Wikipedia talk:Image placeholders

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Several placeholder images redirect here. See the following image description pages for file and licensing and info:


Documentation (ie how it works of the Fromowner system can be found at Wikipedia:Fromowner documentation.Genisock2 12:13, 4 March 2007 (UTC)


  • I found a picture of Robert Emerson Lucas right here, so you should check the copyright and upload it (I'm from Hungary, and I don't have an account here). 21:09, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

"took it yourself"[edit]

Perhaps in the opening section, (i.e. you took it yourself) could be rephrased (i.e. you created it yourself), or (i.e. you took/created it yourself)? I know it's only a minor thing, and I would probably do it myself, and then leave it if it got reworded due to being unnecessary, but it's protected. I don't know if anybody else thinks this would be a worthwhile change to make...--Dreaded Walrus 19:03, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

I made it "took or drew it yourself". I think "drew" is better than "created" here, since it's more important for the language to be concrete and unambiguous than all-encompassing. With "created", some people might assume that it's OK since they scanned the image themselves. (I've seen that happen before.) —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 21:49, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
By the way, it's of course worth noting that neither taking nor drawing an image yourself necessarily makes you the sole copyright holder — for example, Disney holds copyright to pretty much any picture of Mickey Mouse, regardless of how you might've made it. This particular point, however, is probably better mentioned on the next page, if at all. (It's a somewhat esoteric issue, especially in the context of this particular page and its expected usage, and in any case is already mentioned in the full image use policy.) —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 22:03, 28 February 2007 (UTC)


This is pretty ugly, stylistically and grammatically: "Do you own one? If so please click here". How about, "Have a free image? Click here!" Could be improved further, of course :) Stevage 03:38, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

most people don't know what free means in this context and the upload is only set up for the case where the uploader owns the copyright.Genisock2 18:01, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree, this thing may be a good idea, but it's a mess 1 davewho2 14:01, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

I don't have that browser so I can't test how it works in that one.Genisock2 15:21, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
hmm yes I see. But that heading is one of the standard ones used for in special:upload. I'm not sure what to do about that.Geni 14:12, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
At least could this be changed to: Do you own one? If so, please click here. (Addition of a comma and a period.) --Lukobe 06:40, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
I have to chime in, nothing personal to the creator, but this is ugly to have in an article. Something much less glaring and more tasteful is called for. It's also pretty pointless to see it turn up on an historical biography -- sure! I'll just go dig him up and take one! --Dhartung | Talk 16:16, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
At the moment this is about the only svg option we have. Technicaly the original author would be Linda Salzman Sagan. I can't do much about where people chose to put the image.Genisock2 02:15, 7 April 2007 (UTC)


It would look a bit nicer if we added a class="plainlinks" attribute to the enclosing <div> to hide the external link arrows on the two 'external' links (they are actually internal, after all) – Qxz 00:18, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Done. CMummert · talk 01:35, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

What happened to all the fair-use publicity photos?[edit]

Over the past couple of months I've noticed that a lot of the very professional-looking publicity photos have been removed from biographies, and replaced with either no picture or often a very poor-quality image. Did I miss some kind of discussion on policy? Why can't we use those photos (usually released by PR for those people for use) under fair use anymore? -Tejastheory 18:53, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

They were never allowed under fair use in the first place: as pictures of living persons, they are replaceable. That was just less enforced before. —Centrxtalk • 19:04, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
They were declared unacceptable by Jimbo a while ago, even though they are often legal to use (due to their implicit license and fair use law; see Wikipedia:Publicity photos), they usually can't be replaced with free images, and many of the free images that do exist are of poor quality.
This template will hopefully find the few free images that exist, but the rest of the articles will just remain pictureless forever. See the placeholder image description pages for a list of some of the articles that don't have images because of this policy. — Omegatron 05:06, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
As Omegatron says, they were declared unacceptable by internal policy fiat. The images are legally usable and our policy is wrong-headed. We need to reverse the policy and embrace legally permissible fair use images as a tool in helping us build a better, more informative encyclopedia. Johntex\talk 14:48, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Less useable does not mean better.Genisock2 15:25, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
No, "better" means "better". Articles that have pictures are clearly better, otherwise we would not spend so much time trying to get pictures. Our main mission should be to build the best possible encyclopedia. Currently, we are allowing the "tail" of hypothetical re-use to wag the "dog" of building the encyclopedia. Johntex\talk 19:24, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
information that cannot be reused is of limited utility.Genisock2 21:38, 29 October 2007 (UTC)


{{editprotected}} Could created or another word be used instead of drew? If you create an image digitally, is it still drawing it? Talk User:Fissionfox 12:13, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

The "e.g." means this is just one example of how you hold the copyright. CMummert · talk 12:20, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

"This does NOT apply to images found somewhere on the Internet or created by someone else."[edit]

"This does NOT apply to images found somewhere on the Internet or created by someone else." - shouldn't it say: This does NOT apply to some images found somewhere on the Internet or created by someone else.

Everyone knows that images found "somewhere" on the internet very well may be copyrighted.

Have a good day! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 21:23, 10 April 2007 (UTC).

