Commons talk:Child protection

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See also:


  1. Policy status of the English Wikipedia policy was enforced by User:Jimbo Wales: "Do not revert policy tag except on the explicit approval of me and/or the Wikimedia Foundation" -- Jimbo Wales (diff)
  2. The English Wikipedia policy states Editors who attempt to use Wikipedia to pursue or facilitate inappropriate adult–child relationships, who advocate inappropriate adult–child relationships (e.g. by expressing the view that inappropriate relationships are not harmful to children), or who identify themselves as pedophiles, will be indefinitely blocked. This should be read in combination with en:Wikipedia:BLOCK#Protection which covers actions that may compromise the safety of children, in accordance with Wikipedia:Child protection.
  3. I've left in the section "How English Wikipedia handles this" to assist discussion; it obviously wouldn't be part of an actual policy. Implementation of Commons policy would require either agreement to discuss the issues publicly, or the setting up of some private means to discuss them. English Wikipedia handles this via its ArbCom, and revisiondeletes public discussion "to avoid issues of privacy and possible libel".

Rd232 (talk) 23:07, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Just wondering, is the English policy legal? Normally, laws would state that you are allowed to have any opinion and that you may not be discriminated for having such opinions. --Stefan4 (talk) 23:17, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
I don't know. I suspect they know what they're doing. If it's legal, it may be something to do with WP being a private website, which no-one has the right to enter. Rd232 (talk) 23:28, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
m:User_talk:Geoffbrigham#Commons.2C_Meta.2C_and_child_protection – I've requested some advice from Geoffbrigham. He handles legal stuff for the WMF, and he wrote Wikimedia's new Terms of Use with input from the community. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 00:17, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, I was thinking about WMF as a next step. I also let Jimbo know (User_talk:Jimbo_Wales#Commons:Child_protection) because of his enforcement of the policy tag on the English Wikipedia policy. Rd232 (talk) 00:50, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
Stefan, it might be different in Sweden, but here in the US, the law is only that the government may not discriminate against you for expressing an opinion. The US Constitution reads, "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech". Your neighbors, employer, vendors, e-mail host, etc. are perfectly welcome to punish you for expressing opinions they dislike (or to reward you for agreeing with them). We even had a case involving a doctor who refused to see patients that voted for Barack Obama, which is legal (although most people thought it extreme and unprofessional). WhatamIdoing (talk) 13:13, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
I must say that I'm not entirely sure what the Swedish law says either. When I read about the doctor who didn't like Obama, I came to think of a somewhat similar situation in Sweden: someone from Stockholm wanted to work elsewhere in the country, but some employer refused to hire him on the grounds that he came from Stockholm. Apparently perfectly legal since people from Stockholm doesn't form a small minority group in Sweden. --Stefan4 (talk) 16:58, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
Comment: the best advice I have is that yes, this is legal. --SJ+ 13:03, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

Comment on shortcuts[edit]

I'd just like to remind the American-spelling world that outside of your little bubble, it's spelt paedo, or, if you're really pedantic, pædo. Just for consideration when putting in those redirects. I personally suggest COM:CP. -mattbuck (Talk) 04:19, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

The proposed shortcuts match those on English Wikipedia, so supporting those shortcuts would help English Wikipedia users finding a policy. --Stefan4 (talk) 11:19, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
yes, though that support just needs the redirects to work - they don't need to be listed. We can use our own shortcuts if we prefer. However COM:CP is taken - it goes to Commons:Guide to layout/Category pages. But I'd say that worrying about shortcuts at this stage is putting the cart before the horse... Rd232 (talk) 11:25, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
COM:CPROT? --Marco Aurelio (disputatio) 09:15, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

Also on this topic, I am opposed to the use of a shortcut labelled "COM:Pedophilia" regardless of how it is spelled. The broad term "pedophilia" is neither synonymous with nor sufficiently representative of the illegal activities prohibited by the terms of use. Commons should not have any policy on or attitude towards pedophilia in general (which covers a wide range of beliefs and practices across many cultures and time periods, various attitudes to which similarly differ across cultures and time periods), but rather only those behavioural aspects of it which jeopardize the personal safety of users and/or violate applicable laws. —Psychonaut (talk) 07:33, 21 September 2012 (UTC)


When the English Wikipedia enacted their policy I spoke against the specific provision that users who self-identified as pedophiles should be blocked automatically. In short: a pedophile is a person who experiences sexual attraction to minors, and many of them decide to be ethical, comply with the law, and not act on those attractions. I believe that such responsible pedophiles should be welcome in our community. The many other suggested reasons for blocking (they make other users uncomfortable; they lead to bad PR; etc) would be obviously unreasonable in any other context. The recent discussion at Commons:Administrators' noticeboard/User problems suggests that many other users may also feel this way. As such, I move to strike the language "or who identify themselves as pedophiles". I would support the proposal following such an amendment. Dcoetzee (talk) 05:27, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

It's a question of definition. If you go back to the greek root, paedophile means one who loves children, not one who makes love to children - that would be a paedophiliac. The latter term has fallen out of use and thus an important distinction has been lost. I do personally know a paedophile, and, don't get me wrong, it's kind of creepy. But so long as he doesn't try and act on those desires, be it pornographically or real, then I can live with it. We don't choose our sexual attractions, we can't choose what turns us on, and while we should not necessarily accept people who act on these desires, we should not condemn people for the desire itself, because that's not something they can control. We cannot condemn people for thoughtcrime.
If someone says they have sex with children, they should be banned, I think we can all agree on that. The issue of people who feel the attraction but choose not to act on it but do however discuss it is more tricky, and honestly I don't know what we should do here. I do not however favour banning people who maybe admit they feel such an attraction elsewhere, and then someone finds it and links to their Commons account. We should not ban people from Commons for acts performed offsite. -mattbuck (Talk) 13:00, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
Agreed with mattbuck, moreover shall we block people who accuse other user of offsite crimes (or ideas), even after warning ? --PierreSelim (talk) 19:25, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
We shouldn't punish or discourage whistleblowers. Blocking whistleblowers will create a a chilling effect that'll result in less whistleblowing. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 19:32, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
As a general principle, that's true. But it is necessary to distinguish between whistleblowing, harassment, irrelevance, etc. I think my enforcement proposal should cover a lot of the ground by keeping public discussion to the necessary minimum. I'm going to put it on the main page draft in fact, because I think it's reasonably close to a workable compromise between the different needs (transparency and privacy), and the most important alternative (some means of private discussion) is a whole other kettle of fish which would be hard to get into. Rd232 (talk) 21:22, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
@mattbuck: If someone says they have sex with children, presumably we should endeavour to get them arrested, rather than merely blocked. Dcoetzee (talk) 18:44, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
No, I don't agree even with a priori banning people who state they have sex with children. As long as someone is doing good work on Commons, I do not care that they are pedophiles, Nazis or serial killers. And I don't care whether they state so either. Now, advocacy is another matter. Commons is not for advocacy, definitely not for pedophile advocacy. But advocacy to me is something else than stating one's opinion once. It also should not lead to automatic banning, nor need specific procedures to deal with it. The only part I do agree with is the part about using Commons to pursue or facilitate inappropriate relationships. That is clearly incorrect behaviour on Commons itself, and making that a reason for automatic banning, I can agree with. - Andre Engels (talk) 03:46, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
How people feel, think and act outside should really not be a concern of Commons (in my country you're obliged to inform the police if you get knowledge of a crime). But we shouldn't allow paedophile advocacy at Commons, nor (repeated) uploads of sexual images of children, nor urging children to upload such material, nor pursueing or facilitating inappropriate relationships to children. In the first three cases one warning and blocking if repeated might be okay, in the latter case there should be an automatic indef. --Martina talk 00:16, 14 March 2012 (UTC)/00:21, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
I agree with all this. Dcoetzee (talk) 00:24, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

The dilemma is that advocacy comes in many flavors. If you tell everyone you know that you have broken the law and would do so again if you could, that promotes the idea (parallel to the way saying "don't stick beans up your nose" often encourages it). Making something so taboo that it is inappropriate to admit to it, is stronger opposition than merely preventing 'active' advocacy. "Stating one's opinion once" falls in between these two extremes. --SJ+ 13:03, 14 March 2012 (UTC)


In the initial draft I've left in the section "How English Wikipedia handles this" to assist discussion; it obviously wouldn't be part of an actual policy. Implementation of Commons policy would require either agreement to discuss the issues publicly, or the setting up of some private means to discuss them. English Wikipedia handles this via its ArbCom, and revisiondeletes public discussion "to avoid issues of privacy and possible libel". Setting up a private means to discuss this would be difficult (but I'm happy to hear proposals), so on the public approach I propose something like

1. Reports of editors engaging in such conduct should be made to an administrator by email. Any community discussions required should be launched either by an administrator, or by the editor who is the subject of the claimed conduct. Comments posted on Commons suggesting that an editor may be a pedophile outside of such authorised discussions will be RevDeleted promptly, to avoid issues of privacy and possible libel. When an editor is blocked for such conduct, the blocking administrator is instructed to use neutral block summaries, and disable the editor's access to the on-site user email interface. The editor's ability to edit their talk page should be retained unless it is abused.
1a. Community discussions where necessary should be on a separate subpage of COM:AN/U, and where the outcome is no action, the page should be deleted when the discussion is concluded.

That's not really satisfactory in terms of protecting privacy, but it tries to keep public discussions limited to a single location. The subproposal suggests a way to further limit the publicness of discussions to what is absolutely necessary. Rd232 (talk) 11:44, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

In (1), when you refer to blocking, it's not clear to me if you are referring to blocking users for suggesting that other editors are paedophiles, or blocking users for engaging in advocacy of paedophilia. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 17:07, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
It refers to blocking for conduct covered by the policy, not for inappropriate accusations of breaching the policy. It is a bit ambiguous, but I'm not sure how to fix it. maybe replace "blocked for such conduct" with "blocked under this policy"? Rd232 (talk) 17:19, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
Well I think we should put both. Inapropriate accusation for things done elsewhere should lead to a block. Yes it's targeting Wikipedia Review witch hunt cabale. --PierreSelim (talk) 19:19, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
The WR isn't a cabal; it's a persecuted minority. The WR doesn't have much influence here. The "witch-hunt" threat is being exaggerated in order to shut down discussions on sensitive issues. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 19:37, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
Ok for the WR, but you don't disagree with the first sentence ? Thanks. --PierreSelim (talk) 20:32, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
Can you please point out the sentence? I don't know which or whose first sentence you're referring to. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 20:52, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia Review supports child protection. Enough said. Peter Damian (talk) 22:29, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

How is that helpful either to developing this policy draft, or to getting the policy approved? (On the latter score, it's more likely counter-productive; some will say "if that hive of scum and villainy wants it...".) Rd232 (talk) 22:35, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
I think it's helpful to point out we are not villains, and that most people there are acting out of principle and in good faith. That's what this is all about, no? Peter Damian (talk) 22:40, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
"I think it's helpful to point out we are not villains" - but would a villain would say that :) . But seriously, can we please, please not talk about WR here. There is absolutely no way in hell it can be any help to anyone. Off-hand I can't think of a better way to torpedo this proposal that turning this into a discussion about WR. Rd232 (talk) 23:02, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Blocking for inappropriate accusation doesn't need to be part of this policy. If it's done in good faith (eg not being aware of the policy), there's no reason to block; and if it's done as harassment, then it should be considered in those terms (it may be blockable as that, if there is enough context), and not under this policy. Rd232 (talk) 20:56, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

OK, I've revised the page based on my proposal above, so that now we have a first feasible draft (something that looks more like a draft policy, anyway). Rd232 (talk) 21:55, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Rd232, I thank you for this draft. I think that we will get a global policy on that issue but to have an own one (not contradicitng to Wikimedia policy) helps to point out a general value and measure in this community, and to make clear that it is not only an "external" policy imposed by WMF. Your draft is imo detailed enough to give everybody an orientation how to behave and how not. As with all policies we will still have (partly long) single case discussions but I trust in the community to mostly find prudent decisions. --Martina talk 00:38, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

Comments on enforcement[edit]

Overall happy with this draft regarding enforcement. I have a couple concerns though:

  • "disable the editor's access to the on-site user email interface": Although this seems quite reasonable, it is also impossible to enforce in practice, since anyone with an authenticated e-mail can e-mail anyone else. So they can create a sock with zero edits, then e-mail anyone with it. Unless the receiver brings it to our attention, this would be very hard to detect or act on. Even if we block account creation from their IP, we don't usually block account creation through proxies. Similarly blocking others from e-mailing them would be useless since they can simply publish their e-mail address off-wiki.
  • Although private contact seems reasonable, I fear this will encourage unilateral weighing of evidence and action, whereas a consensus process would both be more fair and "get the word out" about users who need closer monitoring. The draft reads "community discussions where necessary" but I would go for "community discussions are encouraged and". Public discussion does put the user's reputation at risk, but I believe the opportunity for a "fair trial" is more important. Is this an instance where a private mailing list for Commons admins could be beneficial?

