Welcome to the new Wikizine, a monthly component in the Signpost exploring Wikimedia's sister projects and the movement's direction as a whole. As previously discussed, Wikizine held the role that the Signpost does today—a Wikimedia movement-wide community news outlet—but has fallen into decline in recent years. We see this merger as upholding the Wikizine legacy while expanding the Signpost's coverage.
We are excited to present this new endeavor, but are still experimenting with the format and content. Please provide comments and suggestions in the comments section below. Wikizine is looking for regular contributors and suggestions for stories to cover. Let us know at the Signpost's suggestion page.
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.
Rémi Mathis, chairman of Wikimédia France and the French Wikipedia administrator forced by intelligence agents to delete an article that allegedly contained classified information
The oval reading room in the National Library of France
Last Friday, the Wikimedia movement awoke to news that one of their number—Rémi Mathis, a French volunteer editor—had been summoned to the offices of the interior intelligence service DCRI and threatened with criminal charges and fines if he did not delete an article on the French Wikipedia about a radio station used by the French military.
The 30-year-old Mathis graduated from the prestigious École Nationale des Chartes for archivists and librarians in 2007. He is now a historian, library curator, and free-culture advocate, specialising in archival science—the diagnosis and restoration of decayed or damaged artifacts. Since 2010 he has been editor-in-chief of the scholarly journal Nouvelles de l'estampe ("News about prints"), which is supported by his employer, the National Library of France in Paris.
The "atypical" Mathis has been described as a "conveyor of knowledge", occupying a space "between two ages", represented by archival prints and modern technologies such as Twitter. Until the past few days, he was a volunteer administrator on the French Wikipedia, which he has edited since February 2006; he is the chair of Wikimédia France.
— Christopher Henner, vice-president of Wikimédia France
[It is the chapter's] duty to denounce such acts of censorship against a French citizen and Wikipedia editor. Has editing Wikipedia officially become risky behaviour in France?
— Statement by Wikimédia France
The story began on 4 March, when the Direction centrale du renseignement intérieur, abbreviated DCRI and translated as "Central Directorate of Interior Intelligence", contacted the Wikimedia Foundation and demanded that they take down the article under articles 413-11 of the French penal code ("jeopardizing the national defense"). The Foundation declined, saying that it could not see what the DCRI thought was classified, and requested additional information to identify the security issue; however, the agency did not respond. An anonymous source has since said the problematic text revolved around the base's role in the advent of a major nuclear war.
After a surprisingly long interval of four weeks for a matter purported to concern national security, DCRI then chose a different tack, summoning Rémi Mathis to its offices on 4 April and ordering him to delete the page. The DCRI agents told Mathis that the law applies to the article and to him personally—despite the absence of any link between him and the article or its subject, or his knowledge of either. If he had refused, the agents told him, he would be thrown into jail and prosecuted (under French law, which lacks habeas corpus, citizens may be held for up to 48 hours without cause).
Christopher Henner, the vice-president of the Wikimédia France chapter, told the Guardian that "The DCRI regularly asks us to go and explain to their operatives how Wikipedia works, so this volunteer thought he'd been summoned to explain or show them something. Had the DCRI presented us with documents or a legal order showing us this was a threat to national security we would have taken down the page at once. Instead they summoned one of our volunteers and ordered him to take it down, saying he would be held in custody if he didn't. Yes, he felt threatened and he was shocked."
A spokesman for the French government disputed the characterization of the agents' actions as threatening: "in a state of law, the threat of taking legal action against a passage that poses a problem for national security cannot be considered a threat."
Deletion, discussion, and surrender of admin status
Facing this stark choice, Mathis complied with their demands. Mathis told other administrators of his out-of-process deletion and explained that any French citizen who restored it could be sanctioned, as he believed that it was covered under 413-11. This could carry significant penalties, including five years in prison and a fine of €75,000 euros. (The related 413-10 is even harsher, specifying seven years in jail and a €100,000 euro fine.) The article was restored on 5 April by a Swiss Wikipedian, who is outside French jurisdiction.
