Last modified on 12 June 2011, at 00:42

Commons:Village pump/Policy proposal:No deletion of improved versions of images

I have moved this to a separate subpage to avoid cluttering up COM:VP. This is my proposal: make it a policy that images that depict the same thing but in different ways (eg, file format, images that are very similar but NOT exactly the same), should not be deleted. Local users may be encouraged to use one file over others (eg SVG over PNG), but they are to in no way be forced to do so.

Also, images that are exactly the same but different resolutions, should have the lower-resolution image deleted unless it is necessary for technical reasons, ie. the larger image does not "scale down" well. If even one person thinks it is necessary, it should be kept. A note on the file description page should keep it from being deleted.

This does not apply to:

  • Images that are exactly the same except for image title
  • Different-resolution images that are otherwise exactly the same, where the lower-resolution image is not needed for technical reasons

Furthermore:

  • All "cross" overwritings of images that have been done so far should be reverted, and local projects are welcome to use those if they want to

Reasons for this proposal:

  • Commons are only "file police" for licensing and copyright concerns. Preferring one image over another, when both are similar but not the same, is a matter of taste and it is not our place to decide this for local projects.
  • PNG is still supported by MediaWiki and is likely to be for some time (? please confirm this if you can), so there is no urgency to switch to SVG
  • We are not in danger of running out of server space, and having multiple different images of the same subject doesn't hurt anyone.
  • We are losing the confidence of some local projects like nl.wikipedia and en.wikinews. For Commons to be effective we have to work together with local communities and that requires their trust. They have handed over their image uploads to us in good faith, and we need to act to show them that it was not a mistake.

If you have improvements or comments about this proposal please say them on this page. --pfctdayelise (translate?) 00:32, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

DiscussionEdit

Well the problem with most png-flags is that they have 300x300 DPI with compression artifacts and are good for nothing else than screen resolutions. So if we still provide these images as a valid alternative people will use them and will later recognize that they will have to do a lot of work e.g. at printing. So if we keep these images in the long run they will cause confusion and avoidable work. I don't say burn all png-flags inmediatly of course not and I also do not understand people that blindly replace flags with a bad svg and that caused that bad feelings and would also suggest to professionalize the SVG conversion a lot. Perhapes with an own project page were the interested people can agree on that a certain SVG is in fact really superior in every aspect.

The second problem is: This proposal won't change the problem for Wikinews I fear. They somehow stick to the idea that the images in their articles do never get relinked. This is something we cannot provide technically as there is a lack of feature with image redirects and as it is necessary to relink images in case of exact duplicates. It is not a problem of server disk space but usability of the image database itself if you want to take an image out of it if you keep these duplicates.

So my key concern is: How to avoid confusion and duplicated work if we keep them for eternity and how to tell Wikinews that image relinking is necessary in order to keep the Commons database clean (Commons is no image dump where images get thrown over the wall get and forget). Maybe an MediaWiki feature with local redirects that are only valid in one wiki would be a solution. Arnomane 01:14, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

If local projects want to keep using technically inferior images, we should let them. The confusion and avoidable work is their responsibility. We're not the "quality police", it's their responsibility to find the image that best suits their needs. But such PNGs could be tagged pointing them to the "better" image, but not saying they can't use the PNG if they want.
We can also indicate which is the "best" file by what we do all the time - putting the best ones in galleries. Categories are for everything, gallery pages are for the best. (Or something like that.) If they WANT to follow our advice or recommendation, they can use the image on the gallery page. pfctdayelise (translate?) 02:59, 21 February 2006 (UTC)


Why is it not possible for projects to dump images on Commons and forget them? You do the same for images which are not even used - such as this collection of unused images of penises: http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Template:Deletion_requests&oldid=1278971#Collection_of_images
If you keep images in the long run they can be dealt with at the time they become an issue. For example, when it comes time to print an edition then create a print-quality image. Until that time it is not needed, and wastes time in its creation, and relinking every place the original was used, when it might *never* be used in print. Do not relink images when they do not need to be relinked: if an image is a copyvio or similar justification for deletion, then change a link. Before that time it is an unnecessary use of volunteer time which could be better spent doing necessary tasks. It is harder, sometimes, to not do things which do not need doing. - Amgine 03:32, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Clearly there are several issues being brought to light by pfctdayelise's proposal. I am in favor of establishing a more rigid deletion policy. I think making sure that we avoid deleting "redundant" PNG images that have been replaced by SVG images will go a long way toward satisfying many of the matters under consideration. I think each item on the proposal should be dealt with individually, however. Cary "Bastique" Bass parler voir 03:51, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Support of user:pfctdayelise proposition. Commons is not intended to serve its own purpose, "providing only the quality images" or how you wish to out it. No -- it is a service to Wikipedia users. And this purpose it currently fails. And if people have no more faith in Commons, they will stop to upload images here. / Fred Chess 09:51, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

I find myself torn on this proposal. I've had several instances of people "improving" a photo by fiddling with contrast or whatever, not realizing I had already altered as far as one could go without misrepresenting what I saw in person. It would have been better for them to mess with a copy, and keep both around with appropriate annotations. On the other hand, my earlier postage stamp scans were done on a white background when black is really preferable, and it seems a little perverse to want to keep both, labelling each differently, both appearing in every gallery or category, and random choices by projects as to which one is used. Re PNG vs SVG - does that mean we would have to keep gifs and tiffs even if a jpg is uploaded? Stan Shebs 13:56, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

