back to article Jimbo Wales exiles 'porn' from Wikiland

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy "Jimbo" Wales has launched a sweeping crusade against "pornographic images" hosted on the Wikimedia Commons, sparking the deletion of hundreds of images that "appeal solely to prurient interests." Deleted files include photographs as well as graphics of genitalia and sexual acts, and they span …


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  1. Graham Marsden
    Big Brother

    Jimmy is acting in his traditional role as a thought leader

    I think you mean "Thought Police"...

  2. Samuel Walker
    Big Brother

    The most worrying thing

    Is not Wales' actions...

    But rather this particualr quote from the Boards response

    "traditional role as a thought leader"

    A thought leader?


    How long before disagreeing with the thought leader is a thought crime?

    [Some might say it already is...]

    But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Wiki.

  3. Kar98
    Big Brother

    Yay, we're saved from teh boobs! Thank you, FoxNews!

    When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know, the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. R. A. Heinlein

  4. James Woods

    well well well

    Looks like alot of wiki admins and other voluntary staff will be resigning as a result of this.

    I've viewed some recent wikipedia articles that are just garbage. You have them solely 'owned' by those that work for google.

    We all know about the recent google buzz thing that outed our whitehouse google guy with direct ties to Jimmy.

    Anyone using wikipedia as a credible outlet for anything is going to be horribly mistaken.

    Im referencing a rather popular article that could be used for academic research that had 15 + reverts by a google employee without 1 person objecting to it. Those that know how Wikpedia works knows that you don't just revert someones edit, especially 15 edits, unless it's vandalism.

    This person was able to do this because he worked for google. Nobody is going to go against Google.

    Wikipedia should be, and should of always been held accountable for the content on it's servers. It's a moderated medium, it's not a 'democracy'.

    Let's never forget how Jimmy used Wikipedia as a way to personally attack a female associate/previous associate of his.

  5. Tony Paulazzo

    The title.

    We are all as dust in the wind... Someone famous.

    Can't wait til someone stupid tears down the Sistine chapel for showng nude babies.

    Stupid humanity!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      or it didn't happen.

      1. Marcus Aurelius

        Jimmy Wales and dumping link on The Register

        I think the original poster is referring to

        What more reputable source could you have than The Register? :-)

    2. Raumkraut

      Dust. Wind. Dude.

      > We are all as dust in the wind... Someone famous.

      It was Ted "Theodore" Logan.

    3. The Beer Monster

      @Tony Paulazzo

      So-crates in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

      Mine's the bodacious leather jacket...

      1. Flybert

        no .. Kansas

        long before Ted, the group Kansas .. "Dust in the Wind" .. "Point of no Return" Album .. 1977

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Thought police

      Translates to the peddler of Mid West America right wing values.

      Wikipedia is not the space for Global knowledge it puports to be.

      It appears the AMERICAN VALUE SYSTEM IS KING.... it is a very grubby event in the free flow of knowledge.

      That is all...

    5. Oninoshiko

      hold on...

      strictly speaking, fox news was just reporting what was there, which WAS apperently in violation of US law. (it's a dumb law, kiddie porn should have to contain kids to qualify, and anyone caught making, trading, or collecting the "real deal" needs far more then a judge in the US is allowed to order)

      Maybe you should say "we are saved from non-existsant kiddie porn. thank you, US law"

  6. Tom 35 Silver badge

    So what's their definition of porn?

    We know it when we see it?

    1. bothwell


      I've been using wikipedia for years and I haven't *once* seen *any* porn on it at all. I'm actually very disappointed now.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      I thought the definition of porn was anything graphic.

      so a sledgehammer going through a door filmed in slow motion and high detail or and engine stripped down to its bear nuts glistening with oil could be porn art.

      1. M Gale

        Bear nuts?

        No, that would be bestiality.

  7. Herbert Meyer

    Senator Rosewater sez

    The difference between art and porn is pubic hair. Of course, that was a while ago, before shaving became fashionable.

