Wikipedia talk:Image content guidelines/sexual content

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Starting discussion page. Will move a discussion from elsewhere to here to continue it. Carcharoth (talk) 23:14, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Signpost discussion[edit]

This discussion was copied from here. Carcharoth (talk) 23:17, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia Peddles Porn to Kids[edit]

At least that is what these people say - Interesting that they don't actually mention the specific pages that they don't like. Remember (talk) 21:01, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

It seems to be based on this more detailed piece: Is Wikipedia wicked porn?, by Chelsea Schilling, WorldNetDaily, May 6, 2008. Specific articles mentioned are: fluffing and striptease. There is a list of offensive media:
  • Recordings of women experiencing orgasms
  • Videos of nude men participating in "ejaculation educational demonstrations"
  • Detailed photographs of men and women masturbating
  • Images of mammary intercourse
  • Close-up images of topless women and male and female sexual anatomy
  • Large-scale photos of men performing oral sex on one another (and performing oral sex on themselves)
  • An illustrated list of sex positions
  • Threesomes
  • Photos of nude strippers
  • An image called "Virgin Killer" depicting a naked prepubescent girl from the 1976 cover of a Scorpions album (banned in the U.S.)
--ragesoss (talk) 21:10, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

For the last one, I personally tried to delete the image (despite being a part of Wikipedians against censorship and vigorously defending images including adult nudity and sex acts). If you check the history, several others have too. VanTucky 21:49, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

By all means run the story; it makes an amusing reading list. ;) DurovaCharge! 22:36, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Just don't let that person near a biology textbook! My all means, run the story, but we could maybe publicise our censorship policies better to prevent further disparaging articles...... Dendodge .. TalkHelp 10:09, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Actually, though I learnt something from the fluffing article, I was surprised to see the image being used there (it is fairly mild, but still more explicit than it needs to be for that article). On the other hand, the image name alerted me to there being more in that series. Obviously not work safe... (explicit hardcore gay porn film-making) The making of an adult film 6, The making of an adult film 7, The making of an adult film 8, The making of an adult film 9 (the one used in the fluffing article), The making of an adult film 10 (I could only find numbers 6-10 in the sequence - the other numbers don't seem to exist).

Comment You can see all the links listed below with just one click to this Wikipedia commons page:
commons:Category:Film_set_of_Michael_Lucas,_Apr_2008217.83.130.104 (talk) 21:14, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Hang on, a closer look finds The making of an adult film, The making of an adult film 2, The making of an adult film 3, The making of an adult film 4, The making of an adult film 5. These were all uploaded to Commons in April 2008 by David Shankbone. Some are obviously documentary in nature, but many are also obviously more explicit than some people would be happy with. It is difficult to get access to porn filming and to get non-explicit free shots, but I think Barber would be unhappy about these pictures as well. Personally, I'm more concerned that some of our content is quite plainly user-generated and amateur in all senses of the word, but lacks age-certification. More professional presentations and "documentary-style" media content is definitely needed, but looking at the age concern: how many of the amateur sexual content uploads are by minors in their jurisdiction? Instead of "Wikipedia Peddles Porn to Kids", you could have "Kids Upload Porn to Wikipedia". Carcharoth (talk) 03:37, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

