Commons talk:Project scope/Update 2013/Must be realistically useful for an educational purpose

From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository
Jump to navigation Jump to search
  • Click on the 'Project page' tab, above to see the current policy/guideline wording that is under discussion on this page.
  • To make a specific proposal, please start a new subsection and use the code below to put it in its own box. You can sign underneath the resultant box, but for technical reasons you can't use "~~~~" within it. Please number your proposal for ease of reference.
{{divbox|amber|Proposal number and title|Introduction
*more text}}
Commons-logo.svg Scope Review 2013 links:

Discuss stage 2 of this review



Links to current rules

Discussion: Introductory Scope wording

Discussion: Files

Discussion: Pages, galleries and categories

Discussion: Areas of particular concern

Discussion: Identifiable people

Other proposals

Definition of 'educational'[edit]

Proposal 1[edit]

  • Please discuss the above proposal here

"Educational value" is not binary - it is on a spectrum. I think there should be a precautionary principle here: the educational value of an image should be weighed against its potential to harm, offend, or embarrass. A totally inoffensive picture doesn't need to actively demonstrate its value; if its uploader thinks it belongs on Commons, that's enough for it to stay. (This is the wiki way.) As soon as someone is annoyed enough to nominate it for deletion, that is weighed against its value, in deciding whether to keep it.

If a few people are seriously offended by the image, keeping it should require greater educational value. If the creator or subject feel injured or embarrassed or betrayed by the image being on Commons, it should only be kept if there is strong and obvious educational value to having it here. Likewise if a large community is disturbed by an image. At some point, the burden of demonstrating the value of an image falls on those who want to keep it. Particularly when those injured by an image are not community members and don't understand wiki policy. --SJ+ 22:15, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

I accept that educational is not binary, and further am willing to accept educational value should be weighed against harmful potential (taking account of whether the subject is a public figure). But something shouldn't stay on Commons just because the uploader thought it should. Your facebook picture may be totally inoffensive but it isn't for us. -mattbuck (Talk) 23:04, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
(Slightly tangential) I think there are some supplementary issues behind SJ's proposal in terms of process and guidance for the general public rather than regular contributors. The trouble with a soft and wide spectrum is that members of the public or volunteers that may suffer damage from a media file, such as invasion of privacy, being subject to ridicule, suffering reputational damage, then are likely to have to either navigate arcane procedures (OTRS looks weird to the outsider) or have help from "insiders" in order to lobby a case for deletion. It would be ideal to have a solution here that enables complainants to present their case, if suitable to be done in public, without being so frustrated by the arbitrary bureaucratic barriers we create, that their most realistic or effective option is to get a lawyer to write to the WMF instead, or raise a DMCA notice.
We need to be aware of how bad "non-collegialte" behaviour or outright trolling is on this project right now. I am sad to say that I certainly would not advise a professional colleague, or relative, to attempt an open Deletion request under their legal name for something they found offensive or intrusive, for fear of having a hostile or abusive reception. I would have to advise them to negotiate deletion through closed email discussion. The fact that contentious Deletion requests are patrolled by those that will immediately copy the image to another website so that it can never be removed from the internet, makes this a highly adversarial environment where attempting open discussion may itself become damaging for complainants. -- (talk) 08:40, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Again, as has come up elsewhere, may I presume that by "non-collegiate" you mean "non-collegial"? - Jmabel ! talk 23:59, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
    • Yes. -- (talk) 00:08, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
  • (To SJ) This may surprise some, but I don't think people being offended or not should weigh into the consideration at all, unless the person offended is the subject of the media in some way. It looks like that was more or less what you meant. I think integrating this proposal with Fae's criteria below for judging value of an image could make for a good guideline that balances privacy/damage against value. Gigs (talk) 17:48, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
  • I could in fact live well with this proposal. I, for one, take a lot of photos of Vienna's tramway system, and have uploaded some of them to Commons. Currently, when I look at deletion requests and see nomination reasons such as "low quality penis, no educational value", I wonder if this will ever also be applied to other subjects: "we have enough photos of that tramway system, this one adds nothing". Even though of course that is a very different situation: after all, my photos probably won't be usable for any vandalism. Or replace tramway system with whatever you, or somebody you know, takes the majority of their photos of. Perhaps also bind this to categorization: if the uploader didn't find any suitable categories themselves, then in-scope-ness needs more demonstration. darkweasel94 19:02, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
    When you start to get sexual gratification from showing your trams to the world, then you can get worried. :) Gigs (talk) 04:36, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
    Well that's exactly what I mean: it seems that the status quo is already to use higher standards for sexually explicit images than for others such as those I usually upload. I think it is a good idea to actually write that into the policy. darkweasel94 05:25, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
    I agree. We ought to take a broad interpretation of educational value on the whole, but be somewhat more cautious on topics which might give offense. If I am uploading Commons' 100th picture of a Lowland Anoa or Big Ben, fine. If I am uploading the 100th picture of genitalia, the Prophet, or modern-day replica Nazi paraphernalia then I ought to have to give a higher burden of evidence that this contribution is in fact educational. The Land (talk) 11:11, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
    How can we define "what gives offense"? Might opponents of British imperialism find pictures of Big Ben offensive? Powers (talk) 13:44, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
    We shouldn't need a very precise definition, simply say that the community can, in deletion discussions, weigh possible offense against educational usefulness. This is nothing new: if you look at the deletion requests, you will see that sexually explicit material is much more often nominated for deletion than I'd estimate its percentage in the entirety of Commons to be. I think explicitly writing this into a policy is a good idea, since otherwise people could some day start saying "low quality Big Ben photo, out of scope" in analogy to "low quality penis shot, out of scope" - and at some point in time that would mean every single photo would need to be unique and the uniqueness would need to be explained with a detailed rationale. That's definitely not something I want. darkweasel94 15:27, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support And also and especially agree with Gigs that we should not weigh "offensiveness" into the equation at all. --Cyclopia (talk) 14:35, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
    • Basically it's what, according to my perception, we're already doing now. What would happen if we didn't? Based on the assumption that every rule that can be applied consistently ad absurdum, will be applied consistently ad absurdum, there are two possibilities: either (if we're inclusionists) we'd have an outcry over too many "low-quality" or "non-unique" sexual images and how broken Commons is (not that I'd agree with that), or (if we're deletionists) we will delete totally inoffensive photos demonstrating e.g. what a certain place looks like just because somebody thinks there's nothing that sets that photo apart ("we already have enough photos of that tram type, it is of no interest that this shows the tram type in another street or even decade than the other ones"). darkweasel94 16:51, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
Setting a higher bar for "offensive" content is quite unjustified. If there's a problem with silly penis photos, it's one of volume more than quality. And people have produced sex education material on the Commons that's of quite appalling quality but is being used because its all we have. Why do none of the opponents of "offensive material" ever suggest improving and expanding our collection of sexuality images so that we could get rid of the bad stuff? --Simonxag (talk) 12:17, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

This angst about penis photos seems to be caused by the fact that people have more of an inclination to upload them because they are sexually explicit. Yeah, some people may want to reject penis photos because they are offended, but I expect the reason you see them nominated for deletion and not Big Ben photos is that in fact people upload far fewer photos of Big Ben, thus they are more likely to be legitimately redundant.

