Commons:Village pump/Proposals

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Welcome to the Village pump proposals section[edit]

This Wikimedia Commons page is used for making proposals relating to the operations, technical issues, and policies of Wikimedia Commons; it is distinguished from the main Commons:Village pump, which handles community-wide discussion of all kinds. Discussions here should be of wide interest; those which are more specific may be moved to the main Village Pump, with a note left here. The page may also be used to advertise significant discussions taking place elsewhere, such as on the talk page of a Commons policy. For old discussions, see the Archive. Recent sections with no replies for 14 days may be archived.

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Support for OpenDocument file format upload[edit]


Support for Chemical table files[edit]


Distinguishing Wikimedia Foundation staff accounts for official actions and personal use[edit]

Note: This proposal has been copied to Meta for discussion there as well. Zellfaze (talk) 23:13, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

It is proposed that Wikimedia Foundation staff members should consistently use accounts with a personally identifiable name with "WMF" appended when acting on-wiki in their capacity as staff and reserved for that purpose. This will reduce confusion when Wikimedia Commons users are dealing with a fellow member of the community or a representative of the Foundation acting with special power. Personal accounts of staff members shall be considered members of the community and shall be treated as such, including following standard processes for granting access to user rights or advanced permissions.

A proposal from the Wikimedia Commons community is not binding for the Wikimedia Foundation, however this change is intended to improve relations between our project and the Foundation and we further believe the Foundation can institute this minor change with little to no disruption of their activities, and we further ask that they consider making this a requirement not just here but at all WMF projects.

Supporting links:

