Wikipedia:Centralized discussion/Image placeholders

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Archive
Archive 1 (Image talk:Replace this image female.svg)
Archive 2: Centralised discussion on use of Image Placeholders
Archive 3: Discussions post-23 April 2008
Centralized discussion
Proposals: policy other Discussions Ideas
  • A proposal to gradually offer both wikitext and VisualEditor to new accounts
  • Discuss proposals for celebration of the upcoming 5 millionth article on English Wikipedia
  • An RfC for a banner alert campaign on the threat to Freedom of Panorama in Europe
  • An RfC for a four-day delay period for deleting abandoned AfC submissions under G13
  • An RfC to permit trusted non-admins to close TFD discussions with uncontroversial delete outcomes
  • A proposal to forbid IPs from participating in the RfA process.
  • A proposal to elevate WP:BRD to guideline status
  • An RfC on "edit in Wikidata" links, for templates using Wikidata

Note: inactive discussions, closed or not, should be archived.
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

The archives[edit]

The debate concluded with a consensus of "keep", largely on the basis that the experiment was new, might prove useful, and needed more time; most of the substantive objections that have framed the debate were first raised in this MfD, and were effectively unaddressed.

This discussion took place from December 2007 until 11 April 2008, when the centralized discussion was established on this page.

This discussion took place from 11 April until 23 April. Summaries of the various questions and proposals considered are given here.

Archive 2 Subsections (full texts):

This discussion took place from 23 April until 9 May 2008.


The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Conclusion[edit]

Conclusions to centralized discussions are either marked as 'policy', 'guideline', 'endorsed', 'rejected', 'no consensus', or 'no change' etc. (The form of words is open.) Decision on this discussion is now long overdue.

Draft conclusion:

Based on all discussions, questions and proposals made in the discussion ending 23 April, the following text for this conclusion is proposed:

  • Endorsed Recommended: Image placeholders should not be used on article pages. (Image placeholders are defined as boxes reserving spaces for photographs and pictures to be contributed later. They include Replace this image female.svg, Replace this image male.svg and similar variants.)
  • Recommended: Further discussions on systems to replace image placeholders for the purpose of soliciting images for articles are encouraged and should take place at Project Free images or another agreed location.

(Please approve/disapprove or suggest any new wording as you think appropriate.) Thank you. --Kleinzach (talk) 04:33, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Comments[edit]

