Talk:Desirability of end-user image suppression

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The content of this talk page[edit]

Originally the content of this talk page was part of the article called End-user content suppression later renamed to End-user image suppression. The proposers of this article removed it to this location in order to make their proposal more palatable. Consequently, there is no proper way of understanding it as it has been divorced from its original setting. Many of the questions raised have not been answered by the people proposing this.

  • Why do we want this?
  • Who is to be the censor?
  • What are the criteria for adding censoring tags?
  • What argument do you have to prevent even more strigent forms of censorship?

For a discussion on censorship on the Wikimedia projects see: Censorship on wikmedia projects. GerardM 05:53, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Why should we give users the choice to suppress certain content?[edit]

What do you hope to achieve with censorship. What is the premisse why some information should be banned ? What criteria would be applicable and, would we use the most severe form of censorship or should it be more loose. How do you rhyme the POV of censorship with the NPOV which is the credo of our community ?? When you set a medium level it will not be good enough for some and too much by others.

To what cultural bias do you want to allow for censorship ?

No, please let us do something about the killing on TV and in stead have more love. Ban guns not tits (50% of the population has them). I am proud to have never touched a gun. I hope I never will GerardM 16:51, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I think you have misunderstood the nature of this proposal. The idea is to avoid self-censorship on the part of Wikimedia. It is partly a response to efforts that already been implemented in suppressing certain images on Wikipedia. This proposal would allow those who are offended by certain content to suppress it while allowing those who are not offended by such content to do the opposite. This proposal avoids censorship and leaves it up to the end-user. —Christiaan 17:10, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
So it is censorship by proxy. I do not see it like you do. Censorship leads to not knowing what the world is like. If people do not want to know, they do not want to know. Do not do the work of a censor for a censor. GerardM 22:15, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Still I don't think you understand the proposal. Censorship by proxy would involve editors suppressing or removing content. This proposal ensures that they don't need to do this. What you are suggesting is forcing content on people while others (see below) are suggesting taking it away altogether. This proposal seeks to do neither but instead give the user the choice. —Christiaan 22:39, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I do not think you understand my objection. I object totally. I prefer Wikipedia to be totally banned then to pander to those who think some content is not appropriate. Having a system like this will lead to modifying articles so that it will fit into a certain category of censorship. If people want to know the world not as it is but only through their rosy coloured view of the world they should go elsewhere, they are not of this world. GerardM 07:58, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)
In case you hadn't noticed self-censorship is already taking place on Wikipedia. This proposal seeks to ensure that not all of us have to put up with this self-censorship. —Christiaan 12:26, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)
If some do censor themselves, that is their option. I will not censor myself. If there is something that needs saying I will say it and as long as I put in in a NPOV manner there is noone who has the right to censor me. By adding technical bits and bobs to automate censorship, you expect that it is allowed to put these kind of tags on NPOV articles. That is in itself POV. GerardM 13:10, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)
"If some do censor themselves, that is their option." Thankyou, I'm glad you agree. And this proposal seeks to ensure that, in the process of self-censoring, they do not censor everyone else too, as is already happening. —Christiaan 13:35, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)
When you add censor tags to something I write, that is you censoring me. I think you do not see what I mean. Self censorship is not saying things out of fear. Censorship is ensuring that what someone else said cannot be heard by others. You tagging content is you commiting to censorship. GerardM 13:51, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)
They are not censor tags, they are categorisation tags. What happens from there is up to the user. What gives you the right to force something on someone that they have actively asked not to see??? You are shooting yourself in the foot because images are already being censored and I as a user don't have a choice. —Christiaan 13:58, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)
It walks like a duck, it flies like a duck, it swims like a duck, it quacks like a duck, no it cannot be a duck. :( GerardM 13:49, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
You didn't answer my question. —Christiaan 18:56, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Wikipedia is written by a team, not individuals. You are free to say whatever you want on your own, but Wikipedia's choices on what to present and in what manner cannot logically be seen as anything worse than self-censorship, because it is the project choosing what to say, not the project or an individual choosing what another individual can say. -- Nknight 14:04, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)
When the project starts to allow for POV by tagging items so that browsers and organisations can decide what they allow people to see. You do the work for a censor. When material is not encyclopedic, it should not be there. When it is it should. By tagging material for censorship, you censor what I have to say by making it unavailable. GerardM 13:49, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Can you explain to me how a "browser allows" anything without your explicit consent as the user? And if you belong to an organisation that provides your internet access and it makes a decision to suppress content and you don't like that decision either you change organisations or you change the organisation's policy. What an organisation does as a group has nothing to do with Wikipedia. Again I will point out to you that self-censorship is already taking place on Wikipedia. It's telling that you have not responded to this point. —Christiaan 18:56, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)

This article is called euphemistally "end-user content suppression". What is proposed, allows for censorship as it allows for "proxy and IP base filtration for organisations" as well as "browser-based filtration, when browsers support it.

