[Foundation-l] Racism in Commons

Cary Bass cbass at wikimedia.org
Wed Dec 5 14:28:55 UTC 2007

Andrew Whitworth wrote:
>> The key section should be "Wikimedia Commons is a common central media
>> repository of all Wikimedia projects":
>> "[...] files uploaded to the Commons have to be useful for some
>> Wikimedia project. Media files that are not useful for any Wikimedia
>> project are beyond the scope of Wikimedia Commons."
>> How could Commons be any more specific than that and still fill its
>> "service" role?
> That kind of statement causes Commons to inherent the combined
> acceptability guidelines of the other projects. I can't think of any
> project that would allow such images as these, not even as acceptable
> demonstrations of how other cartoons could be developed.
> Commons has an implicit NPOV policy because all other projects have
> NPOV policies. That might be something worth putting into writing.
While I agree with the removal of the images from the Sharon page, as 
they generally lead undue weight to the gallery, I'm not sure that 
adopting a specific NPOV policy on Commons would be a very good idea.  
As Brianna pointed out, the question of scope pretty much usurps any 
other policy.

Also, the discussion on the talk page at 
<http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Ariel_Sharon> could certainly 
use someone with more eloquence explain the situation better.  I'm 
afraid that comments like "These cartoons /are/ racist because they are 
pointed at a representetive of the jewish people, Ariel Sharon. You can 
call these picture many things, but they are infact - also - racist." 
will always be met with resistance, and does not speak to the rather 
extreme nature of the cartoons.. 

That comment speaks to Sharon himself and not the horrible nature of the 
images.  Basically, you're a saying that Sharon is immune from any 
cartoon, because portraying him with any degree of criticism would be 
considered racism by you--and I must whole-heartedly disagree with this 

Cary Bass
Volunteer Coordinator

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