View the EDTECH Discussion Logs by month
View the Prior Message in EDTECH's April 2010 logs by: [date] [author] [thread]
View the Next Message in EDTECH's April 2010 logs by: [date] [author] [thread]
Visit the EDTECH home page.
All, you may be interested to know that I just reported the Wikimedia Foundation to the FBI. Here is what I sent to them: I really regret having to report this, but I feel I must. My name is Dr. Larry Sanger and I am widely known as co-founder of Wikipedia, the encyclopedia project. I have long since departed the organization, over disagreements about editorial and management policy. I have also since founded a more responsible project, Citizendium.org, and a teacher-edited non-profit directory of preK-12 educational videos, WatchKnow.org. Given my position of influence on matters related to Wikipedia, though I'm no longer associated with it, I feel I have a moral obligation to make the following report. The language of 18 USC §1466A makes it sound like I have a legal obligation as well, so here goes. I believe Wikimedia Commons (http://commons.wikimedia.org/), owned and hosted by the California-based Wikimedia Foundation, may be knowingly distributing child pornography. The clearest instances I found (I did not want to look for long) are linked from [deleting link; it's a category about pedophilia] and [link deleted; it's a category about something called lolicon]. I don't know if there is any more, but I wouldn't be surprised if there is--the content on the various Wikimedia projects, including Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons and various others, are truly vast. You can see on [the history of the category page] that the page has existed for three years. Considering that Eric Moeller, a high-level Wikipedia manager, is well known for his views in defense of pedophilia (http://mashable.com/2008/05/08/erik-moeller-pedophilia/), surely the existence of this page must have come to the attention of those with the legal responsibility for the Wikimedia projects. In my non-lawyer's opinion, it looks like this violates 18 USC §1466A(2)(A). http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/1466A.html Perhaps the defense of this will be that the depictions are exempted due to §1466A(2)(B), i.e., the Wikimedia Foundation may argue that the images have some artistic value. I guess that's for you and maybe the courts to decide. There are probably many copies of such images online. If there is a reason to hold the Wikimedia Foundation, however, is that they purport to be a reliable source of information. Moreover, a recent discussion on EDTECH, the educational technologists' list, indicates that some school district filter managers are not filtering such smut from the view of teachers and students. See: http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/logbrowse.pl?trx=lx&list=EDTECH&user=&pw=&month =1004 It was actually in response to comments on that discussion that I decided to look into this situation myself. I don't envy the FBI the task of regulating the seedy underside of the Internet, and I doubt this is very high on your list of priorities. But I want to be on the record stating that this is wrong and should be investigated. --- Edtech Archives, posting guidelines and other information are at: http://www.h-net.msu.edu/~edweb Please include your name, email address, and school or professional affiliation in each posting. To unsubscribe send the following command to: LISTSERV@H-NET.MSU.EDU SIGNOFF EDTECH