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Out of process deletion of files by User:Hystrix[edit]

Four nights ago, administrator User:Hystrix deleted a large number of files, apparently from a specific Flickr account, giving the rationale: "Uploaded files of a blocked user. To prevent harm from new tenant. -"

Several users including me asked Hystrix on their talk page why that action was performed. Hystrix did not link to any policy reason or deletion discussion that would justify this action. They did link to a Commons user's block discussion and a deletion discussion for some entirely different files from the same Flickr account.

Could another admin please restore these files? They can always be nominated for deletion again if there is an actual problem with any of them. Tokfo (talk) 19:11, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

  • Time2wait.svg Admin's note: Please do not undelete these files without community consensus, wheel warring is not appropriate with dealing with such a magnitude. ~riley (talk) 20:04, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
  • @Hystrix: I'll start off by saying that deleting or even editing 10,000 files using semi-automated or automated tools is the job of a bot, and requires the permission of the community for not only the mass logs but the task at hand. Deleting 10,418 files without community consensus was a bad decision, it would be even a worse decision for an admin to come along and undelete them without community consensus due to the magnitude that we are dealing with here. So far, from what I have seen (correct me if I am wrong), there is no policy that has been referenced in this deletion and no discussion that has established consensus for these deletions either. Mass-deletions are extremely controversial and never should be based off of a sole admin's opinion in regards to the matter. I am going to remain neutral in regards to support or oppose for undeletion, but in either case, there needs to be consensus for how we move forward which should be discussed below. ~riley (talk) 20:04, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Hystrix (talk · contribs) should browse through delinker logs and fix massive damage at least partially. Failure to do anything to mitigate consequences of reckless deletions may be grounds for sanctions. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 20:22, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment: While I wasn't directly involved in the discussions about this Flickr-account on :de, it's clear to me that Hystrix's intent was to avert danger (of costly copyright-litigation) from re-users. On :de Wikipedia re-users have complained about receiving costly cease and desist orders on behalf of this Flickr-user for minor infractions of the licensing terms.[1]
As not all of you may know, the copyright law of Germany and Austria allows the copyright-holder to issue a so-called Abmahnung (sort of Cease and desist) against anyone who in his opinion infringes his copyright, without first calling a court. The typical cost of an Abmahnung is between 500 and 1200 Euros for 1 image. As no court is involved, there is no independant evaluation of the case. Many people pay the amount requested in order to avoid going to court, as this might be even more costly. IANAL. --Túrelio (talk) 20:34, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
Pictogram-voting-question.svg Question @Túrelio: could you clarify what do you mean, please? Is it about “avoid images from this source because the rights holder is a costly troll”? Or about “we understand legal implications of Flickr licensing wrt users from Germany and Austria too poorly”? Incnis Mrsi (talk) 20:45, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
@Incnis Mrsi, it's somewhere in between. Issueing an Abmahnung it legally o.k., well, to some degree. Originally this process was put into law to deal with business vs. business quarrels, to relieve the courts. But, wrt copyright it is often used business vs. private persons (for example blog-owners). That's morally questionable, IMO, at least when several hundreths of Euros are requested. --Túrelio (talk) 21:04, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
The real question is then; why isn't Wikimedia Legal involved in this? It is not the job of a sole admin to delete 10,000 files in regards to a legal matter, Wikimedia Legal should have been sought out before any decisions were made. Last time I checked, assessing the threat of actual copyright litigation is not in our job descriptions as administrators and making any intent to avert danger is also not within our roles. Hence why we do not handle DMCA takedowns. ~riley (talk) 20:57, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
Well, WMF-Legal's job is WMF, not re-users, not users. At least that's what they officially say.
"making any intent to avert danger is also not within our roles" — well; suppose we learn that a photographer/copyright-holder has a business model of (ab)using Commons/Wikipedia to targetedly expose his images to a broad public, well aware that some re-users will not comply 100 percent with the license terms (I am not talking about blatantly copyviolating re-use) and then extracting quite some money from these usually non-commercial re-users. Would you put your hands in the lap and do nothing? (sorry for the suggestive wording) By maintaining Commons we may unintentionally provide a platform for such practices. I'm aware that this is not a binary problem; but this case might be beyond what's acceptable. --Túrelio (talk) 21:22, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
Sounds like a clear cut case of a en:Copyright troll. If reusers are being exposed to thousands of dollars of potential litigation that is indeed a problem. And, no, WMF-Legal is not going to help. Their job is to protect the foundation. Not reusers. I would have preferred if Hystrix at least posted somewhere on Commons that this was occurring but if this is actually what is happening it seems like we should not allow a troll to continue to use Commons for their own monetary gain. --Majora (talk) 21:28, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
You are correct on many levels, WMF has no role in the original issue and I would not sit by and allow this to happen as an administrator, however, they should be involved in regards to the mass-deletion of files in regards to litigation or be involved for taking action against the user with their business model (global lock). Considering Hystrix spent three days deleting these files (when it should have been done in one go by an adminbot), it is quite clear this was not a time sensitive manner and there is no excuse for lack of community discussion. I'd like to know why an admin feels it is appropriate for them to 1) Perform a task at bot speeds 2) Perform a task involving 10,000 files 3) Perform a task without consensus or approval 4) Fail to notify the community of their actions. ~riley (talk) 21:37, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

