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Wikimedia Confusion Swirls In Wake of Porn Charges

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the crisp-execution dept.

Censorship 267

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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That's nigger shit (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32233922)

Straight up nigger. Straight up. Nigger.

Internet Wars (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#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?

Re:Internet Wars (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32233950)

Scientology or emacs had won

emacs did win :P

Re:Internet Wars (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32234508)

Scientology or emacs had won

emacs did win :P

only as a operating system. for text editing, VI iMproved wins

Re:Internet Wars (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32234584)

I could see that, maybe, if you didn't have to become acquianted with the manual to do something as basic as, say, entering text.

Re:Internet Wars (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32234864)

When I start emacs, I don't even get a place to type text. Just a menu offering a bunch of ways to get help. The help screen uses completely separate (+unintuitive and severely limited, I might add) keybindings. The opening menu mentions something about "visit new file", which not only sounds like some sort of Microsoft Bob jargon for thinking good thoughts about one's day, but also, as a special bonus, when selected it opens a little prompt at the bottom that says "Find file: ~/"

At least with vim, if you try to treat it like a sane editor, it is very likely to start working accidentally.

Re:Internet Wars (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32233976)

What would've happened if Scientology or emacs had won

Suggested moderation: Score 5, Troll

Re:Internet Wars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32234076)

You want a good war?

FSM vs IPU.

You have to wonder (5, Interesting)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 4 years ago | (#32233932)

... 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?

Re:You have to wonder (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234156)

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.

Re:You have to wonder (5, Insightful)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:You have to wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32234294)

Where is there mention of any crime? So far I've only seen an accusation of hosting porn.

Re:You have to wonder (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234342)

This all started when estranged Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger contacted the FBI with an allegation of child porn on Wikipedia.

Emphasis mine.

Re:You have to wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32234446)

I'm going to say, that I never found anything on Wikipedia unless I looked for it. Go figure..

Re:You have to wonder (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234622)

You never clicked the "Random article" link, then?

Re:You have to wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32234856)

Actually, not that I recall. I have the following in a static homepage on my local filesystem since some years and never go to the front page:

<form action="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Search" id="searchform">Search Wikipedia <input id="searchInput" name="search" title="Search Wikipedia [f]" accesskey="f" value="" type="text"></input></form>

For light reading, I prefer novels..

You should use konqueror (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32235040)

In the konqueror browser the same effect can be achieved by putting "wp:what to search" in the address.

Re:You should use konqueror (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#32235116)

In FF you have a custom search bar and you can makes them into prefix search terms as well (for the awesomebar). I've always left it at wikipedia since the awesome bar searches google (and my homepage has a google search bar on it.

Re:You should use konqueror (1)

drewhk (1744562) | more than 4 years ago | (#32235226)

In Opera, you can just rigth click on the Wikipedia search box, and assign a letter to it -- like w. Then you can search Wikipedia when you type in your URL bar:

w [search term] ;)

Re:You have to wonder (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32234730)

I'm pretty sure that the "porn" in question was a couple of ALBUM COVERS that were sold openly in the 70's in both the US and Britain.

To allow those albums to be sold openly in record stores for DECADES and then later decide that it is worthy of being classed as the worst offense that humans have ever committed seems a bit, well, like the puritans are taking back the world.

Re:You have to wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32234896)

Surely it can't be simply that, because the Virgin Killers [wikipedia.org] page is still there, along with Annabella Lwin [wikipedia.org] , aged 14.

Re:You have to wonder (-1, Troll)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234956)

I'm pretty sure that the ....

I see what you are doing little grasshopper. You are trolling the rtfa-troll by posting anon comments where you pretend not to have read any of the articles. You think I'll respond by trying to troll you. I like that; you've got style, but still you are nowhere near ready to take on the masters. Go over and clean windows at 4chan for a month or so. :-) :-)

Re:You have to wonder (4, Interesting)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234966)

The other "child porn" was woodcuts, drawings etc. of adolescents/children. None of it is particularly erotic, all of it was of historical interest. It's still there, in the Pedaphilia [wikimedia.org] category on Wikimedia Commons (the most NSFW bit is the "Pedaphilia" title and the URL).

I saw a similar woodcut in a history textbook at school when I was 14. I can remember the teacher reading out the associated court transcript, including the statement from a young girl who'd been raped by the owner of the factory she worked at. It was significant because it was around the time children's rights were improving in the industrial revolution.

