User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 4

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Current and Recent Conversations

Per above, the ongoing and recent discussions have been restored here: User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive. --Alecmconroy (talk) 06:54, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

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Huib talk 09:24, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

See Huib's talk page. -- Avi (talk) 18:21, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
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Huib talk 09:25, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

See Huib's talk page. -- Avi (talk) 18:21, 9 May 2010 (UTC)


(Note, I've reset my talk page to move us into the next phase of this discussion. If you want to read the old stuff, it isn't deleted, it is in the archive: User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive.)

Much of the cleanup is done, although there was so much hardcore pornography on commons that there's still some left in nooks and crannies.

I'm taking the day off from deleting, both today and tomorrow, but I do encourage people to continue deleting the most extreme stuff.

But as the immediate crisis has passed (successfully!) there is not nearly the time pressure that there was. I'm shifting into a slower mode.

We were about to be smeared in all media as hosting hardcore pornography with zero educational value and doing nothing about it. Now, the correct storyline is that we are cleaning up. I'm proud to have made sure that storyline broke the way it did, and I'm sorry I had to step on some toes to make it happen.

Now, the key is: let's continue to move forward with a responsible policy discussion.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:09, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Mr Wales, you are the only person who has stop a serious policy discussion by your actions.
You have repeatedly violated speedy deletion policy by speedy deleting files that should have gone through the normal deletion process.
You have repeatedly engaged in wheelwars — and, worse, without justifying yourself in some manner that anyone who is not you would consider reasonable.
You have gone against community consensus by deleting files that meet Commons guidelines, i.e. images that are educationally useful and not low-quality porn photos. The correct order of events should be to first try to build a consensus to change the guidelines, and then, if successful, delete the images — only after warning the projects that use them and giving them adequate time to create replacements.
When asked to explain your administrative actions, you seriously suggest everyone wait for 4 weeks before you deign to metaphorically get off your throne and discuss anything.
Mr. Wales, your gung-ho attitude towards administration has damaged the community for no good reason. You have single-handedly destroyed Wikipedia's trust in Commons. You have have single-handedly destroyed Commons' users' trust in their administrators. If everything was about FOX, you have lied to us in recent days. You show absolutely no respect for the users here and on Wikipedia. And we can not be a free encyclopedia if we delete files to make Fox happy, it's intellectual corruption.
--Ankara (talk) 07:22, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
It is not about Fox at all, it is about our educational mission. Let me ask you point blank: do you want Wikimedia Commons to be a hardcore porn hosting service? I ask you to look at this video - watch the whole thing, it's only 8 minutes or so long. And then come back and tell me that it's more important that I allow you to upload and view hardcore pornography, than that we responsibly serve our educational mission.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:34, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
When you delete a picture of woman masturbating you care more about the American view of sexuality than of a free encyclopedia. A young woman who grows up in a conservative American environment has a right to know what masturbation is and how it works. Just as a woman in the DPRK has the right to read about Christianity, or Ayn Rand, a person in Iran has the right to read about U.S.. You have started to censor the encyclopedia from an American POV, and without any kind of consensus here.
If it is not about Fox, why the rush? To send me the movielink is just arrogant, it's not me who will stop and censor knowledge. It is you who should watch the movie, and try to get back to your wonderful idea for Wikipedia. Remeber "Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing." Not any more, "Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge who suit Christian Americans views on what is appropriate". That's what we're doing."--Ankara (talk) 07:47, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
It is not about Fox, it is about our reputation in the world generally. We were hosting (and still are, frankly, because there's deletions that still need to be done) hardcore pornography not being used in any article and of no educational value.
And it is not about the "American view of sexuality," that argument just doesn't make any sense to me. The point of the video I asked you to watch is that she's a little girl in Peru. I don't know if you've ever been to America, and I don't know if you are aware of it, but the US is the world capital of the pornography industry, and pornography is widely available for sale, rent, and on the Internet.
If we rank countries on a spectrum of tolerance for this type of material, the US would not be the most tolerant, but it would be very very far from the least tolerant.
At the same time, I question what appears to be an assumption you're making even about your own country. I've been there, but of course I'm no expert on it, so I'll just ask you.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:32, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
You are a well known friend of Ayn Rand's philosophy. Remember what she says: Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong. It is a contradiction between "Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia" and "Wikipedia deletes educational material that is used to illustrate articles because people do not think they are appropriate". What premise is wrong?
It is a contradiction between we are working for a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge and we are working for a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge who suit a conservative views on what is appropriat--Ankara (talk) 08:54, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Mr Wales, you speedy deleted illustrations which were in use on en.wp because their wikiprojects decided it was more acceptable to have an illustration than an actual photo. How is this justified? Yes, we have illustrations of sexual acts - they're quite useful for encyclopaedic articles on said sexual acts, and thus are in scope. Heck, they were in scope automatically simply because they were in use. I join the calls for you to lose your admin status, as you clearly do not care for community consensus and established policy. -mattbuck (Talk) 20:54, 9 May 2010 (UTC) This appears to have been resolved. -mattbuck (Talk) 21:47, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
So rather than answering to the legitimate concerns of the community, you would just rather wipe their concerns away: out of sight, out of mind, as if blanking their questions was part of this great cleanup mission? Elian had a great name for this behavior of yours: discussion beaming. --Melanom (talk) 06:39, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Deleting discussions without comment or archiving is not acceptable behavior for an admin. Please remember you do not own your user space, none of us do. Any editor may restore any or all of the deleted material, if its inclusion is useful to the goals of the foundation. I encourage them to do so. --Alecmconroy (talk) 06:42, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
It's all archived in the history. If you want to make a separate archive page, you can do that if you want.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:47, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Again. How nice to see we are censoring even though "Wikipedia is not censored" --Koolabsol (talk) 07:37, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Just to go on record again: I resent the fact that you would rather blank out (or: "archive") questions and concerns in order to "move on" than adress them properly. --Melanom (talk) 08:04, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Next steps

In the flurry of activity this weekend, I made some mistakes, and I'm sorry about that. I had thought that a good process would be to engage in a very strong series of deletions, including of some historical images, and then to have a careful discussion about rebuilding. That proved to be very unpopular and so I regret it. It also may have had the effect of confusing people about my own position on what to keep and what to get rid of.

On the Commons:Sexual content policy page there is language about "high artistic, literary, educational or historical merit" - I fully support that language, and I think the important thing for us to do now is to start working on deeper explanations of what that means.

There is also language originally taken from USC 2257 which I think is useful but which I think can also be improved upon. The nice thing about a 3rd party statement is that it gives us a simple objective criterion - that's a good thing.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:12, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

I had thought that a good process would be to engage in a very strong series of deletions, including of some historical images,
Whoa whoa whoa.. Are you saying you intentionally chose to delete historical images that are allowed under the current Foundation rules???? --Alecmconroy (talk) 07:32, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
No.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:35, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
I apologize for the confusion, I thought I had a communications breakthrough there. Perhaps we could better understand your thought process if you elaborated on that answer. I respectfully ask:
Could you please shed any light on how it was you were able to delete the same piece of artwork multiple times without realizing that it does not violate the foundation's policies? (File:Félicien Rops - Sainte-Thérèse.png) --Alecmconroy (talk) 08:02, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
I am unsure what you are asking, exactly. My view was that we should first take a very hardline interpretation of policy, while it is being refined, and then bring things back if, after due consideration, we find it worthwhile to do so. Policy will be in flux for awhile, as I have said, and both the board and the community are continuing discussions about it.
It currently seems that we are going to settle on a precautionary principle of sorts, in which our default assumption will be to not keep a wide variety of potentially offensive images, with exceptions (which I fully support) for images of particularly high artistic/literary/educational value. Your assistance in thinking about how to word that would be much appreciated.
Because the immediate crisis has passed - and the board has put out a first statement about this - I think it is time to take a slower pace. I don't think it's as important at the moment to deal with the borderline cases. I think the image you are asking about is a borderline case - of precisely the sort that we are going to want to have a serious discussion on a case-by-case basis as they come up. Before, I was of the view that we should deal with the borderline cases by deleting and then discussing undeletion. I think the image in question is borderline, meaning that I think reasonable people could say that it goes to far, and reasonable people could say that it is of sufficient historical importance to be kept. Does that help to answer your question?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:25, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Okay, gotcha. You didn't delete images that you felt were legit, but you deleted those you personally believed to be "borderline".
But why the rush? If it wasn't Fox News, why did you discontinue policy formation in favor of deleting first and asking questions later? --Alecmconroy (talk) 08:34, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
I'd like to note that I didn't "discontinue policy formulation" - I've encouraged that we work on it, throughout all of this, and I encourage it now. I think I understand what you're asking and where we may not have communicated. I think Fox News was about to publish a story that would get picked up very far and wide, all over the world, by dozens or even hundreds of respectable sources. And that story was going to be plain and simple and factual and very very bad. It was going to say "Wikipedia is hosting hundreds of hardcore pornographic images on their servers" - with detailed explanation of what they are.
There was a problem on Commons (and there is still work to be done!) and even people who are very mad at me for acting so quickly and stepping on people's toes (and I understand why people feel that way, I really do) tend to agree that there was a problem and that policy needed to be either much more strictly enforced or changed. (Your view on which it is likely depends on your view on what policy actually was).
As it stands now, the story is that we are working on cleaning up the problem. That's a good thing.
So to answer your question: it wasn't Fox per se that I was worried about - it was our global reputation, which was about to be smeared. I would have strongly preferred if we went through a quiet process over a long period of time. I don't like having people mad at me, obviously. I strongly support policy making through consensus, and I trust that the community is the best way we have to resolve complex issues.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:01, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
You damages our reputation in Europe much more when you censor, censorship is much worse than pornography here. In many countries in Europe have your behavior much more potential to harm us than a few pornographic images. --Ankara (talk) 09:12, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for your continued dialogue. I'm sure your job has always been a thankless one, particularly this week. Whatever happens, I firmly believe you are a good person who has made the world a better place. We don't say that often enough, so I'll say it again.
I'm glad to hear of your continued support for Consensus. I look forward to the day when you have regained the trust of the community that you lost this week. To that end, I'm going to ask you the $64,000 question everyone's freaking about. I think this will get us a big part of the way towards relaxation:
Will you will abide by a community consensus over what your user rights should be? --Alecmconroy (talk) 09:11, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
I've decided to simply sidestep and remove that question completely by removing virtually all rights to actually do anything from the "Founder" flag. I can't block people. I can't delete things. I can no longer even edit semi-protected pages! (I can still view deleted revisions and so on, since I need those rights quite often.) Can we please now get back to discussing the real issues?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:53, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Have you complied with the community's consensus yet, or have you merely disabled some of your powers while still retaining the ability to restore them any time you choose?
According to John Vanderberg, you are still listed as a founder and still have access to all founder powers whenever you want. The community has reached a consensus that your founder flag is going to be removed. Until you have complied, getting you to comply with consensus is Wikimedia's top priority.
Sorry to be harsh, but consensus is consensus, rules are rules. If you can't comply with consensus, you're the biggest threat this project has. --Alecmconroy (talk) 10:50, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

I'm inclined to take JW at his word. removing virtually all rights to actually do anything from the "Founder" flag. I can't block people. I can't delete things. I can no longer even edit semi-protected pages! . I see an acceptance that this "cleanup" may not have been carried out as well as it could have been.

Let's try and move on and deal with the issue we still have not the stuff that is past. --Herby talk thyme 10:55, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Obviously, you probably know JW better than me and if his gesture restored your trust, that's a good thing.
But the rest of the community is not convinced. We don't trust him anymore, we can no longer assume good faith and pray it will all work out-- it's far too late for that.
The founder flag may have ALWAYS been against consensus, but it's clearly against consensus now. And whether Jimbo will obey the community or not-- that's not a distraction, that's the most important issue on the project. --Alecmconroy (talk) 11:05, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Echoing to some degree what Finn is saying below the Founder flag issue is a matter for Meta not Commons. Discussion about that should be there not here really. I would stress I probably know no more that the average wikimedian about JW however it does seem that, as far as Commons is concerned, he accepts that this may not be his greatest moment and has agree to take no admin action in this for now. That is enough for me to want to see things move forward.
Therefore we need to address the concerns over the questionable content of Commons (I'm sure quite a large number of people would acknowledge that there is some). Let's see if we can work on that. --Herby talk thyme 11:35, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
As long as Wales still has the power to restore his founder rights and do whatever he wants he's still a risk to the project. He's abused his powers. Very few people still trust him. He shouldn't have any special priviliges. You know, other users earn these priviliges because they are trusted. Wales isn't trusted by the community and therefore shouldn't have any special powers. It's bad enough that this vandal is a member of the foundation board, but as long as he's still here (the best thing would be if he left and never came back) he should have no special powers to wreak havoc on the projects. Entheta (talk) 14:38, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Very few people still trust him. And where do you get this from? Any representative polls I have missed? --Dschwen (talk) 15:06, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Tell us where to sign up and we will do so. --Matthiasb (talk) 16:53, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Exactly, that is the problem. The rest of us doesn't give a crap and continues with the day to day business beyond the narrow porn-horizon. Kinks can be ironed out later. --Dschwen (talk) 19:57, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Precautionary principle. You deleted borderline images, and encouraged others to do the same, while in full knowlegde - because multiple people were telling you this - that this as disrupting the project, ruining yours and Commons' reputation, and that you were clearly acting against the developing consensus on the policy. You knew - or should have known - that in hundreds of deletions, it's going to take a LOT of sifting to find those borderline images, because there's no clear way to tell a borderline image from a clear delete from file name alone, and you were not marking borderline images any differently from what you saw as clear deletes. This meant that finding those borderline images would require admins to go into every single file, and look at every single image, just to find out if it was one of your borderline images or not. This was a gross lapse of judgement, and the best thing you could do is to simply make a statement, here and on foundation-l, where you state that such behaviour was a mistake. Because, while removing many of your privileges is going to assuage a lot of concerns, it's not going to bring people back unless they know about it, and have some clear sign it won't be happening again. Adam Cuerden (talk) 12:04, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Images which have been approved by local consensus to be used on local projects should definitely not have been deleted. This is a disregard to local projects and created havoc there. The WMF policy is that within the established framework we know, local projects are the ones which determine which images are appropriate for use on their project, and did not indicate this should change. So a Commons image used on a local project should not be deleted outside normal operations before giving local projects the opportunity to locally upload it. A cleanup was needed for the commons porn images not used by local projects but disregarding projects by deleting images they use without warning isn't acceptable practice. Cenarium (talk) 14:24, 9 May 2010 (UTC)


What has happened has happened. If you want to beef about JW and the Founder flag go to Meta and do it. Personally I am content that Wales is unlikely to start using rights here in the way he has. If he were to do so it would be more than unfortunate. What is needed here is to get Commons moving forward. We do need some sexual content policy (I've deleted yet another penis today). If we do not take some steps towards doing that it would seem likely that we will find a policy imposed on us. --Herby talk thyme 15:21, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. To that end, I've done some work on it today. Pretty much went through and wrote up the stuff that it looked like noone disagreed with, so we could have a start, and move forwards from there. Adam Cuerden (talk) 15:26, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks Adam - the work is appreciated --Herby talk thyme 15:27, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Welcome back

Welcome back from your Wikibreak. Sincerely not trying to be annoying, but, since we're both awake, let me be the first to ask: have you given any thought to voluntarily resigning your position as we have requested? The community is far more concerned about that than your policy proposals. --Alecmconroy (talk) 07:13, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

I think you're more concerned about me than working on policy. Please work with me constructively on policy,rather than trying to stir up controversy.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:29, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Jimbo, I am a million times more concerned about your actions than the policies you used to justify them. You are the founder, and 200+ people believe you abused your tools. We all are more concerned about you than that specific policy. You need to see that. --Alecmconroy (talk) 07:34, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, relax.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:35, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Okay, :). We'll try. But I think we'd all have a lot more success at relaxation and policy formation if we knew that Wikimedia is still governed by consensus. Like, ya know, the 3-to-1 consensus against you keeping your powers. --Alecmconroy (talk) 08:29, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Frankly, no one has to stir up controversy. I found out at least third-hand; I was informed of your acts of censorship by a non-editor, who learned about your behaviour from Fox News. I cannot believe that you would suggest that a "hardline" approach, undertaken outside of any form of attempt to achieve consensus, would not cause serious issues in this sort of community. You have created this controversy yourself, whether you agree with those you have offended or not. - BalthCat (talk) 04:28, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

I have responded

Hello, Jimbo Wales. You have new messages at Abigor's talk page.
You may remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

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Huib talk 18:29, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

@Jimbo: Do you watchlist talk pages you edit? If so, just ignore this: follow-up to your question there is also at User_talk:Abigor. Lupo 20:15, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Two distinct issues here

Maybe for my clarity as much as anything but it may help others.

