The “Author” role is convenient for allowing multiple users to contribute content to a wordpress website. Whilst Authors can only see their own posts, the media files they use for those posts are shared collectively. An author can view all the images, documents and videos other authors and users are viewing through the Media Library, which can be accessed in two ways:

  1. Selecting Media > Library in the Administration Menu
  2. Within Add Media dialog from the post edit screen (This appears when you click the Upload/Insert Icon or Set Featured Image)

This, as you can imagine, can amount to confusion at best, and at worst - well a malicious author could destroy the files of the other authors.

To fix this, include this little snippet into your functions.php file. Now authors can only access their own media files:

For more information, see the full list of capabilities for an Author.

Photo credit: WordPress Pumpkin by Eric Martin, on Flickr