Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

Why do they mention "child pornography"? Maybe I'm wrong but isn't "barely legal" meant to mean 18 year old adults and not "nearly legal"? Or is it just a common code phrase child pornographers use I wasn't aware of?

That's a good point. Barely legal is still legal, and why is Apple even blocking emails that contain those words?

It might have to do with spam filtering. Trying sending an email that talks about Cialis.

As a man who has the ability to search Google (whooo!), I can add that "Barely Legal" teen movies are published by Hustler, and there appear to be hundreds of them with related names.

Some are sold on Amazon.

Presumably the people who operate in the legal pornography business -- working for Hustler, their distributors (I'm assuming there are several) and US-based retail outlets -- don't use iCloud or it could have an unpleasant impact on their legitimate businesses.

I thought that too, but the article mentions that the messages couldn't be found in the accounts' Spam folders.

The child pornography bit just sounds like the journalist speculation.

It sounds to me more like spam cleanup.

In which case, it's been programmed with remarkable incompetence. There's more to spam filtering than deleting messages that are clearly not spam on the basis that they contain a particular sequence of acceptable words.

I can barely imagine the legal consequences of deleting without notice an important email that a distressed mother might have sent to her teen.

It's a term of the pornographer's art. I had a friend from college who wrote for Larry Flynt's Barely Legal magazine for a while. She went on to bigger but arguably less respectable things (political blogging).

Yes, "Barely legal" is used by many legal pornographers.

The article suggests some connection between the phrase "barely legal" and images of child sexual abuse.

It's clear that "barely legal" has a well-established meaning of "absolutely legal; documented adults; no chance of being under age". The article failed to establish a connection between the term "barely legal" and images of child sexual abuse.

Google "barely legal teen" (NSFW) and you will know what it is.

Distribution of porn requires paperwork, age certificates from models/actors etc. Things get even more dangerous when actors can be reasonably suspected to be underage.

The author speculates that this filter was driven by paranoia and CYA mentality at Apple.

It's meant to mean 18 year old adults, or woman around that age (so it could be applied to 17 years old as well). This has nothing to do with child pornograpgy, but it seems to be a trend of our time to use that word when youth pornography is meant (and judge the latter accordingly).

A 17 year old would not be legal, so I don't see how barely legal applies to 17 year olds because that would be illegal in most jurisdictions.

EDIT: Thanks, I misunderstood.

That is correct. It maybe doesn't apply if taken by the formal meaning. Doesn't mean that there isn't a second meaning behind that. It sure is a play of words with the uncertainty of the legalness (else why mention the barely at all? Why barely, which also means "not really"?)

My point was, it has nothing to do with children.

>else why mention the barely at all?

Because they are specifically promoting porn featuring women as young as legally possible. "Legal teens" would include 19 year olds, and they are trying to create the specific expectation of women who very recently turned 18.

>Why barely, which also means "not really"?

That is not what barely means at all. Barely means "only just". Barely legal means legal, but very close to the cut-off.

>That is not what barely means at all. Barely means "only just".

Not at all? Well, it is possible my translator (leo) is wrong. I think i have a fairly good understanding of the english language, but i am not a native speaker, so i tried to check my understanding.

I still think it has in this case at least the connotation.

It doesn't, your translator is wrong.

The connotations is not. The translation may be.

That is the link: http://dict.leo.org/ende/index_en.html#/search=barely&se...

It seems that your English is good enough that you'd benefit from an English/English dictionary instead of relying on a German/English dictionary. That way, you're understanding the meaning in the same context as native speakers and without being tainted by connotations of words used in the German definition. (I have this problem all the time with English/Japanese dictionaries; I look something up and it doesn't make sense. Then I look it up in a Japanese/Japanese dictionary and everything makes perfect sense. Of course, sometimes that requires a few more trips to the dictionary to understand the definition, but...)

Anyway, if I were learning English I'd pay the $300 for an Oxford English Dictionary. You'll learn a lot that way.

Thanks, that is a very constructive hint. I will keep it in mind.

It doesn't have that connotation, "barely legal" implies "fully legal".

I will explain it once again and in full and then let it go.

This is a special case. I know that normally barely meanst "only just" (though i believed leo that it sometimes - in special cases when used in a specific way - can mean "only almost"). But if someone hears a sentence like "that is barely visible", one always implies that it is not visible at all for someone seeing a degree worse. Now, if you vist a pornsite with usergenerated content - take 4chan as example - I'd bet a lot of money that one would find a mod-guideline or at least a discussion about such a guideline to delete any threads with "barely legal teens" as topic because a lot of users would post pictures of underage girls in such a thread. In such a case, barely implies not really. And therefore such a term can have another connotation than its formal meaning.

It is really a stretch to say "it doesn't have that connotation", connotations can vary even in one language for every speaker.

> woman

you mean, "person"?


It's also possible that "barely legal teens" tripped a spam filter. I hardly encounter that phrase except in porn site promotion.

Flagging an email as spam isn't the same as deleting it.

I agree that the phrase is unlikely to occur apart from the context of porn sites.

But I'd like to be in control of whether emails are being deleted or not. (Or flagged as spam or not.)

Some people prefer to get everything; others don't care if stuff is silently dropped. But it's important that they get to choose.

Certainly iCloud's is the wrong approach for your purposes (or mine). I'm not denying that; just offering a possible alternative to the explanation that "Apple thought these messages were child porn".

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact