Gregory Maxwell wrote:
My concern was that you appear to be supporting the
idea that due to
differences in cultural norms it is acceptable to
censor content on
some wikipedias and not others. If I have
misunderstood you I
No, you are correct.
I support differences in cultural norms to be acceptable to decide the content to be
displayed on some wikipedias and not on others.
And I support each community to decide which norms it should follow.
Currently, you are suggesting that if the autofellatio image is kept by the english
wikipedia, it should be accepted by all other projects
Sorry, but I absolutely do not agree with this position.
The english wikipedia has the entire responsability to decide whether to keep it or not to
keep it, but its decision should only have a local impact.
There is absolutely no argument to say that it should impact all other projects. The
english wikipedia has no authority over the other projects. It has certainly experience to
bring, it has plenty of good people to listen to, but it is not the boss of other
There is a strong reason for this.
While we have a general agreement that our projects should avoid censorship, we would be
fools to pretend a certain degree of censorship is not currently and naturally applied in
Let me cite a couple of examples, some possibly being in your local project, but some
* picture of a man shitting on his girlfriend
* picture of a man forcing a kid to eat shit under torture
* venerial diseases and consequences on sexual organs
* photo of a man and a woman making love
* photo of a clitoris
* goatse image
* photo of a man raping a woman
* photo of a man fucking with a sheep
* movie of a group of 5 men raping a teenage boy (with the cries of the boy who is still
* movie of a man raping a baby girl, with the blood resulting from an exploded vagina
* photo of Nick severed head
* photo of a girl cutting a man balls
* movie of soldiers torturing another soldier by burning him with cigarette (with the
screams, when internet is able to, let's not forget the smell of burnt skin)
* photo of bodies cut into pieces by a madman
* photos of a woman giving birth
* Zoom photos of bloated bodies after a tsunami
* photo of a man vomiting
* movie of a little girl slowly drowning between logs after an earthquake, while
journalists take pictures of her calling her mom
I could go on and on forever.
All this exist.
Most is informative.
Some is already in Wikipedia. Most is not.
Is it censorship NOT to put these pictures in Wikipedia ? YES, IT IS CENSORSHIP.
Should these absolutely be in wikipedia ? To my opinion, some should be, some should not,
and others, I do not know.
I am all ready to admit that I have a pov on those. Just as everyone else. But the point
is, not only editors have each a pov, but whether we like it or not, different cultures
have different povs directions.
For example, being french, I am quite confortable saying that the americans generally have
a much stronger taboo with regards to sex than we do, and that northern european have less
taboo than french regarding to nudity. I also understood that japanese have some habits
that I regard as very odd (such as collecting teenager girls pants) and practice bounding
much more than my culture does. It would not be very strange that they have different povs
than us on what is shocking or not shocking regarding sex fun.
In some cultures, some of the things I listed might be more shocking than in other
This means that we will have tendencies to censor different things, due to our taboos.
It is just plain non acceptable that one of our cultures decide for the other cultures
what is taboo and shocking from what is not.
And the very fact the current english wikipedia does not have most of the item listed
above SHOW THAT THERE IS CENSORSHIP.
And maybe some of the things the english speaking people censor will not be censored on
the other pedias.
We consequently have three options.
First solution : we decide for a totally censor-free content (and in this case, all the
items listed above are to be included and displayed directly online on all projects). I am
pretty confident we will rather admit that it would be best that we censor a little bit,
even though our goal is not to censor...
Second solution : we decide that we should collectively take decisions on what should be
censored and what should not be (and in this case, I invite all editors on all projects to
go vote on the autofellatio, clitoris and severed head matters). I do not support that
solution, in great part for practical reasons
Third solution : we all share a common goal of non censorship, but we admit we censor a
little bit nevertheless and we admit that these decisions should be taken locally, by
Needless to say, I am all for the third one. I think minorities opinions should always be
considered, and the argument that the english wikipedia community is the bigger so should
be the one to decide for other communities is not valid as far as I am concerned. We have
common goals, we have common big rules, but we have essentially local applications of
It is my strongly held position that if you wish to
censor, then you
are not in agreement with the ideals of the overall
project and you
would be better off with your own fork.