    Senator Rosewater was a character of Kurt Vonnegut, loosely based on one of Dan Quale's relatives, an uncle, perhaps.

  8. dcoetzee

    Further developments

    I'm an administrator on Wikimedia Commons, User:Dcoetzee, and just wanted to report on some further developments that have occurred since The Register published this story. A number of the brash deletions - particularly those of educational or historical images - have been challenged and overturned by consensus at the undeletion requests page, here:

    As a consequence of this debacle, Jimbo has voluntarily relinquished his technical privileges as founder; in the future, he will be compelled to discuss policy changes with the community, like anyone else. See:

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Cult Leader

      Yeah I´m sure that the "Thought Leader" has to discuss like everyone else... No special treatment for the Thought Leader. That sounds convincing.

      1. John Lilburne

        Quite so

        The image thieves need to vote too.

    2. Marcus Aurelius

      This is not enough

      As far as such images go, I suggest that you restore from before Jimmys moralistic hacking and go through the list of images that Jimmy has deleted on impulse and give them an all clear or not.

      I am deeply uncomfortable when THE World-Wide Encyclopedia adopts the restrictive morals of a small minority in one country, especially when it gives in to such pressure. Wikipedia has effectively become the encyclopedia for the world, where various countries have a huge spectrum of moral viewpoints, and Wikipedia should act accordingly. I'm wondering whether Wikipedia should be exported in its entirety to Wikileaks, which seems to have a much more robust response to outside interference.

    3. Anonymous Coward


      @dcoetzee: I enjoyed your defense of an important image here:

  9. James Woods

    unfurther developments

    I smell the unwinding of Wikipedia. It's no big secret that a number of those with administrator status and other high levels have given up trying to continue on Wikipedias stated goal.

    Am I the only one that in 2010 sorta still used Wikipedia as a method of research?

    dcoetzee, I wouldn't call this a debacle, i'd call it time to issue arrest warrants for wiki commons admins for permitting child pornography to be hosted.

    that's just my .02, child porn has long been defended on it.


  10. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Fist they came for the paedos?

    I wish I could say I'm surprised by this, but I'm really not. Wikipedia is apparently becoming increasingly prudish. Yes there were pictures of somewhat dubious value, but a blanket "all porn is bad" rule does nothing to address that. If they want to get rid of useless content they need to cast the net much wider, and at the same time, some of the porn might have actually been on topic and informative. ("A picture's worth a thousand works, right?") It's rather disingenuous to pretend the issue is clearing out "non-educational" content instead of simple prudery.

    It doesn't stop with images either. Perhaps even more disturbingly, I've noticed a growing anti-sex bias in the articles too. It is especially visible in some of the edgier subjects. A relevant example is the article on cartoon child porn, which currently reads as if it were unambiguously illegal in the US, where it previously explained the the constitutional issues and the meaning of the key word "obscene" in the law. Sad as it is, don't think the potential real-world influence of that kind of wiki-fiddling should be underestimated. Likewise the prostitution article is filled with the same sort of uncritical sex slavery claims you might hear from a typical politician.

  11. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    As a contented Wikipedia user: what porn?

    Goodness, I thought I was widely read there. Apparently not. And now it will be too late.

    I don't know whether you're aware that figure xvii in "The Naughty Sultan" is "The Screw of Archimedes", but the Wikipedia page isn't about that at all. (Consequently the animated diagram is only intellectually exciting.)

    Actually I misremember the specific instructional book and page number, but the title stuck in the memory, which shouldn't surprise you. But I still don't see how it corresponds - oh, never mind.

    As for stuff relating to children, I'm disgusted, but I also don't believe the allegation. If that is still being done online, how it's done isn't with Wikipedia.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    A Relentless Moral Panic...

    "We should keep educational images about sexuality - mere nudity is not pornography - but as with all our projects, editorial quality judgments must be made and will be made - appropriately and in good taste."

