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Facebook has blocked Dreamwidth (andrewducker.dreamwidth.org)
433 points by AndrewDucker 9 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 177 comments



Hi all! Co-owner of Dreamwidth here.

Pretty cool to see my project hit the front page of HN, but definitely a bit of a /shrug moment on the subject itself. "Facebook gonna Facebook" I think is approximately how we feel about this.

I know here on HN we're used to hearing stories about scrappy startups trying to carve a piece of the pie big enough to exit on, but that is pretty much the exact opposite of what Dreamwidth is. Our motivations are very different, so this FB block is mostly a curiosity to us.

Dreamwidth is a small, neighborhood corner store kind of site. We're run by a couple of dedicated part-time staff (who have other jobs/responsibilities in life -- I personally work for Discord!) and a cadre of amazing volunteers who donate of their time and energy to make a nice little corner of the Internet that isn't driven by the cycle of VC and growth and user monetization.

We do not have any goals around growth, we don't advertise, and we ultimately don't care that much what the other platforms do. Our goal is to give people a stable home where they don't have to worry about their data being sold, their writing being monetized. Users choose to pay us for a few more advanced features (like full text search), and we support ourselves entirely off of that.

We are home to a large group of online roleplayers, Hugo Award winning fiction writers, Linux kernel developers, parents, security researchers, artists, activists, recipe bloggers, educators, and everything in between and around the edges who would rather work with a service owned and run by people who are motivated by something other than get-big-and-exit. Large communities of online roleplayers who get together and build whole worlds on Dreamwidth, who tell stories together. I'm constantly impressed by the creativity of our community.

Anyway, it's super cool to see Dreamwidth on the home page here. It's been my side project for over a decade now, and I'm quite proud of it. Even if modernizing a 20+ year old Perl project is a hellish undertaking at the best of times... but we keep going. :)


Great to hear all around. I like the focus on doing your own thing and ignoring the other platforms (and likely naysayers). We could all use a healthy dose of this in our side projects! Also - I would take it as a positive you are blocked on FB.

My wife and I tried to setup a simple business page for our local store we opened less than a year ago; they flag us as a fake/fraudulent account multiple times when we tried to created one; neither of us have personal/active FB accounts so I guess that's the reason (and this behaivor, yeah makes me double down on NEVER getting a FB account now). I even tried to emailed them 'proof' as they requested because my wife was worried it would really hurt us, nothing ever came of it. We finally decided it wasn't worth our effort, forgot about them and our store has thrived since. I'm happy to grow our business without having to deal with them. We've been using local and other ad platforms such as NextDoor.com, which I'd never heard of but one of our older customers brought to our attention. People talk about getting rid of Facebook, to me it starts with the actions you guys take and how my wife and I are going about it.

Don't support Facebook at all, they don't deserve it.


This might come off as a little rude, but it's sincere advice from someone who used to work in anti-spam (not at Facebook):

I had a quick look through Dreamwidth's "latest" page (https://www.dreamwidth.org/latest) earlier today, and a major portion of the posts on there were blatant spam for things like credit card scams, "Work from home and make $1000/day!", and so on.

You seem to be hosting a lot of spam, and those spam posts are also far more likely to be getting linked externally on sites like Facebook, since that's the reason they're being created.

Because Dreamwidth is effectively free website hosting along with a free new subdomain for each account, blocking individual subdomains is futile, and it's difficult for external sites to distinguish between spam and legitimate blogs.

I'm sure Facebook will unblock you fairly soon, but unless you get the spam on Dreamwidth under control, this will probably happen fairly often with different sites blocking it. It would be easy to end up with an impression of Dreamwidth being a spam-hosting site, and decide to block it (either manually or automatically).

Blogspot has always been in a similar situation and would get blocked from a lot of sites due to the sheer amount of spam it hosts.


You're definitely right -- this is an issue. I could very well believe that we tripped some FB spam measures.

We have a very manual anti-spam process right now that relies on humans to detect it and action it. We have a couple of very dedicated folks who end up looking every few hours, but it's not automated, and we don't have full timezone coverage.

It's definitely something I'd like to see us improve, but we've been focused on other projects (like switching from mid-90s HTML to a responsive design, which is a slow rewrite of the entire site). That said, if you have any advice on reasonably scalable ways of doing this in-house that don't involve sending our user content to a third party, I'd love to take any recommendations!

Feel free to email me, mark@dreamwidth.org, if you would rather do that. And if not, don't worry about it, I appreciate the comment anyway :)


The simplest spam filtering algorithm would be a naive bayes filter. It's essentially keep a count of words that appear in all posts, words that appear in spam posts, and words in non spam posts. Those counts + bayes rule will let you figure out the probability of spam given a word. It's called naive bayes because you assume each word in your post is independent of the others so probability the whole post is spam is just product of the probabilities.

The nice thing about this is it's pretty computationally light and straightforward to implement for any language. I have no clue as to your stack, but if you have python for your backend then sklearn is a good library that has a naive bayes classifier (plus a lot of other better options). Any post with a high probability of being spam, I'd automatically flag and by default just remove with the option for a user to ask for manual review. Main thing you'd need for this or any fancier approach is some dataset of spam/non spam posts. If you have an easy way of retrieving past posts that were labelled spam that should allow you to make a fine dataset. If you don't want to train on your own user posts (although only information kept is word counts here), you can look online for spam datasets and use one of those to train your classifier.


I used SpamBayes a few years ago http://www.spambayes.org/ (Is the project dead now?) (It has a PSF licence https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Python_Software_Foundation_Lic... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_free_and_open-so...)

The nice part is that SpamBayes gives you two numbers, the spam "probability" and the ham "probability". When one of them is very close to 1 (like > .99) and the other is very close to 0 (like <.01), there is a good chance that the message is really spam or ham. And this classify almost all the messages. But from time to time you get a message where the numbers are not so clear, or both are big or both are small, and this means the classifier is confused and you really must take a look at the message.


Wow when this came out (I think this was the ‘original’) it felt quite ground breaking. Perhaps early 2000s it was?

Then google started doing that or something similar at scale and effectively eliminated spam in my mailbox ever since. (With the curious recent exception of some highly similar bitcoins spams)


Hmm, maybe it comes in waves? I just read over the last hour or so of posts on /latest/ and most of the posts there looked legitimate.


Yeah, same. I can't tell with the Russian posts, but the ones in English were a mixture of journal updates and fanfic.


There's about a dozen Russian posts now, only one of which looks like spam.


Controlling spam used to be about stopping unwanted messages sent to users. Now it has morphed into this idea that every site has the responsibility of content-policing their own users, lest what they publish be used to facilitate spam. Your advice may be pragmatic, but it shows how far we've slid down the slippery slope.


