Wikipedia Begins Porn Purge-Fest

Hear that noise? It’s the Internet being scrubbed clean as Wikipedia’s parent company, Wikimedia Foundation, purges sexually explicit content from its websites. The clean-up comes after FoxNews.com started looking into the existence of such graphic content and its ready availability to anyone, even unsuspecting school children.

FoxNews.com makes the case that a child researching a project for school could happen upon sexually graphic images of genitalia, people having sex and masturbating and other images that serve no educational purpose and could exist solely to stimulate the prurient interests of others. So like, people who want to look at dirty pictures for free on the Internet.

Wikimedia Foundation president Jimmy Wales acknowledged that the sites’ administrators were in the process of purging such content, posting in the now defunct “sexual content” category:

“We have had a problem with images being placed into inappropriate categories, so that viewers were exposed in unexpected ways to sexual content. Image categorization should be done in such a way that readers are not exposed unexpectedly to content that may be offensive.”

He added elsewhere that the board will be releasing a statement of serious enforcement of policy regarding the issue.

On Wednesday night, Wales posted this note on Wikimedia Commons:

“Wikimedia Commons admins [administrators allowed to edit the site, including Wales himself] who wish to remove from the project all images that are of little or no educational value but which appeal solely to prurient interests have my full support. This includes immediate deletion of all pornographic images. We should keep educational images about sexuality — mere nudity is not pornography — but as with all our projects, editorial quality judgments must be made and will be made — appropriately and in good taste….

“I think our existing policies here on commons are sufficient to deal with the problem – with the minor exception that many things should just be speedy deleted and argued about later. If you want to be technical about it, please consider this a policy change in that regard. Try to relax. Anything which is deleted can be resorted if there’s a good reason.”

Thus began the process of marking files for deletion.

When it comes to what is protected by free speech and what is just obscene for obscenity’s sake do you think there’s a fine line to be walked – will educational materials be marked for deletion, never to be recovered, or will we all benefit from such a wide-scale purging?

EXCLUSIVE: Wikipedia’s Parent Company Starts Purging Porn From Its Websites [FOXNews.com]