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Commons talk:Featured picture candidates

This is the talk page for discussing improvements to Commons:Featured picture candidates.
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Here are the delists this year. I am ignoring some procedural delists (due to set duplication); the delist&replace that works well for artworks where we now have a better copy; and delist where the photographer has uploaded an improved version of their photo.

A previous discussion on the purpose of delist is at Commons talk:Featured picture candidates/Archive 12#Delisting candidates. Two arguments were presented. One held that an FP is a snapshot of opinion at that time, and delist should only be for exceptional cases such as "only justified by obvious errors of judgement at the time of their promotion". Another argument is that "featured pictures are supposed to represent the best work of Commons, and many early featured pictures simply do not". Another pointed out the "hysterises" in our voting mechanism that ensured "That just as it is hard to get obtain FP status, it should be hard to delist as well". I think the two ways of looking at FP have their merits and suspect if we polled people, there would be those same two different and conflicting opinions.

As I note above, there are situations where a delist & replace is often used without controversy. Such as when we get a better version of an artwork, or a photographer reworks their photo. Sometimes people make the mistake of thinking Delist & Replace should be used for photographs where we have a better different photo of the same subject, which is against the rules. Our current rules are:

  • Over time, featured picture standards change. It may be decided that for some pictures which were formerly "good enough", this is no longer the case. This is for listing an image which you believe no longer deserves to be a featured picture.
  • This can also be used for cases in which a previous version of an image was promoted to FP, but a newer version of the image has been made and is believed to be superior to the old version, e.g. a newly edited version of a photo or a new scan of a historical image. In particular, it is not intended for replacing older photos of a particular subject with newer photos of the same subject, or in any other case where the current FP and the proposed replacement are essentially different images.
  • If you believe that some picture no longer meets the criteria for FP, you can nominate it for delisting
  • Minimum 7 votes and 2:1 ratio of delist:keep, which mirrors the standard for promotion.

I don't think the "no longer meets the criteria for FP" is sufficient justification for delist. It is becoming clear that many of our pre 2010 (say) photos no longer meet the criteria. Delist used to be a very occasional nomination, with many months without any delist. Now we have a flood of nominations. While it seems the "old hands" here tend to vote keep if the image is still a good one, despite technical issues or small size, the delist nominations also seem to be an easy vote for newbies who see the image does not meet current technical standards and vote accordingly. I don't think the size of the picture should be a reason to delist, unless we have plenty new pictures of that subject that are high resolution with fine detail rendered, and good quality.

The worst example IMO is the credit cards photo above. This is a great photo that is widely used on Wikipedias. Although the image is "too small" by current standards, it clearly has plenty utility. The claim it is "unsharp" is simply false: the fine print on the card is sharply rendered. The "no wow" claim is concerning: are we really suggesting that only images fit for the pages of National Geographic are featurable? As someone who has taken product photos on white background, I am wowed technically by this image, and (ignoring size) it would be acceptable to any stock photo agency wanting images of credit cards. The "blurred" comment seems to come from our obsession with requiring images to be focus stacked, rather than accepting the normal laws of optics. We don't have any larger or better photos of Credit cards on Commons. Nor are photographers likely to be keen to take and upload photos of their own credit cards. This image is still actually our finest photo of credit cards.

What to do? -- Colin (talk) 08:31, 24 July 2019 (UTC)

There's nothing to do. Just wait till the end of the voting period, then keep or delist, depending on the result.
This picture of credit cards is not of the best quality. Not only it is too small, but also noisy at the bottom and at the left, with ugly blue and yellow tints in the shadows.
Delisting pictures in general is a good practice so as to keep FPC in life. We need birth as we need death. Evolution. Otherwise we just keep, keep, keep, accumulating and mixing the best with the worse images, and the FP label loses its meaning.
Personally I rarely nominate any removal because the delisting procedure at the end requires a lot of work manually. But if some people are motivated to handle that job, I really don't see why they shouldn't be encouraged and supported in their constructive project -- Basile Morin (talk) 11:47, 24 July 2019 (UTC)

The problem is that if the delist requirement is taken literally "A majority believe the image would not pass today, with the current criteria" then will see FPC consisting of a continuous rotation of previous nominations being re-examined. I think we need a stronger reason than that, which currenlty permits any image to re-opened and will simply consume our time and emotional energy reviewing earlier decisions. Any fool can pick faults in an image. That isn't clever or useful or constructive at all. Simply listing reasons why an image would not pass today is boring and deeply unhelpful. I would much rather the thinking that went into a delist was (mentally) "OMG, what were they thinking, this is just awful" or "We now have so many QI of this subject, many of which are better than this old FP". I hope this month's negativity disappears and we refocus our attention on making and finding new images to promote. But if we keep seeing these nominations, then I think we should tighten the rules for delist nominations. Or at least come to some informal consensus as to what is appropriate. -- Colin (talk) 12:35, 24 July 2019 (UTC)

