back to article Wikifounder reports Wikiparent to FBI over 'child porn'

Update: This story has been updated to show that Larry Sanger now says that the images in question do not depict real people and to include additional legal clarification. And it was later updated a second time with additional clarification about federal law 18USC 2258A, which requires electronic service providers to notify the …

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  1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  2. Adam Williamson 1
    FAIL

    lolicon

    The email makes a passing reference to 'lolicon', which if correct - I don't know, I haven't looked at whatever material he's reporting or made any attempt to find it - would mean he's reporting material that falls under the Orwellian definition of porn which is currently in vogue: i.e., completely made-up drawings are just as bad as actual photographs/videos. (This because 'lolicon' is usually used to refer to manga featuring sex involving characters who are fairly obviously intended to be under-age). Never mind the rather scary implications of this theory (are murder novels the same as snuff videos, now?), surely this makes the London 2012 logo highly illegal?

    Sigh.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      you're

      You're wasting your breath/key strokes. There is no logic or reason here just idiocy and, distraction.

      Saying "We care about children" whilst spending many times more money fighting "terrorism" and bombing little brown people then on giving kids out of school activities or correctly training teachers to spot signs of abuse and creating a viable mechanism for investigation, intervention and, rehabilitation.

      Far easier to ban fantasy and randomly lock people up (giving your over paid filth something to make them look good whilst your social services and teaching professions collapse.)

      Society doesn't give a damn about children.

    2. Pablo
      Thumb Up

      Bingo

      It's not real. In my experience, almost all internet savvy people know the difference. That Larry would act as if he doesn't is... interesting. It sounds to me like he's just out to get Wiki(p|m)edia.

      Respect for Wikipedia +1

      Respect for Citizendium -5

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's constitutionally protected speech (yes really!)

      Adam Williamson: basically, yes, it would seem that this is about drawings. Which means that, as Mike Godwin has pointed out, Larry Sanger is totally misunderstanding the law. Drawings are not just covered under an entirely seperate section of the law (1466A) but are also not illegal unless they meet the legal definition of obscenity. The US Supreme Court has ruled that non-obscene sexual drawings of underage kids are protected by the First Amendment. In fact, I think they had to make this ruling twice in order to make it clear they weren't kidding.

  3. henchan
    Joke

    Godwin

    Wikimedia's lawyer Godwin, went on to equate Sanger's accusations to "Nazi propaganda". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law

  4. Armus Squelprom
    Thumb Up

    I love this guy

    Because Jimbo Wales obviously hates and resents him.... :o)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing but a troll

    Take a look at Wikimedia's pedophilia and lolicon categories, they're just drawings. There's nothing remotely explicit, and some of them border upon parody.

    Still, can't be too sure - I saw footage a while back showing a paedophile disguised as a school in Sheffield. Chilling stuff.

  6. Gregory Kohs
    Alert

    Wikimedia is tax-exempt porn server

    Here's what most of the comments seem to be missing. If you look at the top 25 most-viewed images on Wikimedia Commons, they are not "made-up drawings", and many of them are themed as such:

    5 Category:Shaved genitalia (female) 231062 views

    6 Category:Vulva 204043

    11 Penis 129794

    12 Category:Female genitalia 115613

    13 Category:Ejaculation 107525

    14 Category:Sex positions 107061

    16 Category:Vagina 98422

    17 Category:Erotic 95543

    18 Category:Oral sex 92525

    19 Category:Masturbation 92416

    21 Category:Penis 90955

    22 Category:Female masturbation 85930

    23 Category:Sex 84217

    25 Category:Male masturbation 77042

    The evidence clearly indicates that what Commons is, is a porn gallery server. Why is it that my government allows Google, Omidyar Network, Hewlett Foundation, Stanton Foundation, and Sloan Foundation to ENJOY A TAX BREAK when they donate money to this particular porn gallery? The fact that the Wikimedia Foundation is allowed to operate as a 501-c-3 "charity" makes me puke a little in my mouth.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      So what?

      Are any of those images of pre-pubescent people? Otherwise, it is just the usual stuff of any sex manual or medical text book.

      There is nothing wrong with adult pornography except in the dirty minds of some people. There are even some people who want children to know nothing about sex until they are 21, so that they can exploit them more easily (such as some infamous Catholic priests).