Mathis's action drew many comments from French Wikipedians. It was noted that a picture of the station is still on Commons, which the agency appeared to have missed. Someone else suggested that it be hidden from public view, but oversighting is "uncommon" and does not apply in this case. Another contributor asked why the Foundation did not intervene; but Arkanosis replied: "It would not be the first time that the foundation has relied on volunteers to make a decision that it does not want to take itself." Arkanosispointed out that Wikimédia France has no authority over article content, but the Foundation offers legal counsel to any editor under threats or pressure because of their Wikimedia involvement (Editor's note: Arkanosis' comment is not accurate; the Foundation cannot give legal advice, but it can refer contributors to the Legal Fees Assistance Program or their policy on the defense of contributors, through which it may be possible to "[secure] local independent counsel to defend individual users, or [provide] public support.")
Administrator Hégésippe Cormierasked other administrators to support Mathis, while others suggested that a defense fund should be created to cover any legal costs. To reduce the external pressure on Mathis, Dr Brainsasked him to give up his administrator status for his personal safety—a suggestion that was poorly received by some administrators. Dr Brains replied that Mathis's two Wikimedia-related roles—his administrator status and chairmanship of Wikimédia France—were a danger to both him and Wikipedia. However, the Signpost notes that despite Mathis's high visibility, under similar circumstances any French citizen volunteer contributor could be pressured into deleting allegedly offensive content where the DCRI or a similar agency knows their name and address.
The debate quickly snowballed into a much larger question: should the French Wikipedia allow someone to be an administrator if they are a member of a chapter, as their names, addresses and phone numbers are public, making them easy targets for the French intelligence agencies? This exchange coalesced around Ash Crow (WMFR employee), Benjism89 (WMFR board), Remi Mathis (WMFR board) and Serein (WMFR employee), then widened its scope: since some countries have anti-democratic legal and security practices, should their citizens be automatically disqualified from stewardship?
On 6 April 2013, five contributors of the French Wikipedia—all citizens of France and including the four named WMFR employees and board members—requested the withdrawal of their administrator rights, which was implemented.
Wikimédia France and the Wikimedia Foundation promptly issued statements, with the chapter's—alongside a post on wikimedia-l—the first to break the news. The chapter stated, in part:
Wikimédia France cannot understand how bullying and coercive methods can be used against a person dedicated to promote the freedom and knowledge. As Wikimédia France supports free knowledge, it is its duty to denounce such acts of censorship against a French citizen and Wikipedia editor. Has editing Wikipedia officially become risky behaviour in France? Is the DCRI unable to enforce military secrecy through legal, less brutal methods? / ... Intimidation is not the right way to enforce military secrecy in France, and the Internet is not a place that has to be regulated in such a brutal manner. We believe the DCRI has other ways to enforce the law. We hope that an independent investigation will clear up the recent events. France is a legal state, where national security should not be ensured through such measures.
The Foundation responded via its legal counsel, Michelle Paulson. She detailed the Foundation’s interactions with the DCRI on the matter before issuing a strong condemnation of their tactics:
When governments have security concerns about Wikipedia articles, they should direct those concerns to the Foundation, and only to the Foundation. We believe it is unnecessary, irresponsible, and often counter-productive for any governmental agency to contact users or volunteers of any Wikimedia website directly ... While we have never received a request of this nature from the DCRI before, it is unfortunately not unheard of for governmental entities to contact, or even harass, local users. The Foundation strongly opposes any governmental attempts to intimidate the volunteers ... . We are saddened and disappointed to discover that the DCRI believes the tactics they employed in the name of security in this matter could be acceptable under any moral or legal authority. The Foundation was, and remains, willing to work with the DCRI to resolve this matter if possible, but we cannot condone any harassment of individuals who have done nothing wrong. / ... in cases where there is no apparent threat but rather a vague unsubstantiated claim of threats to national security, we require more information before we will consider removing any content—to do otherwise would allow censorship to trump free expression, which would be a direct assault on the values of the Wikimedia community. ... In this case, we have been unable to readily determine that the information is classified on its face and—especially in light of the video ... / The community remains free, of course, to retain or remove the article as it sees fit under community policies and processes. We value and respect community decisions in this regard. However, we want to remind users who are subject to the jurisdiction of France that there are risks involved in posting content that government authorities don’t want posted, and we advise such users to consult an attorney before acting in a situation that seems potentially risky. At this point, we do not see a demonstrated reason to remove the article on legal grounds.
