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.
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."