  • Disagree with endorsed statement. I supported Proposal 1 ("image placeholders should not be used on article pages") but I strongly believe we do not yet have consensus for it. Consensus cannot be ratified by a vote, per WP:Consensus and WP:Polling. In addition, 66% support is lower than usual measures of consensus. Also disagree with recommended statement. Further discussion on a system to replace the image placeholders is part of the process of building a strong working consensus to remove the current placeholders. The discussion should remain here where everyone is watching it and all interested editors can participate. I am confident we will build a strong consensus to remove the placeholders as you define them, but the process is not yet complete. Northwesterner1 (talk) 10:49, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
    • Seconded. Fishal (talk) 14:19, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
      • Comment This confuses the conclusions of the centralized discussion with Proposal 1. The WP-widely notified discussion finished on 23 April. Instead of denying the process, it would be more constructive to suggest different wording to the conclusion (if the present wording is inaccurate or inappropriate). --Kleinzach (talk) 23:47, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
        • Reply Fair enough. I propose the following wording, most of which is already in place at the top of this page: "From 11 April to 23 April 2008, a centralized discussion considered the appropriateness of using "from-owner" image placeholders on biographies of living persons. A carefully structured discussion clarified the objections to this practice as well as its benefits. A proposal to remove the image placeholders received 66% support in a straw poll, demonstrating that there is significant opposition to the use of these placeholders, but not yet consensus to remove them entirely. Discussion now continues on how to improve the "from-owner" system, with or without image placeholders, and to draft guidelines for future uses of the system. Recommended: Editors should not add or remove placeholders from articles while this discussion continues. Editors should be notified that we are likely to recommend the removal of placeholders when we have an alternative system in place. Recommended: Discussion continues on this page. Participants should familiarize themselves with the previous discussion by reading the archive."Northwesterner1 (talk) 00:15, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
          • Thank you. I agree with that. Would you please replace that in the introduction? That is how we develop conclusions: by writing and editing and reverting on the main page and justifying on the talk page; not voting. DoubleBlue (Talk) 00:28, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
        • Comment I'm not sure how you think I'm confusing the conclusions of the centralized discussion with Proposal 1, when your "conclusion" the conclusion you proposed is basically a restatement of Proposal 1: Image placeholders should not be used on article pages.Northwesterner1 (talk) 00:17, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
          • Reply Not my conclusion. It's the conclusion of the participants. They are free to choose an appropriate form of words.--Kleinzach (talk) 00:31, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Disagree with both "endorsed statement" and "recommended statement, per Northwesterner. Also, I believe this push for conclusion is premature; it's on the sole initiative of one of numerous participants in the discussion. There is a productive discussion taking place immediately above; I oppose any effort to interfere with it. -Pete (talk) 11:15, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment. How can the conclusion be premature if the (WP-wide notified) centralized discussion ended (with unanimous agreement) on 23 April? Let's set the record straight here. --Kleinzach (talk) 23:28, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment. No need to talk about setting the record straight. We have a record. There was certainly not "unanimous agreement" to end the centralized discussion if by "end the discussion" you mean close up shop and go home. There a loose agreement at best, and in my opinion the agreement was to move on from the questions and proposals and begin working toward a solution, which we are now doing. Anyone who wants to read for themselves can read here.Northwesterner1 (talk) 23:56, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Agree with proposed conclusion, though I accept 66% may be relatively low for a concensus figure (I'm not sure what the history is on such proposals). Realistically, if placeholders remain, er, in place, then further debate may well peter out inconclusively. If they go now, or after an agreed period, I'm sure a better way of doing this will emerge. This page is already long and tangled enough; the relevant issues should be summarized for debate on a new one. All involved should approach the debate in a constructive spirit. Johnbod (talk) 11:22, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
    • Please note, the 66% figure is erroneously high. I !voted in favor of Proposal 1, which was an expression of my views. But characterizing that as support for an absolute ban on the placeholders is inaccurate. I would oppose such a "ban", and from the ensuing discussions, believe there are others who supported Proposal 1 who take that view. -Pete (talk) 18:14, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
      The wording on Proposal 1 was: Placeholder images should not be used at all on the main page of articles. Everybody here can judge for themselves whether that was clear or not. --Kleinzach (talk) 22:51, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
      Well, not all "placeholders" are "placeholder images." The option now under consideration, an option that might have a chance at a stronger consensus than anything attempted before if folks are willing to discuss it, is not a "placeholder image" and yet it functions much like a placeholder. So where does it fall under the 66/33 breakdown of Proposal 1?Northwesterner1 (talk) 23:02, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