    And there you have it - another sanctimonious statement of received moral wisdom from one of our 'betters'. Incidentally, if the nudity (or even partial nudity) is that of child (the shifting definition of which seems to be as hard to pin-down as ever) and even without any suggestive sexual connotation, then ALL such images are increasingly seen by the LEA's as potentially 'indecent' and therefore liable to get you into trouble before the courts.

    Images of a naked or semi-naked 'child' real or imagined (and the latter really is worrying) are now apparently so corrupting, so unimaginably corrosive to 'right-thinking' people, that they have now been all but outlawed in whatever form they might appear (drawings, CG, so-called 'psuedo-photos', etc) - except, of course, for those privileged by position and status to spend their time poring over such images to 'grade' their offensiveness (of course). I include all policemen in such a category.

    While governments, especially in the West, remain in thrall to the moral panic of paedohysteria the situation continues to worsen for everyone who who might still cling on to quaint, outdated notions of 'common sense' and 'decency' as we perhaps used to understand it. Bullying police forces, chasing their own agendas, have leapt upon the paedo-witchunt to further their own aims, building vast edifices with public money to the new moral outrage they have helped so very carefully to create and promote (the trick is then to keep 'em in business).

    The fact Wikkipedia has now done what it was always going to have to do in the face of such overwhelming idiocy from media, government and LEAs comes as scant surprise to anyone with even a passing interest in the steady erosion of freedoms of expression and the relentless expansion of government-sanctioned interference by police forces determined to chip away at online freedoms in the name of 'child protection' (a term now rendered practically meaningless by the new puritanism raging unchecked within Government and LEAs).

    The fact that in the UK one can now potentially face a jail sentence and be classed as a 'sex offender' for being caught in possession of a Japanese comic featuring drawings (no photos) of wholly imaginary 'children' who never existed (and never will) and whom were never abused (sexually or otherwise) by anyone, frankly beggars belief.

    How on earth did we arrive at such a place?

  13. jake Silver badge

    Define "porn".

    Before you start, try to remember that teh intratubes exist world-wide ...

  14. Ian Ferguson

    Wikifiddlers have a big flaming war...

    ...and yet, for the rest of the world, life somehow continues as normal. End of story :)

  15. Ken 16 Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Wait til they start removing evolution

    or change the value of Pi to 3 (in accordance with various silly US Laws). This is one area where I'd welcome Silvio Berlusconi setting the standards.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Epic Fail

    I used to like Wikipedia - upto about 3 years ago I thought it was brilliant.

    However, since then I find more and more wrong with it and this is, to an extent, part of the icing on the cake.

    If they are going to purge anything without "educational" value they need to do a lot more than bin the p0rn.

    This is nothing more than a knee jerk reaction to prudes in the US. It is shameful. If Wiki is going to bend over for Fox how long before we see religous, social and biological articles tainted (actually I should add "more than they already are"....) by the bias?

    There will always be content that offends someone, somewhere. Why should anyone else suffer for my ideas on what is, or isnt, socially acceptable?

  17. Winkypop Silver badge

    L Ron Hubbard - Steve Jobs - Jimmy Wales

    Peas in a pod...

  18. Jimbo 6
    Paris Hilton

    'admins are "reviewing" images rather than "removing" them'

    Done plenty of that myself. Never actually managed to get a paying job doing it, though. Where do I apply ?

    (Paris icon, just cos no-one else has managed to squeeze one in yet...(ahem)...)

    1. John Lilburne

      And the admins revewing ...

      ... happen to be 14 yo apparently.

  19. Germanjulian

    Bikini Waxing!

    I still see the images on Bikini Waxing. A very dangerous page to visit while at work!!!!!

  20. Havin_it

    From the deletions page:

    "unused white male penis image for which there are many alternatives."

    I hope the owner of said equipment doesn't read that, it's very disheartening somehow.