  No problem It is as simple as 1+1=2. How does the system work today ? We need a consensus of two thirds of supports for a nomination being promoted. And we need a consensus of two thirds of delists for a removal nomination being delisted. It means : if a picture gets FP today, and, tomorrow immediately someone proposes to delist it, this will not work, mathematically. Because there will never be enough voters against the image, just after everybody loved it. The two thirds rule guarantees a kind of security. And there is nothing to worry about in my opinion. Most of the recent delisting nominations are perfectly justified, and most of them get several supports. That means the level improves. Regards -- Basile Morin (talk) 13:12, 24 July 2019 (UTC)

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is. Your explanation does not take into account human behaviour. Socially, we like to agree with others (well, some of us do). So the easiest most natural thing is to support a new nomination and to agree to delist a delist nomination. To do otherwise causes conflict, which many people go out of their way to avoid. 10 delist nominations in a month is abnormal and I do not want to see this as a new trend. We end up simply demoting useful and high quality images simply because today's threshold for new FPs is higher. -- Colin (talk) 09:31, 25 July 2019 (UTC)
My feeling is that it is also our task. So if we don't do it today, when ? Tomorrow ? Tomorrow there will be more. It should not be difficult to judge an image. Sometimes I believe we think and theorize too much. Most of the choices are obvious. Very often, we like or we don't : it is as simple as that. Reviewing is slightly more complex. And can be hard sometimes or for some of us to introspect, and to formulate with words what we feel exactly. But it works anyway, through the group synergy. Truth is winning 95% of the time. And there are a lot of average situations, that we don't really care. Well, it's feature picture or not, no worry, no destiny or at the contrary big surprise, but that's random, like in life. I think it's better to learn to be honest. Honesty is the best way to feel okay with oneself, and it is useful for the other users to get a true and authentic feedback. Even if that hurts. We're not here to get as many poor FP as possible, we're here to discover what's really nice and really interesting. Bad FPs should be delisted. Whatever the pain, sometimes. It's a job, yes, and it's fruitful -- Basile Morin (talk) 09:55, 25 July 2019 (UTC)
  •   Comment The popularity of FPC is both a benefit and a defect, the benefice is obvious, but the disadvantage is the lost of discernment and reflection with respect to crowd movement (massive support or massive oppose, or massive delisting vote, ect...) and or behavior modeled on that of others. The increase of subjectivity in relation to objectivity. I would say, 1/add to "Guidelines for nominators" a small paragraph about "delisting" with the ideas quoted above. 2/change the number of vote necessary for a delisting, at "Featuring and delisting rules", an increase from 7 to 10, 11 or 12 should be reasonable IMO. Christian Ferrer (talk) 11:02, 25 July 2019 (UTC)
  • You need no more than 3 keeps already for 7 delists. Hard enough IMO -- Basile Morin (talk) 11:12, 25 July 2019 (UTC)
  • I just follow entirely Colin’s opinion and comment. I disagree by principle to the « delist » idea. « Bad FP » does not exist IMO. What about votes and our little democracy ? « Old FP » does exist. Let’s delist the Constitution of the United States of America, or let’s delist the Queen of Great Britain, because they are no more fitting for our modern times ? This was my old conservative opinion.--Jebulon (talk) 12:18, 25 July 2019 (UTC)
  • "Let’s delist the Queen of Great Britain" ?? Hmm -- Basile Morin (talk) 12:42, 25 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Example of "bad FP" (for today's standards of course). And another one, old from 2007 but still : good (IMO). Actually the first one is not FP anymore. So it's not even a "bad FP", it is just "not an FP" :-) Basile Morin (talk) 13:02, 25 July 2019 (UTC)
  • I think Jebulon has a good point in his comment on Colin's post. With the development of cameras and software, photos are becoming outdated faster and faster and more and more delisting nominations will have to follow. It is a waste of time and energy to do this continuous scrutiny of old FPs. The main page for FPs is COM:FP where it says: "Featured pictures are images from highly skilled photographers and illustrators that the Wikimedia Commons community has chosen as some of the highest quality on the site.". Why not add something to that sentence (it has probably been there for ages and I doubt those who wrote it could have forseen how much photography and the FPC forum have changed) and re-define what an FP is. Something like: "These images reflect what was considered the best photos on Commons at the time they were promoted to Featured Picture status." The text would need tweaking and be written properly but for now it is a suggestion. It's not like we are going to run out of server space any time soon, so why not keep them all. --Cart (talk) 13:17, 25 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Sure this is clearly, but clearly not a question of RAM -- Basile Morin (talk) 13:40, 25 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Part about server space striked for clarity since non-English users might not know that this is a common joke on English Wiki-project pages. --Cart (talk) 13:52, 25 July 2019 (UTC)
  Comment I don't see the point of delisting old FP. They are the past, forget them. Take care of the present. Regards, Yann (talk) 13:19, 25 July 2019 (UTC)
+1 Delisting FPs is like taking away Nobel Prize from Nobel Laureate, we are doing a blunder. Please abolish this rule-- Eatcha (talk) 13:33, 25 July 2019 (UTC)
You may confuse the title and the object. When you are a Doctor, you usually remain a Doctor. But when you are a bad computer, you usually finish in the garbage -- Basile Morin (talk) 13:40, 25 July 2019 (UTC)
This is more respectful, for all the previous users who have patiently removed all these poor images for so many years, to follow and continue on their tracks -- Basile Morin (talk) 14:09, 25 July 2019 (UTC)
  Question @Basile Morin, What are your thoughts if we delist them automatically after 15 years(or any other year) as it's sure that this rule ensures that most of the images which are featured now would get delisted after some years (let's say 25 years from now) and automating this delisting process could save a lot of time. Best, Eatcha (talk) 14:49, 25 July 2019 (UTC)
  •   Comment I broadly agree with Colin's rationale plenty new pictures of that subject that are high resolution with fine detail rendered, and good quality So how would I apply it to deselecting a wildlife FP image? It would need to be a very similar image, like an animal portrait, then surely deselect and replace would apply. I've had a quick look at several categories of wildlife FPs. I'd vote against probably 20% of them, but I couldn't find many I'd be happy to nominate for delisting. Here is an exception. There are 4 FPs of the male Beautiful demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo): 2006, 2016, 2017 (two blue colour and one green colour); This one from 2009 is clearly inferior and could be sensibly nominated for delisting. Should the nominations in 2016 and 2017 have been delist and replace? (one was mine) Charles (talk) 19:55, 31 July 2019 (UTC)

