On April 7, 2010, Larry Sanger , co-founder of Wikipedia , sent a letter to the FBI stating that Wikimedia Commons was hosting a child pornography under Title 18 of the United States Code . His accusations focused on images in the Lolicon and pedophilia categories, the latter of which contained explicit drawings of sexual acts between adults and children by Martin van Maele (1863-1926). [1]

Shortly after Sanger posted the letter in public, criticism came in from multiple sources. This ranged from assertions That He Had lolicon mislabeled as child pornography to the contention That Were His action year attack on the Wikimedia Foundation , Caused By His history with Wikipedia and his own competing online encyclopedia , Citizendium . Sanger denied que la letter Was an attempt to Undermine Wikipedia, goal DID confirm It was an attempt to force policy change for labeling Eliminating or “adult” content is Wikipedia .

Things escalated when Fox News began reporting on the issue. In response Jimmy Wales , co-founder of Wikipedia, and other administrators began deleting mass images , with Fox News reporting that a new policy change was underway. Days later Wales voluntarily relinquished his administrative powers on Commons under heavy criticism from the Wikimedia community. Fox News also received criticism for its handling of the reporting, especially for misrepresenting the situation regarding the self-removal of administrative powers by Wales as leaving the Foundation without clear leadership.


On April 7, 2010, Larry Sanger sent a letter to the FBI , United States Senators , and Representatives [2] [3] saying that Wikimedia Commons hosted child pornography in the lolicon and pedophilia categories. [2] He later acknowledged that the term “child pornography” may have been misleading because of many people it denotes images of real children and said that with the benefit of hindsight, he would have used the phrase “depictions of child sexual abuse . [4] According to section 1466A (2) (A) of Title 18 of the United States Code , Of this kind is subject to legal penalties. [4] [5] Section 1466 specifically states, “It is not a requirement of any offense under this section that the minor depicted actually exists.” [3] [5] Of this kind is subject to legal penalties. [4] [5] Section 1466 specifically states, “It is not a requirement of any offense under this section that the minor depicted actually exists.” [3] [5]

Wikimedia Commons Media in the category include pedophilia graphic drawings of child sexual abuse by French illustrator Martin van Maele . [2] (2) (2) (2) (2) (2) (2) (2) (2) Artistic, political, or scientific value “. Sanger Referred to an online chat entre educational technologists reporting That filtering software Was not picking up the image, making ’em available to children in schools, and this debate Stated That Was what first made _him_ aware of the outcome. [2] Sanger said that he felt both morally and legally obliged to report the presence of these media, because the statutes implied that one had to prosecute oneself. [6]

Wikimedia’s responses

Mike Godwin , General Counsel for the Wikimedia Foundation, dismissed Sanger’s claims. [3] Godwin Said That Sanger committed a typical layman’s error in try trying to invoke statutory law without adequate research, confusing Several sections of Title 18. [3] Section 1466A, the section Invoked by Sanger, does not deal with child pornography, aim with Obscenity , while child pornography is addressed in section 2252. [3] Godwin further defended the Foundation by citing Miller c. “ Which, according to the Register , emphasizes” the importance of community standards in defining what qualifies as obscenity “. [3] He also points out that the Foundation’s projects are created by web users, and cited section 230 of the Communications Decency Act -something he notes US federal obscenity and child-pornography statutes make a similar exception for. [3]

Wikipedian spokesman Jay Walsh says that the Foundation does not harbor illegal material and any such material uploaded by volunteers would be removed. [7]

Sanger’s response

Sanger, a self ascribed libertarian and moralist , stood by his actions and said, “pretending that it’s just obvious, even for libertarians, that we have a right to publish such depictions is simply wrong, in my opinion. [4] He told The Register , “If I did not report this – and it’s been up for years, apparently – who will?” As the co-founder of the project, Kidney in egregious wrongdoing when i see it. [3]

After the report, several allegations were made against Sanger and picked up by such sites as Slashdot : that this was an attempt to destroy the Wikimedia Foundation; That there was a conflict of interest in his reporting; And that he listed his own websites in the letter, among others. [4] [8] [9] In response à son action being white seen as an attempt by _him_ to destroy the Wikimedia Foundation Sanger commented That This Was not true, ALTHOUGH he Hoped That by making public things the Foundation Could Be Forcibly Persuaded to Eliminate Or label content as “adult”, so that filtering software would allow Wikipedia . [10] On the allegations that the report was a conflict of interest, Sanger comments that, while he once worked for Wikipedia and was currently running a website in competing against it, [4] He also contends that he was required by law to make the report, [10] though the manner in which he thing to do so was not. [11]