  21. JP19

    Protest censorship on Wikipedia by posting your cock!

    I'm uploading a new photo of my cock to Wikimedia Commons! Don't let small minded American prudes infringe on your right to wave your willy in the interwebs! Post your cock today and everyday until Wikipedia collapses under a mountain of cocks!

  22. The First Dave Silver badge


    "I do not want to be a tyrant or dictator."

    So just do as I say and I won't have to get angry...

    1. Kar98

      I think that's exactly the issue here

      > Post your cock today and everyday until Wikipedia collapses under a mountain of cocks!

      Wikipedia IS collapsing under a mountain of cocks.

    2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      JP19: your cock will be removed.

      And serve you right.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    stripped down to its bear nuts

    sounds painful...!

    What exactly are bear nuts?

    1. Someone Else Silver badge

      <hallucinate title here>

      They're little foil bags of salted, seasoned peanuts you can get at

      most American bars and taverns (read: pubs)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Or perhaps thats 'raw nuts'.

  24. This post has been deleted by its author

  25. Levente Szileszky
    Thumb Down

    The whole Wiki Unvierse turned into a joke long time ago...

    ...when all these self-entitled nerds got unlimited mod rights and pretty much gutting everything their little mince stupid committee didn't like - eg once we uploaded some high-rez-imagery for illustration, our own pic and soon it was taken down calling it first copyrighted (yeah except we were the copyright holders which we clearly indicated) then as a hidden advertisement... comment, WIki doesn't worth any energy to support - they only want tyou to send MONEY.

    You can kiss my @ss, dear Leader Wales especially after moves like this.

  26. Anonymous Coward


    What part of "Wikipedia is not censored" (an official Wikipedia policy - see does Jimbo not get? Or has he been coerced into doing this against his will?

    oh, and @bothwell... you want to try doing some searches on Wikimedia Commons. There are a lot of images that you won't find in (English) Wikipedia articles :-)

  27. Tim Jenkins

    Alright; which of you pervs uploaded the Mitocu River Basin picture?

    * 2.1 File:Spanking_on_Bondage_Furniture.png

    * 2.2 File:Submerged ejaculation.ogv

    * 2.3 File:Ejaculation.ogg

    * 2.4 File:Lolimanga.JPG

    o 2.4.1 References for File:Lolimanga.JPG

    * 2.5 File:Cum_on_face_on_Second_Life.jpg

    * 2.6 File:Wiki-fisting.png File:Wiki-pegging.png

    * 2.7 File:Sex intercourse.jpg

    * 2.8 File:Hodensack_(5).JPG

    * 2.9 File:Woman Posing in Abandoned Site.png

    * 2.10 File:Female masturbation.svg, File:Cumfac-01.svg & File:Cumfac 01.png

    * 2.11 Image:Sexuality pearl necklace small.png

    * 2.12 File:Female-masturbation-electric-massager.ogv

    * 2.13 File:Orgasmic_muscle_contractions.ogg

    * 2.14 File:Cumshot_in_Super-Slow-Motion_(270_fps).gif

    * 2.15 File:Male masturbation top view.gif

    * 2.16 File:Doggy_style_pegging.png

    * 2.17 File:Three_Lesbians_with_Salami_no_watermark.jpg

    * 2.18 File:Bead.svg

    * 2.19 File:Stratz - Körper des Kindes 04.jpg

    * 2.20 Silvana Suárez

    * 2.21 File:Carving_knives_2.JPG

    * 2.22 File:Susana Giménez_,_by Annemarie Heinrich.jpg

    * 2.23 Mitocu River Basin.jpg

    * 2.24 Commons:Deletion requests/Images in Category:People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

    * 2.25 Permission accidentaly not submitted for Image: Gbanga-logo.png

    Truly, all human life is there..

    1. Captain Thyratron

      Oh, my.

      Don't know what you've got 'til it's gone!

  28. Captain Thyratron

    Why are they even having this argument?