Now, since you call for me to quit the community and to set up a fork where I could act as
a censor, I would like to add this.
I think my goal of letting each project independant on such decisions as much as possible
is much more supported than your opinion that only one frame of mind in what should be
censored or not censored should be.
Here is what I did for all the past year.
I think all participants are aware of our guidelines of non-censorship.
Most reasonable participants will also realise that the strongest interest of that
guideline is essentially to give something to cite to those keeping/protecting the project
from pov pushers. I do not think it means "we should not censor anything", but
rather "we should aim at not censoring ourselves due to our personal taboos". In
short, the idea is not to totally prevent censorship, but to follow a general and
collective goal to find a reasonable path. When an editor alone is deleting autofellatio
image, this image can be reverted on the grounds that "we should not self-censor
ourselves". But if the community decides the image should be deleted, then it should.
If the community is able to decide an image is not informative enough in balance with the
amount of shock it generates, then it should just not be there.
Generally, all big wikipedias have a strong and diverse community, absolutely able to make
that decision. And generally, I think Wikimedia Foundation should not get involved in such
decisions, because the communities are strong enough to make the GOOD decision. I do not
know if the english wikipedia will keep or not the autofellatio image and whatever the
decision, I will not oppose it, because when say 100 people in a culture make that type of
decision, then it is certainly a better decision than I could have taken myself.
Same for all big wikipedias, such as the french or the dutch or the spanish ones (since
they recently have troubles with the image concerned).
Where I think the board is involved, it is only for trying to keep and promote the big
picture, the guideline, and ONLY help those communities which are not able to take a
decision by themselves, or too small to do so.
Couple of examples in the past year
* a very small wikipedia starting in an african language. Only one editor and he started
adding advertisement for his organisation on the main page. There was no community, I got
involved and stopped this.
* the french wikinews : very very small community and one of the most involved does not
believe NPOV, does not want to follow it, and consider neutrality is even illegal. I keep
a careful eye on this, because it might be very detrimental to our project. If needed, I
will either block the person, or even stop the project
* The hebrew wikipedia seemed to delete all interwiki languages some time ago, but for the
english ones. We considered this against our general principles and reacted. Very
recently, an hebrew editor reported possible censorship, since I do not read hebrew, I
suggested Danny (a very trusted person) to check what was going on.
Whatever my own position on the autofellatio image, I will never interfere on big
wikipedias in one way or another, because I think communities are more able to decide than
I what is okay or not. However, if I felt there was a very strange misdirection, I would
get involved. Yes, a strange direction could be to censor all articles about sex, or
excluding all editors who have a communist pov, or similar things.
I am confident this can not happen on any of the big wikipedias, where there is a strong
base of very involved people.
Who is "you" ???
Whomever you speak for that has decided that whatever
language you are
editing needs a differing policy with respect to
censorship than the more heavily trafficed wikipedias.
French, Spanish, Dutch wikipedias are amongst the most heavily trafficed wikipedias.
French is number 4, Dutch is number 5.
They are absolutely in their right to have differing policies than the bigger English
wikipedia. If they decide to delete the autofellatio, while the english decide to keep it,
it is their absolute right. And telling them to fork for thinking different from the
English is frankly uncalled for.
Neither the community deciding to keep it, nor the community deciding to delete would be
wrong. They would both be right in their diversity.
May I suggest that the english wikipedia is NOT the
Foundation. And that if I recognise the rights of
english wikipedia to decide itself what is good
from what is bad taste, I do not recognise its right
to decide alone what is censorship and what is not
censorship. And I do not recognise its right to
what should be on all the other projects from what
should be absolutely.
Is there not a consensus that denying, by policy, the
useful, informative, and encyclopedic information is
Maybe the arguments of the dozen of editors supporting the deletion of that image would be
enough to answer your question.
Of course everyone has a right to decide what you will
add... but if
you wish to procedurally remove informative
contributions because of
some non-neutral position, than you would be better
off involved with
another project that includes such a non-neutral slant
as part of its
Uh, I do not get what you mean here ?
You mean by vote ?
