Wikipedia:Image censorship

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This is an open discussion/poll on the act of censorship in Wikipedia with regards to image inclusion in articles. This has been a topic of much debate for a long time, with attempts of censorship involving images on Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse (talk) and Clitoris (talk) leading to edit wars and protection.

==Discussion closed== 101 After Wikipedia:Graphic and potentially disturbing images favoured "do nothing now" this discussion has been closed. It has been left here as an archive of the discussion – you may still add to it but votes will not count towards anything. In the future other paths towards a censorship system may be attempted, but for now this one is closed. violet/riga (t) 23:13, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Choosing the images to censor[edit]

If the decision was made that Wikipedia should, to some degree, be censored it would be necessary to choose which images should be censored. This poll is to look at the who and the how of this. It will be required to develop guidelines for the decision-making process and the criteria but this vote does not deal with that aspect (for more of that see Wikipedia:Graphic and potentially disturbing images).


Online Petition[edit]

If a YET TO BE DECIDED (say 1,000) people get an online petition (whether neutral or via Wikipages such as this one) for the censorship of an image, it should be replaced by a link disclaimer describing the content of the image. In this way, the images will still remain a part of the article without popping up for someone involuntarily.

Agree[edit]

Disagree[edit]

it is bad because it isnt right for people to be unsafe

Objection and seconding[edit]

If two* people (not including sockpuppets or anons) object to the inclusion of an image then it should be censored.

* This number may require revision.

Agree[edit]

Disagree[edit]

  1. Peter O. (Talk) (Two is too few)
  2. violet/riga (t) 15:11, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  3. No way - David Gerard 23:40, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  4. Bryan 00:50, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  5. No. JOHN COLLISON (An Liúdramán) 14:18, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  6. ➥the Epopt 15:56, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  7. マイケル 21:30, Dec 30, 2004 (UTC)
  8. Very strongly. BLANKFAZE | (что??) 21:46, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  9. Strongly disagree. ᓛᖁ♀ 01:26, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  10. This would be a disaster. --Zero 01:42, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  11. No. Dpbsmith (talk) 22:02, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  12. No. What we need is a solution that accomidates the moral values of everyone. Samboy 23:56, 5 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  13. Evil MonkeyTalk 06:10, Jan 7, 2005 (UTC)
  14. Horrible idea. Timbo 05:18, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  15. John 23:53, 17 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  16. Realy bad idea - what images would be left? GeorgeOrr
  17. Hmmm... No. One would risk "Moral majorities" of two. --Gantlord 23:59, 30 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  18. Absolutely not. Postdlf 06:28, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  19. Oppose all censorship. RickK 06:38, Feb 1, 2005 (UTC)
  20. strong disagreement Refdoc 10:31, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  21. No way. MarkSweep 03:12, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  22. Mar·ka·ci:2005-02-7 23:48 Z
  23. A recipe for intrusive interference. Look at the way the labels are currently used and by whom. Look at the checkered history of VfD. --Wetman 08:44, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  24. Too exploitable -- Tomhab 01:05, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  25. GerardM 13:14, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  26. Number should be raised way higher Zombieliving 16:06, 11 September 2005 (UTC)
  27. No dude Chris 01:19, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Comments[edit]

  • Could very easily lead to too much censorship. violet/riga (t) 15:11, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Hotly argued topics will have NO IMAGES AT ALL if two users don't like them - David Gerard 23:40, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • There should be a means to access an image-free page in these cases.Dr Zen 00:03, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • This would give roving bands of censors free reign, all they'd have to do is ensure that they had the magic number of members. Bryan 00:50, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Couldn't controversial images be put on a page called (say) page_name/image. Then a link could be provided to allow the user to choose whether or not to view the image. John 23:54, 17 Jan 2005 (UTC)

User vote[edit]

A method similar to the Votes for Deletion process should be initiated with all registered users allowed a vote.

