Commons talk:Photographs of identifiable people

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regulatory "creep"[edit]

when is the last time this guideline was voted on by the general community, & just how much has the text changed since then?

Lx 121 (talk) 16:11, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

I might be missing something, but it appears that the last discussion promoted on the Village Pump was circa January 2013. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 16:30, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
The dozen topics immediately above this are mostly the record of the discussion begun in January and its antecedents going back to September of last year. The exception is the announcement of the discussion currently ongoing at main review page which began in June. As far as I am aware, Commons does not generally have a formal vote of the community; decisions are made by consensus of those who show up for a particular discussion. This may be informal and gradual, as here, or it may involve acceptance or rejection of a particular formulated proposal.
I would describe the recent changes as mostly a response to the Foundation's policy decision wmf:Resolution:Images_of_identifiable_people and issues arising in its practical implementation, ie a deliberate and substantial change in approach rather than spontaneous or incremental regulatory creep. Dankarl (talk) 19:07, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
The only change that has been made to this guideline since January (other than spelling and grammar) is the addition of the "Country specific" section which lists the country-specific laws that are related. Kaldari (talk) 02:33, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

Undiscussed addition[edit]

I´ve removed this undiscussed addiction. Tm (talk) 21:04, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

  • Addiction => addition. Had me wondering for a moment. - Jmabel ! talk 00:42, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

When did I need approval from anyone to edit Wikipedia? You should have asked for consensus to remove it given it is already considered policy ( see Commons:Sexual content }. Saffron Blaze (talk) 03:10, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

Here I agree with Saffron. Public discussions on such contents do more harm to the subject depicted. See this too. JKadavoor Jee 03:24, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
Since when is Commons:Sexual Content considered policy (it reads in its top "The Commons community has rejected this guideline, policy, or process." and in Commons:Courtesy deletions it reads "This page is a proposed Commons guideline, policy, or process.", so this addition by the back door of a rejected policy is out of process -- 08:03, 6 November 2013‎ Tm

What on earth is going on here? This is a wiki. If you have a problem with the addition please explain what is specifically wrong with it without wikilawyering. I see nothing here wrt sexual content or rejected policies. Please explain why the advice given is not true or bad? Colin (talk) 09:36, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

As User:Tm mentions Commons:Sexual Content (which User:Saffron Blaze references to above) was rejected, so referencing to that does not make much sense. That said I think it is more or less "just" a different way to the same goal, as is already described in the Removal requests-section, so there is probably little harm in adding it there (but don't over-dramatize it by making it italic and whatnot). I have no idea how many office actions are actually performed or how under-/overloaded WMF-staff are to do office actions, so it may be a good idea to consult them, before opening this door as well. Also neither meta:Office actions nor Commons:Office actions guides the user in a simple way on how to proceed with requesting the office action, so there is a potential danger, that it may confuse more or the requests end up the wrong place. --heb [T C E] 14:55, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
Contacting WMF Legal is the right procedure if the subject is not a Wikimedian or the subject thinks he has legal standing to have the picture removed. See this discussion. But we can reword that point to make it clear. " If you feel you have legal standing to have the picture removed (for instance if you feel it violates your privacy), you can write to legal at explaining why and making that request. If you don't have legal cause, the legal team is likely to have to ask the volunteers to remove it as a courtesy. If you do, they can remove it as an Office action." JKadavoor Jee 15:07, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
Actually, contacting info@ is the right procedure for subjects who are not Wikimedians. WMF Legal does not have capacity to handle all such requests, and the OTRS team have been coached on what language to look for to pass along requests that do seem to have legal basis. My response to you, User:Jkadavoor, on my talk page suggested contacting legal@ only if she believed she had legal basis and was specific to your situation. :) OFFICE deletions are very rare; most requests for image removals are handled by the community on a courtesy basis. If anything were added, OTRS is probably the best start, although you can always direct them to wmf:Contact us, which explains how to contact our designated and registered agents in case of legal issues. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 16:21, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Maggie for the clarification. JKadavoor Jee 16:30, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
Procedural comment: I am not as familiar with the "Wiki way" on the Commons, but on the English Wikipedia, the "Wiki way" when it comes to guidelines is either "propose, discuss, change if there is consensus" or "BOLDLY edit the guideline with or without saying anything on the talk page, wait for it to be reverted with or without an initial comment by the person doing the reverting, then discuss and if there is consensus, make the change," with the second method used when the person making the change believes in good faith that the change will be non-controversial. Of course, if it is reverted, that means he guessed wrong about the "non-controversial"-ness of the change and discussion is required. Davidwr (talk) 15:33, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
Exactly; that is the procedure everywhere. And, now we have a discussion. JKadavoor Jee 15:49, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
if you reverting something give a real reason not that it hasn't been discussed. 20:05, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