My opinion is that FPC should not just be a place where new nominations are made, but a place where discussions are held on which images should be FPs. The way to do that is two-fold: 1) nominating new images, and 2) examining current FPs. The latter is a matter of "housekeeping" - taking a look at our current stock to see if changes should be made. I therefore think we should accept having such discussions on a fairly regular basis. Of the list above, 7 images were delisted and 10 were not. That tells me the system works; the community is active and sometimes delisting nominations are rebuked.
Now, I don't think that we should constantly re-evaluate recently promoted images, because once an image has been promoted, the community has spoken and the image status should remain for some time (this also means that if an image fails in its nomination, it should not be renominated). However, I stick to the wording of the guidelines: "As overall image quality improves, some images will be delisted." To me, this means that when there are better images of a subject on Commons, we can have a discussion on whether the poorer quality images should then be relegated. It also means that standards move with time; an image which was considered FP in 2005 might not be seen as very good today. It's important to respect the voice of the community, but also to keep in mind that given enough time, standards may change.
Lastly, I would like to add that the limiting of delisting nominations that A.Savin proposed in this discussion already exists: "There is also a limit of two active delisting nominations per user, which is in addition to the limit of two active regular nominations." --Peulle (talk) 10:24, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

Sorry, I didn't notice that, yet at some point I had the impression that Boothshift had more than two delist noms running at the same time. Perhaps I'm wrong with it (currently there are two). --A.Savin 13:14, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
I'm sorry I've been unable to participate lately - there was a horrible flood from the apartment above mine while I was on vacation, the apartment is uninhabitable, and I'm dealing with very spotty Wi-Fi at a friend's place. That said, I would support a 10-vote threshold for delisting and find it annoying to delist good photos just because they're small or wouldn't pass if they were nominated now instead of in 2005 or whenever. -- Ikan Kekek (talk) 14:46, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Peulle, the fact that many of the images in the recent flood of delists got delisted does not "tell [us] the system works". Look at Charles's comment: he'd "vote against probably 20% of [our wildlife FPs]". What these facts tell us that finding old FPs where 7 people will vote "delist" is "like shooting fish in a barrel". I don't think raising the threshold to 10 will help: we have far too many participants here who are quite trigger happy to delist the photos of departed or absent photographers (yet strangely reluctant to oppose the nominations by our regulars). What an easy thing to do of an afternoon: "yeh, that's rubbish", "gosh, that one too", "oh, and that one wouldn't make the grade either". If you seriously look at our FP archive, we could "waste our time" re-reviewing about half the images just because one person "doesn't find it interesting", which seems to be the standard we have fallen to in the last month. Finding FPs that "wouldn't pass today" is much easer than finding or taking FPs that are so wonderful they get 25 or 30 supports. Perhaps killing off bad FPs taken by photographers who aren't here to argue, just appeals to some. This behaviour wasn't what FPC did in the last 10 years.
If we can all personally pick photos we don't think "make the grade" and shoot away at them, I'd nominate nearly all of Livioandronico's FPs for delist purely on technical grounds -- they always were far far below the standard set years ago by Diliff and met by many others who bothered to take the effort and were here to document reality rather than push the Clarity slider to the max. They got support at the time because heck, who'd want to have an argument about technique with Livo, and the subjects certainly had wow so were easy to support. But really, I and all you have better things to do with your lives than re-review 100+ mediocre photographs. They got promoted. Move on. -- Colin (talk) 18:36, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
  •    "Perhaps killing off bad FPs taken by photographers who aren't here to argue, just appeals to some." This is hostile, like too often with Colin -- Basile Morin (talk) 01:13, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
