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Virgin Killer - Album Cover by German rock Scorpions has been withdrawn from Wikipedia.
The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), a UK-based non-government organization, added the Wikipedia article Virgin Killer to its blacklist due to the online encyclopedia's use of an image of the original Virgin Killer album cover. As a result, people using many major UK ISPs were blocked from viewing the entire article. A modified version of the controversial cover art was used for the "In Trance/Virgin Killer" deluxe boxed edition double album sold worldwide after a 2004 release.
Nevertheless, the IWF classified the image of the cover as a "potentially illegal indecent image of a child hosted outside the UK" (whereas their reporting mechanism specifies only "child sexual
abuse images hosted outside the UK"). In a press release, the lawyer for the Wikimedia Foundation, the charity that runs Wikipedia, stated, "We have no reason to believe the article, or the
image contained in the article, has been held to be illegal in any jurisdiction anywhere in the world." Under the Cleanfeed content blocking system, the block was accomplished by ISP proxy
systems impersonating Wikipedia's servers, which had the side effects of degrading performance and left site administrators with little option but to block a significant portion of the UK from
editing Wikipedia or creating accounts.
The UK block follows the May 2008 reporting of the cover image on Wikipedia by US-based social conservative site WorldNetDaily to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. An officer of the Concerned Women for America, a conservative Christian advocacy group, commented, "By allowing that image to remain posted, Wikipedia is helping to further facilitate perversion and pedophilia."
The May controversy prompted extensive discussion among Wikipedia contributors and was reported in the website's internal newsletter, which noted that "relevant content policies and community practices" state that "Wikipedia is not censored, and barring a legal imperative the decision to display or remove the offensive image rests with Wikipedia's users." EContent magazine subsequently reported that the discussion page associated with the article declared "Prior discussion has determined by broad consensus that the Virgin Killer cover will not be removed", and asserted that Wikipedia contributors "favor inclusion in all but the most extreme cases".