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

Andreas Kolbe jayen466 at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 17 23:44:42 UTC 2011

> 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.

The English Wikipedia community, like any other, has always contained a wide spectrum of opinion on such matters. We have seen this in the past, with long discussions about contentious cases like the goatse image, or the Katzouras photos. That is unlikely to ever change.

But we do also subscribe to the principle of least astonishment. If the average reader finds our image choices odd, or unexpectedly and needlessly offensive, then we alienate a large part of our target audience, and may indeed only attract an unnecessarily limited demographic as contributors.

> 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."

> http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/23/books/review/InsideList-t.html
> http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2009/09/mydadsays-twitter.html

> 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?

No. :)


P.S. It's been pointed out to me that my e-mail client (yahoo) does a poor job with formatting and threading. That's true, and I'm not happy with it either. I'll have a look at alternatives.

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