Uploads being abused

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Uploads seemingly being abused?[edit]

2002/2/24 - If you go and have a look at the upload log, it seems much of the material is distinctly non-encyclopedic and a substantial fraction is copyrighted material. I'm not sure whether this is a policy question, feature request, or bug report, but something's got to be done. Could we restrict uploads to registered users, perhaps? --Robert Merkel

I agree 100%. I've already have had to overwrite several copyrighted binaries with text files of the same name: Calc.exe, Mspaint.exe, PPbanner.jpg (which was a copyrighted porn banner add), limp bizkit - fuck slipknot.mp3 and a couple of others. There still are about a dozen uploaded files that are questionable. Included in this category are several images that appear to the commercial property of "Never Take Shit" (whatever that is). There also appears to be a digital book of The Fellowship of the Rings in a PalmOS format. This is serious, under the w:DMCA Wikipedia could be shut down overnight by a simple letter from a copyright holder. maveric149
Sheesh, there's a ton of stuff in there now which doesn't look like it belongs in an encyclopedia. What would really help is some way of finding out what uploads are linked to from which Wikipedia articles. That way it'd be easy to spot which aren't linked at all, and which are linked to from inappropriate articles. Bryan Derksen
Also, just noticed that the link to the upload log on the Uploads page is broken. The link is http://www.wikipedia.com/wiki/special%3Aupload?title=Log:Uploads which just takes you right back to the uploads page. Bryan Derksen

Looks like one of the primary people abusing the upload utility created an account with the oh so original name w:User:Lod69 (The person really is into something called "LOD"). maveric149

Larry also seems to have noticed the problem, and has deleted most of the offending material (see w:Log:Uploads). There still are some text files with names like Calc.exe, The Fellowship of the Rings.pdb, Mspaint.exe, and the former porn banner PPbanner.jpg, that Bryan and I uploaded to overwrite copyrighted material. I can see now that is was a bad idea for Bomis to let him go. Everything ran much more smoothly when he was on the wiki 40+ hours a week. maveric149


From w:wikipedia-L, Thread 309


Larry Sanger wrote:
> I agree 100% that this is a problem. Last night I deleted several dozen
> files that someone had overwritten as being (obviously) inappropriate for
> Wikipedia articles. I was a little concerned from the beginning that
> having virtually no restrictions on the upload function would have this
> effect, so it's not too surprising that this is happening.

From a general, Wiki-philosophical-social aspect, it is interesting
that the upload function gets abused, while general Wiki pages do not.
In another Wiki, I added a quick input box at the bottom of each page,
where any reader could input a question that would be added to the end
of the page, without passing through the normal edit form. That
feature got abused too (or maybe users mistook it for a search form),
so I had to remove that feature. Seems there are some cases where
open contributions work and some where they don't, as if pressing the
"save" button makes people think twice.

Perhaps the uploads should be visible in the RecentChanges list?
Perhaps there should be a "view other versions" for each upload?
Perhaps a Wikipage in the upload: namespace for each uploaded object?


--

 Lars Aronsson
<lars@aronsson.se>
tel +46-70-7891609
http://aronsson.se/ http://elektrosmog.nu/ http://susning.nu/

--__--__--

Message: 9 Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002 11:16:58 -0800 (PST)
From: Larry Sanger <lsanger@nupedia.com>
To: <wikipedia-l@nupedia.com>
cc: <wikitech-l@nupedia.com>
Subject: [Wikipedia-l] Uploader requirements
Reply-To: wikipedia-l@nupedia.com

We just never gave the programmers a good set of requirements for the
uploader.

On Mon, 25 Feb 2002, Lars Aronsson wrote:

> Larry Sanger wrote:
> > I agree 100% that this is a problem. Last night I deleted several dozen
> > files that someone had overwritten as being (obviously) inappropriate for
> > Wikipedia articles. I was a little concerned from the beginning that
> > having virtually no restrictions on the upload function would have this
> > effect, so it's not too surprising that this is happening.
> > >From a general, Wiki-philosophical-social aspect, it is interesting
> that the upload function gets abused, while general Wiki pages do not.

Actually, there's a good reason for it: the images aren't obviously linked
to anything in any article. This is an ABSOLUTELY essential piece of
information to have: what articles *use* the image in question? If no
article uses an image after 24 hours, perhaps we should delete the image
(or put it in a queue to be deleted by a human). So, the point is,
without a context, unless some image is at face value obviously worthless
to any Wikipedia article (e.g., porn advertisements), it's difficult for
us to tell whether an image really is appropriate for the 'pedia. It
would even make it easier for us to determine whether an image is
copyrighted.

One way around this would be to attach images to unique articles, so that
the uploading of an image would be logged in a particular article's
history. I don't know if I like this suggestion, though, I'm just
throwing it out there for your consideration.

Here's another thing we need in that upload form. We should ask people to
choose: (1) I have created this image and release it under the GNU FDL (or
contribute it to Wikipedia); (2) I personally certify that this image is
public domain (if checked, add a text box requiring that a source be
given--a URL or else a book title, say); (3) other? If none are checked,
then the uploader wouldn't accept the article.

Under some schemes we might want (1) to require that the uploader identify
which article the image is going to be used in, and (2) to check that the
image title is linked to from that article. But (1) might be done
automatically, I guess...

Doing these things would remove a fair bit of the abuse. It would
certainly make it a lot easier for the community to act as a check on the
abuse.

> Perhaps the uploads should be visible in the RecentChanges list?

They already are, sort of--but each one individually should be, which
isn't the case now.

> Perhaps there should be a "view other versions" for each upload?

Maybe--would prevent people from uploading porn in place of legit images,
for instance.

> Perhaps a Wikipage in the upload: namespace for each uploaded object?

Maybe...?

Larry


--__--__--


Thanks for adding the above here, maveric149.

Just to add one thing to the above: it would be a semi-disaster if some vandal were to come in with a script that overwrote all our legit files. In view of that threat, it'd be good to save the history of each filename.

--- Another suggestion would be to limit what could be uploaded. So I can't imagine we would ever want to allow exe files to be uploaded (partly because we're not a software archive, but mainly because we wouldn't know what harm an exe could do). Similarly we might allow mp3 files, but less than X megs (to allow for somebody posting a copy of a Kennedy speech, but preventing the posting of songs). In fact we could probably only allow png/gif/jpg, mp3/ogg/wav. Just a thought - verloren


On this topic, do you think it would be ok for me to upload ~18,000 gif images over the next couple of months? I figure, this week I'll do Maine and its counties and after that I can do maps for each town and city. How much space do you guys have? --Rlee0001 (wikipedia user, not signed in here)

Please check out Wikipediatlas. Those maps look far nicer and have a chance of being a standard. --Maveric149