Do you think all editors supporting the deletion of that picture should fork ???
And when editors are complaining of large vandalism
displaying porn pictures on their talk page, I think
it would be good manner to recognise there is a
problem and find a solution to it.
However, your proposals included censoring wikipedia.
Not only would
this not solve your problem (bad guy just uploads the
image under a
new name and you're even more shocked, because you
cant just click the
firefox adfilter plugin option to block it forever if
changing the name), but it is not an acceptable means
vandalism because it compromises the core goals of the
No, there were not my proposals. These were A list of proposals.
One of these proposals is not a proposal; it is was is actually happening (ie, french
editors voting for deletion on the english wikipedia).
I do not say this is a good idea, and my call for help is precisely to avoid this to
I admire your ability to discuss an issue. I report 3
different wikipedias complaints about large scale
vandalisme, and your answer is "fork".
I admire your ability to discuss an issue. Three
have a problem with a class of vandalism which can be
simple technical/procedural means (soft redirects +
clicks), and your answer is to censor.
When editors asked for the technical/procedural means to the technical team, their request
Hence my desire to talk about it openly... which is interpretated as censorship.
Censorship INSIDE the project will exist the day when we are not able to talk about a
topic without someone accusing you of censorship.
There is currently strong support for deleting this
Throughout history there has been strong support for a
lot of things
that we view in hindsight as very wrong. Neutrality is
a core value of
these projects. By supporting this venture you are
impose your values on others, it's not neutral. If
we abandon this
goal in the favor of a few practical gains we abandon
much of what
makes the project special.
Supporting which venture ?
If I wanted to impose MY views on editors, I would have long time ago DELETED that image.
I did not. I limited myself to just vote for its deletion with no comments whatsoever.
As things are, I took great effort all along the past year, to avoid giving my opinion on
many topics, to avoid to impose my views on others.
However, when editors contact me to ask me to help them into a matter, I try to help them,
and I do not appreciate at all this is viewed as trying to impose *my* views.
> Wiki vandalism is unfortunate, but it is not a
> sufficient cause to
> reduce the available knowledge and the free
> of information to
> mankind. It is not an excuse for censorship.
I do not think a talk page being replaced by
pornographic pictures will reduce world knowledge.
I do not think a man sucking is cock being limited
one article only rather than thousand of pages will
a bad blow in free exchange of information.
Why do you now limit your remedies to talk pages?
In your initial message you proposed censoring the
for use in all wikipedias to be the least common
would hurt knowledge, and it wouldn't help your goal.
I'd attach a
copy of the image to this email to demonstrate how
doesn't protect you from unwanted content.... If
concerned, you can browse with images off. (or use the
plugin to filter it with two mouse clicks).
Then read again my initial message.
I did not propose to censor the image; I indicated that unless a technical solution be
found and implemented, the image will found itself naturally censored by all non english
editors tired of seeing their main page or talk pages replaced by porn.
By the way, I can not use Firefox on my old system 9. So, I have no filter.
In all cases, you seem to be unable to understand that I currently talk in the name of
many editors and not in my proper name.
However, I think the Foundation hold a certain responsability on user talk page. If
editors do not want their talk page to display porn images, it would be a good idea that
we help this not to happen. I think that this is hurting our image. Incidently, I do think
it would be a serious blow in our image that jimbo talk page be replaced by the picture of
a man sucking his cock. It is hard to go negociate with outside people when so.
However, I do think that such reactions to other
people opinions is a bad blow in wikilove that we
should all try to respect.
I respect peoples feelings, but feelings are more
freedom and feelings are less universal than
knowledge. If the
project goals were amended to say that it is the
primary objective to
make people feel good, then I would not be making the
As I already said, you are entitled to your opinion.
But an autofellatio image displayed in thousand of copies on editors talk page is NOT
helping free knowledge.
Sometimes, there is need to balance things. And consider the weight of a decision. It may
help on one hand, and have detrimental impact on the other hand.
Upsetting several wikipedias with many vandalised talk pages and telling them "guys,
guys, please tolerate sex images on your talk pages for the sake of free knowledge. We
decided for you this picture was okay on wikipedia" is not exactly the good move.
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