Controversial Wikipedia Ban Lifted by U.K. Watchdog Group

09.12.2008
A U.K. Internet watchdog group Tuesday reversed its decision over an image its members considered indecent.

The placed for the Scorpions' 1976 album "Virgin Killer" onto its blacklist Friday. The group, a nonprofit, nongovernment-affiliated organization, describes its mission as the "UK's internet 'Hotline' for the public and IT professionals to report potentially illegal online content."

The foundation over the album's original cover image, shown clearly on the Wikipedia page. The image features a photo of a young girl completely nude, with a cracked glass effect obscuring her genital area.

The IWF's blacklist is used by the majority of U.K. Internet service providers, so its decision to censor the page had a wide-reaching impact. The Wikimedia Foundation--parent organization of Wikipedia--immediately , noting that the image had been published for decades and had never been deemed illegal. Free speech advocates questioned the onto millions of others without any legal backing.

Reasons for the Reversal

The IWF now says it has in light of those appeals. "The procedure is now complete and has confirmed that the image in question is potentially in breach of the Protection of Children Act 1978. However, the IWF Board has today (9 December 2008) considered these findings and the contextual issues involved in this specific case and, in light of the length of time the image has existed and its wide availability, the decision has been taken to remove this Web page from our list," a statement says.