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.

  • If you want to ask why unfree/non-commercial material is not allowed at Wikimedia Commons or if you want to suggest that allowing it would be a good thing please do not comment here. It is a waste of your time. One of Wikimedia Commons' basic principles is: "Only free content is allowed." This is just a basic rule of the place, as inherent as the NPOV requirement on all Wikipedias.
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What shall we do with this category?[edit]

I stared for ages at the title of Category:Categories with a gallery for a better choice of sub-categories but could not figure out what it is for. After looking at some of the member categories I realised that it contains categories pages that have galleries. Surely, given the way wikis work, especially Commons, a page should be a category OR a gallery and not both. Having the odd image such as a map, flag, or logo makes sense but having a gallery of images introduces redundancy.

I would like to purge the member categories of excess images and then put it up for deletion. Our categories policy has nothing to say about images in category pages so we have to figure out what to do here. Alan Liefting (talk) 03:15, 4 January 2015 (UTC)

Sounds sensible. Perhaps the editor who created the category meant that files in galleries in what you call the "member categories" need to be categorized into subcategories of the member categories. — SMUconlaw (talk) 10:38, 4 January 2015 (UTC)
I have now come across this Commons_talk:Galleries#Category:Categories_with_a_gallery_for_a_better_choice_of_sub-categories. Doesn't look like there is any agreement for it. I will put it up for deletion. Alan Liefting (talk) 03:17, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
I didnt know that a discussion was running here.
I created this system of gallery inside a category for a better choice of sub-categories. Because it helps users to use a right sub-category instead a crowded mother-category. Especially for non-English speaking users.
For me, the better example is Category:Eiffel tower. There were hundreds (thousands ?) of photos in this category. And more and more every month. With this gallery, it is easy to choose a sub-category to use. And the mother-category is now cleaned.
I applied this system to some of the categories that I am following, but other wikipedians do the same in their categories (at least, 6 wikipedians). It is efficient :
Once admitted this principle of galleries inside a category, it is convenient to gather these categories with gallery. So I created the category we are speaking about. To see galleries created by other wikipedians and take good ideas. And to find other categories where a gallery may be added.
That is why I think that the present category should be kept. --Tangopaso (talk) 20:42, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Warning template suggestion[edit]

As I have seen a lot of license laundering files on here lately, I would like to suggest a warning template for warning users about license laundering. I know it may sound like a bad idea, but I have seen a lot of files that license launder on here.

Thanks. DLindsley Need something? 19:45, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

People who license launder should just be blocked. There's no point in warning people who obviously already know what they're doing is wrong. For users who simply failed to critically evaluate the authorship and licensing of files from another person's Flickr account (which is distinct from license laundering), there's {{Flickrvionote}} (to go with {{Flickrvio}}). LX (talk, contribs) 22:09, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
I see. DLindsley Need something? 23:55, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

WMF Global Ban Policy[edit]

How about an opt-out of the WMF Global Ban Policy, or even revoke it globally? The current state is unsatisfactory. –Be..anyone (talk) 15:32, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Second. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 15:40, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Third Josve05a (talk) 15:41, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Hi, I don't think you can opt-out of this, unless you fork a project. Obviously the WMF wants to enforce its own policies on every project. Just my 2 Rs. Regards, Yann (talk) 15:44, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Technically speaking, it's certainly possible for the community to pass a civil disobedience decision where every volunteer will use any technical permissions available to reverse specific decisions. For instance Commons may direct bureaucrats to reverse removal of a flag; and a global vote on Meta-Wiki can ask stewards to reverse locks etc.
Perhaps however it's more fruitful to start by making stewards remove the superprotect permission from WMF staff. Ample consensus can certainly be found. --Nemo 15:46, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Policy has special connotations on the MediaWiki projects I'm familiar with, it is not the same concept as office action or ToU, unless the community wants it. –Be..anyone (talk) 16:37, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Per Yann. You can not opt out the terms of service and continue using this site the same time. foundation:Terms_of_Use#12._Termination. --Martin H. (talk) 15:56, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

