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Thursday, May 8, 2008
Topic: WorldNetDaily


In a May 7 WorldNetDaily article, Chelsea Schilling follows up on her alarmist "Wikipornia" article accusing Wikipedia of peddling "sexually explicit images and content" but failing to explain that they appear in the context of an encyclopedia.

This time, Schilling focuses on a single image, the non-U.S. cover of the Scorpions' 1976 album "Virgin Killer," calling it a "photo of a nude adolescent that could violate federal child-pornography laws."

But Schilling does not explain that child nudity is not the same as child pornography, as some parents can attest. Pornography, child or adult, involves "sexually explicit conduct" or images on websites that "exist[] for the sexual stimulation of viewers." Given that Wikipedia is not a porn site (no matter how much Schilling and Matt Barber want to potray it as one), and given that the picture's primary use in Wikipedia is for illustrative purposes, not for "the sexual stimulation of viewers," Schilling would have a hard time pressing a federal child-porn investigation.

Of course, Schilling never explains any of this -- she's too busy trying to manufacture controversy and distort facts by smearing Wikipedia as a porn merchant. 

UPDATE: A couple other things worth noting about Schilling's article:

-- She claims "the FBI is now reviewing" the photo, but she offers no evidence -- i.e., a quote from an FBI spokesman -- that this is, in fact, the case. Schilling's previous article stated, though, that Matt Barber "said he will be contacting the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney's office to determine whether Wikipedia may be engaging in the dissemination of illegal obscenity." Is that what she's going by?

-- She concludes: "In a WND poll related to that story, the No. 1 response at more than 47 percent had readers saying Wikipedia is clearly violating U.S. obscenity laws and should face prosecution." As we've detailed, since WND polls are opt-in, the results have no basis in reality and are not a reliable indicator of anyone's opinion on anything.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:16 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, May 8, 2008 9:22 AM EDT

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