Talk:British ISPs restrict access to Wikipedia amid child pornography allegations

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cs:Britští poskytovatelé internetového připojení cenzurují Wikipedii —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:07, 9 December 2008 (UTC)Reply



Brought to light in IRC, and on Wikipedia --Brian McNeil / talk 19:39, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

I dragged some info from the previously deleted article on child porn that was leaked to Wikileaks. Since that was originally our work, and OR, I am putting the source here: Wikinews suppressed Wikipedia pornography investigation. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 20:01, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
As proof of who is responsible, when accessing that Virgin Killer image I get as a Demon user. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 23:11, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

Not just Wikipedia


Based on the comments on the admin noticeboard on WP, it affects every Wikimedia site except So probably all the publicly editable Wikimedia sites are affected. Mr.Z-man (talk) 20:08, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

Only one article is actualy blocked.Geni (talk) 20:22, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
Only one article is *confirmed* to be blocked. Others might be but there are over 1.whatever million articles on WP currently and no list of blocked pages is published. --AlisonW (talk) 23:05, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

Move this please


Inflammatory, inaccurate (IMO) headline. Has anybody else called it this? To clarify, I mean the "Great Firewall of Britain" bit. Tombomp (talk) 20:30, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

No keep it; it's accurate. This form of censorship is similar to China's firewall. 20:35, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
FFS, this is probably just one person's cock up, not an attempt to 'censor' the place. Can I urge calm here before you create a storm that doesn't exist? 20:46, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
china's firewall is run by the goverment (and rather better at what it does).Geni (talk) 20:47, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
This organization receives funding from both the British government and the EU as a whole (as well as from ISPs). It is, therefore, to all intents and purposes a(n albeit unofficially) government sanctioned organization. Gopher65talk 20:50, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
You've just described Sinn Féin as goverment sanctioned. For very solid legal and political reasons the IWF cannot be considered a goverment body.Geni (talk) 21:07, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
I agree, this isn't comparable to the Chinese firewall, which blocks all of Wikipedia. This blocks a handful of pages, and if not for the transparent proxy, would otherwise be almost unnoticeable. Mr.Z-man (talk) 20:52, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
The article appears to be filled with a great deal of logical leaps and random examples. Yes, it /could/ be like that, but is anyone reporting a problem? Is there any confirmation on this at all other than gossip on WP:AN? Narson (talk) 20:57, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
(ec'd through multiple redirect moves) Of course there is confirmation - please research harder before posting. See Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Major UK ISPs reduced to using 2 IP addresses 21:01, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
Yes, an AN thread on en-wiki, surely highly accurate. Never mind it's all speculation! PS I think it kind of sucks moving without even vaguely trying to talk here Tombomp (talk) 21:03, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
So....your response to my 'Is there any confirmation on this...other than gossip on WP:AN?' would be 'Yes, don't be silly! Look at this gossip on WP:AN'? I'm going to trim out some of the more ludicrous silliness...will someone work on moving this back to the less The Sun headline? Or at the very least, be honest and add 'Tits on Page 3' to the front of WikiNews. Narson (talk) 21:08, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
Clearly you couldn't be bothered to actually read the thread. The multiple en.wikipedia admins and established users who confirm that when logged out they are affected are only trivial confirmations in this context, but this is confirmation in the context of breaking news nevertheless. 21:22, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
Agree with Narson. Nothing is confirmed yet, just amateur sleuthing on Wikipedia, the main crux of which comes from a blog posting about torrents. Nobody from the IWF or the ISPs has confirmed or denied anything yet. (And the headline is tabloidy, come on) Woody (talk) 21:10, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
Whatever is going on it is censorship. Interesting to note, while I can't view the Virgin Killer article directly, I can still view the history page and see the image. 21:09, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
I've moved the article to "UK ISPs censor Wikipedia" since it is less sensationalist and more accurate (as far as I know, just one page on one language version of one project is blocked, that's hardly "Wikimedia sites"). --Tango (talk) 21:52, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
I agree with this, but the Ip allocating does affect many Wikimedia sites. 776@ 21:58, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

Who's blocked, who isn't?