Thanks for working on this. Dcoetzee (talk) 01:38, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

Thanks. On the first point: yes, you're right; maybe the value is mostly symbolic (though you can probably construct scenarios where it may help). On the second, I thought this would be covered by "Any community discussions required should be launched either by an administrator, or by the editor who is the subject of the claimed conduct." So if the editor doesn't get a fair shake, they can get a community discussion on the issue. Actually that probably needs more thought on the practicalities - would we want to unblock them to allow participation, and if not, do we copy any comments of theirs from their user talk page? Perhaps the latter would do, despite the inconvenience. A private mailing list might help, but I've been reluctant to propose it just for this, and I'm not sure if it's really necessary for other things (and discussion might migrate there which should really be onwiki). Rd232 (talk) 01:54, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
How can you be the 'subject' of 'conduct'. I suppose you can be the subject of somebody else's conduct. But not your own. Peter Damian (talk) 09:41, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
Ah, bad phrasing. I meant subject of the claim of this conduct, which is still ugly. Suggestions for a better wording? Rd232 (talk) 11:21, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
'Subject of allegations'? Peter Damian (talk) 11:49, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
Or how about this? Peter Damian (talk) 11:51, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
That's good. "Reports" is better as simpler language and picking up earlier use of the word. Rd232 (talk) 15:02, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

Ban for off-wiki expression of ideas?[edit]

"who advocate inappropriate adult–child relationships (e.g. by expressing the view that inappropriate relationships are not harmful to children)"

Hmm, ban users for their off-wiki expression _views_? even without any on-wiki wrongdoing? even if expression of these views is completely legal in the home countries of these users? Looks like introduction of thinkpol on Commons. Trycatch (talk) 09:15, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

That is what a number of people want to do, so that's why it's part of the proposal. You're welcome to suggest an amendment, like reducing the key part of the policy to just attempt to use Commons to pursue or facilitate inappropriate adult–child relationships. Rd232 (talk) 11:19, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
I think that it would be very wrong to base any blocking policy on off-wiki behaviour or political/religious/sexual views. Another issue, as apparent on Meta, is that different users seem to have different opinions on when a relationship is inappropriate, mainly, I believe, due to different regional definions for the age of consent and similar things. This would need to be defined somehow. --Stefan4 (talk) 11:44, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
The definition is the one implied by the COM:pedophilia shortcut, i.e. en:pedophilia. That some users don't understand what it means is unfortunate, but it doesn't mean there isn't a workable definition there. Rd232 (talk) 15:01, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
I believe blocking is an appropriate response to persistent on-wiki advocacy. So I wouldn't call to completely eliminate this but rather to clarify it. Exactly how I'm uncertain. Dcoetzee (talk) 11:58, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
There is no consensus whatsoever (the AN showed it last week) on that point, I think we shouldn't include that here. --PierreSelim (talk) 12:31, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
AN/U isn't the place to gauge consensus of what should be in a policy. That should be decided here. Rd232 (talk) 15:01, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment I think it quite likely that the wider Commons' community's views on this may be different from those of users who choose to come here. I don't know for sure whether that would split towards banning or not-banning for views alone, just as I don't know what the consensus on that (if any) will ultimately be on this page. But the conclusion for me is that we should just develop two alternative versions, one that bans for views and one that only bans for conduct, and then have a sitenotice and allow the wider community to decide which, if any, of the two they want. Rd232 (talk) 15:01, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

You may be right, in that case I would like to have a limit on only commons community i.e. people who are active on the project (x uploads or y contribs in the last 12 months or at least z contribs overall in commons with x y z to decide). --PierreSelim (talk) 18:56, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
Site notice? This thing is grows out of any reasonable proportion. Do we really need to turn policy adoption process into a public circus? Is there a good reason why to abandon the standard way to adopt a policy for this special case? Trycatch (talk) 19:28, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
What standard way is that? Anyway, policies are supposed to reflect community view and practice. The more controversial the proposed policy, the more widely you need to get input, to ensure policy isn't being made by a handful of interested people who don't reflect the views of the wider community. Rd232 (talk) 19:44, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
Deciding a specific limit would be too troublesome. I think it would be enough to put a header on the poll which says something like "by commenting or voting here you agree that the level of your contributions to Commons may be noted, and that whether noted or not, this level may be taken into account when weighing the outcome". Rd232 (talk) 19:46, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Whose definitions are we using to define an inappropriate relationship? What about some user from a country where 14-year-olds get married and have children? What about other views, such as murder? If someone believes killing others is acceptable are we going to ban them, or will we just say "But that's not as bad as child molestation"?AerobicFox (talk) 23:14, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
  • This still seems incredibly problematic to me. The way it's written, it would seem that, for example, if someone wrote a comparative study of statutory rape laws and were to come out in favor of one that is less strict than that in California or Florida (e.g. preferring the law in Germany) they could therefore be banned. That seems to me to be ridiculous. If it doesn't mean that, it needs to be clarified. (I believe what AerobicFox said in March amounts to the same, but I don't want to put my words in someone else's mouth). - Jmabel ! talk 19:53, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
    I don't think that we need to worry about such a scenario. "Children" is not normally taken to include older teenagers, and having sex with a child or young teenager has been strictly illegal in Germany since the 19th century. Also, "I think this particular law would produce more benefits to society than that particular law" is a long, long, long ways from "I believe that it is not harmful for ten-year-old girls to have sexual relationships with adult men". WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:20, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

Of Daily Mail proportions.[edit]

Sorry folks, but this is turning into a cluster fuck of Daily Mail proportions. String 'em up lads, string 'em up!

There seems to be more knee-jerk reactions going on than level-headed thought. Not to mention some rather poor English grammar. --Fred the Oyster (talk) 15:13, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

If you read the discussion on this page, it seems like this policy will not pass without heavy revision, so I wouldn't be particularly concerned about a knee-jerk reaction. Dcoetzee (talk) 22:26, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
The policy itself is a kneejerk reaction. What ruling is it going to bring that isn't already covered in other policies? Or is it just a exercise on how responsible we are for when the press come knocking after they get a hold of the Beta M debacle? It's a amazing how dichotomies arise when simultaneously this fledgling draft policy (and Rd232 does like to start these draft policies on all manner of matters) is being argue whereas on the Admin Noticeboards the arguments rage when the convicted paedo porn peddler is is being protected whilst the whistle-blower has been blocked and unblocked then blocked again all the time being vilified for asking pertinent questions yet is accused of harassment. This policy is going to end up as a good example of how time can be wasted on a massive scale. --Fred the Oyster (talk) 16:49, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
Well there is no current policy under which a user can be blocked for pursuing an inappropriate relationship with a child user on Commons, and at the least that seems a hole worth filling. This might seem like common sense, but often common sense benefits from being clearly codified so that the person taking action feels like they have community support. Dcoetzee (talk) 00:38, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
There's a blanket policy of zero tolerance over all the projects, what other benefits would this unlocked stable door bring? And just because there's no policy does not mean that action couldn't be taken. As I said, I just think that this is a kneejerk response to recent circumstance. And in my experience you start trying to write things down and loopholes appear because our language is just not exact enough. --Fred the Oyster (talk) 00:44, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

The Daily Mail is exactly the kind of publication whose coverage of Wikimedia leads to this kind of policy. Leucosticte (talk) 19:18, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

Analysis and euphemisms[edit]

(Split from previous section because mixing the two appears to be confusing, as Proofreader77 mentioned below.)

Please excuse the long addition here. (This seemed like the least-inappropriate section to place my opinion in.) Just the first-paragraph part of the proposed policy is a bit of a minefield, particularly on a multi-cultural, multi-language project where euphemisms aren't interpreted so well.

  1. I think the words "child protection" should be changed to more explicit; "child protection" is a euphemism. When I first saw it announced, I thought it was going to be yet another nudity-blocking proposal, and I'm a native English speaker. Maybe use "Child molester blocking" or "Child sex prevention". (And redirect from "Commons:Child protection" since it's what English Wikipedia uses, but perhaps English Wikipedia assumes a higher familiarity with euphemisms than Commons.)
  2. I do agree with the first part: The block on "Editors who attempt to use Commons to pursue or facilitate inappropriate adult–child relationships" seems quite reasonable, since I understand what "inappropriate" was probably intended to mean. However, I think it needs rewording for a multi-cultural, multi-language audience: "Inappropriate adult-child relationships" is a euphemism that could end up meaning things we don't intend it to mean, like discussing opinions about governments with teenagers. I think that the word "inappropriate" needs to be clarified as "sexual, romantic, abusive, or otherwise inappropriate" or something like that. (I left "or otherwise inappropriate" in there just in case we need to block some freak who is being generally creepy towards children on Commons but we can't quite understand how yet. It should be removed if it's likely to be misinterpreted, though.)
  3. The phrases "advocate ... (e.g. by expressing the view that inappropriate relationships are not harmful to children)" and "self-identifies as a pedophile" both seem very badly worded, at the very least. (I haven't seen how these have been interpreted in practice on English Wikipedia — but then, it may turn out, neither have most Commons users, who are often not as used to deep "process" as English Wikipedia users. I'm used to both styles, more or less.) Even as a native speaker of English, it seems to me that the wording expresses a worrisome policy behind it as well. It seems to be very broadly worded, as if it will have to be carved down later with a whole lot of administrator arguments of the form "Well, we didn't mean that when we set the policy." In particular:
    1. First, I don't like the idea of banning someone for having (or saying) an opinion that they're not shown to be acting on, even if it's offensive. On the other hand, if the vast majority of expressing this opinion on Commons has been done to intentionally disrupt the project, or to spam or push some political or sexual agenda, then that is a different issue. Has that been the case?
    2. Second, it seems very bad to set an explicit policy that having or saying an opinion is the same as "advocating" the opinion (see en:Wikipedia:Advocacy); and even worse to have a policy that equates having an opinion with being a participant in the activity. Are we going to ban anyone who is for drug decriminalization also, to "protect children" from meeting drug dealers, on the theory that "obviously" people who hate drug laws can't control their urge to get children hooked on drugs? Or: Are we going to ban anyone who uploads photos of children with Catholic priests that were exposed as molesters, since photos of the priests being normal might "advocate" the position that those priests were actually serving children well most of the time? Also, how will Commons handle a user who might still think that arranged marriages and child-bearing among teenagers are OK socially, even though the user wouldn't participate in one?
  4. On a related addition to the propsed wording: I think that the words "self-identifies as a pedophile", though it sounds at first like it is straightforward, would eventually be misinterpreted, especially on a multi-language project like Commons. What if a user self-identifies as something that most users think is a "pedophile", but the user says it's not pedophilia? 18 year olds having sex with 17 year olds is illegal in many U.S. states. If an 18 year old user with a 17 year old lover self-identifies as being "a pedophile according to my local laws", does that user get banned? What if a user self-identifies as liking 14 year olds, and then turns out to be a 13-year-old user? (Yes, that makes both the 13-year-old and the 14-year-old "sexual abusers" of each other in some states.) At the least, this should be strictly worded: more like "self-identifies as engaging in or seeking to engage in (however we word the inappropriate banned activity)". --Closeapple (talk) 16:06, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
On your last point: As I understand it, laws don't generally define pedophilia; they define crimes like en:statutory rape (which is the typical charge in the US when an adult [someone past the age of majority] has sex with an older teenager). The definition of pedophilia is instead found in dictionaries and medical publications like PMID 17418075 and the DSM. Under typical definitions, it seems that the sexual attraction must be specifically to children, not to post-pubescent teenagers, or it's not properly pedophilia.
With that in mind, I don't think we need to worry much about whether it will be difficult to figure out whether someone has self-identified as a pedophile, because figuring out whether that definition applies will be pretty straightforward, but we might want to worry about whether this proposal would adequately protect teenagers from older adults with en:Ephebophilia. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:14, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
IMHO, this not-directly-defined euphemism “inappropriate adult-child relationships” makes a well-intended rule look like some text which uses the phrase “intellectual property” seriously. --AVRS (talk) 19:34, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
"we might want to worry about whether this proposal would adequately protect teenagers from older adults with en:Ephebophilia." You don't have to be a ephebophile to be attracted to teenagers. Orthosexuals are attracted to biologically-adult minors. Leucosticte (talk) 19:35, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

The descriptor "child protection"[edit]

The main topic is somewhat unclarifying with respect to this topic's span:-), but since Closeapple has chosen to make a significantly detailed comment under that umbrella,[topic has been split] I will focus this subtopic on #1 of Closeapple's points.

  1. General
  2. Bullying
  3. Pedophiles
  4. Action

I add this note, to comment: (1) While it may be argued that, well, we (Wikipedians) all know what is meant by "Child protection," perhaps the w:Daily Mail (i.e., the public realm), might not. And (2) if the phrase "Child protection" is to be used in policy definition, then it should also include, e.g., psychological abuse, bullying.

FINE PRINT: I am not a regular member of the Commons community, but find myself here due to discussions elsewhere (Jimbo's page on en, and meta). I add this comment here (both in terms of "commons" and this particular talk page topic) partly because Closeapple has clearly put some time and effort into analysis, and this topic (as titled: "Of Daily Mail proportions") did not seem to indicate that such careful analysis was going to happen under it. :-) Of course, based on a quick rhetorical analysis of all the discussions (and related actions), I would not predict that more rigorous crafting of topic titles to be key in resolving, um, everything. Selah
-- Proofreader77 (talk) 21:25, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

Note that meta designates this policy as m:Pedophilia (as opposed to en:wp:Child protection and of course commons:Child protection here) -- Proofreader77 (talk) 05:06, 17 March 2012 (UTC)

As I've noted already, "pedophilia" should not even be mentioned in this policy - never mind in the title! We're not blocking people for being pedophiles, we're blocking them for soliciting child users and/or persistently advocating adult/child relationships, without regard for their mens rea. Dcoetzee (talk) 08:29, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
Excuse any duplication of discussion, Dcoetzee. This common's policy was initially copied over from en.wikipedia on March 9, 2012 (i.e., in the context of recent "dramatic" events). The wording on en.wikipedia explicitly includes the word "pedophiles," and obviously meta highlights the word: m:Pedophilia. (Simply noting this state of affairs, without comment/argument. Now...)

Comment: Given the recent WMFOffice action, it would appear that perhaps the legal staff of WMF should formulate precise wording for all-projects policy. -- Proofreader77 (talk) 18:34, 17 March 2012 (UTC)

Sorry, I didn't mean that as a retort. I was just a bit surprised to learn of Meta's particularly misleading title, so I'm seeking a rename there. Thanks for calling it to my attention. Dcoetzee (talk) 13:30, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

Terms of use[edit]

Wikimedia's proposed new m:terms of use (not yet in effect) are relevant, so I'll quote the relevant part here:

Misusing Our Services for Other Illegal Purposes
  • Posting child pornography or any other content that violates applicable law concerning child pornography;
  • Posting or trafficking in obscene material that is unlawful under applicable law; and
  • Using the services in a manner that is inconsistent with applicable law.
Violating the Privacy of Others
  • Soliciting personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 18 for an illegal purpose or violating any applicable law regarding the health or well-being of minors.

Not immediately sure how that fits in to this discussion. Rd232 (talk) 23:34, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Pretty much all of this says "we can block you for using our services to do illegal things," which kind of goes without saying. As far as I can tell this policy seems to seek to go a bit farther in also excluding users who pursue certain legal actions such as persistent on-wiki advocacy, nonsexual relationships with children, etc. On a related note, it's not very clearly defined in this proposed policy what an "inappropriate relationship" is - I reasonably assume users are permitted to befriend children, and there is a grey area between the two, so we might either want to be more specific, or else make it clear that the nature of what is "inappropriate" is left to the subjective determination of consensus. Dcoetzee (talk) 23:46, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes, clearly at least one proposed version (I think we'll need to vote on several) will go further than this. I'm not sure we can be more specific in the policy about what's inappropriate; it'll have to be left to consensus on a case-by-case basis I think. Even adding the "soliciting personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 18" element from the Terms might cause too many problems if it's not closely linked to illegal purpose, because for one thing, there's a Catch-22: how do you know an unidentified user is under 18? Rd232 (talk) 23:55, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
There's another relevant line in the TOU: "Especially problematic users who have had accounts or access blocked on multiple Project editions may be subject to a ban from all of the Project editions, in accordance with the Global Ban Policy." So even if people at Commons decide that self-identifying as a pedophile is just fine with them (an outcome I don't really expect, despite the views expressed above), these users could well be banned from Commons because of policies elsewhere. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:33, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
I think this is just keeping their options open. They want to be able to do global blocks where justified, but the Global Ban Policy is always subject to consensus revision. Dcoetzee (talk) 18:46, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Wording versions[edit]

I think we need different versions of the key sentence in the policy, which the wider community can vote on. Those versions can be drafted here first, but attempting to produce a single consensus version is surely doomed to fail.

