- Google with its search
- Tumblr (or Medium) with its blogging platform
- Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with their connection to friends, family, and news
- Starbucks with its roaming internet access
- Youtube with its ubiquitous video distribution
- PayPal with its payment network
- Apple with its walled garden App Store
It's no accident that these are all American companies. When American companies control the internet's major centralization points, American cultural norms will rule. Like most cultural norms, they are inconsistent and downright ridiculous if examined closely enough. But that's beside the point.
AI and Mechanical Turk workflows enabled these companies to scrub content that violated norms at massive scale.
The article hints at, but fails to go for the jugular on a far more important point. Porn and sexuality are classifications. To an AI or Mechanical Turk, classifications are pretty much interchangeable.
Entire areas of human knowledge have become easy to censor by decree. Vast swaths of scientific research, political discourse, and news coverage can now be branded as "fake," "offensive," "privileged," or "deplorable," and censored at the drop of a hat.
Sexual censorship is just the tip of a monstrous iceberg.
If you're unable to effectively filter that stuff out the next pragmatic option is often to ban all pornographic content categorically. That's what happened to tumblr. For years they were an American company that allowed pornography, but they were unable to deal with the burden imposed by their users uploading illegal pornography.
If I had to guess, reddit is probably next. Does reddit check the ID of every user who decides to upload a nude of themselves? I doubt it. It's probably only a matter of time before reddit finds themselves in hot water too and decides to axe all their NSFW subreddits.
Umm, disagree. If you allow people to upload beautiful, tasty delicious regular porn, they're not going to automatically upload ugly scary bad disgusting child porn, too. It's not like porn is a "gateway drug" (another American term, btw) to child porn.
Similarly, if you allow violent action movies with strong language like Die Hard, you're not automatically going to get snuff clips of beheadings like ISIS.
The point that you're trying to make is about moderation of uploaded material in general.
It's still American sensibilities if you're somehow going to treat "not nude" and "showing a female nipple" differently.
Suppose your country makes it illegal to distribute videos of people dying, and suppose you operate a video sharing website. A user uploads a video to your website that shows a bad traffic accident. You're not sure who the people involved in the accident are. The accident looks severe, people got hurt badly, but you aren't sure whether anybody died.
If you cannot confirm whether the traffic accident victims survived or died, do you delete the video or not? Do you ban traffic accident videos categorically so that your moderators are no longer forced to deal with this ambiguity? Do you ban the general genre of "people getting hurt" videos because your moderators struggle to differentiate people getting hurt from people dying? That's analogous to what tumblr did.
It's certainly not a question of whether or not videos of lethal traffic accidents will turn people into bad drivers. And neither is it a question of whether lethal traffic accident videos should be legal or illegal. It's a question of how moderation policies deal with legally ambiguous content.
Forget sex and violence; consider how youtube handles copyright infringement. People get 'copystriked' all the time in situations youtube's ContentID situation considers ambiguous, in situations that should be covered by fair use or in situations where no copyrighted material was used at all. Youtube has overzealous copyright moderation because they've decided that's the 'safest' way to stay out of courtrooms even though it pisses off and rips off their content creators.
This is an often neglected concept. But we see it readily emerging as a cognitive awareness of real denial and promoter of outsider self image, and depersonalization.
So, individuals suddenly notice that they have no access to real sexual gratification, they are only permitted participation as distant observer. They live isolated from the inside of the fishbowl where everyone else has sex, and on the outside of the aquarium glass, desolation.
In frustration, they lash out, violently. Those invited to the party are treated fairly and receive sexual favors as rewards for status, and they are not. Due to ugliness, poverty, or some other outsider status.
This is made plain to those who only consume internet pornography, but shall never realize absurd and unattainable sexual fantasies that internet pornography might provoke.
This guy could have spent 5000 dollars on having sex with a very attractive escort, rather then guns and shooting up a place. Maybe society shouldn’t make paying for sex a humiliating and degrading thing. Sex workers can be good people and people that pay for sex don’t have to be weak or sad people. The man was convinced sex and women would be forever alien to him and that didn’t have to be the case.
I think many platforms actually are uncomfortable with hosting porn not just for legal reasons, and that the problem you're describing of identifying what is what and drawing lines is rather between porn and not-porn-but-sexual than between illegal and legal porn.
WordPress apparently powers 1/3 of websites. But I also know that a lot of webhosts powering those WP sites forbid any adult content. Why? For two reasons — the difficulty in policing it, just as Tumblr had. But more importantly, the web host industry is built on people paying for resources that remain unused (massive overselling).
Adult sites actually use the resources; bandwidth being the primary (which is a lot cheaper than it used to be), but now that video porn is ubiquitous, the processing needed to transcode and deliver video is immense.
Which is likely why almost all porn is centralized now at a few top sites, that fund their operations through deals with porn creators or some kind of upper tier subscription.
- People with open opinions about sex (e.g. down ranking there blog posts etc.).
- People which had been victims of sexual violence (and similar) by making it harder for them to inform them self/get help.
- Sex workers.
(note that this is a unordered list!)
Same goes for other platforms e.g. PayPal.
Sure there might be a difference if you use a platform to display pornographic content to people
without appropriate age checks. But non of this
applies for Google (search) or PayPal (payment).
Lastly people might argue that they are just following US law (e.g. for PayPal) but if they operate in the EU then they will have to follow EU law and discrimination against people for _any_ reason is illegal, this includes excluding a blog from search results because it openly speaks about
porn or people _legal_ earning money with videos of their naked body.
Well but then I'm not a lawyer and didn't really think this through either ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
This is totally incoherent. Lack of discrimination is the problem that Google solves. Search results can't all be first; that would be the same thing as not having a search engine at all.
It's not that google has the total freedom to adjust the search-ranking like it sees fit.
I don't know how the law is implemented, but I bet they have a good definition what illegal discrimination actually is. For example, I don't think google would be allowed to rank results (or, as you say it, discriminate) based on gender.