Let's try and gather some data on who is and isn't blocked. I can access the page from my Uni connection (which is via w:JANET). My mum cannot access it from her connection with Orange. --Tango (talk) 21:17, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

I can't access from home but can from my local library. Also, to prevent confusion I'll sign as 776@ 21:20, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
That IP is from Telewest. --Tango (talk) 21:23, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
This IP isn't blocked. It's Tiscali. Same location, different ISP (I've switched wireless networks) 776@ 21:29, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
Virgin Media, ex-Telewest. Ostensibly set up to not use their proxies but have a 'direct' connection. --AlisonW (talk) 21:30, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
And to clarify, you are blocked from that ISP? (You said so by email, but just to have it all in one place.) --Tango (talk) 21:37, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
I am blocked from the page Virgin Killer on that cable connection. I am also blocked from that page (with a 403) connecting via an O2 mobile dongle (on GPRS/EDGE network). In both cases other pages appear accessible, as it not using the shortform for the page (ie the '/w/index.php?title=' route) --AlisonW (talk) 21:46, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
Addendum: In both cases this is as a globally logged-in admin user. --AlisonW (talk) 21:50, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
O2, "The requested URL was not found on this server." -- 21:38, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
Are you saying you're blocked from the whole of 776@ 21:42, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
Apparentally fake 404's are one of the ways that the blocks appear. TheFearow (userpage) 22:00, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
Only and give that error, the rest of Wikipedia works fine. -- 23:40, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
Same deal from Be (but seeing as they're basically o2 broadband, it's to be assumed.)-- 14:34, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
I can access the page and image from my flat (via the BT network). ~~ [ジャム][talk] 22:34, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
Update: As of 10pm today, I can't access the page. ~~ [ジャム][talk] 23:55, 8 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
Page has been accessible from ThePhone.Coop all day. 15:09, 8 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
I can access the page, but get a 403 on the image via Demon Internet:
Access Denied (403)
We have blocked this page because, according to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), it contains indecent images of children or pointers to them; you could be breaking UK law if you viewed the page.
What To Do
If you were directed to this site by an email or another site, then you should consider reporting the email or site to the Internet Watch Foundation. Visit their web site ( for details about how to do this.
This blocking service is provided solely for the protection of our customers. We have not recorded that you attempted to visit this site, nor will we be taking any further action. You can find more information about the IWF list of URLs to block here:
Demon is a brand of THUS plc
--Arwel (talk) 22:39, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
Also if you might be affected, a good way to tell is to log out of your account and try to edit anonymously. That will do one or two things 1) not let you edit 2) or let you edit, but will be with an IP you never used before. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 23:08, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

Virgin Media blocks me with a "The page cannot be displayed" error message (no indication that this is due to a block). 02:06, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply




Images available on


I just did a check and you can find the images (larger, in fact!) on for the Scorpions' album. [1], [2] and [3], indexed from the albun page --AlisonW (talk) 22:05, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

Interestingly, though, if you search for "Scorpions Virgin Killer" on the results bring up the version of the album showing the band rather than the girl on one version of the album, and all the others are "no image available". -- Arwel (talk) 22:46, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply



The article mentions a number of other nude child images, yet none of these have been blocked by the great firewall of the UK. Should mention of them be removed? It seems like speculation to me. -- 22:39, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

Agreed, I tried to remove the reference to Child Bride but was reverted. It is just plain speculation, in fact the only thing we know is that IWF haven't blacklisted that page/image yet (given that I'm affected by the IP switch and can still see it, and no one else has reported issues with it either). Nor do I think they would, to be illegal an image has to be of a child "involved in sexual activity or posed to be sexually provocative", and though I haven't seen the film, this just appears to be skinny dipping. AFAIK there have been no complaints to Wikipedia about the image on that page either, except for one an old deletion request. the wub "?!" 00:39, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

Any evidence?