When it only concerns a persons own images it is a different matter. This proposition (as I understand it) is intended not to upset Wikipedia-user unnecessary. I think noone would object if someone had his own redundant images deleted. / Fred Chess 20:00, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Of course except when they are in use i would think? Effeietsanders 19:26, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

A good ideaEdit

This appears to be a good idea. It tries to solve the trust problem which has to be solved:

  1. Once you use an image, you need to prove you have a license or that the copyright has expired. That means we need to keep accurate records for at least 99 years after an image has been made available and those images have to be where they originally were or otherwise be very easy to find by someone researching the copyright status. This is a fundamental obligation for an image library, one we can't break if we want people to trust us.
  2. A project like Wikinews has to follow journalism editing standards. That means keeping exactly the same image in its archive as was used in the original. Upgrading the image isn't improvement, it's breaking their ethical obligations to keep an accurate record of the news. Replacing the image with a different or higher quality one at the same name is bad for this situation and leaves them no choice but to breach their own obligations or avoid using Commons.
    Instead of "avoid using Commons", you mean they would have to "avoid being a wiki". User:dbenbenn 08:30, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Yet, we also want to make improved images available, tell people about them and encourage their use in new works. So:

  1. It's good to add notes to image description pages telling people about more modern, better or simply useful alternative versions they might prefer. Because this doesn't change the image, it doesn't harm the current and past users.
  2. Over time we will have many images of each subject, so we need to prepare now with some name selection guidance. The W3C suggests using date-related directory and/or file names to allow preservation of history while simultaneously allowing upgrading of content. Here, we might adopt the convention that the first part of an image name is the full year number, the full month number and the full day number when the image was uploaded, like 20060221. Later, this will make it possible to offer people who search for an image about something the most recent versions first, encouraging use of the better versions.
  3. If an image is the same except for the file name, it's OK to delete the image but remembering the obligaton to make it possible to find license information, the description page is still needed and must point to the remaining version of the image and retain the licensing information. In practice, space isn't a technical problem so it's probably not worth doing the deletion at all if the image could be used. If this ever gets to be a space problem, the developers can do what we did for old article versions: arrange for the older and seldom used ones to be invisibly stored in a different place, so people can still get to them as normal but they are on cheap storage.

I recommend that Commons adopts this or a very similar policy. Jamesday 04:33, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Creation dates and such are metadata, keep it out of the file name please. (Actually wikidata would probably be a boon to commons, for this, and many other reasons :-). Secondly, note that in our current architecture, it is counterintuitively so that DELETING A FILE ACTUALLY TAKES UP MORE SPACE(<- actual 100% pure, real Brion quote, used with permission) . So don't delete to save space, as you'll actually use up more space instead. Kim Bruning 09:11, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Can you indicate where Brion wrote that? It's hard to imagine how deleting an image causes more space to be used on the servers, while at the same time we don't have the ability to undelete images. Not that I think space is an important issue. User:dbenbenn 09:57, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Just ask him Kim Bruning 11:25, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

I've taken some time to consider this proposal. I believe it is a good effort, but clearly opposed by a segment of the Commons community. I have a small problem with "Images that are exactly the same except for image title", because at least one of our photojournalists uses a database storage system to manage images, and the database titles indicate relevant metadata information about the image but are not necessarily "descriptive" to a commons admin; and I have seen images deleted/reuploaded (with alterations) for "nondescriptive title". (And now the photojournalist would no longer be able to locate their image should they search for it.)

I have an entire additional argument I would like to make, but this is not the place for it. This policy seems a good-faith effort to address some of the concerns from the projects. - Amgine 05:24, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

"Images that are exactly the same except for image title" - my intention was to apply it to people that upload the exact same image twice, usually because they forgot to change the title to something meaningful, or there was a name clash, or they misspelled something in the name or wrote something misleading. Also to people who upload exactly-same images because they didn't realise the first one was already there (so, this should require communication with the uploader). If there is a good reason to have exactly-same duplicates then of course they can stay. If this becomes policy, the exact wording should be very precise. pfctdayelise (translate?) 22:55, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Too much maintenanceEdit

As well-intentioned as this proposal is, it'll create trouble for us in the long run. If I crop an image, clone-brush objects out of it, and do auto-levels, that almost certainly belongs in a new image and neither should be deleted. However, SVG images are created specifically for the purpose of looking as close as possible to the PNG they are intended to replace. Often they look even nicer or more correct, especially for images scaled to multiple sizes and in print.

If this was all there is to it, I wouldn't mind keeping PNGs around. But the whole point behind deleting them is that every subsequent change to the image would require changing both the PNG and SVG in order to be effective on all projects. Some image changes aren't so bad, like fixing a flag colour - but when you're moving elements around on a diagram or changing line thicknesses, you'd need a miracle to pull it off in PNG right. Half the point of moving to SVG is to enable easier collaborative editing of the image, without having to reverse engineer the bitmap in Photoshop like you do with PNGs (this is why in practice almost nobody edits PNGs).

You could simply update the SVG, then render it at the correct size and upload over the PNG. But then, you might as well be using the thumbnail.

