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

David Levy lifeisunfair at gmail.com
Fri Oct 21 01:13:17 UTC 2011

Andreas Kolbe wrote:

> I wouldn't go so far as to say that we should consider ourselves *bound* by
> others' decisions either. But I do think that the presence or absence of
> precedents in reliable sources is an important factor that we should weigh
> when we're contemplating the addition of a particular type of illustration.

I believe that we should focus on the criteria behind reliable
sources' illustrative decisions, *not* the decisions themselves.  As
previously noted, some considerations are applicable to Wikipedia,
while others are not.

We needn't know why a particular illustration was omitted.  If we
apply similar criteria, we'll arrive at similar decisions, excepting
instances in which considerations applicable to reliable sources (e.g.
those based on images' "upsetting"/"offensive" nature) are
inapplicable to Wikipedia and instances in which considerations
inapplicable to reliable sources (e.g. those based on images' non-free
licensing) are applicable to Wikipedia.

> For example, if a reader complains about images in the article on the [[rape
> of Nanking]], it is useful if an editor can say, Look, these are the
> standard works on the rape of Nanking, and they include images like that.

An editor *can* do that.  It's the inverse situation that requires
deeper analysis.

> If someone complains about an image or media file in some other article and we
> cannot point to a single reputable source that has included a similar
> illustration, then we may indeed be at fault.

Quite possibly.  We'd need to determine whether the relevant criteria
have been met.

David Levy

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