That doesn't work and can't work; it's not even meaningful. By that standard, the existence of Google is, in itself, criminal.
Definition of discrimination
1a : prejudiced or prejudicial outlook, action, or treatment racial discrimination
b : the act, practice, or an instance of discriminating categorically rather than individually
2 : the quality or power of finely distinguishing the film viewed by those with discrimination
3a : the act of making or perceiving a difference : the act of discriminating a bloodhound's scent discrimination
b psychology : the process by which two stimuli differing in some aspect are responded to differently
I have a niche french blog about Python and porn. Had it for years. Google still brought 10 millions views to us since it started. We are ranked pretty well in the french version of the search engine.
Now It's true I have now way of knowing how well we would rank without the porn, but funnily, it's 10% of the content, but 60% of the traffic.
Have you tested any of these on google.com recently?
I have and I do regularly. There is definitely no shortage of results when looking for information / blogs about any of these three.
I'm in Australia, but the results appear to cover the Anglosphere in general.
The search term blogs about earning money with porn appears to be an industry in and of itself, and well represented on Google search results.
So, in response to your initial question, I'm going to go with: exceedingly unrealistic.
A large amount of art that isn't porn, but that qualifies as "adult content" under the new policy has been all but purged from the internet.
It's impossible to ban adult content in a cost effective way without also banning a large amount of legitimate art.
Libr is about two thirds of the way there (source is on GitHub) and I have posting, content search, blog feeds and content authoring of video/images and text posts done. Following, liking and the main feed are next.
This will be a Progresive web app - No app store needed, meaning no app store bans.
But to make it sustainable, it needs to generate money. Advertisers don't like seeing their brands next to pr0n, so they won't come to your site. Unless, of course, you open it to adverts from people selling sexeh stuff, who can't get an ad to appear anywhere normally.
Of course, you could charge for it... but people have been trained to expect internet services for free. Hopefully that's changing, because it needs to.
When you sign up for Libr you have to say if your blog is NSFW or not. Then Libr flags all content you post as NSFW or SFW depending on what you choose.
I can detect what content is on a page, then run SFW ads around SFW content and relevant NSFW ads around NSFW content. Google used to do the same thing if you turned off safe search with their AdWords ads.
I'd run the SFW ads near NSFW if it were possible, but it's not.
Be careful of depending on a single company for your income
Is it suppression of free speech if you don't let in some jehovah's witnesses to your house? Would anyone ever fathom I'd even have to ask such a ridiculous question?
I'd agree if there was a complete lack of unmoderated spaces and no infrastructure provider would want to take your money. But there is.
If you want to be an edgelord online, go to a chan or gab or minds or some free speech fediverse server or whatever, you have options, you just don't have a guarantee that people will listen to you.
Why do you call it an app instead of a website?
The word 'app' to me strongly implies that whatever the service does can only be meaningfully accessed via an app on Android or IOS, and that the publisher has reasons (often for monetization purposes) to keep the software client proprietary and exclusive.
I don't think this opinion is generally held. App just means application, which can describe any software.
Are you saying that adult content is not legitimate art?
If so, I think you may be part of the problem, not the solution. English is not my first language, so please correct me if I am wrong.
By adult content, most of us think "porn". But as has been said, there's also violence and other things that some culture do not want their children exposed to.
There's no way to ban nudity or other things one may dislike without having to put some kind of filters in place. And once those filters are in place, they are abused to filter legitimate content. Every. Single. Time.
We have to rely on education, the best filter is in our brains.
That's the cost to real freedom of speech.
No, the commentator seems to imply the exact opposite: that a large amount of 'legitimate' art is also adult in nature, which lead to its illegitimate removal during the purge.
Seeing large corporation websites like tumblr, reddit, facebook crack down on content doesn't stop any of that. it just means you need to get out of your internet bubble.
The article gives Cloudflare as example. Hosting porn content, even if it is art, can get very expensive because most services have an explicit no porn policy.
Also without Google Search and without presence on a big social network, you’re essentially invisible.
The situation for mobile apps is even worse, as Apple doesn’t allow porn content in its App Store and Google started banning such content as well.
Also the article mentions the by-law censorship of articles in which sex workers are interviewed due to FOSTA-SESTA.
So the smaller websites you’re talking about are being pushed off the web ;-)
we need solutions that allow any weirdo to easily get online and say what they want to say
It appears many people do not know how to use urls or ask people about other portals.
If facebook censors it, they may never know it every existed on the internet. For others if Google doesn't show it on the first page of results - it does not exist.
I should of seen this coming years ago I noticed when I would tell people to go to whatever-site-url.com - they would open a browser and put that into the search box.
Heck people put google.com into the box and search for it rather then enter a url and hit ctrl-enter.
Now many phones and tablets are also defaulting search boxes, browsers, and voice searches to be using these censoring services - not showing ways to escape these bubbles, solidifying the walls of the garden.
Not even that. They google directly from the address bar. Once you could google without going to google.com, anecdotally I started to notice most people would google everything, including URLs they obviously knew
just typing in "hay code questions" would get me to stackoverflow in google. not so in bing/yahoo search(at the time)
and it certainly can make things better in some ways, and likely for a majority of people.
I for one however was appalled the first time I found not typing my url properly sent that data to google to find a suitable alternative.
(also disturbed when I see cell phone carrier give me a "you may be looking this-and-that list of links when a 404 or similar is detected - helpful maybe, doing it for the monetization? probably. Stealing privacy at the same time? Maybe.
Providing a curated version of available resources? Yes.
That is often censoring more and more these days. Google does not provide the internet options to end users that it did 7 years ago.
I have seen people go to the url bar type "google" and hit enter - which on many browsers default searches google for google.
Whatever the reasoning for these issues, the result seems to be that most people think they need to use google to get to parts of the internet and don't know any other way.