Re:You have to wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32234680)

"the straw that breaks Wikipedia"

Oh you are one of THOSE people, everything else you say is discounted by anyone with an ounce of sense, no strike that , a gram of sense.

Re:You have to wonder (3, Insightful)

Protonk (599901) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234834)

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?

Re:You have to wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32234872)

Regardless if he knew or not, he's probably very happy with the result of his actions right now. He publicly accused Wikipedia of an extremely heinous crime, knowing full well his claim was bullshit AND that he could have done something ELSE to get his voice heard, such as posting to the mailing list. He saw an opportunity to try and damage Wikipedia and he took it because he has no regard whatsoever for the hard work of the contributors.

In earnest, fuck you Larry Sanger.

ps: I'm not a Wikipedia contributor myself, though I briefly have been in the past. Not that one needs to be able to tell that the claims are nonsense.

Re:You have to wonder, not (1)

jopsen (885607) | more than 4 years ago | (#32235062)

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 chaos, based on a statement from a single unnamed source... is bad press ethics... Seriously do we even want to discuss something that low...

Did Sanger expect this?

Does it matter and do we really care... :)

Lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32235084)

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

Ignorance of the Masses (2, Insightful)

BoldAC (735721) | more than 4 years ago | (#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:Ignorance of the Masses (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32234050)

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:Ignorance of the Masses (1)

The Hatchet (1766306) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234164)

What is next, removing anatomical drawings from textbooks because *gasp* BOOBIES?! */gasp*

Seriously, porn is a part of our reality, whether we like it or not, removing it from encyclopedias is like pretending it doesn't exist. Ignoring reality is almost as bad as EVERYTHING that I have seen to date on Fox. Sickening.

Re:Ignorance of the Masses (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32234250)

like it or not, laws require all content with that nature be on a certified textbook or under an age verification checkpoint.

you can disagree with laws, but that doesn't make anything legal.

Re:Ignorance of the Masses (4, Informative)

Protoslo (752870) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234366)

That isn't the case in the United States, home of the Wikimedia foundation. Wikimedia's statement about this matter implies that there will be no policy (or content) change.

On the topic of allegedly illegal materials on Wikipedia and our projects: The Wikimedia Foundation obeys the law. In the weeks since Sanger’s published allegations, the Wikimedia Foundation has not been contacted by the FBI or any other law-enforcement agency with regard to allegedly illegal content on any Wikimedia projects. Our community of volunteer editors takes action to remove illegal material when such material is brought to its attention. The Wikimedia Foundation is proud of the Wikimedia editors who zealously work to keep the projects free of illegal material. If and when we are informed by law enforcement agencies of illegal content that has not already been removed through self-policing, we will take quick action to delete it.

Any other position would be giving in to Sanger's terrorism, so this is a relief.

Re:Ignorance of the Masses (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#32235130)

What laws? Please cite the relevant laws or stop spreading misinformation.

Re:Ignorance of the Masses (4, Insightful)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 4 years ago | (#32235244)

Seriously, porn is a part of our reality, whether we like it or not, removing it from encyclopedias is like pretending it doesn't exist. Ignoring reality is almost as bad as EVERYTHING that I have seen to date on Fox. Sickening.

Breasts aren't pornography. Penises aren't pornography. The naked human body is not pornography. And yes, at least the more well-known pieces of classical art aren't pornography even if they depict things very much illegal today. You can have all of that on Wikipedia without it ever being pornographic.

I've looked at what Sanger complained about. I've looked at my fair share of obscure Wikipedia articles. I've never encountered anything you could reasonably describe as pornographic. Yes, there were various organs and at one point I stumbled across a photo series depicting an ejaculating penis (appropriately enough illustrating the article about ejaculation) but none of that was pornography.

Yes, someone might probably derive sexual stimulation from some of the pictures. The same applies to pictures of animals. That doesn't mean that zoos are peep shows.


Neither is pornography evil nor is everything involving bare primary or secondary sexual features pornography. Man I wish the United States would just hit puberty already and get over their paralyzing fear of sex.

Re:Ignorance of the Masses (2, Insightful)

tokul (682258) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234120)

"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, if he really wants too?

Re:Ignorance of the Masses (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234166)

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.

Re:Ignorance of the Masses (5, Informative)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234306)

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] .

