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Commons talk:What Commons is not

Commons is not WikipediaEdit

The relevant policy is COM:NPOV.

I have removed the following:

"However, some policies and guidelines do have indirect relevance on Commons though. For example, while Commons is not subject directly to the Biographies of Living Persons policy, the Photographs of identifiable people guideline follows in the spirit of the BLP policy, setting down requirements and guidance for images of living persons".

COM:PEOPLE is quite independent of the Biographies of Living Persons on the English Wikipedia, and to suggest even indirect relevance is misleading in my view: our policies stand alone and are quite independent of any English Wikipedia policies. The Biographies of Living Persons is no more relevant to us than, say, the equivalent policy on the German Wikipedia, or the French or the Italian. Singling out one is en.W and English-language centric, and is unfair on all the others. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 06:25, 22 September 2008 (UTC)


Probably should also have something about it not being intended for free advertising of you services as a photographer or of your other business, but with some indication of what is permissible (presumably, for example, indication that you are open to licensing your work, or photos of your business that are released under appropriate license and might serve encyclopedic or other educational purposes). - Jmabel ! talk 22:05, 23 September 2008 (UTC)


Is there consensus to officially mark this as a content guideline? ViperSnake151 (talk) 13:51, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

  •    Support I think this is a good idea. -Nard the Bard 19:34, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
  •    Question While I agree with this content, I'm wondering if we need this? It seems to repeat the information one can find in Commons:Project scope. --The Evil IP address (talk) 20:54, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
In a way, it kinda does. But at the same time, it does so by aggregating information about most of our core policies/guidelines onto one page. ViperSnake151 (talk) 19:53, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
  •    Support , as I can't see any reason to object. While I understand The Evil IP address's concern about redundancy, I think a page like this may serve a useful function as a pithy summary to point to in discussions. (And I do think the lead section should make it clear that this is a summary of existing policies.) —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 22:34, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
  •    Support . --Túrelio (talk) 22:38, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Guideline? maybe. Link it from Commons:Project scope, for example. Official policy in it's own right?    Oppose as redundant... if scope isn't clear enough, modify that. ++Lar: t/c 14:53, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Correction to my support vote, I agree that this would be better off as a guideline and is redundant to existing policy. -Nard the Bard 02:33, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Commons is Not a Stupid or Bad IdeaEdit

I think the Wikipedia NOT STUPID policy should be adapted and used here (W:WP:BADIDEA or W:WP:NOTSTUPID). Proposed adapted text is as follows:

And finally...Edit

Commons is not any of a very long list of other terrible ideas. We cannot anticipate every bad idea any one of us might have. Almost everything on this page made it here because somebody managed to come up with some new bad idea that had not previously been anticipated. (See w:WP:BEANS—it is in fact strongly discouraged to anticipate them.) In general, "that is a terrible idea" is always sufficient grounds to avoid doing something, provided there is a good reason that the idea is terrible.


I have removed the phrase "amateur" opting instead for Commons is not a ponography site. THe way it was previously phrased, it seems that "professional" pornography is allowed; only amateur porn is not. --Tyw7  (☎ Contact me! • Contributions)   Changing the world one edit at a time! 09:17, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

The distinction between amateur and professional porn is valid. Bear in mind that COM:SCOPE prohibits "private party photos, photos of yourself and your friends, your collection of holiday snaps and so on..." Whether you and your friends happen to be clothed for this private party is quite irrelevant. If you're just taking snapshots with no particular art or purpose to them, it's not really what Commons is looking for. But a professional photographer or artist producing skillful images should always be encouraged to contribute, even if his work is frowned upon in many quarters as mere pornography. Wnt (talk) 07:15, 11 September 2010 (UTC)


I clarified that "quick" deletions are not related to "Speedy deletions", as I understand from the debate about COM:SEX. If speedy deletions of low quality porn are allowed, it has to be phrased more clearly, and as a reason to speedy deletions in Commons:Deletion policy. --LPfi (talk) 14:33, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

