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> From: Larry Phillips <email@example.com> > I searched Wikipedia for "sex positions", "nudity", "pedophilia", > "sexual > intercourse" and didn't find anything that would be considered porn in > this day and age. I guess you think that if something is drawn, or was created before the 20th century, it doesn't count as pornography. It's true that Wikipedia itself doesn't have much that is pornographic in the "Penthouse" sense at the more obvious destinations, but with knowledge of terminology, or merely a childlike curiosity and the ability to use a mouse, you can quickly find things that most sane adults would call pornography. Look, I refuse to give you search terms. Also, there are truly massive amounts of it on Wikimedia Commons, and it's quite easy to find there. > There were images that while instructional wouldn't be > recommended for use in public schools. That's a bit of an understatement. An "instructional" but not for subjects taught at most schools, shall we say. > More because of society's desire that > students > learn by doing instead of direct instruction. Haw! Such wit! > I would strongly suggest that > followers of this debate actually look at the content that is being > portrayed > as pornographic or objectionable (there were no images on the > pedophilia page > and it was the most complete and balanced article available for free on > the > web) before describing Wikipedia as a purveyor of porn. Oh, indeed. Look at the content, if you're forming a judgment on the issue. Think of every sexual fetish you can think of, every porn term you might have unfortunately encountered, whatever--it's all there, and frequently illustrated pretty explicitly. As to the pedophilia page, well, I was talking about the pedophilia *category* on Wikimedia Commons. I'm not going to give you a link; you can simply search on the term "pedophilia" at http://commons.wikimedia.org/ , and don't say I didn't warn you. > However, the point missed here is that to find any sexually explicit > images > (line drawings or other) you have to search for them. While students > accidentally coming across nude images is forgiven, searching for them > isn't. > Students know what is appropriate/allowed and what to do when they > encounter > inappropriate images (inappropriate for school). This is classroom > management > and has little to do with what is potentially available on a site. This almost sounds plausible--but not quite. Suppose the librarians forwarded a plan to stock vast numbers of sexology and sex fetish books in the library, but in a special section. Then suppose that someone were to tell us, "To find any porn in the library, you have to walk to the special section. While students accidentally walking into the section is forgiven, intentionally going there is not. Students know that walking into the section is not allowed (inappropriate for school). This is library management and has little to do with what is available at the library. So there's nothing wrong with these books in the library. To exclude them is censorship!" That argument is not going to fly with anybody who is actually responsible for children. As they know, children are curious and often easily distractable. Besides, finding inappropriate content on Wikipedia is really easy, especially for motivated and reasonably bright kids. I'm sure many teenage boys could find it on Wikipedia much faster and easier than Larry Phillips pretended to be able to, above. And a lot faster than, say, walking to the special section of a library with a well-stocked sexology and sex fetish section. Actually, to respond to my little analogy, you might say, "Yes, but your reaction is to recommend not that we shut down just a section of the library, but that we shut down the whole library (=Wikipedia)!" Well, not quite. The only reason we have to shut down (access to) the grand Wikipedia library is that it comes with the smut section that cannot be easily closed off. What I propose is that the publishers (i.e., Wikipedia) put a special cover on the illicit books, such that they can't be opened unless if you have a key given out only to adults. In other words, to drop the silly analogy, Wikipedia should label its adult content properly, making it easier to filter just that content. They should grow up and finally realize that they are part of the real world, which includes children with needs that are very different from those of adults. > If > educators are concerned about what is available in Wikipedia, perhaps > they > should look at the hard copy encyclopedias and dictionaries in their > libraries > (check the published date while you're at it). If the implication is that you'll find images in the reference section of your school library that are just as bad and plentiful as what can be found on Wikipedia. This is so wrong it's silly. --Larry --- Edtech Archives, posting guidelines and other information are at: http://www.h-net.msu.edu/~edweb Please include your name, email address, and school or professional affiliation in each posting. To unsubscribe send the following command to: LISTSERV@H-NET.MSU.EDU SIGNOFF EDTECH