Fox News: Wikipedia abandons efforts to purge porn from online encyclopedia
Fox News writer Perry Chiaramonte published an article detailing Wikipedia's alleged abandonment of its fight to remove pornography. The article features comments from Wikipediocracy co-founders and banned Wikipedians Gregory Kohs and Eric Barbour; the latter asserted that most Wikipedia administrators are "young males who don’t write any content ... and love to fight among themselves", adding that to them, Wikipedia is "a giant video game, not an 'encyclopedia'". They also noted that Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia user page) deleted hundreds of images several years ago, only to have them undeleted and re-added. Fox News noted that the Wikimedia Foundation board did begin to try to solve the problem, but efforts were dropped after a consensus was not reached.
Wales did indeed remove images from the site and made a call for the foundation to implement a "personal image filter"; in May 2011, the Board of Trustees unanimously voted 10-0 in favor of the filter. But protests against the decision led the board to reverse its decision. The board ultimately canceled any plans for an image filter, leaving pornography freely available to all site visitors.
Wikimedia Foundation spokesman Jay Walsh conceded that the board currently is not taking any steps to remove pornographic images, saying "This was a major discussion within our community. Thousands [about 24,000] of users contributed to the process. Ultimately, our board declared that the results of this referendum were inconclusive, and that no single system would be effective, nor was there consensus about the need for the system."
The article concludes with Walsh noting that Wikimedia Commons sees hundreds of images added and deleted on a minute-by-minute basis, and that inappropriate images—be they copyright violations or potentially illegal—are removed by volunteers quickly, sometimes instantaneously, calling it part of the “normal, daily process on our project."
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