Talk:Semen/Archive 2

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Semen image Discussion[edit]

User Richiex is a wikipedia exhibitionist, whose ejaculate is in the photograph[edit]

I think people are missing the real issue at play here - that the image must be removed for much more pressing reasons, no matter what relevent or irrelevent arguments can be made regarding issues of censorship or aesthetic. The truth of the matter is, the creator of the image is wikipedia user Richiex a user who is responsible for taking explicit images of his own body and putting them up on wikipedia. ( please refer to this section for his contributions, though I must warn that many are very visually explicit Comparisons of his body reveal that they are photographs of the same person, and that many of the images including the one for semen presently on this very article are "self-made." Disgusting.) What is occurring here is essentially useless bickering over an internet exhibitionist's attempt at trolling wikipedia possibly for his own sexual satisfaction. This is what makes this discussion pointless, and is the more pressing reason as to why the picture should be removed with a more clinical or detached image in its stead. -- 22:15, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

Also, please refer to this page, where users voice their opinions (both faceteous and abusive) and statements about user RichieX for more evidence of his wrongdoing. Also I would urge my fellow wikipedians to stop reverting the article when the image is taken down from now on. Please do not allow this travesty to continue any longer. -- 22:30, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

It is unclear to me why the motives of the person who created this image matter at all. We should focus on the merits of this image as a useful illustration of the subject matter at hand; we should not focus on the character of the image's creator. In this case, at least, this user has provided useful content to wikipedia, content that helps illustrate this article. As such, the picture should be allowed to stay. Interestingstuffadder 22:37, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

No, we should not, because as it stands the image undermines the credibility of wikipedia as a useful resource of information. Furthermore, if this is allowed, then what else? Do you believe that more users should take close-up photos of their fluids or explicit body parts to include in articles? I believe that wikipedia should strive to maintain a higher standard than be subject to scatological and perverse exhibitionist trolling. -- 22:44, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

I had a look at this user's contributions (an unpleasant task). Although they are a bit icky, several of the images could potentially serve a useful illustrative role and really arent dramatically unlike what one might find in a medical textbook. Thus, regardless of whether this person has some sort of sick exhibitionist fetish, it is unclear what is so fundamentally problematic about these potentially useful images. Interestingstuffadder 04:36, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

I feel like I'm talking to a brick wall here. Are you not registering any of this? People complained about the image on this article in the first place not merely because it was gross, but because it looked like some pervert ejaculated and took a photo of it. Lo and behold, it turns out that some pervert ejaculated and took a photo of it as part of a trolling attempt to flash his genitals around on wikipedia, and there is proof of this. This furthers the argument that the photograph should be removed for aesthetic concerns, as well as for concerns about quality standards regarding the less-than-admirable context in which the photo was taken. A more aesthetic image of less dubious origin would be recommended, although I have yet to see a reason for why there even needs to be an image of the fluid when a text description will suffice, much in the way that many actual encyclopedias and medical textbooks do. The bottom line is that exhibitionism under the guise of "helpful images" is still exhibitionism, making the already-disgusting image completely inappropriate for this article and for wikipedia. -- 08:29, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Your first sentence was a little problematic from the standpoint of wikipedia:civility. Beyond that, as I've said, I see your point. My problem is that even if this person's motives matter (I say they don't, this debate should be about the image and its place in this article and not the individual who uploaded it or what other images the individual may or may not have uploaded), your only evidence that this editor is an exhibitionist is the fact that he has uploaded images of his genitalia. The fact is, many of these images are potentially useful (and the one included on this article definitely is). I, for one, like to follow the letter of wikipedia policy where possible, and that policy tells me to wikipedia:assume good faith. Thus, in then absence of direct evidence that this guy is simply getting his jollies, I will assume that he is attempting to provide useful content in an area that is taboo. By your standards (assuming that a person who uploads pictures of his genitalia is an exhibitionist and a pervert), even an individual who provides the "more aesthetic image" would be a suspected pervert exhibitionist and thus any photo used to illustrate this article would potentially be of "dubious origin". Interestingstuffadder 16:09, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
If his motives are to show his genitals around Wikipedia, he has failed in this photo.
No credit is given to the photographer on the main article. One must click the image and follow another link to find the username of the uploader. The same was true for this talk page. If the user is really a troll and\or exhibitionist, crediting his works and linking to more of the same is only going to spur him.
The fact is that he has not received any warnings about content, only one of his contributions has been removed. Most comments on his page are childish attacks from anonymous users, and most of those were done in the past month, when this discussion really got heated up.
If you have issues with the image, go to Wikimedia Commons and make you case for deletion there. Prometheus-X303- 17:43, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
The fact is that several, if not all, of his pics were nominated for deletion from WikiCommons, and he doesn't have a user page, so someone clearly created one for him simply to leave their sarcastic comments. There's clearly no reason for people to attempt to reason with him because someone who doesn't have a user page is obviously not interested in feedback nor being part of the Wiki community. I take issue at the implication that my comments about this pic have been simply childish trolling, but that's clearly all you've gathered from what I thought was well thought-out commentary. Hello, Prometheus. I don't respect you as an editor at all, and you bully-pulpit pornography lowers the credibility of Wikipedia. <spetz>. 04:31, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

"No credit is given to the photographer on the main article. One must click the image and follow another link to find the username of the uploader. The same was true for this talk page. If the user is really a troll and\or exhibitionist, crediting his works and linking to more of the same is only going to spur him." You're effectively silencing criticism of the image. I believe the point is that having the image there at all spurs him. "The fact is that he has not received any warnings about content, only one of his contributions has been removed." Most of his images are still in wikipedia commons but I visit the articles where they were originally posted as "reference images" and they are no longer there apparently. "Most comments on his page are childish attacks from anonymous users, and most of those were done in the past month, when this discussion really got heated up." Several images were put up in november 2006. The snarky comments on the talk page go as far back as september of 2005. "If you have issues with the image, go to Wikimedia Commons and make you case for deletion there." It's been marked for deletion recently apparently. But that's neither here nor there - why is the image up here at all? -- 05:13, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Drive-by comments go here[edit]

-The image linked from this article who's encyclopedic merit is currently being discussed appears to be consistent with my own semen. The colour is very similar, and the quantity seems about right. Barring a test for texture consistency, the image does appear to be an accurate representation of the topicality, and is therefore encyclopedic in nature by virtue of being an accurate representation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Get that disgusting image of your semen on a couch off the entry. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Fallom (talkcontribs)

Did someone jack off and take a picture afterwards? Someone had to to get an image like that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Would this qualify as "original research"? And if so, is there conceivably a way to get school credit for this research? -- 03:06, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

That photo is how most of us see semen so it works for me! That, or it dripping off Jenna Jamson's face. Ronnierosenthal 12:02, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

The wikipedia entry for blood only has close-ups of microscopic blood cells. Why is it so utterly imperitive that people be made to see what semen actually looks like? -- 23:02, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Of course it's not "imperative". But why shouldn't we see a picture of it? I see a lot of people on this page demanding the removal of the picture, but their arguments are to me completely unconvincing. -- 20:46, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

You just shot yourself in the foot. If it's not pressing to see the image, then why should it be here at all? -- 21:54, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

