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Wikipedia May Censor Images

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the good-thing-there's-no-other-nudity-on-the-internet dept.

Wikipedia 171

KiloByte joins the ranks of accepted submitters, writing "To appease 'morality' watchdogs, Wikipedia is contemplating the introduction of a censorship feature, where images would be flagged for containing sexual references, nudity, 'mass graves,' and so on. At least in the initial implementation, it is supposed to be 'opt-in.' However, with such precedents as the UK censoring artistic nudity, Turkey censoring references to the Armenian genocide or China's stance on information about the Tiananmen massacre (note that any sensitive photos, like the Tank Man, are already absent!), I find it quite hard to believe this feature won't be mandatory for some groups of readers — whether it's thanks to an oppressive government, an ISP or a school."

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Well, at least it's opt-in (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 3 years ago | (#37141386)

Today it is, anyway.

Hey, anyone remember when banning users was solely an ISP decision, not a government mandate [arstechnica.com] ? Boy, those were the days.

Re:Well, at least it's opt-in (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | about 3 years ago | (#37141696)

I remeber working at my university's CS help desk, deleting email after email of usenet abuse reports. There was some masterful trolling going on in those days and I was happy to have a position to not only be audience to it, but to help it continue.

To think future generations will be denied that by oppressive governments makes me sad.

Re:Well, at least it's opt-in (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 3 years ago | (#37142036)

Sou you are the one responsible for the demise of the Usenet! :-)

Re:Well, at least it's opt-in (1)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | about 3 years ago | (#37141790)

My main concern with implementing this, even if it always remains "opt-in", is that you're basically creating a API that censorship tools can exploit.

It would be possible for a proxy or national firewall to redirect all requests for Wikipedia through a particular Wikipedia account where they had set the "hide obscenity" flag. So all users within that country, by default, wouldn't see the "offensive" stuff. The hard work of tagging, categorizing images, and rewriting the HTML, would have been done by Wikipedia itself. While some may view this as a good thing, since each country gets to set its own decency standard (and 'partial access to Wikipedia is better than an outright ban'), I think it is very dangerous to provide tools that make national censorship easier than it currently is.

You could of course try to design the system so that users can easily click "show image" whenever they want, or try to design it in such a way that it is difficult for proxies and national firewalls to exploit... But I would think that rather than getting into such a messy arms race, Wikipedia should just stick to their current policy: which is to include images that are appropriate and relevant to the given article. If people are offended by a factual account of reality, then really that's their problem.

Re:Well, at least it's opt-in (1)

saibot834 (1061528) | about 3 years ago | (#37142126)

Wikipedia's image filter would just hide images per default, you're still able to see them with just one click, at any time.

This in no way helps oppressive governments. It is about a client-side cookie and that way the client can control everything at all times. (There's not even a way for a school to hide all images, since you can always override your filter settings by clicking on the image placeholder)

If an evil government tried to filter images, they'd have to prevent pictures from actually being sent over the internet.

Re:Well, at least it's opt-in (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about 3 years ago | (#37142442)

I agree. This post seems to be an inflammatory 'chicken little' knee jerk reaction (phrased in keeping with the OP). It isn't censorship if you are doing it to yourself. More like a service for people who want to narrow their view.

Re:Well, at least it's opt-in (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about 3 years ago | (#37142690)

You assume no one will force that cookie onto you -- or onto Wikipedia itself.

Re:Well, at least it's opt-in (1)

postbigbang (761081) | about 3 years ago | (#37142136)

It's better to have a ReallyPedia than one that's censored, or needs opt-in or "I'm 18, show me the image". To get around the age of majority problem, it ought to be vetted for access. Images are, and history is, what it was. Those that fear history don't learn from it.

In principle it's not too bad (3, Insightful)

Jack Malmostoso (899729) | about 3 years ago | (#37141424)

The way I understand the problem is that some articles show explicit pictures, which may offend some people. Honestly it has happened to me sometimes to see pictures of illnesses or war crimes which did upset me (granted, I have a very low threshold for these things).
I don't see how it would be bad to hide these pictures by default, with a little button "view" next to the caption.
Of course, if the goal is to delete these pictures altogether, then I'm all against it.

Re:In principle it's not too bad (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37141516)

man the fuck up. pussy.

Re:In principle it's not too bad (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37141620)

So sayeth the coward.

In principle it's very bad (4, Insightful)

Kvasio (127200) | about 3 years ago | (#37141726)

It may end the "Endless (human anus) image contention" dispute.

