[Clipart] Deleting infringing clipart

Nathan Eady eady at galion.lib.oh.us
Wed Jul 21 10:10:37 PDT 2010

chovynz <chovynz at gmail.com> writes:

> I'm aware that you think we don't need a delete function for
> Librarians - due to "dangerous" permission levels for a Librarian to
> abuse those abilities. 

Not just abuse.  Even well-intentioned use of a real delete feature
would inevitably cause problems.  

The problem with traditional deletion is that it's irrevocable and can
lead to permanent data loss.  IMO, the only people who should have
delete capabilities are people who pretty much never use them.

People make mistakes.  Sometimes they hit the wrong button, or get
confused about which tab or window they're in, or just make a bad
call.  One of the BIG advantages of computers is that mistakes can be
corrected.  Why would we want to eliminate that advantage?

>   1. As a Librarian, it can be confusing to see a "hidden" clipart, if
>      given the direct link, when you are not logged in. Confusion isn't
>      good for librarians or admins, OR users since it complicates the
>      process of downloading. 

IMO, there are better ways to clear up this confusion than permanent
irrevocable deletion.  Perhaps the direct link to hidden cliparts
should show a "this image has been removed" banner, with a link
(available, perhaps, only to librarians) to show it anyway and/or
restore it.

>   2. As an anonymous user, you would not know if the clipart was hidden
>      or not, unless someone explained it to you. There is currently no
>      visual indicator to say if a clipart is hidden.

Then there should be.

But that doesn't mean it has to be permanently deleted.

>   3. "Hidden" clipart might not come up in the search or gallery, but
>      knowing human nature, if we have a direct link available, (and
>      anyone is able to read the mailing list archives) then anyone
>      (including anonymous users) can still download that infringing
>      clipart.

So make the "show anyway" feature only work for logged-in users, or
even only for librarians.

> Actual removal of the clipart (or a higher level of Hiding) will
> stop further infringement via OCAL, and it will remove confusion for
> all users. 

I'd vote for the higher level of hiding, rather than irrevocable

Although, if you want to change the terminology from "hidden" to
something stronger ("disabled", "removed from circulation",
"withdrawn", whatever), I wouldn't argue with that.

> Those are two good things in my books. At the very least, only the
> uploader and Librarians should be able to access any "hidden"
> clipart, even via direct link.

I can agree with that.

> As for thoughts on how to address these, If you really don't want to
> give Librarians the delete function, then perhaps I can suggest that
> one person be given that ability? that person will need to be
> contactable, and do their job of deletion within a reasonable
> timeframe and with good researching skills to see if that clipart
> really does need deleting. Or an automatic Database Job that once
> every two months, clipart with a certain system tag, gets deleted from
> the Library? Perhaps "Deletion" or something, applied and removable by
> Librarians only. 

I really don't see what would be accomplished by actual deletion.
Unless we run into some kind of problem with _extensive_ junk uploads,
to a degree that threatens to take up way more space than the useful
content, I think the "undoability" of mere hiding is a huge feature
that we would not want to throw away.

> On the other hand, I also think that Librarians need to be trusted
> to do their job (custodianship of the Library) and needs the tools
> to able to do their jobs. Clipart deletion, or permenant record
> removal from the Library, is one of those jobs. It's a high trust
> job, but a necessary one. 

I don't see how irrevocability is necessary.  Can you explain that?

Nathan Eady
Galion Public Library

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