Because a picture says more than a thousand words. I can absolutely imagine people coming to this article wondering what semen looks like, and I can imagine a picture of real-life semen being helpful and informative. When we have a section of the article specifically discussing the appearance and consistency of semen, I think it would be downright silly not to include an image if one is available. That said, I don't think the currently used picture is optimal; both the color and consistency would probably be clearer with a lighter background and better lightning. I haven't really followed the discussion here, but I'm surprised noone has taken the matter into their own hands, so to speak, and produced a superior image. It's not like it'd be hard work... *shrugs* MMad 00:36, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Semen in a beaker or a vile would be acceptable but a splashed wad of it on a couch? How low do people here want to sink? Revolting almost to a pathetic level. This is a complete joke. The person who left the image is off giggling to himself somewhere. Quadzilla99 08:05, 5 January 2007 (UTC)


As suggested by another user, I have considered linking the image instead of prominently displaying it on the page. It will look like this: {{linkimage|Semen2.jpg|Photograph of human semen}} If this is an acceptable compromise, please say so, or go ahead and make the change. Prometheus-X303- 16:24, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Acceptable compromise - man I wrote for a while to find that my whole spiel was preempted by this proposal, which I am glad to cast my vote in favor of. I think that we need to wait a while and let people pipe up or any bold change will be reverted.  Erielhonan  16:40, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
  • In the meantime, I will put in a request for a better image. Prometheus-X303- 17:03, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

-- I'm game. That's a lot more reasonable than how it is now. If I knew how to link it like that, I'd do it myself. 19:32, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, not acceptable. Wikipedia is not censored. Also this image is not anything offensive or obscene. We have had extensive discussions about this before, and there consesnsus has continually been that thre is no editorial reason for removing the image. Semen is a bodily fluid like a variety of others. What I have asked for before is someone to volunteer to give us a picture of a sample in a petri dish, or such. Something that is clinical. Current consensus is to leave the image alone until we have a better image to replace it. Atom 20:17, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Comments: 1) the censorship argument is trumped by the unencyclopedic argument. We need to address the image's real usefulness and ability to add value to the article (without detracting from the article) before we can apply a censorship metric to it. Otherwise you could post anything - literally ANYTHING - to any article and claim that 'no censorship' applies. Which would be absurd. 2) it's my understanding that consensus was not about this image, it was about another. 3) if you look at the discussion history, there is NO consensus, but a wide variety of arguments against the image and a narrow but vocal contingent for the image. Erielhonan 20:37, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Response 1) What us uncyclopedic about it, if you don't mind me asking? This is an encyclopedia, and it is an accurate picture of the topic. I think what you mean is that we as editors have to make decisions beyond censorship regarding an article and it's quality within the encyclopedia. That has been the thrust of our discussions previously. There is nothing obscene or innaccurate about the image. We've all agreed before that we would like a better image. Since there is nothing really wrong with this image, we choose to use it until a better one comes along (so to speak). 2) The previous discussion (see archives) was about another image, that was by consensus changed to this image, as it is a better image. 3) The people who have come along after the consensus have splattered a variety of views on the talk page. The people who understood that there was a consensus did not feel the need to continue the argument ad nauseum, since a consensus had been reached. Random people stop by from time to time to remov the image, some of which add something on the talk page.
So far no one seems to give any compelling reason as to why the image should not be there. No one claims that is it not, in fact semen. No one claims that it is offensive, or obscene. (except for the people who feel any picture of semen would offend them) Consider the comments just recently added "it looks slimy", "splattered on the wall or floor by eighy bajillion freaktoads". I ask for someone to donate an image in a petri dish, or a or more clinical background, and no one has offered. Semen is usually delivered by ejaculation, so it is no surpise that the image looks like someone ejaculated it. That is normal biology, there is nothing obscene about that. It certainly does have the redeeming value that if someone wants to know what semen looks like, the image displays that accurately and clearly. That doesn't seem unencyclopedic to me. Atom 22:10, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

-- The thing is, that's a really bad picture of human semen. It looks slimy, and the initial reaction is that it's on a *wall*. Plus, that seems to imply that all semen should look like that, and as we all know, that isn't the case. This is a reference work. If someone were to come looking here, and see that picture, and compare that to their lover's semen, they'd probably freak out because their lover's semen looks different. I mean, for all anyone knows, the semen in that picture is abnormal and diseased. Where did that picture come from? How do we know it's just one person's semen, or that it's even human or semen? It could be bird droppings for all anyone knows.

If there are going to be pictures of human semen, then there need to be several, for comparison. And for gawds sake, they should be in test tubes or petri dishes or something so you get an idea of what the normal range is, not splatted on the wall or floor or someone's body by eighty bajillion horny freaktoads. 20:25, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

sorry, had to add a link to your comment to illustrate what you meant by 'eighty bajillion horny freaktoads', and to illustrate how there is a place for porn in Wikipedia, just not in articles on scientific topics. Erielhonan 20:42, 3 December 2006 (UTC), would you prefer dried semen? Fresh semen is slimy. Prometheus-X303- 21:39, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

The fact that someone wants to linkimage the image shows that people don't have a problem with it accurately depicting what ejaculated semen looks like, but feel that the image is somehow not proper for people to see. It has been described as "yucky", and "slimy", but it is an accurate representation. There are no people in the image, an nothing to indicate anything other than a neutral setting. How could it be obscene, or offensive if there is nothing taking place, and no one in the image? It is just an image of ejaculated semen. Some may be offended that it looks like it is ejaculated, but that is normal biology. Semen is ejaculated about 100 Million times a day on earth. You'd think that an encylopedia article that showed a picture of semen post ejaculation would be pretty ordinary. Atom 22:15, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, I do not see how this picture is encyclopedic. Would a picture of a random weirdo's semen be placed in a print encyclopedia? Of course not. This does not belong on this page even if it does illustrate the topic. Does different ways to murder people have pictures of these techniques? Does the page for menstrual blood have a random woman's used tampon on it? No. Common sense should dictate whether a picture is posted. The picture needs to be removed, and if this is the best that can illustrate this topic, then there should be no picture. Rockules318 23:13, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree with Atom. It is what it is: semen. Many of the photos on Wikipedia will evoke thoughts and images in the minds of viewers. What those thoughts are can't be helped. I'm going to attempt to address some arguments:
  • the censorship argument is trumped by the unencyclopedic argument

Which definition of encyclopedic are you referring to?
  • Otherwise you could post anything - literally ANYTHING - to any article and claim that 'no censorship' applies. Which would be absurd.

A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say. The photo is an accurate depiction of human semen.
Yes, it would be absurd to post ANYTHING to an article. There is no reason to post a photo of an elephant on the semen article, and no good reason to use a picture of a pornographic "come shot". However, this is not just anything. It is a photo of semen on the semen article. It is concisely on subject.
  • if you look at the discussion history, there is NO consensus, but a wide variety of arguments against the image and a narrow but vocal contingent for the image

There may have been a larger number of arguments against the images, but they are lacking in variety. The vast majority of them personally found the images "gross" or "disgusting", but could offer no other justification for removal. It cannot be said enough that Wikipedia is not censored. To do so would severely limit it's ability to convey knowledge.
  • that's a really bad picture of human semen. It looks slimy, and the initial reaction is that it's on a *wall*.