Agree[edit]

  1. U$er 06:32, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  2. Chris 01:21, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Disagree[edit]

  1. violet/riga (t) 15:11, 28 Dec 2 2004 (UTC)
  2. David Gerard 23:40, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  3. Bryan 00:50, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  4. ➥the Epopt 15:56, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  5. マイケル 21:30, Dec 30, 2004 (UTC)
  6. BLANKFAZE | (что??) 21:48, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  7. Dpbsmith (talk) 22:02, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  8. Absolutely not. Postdlf 06:30, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  9. Oppose all censorship. RickK 06:38, Feb 1, 2005 (UTC)
  10. No!Refdoc 10:51, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  11. Mar·ka·ci:2005-02-7 23:48 Z
  12. --Wetman 08:47, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  13. I support in theory but IMHO Wikipedia needs a standard for censor. User vote does not provide that. -- Tomhab 01:06, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Neutral[edit]

  1. I don't understand the proposal. ᓛᖁ♀ 01:27, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Comments[edit]

  • There will be lots of people that just vote no on every image. violet/riga (t) 15:11, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Votes are antiwiki. You need to convince those people why there should be an image. Dr Zen 00:03, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • VfD is itself the subject of controversy right now on account of overzealous deletion-proposing (or underzealous, depending on who you ask). Let's not emulate it until we know it's worth emulating. Bryan 00:50, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Just a thought I had, to see if anyone thinks it is worth while to discuss: should we allow images to be deleted for non-content reasons? By this I am thinking of the following: blurry images, scans that are too dark/light, or otherwise lacking any clear significance to them? -- llywrch 21:15, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Admin vote[edit]

An admin-only vote should decide which ones are censored from those submitted by anybody.

Agree[edit]

  1. violet/riga (t) 15:11, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  2. Tomhab 01:07, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Disagree[edit]

  1. No, no and no - David Gerard 23:40, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  2. Absolutely not. Whatever next, admins get to decide which edits stand?Dr Zen 00:03, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  3. Admins have no special rights, just special abilities. Bryan 00:50, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  4. No. Definitely not. The people with the keys to the broom cupboard shouldn't decide how to run the building. JOHN COLLISON (An Liúdramán) 14:09, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  5. ➥the Epopt 15:56, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  6. マイケル 21:30, Dec 30, 2004 (UTC)
  7. Strongly. BLANKFAZE | (что??) 21:49, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  8. Very strongly disagree, ditto Dr Zen. ᓛᖁ♀ 01:28, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  9. Dpbsmith (talk) 22:03, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  10. Admins are janitors, nothing more. grendel|khan 09:49, 2005 Jan 10 (UTC)
  11. Absolutely not. Postdlf 06:33, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  12. Oppose all censorship. RickK 06:39, Feb 1, 2005 (UTC)
  13. No. Let's keep the special admin privileges to a minimum. MarkSweep 03:13, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  14. Mar·ka·ci:2005-02-7 23:48 Z
  15. No. Admins are just the one who administrate Chris 01:23, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Comments[edit]

  • The creation of a hierarchy was a bad thing. Giving admins more power would make it worse.Dr Zen 00:03, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Panel vote[edit]

A selected panel of users decides which ones are censored from those submitted by anybody.

Agree[edit]

  1. violet/riga (t) 15:11, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  2. Gives wikipedia a standard of censorship across the encyclopaedia which is best solution. -- Tomhab 01:09, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Disagree[edit]

  1. No, no and no - David Gerard 23:40, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  2. Selected?Dr Zen 00:03, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  3. Not in a million years. Bryan 00:50, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  4. ➥the Epopt 15:56, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  5. マイケル 21:30, Dec 30, 2004 (UTC)
  6. What David said, with a "no" added to the end. BLANKFAZE | (что??) 21:50, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  7. This is no better. ᓛᖁ♀ 01:30, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  8. Dpbsmith (talk) 22:03, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  9. Absolutely not. Postdlf 06:34, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  10. Oppose all censorship. RickK 06:39, Feb 1, 2005 (UTC)
  11. No censorship Refdoc 10:51, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  12. Mar·ka·ci:2005-02-7 23:48 Z
  13. There are no tribunals at Wikipedia. Yet. --Wetman 08:51, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  14. GerardM 13:15, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  15. Hell no. I want democracy, man Chris 01:25, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Comments[edit]

ICRA[edit]

Use the guidelines and system set by the ICRA, as discussed at Wikipedia:Graphic and potentially disturbing images.

