Enhancing Video Uploads on Wikimedia Commons: facilitating video contests and campaigns

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Many Wikimedians concur on the importance of enhancing video content across our wiki projects, which currently remain predominantly text and image-oriented.It’s a topic that has sparked a lot of debate recently on the mailing list Wikimedia-l.

It’s widely recognized that there’s an escalating preference among the younger generation for video content over traditional text-based formats. This inclination is often attributed to factors such as shorter attention spans, the rise of visual communication platforms, and the ease of accessing video content on mobile devices.

Videos are more engaging and capture the viewer’s attention more effectively than text or static images. 

The decision to incorporate video content on Wikipedia involves various considerations, including maintaining a neutral point of view, ensuring verifiability, and avoiding copyright infringement. While videos can be valuable for certain types of content, they also introduce additional challenges related to quality, sourcing, and accessibility.

In 2020 and as part of the strategy talks, I tried to bring up this topic and to link it to the Recommendation 9: Innovate in Free Knowledge. Through a lightning talk, I sought explore ways to enhance video content, specifically by simplifying the upload process.

As we are aware, not all video formats are compatible with Commons, posing a challenge for users accustomed to easily uploading their videos to platforms like YouTube, TikTok or Instagram. This challenge became evident during a video contest organized by the Wiki World Heritage User Group to showcase UNESCO cultural heritage.

While the video2commons tool offers a valuable solution for transferring videos from YouTube or uploading without worrying about the format, it poses a challenge when it comes to linking uploaded videos to a specific Commons category, as is often necessary when organizing contests and campaigns.

On the other hand, default uploads on Commons require users to convert their videos to an accepted format using third-party websites, or software before uploading. This process has proven to be daunting and demotivating.

Recognizing this challenge, we paused the campaign to brainstorm ways to enhance the upload process. During Wikimania 2023, myself, Nassima , Houcemeddine, and Gopa convened to discuss this issue and explore solutions using the amazing tool VideoCutTool.

Following a fruitful discussion, we reached a consensus that integrating VideoCutTool VCT as the primary upload tool, with the ability to embed a predefined category, would greatly simplify the process.

Subsequently, a Phabricator ticket was created, and thanks to Gopa and the community’s efforts, this feature was developed and seamlessly integrated into the tool.

With this new feature, a button can be added to a campaign page on Commons, pre-configured with a predefined category, and a link to VCT to initiate the upload process (with the caveat that the uploader must be logged in to VCT).


With this new feature, uploaders will benefit from the following:

  • Uploading their own videos without worrying about whether the format is acceptable or not.
  • Uploading their own videos without needing to determine which category the video should be assigned to.
  • Utilizing the standard tool capabilities to crop, trim, mix, and manage the sound while uploading the video.

From the campaign organizer’s perspective, this feature will enable the following:

  • Automatically saving the uploaded video to a predefined category, streamlining post-upload management.
  • Communicating only a link to the uploader to invite them to participate, without requiring them to convert their video beforehand.

Ultimately, from the Wiki movement’s standpoint, we anticipate that this feature will streamline the upload process and increase the video content available.

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