Commons talk:Sexual content/Village pump/2010-5-7

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Moved from Commons:Village pump.

Sexual content[edit]

Slashdot: "Wales Supports Purging Porn From Wikipedia"[edit]

Having read the issues, my conclusion is:

  • Having any single individual dictate content policies might be a bad idea in general.

The Actual Policy Debate[edit]

Any content that is illegal is, of course, destined for deletion. This line is decided by lawyer types, and I think there's a strong consensus to trust the Foundation lawyers on legal questions. Thus, the only question is how we handle content that is entirely legal to us to host-- that is, non-obscene, free-licensed or public domain information.

The opinions on where to draw that line will be varied, but it's something to consider very seriously. Not Censored is very important at one end of the spectrum, but at the other end, I don't suppose commons has the resources to be an image host for every image on the internet, so some sort of criteria is required.

But all and all, nothing too crazy about the overall issue. I can see why some people are hesitant at the idea of "too much" pornography hosted by Wikimedia, and I can see why some people are hesitant about policy changes that would result in the deletion of useful content.

In short, setting these standards is going to be work, but Wikimedia has faced far larger hurdles than this, and I'm sure in time, this will all get sorted out through the usual mechanisms. So why all the heat?

Benevolent Dictatorship[edit]

But the real source of heat here is, I think, actually the Benevolent Dictatorship itself. A lot of people didn't like the decision that was made. A lot of other people may bristle at the fact that ANY decision was made outside of the normal policy formation process.

The way I see is that if you keep a benevolent dictator around the house, you shouldn't get too upset when he starts dictating.

So, when a problem arises, we fire up the Jimbo signal, and we wind up seeing see some classic benevolent dictator behavior:

  • Rewriting policy page and declaring it policy
  • Statements such as-- "The Foundation will be doing x,y,z, no point in arguing about it"
  • Encouraging speedy deletes without discussion
  • Pretty harsh threats to that admins, all and all
  • Declarations like ... "At least some of the things that may be done in public will not be within the scope of commons". (Emphasis is mine )

And there's the rub. I think a lot of people get quite grumpy about being part of a community that depends on equal cooperation, only to have a single individual to dictate the answer for the entire community. A dictated policy is bound to have a somewhat inflammatory act-- far more so if the edict is controversial.

And yet, Jimbo is the certainly adorable puppy that nobody, myself included, can long stay mad at. I don't think he was at his best in the handling of this particular issue, but I know over the long haul he's done better at his job than I ever could have.

In the end, I think Jimbo's getting the rotten end of the deal. We don't know where the dicatorship begins and ends, we don't know how much he speaks for the Foundation and how much he doesn't. We don't know if he could ever get elected to EN:Wiki's arbcom or pass a RFA, and we don't know what his status is on other projects or commons. Is his word law, or suggestion? In a inter-admin dispute, does he automatically win, or only when he really wants to? Is it kosher for him to dictate Commons policy on his own authority, or does he need to achieve a consensus first? Does he need to go to the board first before making policy shifts, or does he make them on his own? Is his role "by consensus" or "by founderhood"? Where does Jimbo begin and end, how powerful is he allowed to be?

We don't know. We've never really decided most of that, have we? We've just sort of made it up as we went along, like the rest of Wikimedia.

And of course-- and this is critical-- we have to remember that Jimbo's just making it up as he goes along too. If he oversteps his bounds, that's just because nobody's explained to him where his bounds are. The dividing line between what he can do and what he can't is defined not by constitution or consensus, but rather by the rule that he is allowed to do "whatever he can get away with"-- and where that line will fall isn't clear to anyone, not even him, until after the fact.

Clarify or Abolish The Monarchy![edit]

We've got a dictator, Jimbo volunteered and has donated his time and energy to fulfilling that office. He's served admirably, but I think the benevolent dictatorship, as an institution, might well be more trouble than it's worth.

Wikimedia is too huge for any one individual to have too much control, no matter how well intentioned. To set up a dictatorship is, literally, to invite one individual to singlehandedly make decisions that truly do affect so many lives.

And as long as that job description exists, whoever sits in the seat will, inevitably, make some really bad decisions, offend a lot of people, step on toes in explaining to the rest of us how it's going to be.

Whatever you think of the recent decision, the underlying question is-- do we _really_ want one person making such large decisions for the entirety of the community?

--Alecmconroy (talk) 14:56, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Jimbo the vandal[edit]

Jimbo has now decided to delete what he considers pornographic artworks, by notable artworks.

All of them.

I confronted him on IRC, and he said he intends for all of them to be deleted, then, maybe, sometime in future, we can discuss undeleting some of them by sifting through the remains.

After Commons delinker has removed them from use in every project.

When there's no way to easily tell a deleted artwork from deleted amateur ponc ruft except by looking through every single deletion, and maybe getting lucky with some file names.

Despite noone, literally noone but him advocating for deleting artworks a Commons:Sexual content.

Jimbo is a vandal, he should be blocked, and I refuse to have a part of a project that thinks it knows art better than art historians. That's heathenish behaviour.

Further, he engages in Orwellian doublethink. What does the policy which he wrote and under which he's doing these deletions say? Although there is a common saying that "Wikimedia Commons is not censored," this statement should not be interpreted to imply that we do not make editorial judgments about the appropriateness of content.

Yess it fucking is censored, you're deleting artworks by major artists from the 19th century which you consider pornographic. That's the damn definition of censorship.