BTW, would anyone mind if I listed the images I think the list above are referring to? Carcharoth (talk) 03:37, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
Please do.--ragesoss (talk) 03:43, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
OK. Added list below, after David's comments. Carcharoth (talk) 04:29, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Thanks for alerting me to the discussion. I certainly hope we don't start running around scared because evangelicals have their pitchforks out. They most likely don't think an article on Fluffing should exist, nay be illustrated. I long ago thought the best thing I could do for Wikipedia was to use my contacts and talents to give it a professional look - I had to teach myself how to use a camera, which is why many of my older shots that get replaced I don't defend. The question is: should we illustrate the pornographic articles? I give a hearty yes - it is our ability to educate and illustrate with our internationally libertarian values that makes us who we are as a site. With that in mind, my "Making of an adult film" series skirts many issues: these are professional porn actors at work - there are no age concerns; they have all signed model releases; indeed, they are quite happy for any publicity. In fact, Rodrigo De Carli was on the Janice Dickinson modeling reality television show - he is discussed in another one of our articles! Kurt Wild, a 22 year old heterosexual married father of three, who is found in my adult film articles, is an up-and-coming star of gay pornography. Most, if not all, of the actors in our photos have IMDB profiles and these photos are "advance shots" of New York City's "King of Porn", the "Lion of Chelsea", Michael Lucas's film Pounding the Pavement - due to be released in June. I took these photographs on a Monday and Tuesday, and that Wednesday started the Tribeca Film Festival - I was self-satisfied that what is likely my last major "new" project for Wiki was a full expose of the film industry, from ballbusters to blockbusters. And I think most of you can agree looking at my work from those two weeks, my photography really has improved these last two years. --David Shankbone 04:05, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Oh, and I'm not quite finished yet. Out of the 400 or so photos I have from those two days, I only uploaded around 10 or 12 - I may upload a few more, but nothing too graphic. But I also have recordings! Audio of the direction, the stage craft, etc. We are quite lucky to have this stuff - we really demystify the porn-making process, and isn't that what an educational site of our caliber does? Demystifies and educates? Like I said, I don't plan to undertake any "new" Wiki projects - but I do have a lot of things laying around my hard drive I need to get posted... --David Shankbone 04:15, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the comments, David. As well as demystifying the porn-making process, I think we should avoid glamourising it. There is a bad side to the porn industry, but that is more difficult to illustrate. In any case, I hope our articles don't shy away from covering the different aspects of the porn industry, both good and bad, and in all cases educational, rather than titillating. Carcharoth (talk) 04:42, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
  • We should avoid glamourising porn just as we should avoid glamourising fashion, Pokemon, history or science. We should still try to provide a rich archive of free media. Although, to move further off-topic, I sympathize with those who are offended by all this content. I think we should look into a system of screening potentially offensive content for those who want a "family-friendly" encyclopedia (although I don't endorse that language); Wikipedia is not censored, but that doesn't preclude providing options for users to censor their own Wikipedia experience.--ragesoss (talk) 05:01, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree. The photos are neutral, in my opinion, and don't glamorize the porn industry - after all, they are confined to the articles they depict, and are not found on articles such as "Love" or "Friendship". The reality is that if people are going to articles about pornography and they are flush with indignation that they see the topic illustrated, it reminds one of the old joke of old church ladies indignantly pouring over Playgirl magazines for hours. Regarding the "Family-friendly" Wikipedia, I assumed that was essentially the idea behind the SOS Children Wikipedia compendium, whose articles "have been cleaned up and checked for suitability for and usefulness to children." Perhaps this should be noted in any article the Signpost writes? --David Shankbone 10:56, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

OK, following my suggestion up above, here goes. Again, not work safe. Many are Commons images or categories, with only some of them used on Wikipedia. Some of the suggestions I'm not sure about, and some are just pointing at the obvious categories. Carcharoth (talk) 04:29, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

The problem, from where I'm sitting, is one of encyclopedic nature. Commons is a wonderful resource, but has long had a problem with having many images that would never be used in an encyclopedia. Image:Blowjob in the wood.jpg (currently only used on User:Cyde/Weird pictures) is one, for example. This problem of non-encylopedicity is not just restricted to sex-related imagery - all the Facebook-style pics of people on Commons are similarly not really suitable for articles, but are used in userspace instead. As for wider question of whether and how to control the type of borderline to explicit pornographic and educational material on Wikipedia and Commons, I'm not commenting on for now. Graphic violence and scenes of death and gore are related problem areas. Carcharoth (talk) 04:29, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Shouldn't this discussion be moved somewhere more appropriate ? --TheDJ (talkcontribs) 13:07, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
Probably. And the one below about help needed for form letters, which IMO isn't really suitable for the Signpost anyway, unless it was part of a larger article about OTRS. Where would you suggest they are moved? I think Ral tends to wipe threads once they are done, rather than archive them anywhere. Carcharoth (talk) 13:12, 9 May 2008 (UTC)


Please continue the discussion below. Thanks. Carcharoth (talk) 23:17, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Continued discussion[edit]

If we're going to have some sort of guideline, as all encyclopedias do, I think a good place to start is something like: "All depictions of human sexual activity used to document articles shall use line drawings rather than photographs or photo-realistic artwork"... with some sufficient elaboration of what that entails. You don't need a close-up photo to illustrate a sexual position. It won't satisfy the censors, but the educational value of figures relative to photos is still quite high, while the titilation value is not preserved to the same extent. Jclemens (talk) 01:21, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

