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Related ideas

Existing policies and ideas relating to this:

Official policies

  • COM:Project scope: the aim of Wikimedia Commons is to provide media realistically useful for an educational purpose
  • Commons is not censored: a depiction of human nudity is not in itself a reason for deletion
  • COM:NOTHOST: Commons is not your personal free web host
  • COM:PORN: Commons is not an amateur porn site

Official guidelines

Rejected guideline (Commons:Sexual content)

  • Commons:Sexual content, a draft proposal including a series of suggestions for how Wikimedia Commons might handle sexual content, was rejected in December of 2008 by consensus decision. In 2010, the guideline was revised and reproposed to the Commons community but was again rejected, with no consensus reached.


It is felt that a guideline is needed, because at the moment there are no guidelines or policies as to what the acceptable bounds of content should be at Commons. Images depicting male nudity are regularly nominated for deletion at Commons:Deletion requests and the Commons is not censored policy is often cited as a defense. However it must be asked if allowing any content whatsoever (within the bounds of the law) is really serving the Wikimedia projects' aims. This guideline aims to define a reasonable bound for administrators and other users; to serve as a guide in deciding what should be kept and what may be deleted.


  • Any image that appears to be uploaded solely for the purpose of vandalism may be speedily deleted. Typically the uploader will be a new user with a low edit count and other users from local projects will come to Commons to request the image's deletion.
  • Any image can be used to vandalize pages, although ones with nudity have more shock value. Images should not be deleted simply because they are being used for vandalism, only when they fail to meet established policy or guidelines.

New uploads

Commons does not need you to drop your pants and grab a camera. If you want to, try to fill a real gap in our collection. Commons does not need you to drop your pants and grab a camera. If you want to, try to fill a real gap in our collection.
Commons does not need you to drop your pants and grab a camera. If you want to, try to fill a real gap in our collection.

Very similar to, and no better than, existing images


Categories such as male reproductive system, penis and vaginas show that Commons has a large quantity of images relating to human genitalia.

New images of low resolution or poor quality, which provide little descriptive information, of a subject we already have images of, may be nominated for deletion, citing appropriate rationale(s). Such images are of limited value as media for categories related to human anatomy and stages of development.

An image of decent quality which does provide additional useful information, e.g. about the background and age of the individual, or relevant vital statistics, might indeed be useful. Likewise, an image that is sufficiently different from existing files should generally be kept. A new image of decent quality may mean that a similar poor image can be deleted. (But this is in no way restricted to files containing nudity or sexual content; anything of poor quality may be deleted in favor of higher-quality replacements.)

Significantly different from existing images

If a file depicts some phenomenon or circumstance which we do not already have representations of (for example, diseases or body modifications) then it should be kept, as it adds to the educational content of Commons. Wikimedia Commons should have media depicting human anatomy in all its variety and diversity.

Images better than existing images

If a new image depicts something we already have an image of, but in a better way, the older image may be considered for deletion.

  • Prefer higher resolution images over lower resolution images
  • Prefer focused images over unfocused and blurry images
  • Prefer images showing context (for example, the full male body) over images only showing a "groin shot"
  • Prefer non-confrontational framing (e.g. side-on) over "shocking" close-up shots (such images are more likely to be used in vandalism attacks for this reason)

These preferences should help Commons build a higher quality database that adheres more closely to its educational aims.

See also

  • Template:2257 — tracking template which categorizes files (and warns content reusers) of content which may fall under 18 USC 2257