    2. Squirrel
      WTF?

      not really

      "makes me puke a little in my mouth." - I've never had that unless I'm ill. Maybe you should see a doctor.

      Listing qty of pics in a category isn't really much evidence is it? I had a quick look at the penis category and it's mostly medical or information orientated. I'm sure there's quite a few porn like images in there somewhere put it's a tiny percentage of the whole, and as a public image bin I'm not surprised. They do monitor posts but only for illegal images - sometimes some illegal images slip thru' and have to be reported by a third party. No one is perfect.

      Wiki commons is anything but a porn server.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Pint

      Tax Exempt Porn

      Yeah, so? What's wrong with that? My favorite porn site is also tax exempt. In fact I've been meaning to donate this year. It's another site Reg readers may be familiar with, in that it hosted the infamous Girls (Scream) Aloud story.

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/06/obscene_publication_girls_aloud/ http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/06/29/obscenity_trial_off/

    4. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Nakedness = porn?

      "The evidence clearly indicates that what Commons is, is a porn gallery server."

      And you are the idiot who thinks that nakedness = porn. Obviously you haven't seen real porn or you are also a hypocrite. Religiousness goes without saying with both.

      Tell me, are you by any chance a muslim, too?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        You're completely right - and a total idiot.

        "Tell me, are you by any chance a muslim, too?"

        I hate people who manage to arrive at the correct conclusion on matters of liberty while remaining monumental bigots. What you said was offensive, and before you start, no, I don't believe in any sort of god. I do believe in fighting mindless discrimination, though. Leave Muslims and the religious out of this, it's painfully irrelevant. If the man's arguments are weak, point that out, and leave it at that. Instead you stoop even further than he has. Stop giving liberty a bad name. Go over to the idiot fringe of the right wing, where you'll find a few like-minded people.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    as I see it.

    Does this mean that he reported the images to Wikipedia w/ cc: fbi back in 2008? Or did he just collect URLs and when he 'got enough', forwarded them to the fbi? If the former, then the fbi should be able to determine if the images were removed and/or reported. If the latter, then common carrier (or whatever its called for hosting providers) comes into play and by not informing Wikipedia, Sanger let them off of the hook.

  8. Sureo
    Flame

    @Gregory Kohs

    Maybe we should eliminate training on these subjects to doctors too? After all, we can't allow students in university to pursue porn as a subject of study. And no more examinations either.

    Denying these topics as knowledge to anyone is as idiotic an idea as I can imagine. If some people want to treat it inappropriately, so what? Let's take the high road, folks.

    1. Gregory Kohs
      Coat

      Sorry you're unable to "get" this

      The problem is that there is no level of child protection on either end.

      On the upload end, photos of children in compromised situations and poses are uploaded frequently, and even if they are "deleted", they are still available to volunteer administrators -- some of whom are... wait for it... children!

      On the user/viewer end, Wikipedia's trustees often tout the usefulness of Wikipedia in schools. I have heard Jimmy Wales say that he's happy to hear if 10- or 12-year-olds are "just doing research" that might include a stop at Wikipedia. Well, I for one don't want the 10- to 12-year-old kids in my school district that my property taxes pay for "researching" this at their school library:

      http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Model_in_bondage.jpg

      Thumb me down all you want, you Free Culture types with no kids and no jobs and no substantial tax contributions to your governments.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Assumptions?

        Yes let's all pretend everyone has sex only after they get married in a very <insert your belief here> way and then only in the missionary position, fully clothed and with a bed sheet in between.

        Let's not try to educate young people at all and of course no one ever does anything out of the ordinary because they like to. That would be bad.

        Not to mention anything else even slightly questionable, like reading up on <insert illegal substance here> and how it's made, chemical composition, after effects etc. Knowledge of such illegal things is obviously something only criminals would do.

        Oh and making assumptions about people and their tax contributions or lack thereof just makes you look like more of a tool.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Child version of wikipedia

        Even though I made the 'I'm so fed...' comments. I do agre with you on this point. I don't think wikipedia should cencored but maybe there should be a child safe version. I do belive that child safety on-line is important, by locking down were they can go an what they can see.... But that was not what this article was about.