Agree[edit]

  1. Provided we don't actually censor anything, only offer a filter for some users. ᓛᖁ♀ 01:32, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  2. This is not bad at all. JFW | T@lk 14:39, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  3. Yes. Of course, the "suitable for children" tag is tricky to deal with. Samboy 23:57, 5 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  4. Agree. U$er 06:33, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Disagree[edit]

  1. violet/riga (t) 15:11, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  2. No - David Gerard 23:40, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  3. These guidelines are POV and subjective. They rely on judgements such as whether something's "suitable for children", which will simply change the debate from whether an image should be censored to whether it's suitable for children. Bryan 00:50, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  4. ➥the Epopt 15:56, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  5. マイケル 21:30, Dec 30, 2004 (UTC)
  6. Nooooooooooo. BLANKFAZE | (что??) 21:51, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  7. Dpbsmith (talk) 22:03, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  8. Nooooooooooo... ooooooooo. Timbo 05:29, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  9. Disagree - reading those guidelines it strikes me that they would never stand as an article because of the strong POV ... yet this proposal would adopt them for the entire project. That makes no sense. GeorgeOrr
  10. Absolutely not. Postdlf 06:32, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  11. Oppose all censorship. RickK 06:40, Feb 1, 2005 (UTC)
  12. Ambi 03:26, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  13. Mar·ka·ci:2005-02-7 23:48 Z
  14. GerardM 13:17, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  15. we should just add a disclamer to all disturbing pictures,but not banning them Chris 01:26, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Comments[edit]

  • I think we should try and self-censor if we're going to have a policy of censorship. violet/riga (t) 15:11, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Grossly POV - David Gerard 23:40, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • I don't think we should censor at all but we should allow users the opportunity to censor for themselves.Dr Zen 00:03, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
    • Then what we should be doing, IMO, is creating some sort of generalized system for adding metadata to images rather than coming up with a way to decide what images should be censorable. You can have tags for "exposed male genitalia", "unveiled female faces", "depiction of killing", etc. and then if someone decides that one of those types of images is offensive to them they can filter to their heart's content. Trying to group images as "censorable" and "not censorable" means we're going to have to define what's "offensive" for everyone. Bryan 00:50, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
      • NPOV means "include all views", Bryan. These pages could carry a warning saying "Some may find pictures of erect penises offensive. This link removes them", "Some may find pictures of dead bodies offensive. This link removes them". We do not have to make any stand on what is or isn't offensive. One need only cite sources. (BTW, ICRA might be POV, but it is a POV. A warning could quite happily say "The ICRA states that pictures of erect penises are offensive. This link removes pictures of erect penises.")Dr Zen 01:08, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
        • Then pretty much every page is going to have a link like that. "Some may find images of Confederate memorabilia offensive. This link removes them." "Some may find pictures of interracial couples offensive. This link removes them". "Some may find pictures of puppies offensive. This link removes them." etc. Anything else would be us deciding for everyone what's "censorable" and what isn't. Bryan 15:51, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)

No Censoring of images[edit]

Images which are relevant to the article should never be censored no matter the content.

Agree[edit]

  1. The bellman 03:42, 2004 Dec 31 (UTC)
  2. BLANKFAZE | (что??) 05:35, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  3. Images should never be censored. ᓛᖁ♀ 01:34, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  4. Nohat 22:48, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  5. Bryan 01:54, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  6. Evil MonkeyTalk 06:11, Jan 7, 2005 (UTC)
  7. Timbo 05:12, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  8. Strongly Agree - Pictures or text, removing relevent NPOV material is POV GeorgeOrr
  9. Absolutely. Postdlf 06:30, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  10. Yup. RickK 06:41, Feb 1, 2005 (UTC)
  11. AlanBarrett 21:40, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC). Images should be displayed or not according to whether or not they improve the information content of the article. Nothing in wikipedia should be censored.
  12. Strongly agree. It's OK to warn readers though ("This article contains material that may not be suitable for people under the age of 35. Reader discretion is advised.") MarkSweep 03:16, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  13. Mar·ka·ci:2005-02-7 23:48 Z
  14. gcbirzantalk 08:39, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  15. Tastywheat The way this site is designed it is unlikely to accidentally run into inappropriate content. If it's relevant it should stay. 09:39, Jun 15, 2005 (UTC)