> Now it has morphed into this idea that every site has the responsibility of content-policing their own users, lest what they publish be linked from spam.

Not sure what you mean here. The problem Deimorz was bringing up wasn't just about users writing something, and spammers linking to it. It was that this site was being used to host the spam payloads. By spammers, not by actual users.

And this is how a lot of the early spam fighting worked: by finding hosts that allowed sending spam and publishing their IPs on blocklists. All mail traffic from those IPs, even if legit, would then be rejected by a large proportion of mail servers that subscribed to these blocklists.


Facebook users don't see those spam pages unless someone on Facebook sends a Facebook message to another Facebook user linking to them.

That's where the spamming is happening.


Compromised accounts trying to sell bogus Ray-Bans and tagging some friends seems to be a pretty common scam on Facebook. I see it in my feed a couple of times a year.


> this site was being used to host the spam payloads

Calling these "spam payloads" is incorrect. The spam payloads are on Faceboot's servers. These are sites that are linked to by the spam, ostensibly for the purpose of funneling to whatever the spam is trying to market. Trying to police generic web pages, rather than the spam itself, seems like an exercise in futility given the basic philosophy of the Internet.

> And this is how a lot of the early spam fighting worked: by finding hosts that allowed sending spam and publishing their IPs on blocklists

The situation has a similar shape, but there is a distinction as Dreamwidth is not actively sending spam but rather responding to requests from viewers. Still, we can look at the outcome of what happened to the email ecosystem - increased centralization of providers - for a warning of what's to come.


In this hypothetical, the message that is posted on Facebook would just be a link + something innocent that makes people click through. Why? Because the easiest form of spam filtering works by looking at the content. Spamming via a link rather than directly gives this kind of content filtering little to work on.

A typical way to deal with this is to consider domain reputation somehow, if the content contains a link. E.g. trust links to old domains more than young ones. Or trust sites that with lots of back links more than ones with none.

So an old domain with user created content, a good reputation , but little moderation or abuse protection turns into a great place to host this data. Eventually links to the domain get flagged one too many times, and it gets blocked.

I agree that they are not sending spam in this scenario. But neither were the open smtp relays of old. They just passed it through, while allowing the spammers to leech off of the relay’s reputation.

(Just to be clear, I have no knowledge of what happened here in reality. So I don’t know that DW is hosting spam, nor that it was linked to from Facebook. This is just an example of why a domain blocklist might be a totally reasonable option.)


Malware and childporn reduction efforts also often go after the hosts of that content. I'm not sure why calling the folks hosting this stuff what it is incorrect. Sure, childporn folks don't actually necessarily "send" child porn, they just respond to requests from viewers. But they host it.

These scam sites are like that - do you really think you can make $30,000 a week working 30 minutes a day from your home computer if you just send these idiot $25?


You're just listing the earlier stops on the slippery slope. Make hosts responsible for policing information when it's viscerally-revolting child porn. Then make hosts police content when it's directly harmful to people's computers. Then make hosts police content when it's an attempt to scam.

There's already a call to control political information when it has harmful effects on society. Next up is "your website was blacklisted because you allowed a user to link to Plandemic". I agree Plandemic has no redeeming purpose, but censorship is not the answer.


I'm explaining why sites that HOST but do not necessarily send content are blocked.

I've got no problem with their operation, but YOU are going down a VERY dangerous and slippery slope by saying I can't block domains that clearly host trash because they might host something else.

On my network I can block child porn, malware sites, scam sites and even entertainment sites like youtube. If you are running a service that mixes the content together, then you may be blocked by folks (like me) who don't have time to chase down every (free) subdomain you allow scammers to create.

That is my right. Period. Full stop. That is not censorship.

Folks here get censorship confused. The govt does virtually nothing to stop these scam sites - so they are certainly not being censored. I'm fine if govt does nothing, as long as communities of people can block these places.

And yes, if you run a site on the internet and don't make it slightly difficult for scammers to use your site to host crap, then other folks in the neighborhood will move the heck away from you.


> Folks here get censorship confused. The govt does virtually nothing to stop these scam sites - so they are certainly not being censored

It seems like you're getting confused on what censorship is. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship . Censorship can be done by the government, and it also can be done by sufficiently powerful private entities.

Also, nowhere have I argued that anyone shouldn't block whatever they'd like on their personal infrastructure. Although if you do it to your kids, then you are indeed censoring.


Sites have zero responsibility to monitor for spam. Other sites have no obligation to link to them.

And that is what we are talking about. An obligation to link others


Want to personally thank you as a user of DW for a few years that migrated over from tumblr after the NSFW ban - I can't thank you and the team enough for what y'all provide. It's a haven and a remnant of the "old web" that is honestly the one thing aside from my personal webring-esque site that I can /trust/ not to change with trends (whether it be payment trends or idiotic aesthetic changes that end up making more of a mess than not). Having a place for fandom analysis and journal posts and just to exist with some level of privacy is a rare treasure. Glad to see your thoughts on this FB ban.


Super cool to have people with a mission(other than optimizing KPI for profit). It wasn’t obvious for me how to discover quality content though, any words on how to use this site or how to think about it? Do we need to know people beforehand that publish things that we want to follow?


There are a couple of discoverability mechanisms, but it really depends on what you're looking for.

Usually people follow the network -- find one person that's interesting, see who they talk to, and go from there.

Another approach is to see what "interests" are popular and click through to see who shares those/is active: https://www.dreamwidth.org/interests?view=popular

But, TBH, there's a lot of happenstance and serendipity (or are those the same).


I really like the product you've made, and use it regularly. It might be helpful for your user base, and the project as a whole if one responded with a little more than a shrug. Facebook may be more willing to listen to you if you contact them then random users in getting this resolved.


Yeah, that's fair. We did follow up and I'm told we're unblocked now.


As a Dreamwidth user, I would like to use this occasion to express my thanks for this decision. I've seen too many blogging platforms being swallowed by large companies, shut down, "improved" into oblivion by marketers and made completely unusable in the chase of "growth". You're doing it right. Thank you.


It’s really great to see how far Dreamwidth has come since the start.


The same thing happened to my domain name about a month ago. (I also posted about it here.) This is happening more and more frequently, and the fact they block entire domains rather than a specific subdomain is really poor design.

I finally got it unblocked, but only thanks to a former colleague (engineer) who now works at Facebook. If that didn't work, my next step was going to be filing a lawsuit, just to try to get their attention.

A summary from spending a month trying to get this fixed:

1. The "Report" link doesn't actually do anything, or if it does, you have to get loads of people reporting to surface it to a human.