    Isn't the point of "The Free Encyclopedia" that USERS decide which information does and doesn't have informational value? Isn't the concept of peer review Wikipedia's greatest strength? I find it repugnant that these administrators have the nerve to act like it's up to them to make that call.

  29. Someone Else Silver badge

    Hoosier Daddy, Jimbo?

    So, because that epically misnamed propaganda arm of Rupert Murdoch's Evil Empire (i.e. Fox "News") thinks it has found a soft target, Jimbo decides to sell out what little integrity the Wikipeds still have, and capitulate?!?

    Hoosier Daddy, Jimbo? Could it be ... Rupert???


  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No effect on Wikipedia

    All of this has no effect on Wikipedia. You can verify by looking at articles with explicit images, they're still there. Commons is a shared repository for Wikipedias of all languages and other wikimedia projects. But Wikipedia can host their own images independently of Commons and it has editorial control on which images are appropriate for use in articles. The 'purge' was concerned only with explicit images which were not used on any project, although some images used on Wikipedia have been deleted by accident, they have been restored by now. The principal contention at commons was precisely about those explicit images not used on any project, the goal of commons is to provide images for use in Wikimedia projects, not amassing porn. The commons' community has discussed how to deal with them for some time with no clear policy established, although most of those are already routinely deleted for various reasons, but Jimbo has suddenly decided to be bold about it. The problem is that there has been mistakes in those deletions (now fixed) and there were no consensus for those actions. It generated massive controversy and in the end Jimbo was forced to resign most of his administrative permissions.

    Now a few commons administrators followed Jimbo in those deletions, but only a small minority. On the other hand several administrators have resigned in protest, and the vast majority of users and admins were against those actions, though they support to some extent a policy to better control explicit images which are not used by projects. By the way administrators are just ordinary users who are granted administrative tools after a vote by the community (like at Wikipedia). Administrator's job at commons is principally to delete images which are copyright violations or otherwise against site policy, immediately when clear or after a community discussion.

    But all of this concerns only Commons, Wikimedia projects like Wikipedia make their own determinations as to which images are appropriate for use (within legal limits), and the Wikimedia Foundation didn't indicate any project should change their ways. If you look at discussion pages for Wikipedia's articles on sexual topics, you'll see there are discussions concerning which images to use, often controversial, and in the end consensus decides.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    vowing to put the sum of all human knowledge online

    I honestly read that as

    vowing to put the scum of all human knowledge online

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Control of Information

    For something that is suppose to be an online encyclopedia they should not be deleting / fudging any pictures that are relevant to the articles.

    Mind you they shouldn't be deleting/fudging articles either.

    They just controling what information you can and cannot see.


  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jimbo -- don't give in to mob rule!

    Every organization needs a leader. That;s why there's a President of the United States, who serves as the thought leader for the US. That's actually what we elect him for.

    Pure democracy does not work -- the average citizen is undeducated and it is human nature to act as a purposeless mob.

    That's why most governments are republics, not democracies.

    Jimmy Wales ought not to have relinquished his founder status. It is as equally wrong to have an organization without a leader as it is to have an absolute dictatorship.

    Any organization that gives in to mob rule must live with continual lynchings.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I hate Wikipedia - it's run by nazi moderators.

    I hate Wikipedia more than even Microsoft, Telstra and ummm the bastards in the Australian Liberal party.

    Well I hate them all equally worse than the others.. but Wikipedia - and it's "6 pack of pricks" clique of moderators...

    It's like I hope a big asteroid lands on earth - in lots of baseball sized bits and lands on the wikipedian moderators heads...

    I hope they get poxes of the nether regions - that cause them to piss prickles for the rest of their days.


    The scribbling Pharisees - oh it's unsourced... not verified, - "But oh royal dimwit, the article is on me and I wrote the book" - doesn't matter, the information does not come from a verifiable source....






    Welcome to Wikipedia - the Nazi Party of the 22nd Century.

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