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Wikimedia Censors Wikinews 180

An anonymous reader writes "Wikileaks has revealed that the Wikimedia Foundation Board (which controls Wikipedia and Wikinews) has killed off a Wikinews report into the Barbara Bauer vs. Wikimedia Foundation lawsuit. Wikinews is a collaborative news site and is meant to be editorially independent from the WMF. The WMF office also suppressed a Wikinews investigation into child and other pornography on Wikipedia, which was independently covered by ValleyWag and other outlets this week. The US Communications Deceny Act section 230 grants providers of internet services (such as the Wikipedia and Wikinews) immunity from legal action related to their user-generated content provided they do not exercise pre-publication control. In deleting articles critical of the WMF prior to publication, Wikileaks says the Wikimedia Foundation may have set a dangerous precedent that could remove all of its CDA section 230 immunity (at least for Wikinews, where the control was exercised)."
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Wikimedia Censors Wikinews

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  • I'm just guessing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 17, 2008 @01:19PM (#23446524)
    But is this due to a gag order? It seems likely.
  • by pherthyl ( 445706 ) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @02:34PM (#23446946)
    How was this ever allowed on an album cover?
  • Re:OK... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustinOpinion ( 1246824 ) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @02:37PM (#23446968)
    You actually missed one of the wiki* in this conflict. In particular, Wikileaks [] is reporting that the Wikimedia Foundation [] is suppressing a news item on Wikinews [] about Wikipedia [].

    It's also worth noting that all of the above sites are managed using the MediaWiki [] software.
  • by xaxa ( 988988 ) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @02:58PM (#23447118)

    How was this ever allowed on an album cover?
    It's art. Do you find it sexually attractive? I don't. It's normal to see a naked child and not be aroused, that's one reason adults look different to children.

    It's not normal to see the picture and run round screaming about paedophilia while calling the thought police.

    Remember Nevermind [], by Nirvana? It has a picture of a baby boy, you can see his penis. At the time 'Cobain made it clear that the only compromise he would accept was a sticker covering the penis that would say "If you're offended by this, you must be a closet pedophile."'

    Do you remember what your own penis looked like when you were 5? Haha! You're a paedophile now, because you're imagining a 5-year-old's penis!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 17, 2008 @03:24PM (#23447248)
    There's a reason why nothing is "blocking out her breasts": because she doesn't have breasts. And breasts are visible in just about every soap ad in Europe, plus half of Renaissance nude paintings and sculptures depict "underage" (meaning under-18) models, so what is the big deal? The girl in the CD cover has already said she's perfectly fine with it. Maybe she needs a good dose of therapy to convince her that she's been abused.

    Seriously, this article talks abous censorship but it looks like this "investigation" is the one trying to apply warped USA "morals" to what the (worldwide) users of Wikipedia can and cannot see or include in the articles.

    Maybe you should set up a firewall like China so you're not exposed to "dangerous" ideas, such as the fact that women have breasts?

    Australia got the convicts, the USA got the puritans. It's pretty obvious who drew the short straw.
  • by joeman3429 ( 1288786 ) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @03:41PM (#23447350)
    it doesn't matter what we want for our daughters. Ask the girl (now woman) what she thinks, and ask her parents. Our opinions don't matter
  • Re:OK... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mr6 ( 824590 ) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @03:53PM (#23447420) Journal

    Let me get this straight. WikiLeaks is reporting that Wikinews suppressed an article on Wikipeida about WikiPorn? Now, the WikiInvestigators are ....I've gone cross eyed...
    I think, and this is just my personal musing, the wikipedia has become devalued as a source for unbiased information because of all the 'goings on' there. Yes, I still use it, but find myself checking other online resources more, such as Encyclopaedia Britannica. If WP wants to regain any of it's reputation it needs, basically, to clean up it's act.
  • by pherthyl ( 445706 ) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @03:55PM (#23447434)

    It's art. Do you find it sexually attractive? I don't. It's normal to see a naked child and not be aroused, that's one reason adults look different to children.
    Sorry, if you don't understand the difference between a naked child and a child posed in a sexually suggestive manner, I can't help you.

    I have no problems with naked children running around the beach like is common in Europe. There is nothing sexual there, and the paranoia about that in north america is ridiculous.

    This cover is not innocent nakedness. It's obviously meant to be a suggestive pose, and I don't think that's ok.

    Remember Nevermind [], by Nirvana? It has a picture of a baby boy, you can see his penis.
    The fact that you're comparing those two pictures shows you don't understand the difference at all. That picture is just a picture. There is no deliberate sexual pose involved. It's basically just a picture of a child at play. The issue is not black and white like you are portraying it.
  • Please ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 17, 2008 @04:00PM (#23447454)
    I know it's very popular these days, but can we try to go a little easy on the Big Wikimedia Conspiracy for World Domination for once, and look at facts instead?