Personally, I think "redundant" should be read narrowly. Supporters should identify a specific photo or two that are superior in every way - for example that show Big Ben in similar lighting and weather conditions, at higher resolution, with clear copyright status. One or two redundant photos are in my mind OK in case there are e.g. unexpected copyright issues later, but when it gets to be several or dozens that could be a problem. With penises, certainly for scientific and educational purposes it's legitimate to demonstrate the variety in dimensions, shapes, etc., so again I would define "redundant" narrowly. -- Beland (talk) 20:47, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

I have made a proposal below that might help deal with the issue of multiple barely-educational images, without the need to resort to different rules for content that some might find 'offensive': see #Examples and Discussion, Proposal 2: Actively curate educationally distinct content. This is unlikely to impact on tramway system collections, as images that show different aspects of a subject will almost always be educationally distinct. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 09:18, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

This is a topic of considerable community interest/importance. Please see Commons talk:Project scope/Update 2013/Stage 2 to discuss how we should proceed from here. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 18:10, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Proposal 2[edit]

These are clarifications I seem to frequently make in Deletion requests and it would be handy to be able to say "This has justifiable cultural value" and link to a specific short-cut to a sub-section in Project scope, rather than potentially debating the matter each time. As well as "LGBT" above, we might want to list minority cultures that are frequently under debate as how value can be rationalized, or not. Note prior discussion started on this proposal at Commons_talk:Project_scope#Proposal:_Further_clarification_on_"Educational". -- (talk) 07:58, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

I like this a lot, but I would drop contemporary value, and just clarify that "historic value" doesn't mean "old" necessarily, that contemporary events can be historic. I would also add technical/scientific value as a separate criteria. I do like this framing of it better than my own proposal below. I didn't realize there were other proposals because I couldn't figure out the RfC navigation when I made mine. Gigs (talk) 17:37, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
  • I tend to disagree. I doubt that 10% of my contributions to the Commons clearly fit these explicit criteria. Heck, I doubt that 50% of my contributions to the Commons that are currently used in Wikipedia clearly fit these explicit criteria. I believe these three criteria, as stated, are too narrow to be even illustrative of what we want. For example, the extensive pictures I've taken of neighborhoods in Seattle and other cities probably don't qualify, but I don't think anyone has ever suggested deleting these. - Jmabel ! talk 00:04, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
  • You don't think your work could fall under "cultural value"? I think we should view this proposal as more of a starting point for developing a set of more explicit guidelines, rather than necessarily descriptive of everything. We could always add a criterion for "geographic value"... geography, by its scientific definition, includes the study of human interaction with the environment, which would include documentation of settlements. Gigs (talk) 04:33, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
With regard to merging "contemporary value" to "historic", perhaps the wording can be improved. My intention was to distinguish "cultural" and "historic" from images and media that are newsworthy (to use en.wp's terminology). Files that are newsworthy today, may or may not turn out to be historic. For example we have a growing collection of files under Category:2013 Taksim Gezi Park protests by subject, some of which may be illustrative for reuse in articles about the current events, but would have uncertain value in the long term or if uploaded with insufficient context. In particular, one could imagine scene-setting images of local crowds, empty streets, litter, broken windows, all might be useful for those that understand the newsworthy context, but the generalist would be tempted to slap a DR on them of the type "we have enough photographs of litter, out of scope". -- (talk) 05:35, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg Support Good point --High Contrast (talk) 09:17, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

  • These are good examples, but they are laser-focused on photography; the listed criteria are not very relevant to other types of media files, particularly illustrations and maps. Powers (talk) 13:47, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg Support but expand to include all types of media. Also include "scholarly value" and specifically exclude "things made up yesterday."--TParis (talk) 19:08, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

I like the idea of excluding things made up yesterday, in the light of a number of contributor drawings which I personally find pointless or disruptive. However some illustrations or even photographs of workshop whiteboard drafts, have definite educational value, and how to define the difference (particularly for illustrative graphics without immediate project use, or cartoons/sketches intended to be humorous parody) would probably cause a lot of debate for Proposal 2 and potentially sink it. If you feel passionately, I suggest breaking this out as a separate proposal. -- (talk) 11:55, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
We could open up a caveat for things made up yesterday by noteworthy people, but then said drawings and/or commissioned artworks would still be included.--TParis (talk) 23:20, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

There's already a list of examples of things that are not educational. That's probably the best way around to have it; that list should be short and concrete, and sort of imply that everything not on the list is allowed until consensus forms to change the list. The danger of this list is that it will create arguments like "that's not on the list, so it's probably not educational". I think it's find to have such a list if we accept that it will eventually grow to describe every possible type of content that could be educational and uploaded to commons. That sounds long, so this is probably the wrong place for it. (I would put it on a page by itself.) I lean toward the simple, terse phrase that's there now. -- Beland (talk) 20:51, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

There are some good thoughts here, but like Beland I tend to feel that the list could grow arbitrarily long. The existing policy is intended to be broadly inclusive, but with a list of specific things that are not allowed. If the purpose of this proposal is to ensure that certain types of image are not incorrectly deleted it may be that rather than modify our top-level policy we need to look at the operation of the DR procedures.
Fae, are there any particular educational images or categories of image that are regularly being deleted improperly, in your view? If you are able to recall two or three images that were deleted solely as non-educational I would be happy to consider undeleting them for a while so we could have a more informed discussion here of the limits of 'educational'. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 09:39, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
I would use UNDEL if I felt strongly, though I hardly ever do as life is too short. There have been marginal cases such as the deletion purge of uploads by MaybeMaybeMaybe (talk · contribs) after allegations of sockpuppeting that I found biased to a deletion outcome, rather than solely considering the nomination on the basis of educational value. If you are looking for a liminal test case, you could consider Commons:Deletion requests/File:Brief Skinny Lad (5989161662).jpg, this photo was taken from a interesting Flickr photostream of someone (in my view) who is a rather good photographer with many photographs on Commons, and the photograph was controversial as it was challenged on the basis of quality when I saw this as deliberate technique, especially as the photo was of a medium resolution and had distinct education value in terms of representing gay life in a Columbia, a country well known for its machismo culture, past killings on the basis of "social cleansing" and where harassment of LGBT people is officially reported as commonplace. -- (talk) 10:40, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
It seems that you are suggesting that Commons be used for the purposes of promoting a political ideology as opposed to its current mission. Ottava Rima (talk) 22:11, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support far better than the current phrase that has been twisted by horrible interpretation to be meaningless. Ottava Rima (talk) 22:11, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support This is a distinct improvement. — Scott talk 10:30, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Symbol neutral vote.svg Neutral - this does seem partly to be a way to get more things deleted. Whether it was meant in that fashion... I think I agree that perhaps it's better we give examples of what is not educational, as providing lists of what is seems to lead to trying to slot things in to a particular category, and most things won't fit in any of those proposed. -mattbuck (Talk) 18:58, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

This is a topic of considerable community interest/importance. Please see Commons talk:Project scope/Update 2013/Stage 2 to discuss how we should proceed from here. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 18:10, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Proposal 3[edit]

Withdrawn proposal
Update - I support working from Fae's proposal above as a better starting point. I still maintain that this style of RfC is not conducive to long term guideline development, and suggest that if a proposal starts to gather steam, it should be turned into a draft instead so we can use regular editing to find consensus wordings. Gigs (talk) 17:39, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

Proposal 4[edit]

I'm suggesting this amendment because of a recent deletion of a file that some people claimed was out of scope just because it was small and slightly blurry (the important aspects were clear), in support of one person who also described it as simply being a pictured of a "big red bus" (it wasn't even a bus, but a coach). Being someone who regularly deals in transport images here, this was nothing short of scandalous. I had laid out many reasons why that particular image was educational (providing knowledge; instructional or informative), and in terms of Commons transport images, unique, but to no avail. I was also called a stupid ignorant troll by the reveiwing admin for my trouble too when I challenged the deletion, but that's probably not for this arena. The only explanation I have for this outcome is that the people wanting it deleted were doing so from a position of total ignorance of the subject matter, where any image of a big red bus is, well, an image of a big red bus, and that is presumably all it can tell someone in their eyes. Sure, some of the deleters said that this was their honest opinion etc, but why should that make any difference when they're not willing to address the subject specific reasons given as to why their honest opinion is going against the educational definition of being in scope? There were also other massive failures in understanding the scope policy as it is written now, with people suggesting deletion was OK because it wasn't in use, or because a better image can be taken (even though I explained the subject specific reasons why, no, it probably cannot), but again, that's probably not for this section. I've seen the attitudes displayed in this event before too, albeit thankfully rarely, but still, when it leads to the loss of even one educational image, especially unique ones, I think there needs to be something in the wording of scope that tells admins how to deal with split debates when the delete side are clearly talking about an image of a subject that the debate shows they know anything about, because it's precisely that lack of knowledge that means they cannot possibly judge whether it is educational or not. And obviously that should be to direct them to defer to subject experts when thay make reasonable arguments to keep an image, especially when those are not even addressed by deleters, who are either merely simply voting, or just giving their honest opinions as a basic argument by assertion. I can only imagine the uproar if I started proposing the deletion of aircraft images based on just an honest opinion that because they were simply smaller than other images Commons has that share basic charactistics like colour and being plane shaped, then they weren't in scope, but I wouldn't do that because I know that's not what scope is about, and because I don't know all that much about planes. Ultra7 (talk) 10:18, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