There are two quite distinct issues here

  1. The handling of the removal of sexual content on Commons. Wrongly done and accepted as such by the look of things.
  2. The need for the board to ensure that the reputation of the Foundation does not get ripped apart for a few (usually junk) images.

Some of the images that were deleted certainly should not have been (I notice an acknowledgement of this on Commons-l). Art works should remain here - after all this is serving an encyclopaedia among other things. Many of us would acknowledge that some content is a best questionable (I hate to think how many images of genitalia I've deleted over time).

So - how do we move this along to get good quality educational content here on Commons and ensure that we do not end up with a wide range of junk images looking ahead. Let's work towards that and getting back some of the good folk who have left please. --Herby talk thyme 09:30, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Speaking only for myself, the top priority is to prevent any further flaunting of consensus and rules. Jimbo must resign or convince the project to let him stay. But until Jimbo is a normal user, why even bother working on a policy he can overturn on a whim??? --Alecmconroy (talk) 10:55, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
I understand that comment and feel the same myself. However I think we have moved forward on that one (my posting above). Maybe we should try some of that "AGF" stuff and see where that takes us rather than worrying at a dead dog. --Herby talk thyme 10:58, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm one of the "people who are very mad at [Jimbo] for acting so quickly and stepping on people's toes". I'm also one who "tend to agree that there was a problem and that policy needed to be either much more strictly enforced or changed". I believe there are two top priorities right now: For the community: getting a new policy/ guideline established so that we all know what to abide with, and as Jimbo/ WMF has contributed to overturning the old policy (or lack thereof), we need input and dialogue with them when doing so. The proper venue for that is probably Commons talk:Sexual content (please correct me if I'm wrong about where the discussion is (should be) taking place). For the owner of this talk page I'd say that the top priority right now should be to reestablish the trust between the Commons community and himself/ WMF. We need to know that we are trusted and that the considerable work done here by volunteers is appreciated and respected. We need assurances that any future actions taken by the WMF regarding policies or lack (of following) thereof at Commons will be taken in dialogue with the Commons community. It is also crucial that active steps are taken to get back those contributors who have left us recently. I think Jimbos recent postings above on this page are steps in the right direction.
Jimbos continued role as board member and holder of the "founder flag" is better discussed elsewhere (there are some discussions at Meta), but for me this has been dealt with in the best possible manner with Jimbo himself removing the ability to block and delete from his account. It's not a technical question, but the obvious intention that he isn't going to perform blocks or deletions that's important. Any principal further clarification on this is not a top priority for me. Finn Rindahl (talk) 11:26, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
IMHO there is one more issue and that is actually the most serious one. Many Wikipedians around the world feel that the whole issue emerged from reporting on FOX TVs web page. Many Wikipedians are concerned about how appearantly neoconservative media can influence deciscions made in the wikipedia, at the commons or, more important, within the WMF board of trustees. The statement Mr. Snow has made yesterday doesn't helpt this either, pitifully. Aside from violating elementary principles like consensus and the neutral point of view that's the main problem and it's the most serious one. Wikipedians around the world don't like the idea that the WMF might be influcenced by media echo or whatsoever. That's why the WMF lost widespread the trust we used to have into it and I fear that the next fundraising campaign will show the results. The most important thing on the Wikiepdia, Jimbo, is it's indipendence. Is Wikipedia still independent? Many Wikipedians are doubtful.
We also saw acting of other admins, jumping onto the train unasked doing so. IMO they should have removed their status as admins because they helped to raise the high level of emotions still a part higher. That is absolutely inteolerable.
Another thing is that you, Jimbo, have to accept that almost every culture on the world has it's own criteria about what is porn and what is not. Many of the images deleted might have been porn in Kentucky or other part of the U.S., but they aren't necessarily in other parts of the world. w:Basic Instinct f.ex. isr rated R in the US, in German 16, in Sweden 15 and in France (re)rated 12 (I guess when re-rated in Germany it will be rated 12 as well; actually I think it was initially rated 16 because of the blood and the brutality of the murders depicted and not for nudity). File:Angelina Ash 4.jpg is not porn, that's what any average go go dancer in an average European disco shows the visitors each weekend – with 16- or 17-year-old party goers being present. On the other side, File:Pamela-Anderson-040929.jpg might be a disturbing image in many Arab countries. However, Commons is a website intended for us all. Not the most "conservative" criteria should imposed here (then we could only accept women photographies like File:Burqa Afghanistan 01.jpg. --Matthiasb (talk) 14:24, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Matthiasb made several exellent points. Since the level of concern on an international level is obviously still very high, it would be very helpful if you could share your opinion on matthiasb's text with the community. Nemissimo (talk) 15:56, 11 May 2010 (UTC)


(Note, I've reset my talk page to move us into the next phase of this discussion.)

Much of the cleanup is done, although there was so much hardcore pornography on commons that there's still some left in nooks and crannies.

I'm taking the day off from deleting, both today and tomorrow, but I do encourage people to continue deleting the most extreme stuff.

But as the immediate crisis has passed (successfully!) there is not nearly the time pressure that there was. I'm shifting into a slower mode.

We were about to be smeared in all media as hosting hardcore pornography with zero educational value and doing nothing about it. Now, the correct storyline is that we are cleaning up. I'm proud to have made sure that storyline broke the way it did, and I'm sorry I had to step on some toes to make it happen.

Now, the key is: let's continue to move forward with a responsible policy discussion.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:09, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

The only significant impact has been that some good admins have left. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 13:12, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Wikimedia Commons admins who wish to remove from the project all images that are of little or no educational value but which appeal solely to prurient interests have my full support. This includes immediate deletion of all pornographic images. We should keep educational images about sexuality - mere nudity is not pornography - but as with all our projects, editorial quality judgments must be made and will be made - appropriately and in good taste. I am stating here my public support for admins who are prepared to enforce quality standards and get rid of a large quantity of what can only be characterized as "trolling" images of people's personal pornography collections. I am fully willing to change the policies for adminship (including removing adminship in case of wheel warring on this issue). I think our existing policies here on commons are sufficient to deal with the problem - with the minor exception that many things should just be speedy deleted and argued about later. If you want to be technical about it, please consider this a policy change in that regard. Try to relax. Anything which is deleted can be resorted if there's a good reason.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:52, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

RIP consensus. Roux (talk) 04:43, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Wikimedia is not a democracy. It is a benevolent dictatorship headed by Jimbo Wales. - Stillwaterising (talk) 07:25, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Sanity breaks out. Thank goodness for this. Commons contains vast swathes of garbage; penis pics, yet more masturbation pics, homemade pr0nz, etc, etc. What value does all this add to the projects? Little or nothing. Thanks for stating this clearly and plainly, Jimmy - Alison 04:53, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
But most all, commons contains lots and lots of propaganda by the invaders of Iraq. Commons welcomes the pictures of mass murderers, but whines about pictures made by consenting adults. Erik Warmelink (talk) 05:45, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
That dog don't hunt. It's a discredited argument. The existence of bad thing A does not justify the existence of bad thing B. It merely suggests more work to do. ++Lar: t/c 12:00, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
petitio principii: Why are pictures made by consenting adults engaging in a perfectly natural activity a bad thing? Erik Warmelink (talk) 19:01, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
They are not a bad thing. But schools and libraries, as well as many parents, do not want to give the children in their care access to media showing explicit sex or violence, or are indeed forbidden by law to give minors such access. We do not exist in a bubble, for our own gratification. We are trying to provide an educational service to society. --JN466 19:13, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Incidentally, would you like to comment on this user's "contributions" and username? Killiondude (talk) 05:43, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
I think his username is juvenile and unfortunate, and tends to shed a negative light on his contributions. I did not review all of his contributions but at least some of what I looked at seemed fine, some quite talented in fact. (Maybe there's some particular bad stuff in there, as I say, I didn't look at it all.) I think he should change his username to something more dignified, but I'd consider that to be a matter of not very great importance.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:36, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
100 percent d'accord with Alisons comment. Thank you, Jimbo. --Túrelio (talk) 06:08, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Bravo. This is consistent with the mission of the Wikimedia Foundation, which is about educational content not about being a free web host. JzG (talk) 06:50, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Thank you Jimbo. This directive is an excellent first step in restoring Wikimedia's credibility. My hope is that all projects can implement standardized content filtering metatags so all projects can once again be declared safe for use in primary schools. Commons:Sexual Content was two user's attempt to author such guidelines. Could you please review what has been done so far (see Commons:Sexual content/April 2010 for latest draft proposal) and give some advice on how these guidelines can become global policy? - Stillwaterising (talk) 07:16, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Jimbo, given this declaration, and in hopes of heading off some wheel wars, it would be very useful if you could provide more guidance as to examples as to where you consider the line to fall. In the absence of examples, I have to say that your remark above does not give me as an admin much guidance. - Jmabel ! talk 07:48, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
In the interest of avoiding wheel wars, let me first say that we can proceed in a relaxed and friendly way. There will be some disagreements on some details, and I ask all admins to be extremely conservative about undeleting things that are even remotely borderline. Remember, there is no hurry to undelete things - nothing is permanently lost - and things mistakenly deleted in the cleanup can be undeleted in the fullness of time after a calm discussion.
I would say that images that would trigger 2257 record keeping requirements are the obvious starting point. I know there is some question as to whether the 2257 requirements apply to the Foundation (apparently not), but they may very well apply to the uploader. But that's not really the point. The point of 2257 in our context is that it does provide a reasonably well-understood and objective "line" beyond which we do not go.
I do not mean to imply that if an image doesn't cross the 2257 line, it's ok. A suitably tasteful image of nudity helpful in a medical/instructional context is not the issue. "Homemade pr0nz" as Alison put it, is just stupid and should go.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:30, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
it's great that we're (finally!) getting some momentum here - good on ya' jimbo (although you weren't in a rush ;-) - @jmabel - I would say starting with photographs and videos which depict genital contact with hands, mouths, and other genitals, and probably masturbation too, would be a sensible set of images to discuss first - they're probably not really ok. Thoughts? Privatemusings (talk) 09:11, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

< you can see some images it may be worth discussing here if you're over 18, and ok with explicit content. Privatemusings (talk) 09:20, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Here is a collection of categories requiring attention by admins aged 18 or over. Note that some of these have many, many subcategories:

Some of these might be kept if we had a tagging system in place. As it is, libraries and schools providing minors with access to Commons have no practical way to filter these images out; this leaves them with the choice of either blocking access to Commons altogether, or running the risk of losing funding, or being found guilty of having broken the law.

Also, I believe Commons is breaking the law in a number of Western countries if it allows minors to administer these images. For reference, see [1]. We may need a separate Commons for adult content. --JN466 10:09, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Could you be more specific? In the U.S., in Florida, it is not illegal for minors to look at sexually explicit images. It may be illegal for an adult to hand some sexually explicit images to a minor. If you feel it is the latter, obviously not allowing minors to view commons images is the answer. Atomaton (talk) 14:01, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Jayen466, actually there is a very easy way to filter those images out because we do have a category system, the very system you used to find those images! As for your other idea, I think it is a very good one: if someone, somewhere wants to start a commons for adult content, that'd be fine with me. Wikimedia is not a free homepage provider or general hosting company. Saying that not everything belongs here is not to say that it can't live somewhere more appropriate.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:30, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

How about tagging media categories that feature explicit violent or sexual content? Then all that our admins would need to do would be to ensure that the files are assigned to one of these categories. Libraries, schools and other organisations providing computer access to minors could use these tags as a basis for their content filters.
I think we also need to address the issue of admins aged 17 or under administering this content. --JN466 10:42, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Regarding content ratings: bugzilla:982. TheDJ (talk) 12:08, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

I am very sad to see that we are now deleting slews of images that are in use by various projects. To say "things can be undeleted" is putting the burden on the projects, on people that might not even speak english. I am truly ashamed TheDJ (talk) 12:08, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