For example in the pre-Facebook time there used to be a great amount of online chats to get to know people or just for chit-chatting. Then Facebook came, of course everybody was excited and many of the small websites closed down. Those that are left are usually packed with weirdos and fakes, it's a real pity. Although it was all pseudonymous I think back in the days there were less fakes than on Facebook. Not to talk about IRC or Newsgroups, which have become more niche then ever.
Well or HN... There used to be high quality content elsewhere, for instance Dr Dobbs was really nice. Now all that stuff is extremely centralized.
I don't really see this trend reversing at the moment. Despite people talking about decentralization since 3 years or so.
Probably it's Google's fault ;)
I feel that her perspective is not very sympathetic to the average couple nor is it relatable with the average corporation. It hasn't been in the past and it isn't now. The closest that she can get to what she's asking for is Fetlife.
of course the new direction is worrying, but in the end porn always wins, it has won in the past after all. james joyce, larry flint, this list goes on...
When I say average I mean the biggest general cluster of sexual behavior.
Some people just like to create stuff all day and have a ton to show, but only ever learned enough computer skills to do their hobby and go to forums.
For these kind of people, creating a new place in one click is a boon, and getting moderation and management tools out of box is also an incentive to keep it going.
Sure these people can start learning how to build places and use hosting services, but that’s a non teivial barrier to entry, and we must be losing so much in the deal.
When ever I turn off the filters on my search engines explicit content is served instantly. I think that the censorship that the author is referring to is either self imposed, imposed by commercial decisions (tumblr) or due to legal constraints (child porn, rape, worse things than that).
Consensual sex work is mentioned, my perception is that the vast majority of sex workers are not doing it because of free choice, but rather because of exploitation and pressure. Drug and alcohol addiction as well as a history of abuse are often cited as drivers, and I hear of no stories where people have found happy and fulfilled lives as prostitutes. The "women speaking truth" can only every have authentic voices if they are speaking from positions of power and security; I do not believe that this is the case for prostitutes anywhere. The illegality of prostitution is not because people are prudes, it is because prostitutes are routinely destroyed by their work.
Here's one: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/the-majority-of.... "In fact, when you ask sex workers about their job satisfaction and working conditions – as a study led by Leeds University just has – the majority of them are happy. When asked to describe their work, respondents typically selected positive or neutral words. 91 per cent of sex workers described their work as ‘flexible’, 66 per cent described it as ‘fun’ and over half find their job ‘rewarding’.".
That aside, have you heard many stories where people have found happy and fulfilled lives as coal miners? As Amazon warehouse workers? Lots of jobs suck, but we don't ban them.
>it is because prostitutes are routinely destroyed by their work.
https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/159/8/778/91471 found a standardised mortality rate of 1.9 for American prostitutes (almost twice that of the average member of the population), similar to what https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/pdf/10.2105/AJPH.54.5.... found for coal miners, but we don't ban coal mining. For prostitution, violence was one of the "predominant causes of death", a situation that would be significantly improved were prostitution legal, as prostitutes could then rely on police protection without fear of being arrested for their work.
In general - if somebody does a job, presumably the alternatives would be worse. That applies to prostitution as well.
Your perception would be wrong. The vast majority of sex workers are doing it for the money, same as any job.
> The illegality of prostitution
Prostitution is not illegal in many parts of the world, and even decriminalised is some parts.
> I hear of no stories where people have found happy and fulfilled lives as prostitutes.
That's because you aren't listening. There's plenty of sex workers who blog or who are on twitter that you can ask. Just follow some and see.
> prostitutes are routinely destroyed by their work.
The biggest risk to sex workers in parts of the world where it is illegal is rape and murder by law enforcement.
There's possibly a lower proportion on HN than elsewhere, but suggesting that most of the population works voluntarily, and not to avoid starvation and homelessness, is going to be a bit of a stretch.
Sex work just makes the dynamic more obvious. There will be some who do it because it's a talent and a calling, but the majority do it because they need to put food on the table.
And some of those will be posting how awesome it is on TW etc because it's free advertising.
I don't see how it's any more obvious. Our culture is replete with examples of people complaining about their jobs, their bosses, their stress, TGIF, hump Wednesday, hate Mondays, etc. There are far more of these than examples of exploitation in prostitution.
If all work is exploitation and pressure, then sex work is still just like any other job.
Nitpick: decriminalization means that something is still illegal, but it's not a crime.
In NSW (Aus) and New Zealand (both decriminalised), there are no laws restricting sex work. Local councils may have zoning laws restricting where brothels may operate, but sex work itself is fully legal.
Illegal actions go through a civil justice track, and typically result in fines and/or some sort of civil restitution for victims.
If you ignore building codes you're acting illegally. If you ignore building codes and people die you're a criminal.
Which is fine as far as it goes. But criminality is often defined politically, not empirically in terms of outcomes.
Sex work is complicated precisely because it's on the edge of consensus morality. It has so much moral and political baggage, and for those who care it's so difficult to manage in ways that minimise harm for all involved, that it's almost the definition of a political football.
It doesn't help that authoritarians are invariably utterly hypocritical about it. Sex workers know that business is going to boom whenever a convention of self-styled moral hawks hits town.
So there's always political pressure to keep that hypocrisy hidden, which makes the criminal/civil line even more of a hot-button issue than it would be anyway.
Legalisation means making it actually legal, as many US states have now made marijuana, or as NZ has made sex work. It can still be regulated or taxed, but in general its fine.
So, precisely exploitation and pressure, same as any other job.
I would be more interested in data than one person's subjecting perception.
> I hear of no stories where people have found happy and fulfilled lives as prostitutes
One of the major points of the article is that the voices of sex workers have been driven off the internet. You can't justify censorship by saying that none of the now-censored voices are complaining.
> The "women speaking truth" can only every have authentic voices if they are speaking from positions of power and security; I do not believe that this is the case for prostitutes anywhere.
That is either completely false, OR by your logic nobody can ever speak about what it's like to work a retail job. Some jobs suck; sometimes the people working them don't have a lot of power and security. So either your arguing that we shouldn't listen to anyone who isn't a millionaire, or you're not aware of the voices that exist.
