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Wikia’s “Spanking fetish” site and the use of photographs of children

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Co-founder of Wikipedia and Wikia Jimbo Wales at a Wikimania ConventionThe below essay (by Review member “Dogbiscuit”) was submitted after Wikipedia Review discovered that Wikia, Inc, the for-profit company founded by Jimmy Wales and Angela Beesley, were hosting a Wiki called Spanking Art. This Wiki detailed sexual fetish practices relating to corporal punishment, but also featured numerous sexualized images of children and photographs of minors uploaded in innocence by editors to Wikipedia and the Wiki-Commons.

Our discovery provoked protests against “Spanking Art” on Wikipedia itself. One editor, a representative of the Scouting movement whose uploaded photo of boy scouts had been transported onto the Spanking Sex site without permission, demanded answers on Jimbo Wales’s Wikipedia talk page. Eventually Wales personally deleted material from the Wikia site. Later, the entire Spanking Art site was removed, with an accompanying statement made by a representative of Wikia Inc. :

Thanks for the concern. There have been some outside inquiries about the content of the wiki that were very difficult to deal with in a thoughtful way on a Friday afternoon. We chose to remove the wiki from public view while we work with the both the complainants and the community to make sure that the wiki is focused on its mission of documenting adult sexuality. All parties have been polite and responsive and we hope to have the issue resolved soon.

We do reserve the right to remove access to our wikis on the very rare occasion when we decide it is necessary, but the GFDL license means that the content belongs to the community, and we comply with that license by making backups of all wikis available on a daily basis. We will be happy to provide more information as it becomes available. — Catherine@Wikia (talk) 03:15, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

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Written by The Review

January 30th, 2008 at 3:39 pm