On the other hand I am very thankful that we finally have this issue sorted out. Though in my opinion "every image that potentially might require 2257 record keeping" is rediculiously broad, since well, those are ALL images of teasing nudity, bdsm and sex. TheDJ (talk) 12:13, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
And I really appreciate your support here, as I know you don't agree with the specifics of this. I think the important thing is that we work together to refine our notions in a way that is consistent with the overall mission of the Wikimedia Foundation projects. I think there are two possible views of Commons - one is as a radical free speech zone where everything is allowed as long as it is legal. Speaking philosophically about the Internet in general, I don't have a problem with something like that existing somewhere. The other view is that commons has a firmly defined educational mission that has to allow for a certain amount of 'difficult' content, but within bounds and always with a very detailed rationale. And speaking philosophically about Wikimedia and our goals, I think that's the right approach.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:42, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
If "work together" means announcing your willingness to "change the policies for adminship", it is a fine example of en:Newspeak. Has the Board of the Wikimedia Foundation taken a decision? Had you even discussed consistency of your notions with the overall mission with them? /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 13:04, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
I am in constant communication with both the board and Sue Gardner about this issue, yes. I expect the board to issue a statement within a few days offering a general philosophical support for the serious enforcement of policy on this issue. The Board normally does not get involved with detailed content decisions; I don't expect that to change.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:15, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Nothing at all is sorted out. All that has happened so far, is that one board member has expressed his opinion on the issue. Please note, this is just a single opinion of a single person. Jimbo is not god here. Lots of other people have already expressed their opinions on this matter and a new proposal about what we should do with content which might be considered pornographic, is currently going on at Commons:Sexual content. If you want to change policy, that is the right place to go. Just because Jimbo offers advice on how he would like to see something handled, doesn't mean that is what we are going to do. Remember, this is a community-driven project, not ruled by a single person. Please don't take Jimbo's opinion on this as the final word in this matter - this might be a starting point for a discussion, but it is certainly not the end of the decision making process! @Jimbo: I disagree with your opinion, but I respect it. But please don't try to interfere with processes and threaten to de-admin people. This is not at all helpful and can not be part of an open discussion and policy making process. Regards, -- ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 12:48, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
ChrisiPK, I thank you for your remarks, but I don't want to leave any mistaken impression here. This is not merely the advice of one person. I don't intend to deadmin anyone - but I will. The order of operation here is going to be that we first clean up commons, and then we can open a broader discussion about what to undelete if necessary. I just don't want anyone to get the impression that we're going to have an open vote about whether to turn Commons into a porn server. We aren't. It isn't going to happen. This is not a democratic debate, this is policy.
As is well known, I am a very strong supporter of community process and consensus. I'm not the right person to work out every single detail of what should remain. But just as NPOV is non-negotiable, so is "Wikimedia Commons is not a porn server".--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:56, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps you could give a link to the Commons:Wikimedia Commons is not a porn server policy page where you clarify your edict, and offer us your definition of what is "porn" based on your values and your perspective? Obviously letting every editor remove an image based on their opinion of that is not workable. I can understand why you wish to avoid a debate or an attempt at consensus. Obviously it would take a lot of time, and would not be favorable for what you desire. Do you have authority to circumvent the Board and arbitrarily establish policy that opposes consensus? (Commons:Sexual content) As our esteemed founder (and I mean that genuinely) your opinion influences us heavily. But you certainly recognize the ethically necessity to not abuse that influence. Atomaton (talk) 14:11, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
I think existing policy is already clear, although if it needs to be adjusted in some respects, I'm all for doing that. This is not about my values and perspective, of course. It is true that line drawing exercises are always hard - but we do it every day across all the projects - mature, responsible editorial judgment is the hallmark of quality. We are fortunate to some extent in that there is at least one easily understood definition that allows a significant amount of objectivity: the 2257 standard is easy to understand and implement, and gets us a long way towards where we should be. (It is not perfect, of course. But it is a start.) To answer your specific question: no, I do not have the authority to circumvent the board. If the board were to vote that Wikimedia Commons should willingly host hardcore pornography, then that would be that. But that is not the view of the board. (I am not in a position to speak for the board directly, so of course I am just reporting my sense of the mood based on discussions we are having.) Finally, I absolutely do recognize the need to exercise my influence in an ethical way and not to abuse it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:30, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
First, it seems to be the prevalent legal theory that 2257 is not applicable to Wikipedia, or WMF as it is not a commercial enterprise for the production of pornography, and the images used are for educational purposes as a non-profit. Also, that WMF is not what the law calls a primary or secondary producer of such images. I know that there has yet been any legal challenge on this basis to firmly establish case law to support that (in either direction). However, it would seem to be in the best interests of WMF to firnmly establish that at some point. (That 2257 does not apply to WMF). We should not be trying to limit our use of images to 2257 when it does not apply to us. We do, IMO need our own policies that prevent risk of legal issues regarding sexual content. As far as I can tell we have been working on developing those.
I have no doubt that given the respect that we, and the board has for you that if you present it as a matter of of "Wikimedia is not a porn site" that they would/will back you up completely. But, isn't the issue much broader than that? Isn't the method you have chosen a bit awkward? I think if you had created a new policy page in regards to sexual content, or objectionable content, and given your definition as to what your intentions and viewpoints are about the type of content and said that it was policy because you said so, and that the backing of the board would come later, that it would have been handled a little better. The way it has been done it smacks of an authoritarian wp:own at the highest level. I don't doubt that you have the best interests of WMF and commons in mind. I think all of us here have that shared interest and commonality. But you are the primary influencer of our established policies, and particularly that of communication and consensus. And yet, just after much long discussion about sexual content (in a fairly civilized way) and a consensus that the proposal given was not yet acceptable, you establish a founders policy completely against that consensus. If you are going to teach us to follow policy, discuss and find consensus, then you need to do that too. Atomaton (talk) 15:57, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm sure you mean en:WP:NPOV, but it would be nice if you could keep in mind that Commons is a different project; our COM:NPOV actually states the opposite of what en:WP:NPOV does: we don't delete content just because it's biased. As for deleting everything and then restoring a few, it's not as easy as you make it sound. If a file is in use 100 times on 20 different projects, deleting it will automatically delink it from all these articles. But upon undeletion, it will not be automatically added back; there's a huge asymmetry in the amount of work. Not even mentioning the fact that "delete first, ask questions later" is a recipe for disaster. –Tryphon 13:22, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Right, my point was not about NPOV but about policy. Some things are simply going to be non-negotiable.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:30, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
(EC) I understand that we are not turning Commons into a porn server. But please understand that the line between what people consider pornography and what people consider useful for an educational purpose is not very clear. Thus I think it is a _very_ bad idea to encourage people to delete images which they think might be borderline or even beyond the line. This brings the problems mentioned below by Dragons flight with images being removed from projects. Obviously the projects found the images useful, so who are we to decide as a single person that these images are not useful? I really think we need to establish some sort of policy how to decide whether an image is useful or not. Simply deleting anything that is not of high quality and features sexual content is exactly what was overwhelmingly opposed when it was last proposed and what is overwhelmingly opposed when a deletion request on such a file is filed. Unless we work out some guideline to distinguish between "porn" and "educational content", the last thing we should do is issue a "Shoot on sight"-order.
Also I still don't see the immediate urgency of the matter. Commons has been hosting sexual content for years; you will surely not have learned that only today? Why are you showing up here and requesting removal of questionable images outside policy (and then in policy). If our policy is too lax on this issue, propose improvements for it so admins can take action according to it. Right now our policy states, that an image which is in use is in scope. Below you disagree with that. Please don't give commands on how to act which contradict local policy. Regards, -- ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 13:28, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
@ChrisiPK, in regard to urgency: you might have missed FOX News accusations against Commons for distributing Child P0rn; though largely or completely wrong, surely not the PR we need. Though the immediate trigger was likely this Commons:Deletion requests/Images of Stan Spanker. --Túrelio (talk) 13:36, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

In the general spirit of not making a mess, shouldn't we give at least an initial presumption that images that appear in articles have an educational purpose? I agree that warehousing questionable content is a bad idea when it isn't being used for anything, but I'd like to think we'd stop and have at least a little discussion about images that are being used. I bring this up because someone has already deleted images that appeared in 30+ enwiki articles [2]. Dragons flight (talk) 12:50, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

I'd agree with you that those images ought to be among the first to be examined for possible undeletion. However, I think it extremely unlikely that many of them should be undeleted.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:58, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Wait, seriously ? I'm not sure if I can do that in good conscience. I had been skipping such images mostly so far. TheDJ (talk) 13:09, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm happy with what you're doing.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:18, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Although it goes against written policy? See en:Special:Contributions/CommonsDelinker. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 14:23, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Part of the problem with delete first, sort it out later, is that CommonsDelinker will automatically remove those images from all the articles and other places they are being used once they are deleted. This in turn makes it much more difficult to see how an image might have been used prior to deletion, since all the image links will already have been removed. It also means that restoring any undeleted images to the places they were used would require someone to edit each of the appropriate places to put it back (potentially a daunting task if something is used on many different projects). If there is really a possibility that some of the images might be okay, then doing it this way creates a lot more work for people who might be tasked with considering the legitimacy of the images. Dragons flight (talk) 13:10, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Removing these questionable images encourages new images that are within scope (like illustrations) to be found or created. While this may remove a few live images in the short term, in the long term this should help improve the overall quality of the project. - Stillwaterising (talk) 13:03, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
FWIW, I'll add my 2c in support of Jimmy's statement at the top of the page. It's about time and I am pleasantly surprised that it has come about. So kudos from me too. cheers, Casliber (talk) 13:31, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Why would one want an illustration when a photograph is available that shows the topic better? Would an illustration of exactly the same thing somehow be less prurient? Less Pornographic? (Assuming some editors opinion is that the photo is one of those). Atomaton (talk) 13:57, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree that we shouldn't assume that illustrations will necessarily be better for our educational purposes than photos. However, I do think it is worth acknowledging that people often do think about photos and illustrations differently. For example, legal restrictions on pornography often apply only to depictions of actual persons (or in some cases to images that appear to show real persons). For laws and jurisdictions that distinguish between illustrations and photos, using illustrations could be less complicated. You also avoid questions about the subject's age and whether the image was uploaded with the subject's permission. That said, I do think photos can be more educational for some topics than illustrations are likely to be. Dragons flight (talk) 14:17, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

We should follow an methodical and organized method for solving the broader problem.

Why is there such a focus on sexual content? The broader picture is clearly that there is a variety of content that is objectionable. A content filtering mechanism needs to be developed based on categorization, rather than a sudden broad censorship sweep based on subjective opinions of individual editors or admins. Some prudish editors will be inclined to delete anything that they view as sexually explicit, including nudity (it is already happening). The method being followed here is irresponsible and outside of the established process.

If prospectively objectionable content is really a big problem, then we should discuss it and make a workable mechanism. (see Labeling of prospective objectionable content) For instance, initial photograph submission should go into a pool that only administrators can view and categorize. That can't be that hard to set up. Volunteer administrators who recognize they may be exposed to objectionable content of all kinds (sexual, religious, violent, etc.) -- and who are also legally capable of viewing those -- can follow agreed upon policies for content categorization. Eventually (someday) individual viewers would be able to check box and select types of prospectively objectionable content that they wish to allow, or not allow (on whatever project included the content.) Yes -- this would take time. It always takes time to do things the right way. As they say "God is in the details" or if you prefer "The devil is in the details."

The narrow focus on exclusively sexual content when it is not harmful, and only a personal perspective is just censorship. Images of violence, or Wikipedia article on how to build a nuclear bomb, a pipe bomb, a Molotov cocktail and the like would be things that were potentially harmful. I recognize that there are a lot of useless images of penises and the like brought into Commons, but then there are many images of many things that are of poor quality, tasteless and useless being uploaded too. Again, taking the time to do this correctly and establishing a process and procedure is the proper method.

In my opinion (my apologies) the method that has been followed here shows a real lack of leadership and a lack of respect for everyone else involved in the project, from the Board on down. Policy from the board should flow downward in a planned and organized manner. An edict or directive from the founder outside of the accepted process and hierarchy should be addressed and dealt with by the board. Atomaton (talk) 13:53, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

bugzilla:982 for a content rating system. TheDJ (talk) 14:06, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
A content rating system sounds great. --JN466 14:23, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
I completely agree with Atomaton. This way of doing is downright insulting to all of us who take this project seriously and try our best to follow policies and build a community consensus. I'd like to know why Jimbo felt appropriate to impose his view of "appropriate content" and his policy change on us without even attempting to discuss, explain or justify it (Commons:Sexual content would have been the ideal place to do this). –Tryphon 14:19, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Let's move this discussion over there, then.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:32, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Commons, like Wikipedia, Wikisource, Wikiquote, Wikiversity, etc, is supposed to be primarily educational. It is about time that non-educational material is removed. Commons was not intended to be your personal picture gallery nor is it a replacement for flickr. Ottava Rima (talk) 14:24, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
No, your statement isn't Commons policy. Commons isn't supposed to be primarily educational. As per intention of the WMF it is intended to be an image repository which can and should be used also from projects outside the WMF projects. Many websites use images transcluded directly from commons. --Matthiasb (talk) 05:08, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

How nice to see we are censoring even though "Wikipedia is not censored" --Koolabsol (talk) 03:14, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

FWIW I found some of these images quite educational ;-) Seriously though, I consider this a serious project, and it had never occurred to me to look here for porn. I won't be coming back for more. The trouble is that porn (as opposed to actual educational exemplars) damages the reputation of the quality parts of the project. As it happens, my company doesn't host porn, and no one misses it. Stephen B Streater (talk) 20:09, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Record keeping

The following points in your proposal are mutual exclusive:

  • Content which would trigger for the uploader or anyone else the reporting requirements of USC 2257 can be speedy deleted.
  • Images of high quality of body parts, particularly if labeled for educational value

Even the latter require such records. I propose inverting those two. Explicitely allowing one type of content and excluding all other. TheDJ (talk) 15:09, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

P.S. you stated 2257 multiple times but in the proposal you say "reporting requirement", which is something totally different than the record keeping requirement. Can you clarify that ? TheDJ (talk) 15:35, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
I meant "record keeping" requirement. I do not think that you are right though. Images of high quality of body parts do not trigger 2257 record keeping requirements for anyone, as far as I know. I think the key is "actual sexually explicit conduct" (with some confusions and clarifications about 'actual' versus 'simulated') but it's the "sexually explicit conduct" part that makes the difference. A medical photo of a penis does not trigger anything for anyone. Am I wrong?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:41, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Well that depends on whether or not someone would call the pose "lascivioius". 2257 applies to all material of sexually explicit conduct, which includes "lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any person", and indeed also any acts of simulated explicit sexual conduct] when the material is published on the internet. TheDJ (talk) 15:48, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't think the "lascivious" clause genuinely stretches things all that far. Certainly, for our purposes, if a photograph of a human body part is needed for an illustration in an article on some aspect of human anatomy, we would want to select the least "lascivious" one possible, for editorial quality.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:19, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
If we are going to use 2257 as a benchmark we might as well say what the requirements of that law are.
To paraphrase 2257 and 2257A, one must keep records on each actual person engaged in actual or simulated sexually explicit conduct, which means:
2256: "sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex; bestiality; masturbation; sadistic or masochistic abuse; or lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any person"
Of these, the first four clauses appear to be fairly objective, while "lascivious exhibition" would perhaps be more subjective and open to interpretation. Since breasts are not genitals, it would also appear that photos of topless women are not covered by 2257 unless the image also happens to show intercourse, bestiality, masturbation, and/or SM.
There doesn't appear to be any exemption for record keeping on the basis of educational or artistic merit, etc.
2257 contains an escape clause exempting works created prior to Nov. 1, 1990, which could be used as basis for creating an exemption for historical works, if one so chose. Dragons flight (talk) 16:00, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Not really in my opinion. The act namely does not have an expiration date or anything. That means that there is no way that "new" historical material can legally form within the United States. Ergo if you create a nude statue today, then you need records, and those records need to be kept eternally, in order for the statue to be legal. Even in 500 years.... This is my personal biggest problem with the act. It defacto destroys art if you loose records..... I do not think therefore that it is moral to apply different rules for works created before 1990, simply because that law did not exist back then. TheDJ (talk) 16:05, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
PS. Jimbo, if Mike could look into that and verify it, that might be a nice point to drag up in a press release, because I really think that is a bad thing for America if indeed it is the case. It deserves attention and then maybe something good can come out of this. TheDJ (talk) 16:10, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
I would read 2257(a)(1) as exempting any image (or other visual depiction) created before 1990 even if the image were reused in modern works. I agree that there is no future expiration date, and either way you'd always need either model age records or proof of creation before 1990. Dragons flight (talk) 16:14, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

As far as I know the theory is that 2257 does not apply to Wikipedia. I am sure no one is eager for a legal challenge, and we all agree that "Wikimedia commons is not a porn site." But it would not be that hard for lawyers at WMF to talk to other lawyers who talk to DOJ Lawyers and establish that 2257 is (as the law says) applicable to commercial producers of pornography. Yes it does discuss being applicable to "sexually explicit" images, but only in the context of primary and secondary producers of such content for commercial purposes. Of course no one wants an expensive court case just to establish the precedent that it does not apply. But that is not the only alternative. If it ever came to that, there are many people who believe in free speech and the first amendment. It is even likely that 2257 is not constitutional. But that is a different topic.