> The illegality of prostitution is not because people are prudes, it is because prostitutes are routinely destroyed by their work.
Funny how that seems to only happen in places prostitution is illegal.
It's the same reason why e.g. we ban all new elephant ivory, period-- even ivory that supposedly does not come from poachers killing an endangered, wild elephant. Because if you try to allow "good, fair-trade ivory", the poachers will try their best to get their stuff in there. And when it comes to the balance between costs and benefits, it doesn't take many bad apples to spoil the whole barrel.
Luckily, we can check NZ, since they legalised sex work, and research has since been done to see what the answer was: http://www.gaatw.org/publications/SWorganising/NewZealand-we...
And actually, none of that is true! Actually it turns out that what really enables trafficking and the abuse of sex workers is situations where they can't go to the police, or where brothels have to hide their existence from the authorities entirely. Once you're legal and regulated, it's really easy for the immigration officials to show up and start checking paperwork.
> you'll still fail to have only the entirely above-board, willing sex work that the sex workers themselves would like.
Funny you should say that; again in the linked report it was noted that NZ does have an issue with that, but not from trafficked women, but rather from migrants. Due to anti-trafficking sentiment, the original law legalising prostitution banned people on temporary visas from working in the industry, which means people on temporary visas are the only sex workers in the country who can find themselves subjected to abusive work conditions while being unable to report it to the authorities.
It makes sense, of course; everywhere you ban sex work you create a shadow that victimisation can take place in.
In some places, it's not merely a theory.
Why the discrepancy? Maybe it's geographic as the other commenters suggests. The Netherlands is in the middle of somewhere while New Zealand is in the middle of nowhere. That sounds plausible to me. I think it might also be cultural. The Netherlands is known around the world for their sex industry, New Zealand is not. This makes the Netherlands a more rational destination for profit seeking predators.
I have not heard a single country that have managed to do this. For rather obvious reasons, it is not practical to make employment illegal where the employee is in need of money.
There are countries however that do treat the problems with prostitution as a labor rights issue and resolve it similarly. For example when people think of human trafficking they think of prostitution, but human trafficking in constructions is actually several times larger. Exploitation in construction is thus a very large problem and the common solution is to impose stricter regulations so the government can catch and punish those that earn money on human suffering.
While it seems her concerns are warranted, that kind of writing just puts me off. It seems also unlikely that women are more concerned with sex than men. And it is not nazis and incels taking over the internet and censoring sexual content, but presumably US puritanism. And also, presumably, liberals who worry that porn is exploitation of women. Google and Facebook are dominated by SJWs, not by nazis (unless you admit those amount to the same thing).
Maybe Puritanism simply won - their work ethic resulted in creating Silicon Valley, so now they get to establish their puritan rules in the global digital network.
I strongly support sex positivity and oppose censorship, but this routine of calling out small and troubled minorities, or even the male gender or masculinity in general as the bogeyman, really needs to stop. It excludes close to half of everyone who would otherwise enthusiastically support the cause.
Google, etc., seem a lot like the majors of our time. Sure they are private businesses acting according to the business environment they find themselves in, but the outcome may be, in the long run, bad for all of us.
But I'm one of those, dont care about privacy people with mild porn habits and I'm starting a non-profit. I don't have much to hide, especially given the good I've accomplished with Google's support.
(Also I get 200+ website visitors from google daily)
It is the legion of researchers and engineers that leverage personal information to build dark patterns and Digital Skinner boxes is where the danger and harm comes from.
I was 16 when I got a letter published in a UK national newspaper on this topic, pointing out the absurdity that deliberate murder could be shown in a cartoon aimed specifically at young kids (i.e. BBFC rating Uc), but people “my own age” couldn’t see pictures of uncensored sex even though we could legally perform those acts.
I’m now in Berlin, where “Dildo King” is advertised on rotating billboards in the City Centre next to adverts for kid’s dentists and nobody bats an eyelid.
In the other direction, I also remember being shocked when I first visited the USA and seeing “to my dad” and “to my daughter” Valentine’s Day cards in the supermarket.
 My own age at the time being the age of consent in the UK: 16
It's even more confusing because hypersexualization is totally fine, as long as the areola et al. remain invisible and you don't use plain language to refer to sex.
I noticed in Berlin startups that this is sorta changing. Seems the exported “culture of being offended” is slowly taking hold of, surprisingly, mostly younger people.
Just by seeing those mostly US views everywhere online my kids and their friends have a more American view, whether that's in social mores or simply not being aware that EU or UK have better consumer protections or other differences. It's rather sad to see everywhere slowly homogenising.
How apt. :-)
What I mean to say is that this is not the result of US puritanism moving to Europe. Instead, I think it's a natural, homegrown trend, unrelated to religious sentiments.
Free-market/command-economy is different axis to dynamic/conservative is a different axis to populist/evidence-based is a different axis to moralist/libertarian.
If you just tried to transplant the UK’s Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, SNP or Green parties to the USA, they not only would be unelectable “socialists” for supporting the NHS, but also all support policies the USA considers unconstitutional (variously: ‘guns are bad’, ‘censor more’, ‘the Queen should disolve the government every so often’).
Likewise, the UK’s Labour Party is currently wobbling on the left side of the UK’s Overton Window, despite being a moderate centerist by the standards of several EU nations.
Linguistic and cultural imperialism are a thing. I don't know how to fight back. Those companies have a lot of money.
For example, one of my favorite Miike films ("Visitor Q") begins with sex between a guy and his teenage daughter, who has been working as a prostitute to earn pocket money. And there's some necrophilia too. But it's all in good fun, you know.
>Despite what the censored porn might imply, nudity has never been taboo in Japanese culture. Not only were women used to walking around topless, but what we call porn was just another common genre of books, like cooking or travel. Japanese porn, or shunga, was a traditional form of visual media that had no stigma attached to it. Most artists created it without violating any type of social code. They were just making pictures of people fuckin'.
