Wikimedia Commons

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons logo
Web addresscommons.wikimedia.org
Commercial?No
Type of siteMedia repository
RegistrationOptional (required for uploading files)
Content licenseFree
OwnerWikimedia Foundation
Created byWikimedia community
LaunchedSeptember 7, 2004 (2004-09-07) (8 years ago)
Alexa ranknegative increase 159 (August 2013)[1]
Current statusOnline
 
  (Redirected from Wikipedia commons)
Jump to: navigation, search
Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons logo
Web addresscommons.wikimedia.org
Commercial?No
Type of siteMedia repository
RegistrationOptional (required for uploading files)
Content licenseFree
OwnerWikimedia Foundation
Created byWikimedia community
LaunchedSeptember 7, 2004 (2004-09-07) (8 years ago)
Alexa ranknegative increase 159 (August 2013)[1]
Current statusOnline
Wikimedia logo mosaic, created to commemorate the one millionth file at Wikimedia Commons
Featured picture nominations per month (2004 – 2012)

Wikimedia Commons (or simply Commons) is an online repository of free-use images, sound, and other media files.[2] It is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Files from Wikimedia Commons can be used across all Wikimedia projects[3] in all languages, including Wikipedia, Wikibooks, Wikivoyage, Wikispecies, Wikisource, and Wikinews, or downloaded for offsite use. The repository contains over 18 million media files.[4] In July 2013, the number of edits on Commons reached 100,000,000.[5]

History[edit source | edit]

The project was proposed by Erik Möller in March 2004[6] and launched on September 7, 2004.[7][8] A key motivation behind the setup of a central repository was the desire to reduce duplication of effort across the Wikimedia projects and languages, as the same file had to be uploaded to many different wikis separately before Commons was created.

Policies[edit source | edit]

Given its primary function as a supporting project for the other Wikimedia web sites, the main content policy for files uploaded to Commons is that they must be potentially useful on any of the Wikimedia projects. This excludes material such as purely personal pictures and artwork, in contrast to image sharing repositories like Flickr, Photobucket and DeviantArt. Nevertheless, large numbers of files hosted on Commons are not used directly on any Wikimedia project and likely never will be; as such, the project has grown into a repository of multimedia in its own right, which is frequently linked to from articles on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia websites to provide supplemental materials.[original research?]

Most Wikimedia projects still allow local uploads which are not visible to other projects or languages, but this option is meant to be used primarily for material which local project policies allow, but which would not be permitted according to the copyright policy of Commons, such as fair use content. Wikimedia Commons itself does not allow fair use or uploads under non-free licenses, including licenses which restrict commercial use of materials or disallow derivative works. Licenses that are acceptable include the GNU Free Documentation License, Creative Commons Attribution and Attribution/ShareAlike licenses,[9] other free content and free software licenses, and the public domain.

The default language for Commons is English, but registered users can customize their interface to use any other available user interface translations. Many content pages, in particular policy pages and portals, have also been translated into various languages. Files on Wikimedia Commons are categorized using MediaWiki's category system. In addition, they are often collected on individual topical gallery pages. While the project was originally proposed to also contain free text files, these continue to be hosted on a sister project, Wikisource.

Controversial content[edit source | edit]

The site has been criticized for hosting large amounts of amateur pornography, often uploaded by exhibitionists who exploit the site for personal gratification, and who are enabled by sympathetic administrators.[10] In 2012, BuzzFeed described Wikimedia Commons as "littered with dicks".[11]

In 2010, Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger reported Wikimedia Commons to the FBI for hosting sexualized images of children known as lolicon. After this was reported in the media, Jimmy Wales, founder of the Wikimedia Foundation which hosts Commons, used his administrator status to delete several images without discussion from the Commons community. Wales responded to the backlash from the Commons community by voluntarily relinquishing some site privileges, including the ability to delete files.[12]

Utilities[edit source | edit]

Over time, additional functionality has been developed to interface Wikimedia Commons with the other Wikimedia projects. Daniel Kinzler wrote applications for finding appropriate categories for uploaded files ("CommonSense"), determining the usage of files across the Wikimedia projects ("CheckUsage"), locating images with missing copyright information ("UntaggedImages"), and relaying information about administrative actions such as deletions to the relevant wikis ("CommonsTicker").