What we should be doing is putting newly submitted content into a pool not viewable by users, and after categorization and applying some (not yet existing policies) then releasing them for view. Those policies would try to categorize by a variety of objectionable content, and not just sexually explicit content. Making sure that releases with record keeping to identify ages on content that was sexually explicit could be part of that policy. (not because it is required by 2257, but because WE will not tolerate child porn.) Atomaton (talk)

The main reason I'm using 2257 as a starting point is not that it applies to the Wikimedia Foundation (opinions may vary about that, but it really isn't relevant to my rationale). I like it because it is a clear definition that is pretty easy to judge. It's a starting point. Using it as a starting point has the added benefit of removing *all* legal risk to the Foundation, *and* to uploaders here. But that isn't really the point. The point is that it is a clear rule, written by someone else, that we've used and discussed a lot in the past, so people can generally understand it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:22, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree with this point and go further to say that although WMF may be exempt from the law, the underlying idea behind the law (to prevent the sexual exploitation of children) is good, so we want to follow the spirit of the law. For this reason we need to make handling uploads of sexually explicit content and nudity a top priority. So, administrators need to promptly delete the dodgy images (without identifying information about age of the person, or clear indication of consent of private sexual acts) rather than rely on deletion discussions. I trust Commons administrators to use commonsense and understand the difference between amateur porn and art masterpieces. FloNight♥♥♥ 18:22, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

What about art and historic material

I'm specifically interested in your opinion about the large range van Maele sketches and this old video for instance. The latter movie if made today would require record keeping. TheDJ (talk) 15:13, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Can you give me a link to the sketches? I'll take a look at the video now.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:36, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Category:Martin_Van_Maele_erotic_art, which includes several illustrations of apparent pedophilic acts. TheDJ (talk) 15:40, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Regarding the video, I don't think it would require record keeping at all. It would barely achieve an "R" rating in the movies.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:43, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Regarding the images - I didn't look at all of them but most of them don't even contain nudity. And they are historical drawings, which does strike me as a legitimate factor to consider. I would suggest that we carefully add an item to the list of allowed materials to say something about items of particular historical value - we don't want to introduce that as a blanket loophole, but rather to invite consideration of it as one factor in the decision process.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:48, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Addendum: That's not to say that I think all of them should remain. Looking at them, I think there could be a case-by-case discussion about which ones are the best ones to keep.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:54, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Something like this"If Mom returns? She'll tell you that it's very rude to talk with your mouth full." – really should not be hosted without a filter tag. Likewise this zoophilia drawing, which may well be illegal to view in many jurisdictions. This German government page (it's written in English), e.g., says, "Completely prohibited - even among people of legal age - are the depictions of sexual acts involving children, animals or violence." --JN466 18:39, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
I see little or not educational value in any of those.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:20, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Using the 2256 criteria for modern works, and especially photos, is IMO a good idea and long overdue. (Well, I am wary of this "lascivious" bit in the law, but with a bit of common sense applied, making that evaluation shouldn't really be a problem for the people at the Commons.) It's been circulated around previously (see e.g. this brief two-year old thread; considered only photos; in the end I never got 'round to actually do something about it).
But for old works, blindly using these criteria may well lead to a mess. I really think we should consider the suggestion User:Dragons flight brought up above: don't apply the criteria to works from before November 1, 1990. (Or maybe pick another date in the 20th century? But which one?) Or does anyone seriously consider deleting the images in Category:Kama Sutra, or in Category:Shunga on these grounds? Where's the difference between those and van Maele's? Or, while we're at it, also consider Édouard-Henri Avril... As to "educational value", that's in the eye and the imagination of the beholder. Taken in isolation, Paul Avrils erotica are maybe not educational, so one might consider deleting them, possibly excepting one or two examples. But what would be wrong about illustrating s:Fanny Hill using the images from Category:Fanny Hill? IMO, nothing at all. The same argument could also be made for van Maele's works.
In short: 2256 is a good starting point, but this will need careful elaboration over on Commons:Sexual content to avoid overshooting. Lupo 21:40, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Could you please clarify your "wheel-warring" remark?

User:Stillwaterising has suggested to several of us (on our respective user talk pages) that on the basis of your remark we should request to resign our adminships. As far as I understand, you were not saying that those of us who have held a different position than you in the discussions this issue should be de-sysop'd, just that people should not undo the actions of other admins who agree with your position. Could you please explain this to him? Because this feels to me like something that could get very ugly very fast.

Similarly, I assume that even if a new policy is being set, I would hope that people will be allowed to argue against aspects of that policy and remain admins, as long as they abide by it. - Jmabel ! talk 15:34, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

I'd certainly would hope so. Otherwise it would be a crazy precedent. TheDJ (talk) 15:37, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Absolutely right, Jmabel. Stillwaterising, please let's all refrain from "hot" comments that will tend to divide us rather than unite us.

I think we need to understand that in the next few days the Foundation - either the board or the staff (or both!) - are likely to put out a statement which will impact these discussions and push us in the direction of a policy change from the past. That's not really something to fight about; it's happening.

But it is entirely possible for people to respectfully disagree with this policy direction and yet to work constructively with others to look for ways to fulfill our educational mission, trying hard to make sure that we have thoughtful carve-outs for legitimate work that needs to be in Commons, while at the same time making significant progress on getting rid of a lot of the amateur porn nonsense.

What I am cautioning against is undeleting hastily or otherwise wheel-warring. That's just not going to be a good thing, but at least so far, I see no signs of that - and the discussion has been proceeding very thoughtfully. This is a difficult issue, and I do expect tempers to flare from time to time as we move forward. But we're all sane people here to work together on some infrastructure for amazing free educational resources, so I'm confident that we'll all end up on more or less the same page.

No one should be threatened with desysopping for mere dissent! Respectful discussion of boundaries and problems is the way for us to get at the most intelligent solution consistent with the Foundation's values.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:53, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

An inspirational film I hope people will watch

Please clear 8 minutes to watch this remarkable short film shot in Peru! :-)

There is a little girl in the video - in a village in Peru so remote that you can't get there except by boat.

"What does 'civilization' mean?" she asks - because she's never been there, never seen it. She lives in a shack in the jungle.

But her school has OLPC's. Go watch what she says about Wikipedia, and see if you don't feel amazing pride and a bit of a tear in your eye.

This is what we're about, this is what we are here for. It's worthwhile. :-)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:05, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Thank you very much for the link to the film. Thank you also for being reasonable about this. "Wikipedia is not censored" is an outstanding goal, and so is "Wikipedia does not break the law, in letter or in spirit." Sometimes goals conflict and a reasonable adjustment can be made. Smallbones (talk) 04:25, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
I respect that. But, to offer a counterpoint (not a refutation), looking at our most popular media, an outside observer might be forgiven for thinking we were about something else. When that girl in the video says, "one kid teaches the other", and "I found out about things I never knew existed", let's make sure it will not be our collection of BDSM images she is talking about. --JN466 19:45, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Precisely. Because the next thing that happens is that the adults talk away their laptops.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:35, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
+1. --Itu (talk) 02:20, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Requesting comment

If you have the time, I would appreciate it if you would please share your thoughts regarding my question at Commons talk:Sexual content#Delete first, discuss later?. Thank you, Black Falcon (talk) 20:03, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Kameraad Pjotr abuse of Admin ops in claiming Jimbo is a censorer

This history shows User:Kameraad Pjotr readding in blatant POV attacks by user Adam Cuerden on a policy page that was added without consensus or the backing of the WMF. He then protected the page to keep his version of the page added.

I am asking for his adminship to be terminated as a direct abuse of adminship status and for him to be blocked for directly violating our policies related to consensus and disruption. Ottava Rima (talk) 21:03, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

His user page also makes direct attacks upon Commons, the WMF, and Jimbo Wales. This reveals that he has a strong POV that is an affront to consensus and this community as a whole, and that his actions cannot be seen as anything beyond a direct Conflict of Interest when using ops. Ottava Rima (talk) 21:04, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Please stay cool. KP was a fine admin, he disliked the speed and process of recent changes, and he left. I don't see 'direct attacks' in his writing, simply a straightforward expression of a point of view that a number of other contributors here hold. His page protection was wrong and has been reverted; as Lar says there's no need to make a big deal about this. SJ+ 23:14, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Read what he reinserted - homophobic mockery ("Sadistic or masochistic abuse - This could eaily serve an encyclopedic purpose. Hell, ever seen a gay pride parade?). Is that really acceptable for an admin to do in a policy? And then protect it after? When having a statement on his user page mocking Jimbo et al (I can show you specific parts of the translation, but just look at the characterization of "sheep" at the beginning to get a sense of the tone). This behavior happens too frequently and there needs to be a crack down on it in general. This is just a POV meltdown and it destroys everything. I'm tired of administrators on any project abusing their ops like that. Ops are not a political tool nor should they be used to destroy parts of the project to "win" your side of the argument. Ottava Rima (talk) 23:26, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
First of all, he already left Commons; he was one of our most active admins, doing a great job on DR, and now he's gone because of this nonsense. Secondly, how can you conceivably write that he has a strong POV that is an affront to consensus and this community as a whole when clearly, this very page is about forcing a policy on us without any sort of consensus or community discussion at all?! I really cannot believe what this project is turning into. –Tryphon 21:10, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
He did not leave commons or he wouldn't have made such nasty attacks to begin with. It is disruptive soap boxing with a clearly conflict of interest and an affront on all of our standards. That is unacceptable for any user to do. Ottava Rima (talk) 21:25, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
What "conflict of interest"? Is disagreeing with a user (in thie case, Jimbo Wales, but it shouldn't make a difference) a conflict of interest? –Tryphon 21:34, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Read his talk page. It is a very long attack on Jimbo and the WMF. Ottava Rima (talk) 21:51, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
You are lying. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 21:56, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
And you should be blocked for that outrageous personal attack. His talk page clearly makes explicit attacks on Jimbo based on a decision that he disagreed with. Such are unacceptable and your response is unacceptable. Ottava Rima (talk) 22:23, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
You are still lying. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 22:37, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Your second outright personal attack and outright incorrect statement. Ottava Rima (talk) 22:51, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
This looks uglier by the second. --Simonxag (talk) 21:22, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Anyone who figured this would go down in any other fashion but ugly is naive about how Wikipedia and Wikimedia operate. TheDJ (talk) 22:39, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
You may be right but I think if we all try to stay mellow it might help a lot. I don't agree with Kameraad Pjotr's modifying the page that way and then protecting it, (at all) but I'm not going to call for his head. It was blowing off steam and as long as it's not repeated, why not let it slide? ++Lar: t/c 22:58, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Reading Jimbo's comments above it is clear to me that people need to think long and hard on the difference between censorship and sound editorial judgement. Just because we can do something and even arguably may do something, that doesn't necessarily make it a good idea, and the fact that we are not banned from doing something certainly doesn't make it a good idea. A lot of clueful people seem to have understood what Jimbo is trying to do, which is basically to correct a certain amount of scope creep. Commons is here to support the encyclopaedias. Content which is not of use in educational projects, and which potentially brings those projects into disrepute by association (see the Sanger articles recently, in which he makes the bones of a fair point among the inflated rhetoric) are not really a good use of the Foundation's resources. Do we really think that people are donating money to WMF so we can host galleries of "teh pr0n" gathered from any site with a compatible license? Is this project really supposed to be a free image aggregator, or are we really looking more for excellent original content? Reasonable people can differ on the edge cases but I strongly suspect that there is fundamental underlying agreement that the purpose of Commons is to support the Foundation's educational mission. JzG (talk) 11:07, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure you didn't mean this as a reply to me specifically (so I outdented you, feel free to reindent it and this reply) :) ... because I strongly agree with you... we do need to work on bringing Commons back in scope. There are other important issues as well, such as, while honoring the idea that we are not censored, also giving people the tools and techniques to make their own content viewing decisions more effectively... it is not censorship to use categorization and user settable filters to aid people in making their own decisions. We can, and should, do more in this area.++Lar: t/c 13:11, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks you are right. JzG (talk) 13:34, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Hi Jimbo Wales, I am not really familiar with the background of the global ban regarding Thekohser and its recent lifting. Could you please comment this? Thanks, AFBorchert (talk) 22:39, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

There are some technical questions about how to implement the ban. I'm talking to Pathoschild about it. It's nothing I'm particularly excited about one way or the other. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:37, 7 May 2010 (UTC)


There are a number of images (sexual or not) which are copied from Flickr but not used on any Wikimedia project. What are people's views on what is effectively mirroring of other sites' free content without any use case in Wikimedia projects? Should there be an analogue of w:WP:PROD for unused images copied from other sites, as distinct from original content contributed by the Wikimedia community? JzG (talk) 10:51, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

I think my statement before mirrors yours in the previous thread and here. I am rather bothered by people trying to make Wikipedia a mirror without any purpose. I would support the cleanup of non-used images copied over from other sites such as flickr. Ottava Rima (talk) 14:19, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Hi pseudonym, in case you haven't noticed, there are several wikipedias and this isn't one of them. Erik Warmelink (talk) 16:16, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
This is a very poor idea. Wikimedia Commons is about making available a free media archive, for Wikimedia projects, and beyond. We do not force Commons media files to be used in order for them to be kept; there is inherent value in that free media, regardless of whether a certain project uses the file or not. Wikimedia Commons has recently celebrated its 6 millionth upload, as part of a mirroring project of Geograph images. Wikimedia Commons continues to grow through partnerships with other archives. It's not just about media that has been used, but could be used in the future, which is important. - hahnchen 20:49, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Look, the point's good. I could support it as far as it goes, but please stop insisting it be immediately treated as policy until we at least get working definitions of the last two points. In particular, it strikes me that banning "sadistic or masochistic abuse" means that things you could do in public at a gay pride parade, or show on television before the watershed, are somehow forbidden to show in articles about such subjects now. Please at least refine the definition into something workable before insisting it be put into place as policy. Bad policy = bad decisions. I mean, I Love Lucy has spanking in it.

I support the thrust of this policy, but blanket content bans, without very clear exceptions for encyclopedic merit, are just bad policy. Adam Cuerden (talk) 12:44, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

At least some of the things that may be done in public will not be within the scope of commons. I do agree with you that we need to get a much better definition over time. I think it is instantly obvious to anyone that I Love Lucy is not pornography under any sane definition of pornography, and I doubt if you are suggesting that the language of 2257 would require the producers of sitcoms to submit to record-keeping requirements. So while I agree with you that a better definition can be useful, I am not persuaded that commons admins can't work together respectfully to recognize what is and is not pornographic content.
I am personally doing some deletions today - I'll only be deleting things that people may not do in public. :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:50, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Consider Oscar Wilde's Salome, or Richard Strauss's opera based on it. In the shocking conclusion, Salome briefly has simulated sex with the head of John the Baptist, before Herod orders her killed. They're also considered one of the more important works of English literature and opera, respectively. Under a strict, "never" policy, we couldn't host a performance of these, nor could we show historic stills from early performances of the end scenes.

I'm sure there's many other works that have such material. Pre-Hays code films, some of which are likely out of copyright, may have such scenes. The 1920s were a fairly sexualised era, and it wouldn't surprise me if there were photos from the time by notable photographers that came under the strict "always" definitions, but which have strong encyclopedic content.