2. The best resolution may be through Ads billing, by trying to post an ad and reporting a problem displaying an ad.

3. This affects a lot more than just blocking links. It also affects messages in private DMs (including from a Facebook for Business inbox), links on Instagram, any Facebook APIs you may be using, and even getting password reset emails to that domain.

For more context, here's my post: https://watilo.com/facebooks-community-standards-censorship-...


> The best resolution may be through Ads billing, by trying to post an ad and reporting a problem displaying an ad

Something kind of like that worked at the job I a few years ago.

A large provider of free email that also runs an ad network (not Google or Microsoft) once kept flagging my employer's emails as spam. The only emails we sent were receipts to people who had purchased stuff from us, an email with installation and activation instructions to new purchasers, and replies to support tickets.

We'd go through their procedure to report false positives, and anywhere from a few days to a week later our mails would start going through...and then a few weeks later they'd start getting blocked again.

This finally ended permanently when our guy who managed ad spending called up our rep at the email provider, and asked something along the lines of "Could you explain to me why the fuck I'm spending $X thousands dollars a week on ads there to acquire new customers, and then you block us from sending those customers receipt and instructions!?".

The ad rep put him hold for a moment, and then returned with their head of IT conferenced in. The ad rep explained the problem to the IT head. The IT head then conferenced in the leader of the anti-spam team and told him to add our domain to an exception list so that nothing we sent could ever be classified as spam. The anti-spam team guy said it would be done in 10 minutes.

We never had a problem after that.


That sounds just like the (very generous interpretation of) Yelp business model. Automated systems that are as effective as elevator door close buttons, & human support available only to paying customers.

I think the origin of this wasn't even originally sinister. It's just that "free" services aren't willing to provide human support, so youtube, gmail, etc. rely on automated systems. Ultimately, only paying customers get human support, and that simple system (even assuming all actors behave well) progressively skews to the advantage of paying customers. The house edge is small, but cumulative.


Being a YouTube, Gmail or Facebook user you are not their customer. If you however buy ads from said platforms...


In the case of Gmail, you’re also their customer if you pay for it via G Suite. My support experiences with Google have been very good in that situation.


It seems likely that what's happening here is some combination of:

1) Spammers using one domain and multiple sub-domains

2) A poorly calibrated ML model for spam.

It is worth noting that FB get probably the world's largest amount of spammers, fraudsters and general bad people due to the fact that they have an absurd amount of users.

Honestly, though, if this stays on HN it will get fixed, but it's deeply concerning that if this is happening a bunch of times (and it probably is) but those sites don't appear on HN, then this will not get fixed.

It's also possible that someone has weaponised the FB spam system against dreamwidth (which seems less likely to be me, to be fair).


>It is worth noting that FB get probably the world's largest amount of spammers, fraudsters and general bad people due to the fact that they have an absurd amount of users.

Yes, and they make a ton of money from those users as well. So the question is why the Facebooks and Googles of this world don't have proper procedures in place to deal with these things in a sensible way.

If a decision gets reversed only after exploding on Hacker News or Reddit it should be considered a bug.


> If a decision gets reversed only after exploding on Hacker News or Reddit it should be considered a bug.

The problem is that we only see the cases that go viral. We don't see the cases that didn't, and thus can't actually judge how many cases get reversed via the official escalation channels.


Appreciate the technical knowledge in your comment, but simply put, OP’s response to Facebook ought to be: “Not my problem; get your shit together.”

We should collectively start holding platforms to higher expectations; they certainly have the resources to do a better job.


I would expect email to have worse spam than Facebook, because Facebook controls who can make accounts. An email provider has no control over who can make accounts to send emails to the provider's users.


> If that didn't work, my next step was going to be filing a lawsuit, just to try to get their attention.

On what grounds? They are free to remove stuff from their website


Interesting place, never heard of it before.

> Dreamwidth Studios is an Open Source social networking, content management, and personal publishing platform. Our mission in life is to make it easy for you to share the things you make, and easy to find the people who are making the things you want to enjoy.

> We have all the features you've come to love in social networking sites, including privacy and security features, community interaction, content aggregation, multimedia support, and more. We're committed to adding features that you'll find useful and relevant, as well as working to integrate our site with the other Internet services you regularly use.

> Dreamwidth Studios is based upon the LiveJournal codebase offered by LiveJournal, Inc. We've taken the LiveJournal server code and updated, modernized, and streamlined it -- and we make all of our changes available under an Open Source license.


Of note, it's one of the only sites that is really about blogging, but with filters so you can choose who can see your stuff -- and you have almost complete control of the comment section. There's a strong culture of moderation.

I feel like it's one of the last pure corners of the internet, technology wise, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that FB is blocking it.


"Interesting place, never heard of it before ..."

The only reason I have ever heard of dreamwidth is because Matthew Garrett (mjg59) has his excellent blog there:

http://mjg59.dreamwidth.org/

... otherwise I don't think I ever see that domain anywhere ...


Same here. I never checked and just assumed that dreamwidth is Matthew Garrett's private domain.


https://siderea.dreamwidth.org/ is another widely read blog.

Most DW users post under friends-lock. You're not going to see most DW posts unless someone has given you access.


Yeah, it's an actually good blogging site.

Main thing it has against it is the lack of an app.

(And that Facebook has just blocked it)


> Main thing it has against it is the lack of an app.

Curious about why? I rarely use apps if there's a web page available that doesn't suck.

This looks more like "Main thing it has against it is the website predates responsive, mobile friendly web design"

EDIT - actually aside from a few glitches it's not awful on mobile - and a random community I tried seemed to work fairly well.


I glanced at their latest code push a few days back, and some of the bugfixes/updates were related to presentation on mobile, so it's definitely something they're paying attention to and improving over time. (They're not blazing-fast, since the ratio of codebase-size to programmer-time is high, but they're persistent.)


The lack of an app is something for it. Literally every app of some website has the worse experience. Even worse the website will keep begging you to install their shitty app.


I'd say Apollo (or Reddit is Fun on Android) is a heck of a lot better than new Reddit, and about as good as old Reddit. And Google Maps' app beats their site by a county mile on iOS.

There's no good Hacker News client for mobile though, at least one that's better than the web page. Not that I'm saying someone should make one either, the site is responsive as heck.


Apollo is a bad example since Reddit purposely sabotage their website so you use their app.

It's perfectly possible to write a good Reddit web client; they chose not to


> It's perfectly possible to write a good Reddit web client; they chose not to

Good for whom? "Good for the user" does not mean "good for Reddit".


I'm not really sure how you could interpret that comment as anything else then "Good for the user".