This proposal assumes that the user has control over his/her environment and, it does not take into account that this may not be the case. This proposal does not state what the basis will be for adding tags that will trigger the censoring mechanisms. In essence it creates a mechanism without specifying what the criteria will be for it be used. There are always people who have a need to censor more stuff. Once we start on this route, what argument do we have to deny them? Do we allow articles like "Evolution" to be tagged, do we think that the David by Michelangelo is too erotic, the Venus of Milo ? GerardM 22:12, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Images would be "tagged" simply by adding them to factual, neutral categories in the existing category system, such as nudity, blood/gore, etc. Additionally, if an organization is going to use this mechanism to block content for an entire network (which they would be foolish to do, as it would be a technical nightmare and not accomplish what they want), you can be sure that without this mechanism, Wikipedia would simply be blocked in its entirety. -- Nknight 10:21, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia is writing an encyclopedia. The knowledge of the world is what we put in it. We have trivial content like Pokemon and serious stuff like hypoxia. We have stuff that is terrible because of the POV pushers. By allowing a censoring system to be part of wikipedia, we can hardly argue against its use because why else would we have it? There will always be people who want to censor. There may be "logical" reasons why we should have it, but in the end it boils down to someone judging something to be too much for someone else. GerardM 22:12, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)

No, it boils down to users being permitted to choose not to be confronted by images they find disturbing if they so choose. -- Nknight 10:21, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)

We don't need this we should just remove such images anyway[edit]

We will always have some editorial policy, some limit somewhere, on graphic pictures, even for the users whose preference would allow graphic pictures. For example, we would not allow trolls to upload child porn to "illustrate" child porn article, nor should we allow trolls to upload extreme graphic porn like bestiality, coprophilia, urolagnia, necrophilia, and rape. What's the point of this proposal then? Should we have no editorial policy and no limits? (wrongly called "censorship" by you)? That will never happen. Wikipedia is not unmoderated USENET group where anyone can dump any text/picture they want. If you prefer that, use USENET instead of Wikipedia. OneGuy 18:41, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Boy, how many straw man arguments can you fit in one paragraph? What's the point of this proposal? Try reading it. —Christiaan 18:46, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The point was that we will always have some limit at least somewhere. Wikipedia is not a urinal that any troll can abuse by uploading any graphic porn they want and then cry "censorship" if it's removed. OneGuy
This is not a proposal to change any editorial policy, it is a technical proposal to deal with content that is potentially offensive. Please take your trolling elsewhere. —Christiaan 19:05, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, but this proposal came out of the discussion about autofellatio picture. You have argued that removing that picture amounts to "censorship." I would have not responded this way if it was some random proposal. I would still argue that that picture should be deleted, regardless of whether users can turn the picture off in preference option. OneGuy 19:26, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
That's your prerogative, but it has no bearing on this proposal. If the image stays or if similarly potentially offensive images are used in the future on Wikimedia projects, including medically explicits images, this is a proposal to deal with their potential to cause offence to some users. —Christiaan 19:45, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
First, having such an option would encourage the trolls to upload even more graphic porn and then argue that people can "turn it off if they don't want." Second, even if this proposal is adopted (and I don't think it's a good idea because of the reason mentioned), by default the option should be turned off. If someone wants, he can turn it on. OneGuy 20:11, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
If the "graphic porn", as you put it, is of encyclopedic value then it should be on the site. If it is not of encyclopedic value then it shouldn't be on the site. I repeat, this is not a proposal to change any editorial policy. —Christiaan 20:20, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The problem is that we don't have an agreement on what is "encyclopedic." Some have argued that autofellatio picture is "encyclopedic." Others disagree. Someone can upload a picture of a man sucking a dog penis and claim that that is "encyclopedic" because it "illustrates" bestiality article. I don't think this proposal would resolve these disputes. OneGuy 06:25, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I repeat, this is not a proposal to change any editorial policy. This proposal does not seek to have such images stay or go, that is up to the editorial process. This proposal seeks only to deal with the way such images are presented, when and if they are approved through the editorial process. —Christiaan 12:35, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)