Sanger also responded to one specific comment on Slashdot,

“Who should be careful if someone masturbates to an image of a drawn child?” If that gets his / her kicks so that the person can be a normal productive member of society, Harmed, and the person has taken care of his / her urges. ” [4]

– unnamed poster by Larry Sanger, Slashdot

In his response Sanger, “The Score: 5, Interesting”. Sanger goes on to criticize the industry by stating,

“[The] high rating is chilling because it is one of the most influential sectors of industry today, the geek sector in control of the most massive media production system in history … is steadfastly non-judgmental when it comes to someone Who all but admits that he gets his’ kicks’ by masturbating to an image of a drawn child.It ‘s that attitude that explains why Category: Pedophilia and its contents exists on Wikimedia Commons. Website in the world. ” [4]

– Larry Sanger, Slashdot

Image purge

On May 7, 2010, after Fox News had begun informing and putting pressure on the Wikimedia Foundation, they reported that the Wikimedia Foundation had begun purging its websites of thousands of pornographic images after co-founder of the Wikimedia Foundation Jimmy Wales had been contacted by several of these donors. [12] [13] [14] Fox News also reported that, according to Wales, this was in preparation for a new policy regarding sexually explicit content. [13] However, Wales later denied the shake-up and that the reporter had ever contacted him. [15]

The purge led to infighting throughout the Wikimedia community. [14] Contributors complained that the deletions were “undemocratic and taken too quickly” and could result in images with legitimate educational value being accidentally deleted. [12] Fox News is the first of its kind in the United States. [14] However, the Wikimedia Foundation responded that, while discussions had become intense, it was a normal part of the process. [16]

On May 9, 2010, Jimmy Wales gave up some privileges in response to protests by his contributors who were angered over his deletion of images without consultation. He can no longer delete files, remove administrators, assign projects or edit protected content; However, he is still able to edit as a regular user. [12] [14] [17] Wales had previously requested that such images be removed. Some of the pictures he and other administrators deleted were restored as they were deemed to have educational value. [12] His stepping down was made up by various media when Fox News was quoted as saying that Wales’ voluntary redaction of his administrative powers created “chaos” with no one clearly in charge. [14] [15] [16] [18] [19] The foundation of the Wales’ role in the Wikimedia Foundation. They clarified Wales’ position as Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees, noting that there were other executives with higher authority. [16]

Sanger’s relations with Wikimedia

Sanger is one of the co-founders of the Wikipedia , but resigned on March 1, 2002. [20] In September 2006 he founded Citizendium , [21] a competitor to Wikipedia . [11] While Sanger has gone on the record That Was not this an attack is Wikipedia, nor a way to boost readership de son own free web-based collaborative encyclopedia , there is a significant level of skepticism That Sanger ACTED without malice. [8] [9] [11] Sanger has had an antagonistic history against Wikipedia since leaving, [22] [23] including criticism of Wikipedia co-founder Wales, and of the Wikipedia community: “The [.. .] Community had essentially been taken over by trolls to a great extent. That was a real problem, and Jimmy Wales absolutely refused to do anything about it. ” [24]

Criticism of Fox News coverage

Fox News was criticized for its handling of their reporting. In The Guardian , Godwin criticized the network, stating that Fox’s releases were “part of its self-congratulatory anti-porn-on-the-Internet campaign.” [18] Techdirtalso criticized them for their lack of transparency, stating, “While Fox [News] of course plays up Sanger’s Wikipedia credentials, they leave out the fact that they have the company They also leave out much of the animosity between Sanger and Wikipedia. ” [11] Fox News also improperly reported that Wales had a higher position in the Wikimedia Foundation and that it left a vacuum power vacuum. [15] [17] Wales said that the Fox News reporter, Jana Winter, who wrote the article on the alleged stepping down had never contacted him before publishing the article. [15] [18]

