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Wikipedia Purges Porn Following Reports of Child Porn

After discovering instances of pornographic material, Fox News has contacted donors of Wikipedia and warned them that there is explicit content on the website.  The FBI has been contacted as well.

Since Fox’s report, Wikipedia has begun to purge thousands of images from its website. The report from Fox cited several topics that included pornographic materials, including one search for “nude children”, which led them to pictures of child pornography.

“We have had a problem with images being placed into inappropriate categories, so that viewers were exposed in unexpected ways to sexual content,” Jimmy Wales, President of the Wikimedia Foundation, the parent company of Wikipedia acknowledged in an open letter posted to the “sexual content” category. “Image categorization should be done in such a way that readers are not exposed unexpectedly to content that may be offensive.”

The purge began after Fox News began to contact donors to Wikimedia- donors that include Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, Best Buy, and many more- to ask if they were aware of graphic and sexually explicit material on Wikipedia. Last week Fox revealed that Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger had been in contact with the FBI over his concerns of child pornography on the website.

The FBI has not yet responded to the charges.

On Wednesday of last week, Wales released a statement on the Wikipedia Commons page:

“Wikimedia Commons admins [administrators allowed to edit the site, including Wales himself] who wish to remove from the project all images that are of little or no educational value but which appeal solely to prurient interests have my full support. This includes immediate deletion of all pornographic images. 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…”

“I think our existing policies here on commons are sufficient to deal with the problem – with the minor exception that many things should just be speedy deleted and argued about later. If you want to be technical about it, please consider this a policy change in that regard. Try to relax. Anything which is deleted can be resorted if there’s a good reason.”

Several categories that were deemed offensive have also been removed from the website.