Wikipedia talk:Child protection

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"Inappropriate relationships" and "vague" tag[edit]

Re this edit: "inappropriate adult–child relationships" is vague, and the problem is that Wikipedia is read all over the world and the age of consent varies from country to country, eg it is between 13 and 18 in Europe. This has been discussed before, and the purpose of the policy is not to give specific legal advice. Some types of sexual relationship between adults and children are illegal in virtually all countries. Suggestions on how to deal with the "vague" tag are welcome.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 05:44, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

In my opinion, the "vague" tag that Jarble added to the "inappropriate relationships" wording is not necessarily needed; I state that because I think what is meant by "inappropriate relationships" is clear from the context of the child protection policy. Furthermore, the "inappropriate adult–child relationships" wording comes before the "inappropriate relationships" wording, so, if we are to improve the language, the former wording that you pointed out is also the target. Anyway, what is meant by "inappropriate" is "sexual"; so we can use "sexual" in its place. Yes, yes, there is the age of consent and/or age of majority matter, but adult editors who have, for example, expressed a sexual interest in early pubescents and/or advocated for adult sexual interest in early pubescents, have been indefinitely blocked and/or banned by WP:ArbCom; WP:ArbCom did not, and does not, care to ask what the age of consent is in the countries those editors reside in. And I assume this is because age 18 is the legal adult age in the vast majority of the world, while every person below that age is generally legally a child, and it's very likely that the minor is below the age of consent. Not to mention that it was often the case that editors did not specify the age of their sexual interest; all WP:ArbCom knew was that the sexual interest included prepubescents (an age range which is almost always protected by age of consent laws or some other law) and/or some other underage range. If it's important to editors of the Child protection page to add something about age of consent, we can do that, of course. Flyer22 (talk) 06:18, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
Regarding this revert of Jarble by Johnuniq, I'm simply noting on this talk page that, as seen here and here, Jarble was the one who added the link to the Age disparity in sexual relationships article in September 2013; I noticed the addition then, and waited to see if anyone would object; when they didn't, I didn't. In May 2014, as seen here, Jarble became conflicted about the link. And, of course, as shown by Ianmacm's post above, he very recently became conflicted about the link. Flyer22 (talk) 08:02, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
I had a quick look but did not want to take the time to sort out all the adjustments. I did think the link was pretty odd, but at least it was vaguely on track. If someone would care to work out how far back to revert, while keeping any good edits, that would be fine by me. Johnuniq (talk) 09:19, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
18 in green
Looking at this, it appears it really is confusing. Despite what Flyer22 said, the map from age of consent displays an age of 18 only for a few U.S. states, India, and parts of Africa. (I should note that looking at the changes the map has undergone in the past few years, either governments of the world have been passing laws on this frantically or else the original map was not accurate) I think some people could live with cultural imperialism on the point, and just tell the people in Yemen and such places that their laws and religion are wrong; but I think this is more bureaucratic imperialism, i.e. that ArbCom wants to reserve the power to decide who is a bad person and get rid of them without tipping their hand by providing a published definition of what the rules are, or indeed, even needing to go by any consistent rules. So for example, if someone wants to find out if they go by the same standard when a male or a female editor is concerned, a heterosexual or a homosexual, a traditional Muslim being wed or an American dating, I would hazard a guess that the correct answer is a magic 8-ball stocked with phrases like "use common sense", "it's on a case by case basis", "we don't talk about it", and "what do you think?" Now it is true that this is only ever thought out in a few cases, but the way Wikipedia handles a variety of situations like this prevent me from recommending its governance structure as an example to others, e.g. here. Wnt (talk) 17:54, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
The age of consent is only part of the problem. There is an old adage of "half-your-age-plus-seven" for sexual relationships, and it is men (and sometimes women) looking for relationships well outside this range who are often described as "inappropriate", even if the child was technically over the age of consent. The age of consent in the UK is 16, which IMHO is broadly OK. The problem with lowering it is that it would delight all of the Jimmy Savile types who are persistently looking for sexual relationships with 13 or 14-year-olds. This is one of the most common forms of sexual offence.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 18:07, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, I'm going to assume that the policy about child protection isn't going to be used to justify banning someone who insists it's appropriate for a wealthy 80-year-old to take up with a 23-year-old, whatever people think of the idea. For that matter, I would hope that any editor who discloses that he is in a legal sexual relationship with someone much younger would not be banned - at least, if he lives in the U.S. (if he lives in Sudan and has a child bride, all bets are off) Wnt (talk) 18:20, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
Wnt, I stated, "age 18 is the legal adult age in the vast majority of the world." That is true. If you don't trust the Age of majority article on that, there are plenty of WP:Reliable sources on the matter showing it to be the case. You confused "age of consent" with "age of majority." As for the rest of what you stated, I'm not interested in debating it. Flyer22 (talk) 18:23, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