By putting up these tags you commit to censorship. You do not state how and why things should receive these tags. You would end up having tags put their by the most restrictive people. This is a bad proposal and even though you may mean well it is a path that leads to more and more censorship. GerardM 13:13, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Please explain why ALLOWING users to CHOOSE not to view certain images by default is censorship. The proposed solution grew out of a long debate on the WikiEN-l mailing list (which I invite you to read, but you probably won't want to, which I don't blame you for) as a compromise designed specifically to avoid anything that could be construed as censorship while permitting users that want to be able to browse articles without being abruptly confronted by certain classes of images to do so easily. -- Nknight 13:36, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The act of censorship is in suppression not in categorising. In fact I think we should be categorising in any case. This is about giving users choice. You want to ensure that choice is not there. They would receive tags in the same way as any editorial process on Wikipedia. I could just as easily argue that "they would be put their by the most unrestrictive people," but I wouldn't because its an emotional argument, not a rational one. —Christiaan 13:42, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Christiaan, on the en: there is a vote where an overwhelming majority is against censorship. Why should we give users choise and on what basis ? GerardM 13:54, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Self-censorship, as I have already pointed out, is already taking place. We should give users the choice so neither group ends up imposing their POV on the other. —Christiaan 14:01, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)
By setting up tags that trigger censorship, people will not see it when they have no option but to use censoring soft or hardware. Tagging is putting a POV on content. GerardM 18:15, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The tags don't trigger anything. Can you rephrase "people will not see it when they have no option but to use censoring soft or hardware," as this doesn't make any sense? Categorising images is an editorial process like any other and it happens every day on Wikimedia Commons. Christiaan 19:21, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Are you dense; people are often made to use certain software/hardware combinations. So what is there to rephrase? It being an "editorial process" obvious but censoring IS an editorial process. As to your idea of self censorship, it may happen in the USA but that does not mean that it happens on wikipedia. So you are pushing a POV that will not be accepted by many. For me it would be something that would turn me of doing anything for the en:wikipedia. It would signal that censorship is alive and well on wikipedia to me.
Which famous American writer said something like; I disagree with you and will disagree with you always but I defend your right to SAY what you will ? By adding censorship tags you make it impossible for people to LISTEN, to READ. GerardM 07:13, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Uh, he wasn't an American writer. Voltaire wrote that, & I believe he was a citizen of France. However, speaking as a US citizen, I'd be very happy to take Voltaire in exchange for George W. Bush, Cheney, Bill O'Reilly, or any of a number of other alleged US citizens -- or all of them together. Heck, I'm willing to let France keep Voltaire if they took all of these folks off our hands. (Although I'd like a sound file of O'Reilly attempting to say "Freedom Fries" in French; that's a US joke, in case you don't understand.) -- Llywrch 03:50, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)
You are demonstrating a clear and fundamental misunderstanding of this system. It is entirely up to the user to choose what they do or do not wish to see. We are very deliberately not making that choice for them, we are only making it practical for them to make their own choices. -- Nknight 09:05, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Clearly we fundamentally disagree. You assume that the user is the active party. It is however the person tagging things that does provide the mechanism for censorship. You assume that the user has control over how his software behaves, what is available to him/her; a dangerous assumption. When the user is a government, it is ok to operate these filters? GerardM 10:49, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
You are still not understanding. This is not a mechanism for external content suppression mechanisms, it is purely for internal use by the MediaWiki software to decide, based on the user's preferences as communicated to the MediaWiki software, whether to send the user a straight <img> tag or a button/link they can click to load the image manually and voluntarily. -- Nknight 11:08, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps you would like to look into images such as Autofellatio and Clitoris to see self-censorhip at work on Wikipedia. You'll have to forgive me for appearing dense, I find it diffcult to understand that which is not proper English, so you'll have to rephrase if you want us to understand each other. —Christiaan 09:19, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
It is important that people know what a clitoris is. The picture is adequate, it is encyclopedic. More is not needed. I would not be interested in autofelatio, if it is of encyclopedic value at all, a picture would be fine a drawing is as good. However when there is a consensus for having it in the encyclopedia, it should be there and be well presented. Adding tags is plain censorism.
Do you honestly think the picture that goes with clitoris is too much ??? GerardM 10:49, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
No, Christiaan does not believe the picture is too much. He also does not believe the Autofelattio image was too much. He simply supports letting users choose if it's too much for them. -- Nknight 11:08, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The article explicitly states that it is there for browsers and organisations to use. Where is the self determination ? How can you explain that this is not doing the work for a censor ? GerardM 13:53, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Gerard, I have to say, this exchange is starting to get slightly irrational. You have displayed almost a complete lack of understanding about the proposal and have made little attempt to try and understand it. You seem more inclined to invalidate whatever it is you have prejudged it to be. I am against censorship and self-censorship and that is why I'm am helping to develop this solution. If other people or groups of people want to suppress certain content that is entirely up to them. I don't happen to think it's a good idea but it is not my place or yours to tell people what they should look at. And it is not anybody elses place to tell us what we shouldn't look at. What this proposal does is to ensure that those people who do want to suppress content (which is already taking place on Wikipedia) can do so without affecting those of us to don't want such content suppressed. You are in control of your Wikipedia preferences and you are in control of your browser, that is where the self-determination is. Please attempt to understand instead firing back with yet more inane comments. —Christiaan 18:34, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Christiaan, we do not agree on the basics. You think that any user will have control of his or her settings. On that basis you argue that it is good to allow to include the mechanism for censorship. The proposal allows for content to be obscured or removed based on the whims of a browser or an organisation and still you state that "you are in control of your wikipedia preferences and you are in control of your browser". You fail to see easy it is for censorship to slip into the workings of Wikipedia. Our motto is all knowledge as long as it is encyclopedic. By tagging stuff for exclusion it is not all knowledge any more.
