[Foundation-l] News from Germany: White Bags and thinking about a fork

Tobias Oelgarte tobias.oelgarte at googlemail.com
Sun Oct 23 08:31:22 UTC 2011

Am 23.10.2011 08:49, schrieb Nikola Smolenski:
> On Sat, 2011-10-22 at 23:35 +0200, Tobias Oelgarte wrote:
>> Why? Because it is against the basic rules of the project. It is
>> intended to discriminate content. To judge about it and to represent you
> No, it is intended to let people discriminate content themselves if they
> want, which is a huge difference.
> If I feel that this judgment is inadequate, I will turn the filter off.
> Either way, it is My Problem. Not Your Problem.
It is not the user of the filter that decides *what* is hidden or not. 
That isn't his decision. If it is the case that the filter does not meet 
his expectations and he does not use it, then we gained nothing, despite 
the massive effort taken by us to flag all the images. You should know 
that we already have a massive categorization delay on commons.
>> easily exploited by your local provider to hide labeled content, so that
>> you don't have any way to view it, even if you want to.
> Depending on the way it is implemented, it may be somewhat difficult for
> a provider to do that. Such systems probably already exist on some
> websites, and I am not aware of my provider using them to hide labelled
> content. And even if my provider would start doing that, I could simply
> use Wikipedia over https.
If your provider is a bit clever he would block https and filter the 
rest. An relatively easy job to do. Additionally most people would not 
know the difference between https and http, using the default http version.
> And if providers across the world start abusing the filter, perhaps then
> the filter could be turned off. I just don't see this as a reasonable
> possibility.
Well, we don't have to agree on this point. I think that this is 
possible with very little effort. Especially since images aren't 
provided inside the same document and are not served using https.
>> If you want a filter so badly, then install parental software, close
> It is my understanding that parental software is often too overarching
> or otherwise inadequate.
Same would go for a category/preset based filter. You and I mentioned it 
above, that it isn't necessary better from the perspective of the user, 
leading to few users, but wasting our time over it.
>> your eyes or don't visit the page. That is up to you. That is your
> If I close my eyes or don't visit the page, I won't be able to read the
> content of the page.
That is the point where a hide all/nothing filter would jump in. He 
would let you read the page without any worries. No faulty categorized 
image would show up and you still would have the option to show images 
in which you are interested.
>> But feel free to read the arguments:
>> http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meinungsbilder/Einf%C3%BChrung_pers%C3%B6nlicher_Bildfilter/en#Arguments_for_the_proposal
> It seems to me that the arguments are mostly about a filter that would
> be turned on by default. Most of them seem to evaporate when applied to
> an opt-in filter.
None of the arguments is based on a filter that would be enabled as 
default. It is particularly about any filter that uses categorization to 
distinguish the good from evil. It's about the damage such an approach 
would do the project and even to users that doesn't want or need the 

The German poll made clear, that not any category based filter will be 
allowed, since category based filtering is unavoidably non-neutral and a 
censorship tool.


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