First, let me apologise for the out of order reply... Gmail's
threading system is terrible to say the least, and I've missed part of
On Tue, 29 Mar 2005 19:46:52 +0200, Anthere <anthere9(a)yahoo.com> wrote:
I think you are confusing censorship and neutrality
I don't think I am...
Well, we might agree to disagree then :-)
Quite possibly, but I'd like to be sure that we actually disagree.. So
here is what I think...
1. For the purpose of neutrality, images and text are not greatly
different. If we shun text because we think it expresses a bad idea,
then we are not being neutral. If we shun an image because it
expresses a bad idea it is effectively the same. If we argue that we
are not banning the topic but banning images of the topic, we have
just changed ourself from making value judgments on the topic to
judgments on "images of the topic", again, we are not neutral if we
decide that "images of the topic" are bad. (because you could write
an article about images of that topic and then the image becomes a
2. Some people (at a minimum including the people whos concerns you
are bringing up now, and possibly you) think that is would be good to
have differing 'standards' for the acceptability of content in
differing language wikis.
3. In order to be neutral, the primary standards we use to decide if
content should be banned are: Encyclopedic (i.e. it's ability to
inform and educate) and legal (do we have a right to distribute the
4. If we ban material because we think that it is bad, or represents
evil, then we have imposed our values on the material and are thusly
not talking a neutral position.
5. The concepts of encyclopedicness are generally universal: Material
which informs, educates, and increases knowledge, will continue to do
for speakers of other languages. (If translated as needed).
6. If we combine point (5) with point (2) we find that the reason for
differing standards for other languages must necessarily be of a
nature not related to encyclopedic value. This is undesirable due to
point (3). I do not think that it is a leap to state that if we are
not banning material because it does not convey knowledge, then we are
very likely banning it because we believe that it is bad or evil. Have
I made a mistake? If not, we run into (4).. We should not ban things
because some people decide that they are evil.
is a reason why the image is useful.... It says that it
is possible in a manner which is difficult for text or drawings to do
You have a point here.
It's not my goal to argue for the picture, but yes.. I think I do have
a point. But this point doesn't mean the image couldn't be improved or
replaced with a better one...
There are many ways we can address the issue, but removing things we
dislike because we dislike them without primarily considering their
potential value is a huge risk that I'd like for us to avoid.
Na, you did not understand mine. I do not support its
deletion due to
the act being bad, nor to nudity being bad. I think that it is a
delicate topic and we should be careful to limit rejection from readers.
This is indeed a very complex topic.
As it stand now, the english wikipedia in it's complete (and
unvandalized) form would not be legally usable inside public primary
schools in most of the United States. This is a huge potential
audience for an encyclopedia (but perhaps not the most *important*
audience for us, because it's likely that a proportionately smaller
number of good editors will come from that audience).
Once you factor in vandalism, there really is no way to use wikipedia
(or most of the internet, for that matter) in that enviroment as
things stand today.
The problem is, of course, for any sufficiently interesting subject
there will be people that any rational policy will drive away. This is
largely because humans are generally not entire rational about at
least a few subjects.
We may only achieve the attention of some of that audience by reducing
our level of rationality... which will ultimately cost us another
If our goal is to have the widest audience *today* then we are taking
the wrong approach. I like to think that we are trying to maximize
the value of the resource over the longterm...
It is very easy for those that care to create censored subsets of the
wikipedia. It is not easy to find censored wikipedia articles that
The very vivid colors of the picture, the sweat, the
bestial look, the
angle of pictures... all suggest porn. The picture is NOT pretty.
I think sensible topics could be much less problematic is treated in a
I never studied the image so closely. :)
But you make a point, ... It would not be censorship to replace the
image with one that conveyed the same information but better met some
Here is what I would suggest.
If you are still young enough and have a partner able to do decent
pictures, please propose your own picture. Select soft colors, a
pleasant angle of view, a neutral or just gently expecting look on your
own face, and let's talk about it again ? Okay ?
(I am serious).
I wouldn't be qualified to produce that particular demonstration
myself without risking a back injury. ;)
I suppose could probably find someone who could, however..
It would be best if we could maximize the clinical appearance of such
an image. I would not be the best person to make such suggestions,
because I'm not bothered by it at all.... your suggestion of 'soft
colors' would not be my first guess on how to achieve this goal.
Both neutrality and censorship are "strong
[snip guidelines examples]
This is very unfortunate you chose not to comment on the examples.
I think this is very relevant to the contrary. Most of you hardest core
supporters of non-censorship, an opinion I respect, do not comment on
where you would draw the hardline. I am sure you have a hardline just as
anybody else, but you just put it further than we do. It might be
informative to know where you put it. Classification of system to filter
content do not do any different. They try to define level of "violence
or sex" to define the different levels of filtering. If we admit that we
have a sort of line, we might just as well try to define where it is.