I disagree. Line drawings are a poor substitute in my opinion; else, why bother with photographs anywhere in the encyclopedia? Powers T 01:44, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
My human anatomy book uses a mixture of diagrams and photos. I don't have a paper encyclopedia, but I seem to recall they did too. Frankly, diagrams are often more educational. I could argue "why use photos anywhere?" on that basis, but the fact is, photos work well for some things, and line drawings or diagrams work well for others. Jclemens (talk) 02:44, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
Diagrams for textbooks are commissioned art, done deliberately to omit certain details and highlight others. They serve a purpose and are not there because they are "just as good" as photography. Ford MF (talk) 21:40, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
Right--because they're commissioned by the textbook for that specific purpose, diagrams are generally more educational for that specific point than photographs. For sexually explicit articles that fall into this category, we should at least have a preference for diagrams of superior specific educational value, vs. photographs that might be adequate to illustrate the same point. Jclemens (talk) 04:47, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
I have no problem with saying that diagrams of equal or better illustrative value should be preferred to photographs of sexually explicit subjects. What I think we should avoid as an encyclopedia is making a statement that because diagrams are sometimes preferable, that photographs are inappropriate, that is to say, it shouldn't ever be diagrams or nothing. Could there really be a diagram more informative than a photograph for the pearl necklace article? Maybe! I am open to the possibility. But until someone shows up with a better diagram, the photographic illustration in the article is the best we have, and it is encyclopedic, and without alternatives there's no reason not to have it. Ford MF (talk) 06:05, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
I don't disagree, but I don't think pearl necklace falls under the guideline idea I set forth--it's not sexual activity. Sure, there's semen from a recent ejaculation present on the woman's skin, but there's no penises, no vagina, and certainly no multimedia clip of the ejaculatory process. I'm not talking about anything that could possibly offend people, I'm talking about PIV and similarly explicit sexual depictions. I don't envision the photographs, even of erections, at penis falling under that heading, but if there was a picture of PIV intercourse there, I would prefer it be replaced with a diagram. Jclemens (talk) 13:57, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
Diagrams are of course sometimes more educational; you'll notice we have a mixture of both on most anatomy topics. But there are aspects of anatomy that diagrams just can't replicate, which is why dissection remains popular in high school biology classes. Powers T 13:48, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
Gotta say, I don't think that particular photo is very explicit (not even buttocks are shown), nor educational (the act of fellatio is not depicted in a way that would be improve the knowledge of someone unfamiliar with the term). As far as public sex, the public nature may be implied by the outdoors, but it's not obvious. I'd consider this photo not a particularly good example of anything, actually. Jclemens (talk) 02:50, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Jclemens. There are better ways to illustrate the article public sex. Of more concern is the age of the people concerned. When people are photographed engaged in sexual activity, it is important in some jurisdictions that the age of the people involved is known. The images showing the making of a porn movies (see above) are (presumably) covered by the certification of the movie producers, but our amateur content, uploaded by pseudonymous users in most cases, is not similarly covered. Another thing to remember is thatI it is entirely possible that another (non-encyclopedic) Wikimedia project might use such images, but Wikipedia should restrict itself to encyclopedic content. Commons is our equivalent of stock photography, but that doesn't mean that all the images are suitable for all the projects served by Commons. Carcharoth (talk) 07:27, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm just saying it's at least theoretically usable in an encyclopedia article. Powers T 13:48, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

I think the clear solution to many problems Wikimedia faces is to create wikiporn as a new project. User generated content, subscription based to view. Gives all of these porn images that aren't encyclopedic a use, pisses off blustering nutbars like WND, and will raise a ton of money to help fund the foundation's efforts. There's no downside!  ;o) Resolute 23:48, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

A quick look round the internet shows that other websites have already jumped on the "user-generated porn" idea. Oh, you were joking? :-) Seriously, though, Wikipedia and Commons should be trying to improving their policing efforts with regards to such images. The user-generated content is worrying in many ways, especially if there is no age-verification mechanism. Carcharoth (talk) 04:35, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

Signpost article[edit]

Thanks for the research and discussion, Carcharoth and the rest. My story for the Signpost is up: User:Ragesoss/Pornography. Comments or suggestions before publication (as soon as tonight) are welcome.--ragesoss (talk) 19:45, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Left a fact tag for you--I believe the cover in question was voluntarily withdrawn from the US market by the record label after protests. I have not seen a citation that the album cover was ever banned by any US jurisdiction. Jclemens (talk) 20:06, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
That's great, thanks! Jclemens (talk) 20:17, 12 May 2008 (UTC)