In short, this proposal creates too much maintenance effort in the long run. Deco 06:46, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree. This proposal is a bad idea. We already have the policy that free images that are used anywhere on Wikimedia should not be deleted. The same goes for cross overwritings. But if it ever happens that, for example Image:Us flag 300.png is no longer used, why should we keep it?
Furthermore, I question the statement that "We are losing the confidence of some local projects like nl.wikipedia and en.wikinews." I have seen no evidence for this. User:dbenbenn 08:28, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
See the village pump. Wikinews has decided to start avoiding commons, and will likely try to drop commons as soon as is viable. On nl.wikipedia, some influentual admins are also campaigning to drop commons. Wikinews has already offered the nl community tools to assist in their transition from commons.
You are threfore correct that there is no evidence of these projects losing confidence, as they are in fact already several steps past that point. :-( Kim Bruning 09:15, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Can you point out some page at Wikinews where this issue is mentioned or discussed? User:dbenbenn 09:56, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
  • I see no reason not to delete unused, lower quality images. But, if someone replaces a nice PNG/GIF/JPEG flag image in a page with a newer but poorer quality SVG version of the same flag, they are wrong. Revert it and nominate the new poorer quality SVG for deletion. I love PNG and SVG, but GIFs and bad JPEGs must die. :P --Pmsyyz 10:17, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
    I concur. We at Commons:WikiProject Flags are trying to offer a collection of PD flags in SVG format with the highest amount of accuracy possible (with details like the exact colour shade being discussed to death to be sure we've nailed down the most likely correct one in absence of clear sources). What sense would it make to let unused, inferior and likely less correct PNG flags sit around on commons? —Nightstallion (?) 12:23, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
I am not going to discuss matters of superiority with people from other nations, but it took a lot of work to get the crap out of the svg images, and unfortunately, some of the correct png images were already deleted and replaced by incorrect svg images, by people who didn't look beyond file format in measuring the quality of an image. For me, contents and proper license information come first: an image should be *exactly* what it is supposed to be. File format doesn't count much when it comes to quality - Quistnix 23:04, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
It doesn't create too much maintenance because I would say only the preferred image should be updated/corrected. Let us say that the PNG version is depreciated, but they can still use it if they want. And if they want to use it, then they can correct it as they see fit.
As to losing confidence, there are at least three items on the Village pump from nl.wikipedia people. We shouldn't just dismiss their concerns, we should work with them to find a mutually acceptable solution.
Lastly, the PNGs are only unused if you unlink them! Inferior and likely less correct is, I'm sorry, a subjective matter and we don't have the final authority to make those decisions. It's up to local projects to debate it. You only need to look at the debate on the flag of Italy about the definition of the colour white to see that opinions are heated. I saw an SVG "replacement" recently that not only had distinctly different shades of colours, but the eagle in the middle wasn't even the right colour (compare: Image:Flag of Ecuador.png vs Image:Flag of Ecuador.svg. No wonder they want to use the PNG!!). Let us provide the "best" image we can, as well as any others people want to use. It doesn't hurt us. pfctdayelise (translate?) 13:28, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Why do you sure that PNG colors was rights? There were similar debates and reverts on PNG file. Let's compare 300px and Flag of .png series. So PNG and SVG have exactly same problem from this point of view. --EugeneZelenko 15:38, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Yes, that's true. So we should provide both (or all) versions and let the local users decide which they want to use. It is not our place to decide for them. pfctdayelise (translate?) 15:42, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
I am in doubt about this proposition: maybe it's not workable. From my point of view, all I expect from Commons, is to deliver stable versions of images, and correct ones. And I really hate to have to edit a certain page because the image from Commons got deleted, with some obscure acronym as explanation in the logs. I expect Commons to be something that makes Wikipedia better, and not something that provides overhead.
Furthermore: an example: open Image:European flag.svg and Image:European flag.png in 2 different windows or tabs, and quickly switch back and forth between those 2. That's what I mean with quality: there's not one of the 12 stars that isn't placed differently, while the borders of the flag do not move. Frankly, I wouldn't really know which one is correct, but the person who tagged the png as redundant, should, and should have marked the difference. --Tuvic 21:23, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
And today there was again someone (probably from commons?) replacing nl:Afbeelding:Begripsverklaring.png by Image:Disambig.svg on nl.wp. Again a buch of users were not happy (of course) because it's not the same, and someone is claiming it is. I saw this by accident, but this gives suspicion that this happens far more often... I hope this was not a regular user of commons, but i have only IP, so I can't trace him/her, so I can't tell him/her. :( Effeietsanders 10:21, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
Now they're just making a WP:POINT. The svg is clearly superior to the png, which is very ugly. I really can't understand why they'd want to use the png instead... —Nightstallion (?) 15:51, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
You think it's superior. I think it is ugly. I think it looks agressive because of the different colours. Simply: It is nót the same, so you should use NO {nowcommos}. And certainly NOT change the picture on a policy-like template on the nl.wp! That is just not done. That way you appear to have a attitude like "well, you have just a bad taste, I'll decide what you should use". I'm sorry, but is it very strange if people see that as hostile and "superior-wannebee" attitude? Effeietsanders 17:53, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
It clearly is superior, because the edges of the png are ugly, while those of the svg are not. If you think the colours are ugly, change them; it's a wiki after all. If there's consensus against using your colours, and consensus to use your colours on your local WP, by all means maintain a local copy. shrugsNightstallion (?) 21:35, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
That is exactly what we are doing. (By the way, do i have to read of this that a version on commons wouldn't be allowed, or do i misinterpret this?) But someone changed the picture in the file to the commonsversion, and declared it on our local wiki redundant by {nowcommons}. Thát is what I am talking about. And the image is just totally dfferent. The edges are different etc. And then you can tell me to change it, but I nor my friends have any idea how to change a svg. A png I understand, user Paint shop or just paint for that. Svg? No idea. So that "just change it" is a líttle too easy. But, as I understand, we are not the only who are having trouble with Schaengel89, and I don't blame the whole commons-community. But I keep saying that the attitude of some people is a large part of the problem. Again: I appreciate the effords you are making, but a bunch of people are getting the feeling that you cannot be trusted anymore with our treasures. I try to restore that trust, and apperently there some users who don't want that. Well, that's always in every community of course, but I hope I am not alone in my fight to A make commons better and B make the relation of commons with other wiki's better. Effeietsanders 22:38, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
I have to say, however that the current version is different then the one I am talking about. So if you want to compare, please download the older one. Effeietsanders 23:09, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
I compared the SVG and Dutch PNG side-by-side, and when scaled as on nl:Sjabloon:Dp, they're extremely close to each other pixelwise. So I uploaded a darker version to commons: Image:Disambig-dark.svg. Editing SVGs with Vi is possible, but not something I would like to do every day. :-) Gpvos 15:08, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