(EC) I have taken some time to read about this user here and at DE wiki and I am perfectly fine with this mass deletion. It seems very clear to me that this user uploaded the files (and spread them over articles where the images were inappropriate, also using a sock farm), with the apparent purpose to make money from it by chasing reusers. This user owns a tool ( and uses it to find reuse. Users have reported to have received bills of over 400 Euros from this person for minor inconformities. This comes close to criminal behaviour or may even be over the legal line. Wikimedia Commons has no place for such business. Jcb (talk) 21:34, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

If some users think we should delete files whose copyright is being too strictly (however strictly that is) enforced, then they should start an RFC to get such a policy adopted. We don't have a policy to delete files for that reason; as long as we don't, yes, we should "put our hands in the lap and do nothing" about that. Tokfo (talk) 21:37, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
In some cases copyright trolls send these letters to people who are not actually in violation of the license. It is cheaper to just pay the requested amount instead of going to court about it. This is a form of extortion and while illegal people can make an enormous amount of money from it because it is just easier to pay than deal with the potential court fees. It costs a lot more than 400 euros to fight something in court. You think Commons should be party to this type of activity? Start a RfC regarding copyright trolls then. --Majora (talk) 21:42, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
If somebody is sending fraudulent cease and desist letters to people, then even with a new policy there isn't anything we could possibly do against that. Anybody can send fraudulent cease and desist letters to anybody about any work, including people who aren't even the copyright holders. The kind of situation you describe is a matter for the legal system and has nothing to do with Commons. Tokfo (talk) 06:40, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Mir war vor der Löschung die Komplexität der Materie nicht bewusst. Ich hätte vorher einen Löschantrag stellen sollen. Mein Fehler. Als Mitglied von de:OTRS habe ich mehrfach Beschwerden über hohe Abmahnungforderungen des Hochladers gelesen, auch von erfahrenen Nachnutzern, bei nur kleinen Fehlern der Kennzeichnung. User:Túrelio hat zu diesem Problem weiter oben geschrieben. Das Problem mit den Abmahnungen gibt es wohl in weiteren Ländern wie Kolumbien (siehe [2]). Der Hochlader geht vermutlich bei der Durchsetzung seiner monetären Forderungen recht perfide vor, wie eine Nachnutzerin es per Mail an de:WP schilderte. Um weitere, auch unbedarfte Nachnutzer zu schützen, habe ich die Dateien gelöscht. Dieses Geschäftsmodell, Dateien in Massen hochladen und bei auch nur kleinen Fehlern der Nachnutzung, ohne vorherige Nachfrage via Mail, sofort einen Geldbetrag einzufordern widerspricht meiner Meinung nach den Richtlinien des Projekts. An einer weiteren Diskussion, ob diese Dateien wiederhergestellt werden sollen, werde ich mich nicht beteiligen. Falls Hilfe bei der Wiederherstellung benötigt wird, werde ich mich beteiligen.
(Translation via google: Before the erasure, I was unaware of the complexity of the matter. I should have asked for a deletion request beforehand. My mistake. As a member of de: OTRS, I have read several complaints about high warning requirements of the uploader, even from experienced reusers, with only small errors of labeling. User: Túrelio has written on this issue further up. The problem with the warnings there are probably in other countries such as Colombia (see ([3]). The uploader is probably in the enforcement of his monetary demands quite perfidious before, as a reusers it by Mail to de: WP described. To protect further, also inoffensive Nachnutzer, I deleted the files. This business model, files in bulk upload and with only small errors of the reuse, without prior request via email to claim a cash immediately contradicts, in my opinion, the guidelines of the project and I will not participate in any further discussion on whether these files should be restored.) Hystrix (talk) 22:10, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
