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Censorship Wikipedia

Wikimedia Confusion Swirls In Wake of Porn Charges 267

Posted by kdawson
from the crisp-execution dept.
Contridictory stories are circulating after Fox News's pursuing of Wikimedia Foundation for hosting pornography reportedly resulted in Jimmy Wales personally removing some pornographic material from its servers, then giving up his special editing privileges under pressure. Fox News reported that Wikimedia is "in chaos"; this report was picked up by VentureBeat and others. Wales denies that there is any chaos (any more than usual, that is) at Wikimedia. The Fox News report apparently relied on a single unnamed source, and Wales said, "They don't even bother to contact me before publishing nonsense." The background: on April 27 Fox News published an exclusive report about porn on Wikimedia servers, then followed up by contacting organizations that had donated to Wikimedia to ask them what they thought about it. In the aftermath, Wales took a position in support of purging porn from Wikimedia Commons. This all started when estranged Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger contacted the FBI with an allegation of child porn on Wikipedia.
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Wikimedia Confusion Swirls In Wake of Porn Charges

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:09AM (#32233926)

    Oh, good. Seems like we haven't had a proper internet war since Usenet vs. Scientology or vi vs. emacs.

    Oh well, at least the right people usually win. What would've happened if Scientology or emacs had won?

  • You have to wonder (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bky1701 (979071) on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:10AM (#32233932) Homepage
    ... if Sanger saw this sort of thing coming.

    It has long been known to anyone who ever tried to contribute to Wikipedia just how much off the books power Wales has. Those who spent a particularly long amount of time there might remember the whole birth date fiasco, which basically pinned Wales against himself, much to the confusion of his many disciples.

    Sanger has to know Wales even better. It wouldn't be much to assume that he might have expected this sort of reaction. Indeed, this situation really threatens Wikipedia's standing as non-bias (specifically, censorship-free) and open, at least among those who didn't already know better. Could this be the straw that breaks Wikipedia? Did Sanger expect this?
    • by Trepidity (597)

      I'm guessing Sanger certainly hoped for some sort of media frenzy. He's spent the past eight years since he quit working on Wikipedia mostly trying to trade off the fact that he used to be involved in it.

      • Judas Priest people. Are you gonna start making pigs wear clothes, and babies cover their nakedness (ohnoes!). "Because God created it, the human body can remain nude and uncovered and preserve intact its splendor and its beauty." - Pope John Paul II

        THIS is not pornography: (Although it is not safe for work.) It is Homo sapiens in his natural state. And that is all the wikipedia shows - it does Not display pornography.
        http://www.domai.com/ [domai.com]

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by paiute (550198)

          It is Homo sapiens in his natural state.

          Don't go there expecting to see much naked his.

    • by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:50AM (#32234160)

      Normally, if you want to report a crime, you do it with an off the record quiet message to the authorities, which allows them to try to actually catch the people committing the crime in the act. Normally, if you want to get a project you are related to to stop doing something you worry might be a crime, you first contact the people responsible; especially those you believe aren't involved, and try to get them to do something about it. If, as it seems, Sanger went to the media first of all then that speaks volumes about his motivation.

      Having said that; Wales is probably an okay guy, but his position in Wikipedia has been totally inappropriate since his personal life and finances intruded on the project. Once Wikipedia set its self up as an independent foundation all his power should have been derived from some clear democratic process in that foundation. The stupid thing (and the one which shows that he's a completely inappropriate person for the role) is the fact that he could probably have quite easily got himself elected president of the board or something and then none of the arguments against him would be nearly as effective. What Sanger has done may be a bit late, but it's definitely one of the strongest hopes of strengthening the Wikipedia project.

    • by Protonk (599901) on Monday May 17, 2010 @05:17AM (#32234834) Homepage
      Considering that he's been making these kinds of comments on various subjects for a few years, no I don't think Larry saw it coming. I'm always amused by the deference granted to Sanger. He left a successful albeit chaotic project to form a total failure. He didn't fail because he lacked startup funds or media attention (he was funded and the newspapers ate up the Citizendium breakoff). He failed because he misjudged the nature of the internet--badly. What makes you think he has some grand strategic vision?
    • Indeed, this situation really threatens Wikipedia's standing as non-bias (specifically, censorship-free) and open, at least among those who didn't already know better. Could this be the straw that breaks Wikipedia?

