Page MenuHomePhabricator

Allow mobile app's users to share articles by generating image screenshots
Open, LowestPublic


In countries where governments would censor contents in Internet, Wikipedia is sometimes inaccessible for ordinary users. For example, the Chinese version of Wikipedia is blocked in most of the Chinese network, and users need to take extra efforts to bypass the Great Firewall.
Apps like New York Times Chinese has a feature, so users can share their articles by generating a snapshot images, which is much hard to censored than simply sharing the text itself. This feature somehow help the spread of New York Times Chinese's feed, and expanded the impact of sensitive information, especially in Chinese social networks like Wechat and Weibo, where dissent voices are heavily monitored and censored. I would like to see a similar feature in Wikipedia's mobile apps. and we can also discuss further improvements of this feature.

Event Timeline

Restricted Application added a subscriber: Aklapper. · View Herald TranscriptMar 11 2016, 4:23 PM
Aklapper renamed this task from Allow mobile app's users to share articles by generating snapshot to bypass censorship. to Allow mobile app's users to share articles by generating image screenshots.Mar 11 2016, 5:43 PM
Aklapper raised the priority of this task from Medium to Needs Triage.

Wondering: If this functionality was implemented as part of the mobile app itself (instead of a separate application), wouldn't that just make authorities try to block downloading that mobile app?

@Aklapper Most of the Chinese users, whether they are editors or readers, may somehow have abilities to bypass the Great Firewall, whether via VPN or proxies, because it is the only way they can reach Wikipedia. (Especially the now heavily-censored Chinese Edition)
For the concern that the app itself would be blocked. Actually the entire Google Play Store services is blocked by the authority already, and most of Chinese Android users download their apps from the own store of the device's manufacturer (Huawei, Xiaomi, etc). And some of these manufacturers have already remove Wikipedia from its store. I would like to express that users of Wikipedia would find a way to get the app, whether genuine or pirated, if the app is blocked.

Picture above: Without specific VPN, can't be access in China.

Aklapper triaged this task as Lowest priority.Mar 12 2016, 2:13 PM

Hi Adam, do you see this feature as worthy of being an Outreachy internship candidate( Dec 6 - March 6 ) ? There is one candidate currently who has shown interest.
Even if not for this round, can we *look* into the feasibility of the task for future?

Nes added a subscriber: Nes.Oct 5 2016, 8:24 PM
bearND added a subscriber: bearND.Oct 5 2016, 8:52 PM
bearND added a comment.Oct 7 2016, 5:58 AM

I would like to see more details in the description of how this would actually look like and behave, and what the concrete requirements are.

How is this different from the share-a-fact feature the Android Wikipedia app already has? With this feature you can select some text on a Wiki page which gets turned into an image for sharing it with other apps.

The share-a-fact feature only excerpt the previous pare of the selected text, and it doesn't contain pictures of the page.
The process of my proposed feature is like this: When the user click the share button of a Wikipedia page, he can choose to share by links or share by image. Share by image would create a long snapshot-like image of the page's content

bearND added a comment.Oct 7 2016, 7:06 AM

So, do you want the whole page as an image or just the text that the user currently sees? Pages can be pretty long.

Should references be included? Hmm, ok probably not.
Just one section, all sections, selected text? From your last comment I guess you want all sections except any reference sections.
What width, font size, etc.?

My point is that the requirements and design should be more fleshed out.

Jdlrobson moved this task from Needs triage to Triaged on the Mobile board.Jul 25 2017, 5:46 PM
srishakatux added a subscriber: srishakatux.

Removing the Possible-Tech-Projects tag as we are planning to kill it soon! This project does not seem to fit in the Outreach-Programs-Projects category in its current state, so I am not adding that tag right now!

Both the desktop web site and mobile web site allow downloading a PDF file with the full page content. Would a button added to the apps to allow downloading the PDF of the page be sufficient for this use case?