I use:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.manuelmaly...

as my Hacker News app, it does me. I like that I can vote on comments and stories, but it's irritating that I can't post via it. On a medium sized phone screen, the mobile web experience of HN is not optimum in my opinion.



Thanks for the mention! Developer here! :)


Maps is a good example, it bad on mobile because they made it bad, to force you to use the app. Its still useable but it sucks.

Thats a development I often see.


HN works fine on mobile

I think the only improvement needed might be a different style on "code" blocks, but otherwise it works great

There's literally no need for an app


HN has been a really bad experience on mobile for me. It's really difficult to tap links accurately. In particular collapsing and expanding comment threads is super annoying. I've been using Hews from the Play store instead.


Zoom then click. Works like a charm.

A bit kludgy, but still a much better user interface than any other discussion board I've used lately.


I am the developer of HACK for iOS if you want to check it out:

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/hack-for-hacker-news-developer...



Agreed. I also use Apollo. I think the secrets is that is has less features so it shows content without the fluff from the official app


> that Facebook has just blocked it

Also possibly a feature, depending on who you ask.


How do you imagine content discovery in an app for an open-source blogging platform (self-hosted instances) could work?


It's not self-hosted.

(You can download the source and host it yourself if you like though. But Dreamwidth itself is hosted at Dreamwidth.org)


I have read that page and was speaking of discovering self-hosted instances through the app.

If the hypothetical app is to be used with the main instance only, then there’s no challenge (unless there is risky/restricted content on the main instance, so the app is not allowed by Apple/Google and others).


Relevant xkcd:

https://xkcd.com/1174/


Clicking one of the random buttons, it looked like Tumblr to me except it supports freedom of expression. I guess now we know why Tumblr's new parent corp chose to censor nsfw content...

(Unrelated: whenever I read something about Tumblr, like its Wikipedia page just now, I'm always surprised to find it in the present tense, not "Tumblr was" but "Tumblr is". To me, it's just dead with the censorship, I never see it being linked to anymore, and I wasn't even regularly on the nsfw part. Every time I'm reminded it wasn't actually shut down.)


If anything dreamwidth is closer to livejournal. Livejournal predates tubmlr by years and years, but there was a migration from livejournal to dreamwidth for reasons I don't fully remember.


Initial migration: LiveJournal was purchased by a Russian company. Users did not believe their data would be safe.


And even before that, there was this great purging of fanfic and other communities from LiveJournal by Six Apart (the then owners) that had people looking for alternatives, and you had a slew of LJ-alternatives built from the same code base pop up.

My memory for internet dramas is fading a bit, but I think it was both the sale to SUP (the Russian company) and the content policy changes (and the fears were only stronger under a Russian owner) that led to the massive LiveJournal diasporas to Tumblr (which was new, launching in early 2007), and the various LJ clones/forks like Dreamwidth, JournalFen, DeadJournal, InsaneJournal, etc. As far as I know, Dreamwidth is the only one of the clones/forks that not only still exists, but is maintained, which is really incredible.


And a massive leak of plaintext (!) passwords last year [1] would indicate that users were correct.

[1]: https://www.zdnet.com/article/26-million-livejournal-credent...


there was a migration from livejournal to dreamwidth for reasons I don't fully remember

Livejournal became associated with CP thinly disguised as fanfic. Think Snape and an underage Harry Potter kind of stuff. It was sold to the Russians after its value imploded because all the English-speaking normal users left. The Russian content on there now is as far as I know innocuous; that kind of fanfic is mainly a Western thing.


I find it weird that drawn child porn is illegal actually. It's as if drawing murder or rape would be illegal.

Don't get me wrong, I understand 100% the people that find the idea repulsive, would never want to accidentally see it, etc. But that's the same with gore / gruesome scenes: I really don't want to see that, either. That's not what makes something illegal.

It might also depend on research into whether it makes pedophiles more likely to act on their feelings. If it's shown that pedophiles viewing drawn child porn has adverse effects, it should indeed not be allowed; but I never read about it having such an effect. So far as I know it doesn't hurt anyone.


There is a significant amount of research showing that pedophiles viewing simulated pornography has adverse effects, including but not limited to increasing their appetite for consuming more of it.


Would you care to point to any of this research? Specifically the link between viewing simulated pornography and appetite for consuming real-world material, or abusing children. Further, is there any evidence that the majority of people who read simulated depictions (like underage Harry Potter fanfic) are pedophiles? Does the link similarly exist for other forms of pornography? How does fanfiction or erotica compare to visual artwork in this regard?

There's ethnographic evidence (see Patrick Galbraith, Mark McLelland, Suzanne Ost) of such fans from Japan that the assumption they are pedophiles, or that they carry over their desires from "2D" to "3D" is dubious at best. The English government, when banning virtual depictions of fictional characters, admitted they had no evidence on its effects, mode of usage, or popularity among any particular group.


I had access to all of this type of research when I was a public defender, but I haven't been a PD in years.

I would suggest going to your local university library and looking it up there as access to most of these studies will require expensive journal subscriptions.

For your second question: there is a fair amount of research into the effects of visual and audiovisual stimuli on pedophiles and other sex offenders. This research was and AFAIK still is the basis for indefinite confinement of sex offenders generally and pedophiles specifically.

For your third question: there is some research on textual material, specifically as it relates to pedophiles, showing that it does stimulate demand but to a far lesser extent than visual, audio, or audiovisual media. AFAIK, nobody has researched the effects of Harry Potter porn.

For your final point: there is research showing that non-realistic visual media (i.e., manga) can, like textual material, stimulate demand, but to a far lesser extent than action or simulated visual images.


>For your second question: there is a fair amount of research into the effects of visual and audiovisual stimuli on pedophiles and other sex offenders.

I'm more just curious because I haven't seen anything (other than from the authors I've cited) on the effects of fictional (and in particular highly stylized) material on regular people, or even pedophiles specifically. Gary Young's book on The Gamer's Dilemma from 2010 or so also concludes there is no evidence for fictional material having these effects.

What do you mean by "stimulate demand"? For example, it would not surprise me at all that pedophiles find certain depictions arousing, but that still wouldn't be any reason to illegalize it, unless we are to go about banning everything that pedophiles also find arousing (which is a bridge I suspect many would not want to cross). Of course pedophiles are aroused, but are non-pedophilic individuals also aroused? The study on Japanese fans of lolicon manga does not so neatly indicate pedophilia as an appropriate category for their attractions, nor does it explain why they are so defensive against real depictions.

With fictional material, from what I can gather, there's something else at play which does not fit into the commonly held notion that fiction is always (or even most of the time) a substitute for the real deal.

