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Fox floats another load of nonsense
by Dagmar at 9:45 pm EDT, May 7, 2010

As to the title, I'm not convinced I should bother mincing words about this.

About a week ago, ran a story involving a former member of the Wikipedia staff who was making claims that Wikipedia is literally rife with all kinds of dreadful pornography.

That article was, in a word, bullshit.

Sure, there's some porn on Wikipedia because anyone can upload anything to it at any time. To that extent saying so is not a whole lot different than making claims that there's pictures of thimbles in Wikipedia. Both statements contain varying degrees of truth, but how long the porn stays is another matter entirely. A large amount of the porn "on Wikipedia" is simply the act of internet vandals looking to shock people--in reality this is not much different from a miscreant slipping snippets of nudie magazines into random books at your local public library. The only difference here is that it's a lot easier for people all over the world to engage in the prank, but it's still just as easy for it to be undone by librarians (and anyone else who knows that shouldn't be there). The rest appears to be by people who genuinely think that there needs to be categorized porn on Wikipedia--but where Wikipedia is concerned, there's many other places on the Internet dedicated to just porn so there's little point in them keeping it around.

Much of the porn only survives for mere minutes (if not seconds) as automation software run by it's administrators triage the information about new edits and bring anything that appears out of place to someone's attention almost immediately. Everything else (and I mean everything else) gets scrutinized by someone the "old-fashioned way"--by a Wikipedia editor logging in and looking at the list of changes in their favorite little section of the system. So... as fast as someone can upload some porn to Wikipedia, it gets deleted by someone else.

This is the way it is now, this is the way it has been in the past, and is likely the exact same way it will continue to be in the future--yet FOX has been waving this particular baton for about a week now, hoping to provoke a reaction from Wikipedia, and since that didn't happen they have simply declared an "EXCLUSIVE" story that Wikipedia has started to purge porn from the site.

That is, in another word, a lie. To use two words (or three words and a hyphen if you're a potential Wikipedia editor) it's a bold-faced lie. Wikipedia cannot start purging porn from the site now because it has never stopped purging the porn from the site. The entire article hinges on the reader not being smart enough to see the fallacy in the following compound question:

"When did the editors stop molesting children for better ratings?"

Probably the only thing protecting FOX at this point is that Wikipedia isn't really in a good position to sue them for publishing phony stories.

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