I'm going to add my voice to the "yeah, that
wasn't cool". To give a bit
an anecdote, John Vandenberg and I were doing a demonstration of Commons
some librarians and cultural curators yesterday, and it was a bit of a
shock seeing that particular image on the frontpage. One of the more
elderly contributors remarked on it to me privately in a negative sense
afterwards, all I could do was look embarassed and say "Yes, it's a bit
racy image, isn't it. Can't imagine how anyone thought that would be a
idea". That's probably one contributor who won't be beating a path to
door in the future.
And, at the risk of editorialising here, those who are responding to this
criticism by claiming that we're asking for "censorship" or that the
to plaster graphic images over the Commons frontpage is a battle for
along the lines of the fight against slavery or for universal suffrage...
need to take an aspirin and have a good lie down. Nobody is claiming
such images are not within Commons' scope; they quite clearly are, just
pictures of penises, medical procedures, and other images that people
find unpleasant are. Should they be in scope for the main page though?
don't think so, the same as a picture of a genital piercing, Osama bin
Laden's bloodied corpse, or other pictures that could possibly cause
innocent people to get in trouble should be out of main page scope. As a
community, I think most of us are mature enough to apply a common sense
to these things, and common sense would indicate that that image was
to be one that would cause needless offense to people and hurt the
Librarians have a strong professional ethos which rejects censorship.
They understand the issue. And when they are in the news, its often some
High Noon confrontation over removing material such as Huck Finn from the
shelves. Our anime allegory of Liberty is not nearly as objectionable, or
dangerous, as Huck Finn.
Librarians understand and are strongly committed to minimizing censorship
and boards of approval.