I object. Firstly, COM:SEX is currently not policy but just a debate about a possible policy or guideline. Secondly, the reasons for speedy deletions at COM:DEL are not exhaustive. Otherwise we wouldn't have {{speedydelete}}. COM:PORN was understood as possible cause for speedy deletions in the past and a change of this practice requires consensus. Many of these uploads are not just of abysmal quality but raise also concerns if the photographed subject is minor of if the photograph was taken without consent and is possibly used as an attack against the depicted person. I do not think that it is helpful to insist that such cases cannot be speedied. --AFBorchert (talk) 18:09, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Then this should be written clearly in the deletion policy. The COM:SEX debate showed that many people here did not know that speedy deletions based on scope might be allowed. The deletion policy gives no hint that the reason lists are not exhaustive ({{speedydelete}} is needed because not everybody is an administrator and for cases where an administrator is unsure).
I do not like the situation that the policies say one thing, but "it is understood" that something else is accepted practice. Either the practice is written down and gets accepted, as it is the established consensus, or we seem not to have consensus.
I also understand the legal concerns, but then illegality should be one of the explicitly accepted reasons for speedy deletions. And an image being pornographic is irrelevant if the reason for deletion is illegality, so those cases can be ignored here, unless one wants to write something especially about child pornography or consent.
--LPfi (talk) 21:55, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Commons is not Wikipedia - part IIEdit

As we can read:

Files on Commons do not necessarily need to comply with Wikipedia policies and guidelines such as neutral point of view and no original research.

I suggest to strike at least the last: no original research (NOR). Impo, it contradicts the idea of "source" and common sense:

  • If you upload a picture of a dog, you cannot claim it is a cat
  • if you upload a picture of the golden gate bridge, you cannot state it was build by the Romans
  • if you upload a picture of an enzyme structure, you have to show where you have taken the data from
  • if you upload the a diagram of whatsoever, it has it's origin in one or many publications.

As far as I know (and all uploaded pictures shows that) we have "reproductions" of given things, either direct (photographs) or indirect (simplified or extended versions of existing images). Hence, why do we need to stress that commons should not comply with NOR? Which pictures are here that donna need to comply with NOR? Moreover, this statement would imply that everyone can upload fakes - but for what? --Yikrazuul (talk) 17:47, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

PS: If noone has something against my proposal, I will move on in deleting this passage. --Yikrazuul (talk) 19:42, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

Please don't. This is not thought out very well. It should be obvious that descriptions of media files should be accurate, thus the first two examples are pretty pointless. The third example is already covered by the requirement to state the source of an image. The fourth example is nonsense. Commons hosts files for many more Wikimedia projects than just Wikipedia. If someone wants to make a graph about anything that may be useful to any such project the requirement of it being published anywhere would get in teh way of that. This is unreasonable. One example. --Dschwen (talk) 20:38, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
You example picture shows that specific data are used for this diagram. So those data are not imaginary, it is not a fake. --Yikrazuul (talk) 20:47, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
Your understanding of en:Original research (bzw. für dich auch de:Originäre Forschung) is strange. Research is not about labeling something wrong or withhould sources. But if someone wants to upload his Ph.D.-Thesis because it is useful in a Wikiversity-article then he is welcome to do that. --Isderion (talk) 21:28, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
Please don't change it. Per Isderoion + DSchwen. --99of9 (talk) 09:31, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Tightening of the wording of COM:PORNEdit

Apparently, the use of the word "may" is a weasel point. So I propose that we change the wording of the first sentence to the following:

Low-quality pornographic images that do not contribute anything educationally useful to our existing collection of images are not welcome on the Commons.

Ryūlóng (竜龙) 07:56, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

I would set pornographic in brackets to show that also other low-quality images of any kind are also not needed:

Low-quality (pornographic) images that do not contribute anything educationally useful to our existing collection of images are not needed on the Commons.

