[WikiEN-l] "I want to at least kill the responsible person."

Raphael Wegmann raphael at psi.co.at
Tue Feb 12 21:31:12 UTC 2008

Chris Howie schrieb:
> On Feb 8, 2008 6:20 AM, Raphael Wegmann <raphael at psi.co.at> wrote:
>> Chris Howie schrieb:
>>> 2. We do not censor ourselves.  This includes opt-in/out mechanisms
>>> that are censorship bearing the form of a reasonable compromise.
>>> There is a reason we did not go this direction for spoiler templates,
>>> specifically because it would lead to doing exactly what we are
>>> discussing right now.
>> The reason we did not go for spoiler templates is because it would
>> lead to a reasonable compromise? It seems to me, that you actually
>> want Muslims to see an image of their prophet, which seems to be
>> a ridiculous effort.
> We decided against spoiler templates because it is editorializing
> content inappropriately.  It is not our job to decide what our readers
> don't want to see; it is theirs and theirs alone.

Of course it is their job to decide what they want to see.
The question is, whether we want to offer our readers a chance
to decide (if you want to see a depiction of Muhammad, click here)
or we want to "force" (no, we don't force them to visit Wikipedia
or read the Muhammad article) them to see that image.

> If Muslims do not want to see *depictions* of their prophet (that is
> what's forbidden to my understanding) I have nothing against that.
> However, I do not think it is Wikipedia's job to shield readers from
> content they may find inappropriate; that seems to be where we
> disagree.

No, I don't want to shield readers from any content. Clicking a link
is not a security barrier of any kind. Anybody who surfs the web
should be able to do so.

> This whole deal seems to be "I don't like something so it's your job
> to make sure I don't see it."  No.  If you don't like something then
> it's *your* job.

No, the whole deal seems to be whether we show a minimum of respect
to our readers who happen to have a certain religious belief.

>>> There are plenty of things I'm offended by on Wikipedia.  But you know
>>> what?  I've learned to stay away from them.
>> Why do you want the majority of Muslims to stay away from the Muhammad
>> article? What is the encyclopedic value of such an image? Are there
>> any authentic images of Muhammad?
> Honestly I don't care if they do or if they don't stay away.  But it
> seems to me that if they're offended by depictions of their prophet
> that's the simplest solution. 

Do you honestly think we can write a neutral article on Muhammad,
if we offend those who consider him to be a prophet?

> Other solutions may be disabling images
> in their browser or using JavaScript hacks to hide the images.

It doesn't seem fair to me, that people with a certain believe have
to choose between seeing no image at all or hacking JavaScript code.
What exactly is the problem with providing an easy way to either
hide or show those images?

> I have no problem with them reading or editing such articles.  I have
> a problem with them dictating what we do with those articles, which is
> essentially what's happening.

Who is "them" vs "we"? Do I belong to "we" or "them"?
It doesn't seem to me, that anybody is "dictating" anything or
at least "they" aren't very successful.

> The value of the images is to provide additional cultural context for
> the subject of the article.  I do not know if any authentic images
> exist (for some definition of the word "authentic").

I don't know either, but I have my doubts.

>>> I've learned that we're
>>> trying to do something useful here and that the presence of offensive
>>> material does not mean that someone is trying to offend me.  If we
>>> start giving in to demands like this then we obviously do not care
>>> about writing a neutral encyclopedia, we do not care about topic
>>> coverage, and we sure as hell do not care if people walk all over us.
>> If we don't, we do indeed *deliberately* try to piss off religious
>> readers and editors. Islam is btw not the only religion
>> (see [[Aniconism in the Bahá'í Faith]]).
> Not caving in the face of demands like this is not deliberatly trying
> to piss people off.  It's simply not caving.

It can be both.

>> I don't see how respecting religious believes without censoring
>> any content (I don't consider the need to click a link "censorship"),
>> would be derogatory to topic coverage.
> This all depends what kind of link we are referring to.  Thus far the
> demand has been that we remove the images entirely, which is simply
> ridiculous.

Of course it is. But since we are open for reasonable arguments,
we can accept a compromise, can't we?


>> To the contrary I am convinced,
>> that policies inviting people of different faith would result in
>> broader coverage and a more neutral encyclopedia. There is no way,
>> that religious topics would be as throughly covered by only atheistic
>> or agnostic editors.
> I agree with this insofar as such policies do not compromise the goal
> of the project.

(I don't want to snip the agreement we have, so I framed it instead.)

>>> WP:NPOV, WP:NOTCENSORED.  I know that policy follows actions, etc, but
>>> out of curiosity: is there any policy, guideline, or essay that
>>> supports what is being suggested here?
>> WP:NPA "Insulting or disparaging an editor is a personal attack
>> regardless of the manner in which it is done."
> Invalid.  Explain how having artistic representations of Muhammad in
> the Muhammad article constitutes "insulting or disparaging an editor."
>  People choosing to be offended doesn't mean that what they are
> offended by is a personal attack.

Well, you can use the same argument for every personal attack in WP.
People *always* choose to be offended, if the "attack" is merely
a few bytes they *choose* to download.

>> WP:PROFANITY "Including information about offensive material is part of
>> Wikipedia's encyclopedic mission; being offensive is not."
> That seems to strengthen my case, not yours.  By way of example, some
> people may find images of the human anatomy offensive, but they
> illustrate a topic.

Yes, they do. OTOH WP does not display shock images even on the
article about them. I don't consider that to be *censorship*.
Let's face it: True censorship is simply impossible on the Internet.
No information can be "hidden" forever, because it will always
be available on some other URL. We have to make editorial decisions
and should always consider our readers and our fellow editors,
when we make them. Pushing people of faith away from an article
about that faith is simply a bad idea.


More information about the WikiEN-l mailing list