This page serves as a timeline for the controversial content debate on Wikimedia wikis.
- Offensive content - a proposal for a filtering or labeling system to hide user-unwanted content.
- First vote on the Goatse.cx image (the debate would go on for several years, see the FAQ on en:Talk:Goatse.cx)
- Jimbo Wales removes an image of autofellatio from the article.
- w:Wikipedia:Descriptive image tagging proposed (labeling system), fails.
- Wikipedia:Graphic and potentially disturbing images - rejected
- Wikipedia:Image censorship - closed
proposal en:Wikipedia:Toby - failed
WikiProject Wikipedians for Decency (later "WikiProject Wikipedians for encyclopedic merit") founded on the English Wikipedia (Signpost coverage: "WikiProject VfD spurs controversy, record vote count")
A poll is held on the English Wikipedia to decide whether to include cartoons of Muhammad in the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy article. (Signpost coverage: "Controversial cartoon leads to fierce debate", "Pakistan briefly blocks Wikipedia")
Proposal: Disgusting images - opposed
Publicgirluk case on the English Wikipedia (Signpost coverage: "Sexual images spark debate")
The regional court of Berlin dismisses criminal charges brought by an administrator of the German Wikipedia in April 2005 over alleged violation of the German law against the distribution of pornographic content by a user whose editing activity largerly concerned articles about pornographic actresses. The user had posted a link on a talk page to a web site that was illegal for minors to view. But because of the limited visibility of his edit, which had been made in the middle of the might and was reverted after one minute, the judge ruled that the statute did not apply. (Signpost coverage: "German user acquitted for distribution of pornography", Kurier coverage: "Verbreitung pornografischer Schriften in der Wikipedia – Freispruch für Benutzer:Mutter Erde")
A German politician files criminal charges over the use of Nazi symbols in articles on the German Wikipedia (Signpost coverage: "Wikipedia dragged into German politics over Nazi images")
proposal for ICRA Content rating - opposed
An online petition to remove images of the Islamic prophet from the corresponding article on the English Wikipedia receives 100,000 signatures within two months (Signpost coverage: "Petition seeks to remove images of Muhammad")
"Safe Search" or "Adult Filter" function proposal (April 2008) - opposed
WorldNetDaily article (Signpost coverage: "Explicit sexual content draws fire")
Virgin Killer case (Signpost coverage: "Wikipedia blocked over concerns of child pornography")
Commons:Sexual content/2009 Original COM:SEX proposal, started December 2008 with final revision January 2009. (rejected by consensus)
Signpost: "Commons debates hosting offensive cartoons" (Latuff/Dershowitz case)
The German Wikipedia features w:de:Vulva on its main page, including an image. Despite heavy controversy, the editorial decision to use the image is upheld in a 30:29 quick poll. "Principle of Least Astonishment" mentioned. (Signpost coverage: "Explicit image featured on German Wikipedia's main page")
Larry Sanger creates controversy by suggesting that Wikimedia Commons is hosting child pornography. (Signpost coverage: "Larry Sanger accuses Wikimedia of hosting illegal images")
Commons:Sexual content/April 2010 - an evolution of January 2009 proposal. (rejected by consensus)
Commons:WikiProject Erotica/image level demo media filtering
In response to Larry Sanger's comments (and surrounding media coverage), the Wikimedia Board issues a statement about appropriate educational content, Board of Trustee member Jimmy Wales "wheel wars" to delete images and eventually relinquished many "rights" at the request of the community. (Signpost coverage: "Porn madness")
The Wikimedia Board directs the Executive Director to commission a study regarding controversial content on Wikimedia wikis. This included a Board resolution. (Signpost coverage: "Board resolution on offensive content")
Requests for comment/ace.wikipedia and Prophet Muhammad images. aceh admins put notice template demanding deletion of Muhammad images on Wikipedia/Wikimedia, ends with desysopping
Requests for comment/Prophet Muhammad images around Wikimedia projects recieved little feedback and closed August 7 with no action due to en:WP:NOTCENSORED.
The results of the study are announced.
commons: Sexual content, Second poll for promotion to policy (no consensus)
Ryan Kaldari asks the Gendergap mailing list whether "the Principle of Least Astonishment needs to be encoded into some kind of policy or guideline"?
The Wikimedia Board unanimously passes a "Controversial content" resolution that calls for "the Executive Director, in consultation with the community, to develop and implement a personal image hiding feature that will enable readers to easily hide images hosted on the projects that they do not wish to view, either when first viewing the image or ahead of time through preference settings."
The Wikimedia Foundation holds an image filter referendum. (15 August - 30 August 2011)
The German Wikipedia hosts a poll regarding an image filter. (25 August - 15 September 2011)
The German Wikipedia poll finds 86% opposed to image filter.
French Wikipedia poll on image filter. 81% opposed
Board of Trustees sends a letter to foundation-l. ("We are not going to revisit the resolution from May, for the moment: we let that resolution stand unchanged.")
German Wikipedia starts fork discussion (not an official poll)
Spanish Wikipedia holds a poll on image filter majority opposed
In an interview with Zeit Online (in German), Sue Gardner assures she will go for a new filter concept and will not install an image filter against the declared will of the German community. Also, she gives a presentation in Hanover (in English) covering the issue on slides 15-23: . Transcript of the relevant part.
RfC on the English Wikipedia for the adoption of the "principle of least astonishment" in dealing with controversial content (rejected as proposed).
Content rating (again) clear consensus against this proposal
Image filtering proposal from Jimbo Wales
wmf:Resolution:Personal image hiding feature rescinded the previous resolution.
Controversial maps (with involvement of the Wikimedia Foundation legal department): phabricator:T113008 and more.