Wikipedia: Not so safe for kids after all!

If you think Wikipedia is that family-oriented, kid-friendly, general-patronage website you’ve always considered it to be, then you’d better think again. You’d be surprised at the amount of inappropriate material you can find on this community-contributed and edited free online encyclopedia.

This may not exactly be new news, as we have seen the quality of Wikipeida entries vary, time and again, mainly due to the user-editable nature of wikis. However, this particular case seems to me to be more inappropriate than just naughty.

Try posting some indecent articles or lewd photos on Wikipedia and see how far you can go before your post or update is taken down. Usually, it’s in a matter of minutes when a “Wikipedian” would notice something amiss, and then either flag your article for possible quality issues (or sometimes a need for citation), edit it for appropriateness, or delete it altogether without much ado.

But this doesn’t go for all areas of Wikipedia. Take the Tagalog edition, for instance (Tagalog is a dialect in the Philippines on which the national language, Filipino, is mostly based).

Warning: The succeeding images may be NSFW!

Here’s what the entry for bayag says:

Ang bayag (tinatawag ding beklog o betlog sa kolokyal na pananalita) ay sako o balat na naglalaman ng gawaan ng tamod o semilya o punla ng mga kalalakihang tao at iba pang mga mammal.

This translates loosely to “the scrotum is a sac of skin that contains semen in male humans and other mammals.” Quite an acaedmic discussion, right? Wrong! Being a Tagalog speaker myself, I would consider some terms in the entry to be slang, even bordering on the vulgar–however, there are probably no other more subtle alternatives in the language. What would shock most readers is not even the description, though, but rather the image attached to the entry, which is worthy of a hardcore porn site.

What about the entry for semen?

And what about the article for penis?

Okay, images of the male anatomy in itself could probably be justified as a straightforward academic discussion of what is in fact real (though not very easily). But images with semen? I don’t think so.

The integrity and quality of any collaborative work hinges on the quality of individual submissions and the efforts of participants to keep this at par with standards. In the absence of quality-control mechanisms and a watchful eye for inappropriateness, however, such works open to public scrutiny and editions are likely fall into the trap of being abused. In the case we cite, the Tagalog version of Wikipedia doesn’t seem to enjoy the care of as many “Wikipedians” managing the site as the more mainstream English version. There are probably more cases like this in other areas of Wikipedia, possilby even within the English-language site.

If you spot any other anomalies, we’d appreciate it if you can share them!

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