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

Andreas Kolbe jayen466 at yahoo.com
Sun Oct 16 03:41:57 UTC 2011

> From: David Levy <lifeisunfair at gmail.com>

> It most certainly is a matter of interpretation.  If the English
> Wikipedia community shared yours, we wouldn't be having this
> discussion.

> In this context, you view images as entities independent from the
> people and things depicted therein 

I view images as *content*, subject to the same fundamental policies and principles as any other content.

> (and believe that our use of
> illustrations not included in other publications constitutes undue
> weight).

For the avoidance of doubt, I am not saying that we should use the *very same* illustrations that reliable sources use – we can't, for obvious copyright reasons, and there is no need to follow sources that slavishly anyway. 

But as we are writing an encyclopedia, it would be good to strive for images equivalent to those found in educational standard works. We could also look at good educational websites (bearing in mind that some specialist scholarly works do without colour images to keep printing costs low). 

So I view it as important, before we use an illustration, to consider whether reliable sources in the field use the same kind of illustration. For example, the German vulva image that has been discussed several times conforms in style to the illustrations used in scholarly (e.g. medical) works, and even educational works for minors (at least in Germany). So, good image. The anal fisting image included in the English Wikipedia I would not have used, because I don't think it's the type of image we would find in a reputably published illustrated source, even an uncensored one, on sexology (which would be the model to follow in this topic area). It just looks too amateurish and home-made, and home-made + sexually explicit is a poor combination. (The image in the frotting article is another example.)

I agree by the way that we should never write F*** or s***. Some newspapers do that, but it is not a practice that the best and most reliable sources (scholarly, educational sources as opposed to popular press) use. We should be guided by the best, most encyclopedic sources. YMMV.


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