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Wikipedia under fire for showing ‘dressed-up porn’

MELBOURNE: The biggest multilingual free-content encyclopaedia on the Internet, Wikipedia has come under fire for allowing pornographic images and videos in its articles.

In fact, some of the site’s own editors have confessed that the objected content is ‘dressed-up porn’. Using Wikipedia, instead of dictionaries, for looking up dirty words can expose children to images and videos of masturbation, “hardcore” sex and orgies, according to child protection campaigners.

One entry on the site shows an 18-second video of a man ejaculating, and that too, without any warnings or age verification. While one page results in showing various photos from the sets of both a heterosexual and homosexual “hardcore” pornography films, another page features several images of masturbation.

Despite it being used by millions around the world, Wikipedia has been questioned since a long time for the accuracy and appropriateness of its content. According to a Wikipedia editor, who wants to get the ejaculation video removed has said that the concerned clip is “overkill”.

“A video of a woman giving herself a breast exam would be educational and a video of a man giving himself a testicle exam would be educational” in relevant articles. Images alone are not enough for those processes, but a video of a man ejaculating – when there is an image that shows it stage by stage – is not needed,” News.com.au quoted the user, as saying.

Childwise head Bernadette McMenamin said that sex education is “a good thing”, but an overt display of sexualised images in an online encyclopaedia “crosses the line”. “Does that mean that when you type in ‘murder’, you should actually see someone murdering someone else? Do we really need to see a woman masturbating on Wikipedia? Do we really need to see so many seconds of ejaculation?” she said.

Wikipedia however, has no policy of no censorship in the contents posted on the pages. “Obviously inappropriate content (such as an irrelevant link to a shock site, or clear vandalism) is usually removed quickly. However, some articles may include objectionable text, images, or links where they are relevant to the content – such as the articles about the penis or pornography,” said the site.

In fact, some of the site’s own editors have confessed that the objected content is ‘dressed-up porn’. Using Wikipedia, instead of dictionaries, for looking up dirty words can expose children to images and videos of masturbation, “hardcore” sex and orgies, according to child protection campaigners.

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