"Our community abhors issues around pornography and pedophilia and they don't want to provide opportunities for these things to take place," Wikipedia spokesman Jay Walsh said on Wednesday, Apr 29, in response to the Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger's accusation that Wikipedia's parent company, Wikimedia Commons, is knowingly distributing child pornography in their products.
Sanger alleged that Wiki products, including Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikinews and Wikiquote were filled with renderings of children performing sexual acts.
"We don't have material we would deem to be illegal. If we did, we would remove it," Walsh stressed.
Wikipedia, which is an online encyclopedia allows users to log in and upload or modify articles. The content on the website is maintained and cleaned up by Wikipedia's employees or volunteers.
"In general there is a constant change in information at Wikipedia. If inappropriate material is posted volunteers remove it immediately," Walsh said.
Sanger left Wikipedia in 2002 citing 'disagreements'. Sanger wrote a letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Apr 2010 outlining his concerns and identifying two specific categories, which he believes violate federal obscenity laws.
In a twist to the growing row, Sanger on Wednesday, Apr 28 wondered if the use of 'child pornography' was 'misleading'.
"It didn't occur to me until afterward that many people restrict 'child pornography' to mean photographs of real children. If I had realized this sooner, I would have used 'depictions of child sexual abuse' instead," he posted.
However, Wikipedia and the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation behind the online encyclopedia are yet to receive communication from the authorities.