Talk:Child protection

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This page was created by MZMcBride without community discussion, so I've tagged it as a proposal. The wording is unclear; you can no more ban paedophilia than you can ban schizophrenia or homosexuality. Please clarify the intention of this policy:

  • to ban paedophiles from editing?
  • to ban the promotion of paedophilia as an acceptable sexuality?
  • to ban child abuse and child luring?

Pathoschild 16:52:29, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

It may be a good idea to use the language now at the English Wikipedia's version of the policy. Thoughts? --MZMcBride 01:31, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
There seems to be plenty of debate on the English Wikipedia about that policy, so I think we should let the dust settle and see what it looks like when it's been hammered out. —Pathoschild 22:13:50, 02 July 2010 (UTC)
  • You have some excellent latter ideas McBride. I believe child abuse and luring are already banned most places in the world, certainly if evidence is ever found of this on any Wikimedia project, the perpetrator should not only be banned, but reported to the appropriate authorities. Furthermore, the only sexualities that exist are mono (homo or hetero) bi and maybe pan sexuality. Anything else does not refer to sex or gender (male/female or whatever) and should not be considered a sexuality. Ty 15:44, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Bad policy[edit]

Although this is much briefer than the corresponding article at Wikipedia, it suffers from many of the same faults found there. See this diff. It should not be policy. Better worded material should be in the terms of use if necessary, created by WMF lawyers, not by editors however experienced and well intentioned.Timtrent 13:43, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

Does this mean that Yemen's most influential cleric, Sheik Adbul-Majid Al-Zindani, will be banned from the Arabic Wikipedia should he seek to get an account? And likewise the million people he hopes will sign his petition in favor of child brides?[1]
It is absolutely inappropriate for meta to impose a global censorship policy on all Wikipedias. It defies the neutral point of view, the idea of an encyclopedia anyone can edit, and the assumption of good faith. If passed, this policy becomes THE Pillar of Wikipedia. All the others are just patterned facades. Wnt 20:58, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
  • The child bride issue in Yemen or Arabia with Sheiks seems to be something rooted in religious reasons, and while I am rather uneducated about hadith, the impression I got was even if they had marriage ceremonies for babies or whatever, the marriage was not consummated with sexual intercourse until puberty was reached, at which point they were also given the ability to initiate a divorce. Prior to that I do not think they could divorce without parental consent though. I think scholars maintain that this was the case with his 2nd (or was it 3rd?) wife Aisha Abu Bakr, though people contest that due to something about her owning dolls, it's really a confusing issue to me. Ty 06:53, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
By all means, anti-censorship above anti-exploitation of children. Give me a break. Tiptoety talk 16:53, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
  • I'd like to see some concrete solutions that would actually help naive editors to protect themselves from predatorial exploiters. Banning posting contact info, using psuedonyms unique ONLY to Wikipedia and limiting all contact to user page talk except for verified adults seems like the only guaranteed way to do that. Otherwise, even if actual problems are discovered, an IP ban could be easily evaded and someone could simply use a new pseudonym to continue their aggressive behaviours. It's odd how this far greater looming threat gets ignored with the fixation on removing accounts who do not try to evade nor have ever preyed. Ty 06:53, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Note that the above user is permanently blocked on en:wiki for paedophile promotion activities (not sure why it's a matter of public record, but it is.)Elen of the Roads 21:30, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Please discuss the issue, not the contributors. —Pathoschild 02:24:31, 09 July 2010 (UTC)
  • But Pathos, then we would be deviating from the primary purpose of the Wikimedia project talk pages: ad hominem. =) Ty 04:14, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Note, user is also blocked on Commons for being a troll (they are of the opinion he spoofed the paedophile evidence). I guess that's what you call a lose-lose situation. Elen of the Roads 12:41, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Good policy[edit]

We're not talking legitmate young marriage or religious issues. Per Tip, we're talking about the wrongful abuse of children. Anti-pedo has tremendous support across virtually every culture. It's one of the few near-universal taboos. Yes this should be a global policy. RlevseTalk 10:03, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Representative government versus mob rule[edit]

I read a long time ago about a legislator who was trying to decide whether his constituents wanted day-light saving time or not, so he read his snail-mail on the subject. One lady said please vote against it because her flowers were not getting enough sun as it was. He then decided that his job was not to blindly give the people what they wanted, but to use his best judgement for them as their representative. There is a lot to be said for picking qualified people rather than amateurs for tasks such as governance. May I suggest that this delicate subject is best handled by non-amateurs. WAS 4.250 12:11, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

And how, may I ask, will you decide who those anointed few are who deserve to have their opinions heard, and whose opinions should be suppressed? TotientDragooned 04:54, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
The Wikimedia Foundation Trustees. WAS 4.250 11:18, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
I think that the lady in the example was as likely as anyone else to be elected to office. (I think of Sarah Palin...) While the intelligent representative is always tempted to set himself among the Editors' Vanguard, the truly brilliant leader will take his case to the people and convince them of his logic. (I think of Martin Luther King, Jr...) Because if allowing mob rule, otherwise known as democracy, is wrong in this one case, then why should it be right in any other case? Doesn't it follow from your beliefs that every other important policy should be up to the Board of Trustees? And for that matter, doesn't it follow that the encyclopedia itself should not be written by random contributors, but by a board of experts? The path you are following leads to the unmaking of Wikipedia. Wnt 15:57, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Cultural standards[edit]

A WMF policy would affect every nation, despite variations in local practice. Does it vary according to the individual editor's stated home country? Nations associated with the individual language? Is a Florida or California legal standard applied to everyone? If there is a uniform standard, who applies it to projects whose members follow a different set of laws? If there is a variable standard, how do you deal with people who advocate relationships on en.wikipedia that are regarded as pedophilia in the U.S.? It seems like a minor issue but it calls for a clash of cultures with clear winners and losers. Wnt 16:08, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

So long[edit]

Can't believe this noble encyclopedia project really took censorship as it's case. Locking would be better action than stupid child "protection". --Juhko 17:03, 15 September 2010 (UTC)


#Unclear suggested to wait for some clarity on, so I've re-copied their language. It's still not clear:

  1. what does "advocate inappropriate adult–child relationships" mean (?);
  2. if this means that we leave block to local wikis, we enact global bans or whatever.