Fuck you, Jimbo. I'm off, and not returning here. Adam Cuerden (talk) 18:17, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Sadly some more people has left Commons:

--Diego Grez let's talk 18:44, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Most of the users listed above have abused their positions as editors or administrators, made nasty attacks, and shown that they are not here for the good of Commons or our projects. It is better that they go on their own then having to waste the community's effort to force them out. Ottava Rima (talk) 18:53, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
It is easy be smearing the reputation of users which are not here to defend themselves and return the favor. User:Ottava Rima comments above are definitely not helping in the current situation--Jarekt (talk) 19:40, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I disagree with your comment above Ottava. No help-y. --Diego Grez let's talk 19:52, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Not only is it an easy smear, it is also nothing more than the hypocritical ramblings of a banned user at EN. Resolute (talk) 19:57, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
@Ottava Rima, Jimbo abused his position, some sycophants were "just following orders". You are sucking up to Jimbo so much that all alleged pornography pales in comparison. Erik Warmelink (talk) 20:39, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
@Ottava Rima, Please do not post personal attacks. It never helps to resolve this issue. – Kwj2772 (msg) 04:22, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
I have not left, just expressed my dissatisfaction with the things going on here. And btw, User:Ottava Rima certainly shouldn't bemoan "nasty attacks" after what he just wrote here. --Rosenzweig δ 18:55, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
And what he wrote here User_talk:Ankara#Warning.--Ankara (talk) 19:01, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I strongly disagree with recent cleansing of sexually explicit material and how it is done. Seems like extreme views of Jimbo and handful of other admins cloud their judgment and have very negative impact on the project and community. I am quite sadden about departure of many knowledgeable users who were donating their time and skills to the project. I also agree with some of the arguments of Jimbo and others about too much sexually explicit material here. But there has to be a way to resolve this problem without alienating large number of volunteers mostly working on other parts of the project. Many people volunteer here because they like project where all the decisions are made by consensus of the users. Reminding them that some users are more equal than others is very destabilizing. I hope that many volunteers currently departing the project will reconsider and return in the future. --Jarekt (talk) 19:04, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment I agree that the new policy was implemented in a bad way. As I understand it Jimbo feared that donations would stop if Commons "hosted porn". See as an example. I just hope that if we in future has to delete other "offending" material it is communicated in a smarter way. --MGA73 (talk) 19:34, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

FYI: Please take a look at this foxnews article which possibly explains the motivation Jimbo's recent involvement at Commons and the urgency it takes. --AFBorchert (talk) 20:13, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Many years ago, Jimbo took unilateral action to remove templates from the English Wikipedia that he considered "divisive and inflammatory" and authorize all administrators there to do the same. This rule has since been repealed, out of recognition that it was impractical, out of line with community standards, and had no real positive impact on the site. I'm sure Jimbo's actions have made the symbolic impact that he intended on the media - 6 months from now, when everybody calms down and forgets about it, we should open a new discussion to repeal the policy and restore the educational content. I honestly don't think he'll even notice. Dcoetzee (talk) 20:23, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
[edit conflict] I find myself writing here because of a series of edits by CommonsDelinker that can only be described as bizarre. What is going on? It seems that files used on other wikipedia projects are being deleted and then undeleted willy-nilly, if you'll pardon the pun. Whatever the righst and wrongs of the argument(s) for and against keeping or having such files on Commons, I hope it is realised that this has a potentially dispiriting and damaging effect right across the board. One minute a file is there then it is gone then it reappears. Many smaller wikipedia projects such as "mine" - Welsh Wikipedia - find it difficult to keep up with this. We don't have the manpower to keep checking to see if a file has or has not been actually deleted. And many people seeking to find out what on earth is going on, such as myself, are going to be puzzled and perhaps disillusioned. As somebody who contributes at several projects, including Commons, I'd like to say "hold on, why the rish to delete? We don't delete on a whim and then undelete a day later only - maybe - to go through the same process again. That would be completely unacceptable on a project such as Welsh Wikipedia and I don't see how the rules can be different here. The last thing we want is to damage the entire Wikipedia project - and if knowledge of this situation becomes widespread I'm afraid that will be the result. This seems so unneccessary and counterproductive. Anatiomaros (talk) 20:30, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
[ec] @Dcoetzee: Jimbo told something that follows a similar direction: We will have a solid discussion about whether Commons should ever host pornography and under what circumstances at a later day - June 1st will be a fine time to start. --AFBorchert (talk) 20:34, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
How are we supposed to discuss the photos when we can not see them? It is now clear that there was no consensus, or support from the WMF to delete the images. Jimbo was wrong and acted on their own. Instead of undeletion should we wait a few weeks to discuss the matter.--Ankara (talk) 21:48, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
[edit conflict] Is there a list of what was purged due to the fear tactics of fox news? Historic artwork and images/illustrations of educational value? This seems to be a pretty drastic step. — raeky (talk | edits) 20:35, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Is images like File:Édouard-Henri Avril (29).jpg on the chopping block? Where is the line? — raeky (talk | edits) 20:38, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Don't go anywhere! Stay here and fight! I am willing to help as much as I am able to do. Although my permissions are useless in this case, you should know that at least one steward is with you. --Millosh (talk) 21:00, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

