Media stories annotated

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New Statesman story[edit]

"Fox News effect: Wikimedia deleting sexually explicit images" Published 10 May 2010

Wikimedia, the parent company of the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, is deleting thousands of sexually explicit images from its websites following an exposé by Fox News.

The actual number is not in the "thousands" but in the "hundreds," up to and into the low thousands possibly.

(continued) An exposé by Fox News recently revealed the presence of sexually explicit photos - easily available even to school children - spread all over Wikipedia. The news channel demanded Wikimedia remove all pornographic content immediately.

The Fox News story was not actually an "exposé" as little actual journalism was done. The story rehashed some claims made by people with a certain axe to grind, in the context of reporting about a legitimate matter regarding unsuitable content. Wikimedians regard the original report by former "editor in chief" Larry Sanger to have been opportunistic and ill-motivated, and the accusations against Erik Moeller at best yellow journalism. Because of the media attention regarding an issue mixing topics of sexuality in media and its exposure to children, Jimmy Wales took action to delete images that could possibly have been reported as evidence of improper editorial policy.

(continued) Fox News also asked companies such as Google, Microsoft Bing, Yahoo!, Best Buy and Craigslist Foundation that donated to Wikimedia Foundation if they were aware of the sexually explicit content available on the site.

When asked by a reporter, these types of "did you know" questions are considered "leading." It is not clear from the above whether Fox actually asked the listed companies anything directly, or in what context such questions were asked. -S

The method they were asked was especially leading. "I’m looking for comment on whether this information ['this information' being a one-sided introductory blurb with lots of emotive language], if new to [you] changes your impression of Wikimedia, whether this affects your willingness to give in the future or changes how you feel about giving so much money in the past." Daniel (talk) 05:34, 11 May 2010 (UTC)