You get the idea. Obviously, there's a lot of clear cases with no encyclopedic merit which we don't need to host. But, in my opinion, no content policy should have "always" attached to it, unless we really mean always. Adam Cuerden (talk) 12:44, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

I've tried adding a qualification:

"The following categories of sexual content are not permitted on commons, except in cases where the specific content or creator is notable or the images are widely agreed to either be of high artistic, literary, or historical merit, or to be a part of a larger work that fits those requirements:"

If you're happy with that, my concerns are addressed. Adam Cuerden (talk) 13:10, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

I think that's brilliantly well done. Thank you!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:12, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Well per COM:PORN and Commons:Sexual content images within Category:Facial cumshot now fail? Bidgee (talk) 15:04, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, and I just deleted all of those. I'm about to go out to dinner and will take a break on this stuff for the rest of the evening, but I do encourage admins to continue the work.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:12, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Ok, You had beat me to those images. Bidgee (talk) 15:14, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Deleted a few images which fail both COM:PORN and Commons:Sexual content. Jimbo, you may also want to read on what is being said on Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#New Commons interpretation of policies regarding sexual content. Bidgee (talk) 15:48, 7 May 2010 (UTC)


I checked to see if you might be on irc at the moment, especially since you answered me so quickly. Are you around? :-) --Kim Bruning (talk) 12:49, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

I'll come on now.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:50, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Removing images actually in use is sad…

While I have always considered the “rule” of “potentially educational use” much too broad, the current deletion raid including images which are actually used in English Wikipedia articles, is just a switch to another extreme, IMHO. This list is getting sad. Where is the standard “editorial judgment”? Do we no longer trust Wikipedia editors? (Note that I am not objecting to deleting unused images.)

Even the constantly evolving COM:SEX seems to hint that a century old illustration by Édouard-Henri Avril (with biography on 18 Wikipedias, so let’s assume some notability) should not be completely out of scope here… (While I guess undeletion of this image would lead to an immediate desysopping…) --Mormegil (talk) 13:50, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

You handled it correctly. I took another look and undeleted it as having apparent historical value.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:56, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Why not have a second look first? Is there really a need for such a hurry after having several of these images for years? --Leyo 14:14, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

I had not been doing such deletions, I thought, but apparently I made a mistake. So I undeleted this image, that was in use by 20 wikipedias. I personally object to such deletions until I have seen a more firm foundation statement. I would however care to hear your personal opinion about what kind of material you think now will be allowed in articles on Masturbation....TheDJ (talk) 14:39, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Please respect cultural differences

Images used in any featured article, in any major project or a significant number of projects in other languages, should be keept.
It's kind of painfull to see, how any image with sexual connotation (following WASP conservative standards) is suddenly put into question worldwide. It might be a great idea to realize, that there are fundamental differences between the conservative moral mainstream in the US and and the cultural attitude towards sexual related topics in practically all European countries (I'm not talking about hardcore pornography).
It is highly necessary to find a set of rules which will respect cultural views and differences outside the US. Until recently e.g. the German project has been used several times as an example for highly serious and examplary standards by you in the international media.
The cultural perspective in European countries on this matter shouldn't be less important than the one in developing countries or countries with a strong muslim background. This is especially true if you consider the number of active authors and the size of these projects (Germany 1,000,000+, France - Italy - Netherlands - Poland - Portugal - Russia and Spain 500,000+ articles each)
It is totally clear, images stored on Commons have to be compliant to US law. This doesn't mean the project has to apply standards clearly stricter than the legal necessities. This is what clearly happend here today.
I'm aware of the current campaign run by the Fox network. I do realize the possible impact on corporate donations in the US. The question is, if moving the project towards a position exceeding your national legal requirements will really strengthen it in a global perspective. Today the European engagement in the project is as least equal to the american one. A demonstration of compliance to us-conservative moral standards might help to ease the pressure from the current Fox campaign, at the the same time it opens European concerns how vulnerable its integrity and NPOV might be, when it comes to other conservative US pressure groups.
The current policy shift is highly unsatisfactory and causes massive concerns in all parts of the project, especially in Europe. Even if the barrier of language might block the perception of related European reactions, don't get me wrong, this lawnmover rapid action without any transparent rules or community process is seen highly critical by a huge group of highly motivated authors in other language projects. It poses a real threat to the project's longterm credibility worlwide.
Kind regards, Nemissimo (talk) 13:01, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

To help Nemissimo's message being acknowledged, I confirm that opinion from "a huge group of highly motivated authors" on :fr, cf. w:fr:Wikipédia:Le Bistro/8 mai 2010#Les dérives autocratiques de Jimbo Wales. Notice also that a large part (my quick analysis) of the people voting for removal and signing petitions are from :de, :fr, :ru, :sv, :it and whole Europe. Turb (talk) 21:05, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Another one to reconsider: File:Franz von Bayros 016.jpg. Doesn't seem to be prohibited by the evolving COM:SEX. See also my comment above. Lupo 14:06, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Perfect example of why deletion without thought is not a bright idea. Some stuff is junk - some isn't - not a good example to set. Consider this comment applicable to the next heading too. --Herby talk thyme 14:35, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Actually, Herby, it isn't necessary to insult me in order to disagree with me. I deleted this with thought, and I'm going to leave it deleted for now because this one - and the next one - are pornography. Really old pornography? Yes. But they are still pornography. I think it possible - with some justification - for this to have some historic significance - does it? Just being old doesn't make something of historic significance. But our default for pornography should be to delete it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:40, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I actually refrained from insulting you - I said nothing I would not have said to any other admin here. I've said what I feel - the speedy deletion of this kind of stuff is not a bright idea (in my opinion). I've deleted a stack of junk in my time as admin on various projects. I'm sure others will make any cases necessary - there is no point in me saying or doing anything else - I'll leave it at that. --Herby talk thyme 14:46, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I apologize, then. I took "deletion without thought" in the wrong way. I regret mentioning it now. I am sorry.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:56, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, I'll have to disagree on this. Evidently it's part of a larger series by an artist who is known best for his erotic drawings. While he's not exactly super-famous, he isn't an unknown either. (Maybe look at the German article.) In my understanding, the educational mission of the Commons encompasses documenting an artist's works as completely as we can.
By modern standards (well, at least by those of the society I live in, apparently not by yours) it's completely harmless. By what standards do you call this drawing "pornography" instead of "erotic art"? (This is a serious question. COM:SEX should probably provide some guidance about this distinction, more than the bare 2256 criteria give, and the article en:Miller test isn't exactly helpful for that either.)
Otherwise, let's at least be consistent and indeed delete the whole category, put him on a "Commons index" such that future uploads of that material can also be deleted, and then go on and clean Category:Shunga.
The same goes for (roughly) for Félicien Rops. Lupo 15:03, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I also object to this deletion. If we are going this way, i'm not sure if I can support the foundation..... TheDJ (talk) 15:11, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Can I just point out the irony of Liam Wyatt working with the museums and recently posting this image on his blog: ? TheDJ (talk) 15:16, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Well after the cleanup project is complete, we can have a longer discussion in the fullness of time about such questions. I would like to get specific guidance from the board, for example, on where they want us to draw the line, but that kind of guidance takes some time - it's a longer discussion with a lot of different stakeholders to consider, including readers, especially readers in very conservative jurisdictions, children and schools. I think a perfectly legitimate position for us to take is that we don't have visual depictions of explicit sexual activity here. I think it's a perfectly fine thing to have people collecting classic pornography - on their own servers, separate from Wikimedia completely.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:17, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I just wanted to add here that historical works are not my primary concern, and if I continue doing deletions personally in the next couple of days, I will avoid doing anything with historical-looking images. It's a secondary issue.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:19, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I wish you would refrain from performing contestable deletions (I am not talking about clear cases) until the new guidance has been discussed. This includes historic paintings and non-historic drawings/graphics. --Leyo 15:28, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Also File:Félicien Rops - Sainte-Thérèse.png. Lupo 14:22, 7 May 2010 (UTC)


Jimbo, after agreeing art should be excluded, you've gone and deleted two pieces of art by notable artists. I've restored File:Félicien Rops - Sainte-Thérèse.png since Félicien Rops is apparently notable, and if we start saying pornographic illustrations by notable artists aren't notable, we're going to go down a route we really don't want to.

Please take a bit more care: People are looking to you to set the example, and if you're deleting artworks out of ignorance of the artists' importance, then others are going to see fit to do the same.

I'd probably even go so far as to say that most pornographic artworks that aren't user created are probably notable, and shouldn't be deleted unless the artist is checked and this check shows them to be non-notable. Adam Cuerden (talk) 16:50, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

I've also undeleted the image discussed above. Really, Jimbo, that was a horrible precedent to almost set, and I'd strongly encourage more caution, or, better, stepping away from artwork completely. You aren't expected to be an art expert, but if you know you aren't, you shouldn't be deleting engravings by Franz von Bayros of very high artistic merit just because they show sex. This is exactly what you agreed should be exculded from deletion. Adam Cuerden (talk) 16:56, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Jimmy, hi, as you know, I'm fully supportive of a policy change brought by the Board in order to ease the cleanup process of all the abundance of crap pornography on Commons, but I urge you to caution with the removal of historical, artistic and notable images such as the one that Adam has mentioned here. Thanks. Bastique ☎ appelez-moi! 17:06, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm going to echo Cary's comment. Especially for historic and artistic images there's no reason not to handle this slowly. Keep those images for now, and if an eventually agreed upon policy requires their deletion, then delete them. JoshuaZ (talk) 18:25, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I have redeleted the image for the duration of the cleanup project. We will have a solid discussion about whether Commons should ever host pornography and under what circumstances at a later day - June 1st will be a fine time to start.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:31, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
File:Félicien Rops - Sainte-Thérèse.png has been on Commons for more than three years. There is no reason for speedydeleting and deletewarring. --Leyo 17:37, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm refraining (again) from being rude however the behaviour here is just not acceptable. If you are a dictator then fine. Those of us who care quite a bit about Commons - warts and all - will simply bugger off and leave the last one to turn out the lights if you keep up this style of "leadership" (yep that is sarcastic).
There is work to be done and garbage to get rid of but there is also a community here who have been trying to improve this project for a fair time now and have "invested" in it quite a bit since you last showed up. Maybe go and reflect on this - this is not en wv - this is a key wiki project that is of real value (particularly to those of us who are committed to it and care about it). --Herby talk thyme 17:49, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
This has gone beyond what I can support. I'm retiring from Commons. TheDJ (talk) 18:04, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I'd appreciate it if you were candid about this: cleanup project with possible undeletions in a few weeks essentially means get commons out of potential media crossfire and sort out details later when the whole thing has blown over? --Dschwen (talk) 21:57, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
There are already more than enough images hosted to reflect his work. Any more is excessive. We do not host every piece or work that an artist made, nor would it be appropriate to do so when there are other circumstances. Ottava Rima (talk) 18:30, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Really? If we can get images of every single thing made by a major artist, I don't see why we shouldn't try. Labeling some of the "porn" when they are historical works of art seems uncalled for. JoshuaZ (talk) 18:38, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I make that 3 useful admins gone so far with another going maybe. What will it take for you to stop and wonder about what you are doing? --Herby talk thyme 18:44, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
It only takes one for me to stop and wonder, so of course I've been thinking about this all day. I still think we should do undeletions very slowly and only after we have a period of time to cool down, examine the board statement, and talk seriously about all the stakeholders of commons, including children, and how best to serve everyone's interests in a balanced way. There's no hurry on that part.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:58, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Progress - thanks --Herby talk thyme 19:19, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
(ec) You still don't get it; it is not at all easy to repair the damage done by a deletion on Commons: the file is removed from all projects, and there is no easy way to put it back once it's restored. For ages now we've been careful when dealing with deletions, with a deletion process that is very time-consuming for admins and a rather ungrateful task; but we followed this process anyway, because we know how much damage can be done when deletions are handled lightly. You're now throwing all these efforts away.
So I'm out too; I was hoping for some sanity to back after a while, but clearly that's not happening - things are only getting worse. I'm absolutely furious, and so disappointed to see what this project, for which I cared a lot and in which I invested a lot of my time, has turned into. Please remove my admin bit. Good bye, and good luck. –Tryphon 19:25, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Just for those keeping score. 6 admins... Commons:Village_pump#Jimbo_the_vandal. TheDJ (talk) 19:37, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Looks to be at least eight now. Hope you are proud of yourself, Jimmy. Resolute (talk) 06:26, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Unfortunately, Jimbo and Fox News, being American, don't have the slightest clue what "porn" is. If they could stop thumping their Bibles for a moment and cease confusing their own penises with their guns, they'd work out quickly enough that a fair majority of what has been deleted is not, in fact, porn at all. No one comes to Commons to jack off to works of art from the nineteenth century. There was for that (the most apt domain name ever). Get a grip, USA. Bodies are not censurable unless you're a Puritan and living in la-la land. Maedin\talk 10:20, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
We can't read minds to to stereotype by saying 'no one comes to Commons to...' seems like a generalization. However I am in complete agreement with you Maedin that many of these images are certainly not pornographic. In the original meaning, that term implied images of prostitutes, which is likely how the term got applied to adult sex films since the actors are paid to perform and thus, some consider them equivilent to prostitutes even though one is legal and the other is not. The meaning seems to have changed colloquially to imply media created exclusively for (or perhaps more conservatively, primarily for) sexual arousal or masturbations. I believe due to persecution of any sort of pseudosexual image, this slang has only continued to broaden. Now adjectives such as 'sometimes for' or 'probably for' or even 'possibly for' are I think influencing the thoughts of people. So, when the potential occurs that someone might get twitterpated by the statue of Venus, clearly that means it is equivilent to 'Bang Bros' and needs to be blacklisted. Ty (talk) 02:39, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Please stop deleting files

Among the files you have deleted are many artworks and files in use on several Wikipedias. Stop your mass deletion and let the community decide each case separately. Many of the files you have deleted clearly deserve to be hosted on Commons. --Petter (talk) 17:16, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

You do realize, if you were anyone else...

If, a week ago, anyone else had made this same pattern of deletions, they would have been an instablocked vandal. And acting similarly to a vandal isn't good, no matter how pure your motives.

Your points are valid, given time the community will probably be swayed in your favor-- but you really do need take the time to actually GET that consensus before implementing it. --Alecmconroy (talk) 17:28, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

We can have a long discussion and work out a new set of parameters after the cleanup project is completed. It is not acceptable to host pornography in the meantime.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:32, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Oh my. You are deleting files that are not pornography at all. File:Wiki-fisting.png is a illustrative and educational image used on a wide range of projects. If that is pornography for you, I'm afraid we won't be able to have educational images in articles about sexuality. Please stop. Dodoïste (talk) 17:45, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
It is porn, pure and simple. It's an extremely graphic image of a woman with her fist in her vagina.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:57, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
<sigh> At a minimum, you should be waiting for the board on this (if not the community). Unless and until they've reached consensus and taken a vote, there IS no cleanup project, just a random string of ad hoc speedy deletes causing drama-- ya know? Admittedly, my opinion carries no weight, so i'll leave you to it. --Alecmconroy (talk) 17:55, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
When Wikipedia's owner speaks, your voice carries no weight. Resolute (talk) 18:42, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Nobody owns the content on Wikipedia, photos or otherwise. Any user may upload these images again, Mr. Wales is just a regular editor. - Floydian (talk) 22:20, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
My comment was sarcastic. ;) I'm in complete agreement. This is just yet another example of why Jimbo should be desysopped. Resolute (talk) 22:42, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Hi Jimmy. I hope you can clarify your sentence "It is not acceptable to host pornography in the meantime." to me a bit. To who is this exactly not acceptable? To you, to the Board, to the Wikimedia Foundation staff, to the Wikimedia Commons community? Who are you interpreting here exactly? And I am most explicitely pointing towards the "meantime" of course. Thank you. --Effeietsanders (talk) 09:01, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Some people are being very silly. The scope of commons is to support the educational work of the Wikimedia Foundation, not to be the world's most comprehensive source of free porn. This crap needs to go. The vast majority of it is of no actual or theoretical encyclopaedic use, and you've had a policy for a long time on removing unencylopaedic pictures of this type (see the "nopenis" template). Jimbo's point is that in people's zeal to show just how notcensored we are, the fundamental mission of education has been forgotten. Not being censored is not part of Commons' mission, education is. Images that damage our educational mission (by getting big chunks of the project blacklisted on content filters, impeding access from schools, and causing pointless media storms) should go. They should never have been here in the first place, in fact. Of course Jimbo can make mistakes in selection of individual images but the point remains that the Wikipeida projects do not need pictures of sex acts, in articles we use line art. JzG (talk) 09:42, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
    File:Wiki-fisting.png is line art. —David Levy 10:24, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
    It is less what is done as the way it is done Guy - without thought in selecting the images to go and without any concern for people who work hard in this community - that is the issue for me. --Herby talk thyme 10:56, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
    Guy is very adept at playing dumb when it suits him. Don't believe for a second that he is naive to why hundreds of editors across several projects are upset with Jimbo's abuse of the tools. Resolute (talk) 23:40, 8 May 2010 (UTC)


Regarding this edit: Could we please have some discussion / clarification about what the goal here really is?