And reading the justifications for those votes shows that their concerns are met by the solution that has no image. This is why we work with consensus decision making rules rather than football match rules. We can work toward a solution that overcomes the objections. DoubleBlue (Talk) 23:18, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Disagree, there isn't that much consensus at all. Sceptre (talk) 11:30, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Disagree. While there is a majority opinion, discussion should remain open without the constraint of a new guideline or policy, as there is no clear consensus. Concluding proceedings now would be premature. —CComMack (tc) 12:16, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Approve of draft conclusion. Wanderer57 (talk) 12:21, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Disagree. There is a majority in favour of the proposal, but not a consensus. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 12:33, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Disagree with the endorsement, agree with the recommendation, and suggest you recommend rather than endorse the other option. Just start writing the guideline on placeholders and let consensus form through editing the guidance. You'll find it forms before your very eyes. Hiding T 12:37, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Disapprove of the conclusions. It's clear there is no consensus as of yet; discussion should continue. Powers T 12:59, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Disagree with the endorsement. Agree with both recommendations (as per recent rewording of draft conclusion. Voceditenore (talk) 16:54, 30 April 2008 (UTC)). Two-thirds of the discussants advocating Proposal 1 seems a little low to claim consensus for an endorsement, and could just lead to more trouble down the line. Perfect consensus is often impossible, as there will always remain one or two hold-outs, but a reasonable or 'working' consensus ought to be a little higher that this. Having said that, I would support a conclusion of "Recommended" for the statement currently labelled as "Endorsed". I think there's probably enough of a consensus for that. Voceditenore (talk) 13:26, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Change in wording: I've followed your suggestion and replaced 'Endorsed' with 'Recommended'. I hope that is helps us make some progress with this.--Kleinzach (talk) 13:58, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Disagree endorsement but think there is consensus already for the recommendation. Garion96 (talk) 13:36, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Disagree. This is obviously not the consensus. Phil Sandifer (talk) 13:48, 30 April 2008 (UTC)*
  • Agree to draft conclusion. The current image placeholders are not acceptable and incompatible with current Wikipedia guidelines and conventions. I might only be willing to compromise on small stub-like notes at the end of articles. The discussion was extensive and should find an end soon, why not in this voting? Сасусlе 14:00, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Agree per Voceditenore's wording change. Also, whether the discussion stays here or moves to another page more thought needs to be given to putting the requests for pics in a spot other than the infobox. MarnetteD | Talk 14:04, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Disagree. Unfortunately this issue seems far from ever reaching consensus, and the ongoing discussion seems to be ignoring most of the proceeding discussion. Espresso Addict (talk) 14:05, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment. Up to the point when (almost all) editors participated in writing summaries of the discussion that ended on 23 April, we did have a coherent process and a document that was readable. Not any more. It's disappointing to see what has happened. --Kleinzach (talk) 23:22, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Approve satisfies all parties, imo. --AStanhope (talk) 14:25, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Disagree. Consensus seems to be that this "conclusion" is out of line (71% disagree as of now). The text placeholder solution looks like it is gaining consensus, why did you omit that from your conclusion? Because of some deadline last week? I'll call your attention to the text of Proposal 2 again: "If Proposal 1 does not pass, but Proposal 2 does pass, then we will have a subsequent discussion about the nature of any modifications" (emphasis mine). Proposal 1 did not pass, and we are in the middle of that subsequent discussion. – jaksmata 14:38, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Approve. Although I suspect more discussions will be necessary to reach a conclusion satisfactory to everyone. Kaldari (talk) 14:40, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Agree with both. Kill the image placeholders until new ones are developed. Guroadrunner (talk) 16:09, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Approve, both work for me. --Bobak (talk) 16:10, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • One thing that seems to have been overlooked here is that this template is one of the main gateways into people submitting us photos by email. If anything, that should be made more obvious (because a lot more people are going to do that than go through all the hoops necessary to register). Raul654 (talk) 17:27, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
I see what you are saying. I clicked through and noted the wording which I have copied to Image:Picture Needed.svg which could be used in place of {{reqfreephotoin}} in my suggestion below. SilkTork *YES! 18:06, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Disagree. If anything, the only consensus is that no proposal is ready to be put forward at this point. olderwiser 17:34, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • The place where people are being recommended to use placeholders is here. It might be better to look at wording there rather than on a general guideline. Something like: If an image is desired but not available, one may place {{reqfreephotoin}} on the talkpage. The use of Image:Replace this image male.svg and Image:Replace this image female.svg is currently under discussion and is discouraged while debate continues. If people are aware there is an issue regarding a procedure, then people think twice about using that procedure. I don't think we need be so heavy as to impose a rule. Let people know there is an issue regarding use of the placeholders and see what happens. SilkTork *YES! 17:56, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Agree - Agree with the reworded statement. There is a strong sentiment against the placeholders. - hahnchen 18:03, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I disagree and wonder why everything goes immediately to a vote; what happened to back and forth editing and discussion. If you think it is necessary to have a written conclusion to the first stage voting, then I will put my suggestion in the introduction at the top and encourage everyone to edit it to improve and take impasses to the talk page to hash out. DoubleBlue (Talk) 18:06, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
