Apparently there is a new restriction on the BDSM social network, Fetlife.
According to founder John Baku, "We can no longer allow FetLifers to publicly share sexual pics and vids containing blood visible in them."
However, changing one's privacy settings of pictures and videos to "Friends Only" will be allowable.
The site's caretakers will send the following message to users if they find an image that violates this new limitation:
We really want you to be able to express yourself and your kinks freely, but there are some things we can't allow kinksters to post in public. What friends share with their friends in private, though, is different in this case.
Having said that, we set some of your blood pics to 'friends only'.
Please do not take this as a judgment against you or your kinks. Like a condom, this is just a necessary thing for both your protection and ours.
If you have any questions I am always happy to answer them!
For what it's worth, I'm really sorry that we had to do this."
This has raised a commotion across the website from accusations of censorship and inquiries in the scope of what is considered sexual.
The last time the site's content guidelines were altered, the same uproar occurred.
There are currently eight subjects that cannot be publicly sexualized: underage, incest, bestiality, scat, necrophilia, animal cruelty, and images of blood.
It states further, "in general, we think that intellectual discussions, jokes between friends, and private discussions should all be fair game."
John Baku says the reason for this change is because of "the current political climate." In the past, restrictions in content have been initiated by banks and credit card processors which frown upon alternative lifestyles.
On February 4th, 2013, the founder announced changes to the content guidelines, specifically because of the credit card processor the site used and "because of the credit card regulations."
According to the payment processor, which dropped the service without warning, Fetlife was being fined by Visa. No evidence was shown of this and John Baku switched processors after a slew of other lies. Same thing happened, prompting the restrictions on content.
In April of that year, Fetlife started accepting the crypto-currency Bitcoin. This did not last long.
Many users have offered alternatives to conventional bank and credit card transactions.
Such as using alternative currencies, like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Dash, Monero, or DigitalNote. Or even the appropriately named Titcoin. When Fetlife first accepted Bitcoin, the site did not offer resources for more information on the crypto-currency. Such as bitcoin.org, Let's Talk Bitcoin, purse.io, jaxx.io, etc.
If more people understood how to use bitcoins they more people would want to try it out. Even if only for Fetlife.
Or time credits for development services, greeting new members, being caretakers, etc. Allowing anyone to volunteer their time to help the site in exchange for otherwise-paid services.
Or offer tiered paid services. An unpaid service would have limited access, the basics; while the first paid service would have more access but with limited data history; and a second paid service with unlimited service.
Or offer an internal point system, similar to Meetme.com, Fubar.com, etc. This not only would incentivize users to use the site more and be its own advertising stream, this could also direct interaction with the physical community in a more intimate way.
Or integrate the Suggestion Box section with a crowd-sourcing option. For each suggestion, or maybe only popular suggestions, assign an estimated cost to the respective entry. The suggestion will not be developed until the cost is covered.
Why look for alternatives? Because three of the restrictions are of victimless acts, and three of them are questionable, and two of them have always been against the rules on Fetlife. Shaming people and forcing them into the shadows for victimless kinks are not elements of a safe haven.
There are many ways to bypass or completely replace the banks and credit card companies. The United States government, other national governments, and the financial institutions that back them do not care about those in the minority. It would be prudent to not expect them to and to live your life without their permissions.