Personally, I think the matter is settled with Hystrix's response. It seems we all agree that the deletions were out of process and should have been done through a regular DR. Hystrix acted out of good intentions, apologized for the mistake and offered to help fix the mistake if the community requests it. Now that the damage is done, we should not mass-undelete, but process potential undeletion via the normal UnDR process.
I wonder whether it's time we need some kind of policy or guidelines regarding abusive rights holders, though that's something to be discussed on the Village Pump or in an RFC. Sebari – aka Srittau (talk) 05:23, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
I don't understand what could be the purpose of individual undeletion requests for >10000 files. The files were all deleted for the same "reason", so either all of them should be restored or none of them. Tokfo (talk) 07:03, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
I never said anything about individual UnDRs. But potential undeletion should be discussed on a community forum, not the Administrator's board. Sebari – aka Srittau (talk) 08:49, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
@Tokfo: do you deny people from wikis the right to use correctly licensed images on their own discretion? Possibly a special warning template {{Copyright trolling}} has to be designed for this purpose, but Commons should not force such precautions upon the whole Wikimedia. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 08:50, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
@Incnis Mrsi: Are you confusing me with someone else? I already agree with you, which is why I started this thread. Tokfo (talk) 09:25, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Not confused, but possibly did not recognize a straw-man argument. There is some community support for mass deletion of the produce of the copyright troll. In other words, anything licensed by the troll is by default not admitted to Wikimedia Commons. But if several pictures are valuable enough to be used in spite of danger, and if there are strong supporters for particular causes, then why not to undelete few files for which benefits outweigh risk? Incnis Mrsi (talk) 10:05, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
In accordance with this discussion, I have made an undeletion request. Tokfo (talk) 20:13, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Were all of the pictures taken by Flickr user Marco Verch? If I understand de:Wikipedia:Urheberrechtsfragen/Archiv/2018/01#Hilfe - Rechnung für Commons-Foto erhalten correctly, someone was billed €481.50 for minor errors when using flickrphoto:26163120803: the file is listed as cc-by-2.0 (no share-alike, version 2) on Flickr, but the website with the infringing use listed cc-by-sa-3.0 instead (with share-alike, version 3) and there was no clickable link to the licence text. I think it's problematic if someone sends you a bill when the error obviously is a minor mistake, although it's fine if someone intentionally violates your copyright. I think that it was correct to delete the files from Commons, although it probably should have gone through a deletion request instead of speedy deletion. I think that we should delete the rest of the files in Category:Photographs by Marco Verch and probably instruct the reviewer bots to blacklist files from this Flickr user so that files aren't reposted to Commons. Sure, the files may be free in some legal sense, but they are not free from a practical sense if reusers don't know how to reuse them without being fined. --Stefan2 (talk) 13:36, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
  • If the community don't want this content here, then it is likely appropriate to blacklist the account. And then the question about what to do in case this person open an account here and start to upload his content here (this can be potentially never published content) can be raised too. Christian Ferrer (talk) 21:23, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment Relative topic [4] raised by User:Smartse below, see the Special:ListFiles/Lingveno Christian Ferrer (talk) 12:31, 21 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Here we are: Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Images by Marco Verch. Regards, Yann (talk) 12:55, 21 March 2018 (UTC)

User:B dash[edit]

I may be completely misunderstanding something here -- if so, my apologies. I also should say that I have not found a problem with the work here, just a concern over process.