According to photographic standards, it's not a bad picture. The subject is the main focus of the image. Nothing else can be seen except a pattern from the surface. Semen is slimy until it dries, so the fact that it looks that way is accurate as well. Where the "sample" might be might be in question, but again, it isn't the focus of the photo.
  • Plus, that seems to imply that all semen should look like that, and as we all know, that isn't the case.

Implies that all semen should look like what? If you don't think this is a typical sample of semen, tell us what it should look like. I've seen human ejaculate before: My own, scientific documentaries, and pornography, and none of it is any different as far as can be seen compared to this photo.
  • Would a picture of a random weirdo's semen be placed in a print encyclopedia

A print encyclopedia would either have a professional photographer or be able to secure the rights to other images.
  • Does different ways to murder people have pictures of these techniques?

Is there such an article on Wikipedia?
I proposed the linkimage because the photo will just keep getting deleted by other users. This way, it will still be available to anybody that wishes to see it. However, my main choice is to keep the image until something more clinical is contributed.
I believe what needs to be determined is what does "encyclopedic" really mean? Prometheus-X303- 23:28, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Look at the pictures for similar topics. Does the urine page have a picture? Does the article for tampons have a picture of a used tampon? Does the picture of toliet paper have a picture of how it is used? Really, what is the need of a picture attached to this article? Rockules318 23:37, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
So your argument is that since some articles don't have a picture of their topics, none should? Or because there is no bloody tampon picture, or an illustration of an ass being wiped? Really. It's hard to tell where you're going with this. Prometheus-X303- 23:42, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
That picture has GOT to go. It's absurd. Somebody blew their load on a wall and now they're getting off on it being the "official" Wikipedia pic of semen. If that's ok, then HOW ABOUT a sample in a petri dish? Basically, there is a clear sexual tone to that pic, and it's unnecessary. Semen should be displayed in the contextually appropriate manner. If the topic is "how semen looks on a wall" then that pic is fine. But for this category, it should be in a neutral setting, such as a laboratory cup or dish. It shouldn't be in a frying pan, it shouldn't be in someone's hand, etc. The context of the subject is JUST AS SIGNIFICANT as the the subject. The setting/context should be neutral, otherwise it overshadows the subject. I see that photo and I first laughed, but it's honestly disgusting and ridiculous. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 03:18, 5 December 2006 (UTC).
Of course we should have an image, and value judgments such as "weirdo" and "slimy" are really unhelpful. I believe a minimum requirement of encyclopaedic content is that it should accurately depict the subject (verifiably so). To put it another way, it should depict a typical sample or one of the more common varieties. This photo does not do that. I have seen a few editors above mention that this is an accurate and "not bad" picture - you're joking right? Can you not see that a large proportion of the sample is black and a rather unhealthy shade of gray? Have you tried adjusting the contrast on your monitor? The main argument for keeping this picture is that a picture of semen. It's not. It's like a picture of herpes or something. I challenge anyone to provide a link to a picture of semen which looks like this. We should be discussing the other picture, because discussion over that image concerns whether censorship should apply; the discussion over this picture additionally includes a dispute about its accuracy. -- zzuuzz (talk) 00:09, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm guessing Zzuuzz is female and VERY unfamiliar with semen. There is nothing abnormal about the sample shown here. Semen is not of uniform consistency, and ranges from clear to completely white. Against this grey background, the clear portions might appear to be black or grey, but that could easily be resolved by including a caption or more images against a variety of backgrounds. There's nothing particularly wrong with this image, and it should certainly stay unless someone has a better image. --Robb0995 03:37, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
The semen is not black. Rather, portions have begun to turn clear, and semen does as it cools. The smaller spots cooled faster, therefore turned clear faster. Prometheus-X303- 14:16, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

This is, by far, one of the most hilarious discussion pages I've read in quite some time. So much time and overwraught diction from wikinerds wasted on justifying the inclusion of a very disgusting image so that "people know what semen looks like." I'm pretty sure we don't need to see low-quality photos of human bodily fluids to understand scientific descriptions of them. If someone really wants to find out what semen looks like, they can just google up a porn site for pete's sake - they're also likely to find higher quality photographs in the process (to paraphrase the late Bill Hicks "some of this stuff is ART") and a greater variety of spunk. Why someone needs visual reference for semen, much less such a gross one is beyond me, but there you go. Also, I've just been laughing my ass off at the possible idea that this photo was taken by some random (and possibly exhibitionist) wikipedia user in the name of "open source" imagery. Keep fighting over that spunk, fellas! -- 19:57, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

This is ridiculous[edit]

Okay, going back to my older argument, why doesn't someone here peel back a cuticle till it bleeds and post a photo of it on the blood page? Or shoot a snot rocket into the kitchen sink and post that on the nasal mucus page. Heck, if wait till you have a nosebleed you could get double-duty out of the second photo! Now that's some encyclopedic value for ya! I mean, they ARE what the article is talking about. So let's do it! Who cares about referential quality? Not us! We just edit an encyclopedia.

The brave defenders of the first amendment can win this as far as I'm concerned. I'm sick of it. I'm gonna stop watching this issue before someone posts a photo of a bottle of hand cream to augment the the current image line-up. It kinda looks like semen too, you know. Erielhonan 00:42, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, there is a picture a blood on the blood page. And there is no picture of snot on the nasal mucus page yet, but why shouldn't there be? (and you forgot the "pus" page.) As for hand cream, well the difference is that the current photo is really semen, and hand creme would not be semen. This is the semen article, which is the place where discuss semen. If you are fed up, why not get us a photo of semen in a petri dish, like we have asked for? Atom 01:13, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

On the urine page, for example, it doesn't show a picture of some guy's piss on the floor, in the toilet, in the sink, in a glass, or anything of the sort. It shows it in a vial. That's the sort of thing that we need here. The horse semen image doesn't involve some horny animal spraying its seed all over the place and then having a picture taken of it. But, it seems to be a-ok for you to have this random guy's semen close-up all over the page. I think that because we already have the horse semen picture, we should either remove the human semen picture, or move it near the bottom and reduce the size (as it was before) until a better picture is obtained. Kirvett 06:51, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

OK, I've decided to move the image, same size, down the page a little bit. Not to the bottom, either. The reasons for this are clear. First off, there's no real reason to have two pictures stacked right on top of each other and then a mountain of text-- spaced out images are better from a page layout point of view. The second reason is that no matter anyone else can say, a huge image of some freshly spewn semen on a couch will elicit a shock from people browsing when the page is loaded. A better image might affect some more prude people, but not as much as this one. Compare this to the Penis article, where an anatomical diagram is displayed first, and then a picture of a penis later on. You can revert if you feel you must, but be prepared to defend yourself here. Kirvett 07:27, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