Some of us have been trying in good faith to craft a policy around USC 2257; however, 2257 applies only to films and photographs involving real people. There is no restriction on illustrations at all.

If you, the WMF, or whoever, plans to go beyond that, then could you please explain what you have in mind? For years, enwiki has used illustrations (rather than photographs) to illustrate some sexual topics because this was considered that to be better from an editorial prospective. It seems like you are planning to upset that apple cart. Similarly, if one makes no distinction between photographic and non-photographic works, then you potentially exclude many ancient works of art depicting sexualized scenes. (Right now we don't have any exemption for historical works, should we?) Dragons flight (talk) 18:17, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

I think these are excellent questions. Tasteful illustrations are a good solution and in many cases can be useful to illustrate in a serious way a serious topic. But that doesn't imply that we should have a blanket exception which permits any and all pornographic drawings. I think an exemption for some images of significant historical, cultural, artistic, educational merit can possibly make sense - especially after a filtering system is implemented.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:19, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
tasteful? whose taste? yours? why do you get to run roughshod over the community? You ceded control of *pedia to WMF. You're nobody special. And since there has not been any statement from the board--indeed, WMF employees are pointing out why what you're doing is wrong--you are acting as just another user. Cuerden is right, you should be blocked, indef, until you stop this. Roux (talk) 18:27, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Take a break until tomorrow. The project would benefit from that. --Leyo 18:29, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Roux, please relax. :-) The Foundation's statement and Q&A is nearing completion. Leyo, thanks, I think I will. It's nearly 8pm here, and I need to rest.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:52, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Utterly failing to address any point that I raised, well done. Roux (talk) 19:17, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Art (2)

Dear Mr Wales,

I have undeleted some files that you or some other people deleted, I totally understand that we don't want porn here on Commons but lets stay calm.

I rather don't think when my girlfriend gives breastfeeding and I take a picture it would be porn, so I undeleted a image like that. Breastfeading is not porn.

Paintings of old painters that have own articles on Wikimedia are needed to illistrate articles so I undeleted it also.

I surely hope you will not remove my admin bits, but lets stay fair and only delete porn and not erotic art, medical images or images we do really need.

Bes regards, Huib talk 20:02, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Thank you

L'Origine du monde (1866) by the French painter Gustave Courbet (1819-1877)

Dear Mr. Wales, thank you very much for cleaning out some of the outrageous filth on Commons. Being just another Commons admin myself I would never have been able to remove all that dirty porn the way you did (I would have been blocked within minutes), so I can only deeply admire your decision to give the concept of community consensus the finger in this matter. A small point of critique though: you may unintentionally have forgotten to delete a few pornographic images, such as the sickening one you see here. Do you think you may find some time in the near future to go through the relevant categories again? Thank you very much in advance, in the name of greater humanity and all that. Kind regards, Wutsje (talk) 20:58, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

  • I know this isn't my talk page but... assuming you are serious... wow. This is a famous work by a major artist, and hangs on the walls of the Musée d'Orsay. - Jmabel ! talk 06:34, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
@Jmabel: wikt:sarcasm
@Wutsje: Commons:Sexual_content#Explicitly_allowed “Most artistic depictions of sexual content […], if they pass reasonable notability standards” --Church of emacs (talk) 08:54, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

"The Origin-of-the-World" is surely not pornographic. It is a painting (not a photograph) from the 19th century and from an artist. Because it shows not more than the usually covered part of a womans body, surely older than 30, this is no problem to the US-laws. What's the problem ? That a boy can get the information, how a womans body looks like ? That's not dangerous. It's more dangerous to try such facts hidden, till he has contact to a girl. Antonsusi (talk) 14:27, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

  • I'm glad to hear if this was sarcasm; I don't Wutsje. In the past few days I have certainly seen people say almost identical things in all seriousness. Some things are beyond impossible to parody effectively, because there is no space to go beyond the reality. - Jmabel ! talk 16:56, 8 May 2010 (UTC)


Nice call with the deletions. It annoyed me to be berated as a "prude" on foundation-l, but you might understand at this point. Where exactly is the yardstick I think is what everyone wants to know - unnecessary and exhibitionist shots are a natural first place to start. -Stevertigo (talk) 22:38, 7 May 2010 (UTC)


Dear Mr. Wales,

I appeal to you as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, the founder of Wikipedia, and the person who issued this statement of principles: please change the approach that so far has characterized this recently-announced cleanup of sexual content.

I am a sysop on en-wikipedia, and my concern is mainly about the manner in which this purge is taking place and the effect it is having on Wikipedia projects. As I indicated previously in a comment at Commons talk:Sexual content, I support the deletion of sexual content on Commons which provides little or no educational value (i.e., most of it). Sadly, however, it has become clear by now that the overarching criterion being used to delete files is not whether they have educational value but whether they meet a subjective definition of "pornography"—the deletion of professional-level illustrations and historical art, as well as of images which are in use in Wikipedia projects and whose use reflects local-wiki consensus, is proof of that. In truth, what is taking place is not only a cleanup, but also a significant change in this project's scope about which the community appears to have no real say.

I have no doubt that it was not your intention, but it strikes me that conducting the cleanup in this manner amounts to a breach of trust. Allow me to explain, please, with an example. I do not volunteer my time to improve Conservapedia because Conservapedia clearly indicates that it pursues a "conservative approach" rather than a neutral one. I had, however, chosen to volunteer my time to improve Commons and Wikipedia because I support their stated aims and they indicate that they do not censor content (text and media) solely on the grounds that it may cause offense (see Commons:Project scope#Censorship, Wikipedia is not censored, and "[Commons] acts as a common repository for the various projects of the Wikimedia Foundation") and adhere to the principle of community consensus-building. (I am using "I" and "my" because I can only speak definitively for myself, but I am sure the same is true of a good number of other editors.)

I think you will see from my contributions here and at en-wikipedia that I have no vested interest in this topic: of my 45,000+ edits, perhaps 100 involved sex-related topics, and I have never uploaded any image depicting nudity or sexuality nor created an article containing nudity or sexuality. I have always had the utmost respect for you and your role in WMF projects, and so I ask that you please reconsider this approach and instead continue to follow your stated commitment to Do the Right Thing and treat those who offer legitimate complaints, criticism, or dissent with dignitiy and respect—this includes allowing the opportunity to voice meaningful complaints, criticism, or dissent.

I thank you in advance for your time, Black Falcon (talk) 00:46, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

FWIW, I'm one of the "good number of editors" for which what Black Falcon here writes is true. Please reconsider your approach here. Finn Rindahl (talk) 07:38, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Deletion of art / suggestion

Dear Jimbo, Wikimedia's policies shouldn't be based on the most conservative jurisdictions imaginable, I think. It nearly looks as if you want us to apply the law of Saudi Arabia. There are notable, great (and also lesser, but still notable) works of art that happen to depict "explicit sexual activity". Deleting them from Wikimedia Commons/Wikipedia as "porn" is, in my humble opinion, quite extreme vandalism, and I am deeply disappointed by your actions. Gestumblindi (talk) 01:01, 8 May 2010 (UTC) (Administrator at the German Wikipedia)

By the way, if I may add, I disagree with your statement "I think a perfectly legitimate position for us to take is that we don't have visual depictions of explicit sexual activity here." There are "visual depictions of explicit sexual activity" that are of educational value (even if not works of art), especially in an encyclopedic context. It seems to me that especially to the latter not enough attention may be paid to when deleting images that seem pornographic from Commons. Maybe it is problematic that it's possible to view e.g. images of sexual practices here on Commons without the encyclopedic context they have in Wikipedia - so the same image may seem gratuitous and/or offensive to a visitor who visits Commons directly, but appear completely different to a reader who finds it embedded in an appropriate Wikipedia article, illustrating the subject. However, I don't think that a good solution for this problem is simply deletion. Maybe technical measures could be implemented that show images that may seem offensive only as part of the encyclopedic articles where they serve an educational purpose? Gestumblindi (talk) 01:44, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

+1. --S[1] 06:02, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
+1 --SibFreak 06:36, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
+1 --Paramecium (talk) 06:55, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
+1 --Melanom (talk) 07:42, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
-1 --Erik Warmelink (talk) 08:09, 8 May 2010 (UTC), the authors of the articles would not find the pictures.
+1 --Micha (talk) 11:45, 8 May 2010 (UTC) (@Erik. That the authors would still found the pictures is only a question of the implementation. But if there is a technical possiblity that the picture are tagged and so only used in an appropriate manner is a huge leap in the right direction. Deletions is not a solution because it is only censorship of a few people and without reasonable arguments.)
+1 --Matthiasb (talk) 12:22, 8 May 2010 (UTC) I am not happy in which way you're treating this. You lost my trust and respect. Sorry but you damaged the project and the trust into the independence of the project from media and other opinion-pushing organizations. Maybe the WMV logo should be replaced by the logo of FOX News for making it clear even to the less media-competent user.
+1 --Nemissimo (talk) 15:23, 8 May 2010 (UTC)


Who is "damaging" the project (which is wider than commons) more? Jimbo, who started it and has devoted most of the last several years to evangelising it, or someone who thinks the fact we are not censored means we can freely use the Wikimedia Foundation's resources as a repository for pictures of sex acts, their genitalia and other things completely unconnected to the mission of the project, which is educational in nature? Guy 13:01, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Well, this is not my opinion as stated above. I do not think that "we can freely use the Wikimedia Foundation's resources" for such pictures. Commons never did, by the way. But there are also pictures depicting explicit sexual activity that are either notable works of art or of educational value in an encyclopedic context - and yes, I think that Commons should host pictures that fall into these categories, if they can be used in a meaningful way for Wikimedia projects such as Wikipedia. Gestumblindi (talk) 13:24, 8 May 2010 (UTC)


You wrote: "Wikimedia Commons admins who wish to remove from the project all images that are of little or no educational value but which appeal solely to prurient interests have my full support". May I please ask you what educational value that anti-Semitic garbage File:Alan dershowitz by Latuff.jpg has? And there are around 100 more like those. Why don't you go ahead and delete them all? Thanks.--Mbz1 (talk) 01:10, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Lets not stop there, lets delete anything even remotely incendiary to anyone. I believe the German government donated a whole slew of nazi related images recently, might as well mass-delete those as well. — raeky (talk | edits) 06:08, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
We are being heavily criticised in certain countries for allowing images that show women and men in tight-fitting clothing, bikinis and v-cut blouses. We are in danger of losing funding from our most religiously conservative neighbours because some people want to make images of women not wearing hijab freely available to impressionable children. I fully support Jimbo in further causing the downfall and legitimacy of the WMF project by grasping even more tightly at straws and disenfranchising thousands of people who have put in millions of hours of work to his project by simply deleting their contributions without discussion. Max Rebo Band"almost suspiciously excellent" 15:00, 8 May 2010 (UTC)


Hello Jimbo Wales, is it category ; Yourt support, thank you very much. FrankyLeRoutier (talk) 03:21, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

btw & scnr, some of them originate from the above mentioned German Federal Archives, too. Do we really need articles about organizations spreading that kind of stuff? Delete them all! But serious: photographs depicting nude children on a beach etc. are *not* *child* *pornography*, even not close to it. --SibFreak 07:02, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
beside the historical art stuff, there are a lot of files, uploaded by interinstitutional cooperations between the chapters of wikimedia de/nl and the state institutions like bundesarchive/tropenmuseum in this category and the sub-categories. it seems advisable to consider the review of these files in cooperation with the involved institutions to take the historical and scientific (ethnological) aspekts of education into account, regards --Jan eissfeldt (talk) 13:57, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Could I ask you to look in...

Could I ask you to look in on the thread I started at Commons talk:Sexual content#A lack of clarity about intention? I really do think that the direction I'm pursuing there is the most likely way to get something like a consensus here rather than to keep driving numerous valuable contributors away from Commons, but your input would be very useful, especially in respect of the issue raised in the section title: what are the policy changes you are proposing intended to accomplish? - Jmabel ! talk 06:25, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Community comsensus

Hi Jimbo, I think that deletions should be made according to community consensus, not by unilateral actions. I agree however that there may need to be a whole review of what should be hosted here or not. Regards, Yann (talk) 07:02, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

  • Think of it as a wake-up call. Yes, the community needs to have a discussion and evolve a consensus, but the Commons mission is, first and foremost, educational; some people have slipped into believing that not being censored is a part of the mission, and that therefore including images that are plainly not censored is a furtherance of that mission. It's not. Check the comments Jimbo made and the text he put at the policy page. This is all about refocusing on the actual mission. Some thoughtful people have made good suggestions, including ways of allowing people to opt-out of seeing certain material using well-established metadata fields, but I don't think that pitchforks and burning torches are going to help any. A thoughtful debate centred around the core mission is good, continuing to host images of sexual activity "because we are not censored" is a bad idea at several levels. I think you'll also find that genuinely encyclopaedic images will be restored on request, as has been the case for some already. I have only been around for five or six years but I can remember the time when the projects were ruled by Clue, not by militance. That's what Jimbo is asking for. A return of the rule of Clue. Does this image serve the goal of spreading knowledge? - and not in the sense of knowledge about My Wonderful Product, but actual knowledge. A great example is the way enWP took to illustrating articles on sexual topics with line art, which makes it more likely that these will be considered acceptable for use in educational institutions. Guy 15:18, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

After the erratic vandalism against consensus today, the above page is probably something people on all sides should be contemplating.

I hope the bit resignation will come voluntarily. If behavior like today continues, it will come involuntarily. --Alecmconroy (talk) 07:20, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

  • That's quite funny. The mob can storm the castle all they like but any change in rights will be difficult to achieve without Jimbo's co-operation. Guy 21:25, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

I strongly suggest you give up your sysop flag

Dear Mr. Wales, I respect you for getting Wikipedia and Wikimedia off the ground. Without you, the world's largest and best encyclopedia would not exist. But while you may be a great visionary, your recent actions have demonstrated that you have absolutely no business engaging in the nitty-gritty of administering any given wiki project. In no particular order:

  • You have repeatedly violated speedy deletion policy by speedy deleting files that should have gone through the normal deletion process.
  • You have repeatedly engaged in wheelwars — and, worse, without justifying yourself in some manner that anyone who is not you would consider reasonable.
  • You have gone against community consensus by deleting files that meet Commons guidelines, i.e. images that are educationally useful and not low-quality porn photos. The correct order of events should be to first try to build a consensus to change the guidelines, and then, if successful, delete the images — only after warning the projects that use them and giving them adequate time to create replacements.
  • When asked to explain your administrative actions, you seriously suggest everyone wait for 4 weeks before you deign to metaphorically get off your throne and discuss anything.