No se si me he fumao algo malo por que estoy flipando. Creo entender que hay quien se queja de que han cambiado nl:Afbeelding:Begripsverklaring.png por Image:Disambig.svg, menuda tontería, o que después de cambiar cualquier png por una svg que la mejora la png no se debe borrar. Yo alucino. Sanbec 08:51, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

InsigniaEdit

As I mentioned to pfct at #wikimedia-commons on IRC, I believe that individual portions of this proposal need to be dealt with separately. With the highest intent and with only cooperation and coordination in mind, I have started initial discussions for Commons:CommonsProject Insignia. While this doesn't address all of the matters, hopefully it will be a starting point for standardising insignia (flags, coats of arms) image policy with the wikiprojects in mind. This is not intended to preclude mine or anyone else's involvement in the discussion herein. Cary "Bastique" Bass parler voir 15:21, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Straw pollEdit

SupportEdit

  1. Fred Chess 10:41, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
  2. Quistnix 18:59, 21 February 2006 (UTC) - It happened too often here that images were deleted that were actually the source of the replacements! This is definitely not cfm. GFDL. The way in which file formats were pushed, and all the errors made because the people involved had no knowledge at all of the images they were deleting, has made me wondering if the admins on commons are acting like good documentalists, or just abusing it for hobby projects of their own.
  3. Kjetil r 00:19, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
  4. ZorroIII 10:33, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
  5. TZM de:T/T C 18:18, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

OpposeEdit

  1. It isn't clear what this policy proposal is actually proposing. .For example, the title suggests the proposal is to disallow deleting "improved versions of images", but of course no one ever does that. The second sentence at the top of this page says that "images that depict the same thing but in different ways should not be deleted". So if I upload two copyvio images that depict the same thing in different ways, neither can be deleted? If someone can clarify what this proposal is actually proposing, I might change my opinion about it. But for now it is incoherent. User:dbenbenn 14:26, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
If you think it is incoherent, then please help make it more coherent so that we have a clear policy understood by everyone. So if I upload two copyvio images that depict the same thing in different ways, neither can be deleted? Obviously, this proposal does not override existing Commons policy regarding copyright violations.
How can I possibly help make this proposal more clear, given that I don't understand what the purpose of the proposal is? User:dbenbenn 16:11, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
For example, the title suggests the proposal is to disallow deleting "improved versions of images", but of course no one ever does that. How about these selections from CAT:CSD: ~ Image:PapuaNewGuinea coa.png (a PNG redundant to a GIF! but actually, they're right, in my opinion the GIF is much prettier -- and this why quality is subjective) ~ Image:Chimbote flag.png (distinctly different shade to its SVG version) ~ Image:Flag of the People's Republic of Mongolia (1949-1992).jpg ~ (while the JPG is horrible, at least it's not pink!) ~ Image:Flag of the Netherlands Antilles 1959-1986.png (very different shading) ~ Image:Wappen von Rathenow.png (alledly redundant to another (smaller!) PNG, with different shading) ~ User:Pfctdayelise/Duplicates <- a list of about 50 Chinese province maps I removed from speedy deletion due to "redundancy" to very different maps
But, in fact, the .svg's shade is the correct one in the cases you mentioned... —Nightstallion (?) 06:54, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
If you don't like pink, go argue with the mongolian governement... ;) --Latebird 19:28, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Hopefully no admins are deleting things like this, but after all the users are only marking them according to COM:DG: A file can be speedy deleted if it is: redundant to another file here and is not in use on any project and is not a Wikimedia logo and Template:Redundant says Admins: do not delete this page until all uses have been replaced! (which implies that once all uses have been replaced, it can be deleted without any other concern)... but the thing is if you upload a red cross over a PNG, of course the users will all switch to the SVG image! It's not good evidence that they don't want to use it. Whatever we decide, we need a very clear policy so that admins know where they stand and can direct users to the appropriate action. pfctdayelise (translate?) 15:27, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree that the deletion policy here on the Commons is not very well defined. I would support the following: "a free image with source indicated should not be deleted if it is used on any Wikimedia project". User:dbenbenn 16:11, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
And additionally: a free image with source indicated should not be replaced in local projects by Commons users with the intent of "orphaning" that image and then deleting it. And all incidences of PNG flags being overwritten with "cross" images and being marked "redundant" should be reverted. Yes or no? pfctdayelise (translate?) 16:31, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Disagree. Commons policy should not attempt to regulate what contributors to other Wikimedia projects do. User:dbenbenn 19:21, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
  1. For simple flags with strict geometry there is no point to keep PNGs after replacing them in all projects. Flags with vectorization of arbitrary images is different case, and I think, quality of replacement should be voted. --EugeneZelenko 15:44, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
    I concur; however, that's exactly what we at the WikiProject are trying to do: Replace png flags with superior, correct, sourced and referenced svg flags. —Nightstallion (?) 06:56, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