See also

  • Law portal
  • Pornography portal
  • Internet Watch Foundation and Wikipedia


  1. ^ Jump up to:b Riegler, Birgit (18 May 2010). “Fox News spinnt Pornostreit zur Anti-Wikipedia-Kampagne” , Der Standard .
  2. ^ Jump up to:c Sanger, Larry (April 7, 2010). “Re: Wikipedia (was Re: Letters override the filters)” . Humanities & Social Sciences Online . Retrieved March 15, 2011 .
  3. ^ Jump up to:h Metz, Cade (April 9, 2010). “Wikifun reports on Wikiparent to FBI over ‘child porn’: No real people pictured” . San Francisco: The Register . Retrieved March 15, 2011 .
  4. ^ Jump up to:g Sanger, Larry (April 12, 2010). “Larry Sanger Tells FBI Wikipedia Distributes” Child Pornography ” ” . Slashdot . General reply . Retrieved March 15, 2011 .
  5. ^ Jump up to:b Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 71, § 1466A
  6. Jump up^ Farrell, Nick (April 29, 2010). “Wikipedia denies child abuse allegations: Co-founder grassed the outfit to the FBI” . The Inquirer . Retrieved September 9, 2010 .
  7. Jump up^ “Wikipedia blasts co-founder’s accusations of child porn on website” . The Economic Times . New Delhi , India : The Times Group . 2010-04-29. OCLC  61311680 . Archived from the original on 2011-09-27 . Retrieved 2011-09-17 .
  8. ^ Jump up to:b “Wikimedia reported to FBI over lolicon” . Icarus Publishing . April 11, 2010 . Retrieved March 16,2011 .
  9. ^ Jump up to:b Rice, Brad (April 14, 2010). “Forming Wikipedia’s leading website reports for hosting lolicon” . Japanator . Retrieved March 16, 2011 .
  10. ^ Jump up to:b Sanger, Larry (April 30, 2010). “More replies about The FBI” . Larry Sanger . 4. I posted the FBI report publicly for good reason . Retrieved March 16, 2011 .
  11. ^ Jump up to:d Masnick, Mike (April 29, 2010). “Disgruntled Ex-Wikipedia Guy, Larry Sanger, Accuses Wikipedia Of Distributing Child Porn” . Techdirt . Retrieved March 17, 2011 .
  12. ^ Jump up to:d “Wikimedia pornography row deepens as Wales cedes rights” . BBC News. May 10, 2010 . Retrieved 2010-05-19 .
  13. ^ Jump up to:b Winter, Jana (May 7, 2010). “Exlcusive: Wikipedia’s Parent Company Starts Purging Porn From Its Websites” . Fox News . Retrieved March 15, 2011 .
  14. ^ Jump up to:e Winter, Jana (May 14, 2010). “Exclusive: Shakeup and Wikipedia in Wake of Porn Purge” . Fox News . Retrieved March 16, 2011 .
  15. ^ Jump up to:d Rusli, Evelyn (May 16, 2010). “Jimmy Wales: Fox News Is Wrong, No Shake Up” . TechCrunch . Retrieved March 16, 2011 .
  16. ^ Jump up to:c Walsh, Jay (May 17, 2010). “Clarifying recent coverage of Wikipedia” . Wikimedia Foundation . Retrieved March 16, 2011 .
  17. ^ Jump up to:b Guevin, Jennifer (March 16, 2010). “Wikimedia’s Wales gives up some top-level controls” . CNET . Retrieved March 17, 2011 .
  18. ^ Jump up to:c Kiss, Jemima (May 17, 2010). “Wikimedia: ‘Fox News’s campaign against us is nonsense ‘ ” . London: The Guardian . Retrieved March 16, 2011 .
  19. Jump up^ Cohen, David (May 17, 2010). “Wales’ Tales: Wikipedia Founder Denies Diminished Role” . WebNewser . Retrieved March 16, 2011 .
  20. Jump up^ Sanger, Larry (March 1, 2002). “My resignation-Larry Sanger” . Wikimedia Foundation . Retrieved March 17, 2011 .
  21. Jump up^ Sanger, Larry (September 27, 2006). “[Citizendium-l] Citizendium launch plan as of September 26” . Purdue University . Retrieved March 17, 2011 .
  22. Jump up^ “Wikipedia founder sets up rival” . Australian IT. October 19, 2006 . Retrieved March 25, 2007 .
  23. Jump up^ Sanger, Larry (December 31, 2004). “Why Wikipedia Must Jettison Its Anti-Elitism” . Kuro5hin . Retrieved March 3, 2007 .
  24. Jump up^ Ferraro, Nicole (October 9, 2009). “Wikipedia Co-Founder Speaks Out Against Jimmy Wales” . Internet Evolution . Retrieved October 15, 2009 .

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