Blacklisting Wikipedia to Prevent Spread of Child Porn Increases Spread of Child Porn

File this under “duh” – via Wired Threat Level:

Wikipedia’s functionality was returning to normal Tuesday after an internet watchdog group removed the online encyclopedia from a child porn watchlist.

The brouhaha began Saturday, when the England-based Internet Watch Foundation placed Wikipedia on a watchlist because of the encyclopedia’s entry about the German rock band, Scorpions. The cover art of its 1976 album, Virgin Killer, shows a nude young girl on the cover. In response to the blacklisting, British internet service providers filtered out the entry and pushed the site through a proxy server, forcing Wikipedia to halt public edits while the site functioned at a snail’s pace.

“Millions of Britons now have access to all of Wikipedia, and volunteers can resume their important editing work,” said Sue Gardner, executive director of San Francisco-based Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia.

The IWF on Tuesday said that, “in light of the length of time the image has existed and its wide availability, the decision has been taken to remove the webpage from our list.”

Nearly all-British internet service providers follow the IWF filtering guidelines. Wikipedia had appealed the IWF blacklisting. The IWF was bombarded with complaints.

Ironically, news accounts of the filtering promoted the album cover, and it was posted widely on the internet — a factor the IWF said it considered when removing Wikipedia from its censorship watch.

“IWF’s overriding objective is to minimize the availability of indecent images of children on the internet, however, on this occasion our efforts have had the opposite effect,” the group said in a statement

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