I have amended the wording on the Personbox guideline to If an image is desired but not available, one may place Image:Picture Needed.svg on the talkpage. The use of Image:Replace this image male.svg and Image:Replace this image female.svg is currently under discussion. This alerts people to the discussion and offers a working solution. SilkTork *YES! 18:16, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • There is already a Needs Photo option on Template:WPBiography which goes on the talkpage of biography articles. The Placeholder is simply duplicating that. Hmm. SilkTork *YES! 18:55, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
I disagree that it is duplication. The placeholder effectively puts an edit button in the infobox by linking to the special simplified upload page and showing where and how the photo can be placed. the reqfreephoto tag does none of that, it just says to those who go to the talk page that a photo would be helpful, which, in itself, is pretty unhelpful. DoubleBlue (Talk) 19:23, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Disagree with both. I firmly believe removing these harms the project. --Hammersoft (talk) 19:39, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Agree -- but hardly seems to make a difference if I agree or disagree since the sides don't seem to have enough faith in the decision making process to not let this drag on forever. This is beginning to look like Flagged Revisions, etc.: we've already had a long discussion, proposals !voted on, summarized etc. Then the summaries are removed, !votes discounted, discussion called insignificant, etc. Why should anyone believe that this second discussion be any different and actually reach a conclusion? -- Myke Cuthbert (talk) 23:23, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
    • The decision making process on Wikipedia is WP:consensus. Having faith in the decision making process means participating in building a consensus, not pretending that a consensus has been achieved. Summaries have been moved, not removed. (If you have an objection to that, it is under discussion on the talk page.) What we are doing here is entirely consistent with the consensus process. !Votes have not been discounted. The only Proposal that had clear consensus was Proposal 2 (image placeholders should be revised). We may be able to do better than that and get rid of them entirely if we propose an alternative system that has strong support and will prove acceptable to opponents of Proposal 1. We are close to that now, as we appear to have DoubleBlue's support and possibly Cherryblossomtree. The prior discussion was not insignificant -- the objections and defenses of image placeholders that we clearly formulated are now the basis for the ongoing discussion. It's clear that this conclusion statement is not going anywhere. It is now a sideshow to the ongoing discussion that we should be having. So we can either sit here and talk in circles, or we can look at the proposed consensus solution (text-placeholders) to see if it is acceptable to the community. Your comments are welcome above.Northwesterner1 (talk) 23:42, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
      • Facts, please facts. The discussion described as a "sideshow" was properly advertised throughout WP, not just as a centralized discussion but also on RFC, the Signpost and various Wiki Projects. It attracted over 50 participants and closed with unanimous agreement on 23 April. In contrast Northwesterner1's group - which has so shambolically attempted to preempt the discussion - has only 6 members (Northwesterner1, Pete, DoubleBlue, Jaksmata, Cherry blossom tree, Jaksmata, Geni). --Kleinzach (talk) 00:13, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
        • I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. The discussion I described as a "sideshow" is this "Conclusion" section you have started here, which distracts from the process of working toward an actual resolution. So far it has 11 agree !votes and 15 disagree !votes. I have a hard time seeing what you intend to accomplish here. The only possible good I can see is that it may convince you that in fact the discussion has not concluded. The conversation under the "Moving Forward" section on this page is a continuation of rather than a "shambolic preemption" of the previous discussion. (Side question: By definition, how could we preempt something that you believe was over?) It's hardly "my group," and more editors have commented here than the 6 you mention. It continues to be a widely WP-notified discussion, still listed at WP:CENT, WP:RFC, and on everyone's watch page. I know you feel the page has gotten out of hand and has become hard to follow, but that's because you have not helped to structure the ongoing discussion but rather to interrupt it. You worked so hard to get us through this process, I have no idea why you've decided to sabotage it.Northwesterner1 (talk) 00:31, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
          • On 21 April Northwesterner1 wrote "I also support a April 23 date for closing the discussion." How can the discussion be carrying on - after we have all announced that it is over? As for the charge of sabotage - that should be withdrawn. Personal insults - any kind of personalizing of the considerable problems here - are unhelpful. --Kleinzach (talk) 00:49, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
            • Kleinzach, you made a similar accusation to me in email, about having a "group" that was trying to accomplish something here (which I take to be an accusation that there are some of us who have a shared and hidden agenda.) I'd like to state clearly that the notion is rubbish, at least as far as I'm concerned. You are the only person in this discussion with whom I've had private communications of any sort, on any topic. Apart from a handful of email messages between you and me, my entire contribution to this discussion is open for public scrutiny. The goals I've stated throughout the process are an accurate accounting of my motivation. -Pete (talk) 20:20, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
            • Slight correction: I've had a few private communications with one of the editors involved in the preliminary discussion, but never on the topic of placeholders. -Pete (talk) 20:23, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Abstain - Acknowledging the request for participants in the original discussion to approve or disapprove in an attempt to come to a conclusion, but in the circumstances I cannot feel comfortable with either agreeing or disagreeing. Sorry. -- Lini (talk) 01:53, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Disagree - I see no consensus that "image placeholders should not be used on article pages". — Omegatron (talk) 23:03, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Abstain - The closing admin should ignore this consensus discussion on the conclusion. AfD and other discussion are not handled this way and this discussion should be no exception. There is plenty of discussion on Image placeholders above so that there is no need to agree upon what was agreed upon. GregManninLB (talk) 08:21, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