>It was only in the 19th century, when Western morality came to Japan, that the Japanese government decided to crack down on such traditional practices as public nudity, in order to make the case to the West that Japan was totally a civilized country. By the time World War II rolled around, Japanese porn had gone from an everyday part of Japanese culture to a demonized art form that, as the Pulitzer-winning expert John W. Dower noted, now inexplicably valued idealized Western versions of beauty, like long legs and big tits.
And it wasn't just sex that got censored. It became illegal to criticize the occupation government, object to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, complain about Japan's loss of the war, etc, etc.
As I understand it, that's what the 50s monster movies were about. The monsters were metaphors for the nuclear and firestorm attacks on civilian populations.
Those laws no longer exist. And so Miike gets into those issues in a few films. "Izo", for example, begins with an extended fast-motion contemplation of WWII, ending with the nuclear attacks. But "Izo" is more generally about the absurdity of nationalism, and how it's used by the powerful to control the masses. Indeed, it takes on all forms of authoritarianism, including religion.
So there's less censorship involving age or species, but pixilated genitalia. Go figure.
For example, in Miike's "Fudoh: The New Generation", there's a ~preteen assassin who uses a blow gun that's hidden in her vagina. There's one sequence where she's performing in a strip club, popping balloons (and hitting her target with a poisoned dart). And yes, the actress was 22 when the film was shot, but she looks a lot younger.
An internationally-renowned and highly influential director.
His 2010 "13 Assassins" is a true classic of the samurai genre. Clearly "Seven Samurai" level.
Not practicing Catholic anymore but that’s what I was taught from the Catechism et al several years ago as a convert.
I remember altavista being ruined by the porn industry. I also remember not needing to go through loops to see "uncensored" fantasy (the D&D type) artwork, where female upper bodies might be uncovered.
To overcome this the actual content needs to return to it's origin: personal/organisational websites, with their own forums, and for legislation writers to leave them alone. In the meanwhile, the rest of the world needs moderators, not automated, bad upload filters.
In my European country it is perfectly normal to have pictures of your children naked. It's also OK for them to see a nude body now and then, like at the beach (and yes I am aware that I'm not talking about all of Europe, some countries ban nudity in public). But do that in the US and you risk being labeled as a pedophile.
I love how freedom of speech is protected by the US constitution, certainly a model to follow for the rest of us, however banning adult content while allowing violence, white nationalism and xenophobia is a huge double standard that gets exported to the rest of the world too.
So as a citizen of an EU country that's not prudish about sex, why do I have to suffer from the censorship of US companies?
And honestly, do you like it when you see actors like Tom Cruise not kissing the girl in his movies, possibly because it needs to be played in China?
I used to work at a European game company that made erotic games for PocketPC. Our biggest market was US, and most negativity also came from US. Video striptease is labeled as "porn".
What they preach is very different from how they act. You cannot say fuck or shit on tv or internet, but in real life everyone does it.
When Janet Jackson show a nipple on TV, it's a huge fuzz. But having a colleagues gathering in a striptease bar is normal.
I'm pretty sure the prudish public behavior enforces the excessive private behavior.
Is it really normal to colleagues gathering in a striptease bar? Cause I did not encountered it, through I heard people complain about some teams and companies doing that. But that is it - complains+anger not acceptance as norm.
I know US colleagues who regulary go to striptease bars. It seems more normal in US than in EU.
Not as often as regular clubs or bars, but not a rare event.
What TV shows are you talking about? Kids shows? American television in general is full of profanity. Some shows have way higher profanity content than what’s observed in real life, they always makes me wonder if certain demographics really fucking talk like that all the time.
European movies also have no trouble showing fully nude males, something you will never see in Hollywood.
The sensoring in texts like f*ck is also seen a lot online.
(FTFY) Are you confusing "private airwaves" (e.g.: subscriptions) with "public airwaves"? If so, see the FCC's position here.
 - https://www.fcc.gov/general/obscenity-indecency-and-profanit...
I do know a few tech people who cuss quite a bit but it’s certainly not super-common abd, increasingly, there’s also a greater sensitivity to language etc. that someone will take offense to even if in your mind it’s perfectly ok.
A story from last summer. I went to Italy to visit some friends. We pulled over at the gas station. Regular spot with regular stuff that any station sells. And with huge newspaper stand. I took first colorful magazine, turn second page and there I see an old man dressed in all jeans, with big beard smiling, holding what could be maximum 2-months old baby... all naked wearing only shoes. Baby's penis is sticking out and the way the man holds him or her is that his hand is under it, basically holding newborn's ballsack. All in color, bright and proud, second page, a newspaper about clothes that you can buy in every single newspaper store across Italy. It was commercial for supposedly oldest shoe company in Italy and the idea is that after you are born, first thing your parents put on your are shoes. I did not know whether to be shocked or what. I showed it to my Italian friends and they looked at me "what?". And then I was dumb enough to take a photo of it. I don't know... I guess wanted to show folks in USA how ads in Europe look like. Of course totally forgot about it later on.
Until a cold sweat showered me when all of sudden, when a Board Patrol agent asked me a random question: any suspicious photography you took on your European trip that I should know about ... on your laptop or your phone? No idea where he got it from... perhaps he was a mind reader or something. I barely could say "nope", but God only knows how much trouble I would have been had I told him the truth...
Sometimes you have to be super careful when you travel across the big pond... Not all laws rules and regulations are all the same everywhere, boys and girls :)
Germany had a HUGE problem with the violence (even the 18+ version has blood and dismemberment removed), US criticized the sexuality (two achievements were called 'topless' and 'gang bang'), and in Japan it was about the promotion of drugs (you could get drunk to perform extra skill shots) and to a lesser extent about the violence.
So every cultural region has its own ideas of what their children need to be shielded from (and what to blame social misconduct on). But they all fail to realize that the children of the others, who get exposed to the 'bad stuff', still turn out fine by some miracle.
This does not address the OP's question in any way.
