Yes, this is definitely an issue. My recollection was that the "unwanted
content" issue was seen as secondary to the debates about placement, but
it's many years ago ;-)

Agree entirely on testing and having a sense of the cost-benefit ratio. One
feature of the old system was that it predominantly went on BLPs - which
are a magnet for easy "looks free" content like publicity photos.  I wonder
if the proportion of acceptable material would be higher if, eg, we
trialled placeholders on towns and villages with no photos, or buildings?

- Andrew.

On Tuesday, 18 September 2012, Risker wrote:

> On 18 September 2012 14:00, Andrew Gray 
> <<javascript:;>>
> wrote:
> > On 13 September 2012 12:10, Yaroslav M. Blanter
> > < <javascript:;><javascript:;>>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Btw it occurred to me that we never (to the best of my knowledge) tun a
> > > Wikipedia banner asking to donate pictures. Smth like to take a World
> > > Heritage site article without illustrations, or a town, and to say that
> > this
> > > is easy to illustrate in several clicks - just to donate pictures. Or
> > about
> > > "your town".
> >
> > Enwiki used to have a system where articles about people without images
> got
> > a placeholder - "No picture available! Can you donate one?" - but it was
> > taken down a few years ago, partly due to community dislike of it and
> > partly due to technical problems.
> >
> > I believe a number of those technical issues have since been resolved, so
> > it might be worth thinking about trialling it again on a small scale...
> >
> My recollection is that that one of the key reasons the English Wikipedia
> community stopped using the image placeholders was the fact that we were
> receiving a very significant number of non-free images, including obviously
> commercial ones that people were claiming they owned, and we wound up
> deleting a lot of images that were 'donated'.  I like the idea of inviting
> people to contribute images for *select* articles, but not *every* article
> without an image.  But we should really make sure that we're getting some
> statistical information if we trial this again, to ensure that what we are
> getting is helpful and not a "copyright" timesink.  It would be a shame to
> return to the old days when everything operated on the assumption that
> there were always warm bodies around to clean up these kinds of messes.  On
> many projects, that is no longer the case.
> Risker/Anne
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- Andrew Gray
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