eliminating porn blogs from top posts, top blogs, fastest growing blogs

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  • #23250

    timethief said:
    Does anyone have a cogent case that they care to make against scrapping ‘top blogs’, ‘top posts’ and ‘next blog’ altogether?

    i’ll bite.

    andy’s work on botd.wordpress.com is one of the best things about wordpress.com. it’s the other half of worthwhile community features that puts. WP.com head and shoulders above blogspot (the first half being these forums).

    the top growing blogs and top posts links are the fastest way to find something i didn’t know to look for on this site. blogger displays an utterly random list of posts that occured in the second that blogger.com was fetched. there is no means of getting yourself onto that list. top growing and top posts are a goal to shoot for.

    and sure, knocking scoble off the top blog spot? that’s a wet dream. not everyone takes writing so competitively, but the opportunity is there. it’s a mini memeorandum for wordpress.com.

    sure, most people don’t want to see porn blogs popping up in that list. but there is already a mechanism in place for removing them. but it requires us to browse around wordpress.com. or at least visiting said blog and clicking ‘bury this item‘ err, i mean ‘report as mature’.

    ‘motherfucker’ is an expletive. if you could remove its use from common practice, another foul expression would take its place. if it didn’t have a foul meaning in the first place, it couldn’t have been chosen, and its meaning could not be stripped by overuse. the fact the fucking one’s mother (esp. by force) is still tabboo in every culture is the reason the word still functions as an expletive. i’m quite happy that motherfucking is still held in that regard.

    the discussion on what porn is, i’ll leave for someone else. the important thing to remember is that there’s a huge gulf between the manner in which sexually explicit material is given, and the manner in which it’s recieved. a post about a web 2.0™ company and a tasteful, but nude header image can both be posted in good faith, and recieved in bad faith. people are searching for porn on wordpress.com.

    #23252

    timethief
    Member

    @sunburntkamel – Thank you for the making the cogent case in favour of andy’s work on botd.wordpress.com, the top growing blogs and top posts links. I concede the point.

    @andy – Thank you for the work you have done on on botd.wordpress.com, the top growing blogs and top posts links. I’m glad to hear that mature material has always been intended to be excluded from the top lists by “blacklisting” known mature sites. It’s up to us bloggers to use the mechanism of reporting the previously “unknown” mature blogs that you have provided. I’ll accept that responsibility and will act accordingly.

    I acknowledge that it makes no sense to throw the baby and bathtub out the window just because a dog jumped into the bathwater.

    I note that at this point in time the post in question that consists of 2 sentences and a link to Porno Tube is ONLY being listed as number 4.

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    #23265

    the GPL is the license under which wordpress(.org) is distributed.

    in the US, websites are required to confirm that a user is over 13 before granting them a public profile. this could be construed as a violation of freedom 0 (see above link). however, since websites are providing a service, rather than distributing software, it hardly applies. unless wordpress MU would be required to force administrators of it to deny blogs to those under 13. in which case, MU couldn’t be GPL. which would mean it couldn’t exist.

    #23269

    drmike
    Member

    But anyway….

    Anyone tempted to go label Scoby’s blog as mature now? ;)

    #23289

    timethief
    Member

    Ah come on now, you know for sure – for sure that I’m not gonna let a great wordplay like this escape without comment. lol “Mature” indeed. Just mention Robert’s name and some folks immediately turn pale green, regress to the sandbox and start hurling the stuff. ;)

    #23343

    wank
    Member

    Livejournal is open source, and allows under-13s to register only with parental permission.

    If you allow under-13s to register without parental permission you are in violation of US law. What wordpress.com is operating at the moment is a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, whereby they don’t ask us whether we’re children because not knowing for certain that there are children using the service means they don’t have to worry about COPPA requirements.

    #23373

    timethief
    Member

    @wank
    Up until very recently I had no idea what was happening on the net porno wise. Because of the article I wrote on my personal blog here http://coyotes.wordpress.com I assumed I might get some feedback there from the sex addicted. However, what happened yesterday was that I got spam on my other blog here at http://timethief.wordpress.com. As you can see the second blog is strictly devoted to environmental/political issues.

    The spam slipped through Aksimet and almost slipped by me because it didn’t sound the least bit sexual. However I’m the curious type so I clicked the link in the comment which I thought would lead to an environmental or political site. WOAH! It led to a page covered with advertising images of teenage girls engaged in sex acts under the title “free teen sex videos”. I am not including the link here for obvious reasons.

    There were several features on the page – one was an advertisement for a click the button and watch an 11 minute and 42 second video of a teenage girl engaged in anal sex with a man who was old enough to be her father. I was appalled that this link could have ended up on my blog in the comments made to a completely unrelated article on climate change and global warming. I deleted it.