OK, I'm reverting and defending myself. In the Penis article, the images are appropriate to the sections in which the images are located. You moved this image to a random location within the text and it had no relationship to its new location. If the image is so shocking, what exactly makes it less shocking if you get halfway through the article before you see it? That seems to be the only basis for the move and it's been extensively discussed here. I didn't count, but are you at the 3 reversions yet on this? --Robb0995 07:41, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
No, I'm not if you look at what I edited. I was going to attempt a compromise, but since that doesn't seem to go, I vote that this unencyclopedic image should be removed until a better one is found. People such as Atomaton keep mentioning a supposed consensus, but the only consensus that I see in the archives is one in his own mind, and maybe a spartan couple of other people, who happen to have enough time to revert every time anything is changed and counter every argument that is posted in the discussion.
Seeing as this article is about "Semen", it's perfectly acceptable that an image of "semen" could go anywhere. The image on the penis page was a bit more specific (erection). Kirvett 07:48, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure if you read the archived talk pages on this matter (I think you might be jumping to conclusions based on the very recent discussion here). Also, I'm not sure if you looked into the larger discussion on sex-realted images (sorry, I don't know how to properly link to it, but here is the URL: ). I realize that this is a work-in-progress, but it seems to make a lot of sense and this image fails to violate the policy as-is (except the self-image rule which is wholly without discussion and really isn't the key issue here the way a masturbation pic might be). I'm just saying, that there's seems to be a lot of history here and it's not right to just jump in and start editing (repeatedly, I might add). --Robb0995 07:59, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Alright, well, I can accept most of that. But I did see the "no self-made image" rule-- surely, there must be an applicable GFDL or public domain image somewhere? (BTW, if you look at that user's contributions you'll see a few dozen other pictures of his penis, him masturbating, and so on. Just thought it was funny. ) Kirvett 08:31, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Again, I agree with Atom. Some articles lack photographs of their subjects, but probably should include them. On the other hand, other article do have images. See: human feces, vagina, foreskin, penis, labium, anus and others. In these, the subject of the pictures are accurate representations of the subjects of their articles. No doubt some people see them as gross, but that doesn't make the unencyclopedic.

The image guidelines above are not policy, but guidelines. Maybe there is another images available, but so far nobody has provided one. In any case, you're not going to find an accurate representation that doesn't look like the one already in place, as it is a typical example.Prometheus-X303- 14:36, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

The two people who are fighting for this image still have not stated why an image that would not be in a print encyclopedia is needed here. Why does this, a product which offends so many, need to be illustrated? 18:04, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Let me answer that for you. We would have an image in Wikipedia that is not in a printed Encyclopedia because:

  1. Wikipedia "differs from a paper-based reference source in some very important ways. In particular, older articles tend to be more comprehensive and balanced, while newer articles may still contain significant misinformation, unencyclopedic content, or vandalism. Users need to be aware of this in order to obtain valid information and avoid misinformation which has been recently added and not yet removed. (See Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia for more details). However, unlike a paper reference source, Wikipedia is completely up-to-date, with articles on topical events being created or updated within minutes or hours, rather than months or years for printed encyclopedias" ( See About Wikipedia) Wikipedia is not tring to emulate a paper encyclopedia, Wikipedia was trying, and has, surpassed a print encylopedia.
  2. Wikipedia has a disclaimer on the bottom over every page, which leads to (via one more link) Wikipedia:Content disclaimer, which states, among other things "Wikipedia contains many different images, some of which are considered objectionable or offensive by some readers. For example, some articles contain graphical depictions of violence, or depictions of human anatomy." AND "Wikipedia's current policy is to include such content, provided it breaches neither any of our existing policies...
  3. Wikipedia is NOT censored "Wikipedia may contain content that some readers consider objectionable or Wikipedia cannot guarantee that articles or images are tasteful to all users or adhere to specific social or religious norms or requirements. " and "some articles may include objectionable text, images, or links if they are relevant to the content "
  4. WIP Image Guidelines "The background or default behind Wikipedia as an encyclopedia is that it should document reality. Reality is uncensored. We want to do that in as non-offensive a manner as possible, but accuracy is most important. We don't/shouldn't/can't limit content based on the lowest common denominator of age, religious values, culture, etc."

You say "Why does this, a product which offends so many, need to be illustrated?" We wish to illustrate it because it is the article on Semen. I haven't hear anyone else say that it offends them. (They have said a variety of other things.) But first, it is not anyone's intention to offend you, and second, you are subject to the disclaimer that explicitly says "contains many different images, some of which are considered objectionable or offensive by some readers..." so it is not as if you haven't been warned. You could avoid offense by either just not reading articles, such as the semen article, or not read Wikipedia altogether if you wanted avoid the potential fo being offended.

Our chief concern is an editorial concern that the content of the article be informative and accurate. It is my editorial decision that an image of semen would be educational and informative. The image we have is of good quality, and generally represents what semen looks like well. It has the added benefit of appear that it has been ejaculated, the primary method of delivery for semen in humans, primates and mammals. Also, for some people (even though the scale is uncertain) give an indication as to the size/quantity/consistency a delivered load might be. I personally would like to have a more clinical image. Even though that may not illustrate ejaculation, it might potentially have a lower probability of offending some people because people are used to clinical images. For instance, the image of horse semen has received substantially less criticism. Removing the image does reduce the quality of the article, in my opinion. Replacing the image with one that is clinical, such as human semen in an open petri dish might possibly increase the quality of the article. I would be concerned about it not giving as good a visual image of the possible size/amount/consistency if shown in that context though.

Consider these images:

Clearly none of these are better images. The first is not very good resolution, and does not indicate quantity, quality or consistency. The second is a drawing, and really shows sperm and not semen. The third shows cowper's fluid, is pre-ejaculatory, and also is not semen. The fourth is semen, but in my opinion not as good a quality image as the one we are currently using.

Atom 19:02, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

No, if you read these comments, it seems like the vast majority of the people feel that this picture should not be on this article. Only two people think this is an appropriate picture. If this is an encyclopedia, there needs to be some quality standards. You would never see this picture in a print encyclopedia. It does not belong here. It serves no purpose other than to shock users. 19:52, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
That is a mischaracterization of the discussion here and in the archived discussion. More editors (and, in particular, named editors) were in favor of keeping both pictures than in favor of dropping the image of human semen. Its purpose is to provide a visual depiction of the subject matter, and, as many (certainly more than 2) have expressed, it does so clearly and effectively. --Robb0995 20:34, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
And how exactly does being a "named" editor give your opinion more power over unnamed editors? Last I checked "more than two" does not mean many, and wikipedia is for everyone not just "named" editors. Furthermore, the current image of semen is disturbing, as others have stated it would be much MUCH better to include an image of a semen sample in a test tube or a medical environment instead of having having a picture of some editor's spooge on a couch. This isn't censorship, its common sense. 22:30, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Can you explain how, exactly, this picture would be improved by the presence of a test tube? Do you think that spilling one's seed into a test tube is more "natural" than onto a piece of fabric? -- 20:59, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

I think what he means is that anon editors don't usually get alot of respect. Often they are people who have little experience with Wikipedia, are inexeperienced with the process, policies and guidelines that other editors are aware of. In your case, you have made four edits, one of which is that comment above. Of course your experience, insight and opinion are just as valuable as anyone elses.

Now, when you say something like "a picture of some editor's spooge on a couch" it shows your bias right off the bat. I'd expect someone with your scientific background to be less biased by an ordinary sample of semen. The background is a neutral color and could be anything. What is it exactly that you find "disturbing"? In your experience is semen different than the photo? Do you object that it looks like it may be ejaculate? (Isn't most all semen?) Is your semen a different color? What background color do you normally ejaculate on? What exactly is it about a normal semen sample that disturbs you? Atom 22:47, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

I think almost everyone has stated that a more clinical picture would be an improvement. If you have one, then such improvement would be welcomed by all. However, the simple removal of the current picture would not be an improvement. The article as-is gives a reader a better understanding of the topic than an article without the image. --Robb0995 22:55, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Look, I don't care how many I've made. I've always had faith in wikipedia and dislike vandalism, hell I rarely even bother looking at a Talk page of an article. But then I stumble onto this and see this "self-made" image of semen along with the article being protected from anonymous editing I had to see what was going on. The problem with the semen is the environment that its in, it looks like its been released onto a couch or possibly a tarp of some sort. This is not the same thing as having the sample in a test tube, this is just perverse and not worthy of being part of wikipedia, especially if you are trying to keep it encyclopedic. Also, the semen kinda looks like the statue of liberty. Oh and one more thing, I have a dynamic IP address, so theres no possible way you can know how many edits I've made. 23:50, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, one of the reasons many people use a user name rather than an anon IP is because it offers slightly more anonymity. I visited there many years ago, and Mission Trails park was very pretty. I stayed at a hotel on Clairmont Mesa Blvd, not far from the Marine Corps Air Station. Both are a long way from the Statue of Liberty.
As for the image, I've noted that it is better than the other available alternatives, as it has characteristics that show insight into ejaculation, size, quality and consistency. If someone would offer a good clinical sample that was good photography, showed the scale well, and also some or all of those characteristics, we'd put it on the page in a flash! Atom 02:00, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
We have yet to see a definition of "encyclopedic". What do you mean when you say it it is not encyclopedic?
The reason the article was semi-protected was the fact that anonymous editors felt it their right to remove the image(s) without discussion time and time again. Semi=protecting the article stopped the daily removals. While there is certainly nothing wrong with contributing with an IP address, it does make it hard to distinguish good editors from vandals and long-term editors from drive-bys. Prometheus-X303- 00:32, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

This tyrany of Prometheus and thos like him over this perverse and offensive image must end. The image needs to be removed until a better one is found. Potymkinkin 01:46, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree. This image is contextually inappropriate. It is clearly sexual in nature. Semen is not in an of itself a pornographic or vile subject. This image is too casual for the objective scientific angle of this article. If you want an article on the adhesive properties of semen, then by all means use this image. Rcluda 12-5-06

May I remind you all of this: Wikipedia:Profanity#Shocking_images "Words and images that might be considered offensive, profane, or obscene by other Wikipedia readers should be used if and only if their omission would cause the article to be less informative, relevant, or accurate..." Deleting someone's semen on a wall does not cause the article to be less "informative, relevant, or accurate." Potymkinkin 15:50, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Several things:

  • The omission would cause the article to be less informative, as many of us have discussed before.
  • This is a picture of semen, in it's most common context and not anything offensive, profane, or obscene.
  • "Shocking Images" is a guideline.
  • We have another guideline at Wikipedia:WikiProject Sexology and sexuality/WIP-image-guidelines that incorporates this, and is more specific. This discusses offensive and obscene.
  • The semen is on a flat surface, not on a wall.

Since you seem to be saying that it is offensive because it looks like it has been ejaculated, let me reassure you that semen is most frequently ejaculated. That is showing it in context. Since you think that it being displaye don "a wall" makes it lewd, lasivious, or offensive, let me correct you in that it is on a flat surface. The image indicates ejaculation, as well as many other properties, such as the color, consistency and quality (to a degree, difficult to tell the scale.) The brown background shows the image effectively.

I think the problem is that there are a wide variety of people who "want" to see it in a lewd or lascivious manner. Or they can't help but see it that way. (Too much holy book reading, too much pornography, or both IMO). If one views it in a clinical way, say as in the context of the entire article, it is merely a specimen of a bodily fluid. There is no action, no people, and no text to indicate anything that could REMOTELY be considered to be lewd, lascivious or offensive. It's in your own head if you see people having sex, or some "random weirdo's" "spooge" on a "couch." You have an over active imagination.

Someone says that this image is "sexual" in nature (I assume they mean something akin to "lascivious"), since semen has sperm it would be hard to argue that it has nothing to do with sex. If this WERE in fact a sexuality image, then clearly since the Wikipedia policies says that Wikipedia IS NOT CENSORED, you should not pull up the article if it is going to offend you.

Please, try to look at the article in full context, and objectively.

It is a basic editorial decision on what image best meets that standard of informative, relevant and accurate. As I review the entire discussion, yet again, I have had not one person who has argued that it is not informative, or relevant, or accurate.

The people who seem to complain, for the most part, don't seem to show any substantial history of editing articles, and none of them show history of editing this article in the past. The few people who are experienced editors, and previous editors of this article seem to have indicated, as I have, that the image could possibly be improved with a better, more clinical image, but that the existing image (even if they don't like it) meets existing Wikipedia policies.

Atom 16:59, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Is there a method to appeal your ruling to a higher body?

While I applaud your efforts to resist censorship, I think you've lost sight of the purpose of this article. This debate is not about censorship. It's about the APPROPRIATENESS of a photo for a topic.

That pic of semen is contextually inappropriate. Semen is a touchy topic since it borders on science and sexuality. It deserves mutliple entries, some with adult warnings and some without. The primary purpose of this article is to discuss semen from a scientific standpoint. That being the case, the pic should be in a contextually neutral setting, preferrably a semen donation cup, a test tube, or some other SCIENTIFIC method of presentation.

Currently the pic represents how semen will look on a wall (or whatever it is), which is contextually inappropriate. That leans toward a sexual interpretation as opposed to an objective scientific interpretation. A motled brown, textured surface is NOT a typical presentation of semen, especially from a scientific perspective. If you want objective reasons, it's because the background color alters the actual color of the semen, and the texture is not that of a vessel for the scientific presentation of liquids.

This presentation will offend many. As it is, my gf (a doctor) says that she will no longer refer patients to Wikipedia for research as a result of seeing this pic.

Photos of semen are necessary for this article. Semen itself is really a G rated topic, provided it is approached entirely scientifically. But it is clear that science was not at the heart of the production of this photo. I realize the subjectivity of this, but context is key, especially regarding something that touches on science and sexuality.

I think that most would readily acknowledge that the following presentations are clearly inappropriate: - On a person's face. - In a person's hand. - On a baby bib. - In a condom. I'm sure that some may argue that these are TYPICAL settings for semen.

If you agree these are inappropriate settings, then YOU are agreeing with censorship. But you will probably respond that your disagreement is with the appropriateness of the presentation with the context of the topic. EXACTLY! The photo is contextually inappropriate as it is.

Robert Rcuda 2006-12-5 12:19 CST {{linkimage|Semen2.jpg|example of linkimage}}

While I don't personally find it necessary on this page, we could consider a compromise of using "linkimage". That would make the image appear as it does to the right here. This has several advantages:
  1. No need to fork the article into two version
  2. Less potential to offend the squeamish
  3. People who are troubled by the image can still read a very informative text article.
  4. People who want to know what semen looks like need only to click one added link.
I think linkimage should always be used for pictures that are sexual in nature. I don't personally consider these photographs to be sexual in nature but some people do. So while I'm not saying we need this here, I put forth the idea for discussion. Johntex\talk 19:26, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

I'll say it again, short and simple, since it has been missed many times, apparently.

Please, try to look at the article in full context, and objectively. It isn't a censorship issue, it is an editorial decision.

It is a basic editorial decision on what image best meets that standard of informative, relevant and accurate. As I review the entire discussion, yet again, I have had not one person who has argued that it is not informative, or relevant, or accurate.

The people who seem to complain, for the most part, don't seem to show any substantial history of editing articles, and none of them show history of editing this article in the past. The few people who are experienced editors, and previous editors of this article seem to have indicated, as I have, that the image could possibly be improved with a better, more clinical image, but that the existing image (even if they don't like it) meets existing Wikipedia policies.

Atom 00:36, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

How about this:

The lack of an obviously sterile surface undermines the picture as a fair representation of semen, insofar as this article is discussing semen and not its "natural environment". A lack of an obviously sterile surface undermines the photos ability to show what is actually semen and what is not.

Also, the color of the surface distorts the true color of semen. In order for semen to be seen in its true color, the background color should be white, at least in one picture. Also, the mottled brown shading of the background distorts the subtler details in the semen, particulary prior to its pre-liquified state immediately after ejaculation. In the current picture, one may wonder what color semen actually is. Is it brown? Is it white on the outside and dark in the middle? Does it have some sort of ink-like colors that bleed to the edge, as the photo implies?

The textured surface distorts the 3 dimensional qualities of the surface, such as lumpiness and internal inclusions.

And the fact that the sample is not in one unified sample may imply to the naive that there are non-semen elements to this photo.

In my opinion, the most damning quality to this photo is mottled surface of the background. The yellows, reds, and browns clearly distort the transparent elements of the semen.

Due to all of these problems, the photo is clearly misleading and is not a fair representation of semen. As such, I recommend that the photo be removed from the article.

Rlcuda 16:36, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Interestingly enough, I favor this image for exactly the same reasons you dislike it. On a white background, all of the semen would appear white instead of showing the contrast between the clear seminal fluid and the sperm. While we'll all be satisfied with a more clinical image, we're going to end up losing something. In the meantime, someone could easily update the caption to describe what the reader is seeing. --Robb0995 17:33, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

New section for semen description and image[edit]

Ok, how does everyone feel about the new section? The article is enriched by a better description of what semen looks like and its consistency, the image caption ties directly to that broader discussion, and the image gets moved to someplace that both makes sense and is not on the top of the page. Happy? --Robb0995 00:06, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Good job. Prometheus-X303- 00:55, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
It is better, but I still feel it is unnecessary and not appropriate for wikipedia. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Rockules318 (talkcontribs) 02:58, 8 December 2006 (UTC).

I liked the image better as the lead. *shrugs* But, in this section it does describe the image well, and if it will reduce controversy it is a compromise I can live with. Atom 13:40, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

I was looking at the talk page history, and it seems like comments of people opposed to the vile image of that guy's semen are being deleted. This is rediculous. Let the people be heard. Just because two of three people may want to see a picture of a guy's semen on a couch does not mean everyone does. I do not know how to make a poll, but I think we need one to discuss keeping or deleting this vile image. 17:34, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

One anonymous poster left an unsigned comment that was not an argument at all, just talk page vandalism (the comment was "What, dod someone just jack off and take a picture of it?" or something like that). All actual arguments on both sides are unmolested. Do you have an argument for why the article with the image is a problem? There has been discussion after discussion after discussion, but still everyone continues to be free to speak. --Robb0995 18:28, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
I deleted the comment because it was anonymnous, it was put at the very top of the article, and not part of any discussion. It did not add anything meaningful to the discussion. The exact comment was "Get that disgusting image of your semen on a couch off the entry."
We've discussed the topic ad nauseum, and after the most recent compromise, everyone particpating seems to be more or less satisifed. Atom 19:29, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

The pic, redux[edit]

One of the criterion of an encyclopedia is usability. If you use a link image, you indeed sacrifice some freedom from censorship. But the chances of either a rabid anti-censorship believer or a plain 'ol perv being so completely disgusted by the minor censorship as to stop looking at the article are, I believe (not being either, I don't think), pretty low.
A person who is easily disgusted, and I believe there are many out there-including those who could stand to lighten up-would, however, be at the very least more likely to be so disgusted by the image as to stop reading the article before finishing.
Aside from personal prejudices, there's a clear standard of decency in public places, for instance a library or a McDonalds with internet access, that could cause either an average person viewing the already slightly embarassing material to be too embarassed to continue, or get someone in trouble or at least publicly singled out, such as a gradeschool student during class; because this violates that standard of decency, in a readily obvious way.
I think it's a bad idea to close the debate on this, and also a bad idea to retain the picture unlinked. Furthermore, I think the horsesemen picture is just unnecessary because it's irrelevant to the context of the article and there's already a much, much more descriptive picture of the subject matter present. It shares the same justification as showing Sexual creampieas an example of semen.
The article isn't like one of those articles that's deliberately about pornographic material, where the majority of people interested in either tracking down the info or in creating the info have some vested interest in the specific subject. Semen is connected to a large number of fields of science, not the least of which is medicine; and so will draw crowds who, frankly, just don't want to not have the option of being shown a heapin' helpin' o' jisum. <spetz>: 20:34, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

If a person searches Wikipedia for semen, or any other topic for that matter, they should expect to find as much information as editors could provide. Many times this would include photos. I had a friend taking EMT classes a few years back. His text book had very graphic pictures of injuries such as third degree burns, compound fractures, and foreign object protruding from the subject's body. Such photos would undoubtedly make some people sick, but the publisher felt it necessary to include them because of the nature of the book. This is the same with Wikipedia.
If a person would be embarrassed for others to see them viewing this semen photo, why would they look up "semen" on a public computer in the first place? Prometheus-X303- 23:02, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
You mention some concept of a "standard of decency". Of course, we have laws to protect against obscenity. The reason we have laws are so that people don't have to argue endlessly about things. In this case, the picture of semen is, as you put it, "is connected to a large number of fields of science, not the least of which is medicine". It does not meet the legal definition of obscenity. It is just a picture of a bodily fluid. If you want to find something to champion as obscene, you might try Piss_Christ, or any number of other articles. I think that arguing that a picture of semen in an article titled semen is obscene, or "indecent" is pretty silly. Maybe it has the same kind of "yuck" factor for some people that slime, or puss, or snot might have, but yucky is hardly indecent or obscene. Atom 23:26, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Big suprise. The same two people are defending this picture of a guy's "stuff" that he took a picture of. Let us vote. Someone set up a poll. 02:17, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

See the archive. Atom 03:06, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

One might ask you to do the same Atomaton. Your past assertions about the source and quality of arguments made in favor of restricting the image have not always been accurate regarding 'who' and 'what' was said.
Also, I see you reverted the 200px version of the image. Why? Does it have to be large? Doesn't it convey the same information in a smaller thumbnail? Erielhonan 03:40, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't follow you, sorry. The Archive shows a vote, and a consensus. Now, we have a new consensus with the image in a new section.

