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."
One wonders if trustees of the Sloan Foundation, which recently donated millions to Wikipedia after Möller pitched them, share his views on pedophilia. BoyLinks finds his pro-pedophilia arguments agreeable, as does Martijn, a Dutch counterpart to the North American Man-Boy Love Association.
Möller himself appears to be growing aware of the need to whitewash his history. He recently removed a vile image of child pornography from his Humanist.de website. But evidence remains in Google's cache.
The notion of a person with such views shaping Wikipedia's articles on "child sexuality" is unsettling enough. What critics of Möller should find equally disturbing is what, exactly Möller hopes to accomplish in his official role at Wikipedia. He has long made no secret that, like founder Jimmy Wales, he, too, wants to profit from the work of Wikipedia's many volunteer editors. Since January, he's been drawing a paycheck from the Wikimedia Foundation. But I doubt his financial goals end there. If Wikipedia starts selling advertising, or otherwise profiting from its users' work, will Möller argue that the site's users were asking for it?
(Photo by Leonard Witt)