      No... It might hurt your feelings if you hold Wikipedia to be a divine entity... However, wikipedia is a made up of Humans, and AFAIK we're pretty good to fail... That doesn't mean that wikipedia can't correct it.. It's not as if, Wikipedia is suddenly starting to support censorship all over the line... Just that maybe Wales, didn't think his every move fully through... Or that Fox will say what ever the **** they think will make people continue to watch their show...
      By the way, to say that wikipedia is in

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by pipatron (966506)

        By the way, to say that wikipedia is in chaos, based on a statement from a single unnamed source... is bad press ethics...

        Perhaps... Fox News is in chaos?

    • One has to wonder how much Fox News has been influenced by Jimmy Wales' former lover [wikipedia.org].

    • It has long been known to anyone who ever tried to contribute to Wikipedia just how much off the books power Wales has.

      Which he has, very publicly, given up at least (IIRC) three times.

    • by edremy (36408) on Monday May 17, 2010 @09:11AM (#32236028) Journal
      Saw it coming? He's doing everything he can to make it happen.

      Larry's been sending a bunch of emails to at least one mailing list I subscribe to (EDTECH) breathlessly discussing the legion of kiddie porn images on Wikipedia and how teachers need to ban all access to Wikipedia.

      The actual teachers, on the other hand, are mostly telling him to go away- they're already used to handling porn and other "forbidden" stuff in the classroom and it's simply not a big deal.

      I don't know if he's really, genuinely worried or if this is just a lever to hurt Wales, but frankly it's kind of annoying. (I'm not a big fan of Wales either, but Larry's so obviously grinding his axe here he's not converting me at least)

  • by BoldAC (735721) on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:11AM (#32233946)

    "Though he remains the president of the Wikimedia Foundation, Wales is no longer able to delete files, remove administrators, assign projects or edit any content, sources say. Essentially, they say, he has gone from having free reign over the content and people involved in the websites to having the same capabilities of a low-level administrator."

    Ignorance of the Masses => Democracy

    Will we actually notice any changes?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Will we actually notice any changes?

      Quite possibly. There have been many instances when Wikipedia's "consensus" (explicitly not democratic) decision-making completely failed and Wales stepped in as "the king" to make the final decision.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by tokul (682258)

      "Though he remains the president of the Wikimedia Foundation, Wales is no longer able to delete files, remove administrators, assign projects or edit any content, sources say. Essentially, they say, he has gone from having free reign over the content and people involved in the websites to having the same capabilities of a low-level administrator."

      If something belongs to somebody, they always have more privileges than low-level wikipedia admin. Do you really think that he can't restore his super privileges

    • by Trepidity (597)

      In the other direction, though, Wales has not in recent memory had unlimited use of any of those powers in practice. He had some bits set that gave him a bunch of admin privileges, but if he ever tried to use them, as he did here, you can see what the result would be: he was reverted and forced to back down. So I don't think the removal of bits is a particularly important change; then, as now, his primary power is soft-power.

      • by bjourne (1034822) on Monday May 17, 2010 @03:23AM (#32234306) Homepage Journal
        Your memory must be very short. Wales usually gets involved in a small number of conflicts which become landmark cases that everyone has to adjust to. It was his votes that forced the removal of the autofellatio photos and decided that the vagina and clitoris photos were to sexual. Previously, he has even been involved in the Palestine conflict, pruning some articles he thought were "unbalanced." Plus, let's not forget the time he tried to purge the "co-founder of Wikipedia" status from Larry Sanger [wikipedia.org].
        • by Trepidity (597)

          Early on, yes (and I've been around since then, too). My comment is mostly referring to the past five years. The autofellatio and Sanger-editing incidents were in 2005, and incidentally, he didn't prevail on the latter one. The Rachel Madsen incident happened in 2007, and he did pretty much the opposite of prevailing on that one.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "Though he remains the president of the Wikimedia Foundation, Wales is no longer able to delete files, remove administrators, assign projects or edit any content, sources say. Essentially, they say, he has gone from having free reign over the content and people involved in the websites to having the same capabilities of a low-level administrator."

      Uh... on Wikipedia, the capabilities of a low-level administrator include being able to delete files, assign projects and edit content. And yes, he can still do those things too.

  • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:12AM (#32233960) Homepage

    I can't wait for Murdoch to get soundly trounced by the internet he hates so much.

    • by sa1lnr (669048) on Monday May 17, 2010 @03:46AM (#32234422)

      Murdoch against porn?

      http://www.page3.com/ [page3.com]

      • by xaxa (988988) on Monday May 17, 2010 @06:06AM (#32235004)

        Wikipedia against "child" (by USA standards, and the more recent British standards) porn

        The Sun and other British tabloids have also provoked controversy by featuring girls as young as 16 as topless models. Samantha Fox, Maria Whittaker, Debee Ashby, and many others began their topless modelling careers in The Sun at that age, while the Daily Sport was even known to count down the days until it could feature a teenage girl topless on her 16th birthday, as it did with Linsey Dawn McKenzie in 1994, among others. Although such photographs were legally permissible in the United Kingdom under the Protection of Children Act 1978, critics noted the irony of Murdoch's Sun and News of the World newspapers calling for stricter laws on the sexual abuse of minors, including the public identification of released pedophiles, while publishing topless photographs of girls whom many other jurisdictions would legally classify as underage minors.[8] Controversy over these young models ended when the Sexual Offences Act 2003 raised the minimum age for topless modelling to 18.

        (From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org])

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by mdwh2 (535323)

          The Sun are guilty of much hypocrisy - but sorry, doing something that is legal, and only illegal elsewhere is not one of them. It would be absurd as criticising the Wikipedia (hosted in the US) Virgin Killers article, because it might be illegal in places like the UK.

          A better example would be, as you note earlier in your comment, the habit of certain tabloids focusing on celebrities approaching 16 (most notably the Daily Star, who did this on one page, and then on the opposite page they were slagging off t

          • by mdwh2 (535323)

            Er Flamebait? Did Larry Sanger get mods points, or is a mod here seriously suggesting that papers and Wikipedia should be constrained by what's illegal in other countries, even if it's legal for them?

        • Nudity of a human body, whether that body is 60, 16, or 6, is not a crime. Every day (when it's warm) millions of people around the world run-around topless or naked on beaches, or in nudist camps. Many of them even take photos and stick them in their family albums. Civilization has not collapsed.

    • by nospam007 (722110) *

      We gave him all that Avatar money, so the wait can be long.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:13AM (#32233962)

    Larry Sanger totally and completely discredited himself by starting this allegation fiasco. From a pursuer of an alternative editing strategy (which, despite shortcomings, was addressing a real (or perceived as real) problem of content quality of Wikipedia due to editorial policy, he turned himself into a cheapshot troll that will resort to the dirtiest tactic possible to attract attention. Even if his allegations were genuine (which clearly they aren't, on numerous points of principle), he'll never be able to get over the sour grapes analogy which will forever become his soubriquet.

    Even the minor PR damage caused to Wales (and I really think Wales was just looking for a reason/excuse to give up his adminship, as he was realizing "benevolent dictatorship" was no longer a fitting model for a project the scope and developmental maturity of Wikipedia) will not outweight the devastating damage to any professional reputation Sanger still had before this point.

    Bye Larry. From a legitimate oppositioner to a resentful clown, all by a single, stupid, stupid decision. How sad.

    • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:40AM (#32234122) Journal

      Actually I don't blame Larry at all, in this witch hunt anyone that goes for the CYA strategy is just showing they have a brain. I mean we are living in an age where a drawing [themorningstarr.co.uk], no matter how crude [stuff.co.nz], and that involves no real children what so ever can get someone sent to PMITA prison depending on their location.

      The simple fact is it has long since quit being about "protecting the children" and become a classic witch hunt where I doubt anyone is truly safe if they end up with a zealous prosecutor and a hang 'em high judge. Is that an elf in the game you are playing? Looks like she might be loli! Hell we are gonna have to have every single fantasy/Sci Fi book have a porn style "all models depicted or described in this work was over 18" in the front of the book just to keep from risking jail!

      So don't blame the guy for CYA when it is the whole system that is completely fucked. I mean you can go to prison just for having words on a page [canadaeast.com] nowadays, so just the fact that he accessed those pages on his PC without reporting them could have landed the guy a jail sentence. I mean, what would you have him do, keep a stack of HDDs handy so he can burn his drive every time he accessed Wikimedia, in case something got cached? If you don't like this horseshit, write to your elected officials and try to organize your fellow citizens to get the laws overturned. Of course you'll probably be labeled a kiddy fiddler by the MSM and have your place raided, but that's what happens when you have a witch hunt and why most people will go for a CYA in this crazy time.

      • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdo ... org minus author> on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:54AM (#32234178)

        Somehow I doubt Sangers actually feared being prosecuted. I agree the laws are nonsense, but when something's being openly hosted and accessed by thousands of people, the most likely people to be prosecuted are those hosting it, and Wikimedia had not been prosecuted for hosting any materials despite having these up for a long time. That makes the likelihood of some random visitor being prosecuted quite small, and I find it unlikely Sangers really believed he was in danger of being prosecuted. More likely, he: 1) hates Wikipedia, so wants to do anything he can to bring it down; and 2) is a media whore.

      • by Protoslo (752870) on Monday May 17, 2010 @03:54AM (#32234474)
        You don't blame Sanger for being an unmitigated FUD-slinging asshole who is ostensibly using the law as his personal weapon, but who really knows that it doesn't matter that his charges have no legal merit as long as it gets him enough press?

        I doubt even Sanger himself would embrace such audacious apologism (in private).

        Incidentally, exactly who was holding a gun to his head, forcing him to attempt to find every last bit of nudity-related material on Wikipedia? By his own account, he was unaware that Wikipedia was such a den of iniquity until he started scouring it for anything he could call porn while promoting his new (children's) website. Even if what you said about the law were true (it isn't that bad in the U.S., yet), how could you possibly defend him for throwing fuel on the fire? It is taking all of my willpower not to Godwin myself here. That's the sort of argument you are making.

        I blame you for excusing Sanger's self-serving assault on free speech just because assaults on freedom are popular in the current political climate. It would be one thing to say that his actions are "understandable" (though I would still say it is complete bullshit to claim good faith on Sanger's part), but to claim that they are actually reasonable or even ethical? Your arguments themselves constitute an assault on free speech.
      • by silentcoder (1241496) on Monday May 17, 2010 @04:34AM (#32234636) Homepage

        You know... I went and read that link you posted about fictional writing, and with only a few small exceptions every single commenter was declaring that the punishment wasn't severe enough.
        How sad.

        Where would the law draw THAT line then ? Canada's law prohibits fictional writing about sex involving children... well I guess it's illegal to read Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliette in Canada then. Every single line in that play is a thinly veiled sexual refference, every single word they say is flirtatious and promising of sex. Juliette goes so far as to decry having to wait longer "to be enjoyed"... and according to the script... she is 12 years old.

        Times change. In the 1600's a 12 year old girl was considered a grown woman and the average age of marriage was between 12 and 15 (you know that whole wait-till-you-marry idea must have been a LOT easier when that meant 2 years after puberty rather than about 20 like now) - point is.
        By modern standards, Julliete was a child, way below the age of consent for just about any country. If we ban the stories this man had, we have to ban Shakespeare... well we wouldn't be first I guess.
        Hell old Bowdler actually deemed himself justified to have the audacity to rewrite Shakespeare and remove the sex...

        I didn't start my comment with "I hate childporn but..." - because it's a sign off the witch-hunt that everybody who shows a little reason in these matters feel the need to do that. Stallman spoke out against the witchhunt, and got a bunch of the Novellian New-breed OSS'ers calling him a paedohphile for it.
        It seems humanity will never learn, witch-hunts are never just -and whatever atrocity leads to a witch-hunt, the one thing you can be sure of is that the witch-hunt will do nothing to reduce it. All it will do - is remove justice and freedoms from a whole lot of innocent people. My claim that censorship is never a good thing rest firstly on the fact that no matter how noble it's cause, it's never effective in any positive way - but it always has many negative effects.

        Thank goodness I got to study Shakespeare BEFORE we Romeo and Juliette became illegal.

        • by tehcyder (746570)

          Where would the law draw THAT line then ? Canada's law prohibits fictional writing about sex involving children... well I guess it's illegal to read Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliette in Canada then. Every single line in that play is a thinly veiled sexual refference, every single word they say is flirtatious and promising of sex. Juliette goes so far as to decry having to wait longer "to be enjoyed"... and according to the script... she is 12 years old.