In general, this looks just useless and USA-centric instructions creep and it's superseded by the new terms of use, so I suggest to delete this page instead of wasting time on it. Ideas? Nemo 08:51, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

The policy seems very vague. Which adult-child relationships are inappropriate? By which legal standard? Either fix or delete, I'd say. --Stefan2 (talk) 20:28, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
Sue Gardner's statement was fairly clear, and related primarily to Wikimedia-hosted material, comments and activity. The policy (here and on en.wp) seems to go beyond that into excluding users merely for expressing certain views. That's bad enough if it's clear that these views relate to illegal activity, but the global aspect of Wikimedia complicates things: are users to be banned for holding views relating to activity legal in their country, but illegal in the US? That seems to be where it's going. Apart from that, banning users merely for expressing views offwiki when they do nothing to promote them onwiki seems to be a rather radical step to say the least. Rd232 (talk) 01:16, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Users can be blocked from Commons for uploading copyright violations to Commons but won't be blocked on Commons simply for violating copyrights outside Commons. Why would this be any different? As long as users don't use Wikimedia projects as a tool or forum to commit crimes or engage in illegal activity, I don't see any problem. --Stefan2 (talk) 01:31, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Nemo: superseded by the new terms of use: do you mean Misusing Our Services for Other Illegal Purposes: Posting child pornography or any other content that violates applicable law concerning child pornography;? Applicable law would appear to be US law, and that's specifically about posting on Wikimedia material or other content that violates the law. That's rather more limited than this policy appears to be. Rd232 (talk) 01:21, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
That's true for posting of material, but not for the other relevant passage, «Soliciting personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 18 for an illegal purpose or violating any applicable law regarding the health or well-being of minors» (example: using the email feature to contact a minor). If the actual illegal purpose or law violation is in the users' country, that's the only applicable law, so only local laws should be considered, and they could not include USA. At least, that's how I understood it. If I'm wrong, this should be discussed on Talk:Terms of use, where a lot of discussion has already taken place, exactly because this clause is already very broad (making an additional policy entirely unnecessary IMHO). Nemo 11:29, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

I think this proposed community-enforced policy should go beyond the legal and WMF-enforcable terms of use. Each project can implement this policy as they desire, and each case of alleged pedophilia promotion needs reviewed carefully. For projects which have an Arbitration Committee, the matter should be referred privately to them. For projects without an ArbCom, the matter should be referred to the WMF, or maybe stewards...? John Vandenberg (talk) 02:00, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