I think that the person who added that was trying to make the point that you have the right to release your own images under a free licence, but you mustn't assume that you if you find some image on the internet and that you would have the right to upload it to Wikipedia under a free licence. Unfortunately, there are people who find an image somewhere on the web, and upload it with a {{pd}} tag.
The problem with the wording is that it leaves open the interpretation that you must put a free licence tag on anything that you photographed or drew yourself, but that you can upload any images you find on the web, even if they are copyrighted. It seems that the template page is protected, so that only administrators can edit it, but I think the wording could be improved. ElinorD (talk) 20:33, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
I've changed the wording to avoid the implication that finding an image somewhere on the 'net means that it doesn't need to be freely licensed. Jkelly 20:44, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. That's much better now. ElinorD (talk) 20:52, 18 April 2007 (UTC)


This image is unencyclopedic. It would be better to have no image than what looks like an advertisement. It also makes the page look incomplete. --Astrokey44 02:02, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

a lot of pages are incomplete. That is why we ahve things like stub notices and cleanup notices.Geni 16:01, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
There's {{reqphoto}} for that task. People can search for articles that need photos but readers aren't bugged with meta images like this one. --32X 20:21, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, 32X. And Geni, this is not how Wikipedia policies and guidelines are made. You don't get to just make something up that could potentially affect 95% of the articles on the system and then deploy it all over the place without broad discussion and without understanding extant WP guidelines like WP:SELF or the process for arriving at consensus for major things like this. We have stub tags and dispute/cleanup tags because after a very large amount of consensus-building discussion, and fine-tuning, the community collectively decided they were a good idea. There is no such consensus about this "Fromowner" business, and you have not given the community the courtesy of allowing us all to examine this idea on its merits before you've pushed this stuff into hundreds of articles. This needs to immediately be taken to at least WP:RFC if not made a formal Proposal pretty shortly so that the needed Wikipedia-wide input is available, or someone will very probably WP:MFD this as disruptive. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 06:00, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Violates long-standing guidelines[edit]

This is worse than just non-encyclopedic, it's a blatant transgression of WP:SELF. This needs to be sent to WP:MFD to be deleted or userspaced before it causes any more mess; if something like this is to be deployed, it needs to go through the standard guideline proposal process and reach consensus before it gets spammed all over hundreds of articles without any community discussion about the merits of the idea. Unlike the permissible dispute/cleanup tags, this weird thing is not alerting editors to a genuine problem that needs to be fixed, so it does not qualify as a WP:SELF exception; it's simply a "wouldn't it be nice if..." thing, and by very long-standing convention, these go on talk pages. And we already have templates for that, such as the |needs-photo field of {{WPBiography}}, as well as the more general-use {{Reqphoto}} template. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 05:52, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

What we really need is just the opposite. We are getting flooded with images we can't use. The straight forward content-specific upload page that this page uses needs to be expanded on ... kinda like Commons uses for uploads. If we give context-sensitive upload instructions, rather than a general message that takes up an entire monitor for some people, we might cut down on some of the deletion-bound uploads. --BigDT 03:48, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Very ugly and distracting[edit]

I find this image really annoying. The font size of the text is much larger than all of the article text, so that the most prominent thing in many biographical articles is now not the lead, but some advertising with zero informative value about the subject. The aesthetics of it leave to be desired as well. I would suggest this image to be removed, or at minimum made much less eye-catching. Redquark 17:11, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

I also object to the use of this type of placer image, on the grounds that it violates current policy (as noted above by SMcCandlish) and indeed, also, that it is downright ugly (as noted by Redquark). Lexicon (talk) 19:17, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
the silhouette is based on an image nasa sent into space so it can't be that bad. You are free to draw a better one (should be svg though).Geni 01:08, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
The entire idea is ugly. Lexicon (talk) 03:40, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
Agreed, this is ugly and distracting. At the very least remove the text and make it smaller. Better yet, stop the copyright paranoia. Modest Genius talk 21:25, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
the image is 10*10px is size. How small do you want it?Geni 21:40, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
How about 0px x 0px? Obviously it's not put on an article's page at its original size, seeing as it's vector. Lexicon (talk) 22:19, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
Well since it is an SVG it can be any size you like. 150*150 is recomended but figureing out how to set a smaller than default image size is trickly with quite a lot of infoboxes so people end up putting it in at a rather larger size.Geni 23:23, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

I don't think that it is ugly. --Iamunknown 23:26, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

I find the image entirely tacky and distracting from articles. I think it's better to just not include an image at all, or if this image must be used, a simple "no free image" is fine. The click here wording is especially gaudy; if someone does have an image they'll probably be able to figure out what they should do with it. And really, they don't need to click there, they need to upload the picture and replace the placeholder. :) --Frantik 01:33, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Which is what they will be guided through if they do ah click here.Genisock2 21:20, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Good idea[edit]

It also makes the page look incomplete.

You may be surprised by this, but the entire encyclopedia is perpetually incomplete. ;-) If you look at the top of the page, you'll see a handy "edit" link that allows you to modify and improve any page at any time. If you look at the Wikipedia logo, you can see a missing space that symbolizes the content that still needs to be added.

a blatant transgression of WP:SELF.