      3. Squirrel
        Thumb Up

        wikip is not wikim

        Just thought I'd straighten that out for you. I even checked the bondage page on wikip for you. Yep your kids are safe!! (unless you count oil paintings (ca. 1630-1890) as subversive) - even though I'm quite sure searching for 'bondage' or having that in an URL wouldn't get through any school or parental firewall.

        Also there's nothing illegal about the image you linked (even in the UK).

        How much drilling did that take you to find?

        If you go looking for porn on the internet, you will find it. Is that a surprise?

        **** OMG think of the children **** I love that line (not literally). It's a wonderful escape all for people that can't look after their own and see demons in shadows. If your kids aren't educated enough to not go looking for this stuff then maybe you should monitor their internet use, or wait... teach them about sex so they're not curious about unknowns!

        "Thumb me down all you want, you Free Culture types with no kids and no jobs and no substantial tax contributions to your governments."

        Damn that ad hominem argument defeats me every time!! damn you! ;)

      4. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Wrong question

        "Well, I for one don't want the 10- to 12-year-old kids in my school district that my property taxes pay for "researching" this at their school library."

        So they cant buy "Bondage today" from their bookshop, can they?

        If they can, your whining is doomed before you started, it just labels you as a sensorship supporter. Tell me again: Who is letting 10 year olds in Internet without supervising?

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Paris Hilton

        GK Phail

        "The problem is that there is no level of child protection on either end."

        Because its not their responsibility to protect children. That is what we have parents for. Unless of course you think anysite which allows user interaction should be banned - I mean, on Flickr you can see pictures of womens ANKLES.... Seriously. They look pink and everything.

        "Well, I for one don't want the 10- to 12-year-old kids in my school district that my property taxes pay for "researching" this at their school library:"

        Oh Noes - children may learn something *you* dont approve of. What on Earth are we going to do?

        Where are you going to draw the line or is it simply that you, and lots of other people, are too lazy to properly supervise their children and want the internet to do that for you?

        Are you seriously so repressed that you find this stuff dangerous or harmful? I pity any children you may have.

        "Thumb me down all you want, you Free Culture types with no kids and no jobs and no substantial tax contributions to your governments."

        Blah, blah, patronising crap, blah. I have two children and a well paid job that puts me well and truly in the higher tax bracket and probably the top 5% of incomes.

        You, on the otherhand, are an uptight whiner moaning that people can see things you dont want them to on the internet. You should move to China.

        [Paris for obvious reasons]

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So fed up of this....

    I am so fed up of these types of discussions, about people with their own agenda's getting on the 'we can protect children by removing anything questionable, eg images etc involving children' bandwagon. They are the modern incarnations of Witch finder Generals with the same logic to some of their arguments. 'She weighs the same as a duck, she's a witch!'. Or pedo in this case...

    All this takes away focus from the really horrible things that are happening to children but don't have as much hysteria, because there is no sexual component. 3 cases in the UK recently, one being the baby peter case, the Khyra Ishaq case and the one yesterday, were two parents got just 12 months for neglecting Charlotte Moody. An 8 year old who was made to live in her own filth and in the end 'accidentally' hung herself.

    This frenzy over the hypothetical causes of potential sexual abuse, takes away focus and resources from detecting children who are being abused right now by their own families. Which I believe is a lot more conman than sexual abuse.

    It's the same dumb thing as the hysteria and lack of common sense surrounding the 'War on Terror'. Compare how many people are killed in terrorists attacks each year VS dying in car accidents, or from smoking. But there is no 'War on Cigarettes'.

    And all these people who say they are 'thinking of the children' by peddling this hysteria on one type of abuse should take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror....

    1. Josh 15
      Big Brother

      Fanning The Flames Of A Moral Panic

      It's also worth noting that while child salvationists in the 'charidee' sector and the public sector (step forward, CEOP) continue to gleefully fan the flames of a very profitable paedogeddon, the NSPCC themselves have admitted, in the wake of the Baby P scandal, that 80+ children are murdered every year in England & Wales by parents or carers. Just think about that. 'Trusted adults', not CEOP's beloved 'online predators' or 'stranger danger', but parents and guardians.

      While western societies tie themselves in moral knots over the heinous crime - the utter filth - of child nudity (which must now surely rank as one of the gravest threats to modern civilization if the levels of funding directed at fighting this 'global scourge' are anything to go by), children are busy being murdered not by paedomonsters, but by parents and guardians.

