Wikipedia blasts talk of child porn at website

April 28, 2010
Wikipedia on Wednesday strongly rejected its departed co-founder's accusation that the online encyclopedia served up child pornography.

Wikipedia on Wednesday strongly rejected its departed co-founder's accusation that the online encyclopedia served up child pornography.

"Our community abhors issues around pornography and pedophilia and they don't want to provide opportunities for these things to take place," spokesman Jay Walsh told AFP.

"We don't have material we would deem to be illegal. If we did, we would remove it."

Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger, who left the project in 2002 due to what he described as disagreements, said in an online post that he was probably mistaken to use the term "child pornography" when describing his complaint about drawings or cartoons accompanying some pedophilia-related entries.

"I didn't realize that it would be so misleading," Sanger said.

"It didn't occur to me until afterward that many people restrict 'child pornography' to mean photographs of real children. If I had realized this sooner, I would have used 'depictions of child sexual abuse' instead."

Sanger detailed his concerns in a letter sent to the FBI early in April.

"I thought I was doing my civic duty, one that I didn't really want to do, but which I felt I ought to do," Sanger said.

As of Wednesday, neither Wikipedia nor the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation behind the had heard from the authorities, according to Walsh.

"As a serious, law-abiding organization we would work with these folks," he said.

Wikipedia is a communally-crafted online compendium of knowledge that is curated with the help of some 100,000 volunteer editors.

"In general there is a constant change in information at Wikipedia," Walsh said. "If inappropriate material is posted volunteers remove it immediately."

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