As for the image, I put the image back to "thumb" Someone had incorrectly changed it to a fixed size. When it is set to "thumb" it goes to the size set as default by each users preferences. There are several places in Wikipedia policies where this is stated, for instance "In articles, if you wish to have a photo beside the text, you should generally use the "thumbnail" option available in the "Image markup" (this results in 180 pixels wide display in standard preferences default setting)." in Wikipedia:Image_use_policy#Displayed_image_size. By hard coding it to 200px, it is larger than the default of 180, and stays at 200px even if the user prefers 120px, or 150px. Atom 03:48, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

On the first part, I was referring to your rhetoric before and during the polling process, not your assessment of the poll results. If you check carefully you'll see that you may have misrepresented other people's words as well as the overall picture of where the voices against the image were coming from. On the 2nd part - thanks, I didn't know that about thumbs (or more likely, I forgot). I've got my monitor set to 1600x1200 px, and must have set my thumbnail pref higher so that images I want to see are clearer on this monitor. Erielhonan 04:01, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
As I enjoy a very solid reputation and hold myself to a high ethical standard, those words concern me. I appreciate your explanation. I'll go back and review what you are speaking of to determine why you may have gained that opinion of me. Although, like anyone else, I hold my views and represent what I see from my perspective, I try to remain fair and as objective as possible. So, "misrepresenting other people's words" would not fit into that self image. If you'd care to go into that further in email, or on my talk page as specific examples would be most helpful. Atom 12:55, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes, a reputation which you're squandering by squabbling with overwraught diction over a badly taken picture of someone's ejaculate. You'd think you'd have taken a hint by now. -- 22:00, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

the pic, redux reply (in annoyance)[edit]

For some reason, I don't see the edit button for the proper thread, so here's a new one. Response to the thread by almost the same name.
Ok, there're four responses to my objection to the presentation of the image. The first is that readers of Wikipedia should expect to find "as much information on the subject as the editors could provide". The second is that it should be as clinical as a textbook. The third is that my argument doesn't even apply to any realistic person, because only someone expecting to see a pic of jizz would search for the article. These three are by Prometheus.
The last is a rejection of my conception of the "standard of decency", by Atom.
Wikipedia is not a textbook, first. Check the Yahoo and Google lookups for the string. There are good reasons why. The first is that Wikipedia is not a pedagogical source as it is not compiled in a controlled way by authorities on the subject matter. The second is that its intended readership is not a studied, advanced readership, but the lowest tenable common denomination. On that term, the jizz pic is already rejected, and I won't argue about why it's a violation of that. Since you're competent enough to use a computer and are not in jail for indecency or rape right now (probably), I assume you're well aware of those norms.
Second, readers should NOT expect to find "as much information on the subject as the editors could provide". If this were the case, what the readership should hope to find would be just a list of resources that refer to this. In this case, that list could be argued to already be simply present, Here, for example. But that's just silly, isn't it? That's because the statement's flat wrong. Wikipedia gives editors the freedom to organize the information as they wish, with restrictions; so what readers should expect from a good article is that it's instructional as well as informative, to a degree. A reader should expect to be brought from one level of understanding to another, without having to do all the work s/he'd have to if just provided with a list of Google search terms. Therefore, bullshit.
Third, I specifically went out of my way to show that semen is not something that someone expecting to be shocked or embarassed would search for. Semen is, as an already provided instance of this, relevant to Medical science, specifically Sexual reproduction, which you'll notice is not what one would describe as either pornographic or embarassing. Therefore, someone in high school biology doing a report on sexual reproduction and using the school's computers to research semen should be safe from embarassement because of his ill-fated assignment.

You make the assumption that someone would be embarassed by a picture of semen, when looking up semen in Wikipedia. Maybe you are making that assumption because you are embarassed, I'm not convinced that others would be. Atom 04:40, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

and fourthly, Atom,
A standard of decency is more than a way to stifle argument. It's what's necessary for a group to function. Wikipedia's a group effort. The laws against obscenity you claim to be in place to stifle argument are not there for that reason, and that's an impressive display of non NPoV for someone arguing from your camp. At best one can say they serve equal parts that and equal parts exactly what they claim to be, a protection for people against things that they may, for whatever reason, be illequipped to deal with. Your stance is controversial at best, MORONIC at worst, and somewhere in the middle it's quite clearly biased.

My point, of course, is that a law is a clear line(objective). The term standard of decency is completely subjective. A community is formed of a spectrum of people, and should not cater to the most conservative, closed-minded, or asexual members. Whose definition shall we use? Well, I am not sure, but it offends me when someone tries to suggest that an image of a bodily fluid is vulgar or offensive, when it is their imagination that is the source of the problem. Clearly the law is concerned about the standards of the community in question. In a Catholic church, this image might be considered "indecent". In Wikipedia, it is not. Why do I say that? Because Wikipedia in its disclaimers have been abundantly clear. I've stated it several times before. The disclaimer link at the bottom of every page leads to, among other things

In its ambitious mission of documenting all human knowledge, Wikipedia contains many thousands of articles on a vast array of topics. A relatively small fraction of these topics are frequently censored by educational, governmental, corporate, parental and other filtering schemes.

  • Some Wikipedia articles discuss words or language that are considered profane, vulgar or offensive by some readers. See Wikipedia:profanity for more information.
  • Wikipedia contains many different images, some of which are considered objectionable or offensive by some readers. For example, some articles contain graphical depictions of violence, or depictions of human anatomy.
  • Many articles contain frank discussion of controversial topics. Some subjects that are discussed have criminal applications in some jurisdictions. Others contain information on dangerous or otherwise risky activities (see Wikipedia:General disclaimer and Wikipedia:Risk disclaimer).
  • Wikipedia contains spoilers.
  • Wikipedia may contain triggers for people with post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • It should be noted that as Wikipedia is open to contributions from the public, there may at any time be graffiti present on Wikipedia.
  • There may be medical, legal or other information that is normally also the subject of professional opinions; Wikipedia is not a substitute for seeking the help of a professional. Please note: Wikipedia does not give legal advice or medical advice.
Wikipedia's current policy is to include such content, provided it breaches neither any of our existing policies (especially Neutral point of view) nor the laws of the state of Florida in the United States, where Wikipedia is hosted. See list of controversial issues for some examples of articles that may contain such content. Some of these articles contain warnings, but many do not.
I point out that second bullet again. Wikipedia is quite clear that in this community, such things are to be expected, normal, and perfectly decent, by our values.
You can suggest that Wikipedia is indecent, if you choose. (For some it may be, if viewed in a Catholic Church) But a picture of Semen in the Semen article of Wikipedia is not indecent within Wikipedia. Atom 04:40, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

But I digress. It appears you're suggesting I'm crying "obscene"-I'm not. I don't care about the legal either. Frankly, upon looking at the image, I feel a bit like someone ran up to me on the street and flashed me. But my cute lil' sensibilities aren't at issue. Once again, I contend that the picture directly effects the usability of the article by limiting not just the number of people who will be willing to subject themselves to it, which is a controversial statement; but that it limits the circumstances under which any given person could access the article, for reasons I've already elaborated. Resorting, on your part, to defending the selection at not illegal is tantamount to saying "well, why not?" after skipping over the already provided answer to that question.
<spetz>. 04:03, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

If we aren't discussing the legality, or the accuracy of the information, or the fact that it is informative (perhaps too informative for you), or whether it is a poor quality image, and you aren't discussing your subjective sensibilities then what is left? You say the article is "unusable"? Because of the image? You mean, of course, that it is unusable by you, because your subjective evaluation (of an accurate, informative image) makes you feel like someone has flashed you on the street. Again, I point out that the disclaimer warned you, and continues to warn you that this kind of thing legitimately exists on Wikipedia. Clearly it is not the image that should not be here. Atom 04:40, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