-- (talk) 05:50, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

Additional links:
-- (talk) 07:51, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
surely any such proposal should be at meta. Having every wiki have different rules for staff account naming in a world with SUL, seems like it would be too confusing for staff to reasonably follow. Bawolff (talk) 06:56, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
I disagree, as this can only serve to decrease participation. If the English Wikipedia Community and the Commons Community can be shown to have the same viewpoint, then meta will doubtless follow. As can be seen in the Arbcom discussion, there have been several assertions by staff and well known Wikimedians that RFCs by the community may be dismissed by the Foundation as not meaningful, unless thousands rather than hundreds take part. In terms of numbers, having this discussion on meta makes that view more extreme as the level of participation is invariably significantly lower than if we have discussions on the largest projects instead.
By the way, for this discussion, it would seem appropriate and in the interest of transparency if WMF staff would declare their status in this discussion, rather than expecting readers to check every participant's user page for possible notes, as this is a WMF policy related proposal. You can see how this has been done in the Arbcom case linked above. -- (talk) 07:35, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Fascinating -- @:, you seem to be making the argument that the Commons community is a better barometer of the international Wikimedia community than Meta, though Meta is more intended for the purpose of general deliberation. This is a compelling point, based on usage statistics alone. But it's also a pretty bold claim, and one that seems worthy of consideration on its own, before being taken as a given. (Also, kudos forr your "by the way" note. This is a very good point, and one that is frequently overlooked by staff.) -Pete F (talk) 17:07, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
More a question of pragmatism. This RfC is to gauge the views of the Commons Community, not to give general forcast of "the international Wikimedia community". However I do doubt that anyone would believe that measurable participation in an RfC would ever be higher on meta than the most popular projects. So, if the WMF are going to make the objection that 100 or 200 participants in an RfC is too low to be a basis for change, then RfCs like this one, which is running in parallel to the discussion on the English Wikipedia, are a necessary step.
Again, to the many people saying something like "oh why, oh why, is this not on meta?", nothing and nobody is stopping you from making a similar proposal on meta written from a more generic viewpoint than this Commons Community RfC; get those fingers working. -- (talk) 17:36, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Very sensible -- thanks for breaking that down. -Pete F (talk) 18:28, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. We regularly have (newish) staff accidentially misusing their staff rights to delete photos, etc, causing mini-dramas. They should consistently use staff role accounts and, as their induction seems a bit lax, we should detect staff accounts and add notices on the top of key action pages to remind them they are required to follow staff procedures when using their staff account. John Vandenberg (chat) 10:47, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose I don't like red tape. Not needed. Trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist. Multichill (talk) 13:27, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support User: Perhelion14:15, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support as per Fae and Vandenberg. russavia (talk) 16:03, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support, per Fae and Vandenberg. I’m really surprised this is not established mandatory policy, and I’m shocked (by the example) that it is acutely necessary. -- Tuválkin 19:52, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support it seems there is a problem here, and more clear lines would help.--Prosfilaes (talk) 21:52, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose - this is a typical topic where having local policies only makes confusion more likely to happen. Keep this discussion at meta. Also, I'm worried as this would make it harder for beginning staffers to identify themselves as WMF employees, while testing out stuff and practicing. I am in favor of clearly identifying what is an office action and what not, I just don't think this particular approach is helpful to that effect. Effeietsanders (talk) 22:11, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
    • Feel free to set up an RFC on meta, there's no harm in it. Many Commons contributors are uninterested in reading pages on meta, this RFC is intended to represent the views of this community for how staff accounts are expected to be used here. -- (talk) 22:16, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
    • @Effeietsanders: Can you explain how requiring a user to register an account John Doe (WMF) would make things harder for them than if they were able to operate under the name Dilaritad? Thanks. odder (talk) 08:04, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
    • Yes, Effeietsanders, please reply to odder’s question above. Besides I’m intrigued by the notion that something «would make it harder for beginning staffers to identify themselves as WMF employees, while testing out stuff and practicing.» Why would a WMF employee need any significant “practicing”? (Unless you’re hiring people without basic Mediawiki experience, which is utterly incompetent and unacceptable.) -- Tuválkin 06:10, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
    • WMDE staff use '(WMDE)' suffixed accounts religiously, and most (all?) of them even use WMDE in their IRC handles. It isnt hard, and it helps. There are a few people I didnt know had become staff in either org until I saw their WMDE/WMF accounts. John Vandenberg (chat) 12:33, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
      • I agree, WMDE set a great example that we should admire. Unfortunately this proposal is a case study for the issue of non-transparency. There are WMF staff and Chapter staff commenting here using personal accounts (some do not even declare that they have an "official" account on their "personal" account user page, it is not a firm requirement that they do so). Most readers/unpaid volunteers would have no idea how much influence paid staff have over project policy proposals, volunteer surveys and RfCs that are related to the paid activities of paid staff. This proposal is a minor issue, but common-sense would indicate that participants would do well to openly declare their professional interest in this discussion, or use their "official" accounts, it is neither expensive nor particularly inconvenient to do so and avoids any potential later claim of covert lobbying. -- (talk) 12:46, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
        The problem with the current proposal is that if every community sets their own rules, the situation becomes terrible, thanks to Single User Login. Commons may require WMF, maybe the French Wiki required FWM, and arwiki requires it to be in arab script. This doesn't scale. Another problem is that it requires to /only/ use it for editing in their capacity as staff. That means that testing, playing around etc wouldn't be allowed under some interpretation. The argument that only people should be hired who already have MediaWiki experience is... surprising, but well. Whatever. Lets just say that I would like it if the WMF accountants also make a few edits as part of their introduction week, to get to know the projects a bit. And that I would like them to worry about what they're editing, and not what complicated naming policy on each wiki they would have to follow. And that for uploading a picture, maybe different rules apply than for editing text. Effeietsanders (talk) 21:44, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