Today there was a public broadcasting in the Netherlands warning that 1.000 women a year become sterile because of Chlamydia. Do you know what it looks like? By obscuring pictures that show what it looks like you prevent man and woman from protecting themselves. These pictures are not pretty. [1] But if I achieve by being stubborn and principled about censorship that one person saves him or herself from this ordeal, it is worth it.
You accuse me of not hearing what you say. I do, you are just moving towards the dark side. You do not want to hear that because you are so sure of your own righteousness. You want to save people from themselves, from the world as it is. You think that it is their right to see but not to focus, to hear but not to listen. In this way you present a world that is as they envision the world, not as it is.
Do not think that I want all pictures. I want functional pictures, unromantic pictures, pictures that illustrate. If they do not add value to an article they have no place. When they do, they should be there. GerardM 20:57, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Gerard, what you keep ignoring is that self-censorship is already taking place. —Christiaan 21:30, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Does that justifies what you propose? Should I agree with more censorship because some practise it? GerardM 21:48, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
It is not long ago you wrote, "... self censorship ... does not ... happen on wikipedia ... For me it would be something that would turn me of doing anything for the en:wikipedia. It would signal that censorship is alive and well on wikipedia to me." So why the change of heart? Why are you still here? Gerard, you don't seem interested in understanding this proposal, only in trying to invalidate it. This proposal categorically does not make for more censorship. Without this proposal much content I fear will be suppressed or even removed from Wikipedia. With this proposal it need not be suppressed or removed, affecting you and I, because those who have a major problem with it can simply hide it away. And that is their concern, not yours or mine. —Christiaan 23:06, 22 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I just start at a smaller indentation.
First: This is Meta not en:wikipedia. When this mechanism is inserted for puritanical reasons, it will be available on all wikipedias and it will be used for political reasons.
Second: I do understand the proposal and I reject it utterly.
Third: You do not appreciate that allowing for sanctioned censorship opens the door for more censorship not less.
Four: You claim that you do not censor by adding the mechanisms. This is a mechanism intended to censor. You claim that this is not so. If that is the case, why do not need this. GerardM
Please sign your messages. That said:
1) There are no "puritanical reasons" at work here. Some of us just don't want to see certain categories of images shoved in our faces when browsing through articles.
2) You clearly do not understand it, because every time you say anything about it, you say things that are entirely false.
3) This is not censorship. This is allowing users to choose, in their personal preferences, if they want images in a given category to be deferred, meaning that the user, instead of seeing the image immediately, is presented with a link or button that they can click to load the image voluntarily.
4) We need it so that people don't have to be confronted by images they find disturbing if they do not want to.
Nknight 10:18, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Your understanding of this proposal is different from mine. Your saying that it is "false" may be true from your perspective. It is not from mine. When you put in place mechanisms that allow for censorship and NOT call it censorship, who are you kidding ?
We do need proper illustrations, we do not need goatse pictures. That said. When you do not want to know about vagina do not read about it. You choose what you want to know. When you learn about it, you learn about it plain and simple. GerardM 11:29, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Why do you continue with strawman arguments and ignoring all my questions? Images of autofellatio and the clitoris have already been suppressed on Wikipedia. Why are you still here? You said you would be gone if such events took place? —Christiaan 11:55, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I practically CREATED the proposal in its current form! I think I bloody well understand it!
And it is NOT a mechanism for censorship any more than a library separating books into sections like "Science Fiction" and "Biographies". The user chooses what they wish to see. -- Nknight 13:08, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)
You may have CREATED this proposal and you are not thanked for it. Your understanding of what you are doing is not the understanding shared by all. You fail to grasp that allowing censorship and adding mechanisms for censorship will mean that they will be used. You are naive when you think that only the individual "chooses" what to see. It will be organisations, countries that will do the filtering for many. GerardM 13:18, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Which is already done anyway, often by blocking Wikipedia entirely. This proposal, as a purely TECHNICAL MATTER, will not help them, they're already doing a fine job of helping themselves. -- Nknight 13:25, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)
So because other already do it, it is okay for them to add to their instrumentatium ? You may think it is only technical, but this has a non-technical application.
What help is it you think a server-side deferral mechanism is going to be for non-server-side filters? The proposal involves no new features other than allowing a user to add category names to their own user preferences and letting the server use that information added by the user to decide whether to present an image directly, or present a button the user can click to load the image themselves. The category system is already in place and in use. If somebody wanted to go through the utter nightmare that using it for an external filter would be, they'd have already done it. Letting the server take greater advantage of categories is not going to make any difference. -- Nknight 14:48, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I want to ask Gerard this again because he continues to ignore it: Why do you continue with strawman arguments and ignoring all my questions? Images of autofellatio and the clitoris have already been suppressed on Wikipedia. Why are you still here? You said you would be gone if such events took place? —Christiaan 13:37, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)

