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

David Levy lifeisunfair at gmail.com
Sun Oct 16 14:13:07 UTC 2011

I wrote:

> > In this context, you view images as entities independent from the people and
> > things depicted therein (and believe that our use of illustrations not
> > included in other publications constitutes undue weight).

Andreas Kolbe replied:

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

You view them as standalone pieces of information, entirely distinct
from those conveyed textually.  You believe that their inclusion
constitutes undue weight unless reliable sources utilize the same or
similar illustrations (despite their publication of text establishing
the images' accuracy and relevance).

The English Wikipedia community disagrees with you.

> 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.

I realize that you advocate the use of comparable illustrations, but
in my view, "slavish" is a good description of the extent to which you
want us to emulate our sources' presentational styles.

> 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.

I previously mentioned "Shit My Dad Says."  Have you seen the sources
cited in the English Wikipedia's article?

Time (the world's largest weekly news magazine) refers to it as "Sh*t
My Dad Says."


The New York Times (recipient of more Pulitzer Prizes than any other
news organization) uses "Stuff My Dad Says."  So does the Los Angeles
Times, which states that the subject's actual name is "unsuitable for
a family publication."


You might dismiss those sources as the "popular press," but they're
the most reputable ones available on the subject.  Should we deem
their censorship sacrosanct and adopt it as our own?

David Levy

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