[Foundation-l] foundation-l Digest, Vol 61, Issue 44

Anthony wikimail at inbox.org
Wed Apr 29 19:17:56 UTC 2009

On Wed, Apr 22, 2009 at 1:58 PM, Durova <nadezhda.durova at gmail.com> wrote:

> > > The Wikimedia Foundation takes this opportunity to reiterate some core
> > > principles related to our shared vision, mission, and values. One of
> > > these values which is common to all our projects is a commitment to
> > > maintaining a neutral point of view.
> >
> > I find it a bit strange to talk of Wikimedia Commons as having a NPOV
> > policy.
> Should commons allow images which are biased?
> More concretely, in terms of photography, should photographs adhere to the
> standards of ethics adopted by photojournalists?
> ++++
> There are few suggestions more destructive than good ideas misapplied.
> Let's look at a few featured pictures.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Racistcampaignposter1.jpg
> Blatantly racist and disrespectful of basic human dignity.  Also historic
> and very encyclopedic.  It illustrates the en:wiki article 'Racism', also
> the article on 'Disfranchisement after Reconstruction era (United States)'
> and the individual biographies of two politicians.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:J_accuse.jpg
> Certainly not neutral: it accuses the president of France of gross
> misconduct.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Trumpetcallsa.jpg
> Again, not neutral.  It's a war recruitment poster.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Napoleon's_exile_to_Elba3.jpg<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Napoleon%27s_exile_to_Elba3.jpg>
> Blatant trolling.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Iowa_and_Nebraska_lands10.jpg
> Try viewing this from the perspective of the indigenous peoples whose
> ancestral lands were being sold.
> Those aren't photographs, you might say?  Apply the principle only to
> photography?  Okay, neutralize this:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Woody_Guthrie_2.jpg
> And although this last one is not hosted on Commons and may never be (due
> to
> German law), think of the historic value here.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vote_number_1b.jpg

I'd say they all (at least at a glance) neutrally depict their subjects.
Just as it's fine in Wikipedia to, for instance, quote a racist person,
presenting a racist poster is perfectly fine in Commons.  Creating a racist
poster for commons, on the other hand, wouldn't be, in my opinion.

More information about the foundation-l mailing list