The Internet Watch Foundation has caused internet service providers across the UK to censor a Wikipedia Scorpions page with the cover of the 1976 album Virgin Killer. The picture is of a naked pre-pubescent girl. The picture is already available on dozens of websites as part of the band's discography.
The IWF statement is here, and you can judge for yourself the album's cover here.
Obviously in 1976 the internet was non-existent, and the standards of the time were less rigid. While we wouldn't condone such an album cover now, there is no hint of any child having been abused at the time through this picture being taken. Ironically, the album is not one of Scropions best of the 70's era, with only two tracks making it to the live Tokyo Tapes double platter just two years later.
But the IWF's action has enraged Wikipedia editors and users, with the claim being that the IWF action has led to users being unable to edit pages.
While this is a debate relating to web censorship, one has to wonder what is the next step in the IWF's crusade? While all of us should support actions to prevent child pornography and stop the abuse of children, the ability of a self-appointed body, which has no oversight or accountability to decide on the distinction between creativity and abuse. What would they have make of W.A.S.P.'s Animal: Fuck Like a Beast, Motorhead's Jailbait or other lyrics, stageshows, album covers etc.
I fear that heavy metal is once again under the censor's spotlight.
ADDENDUM: The IWF has backed down...they have now withdrawn their objection...in slightly less than gracious terms. :) Read the BBC report here.