Damn, this was the most entertaining section of wikipedia.
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Human_anus#Endless_image_contention [wikipedia.org] )

Re:In principle it's very bad (1)

Stargoat (658863) | about 3 years ago | (#37142200)

Thank you so much. That is the funniest thing I have seen all week, maybe all year. Oh man, that is absolutely hilarious. Brilliant, thank you for sharing.

Re:In principle it's very bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37142300)

We had a cropped, shaved, bleached porn-anus in this article for a while, it was determined unsuitable (and a copyvio) and replaced with the current hairy man-hole. All we need is a neutral-looking and not-overly-hairy, ... I have actually considered taking a photo of my own anus for the article (as far as I am aware, mine is pretty typical) just to put an end to this.

I see where this is going..

Re:In principle it's not too bad (1)

Idbar (1034346) | about 3 years ago | (#37141776)

Double standard? Ok, yes I'm old already, so I don't find much on naked and crimes. But boy, one thing not on the summary that you bring here are medical images! Some of that stuff can't be unseen!

As much as I think that sex may not be appropriate for kids, I think many natural things are worse than that, like seen the arm of a fire-ants victim. Disturbing stuff!

So the thing is... where do you draw the line?

Re:In principle it's not too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37141850)

The line must be drawn HERE! - Jean-Luc Picard

Re:In principle it's not too bad (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37141800)

The way I understand the problem is that some articles show explicit pictures, which may offend some people. Honestly it has happened to me sometimes to see pictures of illnesses or war crimes which did upset me (granted, I have a very low threshold for these things).

Good, anyone who can see pictures like that without getting upset is most likely a psychopath.
Censoring those pictures are however not the answer, stopping the actions that are depicted in those pictures are.

No matter how much you censor, bad things will still happen and covering your eyes and ears just because you don't want bad things to happen is irresponsible.

Re:In principle it's not too bad (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37141906)

I don't see how it would be bad to hide these pictures by default, with a little button "view" next to the caption.

Then some kid or spineless idiot like you will say, "hmm, I wonder what that picture looks like" before opening it. Then they'll bitch and moan about how Wikipedia offends their Christian value system, leading to censorship as this article describes. The pontificators will use 'protecting the children' as the usual excuse, then accept a compromise of FBI'ing the IP addresses of people who visit the Scorpions' Virgin Killer article.

The way I see it, there will always be weak, bed-wetting whiners who would prefer to be under mommy's butt-wiping wing for their entire lives. The only solution to handle their hordes would be to essentially make 2 versions of wikipedia - censored and uncensored(which would require that the user state that they are 18 or older). That way, entering an uncensored version of Wikipedia would be much like entering a porn site.

Or, if Wikipedia had any balls, they would include a front-page disclaimer that would read," If you don't like what you see, go to conservapedia, pussy."

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:In principle it's not too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37141912)

When it comes to censors, if you give them an inch they will eventually ask for a mile.

In theory I have no problem with people opting out of viewing images they don't want to see.

I just hope it ends there.

Re:In principle it's not too bad (0, Flamebait)

garcia (6573) | about 3 years ago | (#37141916)

Oh noes, you're offended by reality. Get over it. Just like everyone else. It's supposed to be an encyclopedia of FACTS. Fact is, war, famine, sex, drugs, and vulgarity are part of the life we live in. Should we start adding censors to articles on "Intelligent Design" because it's offensive to the people who know it's not factual?

Slippery slope and one that we do not need to go down.

Re:In principle it's not too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37142170)

Wikipedia has pictures of "Intelligent Design"?!? Seems they've been censored from my view. Please tell me, was it Yahweh, or the Spaghetti dude?

Re:In principle it's not too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37142652)

Should we start adding censors to articles on "Intelligent Design"...

Emphasis mine. Enough said.

Re:In principle it's not too bad (1)

jamesh (87723) | about 3 years ago | (#37142276)

Oh noes, you're offended by reality. Get over it. Just like everyone else. It's supposed to be an encyclopedia of FACTS. Fact is, war, famine, sex, drugs, and vulgarity are part of the life we live in. Should we start adding censors to articles on "Intelligent Design" because it's offensive to the people who know it's not factual?

Getting upset or offended by stuff is human nature. I bet seeing pictures of the little girl ripped to pieces by the neighbors pet dog in Melbourne the other day would be upsetting, maybe even more so if you are a parent (or maybe that's just me), and maybe even more so if you've ever been attacked by a dog yourself.

People aren't robots, and whether rational by your standards or not, some of reality scares people. Don't you wish there was a pixelation mask over goatse with a caption "wash your eyes after clicking here to view image"? At least then you'd only have yourself to blame for clicking.