If I understand the current technical situation correctly, then I believe that a Steward could in principle strip Jimbo of his global sysop powers. Of course, without the backing of the WMF or Board, I'd imagine such an action would end poorly for the Steward in question. Dragons flight (talk) 21:50, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Exactly. --Millosh (talk) 22:10, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
You don't need your steward bit to withdraw your vote. Erik Warmelink (talk) 08:34, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
I already removed my vote from supporting his founder flag. During this day I'll vote for removal, but I need to make a sensible statement. --Millosh (talk) 11:09, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
The damage seems to already of been done... there is no easy way to relink all the deleted content if after review some of these (most/many) of them get undeleted. Someone will have to search and manually relink every image. Unless theres a new bot written to relink... I'm greatly disappointed in this... reading to see that there was a mass purge and coming here and seeing what damage was done by the founder after a rash decision to delete many images that community consensus has determined does meet guidelines. MAAANY of these images have gone through the deletion processes and have been kept. But now, one man has removed them all, creating an IMMENSE amount of work to ever restore them. — raeky (talk | edits) 21:04, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I'll write a bot if everything solves well. --Millosh (talk)
I also volunteer to write bots to help relink images when the time comes. Dcoetzee (talk) 22:23, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment I agree that the new policy was implemented in a bad way. As I am worried that this debate is citing a deeply political organisation as a news source. Perhaps this debate would be easier to understand if contributers were explicit, and explained how these vulpine predators intended to infiltrate and subvert. --ClemRutter (talk) 21:34, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

I believe that's a time for yet another petition... VasilievVV (talk) 21:42, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

@Diego Grez and for the record: I am not (yet) gone, but I strongly disagree with Jimbo and his following herd. And, of course, I wont continue to put effort it any categories which have a chance to be vandalixxx (aka "clean up project") in the future. I've learned my lesson: I put work in categories which are deleted now altogether and probably won't be restored. If they are restored I won't do anything there - who knows how the next fabulous idea of the policy dicxxxxx might look like. --Saibo (Δ) 21:53, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

This is vandalism pure and simple. He should be stripped of his sysop rights and blocked as a vandal. Please don't let this double standard apply to him any longer. Entheta (talk) 21:57, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

After today, I'm so unbelievably frustrated with Jimbo I can hardly speak. What is needed now is some way to ensure he doesn't vandalize the project TOMORROW the way he did TODAY. After today, I believe it will eventually be in the best interest of the project to remove his founder bit and make him request RFA powers from each project like the rest of us. --Alecmconroy (talk) 22:08, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Alec, you're nothing but a worthless've never contributed anything to Commons worth noting in anyway...your contributions at are lackluster as're a troll, nothing more so who really gives a shit what you think you snot nosed punk.--MONGO (talk) 05:39, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Weighing personal opinions of other users can be very useful, however I do not think completely ignoring their statement and engaging in ad hominem and personal attacks with vulgar obscenities, expletives & pejoratives such as 'worthless', 'troll', 'nothing more', 'snot nosed' or 'punk'. Engaging in cursing emotional expressions like 'giving a shit', are these the standards we hold ourselves to for civil discourse? Yet clearly any critic with a lack of experience or an alternative viewpoint, not to mention any who defend them, must have disruption as their sole intent? Ty (talk) 03:06, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree that removing Jimbo's special privileges is essential for the integrity of the project. He's only held onto them this long because he's normally just a figurehead who doesn't do anything. Perhaps the best way to do this is to appeal to ArbCom or the Board to hold a special hearing to determine Jimbo's privileges going forward. This kind of inanity is precisely what was needed to galvanise the community in favour of such a hearing. Dcoetzee (talk) 22:20, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
What if they rule in his favor? What will you do then? -Nard the Bard 22:37, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Deal with his crap until he screw up badly enough that they rule against him. What else can we do, assassinate him? He's too powerful to take action against ourselves, he can block anyone for any (or no) reason. The official channels are the only possible path. Dcoetzee (talk) 23:10, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

If this goes on this way, there is only one possible reaction: QUIT ! --AM (talk) 22:13, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

This is THE OLD WAR: Jimbo vs Larry. Big chess with milions users. Przykuta (talk) 22:39, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment -- I always found hollow (not to say stupid) the statement that ‘WP is not a democracy’. Now that I understand its full meaning I’m afraid will have to retract. Is Wikimedia really losing its innocence? Alvesgaspar (talk) 22:42, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Apparently this is similar to the situation at English Wikiversity that spurred the creation of m:Requests for comment/Remove Founder flag. -- Adrignola (talk) 22:55, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

  • I have to say, it does nothing for my love of the project to have a picture I worked on summarily deleted without notice or recourse.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:07, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Dumb dumb question: I had a couple of images which were on my watchlist deleted which were NOT explicit, simply in a category which arguably should not have been placed there. The deletions did not show up on my watchlist - I only found out about them when I was trolling through the deletion log to double-check. Why did the deletion not show up on the watchlist? Is it because of Jimbo's status?? Tabercil (talk) 23:27, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Good question. Something I've noticed too with the only "risque" file that was on my watchlist - deleted and undeleted, think it's still there, but no record. Why is that? How is it possible? Anatiomaros (talk) 23:31, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I could be mistaken but I doubt a regular admin has the ability to bulk delete every image in a category, and it not showing up in regular watchlists is evidence he used some higher level tool... — raeky (talk | edits) 23:39, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

The community needs to stop following the whims of one man. The right thing to do is what the German Wikipedia community did when he requested they remove their Vulva pictures: Ignore him. --Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason (talk) 00:17, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

  • This is extremely saddening, clearly a significant number of hard-working admins dislike going over their heads and ignoring of the processes like this. The censorship of centuries-old art is a very frightening event. It's hard to believe that this hasn't come to attention before, is this a reaction to sponsorship changes? I would much rather have the option of viewing advertisements on here as a way of volunteering funds to support the site, rather than indulging in censorship at the whim of Google being afraid people will boycott their engine if they list Wikimedia sites. Ty (talk) 02:20, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

The hypocrisy of the purification[edit]

