Wikipedia:Descriptive image tagging

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This proposed policy was initiated by User:Carnildo.
See also Wikipedia is not censored for the protection of minors, which is official policy and which this proposal seems to contravene.

This is a proposed system for descriptive tagging of image contents. It is meant for allowing people to filter out images they might not want to see while browsing Wikipedia. For example, someone viewing recent changes during their lunch break may want to filter out all disease symptom images to preserve their appetite, or someone may wish to restrict all non-lineart images of sex acts. This system does not attempt to make any judgements of "good" or "bad" images; rather, it is intended to be a strictly objective description of certain types of image contents.

This proposal does not cover any of the technical details of descriptive tagging, but I envision that tagging will be done with either checkboxes accessible from an image's page, or templates added to the image's page, while filtering will be done by a set of checkboxes in the user's preferences.

Related policies and discussions are at

Suggested tags[edit]

This list of tags is meant to cover categories of content that large groups of people may find objectionable. It is by no means complete. Category titles are simply a convenient way of grouping individual tags, with no specific meaning attached to them.

Human body[edit]

  1. Visible male genitals
  2. Visible female genitals
  3. Uncovered buttocks
  4. Uncovered breasts
  5. Bare male torso
  6. Naked male
  7. Naked female


  1. Sexual act (humans)
  2. Sexual act (animals)
  3. Sex toys
    • Sex toys in use


  1. Blood/gore
  2. Dead humans
  3. Dead animals
  4. Open wounds
  5. Disease symptoms


  1. Religious figure (Christianity)
  2. Religious figure (Judaism)
  3. Religious figure (Islam)
  4. Religious figure (Baha'i)


Note: The distinction between medicinal and recreational is whether the drug is approved for treating a non-drug-related medical condition.
  1. Drug apparatus
  2. Recreational drugs
  3. Medicinal drugs
  4. Cannabis/marijuana
  5. Tobacco
  6. Alcohol


  1. Gambling apparatus
  2. Firearms
  3. Non-firearm weapons

Image type[edit]

  1. Photograph
  2. 3D computer model
  3. Sculpture
  4. Painting
  5. Lineart
    Colored lineart

Specific examples[edit]

Advantages and disadvantages[edit]


  • This system does not require judgement calls such as "is this suitable for children?" or "is this obscene?". The only decisions needed when tagging images are "does the image contain these subjects?".
  • The system lets people decide for themselves what they do and do not want to see.
  • The system is internal to Wikipedia, so that, in addition to the options of showing or hiding images, there's the option of turning images into links.
  • The tags can be translated into other content-filtering systems.


  • The system does not distinguish based on context.
  • The system does not work for users who haven't set up their computers for it.