You should read WP:SELF. It's about things like "This Wikipedia article discusses ...", not about project-related templates that are visible from the article. If you want to remove all meta-content like this, you'll have to also campaign against the cleanup templates, citation needed, the edit button, the Wikipedia logo, ...

The entire idea is ugly.

The idea of making it clear to regular site visitors that they can contribute to the project? Do you realize how vastly they outnumber regular editors? If there is free content out there to get, this is the way to get it.
We shouldn't delete non-free content until free replacements are found, but I think things like this, {{diagram needed}}, and so on, are a good idea. We should indicate to the outside world exactly where they can help. — Omegatron 00:34, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

It's no different than stub tags which say "you can help Wikipedia!" by expanding this crap. Consider it in that light. —freak(talk) 03:04, May. 9, 2007 (UTC)

New image[edit]

No free portrait.svg

Here's a new image, with a better title, normal size, and wording as per this talk page.

Another one should be created for Image:No free building.svg, but with a silhouette instead of the isometric drawing. — Omegatron 02:54, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

The exclamation mark is not good. It conveys the wrong tone.Geni 11:43, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
Do you have a better idea for the wording? — Omegatron 13:58, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
already been changed I added a comma and increased the size to 150*150px.
I like this a lot better than what's there now. I'm not crazy about the exclamation point either, but that's pretty minor. 06:29, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

More deletion discussions[edit]

See Wikipedia:Images and media for deletion/2007 May 22#Image:Replace_this_image1.svg. Cheers, Iamunknown 05:50, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Great idea![edit]

Kudos - Even though I'm a strong proponent of WP:SELF, I think this is a great idea. It immediately reminds readers that we could use their help even if they never plan to edit (just about everybody has a cell phone camera nowadays and could help get photos of famous people they bump into). It also encourages the subjects of articles and their agents to add free content images to the commons. I mean, who wants to have a generic image placeholder decorating an article about yourself or their client - esp when that article is a top Google hit. Again, Kudos! --mav 03:06, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

WP:SELF is about article content, though, not maintenance templates like this. {{NPOV}} and the like are not self-references, either. — Omegatron 14:01, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

The image[edit]

I know this has been discussed before, but I feel my two cents are needed. This image, whether some people find it ugly or not, should not be displayed on the article page, in infoboxes. I find it distracting and it does not contribute to the article, rather I feel it detracts from it. Personally, I think we need to move these to the talk page of the article where we normally place {{Image Requested}}, or we could create a banner box of "image requested," like we do to many cleanup/expansion templates ({{Cleanup}}, {{Copyedit}}, {{Prose}}, {{Expand}}, etc.) Any thoughts? --WillMak050389 18:36, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

There is no point in putting it on the talk page since regular readers will not see it. It is likely to be around to long for banners to really be an option.Genisock2 20:48, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Proposed changes[edit]

I would change the page myself, except it's protected. It currently says "If you hold the copyright to an image (e.g. you photographed or drew it yourself)" - perhaps we could change it to something like "Or you know a photograph that is released under the Creative Commons license" - we want to allow flickr pages and the like to be uploaded here. Thoughts? The Evil Spartan 16:24, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

No this system is deliberately only for stuff you have created yourself. For other options see Wikipedia:Upload.Genisock2 18:58, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
No it's not. Free images are perfectly legal. The Evil Spartan 16:18, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes but they are not the focus of this system and complicate things. By the time you are looking through flickr I figure you know your way around well enough to use wikipedia:upload or special:upload.Genisock2 16:27, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
Not at all. These images should be used to encourage uploads from outside contributors, whether they own the copyright or not. They just need to be told what's permissible. — Omegatron 23:08, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
Explain what is permissible in less than 30 words in a way that would make sense to a normal person.Genisock2 23:18, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
Easy: "If you can legally upload it, please do so. If you are not 100% sure, please don't upload it". 11 words to spare. Johntex\talk 19:26, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Plently of stuff that I could legaly upload to wikipedia without it being useable and given the general low level of understanding of say Freedom of panorama would still result in copyvios if followed.Geni 22:09, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Male and female images[edit]

Geni created a female-headshot version; I've now got an organised pair at Image:Replace this image male.svg and Image:Replace this image female.svg. Now to change the documentation and change everything over... Shimgray | talk | 21:39, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

Femlae version was created by editor at large.Genisock2 23:48, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Good that the filenames were changed, at least. "Fromowner" needs to be changed to something descriptive, too. What does "fromowner" even mean? I'd also suggest changing the fonts and wording, like this version: Image:No free portrait.svgOmegatron 00:43, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
From the owner of the copyright. Similar to ownwork used on commons:Commons:Upload. The name isn't really reliant to using the system and anyone mentaining it should be able to cope with the name given that they would also have to be able to cope with some of the most obscure mediawiki functions going. Given the technical complexity of the change I don't think it would be worth it.Genisock2 23:43, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Commercial requirement[edit]

I don't know if this is the place to ask. But why does Wikipedia require a license that allows commercial usage of contributed media? Why isn't CC Non-Commercial acceptable? Iragilac 17:11, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

You can read it here at User:Fastfission/Noncommercial much better than I can explain. Garion96 (talk) 17:17, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
It is because our main goal of building an encyclopedia has currently (and hopefully temporarily) been co-opted into a crusade for freely re-usable content. Johntex\talk 19:27, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Not likely (the temporarily part). Garion96 (talk) 19:34, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

