[Foundation-l] Jimbo's Sexual Image Deletions

Robert Rohde rarohde at gmail.com
Fri May 7 19:23:28 UTC 2010

As some of you may know, Jimbo has recently used his standing in the
community to dictate that Commons should not host porn. [1][2][3]  He
has interpreted this to include a wide swath of images both
photographic and illustrative, and both contemporary and historical.

In principle, I agree that having a stricter policy on sexual images
is a good thing, but fundamentally we need to have a clear policy on
what should be allowed and what shouldn't.  Attempts to write one [4]
have become a moving target that leaves us without a functional policy
or community consensus.  Initially, this was based on the
characteristics of the USC 2257 record keeping laws, but Jimbo has
gone beyond this by deleting non-photographic and historical works
that would not be covered by 2257.

In essence, right now Jimbo is deleting things based on his singular
judgment about what should be allowed. [5]

These deletions have continued with little apparent concern for
whether or not an image is currently in use by any of the projects.

This is a large change and lack of a clear policy creates a very
confusing and frustrating environment for editors.  (Multiple Commons
admins have already stated their intention to resign and/or retire
over this.)

Again, I agree that tighter controls on sexual images are generally a
good thing, but I believe the abruptness, lack of clear policy, and
lack of a consensus based approach is creating an unnecessarily
disruptive environment.  Much of the content has been hosted by
Wikimedia for years, so do we really have to delete it all, right now?
 Can we not take a week or two to articulate to boundaries of what
should be deleted and what should be kept?

In general, I would ask that things slow down until some sort of a
clear policy can be created (either by the community or the WMF /
Board).  This is especially true when it comes to deleting images that
are in use on the various Wikipedias.  (Such deletions have already
been widespread).

I would also like to ask whether either the WMF or the Board plans to
intervene?  Because of Jimbo's historical standing and technical
access, the Commons community is largely impotent to stop him.
Multiple requests by the community that things slow down or a clear
policy be crafted prior to mass deletions have thus far been

At the very least it would be helpful if the WMF and/or Board would
express a position on the appropriate use of sexual content?

-Robert Rohde

[1] http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Jimbo_Wales
[2] http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Village_pump#Cleanup_policy
(and following sections)
[3] http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons_talk:Sexual_content
[4] http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Sexual_content
[5] http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special%3ALog&type=delete&user=Jimbo+Wales

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