Talk:Archive:Family-Friendly Policy

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Started page with the basics of "articles we don't want". That should let us exclude some of the worst offenders while retaining otherwise notable articles. More later --ZachPruckowski 16:52, 12 November 2006 (CST)

Just a few minor edits "off topic": we won't use the absurd "point of view" as an adjective for "biased," and I will need convincing that we will have a notability policy at all. The question is only whether it is feasible for us to have a full (and therefore fair) set of responsibly-managed articles on a given topic. Thus: feasibility policy. --Larry Sanger 20:52, 12 November 2006 (CST)

Can this be rewritten without reference to a "notability" policy at all? I'm not sure we won't have such a policy, but frankly, a "family-friendly policy" page should use their lack of notability to explain why we might not have articles about porn stars. --Larry Sanger 00:06, 14 November 2006 (CST)

What I'm trying to say is that an article should not be included if the only thing the subject is known for is something "non-family-friendly", but a topic simply having some non-FF parts does not exclude the whole thing (ie Marilyn Monroe). User:ZachPruckowski
I've previously thought you a little too restrictive, but in practice I would support your distinctions.DavidGoodman 22:42, 14 November 2006 (CST)
I'm still trying to figure out the scope of CZ here. I read in one of the e-mails, or on the forum, an argument along the lines of "there is no good reason to have articles on TV shows, movie stars etc. WP does this well enough and it is not necessary to duplicate". In that scenario would notability even be considered? MM might not be covered due to the feasibility issue and no other. Therefore, this concept of exclusion is interesting since it may well catch many family friendly article too. Is there an outline somewhere (blog or such) of what is feasible from the perspective of CZ? Chris Day (Talk) 23:24, 14 November 2006 (CST)
Larry Sanger is by nature an inclusionist, so he'd have no problem allowing an article on a TV show or whatever. I'm willing to concede that WP's might be better (because they may have more people interested in that, and so we can just pull their articles), but I think we'll plan on including them (although I don't always see the need for an article on every episode of a TV show, I think we can condense it). --ZachPruckowski 22:43, 24 November 2006 (CST)
Don't assume that WP is the best on subjects like this. It is not even the most detailed as compared to many fan sites. It has its reputation more for comprehensiveness than for detail. It certainly does not go far in the direction of cultural analysis, or even in the more specific aspects of video criticism--we should be able to do much better if the right people are interested. I haven't looked at everything, but the most thorough WP articles seem to be on rock music, though I haven't the least idea whether specialists would agree. DavidGoodman 22:27, 26 November 2006 (CST)

Considering this policy, how exactly are we going to treat articles on physiology that can be construed as "dirty"? Vagina, for example, would not be the kind of article a parent would want their child to look at, though it is a perfectly valid topic to write about in any scholarly compendium of knowledge. James Hare 22:07, 24 November 2006 (CST)

Fewer photos, more diagrams, for starters. That's one of those areas where we need it. At least that's an article that'll immediately be red-flagged by a school's filters (as it has a "dirty" word in the title). That's one we'll simply have to deal with. But articles on "average penis length of porn stars" we can do without. This policy is really a work in progress. I mostly put something down in order to have a page and put it on the "to do" list of policies. --ZachPruckowski 22:43, 24 November 2006 (CST)
Even I would not have such a page in CZ--although WP is relatively mild in comparison with the web itself, especially with its articles written in its customary bland style.DavidGoodman 22:27, 26 November 2006 (CST)
I'm not sure if this is still active, but if the topic of sexual organs do come up why not refer to them and their acts by their latin name, "Mentula"; "Colei"; perhaps "Vulva"; "Culus"; would being as scientific as possible be allowed?--Robert W King 21:33, 24 April 2007 (CDT)

I've moved the following from the policy page, which needs to be rewritten since we won't have a "notability" policy (Larry Sanger 12:08, 22 January 2007 (CST)):

Topics that aren't notable

Some topics should not be counted for an article's notability. If a subject is notable only for one of these reasons, it should not be included. However, if an article is notable for another reason, it should still be included. For instance, Marilyn Monroe is a Playboy model, but she is also notable as an actress, and thus should clearly be included, and since her modeling is considered a significant event in her career, it would be mentioned.