Re:In principle it's not too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37141976)


Honestly it has happened to me sometimes to see pictures of illnesses or war crimes which did upset me (granted, I have a very low threshold for these things).

Perhaps you're not a person that should be viewing an encyclopaedia if you're so easily offended.

When did it become an expectation that people should be able to go through life, and not be offended? "Some content may be offensive". If you don't like that, then go elsewhere. It's not the job of Wikipedia to determine what may be offensive to some people. Who's to decide what may or may not be offensive? Me? I'm offended by Rush Limbaugh. His moronic face is just too much for my delicate sensibilities. Will I get a feature to block him out of existence?

Re:In principle it's not too bad (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 3 years ago | (#37142022)

I really don't know how else to say it, but seriously - real life is horrid sometimes. IMHO, if you want to know about the subject, you should have to see it, unvarnished and as it really is. If you can get a grasp as to how horrible something truly is, maybe it'll motivate you to help try and prevent it from happening - be it a disease or a war crime. I could understand not having it shoved into your face when you're not looking it up, but at the same time... you're looking it up. If you want to know about it, then by all means, know *all* about it.

I'm not even sure a kid-friendly version would be appropriate. Even as a kid, I recall never seeing any sort of 'kid-friendly' version of various encyclopedias or reference material - my parents never allowed that. If I wanted to know about something, I went to the nearby college library and looked it up. I learned about it as it actually was, without the censorship or dumbing-down.

I didn't turn out to be a psychopath, and such images still disgust me. OTOH, I gained a full appreciation for how real things can get. I gained an appreciation for the beauty inherent in the nude body, learned that nudity is for more than just sex, thus I don't view it as a dirty object that somehow always must be hidden. I also learned that governments can become corrupt and even evil, which taught me to regard all governments with healthy suspicion. I know well just how fragile (and at the same time resilient) the human body is, and have learned that horrid diseases does not make one a monster, but is something that requires assistance and a respectful pity.

The big bad world out here is a place where reality isn't censored, so why should our media be?

Re:In principle it's not too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37142318)

If the goal is opt-in, that means taking names and keeping records. It's an abomination to track people's quest for information. Period!
If you want to keep a cookie on your computer that lets them know not to display intense images, that's fine. That's not what is going on here.

Re:In principle it's not too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37142718)

My goal is to make it through life without ever being disturbed or annoyed by anything or anyone. Please accomodate me.

Re:In principle it's not too bad (0)

WolfWithoutAClause (162946) | about 3 years ago | (#37142744)

I want to know when the print edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica will have this feature!

Oh wait. Never.

And that's why this is a bad idea. The Britannica did just fine for centuries without it.

Oh god no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37141452)

People having the choice not to look at something, based on criteria they can rather easily control! That's clearly a slippery slope to abuse that isn't already happening anyway, so let's worry about that demon instead of what some people think is a real problem.

They must be stopped from closing their eyes!

Heavens no, what about the people who block all images entirely!

Sorry for the Hyperbole, but I just can't work up the outrage.

Re:Oh god no! (2)

jellomizer (103300) | about 3 years ago | (#37141856)

I hate to sound like a think of the children type of person.
But Wikipedia is a great tool to start your research with, and really good for education. However I can expect kids using Wikipedia in schools to view imagery that they are not allowed, and inappropriate for a school.

It isn't as much they are forced to view the data, but kids being both curious and wanting to show to there peers that they are cool, will use such imagery to cause trouble and get cool points because they can gather a bunch of curious kids with him to look at the forbidden data. Thus distracting the kids from doing real work in school

Re:Oh god no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37142148)

Funny, I remember doing the exact same thing using an actual encyclopedia when I was in fourth grade. I don't recall anyone trying to ban encyclopedia's as a result, just a quick trip to the principal's office where they told me to stop acting like an asshole. I see no reason that same tactic isn't still applicable.

Re:Oh god no! (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | about 3 years ago | (#37142216)

You do realize those kids can already do that now with a book encyclopedia, right? This does nothing to stop that.

Re:Oh god no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37142226)

So you're saying your classmates didn't pass around the "V" volume of the dead tree encyclopedias in your school library?

Re:Oh god no! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37142546)

schools to view imagery that they are not allowed, and inappropriate for a school.

It isn't as much they are forced to view the data, but kids being both curious and wanting to show to there peers that they are cool, will use such imagery to cause trouble and get cool points because they can gather a bunch of curious kids with him to look at the forbidden data. Thus distracting the kids from doing real work in school

I think this what is wrong with education, children learning that instead of controlling their emotions they have to control their environment, namely images and other people. Ultimately, it's the parents who are to blame for this situation, just like in case of the evolution and contraception "debates".

