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Wikimedia Foundation scales back feature deployment after community outcry
"Most of the new uploads are either copyvios, useless personal images or out of scope pictures. Do they know how many images have been uploaded and how many have been already deleted?" writes Ecemaml
Numerous Commons editors have made comments about the Foundation's deployment of mobile uploading, a new facility in its mobile website. Allowing anonymous users to register and upload pictures for use in an article, the feature was placed prominently at the top of Wikipedia articles in multiple languages.
The mobile uploading was deployed near the end of March, and Commons editors patrolling the uploads noticed a steady stream of incorrectly sourced images that violated copyright. Since Commons does not accept fair-use media as some Wikipedias do, editors have promptly tagged and deleted many of these images.
Associate Product Manager Maryana Pinchuk, an employee of the Wikimedia Foundation, is responsible for the mobile web product. On April 4, she notified the Commons community that uploads from the mobile web were not tagged with author or source information and that a patch from the WMF would be deployed the next day.
Yet editors continued to object: the feature did not adequately instruct users on Commons policy and led to numerous copyright violations. Commons editors suggested adding an interactive wizard, rather than the existing warning messages. Commons editor Rillke criticized the Foundation's experience with developing upload tutorials, saying that he is skeptical that the WMF could even design an effective wizard.
The Foundation has since disabled this feature for brand new users via mobile. This is not the first reversal of a feature deployment by the community: an English Wikipedia discussion recently led to the partial removal of the article feedback feature.
Step 1: the feature displays this blue button on supported smartphone platforms via Wikipedia's mobile website
Step 2: new user with no Commons uploads taps on Uploads and a brief three-step uploading tutorial is displayed. Replace "Wikipedia" with whatever project the user is on – Wikimedia Commons, Wikivoyage, etc.
Second screen of the tutorial.
Last screen, which will display until the user uploads their first file.
Step 3: the user taps donate image in the Uploads view, or add an image on articles missing images. The user selects an image from their phone gallery or photographs an image with their phone. This is the image preview screen once an image is selected.
Step 4: the new user taps on "what does this mean?" under I, $USERNAME, created this image and further instructions are displayed.
This week's best
A handpicked gallery of our favorite images featured on Commons this week, judged on educational value and visual appeal.
Royal Albert Hall, as viewed from the Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens.
Allianz Arena and architectural sculpture Sunken Village, by Timm Ulrichs, a replica of the Holy Cross Church in Munich, Germany.
The Delta II rocket with its NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) spacecraft payload shortly before the service structure was rolled back October 27, 2011, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
The Brambling, a small passerine bird in the finch family Fringillidae, in Tarn, France.