I'm generally surprised by the loose wording. It's like an open trap waiting for someone to step in. We have also to consider that in many countries/regions/languages the rules are very different and that child marriage, which would be forbidden by US law, is legal. I doubt that the current wording is anywhere close to be a policy. --Niabot (talk) 02:08, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
I just find the whole concept of banning people merely for expressing views rather problematic (as long as that expression remains within the applicable law). It starts easily with views almost everyone can condemn (like pedophilia), but where does it end? To take a non-silly example, en:female genital mutilation ("female circumcision") is illegal in some countries and in many countries considered horrific. Should there be a WMF policy banning promotion of FGM? If not, why not? Setting up these sorts of moral judgements is fraught with problems. If it has to be done for some cases for legal reasons, that's fine - if it has to be done, it has to be done. But to pick and choose from all the world's moralities is rather a long way from the spirit of the wiki. Rd232 (talk) 02:09, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
I'd say that for a project that is used by millions of children in tens of thousands of educational institutions, ensuring that pedophiles and pedophile advocates are not a part of the project should be Priority #1. This is one morality that I'm pretty cool with choosing a side. Tarc (talk) 02:17, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Compare with homosexuality. Death sentence in some countries, legal in other countries. And where homosexuality is illegal pædophilia may be legal, and vice versa. --Stefan2 (talk) 02:20, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Where is pedophilia legal? Pedophilia is not just age difference. It is the psychiatric disorder which makes them always "want" the age difference. John Vandenberg (talk) 02:26, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
I suggest that you take a look at File:Age of Consent.png. Some countries, such as Saudi Arabia, have laws stating that you may have sex with anyone with whom you are married, without setting any minimum age limit for marriage. --Stefan2 (talk) 02:37, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
"This is one morality that I'm pretty cool with choosing a side." - but that's my point: I, you and almost all others will happily choose one side of this particular issue. But establish the principle that people can be banned for expressing views (as opposed to activity which is disruptive the project, or illegal like w:Child grooming), then it's an open question where it might one day end. Maybe this is a price worth paying; but to cross that threshold without being aware of it would be foolish. Rd232 (talk) 13:52, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Female genital mutilation is not an activity which can be done on Wikimedia projects. Pedophilia is. John Vandenberg (talk) 02:23, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
How should that work? Is writing to/with children a crime? --Niabot (talk) 02:32, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
It can be; see w:Child grooming. Of course, and without meaning to equate them, the same is probably true of homosexual networking in some jurisdictions. --Avenue (talk) 13:05, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes. But this would need at least two persons. The groom and the child. While it seams very likely that we might have the older part, it is very unlikely to see an enforced relationship with a child user. At first someone would have to know the age and gender of an anonymous user and secondly it has to be a very private conversation. It might happen, but i guess that it's more or less impossible that it actually happens on this projects. If we would include child grooming it is somehow contradictory to our principle to assume good faith. It's actually the opposite and quite dangerous for any user, even if he doesn't have any bad intentions, to correspond with a kid and inviting it to the community. --Niabot (talk) 13:56, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
It is perfectly possible to suggest people to remove parts of their body on Wikimedia projects. Conducting pædophilia on a Wikimedia project seems easier, but it would appear to be strange to ban users only because of their political views or for off-wiki behaviour. If a user conducts an act of pædophilia on a Wikimedia project, I assume that the user should be banned, presumably globally. However, it still needs to be defined what pædophilia is, since it is defined very differently in different countries. File:Age of Consent.png and en:Legal status of cartoon pornography depicting minors are good examples of differing definitions. --Stefan2 (talk) 02:35, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Note that "pedophilia" as medical definition refers to attraction to kids under 13 years old. No country listed in that map has an age of consent below 13, and there are very few countries on the planet which have the limit set at below 13. Damru Tespuru (talk) 14:21, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
If a person over 18 makes any sort of sexual advances or overtures to someone under 18, that person is a pedophile as far as common sense is concerned. Tarc (talk) 17:29, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Well then common sense would be wrong (obviously wrong: 18 years+1 day kissing 17 years+364 days = pedophilia? you really happy with claiming that?). See en:pedophilia. Rd232 (talk) 17:45, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
(Edit conflict.) Hm? It is perfectly legal for anyone to have sex with anyone aged 15 or above. No pædophilia at all. That's what it say in the law. --Stefan2 (talk) 17:45, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Poor template support was one of the reasons I suggested merging Meta and Commons... Well anyway I've now imported {{edit conflict}} for you, since having worked on it at Commons I knew it would be easy. Rd232 (talk) 19:40, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. I was a bit surprised that there didn't seem to be any "edit conflict" template on Meta. --Stefan2 (talk) 19:46, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Well Stefan, when the WMF decides to relocate the servers to whatever part of Euro-land you hail from, then you can chase after 15 year old editors to your heart's content. While they're hosted in the US however, it is a different story. Tarc (talk) 14:25, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
I have no interest in doing so. Anyway, Wikimedia is not a dating service, so such behaviour would, so to speak, be out of scope, as we say over at Commons. --Stefan2 (talk) 20:57, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
Agree with John Vandenberg's suggestion (i.e. that for projects without an ArbCom, the matter should be referred to the WMF, or maybe stewards). They can take differences in regional jurisdiction affecting user behaviour into account. --JN466 23:27, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
What are u all talking about? Look there: What has that to do with the theme?--Angel54 5 (talk) 02:08, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
  • I don't know where all this drama is coming from, anyway I'll reiterate what I said above. This proposal is redundant with the new terms of use. As John says, the community could set additional standards, but the global community hasn't expressed any wish to do so, so I'd like this drama to be sent back to (which seems to be the only interested project) and this page to be deleted as soon as possible. Thanks, Nemo 11:14, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Believe me, I didnt want to bother anyone. But look at Vatican State above: sex allowed in the age of twelve. In most Arabian States married (the age is secondary). If u try to fix sth. concerning the age this will be against all that, what should be discussed. If u try to discuss about age, u clearly miss the boat. Thats all I wanted to say. --Angel54 5 (talk) 20:58, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Quote from WMF Executive Director[edit]

User:Nemo bis removed Sue Gardener's quote from the proposed policy with the edit summary "Removed Sue's quotation: offtopic, and anyway of no value as the ED can't enact any policy or guideline". I am unable to understand how it can be that a statement by the Executive Director of the WMF which specifically addresses policy towards paedophilia advocacy can be "offtopic". I have restored the quote. Gardener's statement is not expressing a personal opinion, but is stating what is long-standing policy. Similar statements have been made by Jimmy Wales and members of the English-language Wikipedia's ArbCom which confirm that this is not only policy but also practice. If the ED of the WMF declares it to be so, why is this marked as "proposed"? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 20:50, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

And reverted without comment by Nemo while I was typing the above. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 20:53, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
It may certainly be on topic in a discussion about the policy, but it is off topic in the actual policy, since the policy only should describe how and when to act, without unnecessary background information which is better placed on the talk page. --Stefan2 (talk) 21:04, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
I disagree, but since Nemo has blanked and fully protected the page, I think it is safe to assume that you aren't interested in my opinion. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 21:20, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
The quote may support the development of the policy, or the argument that the policy should be developed or a specific proposal, but there's no reason for it to be part of the policy. Apart from anything else, the quote implies a new policy is unnecessary, and the precise wording may contradict or limit the wording that would otherwise develop. Rd232 (talk) 23:21, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
I believe the implication of removing the quote, blanking, and fully-protecting the page is that the Gardener's statement about policy is irrelevant. The statement makes clear that there is already such a policy - what we are doing here is merely writing it down, not making "new" policy. I am quickly finding out just how META works and I am disappointed. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 02:06, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
I agree that any global policy that exists, including grounds on which the office may choose to act, should be written down. I'm sorry you ran into an edit war in one of your first interactions on meta; I hope you will stay cool and keep contributing. SJ talk   12:11, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

Terms of use[edit]

It's been mentioned that the new terms of use are relevant, so I'll quote the relevant part here:

Misusing Our Services for Other Illegal Purposes
  • Posting child pornography or any other content that violates applicable law concerning child pornography;
  • Posting or trafficking in obscene material that is unlawful under applicable law; and
  • Using the services in a manner that is inconsistent with applicable law.
Violating the Privacy of Others
  • Soliciting personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 18 for an illegal purpose or violating any applicable law regarding the health or well-being of minors.

Obviously this is rather limited compared to the English Wikipedia policy, as it focusses on what is lawful. en:Wikipedia:Child protection says

Editors who attempt to use Wikipedia to pursue or facilitate inappropriate adult–child relationships, who advocate inappropriate adult–child relationships (e.g. by expressing the view that inappropriate relationships are not harmful to children), or who identify themselves as pedophiles, will be indefinitely blocked.