        This is an odd reason for not doing anything, and appears to presume that there are WMF employees who would collapse into a heap at the idea of keeping their professional account separate from their personal account, please give them more credit. Almost everyone I know with a work mobile phone would never dream of using it for sexting or keeping their Grindr profile, the same basic standards should be expected of WMF employees. As for the argument that SUL makes it impossible, please, this is technical detail that can be worked out with a few example cases. The number of WMF employees with active accounts on the arabic wiki is probably 2 or fewer. The alternative is that we end up with a succession of divisive and increasingly damaging dramafests, every time someone uses the same account for WMF paid work and for personal fun, meaning that when challenged they can retrospectively choose whether their edits or comments were as part of their job or not. This RFC is a case study in point, as far as I am concerned this RFC is directly about WMF employee policies on the Wikimedia projects, as such only "official" comments are possible from employees here, and yet we see several employees choosing to use their declared personal accounts to contribute. The lines are so blurred that they do not exist, time to draw the simplest possible line that everyone can understand and stick to. -- (talk) 22:25, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support I believe that any RfC started on Meta would be met with the same attitude from the Foundation as the MediaViewer RfC on the English Wikipedia, ie. considered not representative of the global Wikimedia community (unless we invest a lot of time and energy in promoting it on all wikis). The only viable alternative for us is to make it a de facto global policy by having the biggest wikis accept the proposal as their local policy, and having Meta and other wikis follow our example (if they wish so — if not, it will still be a local policy on this project). As for the actual wording of the proposal, I wholeheartedly agree: having all Wikimedia Foundation employees use an account with a (WMF) suffix for actions representing the Foundation would make things absolutely clear for everyone involved. I do not accept @Effeietsanders' argument that this requirement would make it harder for beginning staffers to identify themselves as WMF employees — on the contrary, the moment they register an account (or have someone else register an account for them), it will be clear that they are affiliated with the Foundation. odder (talk) 07:59, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support for reasons already mentioned above and per the recent clash on :en of Erik Möller versus :en-admin User:Peteforsyth. --Túrelio (talk) 08:08, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support Make sense. Yann (talk) 09:23, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Opposing on a procedural point. This is a discussion which should be happening on meta, with input from WMF staff, so that they can explain what their current internal policies are. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 12:15, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
    Sorry but that isnt a valid procedural point. Commons has its own policies, which are frequently different to other projects. We also host discussions on Commons when they pertain to Commons policies. e.g. we flag accounts with access to OTRS, which doesnt happen elsewhere. WMF is welcome to put their policies on meta, and we would keenly look to see how our procedures and policies and compliment theirs. John Vandenberg (chat) 12:53, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Since usernames are global, all new username policies should be global, otherwise you end up with a situation like we have now where usernames named after GLAM institutions are allowed on Commons but blocked on Wikipedia. Policies that made sense to keep local before SUL, now should be kept on meta. --Jarekt (talk) 15:26, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Jarekt, Im sorry but you are wrong. Not all Wikipedia block accounts which are an institution name, also known as 'role accounts'. English Wikipedia is the one with a special policy for this, with sysops blocking zero-edit improperly named new accounts. There are Wikipedias which welcome such username, and help the institution verify their right to use that account. There are many other differences in local username policies.
Provided an institution knows in advance that they might be blocked on English Wikipedia, even if they havent edited there, they often wish to use an official-like account name on the wikis which allow it. John Vandenberg (chat) 07:18, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
  • oppose because 0 use-case provided is silly, the staff clearly stated what is happening; 1 you said this is non-binding, so that whatever outcone we have here is imo not actionable, 2 this needs to be addressed by software, not by paperwork or by hand, 3. The thing about newish staff account misuse needs more detail and thought for all, not here. -- (mobile) Gryllida 14:41, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
    • Could you explain why a software change would be needed? This RfC is intended to provide a vehicle for the Commons community to express a consensus view, use-cases or definitions of specific actions are not needed in order to do that, this is a policy issue rather than a technical change request. -- (talk) 15:07, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose this seem to be a solution in search of a problem. I think it should be encouraged for rare edits they do in their official capacity, like office actions, but I do not see a need to require it. I also think Foundation staff should be encouraged to identify themselves as such on their user pages. --Jarekt (talk) 15:32, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
This diff shows what happens right now by the WMF head of development, i.e. a current problem that needs fixing. Leaving the policy unwritten and "encouraging" desired behaviours would be lovely, but this path seems to have been ineffective over the last couple of years. This is a very simple, easy to understand improvement, that costs nothing to implement and ensures that WMF management understand their responsibility for consistent and supportive behaviour towards the unpaid volunteers that create content that the donors invest in. -- (talk) 15:52, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support Seems sensible, with few negatives, and easy enough to implement. Hchc2009 (talk) 16:40, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support The larger problem, of course, is that Staff are active in places they should not be and they have absolute power. Anything that constrains WMF is a good idea. Chris Troutman (talk) 16:53, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose What problem do we want to solve here ? (Per Multichill or Jarekt). --PierreSelim (talk) 16:59, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support This seems logical, and I thought it was standard practice. This shouldn't just be the WMF, though - it should also apply equally to any staff member of a Wikimedia-affiliated organisation. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 17:50, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
