User talk:Diego Grez-Cañete/Wikinews interviews a Wikimedia Commons administrator regarding the sexual content controversy

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IRC log / Adam Cuerden[edit]

<Diego_Grez> AdamCuerden, could you help me a bit
<Diego_Grez> I'm interviewing Jimbo
<Diego_Grez> about the Commons thing
<AdamCuerden> Hmm? Sure.
<Diego_Grez> And I need to ask you some questions.
<AdamCuerden> Okay. What can I do?
<Diego_Grez> What made you change the main page to "Jimbo the vandal"? Anger, what?
<Diego_Grez> What do you want Jimbo to do.
<AdamCuerden> For the record?
<Diego_Grez> Yes.
<Diego_Grez> The interview is for Wikinews, by the way.
<AdamCuerden> Sheer frustration: I had spent several hours attempting to protect artweorks. I had gotten everyone on board this. I had even gotten statements by Jimbo...
<Diego_Grez> OK.
<Diego_Grez> As an introduction.
<Diego_Grez> :)
<Diego_Grez> Who are you? What's your working preferences on Commons? When you became an admin?
<AdamCuerden> Okay. Well, I'm Adam Cuerden - I'd apprecaite my name not being used, by the way - it's rather unique. I'm kind of one of Commons' engraving experts, I have about 200 Featured pictures, mostly engravings, and have tutored people in it. 
<AdamCuerden> I haven't really done anything related to sexual content, but I know that when censorship starts, there's a tendency for artworks to get attacked, and that worried me. 
<AdamCuerden> I mean, let's look at some major art: Gustave Doré's illustrations to Dante's Inferno have a lot of nudity, including occasional penises. 
<AdamCuerden> Thy're also some of the most influential works
<AdamCuerden> Jimbo the Vandal came about after Jimbo, having given an evident assurance that art wouldn't be deleted, claimed art was porn and deleted it, then edit warred to keep it deleted while the rest of us were presuming it was a mistake
<AdamCuerden> ...Yeah, that's the other thing he did: He inissted it couldn't be discussed for a month.
<Diego_Grez> Should I add that too? :)
<AdamCuerden> Sure.
<AdamCuerden> Let's see... Oh, yes, he never once said this was about a media campaign. He made it sound like this was for legal reasons
<AdamCuerden> The media campaign angle only came out AFTER his deletion spree.
<AdamCuerden> Which, as you can imagine, did not make the people he deceived very pleased at all.
<AdamCuerden> He basically lied to us from the start.
<AdamCuerden> First, by acting as if this was for legal reasons.  Second, by pretending he was listening to us, right up to his art deletion. Third, by never once plainly stating what appears to have been his plan throughout the entire event: To delete everything until Fox News was looking away
<AdamCuerden> He played us for fools. He undermined the moral authority Commons holds, which protected us against things like the "images of Muhammad" and (although on en-wiki) the "Virgin Killer" controversies.
<AdamCuerden> Are you familioar with those?
<Diego_Grez> Yes, I have read about that.
<AdamCuerden> The Images of Muhammad was settled by us assuring the Muslims that we can't delete images simply because they're offensive.
<AdamCuerden> Then Jimbo decides to delete images because they're Offensive to Fox News.
<AdamCuerden> Fox News, if you don't know, is this American extreme right tabloid news organization. I think Jimbo dated someone from it for a while, Rachael Marsden, something like that?
<Diego_Grez> :|
<AdamCuerden> They're one of those news organizations thate exist to manufacture controversies, and will distort and misrepresent to get them
<AdamCuerden> By trying to  placate them, and having it blow up in his face, he got the allegations worldwide coverage, as newspapers like the British Daily Telegraph reported on him losing the Founder powers - and why.
<AdamCuerden> So, yes, I think he acted incredibly badly over this. 
<AdamCuerden> At every step
<AdamCuerden> He seems to have thought that the commons editors were pawns in his game against Larry Sanger and Fox, which could be manipulated and lied to at will to get his ends.
<AdamCuerden> Well, any questions?
<Diego_Grez> I've got 'em all. :)
<Diego_Grez> Thanks Adam.
<AdamCuerden> No worries.
<Diego_Grez> The article will be really good :P
<Diego_Grez> From two different points of view.
<Diego_Grez> Excellent.
<AdamCuerden> I'm not sure there was ever that much controversy around me.
<Diego_Grez> I think so. But you changed the Commons mainpage :)
<AdamCuerden> I've never gotten anything but support over my stance =)
<Diego_Grez> :P
<AdamCuerden> And that was written off in 2 seconds by all involved. Everyone was incredibly frustrated, and everyone was showing it by then
<AdamCuerden> 11 people resigned over it, I'm not sure all of them are back
<Diego_Grez> Some came back in a few days.
<Diego_Grez> Not sure at all.
<Diego_Grez> I've not been around Commons in a while :)
<AdamCuerden> Yeah. Jimbo losing all his powers helped assure people.
<AdamCuerden> Oh, for the record:
<AdamCuerden> If you need a reference for (some of) the Muhammad controversy.
<Diego_Grez> ok.
<AdamCuerden> If you want, I can show you some of the deleted revisions of that image. 
<Diego_Grez> ok.