Why is B Dash, who is neither Administrator nor Bureaucrat, running Commons:Administrators/Inactivity section/Feb-Mar 2018. The last time he or she got involved with the list of Administrators, it caused some confusion. My concern here is that if someone who has not been chosen as a trusted member of the community runs this process, there is considerable opportunity for error and malfeasance, so that someone else will need to spend time auditing the results.

I also wonder why Steward User:Ajraddatz is acting on the request of B Dash and removing the Admin permission. Although I don't understand why our Bureaucrats cannot perform that function -- they do it on WP:EN among others -- it seems to me that a Steward should not be using his powers without a stronger audit trail. .     Jim . . . (Jameslwoodward) (talk to me) 11:01, 17 March 2018 (UTC)

There is no policy who schould run the inactivity section, generally it is done by crats/admins. No idea why nobody (crat) did it this time. But i don't think Ajraddatz schould be blamed for removed access pursuant to our policy. But i agree with you that only trusted users such as admin/crat (preferably crat) schould run such a inactivity section.--Steinsplitter (talk) 11:40, 17 March 2018 (UTC)
Volunteers helping run useful reports is a good thing, the only limitation should be the natural one that non-sysops cannot rely on sysop rights to check deleted media or take action. If there is an issue with how this report needs to be created transparently with published code, and hence aid accountability in case it is not done correctly, that could do with being laid out more clearly as an issue. At the same time, it makes sense for these particular notifications to sysops to be done by a Bureaucrat or long established sysop.
It would have been polite to raise this with B Dash before making an AN thread about it. B Dash may have offered to refrain from doing this without a hoo-ha. Though the intent here may be to refine guidelines or norms, it reads as a criticism of B Dash. Thanks -- (talk) 11:49, 17 March 2018 (UTC)
This user had even made a request at Meta please clear requests here before going on to Meta. Whereas B dash has notified on talkpage for de-adminship yesterday and so early even requested at meta which I personally feel wrong and requested bureaucrats to have a check on this --✝iѵɛɳ२२४०†ลℓк †๏ мэ 11:59, 17 March 2018 (UTC)
I didn't get pinged for some reason, but I'm happy to explain. I originally was suspicious of the request from B dash, and was going to ping a local crat to confirm, or leave the request. But I looked through past inactivity runs, noticed that he seemed to be involved in the process without issue here, and couldn't find anything in the local policy saying that such requests had to come from a bureaucrat or admin. If you decide differently here, please codify it in your local policies or let the stewards know in some way so we are aware for the future. Regards, Ajraddatz (talk) 16:29, 17 March 2018 (UTC)
As for the "audit trail", a request was made on m:SRP and I actioned it. That is completely standard for any steward-mediated removal of permissions. You are welcome to start a local discussion on letting bureaucrats remove sysop/crat flags locally if you wish, but currently only the stewards are empowered to do so here. Ajraddatz (talk) 16:32, 17 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Jim has raised a very valid and interesting point but if B Dash runs this check without a problem, I don't think I would have any issue with it considering that this user is in good standing on this project and there is no policy prohibiting any non-admin from doing it. Policy allows Ajraddatz to act on such request from non-admin if there is no policy prohibiting the request. Regards. Wikicology (talk) 17:41, 17 March 2018 (UTC)
  • If there's any questions that should be asked here, it should be to the bureaucrats (of which the OP is one) as to why they are not taking initiative to run the inactivity runs. --Rschen7754 18:28, 17 March 2018 (UTC)
I've notified our crats about this thread. --Túrelio (talk) 19:27, 17 March 2018 (UTC)
  • As far as I can see, B dash has done a good job (other concerns notwithstanding). I note that @Odder: has been involved in the inactivity runs for the past few years but it seems not this run. Certainly Odder and B dash seemed to coordinate the previous run, so perhaps Odder has been keeping an eye on the process? Green Giant (talk) 19:31, 17 March 2018 (UTC)
    I have watched the inactivity run and I second that B dash has done a good job. Removals have been done in the meantime and I'd say there is nothing left to do now.
    Of course it is concerning that none out of 8 crats have commented at Commons:Administrators/Inactivity section/Feb-Mar 2018. From my personal point of view it wasn't necessary as I noticed no mistake and no objections or concerns have been raised. Anyway, if anybody feels ready to apply for crat status, feel free to go ahead. --Krd 09:17, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Thanks for doing, and I apologize for any inconvenience. --B dash (talk) 11:16, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
  • There still haven't been any notices sent to those who were desysopped. --Rschen7754 00:35, 21 March 2018 (UTC)

