Home > Incompetence > IWF “block” Virgin Killer wikipedia page

IWF “block” Virgin Killer wikipedia page

December 8th, 2008

So I just read that the IWF have decided to block the Virgin Killer wikipedia page for what they claim is indecent coverart. Whether it is or is not, is out of scope for this posting.

The problem is they seem to be exclusively targeting wikipedia with this block since the image is easily available from other locations not to mention peoples’ homes.

The result of the block is that due most of UK’s traffic going via the Cleanfeed content blocking system wikipedia has been forced to prevent editing articles to UK contributors because they now effectively share a few IP addresses and do not pass on the real IP address as most proxies should.

The other problem is that they have only blocked the article text and not the actual image which is still accessible from wikipedia’s servers. Infact, had they blocked the actual image to start with the editing problem may never have existed. It’s still possible to view the article text without resorting to technology like tor by using the https:// version of the site instead which ofcourse cannot be transparently filtered. The irony here is that that site renders the full article + the actual image since the actual image hasn’t been blocked.

Far more people have now seen this image on the wikipedia page than would have if this block was never attempted, this block has attracted alot of media attention causing the views to that wikipedia page to sky rocket in the past 24-48 hours.

All in all I don’t think they’ve accomplished a great deal besides drawing attention to the very image they tried to prevent people seeing by raising the profile of that image.

Update: It appears that the image on Amazon (linked above) has now been removed.

Update 2: The IWF have now decided to remove this page from their block list:-

Following representations from Wikipedia, IWF invoked its Appeals Procedure and has given careful consideration to the issues involved in this case. The procedure is now complete and has confirmed that the image in question is potentially in breach of the Protection of Children Act 1978. However, the IWF Board has today (9 December 2008) considered these findings and the contextual issues involved in this specific case and, in light of the length of time the image has existed and its wide availability, the decision has been taken to remove this webpage from our list.

IWF’s overriding objective is to minimise the availability of indecent images of children on the internet, however, on this occasion our efforts have had the opposite effect. We regret the unintended consequences for Wikipedia and its users. Wikipedia have been informed of the outcome of this procedure and IWF Board’s subsequent decision.

- http://www.iwf.org.uk/media/news.251.htm

I suppose that’s one way to backtrack without entirely admitting you were wrong in the first place, may they carefully consider their blocks in the future lest they repeat the same mistake.

Incompetence , , ,

  1. Ruzanna
    December 9th, 2008 at 15:32 | #1

    i really loved this post, because it shows how lack of experience in IT sphere can make a lot of things go wrong. i appreciate IWF’s efforts to clean the web up, but still it should be done on a professional level.

  2. December 18th, 2008 at 17:28 | #2

    not blocked anymore

  1. December 8th, 2008 at 15:14 | #1
  2. August 4th, 2010 at 12:19 | #2

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