  • This is more or less the problem I've been talking about above. However, the problem is: who is a "subject expert"? Does that simply mean users who are often involved with images from that topic area? It may well be wise to give their opinions more weight, exactly for the reason you state. Could you give a link to the deletion request where that happened? darkweasel94 10:56, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
    • A subject expert would simply be someone who regularly works on images in that area. I can't see any point in defining it as anything other than that. I don't want to link it because the issue is a general one - analysing that particular incident won't really inform this proposal any further than the things I've detailed above; I merely referenced it as an example of what is happening currently. Ultra7 (talk) 11:11, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
      • There are areas where the so-called "subject experts" might be the last people I'd want to hear from: e.g. partisans of one or the other side in maps of a disputed region, or "experts" in a pseudo-science. - Jmabel ! talk 16:51, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

I would be against this proposal, as most of the contentious images relate to sexual subjects, and there would be huge arguments about who should be considered an expert. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 17:16, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

And some of the contentious images don't relate to sexuality at all. This is really related with what we have been discussing above - there seems to be consensus (and outside pressure) that we shouldn't have too many sexuality photos, but this consensus should not apply to other, more "harmless" (and yes I know that this is a culturally relative term), subjects where inclusiveness, diversity and choice for reusers are good things. darkweasel94 17:46, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

I don't think this is really the right phrasing. I would support adding something like:

For scope purposes, consider that Commons serves many different audiences, from the general public, to students, to enthusiasts in a particular field. As long as media is of interest to any audience, it is in scope, even if other audiences find it uninteresting.

-- Beland (talk) 20:54, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

That's a good proposal. Perhaps add some kind of reverse precautionary principle: if there is some good faith doubt whether a free and legal file is in scope, it should be kept. darkweasel94 06:29, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg Support(Ssome version of) this proposal might actually work. I think Michael Maggs is mistaken about the level of consensus even in the contentious area of sexuality amongst those who actively support education in this subject. If the infamous clean-up crew had simply deleted a load of unused and useless surplus pictures, I don't think there would have been any objections. And outside that controversial area, some deletion requests seem to be born of we generalists lack of understanding of a specialist context eg. Commons:Deletion requests/Image:Pt tupper unit 1 control room under desk big gaping hole.jpg. --Simonxag (talk) 10:51, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

What if an Essjay-like character appears? --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 16:16, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

Substitute "specialist" for "expert". We don't want to be giving anybody expert status and even real experts can have controversial POVs. But users and admins who are active in a particular area and respect the differing POVs on projects on what's useful as illustration of that area, could clear out acknowledged rubbish in that area. --Simonxag (talk) 17:16, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

This is a topic of considerable community interest/importance. Please see Commons talk:Project scope/Update 2013/Stage 2 to discuss how we should proceed from here. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 18:10, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Proposal 5[edit]

  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose This seems far too exclusionist. If we say that these criteria are sufficient, not necessary, then they are ok. darkweasel94 10:04, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I can easily imagine the criteria of "significant insight" as being a reason to delete at least 90% of current Commons content, after perhaps a few hundred volunteer years of argument about them. For example, yet another photograph of a drag queen at a Gay Pride march may be interesting, colourful, add cultural value, have education value for re-use, but were we to rank the top 100 drag queen photographs from 2013, it would be extremely hard to justify number 101 as imparting any more significant insight into gay pride marches, drag queens, or any other category I can think of. By the way every house, shop, intersection, park bench, postbox, street furniture, room in my house, tree or places where an ice-cream van is parked that day, has a unique location identity. -- (talk) 14:33, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
    • I don't see that last sentence as a problem. "I want to know what that intersection looked like in 1973, in 1993, and now in comparison" is a valid educational question, and Commons media should be allowed to answer it; media that answers at least one of those sub-questions should be in scope. darkweasel94 15:29, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
      • Unless I'm misreading this, it beings to sound like "significant insight" becomes non-discriminatory due to decomposition. For example my street is notable (all named streets in London are in the AtoZ and are notable) and it is tree-lined. With the criteria here I can justify photographs of the street to include every tree, then every tree by year, then every tree by season, then every tree by day of the year (c.f. here), then every tree when something is happening (with squirrel, with dog, bike parked, child laughing...), then by time of day, then by camera angle or camera model; anyway it begins to look like every possible photograph I could take of my street that happens to have a tree in it would have to be kept. Then of course we start on houses, cars, ... -- (talk) 16:07, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
        • At which point this becomes vacuous, no? Not that I liked the proposal at all... - Jmabel ! talk 16:10, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
        • Fæ, the "geographical value" criterion specifies that the image must be of an object with a unique identity. So each tree on a named street would not count, but every intersection with another named street will. Wer900 (talk) 19:39, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
  • I think this has the same problems of "everything not listed is implicitly out of scope" that Proposal 2 does. It will either need to grow a lot longer or not get added at all. -- Beland (talk) 20:55, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support Far better than what we have now. Ottava Rima (talk) 22:12, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support, although the point about geographical value may need some tweaking. Still far, far better than the status quo. — Scott talk 10:33, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose The list is a decent starting point for what educational might be. It's a bit like "a noun is a person place or thing", a useful handle to grasp a concept but guaranteed to cause harm if used as a definition. So much of our useful and used content breaks this proposed rule. --Simonxag (talk) 18:03, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose - it's the requirement than an image be significant - this is moving our goalposts way too far. I doubt I can name a single image we have which provides significant insight into anything. We should keep our restrictions light in order to allow for a varied library. -mattbuck (Talk) 18:51, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

This is a topic of considerable community interest/importance. Please see Commons talk:Project scope/Update 2013/Stage 2 to discuss how we should proceed from here. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 18:10, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Proposal 6: Licensing restrictions vs. educational value[edit]

I am not entirely sure if this is the best place to fit this in; please move it if it isn't.

  • Symbol support vote.svg Support as proposer. This section is intended to facilitate wide reuse of our media, because some reusers might desperately need a file that is e.g. PD, and do not care if it is of somewhat lower quality (for example, I recently looked and was shocked that we have no PD or even {{Attribution}} photo of the Taj Mahal!). It should also have another positive effect, namely more people licensing their works with fewer restrictions, since that will lower the probability of an "out of scope" deletion. darkweasel94 10:01, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
    • Now, 9 days after my proposal, no support, no oppose, no "moo"? If it's a bad idea, I'd really like to know why. :) darkweasel94 10:48, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Mild Symbol support vote.svg Support, but with much clearer wording needed (such as replacing "redundant" with "duplicates") and recognition that this is probably a clarification to guidelines on handling duplicates, rather than Project scope per se. -- (talk) 11:15, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
    • My point was mainly that if somebody raises "it doesn't have additional educational value, but it does have a less restrictive license than the other files we have of this subject" in a DR, that should be an accepted argument and the file should then be kept. Exact duplicates probably wouldn't have different licenses, would they? darkweasel94 12:02, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
      • Exact duplicates could be "merged" with both licences available on the same page (unless one licence definitely was weaker in restrictions than the other). Near duplicates are a different problem and rationales for deleting one would vary depending on in what way they are duplicates. With regard to non-duplicates, I support this as guidance, but it does not seem a Scope change to me, as we effectively make these decisions already (though I do not have a case study to hand, I vaguely recall similar discussions of retaining PD copies of artworks vs. CC-BY-SA variations). -- (talk) 12:16, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
        • If it's already what's actually done, that's even better - then I support adding that current practice to some policy or guideline, perhaps here, perhaps elsewhere. darkweasel94 12:42, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

