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

Andreas K. jayen466 at gmail.com
Wed Oct 19 17:56:15 UTC 2011

On Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 4:11 AM, David Levy <lifeisunfair at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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.

I think we have already agreed that our standards for inclusion differ from
those used by reliable sources.

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.

Again, on this point you advocate that we should differ from the standards
upheld by reputable publications.

> 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).

We're coming back to the same sticking point: you're assuming that reputable
sources omit media because they are "objectionable", rather than for any
valid reason, and you think they are wrong to do so. You are putting your
judgment above that of the sources, something that I presume you would never
do in matters of text.

On Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 4:12 AM, David Levy <lifeisunfair at gmail.com> wrote:

> Andreas Kolbe wrote:
> > Satisfying most users is a laudable aim for any service provider, whether
> > revenue is involved or not. Why should we not aim to satisfy most our
> users,
> > or appeal to as many potential users as possible?
> It depends on the context.  There's nothing inherently bad about
> satisfying as many users as possible.  It's doing so in a
> discriminatory, non-neutral manner that's problematic.

In my view, the best we can do is follow the standards of international
scholarship. I trust the international body of scholarship (as a whole, not
necessarily each individual representative of it) to be as
non-discriminatory and neutral as is humanly possible.


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