Mia Culpa, I must have looked at the help page and assumed policy: Regardless, why does this useful and valid edit need reverting? Saffron Blaze (talk) 00:58, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

I think you can add it back unless somebody provide a reason. As most subjects are non Wikimedians, we need to provide a provision for them to contact. Whenever I visit a strange site and need to communicate with an authorized person, "Contact us" is the place where I go first. JKadavoor Jee 02:45, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
I would caution that anywhere you send them should be targeted. Generally, if they pick the WMF as initial contact, it's going to slow down the processing of their requests significantly. The volunteer response team email is manned by multiple people; the legal inbox is manned by one. She's awesome, but issues in that box can be complex, and when there's a lot of traffic the wait for any reply can be substantial. This morning I received a letter at answers@ (which I monitor) from somebody asking that their picture be removed for privacy concerns. My response basically boils down to, "I'm sorry, but I can't help you. Please write to info-en@." There's nothing else I can do because the WMF is not authorized to bypass community processes. Sending them to the Foundation as the first resort is not likely to help and may actually hurt most people who make these requests.
Commons has its own "contact us" in the sidebar of every page. Why not include something more nuanced about who to contact for this issue at Commons:Contact_us/Problems if there's community consensus? (For that matter, I don't know why Help:Sexual content doesn't link to that page - it has the actual email address to write to, whereas the Foundation's "contact us" page does not.) --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 11:54, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks again, for seriously looking into this matter. But, when somebody see a picture in a project (most likely it will be another project); the page gives no clue that it is hosted here other than "This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons. Information from its description page there is shown below". The "Contact us" page linked there will be something like Wikipedia:Contact_us. :(JKadavoor Jee 12:09, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
That doesn't seem related to a proposed change to this page, though. :) People who see the link here are already on Commons. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 14:06, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
So, amend the destination for the contact link and we are good to go? Remember the intent is provide a private way for people to contact someone with the authority to remove images where consent was not provided and where addressing this through normal channels is likely to exacerbate the harm already caused. Saffron Blaze (talk) 00:40, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
Putting a link to Commons:Contact us/Problems under the Removal requests-section, seems like a good way to address the issue. I would probably rephrase it a bit, towards something like: If you find a private photograph of yourself posted here without your consent, you may address the issue privately through this page, rather than going through the regular process with public discussion. - but that is after all a matter of taste. --heb [T C E] 09:18, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
Seems enough. Currently the Commons:Contact us/Problems page is talking only about "Copyright violations" and "Inappropriate images of children" under "Report abuse". "Inappropriate images of identifiable people" should also need to be handled. JKadavoor Jee 10:47, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
The use of the term "private photograph" implies only an image in a private setting whereas in many places photographs without consent are illegal regardless of location. Even where photographs of people in public is legal should we not consider deletion where consent was not obtained and the nature of the image is likely to cause embarrassment/harm to a private person (versus public figure). Obviously this latter case would require editorial judgement on part of the reviewers. Saffron Blaze (talk) 03:51, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
Sorry; I overlooked it. "Inappropriate media/photographs of" is enough; leaving the decision to the closer whoever they may be. JKadavoor Jee 05:16, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

