read Commons talk:Superseded images policy.)

If it is agreed that the image should be deleted after the normal time for discussion at Deletion Requests has passed you will need to replace all instances where the image is used with the superior file. You can find where the image is being used via GlobalUsage. After all replacements have been made an admin will delete the image.

Before requesting that a file be deleted please consider other Wikimedia projects that might still need to use it. If in doubt do not request deletion.

Template Usage
{{duplicate}} For files that are exactly the same or scaled down
{{superseded}} If a better file of the same theme was uploaded
{{supersededPNG}} For raster graphics (especially JPEG) that have been superseded by PNG images
{{vector version available}} When a vector version exists

In case of a redundant page (not file) consider simply making it a redirect.

Procedures in detail

Speedy deletion

There are certain instances when a file needs to be speedy deleted and under which an administrator can delete pages, images and other files on sight. For some cases there are specific speedy deletion tags (see above); otherwise, the generic tag {{speedydelete}} is available. Don't forget to add a reason like this: {{speedydelete|Reason}} (see Commons:Criteria for speedy deletion for acceptable criteria).

An administrator will delete the file/page in due time. If anyone disagrees with the speedy deletion of a particular file, please convert to a regular deletion request (see below). Always make sure that all local links to a file or page are corrected and updated before deletion. The files/pages listed for speedy deletion are included automatically in Category:Candidates for speedy deletion and its subcategories.

Please always remember: Before deleting images in speedy deletion, make sure that the user has placed it there in accordance with these deletion guidelines. If not, please modify the template, moving it off of this page. Always check the file history to determine that the proper image description has not been vandalised.

When speedy-deleting files, it is suggested but not required to run GlobalUsage in order to fix uses on Wikimedia projects.

Deletion tagging

In some cases a file may be tagged with a "problem tag", and will be deleted if the problem is not resolved after a certain time (typically 7 days). See for example "#Missing legal information" above.

Regular deletion

The AjaxQuickDelete gadget, enabled by default, creates a Nominate for deletion link in the lefthand toolbox. (Requires Javascript)

The "regular deletion" process involves starting a deletion discussion on a separate page, for which there is a standard schema, and listing the debate at Commons:Deletion requests. A "nominate for deletion" link in the lefthand toolbox is available (it requires Javascript to work) to make it easy to list files/pages at Commons:Deletion requests. This can also be done manually, however: the file/page is marked for deletion by adding {{delete|reason|day=29|month=November|year=2014}} template (replace reason by yours) and then it must be listed on Commons:Deletion requests; also, the uploader should be informed of the impending deletion.

The file/page may be deleted on decision by an admin if there were good reasons given in the debate for doing so. Always make sure that all local links to a file or page are corrected and updated before deletion. When deleting a file from deletion requests, it is good practice to run GlobalUsage and orphan the usage of that file. More information can be found on Commons:Deletion requests, and the files/pages listed for deletion are included in the Category:Deletion requests.

If you wish to nominate multiple items for deletion for the same reason (a mass request or mass nomination), please see Commons:Deletion requests/Mass deletion request.

Closure

In general, requests can be closed by an administrator after seven days. Deletion requests for obvious copyright violations can be closed earlier. Problematic or complex requests (such as highly used templates) can wait longer – even for several months if necessary. Non-admins may close a deletion request as keep if they have a good understanding of the process, and provided the closure is not controversial. If in doubt, don't do it.

In addition, no user may close a Deletion Request which includes media they have uploaded.

Administrators are encouraged to check whether the uploader was notified on their talk page of the pending deletion request (unless the image is an obvious violation, in which case the image can be speedy deleted).

Appeal

To appeal debates of image not deleted, you might first want to discuss with the admin who closed the discussion. If you believe the deletion was done in error, appealing deleted images can be done at Commons:Undeletion requests.

If the decision was correctly based on the current licensing and project scope pages, you should express your dissatisfaction on a respective page.

Categories

Categories are often not deleted, but "redirected" using {{category redirect|new name}}. See Commons:Rename a category. This should not be used on categories that are misspellings and thus unlikely to be used by other people. Such categories should be tagged as: {{move|correct category name|reason|date}}. If neither of the above cases apply, an entry can be placed at Commons:Categories for discussion (follow the link for instructions on how to do this).

Categories that are empty because all of the files they included were deleted or moved can generally be deleted as well and are to be tagged by preference with the template {{bad name|new name}} so that the deletion summary contains a click-able link to the better category name. If the new name is unknown, the categories can be tagged with {{emptypage}}. Please do not blank categories as this generally needs more checking work to avoid vandalism or needless emptying of categories.

See also