Rémi Mathis declined the Signpost's invitation to comment on the matter.
In a comedic irony for the French intelligence service, articles have suddenly popped up in 26 other Wikipedias, while Twitter has been abuzz with the matter (Editor's note: this includes the Signpost's Twitter account). The article's views skyrocketed in the day after the event, up by more than 45,000%.
It appears that the French Wikipedia article on the Pierre-sur-Haute military base will be around for quite some time; however, internet freedom and intimidation by nation states of people who contribute to the net is still a burning question. Only last week, the Russian government published the list of Wikipedia pages they intend to blacklist. The action comes as part of a new law passed last year that spawned protests and the Russian Wikipedia blackout last July. The law allows "extrajudicial blacklisting of web content deemed to be promoting suicide, pedophilia or drug use", according to the state-owned news agency, RIA Novosti.
Wikimedia chapter staff changes: The national Wikimedia chapter in Israel has announced the appointment of an executive director, Dorit Shafir Dyamant. At the same time, Wikimedia Switzerland has three new hires, including a Chief Information Officer/Event Manager, German-speaking Community manager, and a Italian-speaking Community/GLAM manager. Details of their duties is available in the announcements.
Requests for adminship: There have been no legitimate requests for adminship since 31 March, but a new Admin Nominators WikiProject has been formed to "[support] editors who are interested in acting as nominators for potential administrators".
Lie Kim Hok is the Chinese-Indonesian author of the 200-page poem Sair Tjerita Siti Akbari. The well-known poem, written in the Malay language, is the subject of a new featured article.
This Signpost "Featured content" report covers material promoted between 31 March and 6 April 2013.
Four featured articles were promoted this week.
English cricketer Arthur Shrewsbury, seen in the new featured article Leg before wicket.
Prince George of Denmark (nom) by DrKiernan. George (1653–1708) was the husband of Great Britain's Queen Anne. His marriage to her was arranged in the early 1680s under the aim of establishing an alliance between the English and Danish nations to contain Dutch maritime power. William of Orange, George's brother-in-law, disliked the treaty, mostly because he was married to Anne's elder sister, Mary.
Common Starling (nom) by Jimfbleak and Cwmhiraeth. This mid-sized passerine bird belonging to the Sturnidae family has around a dozen subspecies breeding across Europe and Western Asia. Also known as the European Starling, this species has been declining in numbers in parts of northern and western Europe since the last three decades, mostly thanks to the reduction of grassland invertebrates as food for growing chicks.
Sair Tjerita Siti Akbari (nom) by Crisco 1492. An 1884 Malay-language syair (poem) by Lie Kim Hok that was indirectly adapted from Raja Ali Haji's 1846 poem Sjair Abdoel Moeloek. The poem tells of a woman who passes as a man to free her husband from the Sultan of Hindustan, and was written over a period of several years and influenced by European literature. Siti Akbari had two reprints and a film adaptation in 1940.
Leg before wicket (nom) by Sarastro1. The leg before wicket is one of the ways in which a batsman can be dismissed in the sport of cricket. It first appeared in the laws in 1774, as batsmen began to use their pads to prevent the ball hitting their wicket. Following a number of failed proposals for reform, in 1935 the law was expanded, such that batsmen could be dismissed even if the ball pitched outside the line of off stump.
What motivated you to join WikiProject Earthquakes? Have you contributed to any of the project's Featured or Good Articles? Do you participate in any other projects that handle natural disasters or earth sciences?
Ceranthor: I created the project after noticing a lack of high-quality content in the field. There was only one earthquake-related featured article at the time! Now I have contributed to five featured articles and four good articles in the area. I also contribute at WikiProject Volcanoes where I write content.
