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  (Source: The Simpsons/Fox)

Some Wikipedia articles, like the masturbation column are still full of explicit images.
News agency contacted donors warning them of explicit content, prompting action

In the war over internet censorship and online morality, it was not the government, but rather Fox News that struck the latest blow.  The news agency has triggered a purging of pornographic content from the world's most popular online encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

The parent company of Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, silently conducted the removal of thousands of images.  It is reportedly also is preparing a new policy concerning sexually explicit content.

Fox News claims responsibility, writing:

The move came as FoxNews.com was in the process of asking dozens of companies that have donated to Wikimedia Foundation -- the umbrella group behind Wikimedia Commons and its Wiki projects, including Wikipedia -- if they were aware of the extent of graphic and sexually explicit content on the sites.

Wikimedia's donors which were contacted include Google, Microsoft's Bing, Yahoo!, Open Society Institute, Ford Foundation, Best Buy, USA Networks and Craigslist Foundation.  Some of these companies -- such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing -- are no strangers to explicit content, but others like Best Buy likely were concerned about being associated with the less-than-family-friendly content.

In its reports, 
Fox News points out that "nude children" reveals pictures of naked children on Wikipedia -- essentially child pornography.  The news agency also took issue with the numerous explicit images of adults on the site engaging in sex acts like masturbation or intercourse.  Writes Fox News, "A child doing homework research on the educational website could easily stumble upon pornographic photos — including close-ups of genitalia and people having sex and masturbating."

Jimmy Wales, President of the Wikimedia Foundation and co-founder of Wikipedia, apologized for the mess in a post, writing, "We have had a problem with images being placed into inappropriate categories, so that viewers were exposed in unexpected ways to sexual content. Image categorization should be done in such a way that readers are not exposed unexpectedly to content that may be offensive."

He adds, "I expect the board to issue a statement within a few days offering a general philosophical support for the serious enforcement of policy on this issue.  The Board normally does not get involved with detailed content decisions; I don't expect that to change."

In a later note he adds:

Wikimedia Commons admins [administrators allowed to edit the site, including Wales himself] who wish to remove from the project all images that are of little or no educational value but which appeal solely to prurient interests have my full support. This includes immediate deletion of all pornographic images. We should keep educational images about sexuality -- mere nudity is not pornography -- but as with all our projects, editorial quality judgments must be made and will be made -- appropriately and in good taste....

I think our existing policies here on commons are sufficient to deal with the problem - with the minor exception that many things should just be speedy deleted and argued about later. If you want to be technical about it, please consider this a policy change in that regard. Try to relax. Anything which is deleted can be resorted if there's a good reason.

Following that note, Wikipedia admins began a wild purging, deleting pictures of nude children, bestiality, and a variety of traditional sex acts from the site.  Among the content cleaned was "Images of Stan Spanker" a collection from one user of women using children's toys in sex acts.  Wales himself personally flagged hundreds of images for deletion.

Fox News reports that Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger contacted the FBI about the nude pictures of children on the site, accusing the site of mass distribution of child pornography.  According to the news organization, the FBI has declined comment about whether they will investigate the mess.

The Wikimedia board states, "The Wikimedia projects are intended to be educational in nature, and there is no place in the projects for material that has no educational or informational value.  In saying this, we don't intend to create new policy, but rather to reaffirm and support policy that already exists. We encourage Wikimedia editors to scrutinize potentially offensive materials with the goal of assessing their educational or informational value, and to remove them from the projects if there is no such value."





"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference







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