<CPOV> 2010 Wikimedia Study of Controversial Content

Seth Finkelstein sethf at sethf.com
Sun Jul 4 18:16:08 CEST 2010

Members of this list might be interested in following the issues
associated with the "2010 Wikimedia Study of Controversial Content"



  Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Robert Harris. I'm the consultant
  that's been asked by the Wikimedia Foundation to conduct the research
  study outlined in the resolution posted on June 24 by Michael Snow,
  and further discussed by his series of FAQs
  I'd like to use this page to be something of a clearing house for
  information about the study, where I can post the research I'm
  amassing for the Board, answer questions about what I'm doing (to the
  best of my ability), and provide a forum for all Wikipedians to
  discuss the various relevant issues at play.


  What are the issues you've been asked to look at?

  Basically, I'm dividing my work into two related, but distinct
  segments. The first is to look at the whole question of potentially
  sensitive and controversial content within the projects. However,
  having said this, much of the work, I believe, although not all, will
  center around images rather than text. The role of sexual images
  within this universe is undoubted – to what extent the questions
  surrounding appropriate and inappropriate sexual images stands for the
  larger question of controversial images in general I'm still
  struggling with. (I can argue it both ways). I fully realize that the
  question of the appropriateness of certain kinds of images, sexual and
  other, is not new in the projects. One of the very first posts to a
  Commons discussion group more than half a decade ago raised many of
  the very same issues that are being discussed today by Commons editors
  and administrators. However, I am hoping that I might be able to
  provide a bit of a fresh look at some of the issues, by bringing to
  bear policies current in other areas of the Wikimedia universe (and in
  other communities, online and offline) to these discussions.

  Secondly, I'm going to look at the wide range of issues surrounding
  the relationship of children, their parents, and their educational
  institutions to Wikimedia projects. Although some of the issues in
  this part of the project overlap with those outlined above, I'm
  separating the discussion in my own mind. The question of the
  relationship of the projects to children encompasses many aspects –
  from questions of treatment of sensitive content on the one hand to
  the kind of discussions I'm following on Foundation-l about the
  advisability of creating special kids's sites within the Wikimedia
  universe. The question of the relationship of children to the projects
  cannot be simply centered on restriction; it must balance outreaching
  and protecting elements, I believe.

Seth Finkelstein  Consulting Programmer  sethf at sethf.com  http://sethf.com
See _Guardian_ columns at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/sethfinkelstein

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