This topic appears to be of lesser interest/priority to the community than some of the others in this review, and I propose that we should close it down now. That will allow us in part 2 of the review to focus our full attention on the most important and/or contentious issues. Please comment at Commons talk:Project scope/Update 2013/Stage 2. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 18:10, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

File in use in another Wikimedia project[edit]

Proposal 1[edit]

  • Please discuss the above proposal here

This topic appears to be of lesser interest/priority to the community than some of the others in this review, and I propose that we should close it down now. That will allow us in part 2 of the review to focus our full attention on the most important and/or contentious issues. Please comment at Commons talk:Project scope/Update 2013/Stage 2. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 18:10, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Proposal 2[edit]

It has been a constant source of annoyance to me given what I've seen actually get deleted on grounds of scope, that the automatic retention of files used on other projects applies even to totally trivial usages like transclusion through the Wikimedia logo mosaic. I know of at least one image in that mosaic that would not be considered in scope on any of the other criteria, but it got kept simply because it was in use on other projects (via transclusions of the mosaic). Yet clearly, being a miniscule tile in a mosaic, or any other similarly trivial use on other projects, is not prima facie evidence that the image would otherwise be considered in scope because of educational value etc. If scope is to mean anything, this nonsensical loophole needs to be closed - if it is being argued in a DR that the image would not be in scope otherwise, then there must be a requirement for people to show that usage on other projects is not some trivial case like transclusion of the mosaic. Ultra7 (talk) 12:34, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

I disagree; what are we going to do, pull the rug out from under the project(s) that are actually using the photo? If they are using an image for some purpose, educational or not, it might also be of use to some third party. Keeping such images also prevents having to make redundant copies across projects. -- Beland (talk) 20:57, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
We already have the rule that "any use that is not made in good faith does not count. For example, images that are being used on a talk page just to make a point can be discounted." Personally, I don't think that Commons ought to override the community decision of any project to allow good faith local use of a file. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 09:25, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
I concur with MichaelMaggs here - this part of our process generally works fine. We do have occasional issues of people inserting images after it's DRed as a kind of escape, but it's hardly a big issue. -mattbuck (Talk) 18:53, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

This topic appears to be of lesser interest/priority to the community than some of the others in this review, and I propose that we should close it down now. That will allow us in part 2 of the review to focus our full attention on the most important and/or contentious issues. Please comment at Commons talk:Project scope/Update 2013/Stage 2. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 18:10, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

File in use on Commons only[edit]

Proposal 1[edit]

  • Please discuss the above proposal here

This topic appears to be of lesser interest/priority to the community than some of the others in this review, and I propose that we should close it down now. That will allow us in part 2 of the review to focus our full attention on the most important and/or contentious issues. Please comment at Commons talk:Project scope/Update 2013/Stage 2. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 18:10, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

File not legitimately in use[edit]

Proposal 1[edit]

  • Please discuss the above proposal here

This topic appears to be of lesser interest/priority to the community than some of the others in this review, and I propose that we should close it down now. That will allow us in part 2 of the review to focus our full attention on the most important and/or contentious issues. Please comment at Commons talk:Project scope/Update 2013/Stage 2. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 18:10, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Examples and Discussion[edit]

This section is for comments on the 'Examples' and 'Discussion' sections of the existing policy

Proposal 1[edit]

  • Please discuss the above proposal here

I'm unclear on what this section's title means. Is it meant to be a summary of discussion that's taken place? A place for discussion about the other sections? --SJ+ 22:17, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

No, it's for discussion of the last section of the policy (itself headed 'discussion'). --MichaelMaggs (talk) 22:51, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

This topic appears to be of lesser interest/priority to the community than some of the others in this review, and I propose that we should close it down now. That will allow us in part 2 of the review to focus our full attention on the most important and/or contentious issues. Please comment at Commons talk:Project scope/Update 2013/Stage 2. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 18:10, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Amendment: Useful in stated manner outside Wikimedia-Projects[edit]

I'm missing a clear message, that educational content for using outside WMF-projects is allowed. Wikimedia Commons can be used by any wiki-software, even if its no WMF-project. There, files are uploaded here to commons to be shown on this (external) wikis. At this time, we have at section File not legitimately in use this: „The emphasis here is on realistic utility, either for one of the Wikimedia projects or for some other educational use.“ That's the only clear message, that files can be used outside WMF-projects. But this we can read under a "not-use"-section. So I wish a clarification for files outside WMF-projects. (If this is not the right place to be discussed, please copy/move it to the right place.) --Quedel (talk) 13:03, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

Educational content for external use is explicitly allowed, and indeed one of the high level aims of Wikimedia Commons is "to provide a media file repository ... that makes available public domain and freely-licensed educational media content to all". There is no policy statemnt as to what that external use should be, other than that the file must be "realistically useful for an educational purpose". --MichaelMaggs (talk) 12:49, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

This topic appears to be of lesser interest/priority to the community than some of the others in this review, and I propose that we should close it down now. That will allow us in part 2 of the review to focus our full attention on the most important and/or contentious issues. Please comment at Commons talk:Project scope/Update 2013/Stage 2. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 18:10, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Speed up things[edit]

It would be good if the people who think that "educational purpose" is too broad a scope would offer a gallery of five to ten files currently hosted on commons which they deem not to be educational enough to be hosted on commons. Thereby we could get a clearer picture (no pun intended) what the issue is. --Cwbm (commons) (talk) 21:49, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

We have 92 Selfies and I would struggle to justify all these, however they have in the past been justified as of educational value. With the growth of mobile uploading, this category is likely to grow by several magnitudes in the coming year unless there are clear criteria. Yes, we have the 'not a personal album' guidance, however you can get around that by wearing glasses, sporting a ginger beard, wearing make-up, holding your cat, eating cookies, or some other feature to make it stand out from the crowd as potentially useful to vaguely illustrate something or other. -- (talk) 21:58, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
Imho selfies are not intrinsically out-of-scope. So your example shows that this is not a trivial policy change. How do you want to decide which selfies to delete and how if at all does this translate into a general policy? --Cwbm (commons) (talk) 09:02, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
No idea, I'm just putting this forward for your gallery of shame. Intuitively, it seems that filling Category:Selfies with 10,000 arguably different types of human face from recent indifferent to poor quality mobile phone self-portraits would be funking up Commons for no educational benefit, but it is hard to argue that from the current Scope definition. -- (talk) 10:03, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
Fae makes some very good points here. With the recent introduction of mobile uploads we do need to ensure that we are actively curating educational content, or else run the risk of being swamped by potentially large quantities of totally non-educational stuff. Some but not all selfies will fall into that category. I actually think that existing policy is perfectly adequate to deal with this, and that the issue lies more with implementation than policy wording. Maybe the proposal I am just about to add below would help this. A discussion along those lines would be good. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 07:40, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
I wonder if you're aware some historians will be very happy to browse these selfies to analyze how 2010s people do their self representation (attitude, clothes, goal). To have some samples of those would maybe allow a better conservation than to trust sites like Instagram not to prune older content.
It's difficult to know what will be or not historical value. For example, modern historians regret not to have more information about low class people lifes for the last centuries. --Dereckson (talk) 19:29, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
"I wonder if you're aware some historians will be very happy to browse these" I heard from historians that they wont ever look at Commons because of the selfies. Speculation about the future can go both ways, you know. Ottava Rima (talk) 19:49, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
I gave you the perfect research topic for potential selfies interest by historians, with a comparison with what modern historians would have liked as archives funds from the past centuries. To make speculation about the future would be to be comprehensive on topics we think they will interest future generations. But if we provide a very comprehensive archive fund, they will be able to find what they want. And I've maybe a scoop for you: to find a gold pepit in a mountain of dull information have always been part of the historian job. Another maybe: analytic computer stuff helps to find stuff. --Dereckson (talk) 11:53, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
As an actual academic who spent many, many years in higher education to receive my degrees, I find your claims about historians outright absurd and offensive. Your justifications are completely without merit and ridiculous. Ottava Rima (talk) 20:05, 7 July 2013 (UTC)

