Commons:Courtesy deletions

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Shortcut: COM:COURTESY See also Commons:Courtesy deletions/2


All uploads to Commons must comply with our licensing policy, which requires all images be licensed under a "free" license, such as the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license. A free license must be perpetual (non-expiring) and irrevocable (you can't take it back).

Commons Courtesy

The Wikimedia Foundation urges editors to "[treat] any person who has a complaint about how they are portrayed in our projects with patience, kindness, and respect, and [encourage] others to do the same." Please see wmf:Resolution:Media about living people. We do understand that people make mistakes, change their mind or for other personal reasons desire to have their contributions deleted. Unless the image violates our licensing policy in some manner, or is otherwise illegal in the State of Florida, we are under no legal obligation to delete it. However, administrators are normally sympathetic to well-reasoned removal requests.

Period of grace

A common speedy deletion reason is "user-requested deletion of recently uploaded file", for which administrators have discretion to delete media which was uploaded less than a week before. Anything beyond that must go through a deletion request.

Deletion requests

Please bear the following in mind when nominating one of your uploads for deletion:

  • Be calm and explain why you want it deleted. Please give more detail than "I don't want this here anymore".
  • We are not legally required to follow your wishes.
  • Deletion does not revoke the license.
  • Even if we delete it, we cannot stop others from reusing it if they found it here under a free license.

Admins shall only delete for:

Existing policy reasons, rather than courtesy deletion reasons, for example:
  • Is the file freely licensed? Did you upload it illegally?
    If not, it will be deleted as a copyright violation.
  • Is the file within our project scope?
    If not, it will be deleted as being outside our scope.
Courtesy deletion reasons, namely the following criteria:
  • How long ago did you upload the file?
    The earlier the file was uploaded, the less likely it would be deleted.
  • Is the file something we have lots of, or something that is pretty much irreplaceable?
    We are more likely to delete an image of the Eiffel Tower, which is easily replaced, than of a newsworthy event.
  • How good is the quality of the file?
    We are more likely to delete low quality images.
  • Is the file in (non-trivial) use on other Wikimedia projects?
    Current or recent use on the mainspace of another project reduces the likelihood of deletion, use on multiple projects means deletion is very unlikely.
  • Is there community consensus for the deletion?
    Images are not deleted merely because they are controversial; controversial images are among our most highly valued contributions.