As far as sexuality is concerned, the law that lead to the new rules only speak about "photographs and films". Nevertheless Jimbo Wales and other admins are curently deleting sex illustrations that are not photos nor films. There's no valid reason for these deletions. Also, some seem to take advantage on the situation by deleting non-porn nudes, without respecting the fact that Commons should propose a diversity of choice on EVERY subject (therefore the argument "we already have equivalent images" is no valid). The purification of Commons seems to be even more hypocrit than it seemed to be ! --TwoWings * to talk or not to talk... 22:13, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

"Images tagged for deletion — though some were still viewable Friday afternoon — include pictures of men, women and young girls involved in a range of sex acts with each other and, in some cases, with animals." according to The Defenders of Western Democracy and the American Way of Life. Where are/were these images of "young girls involved in a range of sex acts with each other and, in some cases, with animals"? This is absolutely outrageous. Should we consider sueing Fox? Anatiomaros (talk) 23:00, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
They're probably referring to 18th century paintings. Keep in mind these people would BURN important works of art for showing genitals. — raeky (talk | edits) 23:19, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
On reflection, you're probably right. So, will this picture of depraved juvenile bestiality be next for the Pyre? Just the same, although I'm no lawyer, doesn't this amount to something like 'slander' and 'defamation of character'? Anatiomaros (talk) 23:25, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

While you're at it...[edit]

Maybe someone wants to have another go on these categories (the categories, not their content).-- 22:53, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Oh bloody hell no. Your request was speedily closed the last time you was brought up and it was closed out as keep the time before that. I don't see any reason why this needs to be reopened, despite the current kerfuffle. Tabercil (talk) 23:52, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Because the first admin never provided a valid rationale and the second one had taken part in the first discussion.-- 00:00, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Temporary shutdown of activity[edit]

As this is the only way I can get this done, even though I am retired, I propose here that we temporarily shutdown Commons activity until this is sorted out properly by the foundation. All these actions back and forth are truly damaging and the trustees statement is clearly not bringing the desired clarity.

If you think that all this back and forth is too much damage for the community and the communities that depend on it as a service, then vote to suspend all actions on Commons for a week or until proper OFFICE clarification has been provided. This is not a suggestion to close Commons permanently, just to put an end to the ridiculous issues that are now going on. See also bugzilla:23435 TheDJ (talk)



  • Tabercil for now (though I do fully understand your frustration, I think the activity in terms of deletion is slowly starting to die down, even if the volume about the whole mess is increasing; if I'm wrong I will cheerfully change my vote). Tabercil (talk) 23:58, 7 May 2010 (UTC)


  • Believe it or not, actual work continues outside this little drama. --Dschwen (talk) 00:01, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • While I agree the back and forth is damaging to the active members of the community, I also believe the vast majority of contributors to Commons have absolutely no idea what this is all about and are uploading maps and pictures of churches and political figures and going about business as usual. I'm sorry to see some of these admins resign, but, life goes on. Bastique ☎ appelez-moi! 00:03, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
    Considering that pictures of innocent people like unclothed females are deleted, I am not at all comfortable with the uploading of pictures of institutions which promote genocide (put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys). Erik Warmelink (talk) 01:21, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Yeah, a shutdown would be a bad idea. DragonflySixtyseven (talk) 00:05, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • The images that caused this drama are a vast micro minority to the total work done on this site daily. It's entirely unreasonable to ask all the other contributors uninvolved and most likely unaware of this drama to just stop working for any period of time. Yes this is bad and there has been several highly productive and well known admins stating they're quitting over it. But shutting down the database is not an option for something not as widespread as you make it sound. — raeky (talk | edits) 00:07, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • As is normal, the upload log is much more active than the deletion log and the overwhelming majority of edits in Special:Recentchanges are unrelated (In the last 1000 edits across Commons, I had made more edits by myself than any remotely related to the drama). Besides, a lockdown would also stop all meaningful discussion. If that was done how would we make any progress?--Nilfanion (talk) 00:10, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Per raeky & Nilfanion's words of wisdom. Tabercil (talk) 00:13, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Commons is all about keeping mellow. We'll keep working on other stuff and worry about Jimbo's abuses later. Dcoetzee (talk) 01:26, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • per Bastique really. Casliber (talk) 04:11, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

This is ridiculous[edit]

Symbol support vote.svg Support the subthread title. Killiondude (talk) 00:00, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg Support I mean seriously, vandalizing the Main page in response? Come on. --Shirik (talk) 00:04, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg Support have some people just lost the plot?  — billinghurst sDrewth 08:18, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

*Hug* TheDJ[edit]

  • Seriously dude, I know you're frustrated. I'm frustrated too. But you seem to be getting a little unstable. Perhaps it is time to take a break? It sucks now, hopefully things will suck less tomorrow. Best wishes. Dragons flight (talk) 00:27, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
    • Hugs back, at least it made me feel better. Otherwise I might have plastered the main page. :D TheDJ (talk) 13:38, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Selected statements from members of the Board of Trustees[edit]

There are multiple threads at foundation-l regarding the recent developments at Commons. As far as I can see, all members of the Board of Trustees of the WMF who commented in these threads, supported Jimbo Wales. Some quotes:

Speaking for myself I can state that Jimmy is a part of the community and that the board statement is in support of both his and the other administrators who have taken the initiative to clean up commons.
What I can say to your questions is that Jimmy informed the board about his intention and asked the board for support. Don't speaking for other board members, just speak for myself. I answered his mail with that I fully support his engagement.
Personally, I think that the board is responsible for defining the scope and basic rules of the projects. While for projects like Wikipedia, Wikisource, Wiktionary the scope is more or less easier to define. On Wikipedia we have the five pillars as our basic rules. But we have also some projects that have a scope that is not quite so clear and no such basic rules. Commons is one of these projects, and the most important one.
Fact is, there is no consensus in the community as what is educational or potentially educational for Commons. And as far as I see there would probably never be a concensus. And I think this is where the board should weigh in. To define scopes and basic rules. This is why the board made this statement.