To my mind, the difficult questions are: if the material is arousing to pedophiles, what does that arousal indicate in the risk of an offence (obtaining real CP or otherwise)? Do the effects persist? What is the persistent effect post-orgasm? Are stylized or fictional depicitions sufficient to arouse an interest in the real thing? Is it appropriate or desirable to prosecute or produce policy based on the tastes of pedophiles, especially given that the majority or a high percentage of CSA crimes are not perpetrated by pedophiles?

I've tried quite hard to find material on specifically lolicon manga or fanfiction, and a study among either pedophiles or others. If it does exist, I'd be very interested to see it, and I would have expected it to crop up in the arguments I've had so far. Especially, a study among those who are not already convicted for a crime (contact offence or otherwise). Those results would only, at best, tell us about criminals, and pedophile criminals with NC/C offences are almost reputable for showing lower impulse control.

To put it another way: access to regular porn may inflame the desires of a rapist, and they may even make him more likely to committ an offence; is this sufficient to illegalize porn for everybody? Alcohol may have the same effect, and the question still applies.


Yes, to your question about stimulated demand. While most sex offenders are unable to control their urges as a matter of biology or neurology (which is why they became sex offenders in the first place), pedophiles are uniquely limited in their ability to control these urges, which is why the treatment system is focused on preventing these urges entirely (even to the point of chemical castration).

In relation to risk of re-offense (aka recidivism), access to stimulating images was found to increase the risk of recidivism dramatically, by double-digit %, and pedophiles are already one of the groups with the highest rates of recidivism (in this context, we're talking more than 50% rate of re-offending).

If you get off to sexually abusing a child, that is pedophilia, so essentially all CSA crimes are committed by pedophiles. Generally the only exceptions I can think of are where both of the "offenders" are teens engaged in consensual acts before they are old enough to legally consent.

To put it another way: access to regular porn may inflame the desires of a rapist, and they may even make him more likely to committ an offence; is this sufficient to illegalize porn for everybody? Alcohol may have the same effect, and the question still applies.

This hasn't been shown to be true. But more importantly, the converse has been shown to be true: the overwhelming majority of people can watch porn, or drink alcohol, without becoming rapists, so it is not the porn or alcohol that creates the urge to rape. In contrast, the consumption of CP has been shown to create the urge to engage in pedophilic acts in pedophiles. (Additionally, CP is also illegal because it results in actual physical harm to the child.)

Again, AFAIK nobody has done a study specifically on manga, since that's an incredibly niche market in the U.S. Studies using fictional characters in the U.S. have generally used Disney characters or similar, so if you really insist on following up on this, you should start your search with that.


>If you get off to sexually abusing a child, that is pedophilia, so essentially all CSA crimes are committed by pedophiles.

The data seems to contradict this. "Estimates of preferential attraction for children among those who offend are often in the ballpark of 25% to 50%"[0]. Granted, this is talking about preferential attraction, but estimates on the percentage of men with non-preferential attraction factor in at a much higher percentage of the population than pedophiles (and others we assume are preferentially attracted). Other than this, it still seems to leave a segment of child abusers who do not enjoy their actions sexually, but for other reasons (say, power).

>This hasn't been shown to be true.

To some degree (and I suspect, to a similar degree to pedophiles) it has, see my comment here[1]. Exposure to pornography is usually shown to trigger or at least intensify feelings of sexual agression, either physical or verbal, even in non-experimental studies.

> the consumption of CP has been shown to create the urge to engage in pedophilic acts in pedophiles.

Is this true of all pedophiles generally based on a sample of the pedophile population, or those recruited to take part in such a study after being convicted of child abuse (contact or non-contact) offences? I can very easily see the fact they've been convicted as being a huge confounder here.

Just to be clear, I'm not arguing that CP should be legal; I just think that on the basis of the available evidence, I can't see any reason to illegalize fictional representations. I think the alcohol and regular porn comparison holds quite well. The longitudinal study data which contradicts the theory that increased availability of porn does not lead to higher rates of rape is simply unavailable for child porn, perhaps with one exception, though[2]. The link between inebriation and likelihood of sex crimes is to my knowledge undisputed, though.

[0] References here: https://www.b4uact.org/know-the-facts/behavior/

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23789827

[2] http://www.hawaii.edu/PCSS/biblio/articles/2010to2014/2010-p...


> To some degree (and I suspect, to a similar degree to pedophiles) it has, see my comment here[1]. Exposure to pornography is usually shown to trigger or at least intensify feelings of sexual agression, either physical or verbal, even in non-experimental studies.

Do they climax or simply look at the images in an experimental lab setting?

Do they have a secondary condition? Do they have POCD?

> Is this true of all pedophiles generally based on a sample of the pedophile population, or those recruited to take part in such a study after being convicted of child abuse (contact or non-contact) offences? I can very easily see the fact they've been convicted as being a huge confounder here.

Many studies are done in a clinical setting. Someone who has self-control issues is more likely to go to a shrink for those issues than someone who does not. Other studies are done in a criminal justice setting which is similar.


> I'm not arguing that CP should be legal

It is questionable whether possession should be illegal. It incentivizes people to cover up crimes as they themselves may be held complicit otherwise. It incentivizes law enforcement to disrupt support / prevention efforts as anything someone could say could be taken in evidence.

This won't be a popular notion, admittedly. But it is an important elephant to address.


To say that fanfic of fictional characters is merely "thinly disguised CP" not only does a disservice and insult to actual victims of child abuse, but the materials which some such victims use to relieve trauma. The conflation of fiction and reality must end if we are to do right by victims of child abuse and the harmless consumers of such content.


> dreamwidth is closer to livejournal

I've never been on livejournal, no idea what that looks like. I saw elsewhere in the thread it's a fork from Livejournal's code; it just reminded me of Tumblr.


Which makes sense! Many features from Tumblr and even Facebook, were first implemented by LiveJournal. The idea of having a “friends list,” as well as the separation between just following someone or having them also follow you (hence, being “mutuals” or “friends” in LJ parlance), the idea of broad tagging across the network or within specific communities, the existence of multi-author blogs (LJ communities, essentially), the ability to see and intermixed chronological feed of posts from your friends/people/communities. Oh, and the birth of Memached and OpenID (which was essentially the precursor for OAuth).

Tumblr introduced and pioneered the concept of the reblog, which was similar to a trackback/pingback in blog parlance, except turned on its head.


Adding my own story to the article... I get where they are coming from...

I had to deal with the Facebook developer platform support recently, it was (still is) a nightmare... We only have 100 or so Facebook users, but dealing with their app approval process, review process, and repedative re-review process, has probably cost me 4 weeks of "maintenance" work in the last year to keep OAuth working for them.. And here's the best part: we request no additional scopes! We get first name, last name, email address, profile picture, the minimum to OAuth... No post read/write, no photo permissions (aside from profile picture), no friends access, nothing. We are literally the lowest risk app to end users that you can make on Facebook's platform...