Version A (conduct, advocacy, or self-identification):

Editors who attempt to use Commons to pursue or facilitate inappropriate adult–child relationships, who advocate inappropriate adult–child relationships (e.g. by expressing the view that inappropriate relationships are not harmful to children), or who have identified themselves as pedophiles, will be indefinitely blocked.

Version B (conduct or advocacy):

Editors who attempt to use Commons to pursue or facilitate inappropriate adult–child relationships, or who advocate inappropriate adult–child relationships (e.g. by expressing the view that inappropriate relationships are not harmful to children), will be indefinitely blocked.

Version C (conduct only):

Editors who attempt to use Commons to pursue or facilitate inappropriate adult–child relationships will be indefinitely blocked.

These alternate versions (and 3 or 4 is the maximum we should have) are based entirely on the first draft. Anyone is welcome to suggest revisions to these! Rd232 (talk) 20:09, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Before starting a vote, I think that we should also define "inappropriate adult-child relationships," since this may be defined differently by different people. --Stefan4 (talk) 20:13, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
It might be simplest to replace "inappropriate" with "pedophilic". That still leaves some room for argument about definitions, but if we stick to medical ones (ICD/DSM IV - see en:Pedophilia) it's a lot less room. Rd232 (talk) 20:26, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
I disagree. A user who is soliciting a child user, whether or not they have a pedophilic sexual attraction to that user, should be blocked regardless (and probably reported to the police as well, lest they continue their activity on some other site). I believe "inappropriate", although an exceedingly vague term, can be determined by consensus discussion, and it's better to do so than to attempt to define it prematurely here without access to the facts of a particular case. Among the three above, I roughly favour version B, with the clarification that I think a warning before blocking is generally appropriate for advocacy. Dcoetzee (talk) 00:32, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
Version C is certainly simplest. -mattbuck (Talk) 00:40, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
Version C seems best, or a variant of version B where only advocating on Commons, but not advocating off-wiki, would be subject to a block: we should not block a user for having a political opinion or for advocating that opinion. If a user advocates a political opinion on Commons in a disruptive way, this would of course be a reason for a block, regardless of what the political opinion is. Political debates are not in scope anyway and are better held off-wiki. Maybe "inappropriate" could be defined as "illegal in the country where the user is located"? --Stefan4 (talk) 00:48, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
That seems reasonable, but I'd say don't define inappropriate. -mattbuck (Talk) 01:02, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Weakening it to C would make the whole policy a useless paper tiger. Zero tolerance for paedophile attempts on Commons should be made as clear as possible in the wording. Thus I propose
Version D:

Editors who repeatedly upload sexual images of children, who repeatedly urge children to upload such material, or who repeatedly advocate inappropriate adult–child relationships (e.g. by expressing the view that inappropriate relationships are not harmful to children) will be indefinitely blocked. Editors who attempt to use Commons to pursue or facilitate inappropriate adult–child relationships will be indefinitely blocked without warning.

--Martina talk 01:10, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
Hearkening back to the great COM:Sexual content debate, how do you define "sexual images of children"? The Terms of Service quoted above use specific legal terms. Does your version call for bans of the people who populated Category:Wilhelm von Gloeden or not? I don't even know. Wnt (talk) 02:22, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
Say inappropriate sexual images of children (that are deleted). --Martina talk 02:37, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

One word edit[edit]

Before any community vote, I propose we change

Editors who attempt to use Commons to pursue or facilitate inappropriate adult–child relationships or who advocate inappropriate adult–child relationships (e.g. by expressing the view that inappropriate relationships are not harmful to children) will be indefinitely blocked.


Editors who attempt to use Commons to pursue or facilitate inappropriate adult–child relationships or to advocate inappropriate adult–child relationships (e.g. by expressing the view that inappropriate relationships are not harmful to children) will be indefinitely blocked.

(Change marked in italics)

The point of this is to make clear that this all refers to "attempts to use Commons". This is relevant, as we know far too well by now, if we allow the goon squad to go run background checks on all the editors they don't like, and make trumped-up accusations of offsite pedophilia to get them banned, that is not helpful to the project but simply works to get good editors wrongly vilified in a particularly abhorrent way.

(I oppose the policy even as amended, but it would be a start) Wnt (talk) 02:07, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg Support -mattbuck (Talk) 02:25, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
✓ Done, don't really expect this to be contentious. Almost everyone agrees off-wiki matters shouldn't be considered. Dcoetzee (talk) 03:24, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
"Almost everyone agrees off-wiki matters shouldn't be considered." - whilst that's true as a general principle, I don't think that's true for this issue; I think more people are willing to make an exception to the principle than you imply. It might even be a majority opinion of the wider community; I really don't think discussants here are representative. Rd232 (talk) 08:05, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
This does seem to be part of the current controversy. Some established editors suggest that off-wiki advocacy for pedophilia, or evidence of engagement in it, are grounds for banning from the projects -- presumably in the spirit of preventing a predictable problem. --SJ+ 13:03, 14 March 2012 (UTC) Or in the spirit of making a statement about community identity. 06:17, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
I wouldn't want any block policy to be based on off-wiki behaviour, but it seems that other users want this, so it might be better to offer both versions if this is to be voted on. --Stefan4 (talk) 13:17, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
I don't know what the actual policies are, but I have previously seen claims that the Foundation wants to prohibit anyone and everyone who poses any (sexual) risk to children or teens. I suspect that it's on the same theory as similar prohibitions for playgrounds and amusement parks: we know that a lot of minors are here, and it's easier to ban the sexual predators (or potential predators) than to ban the children and teens. So Rd232 is right: off-wiki activity might well be grounds for a ban in this instance. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:44, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

Alternate version[edit]

(This is a version I've rewritten extensively)

Commons takes concerns seriously with regard to the safety of children using the site. In accordance with the proposed terms of use for all Wikimedia projects, Commons prohibits

  • Posting child pornography or any other content that violates applicable law concerning child pornography;
  • Posting or trafficking in obscene material that is unlawful under applicable law; and
  • Soliciting personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 18 for an illegal purpose or violating any applicable law regarding the health or well-being of minors. This should broadly prohibit any attempt to use Commons to pursue or facilitate inappropriate adult-child relationships.

Editors may be indefinitely blocked on Commons for violating these terms on any Wikimedia project. This policy shall change to match any change in relevant Wikimedia terms of use.


The Commons blocking policy prohibits harassment of other users, but tracking of a user's contributions for policy violations is not considered harassment. Because comments posted on Commons suggesting that an editor might be a pedophile might pose a serious risk of libel actions, or could involve unacceptable privacy issues for the editor or a child, it is recommended that violations of this policy be made to a Commons administrator by email. If a reasonably prompt and satisfactory response is not received, another administrator should be contacted, but he should be told who was contacted previously.

Any community discussion should be initiated on or transferred to a separate subpage of COM:AN/U, which shall be tagged to avoid indexing by Web search engines (Google). Comments posted on Commons suggesting that an editor may be a pedophile outside of this venue will be RevDeleted promptly. As we do not wish to intimidate those coming forward, no penalty shall be applied to those making such comments in good faith until they have been notified of this policy and the RevDelete is performed. If the AN/U discussion does not find that the editor in question violated this policy, he may choose to have the discussion deleted if he wishes.

When an editor is blocked under this policy, the blocking administrator is instructed to use neutral block summaries, and disable the editor's access to the on-site user email interface. The editor's ability to edit their talk page should be retained unless it is abused. Note, however, that disabling the email interface offers little real protection for a child involved, as we have no way to prevent someone from logging in from a different IP address and starting a new account.

If you are a younger editor and feel that another person on Commons is behaving in a way that you feel threatens your personal safety, or worries you in any way whatsoever, please:

  • Tell a responsible adult, and ask them to look at this page.
  • Do not continue to communicate with the other person - ignore him completely.
  • Never respond to an improper email delivered via Commons, or use the "email this user" feature to contact someone who might be a threat to you, as this will disclose your email address to the person who mailed you.
  • Never give out personal information to anyone including people who say they are trying to help you.
  • Look over your past contributions - if you feel that a photo or other material you've contributed to Commons may reveal personal information about you, or is contributing to improper advances, e-mail an administrator to have it deleted or redacted. Learn about EXIF information and consider whether any of the data (such as time or GPS coordinates) could put you at risk; people will be glad to help you to strip such information if necessary.
  • If you have received emails soliciting a sexual liason or other improper meeting, you are strongly urged to work with parents, your internet service provider, and local authorities to secure your safety by means which may include disabling your Commons email, retiring your Wikimedia account (then, if desired, starting a new one which cannot be linked to the old account or his personal information), changing your email address or Internet provider, tightening your home security, and of course, pursuing prosecution of the offending party.

This is a version that I would actually approve of. Wnt (talk) 03:23, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

I'd be willing to support something like this Wnt "alternate version". It probably needs to be simplified to not overwhelm a child, and so that non-native English speakers can understand the policy even if it is not yet in their native languages. But the principles in this alternate version are far more sensible than the original version when this proposal was first opened. --Closeapple (talk) 14:04, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
I think we should note the idea of being understandable not only by english speakers. We may need to have few translations of the official policy in english. --PierreSelim (talk) 16:17, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
I agree that the principles here are much better. cmadler (talk) 17:37, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
I think this is a good starting point; I might be tempted to be bold and put it on the main page. The ideas about banning advocacy or self-identified pedophiles, which some want, can be added into this if there is support in a vote. PS "shall be tagged to avoid indexing by Web search engines (Google)." - good point, which prompted me to go off and edit MediaWiki:Robots.txt, so that COM:AN and all subpages are now no-indexed. Rd232 (talk) 22:07, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure noindexing the whole space is necessarily a good idea, since Google site search is super handy for searching archives, but privacy concerns often appear at User problems so I'd consider noindexing that page and subpages/archives. Dcoetzee (talk) 00:55, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Privacy concerns may arise anywhere on AN, not just on AN/U. Privacy trumps convenience. ... But if you want to discuss further, raise it at COM:AN. Rd232 (talk) 09:45, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
@Wnt's proposal: I think the statement "This should broadly prohibit any attempt to use Commons to pursue or facilitate inappropriate adult-child relationships" is wishy-washy. It's not clear to me that the Terms of Use provisions against illegal solicitation would necessarily prohibit any adult-child relationship that we consider inappropriate. The question is, are we prohibiting both, or only illegal solicitation? I believe general consensus on the project is that we want to go beyond the minimum legal requirements in this area. I believe we should also be clear that a user who is persistently advocating a pro-adult/child relationship point of view on Commons (for example, by modifying descriptions of hundreds of files to minimize the impact of sexual assault of children) should also be subject to harsh sanctions, and this is the appropriate place to codify this. Dcoetzee (talk) 01:11, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Well, to be honest, it is a bit wishy-washy - my thought is that this will be true given certain rules of evidence. My thought is that "soliciting personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 18 for an illegal purpose" is pretty much a necessity in order for an editor to pursue inappropriate adult-child relationships; I'm not so sure what facilitation involves. But is it sufficient? I think so, provided that the standard of evidence we use is a mere preponderance of the evidence. Given how confusing these investigations are, I don't think we can ever prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt - clear and convincing evidence might be feasible, but it will let a lot through. For example, in the present Beta M case, he was probably getting kids to go to sites he administer - given his history and statements, I think we could say yeah, more likely than not. But we'll probably never get to "clear and convincing" - it's still very possible that he had no other intent but to get Wiki articles written about schools, set up good revolutionary encryption, have a free porn server etc. Now, not going by reasonable doubt is harsh, but this is akin to a civil action in the sense that we're trying to keep kids as well as those potentially facing false allegations.
Of course, it could be reworked - it's just, I would like to think we could stick to what went into the terms of service without introducing any of Jimbo's sui generis policies at all. Wnt (talk) 05:41, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Oh, and as for advocacy of the kind you describe, isn't there already some policy against that? Wnt (talk) 05:44, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
I think if you really want to have it just be the ToS, you should really just make it the ToS. If you believe that this, combined with the standard of evidence applied by Commons consensus discussion, will result in the desired outcome, then there's no need to suggest it "should" be that way, the statement can just be omitted. As for an advocacy policy, I'm not aware of anything - I imagine a need for such a thing has never arisen. Perhaps it is better to wait until a need arises, I'm uncertain. Dcoetzee (talk) 05:48, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Well, the ToS isn't presently enacted; also, I have a feeling we're not going to manage to keep it to exactly just that. Besides, a policy like this gives us a chance to do other things, like the rough and apparently not very comprehensible advice-to-minors section I expanded here. Wnt (talk) 05:55, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

I'd support this version. The voting design could give a choice (yes/no) for each banning reason (it would then not be a necessary to exclude in advance the banning reasons advocacy for pedophilie and self-identified pedophiles). --Martina talk 01:24, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

I've copied this version into the main page, with minor changes (mostly removing stuff which is commentary on the policy rather than policy; plus changing "until" to "before" in the second para of Enforcement section). I think this is a good version as a base; when we go into voting, different versions can then be amendments to it. So one version will just be "adopt as is"; another would be "add an advocacy clause, like this:", etc. Rd232 (talk) 20:18, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

Child is a person till .. what age?[edit]

Shouldnt it be defined what the border is? according en the UN defines child to persons till 18. .. The german, and austrian law till 14/15 (afterwards Jugendlicher = Teenager [de-WP]). I'm pretty sure other laws come with different borders?!...Sicherlich Post 18:21, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