Dawnseeker2000 — Throughout my editing history I had always contributed in small ways to earthquake articles but for most of that time I didn't think I knew enough to create quality content. Then things changed about a year ago after taking on an article about a recent minor earthquake. After doing that I realized that I can write a decent article even with just knowing the basics. My confidence was boosted even further after co-writing a few more articles, then I realized that I enjoyed the process of gathering sources and putting together articles on the older events. That's about when I joined and since then I have devoted most of my editing to earthquake-related topics, but I still do quite a bit of maintenance around other areas of Wikipedia as well.
Mikenorton - I got involved by noticing the lack of geological context in many of the earthquake articles and trying to do something about that. I've contributed to one featured article so far. I'm also involved in WikiProject geology
How is Wikipedia's coverage of earthquakes different from severe weather? Does activity at the project wax and wane with the occurrence of major earthquakes? Is there any predicting or tracking of seismic activity that compares to the forecasts of severe storms and seasons?
Ceranthor: The approaches of the two projects have always been very different. The Hurricanes Project is a considerable one, and there has always been an emphasis there on producing high-quality content; our goal is more to expand coverage for less-known earthquakes and to improve the many low-quality seismology articles scattered across the project. Since earthquakes are (gasp) fairly complicated to understand and currently impossible to predict very accurately, the subject tends to be less popular than meteorology. We definitely have periods of productivity, but I cannot say that we have ever been a highly active group as a whole.
Mikenorton - There is a flurry of activity when there's a major earthquake, but most of the time we just concentrate on filling the gaps and expanding those that are already there.
On Wikipedia, are the earthquakes of any regions or time periods better covered than others? What can be done to fill gaps in coverage of earthquakes?
Ceranthor: From experience American earthquakes tend to be better-covered than others. I have worked on Iranian earthquakes articles simply because I am interested in the safety issues that surround those earthquakes, and because they seem to have fascinating stories that run along in the background or little factoids that are totally worth including in an article. In all honesty more contributors alone would be a huge help in expanding coverage.
Dawnseeker2000 — I'm in my comfort zone working on articles that focus on earthquakes in California (All the earthquakes I've experienced first-hand have been there, though I have yet to contribute to those articles). I started my work on earthquake articles that were in Mexico, then Canada, and a few in the Near East. One of my favorites was one in the Gulf of Aqaba, near the Sinai Peninsula. In general the recent earthquakes get a lot of attention, and the older items are getting put together, but slowly.
Mikenorton - The coverage of major earthquakes gets steadily less complete going back in time (particularly before about 1800) as sources become sparse and the events of perhaps less general interest. I'm working on making sure that we have articles on all known earthquakes that caused 5,000 or more deaths, although it's a slow process.
Dawnseeker2000 — There's been some AfD discussions that you really get to see where people stand on notability. Some folks focus on retention, but others are geared towards being deletionists. The discussions tend to be not too bad, so it's not a continual problem.
Mikenorton - I came up with the guidelines following a series of AfD discussions, when there were a lot of minor (particularly recent - i.e. during Wikipedia's existence) earthquakes that were really only just news events. It seems to have calmed down a lot these days.
Is it difficult to obtain images for articles about earthquakes? What tend to be the best sources for freely licensed images from areas impacted by an earthquake?
Dawnseeker2000 — I upload images from NOAA / NGDC / USGS and for older events there's usually not much to work with. The USGS has ShakeMaps (brightly colored images depicting the intensity of shaking or ground acceleration) for earthquakes going as far back as the 1960s. Any type of table, map, or image to add to the presentation makes an article all the better. I don't really have any other artistic outlet so apparently putting these articles together is where it all comes out :)
Mikenorton - Images can be a problem, for tectonic settings I sometimes create maps and I search around for photos, other language wikis can be a good source - the oldest photograph currently in use is that in the 1857 Basilicata earthquake article, as far as I know
What are the project's most urgent needs? How can a new contributor help today?
Mikenorton - There are a lot of stub articles out there about important events that need expanding and, as I've already said, there are a lot of missing articles about major (particularly historical) earthquakes
Anything else you'd like to add?