  • The need for this proposal is really unfortunate. I believe WMF carries the primary responsibility for conducting itself in a way that is not unnecessarily disruptive to the communities it serves; and I do think that recent events (including many that haven't been brought up) have demonstrated that the WMF has really messed up in this regard. Since this proposal is intended to be advisory but not binding, I strongly Symbol support vote.svg Support it -- but the important thing is not so much what we decide here, but what kind of action the WMF takes. I suspect something a bit more sophisticated and nuanced is needed. It will probably need to be a change from the internal policy as expressed by the previous Executive Director; I believe the "hands-off" approach, in which staff members are expected to do the best thing without clear guidance on these matters, has proven to be the wrong approach. -Pete F (talk) 18:33, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
    Also:
    1. I don't think any recommendation toward other organizations is necessary, though I do think other organizations would be wise to consider WMF's approach (whatever it turns out to be) when determining their own.
    2. I think it's important to note: just because an organization or a user says that an action is "in a personal capacity" does not automatically make it so. We have seen many actions taken by WMF staff members that relate very closely to their professional duties, with a claim that they are done in a personal capacity. Such claims, in my view, are always legitimate topics for careful consideration and varying opinions. -Pete F (talk) 18:53, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Personally I view all my edits to any wiki as being in a personal capacity. My understanding (Based on how I read my contract) is that I am not allowed to make edits or otherwise make statements on behalf of the foundation. Arguably though, edits like this or this are very related to my job even if I deem them "personal". Lines are blurry. Surely though, the main issue here is when staff try to do some action they would normally not be allowed to do (Or otherwise invoke the authority of the foundation in their edit), and not the blurry cases like devs updating help pages after software changes, etc. Bawolff (talk) 21:43, 14 July 2014 (UTC) (Per Fae's request, for those who don't know, I work as a part time contractor for the foundation. This edit is in my personal capacity)
Thanks @Bawolff:. I think this underscores my point. The organization itself cannot, by a simple declaration, immunize itself from the possibility that certain actions will be understood to reflect the organization's official position. A recent example here in California: the sheriff of a rural county has taken place in, and more recently sponsored, a controversial and illegal coyote hunt. From his perspective, he does this in a personal capacity. However, it has been covered widely in the news (e.g. [3]); why is his participation so widely known? It's not because of his hunting prowess, or his articulate leadership -- it's because his participation in the illegal activity very clearly and obviously relates to his job, which is enforcing the law. Now, of course there is a difference in his case -- this sheriff is surely willfully exploiting those blurry lines for political advantage, while I very much doubt that any WMF staff are trying to play political games. But I do think this kind of case proves my point: just because the lines can be blurry, does not mean that the distinction does not exist, nor that the organization is the final authority of what is or is not an official action. -Pete F (talk) 21:58, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support - as a general principal, any official of any type acting in an official capacity should be immediately apparent to be an official. Beyond My Ken (talk) 18:36, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment I propose extending this to people doing GLAM work or are working on behalf of something or someone else in general. -- Rillke(q?) 18:39, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support Like Mike Peel and Hchc2009 --Packa (talk) 21:24, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment A "special" user-name alone does not solve a thing but only makes it more complicated for WMF staff to participate (because they'd have to change accounts constantly) and easier for individuals to point fingers in case a personal opinion was voiced under a WMF account in error or vice versa. The real challenge is to make it easily possible for WMF staff to easily communicate whether they are contributing in their official capacity or as an individual and this is something everyone at WMF has to get right on his/her own. A policy will not fix this easily. A guideline sounds reasonable however and many people from the WMF staff already do it exemplary. --Patrick87 (talk) 21:54, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
    • Exactly, it would make it «easier for individuals to point fingers in case a personal opinion was voiced under a WMF account» — that’s precisely what this proposal addresses. It is called accountability and it is beautiful. -- Tuválkin 06:10, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
    It's not beautiful at all because it would result in WMF people talking even less as they already do (Who doesn't say anything can't say something wrong). I'd rather live with a personal opinion of a WMF employee that is somewhere near what the foundation will actually do than with no hint into any direction at all because nobody dares to say something that might not be 100 % true in the end. If you'd want to change that, you'd have to exchange WMF... --Patrick87 (talk) 19:29, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
Exactly: Change the WMF, this being only a simple thing, but a step in the right direction. We already know what they do, we have to deal with it. Useful additions and maintainance gets stalled and forgotten, while the most outlandish, frivolous, and even harmful bells and whistles are lavishly funded and rammed down our throats with inane announcements starting with «We’re excited to share with the community that…» so and so. Let them all be immediately recognizable when they do anything in any official capacity (both staffers and board members). They wont be talking much in comment threads? Their choice, but the especially named user accounts are also useful to trace edits, deletions, and any loggable action. And that helps enforce accountability the beautiful. -- Tuválkin 01:25, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This discussion belongs on meta. It is unlikely to have any effect if enacted locally. Also, the proposed guideline is already followed by pretty much all WMF employees besides Erik, so I'm not sure how much it's actually needed. Kaldari (talk) 23:16, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
    • There are 17 active staff accounts listed at meta:WMF Advanced Permissions which are not in any obvious way marked as staff accounts (Sue Gardner recently being changed). This can be taken as a minimum number, as these are only those that happen to have been granted additional rights on projects outside of a community process. An undefined number of additional staff accounts which are not qualified as "WMF", may be used for office actions; for example the staff account Kaldari or the trustee account Sj. The scope of "office action" may be adapted without advance notice or discussion with the community of unpaid volunteers. -- (talk) 05:31, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
      • @: Staff members who are also active community members are strongly encouraged to have separate accounts. You are correct that they are not consistently marked as "(WMF)", however, so it can be hard to tell the difference. For example, my staff account is Ryan Kaldari, not Kaldari. The separation was a bit more clear when all staff accounts actually had "staff" rights. Kaldari (talk) 03:38, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
