[Foundation-l] Image filter again (was: WMF blog post...)

Thomas Morton morton.thomas at googlemail.com
Wed Oct 5 10:06:43 UTC 2011

On 5 October 2011 10:45, Lodewijk <lodewijk at effeietsanders.org> wrote:

> (changing the topic, since hijacking a thread is considered inpolite)
> I think indeed they are incomparable. One is an internal political
> discussion, the other is totally external and legal.

So de.wiki doing this would be merit-less because it is an internal matter
and not for public consumption?

I disagree; the aim here is to make the public/readership aware of something
new and major that would impact Wikipedia and its editors. There are
distinct parallels - and if this is implicitly OK'd as a platform by the
foundation you can't undercut that with "but only when it is about legal
stuff" :)

>  I still believe the Wikimedia
> Foundation will be reasonable in this and if there is a true majority
> against it, I can hardly see them implementing it without further ado.

This doesn't really mean anything; if de.wiki oppose it through other
channels and the idea is scrapped (either for them, or for good) obviously
such a manoeuvre wouldn't be needed.

What we are discussing here is the potential situation where it is being
enforced on de.wiki against their support & whether the WMF would be as
supportive of such an action....

And if you dont cooperate with
> the image filter, the worst thing really that could potentially (and still
> unlikely) happen, is getting blocked from *editing* Wikipedia.

If that is a credible threat (and I don't think it is!) I think that de.wiki
would be well in their right to protest...!

> In the
> Italian case, you would get sued and pay high fines.
At this stage there is not an awful lot (apart from FUD) to support this
notion. In fact the only credible opinion I have seen (from an Italian
lawyer) in response to such a suggestion was "unlikely". Although he did go
on to say "admin" was ill-defined, but the law is quite clear in identifying
owner/publisher of the site.

(as I've already said; my Italian sucks, but the media is as vague about the
exact limits of this law and how it would practically be applied, and as yet
no one has offered a full, clear opinion)

At the very least this needs exploring.. for example similar laws exist in
France (in fact, if my memory serves they are more problematic than these
Italian laws), to my knowledge this has not presented a credible threat to

If the threat is credible then we need to explore the possibilities and how
to respond and protect our editors across the world.

If the threat is not credible then we need to assure those editors.

> We're talking about totally different ball parks here.

The Italians make two arguments; one about the risks for editors, the other
about feeling unable to provide an uncensored service in line with the
community goals.

Whilst the former certainly is not comparable; the latter is an identical
concern (now whether you feel those concerns have equal merit is another


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