They started a review on us a few weeks ago, we reported saying we needed more information (their wording was unclear)... They acknowledged the request for information, then a month later banned us without ever providing the information. We had an outage for Facebook users for 2-3 days while we waited for their support to read or appeal again asking for information. It's now been 7 weeks, and both requests for the same information has not been answered, I'm afraid they are going to ban us again in a week it two still not working with us...

Facebook is a nightmare to work with, we have no developers that actually want to keep working with them. It's offensive to most our developers that we have to link personal accounts to our work Facebook application.


Thanks for sharing this, I was considering using Facebook for OAuth login, but now I'm not.


In the past there was a news about Paypal banning Dreamwidth. Not sure if its related:

"About six months after opening, PayPal -- our payment processor at the time -- demanded that we censor some of our users' content (mostly involving people talking about sex, usually fictionally, in explicit terms) that was legal and protected speech but that they felt violated their terms for using PayPal."

HN discussion on it: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15099761


“Protected Speech” means that the government can’t censor it, not private corporations.


In 2020, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Cloudflare are bigger gatekeepers of free speech than any government.


any government?

Tell that to people who live in China, N. Korea, or any country controlled by a theocracy.

Even in the US some states ban doctors from talking about abortion and/or force doctors to give women seeking an abortion false information.


China has 1.4 billion people.

Facebook has over 3 billion users.

Gmail has over 2 billion active users. All their products combined probably have more than 3 billion.

US has 350 million people.

By those numbers alone, aren't tech companies more powerful arbitrators?

But that's a bad metric. We should talk about enforcement rather than raw numbers. Government's interest and design won't allow it to censor expressions in the same way that private companies [0] do. Private companies can filter anything and since tech companies are digital, the enforcement itself can scale a lot more than government. Government maintains some sort of appeal system while tech companies don't have to.

Algorithms responsible for gmail filter billions of mails daily probably. Obviously, not all of it can be called censorship as majority of it is spam but anything wrongfully filtered is censorship, no? That's going to be a huge number that can't scale offline in enforcement.

0] https://theintercept.com/2020/03/16/tiktok-app-moderators-us...

[1]https://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/email-marketing/2019/05...


Enforcement offline is hard to scale and limited even for china.

You don’t have to tell 1 billion people in China not to say F%%% China”. You just punish a few and the rest fall in line.

Once you punish a few, the rest self censor.


Imagine if Facebook or Google started doing this.

"Oh, you're friends with someone who says X? Welp, you must be a Bad User and your posts will receive a lot less visibility and the validation that you desire. But if you were to stop interacting with your Bad Friend, you could become a Good User again."

And oops, "Bad Friend" no longer gets invited to real-life parties because most people still consider FB the most convenient way to organize them and people only rarely remember to forward the invites.


It already does work like this with Facebook and Twitter controlling which posts are displayed for you.

The enforcement works better when you aren’t aware of it. Being covert means you don’t protest so loudly.


Isn't that the same online but with greater enforcement?

It's less severe, sure.


Or, if you're China, you force companies to censor their users as a condition of operating in your country.

Bam, your reach has just expanded to 3+ billion people, most of whom aren't even your citizens.


Yes, any government when you account for overall reach. Just because some governments have censored more content to date, doesn’t mean they’re more powerful than the US tech monopolies.

If a link can’t be shared on Facebook, Google, or Twitter, it may as well not exist in most of the world.


Well those governments are “more powerful” because they can jail their citizens and kill them. The threat of death has an amazing ability to keep people quiet.

Heck when you can literally close off entire markets, private corporations censor themselves.


Okay but replace that with most governments and the point still stands.


Please stop this.

It cheapens speech and denigrates those ACTUALLY living without freedoms.

Facebook, Google, Twitter, or any other online service for that matter controlling what is and is not said on their platform is not "gatekeeping" anything.

Posting something on Facebook is not now, has never been, and will never be "free speech".

No matter how much you want it to be.


While hyperbolic regarding the biggest, certainly not the most serious and acknowledging the important distinction caused by the censor being a government, or some other actor as per how severe consequences the censorship are likely to be, the retort that what is published on Facebook can never be free speech can only be true if you redefine what free speech is, and seems to me to be hyperbolic that it diminishes an otherwise reasonable objection regarding severity.

Facebook has almost certainly already removed what would be considered free speech according to the UN declaration of human rights, it's unlikely that none of the thousands of government critical posts it removed in India alone at the behest of the government could be considered free speech in the human rights sense.

If you're referring to free speech in the US, while generally agreed that companies acting on their own volition can not be seen as suppressing free speech, it is not impossible they could be considered a state actor through several means, including their censorship rules considered as influenced by government policy.

Since it's not impossible to rule out that some speech on Facebook might at some point be free speech in the US legal sense, and that much of it is free speech in the human rights sense, it is not entirely incorrect to talk about free speech on Facebook, but entirely incorrect as far as I can tell to claim it can never be.

Personally I think it's ethically problematic to require companies to give voice to everyone equally, but it's also somewhat problematic to allow complete freedom of what or who to reject when companies and their services become large enough to be an integral part of society's fabric, and perhaps the political debate.

In some way companies like Facebook has a similar function as asphalt, it simplifies communication greatly, but it's not really whether or not a piece of land is covered in asphalt made by a private or government entity that determines what is public or private. It's not who made the asphalt, and in several countries it's not even who owns then area under the asphalt, but rather how the covered place is used as determined by interpretation of law.

Twitter is probably more similar to a public place as it is, but Facebook's marketplaces, events, and groups nevertheless implies character in a direction that can be interpreted similarly.


People love bringing up the UDHR. Normally I would be happy.

But they are misusing it. There are articles besides the 19th.

Tweeting content disagreeable with Twitter, Inc. cannot be a right under the UDHR because of Article 20.

Article 20

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

2. No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

"An association" doesn't mean an organized body like a club, political party, or union. It means any tangible or intangible connection of any type between two parties.

The twin freedoms of speech and association means a newspaper can't be forced (in civilized countries) to publish content against their will. The owners of the paper can't be forced into an association with ideas or speech that is not their own.

Same goes for Twitter. If Twitter wants to delete or prevent the dissemination of any tweet for any reason at any time-- that's their right.

If this was not true, then my local newspaper would be violating my rights for not publishing my letters to the editor. Are they?


