[SharedKnowing] Regarding Virgin Killer
fredbaud at fairpoint.net
Thu Dec 11 12:41:44 CST 2008
> It's been <http://education.zdnet.com/?p=1988> a pretty big news story:
> a few days, editing of Wikipedia was effectively blocked throughout much
> the U.K., because Wikipedia had, and still has, an uncensored
> of the Scorpions' album cover for Virgin Killer. This shows a completely
> naked pre-pubescent girl in a sexually suggestive pose.
> Does it bother you that Wikipedia reproduces an image that is, arguably,
> child pornography? It does me. Now, I think the Internet ought to be safe
> for porn, but not child porn. [snip] I don't
> think that a general encyclopedia, used by millions of school kids (at
> at home) should host sexually suggestive pictures of naked pre-pubescent
> girls. That ought to be obvious to Wikipedians, and the fact that it's
> is yet more evidence that not all is well in Wikipedia-land.
> Lawrence M. Sanger, Ph.D. | http://www.larrysanger.org/
> Editor-in-Chief, Citizendium | http://www.citizendium.org/
> Executive Director, WatchKnow | http://www.watchknow.org/
> sanger at citizendium.org
My own position, which has not found favor in the councils of Wikipedia,
is that Wikipedia should avoid offensive images, illegal or not, if the
offensiveness overshadows the information contained. Now, of course,
after this row, the image is quite informative as it illustrates several
points regarding the law and child pornography and censorship in the UK.
Larry quite rightly, points out that the pornographic aspect of the image
depends a great deal on the words, "Virgin Killer" (Although the lyrics
of the song identify "time" as the villain, time and experience
destroying innocence or virginity. Without the context the image is
merely a nude, and, at least in the United States, not child pornography
as there is no sexual activity depicted.
Contesting the issue worked out well for Wikipedia and was certainly an
eye-opener for the residents of the UK. It was a public relations
disaster for the Internet Watch Foundation, the IWF, as it resulted in
negative publicity regarding what is a decent project. Their statement:
For your information, Wikipedia does routinely delete actual child
pornography and regularly blocks those who would place it and similar
material on the site.
There will always be a contested limit in any project regarding this
material. It is good to hear that your policy is more sensitive.
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