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

David Levy lifeisunfair at gmail.com
Tue Oct 18 20:17:45 UTC 2011

Andreas Kolbe wrote:

> Now, given that we are a top-10 website, why should it not make sense to
> look at what other large websites like Google, Bing, and Yahoo allow the
> user to filter, and what media Flickr and YouTube require opt-ins for?
> Why should we not take our cues from them? The situation seems quite
> analogous.

Again, those websites are commercial endeavors whose decisions are
based on profitability, not an obligation to maintain neutrality (a
core element of most WMF projects).  These services can cater to the
revenue-driving majorities (with geographic segregation, if need be)
and ignore minorities whose beliefs fall outside the "mainstream" for
a given country.

This probably works fairly well for them; most users are satisfied,
with the rest too fragmented to be accommodated in a cost-effective
manner.  Revenues are maximized.  Mission accomplished.

The WMF projects' missions are dramatically different.  For most,
neutrality is a nonnegotiable principle.  To provide an optional
filter for one image type and not another is to formally validate the
former objection and not the latter.  That's unacceptable.

David Levy

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