Re:Ignorance of the Masses (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234688)

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:Ignorance of the Masses (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32234236)

"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.

Fox News vs. Wikipedia (4, Insightful)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32233960)

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

Re:Fox News vs. Wikipedia (5, Funny)

sa1lnr (669048) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234422)

Murdoch against porn?

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

Re:Fox News vs. Wikipedia (5, Interesting)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#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:Fox News vs. Wikipedia (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 4 years ago | (#32235154)

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

Total self-discreditation, Larry (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:Total self-discreditation, Larry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32234064)

hi jimmy wales ! nice to see you on /. how is life these days with no "special" privs ?

Re:Total self-discreditation, Larry (5, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234122)

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.

Re:Total self-discreditation, Larry (4, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:Total self-discreditation, Larry (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32234182)

fyi. if you want anyone other than linux-using libertarian human rejects to take your "righteous anger" seriously, you really should stop using kiddie porn-trader jargon such as "loli".

Re:Total self-discreditation, Larry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32234198)

And this is the reason Larry reported Wikipedia?

There are many unreasonable laws in this world, but you cannot claim that you are calling attention to the bad law, when you report your competitor using a bad law. (Or to use an analogy, I cannot call a the cops on my neighbour after he pisses me off, and claim that I am showcasing unreasonable drug laws).

If he wanted to take a stand, he could do it on his own site.

Re:Total self-discreditation, Larry (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234258)

. 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"

And an unfortunate side effect of that will be that women that are depicted will have bigger breasts and more "womanly" features, contributing even more insecurity to young women whose bodies have been deemed illegal.

Somewhat related - months ago on Slashdot, I told its readership that I would make a homemade Slashdot-themed porn video. Unfortunately, the woman I had in mind chose not to participate(sorry guys!) I have another willing lady, but she's very, um, short. Like four-foot-nine short. She has well-developed breasts and hips but seeing how poorly American law is interpreted, some self-righteous moralist would report me and I'd eventually be charged with "simulated sex with a minor" or some other bullshit charge after the FBI and ICE rummage though my house and interrogate my friends.

Re:Total self-discreditation, Larry (1)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 4 years ago | (#32235118)

Oh no! And we were so looking forward to this! :(

Re:Total self-discreditation, Larry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32234330)

So don't blame the guy for CYA when it is the whole system that is completely fucked.

Uh, ok then. How about we simply criticize the guy for squealing to the police so he could get a plea bargain? Never mind the fact that its HIS FOUNDATION and that he promotes CENSORSHIP-FREE INFORMATION.

Re:Total self-discreditation, Larry (4, Insightful)

Protoslo (752870) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:Total self-discreditation, Larry (5, Interesting)

silentcoder (1241496) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234636)

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.

Re:Total self-discreditation, Larry (1)

Protonk (599901) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234810)

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.

And so ends Wikipedia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32233968)

Goodbye somewhat trustworthy and not so old friend. Apparently we hardly knew you.

Well, duh. (5, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 4 years ago | (#32233978)

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

FOX is in the business of publishing nonsense.

Re:Well, duh. (4, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234028)

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)

Re:Well, duh. (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#32235134)

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.

Re:Well, duh. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32234282)

FOX is in the business of publishing nonsense.

As much as I hate Fox News, Fox News really did nothing more than report what happened from the point of view of an outsider.

-Sanger reported to the FBI, "Wikimedia hosts child pornography!"
-Wikipedia freaks out and attempts to save itself when it realizes its own Co-Founder just hit the "Self-Destruct" button.
-Rebellion breaks out among the administrators.
-Fox News reports Wikipedia imploding as administrators fight whether or not to keep the "questionable" pictures.

Re:Well, duh. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32234434)

As much as I hate Fox News, Fox News really did nothing more than report what happened from the point of view of an outsider.

That's a nonsense excuse. It's like that "just sayin'" crap that's used to pretend an unfounded accusation was just an "innocent" remark.

BTW, I heard you like little boys too much. Just sayin' ...

Re:Well, duh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32234602)

I heard you like little boys

Reported to the FBI.
- Co-Founder of Slashdot

Re:Well, duh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32235012)

Except the site in question is http://commons.wikimedia.org , not Wikipedia at all.

