Tuesday, 09 Sep, 2008 Current Events

Dispute Over Sexual Content on Wikipedia


According to child protection campaigners, the biggest multilingual free-content online encyclopedia Wikipedia went over the line by tolerating the placement of graphic video and images of sexual acts on its articles.

Surfing through Wikipedia one may run across videos of masturbation, "hardcore" sex and orgies. One of the articles included a video of a man ejaculating and there were no signs of warning or age confirmation. Another entry featured different photographs taken from straight and gay "hardcore" porn.

One of the Wikipedia editors who attempted to remove the ejaculation video said that the clip was "overkill". "A video of a woman giving herself a breast exam would be educational and ... a video of a man giving himself a testicle exam would be educational. Images alone are not enough for those processes, but a video of a man ejaculating - when there is an image that shows it stage by stage - is not needed," a user wrote in relevant articles.

Bernadette McMenamin, the head of Childwise outlined that sex education is something that needs to be taught, but sexualized pictures in a free online encyclopedia is just too much.

She said: "Does that mean that when you type in 'murder', you should actually see someone murdering someone else? Do we really need to see a woman masturbating on Wikipedia? Do we really need to see so many seconds of ejaculation?"

Many obscene pictures from Wikipedia have been removed after lots of users complained about the videos and images of sexual acts. Nevertheless there are still many disputes over a number of other "explicit" content on Wikipedia.

"I don't think that (Wikipedia) is the place for this ... even in medical school, you deal mostly with diagrams - not French manicured nails," wrote on a discussion page one of the users referring to a photo of female genitalia.

The policies of the online encyclopedia state that there "is no censorship" on Wikipedia.

"Obviously inappropriate content (such as an irrelevant link to a shock site, or clear vandalism) is usually removed quickly. However, some articles may include objectionable text, images, or links where they are relevant to the content - such as the articles about the penis or pornography," the site says.

Source: News.com.au

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