If you wish for the Global Ban Policy to be removed, I believe the best course of action will be to lobby candidates for the board election to try and ensure the policy is either removed or significantly changed in accordance with the wishes of those involved. There's the Steward elections, whilst not the correct location for a principled stand, they could provide another platform to express displeasure with the current way of doing things, with support only being given to those Stewards and candidates who support changes or abolition of the Global Ban Policy. Nick (talk) 16:11, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Hi, Since the WMF decides who is steward at its discretion, I don't think it will promote somebody who does not agree with its policies. Regards, Yann (talk) 16:26, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
That has not been the case for 6 or so years, Yann. Steward elections are organized by the stewards with no involvement from the foundation. Snowolf How can I help? 16:28, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
That's not true. The WMF has always said that it reserves the right to promote as steward who it wants, although up to now, it has promoted whoever got the most votes. Remember I was a steward, so I know the rules. Regards, Yann (talk) 17:00, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
That's simply not correct, it's also stewards who promote, based on the decision of an ElectCom which only includes stewards themselves and follows community decision. For various years, I've been a member of this committee and never had to deal with anyone from the Wikimedia Foundation. That truly changed since you were a steward, I know that too because my year was one of the last ones which was promoted by the Wikimedia Foundation's board. Cheers, —DerHexer (Talk) 17:04, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Well Jimbo was appointed steward in 2006, but he was not even part in the elections. Please note that this is not a judgement about the process, just a rappel of facts. Since it happened in the past, it may very well happen again in the future. Regards, Yann (talk) 17:10, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
For change of action, see m:Stewards/elections_2011#Election Committee. By looking at the steward mailinglist, the WMF has not been referred to the elections since 2011 except for identifying candidates. Ofc, the Board can afterwards make some resolution to revoke userrights but not for the election itself. Cheers, —DerHexer (Talk) 17:13, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
If the Wikimedia Foundation doesn't get as involved with the appointment of Stewards as they did in the past, then using the Steward elections as a means of a protest would be pointless. That leaves the previously discussed option of lobbying candidates for the board elections, as well as current board members, to change policy. I've been thinking about how this might work, and I would expect there's going to have to be an RfC to gauge the communities support for the existing policy, what changes might be needed or wanted, and what level of support exists for such changes. I've spoken to many people in the last few hours, and I sense some communities are, broadly speaking, very supportive of the global banning policy, whilst other communities are quite against the policy or upset by current actions. Nick (talk) 18:18, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Be..anyone, et al, which parts of the WMF Global Ban Policy are you unhappy with? Perhaps you believe Commons's local policy should say:

  • Users may engage in significant harassment of other users on Commons
  • Users may engage in significant harassment of other users off of Commons so as to genuinely (emotionally or physically) threaten them
  • Users may significantly compromise our trust and may threaten the safety of other users and employees, or place them in danger

Or is it that you don't like WMF being final judge? The reasons for WMF action are rare and serious enough to likely require legal counsel, and make it unwise for community involvement. Consider why WMF Global Bans cannot be discussed and you will realise the limitations of a community DIY alternative. This site is owned by WMF. They have granted the community a lot of power. But on an open content project, users have only two fundamental rights: the right to fork, and the right to leave. -- Colin (talk) 17:24, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

I'm unhappy with some "office action" claiming to be a policy, assuming it really is a policy, after all there is also no wannabe "Global ToU Policy" or similar newspeak. I'm unhappy with the total lack of transparency in the specific "office action" that triggered this inquiry. I'm unhappy with the total lack of plausibility in this specific case. I'm unhappy that the user can't present his point of view on this site at all, not even on his talk page. Enough reasons to get rid of this bogus pseudo-policy. –Be..anyone (talk) 17:48, 17 January 2015 (UTC) update: no policy at all. –Be..anyone (talk) 02:33, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
  • i am really concerned that users can be dissapeared without even so much as a hint to what grounds it is they are being banned under. Bawolff (talk) 18:06, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm sure they could drop the word "policy" from the page if makes some happier. Doesn't make it any less enforceable. Unhappiness isn't likely to make WMF discuss potentially legally damaging issues or to make it wiser for all such actions to be preceded by a huge community drama-fest. As for equating this with forced disappearance, that's not a helpful comparison. Editing and uploading to Commons is a hobby, not some human right. -- Colin (talk) 18:13, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
I agree with calling this a disappearance. The issue is not whether this is a human right or not, but the opaqueness of the process. Suddenly two major Commons users just disappear and a chilling “big brother” note replaces their user pages, with not even a link to a discussion process. This is terrifying and unacceptable. Anything else, most of the discussion on this page included, is moot: This is yet another proof (the worst so far, upon a mounting pile) that the WMF has been hijacked by the Blue Meanies and needs to be wrestled back into good hands. -- Tuválkin 20:19, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Look, this is just a matter of trust. When I started many years ago, I trusted WMF and was willing to give them some credit when I did not understand what they are doing I was willing to believe the actions were correct. Now this feeling, at least, in my case, almost evaporated. I am not willing anymore to believe that what they are doing is correct, but rather that it can be explained by bad faith and incompetence. This is not just Russavia case, this is just one in a series of many cases. Unfortunately too many. They have still way to go to reach the position of Internet Brands, but at least we have an example what happens if the organization forgets that it relies 100% on volunteers. And if there is no trust - well, there will be continued fiascos like VE and FLOW, and when WMF really needs volunteers to wait they will not be willing to. Banning an admin on a project, especially if the project consistently refused to desysyop him, is slapping the project in the face. Well, do not be surprised then if we find some way to respond.--Ymblanter (talk) 21:04, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

