Image placeholders

Image placeholders debated

The female version of the placeholder box. It is hyperlinked to an image upload form targeted to new users.
The male version of the placeholder box.

After recent proliferation of image placeholders on biographies, designed to solicit freely-licensed photos of article subjects, a centralized discussion is being held to determine whether these images should continue to be used. For the course of the discussion, an agreement has been made to refrain from adding or removing these images from articles.

Generic image placeholders, containing a silhouette and the text "No free image/do you own one?/If so, please click here", have been placed on many as-yet un-illustrated biography articles (usually, but not necessarily, inside infoboxes). Readers who click the image are taken to a form, which is more streamlined for this task than the general upload form. When the reader uploads an image and completes the form, the image placeholder gets replaced with the new image.

Replace this image female and Replace this image male are the latest versions of the placeholder boxes. The placeholders have been added to over 50,000 articles, often with the help of the automated tool AutoWikiBrowser, attracting both positive and negative reactions from Wikipedia editors.

Some editors felt the practice of adding this placeholder made a fundamental change to a large number of Wikipedia articles, and it should not be continued without first establishing a broad consensus of Wikipedia editors. A preliminary discussion was held (summarized here) agreeing to suspend adding the image placeholders, pending the outcome of a promptly-held centralized discussion.

That broader discussion is underway now, and all are invited to participate. Some of the issues raised include:

While much has already been discussed, the discussion is ongoing, and opinions are still being solicited on the issue.

Also this week:
  • From the editor
  • 2000th FA
  • Image placeholders
  • WikiWorld
  • News and notes
  • In the news
  • Dispatches
  • Features and admins
  • Technology report
  • Arbitration report

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