NeutralEdit

Discuss insteadEdit

  1. polls are evil, let's actually discuss and find a solution Kim Bruning 11:27, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
  2. I concur, but if it comes to a forced vote, I'll oppose. —Nightstallion (?) 12:21, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
  3. Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment I refuse to be polled in this manner. We need consensus, not "who can gather more votes." Cary "Bastique" Bass parler voir 15:34, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
  4. Henna 15:07, 22 February 2006 (UTC), decisions on commons wich are not understood, nor welcomed on local projects are what caused this whole mess. (this said, still trying to understand the proposition)


Let's try this: new stricter deletion guidelinesEdit

Bits that are new are in italics.

Speedy deletionEdit

A file can be speedy deleted if it is:

  • unknown source or copyright status, and has been tagged as such for more than a week.
  • infected by a virus.
  • corrupted (but if in doubt, list it below as an unknown format).
  • an exact copy of a file that was previously deleted under the Commons deletion guidelines.
  • redundant to another file here and is not in use on any project and is not a Wikimedia logo
  • licensed under a noncommercial or permission-only license, and was uploaded after May 19, 2005. [1]
  • requested to be deleted by the uploader, because:
    • they uploaded the same image twice
    • they realised their image was not needed
    • they realised their image was misleading or incorrect (although in this case, a correct version can be uploaded over the top of the existing image)

A file or page can be speedy deleted if it is:

  • a clear copyright violation.
  • patent nonsense, a test, or vandalism.
  • The file/page has an incorrect name, and a file/page with a correct name exists (Also: consider a redirect).
  • The page is a talk page of already deleted page or file.

A page can be speedy deleted if it is:

  • empty and has no significant history.
  • a user page or subpage whose deletion has been requested by the user.
  • the user talk page of an IP address where the content is no longer relevant.
  • the result of a copy-and-paste page move, and must be deleted temporarily to merge histories.
  • a redirect over which another page must be moved.
  • a redirect to a nonexistent page.
  • a category with no content or containing only a parent category.

Regular deletionEdit

A file or page can be listed for deletion on Commons:Deletion requests in the following cases:

  • The file/page has an unknown copyright status.
  • The file/page violates the licensing guidelines.
  • The file/page has an incorrect name, and a file/page with a correct name exists (Also: consider a redirect).
  • The content of the file/page cannot be determined (see also Commons:Images missing information).
  • The page is a talk page of already deleted page or file.
  • The file has a low image quality/resolution (e.g. out of focus, too small).
  • The image is redundant due to a higher-resolution version of the exact same image, and the lower-resolution image is not being used
  • The file/page is redundant through a better but not identical one.
  • The file is enormous and replaced by a much smaller file which contains all of the useful information.
  • The file/page is not potentially usable by any current or future Wikimedia project (e.g. art by unknown artist).

Related policyEdit

  • Images in local projects should only be relinked by Commons users when the images are due to be deleted. So PNG flags should not be relinked to their SVG version.

Actions to be takenEdit

  • Any PNG flags that were overwritten with "cross" images because of perceived redundancy with SVG images, are to be reverted to their proper form.
  • Template:Redundant is to be reworded to make it clear that such images are not to be deleted and may still be used.

Note that being listed on Commons:Deletion requests does not mean that the image will be deleted. Is there anything this doesn't cover? --pfctdayelise (translate?) 13:18, 23 February 2006 (UTC)


Well done, take a look at Template_talk:Deletion_requests#What.27s_OK_and_questionable. It covers more specificly regarding images depicted in the photo/image. -- WB 03:56, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

The file has a low image quality/resolution (e.g. out of focus, too small). <- This is quite subjective, and in some cases may be the only available. If in use this does not seem a reasonable basis for deletion.
The image is redundant due to a higher-resolution version of the exact same image, and the lower-resolution image is not being used. - so long as you're not wasting other people's time, this isn't a problem. Don't expect support for it, though.
The file/page is redundant through a better but not identical one. <- This is completely subjective. I do not support this.
The file is enormous and replaced by a much smaller file which contains all of the useful information. Specious argument.
The file/page is not potentially usable by any current or future Wikimedia project (e.g. art by unknown artist). <- This is completely subjective, and is not Commons's job to decide what can be used by other projects. If it's in use, clearly commons cannot use this justification. In other cases I would not support this justification.
- Amgine 18:06, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree that more power should be given to users who wish to delete their own images, and less authority to the practice of deleting other peoples images. Bascially, this has been said again and again, but when looking through the deletion log, it is full of "deleted redundant" [1]. This would need to be outlined in the deletion guidelines. Even if 9/10 don't delete redundants, it is enough if 1/10 does. So do we want deletion of redundants or not? Suppose I create an SVG file from someone elses png, tag it as redundant -- all it takes is for one admin to delete it arbitratily delete it, and it is gone. And no-one else can check whether they are similar or different or improved. The whole "redundant" thing is so unspecific, it would just be easier not to delete for that reason, and to just list them for deletion instead. / Fred Chess 18:37, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
Maybe, someone sometimes has abused the guideline as far as it concerns redundants. However, it is not so rare to be found, that there are two really identical images. (At the moment I have no example.) This sometimes happens, when images are transferred from wikipedias to Commons independently by two persons and when at least one person has changed the name. I am in favor of the possibility of speedy deletion of redundants in the following cases: (1) When two images are really identical apart from file name. (2) When someone has transferred a thumbnail version to Commons and the full version also exists. Of course in both cased the images have to be orphaned in all wikipedias. --Franz Xaver 20:56, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Amgine, those points are all under "regular deletion", not speedy. That means people have a chance to discuss them. There are quite a few people who would only rarely delete such images, who watch COM:DEL. So I would expect even one person asking to keep the images, would result in them being kept. pfctdayelise (translate?) 23:43, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