The US is also quite a sexy place, with a lot of sex happening. Last time I heard, everyone's parents had sex at least once, and most people had it multiple times over the course of their lives!
Why then we censor this, by every definition, commonplace activity?
Conversely, I found out after travelling a lot in Europe, making foreigner friends and moving to another state it's not about being prudish about sex but about nudity.
From my (admittedly limited) experience Americans are much less prudish about sex than Europeans (especially Western EU countries) but leagues more prudish about nudity.
I actually find it more reasonable coming from Poland. We should keep nudity private and at the same time be able to let ourself go and be free when interacting intimately with another human.
Again, from my experience, Germany (my new country of residence) is extremely open about nudity while at the same time being similarly repressed about sexuality. This actually made me understand why Slavic people consider Germanic people to be "cold" or "passionless" (no offence intended).
It's notable that younger people have a way more repressed sexuality than folks which are in the 35..40 to 60ish age bracket currently.
Today’s young Germans are growing up in a culture that accepts non-marital sexual relations, there is nothing to rebel against so it is not such a defining dimension of their culture.
Furthermore, you could also posit that some of the young people see how the “swinging” lifestyle affected their families. Might have worked out great for a lot of people but probably really hurt some others.
I have one swinging uncle who happily swapped wives in the 1980s, but other members of my family just ended up bitter and alone over similar circumstances.
Then you look at your grandparents or great grandparents who were miserable, but at least they were miserable together and always had each other :-)
Technically, because you volunteer to. If the internet companies on your continent are not relieving your suffering, it's either the fault of them or an extremely unfortunate side effect of applying the lowest common denominator of laws on a global medium. Considering the latter, one might similarly question why other countries have to suffer the internet censorship laws of EU countries/companies.
Speaking of double standards, I do find it amusing that depending upon the article one might either despise or cheer country-specific rules affecting the global internet. We should be mindful that others may not share our morals when we impose our will on a global medium. Instead we should apply our morals to ourselves and try to encourage what we want instead of punitively trying to get our way.
It's not like Facebook actively wants to choose the things that should be banned, they really do not care. It's just that their analysis shows that they could make more money blocking a few nipples because advertisers will pay more on average, and given the choice a company will chose profit over the wellbeing of their product.
I actually like the EU clamping down on internet companies (although it's far from perfect, to say the least). Companies shouldn't have so much power over society they should be controlled by society or they will just spiral towards money like a paperclip factory AI spiralling towards paperclips.
Why should it be fair that a newspaper is responsible for the public letters and ads they publish, but Facebook should not be responsible for the public's messages and ads they publish just because they don't print on paper but use the internet?
If a company makes money off public content, the company should be liable for it.
You can't have your cake and eat it too.
Finally, it's not about people "volunteering" to abide by rules of a social media company.
If it would be about the user, they would just make a setting and let the users choose for themselves what they do and do not want to see.
It is in fact about advertisers dictating rules and internet companies seeing nothing in their way from screwing over their users in order to make more money.
We've seen this before, companies screwing people over to make money when there are no/weak regulations.
The internet should be free, but companies generating revenue from it should be regulated.
My theory is that these two attitudes, the surface level prudishness and the hyper sexuality are actually a reaction to each other, pushing them both to become more extreme as time goes by.
The lack of real analysis demonstrated in this topic, the western centric thinking (US vs. Europe), and broad generalizations are just disappointing for a forum full of supposedly smart people.
More nuanced version of my post - cultural memory is frequently anti sex in many situations almost anywhere you go. Confucianism has tons of taboos around sex. Hindis have fewer but Indian society still has a lot of leftover laws from when the Protestant UK was determining social policy.
The places you see sex positivity and a lack of taboos over nudity are much more secular on measure.
It's obvious that religious beliefs have poor epistemological backing and (to me) idiotic to hold. But I'm curious if you've got some novel hypothesis for their existence.
As for why uncovering oneself is a reasonable mating ritual, I believe it is similar to how in the same way that if you have a gun and are going to shoot someone you would indicate as such to ward them off by pulling your gun out of its holster.
We process fake violence and sexual content very differently. When we see someone get their head blown off in a movie it's over the top and ridiculous. Often times it's used to tell us that something major has happened while being very different from reality.
I've seen videos on liveleak that are absolutely horrific. And yet I've seen much more gruesome scenes in movies that don't make me bat an eye.
Whereas with sexual content there's no difference between naked bodies. I am sure that scenes from shows on hbo will illicit the same reaction as pornographic material.
Also, violence is easy to explain, sexuality and complex hormonal feelings are not. That's why you can have outlandish violence because a kid knows what getting hit is like and what real life physics are like whereas stuff related to sexuality opens up such a large can of worms - what's too sexually liberal, what kind of a message it sends about self worth, social norms with something kids aren't familiar with, etc.
And before someone nitpicks my response, yes the culture and systems around ratings when it comes to nudity aren't always logical or consistent, but my main point is that I don't see why these two things are compared when they're completely different things.
But go to a gym. In the US or the UK, people will happily wander around naked and shower together without thinking anything about it. In France and Italy, there are cabins everywhere to enforce the most strict prudery.
Everything ends up lowest common denominator. Probably why I don't watch Tom Cruise films anymore.
I think one reason is that violence is much easier to fake than sex.
If this was Reddit this line would spawn a comment thread longer than MAX_INT.
Some common explanations:
- The USA is just way more religious overall;
- Pilgrims were the most radical protestant Christians, they were kicked out of Europe and then spread their social norms in the USA, in a very early moment of the development of American culture. Also, according to Max Weber, and to simplify things a lot :), Protestantism = Capitalism;
- Colonization is risky business, enormous territories were available and increasing the population was urgent. This could explain both acceptance of guns/violence and the need to regulate sexual behavior.