"If you hold the copyright"[edit]

Why is this about the uploader owning the copyright, anyway? Getting free images from Flickr is perfectly fine, too, with instructions on how to tag them for review, etc. — Omegatron 23:36, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

That would be more a project for wikipedia:upload.Genisock2 16:17, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
I agree and found that part misleading. Owning the copyright is not important, and doesn't even matter, but following a GFDL compatible license do. Maybe it's to guide users into the right mindset ("being sure it's OK to post is very important, such as if you made it yourself"), but that's far fetched and confusing. — Northgrove 19:05, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, this page needs to be revamped. I'll create a new section. — Omegatron 03:44, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
Actually... Hmm... Maybe we just need to revamp Wikipedia:Uploading images and have the placeholder images link to there. That's what we really want to accomplish. We want them to upload any free image; not just one they own the copyright to, and we want a generalized introduction and to be applicable to general cases like buildings or people or whatever. — Omegatron 03:48, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
If you do not own the copyright on an image you cannot release it under the GFDL and no wikipedia GFDL image sources are very limited.Genisock2 17:56, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Protected edit[edit]

{{editprotected}} The "(versions 2.5 and earlier)" text needs to be removed, as 3.0 licenses have been confirmed as free.  east.718 at 06:01, August 20, 2007 

I'm going to hold off doing this since the 3.0 license hasn't been added to the upload form yet, and I'm not sure of the exact situation. --- RockMFR 06:08, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
It's on the upload form at commons, and all the templates on en have had their warnings removed. [1] [2]  east.718 at 06:13, August 20, 2007 
It is not however on the upload form for fromowner yet.Trying to add it would be rather messy.Geni 06:45, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
I think the point of that form is to "encourage" people to multilicense under GFDL and CC 2.5. If they want to use CC 3.0 they can do so manually, just like if they want GFDL only or want GPL. So I made the edit requested. — Carl (CBM · talk) 17:51, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

picture in picture[edit]

what if you photographed another photo or painting or picture that you didn't make?--Ostrich11 01:06, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Unless the photo or painting is old enough to be PD that would be a copyvio and you should not upload it to wikipedia.Genisock2 17:44, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Hiding placeholder images with CSS[edit]

It would be good if the placeholder images were assigned a CSS class, so that users can specify "display:none" for them, if they want.--Patrick 09:06, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Would over complicate adding the things to articles.Genisock2 14:32, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
For people who do not know that users can upload images the placeholder images can be useful, for other people they just clutter the page. So a little extra code for the class is worthwhile.--Patrick 22:59, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
The image appears on over 1000 pages. You offering to edit all of them?Geni 23:25, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
The code would be in the infobox templates, something like

<span {{#switch:{{{image}}}|Replace this image male.svg|..=class=dummy}}>[[Image:..]]</span>

Patrick 06:32, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
the images appear in more than just infoboxes and attempts to autoplace in infoboxes suggest you haven't looked through the full system.Genisock2 07:12, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
Do you mean you attempted to apply my suggestion but there was a problem? Could you elaborate?--Patrick 08:57, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
Problem is that people upload images but then don't know how to put them in the article. The simplest instructions we have are to click edit and then replace the placeholder text (click the clicker here to see the exact wording) If you state useing your automated method there is no text in the article for them to replace. The reason the image is called replace this image whatever is to fit in with the replacement instructions.Genisock2 22:18, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
People editing a template call are not confronted with the template content.--Patrick 22:49, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
people clicking edit on the article will have no idea what to do since there may well be no image paramenter in the template they say and even if there is one they may well not know what to do with it.Genisock2 23:17, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
The code I proposed above does not affect the fact that in the edit box of the article the user sees "image=Replace this image male.svg", so that he/she can easily fill in an image name.--Patrick 08:10, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
could you create an example?Geni 16:04, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
See User:Patrick/hp (talk, backlinks, edit) (define a style for class=dummy to see the effect).--Patrick 23:43, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
And in an infobox: User:Patrick/iahp (talk, backlinks, edit).--Patrick 23:57, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
appears to result in so horibly compex coe appearing in the article namespace.Geni 17:06, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
No, the extra code is in the templates.--Patrick 23:24, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
slight reduction of indent well as long as there are no changes article side no problem. It won't work with thumb images mind and there are rather a lot of templates out there but fine.Geni 13:21, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Just use a template in the image= instead of typing out the image name. {{no male portrait}} or something. Then you can get a bot to change them all; that part's not hard. — Omegatron 23:07, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

And thumbnails? and tables? templates within templates tends to produce rather messy results.Geni 23:20, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Spam spam spam spam[edit]

This is spam. Most people do not have a personal photo in uploadable format for a given celebrity. But let put this message in big font at the top of the article so we can find that one lone person and annoy the millions of others. I am sure there are some good intentions with this. But come on. How is this not spam? -MarsRover 20:47, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