My opinion/rantEdit

I'll first say that I support most parts of this proposal, but many of the justifications seem to be radically misinformed. I'll go through it piece by piece.

make it a policy that images that depict the same thing but in different ways (eg, file format, images that are very similar but NOT exactly the same), should not be deleted. Local users may be encouraged to use one file over others (eg SVG over PNG), but they are to in no way be forced to do so.

Sure, I have no problem with this. I would strongly suggest that projects migrate from, for example, PNG to SVG versions of the same images, since this enables scaling articles to higher resolutions and is more flexible, among other benefits. But this doesn't mean we have to delete the PNGs if somebody still wants to use them for whatever reason.

However, I don't think Commons citizens should be restricted from changing images on other projects if they want to, as a member of that project and subject to their rules.

Also, images that are exactly the same but different resolutions, should have the lower-resolution image deleted unless it is necessary for technical reasons, ie. the larger image does not "scale down" well. If even one person thinks it is necessary, it should be kept. A note on the file description page should keep it from being deleted.

Sounds good, for the reasons stated. I sometimes upload versions of PNGs with reduced palettes for decreased filesize, but I would be sure to include a strong notice to this effect. On the other hand, if the people who desire to keep the smaller image are involved in the discussion, I think it's still okay to at least consider deletion.

All "cross" overwritings of images that have been done so far should be reverted, and local projects are welcome to use those if they want to

Disagree. Let those who want to revert revert, and we won't change it back. To go around reverting our own changes would be just as disruptive as making them in the first place. Keep in mind that many of our changes were not reverted already precisely because the affected editors agreed with them.

Commons are only "file police" for licensing and copyright concerns.

Huh? We police our own files for license, but we certainly don't police project-local files. Many projects have different standards for licenses of their own media. I guess this is what you meant.

PNG is still supported by MediaWiki and is likely to be for some time (? please confirm this if you can), so there is no urgency to switch to SVG.

The implication that SVG is a "replacement" of some kind for PNG is patently ridiculous, and my most violent objection to these justifications. Many images are and should always be PNG, such as screenshots. SVG is only appropriate for images that are suitably described by vector graphics.

We are not in danger of running out of server space, and having multiple different images of the same subject doesn't hurt anyone.

This is valid, but not a particularly strong argument, since it could be used to oppose deleting anything at all. We need to delete things that aren't useful, no matter how much space we have.

We are losing the confidence of some local projects like nl.wikipedia and en.wikinews. For Commons to be effective we have to work together with local communities and that requires their trust.

Er, I'll take your word for it. I'd like to see evidence that these communities as a whole are really "losing confidence" in us. In any case we should certainly follow the rules of projects that we edit and respect the members of those communities, whether or not we speak their language.

End rant. Deco 19:29, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

However, I don't think Commons citizens should be restricted from changing images on other projects if they want to, as a member of that project and subject to their rules. Neither do I -- if they are a member of that project. Meaning community member, not just that they signed up. People can judge for themselves if they are members of a certain community. For a start if you can't read the language I'd say you're almost certainly not.
Keep in mind that many of our changes were not reverted already precisely because the affected editors agreed with them. Well, how you know that, I'm not sure. Perhaps they felt they had no choice? (see quotes below)
Huh? We police our own files for license, but we certainly don't police project-local files. Many projects have different standards for licenses of their own media. I guess this is what you meant. No, I meant that we are not the file-type police or quality police or or police on any matter where you would use the word "should". (Flags should be SVGs, images should be high resolution, images should not have text credits, etc.) Only "musts" and "must nots": Files must have a valid source and license.
We need to delete things that aren't useful, no matter how much space we have. That's a very subjective criterion. --pfctdayelise (translate?) 11:38, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Regarding Dutch Wikipedia losing confidence, here are some quotes from the Dutch 'Kroeg' (village pump), which English translations - Andre Engels 12:20, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