I've some thoughts on this. Given the amount of media we are hosting, we are a quite small community and so far we were quite content when we got rid of copyright violations and undebated junk. In regard to COM:SCOPE we implicitly assumed everything to be automatic in scope that was used by any of the Wikimedia projects (on regular content pages) and accepted beyond that everything we could be possibly used in the broadest possible interpretation. Editorial decisions among good-faith uploads were rarely done at Commons. The proposed changes at Commons:Sexual content and the other recent development enforce us to define the scope in regard to media for the other projects. Yes, this will help us to get rid of quite some large number of low-quality images which are unlikely to be used (we had quite some accumulation of indeed unnecessary material matching COM:PORN). I guess that most contributors support this.

But this new policy also enforces us to override editorial decisions in other projects, i.e. to delete an image as out of COM:SCOPE even if it is used by another project. I'm afraid that this will be an never-ending source of inter-wiki conflicts and I do not see yet a community at Commons which is able to handle that to some greater extent. It is easy to set up new rules top-down but it is harder to find a community that fully supports and implements this. Independent from the current heated debates and actions (everyone takes a breath, please) we need to find a path that puts us back in sync with the WMF's mission but which at the same time can be fully supported by the community. This is the challenge we are facing.

Perhaps we need some new processes to work this out. If Commons gets not just a central place to archive media but also to select media, we need new consensus driven procedures that allow us to scrutinize potentially offensive materials with the goal of assessing their educational or informational value. As I see it, the current DRs do not support this well as they focus on individual files, they are not designed to select surviving candidates among a larger set.

Regarding the recent debates about files which have been speedily deleted: My suggestion is to list any candidates that should be reconsidered at COM:UDEL, possibly with documenting their previous use using the logs of the CommonsDelinker. Similarly I suggest to use regular DRs for possibly problematic material. Even if this is more work, it makes the rationales even for speedy deletions more clear to all involved and easies a possible reevaluation. Once we have hopefully found a new workable consensus how to proceed, we can then reevaluate everything which has been deleted hastily. I agree with many who find this extremely painful and unfortunate but I personally trust Jimbo Wales that this there an urgent short-time necessity for this. --AFBorchert (talk) 00:39, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Eh. I think if we can show a given image was already in use when it was deleted, we shouldn't have to go through COM:UDEL. Tabercil (talk) 01:25, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
I suggested COM:UDEL as a measure to keep in mind what is possibly worth to be restored. As much as I feel sympathy with the admin colleagues who undeleted some of the material deleted by Jimbo, I do not think that wheel-warring puts us forward. As speedily deleted files do not leave much traces (except for the CommonsDelinker logs) it is helpful for the community, I think, to have pointers to selected images ready at COM:UDEL. I wouldn't mind another location but this page exists and such postings follow the existing guidelines. --AFBorchert (talk) 01:35, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
@AFBorchert:What does it say if members of the board speak about commons on a mailing list, but can't be bothered to use the wiki at commons? Erik Warmelink (talk) 04:19, 8 May 2010 (UTC)


I've heard it claimed that Jimmy is just acting on behalf of an initiative of many commons admins. But I don't see evidence of this support on commons. I'd personally support a reduction in the sheer mass of human sexuality images which little to no prospect of use on any of the projects— but I can't support the methods being employed here or many of the specific images which have been removed. I thought it might be helpful to run a straw poll on this. --Gmaxwell (talk) 01:53, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

There are a couple of other relevant polls/petitions: Meta:Petition_to_Jimbo, Meta:Requests_for_comment/Remove_Founder_flag.

Supportive of the activities and methods being employed[edit]

  • Tiptoety talk 05:45, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support I'm teacher and responsible for de:Jugendmedienschutz at my school. Personally I have no objections to drawings, paintings or educational content as in en:Vulva or de:Vulva. Maybe Jimbo went too far, but as he said, deleted files can be restored. First of all we need a clean cut, make up rules conc. legal issues, prevent commons from being spammed by pornography, and then talk about permitting pictures of educational purpose! axpdeHello! 08:14, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
    • Commons is not designed to fit the requirements of your school, and should not be censored to fit children.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:19, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  •  — billinghurst sDrewth 08:26, 8 May 2010 (UTC) methodology was crap, however, a small vocal minority often kill so many discussions at WMF into becoming personal bunfights, and arguing over the minutiæ of less relevance of a bee's dick appendage, that the calm and rational just don't bother hanging around or just want to get to a decision point. In the end, there is so many good files here, and much rather focus on those. A storm in a B-cup!
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support. This was a useful PR stunt to counter the PR trolling done by a certain other Wikipedia founder. I really don't think there's any reason to get so riled up about it. Kaldari (talk) 18:48, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Not supportive of the methods, but would probably support some form cleanup and policy tightening[edit]

