<CPOV> image filter referendum

nathaniel tkacz nathanieltkacz at gmail.com
Tue Aug 23 04:37:04 CEST 2011

these developments are very interesting. it seems a lot must have changed
for this to become a possibility. both johanna and i have written about
censorship in relation to religious images and in my own explorations the
"wikipedia is not censored" rhetoric was very strong, defeating those who
suggested other options - including a technical opt-out function.

the argument in favour of opt-out (or in?) censorship seems to have changed
now. the logic has moved from a "cultural sensitivity" argument (which
failed) to a market based one (i'm tempted to say neo-liberal): "The feature
is intended to benefit readers by offering them more choice".

i wonder if the irresistible logic of choice will win out.

Nate Tkacz

ARC Research Associate
Genealogies of Digital Light
The University of Melbourne
Site: http://www.digital-light.net.au/

PhD Candidate
School of Culture and Communication
The University of Melbourne

Twitter: http://twitter.com/__nate__

Research Page: http://nathanieltkacz.net

On Mon, Aug 22, 2011 at 8:43 AM, Geert Lovink <geert at xs4all.nl> wrote:

> http://news.slashdot.org/**story/11/08/19/1236235/**
> Wikipedia-May-Censor-Images<http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/08/19/1236235/Wikipedia-May-Censor-Images>
> "To appease 'morality' watchdogs, Wikipedia is contemplating the
> introduction of a censorship feature, where images would be flagged for
> containing sexual references, nudity, 'mass graves,' and so on. At least in
> the initial implementation, it is supposed to be 'opt-in.' However, with
> such precedents as the UK censoring artistic nudity, Turkey censoring
> references to the Armenian genocide or China's stance on information about
> the Tiananmen massacre (note that any sensitive photos, like the Tank Man,
> are already absent!), I find it quite hard to believe this feature won't be
> mandatory for some groups of readers — whether it's thanks to an oppressive
> government, an ISP or a school."
> Begin forwarded message:
>  From: "Wikimedia Referendum, 2011" <improve at wikimedia.org>
>> Date: 19 August 2011 4:10:12 PM
>> To: Glovink <geert at xs4all.nl>
>> Subject: Image filter referendum
>> Dear Glovink,
>> You are eligible to vote in the image filter referendum, a referendum to
>> gather more input into the development and usage of an opt-in personal image
>> hiding feature. This feature will allow readers to voluntarily screen
>> particular types of images strictly for their own accounts.
>> Its purpose is to enable readers to easily hide images on the Wikimedia
>> projects that they do not wish to view, either when first viewing the image
>> or ahead of time through individual preference settings. The feature is
>> intended to benefit readers by offering them more choice, and to that end it
>> will be made as user-friendly and simple as possible. We will also make it
>> as easy as possible for editors to support. For its development, we have
>> created a number of guiding principles, but trade-offs will need to be made
>> throughout the development process. In order to aid the developers in making
>> those trade-offs, we need your help us assess the importance of each by
>> taking part in this referendum.
>> For more information, please see http://meta.wikimedia.org/**
>> wiki/Image_filter_referendum/**en<http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image_filter_referendum/en>.
>> To remove yourself from future notifications, please add your user name at
>> http://meta.wikimedia.org/**wiki/Wikimedia_nomail_list<http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_nomail_list>
>> .
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