Rd232 (talk) 23:26, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

That sounds like a good start, we should put that on in the proposal. Oh, wait, we can't because it is fully protected to stop people from editing it. That seems more than a little counter-productive and not at all like how wikis, even Wikipedia, work. Never mind that it was there for months without comment or crisis. This is nothing less than an abuse of tools by User:Nemo bis. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 02:10, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
The protection is wrong and should be removed. But it doesn't actually prevent work on developing proposals, either here on the talk page or on a user subpage, an approach which can also allow competing proposals. Rd232 (talk) 12:23, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
What you say is true in theory, but I've seen no evidence of competing proposals except "none". In any case, there is no reason why what was there should have been blanked. That is not how collaborative editing works. This is a heavy-handed attempt to quash attempts to codify what the ED of the WMF has declared to be the global policy. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 14:44, 13 March 2012 (UTC)


This page be unprotected and be made to read as follows:

Terms of use[edit]

The Wikimedia terms of use states in part:

Misusing Our Services for Other Illegal Purposes
  • Posting child pornography or any other content that violates applicable law concerning child pornography;
  • Posting or trafficking in obscene material that is unlawful under applicable law; and
  • Using the services in a manner that is inconsistent with applicable law.
Violating the Privacy of Others
  • Soliciting personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 18 for an illegal purpose or violating any applicable law regarding the health or well-being of minors.

Wikimedia community[edit]

The Wikimedia community futher adds editors who attempt to use Wikimedia projects to pursue or facilitate inappropriate adult–child relationships, who advocate inappropriate adult–child relationships, or who identify themselves as pedophiles, will be indefinitely blocked. Editors so blocked may appeal via the usual channels.

Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation[edit]

Sue Gardner provided the following statement to Fox News in June 2010 in response to a controversial content flare-up in 2010:

Wikipedia has a long-held, zero-tolerance policy towards pedophilia or pedophilia advocacy and child pornography. The Wikimedia community is vigilant about identifying and deleting any such material. Any allegations to the contrary are outrageous and false.



  1. Statement by Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director Sue Gardener, as quoted in Fox News article, 25 June 2010

See also[edit]

This would be included in category Policies.


This should be discussed some before adding supports and oppositions. Say a day or two. Please go ahead and make changes to it, but let's not have edit wars here. Richard-of-Earth (talk) 20:43, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

I feel the page should include anything in regards to the policy regarding this subject. So I've included the quote and my redition of the past policy from the community. These things regard the policy. Richard-of-Earth (talk) 20:56, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

I really have a problem with wording "who advocate inappropriate adult–child relationships". This is very loose and pays no respect to projects/countries in which it is perfectly legal to do so, compared to US law. So called child marriage (after US definition) is not always illegal. Does it count as advocacy if a user comments that he married yesterday, linking an image from the party, if his bride is 16 and he is 18 and from Japan? (We have also examples with lower numbers)
As usual we see a proposed policy created by mainly English/Christian writers, which does not really fit as a hat if we try to put it on the blue marble. --Niabot (talk) 21:24, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
I think the opposite, Niabot. Loose wording is appropriate, given that standards may vary slightly in different parts of the world. However, it should be noted that we are only, generally, talking about very slight variation in any case. It is more-or-less universal that sex between adults and children is not appropriate.
Focusing on age of consent laws misses the point. If a country has a legal age of consent of 14, this does not necessarily mean that 14 year olds are, legally or morally, fair game. If it is 16, this does not necessarily mean that 16 year olds who sleep with 15 year olds can be sent to prison. In most countries, the purpose of these laws is not to simplistically mark a line in the sand.
So, there is no reason why a project-wide rule that advocating inappropriate adult-child relationships is verboten cannot work, so long as projects are able to take their own view on what is "inappropriate". I don't think they will differ by a great deal.
On the other hand, on the assumption that all WPs have rules equivalent to WP:SOAP and WP:NPOV, I'm not sure a good case has been made that we need a special rule for soapboxers or POV-pushers on any particular subject. Not saying we don't, but I don't see the rationale set out anywhere. --FormerIP (talk) 01:39, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
Seconding this point: the loose wording seems to me to support the variation in cultural standards. Niabot: in the US, the age of consent is 16 in most states, and the marriageable age is generally 16 with parental consent, and 14 or 15 with judicial consent. So your example would not be considered 'child marriage' by Americans. But moreover, there is generally nothing inappropriate about people marrying or talking about their marriage. I don't see any suggestion of that in this proposed policy. SJ talk   11:44, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
@Niabot What wording would you have? Can you propose a wording for that sentence? Richard-of-Earth (talk) 05:59, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

This is an improvement on what was there. I unprotected the page and replaced the stub proposal with most of your text above [minus the section headers]. SJ talk   11:50, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

The amusing thing about this proposal is that it wouldn't actually further any sort of block in regards to the current discussion on Commons. Silver seren (talk) 19:24, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

I haven't followed it in full, but maybe your observation says more about the discussion at Commons than it does about the proposal. --FormerIP (talk) 19:46, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps so. Silver seren (talk) 20:20, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
Actually, the present wording (containing the terms of use text) would, in my opinion, allow that case to be concluded the way it was. Specifically, it bans "Soliciting personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 18 for an illegal purpose or violating any applicable law regarding the health or well-being of minors." I would argue that, to a preponderance of the evidence (we don't state a standard of evidence but this seems likely):
  • inviting people from articles about high schools to join a project you administer implies soliciting personally identifiable information
  • someone who has been convicted of a child porn charge and has appeared to be favorable to "childlove" would have an illegal purpose
Of course, there is no proof beyond a reasonable doubt, or even "clear and convincing evidence", but in terms of "what do you think probably happened?", I came down on the side that I thought something fishy was going on. Even despite my reluctance to credit the WR crowd with the ability to actually find a witch during a witch-hunt. Wnt (talk) 19:24, 17 March 2012 (UTC)


As recent events on en.wp and Commons illustrate, enforcement of this sort of policy is a particularly tricky thing. Should the global policy make provisions for global enforcement, or give guidelines for local enforcement, or simply say that enforcement is up to the project? See also Commons:Commons:Child protection and associated discussion. Rd232 (talk) 22:45, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

Can we agree on a basic version to enact right now?[edit]

Right now, we have the Terms of use as a draft document. They're the basis for the draft of this policy, but that then goes on and includes the Jimbo Wales language which a lot of people disagree with, because banning advocacy and identification conflicts with our ingrained notions of how Western law works. So this policy is likewise unlikely to find consensus any time soon.