  • Gmaxwell (talk) 01:54, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Tabercil (though I'd want to see the details first on what changes on policy). Tabercil (talk) 01:56, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • User:TheDJ, fully supporting gmaxwell's foundation-l posting. TheDJ (talk) 01:59, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Yes, a tighter policy is needed, but scorched Earth is not the way to get there. Dragons flight (talk) 02:03, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Totally unacceptable. -Atmoz (talk) 02:14, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Yes, a discussion on the subject is needed, but brute force is not the way.--Darwinius (talk) 02:21, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • If an image isn't used in an encyclopedia article within a few months or a year, then we should remove it from Commons as it has no use - unless Commons wishes to become a public free image repository. We don't need a voting mechanism or any such process at the image level on Commons. The images either thrive or die based on "natural selection" (either they are used or they are not used). We need only develop a filter that shows unused, "expired" images for human review and possible deletion. Rklawton (talk) 02:44, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
    Throw out Commons:Reusing content outside Wikimedia and disregard any wikis using $wgForeignFileRepos then because apparently Commons is all about supporting Wikipedia. I trust you've seen Commons:Welcome stating "Wikimedia Commons is a media file repository making available public domain and freely-licensed educational media content"? -- Adrignola (talk) 03:19, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
    Commons is a free educational media repository. And there are numerous in scope files that never be used at any Wikipedia (or other WMF project). For example, minor artworks of notable painters. Trycatch (talk) 03:44, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Support Media hosted on Commons must be seen to a stable resource. If vast swathes of images can be deleted without discussion (by a user with 36 edits before two days ago), what is the purpose of Commons? I agree that low-quality or very explicit (unnecessarily so) content may be deleted, but only with Deletion Request reveiw. Speedying is for copyvios, fair use, corrupted data or vanadalism only. If new policy is to be used to fuel a change, introduce it first (after discussion), and only then follow it. The current approach taken is absolutely deplorable, antithetical to the aims of the project, and anyone else doing it would banned outright. Inductiveload (talk) 03:48, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Yes. By all means, get rid of the low-quality sexual content (by "low-quality" I mean "of low educational value", not "of low erotic value"), but the approach that has been taken so far is akin to burning a city down in order to build it better, and without even bothering to evacuate everyone. I would support even a delayed-speedy-deletion (e.g., 48 or 72 hours after tagging) or proposed deletion process to reduce the load on DR, but summary deletion based on subjective, personal criteria, without discussion, and even in the face of significant opposition only serves to make a mockery of the principle of consensus-based decision-making. Black Falcon (talk) 04:47, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Some of the deleted images definitely needed to go, and without a doubt there needed to be a cleanup. But I do not support the bulk deletion of images just based on what category they was in without any regard to the image itself, and I do not support the delete first then correct later approach for such bulk quantities of images. Once these images have been deleted the "common" user has no way to know what it was, what it looks like, evaluate it, or even know whats missing from where. They're just gone from the regular users perspective. Only an admin can go back and dig through the logs and review the images to see if there was anything that got deleted accentually. We've discovered many examples of notable artworks that was deleted and now undeleted mostly because they was notable and people noticed they got deleted. Less watched, or currently unused in project images that are notable non-the-less or of educational value that got deleted may never be recovered simply because we don't know what was lost. All the images should be restored through a bot, relinked, then readdressed on a case-by-case basis. Bulk deletion requests can be made for clearly out-of-scope images. But the community should decide what is out-of-scope and non-educational/encyclopedic, not an overzealous admin or Jimbo with little or no oversight. My two cents. — raeky (talk | edits) 05:55, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Sure there is garbage here that needs cleaning - always has been. However anyone who does what Wales has done is no leader/manager to me. --Herby talk thyme 08:56, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Methodology here was appalling really, how much of this "discussion" is about the issue and how much about the actual content? I'd certainly support a much tighter rulebook: Such as not allowing images that would require section 2257 record keeping, unless records sufficient for that law are provided with the image. Saying we will follow a law that restricts commercial use but maybe not us is nothing new - think about the situation with non-commerical FOP.--Nilfanion (talk) 09:59, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I don't think that one person should have the title "benevolent dictator for life", and that the actions which have taken place here on Commons are over the top. He certainly shouldn't get a pass on his actions here, and I think the normal discussion processes should have been followed and consensus reached to deal with the issues involved. Had he simply posted something here on Commons and made a compelling argument for the removal... then left the implementation of that policy or even a formal debate over the issue with a strong urging on his part that something should be done.... I think that would have been significant enough to get a policy change enacted by the weight and reputation he has alone.
All this said, this was something that needed to happen and was long overdue. There was a bunch of garbage and flat out pornography in Commons that needed to be deleted as it wasn't really applicable to any sort of project or for that matter really being used except to point out sexually explicit images on the project. Some of it was quite dubious in terms of the licensing as well, so I'm glad that the issue was raised. I am supportive of reviewing the Commons policy for such explicit images and even seeking out legal advise or suggestions to steer Commons away from potential conflicts in the future. I just wish Mr. Wales had done it a bit differently than he had, and it is very disruptive to the community to be behaving in this manner. De-sysopping the account for Mr. Wales might even be in order. --RHorning (talk) 11:11, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

True, we have (had?) way too many low quality and low to no educational value images depicting sexual content and nudity. Likely somebody needed to be bold to upset the status quo, but the deletion of historic works of art and images already used on other projects (two categories explicitly allowed under Commons policy), went too far. Way too far, IMO. That said, I think we need a strict policy in regards to nudity and sexual content images/videos that will allow such content only if it has a couple clearances in addition to copyright:

  1. With a few exceptions (such as the Virgin Killer image), that proper proof that the photograph subject is an adult is needed for nude and sexual content images of younger subjects even when the subject's face is not shown.
  2. Images that don't have clear historic value or aren't of famous people, also need to have personality rights of the subject cleared.