--Diego Grez return fire 01:58, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

He also pointed out two posts made by him as farmercuerden: [1] [2] --Diego Grez return fire 02:00, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Regarding the Images of Muhammad, Adam gave me a deleted revision of file:Maome.jpg. I'll upload it soon. --Diego Grez return fire 02:15, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Adam uploaded it as File:Deleted revision of File-Maome.jpg --Diego Grez return fire 02:20, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Current version. Deleted version

He also later confirmed he had no problems about publishing his name there:

<Diego_Grez> Are you around?
* [AdamCuerden] 30(~notgettin@***HOSTMASK REDACTED***): Adam
* [AdamCuerden] :Rennes, France
* [AdamCuerden] End of WHOIS list.
<AdamCuerden> Yep
<AdamCuerden> Sorry about earlier. Was out at the time
<Diego_Grez> OK.
<Diego_Grez> The article was deleted because you said you don't wanted your name there.
<Diego_Grez> Do you want your name published or not? :)
<AdamCuerden> Well, I'd prefer it not be in the title, anyway
<Diego_Grez> OK. But can I still put it on the article?
<AdamCuerden> I mean, if the focus is on Jimbo, anyway
<AdamCuerden> Sure.
<Diego_Grez> OK. Thanks.
<AdamCuerden> I'd prefer you leave out the main page thing, though.
<AdamCuerden> It was a minor incident.
<Diego_Grez> OK :)
<Diego_Grez> I'll ask you some more questions then, in a moment. Busy atm :)

--Diego Grez return fire 23:12, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

<DG|away> AdamCuerden, it was restored.,_regarding_the_sexual_content_controversy
<DG|away> I'll be back to ask you some more in a bit... please wait :)
<AdamCuerden> Right.
<AdamCuerden> Can you add a phrase
<AdamCuerden> Change ""I have about 200 Featured pictures"  to "I have about 200 Featured pictures between Commons and English Wikipedia"
<AdamCuerden> A selected set of the Commons Featured pictures is available at [[User:Adam_Cuerden]]
<AdamCuerden> Er
<AdamCuerden> [[:commons:User:Adam Cuerden]]

--Diego Grez return fire 23:35, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Longer statement[edit]

From my talk page: --Diego Grez return fire 01:48, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Fox News's attempt to slime us for hosting artworks seems to have mostly blown over, which was pretty predictable, and would likely have happened far faster if it weren't for Jimbo's attempted cover-up. So long as we can point to a compelling educational value in our controversial images, it would be hard to really attack us and make us stick. Indeed, had Jimbo acted sensibly, he'd have made a press release pointing out the educational value of hosting notable works by French Decadent artists, and Fox News would've had a much weaker article that didn't include them being able to talk about "thousands" of deletions - and yet look at how much remains! (It was actually about 400 deletions, before the undeletions started. One suspects Jimbo's the one that fed them that thousands line somehow, not bothering to check, and... well, that's speculation.) Anyway, this would've been more-or-less over with, had sensible behaviour reigned.

But our defense depends on educational value. If the images don't have a legitimate educational value, if they're only intended to provoke, shock, and push the boundaries, with no artistic, historical, or educational value, then we're going to find it hard to defend ourselves. So we probably do need a policy on sexual content, but it can't be based on lies about laws, or knee-jerk capitulations to a scandalmongering media outlet: Instead, it needs to be about education.

Competent behaviour by Jimbo would've resulted in a review of the educational value of our images, and I'm sure that we'd have found some which should've been deleted. I don't know, honestly, I'm not that interested in photography, and don't really want to look at random pornographic images, in deletion logs that require you to click through to the full-sized image just to find out what they were. But notable artworks attacked and deleted, including some from my own field of expertise, engravings.

