Controversial content/Problems

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
(English) This is an essay. It expresses the opinions and ideas of some Wikimedians but may not have wide support. This is not policy on Meta, but it may be a policy or guideline on other Wikimedia projects. Feel free to update this page as needed, or use the discussion page to propose major changes.

Many multimedia file searches in Wikipedia yield unexpected erotic or sexual content, up to and including an old hardcore porn video showing sex with a dog presented as the top result for the French words for "homework" and "holidays" (viewed an average of about 15,000 to 30,000 times a month since its upload in January 2012, finally deleted in July 2012). Searching for an image of a toothbrush, a top result shows a woman masturbating with an electric toothbrush. A small number of articles in Wikipedia have actual hardcore porn videos that have passed out of copyright embedded in them. As more old films pass out of copyright, their number is likely to increase. In early 2012, a German Wikipedia administrator was indicted under an anti-pornography law for embedding one of these videos in a German Wikipedia article.

The Wikimedia community does not follow 18 USC 2257 record keeping requirements, and does not post compliance statements on any pages featuring images of real people engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Related discussions: [1][2][3]

Commons (and Multimedia searches in all Wikipedias)[edit]

All the searches below give the same or very similar results whether performed in Wikimedia Commons or using Wikipedia's multimedia search.

Many searches for common terms unexpectedly show sexual content[edit]

Searches for common terms sometimes also show unexpectedly gruesome content[edit]

  • Body parts
    • foot (image of foot severed in an accident)

English Wikipedia[edit]

German Wikipedia[edit]

French Wikipedia[edit]

If you search for "devoirs" (= homework) or "vacances" (= holiday) on French (or any other) Wikipedia, you're presented with a porn video in which a man and a woman engage in sex acts (cunnilingus and fellatio) with a dog.

Question on the public Wikimedia mailing list (no response):

Update: This video has now been deleted.

Media coverage[edit]

Larry Sanger's blog posts[edit]