Our aim here is to describe the full range of human knowledge. Some of that knowledge is considered offensive by some people but is needed by others. So long as what we host is legal, respects the rights of subjects, and has historic, artistic or other educational value, then it is not our role to decide what parts of human knowledge are off limits in regards to visual representations. I also think that we need to use proper meta-tagging of content to make it easier for parents and librarians to use more refined filtering methods. I think that is a valid compromise. --Mav (talk) 14:34, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

  • Yes, although with a few too many provisos to easily list here. My strongest reservation is that I'm very concerned that some people want to remove notable art, including pieces that hang on the walls of major museums. - Jmabel ! talk 17:09, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I believe the case can be made that the presence of certain highly pornographic materials hinders our mission more than it helps it in at least two primary ways: 1) It may cause us to be censored unnecessarily by people who otherwise wouldn't (such as US school districts, Australia). 2) It may dissuade donations from people who support 99% of Wikipedia's mission but cannot see themselves contributing to something that is, even in the least way, "pornographic". --Cyde Weys 18:54, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Platonides (talk) 19:02, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Dodoïste (talk) 11:17, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  • --Túrelio (talk) 12:41, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Not supportive of a change from the current commons process[edit]

  1. We already had {{Nopenis}} to filter out unusable sexual materials. -Nard the Bard 04:37, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  2. Existing policy is adequate. Any image can be nominated for deletion as out of scope; many have been deleted following proper discussion. Images in use should never be deleted as out of scope. By all means I commend people who locate images that are not useful (whether sexual or not) and flag them for deletion discussion, which saves us maintenance effort and clutter down the road. If volume at deletion requests has become a serious problem, then I invite discussion of a new method of deletion, but speedying is clearly not the answer - this is not Wikipedia and we should not emulate their needless urgency. Dcoetzee (talk) 05:50, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  3. --Ankara (talk) 07:52, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  4. Fully agree with Dcoetzee. Existing policy is adequate, people just need to be more serious about enforcing it. --Tetromino (talk) 08:21, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  5. Grue (talk) 09:29, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  6. Echo Dcoetzee. He said it best. Maedin\talk 09:38, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  7. I don't see an in-Commons reason to change the things. "Porn" problem is highly exaggerated, for fighting with useless exhibitionism we already have COM:SCOPE, COM:PORN, Commons:Nudity and {{Nopenis}}. Most of uploaded bad quality "amateur porn" have been deleted fast (often without a DR) long before this intervention. Implementing of ICRA (for children and schools) is a good idea, but it's irrelevant to the scope policy tightening. Of course, Commons exists not in a vacuum, there are 2257, Larry Sanger, Fox News, reputation, sponsors and it's always possible to tighten the policy for a good reason. Not to this madness, of course. Trycatch (talk) 10:01, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  8. Entheta (talk) 11:00, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  9. I am an admin, have ten thousands of edits on the Commons, and have uploaded thousands and thousands of images. I stronlgy disagree. This is censorship, and it is against everything Wikimedia has ever stood for. We should try to get rid of Jimbo Wales and bigot American censors ASAP. Let's try and set up a Commons repository in a truly free country. I am not sure yet where, but at least some prudish US states seem not the best choice. --AndreasPraefcke (talk) 11:58, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  10. ACK AndreasPraefcke --Histo (talk) 13:20, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  11. Joshua (talk) 13:45, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  12. I99pema (talk) 13:59, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  13. Expropriate Fox News! --Melanom (talk) 16:15, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  14. per Dcoetzee VernoWhitney (talk) 16:31, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  15. Existing policy is fine and perfectly adequate to clear out rubbish, if enforced. Material that is used by or useful to editors in Wikimedia projects isn't a problem, it's the reason the Commons exists. --Simonxag (talk) 01:47, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  16. By any count, less than one out of twenty images on Commons were related to nudity. Given the interest in every society, and the fact that sex is the single most important thing to the continuation of our species, I don't find that outrageous. Yes, rubbish needs to be filtered out, but even before this event, pictures were being held to a disproportionately high standard.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:57, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  17. I agree with Dcoetzee and, also, I would like to point out that this seems, to me, an attempt to censor commons... and I think that commons should be non-censored... what if the next thing to be censored will be war images, and next presidents pictures? I think that we should consider case by case Fale (talk) 12:49, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
  18. Another agree with Dcoetzee. Fletcher6 (talk) 11:29, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Discussions on customer projects[edit]

Suspend Delinker?[edit]

Is there a practical to suspend the image removal functions of User:CommonsDelinker until the concerns over Jimbo's deletions of images are resolved? One of the reasons undeleting an image is such a pain is because the Delinker removes all the references to it and these have to be put back by hand. I'm wondering if stopping the Delinker would help minimize the impact of controversial deletions while the issues are being considered. Ideally such a suspension would be short-lived and such that it could start up again where it left off when restarted. Dragons flight (talk) 00:42, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Sure, just let an admin block him. But: also legitimate deletions on commons would cause a red link in the projects using the images. It's worth a thought. Cheers --Saibo (Δ) 00:52, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
I do not think that this is a solution. Not unlinking regularly deleted stuff (yes, that continues to exist) generates problems as well. --AFBorchert (talk) 01:28, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Which is why I'd like to see a suspension that could start up again where it left off later. Having some redlinks for a few days is not really a big deal. Dragons flight (talk) 01:32, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
For the record, someone else has now blocked CommonsDelinker at enwiki. Dragons flight (talk) 01:32, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
(ec)Gah... you mean we might have a repeat of this mess? *Whimpers*... Tabercil (talk) 01:33, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
A possible sollution would be to integrate a tab for deleted files. That would be an improvement in general also to track copyright violators. Is that (note: only deleted, not existing or non-existing files) possible? --Martin H. (talk) 02:06, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Or, step back a little ways in the process. Since almost none of the threatened dirty pictures are used in articles, why not give a reprieve from summary execution to any picture that is? Those few pix of naughty body parts that are actually used in an encyclopedia article, can get individual attention, being delinked first if that's encyclopedically appropriate, and then killed after a few days as naughty orphans. Jim.henderson (talk) 02:28, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Is anyone other than Jimmy taking part in the current mass deletion activities? I believe the idea of skipping images which were actually in use was already suggested to him. --Gmaxwell (talk) 03:37, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
User:Tiptoety is. Dcoetzee (talk) 09:08, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
And User:Bidgee /Lokal_Profil 13:34, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
I see lots of deletions also from Podzemnik, Lar, Killiondude, Fran Rogers (a whole lot), Alison. --Nemo 14:13, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Another list here. --Nemo 22:04, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Commons' responsibility to local projects[edit]