  • Symbol support vote.svg Support No comment for obvious reasons. -- (talk) 18:29, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Discussing a so-called 'opt-out' is not really productive, as there is no such option short of a fork. Office Actions and the WMF Global Ban Policy are imposed by the Foundation as a condition of using their websites. They are perfectly entitled to do that, and they have always reserved the power to ban independently of any local community policies here or on other projects. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 18:42, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment For the avoidance of any doubt, the WMF Global Ban Policy is not the same thing as the community global ban process. The former is "an extraordinary action that only supplements, without replacing" the latter. There's a clue in the name of these as to which one we have any influence over. -- Colin (talk) 18:48, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
  • It's worth noting that this new 'policy' really creates no new 'power' for the WMF... the 'ability' to use technical means to revoke a persons access to editing, for any reason, has always been 'implicit' in the Terms of Use. That being said, the majority of the 'plausible reasons' for globally blocking Russavia (socking, etc) do not meet the 'criteria' stated by the WMF for an office action, as they could be handled by community processes. I think why this is done is fairly clear, but per Fae I'm going to say no more here. Revent (talk) 19:26, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
  • We are witnessing an absolutely extraordinary situation. The Foundation single-handedly — that is, without any open consultation process at all — implements a global banning policy, only to use it a few days later on long-term contributors, including a Commons administrator, without any right to appeal, and without informing the community at all about their reasoning. Sadly, the extraordinariness is something that is being repeated – with first the superprotect scandal, and now this. I said before, and will repeat it now, that the way that the Wikimedia Foundation has been treating us, the volunteer community, suggests that they are no longer interested in hearing from us, and prefer making decisions that can (and do) influence us directly behind closed doors and without our involvement. Today is a very sad day for Wikimedia Commons, and a huge milestone in getting rid of the last remnants of trust and cooperation between the volunteer community of Wikimedia and the San Francisco office. odder (talk) 21:48, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I wonder... Maybe one day (tomorrow? next year?) the actions of WMF will aggregate enough resentment in the community to start some kind of mass protest against their recent policies. A mass boycott or something, I dunno. For example, if all users who are at least reading community discussions (and that would include the most active users, I suppose) stopped editing until some re-elections are held and all SuperProtect etc. are revoked. For my part, I'm ready to participate in something like that. YLSS (talk) 21:49, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
    • They dare everything because they know most of us wouldn't boycott free knowledge. They hold Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects hostage, and threaten to kill them if we don't submit. The only "boycott" they could care about is removing some millions dollars from their beloved bank accounts. --Nemo 22:11, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support. I'm supporting though it is essentially useless. For some time, I've been pointing out problems with SUL, where control of accounts passed away from the individual wikis. I saw cases of abusive global locking, pointed to them, and nobody cared. For quite some time, it's been true that a single steward could unilaterally decide that a user should be globally banned, could enforce it, beyond all reason, against anyone considered to be a supporter of the banned person, and when I pointed it out, I was threatened. I created a study on meta of global locking actions, there was some interest and participation, and it was neutral and made no accusations. It was abruptly deleted and then suppressed. I brought this up on the meta Forum and *nobody cared.* So the chickens are coming home to roost. If you are surprised, you have not been paying attention. This is normal behavior in nonprofit organizations when accountability is lost.
at this point, Recent Changes logging on Commons has been essentially shut down. The Recent Changes log only shows one minute of edits. I saw this start up earlier today, it was obviously done to suppress notice of edits to User talk:Russavia. At first Recent Changes started up again. However, at some point, it was changed again so that only a minute of edits show in Recent Changes, continuously. Someone with Developer access does not want these discussions to be widely noticed. [struck, see explanation below. Remarkable coincidence.] For years, I pointed out that the only protection against this kind of possibility was setting up independent off-wiki channels of communication. I wasted way too much time explaining why. At this point, I see no sign that anyone else is being blocked for discussion. But if that started, How would we know? Only those watchlisting the specific pages would notice.