I propose that we chop out the one contentious part of the present version ([5]): "The Wikimedia community further adds that editors who attempt to use Wikimedia projects to pursue or facilitate inappropriate adult–child relationships, who advocate inappropriate adult–child relationships, or who identify themselves as pedophiles, will be indefinitely blocked. Editors so blocked may appeal via the usual channels." ---- but then make the rest policy right now. That way we can argue over those couple of sentences as long as we want, while understanding that we have a formal WMF-wide ban on the most problematic activities, properly defined in lawyer-approved language. Wnt (talk) 16:20, 17 March 2012 (UTC)

Why do you think that "contentious" part is contentious? It is the heart of this policy if it is intended to enforce what Sue Gardner stated. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 16:59, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
Maybe, maybe not. I think that the part from the terms is sufficient to do the job in the situation we encountered, and in other situations where the policy would not be an injustice. I would think you should prefer more than half your proposed policy over none of it - I'm not saying to make that the last or only version, just get something that we can all agree on so that the range of debate is decreased. If we can bring things down to arguing over one sentence (the one about appeal is sort of peripheral) then we should be able to debate about just that sentence and its words, not whether we have a policy, etcetera. Wnt (talk) 16:19, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
I would gladly support it. But i have to add that the wording "..., or who identify themselves as pedophiles, ..." isn't any good from a medical point of view: pedophilia. Someone who brings up the courage to identify itself as a pedophile shouldn't be punished. Instead we have organizations where people, that think that they are pedophile, can register and ask for support. Who does exactly this or is able to restrain himself shouldn't be banned. --Niabot (talk) 19:15, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
You're right that we should look toward the good Wikipedia can accomplish on this issue, not just the worst-case scenarios. Wnt (talk) 16:19, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
I agree that passing a basic version will clarify the issues; feel free to remove what you think is contentious, for discussion in a separate section. But surely the first part of that sentence is not contentious... SJ talk   23:22, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
"Who does exactly this or is able to restrain himself shouldn't be banned." - we're not in a position to judge that, and I don't know how many people are comfortable taking their word for it. I'm not. Pedophilia is a psychiatric disorder, and prima facie someone who talks about it as if it is not a psychiatric disorder is not someone to be trusted not to act as if it is normal. Ergo, pedophilia advocates must be banned from situations where they must be trusted not to be active pedophiles. Rd232 (talk) 02:17, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Agree that passing a basic version (not including the contentious parts) based on the terms of use would help clarify things. How would we go about this? Rd232 (talk) 02:10, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Proposed rename[edit]

This policy, in its current state, does not refer to pedophilia or pedophiles in any sense - it refers to specific behaviors or actions for which a user may be blocked, usually involving an illegal act (pedophilia is a mere sexual attraction to minors and is not in itself illegal). Other projects like enwp and Commons have rejected this name in favor of "Child protection", presumably for the same reason. I'm not particularly partial to the name "Child protection", but would be satisfied with it. If someone has a better suggestion I'd like to hear that as well. Dcoetzee (talk) 13:18, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