Opt-in to censor out fair use (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37141458)

Letting people opt-in to censor images in Category:All non-free media [wikipedia.org] has been discussed for a while, if I remember correctly.

Re:Opt-in to censor out fair use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37142264)

It won't be useful for that. It's only going to allow a couple (5 I think) categories.

So I assume that all unveiled women will eventually be edit-warred into "Sexually explicit" by people trying to make a point about the cultural biases of this system.

Re:Opt-in to censor out fair use (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37142340)

It won't be useful for that.

What makes you think that? As far as I can tell, such an opt-in censorship tool will involve the categories associated with each file's description page. Militant anti-non-free-content users who think no picture at all is better than a non-free picture, such as the one who wrote this essay [wikipedia.org] , will likely push for non-free to be the sixth (you think) category.

Oh good, let's have a debate (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 years ago | (#37141468)

Censorship is teh evil!!!

But it's better to get SOME content than NO content...

But censorship, it's evil!

We go through this with Google and China every so often. What I worry about isn't having stuff blocked, with a nice big notice that something was removed, but about having content replaced, so that when you go look at stuff about Chinese unrest from the USA it says "chinese know all about this stuff" and when you look it up from China it says "everything is wonderful".

Re:Oh good, let's have a debate (4, Insightful)

mirshafie (1029876) | about 3 years ago | (#37141782)

Choice is not censorship. As far as I can tell, Wikimedia is considering to add the option for users to block images that have been flagged as potentially offensive. Since Wikipedia covers many aspects of humanity, some of them scary, it makes sense to enable users to filter some of the more graphic aspects of this. Remember, the articles themselves will not be blocked. I think this would make Wikipedia more useful for kids that might not have the tools to deal with looking straight into another person's guts just because their reading up on surgery.

Many other sites, such as DeviantArt, block nudity by default, and to view it you must register an account and turn the filter off. Even though this is opt-out and a bit extreme, calling the practice censorship is ridiculous.

Re:Oh good, let's have a debate (1)

stms (1132653) | about 3 years ago | (#37141816)

It's okay I bet the Hovering Chinese Guys [blippitt.com] are already working on fixing any fake information.

corepirate nazi execrable still ruling us, out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37141476)

it's clearly an unproven mess, evidenced by the apparent need for even more deceptive distracting sideshow style theatrics by our rulers & the chosen ones' miniontic neogods arrogance.

should it not be considered that the domestic threats to all of us/our
freedoms perpetrated by unsavory megalomaniacs be intervened on/removed, so we wouldn't be compelled to hide our
sentiments, &/or the truth, about ANYTHING, including the origins of the
hymenology council, & their sacred mission (which is to protect & defend the whore of babylon, & the papers of challenge she carries, which will put a cork in much of th deceptive monkey business we've been subjected to)? with nothing left to hide,
there'd be room for so much more genuine quantifiable humankind advaced dna progress?

you call this 'weather'? much of our land masses/planet are going under
water, or burning up, as we fail to consider anything at all that really
matters, as we've been instructed that we must maintain our silence (our
last valid right?), to continue our 'safety' from... mounting terror.

meanwhile, back at the raunch; there are exceptions? the unmentionable
sociopath weapons peddlers are thriving in these times of worldwide
sufferance? the royals? our self appointed murderous neogod rulers? all
better than ok, thank..... us. their stipends/egos/disguises are secure,
so we'll all be ok/not killed by mistaken changes in the MANufactured
'weather', or being one of the unchosen 'too many' of us, etc...?

truth telling & disarming are the only mathematically & spiritually
correct options. read the teepeeleaks etchings. see you there?

diaperleaks group worldwide.

ahab the arab's 'funniest' home vdo; http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=0bb_1312569503

may? (3, Informative)

rbrausse (1319883) | about 3 years ago | (#37141496)

the referendum was not about "should we add a filter" but "how should a filter implemented".

the resolution "controversial content" [wikimedia.org] was approved 10:0 in May 2010

We ask the Executive Director, in consultation with the community, to develop and implement a personal image hiding feature that will enable readers to easily hide images hosted on the projects that they do not wish to view

The foundation wants a filter, the community has no way to stop such a feature.

Re:may? (1)

Seeteufel (1736784) | about 3 years ago | (#37141654)

The Wikipedia foundation is totally corrupted as the Open XML [wikipedia.org] article has demonstrated. Furthermore the Wikipedia is completely biased towards the United States. When you have an article on a 19 century parlor song from France the wikipedia article will concentrate on the American entertainer which covered it in the 40ths. Now the Thai King gets control over our speech, censors pictures for us, and it's so easy for the rogues because you could actually corrupt Wikipedia admins and they would put your enemies on the list.

