[Foundation-l] Wikipedia is not censored (was Wikipedia is not the Karma Sutra, was Re: commons and freely licensed sexual imagery

Nathan nawrich at gmail.com
Fri May 15 18:25:59 UTC 2009

I'm with Simetrical on this one. One persons censorship is anothers
editorial decision, and by and large[1] the actual content on Wikimedia
projects is determined by the cultural sensitivities of the Wikimedia
community and not the ideals to which we aspire. The arguments we make are
by turns pragmatic, emotional, ontological, and philosophical... but
ultimately, if most Wikimedians are offended by a beheading video but not by
a pearl necklace then we will exclude the one but not the other.

Examples of this can be found regularly on discussion boards at the English
Wikipedia, where userpage nudity used in a derisive political comment is
much more easily accepted than gratuitous sexual wallpaper. Similarly we
allow userboxes against atheism, for atheism, for the Confederate army,
against the Catholic Church... userboxes that mock the physical features of
George Bush, others that practically deify him. But we've rejected
anti-Obama userboxes, pro-Hamas/Hezbollah userboxes, userboxes with
swastikas (even outside the Nazi context) and many others. One user even
failed to become an administrator because of a userbox that described him as
a "Grammar Nazi" with a swastika. If you can divine a consistent "not
censored" ideaology from this track record, you're a more careful observer
than I am.


1. By and large (and at large) is a nautical term. Who knew.

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