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

David Levy lifeisunfair at gmail.com
Wed Oct 19 03:11:51 UTC 2011

Andreas Kolbe wrote:

> But if we use a *different* style, it should still be traceable to an
> educational or scholarly standard, rather than one we have made up, or
> inherited from 4chan. Would you agree?

Yes, and I dispute the premise that the English Wikipedia has failed
in this respect.

As I've noted, we always must gauge available images' illustrative
value on an individual basis.  We do so by applying criteria intended
to be as objective as possible, thereby reflecting (as closely as we
can, given the relatively small pool of libre images) the quality
standards upheld by reputable publications.  We also reject images
inconsistent with reliable sources' information on the subjects
depicted therein.

We don't, however, exclude images on the basis that others declined to
publish the same or similar illustrations.

Images widely regarded as "objectionable" commonly are omitted for
this reason (which is no more relevant to Wikipedia than the
censorship of "objectionable" words is).  But again, we needn't seek
to determine when this has occurred.  We can simply apply our normal
assessment criteria across the board (irrespective of whether an image
depicts a sexual act or a pine tree).

David Levy

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