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

Andreas Kolbe jayen466 at yahoo.com
Tue May 17 13:26:42 UTC 2011

--- On Tue, 17/5/11, Craig Franklin <craig at halo-17.net> wrote:
From: Craig Franklin <craig at halo-17.net>
Subject: Re: [Commons-l] Fwd: [Gendergap] Photo of the Day on Wikimedia Commons
To: "Wikimedia Commons Discussion List" <commons-l at lists.wikimedia.org>
Date: Tuesday, 17 May, 2011, 12:54

I'm going to add my voice to the "yeah, that wasn't cool".  To give a bit of an anecdote, John Vandenberg and I were doing a demonstration of Commons to some librarians and cultural curators yesterday, and it was a bit of a rude 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 of a racy image, isn't it.  Can't imagine how anyone thought that would be a good idea".  That's probably one contributor who won't be beating a path to our 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 freedom to plaster graphic images over the Commons frontpage is a battle for liberty 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 that such images are not within Commons' scope; they quite clearly are, just like pictures of penises, medical procedures, and other images that people might find unpleasant are.  Should they be in scope for the main page though?  I 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 test to these things, and common sense would indicate that that image was
 likely to be one that would cause needless offense to people and hurt the project.

Sorry for your bad experience. In light of that, it is a bit galling to note that the contributor ofthe image says on his Commons user page,
Rule #1: Commons
is Censored [1]

Some of my works were also accepted by Featured

But who really cares about this subjective
nonsense? I don't (anymore). It is equivalent to a private organization
controlled by some divas and is not representable for the variety of images
currently available on Commons.

In short: It is worth nothing and is total

The diva comment seems perceptive, though not in the way the contributor meant it. It'sabsurd that we let art from someone with those views hurt the efforts of those that actuallybelieve in this being an educational project. The tail wags the dog here; the importanceof manga in the overall "sum of human knowledge" is actually minute.
The Featured status of the image itself is under review in Commons; the link is:
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