The relevant definition is not legal but medical. Pedophilia involves attraction to pre-pubescent children. Rd232 (talk) 18:27, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
Although Rd232 is correct regarding pedophilia, the only time the terms pedophilia or pedophile are used is "Comments posted on Commons suggesting that an editor may be a pedophile outside of such authorised discussions will be RevDeleted promptly, to avoid issues of privacy and possible libel." The rest of the current proposal refers to "child", "children", and "inappropriate adult–child relationships". So, for this absurdly vague proposal, the question remains: what is a child? This is one of the reasons I think Wnt's proposal above is better: rather than using such vague euphemisms, it directly speaks of certain illegal activities. cmadler (talk) 19:15, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
This is kind of hard to define on a global project. Age of consent varies dramatically, and even post-pubescent users may still be vulnerable. I believe this, like "inappropriate," is an issue that should be addressed by consensus on a case-by-case basis, following the general rule: is this a vulnerable user, who is too young or naive to consent to a sexual relationship? Alternatively (or in addition), we could use the age of consent in the jurisdiction where the servers are located (Florida, see en:Ages of consent in North America#Florida, it's 18 unless other person is <=23, in which case it's 16). Dcoetzee (talk) 01:19, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
There can be added an explanation that the policy is about minors under age of consent in their country. --Martina talk 01:27, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
I'd also accept that as a rule, although I'm not entirely sure what jurisdiction controls in the event of an actual criminal prosecution. Dcoetzee (talk) 01:50, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
I think that there are two issues here:
  1. A relationship involves at least two people, and they could be in different countries and be subject to different ages of consent. I seem to understand (based on one of the discussions, possibly one at COM:AN/U) that if a 14-year-old person in specific US states interacts with a 15-year-old person in specific countries (for example Estonia), the only one doing something illegal would be the younger person. Very stupid situation. Would the younger person be blocked as a pædophile while the older person would be able to continue contributing?
  2. How do you determine the age and nationality of an anonymous Commons user?
I believe that we'll have to decide that if both users are subject to different ages of consent, use the higher one. If the users were unaware of each others' age & nationalities, presumably AGF. --Stefan4 (talk) 01:57, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
If I recall the last go-round with Commons sexual policy rightly, "pedophilia" was under 14, and a different term "hebephilia" applies to older children. Perhaps we could have a definition - but what that definition is should clearly be that we use the term colloquially to refer to illegal relationships regardless of age. Since Commons is international but also set in Florida, an "inappropriate adult-child relationship" or soliciting information "for an illegal purpose" would be defined in terms of (a) what is legal in the adult's jurisdiction; (b) what is legal in the child's jurisdiction; and (c) what is legal to be bandying about on a server in the U.S. Wnt (talk) 05:51, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
None of our policies is absolutely clear in all cases that can come in discussion. Waiting for a policy that doesn't let any gray zone for single scenarios would mean to never install one. --Martina talk 16:29, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

How many cases related to this policy we had so far[edit]

How many cases related to this policy we had so far in last 8 years? Also is there a way to identify underage users? I know at least one very active admin in his teens, and I assume there might be many others, but as the saying goes "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog" so in most cases there is not way to know about it. As a result I doubt this policy would be enforced very often. --Jarekt (talk) 18:22, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

Under this version of the policy, I'm aware of zero cases on Commons. On the English Wikipedia, I'm aware of about a dozen blocks for pro-pedophilia advocacy (most stemming from the initial crackdown on the pedophilia-related articles), and there was one block for attempting to contact children for inappropriate purposes (which may have been a troll). --Carnildo (talk) 00:56, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Because wrongly identifying someone as a pedophile is a serious violation of libel laws, these cases are handled as quietly as possible. As a result, there's no way to find out how often they happen. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:47, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
There are ways to find out: for example, there are only a few people who are willing to make a block for pro-pedophilia advocacy. If you keep an eye on Jimbo and the ArbCom, you'll spot most of the blocks. --Carnildo (talk) 19:39, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
I reported another blatant case of girllove advocacy 10 days ago. All images uploaded by this account have now been deleted. But the account has not been banned or blocked. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 13:30, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Who should it be reported to?[edit]

As from the current draft:

"Reports of editors engaging in such conduct should be made to a Commons administrator by email. Any community discussions required should be launched either by an administrator, or by the editor who is the subject of the reports. Community discussions where necessary should be on a separate subpage of COM:AN/U, and where the outcome is no action, the page may be deleted when the discussion is concluded. Comments posted on Commons suggesting that an editor may be a pedophile outside of such authorised discussions will be RevDeleted promptly, to avoid issues of privacy and possible libel."

  • Whilst we are not enwp, and we don't have an Arbcom, should such reports be made to any Commons administrator?
  • Obviously these cases are going to be very rare, but in the instances they do occur, it is likely that there is going to be some sort of discussion needed, but public fora is likely not going to be appropriate?
  • Is the point of the policy to remove editors from the community in a swift manner?
  • But at the same time, there has to be some sort of oversight?
  • Under what circumstances, if any, would community discussions be appropriate?
  • Would stewards be the more appropriate people to escalate such reports to?
  • Or is there another group that could be tasked to handling these requests when/if they should arise?

These are just a few questions we should be asking ourselves, and would like input on, or other ideas/comments. russavia (talk) 21:15, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

My thinking was that an individual admin can judge whether to launch a public discussion, take immediate unilateral action (if the evidence is strong enough), or else reply to the reporter with an explanation of why they're doing neither (eg lack of evidence, mistakes in the evidence, etc). A private forum for discussion would be better, but I don't know if it's worth creating one just for this purpose. As to oversight - the user's right to launch a public discussion sort of performs that (plus the ability to contact multiple admins, if one is unhelpful). I don't see any reason to involve stewards; if there was a Wikimedia-wide dispute resolution group (there are proposals on meta floating around) then it might be an option to use that somehow. Rd232 (talk) 22:02, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
It could be reported to the sister projects OTRS queue( since it is a fairly low traffic queue and as a result it will most likely get a faster response than just emailing any admin. Emailing any admin does not sound like the best idea because they might be occupied with other tasks or uncomfortable handling the issue by themselves. Of course they could email another admin but that would slow down the response time. MorganKevinJ(talk) 23:43, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
I used to be an OTRS volunteer. Reporting to OTRS strikes me as a very bad idea. --Carnildo (talk) 19:41, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
I have suggested before a private mailing list for Commons administrators. This has a few issues (it might be misused for non-private issues; the user under discussion wouldn't be able to participate easily; non-admin users wouldn't be able to participate). I believe the state of things right now is that consensus in the Commons community cannot be reached without a public discussion, and that borderline cases like the Beta M case really do require consensus discussion to achieve a fair outcome that we can all agree on. I'm very reluctant in such cases to delegate this responsibility to a group outside Commons, or to individual "elite" users, because the outcome may not represent the community's will. On the other hand, we may also encounter clear-cut cases where the user is obviously soliciting young users and just needs to get a swift block, and in such a case I believe privately contacting a Commons admin would be clean and effective. Dcoetzee (talk) 01:02, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Discussions elsewhere are starting to make me think that it's not just a (big) problem to discuss these issues publicly, but that it's actually virtually impossible to do so productively, at least where offwiki evidence is concerned. I'm starting to lean more towards the view that private discussion may be a necessary evil here. Rd232 (talk) 09:41, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
I think that the public discussion eventually yielded fruit - the problem in this case was just that the first editors involved didn't make a good case, because they mixed up the serious issues with their own general anti-porn views (the thing about the disclaimer, for example) and we were all much prejudiced by these previous interactions. And (as I raised in the "witch hunt" thread) I've seen them pull the same thing with editors where their focus was entirely anti-porn and any pedophilia policy would have been irrelevant or at least easily skirted. You could say that the English ArbCom model worked in the sense that it came to a conclusion with less drama --- but I say it didn't work because we had to go through the whole thing all over again here! Besides, this conversation was in turn predicated on the previous public discussions by the anarchists, and to a lesser degree WR. We can't really resolve an issue like this until it's received a proper public hearing. Wnt (talk) 13:17, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

I don't think reporting it to a commons admin is a good idea for a number of reasons, nor is OTRS due to its regular slowness. I'd inform; and if a very fast response is needed there's (this one is used to report mostly suicide threats and other issues that require a fast action; the address is watched by staff members 24/7 as far as I was told.). My two cents. Regards. --Marco Aurelio (disputatio) 09:23, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

I have had a number of issues here including a case or two that to me appeared to be paedophilia like. The trouble is that such things seem to cause massive drama and have little result. I have dealt with them to the best of my ability and with as little drama as possible. In one case I was sufficiently concerned and I reported the details to both the Foundation and to the UK online protection authorities - neither really seemed interested sadly. Doubtless I will continue to deal with things when they come to my attention. --Herby talk thyme 13:38, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Unjustifiable censorship[edit]

It appears to be a very unqualified and hysterical attempt to do a silly censorship. It is absolutely improper to exlude some users only for their race, nationality, erotic orientation, health status, age etc. It is also quite unwanted to abandon the NPOV principle and to exclude some relevant points of view selectively - as the en:wiki did.

Unfortunately, it's an adverse consequence of the fact that Wikimedia resides in a totalitarian, unfree and irrationally prude and socially retarded country. Honour to the resistancing. --ŠJů (talk) 13:48, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

Maybe. But believe me, if somebody on the news in the U.S. said that Wikimedia Commons promised equal rights to pedophiles under the banner of "nondiscrimination by erotic orientation", it would be so out there we might simply be mocked as lunatics rather than vilified as threats to the children. But I wouldn't bet money on that last part. And I have a hard time believing Europe is all that different. Maybe there are some guys in Yemen who would agree with that, but they're too mad at us over the porn and Muhammad images to do us any favors.
Realistically, I think that the most tolerance we could practically achieve would be the acknowledgment that some pedophiles could be acceptable as editors if they act appropriately. For example, we know all too well from the news that some pedophiles join the priesthood - I assume, that like heterosexual priests, not all of them break their vows. I would think a pedophile priest who remains celibate should be as beloved of God as any other, and should be as welcome on Wikipedia, even if he came forward to acknowledge his desire with some beneficent intent in mind. The Wikipedia policy does not allow for that.
Perhaps the "health status" is actually an apt comparison, come to think of it. Truth is, we don't allow severely mentally disabled or ill editors to contribute, not if their behavior is a problem to us. And pedophilia is likewise a sickness; indeed, if it hasn't been cured, I don't think it's because that is difficult to do, but because out of unreasoning disgust our society has not made even the most basic effort to try. Wnt (talk) 16:21, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Tolerance for paedophiles on the basis of nondiscrimination by "erotic orientation" would not only in the US be completly lunatic. This kind of "orientation", if practiced, is nearly worldwide illegal. And a wellknown website like Wikimedia Commons that expressivly does not want to set age limits to their contributors should take minimal steps to protect these children who are invited to contribute. --Martina talk 16:35, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Two points:
  1. Commons doesn't do NPOV. That's an encyclopedia concept, and it's irrelevant to a media repository. See Commons:Project scope/Neutral point of view for more information.
  2. Commons does have a scope, and it defends it vigorously. Commons' scope is neither "a place to tell the world about my erotic orientation" nor "a place to find kids so I can commit sexual crimes". Telling people not to abuse Commons for these out-of-scope activities is no more "censorship" than it is when we tell them not abuse Commons as a free webhost. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:52, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
en:paedophilia is not considered a valid "erotic orientation" - it's considered a psychiatric disorder. Well, so are many other things, so that's not necessarily a problem - the problem lies in the fact that it's a psychiatric disorder that poses a risk to others, and that online interaction may facilitate that risk turning into danger, either directly (contact with children) or indirectly (various, let's not get into too much detail, but it includes promotion of the acceptability of the disorder). Rd232 (talk) 20:28, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
In homage to w:Zhores Medvedev I will not agree that political opinions can be a mental illness, no matter how unpopular. This is especially the case when we consider that people like Wilhelm_von_Plueschow were not treated as harshly during the Victorian era as pedophiles are currently - and despite our society's extreme penal emphasis, we still fail miserably at protecting children, especially from prostitution by organized crime. We would do well to put aside our emotions and focus on specific neural lesions, including low white matter volume in the superior fronto-orbital fasciculus and the right arcuate fasciculus. [1][2][3][4][5] I am suspicious of organic causes like some kind of herpesvirus that invades the central nervous system, which could explain the apparently contagious nature of the disease. But so far as I know, nobody tries even such crudely basic research as inviting 100 pedophiles to Vegas if they agree to let some top-notch hookers try their stuff, let alone w:human pheromones (nothing), w:transcranial magnetic stimulation (zippo), w:LSD (nada) ... if you can think of something that might be a cure, nobody's ever tried it. And that pisses me off. They'll spend a goddamn fortune hunting down and jailing people for looking at pictures, and scarcely a penny for anything that might actually save children from this curse forever. Wnt (talk) 00:35, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
This is getting pretty far off-topic. It really does not matter at all if a user is a pedophile, nor should this policy mention pedophiles - pedophilia in itself is just fantasy. If a user is soliciting child users, it doesn't matter if they're doing it because they're pedophiles, because they're trolling, because they made a bet, etc. We block them regardless. Similarly, people who edit Commons to aggressively promote a point of view, especially a minority one, should be subject to sanctions regardless of what that view is - we should give the same treatment to people who edit war over simulated child pornography and people who edit war over maps of Israel. I don't think these are very controversial ideas, at least here on Commons. Dcoetzee (talk) 04:17, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
^^^This. Pedophilia is about desire, not about action. While it's perfectly reasonable to prohibit actions, we ought not go down the thoughtcrime path. cmadler (talk) 10:11, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
Except that if you're posting something that indicates you're a pedophile, or that you think it's just grand to be a pedophile, then you have acted, not just "thought". If you don't actually act (by editing a page), then Commons will never know what happens between your ears. WhatamIdoing (talk) 11:24, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
I believe that talking about one's beliefs or desires should also not be a blockable offense in itself, especially if you include talking about them off-wiki. Merely bringing discomfort to some other users is not enough, or else we'd have to block everyone. Awareness of a person's beliefs also allows us to watch them carefully and give any necessary warnings sooner. Dcoetzee (talk) 02:10, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
  • I don’t think that the initial post by ŠJů deserves a serious response. Funny to know that race, nationality, erotic orientation, health status, age etc. are all put in the same basket. I can’t wait to know what else the "etc." contains. I also wonder to whom the pedophile points of view regarding the abuse of children (as well as the points of view of other potential criminals) may interest. Maybe to their victims? Finally, it’s nice to know that "Wikimedia resides in a totalitarian, unfree and irrationally prude and socially retarded country". Any suggestion on what free country the Wikimedia foundation should be moved to? -- Alvesgaspar (talk) 12:51, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
    • Alvesgaspar, I agree with you. Sometimes no response, or a very brief response is appropriate, as in this instance. DNFTTs. --Walter Siegmund (talk) 17:13, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
    • (Un-"Called"-for comment from an American:) I noticed yesterday in a Sundance Channel rerun of the pilot of the very artful (and therefore, brief) American television series My So-Called Life that the father character was obsessing at length to the wife/mother character about his inability to even mention to his 15-year-old daughter that she should now use a larger towel when walking from the shower to her bedroom ... and I thought to myself: I bet a French television series would not have this dialogue exchange, unless, of course, the characters were depicted as American tourists... I.E., (to the rhetorical question raised) To France, obviously. :-) -- Proofreader77 (talk) 19:04, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
    • Why there are always some people with "interesting" mindsets in order to justify anything use freedom of speech and "censorship" to justify the most grotesque things. One "freedom" (if that's freedom) ends when it messes up with other people's freedom or rational choice. ---PedroPVZ (talk) 14:07, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
      • The wording is vague and will of course be used to replace common sense if necessary by wiki-lawyering to make a point. Thats why I'm not a friend of such generalized rules. --/人 ‿‿ 人\ 署名の宣言 15:28, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I have one free speech concern, namely "expressing the view that inappropriate relationships are not harmful to children" resulting in an indefinite block seems like it could be chilling to discussions of legitimate scientific/sociological/psychological research on the effects of paedophilia, hebephilia, and ephebophilia. I think we need an express caveat that this policy is not intended to limit legitimate discussion of published, peer-reviewed research. Vanisaac (talk) 03:18, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Worrying younger editors[edit]