        • @Kaldari: Come on, that's as clear as mud, hence this proposal. We have met in real life and worked together on various excellent volunteer projects, yet I was unaware that you made this distinction between your accounts. Wikimedia Commons and the Wikimedia Community have a shared value of openness and transparency, this inconsistent and at times misleading way of using accounts lacks true openness or transparency apart from in a legalistic way. Since Erik's disheartening behaviour on en.wp, this complexity is highly likely to lead to more significant communication problems between the WMF and unpaid volunteers. It's time to fix this, and it is such an easy concession that I am really puzzled to see the resistance to the idea from all employees choosing to write in this discussion (and as has been pointed out, most readers will be unable to even tell who they are). -- (talk) 05:05, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
          • @: I agree it's confusing. I just don't see that there's an actual problem to fix. If Erik had made the threat from a designated community account or a designated "WMF" account, how would either of those have changed anything? Either way, he would still retain the right to desysop people from his staff account. And either way, people would have complained about it. What's the actual problem that this would solve? FWIW, I don't have a strong opinion on the proposal, but I think it's a waste of time discussing it on Commons. Kaldari (talk) 05:08, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
            • At least we agree that it is confusing, so there is something here to solve. As a tangent, I believe one the points of the Arbcom case against Erik is that even if he was using his staff account, he may have the power to desysop, but not the authority; a part of that being that Erik's threat to desysop was not supported by the current definitions, or understanding of, office action for the English Wikipedia; anyway I would hope all WMF employees understand that if they were to start desysopping accounts without the community understanding why, then they would shift the projects from community managed to employee managed, a scenario with many unhappy bunnies. -- (talk) 07:45, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose for two reasons: 1) this is an issue for Meta, and not individual Wikis as it's not sensible to have different policies and 2) per Jarekt: it's not clear what the problem is here or why its appropriate for Commons contributors to impose special requirements on the WMF staff who help keep it going through their work. Nick-D (talk) 08:19, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
    Regarding (1) -- the proposal is very clearly not intended to be adopted as a policy, but is explicitly framed as a recommendation to the WMF. So where would conflicting policies come from? -Pete F (talk) 08:43, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
    Meta is the correct forum to make this proposal and discuss it so that we don't end up with differing arrangements on the different Wikis. Fragmenting the discussion of this issue, or trying to lobby the WMF from different Wikis, doesn't seem like an efficient approach to me. Nick-D (talk) 08:48, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose 1. An edit note "This is a WMF action." is merely sufficient to distinguish an office action from other edits. 2. Not only staffs; members of the Board of Trustees too can take such actions. 3. Reverting any other edits other than Office Actions are NOT blockable offenses. 4. Per their official disclaimer, "Although I work for the Wikimedia Foundation, contributions under this account do not necessarily represent the actions or views of the Foundation unless expressly stated otherwise." So any other actions/comments unless expressly stated otherwise need not require any preference even if they come from those so called "_(WMF)" tailed accounts. Jee 15:07, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support I was under the impression that this was a requirement already in place. Mlpearc (powwow) 16:39, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I think it is a good idea to have usernames note when they are being used is an official capacity. Why not just give WMF employees global logins when they join so that they are ready and able to contribute to any Wikimedia project under their WMF user name account? --Another Believer (talk) 17:16, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol neutral vote.svg Neutral It's not a "local policy" if other projects are going to be affected by the requirement to rename accounts. The idea itself makes perfect sense to me, though. --Lewis Hulbert (talk)
    • I think this is exactly why it's worded as a recommendation, not a policy or a requirement. -Pete F (talk) 14:27, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose that's a Meta, not a Commons discussion. --Jcornelius (talk) 03:23, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol neutral vote.svg Neutral see Jcornelius commment above. --Steinsplitter (talk) 14:18, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support, Mlpearc. Rehman 04:15, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support, it is a simple question of politeness and transparency.-- Gürbetaler (talk) 19:49, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose 1) This is not a problem, so this does not need a solution. 2) If I become once official of WMF (probably this never happens, but anyway), I do not want to change my username. Taivo (talk) 21:35, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support This discussion can be held here. In short, we're instructing people not to take Office actions without using an official account. This doesn't hinder staff from making Office actions, and it makes it somewhat easier for everyone else, because it be knowable at a glace whether a declaration is made by John Doe the editor or by John Doe the Foundation official. Nyttend (talk) 03:39, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support We are long past the days when staff actions were done by a small number of well-known people. The WMF now has more than 200 people so it is reasonable to ask WMF staff to clearly identify themselves when they carry out actions in an official capacity. There is no need to rename any accounts, because those staff that don't have separate official accounts can just create a new one with "(WMF)" at the end. Green Giant (talk) 12:09, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose While it sounds like a good idea, what would we do if WMF and its employees (including contractors) ignore it, just look at MV and even VE? Blocking them for violating the "proposed policy" on Commons is grounds for war between the WMF and Commons, and even if blocking is ruled out makes the whole thing a pointless exercise. Meta is where it should be discussed, whether it should be a Meta policy or a WMF (as part of its inner workings) policy. Bidgee (talk) 13:30, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support. Yes, this is largely symbolic, as will be any statement the English Wikipedia ArbCom ends up making about it. But if they hear it from enough projects it will increase the probability that the foundation will go ahead and make what is really a very minor change that will facilitate clear communication between staff and volunteers. The suggestion that this has to be at Meta is silly. Meta's community does not have any more authority to dictate WMF policy than en.WP or Commons. There can and probably should be a parallel discussion there. Beeblebrox (talk) 17:33, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support as a nod to tracking and controlling WMF staff members. They should not have by default any more privileges than regular users.StaniStani  21:36, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose per Jcornelius.--Jebulon (talk) 09:15, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support I think that this proposal is a great idea. For all of those who oppose it because it is not on Meta. I have copied the proposal to Meta! Zellfaze (talk) 23:07, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

