Wikipedia:Image placeholders

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An image placeholder is a dummy image designed to draw attention to the need for an actual image. Wikipedia image placeholders were meant to be used on articles, especially those of living people, for the purpose of trying to obtain a freely-licensed image for them. In a Wikipedia Centralized Discussion this idea was found to be controversial. Changes to the software since then have also made the system less effective, and for both of these reasons it is not currently maintained. This page is preserved as an explanation of them.

Notes on (former) use[edit]

The images[edit]

Image:Replace this image male.svg or Image:Replace this image female.svg was placed on articles about living people that have no current free image. It was not intended to be placed on articles about other subjects, including people who died before the 1900s when photography became widespread. The image was intended to be placed at the top so that the image code is visible when the edit tab is clicked.

For pages without infoboxes the following format was generally considered best:

<span {{image class|Replace this image male.svg}}>[[Image:Replace this image male.svg|thumb|right|150px]]</span>

Template:image class (backlinks edit) provides the CSS class "dummy", which allowed users to use CSS to suppress the display of the dummy image.

Typically code like this is also built into infobox templates.

There are various different types of infoboxes, but for calling them one of the following would normally have worked:

|image=Replace this image male.svg|width=150|
|image=Replace this image male.svg</br>
|image size=150px

The image Image:Replace this image1.svg was formerly used, but was being phased out.

Sorting the results[edit]

Images uploaded through this system end up in Category:Images of people replacing placeholders. A lot of the images uploaded through the system are copyright violations. Those that appear not to be should have their image copyright tag replaced with {{|Multilicense replacing placeholder|class=people|reviewed=1}} to keep them separate from the stuff that needs to be deleted.

How it worked[edit]

This section discusses some rather obscure MediaWiki functions and is only really of interest to administrators who need to make changes to it.

The "fromowner" system involves a number of elements:

Fobuild pages[edit]

Fogen pages[edit]

CSS class[edit]

See also {{image class}}.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ This is part of a system in the software originally designed to allow alternative languages in the interface; see MediaWiki:Uploadtext/ru for example.