Wikipedia:Images from social media, or elsewhere

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This image of one of the 2015 Tianjin explosions documents a moment which can never be recaptured. The image is invaluable to Wikipedia and its readers, not to mention historians.

Hello. You may have been directed to this page, because someone saw a great picture (or video) you posted to social media (Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, or such like), or your website, and thought it would be useful for Wikipedia, because it has unique historical or educational value. Or maybe you met someone who already contributes, and they referred you here.

If so, Welcome to Wikipedia!

Why does Wikipedia want your images?[edit]

The Chelyabinsk meteor caught by chance on a driver's video camera. You don't see one of these every day!

Wikipedia needs images that document historic events, or that demonstrate the other things we write about, for educational purposes.

Because we can't fit all the images on every topic onto the relevant Wikipedia page, we hold extra images at our sister project, Wikimedia Commons. That also makes them available for use not just on this, the English-language Wikipedia, but on (or linked to from) all 299 Wikipedias, in languages from French to Japanese, Urdu to Cornish, and on all our sister projects, like Wikispecies and Wikivoyage.

We also think such images should be made available for everyone to reuse. Therefore your images will help not only Wikipedia, but also the creators of other tools and services. You should be aware that this may include the creation of commercial products. The section below tells you how you can opt for your right to be identified as the image creator to be protected in all cases.

Uploading to Wikimedia Commons[edit]

This image, showing the feather arrangement of a Marsh Warbler, has great educational value, because it shows a level of detail that most people never get to see in real life

The default licence on Wikimedia Commons is CC by-sa 4.0 ("Creative Commons, attribution, share-alike"). That says that anyone may use the image, but they must give you credit for it; and must use the same licence if they make another ("derivative") image using yours. (Other licences may be used.)

You need to create an account, and that means you can be notified of changes to the descriptions of your images, and receive messages about them, if you wish. Account holders may also use the Upload Wizard to add more than one image at once. Accounts work on all the Wikipedias, on Wikimedia Commons, and on our other sister projects. You may sign up here.

If you're happy to use an open licence, and have created your account, please use the page for uploading images to Commons. Alternatively, for images on your mobile device, you may wish to use Commons' Mobile app.

We also have advice on converting video to suitable formats.

Please upload the highest-resolution version of the images that you can.

You must not upload pictures or video if you do not own the copyright!

Why we can't upload your images for you[edit]

People sometimes say "sure you can have my images - go ahead and upload them". Unfortunately, we need you to do it, as the act of uploading the images creates a record of you stating your permission for their reuse, and the specific licence that applies.

See below for an alternative.

[Strictly speaking, we could do the upload, but then we'd have to send you email and get you to reply, confirming permission. However, we may be able arrange bulk uploads, when hundreds or thousands of images are involved - please ask if this is the case.]


If being associated with your media may put your safety at risk, be sure to first strip out any identifying metadata (e.g. there may be a unique identifier for your camera, in EXIF; see commons:Commons:Exif for tips & tools).

You may use a pseudonym for your account name.

Media on other services[edit]

Civilian aircraft are not allowed to fly in the airspace from where the West Midlands Police helicopter captured this image

If your images are already on one of the following services, which have an open licensing option, you can just apply a suitable licence there – but don't forget to tell someone on Wikipedia that you have done so! They will then copy your images to Wikimedia Commons.

See Open-licensing your images. What it means and how to do it.
How to Change the License of a YouTube Video to Creative Commons Attribution

More about Wikipedia[edit]

If you are new to Wikipedia, and want to learn more, you can read our introduction or ask questions at The Teahouse. We hope you will stick around!


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