Commons is a repository. It hosts millions of files for the different wikipedias, wikinewses, wiktionarys etc in all the different languages of the world. And yes this does include depictions on adult topics, simply because those belong in an encyclopedia/news article/etc too.

AFAICT fox news would like to see all kinds of things get removed, like 19th century artworks, line drawings for articles, as well as photographs. They've subtly shifted away from "child pornography" to "anything we might think is pornographic" you see.

Most of these are obviously not going to be removed. But even if they were, it would only be a fraction of a percent of commons.

If you'd like to see the detailed analysis:
http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2010-May/058081.html

Re:Well, duh. (1)

infinitelink (963279) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234300)

The media in general is in that business, the up-side to having Fox around is that it's one side of the nonsense that gets to criticize the other, and vice versa. If you think there are many out there publishing anything but nonsense, then I would have you carefully examine your discernment, if you can.

Re:Well, duh. (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234962)

the up-side to having Fox around is that it's one side of the nonsense that gets to criticize the other, and vice versa.

How is that an up-side? Partisan bickering is not what journalism is about. And this is exactly the trap that Fox has set for the media and its consumers - the "Fair and Balanced" nonsense contained in the idea that good reporting is all about finding two opposing extremes.

Excellent trolling by Fox (5, Interesting)

NicenessHimself (619194) | more than 4 years ago | (#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!

Re:Excellent trolling by Fox (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32234128)

Damn I don't know if you can feel that at your momma's basement, but our country, the De-united States of Amerikkka are in the brink of a Goddamn civil war!!!! Hispanics are getting armed and organized at the same rate the KKK and all the supporters of the Nazi Republic of Arizona are.
So, as all tea partiers are going to their rallies with loaded AK-47s (like they did in Virginia and Maryland) and yelling on TV they going to kill the nigro president, send the Blacks back to the Plantation and the Hispanics back to Mexico, the Hispanics are doing the same in Florida, NY, Illinois and California.
I saw trucks arriving with machine guns, RPGs and other heavy combat weaponry in all Hispanic neighborhoods across Florida. People are getting ready to respond when the white Tea partiers decide to attack their houses and their families.
As I was driving two days ago by I95 I saw one of Miami-Dade Cuban American cops pulling a car with an Arizona license plate over. He took the driver out of the car (the driver was a white redneck meth-head looking as all the white crackers usually are), and he used his taser gun three times on the poor cracker.
Black and Latino cops are doing that all the time in Florida. THAT IS A CIVIL WAR! And your ignoramus retarded Sarah Palin is the mother of it!!!
All serious international companies that I know (and I know many as I provide corporate investment advice) are pulling out of the US because they don't want to risk their money on a country that will be soon dissolved on a bloody civil war...
Well, the poor fish and birds dying without oxygen in the Gulf will be the less of our problems very soon... Thanks goodness I got my European passport so I can flee to Europe when the US disappears in blood and fire because of the white racists and their FOX Lies...

To Be Expected (4, Insightful)

DarkDespair5 (1179263) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:To Be Expected (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234524)

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:To Be Expected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32234716)

You're right that Wikipedia's administrators can distort the truth. The ideal of an unbiased encyclopedia is marred by biased people. Hence the 'in principle' qualifier ;)

"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, theory and practice are different." - Albert Einstein

Re:To Be Expected (2, Insightful)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234976)

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.

What child pornography? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32234038)

Again, we're supposed to take both the accusation by Sanger and the determination by the FBI at face value (if any is coming at all!), without verifiable evidence.

I know Wales has legitimate criticisms which can be leveled against him, but this feels more like a personal vendetta than anything substantive.

Or, in other words... (5, Funny)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234086)

[citation needed]

Fox "News" (3, Funny)

DerKlempner (249063) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234052)

Fox News reported that Wikimedia is "in chaos"

Hello, pot; it's me, kettle!

against cp (2)

somethingtoremember (1530149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234062)

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 all. IMHO, Wikipedia and Wiki Media Commons are still not /open/ enough. 3 all the language translations, and open knowledge will still have its faults, but this sort of thing is really old. AT was taken down. Be glad for that!

Re:against cp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32234202)

"Do not judge lest ye be judged!" That's a verse from a book that I never read (and do not intend to) but those are some wise words. I always wondered how guilty are those that judge others.

My opinion on this sort of story is: Do not shield anyone from the reality, especially not children! They ought to know what's out there and how the world works in its entirety. I never understood people who think otherwise.