English speakers use English language sources (2)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37142072)

Furthermore the Wikipedia is completely biased towards the United States.

Are you talking about Wikipedia in general, or the English Wikipedia specifically? Wikipedia acknowledges its systemic bias [wikipedia.org] as a problem. The bias you speak of is caused by the tendency of people to contribute to the Wikipedia for their native language and to cite sources written in their native language. And by far, the biggest concentration of English speakers on the Internet is in the United States, and sources written in English tend to cover the views of people in anglophone countries more than others.

When you have an article on a 19 century parlor song from France the wikipedia article will concentrate on the American entertainer which covered it in the 40ths.

That's because contributors are more familiar with English-language reliable sources that discuss the 1940s cover than non-English sources that discuss the original.

Re:may? (1)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | about 3 years ago | (#37142244)

Actually, nothing will get done unless someone traels through the images and decides which to filter. This is the community. And their will be fights for borderline cases.

The "community" is very much in charge, here.

Re:may? (1)

lamber45 (658956) | about 3 years ago | (#37142440)

Actually, the first question on the referendum is basically "how important would this feature be?" If you are eligible to vote and you are against the feature, you can certainly vote "0" on that item, "?" on the rest, and include any specific comments in the free-text field at the end. Enough "0" votes and the board may decide to postpone or rethink the feature.

Is it just me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37141510)

... or are we entering an age of blatant flamebaiting on Slashdot? These provocative and misleading headlines seem to be getting out of hand, somewhat.

Let's not go overboard (3, Interesting)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 3 years ago | (#37141534)

I got the email for the referendum. Let's not say "OMG slippery slope!" quite yet, ok? If this continues to be voluntary, I have absolutely no problem with it. I won't personally turn it on because very little offends me, but if someone else doesn't want to view pictures of genetalia on their respective articles, I can understand that.

Re:Let's not go overboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37141644)

Exactly! This is the point indeed!

Please, realize it is not that Wikipedia may censor images as announced here!! It is just about enabling a personal opt-in hiding feature. The images will always be there and you can see them if you want.

It is not about censorship guys ... !

Re:Let's not go overboard (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about 3 years ago | (#37141706)

The problem is that the moment such a filter is implemented, organizations that already use other methods to get rid of images they don't approve, will demand such filter to be enabled on their whim, without allowing people to opt out.

The client always retains control (1)

saibot834 (1061528) | about 3 years ago | (#37142188)

Wikipedia's image filter would just hide images per default, you're still able to see them with just one click, at any time.

This in no way helps oppressive governments. It is about a client-side cookie and that way the client can control everything at all times. (There's not even a way for a school to hide all images, since you can always override your filter settings by clicking on the image placeholder)

If an evil government tried to filter images, they'd have to prevent pictures from actually being sent over the Internet.

Re:Let's not go overboard (1)

icebraining (1313345) | about 3 years ago | (#37142492)

And Wikipedia can still tell them to fuck off.

Re:Let's not go overboard (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about 3 years ago | (#37141954)

Let's not say "OMG slippery slope!" quite yet, ok?

What, you want a voluntary filter as well?

Tank Man photo not censored by China (5, Informative)

Sparklepony (1088131) | about 3 years ago | (#37141542)

Just thought I should point out it's not China that's responsible for the Tank Man photo being missing from the Tienamen Square massacre article. It's good old western copyright law. The Tank Man photo is copyrighted and not freely licensed so Wikipedia can only include it as fair use. Fair use on Wikipedia is held to very strict standards; fair use images can only be used on articles where the image is otherwise indispensible. So you can find it over at Tank Man [wikipedia.org] , which is specifically about the photo.

Re:Tank Man photo not censored by China (1)

SquirrelDeth (1972694) | about 3 years ago | (#37141678)

I wish accuracy was held to very strict standards.

Re:Tank Man photo not censored by China (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37142102)

Wikipedia is only as accurate as the scholarly and mainstream media sources that each article cites. Feel free to remove anything inaccurate that lacks a citation, as long as you mention in the edit summary that what you remove lacks a citation. If your problem is with inaccuracies in the sources themselves, as I've been told is the case with Wikipedia's article about PSP homebrew, then I guess that's a fundamental problem with Wikipedia policy.

