Wikimedia Foundation responds to Fox News

Today Fox News published a story that irresponsibly smeared the Wikimedia projects and a member of the Wikimedia Foundation’s staff, Erik Moeller. The story repeats serious falsehoods and offers information taken grossly out of context, resulting in what amounts to a deliberate misrepresentation of reality.

Wikipedia is highly visible, and not uncontroversial. The Wikimedia Foundation wants to provide an environment in which staff and editors can do their work free of harassment and slander. The Wikimedia Foundation is appalled and angry that Erik’s employment with us has resulted in him becoming a target, and we believe that recklessly maligning him is indefensible. Erik is a principled and valued employee: we are proud to support him.

On the topic of allegedly illegal materials on Wikipedia and our projects: The Wikimedia Foundation obeys the law. In the weeks since Sanger’s published allegations, the Wikimedia Foundation has not been contacted by the FBI or any other law-enforcement agency with regard to allegedly illegal content on any Wikimedia projects. Our community of volunteer editors takes action to remove illegal material when such material is brought to its attention. The Wikimedia Foundation is proud of the Wikimedia editors who zealously work to keep the projects free of illegal material. If and when we are informed by law enforcement agencies of illegal content that has not already been removed through self-policing, we will take quick action to delete it.

(UPDATE) Erik Moeller has posted a detailed response in his personal blog as well.

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12 Comments on Wikimedia Foundation responds to Fox News

Burton Haynes 6 years

its very crucial to check internet activities of kids, that’s why emonitor has been created. Thanks again for great information.


I read the article, and it looks more like it’s Mr. Sanger that needs to be sued for libel, especially if he never actually complained to the FBI. It sounds like yet another “man on a mission” seeking to get Wikipedia webfiltered. And probably yet another to have minimal impact; most schools and corporations do not block the site despite so many similar attempts, such as

hahnchen 6 years

Thanks for folding, Wikimedia. Way to give Fox yet another way to self aggrandise themselves.

Fox News 1 :Wikimedia 0

Someone 6 years

I am a full supporter of Wikimedia and Wikipedia. That being said, Fox News basically stated that there is a lot of graphic content on wikipedia, which is true. It also stated that Wikimedia is taking action to clean it all up, which I think is appropriate and NECESSARY. Too bad you couldn’t think of it earlier so the media wouldn’t have to publish it…

TheLastBrainLeft 6 years

I read the story. It’s sensational but not factually incorrect. People who think there should be a lawsuit know nothing about libel law.

Tyciol 6 years

Hail Citizendium

hahnchen 6 years

I cannot believe that it’s taken the best part of a month for this to end up in the mainstream press.

It’s clear that the images at categories lolicon and pedophilia were not child porn. Non explicit drawings that border on parody. No one really considers this child porn, Sanger probably doesn’t.

What Sanger has done, is to abuse his hand-me-down authority of being Wikipedia co-founder to publicise his entirely child friendly video site. Prior to this, no one had heard of watchknow, now thousands have.

He is one professional troll.

jeane Jully Wullur 6 years

Would it be possible to go after Fox News Corp for libel?

Roger Hogsky 6 years

Mercy! You were innocent! Knowledge invariably beats ignorant zealotry.

Tim Brown 6 years

Sue. Please sue them. As much as I hate libel/slander suits, it’s needed for these guys.

Charles 6 years

Would it be possible to go after Fox News Corp for libel?

Sam 6 years

“The Wikimedia Foundation obeys the law.” The laws of which country or countries? The laws of the country in which Wikimedia is located, the laws of the country in which the Wikimedia servers are located, or the laws of the country in which the reader is located? How would, for example, this image from Wikimedia Commons be treated under those laws?

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