Where is there any evidence that the IWF has blacklisted Wikipedia? Adambro (talk) 22:57, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

The ISPs effected, are all on the list of ISP's publicly stating that they are participating in the filter. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 22:59, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
See above comment by Arwel @ 22:39, 6 December 2008 (UTC). --Skenmy talk 22:59, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
To be precise, the page is blocked via some UK ISPs but in its alternate form ( it is still available. other pages may or may not also be blocked; trial and error is required to find any. --AlisonW (talk) 23:04, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
I have proof. My ISP (Demon) reroutes me to the IWF's website to tell me I can't view that as the IFW reckon it contains child porn. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 23:07, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
Users of Demon ISP are getting this link: , so we have proof that the IWF is responsible. Gopher65talk 23:08, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

I'm definately being routed through a proxy when editing here on Wikinews:

(diff) (hist) . . User:Skenmy‎; 23:09 . . (0) . . (Talk | block) (dummy edit to test IP address)

That was me, the IP, however, is not mine. --Skenmy talk 23:12, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

Was this erected "to censor Wikipedia"?


I'd question the headline as being incredibly wikimedia-centric? Where is the evidence that the firewall was erected specifically with wikipedia in view? Certainly it has been applied to, and impacts on, wikimedia. But is this whole initiative aimed at wikipedia? Or is it an initiative aimed at blocking images deemed unacceptable, of which wikipedia hosts one?

My other question would be, when did wikinews become a tabloid? The headline is corny, self-referential, overly-dramatic sensationalism. I don't visit wikinews a lot, but if this is the general standard, perhaps that's as well.--Scott MacDonald (talk) 23:18, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

I agree that the title is corny and could stand to be changed, but in what way is it self-referential? We ARE NOT Wikipedia. We don't even have the same copyright licensing scheme, and we certainly don't have the same rules. In fact, our primary goal is diametrically opposed to that of Wikipedia: Wikipedia is "No OR under any circumstances", we are "As much OR as possible". That's as different as you can get. We just happen to be using the same software as Wikipedia. Gopher65talk 23:30, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
So stop writing as if wikipedia was the center of your world..--Scott MacDonald (talk) 23:49, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
I'm going to respond to a very old comment - bluntly. Scott says he doesn't know what Wikinews does - the last statement is made in blissful ignorance. I'm sick of that crap from Wikipedians - yes, he ain't the only one. --Brian McNeil / talk 16:31, 2 November 2009 (UTC)Reply

Early review


As I am going to bed, here is an unsolicited peer review:

I have corrected the Wikipedia issue. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 23:31, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
Corrected the title as well. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 23:34, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
The other sites aren't news - the IFW has been doing that for ages, and properly against child porn, so far as we know. On the other hand, the addition of WMF stuff to the list *is* news as it only just happened, and is pretty borderline at our most generous. The same would be true for any other popular or borderline or controversial site, but not by any means for anything at all on the list - to the best of our knowledge, it's just a bunch of child porn. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 23:39, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
I agree, the other sites are not the news. I'm sure there are many sites on that blacklist that host loads of kiddie porn. But this is about a historic album cover which is being described in an encyclopedia. I would support stating something along the lines of "Wikimedia is now on a blacklist that includes some 800-1200 websites that host images that are deemed by the IWF as unsuited/illegal in the UK. TheDJ (talk) 23:51, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
Oh, and someone should list a bit on when the problem started (I think december 4, 20:45 GMT) (see contrib histories of the 6 IPs of the filters). How wikipedia Administrators discovered the problems and started an AN thread. How we found out it was the IWF (a google of the filter IP, whois of the eaysnet filter ip, and today the error report presented by demon). TheDJ (talk) 00:01, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
First anon edit from behind the filter. December 4th, 20:45 CET TheDJ (talk) 00:32, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
Other thing. Reaction of Mike Godwin/Foundation would be nice. And something along the lines of "Wikipedia is unlikely to bow to internet censorship, as long as the material is legal in the US". and " Wikimedia has much experience in dealing with filtering systems in countries such as China, Iran, etc." Perhaps name the requests to remove all images of mohammed from all our articles. TheDJ (talk) 00:07, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply



Based on the above I am going to suggest British ISPs censor Wikipedia after watchdog makes child porn allegations. Thoughts? Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 23:53, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

I suggest "UK ISPs censor Wikipedia after allegations of child porn by watchdog group". Gopher65talk 23:54, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

We need a consensus. SO here is my suggestion: UK ISPs censor Wikimedia sites after allegations of child porn by watchdog group DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 23:54, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
But they have only censored one page of one Wikimedia site. Sending everyone through a proxy isn't censoring (it's very annoying for us, but it doesn't prevent those users from viewing pages). Saying "sites" is simply incorrect. --Tango (talk) 23:57, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
Then I shall agree with you and BRS :) DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 23:58, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
Also agree. JoshuaZ (talk) 00:34, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

The current title ("Great Wall") is overly sensationalist and highly inaccurate. They have not erected it for Wikipedia, onyl activated it. The IWF has been around for a long time, it has just gone unnoticed until now. It is not all of Wikipedia either, it is only two pages, the main issue with Wikipedia is that this voids most of the anti-vandalism measures as we have one IP for a hell of a lot of people who would usually edit from individual IPs. This current title makes a mockery of this website in my opinion. Regards. Woody (talk) 23:59, 6 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

Well its going to be any WP page that has 'offensive' material, so for the moment, unless we hear back from the IWF then I think we can assume that more will be effected, if not already. At the moment users are only focusing on those two pages. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 00:01, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
"offensive material" is not considered a valid blocking reason for the IWF. One of the reasons we were able to locate the page blocked was it was know, as a bit of an edge case. I wouldn't expect much else to be blocked.Geni (talk) 00:05, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

What about UK ISPs enable 'Great Firewall of Britain' to censor Wikipedia Since the thing has already been in place for ages of course. This is just the first time it's used this obviously. TheDJ (talk) 00:10, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

(e/c) Don't care about the precise wording, just anything other than this sensationalist and plain wrong "Great Wall" nonsense. the wub "?!" 00:11, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

I like BRS's title...but I also like brian's Wall title too. If consensus is for BRS's then I say lets do it. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 00:14, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
  • I renamed this back and protected it because there have been some god-awful renames that almost had a "please don't read this!" subtext. This is Wikinews, not Wikipedia... THIS IS SPARTA!!!! Be bold, sell the story, don't serve it up cold. --Brian McNeil / talk 00:16, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
We need to hurry...already have a story on it: UK ISPs switch on mass Wikipedia censorship. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 00:18, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
It is incorrect in fact to say "UK ISPs erect 'Great Firewall of Britain' to censor Wikipedia" as it hasn't been done solely to censor WP. "UK ISPs 'Great Firewall of Britain' censors Wikipedia" would, however, be accurate as WP is one of the sites caught in this. --AlisonW (talk) 00:19, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
My point exactly, not to mention the fact that this is hardly a "Great Firewall of Britain" which is truely sensationalist trash. Woody (talk) 00:24, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
I am against any mention of "Great Firewall of Britain", Wikinews is not a sensationalist tabloid. If someone else uses the phrase then it might be appropriate to quote them, but we shouldn't be making up such names ourselves. --Tango (talk) 00:26, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
This is not Wikipedia. We do news, we allow original reporting, and creative titles are encouraged. The title was only sensationalist if you live in a library and mainline the dust off reference editions. --Brian McNeil / talk 00:51, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

Things we need before publishing


2) We should also get a reaction from Mike Godwin or the Foundation (I'm about to head out so someone else should email him). 2) The article should explain how this is connected to the issue of most of Great Britain now going through a handful of IP addresses when they access Wikipedia in general and mention the technical inconvenience that is creating. JoshuaZ (talk) 00:31, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

