[Commons-l] Fwd: [Gendergap] Photo of the Day on Wikimedia Commons

Neil Kandalgaonkar neilk at wikimedia.org
Mon May 16 16:04:24 UTC 2011

On 5/16/11 10:56 AM, Chris McKenna wrote:
> Am I alaone in completely failing to understand what the fuss is about?
> The image is not pornographic, exploitative, illegal or otherwise
> inapropriate for featured picture status.

Well, those are all judgment calls.

For what it's worth, I'm not offended by toplessness or manga or even 
art that is far more transgressive. I think the image has an 
erotic-fantasy context when you consider it against all the images one 
might feature on Commons, but in the genre of manga I agree this is 
pretty tame.

And just FYI, I can't speak for one "side" of the issue, but at least 
for me, this isn't an American versus rest-of-world thing. I would 
describe my values as being more San Francisco than middle America, and 
just yesterday they had a naked marathon through the city,

But, that's not the point. I'll try speaking in shorter sentences, in 
case I wasn't clear before.

> If you want to any keep images off the main page that are "sexy",
> "pornographic", "offensive" or any other arbitrary label

Nope, speaking only for myself, that was not my intention. Set aside the 
whole pornography issue.

This isn't a notable artwork, nor is it by a notable artist.

Nor is it particularly well executed.

It is not educational by any reasonable standard. If this image is 
educational, just by virtue of the fact that it depicts *something*, or 
was produced with *some tool*, then pretty much *any* image is 
educational. The people who are arguing that it is educational are 
stretching the word far too much.

Now, given all that, it already probably shouldn't be on Commons in my 
opinion. If you want a forum for badly executed anime art, you want 
DeviantArt, not Wikimedia Commons.

And it definitely shouldn't be featured on the front page.

The sexual aspect of this image is really just the last nail in the 
coffin. I might not be interested in intervening if the image was just 
substandard, but this sort of image actively hurts Commons' perception 
in many communities, without any benefits whatsoever.

I understand and appreciate that many people are very fierce about the 
fact that Commons isn't censored. However, I would ask these people to 
take a broader view. Commons can and does contain almost any kind of 
image, but it will be entirely shut out of certain places (like 
libraries) if we don't have some minimum standards about what we show to 
people on the front page. Please ask yourselves what your ultimate goal 
is. If you want to expose the broadest section of people to the broadest 
range of imagery, maybe you shouldn't be fighting for an image that 
could be titled "What if Thomas Kinkade did manga?"

Now, if you wanted to fight for an image that had real educational 
merit, that's another thing, and I would back you all the way.

> Secondly, please explain how this is compatible with Commons being not
> censored.

Not censored != anything goes in any area. Stuff on the front page 
shouldn't bring Commons into disrepute unless there's a strong 
educational justification. In this case there isn't.

As for the rest of your requests, I am not making a proposal that the 
standards change. I think this image doesn't meet existing standards. 
You are mistaken in thinking that your attempt to get me define 
pornography or offensiveness is going to cause my brain to short circuit 
like some Star Trek computer. After all, whoever nominated this image 
for the front page had their own private reasons, and we aren't asking 
them for objective proof that this image is good enough for Commons. The 
wiki process implicitly recognizes that a lot of what is right and wrong 
will be decided by people muddling through.

Neil Kandalgaonkar  |) <neilk at wikimedia.org>

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