Disagree[edit]

  1. What is "censorship"? Some people here think any kind of offensive tagging is censorship. Samboy 00:00, 6 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  2. Unclear meaning. If this was applied to text, it could be argued trimming fancruft is censorship. Cool Hand Luke 07:44, 7 Jan 2005 (UTC)
    • Fancruft, by definition, isn't relevant. grendel|khan 09:53, 2005 Jan 10 (UTC)
  3. Images might be removed for purely aesthetic reasons. Just as Wikipedia is not a link farm, it should not be a dumping ground for any photo that could possibly apply to an article. U$er 06:34, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  4. Ambi 03:26, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  5. I want wikipedia to be something that we're all proud of. Accurate, detailed, but not crass. Censorship should standardised and done by intelligent NPOV panel members. Often photographs are not necessary where a drawing could be used and less offensive. -- Tomhab 01:12, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  6. Limited censorship is still good. However, if wiki ban pictures, they should created a voting system to get some opinions Chris 01:29, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Comments[edit]

  • To rephrase what I asked above, should there be any grounds for deleting an image, other than copyvios or a reuse of material that violates the licensing terms? By asking this, I'm not looking to start a discussion over what they are, simply asking for a "yes" or a "no". And I can see problems with either answer. -- llywrch 17:30, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • I don't think that images are particularly different from text. They can be added or deleted in the normal editing process just like text can. An example could be removing an image whose main purpose is to push readers into supporting a particular POV, rather than to add useful information to the article. In other words, there are times when I would want to remove an image, but I would not regard that as censorship but rather article improvement. None of the above proposals for establishing a formal procedure for image removal would be a good idea. They would inevitably lead to images being removed for ideological reasons rather than for article improvement. --Zero 01:55, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  • I don't see how slapping some layer of process on the current situation is going to help. Relatively few images are all that contentious. The ones that are would be just as violently debated in whatever forum is created for it as anywhere else. All that would be achieved is perhaps some accidental opportunity for gaming the system. And the creation of yet-another-side-venue that average users might not discover for a while. What we have now isn't all that broken, and it's not at all clear that any of the above proposals tend to fix it. Dpbsmith (talk) 22:06, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  • Is hiding an image behind an extra click what is meant? If the goatse man were public domain, would we have his huge gaping anus decorating the top of shock site, despite that we'd then be providing a nice, juicy target for Slashdot trolls to aim for, while not really adding much to the page? grendel|khan 09:53, 2005 Jan 10 (UTC)
    • I think the key is "not really adding much to the page." Should we exclude the goatse guy because it's shocking to some people? Perhaps a better and more NPOV standard is whether or not it adds encyclopedic worth to the article. I think it might be a stretch (no pun intended) to say that the goatse guy's picture adds to the article in a way that could not be accomplished by other means, but I think that's a valid argument. Once we start taking out pictures because they may be shocking, offensive, or any other relative and POV epithet, it's bad for wikipedia. Timbo 00:26, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)
      • you appear to be commmiting the slipery slope logical fallacyGeni 02:28, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • If this policy is accepted then we are going to need a bit of software to inforce "relivant". At the moment there is nothing to stop people inserting totally imaproiate images into articles (vandles do it all the time).Geni 02:28, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • Isn't this page now irrelevant? The censorship policy is not going to happen. It appears to me that the consensus at Wikipedia:Graphic and potentially disturbing images was "do nothing now, as there's not really a problem now." Hence, we don't need to decide who implements a censorship policy that is not going to be implemented. --Chris vLS 22:31, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)