E-mailed godwin. 2) We do. We need to publish quick before everyone else does. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 00:34, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
Ok, if we don't get Godwin to email back in the next 10 minutes or so I suggest we publish as is with a note that we are waiting for an official comment from the Foundation. JoshuaZ (talk) 00:40, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
I had made a similar suggestion up here. I'm going to bed in a few minutes, so i won't really be able to help either. Besides, I'm a terrible writer :D TheDJ (talk) 00:56, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

ZDNet's take: "UK ISPs switch on mass Wikipedia censorship"


It's out there now, a Google News search came up with this:,1000000567,10009938o-2000331777b,00.htm?new_comment 00:35, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

ISPs censoring


I'm unsure if my ISP is on the list, so I figured I'd tell you guys. I'm using Orange (nee Wanadoo (nee Freeserve)) and the pages are blocked. I'm unsure if Orange might have changed its name again to be one of the ISPs listed. -mattbuck (Talk) 00:38, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

Can you make an edit as an anonymous user on w:Wikipedia:Sandbox to find out what the IP address of the internet filter is (check the contributions history to find it please) ? TheDJ (talk) 00:53, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply -mattbuck (Talk) 01:30, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

Review 2




Should we also link to the original Wikipedia Noticeboard thread? I don't see a link in the article. JoshuaZ (talk) 01:24, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

Its listed as OR on the talk page here. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 02:25, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply



Is there any proof that the 1) the Virgin Killer album is the cause of all of this? Is there any proof beyond extremely heavy circumstantial evidence that Wikipedia is being blocked for indecent images?

Right now, there's a lot of speculation going on. Even though most of it will likely to be right on the money, it's still speculation and it should be removed from this article. Davidwr (talk) 04:50, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

1): [4] We have blocked this page because, according to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), it contains indecent images of children or pointers to them; you could be breaking UK law if you viewed the page.. 2) Wikipedia blocked for some; From Reddit. 3) All the listed ISP's in the article are on this list, and then some. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 05:14, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
Also not to mention: [5] which happened in May. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 05:14, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
And we talked to many who said that those images were blocked for them, some of whom worked on this article. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 05:15, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

The Register


Brit ISPs censor Wikipedia over 'child porn' album cover -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 06:31, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

Yup just saw! Cool :) DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 06:32, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
Typical Cade Metz editorialising at the end, he has a hardon of hate for all things WMF. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:32, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
For The Register, that's a positively glowing testimonial. If that's what we get from them, the rest of the media should be pretty much on our side. --Tango (talk) 13:15, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
But slashdot did not quote us :( DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 17:00, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply



"Scorpions album cover which some would call child pornography" Talk about weasel words. Who has called it child porn? I'm not aware of anyone calling it that. FWIW, anyone can walk into a record store and buy this image in the UK today: it's on the back of the deluxe boxed set. Seems like it's just a filtering cockup and not any genuine deceleration of "child porn" status. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:23, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

There have been several attempts to delete the image from Wikipedia with the argument that it is child porn. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:48, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
You can find a random person on a forum to claim just about anything, hopefully Wikinews doesn't repeat every one of them. The implication in the article is that someone official thinks it's child porn, but the fact that I can just go buy a version of the album with the image says otherwise. Please provide a citation so that readers can judge the qualifications of the person making these claim for themselves. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:18, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
This isn't Wikipedia. I have, from people I trust, been directed to the page Demon redirects users to when accessing the WP article. It specifically states it is because of the IWF, and because of child pornography. --Brian McNeil / talk 11:23, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
I'm a Demon user who gets that link when trying to view the image description page (interestingly, Demon loads the article page, complete with image). I can confirm the link proves the IWF says it found child porn there. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 11:39, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
The Demon page doesn't say that, it's a generic message that lists the kinds of things that the IWF blocks. There are several copies of it on the Wikipedia admin notice board. Wikinews policy requires you to provide citations Brianmc, why do you not provide them? -- 18:53, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
"We have blocked this page because, according to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), it contains indecent images of children or pointers to them; you could be breaking UK law if you viewed the page." That's what the Demon message tells me, a Demon customer, when I try to view the page. If inaccurate, then either Demon or the IWF is directly lying to us; I doubt that somewhat. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 18:56, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
If you want to know what IWF says, try BBC Radio 4 tomorrow. --Brian McNeil / talk 18:59, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply



It's Scorpions, not "The Scorpions". Please correct that. Someone might also wish to improve the poorly written sentence The Scorpions is the band behind "Rock You Like a Hurricane" and produced a number of controversial album covers. I'd go with something along the line of Scorpions are a German heavy metal band with a string of controversial album covers, best known for their 1984 hit Rock You Like A Hurricane. -- 10:32, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

"The IWF did not notify WMF"


I believe it should be noted that they did not notify the WMF of the blocking as it is their policy not to notify sites. THe way it is currently worded makes it sound as though they normally notify sites, but did not in this case. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:17, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

Edit requests

A serious side-effect of this is the inability of administrators on Wikimedia sites to block vandals and other troublemakers without potentially impacting hundreds of thousands of innocent contributors who are working on the sites in good faith.

I don't understand "without" here. Shouldn't it be "while"?

No, while would be a totally incorrect meaning. "without" as in they cannot do the good action without having the undesirable side effect. --Brian McNeil / talk 19:22, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
The affected page does not display any message informing the user about blocked content on most ISPs, instead, a technical error message is shown. However, Demon redirects users to a block message on the IFW's site explaining that the page was blocked as the organization suspects child porn or links to it to be present.

This should be deleted as it was already mentioned earlier in the article, with more detail.

Earlier on December 6

should say: "Earlier on December 6, 2008"

This isn't Wikipedia, the year context is inherent in the {{date}} template. --Brian McNeil / talk 19:22, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
The measures applied redirect traffic for a significant portion of the UK's Internet population...

awkward sentence, needs two-pass parsing before meaning can be elucidated. "Applied" could be verb or adjective.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by AxelBoldt (talkcontribs) 16:49, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

The sentence makes perfect sense to me, you offer no alternative. --Brian McNeil / talk 19:22, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
It too me two attempts to understand that sentence when I first read it, as well. "The applied measures" or "The measures that have been applied" would be better. --Tango (talk) 19:32, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

The image


Because many British citizens may be wanting to access this page (if they can...anyway) wondering what is going on, I don't think it would be in good-faith to display the actual image that everyone is fussing about, for legal reasons. I personally think we should just display the "alternate" art saying that "this alternate cover depicting the band members was issued in many markets due to the controversial cover image".

Also, I still question us defining an album cover as a "logo" for the purposes of our fair use policy. It is an art piece, and fails the whitelist. ViperSnake151 (talk) 19:12, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

So Brits can't look, but the French can? --Brian McNeil / talk 19:17, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
We do not censor. If Wikinews gets blocked, then that in itself is a story too. We just have to let readers and contributors tell us if that is the case. That will just be plain old news censorship and would be even bigger news. You said it yourself, it is a piece of art. But nonetheless, the album cover, a business promotional piece, pasted on thousands if not millions of CD's and or records, qualifies as a logo, not to mention the RCA at the corner. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 19:18, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
By my understanding of the law, there is no legal reason not to display the image. It isn't sexual, so doesn't count as "indecent". IWF saying otherwise doesn't make it so. --Tango (talk) 19:29, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

Associated Press


We made the AP...sort of...see google news for Wikipedia, include all duplicates. What upsets me WN is not mentioned once. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 19:29, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

Why would Wikinews be mentioned? We didn't really break the story, it was broken on the enwiki Admins Noticeboard, a publicly visible page. The media don't usually advertise their competitors without good reason, that we happen to have an article on the story too is not a good reason. --Tango (talk) 19:38, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
The noticeboard on WP is not 'breaking the story'. We found out there, but 90% of the article is personal WN research, and doesn't even include anything from the noticeboard. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 19:41, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