    Now I’m being very vigilant about any links in any comments that come to my site. I’m moderating each every comment email notification I receive and checking out every link before I approve any comment for posting on my blogs.

    So if you are you advocating for a parental permission policy to be introduced at WordPress ie. one that’s similar, if not identical to the one at Live Journal, I’ll stand with you.

    #23380

    those are some pretty heavy assumptions there.

    1. looking at porn on the internet makes you a sex addict?
    2. you wouldn’t have gotten porn spam if you hadn’t posted about porn?

    both of those, i can assure you, are not true. spammers have automated means of posting comments. it generally takes a week(ish) for your posts to be indexed, and after that it’s open season.

    attempting to relate this to an age requirement for signups means you’ve got another odd assumptions:

    3. porn spam is ok, if no one under 13 is subjected to it.

    to this i would say, unsolicited advertising is innappropriate, no matter the content, (i’d say weight loss ads just as harmful, to a specific segment of the population) nor the audience.

    #23381

    @drmike
    i’m more tempted to label my own blog ‘mature’, just to see what it does ;)

    #23382

    drmike
    Member

    It keeps your posts from showing up in the tag system, the top 100, and the latest posts along the bottom of one’s dashboard. Doesn’t affect search engines though. Not sure about the ping services though. (i think that that still works.)

    #23383

    timethief
    Member

    Lets’s start at what was the beginning for me. I happen to know two Moldavian sex slave escapees who are really upset that their photos taken when they were 13 and 14 years old are still on the net. They were sold into sexual slavery by their uncle and told they were going to be nannies in the UK. Both are trying to establish a normal life and are going to highschool. One has been recognized due to the photos and videos on the net. Some boys at the highschool don’t believe that the girls were having sex against their will and the girls are both being propositioned due to this. The boys at school have written the url on the washroom wall several times and the janitors are repeatedly removing it. There are lawyers involved in a process to get their photos and videos removed from the net.

    (1) I assumed that anyone who bothered to post a comment on ccoyotes and take me on about the contents of the article pertaining to advertising sex slaves on the internet might be sex addicted. If you think that’s a stretch of the imagination then you have a right to your opinion just as I have a right to mine.

    (2) I believe that it is possible and even likely that the sex spam I got was directly related to the article I posted on coyotes. Also note that my “nick” on this forum is linked to coyotes and not to timethief. I could be wrong. It’s possible that sex spammers are so prolific that they hit on environmental and political sites and that it was coincidental that mine was hit when it was.

    (3) Thus far it seems to me that because pornography is so deeply rooted in the internet and in all cultures the world over it has become acceptable for viewing by people of any age. This is not to mention that there is no effective means of limiting internet viewing to any age group. However, I was not specifically relating 1 and 2 to age assumptions. I simply combined two subjects into one posting when responding to wank’s posting on parental permission and LIfe Journal’s requirements. {It’s my experience that women frequently ramble all over the place in their conversations with each other and that they are far less likely to stick rigidly to the point in the way men do. Perhaps your experience is different.}

    (4) On this point we are definately in agreement: “unsolicited advertising is innappropriate, no matter the content.”

    Lastly, I observe that if we do not keep this thread rising to the top then those who are feeling uncomfortable can simply enter their comfort zone again as though this thread never happened. I’m okay with that.

    #23387

    raincoaster
    Member

    I’m uncomfortable with the idea that mature people who post on mature topics are automatically and as a matter of policy thrown out of contention for Top Blogs, etc.

    Posting about sex, nudity, or using profanity of however vulgar a nature is not the same as supporting sex slavery. With all due respect to the many horror stories out there, I am the author of a book on Vancouver’s Missing Women case, I have interviewed Willy Pickton twice, and have conducted interviews with over 100 prostitutes.

    I believe that there is a difference between blogging adult content and sexual oppression and I believe in the responsibility of parents to ensure that their children are looked after.

    What about a SEPARATE category of BOTD & POTD, for sexual topics? That way, if a kid posts a link to PornoTube he may get in “POTD Adult” but not in POTD the open division.

    Is that a decent workaround?
    Full disclosure: I sometimes post on what others would call adult topics, and at this very moment my latest post is titled “Beaver Shots.” It’s photographs of a beaver. Swimming. I’m a sucker for a dirty joke.

    #23388

    @raincoaster
    the problem with having XXXOTD.wordpress.com, is that it encourages posting porn, which is not something that we really want. BOTD is not the only way to find popular articles, but it is the only one officially condoned by automattic, inc. i don’t think we’ll see an adult section in that particular bookstore.

    #23392

    cornell
    Member

    I have read, but up to now purposely avoided posting. However, raincoaster’s post forced me to say something.

