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

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Mon May 18 18:41:32 UTC 2009

Nathan wrote:
> On Sun, May 17, 2009 at 6:25 PM, Samuel Klein <meta.sj at gmail.com> wrote:
>> What I'd like to see is a preferences framework that allows people to
>> subscribe to a set of opt-in viewing/reading options similar to how we
>> currently can add JS widgets.  If any of them become so massively
>> popular and useful that there is demand to include them as a
>> single-button option in the global user prefs menu, that's ok - but we
>> can wait to see how each viewing option is received.
>> The ones I imagine getting lots of use would not be about
>> 'content-hiding', but would filter up/down other sorts of information
>> (I really want an option to see major contributors, or the last few
>> contributors, near the top of an article for instance).   However,
>> this would also let the minority of readers who care a lot about that
>> collaborate with one another on making reading WP more friendly for
>> them.
> I think if there was demand for this within the editing community, it would
> already exist. The problem, then, is not what to do for the editors who
> might like a "safe" option but for the readers who don't have an account and
> can't set preferences or add .js widgets. Maybe not right now, but I can see
> in the future shooting for a kids.wikipedia.org or safe.wikipedia.org -
> perhaps Simple Wikipedia, which has had some criticism for its mission,
> could be adapted for the purpose.
It's true enough that the demand would not come from the editing, 
because the editing community is on the supply side of the economic 
equation, and it suits the supply side to market its material so that it 
can justify putting it in there in the first place.  Some kind of 
filtering or an alternative project for kids (without usurping the role 
of Simple Wikipedia) are both solutions worth exploring, preferably in 
ways that do not encumber the demand side with a lot of techno-babble 
that reduces utility, and which can then encourage the supply-siders to 
say, "Look, we gave them these opportunities, but they aren't using them." 

I find the pearl-necklace picture in extremely poor taste.  There is 
little if any benefit to supporting this kind of scurrilous infantilism. 
Nevertheless, the civil libertarian in me is conflicted because it is 
based on a presumptions that individuals will act responsibly, and that 
it is illegitimate to substitute my judgement for that of others.  The 
problem is not with these images.  If we could miraculously find a 
formula that clearly identified which images would not be hosted the 
problem would not go away. We would still have vigorous competition to 
fill the role of the Grand Inquisitor who would put Jimbo on the cross.

Vision is anathema to the cubicle-minded. 

Vision threatens to shatter the belief in an orderly world.  We are 
overwhelmed with the technotheism of those whose years of education in 
computer science have propagated well the theology of order.

There is no evidence that pornographic pictures or distorted biographies 
of living people would work to bring down the entire project.  It's a 
sense of integrity, not the threat of Armageddon, that should guide us 
in this kind of thing. 

The priests of the theology of order are ever ready to regulate any 
eccentricity in their perfectly circular orbits. Woe to any planetoid 
that would perturb their orbits.  Truly democratic systems make room for 
the outliers who happened to be out of the room at the time a decision 
was made.


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