This is a topic of considerable community interest/importance. Please see Commons talk:Project scope/Update 2013/Stage 2 to discuss how we should proceed from here. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 18:10, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Proposal 2: Actively curate educationally distinct content[edit]

With the recent introduction of mobile uploads we do need to ensure that we are actively curating useful educational content, or else run the risk of being swamped by potentially large quantities of totally non-educational stuff, for example at least some of the images in our sexually-related categories and in Category:Selfies (see the discussion in the section above). We all know that some people upload simply to show off, and that many of their images are not realistically useful for an educational purpose.

Although our existing policy requires the deletion of images that amount to self-promotion or that add nothing educationally distinct to the collection of images we already hold covering the same subject, in practice our procedures can be less than robust in providing sensible opportunities for discussion of the comparative educational merits of large numbers of rather similar uploaded images. To that end, I propose that we slightly modify our deletion request procedures to ensure that where there is a dispute about "educational purpose", and the file is kept, we record against the file how it is considered to be educationally distinct from our other holdings of the same subject.

The need to provide some rationale over and above the usual "I think it is educationally useful" should improve the quality of discussion during deletion requests. The proposal will also provide some measure of collective memory that would allow us at a later stage to discuss the possible removal of an unused file that was previously considered educationally distinct if we have since acquired much better holdings of exactly the same thing.

This would apply only to unused images that have been nominated for deletion with an 'Out of scope' (or similar) rationale, as there would be no point in recording this information where the distinct educational value is unchallenged and obvious. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 08:37, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