Some think nothing can be done. That is incorrect. If any decision has consensus here, the community has great power. It has the resources to fork, the main resource needed being labor. It could lock down the wiki. I am *not* suggesting specific actions, I am only negating the idea of powerlessness. I do not recommend any drastic immediate action, beyond becoming informed and making sure that the community is informed. A communication tree could be set up that could not be interdicted by the WMF. In the end, it is in the WMF's interest to collaborate, but if the community here throws up its hands and says "it's their wiki, there is nothing we can do," then, yes, it would be their wiki. That's okay. Or is it? --Abd (talk)
  • Oppose opting out, a global ban takes into account the users actions across all WMF platforms enabling problematic users to continue just undermines the efforts of everyone else its toxic to the future of all projects. Gnangarra 22:29, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
In prior cases, it was never shown how allowing a globally banned user to edit one wiki could "undermine the efforts of everyone else," and be "toxic." It used to be widely understood that this was allowed, even though the same arguments were made back then.
It is possible that Russavia was abusive here, but this should have been confronted here (and still could be). Normally, we warn users before sanctioning them.
Now, if we arrange for Russavia to start up a new account here, and that account starts out as blocked, with talk page access enabled, with cooperating bureaucrats/administrators watching, it becomes possible for there to be negotiation of conditions of a special allowance. If a user has an account that is active, stewards can checkuser that account and see if it is globally active. If there is no allowed account, history shows, a banned user often will sock. Having an account here could seriously interfere with his freedom to create socks and be globally disruptive. It will not further that agenda, it will make it more difficult.
I made this argument before, with the Poetlister ban, and it was ignored. Poetlister1, a permitted local sock, was blocked on Wikiversity, in spite of no local disruption and considerable support for allowing him to continue, the block being based solely on the global ban. It violated established local policy, so I, after discussion, unblocked and was emergency desysopped as a result. What ultimately happened? Another account registered and became an administrator, Collingwood, with excellent contributions. Collingwood was about to be approved as a bureaucrat when, whoops!, the WMF locked that account, and claimed definitive identification as Poetlister. Now, suppose it was Poetlister (Poetlister has denied it). This never would have happened. Poetlister1 probably would not have been approved as an administrator, too much problematic history. He would have continued to make positive contributions, and this would have suppressed possible socking elsewhere.
(I have never again requested sysop privileges on Wikiversity, even though it's easy there and I'd almost certainly become a probationary custodian if I merely asked. However, it would attract flies, and I do not need sysop privileges to do useful work; in fact, it mostly distracts me from that work when I've had them.)
It is as if we can't understand that overreaction can backfire, can make protection of the wikis more difficult, rather than easier. Rather, there is a mentality that we must force the results we want, instead of setting up conditions that make those results natural. --Abd (talk) 23:30, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Its impossible to opt-out of something like this, its not a feature, its a LAW/constitution (one would say) of Wikimedia. For someone that followed all the WMF actions related to the locks, I agree with all of them bar one. Global locks should always be the last action an organizations such as Wikimedia mus take but in this case, it was unnecessary and stupid. One of the worst part is that he was blocked alongside a known pedophile advocate and then WMF refuses to divulge information as to why Russavia was locked. WMF should remember that not only is it an "organization', its an organization that runs on donations which means it has to be as Transparent as possible if it ever wants people to donate money to keep the organization running. The Global Ban of a highly trusted and hard working user without a strong reason shows that the WMF refuses to serve the community, and its here just to serve its own needs, its funny how this comes after WMF made over $60m after the donation drive. Even the WMF has to follow proper protocols and it this case, it was not taken..It has made some stupid decisions in 2014 including VE, MV and SuperProtect and has refused to change its stance on those decisions..Russavia ruffled many feathers, including our Godfather's and even if this decision wasn't made in haste and was a thought out one, its still a dumb decision...I wonder when WMF will decide to actually start banning the "real threats" to wikimedia, the LTA's--Stemoc 01:07, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
A «known pedophile advocate»? Whoa, I had no idea! But I see three names in Category:Commons users banned by the WMF: Would some one please provide links to the discussions that triggered the ban of the other two? (No need for Russavia’s case, as it seems to have been caused by the Prikasso affair…) -- Tuválkin 09:46, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
