[Foundation-l] Jimbo's Sexual Image Deletions

Samuel Klein meta.sj at gmail.com
Sat May 8 12:07:30 UTC 2010

Marcus writes:

> I try to understand what happened...
> * Larry Sanger informs media about us alleging Wikimedia of hosting
porn. [unaffirmed]

He just made a lot of noise, and some media picked it up.

> * The (conservative) TV station FOX reports about Wikimedia and
> contacts many important companies that have donated money for
> Wikimedia in the past whether they want to comment on the allegations.
> [affirmed]
> * The companies are contacting Wikimedia to ask what's going on.
> [unaffirmed]

Mainly they contacted us to say "fyi, Fox wants to cause trouble".  It
was clear what was going on.

> * The board worries about losses in donations and either sends Jimbo to
> Commons or Jimbo unilaterally decides to handle the case. [unaffirmed]

We're doing well with donations, the vast majority of which come from
specific grants or small donors -- not likely to be affected by Fox.
(considering our supporter base, a major campaign by them might simply
raise more money.) We're not worried about that.  The drama on Commons
is related to people honestly being worried about the negative impact
of hosting uneducational but controversial media -- can a scare
campaign drive away good contributors?  are we already driving away
contributors, as Sydney Poore suggests, by creating an uncomfortable

> * Without mentioning the previous developments Jimbo starts to delete
> all files that are "porn" (in his opinion, not sparing PD-old artworks
> etc.). Even engaging in edit-warring and ignoring input from the Commons
> community and ignoring community policies. [affirmed]
> * The Commons community condemns Jimbo's actions but has no power
> at all to stop the "Founder"-flagged berserk. [affirmed]

How can you call this 'affirmed'?  Jimbo has made strong suggestions,
but it is the Commons community that must create and enforce its own
policies.  The founder flag is an indication of respect, and provides
'crat rights on all projects, but doesn't provide any more 'power'
over the project than any bureaucrat has.  The real power on wikis is
social, not technical -- and where there is a vacuum without local
consensus, Jimbo is often persuasive and effective at providing
guidance.  However once the community decides how to proceed, it
should do so with confidence.

On Fri, May 7, 2010 at 6:50 PM, Marcus Buck <me at marcusbuck.org> wrote:

> We do not need 10,000 close-ups of penises. But we need some penises.
> Small, medium, big, from different ethnicities, crooked, shaved and
> unshaved, with jewelry, with diseases etc. pp. We will never reach a
> state where the number of our penis images is low enough to make
> conservative agenda makers happy without leaving medical articles or
> articles on sexuality unillustrated (which would lower their
> informativeness and thus their educational value).


> We had discussions on sexual content before. I proposed to use a
> technical solution in which images are tagged with tags that give
> detailed information about the form of explicit content present...
> Creating a technical solution like that is the task of the foundation.
> The _real_ task of the foundation.

Let's have a meaningful discussion about this over the coming weeks.
I'm not sure how I feel about this -- my reflex is to be opposed to
the idea of internal tagging beyond Categories -- but there's a lot of
momentum around the idea, and if the community decides it is the right
thing the do, the Foundation would certainly support creating such a


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