      Not that anyone seems to care about that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Unhappy

        Stranger Danger

        Even as a child I thought "stranger danger" was a bit of a myth.

        In the last decade how many incidents have there been of a random stranger abducting and abusing / killing a child. It may well be non-zero but does it come close to the number of incidents in which a trusted parent / carer does the same?

        The most ironic thing of it all is that when a parent or carer does kill/abuse a child we get even more laws to prevent stranger danger....

        Until there is a test and set of background checks before you can become a parent it is all pretty much pissing in the wind.... (albeit well funded pissing which is why the likes of CEOP want it to continue...)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Unhappy

          Stranger abductions

          What's conveniently forgotten is that the majority of "stranger abductions" (which, as you correctly point out, are rare enough in their own right) are carried out by women, for entirely non-sexual motives. (They are usually childless women with mental health issues, who intend to raise the child as their own.)

          But this simply doesn't sell as many newspapers as stories about a dirty old man hiding behind every bush, waiting to abduct your kids and use them for unimaginable sex acts.

          I'm just really glad I haven't got a son. The future will is not going to be a good time to be male.

      2. ph0b0s

        Paedogeddon!!!!

        Thanks Josh 15. I love that word. From now on all Register stories on this subject need that in the title...

        Any links to the info from the NSPCC. I made the original comment from a gut feeling, I had no idea the actual numbers were that bad. Now that definately could make someone vomit in their mouth a bit....

  10. Steven Walker

    Gee, thanks

    @Gregory Kohs

    I had never thought of searching wikipedia for free porn.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    a few facts

    The first page reported on is called Category:Pedophilia on Commons. Meaning Wikimedia contributors tagged those images as Pedophilia. Seems you don't have a problem with that. Yes, some of the images are of pre-pubescent children.

    The title of the law in question, 18 USC sect. 1466A, is: Obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children. This specifies 'a visual depiction of any kind, including a drawing, cartoon, sculpture, or painting'. The 'How current is this?' link says the law was adopted 5 Jan 2009, by a Democratic Congress for good measure

    Point is the law itself is specifically about depictions of child abuse that is not 'real'. If you complain about that, you're complaining about the law.

    FWIW Sanger claimed that he had not known that such content was not on Wikimedia servers until he saw it.

    Shortly after the report was made, a manga image of a girl on the Lolicon page was removed. It showed an obviously very young girl about to start performing fellatio. That is OK then?

    Nothing remotely explicit? That depends on your definition of 'explicit' I suppose. In any case they are depictions of child sexual abuse in progress.

    No one has whinged, 'What about the children?' The damage done is to societal standards of decency, that is if we have any left

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      The images must be obscene

      The law has additional requirements beyond just the images being "visual representations of the sexual abuse of children". They must either meet the legal definition of obscenity, or they must *both* depict specific acts *and* lack "serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value". These additional requirements are needed because the Supreme Court has thrown out previous laws as unconstitutional. If push comes to shove, there's a decent chance the second option this one offers prosecutors will be thrown out too because it's laxer than the usual obscenity standard.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Complain about the law?

      Don't mind if I do. At best it's a useless feel-good law invented as a face-saving maneuver after SCOTUS slapped down congresses prior attempt to outlaw virtual porn. At worst it's an end-run around the constitution dreamed up by the same cretin who hung curtains to protect us from the Spirit of Justice's boob.

      And no, it was not adopted last year, that says "passed by Congress AS OF Jan. 5, 2009", as of means on or before. It was in fact passed in 2003.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      Re-definition of pedophilia

      "It showed an obviously very young girl about to start performing fellatio. "

      A drawn character. Tell me again, what is the age of a drawn character?

      Not in your opinion (we know that and it's wrong), but as a provable fact.

      Hysteria has gone far too far when _drawings_ are "pedophilia".

      Name the persons involved, and when you can't, because those are not persons at all, but drawings, whine a lot anyway.

      Re-define pedophilia so it doesn't need _persons_ anymore, while you are at it.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Facts indeed

      "If you complain about that, you're complaining about the law."

      Yes, the law is an ass.

      Criminalising not-real images is a farce. Why not make it illegal for people to have impure thoughts of any description.