✓ Done Re-inserted with enough modifications as suggested above. JKadavoor Jee 11:41, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Thanks Jee. I did a bit of editing on the phrasing. I also noted the section on "removal requests". I wonder if this bit would be best placed there? Saffron Blaze (talk) 17:52, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
I went ahead and made the move and I think simplified the whole concept. Saffron Blaze (talk) 18:09, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks; it seems more simple to understand. JKadavoor Jee 04:30, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
There is now a wording "deletion request may also be sent privately through this page." "This page" is a very bad link text and it is not obvious how that page can be used for the purpose. We should either explain here and give a real address or link to a page explaining the issue, such as "if discretion is required a deletion request may also be sent privately, see Commons:...". The section is also otherwise a bit weirdly worded. --LPfi (talk) 14:04, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
We need a subhead under Commons:Contact_us/Problems#Report abuse, something like "Inappropriate images of you". JKadavoor Jee 15:13, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
be bold, i'd do it but as an IP I am sure it would cause the world to end. 19:19, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
I have asked for an addition to be made on the talk page Jee pointed out. As to my weird wording... The IP is bold. Saffron Blaze (talk) 22:30, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Caricatures and cartoons of identified or identifiable people[edit]

On COM:VP I proposed a "Moratorium on user-generated art about living people", which doesnt have much support. It was suggested by Jkadavoor that I help formulate guidelines & policy instead, so I hope I am in the right spot.

One of the concerns I have is that many of our caricatures/cartoons do not justify their existence here on Commons, or provide context in which the cartoon should be understood. For instance, File:Karl Meersman Sarkozy caricature.jpg is saying something about Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni. At first glance it looks to be an inappropriate statement about the couple, however maybe there is a specific event that puts it in context.

Another example is File:Ashraf Mansour, Chairman of the German University in Cairo.gif (which I have nominated for deletion). It is the second result on Google Image Search, and seems disproportionately negative. He is probably notable for English Wikipedia standards, so there is opportunity to provide information about the event on his bio or the article about the institution. But this looks like a student unionism dispute, which happen the world over and dont generally merit being discussed in detail on Wikipedia.

On the other end of the spectrum, File:Savater.jpg appears to be intended to be positive, but it doesnt look to be high quality, which may reflect badly on Wikimedia when viewed the the lens of the subject. However maybe in context this is an important and appropriate caricature. DRed as out of scope (user-created artwork). -mattbuck (Talk) 16:34, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

Somewhere in the middle we have File:Geraldo alckmin by Koehne.jpg (also nominated for deletion), which looks like it may be intending to be a portrait drawing, but due to inaccuracies it is not very nice. If the image page stated the creator was trying to be accurate, we can ask the creator (or others) to fix the problems - if it is intentionally distorted we could debate the appropriateness of this. Without a statement either way, it is hard to have a constructive discussion.

So, what I would like to see is that we raise the bar for caricatures/cartoons/digitally altered photographs of identified/identifiable people, requiring that the uploader provide a rationale (exegesis) for the artwork. There are some useful thoughts about this at Commons talk:Project scope/Update 2013/Must be realistically useful for an educational purpose, but I want to stress I am not wanting this criteria to be applied to any photograph which has some artistic element to it, because writing exegesis for hundreds of photos that include identifiable people would limit contributions as points out there. IMO the simplest way to codify this is to say that if the uploader describes intention (e.g. why the facial features should be distorted based on context), the media will be evaluated on its 'appropriateness of the distortion'; otherwise it will be its 'likeness to the subject', with reasonable allowance for the methods used (charcoal, speed painting, one handed, etc) John Vandenberg (chat) 13:59, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