    A publishing agency (and not some poor innocent lady named Barbara Bauer) with known questionable reputation and practices has pressed charges against Wikimedia Foundation for reporting on these practices.

    The plaintiff call Wikipedia's reports "libel". The judge might call them "the truth about Barbara Bauer". Noone really knows before the case is settled.

    Then, Wikinews is reporting on this case. And due to the way the editing process that define Wikinews works, the reports on the case was most likely written by a unrelated volunteer contributor somewhere and not approved by the lawyers of Electronic Frontier Foundation's, who handles the case for Wikinews. The reports might even have quoted the supposed libelous statements.

    Now, Wikinews is owned by Wikimedia Foundation. Legally, Wikinews and its articles is the Wikimedia Foundation. In other words, the Wikipedia Foundation may (involuntarily) be publicly repeating the reports a questionable publishing agency have pressed charged over.

    How will the judge respond when he or she sees the Wikimedia Foundation repeating what might be offense under investigation, after the lawsuit was filed?

    Is it really wrong of Wikimedia Foundation to reverse reports they have been sued over, while the case is still pending?

    I don't know the details; if any has anything to add to the above assessment, please, fill us in.
  • by Frater 219 ( 1455 ) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @04:06PM (#23447486) Journal

    Of course, the Wikinews article was not deleted prior to publication. All Wikinews articles, even ones in development, are accessible by the public, and are therefore "published" in the sense of the law. Articles in development are simply not placed in as prominent of positions on the site as those which are considered to be finished.

    The claim that the Wikimedia Foundation exerts pre-publication control over Wikinews articles is therefore false. Merely because the Wikinews site may refer to some publicly-accessible articles as "published" and other publicly-accessible articles as "in development" does not change the fact that both classes of articles are, for legal purposes, published: that is, intentionally placed in the public view.

  • by McDutchie ( 151611 ) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @04:52PM (#23447718) Homepage

    I disagree. This does not fit the definition of pornography (from the American Heritage Dictionary, and others): "Sexually explicit pictures, writing, or other material whose primary purpose is to cause sexual arousal." The primary purpose of this picture is clearly not "to cause sexual arousal," but to illustrate the lyrics of the album's title song, and of course to get attention (which would make the purpose "marketing.")

    And how does this picture manage to get so much attention? By its intention to cause sexual arousal. QED.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 17, 2008 @06:39PM (#23448428)
    I would think "pre-publication" control is fundamentally impossible on a wiki. How do you edit or censor something between the time an editor clicks the "Submit" button and the time it appears on the wiki?
    Without a drastic change in the way wikis are typically used, it's not even possible to have pre-publication control. The only possible exception, of course, is if making it available immediately on the internet doesn't count as publication. I know the law can be absurd sometimes, but I can't imagine a judge or jury saying that "available on the internet" does not equate to publication.
  • by ozbird ( 127571 ) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @06:54PM (#23448542)
    This cover [], caused a bit of a stir too - talk about a storm in a tea cup.
  • by renoX ( 11677 ) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @06:55PM (#23448550)
    >>What gives you the sick idea she was sexually exploited?
    >How about the sick sexual pose that this naked 10-year old child is in?

    That's a sexual pose for you, but not for her, for her it's just being naked.
    Linking nakedness to sex is what adults do in our culture, not children.

    So the 'sick sexual' part is in your mind only.. And do remember that the link from nudity to sex is just a cultural thing: nudist don't have sex all day, there are African tribes where they are naked all the time (except their ankle which are taboos), etc.

    And surprise, surprise, the taboos in the 70s were different than they are nowadays..
    How shameful ;-)
  • by naasking ( 94116 ) <> on Saturday May 17, 2008 @08:06PM (#23449076) Homepage
    How about the sick sexual pose that this naked 10-year old child is in?

    Honestly, repeating "sick" and "sexual" in every one of your replies only highlights the fact that you consider it sick and sexual, as renoX suggested [], not that it actually is sick and sexual by an objective third-party judgment.

    Given this issue is so intertwined with ones subjective views of morality, we must ask ourselves, what is an objective measure of "exploitation"? I'll save you long hours, perhaps years of reflection: harm. Was the child harmed in any way, either physically, or psychologically? This is the only important question.

    If a child came to harm from a parental decision, then the parents' right to raise their child in any way they see fit is forfeited. Until then, yes, the parents can consent to her doing a naked shoot.

    Now, are you going to track down the girl that posed for that cover, assuming there was one, and ascertain whether she was harmed? If she was, then I agree 100% that the cover should be removed. If no such harm exists, then there is no reason to suppress it. Harm is determined on a case-by-case basis, it is not a categorical classification that all things of a certain nature are inherently bad.