  • Empoor, 05-10:
    • Iemand op Commons bleek zo slim te zijn om zonder warning aan de projecten een belangrijk logo te verwijderen. Afbeelding:Commons-logo.png gebruiken wij hier erg veel in sjablonen etc, maar die is nu dus verwijderd.
    • Someone on Commons seems to have been so clever to remove an important logo without warning the projects. Image:Commons-logo.png is used very much here in templates etc, but has been removed now.
  • Effe iets anders, 24-10:
    • En toch blijf ik t vreemd vinden. Omdat men bij commons graag een beleid wil veranderen (ik begrijp hun redenen best wel hoor) moeten zoveel gebruikers, zeker de newbees, die grotendeels MIE gebruiken, moeten toch wel een goede weergave krijgen van de Wiki?
    • And still I think it's strange. Because on commons people want to change a policy (sure, I do understand their reasons) so many users, certainly the newbies, who mostly use MIE, cannot get a good reproduction of the Wiki?
  • Quistnix, 29-12:
    • We hebben er totaal geen kijk op, en de admins op Commons gedragen zich uiterst arrogant.
    • We cannot check it at all, and the admins on Commons behave in an extremely arrogant way.
  • Waerth, 17-01:
    • Omdat Commons een totaal onbetrouwbaar beleid heeft. Plaatjes worden vervangen zonder te kijken waar ze gebruikt worden. En worden weggegooid omdat ze er al 1 van hebben. Enz. Commons is onbetrouwbaar en ik gebruik het daarom niet. Ik heb geen zin 2 plaatsen in de gaten te moeten houden.
    • Because Commons has a totally unreliable policy. Images are being replaced without looking where they are used. And are being thrown away because they already have one. Etc. Commons is unreliable, and therefore I don't use it. I don't want to be forced to check 2 places continually.
  • Quistnix, 17-01:
    • Plaatjes worden naar willekeur "aangepast" (ik heb de afbeelding van een schilderij dat ik hier heb hangen, "opgefleurd" zien worden naar kleuren die het nooit gehad heeft kunnen hebben) of vervangen (zoals ik met afbeeldingen van vlaggen en wapens heb zien gebeuren, naar afbeeldingen met dubieuze kleuren en verhoudingen, met als referentie "gekopieerd van en.wiki"). En er valt over beleid niet te praten: de sysops daar bepalen dat wel voor iedereen. Om die redenen ben ik gestopt met uploaden naar Commons. Over zorgelijke ontwikkelingen gesproken...
    • Images are being "adapted" at will (I have seen the image of a painting that hangs here being "brightened up" to colours that it can never have had) or replaced (as I saw happening to images of flags and weapons, to images with doubtful colours and proportions, with as the reference "copied from en.wiki"). And there is no possibility to discuss policy: the sysops there decided it for everyone. For that reasons I have stopped uploading to commons. Talking about alamring developments...
  • Quistnix, 17-01:
    • Daar hebben ze ook een oplossing voor: in dat geval maken ze een afgeleide afbeelding en slaan die onder een andere naam op. Vervolgens verwijderen ze het origineel als "redundant".
    • [answer a suggestion to just revert when your image has been changed]. They have a solution for that as well: Then they make a derived image and save it under another name. After that the original is deleted as "redundant".
  • Yorian, 17-01:
    • [I]k kreeg dit toen ik wat experimenteerde: If that should be a joke, it isn't funny. Please provide correct informatione, images like these without informations what they show are useless fur us. --20:02, 18 December 2005 (UTC), terwijl ik toch wel een beshcrijving in het engels erbij had gedaan, zodat de afkomst duidelijk was. Dan heb ik er ok geen zin meer in.
    • I got this when I experimented a bit: If that should be a joke, it isn't funny. Please provide correct informatione, images like these without informations what they show are useless fur us. --20:02, 18 December 2005 (UTC), even though I had given a description in English, so the origin was clear. If things go this way, I'm not interested any more.
  • Quistnix, 17-01:
    • Beheerders van databanken die de originele inhoud ervan verwijderen om te vervangen door nieuwe inhoud van onbekende herkomst, die eigenmachtig afbeeldingen verwijderen die op tienduizenden pagina's worden gebruikt, enkel en alleen omdat het afbeeldingformaat hen niet aanstaat, en die niet luisteren naar hun afnemers, functioneren niet.
    • Administrators of databases that remove its original contents by new content of unknown origin, who arbitrarily move images that are used on tens of thousands of pages, only because they do not like the image format, and do not listen to their clients, are not functioning.
  • Quistnix, 25-01:
    • Oproep: Links naar op Commons verwijderde vlaggen NIET verwijderen
    • Call: Do NOT remove links to flags that have been removed on Commons
  • Quistnix, 26-01:
    • In het verleden is gezegd: "haal alle afbeeldingen op nl weg en zet ze over op commons, dan kunnen we er allemaal gebruik van maken". Het tegenovergestelde is echter ook waar: zodra men op commons besluit de afbeeldingen te verwijderen, zijn ze overal WEG.
    • In the past there has been said: "Get all images away from nl and mrve them to commons, then everyone can use them". However, the opposite is alos true: As soon as on commons it is decided to remove them, they have GONE everywhere.
  • Walter, 26-01:
    • Ik denk dat het best zou zijn om afbeeldingen die ook op commens staan niet meer lokaal hier te wissen.
    • I think it would be best to not any more remove images locally that are on commons as well.
  • Quistnix, 26-01:
    • svg wordt zo veel meer gewaardeerd dan al het andere, dat men spontaan aan het verwijderen slaat. De andere kant van het verhaal (het rechtzetten van al deze ongevraagde wijzigingen) schuiven ze af op de mensen op de wiki-projecten die zo ongelukkig zijn geweest hun data aan commons toe te vertrouwen.
