According to Making Light, this is what has recently happened to Wikimedia Commons, the site that holds the images for Wikipedia.
•April 7: Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger sends the FBI an email stating that he believed that Wikimedia Commons “may be knowingly distributing child pornography.” In the email, he states that his reasons for reporting it are (a) that he has a moral and legal obligation to do so, and (b) “they [Wikimedia Foundation] purport to be a reliable source of information. Moreover … some school district filter managers are not filtering such smut from the view of teachers and students.”
•April 27: Fox Advocacy News picks up and elaborates on the story.†
•May 7: Fox follows up with a report that Wikimedia Commons is “rapidly purging thousands of explicit pornographic images from its websites.” This appears to be because it (FoxNews) is “in the process of asking dozens of companies that have donated to Wikimedia Foundation…if they were aware of the extent of graphic and sexually explicit content on the sites.” It then helpfully enumerates some of the larger donors for the benefit of its readers.
Fandomwank's take on it.
My take on it: As security recedes during this recession, there's a flight towards the center. The oddballs and the ones pressing for more freedom are increasingly being seen as threats. As this occurs, individuals are looking at their own actions and pre-classifying them as threats before Fox News gets there and does it for them. Clearly, diagrams of the reproductive system and images of 19th century art are not pornography; and even if they were, they're not illegal.Self-reporting mildly racy content to the authorities is the action of a scared, demoralized person.
Today I read a news item about a person whose toddler grabbed a White Russian on the table and had a sip. The person called the police. Yep, called the police to self-report giving a minor alchohol. It's not like we're in 1950 again, more like we're in 1905.
I feel very sorry for the millenials, the people who are around 20 now. They won't have nearly as much money as we have, because it's all been squandered. (Although I'd like to point out that the "we" who had all the money doesn't include 98% of us.) And they won't have anything near the freedom we had, even though we currently think of our expression as censored and with barriers everywhere. They're going to have no net neutrality, no privacy, explicit monitoring, censorship and fewer ways to express themselves.
Then again, I came of age during the Thatcher years. It'll be a while before things get as bad as that.
But they will.