So if, say, a 23-year-old editor in the U.S. has somehow gotten involved with a 17-year-old, in accordance with the laws of his or her state, potentially even being married in accordance with the laws of that state, he or she can be banned if she admits this fact here? (I know - he should consult the magic 8-ball) Wnt (talk) 18:33, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
This policy does not have numerical ages, and nor is it likely to, as we could cite different laws all day long. The issue is whether "inappropriate adult–child relationships" is vague and how to reword it so that it is not.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 19:09, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
[ WP:Edit conflict ]: No, Wnt. That is quite different than what the policy is about, and I'm sure that you know it. Like the policy states: "Editors who attempt to use Wikipedia to pursue or facilitate inappropriate adult–child relationships, who advocate inappropriate adult–child relationships on- or off-wiki (e.g. by expressing the view that inappropriate relationships are not harmful to children), or who identify themselves as pedophiles, will be blocked indefinitely." WP:ArbCom has indefinitely blocked and/or banned editors stating that there is nothing wrong with an adult engaging in sexual activity with a prepubescent child (and, knowing how such editors continually tried to skew pedophilia, child sexual abuse and age of consent topics, you aren't going to convince me that such blocks and/or bans were not good blocks and/or bans). I hate stating "engaging in sexual activity with" when it concerns prepubescents anyway, since I view it as child sexual abuse, plain and simple. WP:ArbCom has indefinitely blocked and/or banned editors who stated that they are pedophiles, including the ones editing articles to include their pro-pedophilia twist. WP:ArbCom has indefinitely blocked and/or banned editors expressing a sexual interest in early pubescents and/or advocating such an interaction; clearly, there are many parts of the world where engaging in sexual activity with early pubescents is illegal; there is also plenty of research into what extent such interaction psychologically damages the early pubescent in question. So again, you are not going to convince me that such blocks and/or bans are inappropriate, especially given the POV-pushing of these editors as well. If these editors want to edit Wikipedia without being indefinitely blocked and/or banned, then they should not be revealing that particular sexual interest on Wikipedia or editing Wikipedia articles concerning such topics. I am not aware of WP:ArbCom indefinitely blocking and/or banning an adult who expressed a sexual interest in a 17-year-old, which is not much different than an 18-year-old; that's why I stated above "Not to mention that it was often the case that editors did not specify the age of their sexual interest; all WP:ArbCom knew was that the sexual interest included prepubescents (an age range which is almost always protected by age of consent laws or some other law) and/or some other underage range." But if a person who expressed (on Wikipedia, or to Wikipedia's knowledge off Wikipedia) a sexual interest in a 17-year-old were to use Wikipedia to pursue such a relationship or advocate for age of consent reform because of it, that person should keep in mind the possibility of WP:ArbCom indefinitely blocking and/or banning him or her.
And if you didn't confuse "age of majority" and "age of consent" above regarding my earlier reply, and you were referring to my "it's very likely that the minor is below the age of consent" wording... Well, given that the age of consent is often not below age 16, it is very likely that the minor is under the age of consent. But either way, I won't be debating the WP:Child protection matter with you today and maybe not in the future. Flyer22 (talk) 19:11, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
You make it sound as if you have a working policy... but the incident that brought me here to my initial comment above illustrates more what you have. A banned editor comes on Jimbo Wales' talk page, says that one of our editors was indef banned by Arbcom after allegedly being caught talking about sex with a young girl (I am not entirely clear even on what is alleged). Three years after, to be precise. There's this sense from these people that ArbCom doesn't act until they make a huge public fuss about an incident, even though this policy says not to discuss it at all here. On the other hand, in this incident, the "investigation" was some random Wikia editor playing undercover sting agent and posting screencaps of his conversation, which is not exactly a forensic chain of custody. And then the final public face of the discussion is a banned editor making this terrible allegation against an editor, who has no right to respond, nor do we as editors have the right to dig into the situation and get a crowdsourced verdict on what we think of it; despite this policy claiming things like this are revdeled it was actually archived, even after I pointed out the violation, in a widely-read forum.[1] So it seems like every aspect of this policy - the standard you set, its enforcement, the protections to the accused, are all random. And this kind of foot-dragging about providing better clarity even on a simple tangible criterion may have something to do with why it's so random. Wnt (talk) 20:06, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
Last reply: I know what brought you here to this policy talk page; I remember. And this policy has been working fine for several years; got a lot of pedophiles and other adult-child sex advocates off Wikipedia, and now there is barely a problem with pro-pedophilia and/or pro-child sexual abuse pushing at articles about or relating to pedophilia and child sexual abuse topics. When I see such editors, I report them to WP:ArbCom if they are a threat to a Wikipedia article and/or are going on and on in their belief about how child sexual abuse is not harmful to children and/or isn't truly abuse. That is, if someone else does not report them first. And that is that. Flyer22 (talk) 20:37, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Note: I removed the link that Jarble added, and replaced "inappropriate" with "sexual"; seen here. I thought about adding "romantic or sexual," but I figured that since "romantic" may be the view of the person pursuing the relationship with the child or minor, but not the view of many Wikipedians, I left "romantic" out; the policy is mostly focused on the sexual aspect anyway. Flyer22 (talk) 15:33, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