      "The damage done is to societal standards of decency, that is if we have any left"

      ROTFLMAO. Priceless.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Age matters

      "Shortly after the report was made, a manga image of a girl on the Lolicon page was removed. It showed an obviously very young girl about to start performing fellatio. That is OK then?"

      How old was she?

      Looks can be deceptive, which is why we have ID cards to get access to fun stuff like beer.

      I work with a woman who is 22 but would easily pass for 15 (she is tiny and youthful in appearence). If she put a school unform on and performed a sex act, what law is being broken?

      As others have said the problem with this idea of criminalising drawings as pedophilia is that a made up picture cant have an age. What if the drawing was simply of a 19 year old who looked a bit younger than her age. Should that be illegal?

      Fear of drawings / computer generated graphics is comical. At least with photographs it is likely that a *real* person has endured something horrific, but not with a drawing.

      Should we sentence anyone who draws a picture of a gun to jail for possession of a firearm?

      1. J-Wick
        Happy

        @AC with the underage-looking co-worker...

        "I work with a woman who is 22 but would easily pass for 15...."

        Can I have her number? I'll provide the school uniform...

        Gregory - thanks for that 'Model in Bondage' link. Most dirty sites are blocked by my netfilter at work. I didn't realize that such filth was available on Wikipedia - which isn't blocked.

        I'll... uhhh... be back in a few minutes...

  12. Mark .

    Re: a few facts

    "Point is the law itself is specifically about depictions of child abuse that is not 'real'."

    So that's a long-winded way of saying it's about things which aren't depictions of child abuse. (And why do you put "real" in scare quotes?)

    "If you complain about that, you're complaining about the law."

    We are indeed complaining about the law. It's also fair game to criticise anyone who uses a corrupt law to push their obvious agenda. The fact that people can use a law against an organisation they have a grudge against, and against an online encyclopedia, the biggest encyclopedia in history, shows just how nuts the law is, if it really applies here.

    "Shortly after the report was made, a manga image of a girl on the Lolicon page was removed. It showed an obviously very young girl about to start performing fellatio. That is OK then?"

    Did you see it? Please report yourself to the nearest police station, to hand yourself over for the offence of downloading "child pornography", if that's what you think.

    (And if it's lolicon, there wasn't a girl at all - hint, cartoons aren't actually real, you know).

    "In any case they are depictions of child sexual abuse in progress."

    You mean "depiction of child sexual abuse in progress, that is not 'real'", which again, is a roundabout way of saying "they are not depictions of child sexual abuse at all".

  13. The Grump
    Paris Hilton

    Way to go, Gregory !

    OK, Gregory, I get what you are on about. If just ONE person uses the internet to post child porn, the internet must DIE ! Shut it down, all of it. Cell phones, too - child porn fairly flies between cell phones. Do away with the tele - it can be used to view child porn. The regular phone lines can send calls from pedos - it has to go. Cameras can be used to take child porn pictures - chain shut photography stores, and burn the cameras and film. GPS units can guide pedos to houses where children live - smash them. Typewriters and paper can be used to publish pedo stories - ban them. And finally, the japanese who are obcessed with pedo-style manga magazines - lets NUKE them again, and finish the job this time. [sarcasm off]

    This is why I puke a little in MY mouth, when I think about religeon.

    I accuse-th Gregory of being a witch. We shalt test him by dunking him underwater - if he floats, he's a witch, if he drowns, he's not a witch. Ah, religeon, so wonderful. [anger off]

    If we keep baning things just because some knucklehead abuses them, soon we will have nothing left. Paris, because after dealing with Gregory and his like, I need something pleasant to look at.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Hats off to the Grump

      Well said on all counts.

    2. Gregory Kohs
      Flame

      Way to go The Grump

      I liked how you spelled "religeon" and "obcessed" and "baning". Thanks for proving my point. Law-abiding taxpayers, for the most part, aren't commenting or thumb-voting here, because they have jobs to go to and families to raise, and they wouldn't want to BOTHER debating people who are afraid of "religeon".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Pint

        ohe noes

        Greg Kohs, the typo Nazi. Thats the best response you can come up with? Welcome to Fail.

        You might not realise this but people have holidays, for example I like to take two weeks off to coincide with the school Easter break. You see, despite your own personal leve of fail, I can have a job, raise a family - and - comment here.

        Are you impressed? I hope so.

