Censoring of Wikipedias naked girl page leaves users fuming

December 8th, 2008 - 2:33 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Dec 8 (ANI): Wikipedia users are enraged after many UK Internet providers decided to block a page on the online encyclopaedia showing an image of a naked girl.

The blocked page shows an album cover of German heavy metal band Scorpions.

Internet providers blocked the controversial page after online watchdog the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) warned them its picture might be illegal.

However, some volunteers who run Wikipedia claimed that the foundation had no authority to censor one of the web’’s most popular sites.

They also stressed that image has already appeared in a number of books without ever being labelled illegal.

But, the IWF, which warns Internet providers about possible images that could be linked to child abuse, said it came to the decision after consulting the police.

The foundations list of proscribed sites is widely used by British Internet service providers to filter out images showing child abuse and other illegal content. And this is the first time they”ve done this on such a visible site

Thus, majority of British Internet users cannot access the addition of the Scorpions Wikipedia page.

According to an IWF spokeswoman, as many as 95percent of British users would now be unable to access the page.

Wikipedia volunteer David Gerard said he and fellow users were angry that not only the photo, but also the text on the page had been blocked.

“Blocking text is a whole new thing - it’’s the first time they”ve done this on such a visible site,” BBC quoted him as saying.

Jay Walsh, a spokesman for the Wikimedia Foundation, which manages the encyclopaedia, said the removal of the page appeared to have stopped thousands of UK users from editing articles on Wikipedia, which allows readers to self-edit its pages.

“It appears that there’’s a large number of editors - I can”t say all - who appear to have access issues,” he said. (ANI)

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