News and notes

News and notes

German user acquitted for distribution of pornography

A user was acquitted this week of a charge of distribution of pornographic material, for linking to a pornographic site from a discussion page on the German Wikipedia. Mutter Erde linked to a pornographic site in April 2005; the link was removed after just a minute on the site, and his account was the subject of a block war before finally being banned in May 2005.

The site Mutter Erde linked to was legal for adults to view, but illegal for users under 18. Because the link was accessible to all users, regardless of age, a German Wikipedia administrator, Markus Schweiß, filed a criminal complaint against Mutter Erde in Berlin, under STGB § 184. Schweiß was the target of harassment and personal attacks by Mutter Erde. The case was decided last week, with the judge ruling that due to the short visibility of the links, the statute did not apply. Though the judge considered that the links were still present in the page's revision history, he ruled it irrelevant, as the links were not immediately visible without special action by the reader. The German community newspaper, WikiKurier, covered the story (in English).

BJAODN deleted/moved, arbitration case closes quietly

The miscellany for deletion discussion on Bad Jokes and Other Deleted Nonsense (see archived story) closed this week; as a result, the subpages, with the exception of a few select pages, were deleted, and the main page was moved to Wikipedia:Silly Things. Phil Sandifer closed the debate:

I will say, off the bat, that I am ignoring the GFDL question in this close. Simply put, that is a legal issue, and I do not believe that legal issues are best decided via a !vote of untrained community members. This leaves one major argument for deletion - the argument that BJAODN is a monument to vandalism. It also leaves one argument for keeping - that BJAODN is funny. While it is tempting to treat this as a matter of "I don't like it" vs. "I like it" and just count votes, I do not think that this is appropriate here. Simply put, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, and "it encourages vandalism" does inherently trump "it's funny" as a reason for doing or not doing something. And looking at BJAODN, the lack of care or judgment taken with it is disappointing to say the least. I do not think that anybody in this MfD would seriously argue for a pressing need to memorialize the claim that there exists a line of Pepsi called "Penis Pepsi" that "tastes like big foots dic" (sic). And yet we did. It is also telling to me that, despite the promises of many to fix the lack of attribution in BJAODN, none of it was actually fixed, suggesting a page that is not the subject of any serious work or effort.

I am therefore persuaded by the claims that the page is simply a monument to vandalism. On the other hand, I am also persuaded by the claims that the page is an institution. To this end, I have left certain subpages unscathed - things that compile non-encyclopedia edits (Help desk, unblock), deleted articles with freaky titles, two that were just reposts of a discussion, the Colbert page, stupid article ideas, and the best-ofs. I do not close the door to some of these being individually nominated, and would not consider such nominations querrelous (sic) or cases of asking the other parent.

Sandifer later clarified some of his closure, including the page's move: I will also note that I, as part of the close, moved the main BJAODN page to Wikipedia:Silly things to emphasize the break from the previous tradition of BJAODN. This is part of the close, and probably shouldn't be edit warred over. The closure was later brought to deletion review, where the closure was endorsed.

With the MFD closed successfully, and no serious conduct issues, the arbitration case was closed: As the underlying dispute has been satisfactorily resolved by the community, and as no evidence of bad-faith actions by any party has been presented, this case is closed with no further actions being taken.

Wikimania 2008 bids accepted through Thursday

Bidding for Wikimania 2008 is still open. New bids will be accepted through Thursday, August 30, at which time no new cities will be accepted. Bids must be finalized by September 23; on that day, a public meeting will be held, and over the following two weeks, a question-and-answer period will help the judges with their final decision, currently scheduled for October 6. As of this time, three bids have been entered: Cape Town, Alexandria, and Atlanta.


+ Add a comment

Discuss this story

To follow comments, add the page to your watchlist. If your comment has not appeared here, you can try purging the cache.
No comments yet. Yours could be the first!


The Signpost · written by many · served by Sinepost V0.9 · 🄯 CC-BY-SA 4.0