Ceranthor: I just wanted to point out that of all the Projects I have participated in, I have never met more amiable and cooperative editors than those at the Earthquakes Project. :)
Next week, the Report will take its first trip to Africa. Until then, explore other cultures in the archive.
The arbitration committee is looking for expertise in Argentina and the Spanish language for a case involving former Argentinean president Juan Manuel de Rosas (1793–1877).
In the case, brought by Lecen, an editor is accused of systematically skewing several articles, as well as Spanish language sources, in order to portray a brutal dictator as a democratic leader, in keeping with the political motives of Argentinian "nationalists" or "revisionists".
Uninvolved editors with subject-matter expertise are invited to participate in the evidence and workshop phases of the case, to help determine "whether the allegations of use of highly disreputable and unreliable sources, quotation of Spanish-language sources incompletely or out of context, and the like appear to have merit."
The evidence stage is scheduled to close 12 April 2013, and a proposed decision is scheduled for 26 April 2013, though these dates may be extended by the recent floods in Buenos Aires, which have adversely affected an editor involved in the case.
This case, brought by Mark Arsten, was opened over a dispute about transgenderism topics that began off-wiki. The evidence phase was scheduled to close March 7, 2013, with a proposed decision due to be posted by March 29.
This case was brought to the Committee by KillerChihuahua, who alleges the discussion over this American political group has degenerated into incivility. Evidence for the case was due by March 20, 2013, and a proposed decision scheduled for April 3, 2013.
Other requests and committee action
Request for clarification: Transcendental meditation movement A request for clarification was made by Keithbob regarding the transcendental meditation movement, which is under discretionary sanctions. Clarification is requested of whether sanctions apply to all articles in the topic area or only articles that have a tag, and a related question of whether a tag is necessary on the talk page of an article where no problem has arisen. Also under discussion is who may impose sanctions and who may place tags.
Amendment request: Rich Farmbrough: An amendment request made by Rich Farmbrough to amend a motion in an arbitration case involving automated edits was declined. While the request was still in progress, the requester was blocked for one year after an arbitration enforcement request, which also involved automated edits. After Farmbrough was blocked, an error was discovered in the links he had posted as evidence; he had posted the same link three times. The corrected links were then posted. Farmbrough’s block limits him to his user pages and does not allow him to comment further on arbitration pages, but some discussion was carried to Farmbrough’s talk page, as well as the talk page of the blocking administrator.
Request for amendment: GoodDay: An amendment request made by GoodDay to lift an editing restriction related to diacritics was declined.
Procedural issues at Arbitration Enforcement: A request for clarification has been brought by Gatoclass regarding whether an administrator can "act in a request" involving 1RR restrictions, whether an administrator can act when an editor has not received a formal warning, whether an administrator can adjudicate in an appeal if they adjudicated in the decision that led to the appeal, and whether an administrator can issue a warning before consensus on a request has been reached.
Monty Hall problem: An amendment request has been made to the committee by Martin Hogbin for amendment of the remedies, including removal of discretionary sanctions.
Clarification request: Climate change: A clarification request filed by NewsAndEventsGuy, requesting clarification of who can post arbitration enforcement notices to talk pages and add to the notifications, blocks, bans, and sanctions log was closed. Since the original question dealt with a missing section, the request was closed and questions involving discretionary sanctions were moved elsewhere.
Clarification request: Discretionary sanctions appeals procedure: A request to clarify the appeal process for discretionary sanctions warnings was filed by Sandstein
Phase 2 of Wikidata faces English Wikipedia resistance
Supporters argue that phase 2 of Wikidata would give the English Wikipedia access to Wikidata's growing database of statements (sourced claims about the properties of subjects – here, London).
The deployment of phase 2 of Wikidata to the English Wikipedia, originally scheduled for 8 April but delayed due to technical problems, may be rescheduled again as the result of community resistance, it emerged this week.