Re:Tank Man photo not censored by China (1)

iamhassi (659463) | about 3 years ago | (#37142256)

I was about to point out that "Tank Man" is supposedly censored due to "China's stance on information" but somehow the execution painting [wikipedia.org] is not censored from the article. [wikipedia.org]

Yes, I know the artist claims the painting is not a representation of what actually happened at Tiananmen (it's just "inspired" by Tiananmen), but it's pretty clear the men are being executed, I don't care if they're laughing or not. That artist is incredibly brave.

Re:Tank Man photo not censored by China (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37142312)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tank_Man

Hey look...the photo.

Good! Here's an image they need to censor! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37141604)

Re:Good! Here's an image they need to censor! (1)

drobety (2429764) | about 3 years ago | (#37141670)

Here here is Adam on his own [wikimedia.org]

NSFW (4, Interesting)

aahpandasrun (948239) | about 3 years ago | (#37141634)

Wikipedia definitely needs a NSFW or Not Safe for School feature at least, unless it's hidden somewhere. Certain articles like defecation go a little over the top.

Re:NSFW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37141700)

No need to bring Tubgirl into this.

Re:NSFW (4, Funny)

Kvasio (127200) | about 3 years ago | (#37141828)

But this filter should work both ways, so one could choose to see ONLY the NSFW articles :-)

Bottom line, folks (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37141662)

Censorship needs a foundation of classification and identification.

Censorship cannot work without differentiation.

Traditionally, governments have employed armies of censors to root out unapproved media and identify it for further control, whether that be by name, URL, or another identifier.

Wikipedia's tagging of potentially offensive media is like a crowdsourced censorship bureau.

Imagine if all images had EXIM fields of "controversial" and "pornographic." Totalitarian regimes would block all image requests so flagged.

We do not want to crowdsource the work of the censors.

how else can I find picutres of naked women (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37141714)

if not on wikipedia? Next they'll take aware my National Geographic subscription.

Keep calm and carry on (2)

LinkTiger (1000531) | about 3 years ago | (#37141732)

This isn't "censorship" or "blocking" of images. If you read the text and look at the mockup, this is an opt-in feature to keep a person from accidentally viewing controversial content when simply clicking around on Wikipedia. There's a "show content" button right where the photo would normally be! Nothing is being kept from anybody. Say you're on break at work and you run across a word you don't know. If you type that word into Wikipedia and it ends up being some sort of genital mutilation or something, you could have a disgusting, inappropriate, NSFW image splayed across your screen. The controversy has been overplayed, and the Slashdot story is borderline inaccurate.

Not censor, an opt-in filter (4, Insightful)

ediron2 (246908) | about 3 years ago | (#37141740)

I took several minutes to read this 2 days ago when I first saw the news (2 days... slashdot, what's happened to you?) and it actually looked damned uncontroversial and careful.

First, I'd say calling this censorship is a red herring.

Censorship = removal of information without recourse or alternative.

Opt-in filtering = giving parents and the squeamish a way to preemptively hide images, with user-controlled overrides.

The categories sought for filtering is also intended to be peer-managed within wikipedia, which should prevent this from becoming a tool for governmental / corporate / ISP censorship. IOW, if users guide the categorization of data (tagging images as sexually explicit, violent, etc) then a gov/corp/ISP can't 'sneak in' the censorship of an article on Turkey, Israel, Net Neutrality, Codomo, China-vs-Taiwan, China-vs-Tibet, Egyptian unrest or whatever.

The call for comments generated by Wiki* also discussed their desire to make whatever they do overridable.

(disclaimer: I think I've edited wiki* a few dozen times, but doubt it was anything censor-worthy).

Re:Not censor, an opt-in filter (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about 3 years ago | (#37141844)

Even in this very comment you already included an example of someone opting a third party in.

Morality Watchdogs? (0, Troll)

hkgroove (791170) | about 3 years ago | (#37141746)

More and more we're becoming a nation of pussies.

Let's hide the truths from our precious snowflakes or else they'll grow up to be the next Hitler.

Christ.

Re:Morality Watchdogs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37141928)

This is Wikipedia, not a national policy. Don't like it, launch your own encyclopedia.

Re:Morality Watchdogs? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37142122)

This is Wikipedia, not a national policy.

Unless a nation requires that all people on its soil opt in to the "self-censored" Wikipedia.

Re:Morality Watchdogs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37141946)

Oh fuck off. Why is your right to see whatever crap you want any more important than my right not to see it?

Re:Morality Watchdogs? (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | about 3 years ago | (#37142064)

It's your responsibility to avoid what you don't want to see.
The other way round makes no sense because they world is full of pussies, each with unique sets of "crap they don't want to see".
The sum of all those sets is EVERYTHING that exists.

Of course, what gets censored is decided on your behalf by some corrupt authority or other, which is why censorship is always evil.