There are now six users in Category:Commons users banned by the WMF, which asserts This category contains users who violated the Terms of Use. I have extensive knowledge of the situation of at least two of the users, and that statement is false for them. One user has often been accused of being a "pedophile advocate." Being a "pedophile advocate" is unclear in meaning. "Pedophilia" is a paraphilia, a psychiatric disorder. Nobody advocates it. Some do advocate or argue for permitting adult-child relationships that others consider inappropriate or worse. w:en:Wikipedia:Child protection allows indef blocking of "Editors who attempt to use Wikipedia to pursue or facilitate inappropriate adult–child relationships, who advocate inappropriate adult–child relationships on- or off-wiki (e.g. by expressing the view that inappropriate relationships are not harmful to children), or who identify themselves as pedophiles. The user in question has advocated the right to advocate anything, it is, for him, a free speech issue. There are academic studies that claim the harm of some "inappropriate relationships" has been exaggerated (and the whole topic is massively controversial.) There are what are called boundary issues, such as age of consent. Is advocating the lowering of the age of consent advocating "inappropriate adult-child relationships"? Is a 16-year-old a "child"? (Legally, the answer depends very much on where one lives! Until recently, and in some places, it depends on whether or not the "relationship" is hetero or homo-sexual.) Can of worms, and even discussing it has led to extensive disruption.
Commons has a different CP policy: Commons:Child protection (proposed). It prohibits attempting to use Commons "to pursue or facilitate inappropriate adult–child relationships or to advocate inappropriate adult–child relationships (e.g. by expressing the view that inappropriate relationships are not harmful to children)" Only the Wikipedia policy, to my knowledge, sanctions off-wiki advocacy. Nobody, by the way, ever advocates "inappropriate relationships." People have different opinions about what is appropriate, so the real prohibition is against offending common opinion, which can, indeed, be highly disruptive. Do not imagine I'm advocating anything here, other than what I say below about waiving privacy.
However, the WMF Terms of Use do not prohibit or allow sanctioning off-wiki advocacy of anything. That user did not violate the Terms of Use. He could easily have been blocked on Wikipedia, under CP policy, he certainly appeared to fit that policy, but he was already banned there. I find the TOS difficult to understand in some ways. One arguable violation would be that the user did recently sock on Wikipedia. So is socking while blocked, at a single WMF wiki, a TOS violation? It's certainly common, and yet global bans have, before, not been issued for it, and, in fact, it's been quite clear that this was not considered an offense for which a global ban would be issued.
The WMF does not seem to be following stated policy and the terms of use. The consequences of that are unclear. They certainly have the power to act; however, they have accused specific persons, real persons, of violating the Terms of Use, who apparently did not. They have presumably investigated, but investigations can err and can also be biased; the accused have had no right to even know that they were under investigation, and no right to present rebutting evidence or argument.
My suggestion would be to allow a banned user to waive privacy. The clearest reasons for maintaining privacy have been to protect the privacy of the banned user. If a banned user waives that, then there would be no legitimate reason to maintain full privacy. Looking over the cases, users who, at one time, enjoyed high trust, and with enormous positive contributions, have been banned, and without appeal possible. Is Commons concerned about this? Do any of the banned users want to appeal? If not, done. If so, then one step at a time. There could be ways to handle this.
Meanwhile the Category says something about the banned users that may be untrue. I intend to fix that or suggest correction. --Abd (talk) 23:32, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
the category says nothing that is untrue, the people in that category have been Globally Banned because they violated the Terms of Use it doesnt say which term so it could be anything. Pedophile as the reason is laughable, its just a smoke screen to the fact that ToU has many other reasons for which the WMF could ban a user in fact only 14 words out of the 1,000+ have been dedicated to specifically that subject. Gnangarra 00:33, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
I really don't think it would be appropriate, or advisable, to link the names of various users (even if banned, they are still identifiable people with rights) with the allegations that have been made against them. The information is findable, if you are really curious. We shouldn't be making defamatory statements about people who can't defend themselves, even if we think they are true. Lets simply leave it at this... the people other than Russavia have been connected with allegations that are of a totally different nature, and them being globally banned, if WMF legal believes those allegations are true, are totally understandable. Revent (talk) 10:58, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