Look at it this way. One of my favourite engravers, and one which I have quite a number of Featured Pictures from, is Gustave Doré. His engravings to Dante's Inferno, which I only own a rather beaten-up copy of (though with the engravings themselves in good condition) are considered some of the best illustrations produced for Dante's work. However, the Inferno contains nudity and a lot of extreme violence. Doré depicts that. Now, imagine my reaction to seeing Jimbo deleting artworks as pornographic, at the same time as advocating for sadomasochistic works to be included in the list, and refusing to talk about where the line's going to be drawn until he's deleted everything - and that immediately after he had seemingly agreed artworks should be protected, and is now deleting artworks. That's pretty much how I got involved with this. Artworks I love, which are considered some of the masterworks of engraving, contain some incidental nudity, and some fairly extreme violence, because that's what the book they're illustrating is like. Who knew where it was going to end?

It's very hard to rebuild a destroyed collection. If we delete, as Jimbo did, Felicien Rops and Franz von Bayros - notable artists with their own articles on English Wikipedia - can we ever get their works back? My experience has shown that we don't have a lot of things you'd think we would in engravings, and have very few contributors of new scans of them. Once we decide artworks are pornography, even if this interpretation exists only in the mind of Fox News and Jimbo, how can I trust him not to suddenly decide that this illustration of The Inferno isn't pornographic too, deleting hours of work? Or deciding that Loki being tied naked to a rock with a snake dripping venom on him was BDSM, and so had to be deleted? How about this image from the Library of Congress, which I think is A. a horrible image, but B. does an exceptionally good job at illustrating why The Taming of the Shrew is rather uncomfortable to modern audiences, by bringing out the inherent misogyny?

Jimbo wrote that he "had thought that a good process would be to engage in a very strong series of deletions, including of some historical images, and then to have a careful discussion about rebuilding. That proved to be very unpopular and so I regret it. It also may have had the effect of confusing people about my own position on what to keep and what to get rid of."

However, when challenged about one of the artworks he deleted, he wrote that "I have redeleted the image for the duration of the cleanup project. We will have a solid discussion about whether Commons should ever host pornography and under what circumstances at a later day - June 1st will be a fine time to start."

In short, he was acting in a way that he says was "confusing people about [his] own position on what to keep" while he point-blank refused to discuss any of his actions for nearly an entire month.

Is it any wonder, in those circumstances, that people got upset, and that there was no way of telling where it would end?

[There. Divide that up a bit, slip in some questions of your choice, and you should have a decent article on my views =)]

Adam Cuerden (talk) 07:22, 25 May 2010 (UTC)


Is it possible to have a non-offensive image as the first slide of the photos? I imagine that it would be in-your-face if one were offended by such depictions. I mean, reprinting the Denmark cartoons led to mass-boycotting of several notable European newspapers. — μ 22:12, June 7 2010 (UTC)

Also, it's a bit POV. Statement from jwales, perhaps? — μ 22:18, June 7 2010 (UTC)
Maybe, but remember we aren't censored, and I tried to contact jwales, but he hasn't replied yet. --Diego Grez return fire 22:20, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Censored ≠ toned down. — μ 22:23, June 7 2010 (UTC)
Edit it as you want. I'll prolly change the censored picture as the first one. --Diego Grez return fire 22:31, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Also, perhaps try wmf:Jay Walsh (or, at a push, Cary?) — μ 22:33, June 7 2010 (UTC)

Review of revision 1039537 [Failed][edit]

  • Nothing seems to have changed since the last review. Tempodivalse [talk] 00:29, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
    No? I would like to point out it is still newsworthy. Interviews for me are always newsworthy, because they point out opinions even if they were made almost a month after the incident. --Diego Grez return fire 00:47, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
    Yes, but there has to be some effort to tie this in to a current event. We are a news source, after all. If we were interviewing some really important person, then the interview itself could become the event to report on, but that doesn't seem to apply here. Tempodivalse [talk] 00:50, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
<Diego_Grez> Tempodivalse, read my comment.
<Diego_Grez> I don't think it is stale (yet).
<Diego_Grez> It points out very strongly the point of view of some party of the controversy
<Diego_Grez> And I would have posted it MUCH BEFORE if Jimbo Wales had replied my questions, something he hasn't.