Locating articles which used to link to a newly restored image[edit]

Anyone who has worked at OTRS will probably recognize this fairly common scenario:

Someone sends in a permission email, and a deleted image is restored. Sometime later, they write back and ask why the image still doesn't show up in some article.

I handled two such situations in the last ten minutes.

In one case, the photo was a head shot, so I went to see if there was an article in en wiki about here; there was, so I put the link back. What I missed was that there was also an article about her in the Polish Wikipedia, so I fielded a query from someone who did not understand why the photo did not re-appear in that article. The other one I should has found myself, but OTRS is badly backlogged, so I was moving on to the next issue, rather than spending time thinking about what articles might have contained that image.

We all know why it happens, but it is quite understandable that outsiders would not.

So I either have a question or a proposal.

The question is whether, when an image is restored, is there an easy way to find out all pages that have linked to it ever, so those can be checked to see if the image should be added back?

I hope the answer is yes, but if it is no, I have a proposal: could we keep such information. One possibility is to leave all links, even ones that have been removed, on the file page. I can imagine there are situations where this is problematic, so a second option is to have a hidden category to keep track of all old links. If that is too onerous, I'd be happy with access to all link in the last n days, where I'd like 365, but could live with 30. It is quite common that we get a permission statement a few days after something has been deleted, and if I knew about all links that had existed in the last 30 days, I bet I could deal with most such cases.--Sphilbrick (talk) 21:18, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Are you looking for something like "CommonsDelinker recent delinks"? --> example --> just open File:Vista aerea Retiro.JPG and click on the "delinker log". Gunnex (talk) 17:27, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
That was fast :) Sorry, did not know that existed, although something in the back of my head was telling me that this is such a common need, it must have been addressed. I'll know to use it next time. Thanks.--Sphilbrick (talk) 20:11, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
@Gunnex's example: Enwiki and dewiki has a own delinker bot. Maybe we should add a notice to the delinker page? --Steinsplitter (talk) 21:47, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
A tool collecting global usage information upon deletion and offering one-click-revert of those bot's edits would be great. -- Rillke(q?) 22:16, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
There is some code in MediaWiki:Common.js providing a link to CommonsDelinker log nearby deletion log entries, and the is something similar for de:Benutzer:Dateientlinkerbot described on it's user page which also works for en:User:Filedelinkerbot. Regarding the bot run be myself, you may also decide to simply not take care of this, as restored files will be listed at de:Benutzer:Dateientlinkerbot/wiederhergestellte Dateien / en:User:Filedelinkerbot/restored files and processed quite regularly. --Krd 06:33, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