          Yes, but there's no actual fucking on stage, so it sho

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by silentcoder (1241496)

            >Yes, but there's no actual fucking on stage, so it should be OK.

            So a girl of 12 lying in bed dreaming out loud of her boy fucking her tomorrow is okay. At least some scholars believe that it was Shakespeare's intent to suggest she is masturbating while thinking about it - though of course hidden enough to pass the censhorship of the day. Several later stage productions show her in bed under the blankets with suggestive movements to reinforce this point. Even the 1996 movie with Leo DiCaprio very strongl

      • by Protonk (599901)
        It's not CYA. Sanger hasn't been involved in wikipedia for almost half a decade. Sanger had hoped that his new project (Citizendium) would have taken off, but it didn't, so he spends his time making random comments about Wikipedia. Trolling and nonsense mostly.
      • It is an odd society that we live in, in which Harry Potter fan-fic is considered child pornography, even though no children were victimized.

  • Well, duh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:15AM (#32233978)

    "They don't even bother to contact me before publishing nonsense."

    FOX is in the business of publishing nonsense.

    • Re:Well, duh. (Score:5, Informative)

      by sznupi (719324) on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:23AM (#32234028) Homepage

      How much of an "accident" this story could have been anyway, considering views [conservapedia.com] probably dear [conservapedia.com] to many FOX faithfull [conservapedia.com]? (just search for "porn" on those pages; too much to link to specifically or there are no article sublinks)

      • Is conservapedia a joke site serious or a bit of both? I've always been curious. I imagine it attracts people serious about it and people that can't believe its serious and think it is hilarious.
        • by dave420 (699308)
          The actual users of it think it's fantastically serious. Lots of people, though, laugh their asses off at it. As you can see from merely visiting it, editing it is a much harder endeavour, and all changes are watched very closely. It's retarded.
        • Re: Well, duh. (Score:3, Informative)

          by Black Parrot (19622)

          Is conservapedia a joke site serious or a bit of both?

          The Schafly geniuses are deeply involved, so at least some of them think it's serious.

          I'd be surprised if there weren't plenty of trolls too, unless editing privileges are restricted to insiders.

  • by NicenessHimself (619194) on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:19AM (#32234006)
    Fox have successfully created a news story from nothing; the ringing up of donors is a classic. Whatever you think of Fox's agenda, they did what they do very well on this one!
  • To Be Expected (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DarkDespair5 (1179263) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <5riapseDkraD>> on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:21AM (#32234018)
    As soon as censorship is mentioned, media coverage (pro and anti) will jump in the fray. Not good for an organization committed to facts (in principle, anyway), not controversy. Fox and "family" groups will always contend Wikipedia is not going far enough regardless of anything they do. What I see happening (unfortunately) is the de-sexualization of topics (i.e. stick figures for examples and clinical language for descriptions) now that this can of worms has opened. This will inevitably lead to a loss of information, as Wikipedia's rabid destruction of lists and articles on rare subjects has told us time and time again.
    • Wikipedia is not committed to facts. The David Rhodes media blackout proved that wikipedia is political and not an unbiased resource. We simply want facts from wikipedia, nothing more, nothing less.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dangitman (862676)

        We simply want facts from wikipedia, nothing more, nothing less.

        That's not possible from any source. The creation of "facts" is always a subjective and fraught process.

  • Fox "News" (Score:3, Funny)

    by DerKlempner (249063) on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:29AM (#32234052) Homepage

    Fox News reported that Wikimedia is "in chaos"

    Hello, pot; it's me, kettle!

  • Deal with child pornographers by kicking them out of your community and make sure they're not welcome back. Do everything you can to make sure their actions and their viewpoints are totally unwelcome. Child porn is a hideous crime. But the internet wasn't the start and deleting it from there won't be the end of it. Some people abuse the service. It's not the service, it's the users. It's obvious this wasn't Sanger's or wikipedia's fault, or for that matter FOX. The internet routes around faults, after
  • by Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:32AM (#32234068)

    No one will die, if Wiki has a few porn images.

    Fox News, Cheerleaded an illegal war that resulted in over a million + dead.

    Porn > War

    Porn > Fox News

    Porn > All Religions

    Porn = Normal.

    Wiki... Do your porn thing baby.

    • The summary is a bit inaccurate, which is okay considering the original charges appear to be inaccurate, or rather completely wrong, as well. But Fox news was accusing* wiki of hosting -child porn- not just regular porn.