  • A good move John; will look into it soon. Jee 14:57, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
In a quick look I didn't see your examples well cover the real, horrible face of Commons. You didn't mention any example of digitally altered pictures. There are many unaltered photographs also we should remove. I don't know whether you are aware of some previous discussions like Commons talk:Photographs of identifiable people/Update 2013/Moral issues and Commons talk:Project scope/Update 2013/Stage 2 which all abandoned on half way. Hope we can finish this to a good outcome. Jee 15:32, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
Jkadavoor, there are not many examples of (significantly) digitally altered pictures in Category:Photoshopped images, and especially not good ones for examples of problems. Where are the problematic ones hiding? John Vandenberg (chat) 01:41, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
They are scattered in the sea of Commons. File:Nalgas 002.jpg is just one example, which is under Category:Photo_manipulation. Earlier, at Commons talk:Courtesy deletions#Lame BLP images, Canoe1967 mentioned that even low quality photographs caught the subject in an awkward pose (accidentally or intentionally) can be considered offensive, and should be removed if better alternative available. Jee 02:32, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
  • I think using files as a test case is not the best way to make policy so I appreciate the time and effort putting forth this study. As a baseline I wonder if much of this angst would go away if we discourage non-notable authors from self publishing to Commons. This might align well with Wikimedia's mission and COM:SCOPE, but it would be a major slap in the face to "free cultural" ideals. I guess the question becomes are we a curated collection or a un-regulated repository? Given we routinely delete images that are non-notable or low quality user generated art the answer would seem to be a curated collection. However, once the image has even a hint of a political, religious, racial or sexual motif people start screaming censorship. Saffron Blaze (talk) 15:57, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
  • This is a discussion, and everybody is welcome. No need to jump in with that red shield and try to to close the mouths of us. It surprising that the Freedom of speech activist doing it. Have a nice day. :) Jee 02:32, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
Please don't put words in my mouth, I said nothing of the sort. Thank you, -- Cirt (talk) 02:44, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps you could comment on the proposal itself, given that you have !voted Oppose. John Vandenberg (chat) 03:15, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
Indeed, I would love to hear whether cirt wants us to keep everything that gets uploaded to Commons. Saffron Blaze (talk) 03:33, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose. There may be some cartoons of no merit, by non-notable artists uploaded here. But the specifics of this argument show that it would be harmful for Wikipedia and Commons' educational mission. First of all, Carlos Latuff is a notable political cartoonist (articles on 17 Wikipedias). We can't say that we're going to censor the body of work of a notable artist, then present that censored version as if it was still representative. Another work has been on here for 7 years, and the deletion request seems to want someone to go back to the original pencil drawing and make changes. Seven years later, for a pencil sketch: is it presumed the artist kept that bit of paper and will rush to redraw, or are we presuming that someone will modify that image, and damage the original artistic intent?
Further, these files may well have been reused by books or other sites in that time; deleting such works that were made for Commons breaks the documentation of the CC-licensing for any reuses of that work. It's far too late to delete such things now.
These are all such terrible suggested deletions that they show a fundamentally misguided approach, and a fundamental misunderstanding of how one determines what is encyclopedic when it comes to art.
I'm not fundamentally against coming up with some guidelines as to determining if a satire is sufficiently notable, but nothing so far suggested should even be considered as part of those guidelines, and some of the works don't appear to be satires in the first place - remember that in the early days of Wikipedia, because one wasn't allowed to Fair Use photographs of living people, drawings were used as the next best thing in a few cases.
Quite simply, if the caricature is by a notable artist, and we somehow get it, We should keep it. Several of the things this proposal would get rid of are by notable artists, some are in use to illustrate those artists. It would be insane to say that we cannot cover modern, notable artists, because someone dislikes the drawing(s) we actually have access to.
Further, Commons is meant to be a resource for sites to find images; let's not be capricious about deleting things unless there are actual problems on the lines of copyvio. If it's uploaded and deleted in a very short period of time as not encyclopedic (and genuinely is not encyclopedic) that's one thing. When it's something that may well have been used on Wikipedia for years before something better came along, it may well have substantial reuse, and we'd best leave well enough alone in the absence of real problems, which have not been demonstrated. Adam Cuerden (talk) 04:43, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose – What comes after providing rationales? Deleting caricatures and Polandball comics with unpopular rationales? Artists cease contributing to Commons since writing tedious, lengthy descriptions takes the fun out of making and sharing caricatures for free? This proposal can only lead to censorship and the loss of valuable artists and artwork. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 05:06, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Michaeldsuarez, many of the Polandball comics on Commons already contain rationales in the descriptions, and most of the caricatures you're probably worried about have self-evident rationales that would just need to be written. For digitally modified images, we already have templates like {{retouched}} and {{Bilderwerkstatt}} which record what modifications were made, and usually contributors also explain why they made a change in those templates. All I am proposing is that we establish the same for non-photographic images (are there templates already?), and that the Commons community require that these are filled in for material about identified/identifiable people. (And to answer part of Adam's concern quickly: items 'by a notable artist' (such as Carlos Latuff) is IMO a sufficient explanation in 99% of cases; however I contend that in some instances 'by a notable artist' may not be in itself sufficient justification.) Yes it is a bit of paperwork, but it can be done after the upload, and IMO it is a reasonable amount of 'extra work' for the extra visibility obtained by a) naming a person on the metadata, or using their likeness in an obvious way in the media and b) being hosted on Wikimedia Commons. It will increase the quality of our repository as we will know what was intended and why. I hope we all agree that searchers and re-users should have such basic information about items in our collection. This proposal is to require it for identified/identifiable people, or if that cohort is too large I would be happy if it was required only for identified/identifiable living people. John Vandenberg (chat) 13:55, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose per Adam Cuerden. While I am a strong proponent of allowing deletions for COM:IDENT issues and I fully support the WMF resolution on BLP, I fail to see how this proposal will aid either of those issues. I think COM:SCOPE and the principle of notability can address the concerns raised in this proposal. Mandating explanations might solve the issue but I am concerned this would be overly complex to moderate. Saffron Blaze (talk) 05:16, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment Yes; Adam made a good point. Jee 05:30, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment -- I agree with comments above by Adam Cuerden and Michaeldsuarez. Cheers, -- Cirt (talk) 12:46, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