    What would I like to see?

    I bloody great banner when I click the “next blog” link that warns me that the next blog is “NSFW – Not Safe For Work”.

    There is a HUGE difference between DISCUSSING adult themes such as Raincoaster’s “Vancouver’s Missing Women” (by the way – do you have an affiliate link to Amazon for that? ;) hehe) and posting pictures of the women of playboy with all their bits hanging out on display.

    One I don’t mind reading AT WORK, the other I don’t even look at from home.

    This is supposedly a place where anyone (young or old) can come and read or write about almost any subject. There’s enough porn blogs and websites on the net (just look at Blogger or Blogspot), do we really need them here too?

    My two cents, I’ll walk away again now.

    By the way – gratuitous beaver shots and farting will always be funny!

    #23400

    raincoaster
    Member

    A NSFW banner is not a bad idea. But if you read this whole thread you’ll see that people are including even profanity in their “NSFW” category, and that is just going too far. They include the PornoTube article, even though it doesn’t have porn pix in it, it just talks about porn.

    If it’s possible to facilitate a choice (like Google’s Safesearch does) then that’s what we should do. There is lots of porn out there because lots of people like looking at it. There’s lots of profanity out there because lots of people swear. WordPress doesn’t need to take responsibility for those choices; they just need to assist people who don’t want to see it to not see it.

    And no, there is no Amazon link to my book. A) It’s still at the publisher’s and B) posting it would be spamming the forum. Thanks for asking.

    #23408

    timethief
    Member

    For clarity I have not requested that blogs using obscene language be treated in any way differently than other blogs. I have simply decried the use of such language as having become common place and ‘acceptable’. No amount of rationalzation or attempts to justify this will ever satisfy me so let’s set that aside becaus it was indeed an aside.

    I consider the far ranging discussion of ‘asides'(which I myself commenced and contributed to) to be off track from the main points I proposed.

    My agenda is simple.

    (1)I want all sites with images depicting humans engaged in sexual activity of any and all kinds to be labeled adult/mature/not-safe-for-work.

    [And we now all have a second “tool” we can use for reporting them on our dashboards. Thank you Andy for putting your coding skills to work on this.]

    (2) Once so labeled I do not want these blogs to be accessed by randomly clicking “next blog” on our dashboards.

    Why? Because I do not want to encounter them and be offended by them.

    (3) Once so labeled I do not want these blogs or postings within them to be counted into the stats for fastest growing blogs, top blogs, or top posts.

    Why? Because distinguishing adult/mature/not-safe-for-work blogs in ways depicting them as “top” anything amounts to promoting them.

    I would also like to hear from those who have not previously posted on this issue, particularly, if they choose to address the 3 foregoing points, rather than ‘asides’.

    #23411

    bloglily
    Member

    As a mother of three young boys, a lawyer, and an editor over at Best Blog, I think this conversation is an incredibly important one. My take on it is this: I don’t worry too much about what my children find on the internet because I have taken care of their internet use from my end. I wouldn’t trust that to someone else, and I don’t expect anyone else to do it for me. For that reason, it wouldn’t matter to me if wordpress labeled sites as “adult” only, because I’d be making sure my kids didn’t have access to that content anyway: they use the internet with me around and I know what sites they look at. Now, mistakes happen (there’s that “next blog” key), and occasionally someone sees something weird (my son once typed in Body Miller when he meant to type in Bodie Miller and, well, there were some naked bodies. He screamed, oh gross, and turned it off.) I know some parents aren’t keeping an eye on their children. But I don’t think WordPress stepping in would make any difference. Those children would have other places to look. From my perspective, I think it’s better to tell my children what I think about pornography (which isn’t much)when they see it (we live near San Francisco and they see plenty of that type of thing just walking down Market Street) than hiding it from them. Okay, so that’s my mothering perspective.

    My legal perspective might not be terribly helpful. As an appellate lawyer in a state court, I don’t know that much about the legal status of porn sites. But I think that generally there are federal laws that regulate that sort of thing, particularly sites that exploit children. Now I know that’s not all that effective, and there’s a lot of stuff that slips through, but I think it’s better that sort of enforcement be in the hands of the government and the courts, where at least there is some oversight of misguided attempts at censorship. When private parties get involved in monitoring for “adult” content, there’s no way to make sure nobody’s censoring a frank discussion of birth control because it discusses the penis and they don’t like that kind of thing.