As to my being here, this is Meta, not en:wikipedia. GerardM 13:22, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)
As to why I do not stop, this is about ensuring that our content should be instructive and complete. By adding censorship mechanisms to wikimedia projects, you start on a route from which there is no turning back. GerardM 13:59, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)
But you said you would stop. I assume then that your statements were simply emotional hyperbole. Be aware that self-censorship is not a problem restricted to en. —Christiaan 14:09, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)

A SIMPLE proposal[edit]

Allow people to "filter" images/pictures by category. In this case, filter might mean supressing entirely or hiding behind a link.

The default for this would be no filtering. Someone wandering in would see everything, unless and until they select one or more categories to be filtered. This might required them to be logged-in (although I understand this could be done via a cookie, even for anons.)

We then set upon the task of categorizing images by subject matter. While categories would probably include things like "full frontal nudity", it could also include things like "race cars", "galexies", "head & sholder photographs", "wedding photos", etc. Why would someone want to filter based on these categories? Who knows? Who cares? There'ye good categories in any event. Very likely, many categories will never be filtered. Others might be filtered more frequently.

I knwo a woman who, because of an early life experience, has a phobia of clowns. For her, it's not severe, and if she happened upon a photo of a clown while reading about "Barnum and Baily" or "Cirque du Solei", she might only be distracted. For others, a photo of a clown may ruin that night's sleep. Are we then responsible for filtering out all clown pictures? Of course not. But if we have a general facility that allows someone to do such a thing, all to the better.

This is not an ideal or complete solution. Primary educators will still be taking a risk using any live content, and will probably not direct their students to Wikipedia unsupervised. This will not fully help a parent who want to control their kids' access to certain types of content.

But it could be a significant step forward from where we are now. -Rholton 02:00, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Rholton, thanks for your input. What you describe is exactly what is being explored. —Christiaan 11:08, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Why should we restrict filtering to pictures?[edit]

written text can be so much more offensive, or even dangerous.. i don't want to read anything about bad things at all, please help me resist the temptation to look at articles that may contain controversial stuff. -- 12:06, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The reason this is not part of the scheme is because text does not present the same problem as images. This idea is aimed directly at dealing with a specific problem we face. You've raised an interesting aspect of this discussion and I appreciate the devil's advocate point of view. In fact it's such a good point that I think it's worth moving End-user content suppression to End-user image suppression and potentially offensive content to potentially offensive images. —Christiaan 12:13, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Why Christiaan, why is your idea of censorship valid and the other not ?? This is exactly what I do not want to see happen. With Image suppression you start up on a slippery slope. GerardM 12:48, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Please read my entry above as to why. —Christiaan 12:55, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)
You do not answer the question. You prefer it to be only about pictures. What gives you the right to have censorship only based on pictures? What makes you a more benign censor? What moral ground? GerardM 13:22, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I have not answered your question??? How about answering at least one of mine on this page? You have it in your head that this is censorship, there's not much I can do about that. As to it being about images, the idea is to deal with images because that's what has been causing problems of offence and thus self-censorship. This, as I have illustrated on a number of occasions, is a scheme to do away with self-censorship. —Christiaan 13:34, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Filtering on whose behalf?[edit]

Some people with concerns about offensive content do so to protect their own sensibilities. Others do so, or claim to do so, on behalf of others, typically children. It should be considered whether people engaging in this debate want to alter Wikipedia's presentation itself, or to produce downstream products, such as encyclopedias suitable for children.