See, I understand that this may not be in violation of any of the laws, but my point is that there's no harm in linking the picture, while there is harm in not. Harm to me and harm to a bunch of others who've already left their opinions here.
If I'm not mistaken, it's a violation of some rule you have acknowledged in the past against posting sexual pictures or video created by an editor. Yeah, I am making the jump in judging that this is indeed something some editor just splooged onto the page, and I don't think it's a far jump.
You said yourself on that very page that some images will be controvercial, but that doesn't make them an ill fit. The reason they're discussed is that they potentially add style that can be helpful in delivering information. Maybe this pic can do that, maybe it can't. But the justifications I've heard in its favor haven't focused on style, but on the fact that it doesn't necessarily violate any laws. So again, why not?
Here's why not. Someone mentioned "the same two people defending this". You ask me "whose standard?" Whose? Mine? What rights do I have to impose myself upon you? I'm one of it seems many who've expressed discomfort or disgust with the choice, and that's reflective of this standard you claim doesn't exist. And not in some pretentiously vaporous way.
<spetz>. 05:13, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, I'm defending it too, so there's more than 2. --Robb0995 06:08, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
In answer to your first question, Atom, we are discussing encyclopedic quality. For you and the supporters of the image to say (and I paraphrase), "people who are opposed are offended and that's subjective, so therefore removing it is censorship," is really missing the point. The point is that many of us feel that the image detracts from the sciencey-ness of the article. If the article were called "Cumshot", we probably would say, "it's encyclopedic." (Note the emphasis - I really don't want you to miss that point.) The image seems to many people to be an anonymous and childish vanity photo and it doesn't provide any extra information or metrics about what semen is. (Yes, we all know it's a "picture of the topic", but as it is and as it's referenced, that's not a strong case.) It's just an image that to many people is more distracting than useful, and takes what otherwise could be a good start on a clinical article to some pop-culturey lolz.
My perspective is about enhancing the usefulness and accessibility of Wikipedia. I wish you'd stop reducing other people's informed and well thought-out points to squeamishness. It's actually pretty insulting that you (and others) keep doing that, and it reduces the discussion of the image to ad hominem posturing. Erielhonan 06:20, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

First, I appreciate your well thought out post, as I have those of others. I don't mean to sound insensitive when I try to pare their argument to it's essential elements to find out what the issue may be, and what is intellectual window dressing.

As to your primary point, which I get, because, as you see re-reading this page and the archive I have "boiled" down others arguments numerous times, and as I have pointed out, it always gets back to an editorial decision, and that is based on what you call "encyclopedic content", and what I have called an editorial decision based on whether the image adds value to the article, whether it is accurate, informative and whether the article is better with the content included, or worse. I;ve stated my opinion on this as he editors of this article, and editor of a wide variety of other sexology and sexuality articles. Other editors of this article have weighed in also. If it is your opinion as an observing editor, and user spetz's opinion, or another editors opinion that it does not add value, and is not encyclopedic, your opinion is welcome here. I've just pointed out that if it isn't censorship, and it isn't about the quality of the photograph, and it isn't about whether it is accurate, and it isn't about whether it is informative (encylopedic value), and a basic image is expressed in subjective and unrealistic terms as "porno", "jizz", "vile", "crude", "yucky", or "gross" that it may be that the issue is with person viewing the image, and the image itself is only semen on a brown background, in an article about semen, where people go to learn, or see an image of semen.

Here is what I have said before:

Please, try to look at the article in full context, and objectively. It isn't a censorship issue, it is an editorial decision.

It is a basic editorial decision on what image best meets that standard of informative, relevant and accurate. As I review the entire discussion, yet again, I have had not one person who has argued that it is not informative, or relevant, or accurate.

I've said similar many other times, and I see no reason to go pull those quotes too. I agree that it is not a censorship issue, but only argue against that when people try to use a veiled excuse to censor. It is an editorial decision, and the contributors to this article so far seem to have a consensus, even though there is the occasional drive-by dissent. Atom 14:05, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

This pic is on the Xbox 360 article.[edit]

Someone vandalized the Xbox 360 article by replacing the console image with the semen pic. Editing is disabled for the article, though. I don't know if it'll still be there by the time someone else reads this.-- 17:00, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Regarding semen allergy: contradiction?[edit]

Allergy to semen is extremley rare, as of 2004 there have been reports published of 80 patients. The allergy can be specific to only one partner, but whether or not this is usually the case is unanswered. The antigen is present in the plasma of the semen (ie not the sperm itself) and the allergic reaction can be completely blocked by use of a condom. The allery is often first noticed after sex following tragedy to the vagina, such as childbirth.

Human seminal plasma allergy: a review of a rare phenomenon A. Shah and C. Panjabi Clinical & Experimental Allergy Volume 34 Issue 6 Page 827 - June 2004 doi:10.1111/j.1365-2222.2004.01962.x

This article states that semen allergy occurs: "In rare cases (about 5 percent of the population)".

Now 5% is not rare - this is one in twenty! Surely this statistic cannot be correct! And if it is, then this allergy is by no means rare, rather very common. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 16:07, December 20, 2006.

The 5% figure was removed earlier. Prometheus-X303- 20:56, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

The Register Article[edit]

I do not know who read this, but the Semen article shows what Wikipedia editors are capabible of!

Wikipedia semen shortage filled by User Generated Content
It was only when it was discovered that the site's entry for "semen" was in need of copyright-free illustration that one member heroically rose to the challenge. Or rather the member's member did.

The illustration remains, here. [NSFW]

And what a splendid contribution it is.

Come on, "editors" (namely Atom and Prom), stop making Wikipedia look like it is run by a bunch of idiots. Let this image be removed and hopefully restore any creditability Wikipedia still has. Rockules318 17:40, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

First, there are numerous editors that support not censoring, and using the best image available.

Second, if you read the register article, it is one person opinion. Also, it is innacurate as it claims that we removed an image that was copyrighted, and asked for an image from users. In fact, we did not remove any copyrighted image, and the image currently in use was in the commons site, and not "volunteered" by a wikipedia user to fill the need. If you check the image, you will see that it is not anyone who currently edits the semen article, or for that matter, any Wikipedia article.

It is true that we have suggested that a more clinical image, perhaps offered by a user or editor of Wikipedia would be better than the current image. But, that makes sense, as Wikipedia, generally, wants public use and GDL images, an not fair-use or copyrighted images.

As for credibility, Wikipedia is what it is. Even the founder, Jim Wales has recently been quoted as saying that Wikipedia is not an authoritative source, and should not be considered to be such. What is it is a collection of knowledge, and a community that builds that knowledge base. We 'want to be noted as being different, more open minded, and more about facts than popular opinion or superstition. Our standards are based on consensus, honesty, and verifiability of information. The fact that our users and editors "put some of ourselves" into our articles is a point of pride, not shame.

Atom 18:28, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Anybody who bases their opinions solely on an "article" from The Register deserves to have those opinions ignored. (Not implying that you do) Prometheus-X303- 21:58, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

"The fact that our users and editors "put some of ourselves" into our articles is a point of pride, not shame." You consider a photograph of a wikipedia usser's semen to be a point of pride? -- 05:17, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

How old is Richiex?[edit]

Is this person taking the pics even over the age of 18?

If he isn't, then there is the legal issue of child pornography. In which case, these images would have to be taken down. --Kurtcool2 (talk) 23:30, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

[Update 04/28/16] RichieX is over age 30.