I'm not sure if I understand: when a file is nominated for deletion but kept, we already link to the deletion discussion on its talk page. What kind of change are you proposing concretely? darkweasel94 11:42, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
Sorry if that was not clear. The proposal envisages that users arguing to keep an unused image which has been challenged as being non-educational should indicate specifically how that image is educationally distinct from other similar images that we already hold. That goes a little further than existing practice, where users typically argue for educational value at large (without indicating what if any distinct educational value the image has). An admin closing the DR as 'keep' would be expected to set out the specific distinct educational value that formed the basis of the closure. That information would then be held on the image page, for example in a new template, for ease of reference. So, to take an example, someone later looking at an apparently exhibitionist sexual image could see straight way (without having to link back to an old DR page) that it is being kept in our collection as the only photograph which shows a particular pathological skin condition. Specifying the distinct educational use via a template in this way would have the additional benefit of making clear to the casual user of Commons content our commitment to keeping only educational content, as the community's reasoning for keeping certain potentially-offensive images would be clear to anyone looking at the image page. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 17:45, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
There seem to be two parts in your proposal, which we can consider separately:
  • In deletion discussions, the standards for reasoning that an image that might be out-of-scope should be higher than they are now. This is something I'd oppose: if even one participant says in reasonably good faith that a file does have educational value, even just to enthusiasts of a particular subject, then in doubtful cases it should be kept, not deleted - it does not do any harm to have one photo more, but it might do harm to reusers if that would otherwise have been the perfect choice for their use case, which we might not have foreseen.
  • When a photo is kept after a discussion challenging its educational value, that should be noted on its description page directly, with its reason for keeping. I'm pretty neutral on that, but I don't think we should bother our viewers with Commons internals too much; they are probably not interested in that.
darkweasel94 21:35, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Tom and I have just uploaded 400 photographs from Saturday's Pride march in London (claimed by the BBC news to be the largest Pride event in the UK to date); I have quite a few more to add including some more videos, I just ran out of time today. I would guess that if someone who was motivated to reduce the LGBT content of Commons, started challenging the category as not having sufficient educational value, I might manage to write an definition of "distinct" educational value for around 20 of these, particularly in the light of photos already uploaded for many years of past Pride marches. After that, meh, I would have to say delete what you want as I can't afford to waste time arguing the toss when I have more important things to do. In such a scenario, I would say that a policy such as this could easily damage the aspect of preserving human knowledge as it relates to cultural diversity and capturing it with a view to historic content. This proposal appears to be trying to address contentious cases of sexually explicit content and alleged sexual harassment, by forming generic policy. Sorry to repeat the point, but hard cases make for bad law. My view is that bureaucrats and admins have discretion for media that is alleged to defame, damage or harass, so the issue here is how to educate those users with the tools in how to do more than follow policy for hard cases, but to be free to apply their judgement in assessing both community consensus and the balance of policies, guidelines and "norms". If an admin or bureaucrat had significant doubt as to the correct action/outcome, then they should not be the one to take action, or they should seek counsel with the community, fellow admins or bureaucrats until their significant doubt as to the most appropriate action (and how to publicly justify it) is removed. It is not abnormal for the most contentious media to be deleted as a precaution where serious allegations have been made, even whilst deletion discussion continues, perhaps these "norms" need to have more guidance to educate admins as to the art of the possible. -- (talk) 19:33, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
Hi Fae, I fear that misunderstandings can so easily arise, even when we all have the best of intentions, as I strongly suspect that we are pretty much in agreement on what should be a reasonable scope. In the example you give, I see no reason why any and all photos of LGBT marches would not be educationally distinct, as each and every one will no doubt show a different and distinct aspect of a particular march which happened at a particular place at a particular time. That images of multiple aspects of cultural diversity are educational to me goes without saying, especially as in the example you give there will also be an historical-educational dimension. I see no problem with any of that at all. This has nothing to do with "contentious cases of sexually explicit content and alleged sexual harassment", but simply the need to limit the number of non-educational near-duplicates in our collection. Typical examples where it might apply are unknown mug-shots of no particular cultural value (eg some or perhaps most of the mobile-upload images you mentioned in Category:Selfies), and multiple human penis images which cannot educationally be distinguished from one another. A policy on 'educational purpose' should never in my view be used as a back door to restrict uploads of content that may be controversial to some; that needs effective but quite separate policies on such things as consent and the prohibition of attack images. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 21:19, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
Well, we do agree on a wide interpretation of cultural value. I see Commons as a repository of human knowledge including a wide brief not only for capturing cultural diversity, but the diversity of human nature in terms of biological diversity and behavioral variety. Consequently Common's scope in terms of capturing and preserving such diversity and variety is infinite. It may be that Common's "norms" may be allowed to artificially limit what we preserve of human knowledge. For example we may say that 10,000 images of the unidentified human face is sufficient for all possible future educational purposes, or that 1,000 types of human penis is the maximum we will allow due to their controversial nature. The consequence of arbitrary constraint will be limit this project's value for future users and render it unsuitable for some current classes of user. For example 10,000 images of the human face would be insufficient for a meaningful scientific image based analysis of human facial variation to support recognition technology. 1,000 images of penises would be insufficient for an andrologist to illustrate a diagnostic compendium for separating genetic conditions from abnormalities due to external factors. If I had to justify more than 10,000 images of faces, I could probably win that argument with the wider community, I doubt I would bother trying to argue the case for more than 1,000 penises if this policy were to be enacted, as I have no intention of spending all my volunteer time debating and researching penile variation one image at a time, each new image being hotly contested in effective censorship by the "anti-porn" lobby, rather than getting on with uploading my next 100,000 photographs of everything and anything that I am already "pre-filtering" out of fear for being hounded on-wiki or maliciously harassed about off-wiki, yet again. -- (talk) 22:01, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
Volume of images in certain categories can be a problem for users. I sometimes access the Commons as a user and I'm looking for a selection of images that are usable: I don't want to be looking for a needle in a haystack. We do currently delete (even images that have previously been used) on grounds of quality if better ones are available for precisely this reason. I think we're trying to cope with problems of volume by playing around with the definition of scope. --Simonxag (talk) 22:36, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
Agreed, this is moving on a tangent, but it could well be that a simple user/viewer based feedback quality rating system could solve this. For example, the 2,000 photographs of the Eiffel Tower are probably 90% not useful for printing or creating quality presentations, (optionally) showing the top photographs in the category by user ratings would speed up searching for content, and potentially resolve the main reason why some folks would like to artificially restrict volume of content in the hope that this would drive up quality and ensure relevance. In the absence of this, being able to sort category content by numbers of past user views as a popularity rating might make it immediately more useful. The GLAMorous tool does something similar, it would be an interesting experiment to try building in these features to category views. -- (talk) 23:22, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
Category:Narrowboats and its subcategories are clogged with low-res images. If you know to ignore anything with Geograph in the title, that helps. That's a user POV example, but I also think that we're trying to substitute well thought out curation with nice quick-fix rules, chiefly because we can't handle the volume of input. --Simonxag (talk) 10:25, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
"Tom and I have just uploaded 400 photographs from" And that is exactly what we need to prevent. There is a major difference between one or two and a few hundred. Ottava Rima (talk) 22:15, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
A more complete quote includes "After that, meh, I would have to say delete what you want as I can't afford to waste time arguing the toss." Ottava, feel free to raise this view about LGBT related media on Commons talk:LGBT Free Media Collective. You might be able to stop all those many colourful gay pride uploads by re-educating us LGBT die-hards. -- (talk) 22:34, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
See, that is exactly your problem - it doesn't matter what your 400 images are, it is image spam and nothing more. And everyone knows that I filed many images of roses up for deletion on them being duplicates of generic images that were image spam, so trying to make this about sexuality is disgusting and incivil. Ottava Rima (talk) 22:43, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
As you have marginalized Tom and myself as spammers for making the unpaid effort to capture and donate a wide range of photographs from the largest gay pride event in Europe this year (already featuring on the front of Wikinews), you might find a significant proportion of the community here would find your comments uncivil as well as untrue. Meh, take it to the LGBT Free Media Collective if you believe this is a just cause, I don't fancy being dragged into your drama. -- (talk) 23:01, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Fae. Spam is something totally different, and I say that as somebody who is not a specialist for or particularly interested in LGBT subjects. People have different interests. darkweasel94 23:07, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
Yet you are both here soapboxing and bragging about how many useless images you have donated. That is exactly opposite of what Commons is here for. One or two images is more than enough. But it is all about you and your images, right? Ottava Rima (talk) 02:45, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Ottava Rima, please could I ask you to review the guidelines for contributing to this review, which you will find at Commons:Project scope/Update 2013/Guidelines? You seem to be violating bullet points 1, 3, 4 and 5. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 02:55, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Passive aggressive incivil comments like the above do yourself no favor and are hypocritical. Ottava Rima (talk) 13:42, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Ottava Rima, I couldn't disagree more. Batch uploading of useful and interesting files is a useful act that helps Commons, even if they end up unused, they can provide insight e.g. to Wikipedia readers who click on the link to Commons. "Educational" should be applied as broadly as reasonably possible. We should strive to include as much as we can get, not delete just because somebody (who probably isn't even a subject specialist) thinks it's redundant. The current policy is not too liberal; if anything it's too strict! darkweasel94 22:45, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
Ottava Rima, I also couldn't disagree more. Your suggestion that 400 images of a cultural event amount to 'image spam' no matter what the 400 images are is actually quite shocking as well as being less than civil. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 10:05, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
"Your suggestion that 400 images of " 400 images of any of the same topic is not acceptable behavior on Commons and should have resulted in a ban. That is how our current policies read, and if you don't get that then there is possibly no hope for Commons as a whole. Ottava Rima (talk) 02:46, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
No, that is not what our current policies say. And they shouldn't say that. I'm glad we have far more than 400 images of human beings (that can be considered a "topic"), for example. darkweasel94 08:36, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
"No, that is not what our current policies say." Putting your fingers in your ears and going "lalala, I can't hear you" does not redefine Commons. We delete duplicate images all the time. Otherwise, we would have "Shitty image of the Mona Lisa 1", "Shitty image of the Mona Lisa 2", etc. You are only trying to redefine the policies to benefit your own want to fill the place with redundant images that you created. That isn't proper behavior. Ottava Rima (talk) 13:43, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
There's a very big difference between "shitty image of the Mona Lisa 548" and photos from a massive and varied cultural event. By your logic, suppose Fae were to take a photo of each and every MP and upload them. 600-odd photos, but if London Pride counts as a single thing so does Parliament, and so we'd have to delete it down to say 5 photos. That is idiotic to say the least, which is after all what we all expect from you. You are trolling Fae, and I will not tolerate it. Stop it yourself, or be stopped. -mattbuck (Talk) 16:41, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Trolling? The page claims that accusations of trolling are unacceptable. The claim that the images are "massive and varied" is a defense at a deletion discussion and not an excuse for blatant uploading. You can't blanket claim that each image is unique and educational. You know you can't. Thus, your comment is really inappropriate and you need to strike it immediately. Ottava Rima (talk) 18:33, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Blantant uploading?! - Are you trying to tell us that in your world uploading images is a bad thing? IT'S WHY WE'RE ALL HERE! -mattbuck (Talk) 19:10, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Are you joking? You think that just because an image exists it has intrinsic value? No. There is an objective value to items, and we waste our time when we take in effectively useless images. That has always been the case. Otherwise, there would only be deletions on purely legal grounds. You've participated in enough deletion discussions on non-illegal images where you voted to delete to suggest that you know this is true. Thus, it is hard to take your comments here in any kind of good faith. Ottava Rima (talk) 19:16, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
I would never say every image has value, but you seem to be saying that having more than 10 images of a massive festival is pointless! If someone uploads 400 pictures which are identical, then yes, we should get rid of some, but that is not what you're arguing. -mattbuck (Talk) 19:37, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, 400 generic photos are pointless. Now, if it happened to be 400 photos each depicting 1 individual and unique event, then that is different. That is not how it was presented. Do we really want the same basic image of a crowd taken from just a few random angles hundreds of times? Look at how we prune the monument images down to only those that show something unique. The photographer does not matter. The depiction does. If we are just here to be a vanity site where we praise each individual for their version of the same image, that is a problem. Furthermore, that is violation of the whole point of Commons - these are not your images any more - they are the world's. Thus, we only need one or two of the same thing, not every single person's version of the same thing. Look at Wikipedia - do we have 80 pages on individual topics or do we have one page with the occasional split for lengthy aspects? We have one version, the Wikipedia version. The essence of WP:OWN is something we need to incorporate into Commons - the images are the community's images and the individual shouldn't be here for personal glory. Ottava Rima (talk) 19:53, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Which of many photos of "the same crowd" would be kept and which not, is a matter for individual discussion, not for policy, IMHO; it depends on the details, since people might actually want to see photos of parade participants in a particular street, not just anywhere. And there can be a very valid reason to keep redundant images: licensing. If we have one high-quality CC-BY-SA image and one low-quality PD image of the same thing, we should definitely keep both; after all, some reusers might need a PD file more desperately than they need a high-quality file. (This applies of course to any two licenses, not just these two.) darkweasel94 20:19, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
" is a matter for individual discussion, not for policy" Without a policy, there wouldn't be a discussion. Ottava Rima (talk) 22:01, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Your point being what? We already have a policy. What is wrong, in your opinion, with the policy we have now? darkweasel94 23:22, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
I have no problem with it - if you read, I support this phrasing because it narrows the policy slightly to make it more clear. The opening proposes what should be commonsense: "we record against the file how it is considered to be educationally distinct from our other holdings of the same subject." Ottava Rima (talk) 00:26, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