Also, the Age disparity in sexual relationships link was not a good link to use because that article is not focused on adults with prepubescent children, a main aspect of what the WP:Child protection policy is about (since it also concerns pedophiles). Flyer22 (talk) 15:48, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

Alison, regarding this revert, how is the vague "inappropriate" wording "just fine," given what has been stated above in this section? How does that get across the point of this policy? I don't see what "inappropriate" can mean if it does not mean "sexual" in this case, or why we should stick to "inappropriate" to get across that we might mean something broader instead of specifying what that "broader" context is. Flyer22 (talk) 23:35, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
There's precedent for Flyer22's suggested wording. The Rind resolution stated that "Congress . . . condemns and denounces all suggestions . . . that indicate that sexual relationships between adults and `willing' children are less harmful than believed and might be positive for `willing' children . . . vigorously opposes any public policy or legislative attempts to normalize adult-child sex or to lower the age of consent; . . . urges the President likewise to reject and condemn, in the strongest possible terms, any suggestion that sexual relations between children and adults--regardless of the child's frame of mind--are anything but abusive, destructive, exploitive, reprehensible, and punishable by law . . ." Dnir Ecurb (talk) 21:57, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
^^^ This is banned editor, Leucosticte (talk · contribs) - Alison 08:55, 2 November 2015 (UTC)

Wikimedia Foundation Terms of Use and advice about this issue[edit]

The following is copied, and edited information from User talk:Sue Gardner (at the bottom of the linked section).