Yes, but Facebook or Twitter are not publishers, they are platforms. You can sue your local newspaper if it publishes defamatory information, but you can't sue Facebook and other online services on these grounds because they enjoy Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act; see [1] for a good explanation.

[1] https://www.city-journal.org/html/platform-or-publisher-1588...


Publisher vs. Platform is irrelevant.

You can sue anyone for any reason. Facebook and other online services enjoy broad immunity from civil suits IF AND ONLY IF they make a good faith effort to remove defamatory content.

I understand why conservative bigots are obsessed with Section 230: its repeal is being used as a threat against platforms that remove bigoted content. Conservative bigots know that Section 230 means nothing to the fact that Facebook can delete their bigoted comments, but they ALSO know that repealing it will cost Facebook money so they are pressuring Facebook, saying "If you allow our bigoted content we will drop efforts to repeal section 230".

I will never understand why people believe conservative bigots who say that it has anything to do with free speech.

Section 230 is literally two sentences, easily understandable by average persons. It has nothing to do with speech.


You seem to really like the word "bigot". Section 230 [1] is much more than "literally two sentences" and related to the current subject it clearly states that "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider." Hence the argument that Twitter removes user content because this is what publishers do doesn't apply: Twitter is not a publisher of this content. It does have some moderation rights, but the list of moderation reasons is limited and cannot be extended at will by Twitter policy; see III.A in [2].

[1] https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/47/230 [2] https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=149134315940390...


Don't you know that serfs living in digital fiefdoms don't have rights? They're living on the lord's property and the lord's property rights must be respected above all else.


That's not the point.

The point is: do you want to live in a world where a handful of authoritarian corporations decide, what you can publicly say and what not?


The quote doesn't seem to dispute that?


Seems like nowadays, to grow a user-driven content/social site you just have to be backed by a big player or grow extremely fast to be too big to censor. Or pick a category that somehow totally flies under the radar.


demanded that we censor some of our users' content (mostly involving people talking about sex, usually fictionally, in explicit terms

Livejournal was a hotbed of dubious fanfic (shall we say) in which one or more characters was underage. Maybe such a thing is technically not illegal but even so, many left that platform once it started to develop a reputation for it. Then it went bust and was sold to a Russian company, it is still used for normal blogging in Russia.


> Dreamwidth [is] what's known as a "code fork" of LiveJournal: the software that runs LiveJournal was free and open source software, licensed under the GNU GPL, which meant anyone could copy it and improve it.

Sounds like Dreamwidth is an entirely different site from Livejournal, it just uses the same open source code. How does dubious fanfic on Livejournal relate to the banning of Dreamwidth?

If that fanfic migrated to Dreamwidth, why not just say there was dubious fanfic on Dreamwidth?


Many users migrated wholesale.


From Livejournal to Dreamwidth? Did they bring the dubious content with them?


Not CP.


I wonder how long it's going to take for small developers to draw the line and stop voluntarily feeding the beast that is facebook and other centralized media companies. The feedback loop is continuously going to be against them, since they are basically training their users to use social media for discovery instead of visiting them directly. I moved my former facebook games away from their platform and even from their login to have peace of mind. A smaller community is healthier, and it will still be there when ordinary users get their brains completely fried from online bickering.


I think a lot of content producers have solved the problem by creating presences on many platforms and asking for donations. Developers are in the position of being able to host their own content (although you lose push notifications if you tick apple off which is something this site probably would do.)


Personally, I've been burnt twice by Facebook, and I'm not ever planning on building anything on Facebook. First time, it was being unable to even get access to the jobs API (we had some fortune 500 customers that wanted use to help them do jobs on Facebook the right way) and the second time, it was arbitrary bans of pages, leading to our just shutting down any operations that were dependent of Facebook. Oh, and then there was the night I caught a hacker trying to buy $36,000 in ads via a chat agent's account. I'm still waiting for a call from Facebook support on that one.


If you use FB's url debugger it gives the message:

"We can't review this website because the content doesn't meet our Community Standards. If you think this is a mistake, please let us know"

So an unhelpful; start but a start to understanding what may have happened.

Link: https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/?q=https%3A%2F%2...

My guess is that FB should have blocked a sub-domain but instead blocked a whole domain because of a small set os users.


They probably have some threshold for rolling the block up to the domain, and dreamwidth hit it.

Alternatively, it was a fat-finger.


Of course you need a Facebook account to use the Sharing Debugger. As if I needed /another/ reason to hate this website. D:


I believe that this kind of unfriendly UX helps companies like Facebook only in the short term. Long term these minor annoyances add up and people eventually go to a different platform.


Why would you need a URL debugger? What’s to debug about a URL?


I believe that thing does stuff like making sure Facebook can access the link and checking OpenGraph tags and so on, so you can see how Facebook will "preview" links to your site if people post them.


If Dreamwidth has any aspects of a social network whatsoever, I am sure the AG preparing anti-trust litigation against Facebook would like to hear about this blocking.


Don't most sites have those features? Some of the hate sites out there that much of the Internet applauds being blocked also have much of the same features.


Dreamwidth is a blogging site, an offshoot of Livejournal, I would expect content on it to be across the full spectrum of both opinions and quality. Banning it as a domain makes about as much sense as banning Wordpress or Blogspot.


Facebook has banned Wordpress' autocrossposter for years, nobody following me on Facebook ever sees any of my posts any more because I just cannot be bothered to manually cut and paste an excerpt and link to my WP-based site.


Facebook banned automated posting to personal accounts a year or so ago.

You can still manually post links to any site that isn't banned though.


If anyone knows someone at Facebook who can get an explanation of why, that would be great.

This is a blogging site with tens of thousands of users, around for years.


1. Is Facebook also blocking creation of new posts with links to Dreamwidth?

2. Are other Facebook users with posts linking to Dreamwidth also experiencing this deletion of posts?

Edit: Yes and Yes.


I tried to create a new post including the dreamwidth link, I got no error but its just not getting posted.

I bet it was added to some spam list automatically because some ppl really used it for spam.


Yes, facebook is blocking the creation of new posts with links to Dreamwidth. Or at least, they did so when I attempted to create a post containing a link to the post under discussion here about 5 minutes ago. I am located in Austria if that makes any difference.


If you want to be the centre of the world, if you want to be a public utility, if you want to be the front page of the internet... then you have to have a proper complaints procedure, a proper independent appeals process. Yes it would be very expensive, tough luck.


How about federating censorship (/curation).

That is, anyone can pick who gets to censor / curate their stream. And Facebook just provides the platform. Maybe, for legally required censorship, the platform can still take action. But for anything else, let people pick their censor.


Then Facebook quickly becomes a platform of super-bubbles, and their influence on humanity becomes 100X worse over night. Content management policies exist because sometimes the creators of these platforms don't like them being used for evil.