I'm not sure if this is what MichaelMaggs has in mind, but it seems to me that requiring uploads to be accompanied by a unique (non-bot-created) description that explains why the image belongs in the collection would improve the signal-to-noise ratio. --SB_Johnny talk 22:06, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

This is far too much of a burden for every normal uploader. I, for one, have uploaded a large collection of historically interesting files from Vienna. If I had been required to write a rationale for keeping for every single file in that collection (at upload time, not at deletion request time), we probably wouldn't have it now on Commons; but it's good that we do, I've received only positive feedback from people who actually care and write about these subjects. darkweasel94 22:45, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
The discussion is verging a long way from the proposal, which relates only to unused images that have been nominated for deletion with an 'Out of scope' (or similar) rationale. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 06:59, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support - too much self-promotional spam without true value. This would cut down on a lot of it and remove the current incentive to use Commons for self promotion. Ottava Rima (talk) 22:14, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support Active curation would be a start. — Scott talk 10:37, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
    • Or "a complete fucking lack of anything even remotely resembling curatorial skill". If you are going to have a personal crack at me in public, you may as well be frank about your point of view here too. -- (talk) 10:46, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
      • God, Fae, will you please deflate your sense of self-importance a little? Your endless refrain that every comment about Commons is specifically aimed at you is so tiresome. And yes, if you want me to be frank, the lack of curatorial skill in here is fucking shocking. There you go. — Scott talk 16:14, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
      • Fae, that comment on the message board can easily be applied to Commons as a whole as there is no active curation here. Feeling the need to personalize everything after stripping out any context will not help you here. You aren't the only one who screwed up by uploading hundreds of redundant images, and your topic isn't the only one with a problem. After all, you refused to acknowledge that I actively tried to prune the flower images, which made your nasty personal attack above completely inappropriate. Ottava Rima (talk) 13:47, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
        • Take your allegations of spamming to Commons talk:LGBT Free Media Collective or raise it for action against Tom and myself on COM:AN. Put up or shut up. I am happy to acknowledge whatever work you did on flower images, I have not "refused" to acknowledge any good work you do, for all I know you might do amazing work somewhere, I am just not aware of it. I am happy to acknowledge that the one upload you have contributed to Wikimedia Commons in the past 18 months was a derivative of one of mine, so thanks for that. -- (talk) 15:31, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
  • We are already routinely deleting files that we do not consider educationally distinct (such as random personal photos); just look at any deletion requests log and you will see that this is one of the most common reasons for nomination. MichaelMaggs, can you confirm that my above understanding of what this proposal is supposed to do is correct? Or have I misunderstood it? darkweasel94 15:25, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
"We are already routinely deleting files that we do not consider educationally distinct" We sure are, so your claims that I am wrong above are inappropriate. The hostility came from when the application of what we already do is applied to you. Ottava Rima (talk) 18:37, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps you can see for yourself the difference between "400 images on the same topic" (= what should be deleted in your opinion, however you're going to define "one topic") and "images that are obviously not educationally usable, such as random personal photos" (= what is actual policy here). darkweasel94 19:35, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
If you didn't know, I've written a lot of featured articles. One of the key things about featured articles is that you pick the best images to use. Only the best images are useful and thus educational. Having 80 versions of the same painting with various degrees of quality are not useful. The rest can be cleaned out when a better version is found. If an image can't provide something unique that can be usable, it is obviously not educational. Ottava Rima (talk) 19:55, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Agreed: having 80 versions of the same painting with various degrees of quality is indeed not useful. But that's not how you started in this discussion: you started by saying that uploading 400 photos of one parade is "image spam". darkweasel94 20:19, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

In many cases, a set of photos is precisely a set, and removing particular photos because they are not individually important defeats the purpose of the upload. For example, currently, I can do good photo documentation of an event, upload my photos to Commons, and have a reasonable expectation that I have published my archive, making it available to any scholars, etc., who will want it in the future. For what it's worth: if Ottava Rima's view here wins out, and for examplesomeone else will be going through deciding that, perhaps, these two parade floats are similar enough that we don't need photos of both of them, or that we don't need a photo of this particular politician having marched in this parade because we have a photo of him or her in another parade, etc., I will stop using Commons as my place to publish my archives and will put them elsewhere. I doubt I am alone in this. - Jmabel ! talk 15:52, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