Any experienced wiki administrator knows that the reason for proper procedures is to build trust in the community instead of splitting it. The reason for procedures is to make sure that a loose-cannon administrator's actions don't result in users revolting or leaving in droves.

Mr. Wales, your gung-ho attitude towards administration has damaged the community for no good reason. You have single-handedly destroyed Wikipedia's trust in Commons. You have have single-handedly destroyed Commons' users' trust in their administrators. It's time for you to give up the sysop flag. Leave herding cats to people who know how to herd cats. Leave wiki administration to people who are competent at it. --Tetromino (talk) 08:03, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

+1 Sozi (talk) 10:54, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
+1 Entheta (talk) 13:27, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
+1 Yellowcard (talk) 13:38, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
+1000 --Phyrexian (talk) 13:47, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
-(Ʃ(allothervotes)+1) and stop being so silly. Guy 15:20, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
+1 --Melanom (talk) 16:08, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
+1 Adam Cuerden (talk) 21:37, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
+1 --Ragimiri (talk) 23:55, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
+1 --Ankara (talk) 00:53, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
+1--Crossmr (talk) 01:18, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Discussion about image undeletion

Hi Jimbo. Apparently, you would like to delete controversial images first and then discuss an undeletion. Given that only Wikimedia Commons administrators can view deleted images, could you please elaborate on that discussion process you proposed? Should this be a meta-discussion about a policy, or a discussion about each individual controversial image? If you propose the latter, how are non-admins supposed to participate in this discussion, without being able to view the images in question? Regards, --Church of emacs (talk) 09:01, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Another request to actually think this through

I have a feeling this post may be pointless but I guess I feel I should try - I'm loosing some good friends here.

Our management styles are obviously vastly different to each other and I'm trying to take that into account here. You see a problem - you want/need to fix it. Yes there is one and it does need fixing. However, if you wish there to be a strong worthwhile project left at the end you do need to take as much of the community with you as you can and you don't seem to get that at all.

We have a shed load of admins here who do sod all because someone once said "admin is no big deal". I actually agree with that - it is a set of tools for those who actually do some work on a project and should be gained easily by those who are active and need them. However there are a stack that just like looking at the trophy cabinet. You are loosing the project people who actually do work here - that does not mean I always agree with them but I do respect the work they do.

Bear in mind that this and other projects work because people give up their time for free to help out - they deserve better than they are getting from you. Try and get you head around this please. BY all means spend time looking at the big shiny trophy in your cabinet but you would be well advised to use it with caution and thought.

I'm now going back to actual admin work - quite a bit more to do given those who have gone - Commons is far more important to me than you are I'm afraid. --Herby talk thyme 09:19, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

+1. Ca$e (talk) 12:21, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Also - despite your optimism quite a bit of the stuff you deleted has been restored. I guess you can start wheel warring and desysop a few admin making the problems already created worse as there will be even fewer admins to deal with the junk or come up with Plan B. Enjoy your weekend. --Herby talk thyme 13:56, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Talk page archive

I've noticed recently that the rules and policys don't apply to you, but is it too much to ask that you not just delete everything on your talk page, but archive it like everyone else (although one doesn't usually archive ongoing discussions). Noone else would get away with that and this type of arrogance is just making an already bad situation even worse. Entheta (talk) 13:17, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

+1 Thank you Jimbo - the deletion of this talk page was another great way to discredit you. Unbelievable. --Saibo (Δ) 13:43, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
"Shoot first, ask later, but never answer". This is exactly the attitude that makes Americans extremely popular around the world. --Voyager (talk) 13:49, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Perish the thought that anybody would take the stated reason at face value. I'm sure that's why the history has been deleted and oversighted so nobody can see it. What? What do you mean it's still there? Delete it now, you;'re ruining the conspiracy theory! Guy 16:31, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Wake up Jimmy! You are not the owner of us ad our work! And not even a rock star...

Unbelievable! Who the hell do you think you are? Do you think you own an army of slaves that are working under your direction for free? Wake up Jimmy! You are not a rock star! You are not a Pharaoh! You are not our Duce! You should be life banned from Commons after the incredible damage you have caused to the project! --Phyrexian (talk) 14:00, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

I don't usually edit at commons, but as far I'm concerned Jimbo did the right thing. He did NOT cause incredible damage at all but saved the project because he cares about it. We were being criticized by the media and were at risk of losing funding from major donators. Without donations there would be no project. Besides, as the FOUNDER, he is a high-profile public figure and has a reputation to uphold. We ought to show a little respect and confidence that he knows what he's doing. -- OlEnglish (talk) 14:21, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
I can't wait until he decides that all images of the Holocaust, or depicting war crimes, must be immediately deleted because it will "save the project". Max Rebo Band"almost suspiciously excellent" 14:56, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
The major donators have not the right to impose their POV, if they don't like Commons they can stop donate money, but they can't request content changes in return of money. --Phyrexian (talk) 15:23, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
@if they don't like Commons they can stop donate money and then you pay for servers etc.? --Túrelio (talk) 15:38, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
If you think that would ever happen then you clearly don't know Jimbo at all. He would fight to the death to retain our right to host content that is uncomfortable but unambiguously appropriate, including images of the holocaust, and in fact the hosting of useless porn severely damages the strength of that principle by making it seem as if "not censored" is solely there so that we can host whatever crap we like. The scope of the project is to support the educational aims of the Wikimedia Foundation. Damaging the foundation by giving the conservative press ammunition to use against our donors is not quite so obviously a good idea... Guy 15:25, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
This isnt' about "useless porn". If he had just been deleting useless porn most people wouldn't mind. But he's putting himself above policy and consensus deleting useful non-porn such as illustrations that serve educational purposes, and old artworks. I don't see how anyone can think that's acceptable. It's arrogant and disrespectful to the people who contribute their time and resources to the project. How is it acceptable just becuase it's Jimbo Wales doing it? Entheta (talk) 15:39, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Jimbo was deleting more than "useless porn". Commons was always quite strict regarding images with sexual content and e.g. countless images of genitalia got deleted in the past. The basic question in discussing deletion requests was always: "Is it of potential educational/encyclopedic value?", i.e. is there a potential use in a Wikimedia project such as the Wikipedia, but also in other projects? There are images that are of pornographic nature and at the same time notable, important works of art. Think of artists such as Hokusai, creator of e.g. "The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife" (1820), or the abovementioned Gustave Courbet. Their works are prime exhibits in some of the world's most renowned museums. Their subjects are sometimes the same as those of crude, worthless pornography - but at the same time a very different thing, as scholars agree that they play an important role in art history. E.g. the drawing File:Félicien Rops - Sainte-Thérèse.png by en:Félicien Rops that was also deleted by Jimbo (and finally restored after an undeletion request) was also exhibited in renowned museums and has more depths to it than you may think at first glance. As one of Rops' many anti-church caricatures it has to be seen in context of the time of its creation, the later 19th century, which in Europe was a time of heavy clashes between church and the growing liberal movement. The caricatures of Rops are, alongside with anti-clerical and anti-church works by other artists, useful in documenting tendencies of the time. Oh yes, this one is certainly pornographic, as are many works by Rops. But it is pornography with a meaning and a background, and of potential encyclopedic value. - Furthermore, even if it is not a work of art, an image depicting explicit sexual activity may be needed to illustrate an encyclopedic subject appropriately. Gestumblindi (talk) 15:58, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
If you don't want to see an article about what suspension bondage is, join Conservapaedia. I mean, as much as I love the idea that if I win the lottery this year and offer the money to Wikimedia Foundation in order to make it a policy that all references to the Armenian Genocide are wiped away and replaced with "troubled historical times in Armenia"...they'll accept the money saying they couldn't otherwise afford servers. Max Rebo Band"almost suspiciously excellent" 16:00, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
In five or ten years, Jimbo will be dead or have stopped caring about the project that's outgrown him. Do we then trust the next guy to make arbitrary, sweeping decisions against consensus? Hardly. The problem is, just like in politics, everybody suports unilateral, anti-democratic, centralised power when their guy is #1, but bemoan it when the next guy arrives. Max Rebo Band"almost suspiciously excellent" 16:03, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
@"and then you pay for servers etc.?" --Túrelio -- the other donors pay for the servers. the other ones who want to support a NPOV and uncensored Wikipedia! --Saibo (Δ) 16:21, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
@Saibo, it's rather unlikely that the big donors want to be associated in any way with something that is publicly reported to be a porn hoster - independent of whether that is true (I fear it somewhat was) or not. --Túrelio (talk) 20:09, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Some of Jimbo's deletions were like the Taliban blasting the Bamyan statues. Who wants to be associated with that? /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 20:30, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Only such little hyperbole? I would a least have expected some analogy to the book burning by the Nazis. Or did you fear Mike Godwin? --Túrelio (talk) 20:41, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
So what I see here is a mishmash of bad-faith, slippery slope fallacies, hyperbole and other rhetorical devices which entirely misses the point. There are only two questions here: does Jimbo have the right to do what he did? (answer: yes); did Jimbo make some mistakes in selecting images (answer: yes, and he admits it). Right up at the top he says he's open to calm, thoughtful debate about where the boundary should be drawn, but leaving the boundary where it was is not an option. I see pretty broad support for the latter and yet people seem rather reluctant to allow of the idea that Jimbo did this for the best of motives. Why? It seems to me he has given a good rationale for the push back towards core goals, and that in turn has broad support, so the thing to do is pick up the ball and run with it: carry on the work in a way that avoids mistakes (inevitable with just one person doing the work) but achieves what is generally recognised as the necessary result. Guy 16:25, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Could you please elaborate your "Yes" related to the first of these questions?Nemissimo (talk) 17:15, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia has a rather good article on Jimmy Wales that answers your question comprehensively, and at the same time nails once and for all the idea that he is doing this out of misplaced prudishness. Guy 21:23, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
I read it years ago since I have been in the project for some time. If the article would answer my question I wouldn't have asked you to elaborate your statement. That's what I call cheap and highly unpolite rhetorics.Nemissimo (talk) 22:32, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Jimbo, this is disgusting. Much,much,much more disgusting of any image you have deleted out of policy. Your behaviour is becoming a shame for Wikimedia. Sorry, but I am really angry. --Cyclopia (talk) 20:45, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

I really hope you never understand how ridiculous you sound, because you will be deeply, deeply tramuatised. Removing porn from a website is not "disgusting", there is pretty much no definition of the word "disgusting" that would cover the founder of a project giving it a much needed kick back from a slide into becoming the world's leading repository of random pr0n. Guy 21:21, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
+1. --JN466 05:51, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  • People are saying that Jimbo doesn't own this. But then consider this: nor do they. Are they an army of slaves working for Jimbo? No. They are volunteers working within the rules published from time to time - as is Jimbo. Would I do everything the same way as Jimbo if I was in his position? No. Do I tell him to do things the way I would? No. Does he listen and discuss when I have ideas? Amazingly, yes. Do I think Jimbo is acting out of ego? No. Does Jimbo have a plan? Yes. Is Wikimedia moving from an amateurish concoction of data to a valuable world resource? Yes. Stephen B Streater (talk) 21:13, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Is it damaging to the long term aims of the project to have all this material hosted here? Yes. Stephen B Streater (talk) 21:16, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

@Túrelio("rather unlikely that the big donors want to be associated in any way with something that is publicly reported to be a porn hoster") - seriously, is this bullsxxxx US press credible? Maybe the big sponsors will not be anymore (is this the case?!) in the US (because they believe the bullsxxxx US press) but rather in Europe where things are a bit different. --Saibo (Δ) 00:35, 9 May 2010 (UTC)


I'm a believer that no matter how good a system gets, it's only as good as the people in it. It takes leaders, great people like Lincoln, Churchill, Clemenceau, etc. Not dictators, but people willing to roll up their sleeves and ask tough questions and do what needs to be done. Good job, Mr. Wales. Sole Flounder (talk) 02:02, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Suggestion for a technical solution

I suggested this previously, but as it is now buried in the page history and probably was "buried" from the start in the whole commotion, I'm taking the liberty of repeating what I think could be a solution that would satisfy all sides. Well: it seems that most agree that some of the images depicting explicit sexual activity are nevertheless of value for Wikimedia projects such as Wikipedia, e.g. notable works of art or images suitable for illustrating an encyclopedic topic. Commons therefore should host such images. However, maybe it is problematic that it's possible to view e.g. images of sexual practices here on Commons without the encyclopedic context they have in Wikipedia - so the same image may seem gratuitous and/or offensive to a visitor who visits Commons directly, but appear completely different to a reader who finds it embedded in an appropriate Wikipedia article, illustrating the subject. Maybe technical measures could be implemented that show images that may seem offensive only as part of the encyclopedic articles where they serve an educational purpose? I.e. the images and their categories would be hidden from the casual websurfer here on Commons. A flag for registered editors could be implemented that allows viewing the categories/images on Commons to be able to find material for articles. Gestumblindi (talk) 21:00, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