Re:against cp (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32234390)

Who are these "child pornographers" that you speak of? Those who have erotic thoughts involving children? Those who read erotic stories involving children? Those who watch erotic anime/read comics involving children? Those who watch erotic photos involving children? Or those who have erotic relations with children?

And in each case, what is the degree of eroticism involved? The mere suggestion of sex? The suggestion of a naked child body? Or the explicit kind? Is the eroticism artsy or is it vulgar? If there is a child involved, is it willingly or not? Is the child happy or is it in pain? Is the child before or after puberty? How old? 12? 15? 17? And so on...

You seem to forget that all those that you label "child pornographers" are people, like you and me, and deserve to be treated as such, and not to be put under a label. Even if they are different than the usual socially repressed representative, are you sure they deserve punishment for just the association with child porn? Don't group them together, treat each case individually and examine it without prejudice.

Re:against cp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32234660)

And in each case, what is the degree of eroticism involved? The mere suggestion of sex? The suggestion of a naked child body? Or the explicit kind? Is the eroticism artsy or is it vulgar? If there is a child involved, is it willingly or not? Is the child happy or is it in pain? Is the child before or after puberty? How old? 12? 15? 17? And so on...

I think there is no reason for child erotica - meaning nudity without sex acts - to be illegal at all. And after 14, anything goes. Pervert? No, realist. Or even the opposite, idealist -- expecting the laws to conform to REAL LIFE, rather than mad religion-based prudish standards.

Read my Pussy Lips... Porn is normal. Porn is OK (3, Insightful)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:Read my Pussy Lips... Porn is normal. Porn is O (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234262)

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 going to repeat that a few times."

In particular... (1)

VTI9600 (1143169) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234092)

Fox News's pursuing of Wikimedia Foundation for hosting pornography reportedly resulted in Jimmy Wales personally removing some pornographic material from its servers

...the pages about "Whale Jimmies" and "Jimmy's Whale" just had to go.

Next target (3, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234146)

Medical books, specially pediatric ones, if they show any picture of the topic of the book.

exactly (4, Informative)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:Next target (4, Funny)

Renraku (518261) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234510)

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.

Re:Next target (1)

korean.ian (1264578) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234760)

It's a good start, but you need to go further. People who have sex with the intention of making children should be re-educated. they're clearly sick.

Beware the rolling snowball (4, Insightful)

MoeDumb (1108389) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234148)

Hysteria can bring down a civilization.

Christian conservatives, I have a message for you (-1, Troll)

jprupp (697660) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234238)

You all make me want to throw up.

Re:Christian conservatives, I have a message for y (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32234482)

Christian conservatives, I have a message for you

I'd like to quote the immortal words of Jon Stewart to address christian conservatives:
Go fuck yourselves! Yeah, yeah, oooohhhh ... Go fuck yourselves!

Oh and while we're at it: please stop fucking underaged boys. Thank you.

Re:Christian conservatives, I have a message for y (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32234484)

You all make me want to throw up.

Actually what makes me throw up is Wikipedia's dirty dick [wikipedia.org] article. Rupert Murdoch, where are you when we need you?

Contradictory stories my ass... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32234288)

...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.

even though... (1)

Spaham (634471) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234396)

I really like america on many topics,
this is an example of why I'd never be able to live there, and what I loathe the most about this country...

Fashionable to hate on Wikipedia (4, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | more than 4 years ago | (#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? (0, Troll)

Max Threshold (540114) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234666)

Seriously, Jimbo? You let yourself be used as a political pawn by Fox News? Does anyone care about the drivel Fox News spews?

Wait, scratch that. A lot of people care.

Does anyone who matters care about the drivel Fox News spews?

Re:Fox News? (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#32235212)

The Electorate.
It definitely matters to those who matter.

Fox News for me from now on (1)

alexibu (1071218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234820)

I think I will be obtaining all my information and forming my world view based only on Fox News from now on where i can be sure to not encounter any pornography.

Fox 'News' (4, Informative)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234836)

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.

Sounds about right. (2, Insightful)

_0rm_ (1638559) | more than 4 years ago | (#32234988)

Sounds like Faux News making a big deal about rumors and gossip.

This demonstrates that... (4, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#32235032)

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

The Hear Say site rules... (2, Interesting)

3seas (184403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32235180)

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?

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