Block evasion by IP[edit]

When an IP is an obvious sock of an indefinitely-blocked user, how long do we normally block the IP? COM:BLOCK didn't address the issue at all. Nyttend (talk) 19:02, 20 March 2018 (UTC)

Duration and extent of an IP block depends on character of an IP address. A static IP in personal use by a long-time abuser may be hard-blocked for months. A static IP shared by several users (NAT) may be soft-blocked for months. It is silly to point-block dynamic IPs for longer than ∼ 3 days, but in case of determined attempts to edit the site a range may be soft-blocked for some time. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 19:07, 20 March 2018 (UTC)
Thank you. This is Look2See1; he's only made a few edits here with this address, but over at my en:wp talk page, someone's pointed out this address making tons of his typical edits for 2+ months now, so I think we can call it stable. Nyttend (talk) 19:55, 20 March 2018 (UTC)

Christian Ferrer is deleting my pic on the MES WIKI section[edit]

The Admin Christian ferrer is deleting Pics that are clearly for MES WIKI page for Mind Eye Society LARP games. I have uploaded pic of my self on Aztec and other Customs, use filters to shape the image as gothic vampire related.

I don't know how to contact him and tell him to stop.

Please I need help — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ramonpazos (talk • contribs) 06:51, 21 March 2018 (UTC)

Hint: Commons:Deletion_requests/Files_uploaded_by_Ramonpazos. Sänger (talk) 07:51, 21 March 2018 (UTC)
 Not done The images in question are not deleted, yet. Please participate in the discussion linked by Sänger. Nothing to be done here. Sebari – aka Srittau (talk) 08:29, 21 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment Hello, I indeed speedy deleted some files because they can be found published the web. And I nominated for deletion the rest of the files. Christian Ferrer (talk) 12:10, 21 March 2018 (UTC)


I posted about this user at Commons:Administrators'_noticeboard/Blocks_and_protections/Archive_23#User:Lingveno a week ago, but nothing was done. They are proxying for a blocked user who was using commons uploads in an extortion racket. There is an awful lot of clean up left to be done. Smartse (talk) 10:50, 21 March 2018 (UTC)

@Smartse: Regarding en:User_talk:Lingveno, just to clarify: Did he got bought by a blocked editor (Wuestenigel and socks) to upload files of the blocked editor? --Steinsplitter (talk) 13:28, 21 March 2018 (UTC)
@Steinsplitter: Thanks for the email - interwiki pings are useless! They didn't explain what happened, but that seems like the likeliest explanation. They presumably didn't know why they were doing it, but they added the images to several articles over several wikis. Semso98 claimed to have been contacted on social media and did it is a favour, but given the links to sockfarms I find that hard to believe. Smartse (talk) 17:11, 21 March 2018 (UTC)