It should also be noted that local mores differ from culture to culture, including from one locality to another within a single country, and that it is doubtful that any system will be able to satisfy all possible points of view, particularly from extreme proponents of either end of the debate. The Anome 13:49, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps you would like to look at the proposal on en:Wikipedia:Descriptive image tagging. It's a set of criteria for objectively describing the contents of images, while letting the end-user decide what they consider "offensive" or "inappropriate". (Full disclosure: I created it, for the purpose of protecting my appetite should I happen to be doing RC patrol during lunch break) -- 18:44, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC) (Carnildo)
When you are on RC patrol, you do not know what to expect and therefore it will not protect your appetite. If you cannot stomach appropriate illustrations or content you should not do a RC patrol while eating. This mechanism will not help you. GerardM 19:47, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)
How would turning off inline display of all untagged and medical images not solve my problem? -- 21:00, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC) (en:User:Carnildo)

Repressing community rights[edit]

From the mailing list; Self-censorship is already taking place on Wikipedia. This scheme would help put an end to self-censorship.

Are you actually saying that this policy would be used to take away the community's right to decide what images we want to use (if they happen to be obscene)?

This is not a proposed policy, it is a proposed feature in the MediaWiki software. Combined with policies on the tagging of images, it gives the two sides in debates on whether an image is useful a compromise measure: tag it with a neutral descriptive category and let the users decide for themselves. -- Nknight 18:55, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)
There's still a procedure for image deletion. As I see it, this would just eliminate the perpetual wars over "inline image" versus "linked image", and convert questions of "should this image be removed because it's too offensive?" into the simpler questions of "does this image add anything to the article?" -- 19:21, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC) (en:User:Carnildo)

Support for Gerard[edit]

Christiaan, I have read the discussion and both sides are accusing each other of not understanding each other. However, it is Gerard who is right here as you fail to address his concerns. Now I don't know what you *exactly* want, but I read on the proposal that there should be a way to limit content by means of proxies and IP-ranges. I fail to understand how that can be the end-user who decides that.

You have also failed to address his issue of users not being in control of the software they use, and much more importantly, why images should be differentiated from other content. I also find this idea *very* dangerous.

I can, however, agree with you on one topic and that is the line between what can be hidden and what not. This is a Wikicommunity issue and the community will find a reasonable line...

Lastly "self-censoring is already taking place". I haven't seen it on the Dutch Wikipedia yet, yet if I see it I can assure you there will be a discussion. Wikipedia's however should decide for themselves what they do regarding this, as their cultures they target are widely different.


Not being in control of the software and connection is already out of our control, and tagging won't make the problem worse. Articles can be and are censored based on keyword recognition -- for example, a number of schools here in the United States use a filter that blocks access to any page containing words like "breast". -- 21:12, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC) (en:Carnildo)
If someone else already does it for us, why should we do it ourselves as well then ? I am glad my kids would not go to such schools. GerardM 07:08, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)

i can only conclude that this discussion is around the wrong issues. the real issue is: do we want censorship-features in the software. my answer is a clear: no, never. we don't want a big brother embedded in the sofware, do we? we are (still) a free encyclopedia, and those that don't want this may go elswhere. (redactional precision is not censorship btw) oscar 11:05, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Where is the censorship? Show it to me. What part of "end-user" don't you people understand? -- Nknight 11:11, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I can only reply to Oscar that his is a straw man argument, as Nicholas points out, and that self-censorship is already occuring on Wikipedia and that this scheme would do away with self-censorship (e.g. clitoris, Abu Ghraib, autofellatio). —Christiaan 11:16, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)

End user imagage suppression (originally called: End user content suppression) is seen by the adherants of this "technical" proposal as an "obvious" way of catering to those who do not want to see certain content. The proposal in this incarnation is about images. In the discussion, there was one anonymous coward who said that there was also text that was to much for his sensibilities.

I have fought hard to have it said on the content page that this is a controversial proposal. It is controversial to such an extend that it was not allowed to stand on the page. Apparantly not only do they want censorship on our project they do not even allow their proposal be branded for what it is: controversial.

To make this proposal work technically, they insist that people have to leave the necessary tags on content that is deemed to be offensive. I fail to understand why this should be as these people do not allow this for their own controversial article. GerardM 11:34, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Gerard, it has already been explained that Wikipedia NPOV tags are not appropriate on Wikimedia. In any case people are aware that this is a controversial topic. One person shouting about it doesn't make it any more so.
By continually labelling it as censorship you only weaken your argument because you weaken the meaning of the word censorship. As I have repeatedly explained, and you have denied on at least one occasion, images are already categorised. This scheme simply asks that that process is completed before being said to be implemented. —Christiaan 12:00, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)
but what exactly is your problem christiaan? do you not want others to see what you dislike or find distasteful (eg your examples), and therefore wish to it to be implemented as a feature in the software? please explain! oscar 01:49, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Oscar, my understanding is that christiaan wants each user to be able to set preferences describing what he or she finds distasteful, and to avoid seeing those things (or to have some kind of "spoiler notice" warning him/her that there is something distasteful in a given article). This does not seem to involve one person deciding what another person can see. +sj+ 08:46, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Thanks SJ, I missed this one. As oscar is probably not aware the examples I give are not examples that I find distasteful (I doubt if you'd find any I find distasteful) but are examples that other people have found distasteful and have suppressed to some extent. —Christiaan 09:23, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The "censorship" straw man[edit]