I have a problem with part of "If you are a younger editor and feel that another person on Commons is behaving in a way that you feel threatens your personal safety, or worries you in any way whatsoever,". Specifically the bit I've put in bold. I appreciate what people are trying to do here, but just because someone is a younger editor doesn't mean we can give them immunity from rules like copyvio. So either we need to reword this to make it clear that sometimes others will be worrying editors here, or we need a robust process to filter out legit complaints from trolling. If you are a younger editor and you find it worrying that your uploads are being deleted as copyvio then please stop committing copyvio, don't tell the person who is tagging your images for deletion to stop because their deletion tagging is "worrying a younger editor". WereSpielChequers (talk) 13:00, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

  • Agree and suggest that the offending part is eliminated or rephrased. Commons' rules should be applied exactly the same way for all users. Furthermore we have no way to check the age of the editors and many (if not most) of them choose to stay anonymous. Alvesgaspar (talk) 14:05, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
I borrowed the wording of this section from the other version; yeah, it needs to be fixed. I'm not sure what the best wording is. Wnt (talk) 14:28, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
  • In another way, it's not strong enough. I'm afraid that a child who reads this language will get the impression that if the sexual advances don't bother them, then they shouldn't worry about it. They might not fully understand the necessity of reporting these users in order to protect other young users like themselves. Dcoetzee (talk) 02:02, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
    • Good point. I'm not sure how to word such a warning to include the "nice" person who is grooming kids and yet exclude the "nasty" person who deletes their screen shots of TV programs. But I'm not convinced that the current wording is close to what we need. Is the typical adolescent being inappropriately approached via the Internet going to feel that their safety is threatened? So the first part about security limits things too much, whilst the second part is too broad. WereSpielChequers (talk) 20:06, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
  • I'd leave it. What's the harm here? The younger editor sends e-mail saying, "This guy is bothering me about copyvio, and it worries me". And we reply, "Yeah, you should be worried about your inadequate understanding of copyrights. You need to stop the illegal uploads." Where's the problem here? WhatamIdoing (talk) 11:24, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
    • The younger editor sends email saying "This guy is bothering me about my pictures" (the editor has been uploading copyrighted publicity shots of a child actor), the recipient of the email jumps to an erroneous conclusion, and a police department somewhere starts investigating one of our copyright patrollers for potential child grooming. (I've seen it happen: child makes a vague statement, it gets mis-interpreted, worst-first thinking takes over, and an innocent person finds themselves on trial for a crime that didn't happen.) --Carnildo (talk) 20:25, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
      Have you "seen it happen" in the real world, or here on Commons? Because I have a hard time believing that admins would get a confusing message and not check at least one of the person's contributions, which ought to lead quite reliably to noticing a series of copyvio templates being dumped on the kid's user talk page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:45, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
      Only in the outside world, but Commons isn't magically immune from this. --Carnildo (talk) 21:38, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
      Some users remove messages from their talk pages, though. It may be necessary to check the talk page history first. --Stefan4 (talk) 21:43, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

revdel unfound allegations[edit]

I'd like to replace If the AN/U discussion does not find that the editor in question violated this policy, he may choose to have the discussion deleted if he wishes. With If the AN/U discussion does not find that this policy has been breached, then the discussion will be revision deleted. This allows for a number of scenarios including accusations against editors who are inactive or dead and therefore can't be expected to request revision deletion. WereSpielChequers (talk) 13:25, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

I see your point, but I'd prefer to give the subject of the discussion the choice of keeping the discussion, as it may be a useful point of reference for a vindication, for example. Rd232 (talk) 13:47, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
Point taken. How about: If the AN/U discussion does not find that the editor in question violated this policy, it will be deleted unless the editor prefers otherwise. ? Wnt (talk) 14:26, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
That works for me. WereSpielChequers (talk) 19:55, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

Revdels impracticable?[edit]

From the discussion at [6], it looks like Commons admins are unwilling to revdel things put in random places just to be tidy. The WP policy calls for revdeling all such allegations and discussing things only in private - but - the current revision of Jimbo Wales' user talk page hardly lives up to that policy - it links the editor's screen name and "child pornography", and Jimbo put it under a simple hatnote, where people continue to discuss it. Remember, he's the one who imposed the WP policy in the first place! Since we shouldn't pass policies that even admins never plan to live up to, we should change this to make revdeling an optional rather than a required step. Wnt (talk) 14:26, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

(Note, incidentally, that the name of the place chosen for discussion contains the username of the accused, and so sort of violates the policy every time it is referenced! Maybe we should come up with a better naming scheme for next time (God I hope we don't have a next time...) Wnt (talk) 14:30, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

If I remember correctly, the name of the page was chosen by the accused. If the accused agrees on using a specific name, I see no problem with using that name. --Stefan4 (talk) 14:34, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

I propose changing:

Comments posted on Commons suggesting that an editor may be a pedophile outside of this venue will be RevDeleted promptly. As we do not wish to intimidate those coming forward, no penalty shall be applied to those making such comments in good faith before they have been notified of this policy and the RevDelete is performed.


Comments posted on Commons suggesting that an editor may be a pedophile outside of this venue should be removed by any editor, and may be RevDeleted. As we do not wish to intimidate those coming forward, no penalty shall be applied to those making such comments in good faith before they have been notified of this policy.

Wnt (talk) 14:46, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Looks good to me. Dcoetzee (talk) 23:31, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Not active admins but the legal queue should be contacted[edit]

The current draft states that

[..] it is recommended that violations of this policy be made to a Commons administrator by email. If you don't get a reasonably prompt and satisfactory response then please contact another active administrator, but please tell them who you have previously contacted.

which is unfortunate as this policy covers the posting of child pornography. The problem is that in many jurisdictions viewing of child pornography is already illegal which makes it dangerous for many admins to risk a look at files refered to als child porn. Because of the severe legal implications in the case that we indeed host child pornography, I suggest to send notifications regarding detected child pornography directly to This address is guaranteed to be continually observed by people who can handle this and who can act swiftly where necessary, i.e. by deleting it from the database and the file system (regular deletion and oversight are not sufficient), by globally locking the uploader, and by reporting this to the authorities. This contact address is probably best to handle the other cases as well. --AFBorchert (talk) 14:42, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg Support, though we should ask wmf-legal whether that is o.k. for them. --Túrelio (talk) 14:44, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment If anyone finds child pornography on Commons, I think that the best way to do is to propose for deletion, tag as {{Copyvio}} and other {{Speedy}} tags and report to COM:AN in addition to sending an e-mail to the legal team so that the file is brought to the attention of sysops for immediate removal. If you only send an e-mail to the legal team, the image may remain on Commons for a longer period of time, in particular if the report is sent after office hours. Hiding the image for anyone but sysops or oversighters until the legal team gets time to act is better than continue displaying the image for anyone to see until the legal team can delete it completely. I don't know about other countries, but in Sweden there is some exception in the child pornography law which allows you to access child pornography in exceptional cases – I wouldn't be surprised if accessing the image for the purpose of deleting it from public view would be one of those exceptional cases. --Stefan4 (talk) 15:13, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
Symbol support vote.svg Support sounds wise. --PierreSelim (talk) 15:18, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment This sort of thing was discussed back during the Commons:Sexual content poll (relevant version), and the draft contained suggestions about it, but I think we were all whistling past the graveyard then also. Wnt (talk) 17:57, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
  • I agree that an unified procedure for all violations of rights and law should be recommended, not a special one for child porno spreading. There are also many others people's or public rights which shouldn't be violated. However, announcement or avert obligations are stated by the law and it's not necessary to repeat them in Common rules. However I'm afraid that US paranoia will lead to the situation that Commons will have no usable files regarding child and developmental anatomy etc.
  • The proposed Commons policy regarding opinion censorship or discrimination by user's erotic orientatino etc. have nothing to do with law, legality or illegality. (With the exception of jurisdictions where such discrimination, untruthful defamation or ceonsorship are punishable.) --ŠJů (talk) 18:06, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
So far as I know, this suggestion concerned only posting of illegal child pornography, not opinion censorship (as I understand it, it's already agreed that there will be a vote to decide whether mere "advocacy" is prohibited by the policy, and I anticipate voting against that). Identification can be a thornier question in practice, as we've recently seen, but that wouldn't be the topic of a legal consultation/report either. Wnt (talk) 18:52, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes. Child pornography is illegal to host, so it would better be removed as fast as possible. Other problematic material, such as defamation, would also better be deleted, but it wouldn't be as urgent and a standard deletion would be enough (oversight maybe needed sometimes). The more standard deletionism of nudity and pornography is because of COM:SCOPE and there are no legal issues preventing Commons from keeping the material at least as long as a deletion request is ongoing. --Stefan4 (talk) 19:01, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Notwithstanding the danger to administrators in viewing it, an active administrator is much better disposed to rapidly remove child pornography from public view, then report it to legal. The legal queue can't respond in a timely manner. As such I think the present wording is better, although a reminder to administrators to report such activity couldn't hurt. Dcoetzee (talk) 01:57, 17 March 2012 (UTC)

A mad suggestion[edit]

The policy suggests "tightening your home security". Isn't this a bit mad and over the top? Kiko4564 (talk) 13:51, 17 March 2012 (UTC)

I was trying to make a starting point in my draft, the idea being to suggest the potential seriousness of such situations, but though my draft was put up there I don't think there is strong consensus for little points like that. You can take it out if you want. Realistically though, I think that if a mother finds out that her child is getting sex messages from some freak on the Net, that may be the least of the ideas. "Purchasing a large-caliber handgun" might also rank up there on the list. ;) Wnt (talk) 16:03, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
I think it includes stuff like “stop leaving you door unlocked”. --AVRS (talk) 17:17, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes this is mad and over-the-top, and seemingly trying to promote paranoia. Also, weapons in the home are almost always invariably used against the residents of the home, and are not a practical or safe security measure.AerobicFox (talk) 23:18, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

No separate policy page is necessary[edit]

This is not primarily about protecting children. There are many images (gore and violence) on Commons that are less suitable for children, this proposed policy is not about that. This policy is about trying to disassociate Commons from known pedophiles. I do not believe an elaborate policy is necessary, just a word in COM:BLOCK will do. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 22:23, 17 March 2012 (UTC)

I'm wondering if it would still make sense to keep the section "Advice for younger editors" somewhere, though. --Stefan4 (talk) 22:45, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
Would they read it? Anyway, the most important thing is not made very explicit: do not submit photos of your own private parts or of yourself in underwear. And there should be a minimum age for adminship, if this "child protection" is serious. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 23:35, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
I agree that we should warn kids about uploading sexual images of themselves. I would oppose a minimum age for adminship. Dcoetzee (talk) 02:59, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
I don't get how the minimum age for adminship fits in - how would it put kids at extra risk? Agreed, the advice against kids uploading nude photos of themselves sounds like a sane precaution, considering - I don't want to let this mushroom into a notion for censorship, but at the same time, kids have been prosecuted for making child porn of themselves, however contrary to the law's ostensible objective of "protecting children" that is. We certainly don't want any kids who contribute here to fall victim to such a heartless prosecution, nor to enamored pedophiles either. Wnt (talk) 05:09, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
Besides that, such an upload could risk getting the project and a lot of innocent visitors in trouble, as well as risking damage to the child later in life (who is not mature enough to fully understand the long-term consequences of publishing nudity of themselves online). I'm not sure if they'll ever read this but it couldn't hurt. Dcoetzee (talk) 13:23, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
I have the impression that one of the arguments for making admins be 18 or older is that admins can view deleted material, which might include material that "children" should not see. Additionally, in the context of this policy, we could have a 17-year-old user contacting a 16-year-old admin for help with child protection issues. Upon receiving an e-mail message that says "I'm only 17 years old, and this creepy old man is asking me for naked pictures," ill-informed people might expect a 16 year old to respond with "I dunno: I'm younger than you." In fact, you don't become an admin if you don't know your way around the project well enough to provide a better answer than that, even if providing a better answer means that you have to find the answer. Perhaps the pre-eminent skill of our admins is knowing how to Read The Fine Manual. WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:38, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
I don't see why deleted material would make more harm to children than kept material. If child pornography is uploaded, it should not even be kept as "deleted but visible for admins" so that is no issue. Admins are supposed to know what to do, and if a young admin runs into a pædophilia matter and feels uncomfortable to act himself, I am certain that the person would know how to contact other admins, asking them to handle the case. Pædophilia issues are very rare anyway; the most common admin task is probably to delete copyvios. --Stefan4 (talk) 15:54, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
How about just a brief statement that "an admin may pass on such a case to a colleague if he feels uncomfortable in handling it". No need even to specify that it's based on age; it's possible, for example, that a teacher would be afraid to adjudicate such a case because a decision not to act could be held against him elsewhere. Wnt (talk) 17:11, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
Wnt, that sounds good to me, although it seems like it ought to be unnecessary to specify it. It might also discourage a small number of users. I remember conversations at Meta that indicated some women were uncomfortable talking to men about problems they needed help getting resolved (e.g., naked photos uploaded without their consent). There was talk of setting up a specifically female-only OTRS to deal with these occasional concerns, but I don't think anything came of it. A statement that the person you chose might pass it along to someone else (e.g., a man) might discourage reports from this group of people.
(Stefan4, you may have noticed that I didn't say that this was "one of the good arguments for making admins be 18 or older", only that it seems to be one of the arguments made by people who would prefer an age limit.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:59, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
There is also the issue that clicking on "Save" below this text box means signing a legal agreement: I release this edit under GFDL+CC-BY-SA 3.0. Children are usually not allowed to sign legal agreements without consent from their parents, so I guess that their declaration to release contributions under GFDL+CC-BY-SA 3.0 may be invalid. Not sure how the WMF handles that. --Stefan4 (talk) 21:47, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
This is a point I've raised in regard to children who upload pictures of themselves in private then change their mind. I think that in some such circumstances it is best to allow them to withdraw consent, since it was never truly legal - yet at the same time, I must strongly oppose any legal doctrine that demands that under-18 editors can't participate in free culture. I would say that children should be able to give away property, in this case copyright, under specific licenses; but as far as irrevocably surrendering other forms of consent, i.e. for use of their "personality rights", I'm not so sure. But not being a lawyer I could be far wrong here. It strikes me though that surely some lawyer has thought of this at some point during the development of the CC license. Wnt (talk) 06:06, 23 March 2012 (UTC)


If you have received emails asking for sex or suggesting an in-person meeting, you are strongly urged to work with your parents, your internet service provider, and local authorities to protect yourself.