      *accusing here in the sense of "finding one anonymous source willing to say what you want to broadcast to the world and then quoting them." Some people find this more credible than if Fox news were to just say it outright "We accuse Wikimedia of hosting child porn and to prove it we are go

  • Next target (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gmuslera (3436) on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:47AM (#32234146) Homepage Journal
    Medical books, specially pediatric ones, if they show any picture of the topic of the book.
    • exactly (Score:5, Informative)

      by commodoresloat (172735) * on Monday May 17, 2010 @03:53AM (#32234466)

      according to the article, the "pornography" at issue were all drawings, some under the "pedophilia" category and others under the "lolicon" category. All cartoon images, it seems, and all descriptive of the subject matter they're supposed to illustrate. It's an encyclopedia.

      The problem is that there's a guy in jail for lolicon in the US so Sanger figured he could get Wikipedia in trouble by calling the FBI about it. I mean, can you believe this guy? "I’m going to sound really old fashioned, but I felt that it was my duty." Yeah right.

    • by Renraku (518261) on Monday May 17, 2010 @04:02AM (#32234510) Homepage

      All people in possession of one of these books should be jailed pursuant to the set of child pornography laws. Teaching pediatrics is only for filthy perverts who should be hung by the balls and shot! Anyone who has a child actually come out of their body should also be imprisoned for rape. Emergency room personnel who witness a child being treated should be jailed as well.

      • by Jesus_666 (702802)
        In addition, all children should be jailed for providing one of the key ingredients of child pornography. In fact, since they still continue to do so in jail, they should all receive capital punishment.
  • Hysteria can bring down a civilization.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...More like Fox News published a story with one anonymous source that didn't say anything significant, and kdawson decided to take it seriously for some bizarre reason.

  • by DrXym (126579) on Monday May 17, 2010 @04:34AM (#32234634)
    Wikipedia has always spats, disputes and disagreements that can be inflated into news but considering the number of people involved is that surprising?

    I suspect that Fox & others like to pour hate on it because it's easy and cheap to do so. There is always someone with a a bruised ego (e.g. perennial cry babies like Larry Sanger) and with so many disputed articles, it's not hard to sensationalize some angle. In the case of Fox I think they are also motivated to pour hate on the site because (despite its flaws) does strive for impartiality, citation and a neutral point of view. It's also free.

  • Fox 'News' (Score:5, Informative)

    by unity100 (970058) on Monday May 17, 2010 @05:18AM (#32234836) Homepage Journal
    rupert murdoch's shit. the channel which defended itself with not being a news channel, but 'opinionated entertainment' in court when sued for FALSIFIED news and lies.

    really, such a channel which itself says we are not a news channel, but keeps on spewing falsifications and lies can stay open only in america, and through the power of money.
  • by _0rm_ (1638559)
    Sounds like Faux News making a big deal about rumors and gossip.
  • by couchslug (175151) on Monday May 17, 2010 @06:16AM (#32235032)

    ...any insufficiently moderated forum will turn into 4chan.

  • by 3seas (184403) on Monday May 17, 2010 @06:47AM (#32235180) Journal

    As Wikipedia is a "Hear-Say" Site, any porn must have been posted or found elsewhere and under a compatible license. Otherwise those posting are violating Wikipedia rules.

    Don't nobody claim its not a hear-say site, because by its own rules that is exactly what it is.

    With this in mind, Wikipedia may be guilty, and even guilty of biased and unfair articles, but they are not the originating source.
    In fact there is a trace as to who or what IP posted such.

    What this means is that if Wikipedia is busted and charged with crime then it means anyone who wants to do you harm all they habe to do is get "illegal conmtent" on your personal system and then call the authorities.

    Being setup and entrapped is dangerous game, where the authorities acting on such enough or in a big way (as can happen here) can really undermine such authority in the public's eyes.

    And who has motive to do something like this?

  • by SharpFang (651121) on Monday May 17, 2010 @07:08AM (#32235274) Homepage Journal

    While main focus of Wikipedia are historical articles about things that happened in the past (and either passed away or continue to exist and function), both Wikipedia main page [wikipedia.org] and Wikinews [wikinews.org] have a high quality recent news - independent, free, ad free, from all over the world, with no corporate control, in essence everything Fox is opposed to.

