[Foundation-l] Letter to the community on Controversial Content

David Goodman dggenwp at gmail.com
Sun Oct 9 19:28:33 UTC 2011

Objection to the WMF implementing an image filter would in fact be
removed by such a project--if,  like AdBlock, it were run outside and
independently of the WMF.  If i believe in individual freedom, I must
believe in the ability of individuals to choose in what manner they
access   information, even or especially when it is in a different
manner than I would choose. In fact, neither we nor the board could
prevent it without changing our license to forbid such a derivative
use.  I am aware there is some discussion of trying to adjust our
category system in order to deliberately frustrate such a use, but I
would regard that as showing an equal lack of devotion to intellectual
freedom as would be adjusting our categories to facilitate such a use.

I believe there are some members of the board who positively approve
of a filter, rather than merely regard it as a lesser evil. I call
upon them to  form an organization to accomplish what they think is
needed; I can think of many organizations in the US that would gladly
fund them.

On Sun, Oct 9, 2011 at 3:12 PM, Bob the Wikipedian
<bobthewikipedian at gmail.com> wrote:
> Since no one has explicitly come out and said exactly what the issue is
> here, I'll ask:
> *What exactly is harmful about an opt-in filter? *If it's opt-in, then
> you have the choice to not even enable it if you so choose. You don't
> have to use it; it'd just be an option in the preferences page or maybe
> even a link on the margin similar to the WikiBooks link I never use. Can
> another option or link you never click really hurt the world, or even an
> individual for that matter?
> Also, *an idea for how this could be implemented*:
> Anyway, back in 2008 I attempted to popularize such an "add-on" style
> filter; the means for operating it were very simple. Here's how it worked:
> The client installs Ad-Block Plus in their Firefox browser.
> They subscribe to any of a set of Wikimedia-image-targeted filters.
> The beauty of Ad-Block Plus is you can turn it off as desired, block an
> image yourself, specify not to block something blocked by your
> subscription filter, and receive updates on the filter.
> I dropped the project when I realized there were no free places to host
> a text file that had links to hundreds of nude images-- my accounts kept
> getting banned! :-D
> This structure would allow for several different types of filters; a
> disadvantage, however, would be that each filter would need maintained
> exclusively by a different individual (for instance, the person who
> maintains a human nudity filter and the person who maintains a human
> torment filter would need to be using different computers), though any
> individual could subscribe to as many filters as he or she chooses.
> Another disadvantage is that each filter can be filled only by a single
> user, so suggestions for the filter would need sent to them.
> Bob
> On 10/9/2011 1:03 PM, church.of.emacs.ml wrote:
>> On 10/09/2011 07:20 PM, Thomas Dalton wrote:
>>> The community doesn't trust the WMF at the moment. A firm commitment
>>> not to go against an overwhelming community opinion would go a long
>>> way towards fixing that.
>> That's exactly the situation. Right now, we're in a deadlock:
>> WMF is waiting for the community to engange in a constructive dialog,
>> forming new ideas and consensus.
>> The community members* are waiting for a signal of trust by the WMF, a
>> real recognition of their opposition, a clear statment that WMF and the
>> community are on a par in this discussion and neither will do anything
>> deemed unacceptable by the other, before they will rethink their own
>> position.
>> You know, it's hard to lead a constructive discussion on controversial
>> content when half of the people are thinking about forking. Believe me,
>> I've tried.**
>> --Tobias
>> * that is, most of the opposing community members
>> **
>> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2011-09-11_Podiumsdiskussion_Bildfilter_(360p).ogv
>> _______________________________________________
>> foundation-l mailing list
>> foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l

David Goodman

DGG at the enWP

More information about the foundation-l mailing list