As of time of writing, concerns with the deployment – which allows wikis to automatically retrieve data from the central data repository at wikidata.org (see previous Signpost coverage) – fall into two categories. The first, made most forcefully by User:Risker, suggests that the deployment should be preceded by a full debate on its merits. Although Wikidata supporters counter by pointing out that the deployment only makes interaction with Wikidata possible rather than compulsory, Risker is unmoved. "Anyone who's spent any amount of time on English Wikipedia knows that statement is untrue. As soon as it is enabled, it will be used, even over the objections of other editors, because there's no rule against it", she wrote on the English Wikipedia's Village Pump.
The second strand centres on the idea that the likely result of any discussion would be to reject the current implementation for the English Wikipedia. In addition to WMF Editor Engagement specialist Steven Walling's comments last week regarding the difficulty that new users will have working out where the values they see on the rendered version of the page can be changed, it was also suggested that the English Wikipedia – as by far and away the most complete language edition – stood to gain little from data sharing. Others disagreed. "I think Wikidata is great ... it will enable lots and lots of super cool things in the years to come, and having over the years lived through the deployments of commons, categories, new skins and who knows what else I am also confident, along with Denny, that we will figure it out as we go", wrote User:Phoebe . The discussion continues, at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical).
March engineering report published
113 unique committers contributed patchsets of code to MediaWiki (stable)
The total number of unresolved commits stood at 816 (also stable)
Wikimedia Labs now hosts 154 projects (stable) and has 1103 registered users (up 101).
—Adapted from Engineering metrics, Wikimedia blog
The WMF's engineering report for March was published this week on the Wikimedia blog and on the MediaWiki wiki ("friendly" summary version), giving an overview of all Foundation-sponsored technical operations in that month (as well as brief coverage of progress on Wikimedia Deutschland's Wikidata project and the now Wikimedia CH-led Kiwix offline reader project). Although the eight headlines items will be the focus of this "Technology report", the WMF-led publication also contains a myriad of updates about smaller initiatives which interested users should peruse at their leisure.
The first of the eight highlights the beginning of the registration period of the Amsterdam Hackathon, scheduled to take place in late May (24 to 26 May) and temporarily replacing the Berlin Hackathon, which would have been in its fifth year; the second the introduction of Lua to Wikimedia wikis (see previous Signpost coverage). The third highlights the recent WMF-supported improvements to the Translate extension, which assists users in translating interface messages and other communications into their own language; the fourth points to work done by OPW intern Valerie Juarez to provide better guidance for would-be bug report filers. Other headlines included a "collaboration with the Noun Project towards creating an 'Encyclopedia Collection' of free icons"; reference to a blog post exploring Parsoid; and "Wikipedia Zero winning a SXSW Interactive award for activism and gaining a new partner, Axiata".
The guidance provided to mobile uploaders appeared to be insufficient, with dozens of copyright-infringing and out-of-scope images being uploaded since the mobile upload facility came online last month.
It was item five, however, which came under the spotlight this week. The project in question, helping users "upload images to Commons from mobile phones, allowing [them] to directly add a photo to a Wikipedia article that has no image", was trialled in March with logged-in users but was more latterly actively pushed to all visitors to the mobile site, causing a jump in the number of uploads to more than 200 per day. Failing to repeat the success of the Wiki Loves Monuments photo competition, however, those uploads were criticised by Commons editors this week for being of poor quality. One estimate put the number of good images at just 10%. Although some were optimistic that providing better information to uploaders would help, others pointed out that the uploads of the average new contributor, even made through the traditional upload interface, did not fare much better.
In related news, the Foundation stressed in a blog post that supporting Wikimedia Commons was one of their key priorities, pointing to several new hires they will be making to support multimedia work. "[Over the past few years] we haven't invested enough [in multimedia support]" WMF Director of Platform Engineering wrote Rob Lanphier and Deputy Director Erik Möller, "[but] this is about to change".
Not all fixes may have gone live to WMF sites at the time of writing; some may not be scheduled to go live for several weeks.
MediaWiki to take part in Google Summer of Code: The Wikimedia Foundation was this week named as one of the 176 organisations that will benefit from Google's "Summer of Code" project this year, funding student developers to contribute to MediaWiki and related projects for three months over the summer (wikitech-l mailing list).