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Commons:Photographs of identifiable people/Update 2013/Moral issues

Moral issuesEdit

While some aspects of ethical photography and publication are controlled by law, there are moral issues too. They find a reflection in the wording of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 12: "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation." Common decency and respect for human dignity may influence the decision whether to host an image above that required by the law. The extent to which an image might be regarded as "unfairly obtained" or to be "intrusive", for example, is a matter of degree and may depend on the nature of the shot, the location, and the notability of the subject.

The provenance of an image may taint its use irredeemably. A "downblouse" photograph is not made ethically acceptable just because the subject's face is cropped out. A paparazzi telephoto shot of a naked sunbather does not become acceptable merely by pixelating the face.

In the same way as quality newspapers may apply a "public interest" test to doubtful images, the degree to which an image meets our educational project scope may also be considered. When in doubt, there is no requirement for Commons to host any image of a person.