It works, and that is besides the images already moved to Commons. Garion96 (talk) 20:55, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
I am not arguing spam doesn't work. Thats why its so popular. After looking at some of those photos I think the quality is pretty bad. People not looking at the camera or with their eyes closed. I would hate to think those are going into the infobox of these people. MarsRover 20:36, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Right, we get bad free images, and then they're replaced with better ones. Much like the articles.—Chowbok 18:42, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

This isn't spam anymore than the [citation needed] template is. As for the horrible quality of the images, that's the fault of the Wikimedia Foundation. Hopefully these maintenance templates will reduce the problem as much as is possible within the current regime. — Omegatron 02:36, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

"Before you can upload images you will need to register an account."[edit]

This is a quibble, but isn't there a macro or something that can see if you're logged in with an account or not? It'd be nice if that was only displayed for the people that didn't actually have an account.—Chowbok 18:42, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

CommonsDelinker / Image:Replace this image1.svg[edit]

Currently, if an image is deleted from Commons, the red links are removed from the article. I have however recently created functionality which allows the bot to replace the image instead of delinking it. This means that deleted portraits can be replaced by Image:Replace this image1.svg. If this is wanted on the English Wikipedia, let me know and post a list of criteria that must be satisfied in order for the image to be replaced by Image:Replace this image1.svg. -- Bryan (talk|commons) 17:34, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

technically no other photo and in Category:Living people would be the minimum criteria.Genisock2 23:41, 30 September 2007 (UTC)


This thing absolutely needs to be wrapped in self-ref so that it can be removed in mirrors, print, and DVD versions with no more difficulty than stub and cleanup templates, which probably means this thing should be a template. It doesn't matter how much effort or server lag it causes - without it the image/template whatever violates WP:SELF. Has anyone tried to fix this yet? Oh yeah, the whole thing is still protected, by the author. NOCOI there. Why is this page protected? — Swpbtalk|edits 12:50, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Fair use images are placed into articles as images not templates and we assume downstream users will be able to remove those. WP:COI does not apply to this situation.Genisock2 18:24, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Will be able to remove what? The fair use images? My concern is with the ability of other formats (mirrors, etc.) to remove the "click here" placeholder, which as an image is not removable the same way that templates are. How is that not a major problem? — Swpbtalk|edits 06:02, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
We believe our current practices make it possible for mirrors to remove "fair use" images and we do not place them in templates. Thus there is no reason to place placeholder images in templates.Genisock2 17:21, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
What about mirrors that don't choose to remove fair use images? They would also retain these placeholders, unless they made a special effort to remove specifically the placeholders, seperate from the removal of templates. Clearly, it is possible to remove the images, but shouldn't the placeholder be in the set of things which are removed in a single, easy action by mirrors, as is done with the templates? What is so objectionable about making the placeholder a template that would overwhelm the usefulness of the css functionality that comes with templates? And why is this page still protected? — Swpbtalk|edits 05:36, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
Read the final section of the upload page. Slightly clashes with using templates. Removing this image separate from fair use images is no harder than removing fair use images. The script would in fact be slightly less hard to set up than the fair use image removal one.Genisock2 14:06, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
What upload page? — Swpbtalk|edits 16:33, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
The one that is part of the system this one.Genisock2 16:55, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Removing self-ref templates and placeholder images is one step more difficult than only removing templates, now matter how easy the images are to remove. Show me one other accepted form of self-reference in Wikipedia which isn't wrapped in a template. — Swpbtalk|edits 02:10, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Not really relivant since self refs are far from the only thing downstream users will want to strip out (interlang links for example). Still if you insit parts of the main page. Now will you adress the useability issue?Geni 03:27, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

What if you dont have the account?[edit]

There should be a link for people who do not have the account, or do not wish to create them. They should be able to contact a Wikipedian, who can help them with it. --Zureks 15:08, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

"Before you can upload images you will need to register an account." has the link in to create an account.Genisock2 21:27, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Proposal: Remove text from images[edit]

If we are going to keep putting placeholder images on articles, can we at least get rid of the text in the images? People would still be able to click on the placeholder image (maybe wondering why it and not a "real" image is there) and see a plea requesting a suitable (replacement) image for the article. According to the deletion discussion, it seems that this may not have gone through the right discussion areas. However, I know Encarta even uses default images in some places, like to go with a sound clip if there's no corresponding "real" image. Also, blank (text/"ad"-free) images would qualm some objections raised in the deletion discussion.

In my view, if a Web browser's screen showing Wikipedia was a piece of paper, the content portion of it should not look out of place if it was cut out and pasted some where else. The only things besides the actual article text/images would be the 'byline' "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia" and a mention of the license. The information may not be complete, but it should look complete and usable in the present state (forgetting about what the actual text says). As for stub, etc templates, I believe that they are automatically being edited out when the article is sent somewhere (e.g. a printer or A text/"ad"-free placeholder image would not look out of place as much or as incomplete. Likewise, I am also considering proposing that [citation needed] be changed to [uncited], which seems more professional/less incomplete looking. Clicking on the link would still take you to a plea to find sources.