Additional information possibly to be used in the article


The Cleanfeed content blocking system being used in the UK checks the requested IP address first against a 'suspect list'; if the address appears on the list (which is now true for Wikipedia), the HTTP request is forwarded using WCCP v2 to a special transparent proxy server which inspects the full URL and blocks if the URL appears on its blacklist. See flowchart. If the URL isn't on the blacklist, the proxy passes the request through, but apparently without an XFF header, so that Wikipedia's servers think that all these requests come from the same small number of IPs. Wikipedia has blocked these IPs by now for vandalism, so anon users cannot edit through them. Signed-in users are not affected. Anon users cannot sign up for an account either since the max-account-per-IP limit has been reached, nor can they recover passwords for old accounts. [6] There's a tool that can create accounts for these affected users. The UK Free Software Network is one of the ISPs that don't filter. AxelBoldt (talk) 19:44, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

Generalised blocking?


"Wikinews has also learned that some ISPs have blocked customers from accessing some Wikimedia websites including the free, online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, altogether."

Could we please elaborate on this? I've not heard any confirmed reports of this other than this article... Shimgray (talk) 19:47, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

On the reddit post. A few users were blocked altogether. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 19:49, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
Which post? Putting on the "wikimedia technical hat" for the moment: Other than some performance problems with the censorship filters I, nor any of the other tech folks, have any reason to believe that people are being blocked from accessing Wikipedia entirely by any major ISP. --Gmaxwell (talk) 19:59, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
You linked to a whole page of comments, I couldn't find anything on there when I looked, so you are going to have to be more specific. And have you spoken to them personally to verify that it's not just a temporary technical problem? --Tango (talk) 20:01, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
I've just read through that and I can't seem to find it - could you specify where it was? I'm not familiar with reddit, so I may be missing something in the threading structure... Shimgray (talk) 20:03, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
There is a screenshot in there somewhere. Since I last saw it I cannot find it either now that th comments are long. But it was a 404 error not available. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 20:06, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
Is that screenshot all you are going on? Not a comment from someone that the whole site is blocked? That error message is the message some people get when viewing the one page that is blocked. The existence of that screenshot does not mean the whole site is blocked. --Tango (talk) 20:08, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
Hang on, is the reddit page all you have? Your edit summary says you actually talked to someone, who? --Tango (talk) 20:09, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
See my talk page. I don't have to disclose who, as they didn't want their names in the article. So you either believe me or you don't. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 20:15, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
I don't think you're lying, I think you are just wrong. You haven't said what exactly you were told and have referenced a sceenshot that doesn't mean what you claim it means. I'm going to remove the comment from the article - don't put it back unless you are willing to give us enough information that we can trust you. Jumping to conclusions and putting something that is very implausible in an article is a very bad idea. --Tango (talk) 20:20, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
PS I've been beaten to it. --Tango (talk) 20:21, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
Yeah, I saw the screenshot - [7]. The thing is, the user was looking at w:en:Virgin_Killer, though - I would be careful about generalising from the vague wording of the message to "the entire site is blocked", at least without confirming from them that they get the message looking at something like w:en:Fluffy_bunnies... Shimgray (talk) 20:15, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
Sob!' you mean they blocked the fluffy bunnies too? How awful. :-P --Brian McNeil / talk 20:24, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

IWF statement


There's a statement from the IWF here. I would add it in myself, but really need to get on with some real work. the wub "?!" 20:25, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

It doesn't say much, really. It just confirms what we already knew from the Demon error messages. I guess we should add that confirmation somewhere, but I don't see a need for more that a couple of words. --Tango (talk) 21:11, 7 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

The Guardian quoting WN


Well I am quite happy with The Guardian. They did a nice write up on Wikinews, and mentioned the factt that it was discussed and reported in May: Wikipedia page censored in the UK for 'child pornography' DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 01:34, 8 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

3 Workarounds, plus Wikinews IP block workaround


There are 3 easy workarounds to view any Wikipedia page that is blocked.

1. login to Wikipedia using the secure server link (best method)
2. Google cache e.g. [8] (older version)
3. Enable popups in Wikipedia and then hover over the link (only small preview available) 

oh, the irony here... to create this message, my IP was blocked by wikinews (my first time here on wikinews). The system blocked a creation of an account from this IP, workaround..

