Commons declares war on Outreach

commonsWikimedia Education has published a piece on the outreach wiki: “Wikimedia Commons: a highly hostile place for multimedia students contributions“.  If you think the title might be an exaggeration, do be sure not to miss the talk page.

Basically, what happened is this.  An instructor with a history of projects for improving the Basque Wikipedia got an idea for improving articles with media, and did a collaboration with an institute that specializes in video and media communications. And you guessed it, Commons deleted the student projects.  Not because there was anything wrong with them, but because they were “too good for Commons”.

Commons is now telling the professor the students must file a separate OTRS for every video, in spite of the fact that the uploader already declares during the upload process that the work belongs to them. And the class is over, the students are no longer available.

The upshot of the fiasco is that this is all the professor’s fault for not being able to anticipate that Commons would be such a hostile environment and not having the students upload the videos to YouTube first.

This comes at the same time the new video tool has just been announced by Doc Heilman.

This has gotten mention in this month’s GLAM newsletter.  There an archived undeletion request here.  There is also a fairly cringeworthy ongoing thread on the village pump at Commons.

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