The following topics should not be considered for notability:

  • Modelling in a pornographic magazine.
  • Appearing in a pornographic film, or web-based pornography.
  • A sex act based solely on descriptions available from unreliable sources or pornographic films

human organs

"photographs of human sex organs" -- among the things we will not have--just added here. I still disagree; Photographs vary. Wikipedia has sometime been rather in-your-face about putting sexually charged images in when more clinical ones are available, but that does not mean they need be avoided entirely in appropriate articles. DavidGoodman 23:16, 31 March 2007 (CDT)

I would say appropriately cropped images showing clinical examples of Sexually transmitted infections would be appropriate (something Wikipedia does not have photos of in their article![1]). But thank you very much, we most certainly don't need an photographic example of an erection (something Wikipedian exhibitionists make sure to graphically illustrate in a variety of ways). ---Stephen Ewen 21:04, 24 April 2007 (CDT)

BDSM and fetish

Should BDSM have an article on Citizendium? Also should "Fetishism" as a general term have an article on Citizendium? Yi Zhe Wu 20:07, 24 April 2007 (CDT)


Surely "That said, we will have articles about ... famous murders ... etc." should be "... infamous muders..."? Anton Sweeney 17:48, 20 May 2007 (CDT)

Criticism / suggestions as per 20 page discussion in forum (that I DID read mind you)

Okay, here's some of my criticisms:

  • Why does it focus primarily on sexual content? This article seems very biased in favor of American norms, as much of Western society is offended by sexual content much more than bad language or violence.
  • It's fairly specific (good), but written very subjectively (relies more on examples than a description of why those examples violate the policy)

Here's some suggestions:

  • Take YouTube's policy and flag articles as inappropriate whenever making an edit. DON'T imply trivial 'safeguards' such as requiring registration or credit card verification to view such articles. This is simply to provide a way for educational facilities to block certain explicit articles, as well as providing children an easy way to access them from home (how else are they going to find them?)

  • With regard to profanity, original text (written by the author/editor) should not contain expletives, as encyclopedic material should be written professionally. However in cases where direct quotations are implemented and necessary, the text should be placed in the article verbatim. Bowlderization/intentional misspelling of expletives should not be employed anywhere, as it is immature, takes away from the meaning of direct quotes, and is not proper etiquette for a reference that aims to be adopted for worldwide use. So either include the quotation as is, or don't include it at all.

  • With regard to sexually explicit images, diagrams should be preferred for topics on human anatomy and sexual intercourse. Real life photos should only be implemented when absolutely necessary and when no other photo is available. Consequently, such images should be flagged as inappropriate (though doing so may be up for debate).

  • With regard to gore/gruesome photos, a firm policy should be published. As a general rule, photos containing significant blood or internal organs (human or otherwise) should only be used when absolutely necessary and when no other photo is available. Also, such photos should be flagged as inappropriate.

  • With regard to everything else (textwise), explicit language should be kept to a minimum. For example, we don't need a paragraph describing the various sex acts that child abusers engage in with children, unless of course we're defining the legalities - which may be up for debate. Vague language should be preferred unless clarification is necessary.

So, to sum it all up folks: Keep the articles as clean as possible, while only including [sexual, gruesome, vulgar] material when necessary and relevant. I think this is a fair compromise because not establishing any rules will result in articles completely crossing the line, destroying our credibility. Conversely, taking Sanger's approach and censoring just about everything will give off the impression of us being too conservative, and will also destroy our credibility worldwide.

