[Foundation-l] Racism in Commons

Monahon, Peter B. Peter.Monahon at USPTO.GOV
Wed Dec 12 17:34:33 UTC 2007

> Earlier: "...I think we should just use common sense.  In all honesty,
I think that we 
should allow most non threatening materials which would not spark
anger - don't forget the commons motto which if I remember is something
"a database of freely usable media files - not a database of educational


Peter Blaise responds: Great advice, but "common" is such an uncommon
thing!  Especially in the "Commons"!

The reference to things "common" for me is based on the US Declaration
of Independence, the US Constitution, Bill of Rights and Amendments, the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and so on.  

What's "common" mean to you?  

"Non threatening" and "not spark large scale anger" have never been
criteria in any of my "common sense" references.  I think of the
struggles to garner religious and personal freedoms, children's rights,
women's rights, the rights of people of color, the rights of people with
disabilities, abandoning caste systems ... all these come about through
much threatening and sparking large scale anger, right?  

Also, on the Internet, ONE single, solo person can dominate a group,
good or bad, and "look" like a "large scale" situation, so the term
"large scale" is almost impossible to accurately and unambiguously
quantify, and base policy on, even though it sounds nice.  It even
smacks of "appeasing the bully" in trying to placate someone's manifest

I don't think anger's a good or bad thing.  It's just part and parcel of
some people's gyrations, thought process, and sharing, and is part of
the flow of things.  After all, it's only a mailing list, and these are
only words!  Anger is in the eye of the beholder, right?  ARGH!

Is my writing "ARGH" anger, or frustration, or irony, or submission, or
ridicule, or teasing ... or what?  It's just words.  It doesn't matter.
Go with the flow!

Same with pictures.  It's just pictures.  And words.  Read 'em.  Or not.
Respond.  Or not.  Move on.  Or not.  I think that's all I'm encouraging
the originator of this thread (copied below), to do.  Those cartoons?
Read 'em (or not) just like the rest of us, and move on (or not).
Vivisecting political cartoons have been around since politicians have
been around. 

> Earlier: "... [photo Gallery page] ... in commons includes ...
cartoons [presumably that express a point of view] ... Commons does not
have a NPOV policy ..."

Peter Blaise responds:  I have another observation: what are "Galleries"
for in the first place?  Shouldn't the Commons be the one place where
Categories themselves reign supreme?  If I want to find all resources in
Commons on any topic, such as "Ariel Sharon", why have a hand-selected
Gallery of not all Commons resources, when an all inclusive search by
Category would be a more honest reflection of the true Commons contents?
Sadly, those cartoons are not even objectively categorized by content.
They appear to have been assessed by type over content:
Category:Caricatures of ...


So, although the intention of the original poster in this thread was to
filter Commons contents by their own criteria, I see it has revealed
that there are already too many filters on the Commons, and the
"Categories" feature us waay underutilized.  I think Categories should
be expanded to include anything salient and relevant that EXIF and IPTC
Metadata would include.

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