Summary[edit]

1. Johnbod, Wanderer57, Hiding, Voceditenore, Сасусlе, MarnetteD, AStanhope, Kaldari, Guroadrunner, Bobak, Hahnchen, Myke Cuthbert, Klenzach, Wizardman (14) (Note: Wizardman added his name on 13 May) agreed that the conclusion should be:

Recommended: Image placeholders should not be used on article pages.
Recommended: Further discussions on systems to replace image placeholders for the purpose of soliciting images for articles are encouraged and should take place at Project Free images or another agreed location.

2. Garion96 (1) disagreed that the conclusion should be:

Recommended: Image placeholders should not be used on article pages. But agreed that it should be: Recommended: Further discussions on systems to replace image placeholders for the purpose of soliciting images for articles are encouraged and should take place at Project Free images or another agreed location.

3. Northwesterner1, Fishal, Pete, Sceptre, CComMack, BrownHairedGirl, LtPowers, Phil Sandifer, DoubleBlue, Espresso Addict, Jaksmata, Bkonrad, Hammersoft, Omegatron (14) disagreed with both conclusions.

4. Lini and GregManninLB (2) abstained.

5. Northwesterner1 proposed and DoubleBlue agreed:

"From 11 April to 23 April 2008, a centralized discussion considered the appropriateness of using "from-owner" image placeholders on biographies of living persons. A carefully structured discussion clarified the objections to this practice as well as its benefits. A proposal to remove the image placeholders received 66% support in a straw poll, demonstrating that there is significant opposition to the use of these placeholders, but not yet consensus to remove them entirely. Discussion now continues on how to improve the "from-owner" system, with or without image placeholders, and to draft guidelines for future uses of the system. Recommended: Editors should not add or remove placeholders from articles while this discussion continues. Editors should be notified that we are likely to recommend the removal of placeholders when we have an alternative system in place. Recommended: Discussion continues on this page. Participants should familiarize themselves with the previous discussion by reading the archive."

I trust that is accurate. (If not please say so!) Thank you. --Kleinzach (talk) 00:51, 12 May 2008 (UTC)


The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Comment[edit]

Why does everything turn to votes in your eyes? Just debate and alter and consider and revise till there's consensus. A little back and forth co-operation and compromise. DoubleBlue (Talk) 01:06, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Attempts to prevent archiving Conclusion section (immediately above)[edit]

I ask editors not to disrupt the perfectly normal procedure of archiving sections of this discussion as Peteforsyth has just done twice: here and here. There's no reason to disrupt normal and uncontroversial processes. This section has been discussed and summarized. It's finished. It's over. It's pointless and frankly rather childish to try to prolong it. It's time to move on. Thank you. --Kleinzach (talk) 02:14, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Advice to the closing admin from an uninvolved reader[edit]

I have spent about a half hour reading some of this discussion. There is no consensus to remove the placeholder images from articles as a rule. There is consensus that the placeholder images are ugly and should be replaced with something better. I assume that the parties to this discussion are working on improvements.

I distinguish between placeholder images and spoiler templates, which were equally widespread at their heyday in about 40,000-50,000 articles, and where their removal caused even more controversy than this discussion. I can honestly say that spoiler templates did not substantively improve the encyclopedia. In contrast, placeholder images have improved the encyclopedia by encouraging users to upload free images. There may be better ways to accomplish the same purpose, but the basic existence of placeholder images in articles is consistent with Wikipedia's core mission.

I also agree that not every article about a living or dead person needs to have a free image. To transclude these images indiscriminately on every article in Category:Living people would be inadvisable. Editors should use discretion to consider how likely it is that a free image will be found. In other words, I support using placeholder images for famous people who make frequent public appearances, but not for private individuals who happen to have written a book or achieved notability in some other channel outside of public view.

Considering the weight of arguments on both sides, the two-thirds majority in favor of removing image placeholders from article space cannot be considered a consensus in my opinion. Much of the opposition seems to be answerable by less drastic measures, namely, removing image placeholders from individual articles of private individuals where a free photo is unlikely to be found, and by improving the unappealing appearance of these images. The next steps need to include a list of proposed alternative designs, and a guideline to be added at Wikipedia:Image placeholders to define which biographies should include image placeholders.

I hope these comments will help the community and the closing administrator move forward toward a solution. Shalom (HelloPeace) 21:50, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

  • Excellent summary and well made points which I fully support. Hiding T 23:12, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Thank you for taking the time to do this. That's helpful. --Kleinzach (talk) 23:20, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.