I'm afraid I can't remember the exact example, but I think about 4 years ago there was some open-source-y, privacy-focused Facebook alternative that got blacklisted in a similar way. Private messages containing the URL or name just wouldn't go through.


Based on a previous post like this, it not only disappears the existing messages but reaches into the past and memory holes every message that’s contained the link in the past!


I suspect that DW has some interesting stuff.

At first blush, it looks like LiveJournal 2.0. There's probably some pretty...interesting stuff, but it's not aggregated and promoted, like FB. It looks like each account is pretty insular.


That’s exactly what it is — they forked the LJ codebase.


I bet Matthew Garret of Linux Kernel fame is going to be ecstatic about this.

https://mjg59.dreamwidth.org/


This is why I'm so cynical about the Zuckerberg's stated stance on “free expression”. You can't go around positioning yourself as if you're the last bastion of free speech online[1] and then turn around and block large swathes of indie content because they are hosted on a particular domain.

[1] https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/10/17/zuckerb...


Those are different things though. You can most likely write whatever you want to link to on Facebook, so they're not really censoring speech. They censor some off-platform links.


I could see an argument for this if:

1. They limited themselves to blocking content that was decidedly harmful (phishing sites, malware, etc.), AND

2. They were transparent about what links they blocked and why.

It seems that neither was the case here.


The limitation might be there, but bans are usually not surgical. If you have a thousand subdomains of some domain hosting spam, you'll likely block the domain if it's not a major player like wordpress.com.

Transparency would be nice indeed. The argument I keep hearing against it is that they believe it would help the spammers.


Time to contact your local AG.


About what? FB can block anyone they want for any reason they want.


About abusing its monopoly power to prevent users from linking to a competitor.


Interestingly, if FB censors some one/thing that isn't a direct competitor, that means anti-trust doesn't apply. At the same time, the problem of a forum essential to public discourse censoring speech persists. Even worse there is very little appeal possible against the censoring.

So, whilst anti-trust might help sometimes. It is not the best tool here. What we need is legislation.


I was not aware that Facebook blocked users from posting links to specific domains. Is the list made public anywhere?


It's not a public blacklist, but this thingy[0] from another comment seems to tell you what's up with a specific site if you give it a URL. At least, I think it does, since you have to sign in with Facebook.

0: https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/


This is typically used for anti-spam/anti-malware. FB has a lot of automation to try to stop obviously malicious content. Just, sometimes, it hits things that aren't malicious. I'm most familiar with the malicious links that, when you click them, cause you to spam your friends with the same link.

People don't notice this automation exists, except when it doesn't work. Then they either complain "Why didn't XYZ get caught! This is obviously spam! I could write better automation." or "OMG they banned dreamwidth!".

It's possible they extended this (or something similar) to filter out sites with hate speech/"community guideline violations". And in that case some sub-domain of dreamwidth posted something horrible. And then the automation slammed the hammer on the whole domain.


Sure, they block most of the porn websites or mirror websites hosting copyright content from posts or private messages.


I heard they are doing it with Bitchute now, I wonder if there’s an actual list somewhere as well.


I just navigated to dreamwidth.org/latest and got a seriously NSFW picture. I assume this is not normal?


Dream width is where people go to post stuff that isn’t allowed elsewhere.

So while explicit imagery is not the norm, nor is it normative, it’s not unusual and is to be expected.


It's certainly unusual.

But I very rarely go to "latest". I tend to read "friends" or a subset thereof.


Reminds me of Apple and Amazon.

These gatekeepers flexing should be a huge red flag, akin to the BP oil spill in the tech world.

This might be the last straw for me to delete my Facebook. I would be a bad capitalist if I didn't.


Reading that page gave me k5 flashbacks


What is dreamwidth? Why was it blocked?


@AndrewDucker: I’m curious to know why you picked the “eye in the pyramid” as the icon of your post, which is also known as the symbol of the Illuminati.


That's my default post icon. Because it's being silly about the Illuminati. No real reason it's my default except that it amused me.


Dreamwidth contains lots of spammy blogs.


So does the internet in general. It's still poor form to block entire platforms without warning.


Not really...

I wouldn't be surprised if Facebook just blocks an entire domain when abuse report incidents hits some threshold.

I'm not saying it's ideal, but I understand how it got this. DW should be on: https://publicsuffix.org/

And maybe FB moderation should consider the public suffix list.

Another solution is to moderate content on your domain. Or require users have separate domains.


> DW should be on: https://publicsuffix.org/

If only there were some universally supported distributed cached database of domain properties.


Recently Indian government blocked Tik-Tok. Does anyone know if they gave a warning to the users or the app developers?

One can argue that governments should have the right to censorship when its a matter of urgency or emergency or national security (though this is debatable), does the same power lie with Facebook (or any other platform) to exercise a censorship on its users? It goes back to the big debate whether they are accountable for what gets shared on their platform.


> does the same power lie with Facebook (or any other platform) to exercise a censorship on its users

This is a weird question. Of course a private business can choose what content they want on their platform. ESPN, for instance, censors tech news. If an ESPN journalist put together a story about Facebook blocking Dreamwidth, they'd censor it.

Having said that, I know there are some on HN that react emotionally anytime someone engages in "censorship". Oh well. No company is obligated to post content just because someone else wants them to.


There's a clear reason to block TikTok as a platform, whether you personally agree with it or not: Concerns about its relationship to the Chinese government.

Dreamwidth has no such potential pitfalls as a whole platform.


You think this is a justification to do this? On Hacker News? Really? I do not understand the mindset of some people


If it causes them more trouble than it's worth it's understandable. Someone else pointed out that there was a lot of questionable sexual content on the site and you can't really expect Facebook to micromanage every subdomain.


I don't see why Facebook needs to censor "questionable" sexual content. Individual users and groups have adequate tools to control what they themselves see.

The only point of Facebook's censorship is to control what the willing can see.


because asking the average user to fine tune their experience to avoid questionable sexual content is going to piss a ton of users off who expect this to be the default experience on the site. So Facebook does a calculation and the result is that removing that stuff is easier than having a million people complain about being exposed to it and that's that.

The same reason any other forum or platform moderates their content and usually removes sexual content, you want the default experience to be good for the average user on the site.


There are two levels of questionable: what you mentioned works for things like less common proclivities but not for things like revenge porn or other cases where it’s not just a question of what a user is willing to see.


it's probably more about the spam instead of the sexual content


I didn't say it was a good reason, I'm saying that's probably the cause they got banned.


That's fair and I'm sorry. Still, we should demand better from these platforms, it's not enough




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