New group: Deleter[edit]

Reasoning: Admins are constantly overbooked on Commons. For the deletion-requests and speedydeletions we need some users with experience and time. See also Commons:Village_pump#More_admins

  1. The sysop-usergroup allows far more dangerous changes than deleting a file.
  2. WMF will not allow displaying deleted content to a wider user-group for legal reasons.
  3. Viewing deleted text is not so useful on Commons and may raise privacy-concerns.

Rights to include:

  • autopatrol: Have one's own edits automatically marked as patrolled
  • delete: Delete pages
  • deletedhistory: View deleted history entries, without their associated text
  • rollback: Quickly rollback the edits of the last user who edited a particular page

This user group should be assigned after a community election like it is currently done for image-reviewers (asking a few questions, ...) and should be removed after inactivity (6 months no deletion) or doubtful behavior.

Symbol support vote.svg  Voting: Support[edit]

  • useful --Steinsplitter (talk) 17:30, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  • useful --Motopark (talk) 18:04, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Looks like a good idea, even if it is not a magic bullet that will solve all problems related to deletions. -- Tuválkin 20:20, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  • useful, this would also be a better way for become an admin (which would raise the quality of them in it self) User: Perhelion (Commons: = crap?)20:45, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Indeed lack of participation is an issue. And to address that, it'd be great having distinct user rights for distinct jobs. The complexity of administration has been growing over the last years so I can understand if people do not want to take the burden of being equipped with all the technical stuff running into the danger being expected to be able to deal with all aspects of it. Being officially called administrator implies fitting into that role. -- Rillke(q?) 11:05, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Editors don't participate because the deletion process tends to be a hostile battleground for all parties involved (from uploaders, to nominators, to commentators, to closing admins); contentious/controversial topics, grudge matches, and witch hunts run rampant and unchecked at DR. In light of this, un-bundling the tools isn't a solution, in fact, it doesn't even come close to addressing the heart of the problem. -FASTILY 22:27, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
  • One issue is possibly that several contributors believe all DRs should be closed within the same time span and call it backlog if they are open after a certain date. This is just a guess and the topic deserves analysis: Why is it a hostile battleground? If we do not know it for each of the involved parties we can't improve. -- Rillke(q?) 07:39, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
  • What is "more dangerous" than deleting a file (and likely de-linking all usages over all wikipedias)? --McZusatz (talk) 19:15, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
  • How should be dealt with accidental deletions considering the user group can not restore? --McZusatz (talk) 19:15, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Causing DoS or whatever by doing nifty script changes, instructing users to provide their passwords on their user page, …, blocking users, messing with upload campaigns overwriting highly visible file with inappropriate content (heh, that actually works without even getting any right at Commons). Sure, these deleters need as much trust as admins now need but they won't have that complexity of administration.
  • I recommend IRC; did you ever delete an important file accidentally? Never seen that. -- Rillke(q?) 19:43, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Is there additional complexity by the sole existence of further buttons which are going to be never used (nor seen)?
  • Mostly in DRs, the buttons are quite close and I observed a couple of false deletions. (Less than ten, if I remember correctly but it happens). --McZusatz (talk) 22:07, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Fair enough. Not so sure, perhaps it's just the expectation of contributors that an admin should be able to help out with all of them. Just prefer the principle having only those rights that one is going to use. -- Rillke(q?) 22:18, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Providing limited stepping-stones to become a full admin seems like a good idea. It might also be a good idea to make this a time-limited right, e.g. it could be granted for one year at a time. That would make it less risky than granting someone full admin rights. Thoughts? Kaldari (talk) 19:13, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

Symbol oppose vote.svg  Voting: Oppose[edit]