Re:Morality Watchdogs? (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 3 years ago | (#37142086)

Oh fuck off. Why is your right to see whatever crap you want any more important than my right not to see it?

He being allowed to see it does not preclude you from not seeing it. Censorship prevents everyone from seeing it.

Re:Morality Watchdogs? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | about 3 years ago | (#37142536)

Yes, but why are you talking about censorship on a thread about an opt-in feature?

Re:Morality Watchdogs? (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 3 years ago | (#37142574)

Because I was speaking directly to the AC and not commenting on the situation in the article. Nowhere did I call what Wikipedia is doing censorship.

Re:Morality Watchdogs? (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | about 3 years ago | (#37142292)

This depends on your location - but his right to see it is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, and the laws and regulations of many other countries. Your right to not see it isn't even in the Bible.

Re:Morality Watchdogs? (1)

couchslug (175151) | about 3 years ago | (#37142294)

You have every right not to go there in the first fucking place, thereby exercising YOUR right to opt-out.

No one is giving you the Clockwork Orange eyelid clamp treatment. You have to navigate TO a site to view it. Please don't breed.

Re:Morality Watchdogs? (2)

bws111 (1216812) | about 3 years ago | (#37142012)

Quite right. We should also ban adblock and such things, because how dare someone decides what they do and do not want to see.

Re:Morality Watchdogs? (2)

malraid (592373) | about 3 years ago | (#37142082)

It's like requesting the Louvre Museum to cover up the Venus de Milo statue during my visit because I find female anatomy "offensive" or "immoral".

What sort of censorship? (1)

Cant use a slash wtf (1973166) | about 3 years ago | (#37141752)

I'm thinking this should be sort of like the spoiler text used on many image boards, where initially all you see is black, but if you scroll over it you can see what it actually is. I think this would work perfectly for Wikipedia; if you didn't want to see it, you didn't have to. This way it means it would be censored for anyone who didn't want to see it, and anyone who does want to see it would just have to hover over it with their mouse and it would become visible.

The worse evil is censorship. (2)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about 3 years ago | (#37141758)

Censorship is always more offensive than the material being censored.

Those who can understand this are holders of a higher ethic, and it is no bad thing to force this standards on those who have yet to be elevated.

Re:The worse evil is censorship. (1)

bws111 (1216812) | about 3 years ago | (#37142084)

Do you also oppose adblock and such tools? If not, why? After all, they are 'censoring' in exactly the same way this is.

It's not censorship (3, Insightful)

iteyoidar (972700) | about 3 years ago | (#37141792)

I don't want to see hi-res photos of Wikipedia editors' genitalia or nasty skin diseases at the top of an article (when an illustration would suffice) for the same reason I don't want to Wikipedia to change over to magenta text on a lime-green background. There's an issue of aesthetics and readability here.

Re:It's not censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37142246)

Then don't read articles about skin diseases or genitalia. Or you know, use your browser to not show images.
What the fuck do images have to do with readability?
There's not an issue of aesthetics here, but there is a strong correlation between you and stupidity.

Re:It's not censorship (0)

couchslug (175151) | about 3 years ago | (#37142324)

Stay the fuck off then. Illustrations DON'T suffice or medical texts would still be relying on line drawings.

Why should the rest of us sacrifice for the faint of heart?

If body parts offend your taboos, YOU CHOSE those taboos.

Re:It's not censorship (1)

iteyoidar (972700) | about 3 years ago | (#37142728)

Aesthetics are totally subjective. People respond completely differently to the same sets of images, and that has to be taken into account. Wikipedia for the most part operates by working towards a consensus rather than explicit rules, and should strive to be inclusive without compromising the information contained within its articles. If you flippantly ignore the fact that a large number of readers are offended or revolted by certain images prominently displayed in Wikipedia articles (whether you agree with them or not), you're excluding a lot of people on very questionable grounds. Wikipedia already has a problem with the fact that almost all of its editors are middle-upper class white nerdy males in their 20's and these attitudes are part of the problem.

Wrong from the drawing board (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37141904)

Assertion: Wikipedia wants to be an objective source of knowledge.
-If the images are relevant, it is not objective to hide them. It would thus go against their goal.
-If the images are not relevant, they should not be on Wikipedia. It would this go against their goal. The same process which will deem an image "inappropriate for certain people" should be able to deem the image "inappropriate for the article" and thus remove it.

Everything besides these points are necessarily disussions on a puritan ground, colored by current social views. Such views are by definition not objective.