Also note that, if there is approval to do so, the placeholders could probably set as a default image in info boxes, shown if no image is specified in the parameters, using (I think) {Placeholder.svg|ImageFromParamater} ParserFunctions. Jason McHuff 09:46, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

No relying on people randomly clicking the images is silly. The whole point is to get the request seen by as many as posible. You suggestion about useing paserfunctions runs into step 4 at MediaWiki:Uploadtext/fromowner.Geni 09:52, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
Of course the image should have text in it. It's essentially a maintenance template. There are tags/code to prevent things like this from showing up in print, etc. — Omegatron 02:22, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Proposal for clearer naming of pages, categories and templates[edit]

Per the deletion debates of Category:Fogen and Category:Fogenviewed (which now exist in a sort of limbo, being still used even though they're redlinks), it's clear that the naming scheme used for the pages, categories and templates involved in this system is confusing and should be clarified. The problem is not just that "only a few experienced admins" can easily understand it; it's that even experienced admins find it confusing.

In particular, I feel that basing the naming scheme on the "uselang" parameter values for Special:Upload was and is a bad idea. While those parameters do have to be fairly short and simple for practical reasons, we should consider them as abbreviations of the longer, "official" names.

Another issue is that we should integrate this system better with the similar but more general Wikipedia:Upload system. In fact, it might be advisable to carry out this integration at a deeper level, but for now I'm only interested in the organization and naming of the pages involved.

Since I'm not one to do things half-way, I propose the following set of renames:

Project pages:

I propose turning all the "fromowner" pages into subpages of the general Wikipedia:Upload wizard. The name I'm suggesting for the subpage, "Replace this image", echoes the text actually shown on the placeholder images. The subpage-based naming scheme is easily extensible and provides automatic uplinks from specialized subpages to more generic ones. The rename also fixes the historical accident whereby the simplest name is currently used for images of people rather than for general images.

The new Wikipedia:Upload placeholder images page should serve as a general description of the placeholder images and the associated upload wizard setup, providing both introductory information for people interested in using the placeholders, a general description of the goals of the system and technical details of how it is implemented.


The proposed category names are consistent, in plain English and compliant to Wikipedia:Naming conventions (categories). Besides renaming, the categories will also need improved descriptions, linking to Wikipedia:Upload placeholder images (see above) and other pages relevant to each category. The categories for unreviewed images should clearly explain that they are transitory categories containing only images currently in need of review.


I'm tentatively proposing that all these templates be merged into one, with optional parameters controlling the categorization. Alternatively, subpages (as in Template:Multilicense replacing placeholder/people) could be used instead of either or both parameters.

Uselang values:

  • "fogen" -> "en-placeholder"
  • "fobuild" -> "en-placeholder-buildings"
  • "fromowner" -> "en-placeholder-people"

I would also suggest changing the "uselang" parameter values to be more informative, extensible, and to better match the convention used by Wikipedia:Upload (which I believe derives from a similar convention at Commons). These changes are of lesser importance, though, since they are less visible to general users. Making the changes would involve renaming the corresponding subpages of MediaWiki:Uploadtext and MediaWiki:Licenses (as well as, of course, editing the corresponding project pages).

If I've missed any pages related to this system that should also be renamed, please let me know. I'm not proposing to rename the placeholder images themselves: I feel that they're mostly quite well named already, and renaming them would be a significant chore anyway. It would probably be a good idea to come up with a written guideline for naming any future new variants, though.

I'll post links to this proposal at Wikipedia talk:Upload and at the deletion review debate for Category:Fogen. Feel free to do the same elsewhere if you know any other pages whose readers might find it relevant.

Does anyone object to this proposal? Please comment. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 16:39, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

the problem with unifying the templates is that I was rather hopeing to farm out the reviewing function to various wikiprojects and the like. I can tell at a glance if a photo of a person is likely to have serious copyright issues but with say a battleship not so much.Geni 17:15, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
True, but we still have the categories for that. (In case it's not clear from my proposal above, I'm suggesting that the unified template should contain code such as [[Category:{{#if:{{{reviewed|}}}|Reviewed images|Images}}{{#if:{{{class|}}}| of {{{class}}}}} replacing placeholders]].) Or were you thinking of something entirely different? —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 17:22, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
This seems fine, more clearly named pages. Also has the extensibility of having new "classes" if the need comes up. Doesn't really change the core functionality though, so I wouldn't think it would be a huge deal. that solution for Geni's issue is a must though of course, but it sounds like you were going to do that anyway. Sooner the better in my opinion :) - cohesion 19:10, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Placeholder images is a potential problem because there are placeholders outside fromowner. beyond that fine. I'm not a fan of template arameters but if you can find a way to make them simple go ahead.Geni 20:26, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
How about Wikipedia:Upload placeholder images? From how the system is described most people won't have to deal with the template parameters much. Hopefully people won't need to deal with the templates at all, except for the people doing the reviewing, which last time I looked was mostly Geni :o :) - cohesion 01:40, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. I've changed it above to match your suggestion. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 17:41, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
oh and due to Cache issues changeing the uselang risks breaking the system for 24 hours.Genisock2 19:18, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
We could avoid that by leaving (copies of) the old subpages in place for a while and only deleting them later. But that might still be too much trouble for little gain — it might be easier to just leave the uselang values as they are. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 23:06, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Since the discussion seems to have stopped and since there don't seem to be any major objections, I'm going to start implementing the renames I've proposed above. I'll post updates here as I go along. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 17:49, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

