[Freebase-discuss] "Offensive topic" flag?
Kevin J. Woolley
kjw at javabunny.net
Thu Mar 24 19:32:58 UTC 2011
On 24 March 2011 12:06, Paul Houle <paul at ontology2.com> wrote:
> I think many people who use Freebase as a data source for content sites
> could benefit from this kind of list. My operational definition of
> 'offensive' is that 'pictures that illustrate this topic are likely to
> involve nudity or prurient interest'.
This is where things get sticky. "Offensive" means many things to
many people. While nudity is certainly seen as offensive by some, I
don't see it as offensive at all. Many people wouldn't consider
violence against or humiliation of a person or animal to be offensive,
but I find both to be deeply, deeply offensive. Still others would
claim that anything that doesn't mesh with their religion or political
belief is de facto offensive.
While I certainly don't object to a system of categories that allow
people to limit what they themselves see on Freebase, I am strongly
opposed to a blanket "offensive" tag.
> I don't like the task at all because it involves making distinctions that
> are questionable. It's clear that a photograph of a person's private parts
> is offensive, but then there are all sorts of examples of nudes in art that
> range from tasteful to rather prurient displays of orgies on ancient
That's part of the difficulty, too -- and that's just the tip of the
iceberg for *one* thing that some may consider offensive. Similarly,
should the entries for Tom Sawyer and Samuel Clemens be tagged
offensive because of the former's use of "the n-word" and the latter's
putting it there, dozens if not hundreds of times? (Note: I'm
actually not offended by either, but it makes a convenient example.)
These determinations would have to be made literally thousands of
times, then each would undoubtedly be challenged between zero times
and constantly. I see this as opening the door to a Wikipedia-style
culture of flamewars, deletionism, and edit wars.
> I could push a type onto freebase topics if there's any interest in this,
> in which case I'd like some feedback about naming and other details. It's
> also possible that this will just start a lot of trouble. Any thoughts?
My thought is that this will start a lot of trouble, though I applaud
your thinking of it. I think it's just a really hard problem. :/
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