OK? --Diego Grez return fire 00:52, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

I don't think that really answers my question, namely, it doesn't tie in to recent events. This controversy has sizzled down considerably in past weeks, from what I understand. If it's still ongoing, then maybe it could be okay. Tempodivalse [talk] 00:55, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it has settled down a bit, but I repeat, I would have moved it for review long time ago if Jimbo could have ever replied me. --Diego Grez return fire 02:34, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

Review of revision 1039640 [Failed][edit]

too personal[edit]

Please remove the line I think Jimbo dated someone from it for a while, Rachael Marsden, something like that. ~~ Mrchris (talk) 15:59, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

I'm currently doing a line by line review of the whole article. I'll get to that eventually. Benny the mascot (talk) 16:10, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
No. Three reasons: 1) We can't delete history. That's what the interviewee said. 2) It is a legitimate point to raise given the circumstances - conflict of interest and whatnot 3) It is public knowledge. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 16:12, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
I'd like to point out that this article isn't exactly following the IRC transcript. Is there a good reason for this? Benny the mascot (talk) 16:29, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
And i'd like to point out that this appears to be {{stale}} ... Tempodivalse [talk] 16:31, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

@Benny Yes, because he said I should change some words if they were confusing, and to add some content from his "other statement." --Diego Grez return fire 17:32, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

From log: "I'd apprecaite my name not being used, by the way"... — μ 17:39, June 8 2010 (UTC)
It's ok. That was dealt with. He said that we now can use it, just not in the title. While I'm here: How could we go about un-stale-izing this? Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 17:42, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

Review of revision 1040034 [Failed][edit]

Is there any way this could become unstale? I'd hate to lose this opportunity for another interview. Benny the mascot (talk) 01:46, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
I doubt I'll be contributing another interview if it doesn't. Gave up hours of my time, and for what? So that it can end up thrown out because Jimbo manages to delay publication long enough while waiting for his response. Adam Cuerden (talk) 15:55, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Article rescue[edit]

I've decided to start rescuing this article while we resolve the staleness objection (which I personally think is really stupid). Just a few questions:

  • "38 files deleted by Wales remain deleted." -- Is this still accurate?
  • "Some claims have been made that these controversies were influenced by some FOX News reports." -- Who made these claims?

More coming... Benny the mascot (talk) 16:16, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

If it helps[edit]

I made a longer statement here, and will answer any further questions you have if you ask me at commons:User talk:Adam Cuerden. Adam Cuerden (talk) 22:03, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

It is news again - new board resolution (and lengthy statement)[edit]

As of six hours ago, it is news again, kind of.

  1. Resolution:
  2. FAQ:

Diego: My personal suggestion is that if you contact the Foundation or Mr. Harris with an interview request, give them a reasonable deadline, and if they don't respond, put it up for review with the facts you have at the time.

--InfantGorilla (talk) 10:54, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

But the article is still just a soapbox. Reviewing without any rebuttal is not good journalism. — μ 11:00, June 24 2010 (UTC)
Right. As was discussed above, Diego or another Wikinewsie need to rework the article, with at minimum statements from the Foundation, and ideally an interview. --InfantGorilla (talk) 11:16, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
Strong disagreement, Microchip08. Reporting facts without rebuttal is good journalism *if the so-called other side is given the opportunity to rebut*. News cannot be held hostage to one POV, nor is it biased to state "The Foundation had not responded to Wikinews requests for comment at publication." - Amgine | t 11:36, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

I was asked to be interviewed, and gave time to this. It was held hostage by Jimbo, who promised to respond, then delayed the response until it got marked as old. PUBLISH THE DAMN THING. Add in commentary, sure, but don't hold my volunteer time hostage to people whose only purpose in not responding is to shut down discussion. Adam Cuerden (talk) 18:13, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

  • A fight in the sandbox hardly merits a featured news article. Wikinews is not a theatre of war. (You can't fight in here! This is the War Room!). Diego's judgement regarding the newsworthiness of the issue is dubious. --Brian McNeil / talk 19:17, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
Well, then, you shouldn't allow people to ask about interviews until they've run them past others. Don't blame the people your group pulled in for being upset when you bury the interviews they were begged to help with. Adam Cuerden (talk) 00:17, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
We ask people to neither claim they represent Wikinews, nor to promise publication. --InfantGorilla (talk) 09:37, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
Just passing through, but if it's been nearly a month that Diego's asked for a response from whoever is supposed to counter Adam's viewpoint, then wouldn't that be a reasonable "chance to respond"?
Newsworthiness seems a reasonable objection, though. -- (talk) 11:25, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
Please see "Wikimedia Foundation addresses controversial content conflict" — Wikinews, June 29, 2010 --InfantGorilla (talk) 09:37, 1 July 2010 (UTC)