Community Wishlist Survey 2022/Admins and patrollers/Add ability to delete your own files without needing an admin

Add ability to delete your own files without needing an admin

  • Problem: If I upload bad files, I cannot remove or rename them without the help of an admin.
  • Proposed solution: Users should be able to easily delete any of their own files, without having to ask someone. They may want this for multiple reasons. For example, maybe they improved in terms of photography skills, and took new pictures of something which are much better compared to older ones uploaded by them.
  • Who would benefit: Any user that uploaded files which they want deleted.
  • More comments:
  • Phabricator tickets: task T113508, task T20572
  • Proposer: Neoclassicism Enthusiast (talk) 15:36, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]


On English Wikipedia, at least, this is already covered by speedy deletion criterion G7, which allows editors to request deletion for their own work, but includes a safety: if deleting said work would be disruptive, then the deletion may be declined. This proposal merely takes the safety off of that process. As such, I can't support it. {{Nihiltres |talk |edits}} 15:55, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

the main problem is that your file may be already used on a lot of pages, and once you delete yours we get a problem... even though I want to support it... Omer abcd (talk) 15:59, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
We can perhaps allow the user to delete old versions of the file. If they have a better version, they can overwrite the file and delete their older version. This will also prevent mind-boggling events request such as this deletion request on Commons. Strainu (talk) 16:06, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
What's then to stop people with, say, reuploading File:Example.jpg as a "new version" of their file and then deleting old versions? If anything, that sounds like more of a headache. Worse, it would be trivially easy to upload a "new version" that's outright vandalistic and then complicate reversion of the vandalism by deleting old versions of the file. In the (rare!) instances where deleting old versions is desirable, users can ask any admin to delete the old versions under existing deletion policy (on English Wikipedia, at least). {{Nihiltres |talk |edits}} 16:34, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
That's a kind of vandalism that is also possible now from the end user's POV. The only difference is that it takes 2 clicks to fix instead of 1.Strainu (talk) 18:14, 12 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • This could possibly be something useful in mediawiki, but I can't see it being useful in WMF wiki's that this project is mostly focused on. In most situations, once you upload a file you also attach a non-revocable open license - just like you do when you publish text. That being said, see also phab:T113508 / phab:T20572 that is related to this. — xaosflux Talk 19:25, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    At least an extension was written in the past for this purpose: mw:Extension:DeleteOwn; however yours and ToBeFree's concerns below indeed make the proposal potentially unworkable for Wikimedia. —MarcoAurelio (talk) 19:57, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Creative Commons licenses are irrevocable. Once you've published content under such a free license, you have [usually] given away your right to delete the content. This applies to Wikipedia article content and Wikimedia Commons images. Yes, the people at the English Wikipedia and Wikipedia Commons are usually kind enough to perform reasonable deletion requests by the only author of a page, but they may also decline such requests for various reasons, including "the content is good, we want to keep it". There should be no technical tool for an uploader to delete their own content in a disruptive way. ToBeFree (talk) 19:52, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • This would allow some kind of abuse, so we would limit it to: pages with less than 5000 links/tranclusions, 500 revisions, your own userspace and user talks, and user with the delete-self permission must have 90 days and 1500 edits. Also, if a page deleted by you, you can restore it (only in userspace) Thingofme (talk) 00:41, 12 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Bad idea. External sites may be reusing content originally uploaded to Wikipedia/Commons and provide a backlink (caveat: attribution is explicitly required by some free licenses) to the original URL. Deleting files breaks this attribution chain, which is why Commons admins will decline author-requested CSD if the file has existed for more than a few weeks. -FASTILY 02:43, 12 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • What if we made it within 30 minutes of upload? That way obvious errors and or mistakes can be taken down by the uploader. EoRdE6 (talk) 21:45, 12 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    Yes, this is what I was thinking as well MrMeAndMrMeLet's talk 18:09, 28 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    +1 for if this was very time limited to correct mistakes without admins/procedural knowledge. KylieTastic (talk) 18:47, 28 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • This could lead to problems in case of a compromised account. --Bischnu (talk) 12:00, 17 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • As on en:wp we delete on Commons such files speedily per request. So this proposal would be a good idea if there were additional restrictions: 1) The file must not be in use on any wm project, 2) it must not be superseded by a new upload of another image, 3) the upload must not be older than x days. That would save sysops some time. However, I don't think that creating such a special user right is technically feasible. --Achim55 (talk) 18:11, 17 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • This is a good idea, as per brion's two bug reports linked in the request.
    1. Renaming / deletion should definitely be possible in the day after an upload; just as basic common sense. It's silly to have an arbitrary irreversible action that you could just have done differently on creation.
    2. Renaming / deletion for a few weeks after creation also makes sense, if the file is not in use.
    3. The arguments above are well-intentioned, but besides the point: a. Deletion doesn't change the license under which the deleted versions can be reused. It just changes whether those files/versions are visible to non-admins, or transcludable on other pages. b. Deletion is reversible, so there's a limit to how disruptive this can be. Conservative parameters (no older than a few weeks, not in use anywhere) + triviality of reversal would make the convenience available to all w/ little risk. –SJ talk  22:49, 23 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • There are two reasons not to do this. Firstly, deleting images that were once on a page damages the history of the page, as does deleting old versions of an image in the file history. This especially should not be done with images that were once in article space, but even in the user's own space, this may not be advisable. If the user has been doing something unconstructive with images, it is not beneficial to allow that to be hidden from the community as a whole. If there are constructive reasons for deletion that can still go through an admin. The second reason is that editors who have lost disputes or had an article deleted sometimes try to "withdraw" all their work from Wikipedia by deleting it in a tantrum. It is not helpful if they have a deletion tool to help them in that. SpinningSpark 12:25, 2 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]