Internet Providers Block Parts of Wikipedia

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Yellow Belt
British internet providers have blocked access to parts of Wikipedia after accusations that the site was carrying "potentially illegal" images of child pornography.

Reports from users suggest that Virgin Media, O2's Be internet service and others have blocked access to at least one Wikipedia article after it was placed on a blacklist by the Internet Watch Foundation, Britain's de facto online watchdog.

The offending article, about German rock group The Scorpions' 1976 album Virgin Killers, included an image of the record's controversial cover - which featured a young naked girl with her genitals obscured by a crack in the camera lens.

The image caused controversy when the album was first released, and was eventually replaced in most countries – including the UK and United States - by a shot of the band. However, the original album cover is still on sale in the UK as part of a double album deluxe boxed set.

Instead of seeing the article itself, blocked users receive a fake message saying that the page could not be found.

In a statement, the IWF said that the organisation had received a report claiming the page was pornographic through its website, and that after a review the decision was made that the page was "potentially illegal".

"As with all child abuse reports received by our Hotline analysts, the image was assessed according to the UK Sentencing Guidelines Council," it said.

"The content was considered to be a potentially illegal indecent image of a child under the age of 18… and the specific URL was then added to the list."


Yellow Belt
IWF reverses Wikipedia ban

Blocking image 'had the opposite effect' on viewing

Well, just a couple of days after it blocked the image, the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has reversed its decision to block the 'potentially illegal' image of a young girl on the covers of The Scorpions' Virgin Killers album.

Whilst few people had issues with the loss of the image, the blocking of the 32-year-old sleeve did create a technical glitch that blocked many British Wikipedia users from editing pages on the site. And in light of the fact that the album sleeve was never banned in the UK, the IWF has decided that its ongoing block is rather pointless. Indeed, the IWF claims a decision to block the image for the general good has actually 'had the opposite effect', resulting in the image being seen by a much larger audience.

But that's not the end of the story. The image has been passed to be seen on US servers, but could be blocked again it it appears on UK servers. You have been warned. And of course, there could be further charges against The Scorpions for crimes against rock music, something rock dinosaurs still seem to be carrying out.
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