        Ironically, you have only taken a side swipe at yourself here. You criticise others for only being able to comment / vote because they are unemployed with no social life or family. What is your excuse for commenting here?

        Nice work on the trolling though. Bravo.

  14. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    So no encyclpedias then?

    @Gregory Kohs, your arguments have no merit. The first argument, what images were viewed, just indicates people's preoccupation with sex. When I was in school, the encyclopedia had deep creases on any and every sex-related article, some of which even had photos or diagrams! That's right, by your logic this apparently proves the encyclopedia is just a porn book and should be removed from all schools and libraries! Don't forget about the dictionary, there's all kinds of dirty words in there. Sorry *YOU* are unable to get this, that there is nothing to get.\

    Your second argument -- well, perhaps underaged admins should not be reviewing incoming images if there really are that many "bad" ones coming in, but this really has nothing to do with what is on wikipedia at all.

    As for the main point of the article, IMHO having any collections of pornography on Wikimedia is inappropriate. Is the lolicon content on there illegal? I don't know, IANAL.. if it's all drawings, as a libertarian I don't think any painting, drawing, or fiction should ever be illegal, but the US has a lot of bad laws. But, legal or not, either way it should not be on there, that's really not in keeping with the content of wikimedia. (I would not think music albums, TV ads, movie trailers, books, etc. belong on there either even if they were released under a free license.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Gates Horns

      school kid porn

      You are correct. The school encyclopedias were permanently dog earred to the "good" pages. Then there were the National Geographic magazines... The "native" bare breasted women pictures accompanying some articles were *very* popular also. I know the time I took a black marker and drew brassieres on all the naked women' didn't go over well at all. (I wasn't being a prude, I was just a little bastard!)

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Sanger's revenge

    This looks very simple to me:

    Sanger hates his previous friends and invents anything to harm them.

    Not a nice guy by any measure.

  16. tyciol
    FAIL

    Larry

    Interesting dramaz man

  17. metasonix
    Pirate

    I wonder........

    ....How many of the anonymous fools above are actually David Gerard, attempting to put down Greg Kohs? Can't help wondering. (It's well within Gerard's MO, he loves to back-stab people from his armchair.)

    And oh, that "Tyciol" comment above?

    He was permanently banned from Wikipedia.....for pushing pedophilia.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Tyciol

    http://www.wikisposure.com/Tyciol

    http://www.encyclopediadramatica.com/Tyciol

    1. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      eh ? ? ?

      Who is David Gerard? Who, other than the uptight, somewhat repressed person posting in this thread, is Greg Kohs?

      1. Marcus Aurelius
        Grenade

        Gregory Kohs

        One wonders if he is the same person who tried to set up a business posting paid entries to Wikipedia and got slapped down by Jimmy Wales for it.

        The argument about the above isn't entirely black and white, but it does appear to have resulted in a long running campaign by Kohs v Wikipedia

  18. Ben Rosenthal

    Mike Godwin

    wouldn't want to get into a forum fight with him!!!

    anyway, can't chat, off for a quick wiki wank >.< :D

  19. JKS
    Megaphone

    A different approach

    The whole question of whether or not these images are "obscene" or promote pedophilia is academic. Obviously there are worse things on the internet, and most of those things are easily accessed by children (though perhaps not as easily as Wikipedia, which doesn't even have any age-limit disclaimer pages). And yes, obviously pedophiles can find far more explicit child-porn on other websites than they can on Wikipedia; IMO nobody seriously disputes that.

    The real issue with these images is that they act as a kind of "signal" to pedophiles that Wikipedia is friendly to them, and to would-be pornographers in general. (Wikipedia's coverage of pornography is astoundingly comprehensive, especially for a site claiming to be a general-purpose information reference.) It also acts as a signal to everyone else that maybe Wikipedia is NOT friendly to the vast majority of people who would never be seriously labeled "sexual degenerates."

    The danger is not to our kids; parents can usually handle that. The real danger is to our internets. Most people are really, really turned off by this stuff, and eventually it will go too far, inciting large-scale public reaction and forcing politicians to start changing laws. When they do, they're going to impose strict accountability and liability measures across the board, to all websites, not just to sites like Wikipedia that actually deserve to have such measures imposed.

    They're already talking about it. Even if they're not the worst offenders, it's long past time for the most prominent sites to start showing some backbone against pornographers, or we're all going to suffer the effects of their self-indulgence.