  • The templates have been updated. Going to write descriptions for the new categories next. Need to document the new template too. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 18:00, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Categories done, more or less. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 18:34, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
  • "Wizard" and documentation pages (including this talk page) moved, license selectors updates. More or less done, still need to tidy up some loose ends, the biggest one being a rewrite of Wikipedia:Upload placeholder images. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 18:52, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Also moved the MediaWiki: subpages, but left copies at the old titles until the new uselang values start working in 24 hours (or however long it takes). —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 19:36, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Old templates marked as deprecated. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 19:50, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Changed the uselang values on Wikipedia:Upload/Replace this image and subpages; the new ones seem to be working now. Left the old MediaWiki subpages in place for a while just in case, but they can probably be deleted now. Also reviewed the last two images that were still stuck in Category:Fogen for some reason. Now all that's left is rewriting Wikipedia:Upload placeholder images and we'll have purged the last traces of "fogen" and friends from the system. :-) —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 14:52, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for renaming these. Much better now. — Omegatron 18:59, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

What about Commons?[edit]

Shouldn't we encourage users to upload to Commons instead? (Excluding non-free images, of course.) I see no mention of this on Wikipedia:Fromowner or its variants. Rocket000 10:24, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Until SUL turns up not really. In any case the image stream is rather too full of copyvio's for commons' normal processes to deal with.Genisock2 17:40, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
True. I guess if we directed all uploads to Commons, the workload would be way too much for over there. Rocket000 21:56, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Man, I hate this GNU wave ... copyrighted or not, things should look GOOD at the least.[edit]

Seriously, people - re-usable or not, if you want Wikipedia to be considered quality - a grainy cell-phone picture just is not going to cut it. I mean, I'm looking at an article of a guy who's been dead 30 years - yet there's not even a single photo of him. There's pictures over 50-75 years old of this guy - why can't we use one of those? Nah, because someone didn't take a grainy horrible cell-camera picture of him. Wait a second, cool! I bet someone got their digital camera back in 1940 and snapped a pic. Awesome. This huge wave of free-use nazism is really getting out of hand. Wikipedia was better when there were quality images. Now it's quickly turning into a graphical joke. It's extremely sad, but it's true - in my eyes at least. Computers & web - are about graphics. If we wanted 100% text - we could head on down to the library and grab a 1920 edition of Encyclopedia Boringtannica. At the least - have some quality standards. Get rid of the grainy pictures that look like 1960's slides. They're a joke - and pardon my language ... they look like crap. What's next? Drawing lopsided portraits in mspaint? Come on. But even such - hypocrisy is abound.

Let me just grab one example:

Slap all over that page are screen captures from films. Copyright everywhere. Then we have branding captured:

Uh-oh, better blur that "Spider Man 3" out. Trademark. Even if we want to hold these high "standards" - it's going to prove extremely difficult. You can do your best to be "completely open" yet you still fail.

Just make things look good. If you're still free - as in - fair use - then great. If you want to be a "free use nazi" - by all means, go all out - practice what you preach - blur out every single trademark, every single copyrighted image, every single screen capture of a computer program, every single video game screenshot, and so-on. As it stands, this push is a failure - and it does more harm than good, in my opinion at the least. Whoever started this whole farce is a FOOL.

--Kyanwan (talk) 06:54, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

There are significant differences between trademark and copyright. Screen captures of computer programs are impossible to replace with free images for certain uses.Genisock2 (talk) 17:09, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
I wish Wikipedia would allow users to contribute images for wikipedia use only. I have lots of pictures that I'd be more than happy to contribute, but I don't like the idea of relinquishing all copyright of my work to the public domain. Tejastheory (talk) 23:18, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia used to allow images that are licensed for Wikipedia use only. Some people have managed to prohibit this, and have greatly harmed the project in the process. We need to keep working to have this overturned. Non-free content is better than no content at all. — Omegatron 18:17, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia aims to allow reuse therefor wikipedia only isn't very useful.Geni 02:04, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia. The content needs to be usable by others downstream, to the extent possible. I disagree with "non-free content is better than no content at all." If there's no content, we can add free content. If there's non-free content, people are just going to ignore it and Wikipedia will be worse off. Superm401 - Talk 00:22, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Public domain[edit]

Wikipedia:Upload/Replace this image/People should mention the possibility of public domain photos, such as from U.S. government sources. Superm401 - Talk 00:20, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

No. The system is designed to deal with images people have taken themselves. By the time they are thinking about public domain they can use wikipedia's other upload systems.Geni 01:19, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Proposal to suspend all further use of this graphic on article pages[edit]

Please see Proposal to suspend all further use of this graphic on article pages. Thanks and regards. --Kleinzach (talk) 00:44, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Updated link: Image_talk:Replace_this_image_female.svg/Archive_1#Proposal_to_suspend_all_further_use_of_this_graphic_on_article_pages.--Patrick (talk) 10:21, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

Image Placeholders[edit]

Image is needed male.svg

A discussion concerning the use of image placeholders has opened at Wikipedia:Centralized discussion/Image placeholders and may be of interest to editors watching this image. The placeholder images have recently been uploaded to 50,000 articles, and while there has been disagreement about the use of these images in various corners, there has not been a centralized discussion on this issue affecting the community. Please contribute your thoughts and publicize this discussion anywhere you feel would be appropriate. Thank you. Northwesterner1 (talk) 10:38, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Salvaging the backend[edit]

Now that the centralized discussion is closed, and the conclusion seems to be that placeholder images should not be used in articles, the question becomes whether the upload wizard and the upload-sorting backend can still be salvaged for some useful purpose.