I think there is at least some truth to all of the above, but I always feel unsatisfied. There are so many confounding factors. For example, in Europe the catholic south is more sexually repressive than the protestant north, perhaps with the exception of the UK. But the north is also more atheistic overall. Anglo culture overall seems to me to have some specific flavor of sexual repression that I don't feel from other European cultures. Maybe I'm just more used to the catholic flavor.
I have this cynical suspicion that, for a large scale society such as a country to be possible, and for people to accept collaborating with the project somehow, some tabu must be created. At least one dimension of personal fulfillment must be out of the control of the individual. This is very simplistic but, in modern USA the tabu is sex, in modern Europe it is money. I think it is common for revolutions to destroy one tabu and create another. For example, left-wing revolutions tend to point at sexual tabus as "bourgeois values". But communists can also be super socially conservative.
Yet another detail: the differences in attitude towards sex and nudity in USA vs Europe also apply to alcohol. I feel that alcohol is both way more regulated and seen as more "naughty" in the USA than in Europe.
Perhaps someone here can point me in other interesting directions. Sorry for all the rambling :)
Exactly, and most Americans are quite unaware of the brutal history and behaviors of the Pilgrims. They celebrate Pilgrims at Thanksgiving and teach kids only about the ships they sailed on (the Mayflower, an iconic name), not about how Pilgrims burned each other alive if they did not satisfy the religious standards of the culture. America was built on this mentality, yet it is never taught and it seeps through the culture.
History is taught like the news is reported, disconnected incidents. I am reminded of the children in Mad Max reciting how they crashed on their airplane.
True. It's why they repeated the very same prosecution complex trap during McCarthyism. Same finger-pointing scenario, it was just a different boogeyman to be afraid of - so it wasn't "the same".
The Salem affair is notable as "that one time we did the thing"; also, we hung our witches, we didn't burn them.
For example, say there are two communities in a given town; one of the community has decided that black doors were evil, and won't go through them. The other community doesn't care.
Shops that have black doors lose the business of the superstitious community; even if that community is small, it simply makes no sense for a shop owner to keep a black door, whereas if the door is another color, it will cause no problem with anyone. And so, pretty soon there will be no black doors anywhere.
This may appear controversial, but the fact is you can't fight superstition with openness because openness accepts superstition and lets it grow and conquer everything. The only way to combat superstition is to actively fight it.
While most of the consumers probably don't care, influence of a small but committed minority made Coca Cola kosher, halal, and vegan.
If veganism is concerned about not "eating any kind of animal product", then it's clearly fictitious once you consider the fact that animals such as insects/mites leave residues wherever they go, and in stuff like pure fruit juices there is always a chance of % of insect content because of the nature of production methods and infestation.
Now, if it is defined it veganism as "reducing animal suffering", it makes more sense but then it makes less sense for them to be so strict from a dietary standpoint - for example they could allow themselves to eat eggs from free roaming chickens feeding themselves from herbs and insects they find if what matters most is the reduction of industrial exploitation of chickens in cages.
This is interesting because in the HN guildelines you cited, it specifically says:
"Please don't use Hacker News primarily for political or ideological battle. This destroys intellectual curiosity, and we ban accounts that do it."
So how is it that this isn't a double standard?
If you dive into "SJW" and "the communist movement" and whatnot, you're doing ideological battle, and that's what we don't want here—not because we could care less about political correctness, but because it's predictable and tedious. And it consistently leads to worse. There's no intellectual curiosity in that, so please don't post any more of it here.
Of course I just added practitioners of religions that forbid the consumption of pork together and I'm aware some of those eat pork anyways (because they don't adhere to it too closely), but still: It will be a sizeable market.
Let's look at religion: if my religion says "give money to orphans" then you don't need to fight it, it doesn't harm you, if it says "make everyone who's not part of our group subservient or dead" then you must fight it.
Actively fighting a superstition that is not harmful would count as it's own superstition, it's not logically driven.
If it were "force others to give money to orphans" or "steal money that's set aside for orphans" then you'd perhaps have a point.
Unless, you're trying to say it's impossible to have someone hold a [superstitious] belief that doesn't impact others negatively?
And human nature makes it so most people only push things they don't see as a direct or major inconvenience and ignore the rest. I don't like to see sex on the internet? Nobody should see it.
How many people claiming they do something to uphold some values actually uphold more than the values they find easy or effortless? Superstitions or people's interpretation of religion are the same. It's always "don't walk through the black door", never "when you see a broken door fix it for free". It's "homosexuality is a sin", never "lying is a sin". Everything is ok as long as it falls perfectly within the framework you operate under, the values you consider worthy of appreciation.
Superstition by definition is when the true utility is zero, and the imagined utility is >0.
Go and tell the legislators.
Where does the fight start, and where does it end?
And what's the consequence of "we (the people who don't believe it) need to fight it"?
I ask you these questions because they are really issues we are facing as a society based on freedom of speech (and religion).
They could have counted the seats from zero, but labelled them from 1.
As an example imagine video games that have characters in skimpy outfits. A tiny minority may complain about this. And it's often the case that this minority is not even actually a consumer of the products they're complaining about. But there will rarely be any meaningful voice against this minority going, "Wait.. no, I want my characters in skimpy outfits." Because to do so it makes you look like some sort of 'something' that's certainly undesirable. And so from the perspective a company that may not be particularly well attuned to its own userbase, it will see 100% of respondents on a given topic support censorship, 0% oppose it. That's not such a hard choice to make.
 - https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-25/video-gam...
Shops that didn't sell black doors would be losing business from non-superstitious people looking to buy black doors, which might be a bigger factor if superstitious group is relatively small.
I think adult content is more similar to black doors than seat numbers.
It's not about selling, is about having black doors of your store. If 10% of the people absolutely refused to go through a black door (because of some BS religious reason for example), stores would either paint their black doors some other color, or lose 10% of potential customers. Guess what most will chose. The 90% of the people who are indifferent to door color wont make any difference.