Can we please change "parents" to "guardian(s)" or "parent(s) or guardian(s)"? Some children aren't cared for by their parents. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 17:14, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

Done. Dcoetzee (talk) 23:59, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 00:01, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Responses to hat note on My Watchlist pages[edit]

Coming to this discussion of a very serious topic very late- on seeing the hatnote, I am responding lets say with new eyes- but without having done previous research so I apologise for repetition. I will take the page as I saw it.

  1. Initial reaction- one is needed to cover Wikipedia- but is this another example of collective hysteria.
  2. The proposal is woolley and not cross-cultural
  3. The shortcuts to this policy seem to be at odds with each other- one (COM:CHILPROTECT) is a term that is understood differently by different cultures, and within the cultures with I am familiar, understood differently by different socio-economic groups and within different professions, The other is a medical condition - misused frequently by tabloid journalists to turn an incident into paranoia.
  4. At this point I ask which child are we protecting-- our under 14 editors (German Law)-- or the child in the image and from what?
  5. At this point I ask: Have I just broken the proposed policy because by asking the question above, in some ones mind I have implied. (e.g. by expressing the view that inappropriate relationships are not harmful to children)
  6. Or is the child- the reader, or your daughters 8yr old friend who happens to use the backbutton while searching for Moshi-monsters?
  7. So looking at the lead: Commons takes concerns seriously with regard to the safety of children using the site. Hier ist es Denglisch- this is not native spoken English- takes concerns- does not exist as a verb form- try the is seriously concerned about structure.
  8. inappropriate adult–child relationships : euphemism for something, but I don't know what. It is culturally loaded. What is a child, 14,16,18, 21. Whose definition- the definition in the country where the child is sitting- or where your lawyers are sitting, or where the adult is depicted/loves/born. I know this is all basic stuff but if you are going to be dogmatic about the penalty you need to dogmatic about definitions.
  9. Lets look on. I am still looking for what the so called policy actually is.
  10. Lets look on enforcement. This medical term appears Paedophile appears all be it in it US spelling- no definition. Then we move onto the sentence Because comments posted on Commons suggesting that an editor might be a pedophile might pose a serious risk of libel actions, or could involve unacceptable privacy issues for the editor or a child, it is recommended that violations of this policy be made to a Commons administrator by email. Eifty words: Just keep it simple, and put the subject of the sentence before all the qualifying clauses. From a practical point, I would have to do a little research to locate the email address of a Commons admin- what chance for a kid suspecting that may be a little wrong. It seems to be an open charter for the malicious who do have the time to do these things.
  11. This now appears to be a page suggesting what an editor should do if he suspects a criminal act. Any UK professional working with children would be committing an offence if he didn't report this to the police directly, and libel if he posted off an email. An email would still have devastating consequences for the wrongly suspected editor.
  12. Child protection documents are legal documents, guidelines for wring policies can be Googled: for example [ Wrtiting CP Policies] gives 38 side of advise on what should be included.
  13. I appreciate all the work that respected editors have put into this, which is why I have spent over an hour or so to responding.

So to sum up- I have now concluded that this advice is dangerous to follow, and as it is superfluous it should be quietly dropped. The issue is too important to get wrong. To save the work that has been put in, I suggest this is downgraded to a guideline and split into three sections; Protecting the young reader; Protecting the young editor and protecting yourself from allegations.

The policy merely needs to make a bland statement that says: We take CP seriously and review our guidelines at least once a year though they are under continuous scrutiny through the open Wikiprocess. --ClemRutter (talk) 12:43, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

As you suspected, some of your points have been previously discussed. Others are unfortunately wrong. For example, private communications cannot be libelous (by definition) because (by definition) private communications are not published, and libel absolutely must be published (=disseminated to the public). Similarly, child protection documents are not necessarily legal documents. WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:00, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
To start with I have zero confidence that some form of SOPA won't be enacted SOPA. That could, in effect, will make the act of sending an email become 'publishing' under EU, US, Federal or state law, and with a degree of retrospection as usual is with child protection legislation. We have UK case law in other fields of this happening. We have seen facebook post being used to imprison youngsters who were sucked into the 2011 riots.
We have a particular problem with this UK, EU initiative .Govt plans to scrutenise emails.
Legal Status. I believe it is a requirement of the Protection of Children Act 1999 and such is a legal requirement. Non complience to a CPP anywhere would be a cause for dismissal in any UK profession working with children. Appeal to an employment tribunal would fail- as such it is regarded as a legal document. We are in an area of the law that is driven by paranoia rather than logic. more. Yes they wont necessarily, by intention, be legal documents everywhere.
I apologies if I abbreviated the reasoning, but policies must be globally valid and I am flagging up, that on a cursory glance I did find some problems when looked at from a UK perspective. I look at the law from the point of view of a victim. --ClemRutter (talk) 17:28, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
  • There is nothing about SOPA that changes a message sent from you to me into a message that has been made available to the public. Libel doesn't concern itself with the details of how the message is disseminated; it cares only whether the message reached enough people that it's "public" rather than "private".
  • It is not our job to tell statutory reporters that they are statutory reporters. We could add, for example, that all law enforcement officers around the world have a duty to report any crimes they become aware of. It's true—but it's not our job to tell them that. Our job is only to tell them what we want done, not what their governments or employers want done. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:12, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
These are some very cogent objections (#11, for example) and indeed it seems like legal advice or at least a much broader pool of contributing editors may be needed to make a workable policy. Meanwhile, in practice it looks like this discussion has all but stagnated both here and at Meta. What I anticipate will happen is that the Terms of Use will be enacted before there is much headway at these pages, and in the absence of progress, at some point we should just make this policy a soft redirect to the terms, naming those relevant provisions, and perhaps offering a See Also for Office Actions. (some may protest that we don't know why an office action is done, but I don't think we need to suggest that any given office action was for any given reason in order simply to point out that they are potentially relevant) Ultimately the Terms of Use are the lawyer devised document, and their means of enforcement is the lawyer devised mechanism. I still think the community could be useful in deciding these matters, but not if we don't make the effort to figure out how. Wnt (talk) 13:50, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

May 20, 2012[edit]

The new Terms of Use will come into effect on May 20, 2012. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 15:55, 13 April 2012 (UTC) – They've recently changed the date that the Terms will be coming into effect to May 25, 2012. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 12:44, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

Definitions, where to draw the line, who decides?[edit]

I read the proposal as it stands and i have some open questions:

  1. How is advocacy defined?
  2. At which point does something count as advocacy?
  3. Is talking about inappropriate child-adult relations already enough, considering local laws of foreigners (eg. child mariage with different ages all around the world)?
  4. Is uploading "porn" (not child pornography) a child-adult relationship?
  5. Is fiction included (for example drawn lolicon)?
  6. Is citing scientific resources that conclude that some "inappropriate relationships are not harmful" a violation?
  7. What is an "inappropriate relationship"?
  8. Which "applicable law"?
  9. Given a law, who performs the test (eg. Miller test, Dost test, ...)?
  10. ...

I have so many open questions that i would never agree with such a contract. It could mean anything since there is an evident lack of definitions. --/人 ‿‿ 人\ 署名の宣言 09:34, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Agree. Current wording is way too ambigious; I've no idea what a "inappropriate relationships" implies. AzaToth 18:15, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
The text of this policy is borrowed from the English Wikipedia's policy. On enwiki, the ArbCom makes the decision on its private mailing list as to what to consider "advocacy," "inappropriate," etc.. Because the debates on particular child protection cases aren't deliberated in public, the problems of interpretation don't become as evident to the users as they might if we tried to enforce it here, and thus not much effort is made to define those terms more specifically in policy.
Sometimes simply criticizing the child protection policy itself can be deemed grounds for kicking a user off the wiki, as he can be accused of pro-pedophilia advocacy on that basis alone. It happened at Meta. In those situations, you're at the mercy of the local sysops and users, who like most of society tend to be hostile toward those who express dissident views on those topics. So, it's evident that even in the absence of a local policy on the topic, you can get banned for arguing anything other than mainstream views on this topic. Leucosticte (talk) 20:29, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

Why another page?[edit]

Simply add "Editors who attempt to use Commons to pursue or facilitate inappropriate adult–child relationships or to advocate inappropriate adult–child relationships (e.g. by expressing the view that inappropriate relationships are not harmful to children) will be indefinitely blocked." to Commons:Blocking_policy#Use and the issue is solved. There is no use in creating more and more rules spread over more and more pages until no one - except for wikilawyers - gets along. The more complicated, the more contact surface such people have for useless discussions and wikilawyering. And in my opinion a page on a blocking policy is not the place for general living-advice. Especially not for one focused exclusively on the circumstances in the US. e.g. "buying a large bore handgun" like suggested above would be a serious crime in germany and most countries I know. 06:13, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

I would add: ...upload images that depict... to your sentence.
So the sentence would then read: Editors who attempt to upload images that depict inappropriate adult–child relationships to Commons; or who attempt to use Commons to pursue or facilitate inappropriate adult–child relationships or to advocate inappropriate adult–child relationships (e.g. by expressing the view that inappropriate relationships are not harmful to children) will be indefinitely blocked. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 17:31, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
That's fine if you change "images" to "photos". However, it is still way too vague and far from anything that could become a policy. For example, words such as "inappropriate" and "child" have different definitions in different countries. --Stefan4 (talk) 18:30, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
The original said nothing about images or photos, which I think was an unintended oversight by As for the words you mention, "inappropriate" and "child"; if you do not understand them, just look it up any dictionary. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 18:38, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Definition of child: a person below years, where is a function depending on the geographical location where the word is used
Definition of inappropriate: something which is not appropriate, where the word "appropriate" is a function of the country in which it is used.
For example, in my country, an example of an inappropriate adult-child relationship would be a old man having a sexual relationship with a female infant. In other countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Persia, such a relationship would only be inappropriate if the old person and the infant aren't married to each other (with no minimum age limit for marriage). A different example would be a sexual or non-sexual relationship between one person aged 18 and another person of the same gender aged 17, which would be seen as appropriate in my country but totally unacceptable (punishable by death) in other countries, such as Saudi Arabia or Iran. --Stefan4 (talk) 18:57, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
The sentence offered by comes out of the second sentence in WP:CHILDPROTECT [7], which is an established WP guide line. Why do you think Commons needs to define the terms used more precisely than WP? I added the content on images to fit it more precisely to Commons, and that should be enough. This pedophilia issue needs a Commons guideline, and needs it now. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 19:16, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
en:WP:CHILDPROTECT is way too vague and not useful as a policy. A policy needs to be clearly defined so that it is possible to know what it regulates and what it doesn't regulate. en:WP:CHILDPROTECT completely lacks all of those requirements. --Stefan4 (talk) 19:22, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
The sentence adapted from en:WP:CHILDPROTECT is just fine. If you would like to toughen it up some after its enacted, that is obviously possible. We need get this done now. If actual enforcement problems develop, changes can be made based on the experience gained. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 19:34, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
As you can read in the other sections above, en:WP:CHILDPROTECT is way too vague for a policy, as has been pointed out by many other users. One can't adopt a policy before formulating it properly. Besides, I'm not sure if a separate policy is needed at all. What isn't already covered by COM:BLOCK? For example, you may be blocked for vandalism and harassment. Uploading child pornography sounds like vandalism to me (it is illegal so it is out of scope and uploading images which are out of scope is vandalism although in this case more serious than for other types of out of scope material). Approaching other users trying to initiate a sexual relationship sounds like harassment to me (at least if the other user says no, but in the case of a too young user also if the user says yes). --Stefan4 (talk) 20:21, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

One can't adopt a policy before formulating it properly

Certainly one can adopt a policy before formulating it "properly" (whatever that means). We can argue about whether one should, but we certainly have the ability to do so.

If memory serves, there was a similar discussion at en.wp about the perceived vagueness of the policy, and two points were made:

  1. This is how en.wp has dealt with pedophiles and other child-harrassing people for years now, so writing it down doesn't actually constitute a change of policy. The only real change is to the number of people who became aware of what the actual, longstanding policy is when they wrote it down.
  2. They had received information that the public discussions about the precise details about what is or isn't a banning offense on en.wp was being very closely followed by at least one group of pedophiles, with the apparent aim of figuring out just how much they could get away with on en.wp. To avoid enabling such abuse, the people who had the most experience with banning users in this area recommended not providing simple directions for complying with the "letter of the policy" while subverting its intent.

