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Wikipedia Still Filled with Porn

by Cris Clapp Logan on June 11th, 2012 in Parents

In an article out last week, co-founder of Wikipedia Larry Sanger explained that children using Wikipedia for research can still stumble on the vast repository of pornographic images and videos.  Users of the site can encounter pornography even when they type in unrelated search terms.  Lest you think these images and videos are singularly educational, understand that the results go well beyond “line art and diagrams”.  I know I’ve encountered extremely graphic images and videos, from actual images from pornography sites to close ups of genitalia, self-stimulation and cartoon pornography. 

The Wikimedia Foundation Board of directors apparently voted over a year ago to place a filter on the site to weed out any and all controversial content, but unfortunately, as Sanger explained, the most frequently viewed media files on Wikimedia serves are still sexually explicit files. 

 Jason Stern, a New York-based Internet lawyer explained, “this is not just content that a prudish parent might find objectionable.  This is content that 99.9 percent of society would not want their child to have access to in a school or library.”

Sites like Google, YouTube and Flickr all have a monitoring or filtering option in place, so Wikipedia appears to be way behind, especially considering that it’s the world’s leading reference site and a popular site for kids and adults alike to go to for research.

As a parent, it’s critically important to recognize that even sites, like Wikipedia, that appear benign can host content that is harmful to children, and kids can encounter pornography even when they aren’t looking for it.  Regardless of whether or not you believe your kid is curious about sex or searching for pornography online, using a parental control like Safe Eyes or our X3watchPRO can help prevent early exposure.  I also recommend that parents sit with their kids while they are online, install parental controls and filters on all Internet-enabled devices and engage in constant conversations with their kids about sex, pornography and boundaries, so if their child ever does encounter anything explicit or disturbing online, they will know they can come talk to you about what they encountered.  For more help, check out our Parent Resources.

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  • Biblio_phil

    Definitely needs cleaning up. But, many parents let their kids on the internet without a filter, so its not likely that they will care about wikipedia. We’re breeding a generation of porn addicts… don’t know if there’ll be another “greatest generation” anytime soon. 

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