Specialized uploading tools and scripts such as "Commonist" have been created to simplify the process of uploading large numbers of files. In order to review free content photos uploaded to Flickr, users can participate in a defunct collaborative external review process ("FlickrLickr"), which has resulted in more than 10,000 uploads to Commons.[13][not in citation given]

Quality[edit source | edit]

The site has three mechanisms for recognizing quality works. One is known as "Featured pictures", where works are nominated and other community members vote to accept or reject the nomination. This process began in November 2004. Another process known as "Quality images" began in June 2006, and has a simpler nomination process comparable to "Featured pictures". "Quality images" only accepts works created by Wikimedia users, whereas "Featured pictures" additionally accepts nominations of works by third parties such as NASA. A third image assessment project, known as "Valued images", began on June 1, 2008 with the purpose of recognising "the most valued illustration of its kind", in contrast to the other two processes which assess images mainly on technical quality.

The site held its inaugural "Picture of the Year" competition, for 2006. All images that were made a Featured picture during 2006 were eligible, and voted on by eligible Wikimedia users during two rounds of voting. The winning picture was a picture of the Aurora Borealis over snowlands, taken by an airman from the U.S. Air Force. The competition has become an annual event.

Wikimedia Commons Pictures of the Year
The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, shines above Bear Lake, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.
Broadway Tower in Cotswolds, England.
Horses on Bianditz mountain. Behind them Aiako Harria mountain can be seen.
Sikh pilgrim at the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) in Amritsar, India. The man has just had a ritual bath.
European Bee-eater, Ariège, France. The female (in front) awaits the offering which the male will make.

Content[edit source | edit]

The Impact of Wikipedia - a story of a Wikimedia Commons photographer
As of January 2012, there are 2.9M geolocated images in Wikimedia Commons. Mapping these shows significant variance in image numbers over the globe.
Growth of Wikimedia Commons, 2004–2012

See also[edit source | edit]


References[edit source | edit]

  1. ^ "Wikimedia.org Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2013-08-21. 
  2. ^ Endres, Joe, "Wiki websites wealth of information". International News on Fats, Oils and Related Materials : INFORM. Champaign, Illinois: May 2006. Vol. 17, Iss. 5; pg. 312, 1 pgs. Source type: Periodical ISSN: 08978026 ProQuest document ID: 1044826021 Text Word Count 746 Document URL: Proquest URL ProQuest (subscription) retrieved August 6, 2007
  3. ^ "Embedding Commons’ media in Wikimedia projects". Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved August 7, 2007. 
  4. ^ Statistics page on Wikimedia Commons
  5. ^ a b ÄŒesky. "100,000,000th edit". Commons.wikimedia.org. Retrieved 2013-08-22. 
  6. ^ Möller, Erik (March 19, 2004). "[Wikipedia-l] Proposal: commons.wikimedia.org". Retrieved August 7, 2007. 
  7. ^ "Main Page". Wikimedia Commons. September 7, 2004. Retrieved August 7, 2007. 
  8. ^ "Wikimedia Commons: Über 100.000 freie Bilder, Töne und Filme" (in German). Golem.de. May 25, 2005. Retrieved August 7, 2007. 
  9. ^ See Creative Commons licenses, of which "NonCommercial" and "NoDerivs" can not be used on Wikimedia Commons.
  10. ^ "The Daily Dot - How Wikimedia Commons became a massive amateur porn hub". 
  11. ^ "The Epic Battle For Wikipedia's Autofellatio Page". 
  12. ^ "Wikimedia's Wales gives up some top-level controls | Internet & Media - CNET News". 
  13. ^ FlickrLickr image upload count

External links[edit source | edit]