    The fact that you consider censorship and oppression a valid tool to achieve an entirely personal agenda is not only disheartening, it's frightening.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 17, 2008 @08:11PM (#23449124)

    If this girl voluntarily put herself in front of the camera in this heavily suggestive position, it means she was probably sexually abused throughout her childhood
    You find that a heavily suggestive pose? I think you have the problem not us, I sit in a position similar to that as a matter of comfort most of the time, and I've done enough babysitting for friends and family to realize that children will voluntarily assume far more suggestive poses than that out of sheer ignorance, that is they simply don't under stand any sexual connotations.

    finally your supposition that she was abused as a child is entirely without merit, or evidence as later in life the model still find its acceptable to herself that she did such a thing.

    I'm sorry to shake up your right wing puritanical world view but you don't have to be raped or molested to become aware of human sexuality at an age younger than 18.

    I find it far more likely that the kid either walked in on her parents screwing one time and got 'the talk' early, and actually gained an understanding of the subject, or she found her parents/older siblings pron stash and learned about it that way.

    unsurprisingly its people like you who actually cause the most harm in these cases, more harm is caused by all the hysteria people scream at the child about how they've been horribly abused and need therapy, and the people who did it do them are the scum of the earth. When from the child's point of view they've been doing something fun, and pleasurable, with someone they know and trust.

    A more reasoned approach than the current knee jerk lynch mob mentality we have now would go along way to solving the problem and actually do something positive. Lack of intelligent discussion from people like you prevent anything useful from ever being accomplished, while the hysteria only serve to upset those actually wronged even more. Something that was not a big deal from the child's prospective is blown up into a life altering traumatic event, that includes lots of strangers they've never seen before taking them away from the people they care about.

    And thats to say nothing of a possible court appearance. Let me tell you, I'm an adult and I find a court room an intimidating enough place and I think you'd be just cruel to put a child in there.
  • by naasking ( 94116 ) <> on Saturday May 17, 2008 @08:15PM (#23449144) Homepage
    And how does this picture manage to get so much attention? By its intention to cause sexual arousal. QED.

    No, because the contrast depicted is jarring. As you say, the pose is suggestive, but the individual is lacking in sexual appeal because she's not mature. The image is intended to be jarring, not sexually arousing. A fine distinction perhaps, but an important one.

    Child porn is intended to be sexually arousing. This is art.
  • by Tacvek ( 948259 ) on Sunday May 18, 2008 @03:39PM (#23455166) Journal

    Well the so-called "child pornography" controversy covers many areas, some of which have apparently solid reasoning behind them, others of which does not.

    Let us start with the simplest case, production of pornographic images involving children, who actively do not consent. Obviously that involves direct exploit of children, and is not acceptable. There is virtually no controversy over that.

    But what about the cases of photos taken of minors who are over the age of consent, and in fact do consent. The argument that a child is being exploited here is questionable. Further should it matter if the image taker was one of the consenting individuals? What about 2 individuals who are under the age of consent, who produced the images in question on their own initiative, without any external influence? Are we really claiming that a child can exploit himself or herself? That sounds nearly as absurd as the claims of an underage child "raping" himself/herself under the statutory rape laws. (That has been alleged before, although the circumstances escape me).

    Then there are the questions of whether possession/distribution of materials should be a crime, independent of their production. The oldest logic here is the idea of creating new perverts. Obviously that one is highly suspect. The modern theory is that the existence of such images may create a market for them resulting in people exploiting children to create them. A seeming credible theory, although not without problems. After all, scarcity of such images with some level of demand tends to drive the value up. The images having high value may encourage some to take the risk and produce the content in question.

    Then there is the issue of simulated content. Obviously that does not involve the actual exploitation of children. The theory though is that it may influence the market in such a way as to encourage additional production of non-simulated content.

    So in the end, we have a few real questions. Does the government have any right to attempt to manipulate the market for the relevant content? The answer is probably yes, due to the exploitation of children in production of the real content. The next question is what measures may the government take to manipulate this market? Clearly only some measures are reasonable. Some may perhaps only be reasonable depending on just how effective it is at minimizing the production of the content. Finally, what acceptable measures when taken minimize the production of the (non-simulated content)? That unfortunately is an economics question, and despite our best efforts economics is still not really a hard science. The reality is that there are to many variables to consider them all at the same time, economic systems are always at least somewhat chaotic, and every change in the system produces 2 opposing pressures on each dependent variable, so determining the magnitude of each (or at least the net magnitude) is rather important but is shockingly difficult. The end result means that this is a debate that will go back and forth for centuries. Even if we perfected economics, the question of what measures are appropriate are still subjective, so the debate will likely never end.

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