Who’s in charge of Wikipedia these days? According to a Fox News source, “No one. It’s chaos.
If their recent report is to believed, Wikimedia Foundation President and Wikipedia co-founderJimmy Wales has seen his control of the site dramatically slashed and his rights reduced to the “same capabilities of a low-level administrator.
That shocking claim comes in the wake of a pornography purge that began last week on Wikipedia. The purge appears to have began when Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger (editor-in-chief of Wikipedia’s predecessor Nupedia) warned the FBI that there were explicit images of children on the popular encyclopedia site. Sanger left the Wikipedia project in 2002 and has since been very critical of the site’s credibility and practices.
Following Sanger’s claims, Fox News reportedly contacted the sites donors asking them if they knew about the explicit files it was hosting. It was unclear whether it was Sanger’s complaint or the message to donor that triggered Wikipedia’s porn purge, but early last week Wikipedia informed users that policy changes were coming.
Fox News claims responsibility for the purge, commenting, “Those images have been the subject of heated discussion within the community since their existence was revealed exclusively by FoxNews.com on April 27.”
Some administrators, including Jimmy Wales himself reportedly conducted a wild purge of prurient content. Others, according to Fox News rebelled against these edits. According to the site, many of the images Wales tried to delete have since been restored.
An email from a Wikipedia admin reads, “In essence, right now Jimbo is deleting things based on his singular judgment about what should be allowed…. This is a large change and lack of a clear policy creates a very confusing and frustrating environment for editors. (Multiple Commons admins have already stated their intention to resign and/or retire over this.)”
Wales, however, disputes Fox News‘ story, calling it a load of tripe. He said the Fox reporter failed to even contact him and that the site is doing just fine, not in “chaos.”