When someone announces that they're doing something for the children, one is supposed to applaud dutifully and not ask questions. So it goes with the Wikimedia Foundation's latest announcement. The nonprofit parent of Jimmy Wales's Wikipedia has issued a new edition of the online encyclopedia, carefully screened and selected for children. The question Wikimedia doesn't want anyone to ask: Has the foundation's employees been screened and selected just as carefully. Erik Möller, Wikimedia's deputy director, has a troubling past history of defending pedophilia. He oversees the volunteer administrators who direct the editing of the site's content. Should this not give teachers pause, before they accept Wikipedia as part of the curriculum? (Photo by Schools Wikipedia)
Andrew Lih, a respected authority on Wikipedia — oh, the irony — has flown to Egypt to attend Wikimania, an annual get-together for the editors of the world's most exacting online disquisition on foodborne illnesses. Arriving in Cairo airport, and seeking ground transportation to Alexandria, the site of the conference, Lih was met with nothing but third-world frustration, and he blogged about it. Erik Möller, deputy director of Wikipedia's nonprofit parent, the Wikimedia Foundation, popped up in the comments. Did he offer help? No.
There are lies, damn lies, and budgets. Wikipedia users donate money to the Wikimedia Foundation under the ruse that most of the cash goes to buy and run servers. Ha! As Danny Wool, a former administrator of the nonprofit, points out, that's hardly the case. In fact, out of a projected $4.6 million budget, nearly $1.7 million for tech over the last year never got spent. But executive director Sue Gardner, who was handpicked (and hand-who knows what else) by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, can't be blamed for that: She doesn't run the site's tech, which is overseen by the nonprofits' pro-pedophilia deputy director, Erik Möller. Was he too busy editing Wikipedia entries about child sexuality under secret accounts to stop and buy a few servers? Who knows.
Mike Godwin does not practice what he preaches. The general counsel for the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikipedia's nonprofit parent, once told the New York Times that "the best answer for bad speech is more speech." But in the face of a groundswell of criticism of Wikipedia — that its frontman, Jimmy Wales, is corrupt; that its executive director, Sue Gardner, is power-mad; and that its deputy director, Erik Möller, is dangerously out of touch with potential donors' views — Godwin has remained silent. That will not change anytime soon, it seems. Godwin was due to speak this Thursday at Santa Clara University on "The World that Wikipedia Made: The Ethics and Values of Public Knowledge." But Valleywag has learned that Godwin today backed out of the talk, with two days' notice, and that the foundation has refused to supply another Wikipedia official in his place. Could it be that in this case, the voluble Godwin really has nothing worth saying? So much for advancing the sum of all human knowledge. (Photo by Alice Lipowicz)
Sue Gardner, the former pop-culture journalist now running Wikipedia, named Erik Möller as deputy director of the Wikimedia Foundation for a simple reason: to get him off the nonprofit's board. As a board member, Möller was her boss; now she is his. But the hire is coming back to haunt her. After Wikimedia COO Carolyn Doran was revealed to be a convicted felon last year, Gardner promised to conduct background checks on new employees. But one has to conclude she never bothered to Google Möller. If she had, wouldn't she have noticed his off-the-wall views on child sexuality?
Pederasty in ancient Greece took on mystical significance, where semen from a noble man was believed to give arete to a young man through anal intercourse. This was part of a common practice in Greece where a noble man took on a young male as a student. This relationship was highly idealized in Greek culture and often involved sexual acts as mentioned. Since the practice was so widespread in ancient Greece, and there is no indication of any detractors at the time, many do not consider this an example of child sexual abuse (see moral relativism). Generally, people who hold this view believe that sexual acts can only be termed "abuse" if there is a victim who experiences negative effects as a result of the activities. Since there is no evidence of this occurring, many have concluded that this should not be considered abuse.
A firestorm is now brewing over pornography on Wikipedia and its accessibility to children. The FBI is investigating the matter, right-wing news site WorldNetDaily reports. Jay Walsh, the spokesman for Wikipedia's nonprofit parent, the Wikimedia Foundation, has disclaimed all official responsibility for the contents of the world's greatest compendium of fictional balls. But who oversees the contents of Wikipedia for the foundation? Why, Erik Möller, its deputy director. And Möller is deeply, deeply concerned about the children.
Erik Möller, the deputy director of the nonprofit behind Wikipedia, sure likes to talk. Since our story yesterday about his defense of pedophilia, Möller has been going around explaining his views, at length, to Wikimedia Foundation's board members. One hopes they have a lot of time on their hands; Möller is famously verbose. While waiting for him to stop talking, they could pass the time reading a 2000 work by Möller. Its German title is "Kinder sind Pornos," which means "Children are pornography." Even in Google's rough translation, the gist is clear enough: Möller argues that nonviolent child pornography does no harm. He relates the frosty reception he received when he put forth this view at a conference in Nuremberg in 2000. Can Möller really claim to be surprised if his views on the sexuality of children prove just as unpopular today? (Photo by Bertram Korves)
Erik Möller is the deputy director at Wikipedia's nonprofit parent, the Wikimedia Foundation. As such, he oversees tech and editorial operations at the world's most comprehensive history of obscure British contemporary art movements. And as an editor on the site, he takes special interest in subjects such as "child abuse," "child sexuality," and "pedophilia." Wikipedians supposedly prize a "neutral point of view." But Möller's point of view on those subjects hardly seems neutral. Most would find it extreme. Möller once wrote: "What is my position on pedophilia, then? It's really simple. If the child doesn't want it, is neutral or ambiguous, it's inappropriate."
The Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit which operates Wikipedia, says its mission is to give the world free access to the sum of all human knowledge. Behind the scenes, it's responsible for the mother of all power struggles. Jimmy Wales is supposedly a figurehead — just one of many board members. Sue Gardner, the executive director, supposedly runs Wikipedia day to day — though deputy director Erik Moeller, a former board member who has long schemed to take control of Wikipedia, actually runs the site's technology and content. Florence Nibart-Devouard, a French local official, replaced Wales as the nonprofit's chair in October 2006, and thinks she's in charge. Ah, but not according to Wikimedia's legal filings.