By the way, I deem this conduct of Jeff_G. disrespectful and harmful. It is perfectly possible that Lingveno was “bought” (i.e. contracted) to make some uploads, but one requires an extraordinary evidence to broadcast sockpuppetry accusations against an established Wikimedian never having reputation of a deceiver. Jeff, either search for evidence now (this, of course, doesn’t qualify) or apologize for personal attack. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 05:53, 22 March 2018 (UTC)

@Incnis Mrsi: I never accused User:Lingveno of sockpuppetry. I thought all the files in Category:Images by Marco Verch were by Marco Verch. Where's your evidence and why didn't you notify me of the above?   — Jeff G. ツ please ping or talk to me 09:20, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
The posting referred by the diff above was placed in a section with files mostly (if not totally) uploaded by Lingveno, not already blocked Wuestenigel. IMHO “uploader is using them to inappropriately pepper pages in multiple projects” (emphasis mine) in this context is explicit and unambiguous; and see that it was not corrected. If it is not about socking by Lingveno, then about what? @Jeff G.: I pinged you and, moreover, you are a regular on admins’ noticeboards. Sorry, did not expect that a missing user_talk message may offend you. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 17:40, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
@Incnis Mrsi: I modified it, ok?   — Jeff G. ツ please ping or talk to me 20:17, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
Good. @Jeff G.: may we consider the incident resolved? I became paranoid about baseless accusations against (really working) Wikimedians, but see now that nothing of the sort was intended. Perhaps I could better query Jeff on his user_talk first, not taking this straight to the noticeboard. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 20:24, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
@Incnis Mrsi: Yes, but please consider that mention ≠ ping ≠ posting on user talk.   — Jeff G. ツ please ping or talk to me 23:12, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
@Incnis Mrsi: "an established Wikimedian" maybe, but one who on at least, has consistently put their own financial interests ahead of the project's aims. Smartse (talk) 16:48, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
@Smartse: I have too little information about what happened to Lingveno in en.Wikipedia, but deception or scam AFAIK were not incriminated. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 17:40, 22 March 2018 (UTC)

Revdel request[edit]

Yes check.svg Resolved

Hi, Could someone revdel this please, I'm assuming the IP is an LTA who seemingly has some sort of grudge against me, No idea, Thanks, –Davey2010Talk 15:51, 21 March 2018 (UTC)

✓ Done --Steinsplitter (talk) 15:52, 21 March 2018 (UTC)
Brilliant thanks Steinsplitter much appreciated :), –Davey2010Talk 15:55, 21 March 2018 (UTC)

Note: A global lock is requested for proxies (talk contribs Luxo's SUL deleted contribs logs block user block log checkuser) and (talk contribs Luxo's SUL deleted contribs logs block user block log checkuser). Incnis Mrsi (talk) 16:46, 21 March 2018 (UTC)

Can someone please block, Thanks, –Davey2010Talk 16:51, 21 March 2018 (UTC)
✓ Done for three days. --Steinsplitter (talk) 17:01, 21 March 2018 (UTC)

Can someone help this user?[edit]

Might not be the best place to ask,, but I couldn't think of where better. At Commons:Help_desk#Can we take pictures of six historic photos displayed by the government agencie?, I have tried several times to help this user, but he doesn't seem to understand me. Having had similar impasses with him several other times, I'm obviously not the one to help him out. Can someone else work with him? - Jmabel ! talk 15:32, 22 March 2018 (UTC)

About request[edit]

Hello, any admin please see this request and grant me the rights. I don't want to request here but no one is seeking there so I have to post here.--√Jæ√ 15:56, 22 March 2018 (UTC)

With all due respect, but to be honest this sounds like hat collecting to me. --Steinsplitter (talk) 17:41, 22 March 2018 (UTC)

Deletion of redirects[edit]

Hi, could an admin please close Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Icons for railway descriptions/obsolete redirect#More redirects (4)? I am waiting for a number of pages to be deleted so I can do file moves to those titles. Thanks, Jc86035 (talk) 08:48, 23 March 2018 (UTC)