According to Computerworld today (10 Sep 2008)
Wikipedia has come under fire from some child protection groups over the inclusion of graphic sexual images in some entries. Childwise head Bernadette McMenamin told News Limited that some of the images easily accessible via the site crossed the line to what is deemed sexually explicit. The page on 'hardcore pornography', for instance, includes two stills from behind the scenes at a pornographic movie set, including one featuring explicit sex.
The article continues..
Wikipedia has a strict anti-censorship policy – the phrase 'Wikipedia is not censored' is included in what is essentially the group's mission statement. As is the warning that "Wikipedia cannot guarantee that articles or images will always be acceptable to all readers, or that they will adhere to general social or religious norms."
The Wikipedia article (embedded link above) notes that "Since 1969, most of the world's liberal democracies have taken steps to legalize hardcore pornography. or they increasingly fail to enforce legislation to prohibit it resulting in de facto legalization."
The latter statement is to all intents and purposes the case in New South Wales, where the alleged pornographic image depicted in the Wikipedia article would be considered mild to inconsequential by those familiar with what is on sale and often mislabeled as being "X" rated (a legal rating for the Australian Capital Territory) despite often falling outside the official "guidelines" - noting that "guidelines" are just that.
The law does not state that a legal classification has to satisfy the guidelines. The process of classification is a discretionary one as is the right to import from overseas - qualified by statements such as "to the extent the item should not be classified/imported" (paraphrased) and in my view the onus of proof should lie with those who wish to hinder freedom of sexual expression as to why an item should NOT be classified or imported rather than the reverse situation that appears to apply)
I have noted in the past that some corporate filters block access to wikis (of which Wikipedia is just one) thus depriving employees of a useful and frequently updated source of information. This poster is not convinced that this is a healthy trend. There is a trend for some Universities to debunk Wikipedia, but again I feel this is merely to bolster their position as one of the major sources of legitimate information - despite the fact that much of that information is itself censored and I would suggest the recent book "The Porn Report" is an excellent example of this (based on a talk given by the author to the Sydney Institute) which is at the time of posting available for download from the Sydney Institute(click on the podcast section and click the podcast download for the 21st May 2008 ). I understand the research framework forbade investigation into illegal sources of pornographic content thus confining research into items legally classified by the Australian Classification Board.
It is known that University staff use Wikipedia as a source of information. We live in a changing world.
posted by Bob Bain