Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wikipedia victory in censorship row

We read:
"An anti-child abuse watchdog has reversed its decision to blacklist a Wikipedia page showing a controversial 1976 album cover after protests over censorship. Most British internet service providers had blocked users from accessing the image of a prepubescent naked girl on the cover of the Virgin Killer album by the Scorpions, a German band, after the Internet Watch Foundation ruled it was a "potentially illegal indecent image".

But the picture was accessible on many other sites and some argued that, while provocative, it was an artistic historical artefact and should not be banned. Last night the IWF accepted that its ban had been counter-productive after the controversy had prompted millions to view the image. It said in a statement: "The IWF Board has considered these findings and the contextual issues involved in this specific case and, in light of the length of time the image has existed and its wide availability, the decision has been taken to remove this webpage from our list.

"IWF's overriding objective is to minimise the availability of indecent images of children on the internet, however, on this occasion our efforts have had the opposite effect. We regret the unintended consequences for Wikipedia and its users. Wikipedia have been informed of the outcome of this procedure and IWF Board's subsequent decision." .......

Wikipedia had sharply criticised the IWF decision which had the side-effect of leaving many British internet users unable to edit Wikipedia entries and affected the website's performance......

The Wikimedia Foundation behind Wikipedia had protested that the IWF had gone too far. "The IWF didn't just block the image; it blocked access to the article itself, which discusses the image in a neutral, encyclopedic fashion," said Wikimedia Foundation head Sue Gardner from San Francisco.



Anonymous said...

"which discusses the image in a neutral, encyclopedic fashion,"

Precisely what pedophiles would do.

Anonymous said...

Meh, it's just another example of pansy-assed PC overlords totally screwing things up.