Wikimedia dumps porn following FoxNews probe


10 May 201040 Views

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Wikimedia, the parent company of online encyclopedia Wikipedia, is executing the immediate deletion from all of its websites of what Jimmy Wales is calling ‘pornographic imagery’ following a story by FoxNews.com where the US news site alerted several donaters to the Wikimedia Foundation of this content.

Several companies, including Google, Microsoft’s Bing and Yahoo! were contacted by FoxNews.com and asked if they were aware of the existence of pornographic imagery on Wiki sites, including Wikipedia, with the result that Wikimedia Foundation president Jimmy Wales issued a notice on Friday on the Wikimedia Commons website stating that admins wishing to remove this content had his backing while going on to state that he was "fully willing to change the policies for adminship (including removing adminship in case of wheel warring on this issue)".

Wales said all imagery aside from "educational images about sexuality" should be "speedy deleted and argued about later" while adding that everyone should consider this as a policy change.

"I am stating here my public support for admins who are prepared to enforce quality standards and get rid of a large quantity of what can only be characterised as ‘trolling’ images of people’s personal pornography collections," he added.

A reader and contributor to the Village Pump section of the Wikimedia Commons page said: "I confronted him (Jimmy Wales) on IRC, and he said he intends for all of them to be deleted, then, maybe, sometime in future, we can discuss undeleting some of them by sifting through the remains."

Policy change reaction

Wales said that the Wikimedia Foundation would be making a formal statement in the coming days while there has already been a formal statement on educational material.

"We do immediately remove material that is illegal under US law, but we do not remove material purely on the grounds that it may offend," said Michael Snow.

"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 scrutinise 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.

Edit: Reference to banned Wikipedia user removed

By Marie Boran