The Wikimedia Foundation literally (read their statement) pull the "think of the children!" argument. Yes, think of the children indeed. Show them the world as it is in an objective manner. If they want to know about the holocaust, don't show them rainbows and unicorns. If kids want to know about penises or vaginas, show them a Wikipedia article instead of letting them google it. I think that is more responsible, and more "think of the children!", if one now wants to use that standpoint.

But yes, this is an idealistic argument. And the original assertion may not hold (based on my argumentation and their proposal, it actually doesn't).

FFS. (5, Insightful)

McDutchie (151611) | about 3 years ago | (#37142008)

Cut it out with the reactionary rhetoric already. It's an opt-in filter that allows people who so choose to read about "controversial" subjects without being confronted with graphic images of hardcore blood, gore, pornography, etc. - and there will be categories of filters, so it may even allow Muslims to read about their prophet without having to see depictions of him, without depriving others of access to those images. This seems like a good thing.

This is not bad. Here's why. (1)

WWWWolf (2428) | about 3 years ago | (#37142032)

This is not bad, because the system, as proposed, is basically going to be just an improved and integrated reimplementation of an already existing feature.

You may have heard of it. It's called "AdBlock Plus".

That's essentially what the Wikipedia community has been telling people to use. Offended by pictures of prophets? Ask your local friendly religious WikiProject if they have a handy ABP list or user CSS file for you to use. Offended by sexual content? Yeah, it's a lot of blocking, but it can be done.

All this is going to do is that it will be integrated to the software. It will also allow better collaborative tagging of pictures. And, of course, it has transparency. You can't do a lot of evil censorship if you've got to be transparent about it.

Wikipedia lost it's relevance (1)

toddmbloom (1625689) | about 3 years ago | (#37142120)

About 10 years ago. Good riddance to them and their power mad administrators.

Re:Wikipedia lost it's relevance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37142254)

The site has a longer article on Kara Thrace than Ada Lovelace.

I care deeply about the fate of Wikipedia. Oh, yes.

Turkey censoring references to the Armenian genoci (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37142144)

"Turkey censoring references to the Armenian genocide" ... I wonder if the internet will see the return of Serdar Argic.

One does wonder... (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 3 years ago | (#37142162)

If pictures of the topic offended them, why were they on the topic in the first place? If you don't want to see pictures of vaginas, maybe you shouldn't look up vaginas?

Re:One does wonder... (1)

lupinstel (792700) | about 3 years ago | (#37142424)

If you want to read about vaginas I have heard that Playboy writes good articles.

Flag everything and add a disclaimer. (1)

couchslug (175151) | about 3 years ago | (#37142258)

Be really blunt about it to chase off the sensitive fucks who start this shit in the first place. The way to react to PC bullshit is with scorn and open hatred because courtesy is wasted on such people.

"This site may offend you. If it is possible to offend you then go the fuck away and never come back because no one here needs you as a viewer."

There really ARE valid reasons for harsh netiquette.

Impossible to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37142268)

What they're proposing to do is add categorization of images. The question is, who gets to categorize them? That's the problem with trying to come up with a censorship system. What I find disturbing, i.e. goatse.cx, may not be disturbing to someone who is trying to find information on goatse.cx. Are they going to have a nudity score? 1-10 so I can filter out pictures of sex, but not a woman's breast as part of a entry on breast feeding? And then for skin diseases, as someone else commented, I want to see photos.

deltionists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37142346)

This is just one of the many efforts of the deltionists to destroy wikipedia. All they care about is doing anything they can to remove content from wikipedia. This is just their most recent ploy.

A first step to personalisation (1)

tpholland (968736) | about 3 years ago | (#37142614)

Over the past 27 months, two magical and revolutionary concepts have changed the way we interact. The first is the Cloud; the second is the Personalized Web.

We all know what the cloud means, but the personalized web means that when I search Google, it no longer returns results based on the words I was searching for. It returns the results it knows I wanted to see, based on a personal profile built up from information about my geolocation, the version number of my browser's rendering engine, and my degrees of seperation from Kevin Bacon.

Imagine this personalization concept carried through to Wikipedia. Rether than viewing a bland article entirely made of compromise and negotiation, I'd be able to read words and see pictures tailored to my point of view--based on my profile, previous reading habits and the kinds of edits I've made. I believe that the proposed changes are just the start of this kind of advanced personalized functionality.

Remember--choice is not censorship, people. And if the choices can be chosen for you in advance, so much the better!

tank man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37142692)

Just to nitpick. The picture of tank man is on the Tienanmen Square page, it's just not first picture. It's under the section labeled tank man, this being wikipedia that could very well have been inserted since the article was posted, but thought I'd point that out.

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