[Foundation-l] Blog from Sue about censorship, editorial judgement, and image filters

Tom Morris tom at tommorris.org
Sun Oct 2 10:57:16 UTC 2011

On Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 18:24, Theo10011 <de10011 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Bishakha, call it editorial-content, call it censorship or any other
> euphemism - at the heart of it, it is deciding what someone gets to see and
> what not. It should not be our job to censor our own content. The strongest
> argument I read against this has been - it is not something WMF and the
> board should implement and develop, If there was a need to censor/cleanse
> graphic content, there would a successful mirror or a fork of the project
> already somewhere.

That argument is all too convenient.

The WMF shouldn't do X because nobody else has successfully done X.

And the only reason nobody else has done X successfully is because
they don't *really* want it.

(Not because they actually do want it but don't have the resources.
Not because it is hard for an external body to do but might be easier
for the WMF to do. No, those aren't possible at all.)

A slight reductio ad absurdum of the argument:

In 2001, Jimmy and Larry and Ben Kovitz are sitting around deciding
whether to install wiki software. One of them remarks "well, if
someone really wanted a wiki-based encyclopedia, they would have done
it already." Following this impeccable logic, they decide that it's
probably not something anybody wants, and continue pressing on with

Tom Morris

More information about the foundation-l mailing list