Here's a better version of the argument:
You're assuming an awful lot of human cognition that doesn't seem justified. Firstly, that superstition "grows". In fact, empirically, the opposite seems to be the case: people have become naturally less superstitious over time. We have more atheists now than ever. This trend was well established long before the New Atheists, so don't try to attribute it to them.
Secondly, actively fighting any deeply held belief engenders feelings of oppression, causing in-group solidarity and out-group hostility to increase. When facts side with the out-group, then this lead to "alternative facts" and the erosion of social cohesion and compromise. Which is where we are now. "Fighting a culture war" with fellow citizens and leaving the population vulnerable to propaganda and destabilization efforts from foreign powers.
Now that's dangerous.
We are not less superstitious than our forebearers, at least not the ones we know something about, such as, for instance, members of the Enlightenment (including the Founding fathers of the US). When we say we are getting less and less superstitious we usually compare ourselves to some version of the "cavemen" we know absolutely nothing about, that we use as a straw-man.
Secondly, "actively fighting deeply held beliefs" is probably the only way to go, because if we don't, then said beliefs simply win over. Black doors don't matter any which way, but there are things that matter. For example, anti-vax people should be convinced first, but if they can't be convinced, they need to be ostracized, because they threaten the existence of the group. They may resent it and be very upset about it, but that's a small price to pay for survival.
So you think 23% Enlightment-era peasants were religiously unaffiliated, like 23% of Americans are now? Some European countries are even majority atheist. You're also claiming that these countries had exactly these demographics even 200 hundred years ago?
> Secondly, "actively fighting deeply held beliefs" is probably the only way to go, because if we don't, then said beliefs simply win over.
That's speculation for one, and two, "actively fighting" can mean many things, some of which are constructive, some of which are not.
Or, you know, that the color of the door doesn't matter? I fail to see how that'll be a superstition.
If that's a reference to the various gender pronouns and the like, regardless of what you think about it, it mostly strives for equal rights, not more rights as far as I know, so a more apt mapping may be that the doors should be approached in the same way regardless of what particular color they are today.
Except there's zero empirical data to support the existence of this alleged "paradox". In the meantime, it's used to justify all sorts of intolerance of its own. Paradox indeed.
Imagine a small subgroup decides they really, really love black doors. They will pay double price for a black door because they are so hard to find. Shop owner will satisfy that demand or lose that market to a competitor who's willing to step over that line.
Capitalism is an elegant system for resource allocation, really. I wish more people understood it.
It heavily depends on who you are and the type of capitalism in question. The present implementation in many places seems less than elegant.
For example CEO pay has been skyrocketing compared to worker wages precisely because as companies have more and more resources, they don't have a reasonable means to distribute them fairly, so they just dump the majority of the proceeds on the top management as a lazy hack.
And people have access to more advanced goods and services than ever at unprecedentedly cheap prices. Again, I agree we need to lift up our lower class right now, but by many metrics, it's better to be impoverished today than to be middle class 50 years ago, and I think people forget that or don't want to admit it.
As for " it's better to be impoverished today than to be middle class 50 years ago", there was certainly less access to all kinds of goods, but there was much more job security as well, (you could work for a single company all your career), there was also more opportunity to own a house at a younger age and move higher up the ladder with lower education and less debt.
What you also need to look at is things like student debt, 50 years ago, higher education was free at the point of use. Now, it puts you into dept at an enormously young age, before you even fully realize what it all means.
I also don't understand the mindset that it's somehow somebody else's fault when a person accumulates student debt. Like, I'm sorry you made a poor choice, but nobody physically twisted your arm and made you take this loan. Protecting people from their own bad decisions is not, in my mind, proper regulation of capitalism. It's the infantilization of grown adult citizens. Butt I'm open to having my mind changed.
Yeah, which probably shouldn't happen in an 'elegant' system, you know?
> I also don't understand the mindset that it's somehow somebody else's fault when a person accumulates student debt. Like, I'm sorry you made a poor choice, but nobody physically twisted your arm and made you take this loan.
That's a grossly simplistic view of the matter. I am saying that if your parents did not have to take out a loan to get higher education, why should you? If capitalism is so elegant why? It should elegantly allocate resources so that it's not necessary.
As for nobody twisting your arm, you're of course right in the literal sense, but many higher paying jobs require candidates to have a higher education, so if you want to get on that economic ladder at all, in many cases you're forced into it by societal expectations. But even if it weren't so, what 'elegant' system makes progress by allowing the next generation to grow within it to obtain less free education than their parents? That doesn't seem like progress to me.
Moreover, student debt is a problem for the broader society as well, because if young people cannot participate in the economy to the same degree as their parents, be ready for some stagnation.
What I'm saying is, we've built a culture and society where it's expected that everyone should have access to higher education, and so families go into debt to achieve it. In reality, our economy will get completely hollowed out if everybody is in debt for higher education, the jobs to support all that debt don't exist, and meanwhile plenty of jobs (trades, manual labor, service) go unfulfilled because nobody wants them. This isn't science fiction, it's what's happening now.
I know right?
I'm not implying any of the characteristics you think I am. Capitalism is simple and effective, and IMO beautiful in the way it works at a systemic level.
That doesn't mean nobody gets left behind, not by a long shot. You know what else has been an elegant an unmatched algorithm/system for making life better? Evolution. In all of its brutal beauty, it leaves behind many in its path with premature mortality or failure to reproduce. And yet it's culminated in the human race. It wasn't mysteriously directed by some higher force, it just worked.
It "works" because it has to, when it doesn't we do bailouts and then it "works" again etc. in other words anything works if a society is organized in such a way that it doesn't know or contemplate anything else. If you only know one style of music, that music "works" for you, because it sort of has to.
My point is, capitalism as it is today is one that even The Wealth of Nations doesn't agree with.
Now that doesn't mean every aspect of capitalism is bad etc. No, in fact when it works as intended it can indeed be quite elegant. the problem is it often doesn't work as it was envisioned. We therefore need to look at other systems, pull some positive aspects from them, tweak the current capitalist system so that it works more like it was supposed to, that's all am saying.