    • svg is so much more appreciated than everything else, that people start to remove spontaneously. The other side of the story (correcting all these changes that were not asked for) are being shifted onto the people on the wiki-projects who have been so unlucky to trust their data to commons.
  • handscarf, 26-01:
    • Hmm, ik vraag me af of ze dat in de toekomst geen problemen gaat geven. Ik vermoed dat ook op andere wiki's op deze manier geen goodwill wordt gekweekt.
    • Hmm, I wonder if that will not give them [i.e. the people on commons] problems in the future. I assume that this is also not creating goodwill on other wikis.
  • Tuvic, 26-01:
    • Het is [...] lastig dat de mensen van Commons alle Wikipedia-projecten dwingen tot uren bot-acties gewoonweg omdat ze een perfect bestaande afbeelding omvormen tot een ander formaat.
    • It is a nuisance that the people of Commons force all Wikipedia projects to do hours of bot actions simly because they have reshaped a perfect existing image to another format.
  • Quistnix, 26-01:
    • Op zich was deze hele actie nog wel te overzien geweest, wanneer de lui op Commons zich aan fatsoensregels hadden gehouden en deze zeer ingrijpende en grootschalige actie hadden uitgevoerd in samenwerking en in overleg met de gebruikers op de lokale wiki's. Maar dit is gewoonweg machtsmisbruik. Dit is voor mij een reden (slechts 1 van de vele, helaas) om geen bestanden meer naar commons te uploaden
    • On itself this whole action had been overseeable when the people on Commons had kept the rules of common decency and had done this radical and large-scale operation in cooperation and consultation with users on the local wikis. But this is simply abuse of power. This for me is one of the reasons (only 1 of many, unfortunately) to not upload files to commons any more.
  • B.E. Moeial, 26-01:
    • Wat de vlaggen aangaat: het 'verplicht' stellen en vervolgens voorbarig beginnen met verwijderen is zondermeer fout.
    • Regarding the flags: making it 'compulsory' and subsequently start removing prematurely is simply wrong.
  • TeunSpaans, 26-01:
    • In plaats van hier gezellig onder elkaar te mokken, kun je ook gewoon de commons-moderators aanspreken. Zet gewoon een proteste op hun overleg pagina, en zeg dat ze ons niet met de rotzooi op moeten schepen. Zeg dat ze zich aan de regels moeten houden. Ik heb destijds geprotesteerd tegen de aanstaande verwijdering, maar was de enige.
    • Instead of sulking between one another, we could also talk to the commons moderators. Just put a protest on their talk page, and say they should not leave us with the rubbish. Say that they should keep the rules. I have at the time protested against the removal, but I was the only one.
  • Quistnix, 26-01:
    • @Teun: je was niet de enige. Zelf heb ik ook geprotesteerd, maar ze laten iedereen die niet tot hun clubje hoort, gewoon l*llen. Regels? Die maken ze zelf wel.
    • @ Teun: you were not the only one. I myself also have protested, but they don't listen to anyone who is not part of their club. Rules? They make those themselves.
  • Quistnix, 28-01:
    • Op Commons zijn ze niet te stuiten: svg is in, al het andere is uit. Weg ermee! Dat de nieuwe vlaggen soms niet kloppen, lijkt bijzaak
    • On Commons they are unstoppable: svg is in, everything else is out. Get rid of it! That the new flags sometimes are incorrect, seems to be a secondary issue.
  • Thomas, 28-01:
    • Er is echt sprake van een commonsterreur. Die gasten hadden plaatjes van de AEX gewoon verwijderd en nu staat er geen plaatje meer op AEX.
    • There really is a commons terrorism. Those people had simply removed images of the AEX, and now there is no image on AEX any more.
  • Quistnix, 29-01:
    • Verder is de omschakeling domweg een voorbeeld van monopolistengedrag ("jullie kunnen niet om ons heen dus hebben jullie naar onze pijpen te dansen"). Daar maak je, voorzichtig uitgedrukt, geen vrienden mee.
    • Apart from that the switch [to svg] is simply an example of monopolist behaviour ("you cannto do without us so you have to go with what we say"). That does, said euphemistically, not make friends.
  • Stephan202, 30-01:
    • Met geleidelijk bedoelde ik uiteraard dat het weloverwogen gebeurd. Dat is hier niet het geval, en ben ik helemaal met je eens.
    • By gradually I of course meant that it happens well-consideredly. That has not happened here, and I completely agree with you [Quistnix].
  • Kamu, 30-01:
    • Wat de instelling op commons betreft, trof ik de volgende opmerking in de geschiedenis van het verwijderde Image:Us flag 300.png aan (de gebruiker is overigens een van de mods op commons): 15:18, 16 September 2005 Dbenbenn ({{redundant|:Image:Flag of the United States.svg}}. Yay, now we get to convert to SVG!).
    • Regarding the attitude of commons, I saw the following remark in the history of the removed Image:Us flag 300.png on commons (the user is one of the commons admins, by the way): 15:18, 16 September 2005 Dbenbenn ({{redundant|:Image:Flag of the United States.svg}}. Yay, now we get to convert to SVG!).
      • I wonder whether it's worthwhile replying here, since I got mentioned. Anyway, SVG was enabled in early September. I uploaded an extremely accurate SVG flag as Image:Flag of the United States.svg, and tagged the various inaccurate PNG versions as redundant. And yes, I was excited about the fact that SVG was enabled. Is there a problem with that? If people on NL have a problem with that, then I guess there's nothing I can do for them. User:dbenbenn 05:22, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
        • Yes, there is a problem with that. Not with uploading an SVG image. Not with being excited about SVG being enabled. But there is a problem with marking an image as redundant when it is used on projects, and there is a problem with forcing others to switch from png to svg just because you like it better. - Andre Engels 12:16, 21 April 2006 (UTC)