Didn't someone on Commons propose a rename from "Child protection" into something else for some reason? --Stefan2 (talk) 13:24, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes, see commons:Commons_talk:Child_protection#The_descriptor_.22child_protection.22. They didn't offer an alternative though, just suggested that a policy that is purportedly about child protection should actually be broader and encompass bullying, etc. Dcoetzee (talk) 13:28, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
Note: there Meta:Proposed page moves if you want a formal place to ask for controversial renames or want a wider audience. Best regards. —Marco Aurelio (Nihil Prius Fide) 20:46, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Support rename. As the Commons discussion showed, proving someone is actually a pedophile rather than that, say, he was convicted of distributing child pornography, is actually quite difficult. By renaming it and focusing more on the terms of use restrictions, we push that issue back a bit. True, it must still actually be considered whenever deciding whether someone is doing something with an "illegal" purpose, but it's no longer the goal but a means of decision making. Wnt (talk) 14:50, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Dcoetzee is wrong when he states that the policy does not refer to pedophiles in any sense. It explicitly states that identifying oneself as a pedophile is a violation of this policy and will result in a ban. This appears to be an attempt to create two groups of pedophiles - "bad pedophiles" (who sexually abuse children) and "good pedophiles" (who are sexually attracted to children but do not act on that attraction). Recent discussions on Commons have noted that the pedophile community attempts to make a roughly analogous split between "child molesters" (those who rape children) and "childlovers" (who believe that the children have "consented" to a sexual relationship with an adult). While there is certainly no prohibition against discussing such arguments on WMF projects (nor should there be), I feel that Dcoetzee's distinction could in itself be viewed as a very weak form of pro-paedophilia advocacy. This really is all about paedophilia, and labelling the policy as anything else will not disguise that fact. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 16:56, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
    • I may ask: What would be the problem to allow someone to state that he suffers from this illness to make others aware? If we take this really serious (from a medical view) and acknowledge that it is an illness, then i would have to protest against this wording, since it fails it's true intention (the protection of children). There are many people out there that are pedophiles but restrain them self. If you look at this situation from a standpoint without prejudice, then it is the same as many other illnesses and this kind of wording would be paradox. --Niabot (talk) 19:01, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
      • So you say it does not protect children and you support renaming it to "Child protection". I see. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 21:57, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
        • Only dangerous pædophiles are dangerous to children. If a pædophile manages to stay away from children while still feeling sexually attracted to them, there is no danger. It is only a problem if a pædophile approaches a child. --Stefan2 (talk) 22:04, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
    • Objection to casual allegation with respect to specific editor: "a very weak form of pro-paedophilia advocacy." -- Proofreader77 (talk) 22:57, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
    • You're right that I did overlook that this policy seeks to globally block people who self-identify as pedophiles. I opposed that clause on enwp and Commons, and oppose it here. A person who merely admits to having certain sexual fantasies that they resolve not to act upon is not a danger to child users or an advocate of any sort of legal reform or cultural normalization. I believe responsible, ethical pedophiles should be able to contribute alongside us, regardless of whether we are aware of their affliction. But I should probably start a fresh thread to suggest that revision. Dcoetzee (talk) 00:25, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
      I don't know what I think of your claims here, Dcoetzee. Do "responsible, ethical pedophiles", i.e., pedophiles who never attempt to engage in sexual relationships with children at any point in their entire lives, actually exist? I don't really know much about this area, but I have the impression that this has never been proven, partly because the pedophiles generally available for studies are those that have been convicted of child molestation. And wouldn't merely stating something like "This user is a responsible, ethical pedophile" fundamentally be a form of normalization and therefore advocacy? This is exactly the sort of advocacy program that is supported by all sorts of minority groups: activists encourage people to be publicly "out of the closet" because it normalizes and de-stigmatizes being gay, having an abortion, etc. and encourages other people to improve their attitudes and treatment of the minority group. Why wouldn't the same thing be true for pedophilia activism? WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:38, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
      Whats that, every stigmatization throwing in one pot? To be gay, having an abortion is the same then misusing childs? I dont understand ur attitude, this is not to be compared. Never, ever.--Angel54 5 (talk) 19:50, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
      I don't think that they are equivalent, but the process for encouraging other people to think that a behavior or characteristic is normal and acceptable is the same, no matter what the behavior is. If you want people to think that ____ is normal and acceptable, then you need people who have/are/approve of ____ to tell the world that they do. That ____ could be anything. For example, breast cancer was de-stigmatized when women started publicly saying that they had breast cancer. No one thinks that breast cancer is shameful now—but they certainly did 50 years ago. WhatamIdoing (talk) 13:02, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
      U r right on that one - this is a no-go: "responsible, ethical pedophiles". They are irresponsible and unethical, thats for sure and thats why its forbidden by law to act that way (by the way, I dont even understand that discussion, cause it is simply against the law - that has to be enough), but dont melt everything together, cause that doesnt further the discussion.--Angel54 5 (talk) 18:05, 20 March 2012 (UTC). PS.: I really dont think that this discussion ever will be fruitful - the point is, when will people, who are attracted to childs cross the line from "being attracted" to "acting out" and should we give a platform here, that is used to push the border from the first to the last?--Angel54 5 (talk) 18:19, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
      "Do "responsible, ethical pedophiles", i.e., pedophiles who never attempt to engage in sexual relationships with children at any point in their entire lives, actually exist?" I believe the answer is yes. Let me give an analogy - many people fantasize about assaulting or even killing people they dislike, especially when very angry or frustrated. Most of these people go their whole lives without killing anyone, and some of them are really gentle and wouldn't hurt a fly. If they regretfully admit to having had such thoughts, does that mean they are advocating violence? Of course not. Frankly, I think a pedophile who admits to being a pedophile but speaks against child abuse can send a powerful message to other pedophiles that they can also succeed in refraining from abusing children, just like how ex-alcoholics successfully encourage others to get off the bottle. If you haven't ever heard about such a person, I presume it is because they would be stigmatized for making such an admission - I've heard of several. Dcoetzee (talk) 20:47, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
      Simply speaking, protecting children is one thing and criminalising pædophilia is a different thing. As Dcoetzee suggested above, criminalising pædophilia may sometimes mean unprotecting children. The question is whether we want a policy which protects children but allows pædophiles to exist or whether we don't want pædophiles to exist but at the same time don't allow children to be protected. The first option sounds much more sensible. --Stefan2 (talk) 20:59, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
      I agree with Stefan that protecting children and punishing pedophiles are not identical. For one thing, in the real world, far more children are sexually victimized by non-pedophiles (e.g., their mothers' boyfriends) than by pedophiles. Similarly, a person could be involved in child pornography as a means of making money, without actually being a pedophile. But among actual pedophiles, I'm unaware of any evidence that supports Dcoetzee's claim of guaranteed lifelong abstinence (and the analogy is apt: most people who've gotten off the bottle benefit from staying out of bars, and presumably most "responsible, ethical pedophiles" would also benefit from staying away from places where children congregate, like WMF websites). Additionally, I still believe that posting a note that says "I'm a pedophile, but I'm a really good, ethical person" is a form of advocacy. WhatamIdoing (talk) 13:23, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
      Did you notice that you reversed the order of guilt in your argumentation? You additionally nourished this position by making it sound like as if Wikipedia would be the "safe playroom" for children, while constructing the "absurd argument" as quotations. Can we please talk in a normal way without "rhetoric traps" to cover up the missing arguments? Thank you. --Niabot (talk) 16:11, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
      I make no claim that any Wikimedia site, whether Wikipedia or another, is a "safe playroom" for children. I only say that there are a lot of children at these websites, and that if a person were truly interested avoiding children, then avoiding WMF websites would be a logical choice. WhatamIdoing (talk) 13:29, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
      It's true that it would be ill-advised for any pedophile to seek a position as, say, a schoolteacher or a schoolbus driver. But on WMF websites, child editors are an easily-avoidable minority, especially if you edit in a fairly specialized or advanced area, like nuclear physics, and unlike a teacher, editors do not have authority over other editors. I'm not talking about allowing pedophile userboxes or anything here - which would cause no end of drama - just if someone happens to mention in a discussion that they're attracted to children (for example, in explaining why they're not willing to work with a particular article that children edit), I wouldn't want that to be an auto-ban. Dcoetzee (talk) 07:44, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
      If you want such limited expression, then you might consider how to write a policy section that bans userboxes but permits casual comments. I think that it will be difficult to write and quite possibly not receive support from the greater community, especially once the community hears that pedophiles frequently believe that their sexual contact with children is fully consensual, so self-assertions of being ethical are essentially worthless. However, I'm not convinced that your example is valid, as giving a sexual explanation is unnecessary. A person can easily refuse to work on any article simply by saying that he's too busy. (Also, I can't imagine anyone disclosing such a stigmatized condition solely for such a trivial and avoidable reason.)
      I believe that the WMF actually intends to ban all such people simply to reduce the risk to the community, even if they haven't done anything wrong yet, exactly like if I ran a computer network, I'd cheerfully ban anyone running older versions of MS Windows simply to reduce the risk to my users, even if they haven't proven to be compromised yet. It might be convenient for us if they would put forward an official written Board policy on this point, but their actions and informal comments certainly seem to suggest that universal bans of pedophiles (and associated groups, like child pornographers) is their policy in practice. WhatamIdoing (talk) 12:24, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
    • "Dcoetzee's distinction could in itself be viewed as a very weak form of pro-paedophilia advocacy." I don't even.. Seriously? You accuse someone of 'pro-paedophilia advocacy' because they can make a distinction between those who rape and those who do not? That is way out of line. --Krenair (talkcontribs) 21:06, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
      • I did not make an accusation. I simply observed that Dcoetzee's statements could be viewed as a very weak form of pro-paedophilia advocacy. I would make the same observation about Stefan2's statement. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 02:44, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
        • Well, this is the exact reason why I don't want to have a policy prohibiting "advocacy". We should stick with the terms of use, period. (but interpreted according to a preponderance of the evidence, which does mean advocacy or identification could serve as contributory circumstantial evidence, but not making them "crimes" in themselves) If there's any need to expand the restrictions to provide better protection to kids, it might more effectively move in a different direction, namely, to prohibit linkspamming and other advertising/recruitment aimed specifically at children. But I'm not sure if there's a reasonable way to do that either. Wnt (talk) 00:54, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Support per my previous comment. --Niabot (talk) 19:01, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Support per Niabot. --Stefan2 (talk) 19:27, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I entirely agree with Dcoetzee and Niabot on this. --Krenair (talkcontribs) 21:06, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Do we need a policy that is solely about pedophilia? A general policy on child protection can cover issues related to pedophilia, but the converse is not true. Yes, the draft discusses pedophilia, but given the other things it covers a rename seems reasonable. SJ talk   22:29, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
    • The only reason this policy draft exists is because of statements made by the WMF Executive Director about paedophilia. Any suggestion that this is about child protection in general is, at best, disingenuous. Several of the editors who are supporting this name change have made it quite clear that they support having pedophiles openly participating on WMF projects. A child protection policy can simply point to this one, if and when it is created. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 17:05, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Support rename, but suggest advertising move at Meta:Proposed page moves. Rd232 (talk) 02:08, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Support rename per Dcoetzee's initial rationale. --Túrelio (talk) 10:13, 24 March 2012 (UTC)


I've changed the preliminary text in the box considerably [6] to emphasize that (as recent decisions have demonstrated) there is existing action taken in such situations, just not a formal global policy. I don't have consensus for that text and I understand if people change it, but please, keep the message that there's no free license to solicit children currently, so that in case this hits the media the people researching don't get that impression just because we haven't managed to agree on a precise wording for a more formal specific policy. Wnt (talk) 17:27, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

I have reverted. You should not assume the reason for Office actions or what the WMF will do in future cases. If the WMF are concerned about what the press may say, they are more than welcome to edit the page or speak for themselves here. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 17:37, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
I didn't say that was the reason for all office actions, or any particular office action; it is pretty clear that it could be the reason for an office action. Anyway, I call for a third opinion; is there nothing out of that we can use? Wnt (talk) 06:13, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
I haven't heard anyone from the WMF say that the recent office action was because of this; though it is a good guess. I don't know that this needs to show up in the draft header, however, since I don't think that is meant to set a precedent or be a regular occurrence. (and I don't think the WMF is worried about media reactions; at any rate, we shouldn't set policy based on any such fears.) I have restored the rest of Wnt's note, which was an improvement. SJ talk   22:56, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Doing a proposal[edit]

to facilitate a bit:

The Wikimedia terms of use lists the following activities as inappropriate uses of the sites, and grounds for being blocked:

  • Misusing Our Services for Illegal Purposes in Case of:
Posting child pornography or any other content that violates applicable law concerning child pornography,
Posting or trafficking in obscene material that is unlawful under applicable law,
  • Violating the Privacy of Others
Soliciting personally identifiable information regarding the health or well-being of minors.