I didn't reply to the examples because I thought all of them were
unreasonable. ... I really do believe that setting such a line should
be avoided, and I am really arguing that doing so would be a serious
Here is where we really would probably end up agreeing to disagree. I
would be surprised if I were every offended by a chunk of factual
information, I might object to what it represents as I object to the
Holocaust but I would not find images of the mutilation of humans that
happened during the holocaust objectionable. I would not find images
of child rape offensive, although I really doubt they would be useful
in an article on the subject, and.. Of course, I would never allow
such an act to actually be committed if I had the power to stop it.
I might find information in the form of a call to action (for example,
hate speech) objectionable, because it forms instructions (directly
or indirectly) to be carried out, rather than just conveying facts.
Because of the principal of neutrality and the nature of editing on
wikipedia, I think that it's highly unlikely that I would encounter
such content.... and if I did, I would be uniquely empowered to
address the problem. :)
The difference is that true factual information is what it is... If we
erase the evidence of it, we do not make it nonexistent. I don't
believe that information of that type can be bad. Information that
attempts to sway people to commit a bad action is the only type of
information that I think can be 'bad' (because it isn't inert), and
even in that case, outright censorship is often not the best means to
Since I don't find the information we're discussing to be bad (because
it's just inert information), I do not believe that it would be
rational to exclude it on the basis of being offensive. (excluding it
because we can find better material to use on the same topic is
another matter entirely).
I am unsure how many people share my position. I live with someone
(who is actually a pretty active contributing editor, unlike me.. I've
only edited a few things) who mostly shares my position on the matter
of information being 'bad', but I don't have any reason to believe
that she is any more normal than I am.
Even if my position isn't common, I think it is a useful position to
study the subject from... if not the only potentially valid position.
Unfortunately, we can not easily modify a picture.
This is a black and
If we decide that the image isn't the best image to convey the subject
and it should probably be replaced with a similar image, then the
intuitive course of action is to mark it as such, and leave it there.
... If we've agreed that something is informative (and encyclopedic)
but needs improvement our practice has been to not delete it... The
bad version serves as an incentive for people to replace it with a
good version, and as an example of what we are trying to improve.
...Though some attempts have been made on the clitoris
picture. The best
solution is probably to provide a picture which might be more acceptable
by a larger set of body.
Right, thats acceptable... If we keep the same educational value, it
isn't at all censorship to find content that matches other more
complex values... For example, it would be probably reasonable to
replace a picture of a "mustang" car on the article about that with
another equally good picture of a mustang that has a body color that
better matches the color scheme of wikipedia.... :)
accepting that cultures have different taboos is right.
>Calling other communities rules and opinions, when differing from
"non-neutral" is wrong. This is what you are doing. The decision
of the english wikipedia is fine, but the rules applied on the english
wikipedia, belongs to the english wikipedia. They should not impair the
right of other communities to set their own rules, without those being
I'm not sure if this is the case or not.. I think if you go over my
points at the top we will improve our mutual understanding on this
Sorry, I do not understand that sentence.
[[Cognitive dissonance]] Explains the concept better than I can.
... I am basically saying that you are giving me too ideas which I
would like to believe but I find them to be conflicting.
we attempt to modify the article to fit our views
and exclude others,
this is non-neutral and this is censorship.
Well, I tried to exclude an image. You tried to exclude people.
.. I'm not sure if you are talking about excluding the people who will
not use the wikipedia because they are offended by some of it's
content... or my suggestion that we exclude people who want to operate
under differing rules. Both are possible, so I will answer both.
I don't think it's our goal to include all possible readers, because
all possible readers are not rational and "you can not please all of
the people all of the time". I can't be faulted for excluding all
these people because we exclude many people just because we refuse to
include "France is a bunch of cowards". ;)
In case of excluding editors... It is normal to ask people who do
not wish to follow the rules of the game to go start their own game
These are different approaches. Telling people to fork
is also a bit
censorship, don't you think ?
Forks are not usually good, but they can be liberating.
I'd welcome anyones contributions, but if people insist on removing
the valuable contributions of others, I don't think it is censorship
to ask them to go remove things elsewhere.
I do not hope to start a fight in saying
this, but just to mention that it is very easy to talk about censorship,
but it has several faces.
That is very true.
I think we are all guilty of making things more simple than they
strictly are, but I don't know that communication is possible without
Well, anyway, thanks for the more moderated tone, I
appreciated. Hope I
do not offend you in this mail. Do not wish to.
You have not offended me in the least, and I'm glad we've come to a
greater understanding. Equally, I do not wish to offend you.