Hi all. While I support the deletion of most if not all 'porn' commons images which are not used in any project (to precisely which extent and on their value I'm not pronouncing, I'm not particularly interested in this, only because it makes bad publicity for Wikipedia), but Commons has a responsibility to local projects. Plenty of images in use on local projects were unexpectedly deleted. The question is whether local projects can rely on Commons or not. We expect that Commons' inclusion and deletion policies will remain stable and consistent, and in case of changes that local projects will be notified in advance so we can do as needed to maintain our articles. This is a message in particular to all admins who deleted images used on local projects (I know most Commons' contributors are also unhappy with how the actions were taken). The English Wikipedia is discussing the situation but smaller wikis may not even be aware of it, so it would help to have at least a list of deleted images which are/were in use on local projects, taking into consideration removals by the delinker bot, and undelete them if possible otherwise letting know affected projects. Thanks, Cenarium (talk) 04:29, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Hi Cenarium, the deleted images can be traced through the contributions of the CommonsDelinker and the associated logs. My recommendation is to search for deletions refering to COM:SCOPE or Out of project scope. Some projects have already started to list such losses, see for example this list at de-wp. Regards, AFBorchert (talk) 04:54, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
As stated before, first let's get rid of all that unwanted pornography, then make up rules regarding legal and moral issues, and finally check for collateral damage! axpdeHello! 08:43, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Is it sarcasm ? Otherwise why local projects should bother uploading their images on commons (and spending significant resources on deleting images moved to commons) if they have no guarantee they'll be responsibly handled then ? Cenarium (talk) 13:45, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Unwanted? By whom? There's but one person in the US who can define what is and isn't pornographic, and while Justice Stewart found it quite easy to know pornography when he saw it, he's dead.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:15, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm confused. Which pornography is wanted and which is unwanted? How many persons are actually drawing the line of "I know it where I see it"? East of Borschov (talk) 17:40, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
It depends, but in any case commons images used on local projects should not be unexpectedly deleted. Cenarium (talk) 19:25, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

I thank all commons users helping to restore the images used on local projects, the vast majority of users I see. Cenarium (talk) 19:25, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

They have no responsibility. They often tag things or nominate them for deletion with no notification to the local project. Users only find out when commonsdelinker runs through. Most uploaders do not visit commons regularly so they'd never see the notice in time. If I could upload to en without it being auto marked to transfer here I would. As such I'm seriously considering whether or not I'll upload another image.--Crossmr (talk) 01:23, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Before Jimbo's actions, images which were in use were never deleted unless they were actually illegal to host. While I agree that informing local projects should be done whenever possible to minimize impact, no amount of discussion will affect whether an image is a copyright violation or not. Dcoetzee (talk) 03:47, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
That's not entirely true; one edge of contention between en.WP, en.WS and certain other projects is that Commons refuses to host images that are perfectly legal in US but not legal in their source countries.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:09, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
You're right, that is true... and a number of projects accept fair use images too. They should have the opportunity to upload them locally to prevent disruption. (ideally, the closing admin would take care of this, but this is sometimes impractical due to the laborious requirements of uploading fair use images) Dcoetzee (talk) 04:11, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
And it is commons who decides they are illegal to host without any input or opportunity from the local project for anyone to address the issues. Like say if permissions or something were missing.--Crossmr (talk) 08:55, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Could not a bot notify local projects when commons images they use are deleted on a dedicated page, for projects requesting it ? And maybe requests for deletion too. Cenarium (talk) 17:58, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

The best way to help[edit]

So far, Jimbo and his supporters have bowed to community consensus at Commons:Undeletion_requests/Current_requests regarding our decisions to restore specific works, without rashly blocking anyone for closing undeletion discussions. Therefore I think the best path going forward is:

  1. Visit Commons:Undeletion_requests/Current_requests and express your opinion on all of the oustanding requests.
  2. Browse the following deletion logs and nominate for undeletion any images that you think are useful:
  3. *User:Alison
      • Alison was accidentally included in this list - she was just closing deletion requests. Dcoetzee (talk) 06:31, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
  1. Add any users to the above list who you discover are supporting Jimbo. We'll monitor their deletions carefully to ensure that important images are nominated quickly for undeletion. I want to emphasize that we are not trying to attack or single out these users - I just think this is the most expeditious way to locate and review the deletions under the new Jimbo rule.

It's a lot of work, but if we take it one image at a time and establish a clear consensus in support of keeping each one, we will be able to do some damage control here. Dcoetzee (talk) 20:22, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Update: This section is essentially moot, since Jimbo's special sanctioning of sexual content deletions have been effectively overturned. I think most of the incorrectly deleted images have been identified and restored. Thanks for helping to locate them, and monitoring of the above deletion logs will no longer be necessary. Dcoetzee (talk) 06:31, 18 May 2010 (UTC)