Please let me make it clear that my suggestions will by no means suffice as a policy, however if we can put this into writing in a very concise, nonambigous, nonsubjective way, I feel we can come to a good compromise. I'll admit, writing policies ("laws") sucks, because the more specific you are, the more holes you create - and the less specific you are, the more arbitrary the policy is. I deeply hope we can find a compromise that lies smack dead in the middle. Any input and criticism (yes criticism of my crticism) would be greatly appreciated :) Mike Mayors (Talk) 02:29, 21 June 2007 (CDT)

I suspect the policy will remain a principle so editors can hash it out, perhaps even on an article-by-article basis.
I suggest that some are accustomed to associating a certain standard of what is appropriate for a general, widely received, credible encyclopedia, through their experience with Wikipedia. I suggest Wikipedia is radically anomalous to the world of encyclopedias, however, and that it is not widely received as credible on the level of say, Britannica. I suggest Wikipedians are generally much removed from the real world, and that they write more for themselves-as-audience than the sector of the public who uses encyclopedias. I suggest Britannica is a better connective association when thinking about the confines of content appropriateness for a widely received, credible encyclopedia, and that CZ aspires to be on such a level, and that it is doomed from the get-go if it follows WP's puerile standard of content appropriateness. I suggest that those with contrary views ground their feet anew into the real world of real world, real encyclopedia consumers. ---Stephen Ewen 03:09, 21 June 2007 (CDT)
You're all on the same track I was aiming for! If you write professionally on an encyclopedic level, not only will you get the credibility you want, but you'll also have a site that's fairly clean for people of all ages. Maybe a few bad words here and there from rare quotations , or a few sex-related diagrams, but all in all, you'll be in good shape. Basically, the point of this whole schpiel was to give some guidelines for editing - but basically, the rule should be only include objectionable stuff when necessary, and do so at a bare minimum. If you guys write professionally on an encyclopedic level, then you won't have to worry about asterisking out bad content. Don't get so caught up in trivial crap like what kids may or may not see, and instead just ask yourself "What would some reputable encyclopedia write?" Mike Mayors (Talk) 07:24, 21 June 2007 (CDT)
To clarify: It might be inappropriate to say "Eminem has used the word [expletive] 862 times, [expletive] 300 times, etc and has pissed off many parents", however it may be relevant to say "Bono has stirred up mild controversy with the FCC for his use of the f-word at the Golden Globes awards. On [date], Bono stated on live television "this is f--king brilliant!" and has faced charges..blah blah blah" (Of course because it's a quote, it would be included unedited without the dashes) Mike Mayors (Talk) 07:35, 21 June 2007 (CDT)
PS: In this case, the quote is relevant and necessary because context is what the FCC had to base their decision on, as fleeting use may not be considered a violation.
While I agree wholeheartedly with what Mike is saying in his list above, I'm not sure that the Eminem or the Bono examples are anything that should be considered necessary to get the information out there. I.e., "Eminem has not garnered much respect among parents, who feel that his use of language is inappropriate for public media." or "Bono faced charges due to his use of inappropriate language on the live telecast of..." would be acceptable alternatives that would get the point across adequately. If readers want to find out more, they can google it. I also agree with Steve that some article by article discretion will be necessary for this very reason. I would think that the approval process and editorial control should keep much of this to a minimum anyway as long as guidelines or "principles" such as these are here to guide us. --Matt Innis (Talk) 07:47, 21 June 2007 (CDT)

Talk page discussion

Does this include talk page discussion (ie. profanity). If so, are constables expected to enforce it and how would they do that? --Matt Innis (Talk) 17:02, 3 September 2007 (CDT)

I'm inclined to say yes, but we need to say this explicitly--and discuss it openly first. --Larry Sanger 20:35, 3 September 2007 (CDT)

Well, this one for example. I think sometimes adult language is certainly reasonable and perhaps sometimes necessary, but how does Citizendium want to handle it? --Matt Innis (Talk) 22:15, 3 September 2007 (CDT)

