Wikipedia Gives Porn a Break

Sep 17, 2013 12:30 PM PST

CYBERSPACE — Wikipedia has reportedly abandoned efforts to implement a filter to remove explicit images from its user-generated online encyclopedia after board members could not agree on a feasible method to do so.

The Wikipedia Foundation attempted to clean up “questionable” photos and videos from its site after FoxNews published an exposé concerning the offending material, FoxNews said in a recent article.  

While the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to pass a “personal image filter” in 2011, internal and external criticism eventually led to a reversal of the decision. The Foundation opened a dialogue with Wikipedia users at large to gauge public opinion and gather suggestions for potential filters.  

“This was a major discussion within our community. Thousands [about 24,000] of users contributed to the process,” Jay Walsh, a spokesman for Wikimedia told FoxNews. “Beyond simply conducting votes, our community also suggested dozens of possible technological models for how an image filter might work, what issues the system would encounter and how it might be implemented.

“Ultimately, our board declared that the results of this referendum were inconclusive, and that no single system would be effective, nor was there consensus about the need for the system.”

Critics, including Greg Kohs, who helms an anti-Wikipedia site Wikipediocracy, pointed out that many of the pornographic images removed since 2010 have returned.

Walsh added: “On our major media repository, hundreds of images are added and removed every single minute. Images that are deemed inappropriate, possible copyright violations or potentially illegal are removed by volunteers very quickly if not immediately. This is part of the normal, daily process on our project.”

Coincidentally or not, Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales openly criticized British Prime Minister David Cameron’s Internet porn-filter overhaul last month, calling the plan “ridiculous.”

Business Insider also reported this year that the monolithic data base was partly funded by Wale’s 90s softcore porn e-venture “Bomis Babe Report,” a search engine that yielded images of partially nude women and celebrities.   

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