example images[edit]

I looked at the example images on this page, and I am not sure if they are right.

  • Anna Unterberger image is taken outdoors which is usually not considered a "private" place, unless it is some sort of walled garden. May be an indoor "home" photograph would ba a better example.
  • Jimmy Wales photo claims that he "allowed his image to be used". I do not doubt it but there is no mention of it in the file itself. Should we use some template for it?--Jarekt (talk) 13:36, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
My rationale for the two photos are as follows. It is hard to find an image with all the required qualities that also looks good and is memorable.
  • The Anna Unterberger image has got a consent template on it whereas the older Larry Sanger image did not. Both were presumably shot in a private garden. Both involve the subject clearly posing for the camera, which indicates a degree of consent. I agree a professional photograph of a famous person in their home might be better yet. I would prefer if it had the consent template. In comparison to Sanger, the Unterberger photo is professionally taken and she's a whole lot easier on the eye :-)
  • I'm not sure there's a template that says "You can use this photo for WMF publicity". I'm not even sure that's the sort of thing Commons would document, as it is really a contract between subject and publisher, neither of which is Commons. As you say, that Jimbo allowed this photo is not really in doubt even if we have no evidence. Readers will be familiar with the image from publicity.
-- Colin (talk) 14:59, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
The reason I was looking at those images was to find out the proper format of adding consent template. I guess we still should be on a lookout for better images to make the point. --Jarekt (talk) 15:32, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
Jarekt, in addition to your point (which is valid), the lead photo is also less than ideal as an example in this way: the consent asserted is not for broad publication, but merely for publication. For all we know, she could have consented to publication only in a specific publication. It says "… specifically consented to publication of this photograph or video"
I also think it would be best to use examples that do not draw from within the Wikimedia movement. (The lead photo used to be of Larry Sanger, so it seems we have already moved in that direction.) Maybe a new photo could be found to replace the one of Jimmy Wales. -Pete F (talk) 17:35, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
  • We need to ensure we get the right balance when insisting on consent. A simple portrait should only require an attestation to consent. In instances where the image might reasonably be construed as unflattering or embarrassing then the threshold should be a higher. However, if the subject of the photo is doing something that would be notable in its own right then the need to document the act may outweigh concerns of COM:IDENT. The key to all this will be editorial judgment not prescriptive policy. Saffron Blaze (talk) 19:46, 26 December 2013 (UTC)

Template talk:Personality rights[edit]

You may be interested in joining the discussion at Template talk:Personality rights#Template as is is alienating for image use. whym (talk) 14:42, 30 January 2014 (UTC)