"because they are not individually important defeats the purpose of the upload." You are justifying that we keep useless images because of vanity? Why would that help Commons core mission? Ottava Rima (talk) 18:39, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
This is not "vanity". I do pretty serious photo-documentation and I believe what I'm doing is quite congruent with the purposes and current practices of Commons. By no means do I put every photo I take up here. I do my own curation before I upload, and I'll stand by the quality and value of what I've been uploading. Literally hundreds of photos I've placed here have been reused in everything from newspapers (from local Seattle papers to Ha'aretz), documentary films, magazines, etc. If I'm going to be continually second-guessed by other people as to exactly how much documentation there should be of a particular event or historic building, or of whether when I think I've got five good photos of someone that I'd want to see preserved and made public but Commons might only want to keep one, then Commons ceases to be my primary vehicle for making my documentary photos available to the public. Period. I'm sure I would occasionally upload a photo here, but I'd become a far less dedicated participant in the project. - Jmabel ! talk 00:58, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
"I do pretty serious photo-documentation" - vanity. You can't claim to be objective and seeking the best interest of Commons while simultaneously making such statements. Commons is not about you. It is not for self-promotion. It is obvious from your statement that you are being inappropriate and using Commons to promote yourself. Ottava Rima (talk) 19:00, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
What rubbish: pride in your work is no vice. And the Commons not only gives credit to photographers but encourages licenses that legally enforce attribution. One problem that the Commons has is large numbers of casual contributors that lack such "vanity" (though they may think they have a cute penis, pet cat etc.). --Simonxag (talk) 20:18, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
CC-BY-SA - edit at will. It is no longer your work. You gave up control over it. You cannot dominate images and force your editorial choice over others. You cannot use Commons as your own storage depot to promote yourself. All images here are the community's images, and that is something that is clearly being ignored by too many users. We are a community, not a bunch of individual peacocks who are craving attention or money. Ottava Rima (talk) 04:08, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
Ottava Rima, perhaps you might want to stop attacking people for contributing more to Commons than you do? Just a suggestion, who am I to tell you ... darkweasel94 20:50, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Really? Really? That is a nasty and snide comment where I have made no such statements. It is clear that people are uploading photos because they want to send it out and publicize their image. They made it clear. That is not what Commons is for. That is not what CC-BY-SA is in spirit. When you donate photos, you no longer matter. The image becomes Commons. Why do you think it has Common in the name? It is our image, not your image. That means we can delete it if we don't find it useful. We aren't your personal image host so that you can publicize yourself. Commons is not for self-promotion. It is not a coincidence that many of the people who have caused an uproar to try and alter what Commons are connected to those who have abuse of WMF to make money in general. All of the images I have uploaded have been uploaded for use in projects, and I have limited the images to only that. I could easily spam up the place with thousands of useless images which I try to sell to newspapers or magazines to get my name out there. I don't do that because that is unethical and not what Commons is for. Ottava Rima (talk) 04:06, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
Could someone please give Ottava Rima a barnstar to show the community appreciates the value of his 90 images uploaded to Commons over the last 5 years? I am sure they have high value compared to my 90,000 uploads which he probably feels "spam up the place" anyway.
Ottava Rima, you have blatantly been attacking contributors using ad hominem arguments here. This consultation is being mediated by the bureaucrat MichaelMaggs, who gave you advice which you dismissed as passive aggressive and "incivil". If it appears that you are driving away potential contributors here by excessively dominating discussion and attacking others, or hampering the valid expression of a diversity of views and opinions which may not conform to yours, then I would support action by any available administrator under COM:BP for disruptive editing. -- (talk) 06:47, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
1. Snide comments do not win your arguments. My uploads can all be deemed valid, where many of yours were criticized for many reasons, including legal/copyright reasons. Many of them were also taken from sites like Flickr. 2. "Ad hominem" does not mean what you think it is. Discussing actions and motivations is not ad hominem. Saying someone is ugly is ad hominem. 3. There is no "advice" but snide attacks. The funny thing is that you are unable to count. I did not upload "90" images. I uploaded 90 files, many of which are djvu. 6 pages. 100 pages. 100 pages. 79 pages. 173 pages. And on, and on, and on. Thousands of pages all hand scanned, all put together, and all with a purpose. 4. I started being active in 2009, which is 4 years. When you are going to be incivil and snide, you shouldn't fail on the two hard numbers you rely on. Ottava Rima (talk) 15:15, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
What a disgusting piece of dissembling that was, Fae. — Scott talk 16:18, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
Hi again Scott Martin. You have accused me of deliberately lying. If you really believe this, then please raise your case in support of Ottava Rima on AN, where I will be happy to supply the logs for the numbers I have quoted, rather than wasting everyone's time here. Thanks -- (talk) 16:33, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, you did lie. You made inappropriate comments about how many uploads I have in defiance of the guidelines of this discussion. You personally attack me. It was pointed out that your numbers were very, very off and you threatened to have me blocked for pointing that out. That isn't acceptable behavior, and that is after you tried to smear me with your standard homophobia claims that got you banned over at en.wikipedia. You have done whatever you can to be nasty and disruptive in this chat because you know your images are not within policy. You have violated our policies to attack anyone who points that out and tries to defend our community. Commons is not a personal host and it isn't here for people to profit from. Why do you keep trying to change that? Ottava Rima (talk) 16:39, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
Ambox octogon stop.svg Enough. That is enough of this thread, thank you. We are here to discuss the merits or otherwise of a particular proposal. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 08:24, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
Also to the point, the usefulness of a photo may depend on the presence and availability of other photos. Here's a good example from my own work: File:Parkour 01-1.jpg is not a particularly interesting photo in and of itself. However, it's the first of a series of five photos (which you can see thumbed in the summary on the page for that photo) that show a young man executing a rather tricky parkour maneuver which includes jumping from a ledge some 6-7 meters above the ground, bouncing off of a tree trunk and landing back on another narrow ledge. The sequence of five photos is one of rather few illustrations we have of what someone actually does in executing a parkour maneuver. Many of our other photos of parkour are more impressive shots of someone in mid-air, but are less than totally comprehensible if you don't know how he or she got there. This sort of sequence can serve a purpose not served by a single image. And I'm not interested in having to defend such things in each individual instance. - Jmabel ! talk 01:11, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
All of that said, I have no problem with us removing low-quality images where clearly effectively equivalent high-quality images are available. I've had no objection at all when a photo I took of some notable person, using a cheap point-and-shoot camera in poor lighting conditions because it was all I had with me at the time, was superseded by a later, better photo (either my own or someone else's). And I would have no problem at all saying that given our large supply of pictures of cats, human penises, or the Washington Monument as seen from the Mall with nothing in particular going on we do not generally need to keep such images when they are low-quality, low-resolution, etc. But there is a big difference between that and going through (for example) the pictures of a parade trying to decide which of these are "unique enough" to keep. - Jmabel ! talk 01:19, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose - I think we all know what this would end up being applied to, to the exclusion of all else. -mattbuck (Talk) 16:41, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I'm concerned about, "add nothing educationally distinct to the collection of images we already hold covering the same subject," and specifically the emphasis on "distinct". One of the more common edits I make is to add {{Commmons category}} links from en:WP. These are used when we have content in use at WP and we also have additional image resources, already categorized as a group. There are frequently too many images to use in a WP article, WP policy is rightly against over-use of galleries, and so this is a means to link a set of images to an article at low effort (so it actually gets done) and adding useful extra depth.
I'm now told that as these aren't clearly "educationally distinct", then they should be deleted!
Even worse, who decides, and who is competent to decide, which images are superfluous? This is not only a decision that shouldn't and doesn't need to be made, but it's also damn near impossible to do it, outside of asking a subject expert at each WP article. Applied to Commons, this would be utterly unworkable.
Why is Commons, after a clueless editorial piece, so keen to start dismantling itself like this? Andy Dingley (talk) 23:34, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
"which images are superfluous?" - didn't you answer your own question when you stated that articles chose which images to use or not? It is obvious that this only applies to people taking photographs of common subjects, because that is where the redundancies take place. What is the point of having 3,000 pictures of the same tree when only a handful show anything important? Because some uploader thought his photo was nice? Ottava Rima (talk) 23:41, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
The images used on a WP article are those that:
  • one editor
  • working on one historical version of an article
  • using their limited personal knowledge at that time
  • chose to illustrate the topic, within the limited space available for that article.
The most obvious drawback to this is that images can be useful across multiple articles, some of which haven't been written yet. The second problem though is perhaps more important: we will usually have more images than are used, than are essential or even that are apparently 'educationally distinct' and this is not a bad thing or something that we need to find solutions to. Most difficult to solve though is the third problem, the new image editor and arbiter of distinctiveness having to be both omniscient and clairvoyant. They not only have to recognise distinct uses today, they have to delete images because they won't be useful in the future either (and obviously they will then have a self-fulfilling 100% success rate for this).
If we have a problem, we should fix that problem, not try to invent new solutions to problems we don't have. "Educational scope" is already part of the project definition. If you have an issue with "selfies", then address it perfectly well using that as your criterion. There is no need whatsoever to invent a "distinct" constraint too and then to fail to adequately predict this about future demands and usefulness on a topic that almost every editor will be unfamiliar with. Andy Dingley (talk) 01:05, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
I've written many FAs and GAs, and more than one editor picks images. There is also plenty of discussion on which images to use, which you do not seem to allow for in the above. Also, the Scope makes it clear that educational does not mean that it could be used in a hypothetical page but is being used. So I think that needs to be taken into consideration. It is clear that our policies already say what the proposal is, and that this is just to clarify so that people don't get confused without the thousands of restatements of it (I'm being a tad sarcastic here, but people above stated that admin are actively ignoring the concept which is the problem). Ottava Rima (talk) 02:55, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

This proposal appears to have little support, and I prefer to withdraw it. Strangely, the wording I suggested has been interpreted in exactly the opposite way than I intended, which just goes to show how widely different our assumptions are, and how tricky this is to get exactly right. Please comment on further procedure at at Commons talk:Project scope/Update 2013/Stage 2. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 18:10, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Principle: A variety of images is, in principle, a good thing.[edit]

Having multiple, or even a near-complete set of an artist's work, having multiple photographs of the same person, having a variety of angles of a building, and even just having a variety of body types, ethnicities, and poses to choose from are, in principle, well within the educational scope. We shouldn't be too willing to delete images just because some other image covers a similar subject.

Further, care should be taken that the documentation of a Creative Commons or other free license isn't broken too readily: Commons' content is meant to be reused, and too readily deleting images that have been on commons for quite some time will cause a documentation failure.

Remember that we're meant to cover a wide variety of educational uses. As an example few may have thought of: Entire books are published that are simply nude people in a variety of poses. They're meant for use by artists to have references, and the nudity makes it easier to then apply any clothes or lack thereof the artist wants atop the musculature. As another example, historians might find having a wide variety of images about, say, protests against a politician, including rude satires, helpful. Just look at how many contemporary satires, some quite nasty, are used to illustrate 19th-century Wikipedia articles.

Properly stewarding our resource means that we must not introduce knee-jerk policies that we might well regret later. Or, worse, never realise we should have regretted, because educational opportunities were stillborn. Adam Cuerden (talk) 05:09, 21 December 2013 (UTC)