  • You are partly right. Such a delist is hostile. It is photographic bullying. -- Colin (talk) 20:51, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Nonsense. Colin's comment is hostile because it suggests the nominators are malicious, taking advantage of the photographer's absence to "kill off" their photos. In reality some FPs are delisted because they've simply lost their value, after consensual decision. There's nothing perfidious in the nominators' initiative. Now saying a delist is "photographic bullying" is one more provocation -- Basile Morin (talk) 03:56, 9 August 2019 (UTC)
  • I'm not going to continue the discussion with Colin on this, other than to say that I disagree with him. Including the quote above. FPs shouldn't be FPs if they are bad, I stand by that opinion.--Peulle (talk) 16:51, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
  • "FPs shouldn't be FPs if they are bad". Now that is a reasonable (though some may disagree) line of argument. Much better than the earlier flawed logic that the system was working. The question then is how bad should it be before one nominates. If you think about it for a moment, then "I don't think this would pass today" is little better than one person's opinion that they would oppose if nominated today. And I don't think anyone here wants to see delist just become a mechanism for everyone to spin the roulette wheel another time because they personally disagree with the earlier result. I don't think the 2/3 majority to delist is sufficient hysterises and doesn't discourage such "I wasn't consulted" type delist nominations flooding the forum as recently. If we do permit delist, then the rules should be more along the lines of "This image falls so far far below the current standards for this kind of photography/subject". At the same time, we should also discourage delist rationales on the grounds of resolution, because the consensus over the years when we have discussed resolution is that we wouldn't retrospectively apply any resolution increase. While we have failed to agree on a numerical new minimum resolution, the de facto minimum resolutions acceptable have crept up over the years. The current rules worked because in practice delist was rare and only done by (a) newbies or (b) images that really were dreadful by today's standards. Those rules were created after discussion just like the one we're having: this is a wiki and nothing is set in stone. -- Colin (talk) 20:51, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Basile, it is rather frustrating to have a reasonable argument with you when you selectively quote and you quite routinely ignore the important bits of what has been said. Here you quote the "newbies" and not the "images that really were dreadful by today's standards" alternative, which applies to many of the examples you give. Additionally, right at the very top, I say "I am ignoring some procedural delists (due to set duplication); the delist&replace that works well for artworks where we now have a better copy; and delist where the photographer has uploaded an improved version of their photo." which apply to the nominations by Cart, Peulle and El Grafo. So when you say "Simply not true", yes what you write is often simply not true, and rather tedious to have to correct your (deliberate?) misunderstandings, rather than focus on the topic at hand. -- Colin (talk) 09:47, 22 August 2019 (UTC)

  Comment Looking at the archives, the number of delist candidatures has been constantly varying from months to months for many years. Last June for example, no delist nomination at all among the 219 FP candidates. Then there has been a small increase the next month. All the other months were okay. Where's the problem? Note that if a picture is delisted by mistake, it is always possible to renominate as new FP. Any clear FP usually remains - and remains for long -- Basile Morin (talk) 03:56, 9 August 2019 (UTC)

checking existing FPsEdit

Can we modify the FP guidelines to ask voters to click on the FP category before voting? I admit I don't always do it. It would also help if nominators took the trouble to mention an exisitng nomination of theirs of the same subject. Charles (talk) 09:29, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

You mean like 1 and 2 ? :-) Basile Morin (talk) 03:36, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
Yes, I do. And for categories which have huge number of images, we could be even more helpful e.g. linking to Commons:Featured pictures/Animals/Birds/Coraciiformes rather than Commons:Featured pictures/Animals/Birds Charles (talk) 10:19, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
Return to the project page "Featured picture candidates".