  • I think it is possible for Commons to do something along this line. Taking a cue from American municipalities that have designated marijuana possession as "lowest priority" for police, Commons admins might simply be very slow to deal with any report that Russavia has registered a new account. On En.wp, it is not at all uncommon for threads on the admin noticeboards to go straight to archive without ever having gotten a clear response either to act or not to act, and are then forgotten. Under such circumstances, WMF still is free to track down new Russavia accounts here and global ban them, but without a community of volunteers to do the work for you, you have to do the work yourself. Pity, that. I wonder if they are in it for the long haul. Wnt (talk) 01:11, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
    • Unless I have misunderstood something, m:WMF Global Ban Policy is the Foundation's policy, for the Foundation to enforce, and individual Commons users do not seem to be obligated to report any Russavia sockpuppets to the Foundation. However, there are plenty of people who do not like him, so new accounts would probably be reported by someone. --Stefan4 (talk) 00:46, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
      • No user is obligated by the Terms of Use to report a suspected sock, that is correct. It's also quite clear that Russavia has no intent to 'abide by' his global ban (he has in fact, expressly said he intends to do otherwise directly to Philippe, in a rather amusing note that I probably shouldn't link). Revent (talk) 02:56, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
(ec with above) There are plenty of users -- and administrators -- who love playing detective and finding and reporting or blocking any kind of sock puppetry, with no regard for project welfare, on the theory that enforcing blocks and bans is project welfare, since mistakes are never made. Just the way it is and has been for a long time. If a blocked user is persistent, some admins will use escalating range blocks, revision deletion to hide harmless edits (on the theory that this will discourage the user if nobody can see his suggestions or edits), and will create edit filters that cause extensive collateral damage, all because A Ban is a Ban is a Ban, and it must be enforced or else vandals and spammers and trolls will Take Over. I know whereof I speak. --Abd (talk) 03:03, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
@Abd: There are plenty of users -- and administrators -- who love playing detective and finding and reporting or blocking any kind of alleged sock puppetry, with no regard for project welfare, on the theory that any new editor who disagrees with them must be a sock of the wiki-enemy they finally got banned. FTFY. Revent (talk) 06:44, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose because the ToU gives the users a lot of confidence when our democratic team fails. It is bad if WMF used this weapon for there on interest; but I see no evidence for it so far. On the other side, the user in question was a bit aggressive nowadays; forgot the basic responsibility that is demanded by his position here. I'm very disappointed by the way he handled MoiraMoira issue. His last comments on some projects revels that he maintained a grudge against her. At the same time he has access to many deleted contents of her. If this or any other similar incident is the reason for this global ban, I can't blame WMF. Jee 08:10, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
  • News. See [1]. The WMF board did not approve of the new WMF global ban policy. Rather than rushing around like headless chickens, I suggest stepping back, becoming informed, giving people time to reflect and comment in various places, and, eventually, starting, if appropriate, a meta Request for comment, to advise the WMF. If that is done prematurely, I predict a train wreck. Obviously, I cannot prevent anyone from starting such an RfC, but I am not doing it yet, and I'm highly informed on the issues here. There are serious long-term issues involved, but no emergencies. There is a loss to Commons, perhaps, of Russavia's work, but both Russavia and Commons will survive a wikibreak, and butting heads with each other and with the WMF won't shorten that break (if he ever is allowed to come back, or even if he ever wants to come back). --Abd (talk) 15:42, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
  • New concern. It is appearing that the ability of other users to email globally locked users through the wiki interface is being suppressed, on a per-wiki basis. I would appreciate if other users would investigate this. Global locks only prevent login, and thus globally locked users cannot alter their email settings. (That's one of the known bugs in global locking, which was a quick fix, years ago, to allow global blocking; global blocks would do much less unnecessary damage.) I am informed by a globally locked user whom I trust (on this, that is, not to lie, he's highly disruptive, but I have never caught him in a lie, in many years of interaction) that he did not change his email settings before being locked, and he had email enabled previously (and I know that, I used it). For a different example, see User:Russavia here. It would be useful for someone with his direct email address to ask him. Shutting down email for a globally locked user would take developer access, to manipulate user preferences, and would be a radical departure from what we would expect. This is a wiki-by-wiki setting. It is still possible to email Russavia on meta: [2]. At least right now it is! --Abd (talk) 15:57, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
    • I went through the list of users at m:WMF Global Ban Policy and found that it was possible to send e-mails to two of the users listed on that page but not to the other users. I only tested Special:EmailUser on Commons.
At Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-personal and Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-echo, it is possible to change your settings so that you receive e-mails in a lot of situations: when you are mentioned, when a user edits a page on your watchlist and in several other situations. A globally locked user might wish to disable these e-mails (if they were once activated). Are all e-mail notifications automatically disabled upon the user being locked, or will the user still receive the e-mails? Having no control of e-mails arriving from MediaWiki seems disruptive to me. --Stefan4 (talk) 17:01, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for looking. However, some users may not have had email enabled when they were locked. What will be more useful is information about prior email status, and, as well, information from the banned user. One so far has explicitly told me he did not change the status, and he is unlikely to be lying. (He was not expecting to be abruptly locked, he was mostly inactive, AFAIK. He might have been socking on, he does that from time to time, and I haven't asked him. Generally harmless edits, by the way.) --Abd (talk) 22:20, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
When a user is globally locked, login is disallowed. Settings are not changed. Users who did not have email enabled cannot enable it, and users who have it enabled cannot turn it off. It is conceivable that a user could request the WMF to disable email, but it would take developer intervention (I can imagine another workaround, it would involve the user disclosing their password to the WMF. Bad Idea.) Instead, the WMF could schedule a time for the user to have very temporary access, while being watched. Much better: dump global locks, and enable global blocks. Some details would need to be worked out. If a user is considered dangerous, a warning could be placed about emailing the user. --Abd (talk) 22:11, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Agree there should be some way in which a globally blocked user can have their email disabled both for the email this user function and from other notifications. I would be reluctant to see the WMF tagging a user as being "considered dangerous to contact warning" thats one can of beans that should remain closed it'd be much more ideal just to prevent contacting thru wmf servers ie removal of email ability. Gnangarra 13:53, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose It seems that they are not given out lightly. There have been only seven global bans in the history of Wikimedia (although four were made this year). This proposal has come about because of the global ban placed on User:Russavia. I have only had limited dealings with Russavia and only in recent months. He does seem to be a law unto himself. Can his problematic behaviour and editing style (and I am not all that familiar with what all it might be) possibly be excused on account of his prolific number of edits? Alan Liefting (talk) 09:03, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Manipulation of Recent Changes[edit]

