This has been discussed many times on many occasions. See the extensive
archives of depictions of
the long discussion regarding the images on the
In general the current consensus seems to be against collapsing
image's by default.
Also, these arguments that seem to be used often in this type of discussion:
*1) Wikipedia is not censored. This means that one should expect explicit
images if man navigates to an explicit topic.
2) Not all browsers handle collapsed images correctly, meaning that they may
show regardless, or that they could not be un-collapsed. (Not sure if this
one still applies)
3) Collapsing would be an indication that we deem some content graphic. In
this case we cast a judgment on content, which might lead to a particular
bias. Often this type of argument points out that images of muhammed are not
considered offensive in most parts of the western world, while they are
considered to be offensive elsewhere. Or, to paraphrase a comment i once
read: "If you suffer from
would that mean that our article on it should not contain a related image as
it would be offensive to you?",
4) "Freedom of speech"
*In favor of collapsing:
*1) Explicit content could be hidden on default, which would make a page
readable if man would find graphical content offensive, while allowing
images to be viewed if man wishes to see it.
2) Except for blocking images in a browser, there is no method to filter
possibly explicit content, meaning that a collapse box could be a safety
3) "It is offensive"
As far as i am aware we do not differentiate between different categories of
explicit, due to the danger of casting biased judgments. In general the
inclusion criteria is that the image must be related to the article, and
that it has added value. And of course the image has to be legal within the
USA as well. Do note that this is an incomplete list, and as a disclaimer i
would add that i tend to be against collapsing. I tried to be as objective
as possible while creating this list, but it could possibly be biased
nonetheless, so take care before assuming this is everything ever said about
On Thu, Jun 10, 2010 at 6:02 PM, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466(a)yahoo.com> wrote:
There is currently a discussion at the en:WP content
noticeboard whether we
could or should
1. Use collapsed galleries for particularly graphic sexual images
(requiring the reader to click "Show" to see the content)
2. Display them openly, as has been normal practice so far
3. Dispense with images and just add a link to a relevant Commons category.
I've come across examples of collapsed images in other language versions of
Wikipedia recently, and it seems to me that is an option we could pursue in
en:WP as well, in cases where the content is particularly graphic. If you
have views on this, please contribute to the discussion.
On a related point, I've seen people argue recently that we shouldn't be
applying a double standard of explicitness to sexually explicit images and
images of explicit violence, such as those displayed in the en:WP article on
the My Lai massacre.
The gist of the argument is that it reflects badly on us if we are fine
with images of explicit violence but somehow cannot stand the sight of
explicit images of sexuality, which is after all a normal and essential part
of human existence.
I see some merit in that argument, as far as it goes, but it seems to me it
misses a key difference in the social functions of images of sexuality vs.
those of images of violence.
Images of violence like the ones in the My Lai article document human
suffering. Such images have historically been shown to be key factors in
mobilising public opinion and political action to reduce or end such
suffering. There is a genuine, vital public interest at stake.
Sexually explicit images on the other hand, like those included in our
en:WP articles on cock and ball torture or hogtie bondage, illustrate
practices that individuals engage in of their own free will, in their
private leisure time.
So while both types of images are explicit (and I wouldn't completely rule
out collapsing a particularly gruesome war image), I think the two cases,
and the purposes explicitness serves in each case, have far more to set them
apart than they have in common.
foundation-l mailing list