Why the IWF was wrong to lift its ban on a Wikipedia page

EDITORIAL: The Internet Watch Foundation faced a storm of criticism this week over its decision to add a Wikipedia entry to a blacklist of pages that ISPs block. Under pressure, the IWF removed the image from its blacklist. That decision was a mistake.The IWF exists primarily to minimise the availability of indecent images of children on the internet. Its existence is now being challenged. For those who don’t know the background, the IWF received a complaint last Thursday about an image that appeared on the Wikipedia entry for an album by German rock band Scorpions. The image featured a naked young girl in an erotic pose. It was the original sleeve design for the band’s 1976 album ‘Virgin Killer’.The IWF deemed the image potentially illegal and added the page on which it featured to a blacklist that is enforced by all of the UK’s major internet service providers (ISPs). That action prevented most UK internet users from accessing the Wikipedia page and it had the unintended side-effect of stopping those users from editing any of the millions of Wikipedia pages.To read this Editorial in full, see out-law.com/page-9653.

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