The Wikimedia community further adds that editors who attempt to use Wikimedia projects to pursue, facilitate or advocate inappropriate adult–child relationships, or who identify themselves as pedophiles, will be indefinitely blocked. Editors so blocked may appeal via the usual channels.
--Angel54 5 (talk) 18:52, 19 March 2012 (UTC) But: as far as I can see "Violating the Privacy of Others" also means, trying to find out who writes under which nick and posting that (if someone wants - out of what reasons ever - not to be identified, this should be respected). Perhaps that could be facilitated further - I dont know, that bullet is a bit redundant too (and could be missed)...--Angel54 5 (talk) 19:09, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

Is there[edit]

any further discussion or shall I change the front text as a proposal the community would like to add to the ToUs as a suggestion to the Board?--Angel54 5 (talk) 20:54, 20 March 2012 (UTC) PS.:I would like to have GeoffBrighams point of view here, if an addition in this manner would be possible? or if all is closed up to now?--Angel54 5 (talk) 20:57, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Angel54. I'm not exactly sure what is being proposed with respect to the terms of use, so please tell me if I'm off base here. If the community wishes to create a policy on this issue, I see three possible avenues: (1) they could propose an amendment to the Terms of Use, which would require a 30-day discussion period with the community and final approval by the Board; (2) they could propose a community policy uniquely for Commons; or (3) they could include language in the global ban policy, which is under discussion, that addresses the community concerns. Please let me know if that does not answer your question. Geoffbrigham (talk) 22:49, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
If ur asking me directly, I would prefer option one, to have that one off the table. I did a proposal (section above). I would support such an amendment. gtx --Angel54 5 (talk) 23:38, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps there's a confusion here. The front text I added recently (and DC reverted) refers to the terms of use in the sense that the terms of use already contain several specific prohibitions which, I believe, are sufficient to prohibit predators from hunting children on WMF sites, and these were copied into the text of the proposed policy here. The Jimbo Wales text, banning "identification" and "advocacy", is stuff that some people, including me, don't like the sound of. I think that must already have been considered by the lawyer who wrote up the terms of use when he came up with the prohibitions he did - I think that the ones he wrote make good legal terms, whereas prohibiting "identification" and "advocacy" are more of a legal swamp. I don't think the terms of use should be changed for this - they're currently in a final draft form pending acceptance. Wnt (talk) 00:48, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
But then, dear Wnt, I dont understand, what that site is for? Wording of what someone said and perhaps didnt mean? What are we talking about? There are such terms on Commons as a proposal already:, if u think they are in the ToUs (which are meant for all projects), then Ill ask, what purpose has this discussion? I thought it was to apply to the Board to make a change in that direction. If its already nailed down, then noone needs this discussion, right?--Angel54 5 (talk) 15:38, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
To be clear, the terms of use (which have been approved by the Board of Trustees) represent the basic framework, but communities on projects are recognized in those terms as being primarily responsible for the creation and enforcement of policies. Communities are free to write policies that cover activities beyond the scope of the terms of use. See . Geoffbrigham (talk) 18:56, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
Thx, Geoff for ur comments.--Angel54 5 (talk) 21:43, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Fifth Circuit decision[edit]

Just saw a news report about a court decision which rather surprises me - [7] - in which a public school was held not to be liable in federal court for allowing a stranger to remove a child from school and repeatedly rape her, because the parents could have pulled the child out of school if they decided it was unsafe. Not saying this is an area where WMF would want to push the line, but at least the financial aspect of the devastation that would occur here from a bad mistake might be less than expected. Wnt (talk) 18:30, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

Ok. I agree. But what, exactly what has this to do with what? This is a Missisippi school, right? Do demonstrating there, write comments and so on. I dont understand what this has to do with the ToUs or commons or whatsover - the analogy simply isnt there, u might try to find it as wide as u may...sry.--Angel54 5 (talk) 00:12, 25 March 2012 (UTC) an appx: how often shall I repeat that some things are against the law. This is simply one of them - means: in such cases there have to be consequences to draw or do u want the sites forbidden by law? What is ur aim - to rewrite laws? apply somewhere else.--Angel54 5 (talk) 00:28, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
Wnt, I don't think that your conclusion is warranted. The state laws that limit the liability incurred by government-run schools do not apply to the WMF.
But even if it did, it wouldn't matter: I believe that the community strongly desires that no child ever be contacted by a pedophile, even if the WMF's legal liability were guaranteed to be zero. Banning users who have been identified as pedophiles seems to be one way that we can (slightly) reduce the risk of that awful outcome. WhatamIdoing (talk) 12:11, 25 March 2012 (UTC)


There is a long discussion further up on this talk page where some users support or oppose renaming this page. Since two months ago, there has been a proposal to move the page at WM:PPM, but few people have commented there. Has everyone missed that discussion? --Stefan2 (talk) 14:46, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

I've gone ahead and moved it. If this big a margin and this long a discussion isn't enough, what is? Wnt (talk) 20:11, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

Can we agree on a basic version to enact right now? (Again)[edit]

I know some people really want to keep the Jimbo Wales language, but there's no point having this language in something that's not a policy. It's been three months and it still isn't a policy. If Meta can't even agree to make a formal policy against what the Trustees have written into the Terms of Service, how the heck would it ever enact global bans on editors and so forth?

I repeat my proposal before: Let's take the text we have now, minus this last section (The Wikimedia community further adds that editors who attempt to use Wikimedia projects to pursue or facilitate inappropriate adult–child relationships, who advocate inappropriate adult–child relationships, or who identify themselves as pedophiles, will be indefinitely blocked. Editors so blocked may appeal via the usual channels.), and designate it as an official policy. Since the rest is simply repeating the Terms of Service that's not too controversial, and it stops us from sending the unintentional and unwanted message that we can't agree on a policy to protect children editing from pedophiles. Then editors can argue over that last sentence in some kind of RfC for as many months or years as it takes to settle the issue. Wnt (talk) 20:17, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

If you delete the last section, the policy just becomes an observation of what the terms of use state. In that case, what is the use of this policy at all? The terms of use apply regardless of whether any policy exists on Metawiki or not. --Stefan2 (talk) 14:41, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
True, but then you're over the hurdle of whether a policy exists, and you can focus on RfC-ing that one sentence. Wnt (talk) 18:22, 30 June 2012 (UTC)