    So attacking Wikipedia is simply attacking the competitor.

  • Serious FUD by OP (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RichiH (749257) on Monday May 17, 2010 @07:15AM (#32235306) Homepage

    Jimmy Wales personally removing some pornographic material from its servers

    Did OP see the images? I looked at every single one directly after Sanger went to Faux News and while _some_ of them were definitely sexual in content and _some_ of them depicted adults forcing themselves onto children, they were not pornographic. We are talking age-old black-and-white prints. The best approximation I could come up with is http://www.gedichte-lyrik-poesie.de/Busch_Das_Bad_am_Samstagabend/Wilhelm_Busch_Bad_am_Samstagabend.gif [gedichte-lyrik-poesie.de] (I forgot the name of the artist who did the images in question). Linked pic actually shows bare skin and is a _lot_ more detailed and refined than the works in question, though. Go figure.

    then giving up his special editing privileges under pressure

    Wrong again. Wales removed some special rights from the Founder group which he has anyway by means of being a Steward. The Founder group has one member and was created after Wales left the board proper. Go figure.

    So yah, the "Wikimedia Confusion" does exist, at least in the mind of OP. Instead of posting, he should have read up on the matter, though. And please stop calling those images porn. They are not. And by talking about 'porn' unopposed, Sanger, Faux and the other people with a personal agenda win by default.

    PS: Even though the Wikimedia Foundation is based in the USA, the world is not and can not be bound by US conservative morals. Laws yes, morals no.

    PPS: I hope they move to Iceland.

  • It's guess corporations and politicians have started to see the futility in trying to edit Wikipedia to their choosing, so now it's time to move on to outright destruction. And hey, it looks like there's a petty closet case with inside access that could be usable!
  • Editor in Charge (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Herkum01 (592704) on Monday May 17, 2010 @08:39AM (#32235754)

    Sounds like they hired J. Jonah Jameson to run their news network. I guess they did not realize they guy came from a comic book instead of a role model from journalism school.

  • by Animats (122034) on Monday May 17, 2010 @12:56PM (#32239582) Homepage

    On the English Wikipedia, this was an issue, and it was dealt with through Wikipedia's usual mechanisms. Someone ran a program to make a list of images actually used in Wikipedia. Others went down that list, and put most of those images through "deletion review". Each one was voted on; most of them were restored. Images that nobody asked to have restored remain deleted. Essentially all the historical images were restored. Some of the junkier stuff was voted off the island. That all took place within a few days, and wasn't particularly contentious. On Wikipedia, this is now a closed issue. On Commons, which is administered by different people, there's still a discussion [wikimedia.org] going on.

    Understand that you can upload images separately to Wikipedia or to the Wikimedia Commons. If you upload an image to Wikipedia, and it's not currently used in an article, it will be automatically deleted after a few weeks. So if others delete the image link in the article, and it stays deleted, after a while, the image file is deleted too. Commons, though, has a policy that "by custom the uploading of small numbers of images for use on a personal Commons user page is allowed." Some people try to use Commons as if it were Flickr, and if they don't overdo it, that's tolerated. A few people uploaded their porn collection. That seems to be the cause of the difficulty.

    Complicating this is a system which automatically moves images that have been on the English Wikipedia for a while to Commons, changes the links to point to the copy on Commons, and deletes the copy on Wikipedia. This is intended to make images available to all the other language versions of Wikipedia, rather than having a separate copy for each language version. The assumption has been that nothing that went through that move would ever be deleted from Commons. When some images moved via that process were deleted, many Wikipedia editors were very bothered. Automatic movement of images to Commons was shut down for a while. There isn't a way to determine if an image on Commons is used on any wiki (there's a way for each wiki, but no global backlink search.). So automatically separating single-user personal stuff from images used in real articles is not currently implemented. I suspect that will be fixed.

    On the governance side, it was pointed out that Wales isn't the head of the Wikimedia foundation any more. He's just a member of the board of directors. If he wanted to do this through the board, he can call a board meeting and try to get them to pass a resolution to change policy. He didn't take that route. As others pointed out, if anybody else did what Wales did, they'd be blocked. The general consensus is that Wales was out of line. Wales gave up some privileges, and the issue isn't even active in the dispute resolution system.

    All in all, this was well handled. Wikipedia has had far worse disputes.

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