If a WMF developer is doing this, STOP. This is a community led project, if this is the way the community is being deliberately manipulated, then you, a WMF employee, should feel profoundly ashamed of your unethical actions. If Abd is mistaken then can someone present the facts of what is happening, preferably pointing to a credible report on Phab. -- (talk) 23:00, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

IF <incorrect prejudicial premise> IF <another incorrect premise> THEN <invalid conclusion>. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 07:45, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
No comment. -- (talk) 08:06, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
"No comment" on a wiki, explicit like that, is an oxymoron. Just sayin'. I saw something very, very odd, and it was very odd, and the way I saw it made it look connected with the Russavia ban. Now, a paranoid mind would say that the WMF planned this mess, a process running wild, to make the suppression of notice deniable, they knew it was coming. I would never say such a thing, but I have the kind of mind that invents stuff. It can be useful as long as I don't believe it. I'm satisfied that the explanation we have been given is adequate. And I thank those who worked on fixing the problem, this process effectively shut down Recent Changes here for a day, and probably caused some real damage. So I'm glad I raised the issue (if that helped)! Now, back to our regular programming. --Abd (talk) 02:02, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
I am also glad you raised the issue. It had the additional advantage of giving MichaelMaggs an opportunity to respond, and he did: While he ignored your original point, he took time to take a potshot at ’s framing of the issues based on your warning. And that response is a valuable datapoint for those of us not privvy with w:en/WMUK drammah. -- Tuválkin 09:35, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
Chill out guys! The RC log has not changed at all as far as I can tell today. Certainly not anything to do with any controversy. [Special:RecentChanges|Recent Changes] shows the last 50 actions by default. What is different at the moment is the GW toolset log is being flooded by the actions of two users.
If you use any of the filters on recent changes, such as filtering by namespace, its not restricted to last minute. I cannot see how that relates to the issues with Russavia - its not developer censorship - its high volume of loggable actions. Or is the Swiss National Library in on this conspiracy? :)--Nilfanion (talk) 23:07, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Glad to hear this is wrong. Perhaps someone can explain in plain English the source of the confusion. I have my eye on the Swiss though. -- (talk) 23:15, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
This should be fixed now (well, for the moment...). See phab:T87040 for the details. I apologize for the inconvenience - I did not realize this would disrupt the recent changes, otherwise I would have shut it down sooner. --Tgr (WMF) (talk) 01:42, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
Great to see an explanation. I'll check it out. I had seen the massive log entries; from the explanation, if there are enough log entries, Recent Changes can't extract what it needs to display, is Recent Changes extracted from a larger log that is then limited in size? I did see some timing coincidences that made me connect this with the Russavia flap. I hope it isn't. --Abd (talk) 02:10, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
Recent changes shows the last 50 (or whatever your limit) RC records, an RC record being either an edit or a log entry. So yes, logs can crowd out edits from the recent changes list if they are frequent enough; GWT went into some sort of infinite loop and created about 10 log event per second, which is significantly faster than the edit rate (maybe one edit every 10 seconds). No idea yet what caused it, but updates will be posted to the Phabricator ticket so you can subscribe there if you are interested. --Tgr (WMF) (talk) 03:11, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
Tgr, I don't see those log entries in Recent Changes, normally. So my display was maybe two edits (when set to the default 50), and it didn't change at all if I set the number to 500 to display. There is a bug in Recent Changes if it is counting, in the number to display, log entries that are not to be displayed! Because I have seen a wiki owner clear the Recent Changes log in order to hide actions -- I did not just make this up! -- that's what I concluded was happening. From what you say, it's a bug involving a log being flooded. If Recent Changes is a subset of some kind of Recent actions log, and that log was overflowing, that would explain it. --Abd (talk) 03:45, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
If WMF wished to hide something, it would be much easier (and much less noticeable) to either oversight or plain delete the recent change entry in question. Here's a list (According to recentchanges at tool labs) of how many log actions happened on commons and how many edits happened for every ten minute interval for the last 2 days. As can be seen, there is a spike in log actions starting at about Jan 16 10:20 UTC (and really getting going at Jan 16 12:00 utc). This is before all the Russavia stuff happened. During the time that log actions spike, we still have lots of edits happening. So I think its safe to say that this is all unrelated. Bawolff (talk) 09:55, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