A) click on the secure server link, and create an account that way

Widefox (talk) 01:21, 8 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

Hmmm and what was your IP? We might be able to fix that...if you like. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 01:27, 8 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
well of course, now it is on of the 6 proxies! We really must fight this change. :) —Widefox (talk) 01:39, 8 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
Anyone else in the UK getting the same issue as Widefox? DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 01:45, 8 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

Total blocking of Wikimedia sites at some ISPs


I occasionally answer technical questions on OTRS. I can confirm that at least one Internet service provider had all access to Wikimedia blocked, due to a configuration problem at their upstream provider, probably related to the filtering (apparently, some local filtering settings propagated to client networks using BGP). Submarine (talk) 06:06, 8 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

When did that block occur? When was it lifted? Is there likely to be a connection with the IWF action? Can't you name the ISP or the IP address ranges involved? --InfantGorilla (talk) 11:55, 8 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

Wikimedia press release


See wmf:Press releases/Censorship of WP in the UK Dec 2008 and wmf:Censorship of WP in the UK Dec 2008QA. Nanonic (talk) 07:17, 8 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

Wikinews en Français


There is an article on French withe title Wikipedia victime collatérale du filtrage d’Internet

fr:Wikipedia victime collatérale du filtrage d’Internet

This article is not on the Main Page but in Modifications récentes. It will be done des ajouts additions.

Will You please link to the English article? I can't do it my self.

Thank you!--Seraphita (talk) 08:30, 8 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

The link you added works. It is under Autres langues in the left bar. --InfantGorilla (talk) 11:57, 8 December 2008 (UTC)Reply
The page has been deleted on the french Wikinews, as clearly not acceptable. So, no interwiki link to :fr required here. Zetud (talk) 19:26, 8 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

Sources for a follow up


In case anyone is interested in creating a follow-up article, there was an interview on BBC Radio 4 this morning, with David Gerard (talk · contribs) (Wikimedia volunteer media contact) and an IWF spokesperson named Susan or Sarah Robertson.

--InfantGorilla (talk) 12:08, 8 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

We have a follow up awaiting review. Gerard, although useful, is not a WMF official. See: Wikimedia, IWF respond to block of Wikipedia over child pornography allegations. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 12:15, 8 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

Thanks. I had not looked at the newsroom. Shame on the BBC not to pick up on the Mike Godwin quote and Foundation statement, but the audio piece was good nonetheless. Gerard is indeed 'useful' - he speaks as an en.Wikipedia editor, which Godwin cannot. --InfantGorilla (talk) 13:26, 8 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

Images removed from Amazon


{{editprotected}} The image caption "... also appears on" is no longer correct. Throwaway (talk) 04:54, 9 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

I disabled the edit protected link until we get consensus here.
The news was true at the time (according to the sources - I didn't check myself.) Following the normal Wikinews process, the article is now more than 24 hours old and should not be changed. Recent developments should go in a new article.
--InfantGorilla (talk) 22:41, 9 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

zh:維基百科一條目內容刊有女童裸照 遭英國網路供應商封殺 should be linked to this article. -- 06:57, 10 December 2008 (UTC)Reply

Access Restricted in Pakistan...


This is only partially related, but I don't know where else to go. I know due to the Mohammad cartoons, facebook has been blocked in Pakistan, but no local news organization has reported similar for wikipedia. Furthermore, only the english wikipedia doesn't work. And even then, the "blocking" itself is inconsistent with the method used by local ISPs.

this is what I get when I try to access Facebook:

And this is when I access the english wikipedia:

I am severely confused here!

BTW, I accessed this page through a proxy.



This article is a featured article.
It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community.
See the archived discussion.

I'm nominating this for FA. I did the start, but this is really a cross-project muli-contributor effort. --Brian McNeil / talk 14:08, 20 May 2010 (UTC)Reply

Edit request

Done C628 (talk) 22:28, 22 May 2010 (UTC)Reply