My suggestion would be to modify any relevant infobox templates so that the use of a specific dummy image name, such as "NO_FREE_IMAGE", would cause the image to be replaced with an inobtrusive textual note linking to the appropriate upload wizard. The result might look something like this (adapted from Template:Infobox_Person/doc):

William Henry Gates III

BornOctober 28 1955 (1955-10-28) (age 52)
Seattle, Washington
OccupationChairman, Microsoft
Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
SalaryUS$ 966,667
Net worthUS$ 56.0 billion (2007)
SpouseMelinda Gates (since 1994)
Bill Gates signature.svg
Microsoft (Press Pass)
Gates Foundation
{{Infobox Person
|name        = William Henry Gates III
|image       = NO_FREE_IMAGE
|image_size  =
|caption     = Bill Gates at an IT forum in Denmark, 2004
|birth_date  = {{birth date and age|1955|10|28}}
|birth_place = [[Seattle, Washington]]
|occupation  = [[Chairperson|Chairman]], [[Microsoft]]<br/>Co-Chair, [[Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation]]
|salary      = {{nowrap|[[United States dollar|US$]] 966,667}}
|networth    = {{nowrap|US$ 56.0 billion}} (2007)
|spouse      = [[Melinda Gates]] (since 1994)
|children    = 3
|signature   = BillGates Signature.svg
|website     = [ Microsoft]
               [ (Press Pass)]<br/>
               [ Gates Foundation]

Such a feature could be easily implemented using ParserFunctions.


  • No ugly placeholder images.
  • No need for imagemap or redirect tricks.
  • The note is automatically marked as non-printable. (Go on, try it: select "print preview" from your browser menu.)
  • The "NO_FREE_IMAGE" text is even easier to locate and replace than something like "Replace this image1.svg".
  • The link clearly looks and acts like a link, eliminating the need for "click here".
  • The link can be made to automatically point to the right upload wizard depending on the infobox type.


  • Only works inside an infobox (though one could create a simple wrapper template à la {{imageframe}} for standalone use).

Note that, if the location of the text at the top of the infobox is still considered too obtrusive, it would not be particularly more difficult to place the link somewhere else, such as below the infobox, as shown in the second mockup infobox on the right. The wikimarkup would be the same in either case, only the code within the infobox templates would differ.

William Henry Gates III
BornOctober 28 1955 (1955-10-28) (age 52)
Seattle, Washington
OccupationChairman, Microsoft
Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
SalaryUS$ 966,667
Net worthUS$ 56.0 billion (2007)
SpouseMelinda Gates (since 1994)
Bill Gates signature.svg
Microsoft (Press Pass)
Gates Foundation

It would also be technically possible to implement the feature so that the link appears whenever the "image" parameter is missing or empty, without the need for a dummy value like "NO_FREE_IMAGE". However, I'm not convinced this would be a good idea for a couple of reasons. First of all, there would be no obvious way to disable the link, although we could implement a dummy value for that (e.g. "image = none"). Also, telling inexperienced uploaders to "replace NO_FREE_IMAGE with the name of the image you uploaded" is easier than telling them to add or fill in the "image" parameter to an infobox ("add a what to the what?"), particularly in cases where the parameter might not be present in the existing wikimarkup of the page at all. Still, I'm certainly open to suggestions to the contrary on this.

So, what do you think? I suppose I should request comments on this on (at least) Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (infoboxes) and Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Biography/Infoboxes, but I figure this is as good a place for actually discussing the idea as any.

Ilmari Karonen (talk) 16:50, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Actually, a better place for discussion is probably Wikipedia:Centralized discussion/Image placeholders#The "magic parameter" implementation. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 09:09, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Believe it or not (me being the original TFDer of this stuff), that actually sounds quite reasonable to me. It's not that the "we need a picture" message was lame, it was just these "my MySpace profile doesn't have a pic yet"-style placeholder images, which made the encyclopedia look extra-sloppy. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 08:31, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
Maybe we should build it in as an ambox thing that comes up below it or something? ViperSnake151 14:42, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Images should be directed to Commons[edit]

Images should be directed to Commons - that would cut down on the need to move them latter. --Jarekt (talk) 20:31, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Protected edit request on 26 December 2018[edit]

To solve lint errors, please replace the contents of this file with the contents of Wikipedia:Upload/Replace this image/People&action/sandbox. After replacing, the sandbox file may be deleted. — Anomalocaris (talk) 22:06, 26 December 2018 (UTC)

 Not done: The page's protection level has changed since this request was placed. You should now be able to edit the page yourself. If you still seem to be unable to, please reopen the request with further details. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 09:48, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
User:Jo-Jo Eumerus:  Done, edited Wikipedia:Upload/Replace this image/People as I requested. —Anomalocaris (talk) 21:56, 27 December 2018 (UTC)