Contest namespace[edit]

Namespace filtering is available at the recent changes, user contributions, search and a lot of other spaces. There are several contests running at Wikimedia Commons, currently POTY, all over the year the QI, VI and FPC process and the Photo Challenge and they often flood the Commons namespace with very specific kind changes. Do we want to have them in a separate namespace for easier filtering? What other advantages or disadvantages are to be expected? -- Rillke(q?) 15:39, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Using the project namespace for projects isn't a problem from my POV. Strange "portal" (not here, fortunately), "draft" (shudder), "creator", or "museum" namespaces, the latter two apparently used for simple templates, confuse me. –Be..anyone (talk) 16:04, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Why is the search feature so bad?[edit]

I know this probably has been asked a million times but what's up with the search feature? It usually yields few results while even VisualEditor (wikipedia beta editing tool) can find like 10 times more. As an example, I searched for "Andromeda Galaxy" on Wikipedia's visual editor (see image on the right). Notice the tiny scrollbar, indicating there are hundreds of results. Now look at the number of results when I search the same thing commons here. Only 13 results. Why is that? Can't you make the search more optimized by default? I'm asking this more out of curiosity than anything. Thanks Tetra quark (talk) 17:27, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
If you look at the right place, you will find more. See also [3]. BTW this is the wrong place, you are not proposing anything. Regards, Yann (talk) 15:49, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
I think there might actually be something here. I'm guessing User:Tetra quark got tripped up by the default behavior of the small search box that appears as part of the user interface. With the Monobook skin (which I use), there are two buttons (Go and Search), and Search is the default, which makes sense. If you type in "Andromeda Galaxy" there and press Go, it goes to the gallery page, which is not very useful. With the default Vector skin, however, "Go" is apparently the only option. So if there is a gallery page matching your search string, the search field in the Vector skin will not allow you to search, but will instead go to that gallery, which is almost never what anyone wants. So... proposal: Don't Do That. Make the search field do something, like, I dunno, search! LX (talk, contribs) 15:59, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Here is the proposal: Can you make the search box search images in categories by default? Lurkers don't know (and don't have to know) that browsing a category shows way more results. LX said that the monobook skin has two buttons that do different kinds of searches. However, Vector is the default and the unregistered visitors use it whether they want to or not. Sorry if this seems rude but the search system is awful. Tetra quark (talk) 17:27, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
I suspect it's another case of Wikipedia-centrism. The Vector skin's behavior probably makes sense on Wikipedia, but not here. It looks like it should be possible to change this on a per site basis by setting the $wgVectorUseSimpleSearch configuration variable to false. LX (talk, contribs) 17:24, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
@mw:Manual:$wgVectorUseSimpleSearch, since mw 1.23 if js is enabled in the browser only the 'Go' button will be shown with $wgVectorUseSimpleSearch = false;. :/ --Steinsplitter (talk) 16:29, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Blergh. LX (talk, contribs) 20:20, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, indeed. Well, I'm waiting for a few more opinions on this Tetra quark (talk) 06:54, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I agree with LX and Tetra quark on this. Search should be the default in the context of Commons. ColonialGrid (talk) 08:36, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

What's getting in the way of this search improvement? Tetra quark (talk) 16:19, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

It looks like this was previously possible to change through the site configuration. This would still not be something that editors like you and me or even administrators could change. It would require assistance from the Wikimedia Foundation. And apparently, the semantics of that configuration variable was changed so that achieving the desired behavior would now require a code change in the Mediawiki software. LX (talk, contribs) 20:20, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

It would be relatively trivial to create a default gadget that adds a header to each page that was reached directly via the search box. That box could list the categories of the current page (to pull them above the fold) and present a prominent link that goes to the actual search results for the term in the page title. --Dschwen (talk) 20:26, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

This is a good start to build such a landing box. --Dschwen (talk) 21:35, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

In monobook, "Go" would be default, too. It isn't because my predecessors decided to changed this with MediaWiki:DefaultSearch.js. -- Rillke(q?) 21:11, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Ha, I screwed with that 6 years ago :-) --Dschwen (talk) 21:35, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Don't speak too loudly. These days, if you disable site misfeatures like this you will apparently have your toys taken away (HHOS). LX (talk, contribs) 21:46, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Statute of limitations ;-) --Dschwen (talk) 22:03, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Looking for feedback on my funding proposal to work with UNESCO[edit]

Hi all

I’m looking for feedback and endorsement for my Wikimedia Foundation PEG grant to be Wikimedian in Residence at UNESCO. I’d very much appreciate if you would have a look, the most relevant objective to Wikimedia Commons is:

2. Make content from the archives of UNESCO and its partners available on Wikimedia projects: This project will facilitate the upload of 30,000 images, audio files, videos, data and other content to Wikimedia projects from UNESCO archives (24,000 images), UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and other sources including 10 organisations changing their content license to be Wikimedia compatible.

I ran a pilot project that resulted in the images found in the category Images from the archive of UNESCO, here are a few examples:

If you think this is a worthwhile project please click this link and then click the endorse button.

Many thanks

Mrjohncummings (talk) 21:56, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment Great, I love them! Yann (talk) 22:01, 24 January 2015 (UTC)