I've removed the following text:

This page was set up to remove opposition to a proposal that was initially called end-user content suppression. This proposal initially included an option for organisations to use the proposed mechanism to "filter" content. As the proposers of what is now euphemestically called end-user image suppression have started this article without any justification of their own proposal it begs the question: why would we want this form of censorship.
As censorship in relation to the wikimedia projects is what is at stake, restricting the discussion to Desirability of end-user image suppression is not realistic. The case against censorship has been argued in Censorship on wikmedia projects.

If you would like to raise any specific issues with end-user image suppression please do. Please also look up the definition of censorship. The above is mostly a straw man. At no point is it explained where the censorship actually lies in this scheme. It includes blanket accusations with no justifications and it comments on items that are not in the scheme. —Christiaan 00:29, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I have reverted. Calling the censorship issue a "straw man" does not make it so. Technical measures that are said by their proponents to be intended to provide control to end users, can in fact be used by censors in the future. The edit history shows that End-user censorship was created, and then renamed to End-user content suppression, and then renamed to End-user image suppression; then (despite advice to the contrary on one of the wikipedia mailing lists) all opposition to the idea was exiled to Desirability of end-user image suppression. Now Christiaan is trying to prevent censorship from being mentioned even here on the page that he created to divert opposition from End-user image suppression. —AlanBarrett 07:21, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Firstly, the discussion was split onto two pages (in fact there a four that relate to this topic) on advice on one of the mailing lists. There is a big difference between end-user self-censorship and self-censorship and an even bigger difference between these and censorship. Please look these words up and then feel free to explain specifically where censorship would be a problem in this scheme. You say to me that calling it a straw man doesn't make it so. Fine, calling it censorship doesn't make it so either. —Christiaan 08:51, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)
On advice on one of the mailing lists: No, a few people said that it was a bad idea to try to separate discussion of the technical aspects from discussion of the desirability of the scheme. See
You ignored that advice, and focused on a message which said, "if it seems appropriate to separate the two, they should be adequately cross-referenced" (see
I probably won't revert again, but I hope somebody else does. The censorship issue needs to be discussed, not suppressed. —AlanBarrett 09:53, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)
So you're suggesting I should have done what they said? Then I would have been ignoring the advice of Rowan Collins. I happen to disagree with them, as a did other people on the list. I took the advice of Rowan Collins:
Christiaan 10:07, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)
No, Rowan Collins did not advise you to split the pages. (He said "if it seems appropriate", he did not say whether or not he thought it appropriate in this case.) —AlanBarrett 17:01, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)
This is the advice I took from Rowan:
Thirdly, I do think it is important for those creating a page with a particular purpose in mind to not only state what is on-topic, but provide an outlet for what is off-topic. If "philosophical" discussion about the proposal is taking place elsewhere, it should be referenced clearly. In other words, the introduction should read something like "This page discusses technical implications of implementing such a scheme; for discussion of whether it would be desirable, see: ..." If there is no page appropriate to end that sentence, it should be created, if only by adding a heading to the existing page under which the discussion can take place. It seems to me that there *is* a lot of existint discussion about this, so it ought to be possible for a central point to be found or created.
In fact it was a misnomer on my part to even call it a page split. The page always stated that its was purpose was to look at the technical implications of the scheme. I took Rowan's advice and made sure there was an outlet for off-topic discussion. —Christiaan 17:22, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)

GerardM's personal opinion on article page[edit]

I moved this from the article page:

History of this article
This page was set up to remove opposition to a proposal that was initially called end-user content suppression. This proposal initially included an option for organisations to use the proposed mechanism to "filter" content. As the proposers of what is now euphemestically called end-user image suppression have started this article without any justification of their own proposal it begs the question: why would we want this form of censorship. As censorship in relation to the wikimedia projects is what is at stake, restricting the discussion to Desirability of end-user image suppression is not realistic. The case against censorship has been argued in Censorship on wikmedia projects.