Per this page's edit notice, I am posting this here, rather than boldly to the project page. Is this appropriate for adding to the project page? Wbm1058 (talk) 02:38, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

The Wikimedia Foundation's Terms of Use prohibit solicitation of personally identifiable information from children for any illegal purpose or in violation of any applicable law regarding the well-being of minors. The terms also prohibit posting content that violates applicable law concerning child pornography on any Wikimedia project. Users are asked to report child pornography and other potentially illegal content to The Foundation also have a separate email address for threats to life, limb, or property. Both of these email addresses are staffed twenty-four hours a day by qualified staff members. If users report threats to children on those email accounts, a protocol that represents best practices in the industry is followed to ensure that the credibility of threats is evaluated. This protocol was designed by a sociologist specializing in online communities. It was based on a significant number of interviews with other companies and vetted by law enforcement. If a threat is determined to be credible, staff follow up with reports to appropriate law enforcement agencies.

The Wikimedia Foundation has created a legal fees protection program for volunteers in support roles dealing with child protection and other sensitive issues.

No, the terms of use are not relevant to this policy which is merely a description of the fact that anyone thought to be engaging in certain behavior is removed from the project. There is no wiggle room that permits particular forms of behavior which might not be prohibited by the ToU. Johnuniq (talk) 04:06, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
I don't support adding this. It is in rather legalistic and long winded jargon, which goes against the normal practice of explaining policies and guidelines in plain language. The policy of Wikipedia:Child protection is intended to prevent users from misusing articles and talk pages to further their own agendas. The text above is not strictly relevant to this policy.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 06:51, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

better explination of former statement.[edit]

What does the article mean by "editors who identify as pedophiles will be blocked indefinitely? Maybe the article could be given more of an in-depth and thorough explanation of what this statement means. Does anyone agree? I don't mean to cause any problems. Frogger48 (talk) 07:49, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

Frogger48, with the way you've gone on and on about how Wikipedia discriminates against pedophiles, how can you not know what it means? It means that the moment you identify as a pedophile on Wikipedia, you should expect to be indefinitely blocked from this site. I would state that the policy applies to "off Wikipedia" matters as well, as it has times before, but, after recently alerting the WP:WMF to a Wikipedia editor who identified as a pedophile off Wikipedia and made a pro-pedophile comment on Wikipedia years ago under a similarly named account, and recently tried to hide that comment (as if getting older eliminates pedophilic feelings), that editor is still currently editing Wikipedia. I alerted the WP:WMF because they have taken over for WP:ArbCom on such matters. I comment more about pedophiles and the WP:WMF on my user page. Although indefinitely means "for an unlimited or unspecified period of time" or "to an unlimited or unspecified degree or extent," it means "forever" in the case of pedophiles. Well, I suppose unless they are the Virtuous Pedophile kind. After all, the Virtuous Pedophiles article has been edited by pedophiles from that addition to non-pedophiles.
On a side note: Remember to keep in mind that you have been warned about the pedophile angle you keep going on about. Flyer22 (talk) 08:37, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
Back in 2006, there was a long running saga over the creation of a userbox which said "this user is a pedophile" or similar. Since then, any attempt to add this type of content to user pages or talk pages will result in a block on the grounds that it leads to non-productive arguments. This policy is intended to prevent disruption to Wikipedia, rather than to be a detailed debate about what pedophilia actually is.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 08:39, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
@Flyer: Thanks for that last link which reminds me why I recognize the user name. I suggest proposing that Frogger48 be indeffed if there are any further comments like the above. This is not a forum to debate what simple statements mean, or whether those statements are justified. Johnuniq (talk) 08:44, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
"unless they are the Virtuous Pedophile kind" - Wrong again Bob — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:44, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Guidance for younger editors‎[edit]

On Wikipedia:Guidance for younger editors‎ I started a new sub section Wikipedia:Guidance for younger editors#Photos of yourself, your friends, or your family please add and edit where needed. I just want to keep them safe. my guidelines in short are:

  • Don't post photos of yourself, your friends, or your family ed (anywhere)
  • Don't mention wikipedia that they are there
  • Do tell them personally that they are in that photo. (so they can take action when needed)