Pornography article

To test the waters of this policy it might be worth someone responsible starting an article on pornography. But who is prepared to do this, as I'm not a porn fan myself? Having said that, maybe someone with little or no interest in the subject could do the job. And could it be nominated for Article of the Week? John Stephenson 02:54, 14 October 2007 (CDT)

I have done so. Also note pin-up art, which is illustrated. They were intended for comment.
Interestingly, I may need to address Hitler's sexuality, which no one really understands. Nevertheless, some serious reports suggest urolagnia and coprophagia. Do these get links, red, or blue?
Incidentally, "family friendly" is not in the charter, and we assume college undergraduates as the primary target, and generally no individual membership below 16. I don't expect to be writing for all ages. Howard C. Berkowitz 16:15, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Membership above 16 does not mean readers are above 16. If we're looking for school use, then we'll have children from 9 and above reading your pages. D. Matt Innis 16:43, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
if it means I cannot write responsibly at an adult level, then I am not looking for for school use. For example, Hitler's sexuality is relevant to some Nazi interpersonal dynamics. I'll do not want to be prevented from writing clinically about paraphilias. Personally, I'm a pedophobe and would prefer a child-free environment. Howard C. Berkowitz 23:47, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Moving forward on Obscenity

Hey all-- Me and some other people are having a discussion on the forums about our 'Family-Friendly Policy.' The ultimate goal is to write a proposal or two in the next couple of weeks, but I wanted to get some feedback before I barged ahead and did so. For involved explanations of the rationale behind my thinking, I refer the interested reader to my prolix forum posts (Under 'Moving forward on Obscenity').

The outlines of my thoughts are that we should first scrap 'Family-Friendly' as the phrase we use to describe our obscenity policy. I believe it is already something of a term of art, and I would like to reformulate it and write out a new, clearer explanation of the policy that better reflects the facts on the ground. (My current draft of the phrasing would be: "Citizendium does not tolerate content that is needlessly obscene," but I am not married to it.)

Furthermore, I believe that instead of trying to anticipate the objections and criticisms of every school district everywhere, we should move to something closer to the American Library Association's guideline for public libraries. That is to say, we should be very circumspect in including profane language or graphic images, but our task should be to help parents decide what is appropriate for their children rather than acting in loco parentis. It might be prudent to include a 'Guide to Citizendium for Parents and Educators.'

Much of my thinking on this subject is the result of conversations I've been having with teachers and school librarians. I am also trying to set up a meeting (or at least a long phone call) with an acquaintance who is the head of technology for a local school district, so that we can better judge the technical component of this question. There's more to say, but I've already prattled on and I'm late for lunch. Thanks, Brian P. Long 12:03, 22 March 2008 (CDT)

Potential new test of family-friendly policy

I have formulated a new test for the family-friendly policy. It's really simple: could it be shown or discussed on a publicly-funded television network like BBC, CBC or PBS, or discussed on the BBC or NPR radio networks? The great thing about this test is everyone sort of knows it - certainly everyone in Britain, America, Canada, Australia and any other countries with a public broadcaster or broadcasting regulator. Since broadcasters like the BBC have comprehensive websites, we can also test out the definition pretty easily with a Google query.

An example: imagine if someone was writing an article on transsexuality. Some might say the topic itself falls foul of the family-friendly policy. But I don't think it does. No more than an article on abortion or the Iraqi insurgency ought to be. What would be the limits for such an article - very simple. You do a search for "transsexuality" on Google, and you look at the results.

Seems pretty simple, no? Any objections? –Tom Morris 15:55, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

In the case of the BBC at least (and I presume the other channels) I think this would have to be qualified as pre-watershed BBC. Even Auntie Beeb can get quite bawdy late at night! Mark Jones 16:06, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Not that I didn't enjoy them, but quite a number of BBC commercials, much less Continental ones, could not be shown on American TV. Howard C. Berkowitz 16:35, 31 December 2009 (UTC)