I don't know how applicable these issues are to Commons, but you might think about who we're trying to protect here. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:56, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

It can't be perfect because nothing done by humans never is ever perfect. What Commons needs is a policy guideline, and it need that now. Its time to stop talking this to death and just agree on a guide line. If it is vague, that is okay. If need be, it can be sharpened up later. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 21:06, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

Alerted by hat-note (which I can no longer see). This attempt is suitably anodine- but it now seems totally redundant. The alleged offence already being covered by the new terms and conditions. The line (e.g. by expressing the view that inappropriate relationships are not harmful to children) is a poor example: more a repetition of the previous clause. The essential disclaimer Commons can neither condone such actions or support such users who hold these opinions is missing.--ClemRutter (talk) 16:38, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

Looking at your advice to younger editors- one should seriously consider the language level used, and that everything on Commons should be written for the non-native speaker of English- Plain English is essential. If the target audience can't understand it- it should be culled. If it is culled the page is a stub, and if the stub is covered elsewhere a plain #REDIRECT would be more appropriate. --ClemRutter (talk) 16:38, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

Internet service provider[edit]

The last bullet point in the section "Advice for younger editors" suggests contacting one's internet service provider in response to inappropriate emails. What exactly would the provider do about this? --Yair rand (talk) 10:05, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

I think that should probably be removed. If assistance from an ISP is needed, it's probably assistance from the offender's ISP, not the victim's ISP, that is needed, but no matter which ISP's assistance is needed, the local law enforcement will be in a far better position to get that assistance than any kid. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:49, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

This ready to become a policy.[edit]

Oppose: No way is this ready or safe. I have raised issues months ago that have not been addressed. It is woolly in extreme and does not provide the protection for itself in the UK that Wikimedia needs. The statement Commons can neither condone such actions or support such users who hold these opinions is just not there. The phrase violates applicable law is not even grammatically correct- law is plural so requires an s. Lawyers are that picky. Applicable law is a cop out- you must be precise.

In addition, I need a statement to protect the editors whose naive but innocent images get tagged into a cat, with potentially dodgy stuff- as all this prevaricating is now leaving us personally liable under some juristictions.

As a way forward could Wikimedia actually consult some experts in the major countries who have spawned legal systems- to formulate the correct wording. --ClemRutter (talk) 11:42, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Addendum: Googling library model child protection policy produces for example this discussion of policies in northern England. A vast amount work has been done into this subject both sides of the pond- obviously ours is different as it has to comply with three legal codes- it must protect- wikimedia- editors- young editors and young readers. The work has been done but the document under discussion doesn't reflect it. --ClemRutter (talk) 12:33, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Were you involved in the Terms of Use discussions? If not, then you might like to go read those (enormous) archived discussions. It seems that the WMF's position is that they are subject only to US laws, so they and their websites don't have any need at all to "comply with three legal codes". However, you (or any other user) need to comply with your own country's laws, thus their decision to refer to "applicable law" in the TOU.
As a practical matter, we can't tell every user exactly which laws apply to them. So we're pointing out, solely as a courtesy, that if you are in Ruritania, then the Ruritanian police can come after you if you break Ruritanian laws when using the WMF websites, even if your actions would be legal in the home of the free and the land of Berkeley. If you really need to know which laws apply to you, then you really need to take your own money to your own lawyer to get a formal opinion about your own situation. WhatamIdoing (talk) 13:57, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Proposed correction to Terms of Use[edit]

The first sentence of Terms of Use section is "In accordance with the Terms of Use for all Wikimedia projects, Commons also prohibits:". I would like to delete "also" since in the current state the sentence makes little sense.

I also do not understand the part about "Posting or trafficking in obscene material that is unlawful under applicable law". It is unclear whose law are we talking about (US?, Iran?), since different countries might have different laws related to obscene materials. And if we are going to block someone forever for such an offense than it should be spelled out. Also it seems to me that that point is not necessarily related to child protection since material might be obscene and not related to children, and such material might need to be deleted but the upload might not be an block-able offense. --Jarekt (talk) 14:50, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Better to dump the whole proposal completely. It's not possible to fix this, literally, pile of crap. --Trycatch (talk) 18:25, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
We're going to have to start a FAQ on "applicable law". See the above section for another explanation. The short answer is this:
  • The WMF (which owns Commons) must comply with US law.
  • You must comply with US law and the laws of whatever country you belong to.
If you want to know which country's laws apply to you, and what they are, then you will have to hire your own lawyer. We can't tell individual users what their legal situation is. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:44, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
I do not think we should have policy so unclear, I will need to hire a layer to explain to me. As an admin and someone who might have to enforce that policy I need clear directions, otherwise why have a policy at all? --Jarekt (talk) 02:02, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Some questions about the above policy:
  • Are admins supposed to block users if they break against the laws of their home countries even if such behaviour is allowed in the United States? This could maybe mean problems for users in countries with poor human rights records.
  • Most users are anonymous. How are admins supposed to identify the home country in the first place? If you don't know in which country a user is residing, you won't know which laws to apply.
  • Are admins supposed to know the laws of all different countries so that they can tell whether a user's behaviour violates the laws of the user's home country? --Stefan4 (talk) 02:19, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Jarekt, if you personally don't know whether your actions could result in you personally being put in prison by your own country, then you need to hire a lawyer. It doesn't matter what we're talking about: copyright, pornography, talking to editors, posting information about your government, anything. It's not our job to tell you what your country's laws are.
Stefan4, there is no rule requiring any admins to block anyone for violating any laws. Violations are normally handled with discussion and reparation (e.g., deleting copyvios). Consequently, it doesn't matter if admins know what laws apply to a given user. But US law applies to 100% of users (by WMF decree in the Terms of Use), and admins have the option of blocking users for violating such laws. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:09, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
@Jarekt, in regard to what is probably the most likely case concerning this policy, it isn't that complicated. Let's assume, a user uploads a (real) childporn image. As production, possession and distribution of such material is illegal in nearly all countries of the world and as the making of such images most often includes abuse of the depicted child, you don't need to look into any book of law. You need to block the user on the spot, delete the image and immediately contact WMF-legal, provide them all the links and ask them to report (or consider to report) this user to the appropriate authorities (which might be police, district attorney or public prosecutor). --Túrelio (talk) 15:21, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

On the 9th of April I made a 13 point comment on why this was deficient. I gave a link to the correct way to write a child protection policy. None of that advice has been followed and the document remains totally flawed. It needs to be binned, and a group of experts commissioned to do the job properly. It is very dangerous territory to work in if you are naive. On the 19th June I made further comments and gave further links on how to write a child protection policy- there was one response refering to the Ruritanian Police force. Child protection and the protection of Wikimedia is far to important to joke about- but it does suggest that the proposers really have no intention of researching the issues and accepting the advice of editors who have been working in the field for decades. Quite simply, the assumptions of the proposers and their responses to valid comment are wrong.

US law is spoken about- but which laws. Where are the references. Is there any case law- where can we verify that. If this is a policy it should be written to the standard expected in an FA.

I will reiterate that the proposed policy is not written in intelligible English. Sentence 1- what is the active verb? Sentence 2, inappropriate adult–child relationships is refered to without being defined. If this is a policy- then at least admins should be told what that is. So we have a sanction for an undefined offence.

  • Commons takes concerns seriously with regard to the safety of children using the site. Editors who attempt to use Commons to pursue or facilitate inappropriate adult–child relationships or to advocate inappropriate adult–child relationships (e.g. by expressing the view that inappropriate relationships are not harmful to children) will be indefinitely blocked.

The situation for an editor donating material is relatively simple- US law covers most of it, and local law must be observed. But as soon as a US admin gives advice to a vunerable child (as in the section Advice for younger editors ) or a US admin covers up abuse to a child resident in the UK he is open to the full force of UK law- and an organisation who tries to support that individual becomes liable- because in effect the action/offence has taken place on UK soil. In extremis that means extradition. (It is not for me to comment on the wisdom of UK Child Protection Law- but I have stood in court supporting colleagues who were unwittingly caught up in the hysteria and wrongly accused of condoning abuse). I would advise any admin not to meddle with what they don't understand. Similarly, if a person in authority fails to respond to email from a UK child claiming abuse they are liable as they are condoning the abuse- regardless of where they sitting at the time. I have twice proposed a disclaimer that should be used to give them some protection.

Look, no matter how much time has been spent on this- it needs to be binned. --ClemRutter (talk) 01:05, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

My memory of your 13-point comment was that it contained some serious errors, such as the idea that private communications were the same as public communications. I disagree with your belief that this page is "deficient" in the 13 ways that you identify. I hope that you don't mistake "have listened to and rejected your ideas" for "ignored your ideas". Your ideas were largely rejected as being flawed and out of scope, not merely overlooked or ignored. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:00, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
The points are written above- it doesn't require memory to find them. It is your one line dismisssal of the warning that I and others are giving that is the problem. A policy needs to be well written, unambiguous and globally applicable. Follow the links that I have given you. Listen to Jarekt. Trycatch's analysis is correct, though I don't condone his language. You are trying to put down a couple of simple sentences to close a perceived hole in policy. Many of us were in parallel situations ten fifteen years ago. Locally CPPs are required by any and every organisation that gives advice to children, while stateside more emphasis is placed on CIPA- CAPTA etc,(en:WP has some informative stuff). We are explaining the pitfalls of your approach. The guidance documents I have referred you were written because the act of writing a CPP leaves you vunerable- just sit back and study them. Each point I make needs to be addressed separately- some can be answered (please leave a reference to the source of your argument) and some need expert attention. Sorry. --ClemRutter (talk) 21:46, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

arbitrary break[edit]

The WMF websites (and their policies) do not have to comply with UK law or with some voluntary organization's guess about what UK law is (e.g.,'s suggestions). If what's proposed here actually created legal problems, then I'm confident that the WMF's General Counsel would have objected to it. The WMF (apparently unlike you) has a professional legal team to consider these issues.
I'd also like to add that the advice you've linked is irrelevant. The file, for example, advises us to "place the computer where everyone can use it and where everyone can see it, rather than out of sight in another room" and to "limit the amount of time children spend online". Their advice actually goes against Commons' primary purpose, with their sole relevant recommendation being to never post any recognizable photographs of any children. Their purpose is to provide advice on child-protection policies when you have physical custody of children in a group primarily focused on children, such as in a school or scouting group, not when you have a website that some children happen to use. WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:50, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Read the post again- then look at what is proposed. You offer advice to children- you write a policy- and in the perverse atmosphere of CPP you become involved. Just because US law says you do not have to comply with UK law does not protect you personally- if you look at it another way Julian Assange did not break any law- but international agreements mean he is being sought by the US- through Sweden.
Again you are rubbishing serious advice by rubbishing one bit that obviously is irrelevant. A policy needs to be well written, unambiguous and globally applicable. and in this case I think the WMF can take your suggestion- note that it has failed to achieve concensus and pass it to their lawyers for total rewording, they will consult with their colleagues in the international division to check their text will hold water. It really is pointless to take this any further until you recognise Jarekt or Stefan4 contributions. Turelio contribution is far more concise and it would better if he were tasked to rewrite the document and submit that for approval and thus to the WMF.--ClemRutter (talk) 12:37, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
Julian Assange appears to be facing extradition for rape, which is not a crime that can be committed over the Internet. Telling kids "If you've got a problem, then talk to someone you trust" is not a crime. You may not have realized it, but "allegedly being involved by advising a possible victim to consider contacting the police" is not the sort of behavior that gets a person extradited. What gets a person extradited is "allegedly committing a crime". Nothing on this page even remotely approaches committing a crime. I therefore do not think that we need to worry about the Assange precedent.
The Assange issue has nothing to do with the charges in Sweden but there he can face extradition to the USA for a non EU crime- one that the US assumes it has extra territorial powers. The issue in Sweden is irrelevant to us- but extraterritoriality for a alleged internet crime is an exact parallel to WM situation.--ClemRutter (talk) 11:25, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
I am sorry to say this bluntly, but you really don't know what you're talking about. For example, when policy geeks talk about a policy being "globally applicable", we're not actually referring to issues of geography and jurisdiction. "Thou shalt not commit adultery" is a globally applicable injunction: there are no situations in which adultery is a desirable behavior. "Be friendly" is not globally applicable: there are situations in which one really should not be the least bit friendly. What has been proposed here largely is globally applicable. It isn't comprehensive (it does not cover every situation) and it isn't detailed (it doesn't provide, for example, a list of laws in various countries), but it is globally applicable. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:25, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Theres two extreme POVs that do not even illustrate your point!
Well written- It is bad English. It does not make sense.
Commons takes concerns seriously with regard to the safety of children using the site. is not English
Commons is seriously concerned about the safety of children using the site is English
Editors who attempt to use Commons to pursue or facilitate inappropriate adult–child relationships or to advocate inappropriate adult–child relationships (e.g. by expressing the view that inappropriate relationships are not harmful to children) will be indefinitely blocked. is ambiguous and the example is a POV that may invalidate the purpose- US ammendment on right to free speech.
Inappropriate adult–child relationships are defined in many legal systems, and editors must heed local laws and those applicable in Florida and the US. Define your scope, and protect WM by respecting local laws. Commons cannot support or condone and editor who attempts to use Commons to pursue, facilitate or advocate inappropriate adult–child relationships. Then If alerted of a breach of this principle, the user will be blocked while Commons Adminstrators investigate. Action could lead to a permanent block and the appropriate authorities being alerted. This again protects WM as under UK law, failing to alert the authorities would be an offence.
Scope: A new section. Saying the scope of the policy is to advise Commons on appropriate actions and does not seek to give users a tick list of what is acceptable - or something similar would be helpful. Procedure- rather than enforcement and description of the appeals procedure open to the user who has blocked. This cuts out the danger of a Bible bashing admin using Genesis Chapter 20 POVs on the innocent, throwing out blocks.
Finally: Advice to young users. By giving such as this Commons is now subject to UK and Ruritanian Law. It can be done but it must be done in such a way that Commons is not held liable. In addition and concurrently, the reading age of the text must be appropriate for a youngster and one with non-native English. Writing it in inaccessible language could be seen as obfuscation. Look, do we have simple sentence structure, no conditional clauses, positive instructions not negative ones, active not passive. Are the words uased in a recognised vocab list targetted at that age?
If you are a younger editor and feel that another person on Commons is behaving in a way that you feel threatens your personal safety, or worries you in any way whatsoever, do not respond to this person in any way, but tell a responsible adult, and ask them to look at this page.
That is the task in hand- ask a K-12 teacher to word it for you or refer back to the documents I submitted. --ClemRutter (talk) 11:25, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Yes, I think a grammar lesson might be in order, and a history lesson is definitely in order.

You propose these two statements as examples of bad and good English:

  1. Commons takes concerns seriously with regard to the safety of children using the site. is not English
  2. Commons is seriously concerned about the safety of children using the site is English

These two statements say different things. The first says, "If you have a concern, we will treat your concern with seriousness and respect." The second says, "We believe that there is a significant problem, and consequently this is not a safe site for children to use." We intend to communicate the former, not the latter.

See hundreds of examples of the phrasing used here at UK websites, like this BBC article. It is more typical to say that we "take your concerns seriously", but it is proper (and slightly more formal) English as written.

As for your concern about the First Amendment, I suggest that you actually read it. It begins with the critical words, "Congress shall make no laws..." The WMF is not Congress. The WMF is a private organization. Unlike Congress, private organizations and individuals may make as many rules restricting free speech as they want.