    1. PrivateCitizen
      FAIL

      Erm, no. Sorry.

      Wow, way to do the moral outrage with concern.

      Wikipedia is not "paedophile" friendly. There is no "signal" that it condones criminal behaviour and certainly not simply because it contais bios and descriptions of Porn related topics. I cant imagine for one second that anyone is going to upload a picture involving a real live child (for example) to wiki simply because its too easy to trace the source (and I am not going to look because that would make me a criminal as well).

      This spoiled the attempt at balanced concern:

      "(Wikipedia's coverage of pornography is astoundingly comprehensive, especially for a site claiming to be a general-purpose information reference.) "

      Wikis coverage of any topic is an indicator of how people are interested in it. Its coverage of most things is astoundingly comprehensive - which simply indicates the broad spectrum of public interests - which is about right.

      The problem is *you* dont like porn and dont think it should be covered, so *you* have decided it is not suitable for a general purpose encyclopedia. It is blatantly obvious that *most* people do not think of wiki as a porn respoitory and they are certainly not stopping using it as a result.

      I dont understand your final point - are you saying that to prevent censorship, wiki should censor itself? Doesnt that defeat the purpose?

      Not liking porn, or being weirdly offended by cartoons, is not grounds to claim moral rights over Wikipedia. If the government of your country is so oppressive that they will ban wikipedia because it has some naughty pictures on then there is a bigger problem to sort out and maybe you need the Shah back.

  20. veeguy

    Devil's advocate

    So, if I draw a stick figure giving another stick figure giving a "pole polishing" , and I include a text label- "16 year olds having a go" I have created an illegal child porn picture? Wow, what is this world coming to?

    The Puritans have spoken, "you shall have no sex if we can help it!"

    Not the kind of world I want to consume MY porn in.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Larry Sanger replies

    Larry was raked over the coals by Slashdot. Here is his reply:

    http://www.larrysanger.org/ReplyToSlashdot.html

  22. Bryce 2

    Seriously?!?

    First off, let's get one thing straight. An image (whether real or a drawing) of a 16 year old doing the dance of the beast with two backs is not paedophilia. Paedophilia is the preference to have sexual relationships with PRE-pubescent children. Thus anyone who has gone through puberty cannot be the object of paedophilia (as long as said actions occur after puberty of course).

    Second, you cannot "encourage" paedophilia. There is a certain percentage of the population (and I'm fairly sure it's a small percentage) that are paedophiles. John Q Public does not wake up one day and go... hmmmm, I think I'll go molest some pre-pubescent children today (or download kiddie porn). It just doesn't happen. The vast majority of people do not enjoy it. Simple as.

    Third, all the crazy legislation that has taken place world wide with the moniker "Protect the Children" will not change anything in regards to paedophiles. You can't cure them, you can't rehabilitate them, it's just the way they're wired. What the government needs to be doing instead of wailing "think of the children" is to prevent these people from gaining easy access to children or materials. Ban them from the internet - for a start. Ban them from working with children. Stop sending people to jail for having a laugh over the Simpson cartoons and start doing something to actually prevent the people with the problem from gaining easy access to the sick stuff.

  23. Ben Rosenthal

    re: http://www.larrysanger.org/ReplyToSlashdot.html

    "Many people who criticized my message to the FBI really seem to have a problem with the law, which I find interesting"

    I find people who DON'T have issues with laws that are badly thought out and implemented interesting.

    Just to clarify, we are talking about crude depictions of things that did not actually take place to people that do not actually exist. No matter how distasteful the subject matter, this is essentially thought crime.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: "thoughtcrime"

    Some people say that the statute defines a "thoughtcrime," but this is wrong because unlike in the fictional world of 1984, it is not thought that is prohibited. It is the publishing of certain kinds of content, and the consequences of doing so, that really bother some of us.

    1. Pablo
      Thumb Down

      re: "thoughtcrime"

      But unlike regular obscenity laws (which are despicable enough) this law criminalizes not only publication, but mere possession of certain drawings. And drawings, just like words, are nothing but thoughts in fixed form. If you took the same bunch of pixels/ink rearranged them to represent a different thought would it still be illegal? Of course not.

      And so, I don't think it's unfair at all to call it a thoughtcrime.

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