If the ability to browse explicit content is accepted by consensus as a problem. This sounds like an excellent solution. Editors must be able to build educational pages on different projects and in different contexts from a range of material. They will have debates about what is suitable: it is not for the Commons to decide these for them in advance. --Simonxag (talk) 21:40, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Why not have Jimbo create a daughter project for Wikimedia Commons to host such images? Schools would be able to filter that single project out without the need for complicating Commons. Perhaps only certain users would register (18+ maybe?). ZooFari 21:54, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
On the one hand, I don't quite like that idea because it will get portrayed as "the WMF is hosting a site for free porn." On the other, I believe this is a necessary option to ensure that Commons can be used in primary schools around the world. Great proposal, ZooFari; let's see if anyone takes notice. —Ed (talkcontribs) 03:14, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
I think that a flickr-style flagging system is a useful alternative, and the board discussion is likely to move to revolve around that. The idea here is that people ought not be to shocked by content that they find offensive - in any context - because shock isn't what we're after, but rather to offer knowledge to people to use as they see fit. If offensive content has no educational purpose, we shouldn't host it at all. If it has a high degree of artistic/historical/cultural/educational/etc value, then we should host it - but not shove it in people's faces in a way that would surprise them. (Notice that I've tried to state this carefully to leave open questions relating to what kind of potentially offensive content - images of Muhammad are a prime example where we need them for educational purposes, but at present, we shock people with them in a way that is likely unnecessary.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:21, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
As someone who has uploaded recently deleted sexual images with the intent of them being used in sex education articles, I would support such a technical solution though I would have concerns about how "scope-creep" would be managed. One could imagine restricting sex education images featuring explicit photographs of genitals, but would we restrict images of sex-toys, bondage or piercings, none of which could be considered explicit in most of Europe where such images are shown on prime-time television or images which could be interpreted as breaking regional laws such as images that may be considered to promote homosexuality? Saunaboy (talk) 12:03, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
I think those are valid questions, but they don't seem too difficult to resolve. One thing I think we can all agree on is that waiting for a perfect solution before doing anything just leaves us in the current mess. I trust that we can figure out the borderline cases. I think one thing we have to guard against, as you say, is "scope-creep" - but we also have to guard against extremists who refuse to acknowledge that quality editorial judgment requires sensitivity to the educational needs and situations of readers. When you think about children in remote villages in Peru or India who may be forbidden to look at Wikipedia (again, I encourage people to stop thinking about Europe and the US, since as far as I can tell, norms are quite similar between the two, and I travel a lot) if their parents see hardcore video of extreme sex practices - when you think about those children, this starts to look a lot easier and a grown up solution seems well within reach.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:22, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
Oh yes: “But think about the CHILDREN!” Now where have I heard that before? Most likely from some despicable politicians who wanted to shove some kind of censorship down the public's throat. Not a good argument from them, and not a good argument from you. --Rosenzweig δ 14:34, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
This whole discussion would be quite a bit easier if people weren't misusing the term censorship so often. --Dschwen (talk) 14:42, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree, and mocking a genuine issue by mocking "THINK OF THE CHILDREN" is not at all helpful, Rosenzweig. When we think about how Wikipedia is used all around the world, by all kinds of people, thinking about the children is an important part of what we will do, as responsible and thoughtful people. Not every argument that involves concern for the genuine interests of parents with respect to their children involves someone trying to ram something down your throat. (More often, the reaction I see from some quarters, is a desire to ram something down those parent's throat - a kind of insensitivity to cultural values that I find unfortunate.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:12, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
How about this: you stop invoking en:think of the children, and in return everyone else will stop invoking en:censorship. --Carnildo (talk) 21:39, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
I do not invoke en:think of the children, full stop. I make arguments with premises and conclusions, and I try really hard not to turn my opponents genuine arguments into slogans to be dismissed.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:04, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
I still think your “children” example is really bad. First because this is such a clichéd argument that a great number of people will feel you insult their intelligence. Second because if you take this seriously and really wanted to reach that kind of rural, conservative people in developing countries, you'd have to do much more than just eliminate the possibility of them seeing “hardcore video of extreme sex practices”—you'd essentially have to ban any content that is in any way controversial and only leave the lowest common denominator. That would certainly be offensive to just about anybody else, I'm sure you'd realize that. Unless you did it in a completely separate project that would be, say, safe to read and view in Saudi-Arabia (or any other nation that imposes the strictest censorship on materials they deem offensive). --Rosenzweig δ 15:31, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Jimbo, I agree with the principle of finding ways of ensuring wide international access to an independent encyclopaedia. I do take issue with taking knee-jerk reactions against perceived extremists. Considering children in Peru and India (I happen to have relatives in India, so it's not just an abstract issue for me), many of these children are at risk of HIV infection, poor sex education and poor support for sexual minorities such as teenage transsexuals (e.g. Hijra in India with the associated history of botched self-castration). Practical information on safe sexual practices, sexual identity and human sexual diversity is exactly what Wikipedia should strive to provide and images help ensure the information is easy to understand. Creating a politically "child-safe" version of Wikipedia and consequently making it easy for authorities to restrict or track access to the "adult" encyclopaedia will guarantee that more children will fail to understand these topics, instead relying on myth and superstition from their immediate peers. My issue with dealing with extremists is that they are at both ends of the spectrum and "we must protect the children" is more often misused to promote a religious or anti-libertarian agenda rather than taking action to ensure what is best for children in the long term. These issues would have been better considered dispassionately and with general consensus before taking action. Saunaboy (talk) 16:05, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
Saunaboy, I absolutely do agree that practical information on safe sexual practices, sexual identity and human sexual diversity is well within our remit. That's a very far cry from being a free porn hosting company. In the middle, where reasonable people will work to sort things out, is a complex business of course.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:12, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for making this point so clearly, Mr. Wales. There is a great difference between practical and responsible information about sex, and being a free porn posting company. I can see many people here still do not see that. Peter Damian (talk) 15:12, 11 May 2010 (UTC)


Dear Mr Wales, I noticed in the news today that you have deleted some of the pornographic material on Wikimedia Commons, and I would like to thank you for it. As a parent, I have been alarmed to see how extensive the problem is on this website, which users appear to condone as 'educational'. I raised this issue recently, asking for several photographs to be deleted. They all appear to have been retained, although I have found you deleted one. Thank you for that one, but I would ask you to look at the contributions I have made to see the other photographs I found which serve no purpose. For the moment I am still uncomfortable to allow my son to access this website and Wikipedia. I have had my doubts about Wikipedia for a long time over factual accuracy but seeing this website reached a tipping point. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Concerned parent - The Cleaner (talk) 18:15, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Have you considered letting your child use a computer with a content filter ? TheDJ (talk) 18:35, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
I think approaching the issue from the standpoint of using a computer with a content filter doesn't really address the issue very well at all. The point is, we are not a free pornography hosting service.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:08, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
To 'Cleaner', I agree, speaking as a parent also. To Jimbo - some of the actions such as removing old illustrations may have seemed extreme to some, but I agree with your position that the default position is to keep the stuff out, until its existence can be justified. Also, thank you for making your position clear at Sunday lunchtime in London (I am not sure if you were aware whcih 'Peter' I was :). You have my full support for these brave actions. Peter Damian (talk) 14:21, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
I wish I had time to sit with everyone for longer and figure out who's who, and so no, I didn't realize. :-) Nice to meet you!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:30, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
And my point is that the ultimate responsibility lies with the parent. If you have problems with what is on the internet (and you definitely should), you should not let your child use the internet unattended, or without filtering. Yes we do some cleanup here and there, where it is needed, but like i have said before, there are also images of gangreen and blown up soldiers on Wikipedia, which might not be particularly suited for your child either. Also I encourage all parents to start and maintain a type of "wikikids" project. To quote Gregory Maxwell:

The Commons community recognizes that some works have educational or historical value specifically because they illustrate terrible or shocking things, and that awareness of these subjects helps the world create a better future. Because of this, a small portion of Commons consists of material which may not be suitable for all viewers. The presence of a work in Commons should not be considered as an endorsement of its subject by the Commons community or the Wikimedia Foundation; much of it was contributed by people who also find these subjects to be terrible or sensitive and who wish to educate others. In particular, Commons contains depictions of genocide, torture, hate speech, animal mutilation, war footage, and other images of crime and violence. Commons also contains graphic medical images, nudity, blasphemy, political propaganda, and explicit sexuality. Commons contains some material which may be deemed illegal outside of the United States.

TheDJ (talk) 14:44, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
No, the ultimate responsibility lies with Wikipedia, which is not intended as an academic publication, but rather a middle-brow internet reference source widely used by schoolchildren for homework. Wikipedia should be responsible and not allow itself to be abused as a free pornography hosting service. I appreciate the need in certain cases to present material that may be disturbing to children, but for that very reason it needs to be presented in the right context and in a responsible way. Again, I am supportive of Mr. Wales in making this point so clearly. There is a difference between pornography, and the kind of material which is appropriate to a widely-used reference source. Peter Damian (talk) 15:10, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
You see, that is the problem. Wikimedia Commons is not a reference source. Wikipedia is the reference source. The projects are independent endeavors. I support the deletion of a lot of shitty images that had accumulated there, but even the Library of Congress has plenty of pictures on its website of naked children. TheDJ (talk) 15:35, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
I also note that ALL images on Wikimedia Commons lack context. It is an archive with its own mission, a sort of curated library of media, not solely a backend service for Wikipedia. At least that is my opinion and that by many of the community. If the foundation says otherwise, I think a lot of volunteers will leave. TheDJ (talk) 15:55, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
To clarify what that means, we provide a choice in material for educational use. That means that 1 picture of a penis is not enough. It would be like the library of congress determining that "Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality" by Sigmund Freud is the only book worth keeping on sexuality. Some variety is required per the scope of the project. If you consider that only 400 images have been deleted out of our 6 million files, then you can see how Commons already was not a porno hosting service. Did it need some weeding ? Sure, but I point out to you the hundreds of copyright violations that exist on the site on a day to day basis. Weeding isn't as simple as some people are portraying it to be. That doesn't mean that ploughing due to media pressure is the better route. TheDJ (talk) 16:04, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
I think there's still a fair amount of weeding that needs to be done. I want to encourage a move away from polarizing arguments that suggest that those who are arguing strenuously for policy change expect perfection, or a Commons that won't contain anything offensive to anyone, etc. Our position is more sophisticated than that. There are difficult things - as Gregory Maxwell points out in your quote above - that we need to have here. But those things need to be here when they need to be here - not gratuitously. And Peter has stated my position eloquently - a default against inclusion of potentially offensive materials, with a serious justification required. That's different from the past policy of allowing the thinnest possible of justifications and requiring a fairly extraordinary argument to delete.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:30, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Well as far as I can see, the community is not agreeing with you. Perhaps it is time you start a fork of Wikimedia ? TheDJ (talk) 16:33, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Mr. Wales. Peter Damian above seems to agree with Mr. Wales. Ottava Rima seems to agree with Mr. Wales. There are many others. I think the opposition outcry is from a vocal group who seems to be TheCommunity™. Killiondude (talk) 16:35, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Wow, a couple people agree so let's make mass changes to the project. Brilliant logic. How about all the people who have walked away or are planning of walking away? I guess they don't count because they're not technically part of the community now. If you make the right changes and drive away the people who disagree with you, you can always win right? There are plenty of people who disagreed with this and what went on here was an insult to the community.--Crossmr (talk) 23:55, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
@TheDJ, please don't speak for the community. You are not its representative, as far as I know. There is still some diversity. --Túrelio (talk) 16:43, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Well the community is writing the new policy now, and it doesn't reflect with any of all your statements. Perhaps you should write a counter proposal, or just drag up one of Privatemusings old proposals. It's gonna be an interesting vote in a couple of weeks. TheDJ (talk) 16:40, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
The problem is that Wikipedia is not a real community. It is simply a collection of individuals drawn in by certain special interests. In my case, medieval philosophy and logic, in other cases Star Trek episodes, lolimanga, railway stations, self-promotion, junk science, whatever. It does not represent the community at large, in America, England, the commonwealth English-speaking countries. By contrast Fox news, the UK Daily Telegraph, possibly soon the UK Daily Mail, the BBC do represent a much wider and more genuine community. Potential donors to this project come from this wider community. That is Wales' concern, and it is a valid one. This 'community' has to stop being insular, and recognise there is a world out there that has different standards from this one. Peter Damian (talk) 16:55, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree with you. Take a look at this problem taken to the extreme User:Max Rebo Band --Tyw7  (☎ Contact me! • Contributions)   Changing the world one edit at a time! 22:19, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
If Wikipedia's scope would be a middle-brow internet reference source for schoolchildren's homework (a la Pieter: "a middle-brow internet reference source widely used by schoolchildren for homework") I would leave the project for nearly every word in the sentence. 1: middlebrow - I think we are and I thought that we don't want to be just middlebrow. 2: internet - not necessarily 3: schoolchildren - They can benefit, sure. But that's not the vision of this great, free, "sum of all knowledge".
Luckily this isn't the scope and I can continue to contribute since I do not want to contribute to a castrated schoolbook.
@all this we'll lose all our donors stuff: WP:10T#We're not for sale. Cheers and good night --Saibo (Δ) 00:57, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Actually it's not even a middlebrow reference source. You have the WP bio of Hans Bethe, legendary atomic scientist, Nobel winner. 8 notes, 3 references, total length 27034 bytes. And then you have the WP bio of a fictional scientist on a sitcom, Sheldon Cooper of The Big Bang Theory. 75 references, total length 43670 bytes [5]. Repeat then ad nauseam for Star Trek episodes, lolimanga, the 'Pornography project' which seeks to have the biography of every minor 'porn star'. No reputable or authoritative reference work, whether high or middlebrow, would include this sort of stuff. My work on Wikipedia was to contribute a solid corpus of work on philosophy, medieval logic and of course en:History of logic which as you know, Saibo, I am unable to complete because permanently banned from the project (or at least en:Wikipedia). Yet it prospers as an amateur porn site. How is this?
On the 'not for sale' bit - of course not. But Wikipedia would not survive without donors. Peter Damian (talk) 09:27, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
PS I note with amusement that "Der Artikel „Geschichte der Logik“ existiert nicht in diesem Wiki" on de:Wikipedia. Peter Damian (talk) 09:38, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Try this: Logik#Geschichte_der_Logik - it's not that we Germans were just obsessed with sex and had nothing to say about logic. :-) --Proofreader (talk) 15:52, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Thank you. There were many great German logicians. I note with interest that the article on Duns Scotus (an English logician) [6] is far better than the one on the English Wikipedia. How shaming. Peter Damian (talk) 16:55, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
(conflicted) Speaking of 'community', I agree with TheDJ. Moreover, I wonder which "virtual head" will fall next. I always praised wiki for being an uncensored node of knowledge, but it seems that even the ancient paintings in Pompei are at risk. And what about the Kim Phuc's picture ? Has it to be considered pedopornography ? Are we starting to use fig leaves to cover our statues, like Pope Clement XIII used to ? Oh, and besides, no Damien, the ultimate responsibility does not lies with Wikipedia, just like the responsibility for floor cleaners doesn't lie on Mister Clean, if your child drinks it and ends up to the hospital. It's you, as a parent, who is responsible, and if you're not I don't have to pay for your lack of skill by not having the possibility of a complete information obviously, I'm not talking of YOU Damien, but in general. For God's sake, what should we expect next ? Do we have to censor all the medical encyclopedias and history books as well, from now on ? ––Webwizard (talk) 09:40, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
As stated above, I have no problem with such subject matter being treated in a responsible and encyclopedic way. The problem was with many of the images which were just prurient and unencyclopedic. On 'responsibility', well I know Wikipedia well enough to warn my children against it. The problem is that most parents simply believe it is an encyclopedia, rather than an amateur porn repository, host to pornography projects and promotion by the porn industry &c. This is why it is good that the BBC are reporting this issue. Another way I may exercise my responsibility is to warn school boards and in particular the body which is responsible for all web content in Anglican schools across the UK (which is an awful lot) of what Wikipedia is really like. Then access to schools would be forbidden - which is what many of the 'free culture' brigade probably want, anyway. Note, however, that it would be considerably more difficult to attract funding if a school ban were widespread in the UK and US. Peter Damian (talk) 11:22, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Mr. Wales, can you take a look at Commons:Pornography, improve it, and perhaps adopt is an official guidelines. --Tyw7  (☎ Contact me! • Contributions)   Changing the world one edit at a time! 14:50, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Could we please try to have a sensible, objective, and calm discussion on this? I think it is clear that there are different opinions as to where to draw the line between pornography and obscenity on the one hand and encyclopedic information about sexuality on the other. A taliban member might find every picture of women offensive and obscene showing even her face while on the other hand extreme libertines may think that even hardcore depictions of masturbations or sexual intercourse can have an educational value. Everybody obviously has his or her own opinion on this. So, where would wikipedia draw the line, then? I think that the only reasonable way to do this is to have a discussion on commons/wikipedia involving the whole community and to exchange the pro and cons. We have the Miller test that can be used as some sort of a guideline in such a discussion. After such a discussion we may reach an agreement that picture A is suitable while picture B isn't. What does not work is to use one's own power to simply delete everything which in one's own subjective interpretation is offensive or obscene, in particular, if such deletions include masterpieces of art like those of Baron von Bayros and others. Jimbo, I hope, you are willing to participate in a joint discussion where to draw the line and to accept that your personal judgement cannot be the norm for the wikipedia. If you think that you have the best arguments than try to convince the community. If you don't dare to participate in such a discussion - is it because you don't trust your own arguments in the end? --Proofreader (talk) 15:41, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure why you might think that I wouldn't "dare" to participate in such a discussion. I do so every day. :-)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:31, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
I find the COPINE scale much more useful than the Miller test. Then apply current law and precedents, as well as "I know it when I see it" (Potter test). - Stillwaterising (talk) 04:04, 14 May 2010 (UTC)