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

Thomas Morton morton.thomas at googlemail.com
Wed Oct 12 13:44:02 UTC 2011

> Secondly, it ignores the fact that an encyclopedia, at least in intention,
> does not deal in opinions at all, but rather in facts

Not at all!

You've confused "a fact" with factual. What we record is factual - but it
might be a fact, or it might be an opinion. When relating opinions we
reflect (or ostensibly try to) the global opinion, and occasionally some of
the more significant alternative views.


*Abby killed Betty.*

compared to

*The judge convicted Abby of killing Betty, saying that the overwhelming
evidence indicated manslaughter.*

The latter is factual, and contains facts & opinions.

But this is really irrelevant to the problem at hand - because we are not
talking about presenting a factually different piece of prose to suit an
individuals preference (that is what the forks are for...!). Although it
could be argued that we could handle alternate viewpoints better.

What we are talking about is hiding illustrative images per the
sensibilities of the person viewing the page. This is an editorial rather
than a content matter; related to choice of presentation &
illustration. Akin to deciding on how to word a sentence. Rather than
"Freddy thought frogs were fucking stupid" we might choose "Freddy did not
have a high opinion of frog intelligence", because the former isn't a
particularly polite expression of the material. Most people would probably
wish to learn Freddies view of frogs without the bad language!

Removal of, say, a nude image on the Vagina article does not bias or detract
from the information. The image is there to provide illustration, and a
visual cue to accompany the text. Hiding the image for optional viewing for
people who would prefer it that way* doesn't seem controversial*.


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