Your assertion that failing to report an offense is a violation of UK law is an example of armchair lawyering. Unless you are a UK national (=someone who is subject to the UK's laws), then you have zero obligation to report anything at all to the UK. And UK nationals have no obligation to report things to the German police, and German nationals have no obligation to report things to the Canadian police, and so forth. Commons cannot contravene UK law (it's a website, not a person), and even if it were possible, merely by failing to tell people that their own country has some laws that apply to them is not a violation. We have absolutely no obligation to inform a UK national what the UK laws are.

Your assertion that telling a child to talk to a trusted adult makes Commons subject to every single country's laws is simply wrong. So rather than having a tis-tisn't argument, why don't you try this: find me a UK law or court case that explicitly says that if someone in China or Indonesia or the USA tells a child to talk to an adult, that that person is subject to UK law. And if you can't, then please spend a minute or two thinking about what that means for your unsupported claim. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:04, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Hundreds of examples- [Three references to this article] is actually none- when the whole thing is googled. Offence (sic). And the rest is also inaccurate. Have a nice evening- and in September when I have more time - do pop over here for a visit, it would be good to have a chat.--ClemRutter (talk) 23:42, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
You have searched on "takes concerns" rather than "take concerns", which is solely a difference of grammatical number. In American English, Commons is a single entity, and it "takes" concerns. In British English, Commons is a group, and they "take" concerns. Offence vs offense are also differences in variety, not errors. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:14, 4 July 2012 (UTC)


I've dropped the redundant "also" and added a note on "applicable law", and a warning about laws which may apply to some users. Bottom line, the policy is intended to empower Commons to act in general, not to make a complete guide on how to handle these things for any Commons user encountering any situation anywhere in the world. Any action on real issues should be done in co-operation with the WMF legal department, and if necessary in consultation with relevant authorities ("situation X has arisen - do I need to report this?"). Rd232 (talk) 15:43, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

I think these additions fairly dubious. First, if we are going to volunteer the WMF legal department to deal with every user's questions, we should make sure that they agree to it. I'm not convinced that they are capable of it: there is probably no one there who could actually handle a complaint about a serious issue in most of Africa, the Middle East, or Asia. Also, Commons:Applicable law is a bit broader than those that cause the WMF to act. Applicable law includes those that cause the WMF to act (US law) and laws that apply directly to you (your home country's laws). If you live in a repressive country, and you post something here that is 100% protected free speech in the USA, your own country could still put you in prison, even though they can't force the WMF to take any action at all. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:29, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
(i) nobody has volunteered WMF legal to deal with "every user's questions". "users handling such situations" is intended to refer to Commons admins handling an alleged Child Protection situation, as per the first paragraph re emailing a Commons admin (i.e. someone who can actually block, as per the policy). This can be clarified. WMF legal will have to cope with that - it won't happen very often. (ii) Commons:Applicable law is an essay about the Terms of Use as they apply to individual users. The CP policy definition is not aimed at users, because that's completely impractical, it's aimed at Commons. Ruritania may imprison user X for posting images of lolcats, but that doesn't impose any obligation on Commons, unless Wikimedia somehow falls within Ruritanian jurisdiction (eg having servers there and Ruritanian law says WMF is liable). Rd232 (talk) 06:48, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for some positive edits.--ClemRutter (talk) 11:25, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
"Users handling such situations" includes every user who is making a complaint, not just admins receiving a complaint. If you mean admins only, then you should say admins.
"Applicable law" is taken directly from the Terms of use, and it is definitely not restricted to "Commons" (as if a website, rather than the humans using it, could actually be sent to prison). WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:44, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Tweaked "handling" issue. Applicable law to users is not the same as applicable law to the Wikimedia Foundation, and it's the latter which we're concerned with here. (The Terms obviously cover the relationship between users and the Foundation, which seems to be confusing you.) Rd232 (talk) 22:13, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
I think you need to read the whole sentence, which begins with the words, "In accordance with the Terms of Use for all Wikimedia projects, Commons prohibits:" You are asserting that a sentence that directly invokes the Terms of use has nothing to do with the Terms of use. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:10, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

For the third time: Commons:Child protection is intended to be a policy enabling Commons admins to act in certain situations. The situations covered are those which require the Foundation to act, i.e. where the Foundation has legal obligations under "applicable law", which is to say law applicable to the Foundation. The Terms of Use are about the relationship between the Foundation and users, which therefore goes beyond the Foundation's legal obligations. Put another way, the idea that "applicable law" in this policy could be based on whatever jurisdiction(s) users in a situation are involved in is absurd (as the requirements may well be contradictory) and impractical (since knowing in detail all the obligations in these situations around the world is a task worthy of an entire specialist encyclopedia - a worthwhile task, if you're interested, but not one this policy can tackle). Rd232 (talk) 15:32, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

Can't we just simplify the policy to state that Commons admins may block users who violate the terms of use? I assume that the legal team has checked that the formulations are as unambiguous and clearly defined as possible. I think that we should also simplify the section with advice for younger editors. For example, it says that "[younger editors] are strongly urged to work with [various people]". This use of the word "work" is uncommon in texts meant for children and people studying English as a foreign language typically only use the word "work" in other contexts. Thus, the sentence could be seen as confusing or unclear for the intended readers. Try using many (but short) sentences and try to avoid uncommon words. Maybe people over at simple: could help us, since they should be used to this situation. --Stefan4 (talk) 16:36, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
Simplifying would be a good thing, if you can do anything about that. But simply referring to the Terms without specifying what we're talking about isn't very helpful. Rd232 (talk) 19:38, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
If the only point were to authorize admins to block users, then the page could be deleted. Why? Because those bullet points are word-for-word out of the TOU. Admins are already authorized to block users for TOU violations. It adds nothing that doesn't already exist, and with your footnote, it actually tries (ineffectively, because it can't override the TOU) to reduce the admin's power to act. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:42, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
It's better to have a page on Commons on this specific issue than to vaguely point people at the Terms. Admins are already authorized to block users for TOU violations. - possibly, but where does it say that? Admins are not legal agents of the Foundation, so you can't just point to the Terms themselves. In any case, we're trying to address a specific issue. Finally, the suggestion that my footnote reduces admins' power to act suggests that you believe admins are able (required?) to enforce local laws based on the jurisdiction of whatever user they're dealing with, regardless of the fact that they may know neither the jurisdiction nor the relevant law, and that attempting to enforce them may conflict with other laws. At some point the absurdity of this view must become apparent to you. Rd232 (talk) 19:38, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
I can't imagine a situation in which blocking a user over an alleged violation of obscenity laws in Country #1 could possibly conflict with any laws in any other country. There is no "human right to contribute to Wikimedia Commons" enshrined in any country's laws.
Section 10 of the TOU authorizes admins to block users for violations of both the TOU and local project policies. And it's not "vaguely pointing" at the TOU; wee're talking about exactly the same words. Exactly the same words cannot be vague there and clear here. Also, COM:BP gives admins quite substantial discretion, and it permits blocks for any purpose that can be described as "for behaviour that has the potential to damage the Commons or disrupt its collegial atmosphere" except cool-down blocks. The list of examples is explicitly labeled "the most common", not "a complete list of the only authorized reasons". There is no reason to believe that admins actually need a separate page here that names soliciting child porn as a "behaviour that has the potential to damage the Commons or disrupt its collegial atmosphere" before any of them will feel authorized to block such users. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:09, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
OK, TOU section 10, while largely about Office actions, does mention community action; and it's true that COM:BP leaves much latitude. However, you didn't participate in, and seem oblivious to, the incident that sparked the launching of this draft. The backstory is that the same situation was handled fairly efficiently and with reasonably limited drama on English Wikipedia via ArbCom, while Commons, not having any applicable policy or procedure, couldn't cope with it, to the point where an Office action was required to resolve the situation. The point of this policy is to avoid that happening again, partly by trying to ensure public discussion takes place only when absolutely necessary, and merely pointing at m:Terms of use is no substitute. Finally, your lack of imagination as to how laws can conflict (libel vs privacy vs reporting requirements, say) is ultimately missing the point; it is not Commons' job to enforce every local law that every user is subject to, even Commons had a database of all applicable laws. Rd232 (talk) 11:45, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
Reporting requirements do not apply to the offending user; they might apply to some admins (say, if the admin is also a sworn law enforcement officer). But there are no legal conflicts here: reporting a possible crime to authorities is never libel and never a legally prohibited invasion of privacy.
I know that there was a (single) problem. The conditional clause in my statement above is important: "If the only point were to authorize admins to block users..." I don't believe that authorizing blocks is either the only or even a very important component of this page. Sexual harassment (e.g., soliciting nude photos from kids) is already covered by the blocking policy. I believe there ia value here, but restating what's already in the TOU isn't where the value is found. WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:59, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

Parental lock[edit]

It doesn't matter whether you support or oppose that idea: the WMF Board has already announced that they will not be providing a parental lock. They are interested in a filtering system, but they have declared that it must be easily and instantly reversible for any user, not a "lock" system. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:01, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

If the WMF stated officially that they won’t back it up, then we’re talking to the hand, ma'am. Until the policy itself is wicked, it’s alluring perverts of all kinds to Commons, and there’s absolutely no point in taking measures, based on selective approach. Inflammatory comment removed and user warned. -mattbuck (Talk) 00:09, 5 August 2012 (UTC) Rename the thread, cause it has nothing to deal with child protection yet. — George Serdechny 06:34, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
meta:Controversial content is a place to discuss image filters. The point here is not "Oh, my child might see a sex-related photograph on Commons". The point here is "Some pedophile might send a note to my child and suggest that my child visit his wiki 'friend'". Blocking pedophiles is a form of protecting children, and from a much rarer but far graver threat then seeing a photograph of someone's genitals. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:40, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
These are desperate measures, lady. If the brown substance dripping out of your bowl, there's no point in cleaning the spots, the entire system needs a thorough clean-up. I would even say "reload." Btw, be careful using words starting with pedo, I've just received a warning. We might be blocked for simply discussing those folks. I presume, they're untouchables here. — George Serdechny 16:23, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
George has been blocked for three days because of his needlessly inflammatory slang.
George, in case you're reading this, please note that "pedophile" is not the same as "homosexual", and pedophiles are not at all protected by Commons or any other WMF website. There are two completely separate concerns:
  1. children who see sex-related pictures on Commons, and
  2. pedophiles who talk to the children who use Commons.
As I said above, this page is the "preventing pedophiles from talking to children" page. There is a completely separate series of pages about keeping children from seeing sex-related pictures. If you want to contribute to that completely separate project, then you will have to join the completely separate discussions at Meta about that completely separate goal. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:00, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Simple English[edit]

There is a whole Simple English Wikipedia. What about simplifying the language of this proposal a bit? Any policy written by non-native English speakers for non-native English speakers could benefit from such checks, and especially advice for younger editors who are more likely to have had little time to learn to understand the more complex phrases or common mistakes that might have slipped through (include those I probably made in this paragraph). --AVRS (talk) 11:58, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

I don’t like this sentence: “Never respond to an improper email delivered via Commons, or use the "email this user" feature to contact someone who might be a threat to you, as …”. Though I guess it cannot be misunderstood, it has to be read to the end (and possibly re-read) for that. --AVRS (talk) 11:58, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

Get people to read it?[edit]

One thing we might do is suggest users read the page when signing up if they are under 18. A brief link could be added at Special:Userlogin/signup (see en:MediaWiki talk:Signupend for possible places to add the link). (If people aren't happy linking to this draft policy page from there, then the guidance parts can be copied to a separate page.) Rd232 (talk) 07:28, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

That seems to be a good idea, perhaps the technical users can help out here. TBrandley 19:25, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Restart discussion? Mark as failed?[edit]

Discussion died down months ago without the proposal being rejected or accepted.

It's time to either restart the discussion or mark this as a failed proposal.

Even if the proposal fails, meta:Legal and Community Advocacy/Legal Policies#Office Actions 5. Child Pornography. still applies. Other sections of that document, including meta:Legal and Community Advocacy/Legal Policies#Harrassment, also apply to the Commons and all other Wikimedia projects.

Looking at last year's discussion above, it looks like there is enough opposition to stop the parts of this that are not already covered by Wikimedia policy from becoming Commons policy, but there may be support for some or all of it to become a guideline and/or process. Davidwr (talk) 15:19, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

It might benefit from being re-written to more clearly explain the WMF's long-standing and mandatory policies, which I don't believe that most Commons uses are aware of. For example, it could clearly link to and explain the relevance of the harassment legal policy with a couple of typical examples like unwanted on-wiki comments, uploading pictures of you without your permission, and unwanted off-wiki communication.
I think that much of the opposition above is based on a desire to have a high degree of specificity: this is okay, this is not, and the fine line is always drawn exactly here, and if your individual actions stay one millimeter on this side of the line, then you're a member in good standing no matter what. Since it would be foolish to provide an exact list of permissible behaviors ("Nobody will ever be blocked for saying the following things to minors on this website, even if these comments might be part of a victim-grooming campaign: 'What school do you go to?' 'Are you a teenager? You seem really mature to me.' 'Do you have a boyfriend?' 'How many more months until your father gets back from his military deployment?'"), I'm not sure that this desire for specificity should be met. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:04, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
The pages on Meta have problems. In particular, they are full of legalese in English which might not be easy to read for a child who is not an English native speaker. It would be better to provide translated versions which are easier to understand for more people, but maybe it would be better to do that at Meta since the terms of use and office actions apply to all Wikimedia projects anyway. --Stefan4 (talk) 22:14, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

Caution, expressing dissident views on child protection can be harmful to your wiki-health[edit]

These child protection policy proposal discussion pages are basically booby traps that editors with dissident opinions would do well to avoid. Thus far, on two wikis, Meta and the English Wikiversity, it's transpired that attempts to actually have a full, free and open discussion of the merits of proposed and current child protection policies have resulted in blocks and revision and/or page deletions as reprisals. Undoubtedly, it would be the same way here, as it seems to be a WMF-wide norm.

People have pointed out that these policies are unlikely to be approved anywhere but enwiki, where Jimbo personally saw to it that it was enacted. Therefore, this argument goes, it would be wise to let sleeping dogs lie by not getting the debate started again. That may be true, but another reason not to speak in opposition to these proposals is the potential for censorship, and for punishment for getting on the bad side of the censors.

Discussion templates say stuff like "You can help develop this proposal, share your thoughts, or discuss its adoption" but that's to be taken with a grain of salt because people are not actually always looking for an unfettered expression of views on the topic from all sides. Leucosticte (talk) 02:40, 25 March 2014 (UTC)