WikiPorn… Say It Isn’t So, Jimmy

Larry Sanger, X-muckity-muck with Wikipedia accuses parent organization, Wikimedia Foundation, of hosting child pornography on their servers.

I ran across an opinion piece by Renay San Miguel that was originally posted at entitled Whose Wikipedia Is It, Anyway? Until reading this article, I was not aware of the previous news story broken on about Wikipedia allegedly distributing child pornography. I have to admit it got my attention. According to Jana Winter’s article at…

Larry Sanger, who left Wikipedia in 2002, said Wikimedia Commons (the parent company of Wiki products including Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikinews and Wikiquote) is rife with renderings of children performing sexual acts.Sanger sent a letter to the FBI earlier this month outlining his concerns and identifying two specific Wikimedia Commons categories he believes violate federal obscenity law.

This is disturbing. I’m a big fan of all things Wikimedia/Wikipedia. I use those sites nearly every day. I’ve donated money to them. I would be very disappointed should any of these allegations pan out as being true in any way.

The FOXNews article continues…

In addition to mentioning the two categories of possibly illegal content, Sanger also named the controversial high-level Wikipedia manager Erik Moeller, who Sanger said “is well known for his views in defense of pedophilia.”

“What is my position on pedophilia, then? It’s really simple. If the child doesn’t want it, is neutral or ambiguous, it’s inappropriate,”

Moeller wrote in 2001 in a post on that he titled, “Pleasure, Affection, Cause and Effect.” These writings were drudged up by Valleywag in May 2008.

Umm… say WHAT? Did I read that correctly? Shouldn’t child pornography be inappropriate (read as WRONG) under ANY circumstances? Isn’t that pretty much the Law AND society’s moral opinion on that matter? I thought so. Moeller posted a response to this FOX article…

“I want to say definitively: I do not defend nor support acts of sexual violence against children and have never defended pedophilia in any way.

I have consistently defended the right of children of comparable age to engage in consensual, harmless sexual interactions with each other – what’s commonly called “playing doctor”, and also safe sex among teens. I have never defended the “right” of pedophiles to abuse children; child sexual abuse is a crime, and there is no such right. Children also don’t have the ability to consent to sexual activity with pedophiles, and such activities are sexual violence against children by definition.”

Ahem… yeah. Emboldened print in the above quote is my emphasis. Hey! I’m no prude, folks… but is this guy a bit out there or what? This is the Wikimedia Foundation’s Deputy Director?

In the more recent opinion piece by San Miguel, he writes…

…Wikipedia is still in dire need of some professional editing and vetting help, and that the crowd has taken over this particular Web 2.0 asylum. And that if you cover Web businesses, the internal struggles and machinations at Wikipedia rate very high in gossip/dish content.

Then Jimmy Wales steps into the fray…

“Wikimedia Commons admins 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,” wrote Wales on his Wikimedia Commons page. “This includes immediate deletion of all pornographic images.

This BIG HAMMER solution didn’t go over well with everyone, though.

The ire reached such levels that Wales was forced to revisit the situation and issue an apology of sorts. “In the flurry of activity this weekend, I made some mistakes, and I’m sorry about that. I had thought that a good process would be to engage in a very strong series of deletions, including of some historical images, and then to have a careful discussion about rebuilding. That proved to be very unpopular and so I regret it. It also may have had the effect of confusing people about my own position on what to keep and what to get rid of.”

Poor Jimmy’s in a bad place with this. I’ve been there. I know what this can be like. Censoring content is not something I enjoy doing on my own public boards. However, it has to be done sometimes. One person’s joke can easily be another person’s offensive remark or picture. As an owner/admin/moderator, you have to set the “what’s acceptable” bar at a mutually agreed upon level. That ain’t always easy to do. You invariably have those who feel your site is too restrictive and others who feel it’s too permissive. You can’t please everyone all the time. That being said, though… you SURE AS HELL won’t find child porn on any of the boards or forums I admin or moderate.

Be sure to read both of the articles quoted from above. They’re both necessary to understand the full view of this mess. I sure hope Jimmy Wales didn’t have anything to do with this… and that he can clean it up quickly. He might also want to think about finding a new Deputy Director for the Wikimedia Foundation. Mr. Moeller has some disturbing opinions about children and sexual activity, I think.

Until next time, folks…


Wikipedia Distributing Child Porn, Co-Founder Tells FBI – FOXNews

Whose Wikipedia Is It, Anyway? – Renay San Miguel

An important adenda: To be perfectly fair to Erik Moeller, I did a bit of checking and research after writing this piece above. I found a very lucid and convincing response to FOX’s article on Mr. Moeller’s website. I urge everyone to read it to give the man a fair hearing before condemning him on FOX’s article alone.

My Defamation 2.0 Experience – Erik Moeller

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  • ebrke  On May 16, 2010 at 14:45

    I tend to take everything emanating from Fox News with a grain of salt.

    • V. T. Eric Layton  On May 16, 2010 at 17:52

      What? Aren’t they “fair and balanced”. HAHA! Seriously, FOX is NOT my normal source for news and information.

  • John  On May 18, 2010 at 11:09

    Believe it or not, 16 year olds do have sex and there’s nothing wrong with it.

    • V. T. Eric Layton  On May 18, 2010 at 15:36

      Indeed they do, John. My concern is when the two 16 year olds are filmed having sex and watched by a bunch of old perverts on their computers in their darkened dens late at night. That’s child porn. That’s wrong.



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