  • We just need more admins in general. Not more usergroups. Plus deleting stuff is most of the adminwork anyway. Natuur12 (talk) 17:37, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  • The initial post that spawned this was not particularly well thought out. Category:Media uploaded without a license as of 2014-07 has 700+ files, with 90%+ likely copyvios? So people need to go through and either add a license or a {{copyvio}} template (Category:Copyright_violations is very well tended). That does not require admin rights. This, like most other backlogs, is a result of lack of participation in general, not lack of admins. Besides that, if someone can be trusted to delete files and to view previously deleted files, they can be trusted to block. There is no need for this decoupling. Эlcobbola talk 18:11, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  • --Krd 18:16, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Anyone I'd trust with deletions I'd trust as a full administrator. My thoughts are largely the same as Natuur12's on the matter, but would add that I feel deletion (and the ability to view deleted files) should be considered significantly more sensitive of a right to give out than blocking. Blocks are comparatively rare, and blocks of active users are much more heavily scrutinized than deletions of actively used files. Sven Manguard Wha? 20:49, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Per Sven Manguard and Эlcobbola. More useful would be recruiting more admins, especially with certain language skills Com:ABL. --Hedwig in Washington (mail?) 03:42, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Per Natuur12, Эlcobbola, and Sven Manguard. --AFBorchert (talk) 06:49, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Per above. Lack of participation is obviously the problem here, and frankly I can hardly blame people for that. -FASTILY 10:53, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Per Natuur12, Эlcobbola, and Sven Manguard. if someone is trusted enough to handle the deletions, they can be nominated for adminship.  ■ MMXX talk 23:28, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I agree with others above. If someone is trusted enough to delete files, I see no reason not to give her/him the full admin rights. Regards, Yann (talk) 05:33, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Originally I was going to support this, but the arguments on the oppose side swayed me. I think that the real problem here is that we don't have enough administrators. I agree that anyone trusted enough to be given deletion rights ought to just be made an admin. (Also agree that admins with language skills other than the common European languages ought to be recruited more!) Zellfaze (talk) 23:34, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Files are the most valuable content we have on Commons (not users or system messages). I would support giving OTRS members the ability to restore files and view deleted content for practical reasons.    FDMS  4    10:02, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
      • The WMF has said (I have no idea where, though) that access to deleted content requires a community vote in an RfA or RfA like process. That being said, I'd be happy to support just about any current OTRS member with photosubmission or permissions-commons queue access at an RfA, so long as they're at least moderately active on both OTRS and Commons. Sven Manguard Wha? 05:41, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg  Discussion[edit]

  • Though the proposal really makes sense due to the stated points (privacy and legal reasons), I highly doubt that the burden on the current Administrators is lowered. In fact, we need more people searching for license-violations than the ones clicking a single button of some hacky semi-automated tool. I'd rather appreciate it if mass deletions of files in Category:Copyright_violations kept the precise reason for deletion/nomination. E.g. File:Louis Koo.jpg (reason is not transparent/public and only visible to admins) and File:Clara Alonso 2014-07-23 23-28.jpg (reason is given via the source and publicly available in the deletion log) --McZusatz (talk) 19:57, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Those examples and your critique is spot on, but that should be addressed by rules stating the contents of deletion entry longs, not by limiting who has the delete right. -- Tuválkin 20:20, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting question.svg Question I would appreciate a more detailed explanation of why deletedhistory would include looking at deleted files, but not the deleted text. If this were intended to be used for image pages, I doubt there would be many non-oversighted privacy issues that someone trusted with a deletion right would be unable to handle. Note that I have had deleted text pages dumped off-wiki to avoid them being restored on-wiki when there were reasons for me to examine them for potential copyright issues, which seemed a bizarrely clunky solution compared to me being able to look at the same deleted material on-wiki without restoring it. -- (talk) 11:39, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
    • deletedhistory does not include looking at deleted files nor does it allow viewing deleted text. All it allows is viewing the list of deleted history items including author and summary of each item unless they are hidden or suppressed. -- Rillke(q?) 12:21, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
      • This does not seem very different from the current set up if we intend to help people investigate copyright issues, as opposed to just closing DRs, which non-admins can already do in theory, but hardly anyone can see the point.
      I find some of this discussion a bit disheartening, some of the previous comments are starting to make me wonder why non-admins would make much effort to add opinions to DRs, apart from the most controversial ones. I used to do much more DR work than I do now, and not being an admin is a significant part of that, as it would be hard work arguing the case for seeing deleted material or having it explained second hand through another's eyes. If the answer is that really DRs are a domain of administrators, then we ought to be honest about it and be looking to double the number of active admins so that DRs can be handled by a much wider team than the current situation, where most deletions (both DRs and speedies) (80%?) are done by about three people in any month. It's a situation prone to natural systemic bias as there is such low diversity of viewpoint. -- (talk) 12:34, 24 July 2014 (UTC)