I think we need to keep the article page as structured as possible, or it will end up becoming a long endless debate in itself. I moved the above from the article not because I don't want any of these arguments there but because it's just really badly written. I think some summaries of arguments for and against the scheme would be quite useful after the pros and cons list, but the above is really not a useful start and If I responded to it on the article page I'm sure it would result in a long and unfruitful debate. I'm not sure I fully understand the arguments against this scheme so I'd like to ask GerardM and anyone else to try again. This time though let's just stick to the desirability of this scheme:

  • Your first sentence that this page was set up to remove opposition is both a very personal opinion and flies in the face of Wikimedia guidelines to assume good faith. I'm not going to argue on this point with you because I know why I put this page here and it wasn't to "remove opposition" so I will just keep removing such unsupportable allegations from the article.
  • The only reason I can see that you have included the argument that the scheme initially "included an option for organisations to use the proposed mechanism" is to make it look like the development of this scheme has been deceitful. Again, you're not assuming good faith. It has stayed out of the article because this is already a theoretical capability of organisations; this scheme doesn't actually propose any action in this regard and it never has. So you can include this argument if you like but you know what the counter argument is going to be.
  • It is called end-user image suppression because that is exactly what it is. This is not an attempt make this out to be anything other than it is. I really don't appreciate it being implied that I would do this too. I am wholly against censorship and if you haven't worked this out by know then we're not going to get very far with each other. It was changed to this title to clarify exactly what it is. And if you'd read my comments on the WikiEN-l list you'd know that this scheme is a reaction to people taking offence to images and nothing more.
  • As for your argument that allowing end-users to suppress images is censorship, well, you not what the response to that is going to be.

Christiaan 23:30, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

This is plain vandalism. As Christiaan is not willing to tolerate some history about how this page come about. He decides that it is personal opinion. With these kind of argument he cannot state his own case.
As to assuming good faith, that can only be done as long as this proves to be the case. The history of two articles is such that I am convinced that you are pushing your point of view. You do not tolerate any criticism. You assume that your arguments are better hence the total removal of all fundamental opposition to your proposal. Your assertion that we do not agree is correct however, it does NOT allow you to remove the arguments that oppose what you stand for, in one word censorism. Your point that the fact that some people agree with you is justification to silence opposition IS an act of censorism.
Your actions speak louder than words. Where is your good faith ? GerardM 07:20, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)
You're very welcome to respond to my arguments GerardM and I encourage you to do so. —Christiaan 08:47, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Christiaan's autocratic way of deciding what should be said where[edit]

Christiaan is hell bend on having his way. That is fine. What is not so nice is his autocratic way in which he decides what can be said by where and, what kind of status it has. On the article end-user image suppression he denied the right of existence to this proposal to opposition under the guise of "this is only about the implementation" of it. He then moved all opposition to this lemma and put it in the talk page. He did not even bother to write why it was desirable claiming he was too busy.

From the start I have put an explanation on this article page stating how this article came to be. This was at first embedded in "arguments against" and, as what I had written were not really arguments against, I put it under a different heading. This again was not to his liking and he moved it to the talk page. Now, again we have this silly edit-war where Christiaan is not able to let things be. If he has the strong position in the argument, he should be able to let be. His behaviour is a good example of what a censor does. Thanks, No thanks ! GerardM 12:16, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)

You're welcome to respond to my arguments GerardM and I encourage you to do so. I will continue to revert edits that assume bad faith. Also, please stop making reverts that include typographic mistakes. —Christiaan 19:00, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Actually, you do not respond to my arguments. I have responded to your arguments and your reaction is that you do not understand what I say and that I do not express myself well. By reverting edits that you assume bad faith, you make yourself the judge in this farce. GerardM 20:17, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I do respond to your arguments Gerard, you will find some of my comprehensive responses about 10cm up the page. You are welcome to incorporate your arguments into the page, but, as I have said, I will revert any edits that assume bad faith. And please, if you're are going to continue reverting can you at least fix typographic mistakes (particularly the broken sentence)? I don't think labelling my edits as vandalism helps much either. —Christiaan 20:40, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Desirability as a MediaWiki software feature[edit]

I think a point that's missed is if this is to be implemented as a software-side capability, it may be a Good Thing for Wikipedia, but is it a Good Thing for MediaWiki? What use or relevance will this have to someone wanting to use MediaWiki for an internal wiki, or for a small, public wiki?

Having Wikipedia influence MediaWiki features may be good in some respects, but not all wikis are on the scale of Wikipedia... Dysprosia 22:23, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Does it matter? The purpose of the MediaWiki software is to support Wikipedia; the fact that it can be used for other wikis is a side effect. --Carnildo 00:12, 16 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Mediawiki does use the concept of extensions. So it should be something that is to be included on a project by project basis. Mediawiki is not to support Wikipedia, it is to support the Wikimedia projects. Also the implementation of a feature like this will be voted on per project ie if en:wikipedia want this it does not follow that nl:wikipedia will implement the same features. GerardM 07:24, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)