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This bot is no longer active, and no new FlickrLickr accounts will be created.

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White tigers drinking, one of hundreds of images uploaded so far. See more FlickrLickr highlights, and then join the team!

FlickrLickr is an experimental bot operated by Eloquence to upload selected CC-BY-licensed pictures from Flickr to the Wikimedia Commons. The pictures are selected using a collaborative process anyone can participate in (see below).

How it works[edit]

The FlickrLickr user interface

A script running on Eloquence's server continously fetches information about CC-BY-licensed materials from Flickr's servers using the Flickr API and adds this information to a database. There are currently about 2,000,000 such photos on Flickr.

A special user frontend allows a number of invited users to select those images which are meant to be uploaded to the Wikimedia Commons. Through the frontend, the users can also edit the description, categories and filename.

Each user receives one or multiple slices of the overall databases to look over. If they do good work, they will receive more slices.

How to become a FlickrLickr[edit]

Send Erik an e-mail to to make yourself an account. You must use e-mail to get a quick response. Please mention your Commons or Wikimedia project username. Having done some work on the Commons or other Wikimedia projects is mandatory.

Using the account you receive by e-mail, log in at: (enable cookies)

You will have a slice of 1,000 images to look over. 50 images are presented per page. After you click "Next batch", the images you've reviewed so far will no longer be visible, so make sure you've looked at each one. When you are finished, contact Eloquence again, and he will look over the results and run the upload bot if appropriate. Once you are trusted, you will receive permission to upload files directly from the frontend whenever you want.


Live statistics can be found at [1].

Guidelines and tips[edit]

  1. Be conservative. Only select images which are potentially useful to a Wikimedia project. Many photos on Flickr are baby pictures, pet photos and family portraits. Most of these have no place in the Wikimedia projects. Holiday shots should only be flagged if they show recognizable places. People posing in the foreground are rarely a plus.
  2. Quality over quantity. The less extraordinary a photo's subject is, the more extraordinary its quality should be. We don't need 100 photos of beer mugs, but if there's a single one which is really striking, choose it. Be wary of resolution. Click thumbnails to check whether high resolution versions are available.
  3. Use descriptive and unique filenames. By default, the title in Flickr is suggested as a filename. If it is appropriate, click the little "[test]" link to check if an image of that name exists on the Commons. If it does, rename the image to make it unique. If no appropriate title is suggested, make one up.
  4. Edit categories and descriptions. The Flickr tagging system is very liberal: tags can be used for anything. Commons categories are not quite as liberal. Use your own judgment in removing meaningless categories, and renaming them. Remove bias from descriptions, and leave only the essential information.

Remember that every slice will be reviewed before it is uploaded. You will only receive further slices if the first slice you finish is of high editorial quality. Slices of low quality will be handed out again to another user before being uploaded.

To avoid losing your work, it's a good idea to have the images uploaded as soon as you're done reviewing, as people on Flickr sometimes delete their photos or even their whole account.

Adding images to articles[edit]

In order to add FlickrLickr images to articles in Wikipedia and elsewhere, you can review recent uploads of the FlickrLickr bot. Alternatively, take a look at a few slice galleries made specifically for this purpose:

  1. /Slice 1 - checked some of them, but still many left.--Eloquence 23:44, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
  2. /Slice 2 - in progress. See User:Angela/FlickrLickr for links to articles these images are used in. Angela 03:14, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
  3. /Slice 20 - checked a few, still many left.--Eloquence 23:44, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
  4. /Slice 44
  5. /Slice 55
  6. /Slice 6
  7. /Slice 52 not linked Greudin
  8. /Slice 58 linked several Greudin 10:10, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
  9. /Slice 24
  10. /Slice 89 (reviewed by Holek)
  11. /Slice 116 (reviewed by SFC9394)
  12. /Slice 139 (partially reviewed by Nauticashades)
  13. /Slice 164
  14. /Slice 188 (reviewed by Samulili)
  15. /Slice 200 (reviewed by User:Epolk)
  16. /Slice 208
  17. /Slice 220
  18. /Slice 241
  19. /Slice 253 (reviewed by Shizhao)


Do I have to add license information myself?

No. FlickrLickr retains licensing information about all images, and will add the appropriate licensing tag for you.

What kind of Flickr tags should become categories?

Use your own judgment. I am personally of the opinion that Commons should be similarly liberal in its tagging policies to Flickr. While our software is not currently well-suited for social tagging -- Boolean category queries are impossible, and categories cannot have synonyms -- I see this as the only scalable way to make the Commons searchable with a reasonable amount of effort, so I think it's best to add many categories now, even red links.

Why don't the files I've flagged show up on the Commons?

You're only flagging files for upload, not actually uploading them. Tell Eloquence that your slice is finished, and he'll review it and upload it if it is of high quality.

Can I go back after I've finished a page of pictures?

You can use the "Back" button in your browser to modify and resubmit the previous selection if you want. You can also review your selection at any time using the "Your approved pictures" button.

How can I add translations in the description field?

The correct syntax is:

<br />
* {{en|English description}}
* {{fr|French description}}

and so forth.

A picture uploaded by FlickrLickr is a copyvio! What should I do?

There are two possible answers to this questions. Sometimes Flickr users mislabel other people's photos as Creative Commons licensed. Flickr makes that very easy, as it chooses the same license default for all pictures the user uploads. FlickrLickr volunteers may not recognize such a copyright violation and upload it to Commons, assuming that the image is free. Such pictures should be dealt with as regular copyright violations through COM:DEL or speedy deletion.

Flickr also makes it very easy for uploaders to retroactively change the licensing of all their photos. Creative Commons licenses are irrevocable, so this has no legal validity. Images that have been "relicensed" in this manner (where Flickr shows a different license than FlickrLickr) can be tagged with Template:Flickr-change-of-license.

See also[edit]


The images in FlickrLickr are fetched automatically from Flickr's servers. While Flickr has its own fairly rigorous processes to filter offensive images, I cannot guarantee that you will never come across one. Use FlickrLickr at your own risk.