—--Yikrazuul (talk) 17:06, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
But this solely refers to photographs of the genitalia and sexual acts. I'm just proposing that the word "may" be eliminated.—Ryūlóng (竜龙) 21:18, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't see anything objectionable in the proposed change, but I don't see why it's necessary to distinguish pornographic images from others? If an image is low quality and "doesn't add anything educationally useful to our existing collction" it is by definition useless to us, regardless of the subject? Thryduulf (talk) 18:01, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm proposing we change the wording of what encompasses our "Don't upload your blurry self-taken genital photos". While it may be important to say that all low quality images are not wanted, this particular part of this policy which has existed already does so towards pornographic images.—Ryūlóng (竜龙) 10:03, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

'Commons is not an amateur porn site'Edit

Well, that's a lie for a start (or at best, wishful thinking, like 'Wikipedia is not a battleground'). Whatever else Commons may be, it definitely is an amateur porn site, and it's obvious that plenty of people use it for exactly that purpose ([1]). Perhaps it's time we stopped pretending otherwise, and just renamed it to PornoPedia. Robofish (talk) 19:28, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

(i) it's not a "Pedia" of any kind, it's a media repository. (ii) the percentage of sexual content is actually not that high. The problem is that what there is too often appears where it's not expected (and also that much of it is of dubious COM:PANTS-violating quality). Bugzilla:35701 (Clustering for image searches) would help a lot. Rd232 (talk) 21:55, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

minor text-revision for clarity & styleEdit

recently, i made some minor text-revisions to a section on this page, to improve clarity, grammar, & style. the revisions do not significantly change the content of the statement.

however, i am currently involved in a "grudge match" with user:yikrazul, which involves fighting out several deletion requests & his reverting ANY changes i have made to any "rules" pages on commons, regardless of merits, regardless of how minor they are, & regardless of the quality of the writing & grammar in the original or in my revisions. the user has also demonstrated, by their comments, certain limitations in their abilities in english, which is apparently not their first language, but vituperatively insists that the "grammer" is fine & anything i do is without merit, "wierd", "POV", & deserves immediate reversal, that it requires opening a dialogue on the talk page no matter how slight the text-revision.

so fine, i am opening a dialogue on the talk page to discuss a text revision as follows:

the changes are purely for clarity, grammar, & writing style. it does not alter the substance of the "rule"

does anyone else BUT user:yikrazul object? i phrase the question this way, because yik has made his opinion abundantly clear.

to yikrazul i ask the following: please explain the reasons for your objection?

Lx 121 (talk) 16:44, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

For what it's worth, I personally prefer the improvements in style, grammar etc by Lx 121. (The only thing I do not like to see are edit wars. I recommend to follow the traditional be bold, revert, discuss cycle instead). --AFBorchert (talk) 17:30, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
That this is not only a grammer issue is quite clear, e.g. Lx121 starts with
Adding low-quality
which changes the content: "adding" means only new uploaded pictures, not the ones we have. There are also other quite POV showing changes: benefit vs. need, "shortage of files", "newly-uploaded" and so on. So what Lx121 tries to do here is a change of content, but not a change of grammer. Hence I do not agree on those "grammer" changes. --Yikrazuul (talk) 18:11, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
COM:NOT addresses first and foremost new contributors who are going to upload new files. As COM:SCOPE elaborates positively what is in our project scope, COM:NOT summarizes what we do not want to be added to Commons. Hence, I find Lx 121's wording better as it focuses on the intended readership. --AFBorchert (talk) 18:51, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
No, that is not true, or u have to show that respectively. First of all: what means "first" or "foremost" new contributions (7 days, 1 month, 12 months)? Where is that defined? 2) Similar to copyvios, there is for scope not a fail safe date. If someone does not recognize an uploaded which is out of scope, a deletion discussion can start anyway and criteria of speedydeletion also can apply. Lx's wording clearly takes influence in a direction I cannot accept. --Yikrazuul (talk) 15:36, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

If there is no clear or commonly known evidence that the written synopses of what is already there eg pictures or official files leave it alone unless very poorly translated. Or due for revision. M1ckm (talk) 06:08, 4 June 2017 (UTC)

Add instructions for dealing with offending materialEdit

What are we to do when we stumble upon uploaded content that goes against these statements? Please add simple instructions. Palosirkka (talk) 11:25, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Porn on WikipediaEdit

"Commons is not an amateur porn site"

Does it REALLY matter whether porn is amateur or "professional"? Unless it is for educational purposes, it shouldn't be on Wikipedia. 23:12, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

Return to the project page "What Commons is not".