    Which is not to say I don’t get what timethief is saying. Just the other day I marked something “adult” (Or whatever it is you can mark it) and it felt good to be able to bring it to someone’s attention. The thing I marked was a commercial sex site. It seemed to me that this kind of thing shouldn’t be freeloading on wordpress and it offended more my sense of community than my feelings about pornography. If I didn’t have that button to push, I would have just moved on to the next site. In the end, I’d rather that WordPress be a free wheeling place where some things slip through than the alternative, which I fear would stifle some of the wonderful craziness that I see on some blogs. For those who are offended by the creeps who slip in with porn, I think the answer is to go elsewhere, to a place where you will be able to find the proper conditions for your internet use. I respect those conditions, but I fear that they will result in the classic first amendment problem: the chilling of speech.

    As for Best Blog, I love writing things for that site. Ken, it’s author, works hard to get through what he calls the “great firewall” in China to occasionally post, which is one reason there are a number of editors. (By the way, I’m sorry someone here thought it was “static” and would love to hear his or her suggestions for improvement.) I’m not the only editor, but I can’t imagine anyone promoting anything that isn’t just a fine blog. We email regularly and discuss what we’re up to. We don’t review our own blogs, nor do we promote the blogs of friends. We see this as a community project, devoted to promoting the wonderfully diverse WordPress community. None of us is interested in pushing or glorifying porn, because that sort of thing isn’t what a Best Blog is made of. I do recall that one editor talked about a site by a guy who was taking a class on the internet porn phenomenon and was blogging about the class, a site that might possibly be considered “adult” but certainly not off limits.

    So there you have it. My six million cents.

    I’m sorry this post is so long — I’m a bit late to the conversation, is all!

    Best, BlogLily

    #23412

    helpdesk
    Member

    In the past Best Blogs has reviewed a couple of porn culture blogs. And not necessarily a blog featuring porn on the actual site. iplaybass was one of the most fascinating and most skillfully written blogs that I had ever read. There’s actually a lot you can learn from the culture of porn. It’s a shame that more blogs like that don’t exist.

    On the flip side there comes a time where Best Blogs will draw the line. Actual porn and unhelpful blogs will not be reviewed on the blog.

    Thanks that’s my piece.

    Michael

    #23440

    bloglily
    Member

    Michael’s reference to iplaybass is a great example of an important principle in this debate: the answer to speech you don’t like is more speech, not less: speaking out against what you don’t like, not censoring it. (Let me be clear: tagging any blog as “adult” content and sequestering it somewhere else on the site is a form of censorship because it singles out certain kinds of speech for less favorable treatment than others, the less favorable treatment being to make access to it less free.)

    In her blogging, timethief admirably displays the principle of more speech in response to offensive speech: she talks about what is so harmful about pornography and passionately defends those who have been hurt by it. She reaches people because she cares about what she talks about. That’s the sort of thing WordPress is about.

    My answer is a little different — I click on by when I see porn, not giving these folks the time of day. It’s what I do when I see Ann Coulter-ish clones also. As for inadvertently coming across something while browsing at work, the answer is not to be warned of adult content so you don’t come across it, it’s to exercise care in your internet browsing while you’re at work. Don’t click on the next blog button while at work, for heaven’s sake, if you’d get in trouble for accessing a porn site.

    My point is this: We’re adults. We are neither victims nor children. We don’t need to be protected from that which we don’t care for because we are fully capable of protecting ourselves from it. Now, other adults may not do as we do — but one important lesson of adulthood is that you cannot control the stupid, boring, offensive speech of other people, you can only control what you do in response to it.

    #23446

    timethief
    Member

    @bloglily and helpdesk

    Please note that I was not at any time referring to any individual blog called “Best Blog” hosted by Ken.

    Please look at your dashboards and note the “top” categories in WordPress – these are the only “top” categories I was referring to.

    @ bloglily on the first go around summarizing your responses in reference to the 3 issues
    (1) you report adult/mature/not-safe-for-work blogs by using the key provided
    (2) you are not concerned about the “next blogs” issue
    (3) you did not address the issue of porno postings and blogs being in the WordPress “top” posts and blog rankings (because you mis-interpreted what the subject matter was thinking I was referring to a specific blog called Best Blogs by Ken)

    In general your responses indicate that these are not issues for you. You prefer no efforts to censor/sequester be made.

    @helpdesk summarizing in reference to the 3 issues
    (1) not addressed
    (2) not addressed
    (3) not sure if you addressed WordPress rankings or some blog called “Best Blogs”
    In general I’m not sure if all your remarks were made in reference to some blog called “best Blogs” hosted by Ken.

    In general your responses indicate that these are not issues for you in regard to WordPress blogging.

    @ bloglily on the second go around summarizing in reference to the 3 issues
    (1) I click on by when I see porn
    (2) it’s responsibility of the blogger not to click “next blog” if at work or not desiring to take a risk
    (3) not addressed

    In general your responses indicate that these are not issues for you in regard to WordPress blogging.

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