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

David Gerard dgerard at gmail.com
Wed Oct 12 13:16:36 UTC 2011

On 12 October 2011 14:09, David Levy <lifeisunfair at gmail.com> wrote:
> Andreas Kolbe wrote:

>> We already have bad image lists like
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MediaWiki:Bad_image_list
>> If you remain wedded to an abstract philosophical approach, such lists
>> are not neutral. But they answer a real need.

> Apart from the name (which the MediaWiki developers inexplicably
> refused to change), the bad image list is entirely compliant with the
> principle of neutrality (barring abuse by a particular project, which
> I haven't observed).  It's used to prevent a type of vandalism, which
> typically involves the insertion of images among the most likely to
> offend/disgust large numbers of people.  But if the need arises (for
> example, in the case of a "let's post harmless pictures of x
> everywhere" meme), it can be applied to *any* image (including one
> that practically no one regards as inherently objectionable).

In fact, it is specifically a measure used only in case of vandalism,
and only after an image is actually being used for vandalism, per:


"The images listed on MediaWiki:Bad image list are prohibited by
technical means from being displayed inline on pages, besides
specified exceptions. Images on the list have normally been used for
widespread vandalism where user blocks and page protections are

Using it as justification for the image filter under discussion shows
a misunderstanding of its purpose and scope.

- d.

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