I think this is a good addition to the page, but do edit it when needed or you want to improve the text. (parts of the text was taken from the text on userpages earlier in the page. WillemienH (talk) 20:47, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure if this has ever been a significant problem on Wikipedia. It is far more of an issue on social media sites where there are apps that allow smartphone photos to be uploaded with just a few clicks. On Wikipedia or Commons, an image is likely to be deleted if it serves no encyclopedic purpose. A photo on a user page showing that the person is under 18 would be inadvisable if the user wanted to protect their privacy. Wikipedians are not banned from revealing their age on their user pages, but some caution is needed for younger users.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 07:50, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

Updating handling of reports[edit]

As you're all probably aware, the WMF now look after Trust & Safety issues relating to children. It's probably about time the "handling of reports" section of the child protection policy was updated as the way it now works has changed considerably since the policy was first drafted. There are two aspects.

Child endangerment, child protection and child pornography

- The Arbitration Committee no longer has a role as the WMF now look after this area of trust and safety. As before, editors must not report their concerns on-wiki but instead do so by email. The reports should now go to WMF Legal at

Apparent on-wiki advocacy

- However, editors appearing to be pushing agendas can be referred to any administrator or to the community in exactly the same way as any other POV-pushing allegation.

Obviously, the third paragraph of the "handling of reports" section is unaffected.

I've mentioned this initiative to update the policy to James Alexander and expect he'll comment in due course. In the meantime, thoughts, everyone?  Roger Davies talk 22:49, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

Well, can't the ctte just forward any e-mail it gets to legal, where it cannot action it, because it sounds like you can action others, or are you saying we should have conversations like, 'such and such user has a pedophile agenda' at ANI? Alanscottwalker (talk) 23:44, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
It's all subject to the unchanged paragraph three, so that kind of conversation should take place in strictly neutral terms. But the committee hasn't seem POV pushing in this area for well over a year. It's already mostly handled by admins.  Roger Davies talk 23:55, 18 November 2015 (UTC)‎
"It's already mostly handled by Admins". So then Arbcom, which in theory and practice is in part there to 'watch the watchers', would have a role to play. Or, to put it another way, administration is why we have the two levels of admins and arbcom. Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:32, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand the point here. ArbCom still has a role to play should admins misuse the tools or misconduct themselves even in the situations covered by this policy.  Roger Davies talk 22:54, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
What's the proposal, "You can report the problems to admins off wiki, but do not report to arbcom"? And if the admin then reports it to arbcom because they want guidance, Arbcom says what? This window is closed? This just seems bureaucratic, where the message should be: 'report, report, report (just be appropriately discrete)'. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 23:21, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
No, make the report to the admin, who then deals with it on-wiki, either themselves or via one of the noticeboards. There's no reason for ArbCom to be directly involved at all (and indeed haven't been in most POV-pushing actions).  Roger Davies talk 08:32, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
I've been wondering when this would be addressed here at this talk page. Having talked the matter over with James Alexander via email, he knows that I was disappointed that no action was taken against an editor I recently reported as a pedophile (months ago)...with on- and off-Wikipedia evidence to support it. Then again, on Wikipedia, this editor (and he will soon read this post of mine, no doubt) rejected any implication that he is a pedophile and chalked up one of his pedophilic Wikipedia posts to being a misguided youth. I was clear with James Alexander that even if the editor was an underage teenager at the time he made the off-Wikipedia post, people do not simply grow out of pedophilia (in fact, pedophilia emerges in a person before or during puberty). Judging by what James Alexander told me, an editor simply being a pedophile is not enough to get the editor blocked by the WP:WMF. If that's the case, the current policy needs changing in that regard as well, and the editors at BoyWiki (especially Lysander, who is also no stranger to editing Wikipedia) can do their happy dance. Just look at how they keep tabs on me; so sweet (the LANCB aspect is utter fantasy, though). Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 00:13, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
  • If in practice, the Arbitration Committee no longer has jurisdiction over certain issues that this policy says it does have, then the policy should definitely be updated to reflect that change in practice. Mz7 (talk) 01:36, 22 November 2015 (UTC)