A bit of perspective on our NSFW controversy (SFW post)steemCreated with Sketch.

in #censorship3 years ago (edited)

I've taken a closer look at our divisive new member, and I think we got really lucky.

Quick catchup for those not aware: pornstar @alexanova joined steemit about a week ago, igniting a debate around handling NSFW content on the platform.
I'm not going to take a position here; others have offered plenty of excellent suggestions, and I'm confident we'll end up in a happy place. My observation is more pragmatic.

Steemit is a tiny community, and the porn industry is a massive community.
One of their members approached our community, and did everything we asked. She verified herself, then re-verified upon request via video.
She tagged her posts "NSFW" and quickly followed suggestions to make the first photo of each post SFW.

Considering that this issue was inevitable, and considering that Ned and Dan have offered no guidance on the topic (of which I'm aware), this is an excellent opportunity to brainstorm, negotiate, compromise and set a precedent to guide the relationship between the two communities into the future.

Some see her as a cancer, which will spread and destroy steemit, others see her as an exciting, dangerous new player, who will bolster steem's price and adoption.

I see her as an emissary


She's a fantastic candidate to help manage the relationship between our two communities.
You might hate what she does, but you have to agree that she's been approachable and polite. She's jumped through all of our hoops (in the absence of any set guidelines) and is clearly somebody we can have a sensible discussion with.
While she might be struggling for credibility in our community, she has plenty of credibility in the porn world.
If we can happily and clearly negotiate precedents, while dealing with just one, very pleasant, very qualified representative, here and now, we can avoid a whole world of trouble down the track.
When others arrive, we'll be able to point to somebody from their own community, and say,

'Do what Alexa does'

Alexa has
30,000 followers on Twitter.
29,000 followers on Instagram.

I'm also sure she has friends with similar numbers.
What do you think would happen to steemit if she and 10 friends asked their followers to sign up here and flood the place with porn, in the middle of a hard fork?
How do you think the next Rolling Stone article would look?
Sure, we could all band together and spend several weeks trying to downvote it all, but wouldn't it be easier and nicer to just make her a cup of tea and talk it out?

The worst thing Alexa's threatened to do is leave, disappointed.
She hasn't even threatened to badmouth the platform elsewhere.

If you'd asked me a month ago how best to handle any potential adult content on steemit.com, I would have said the ideal scenario would be for one, pleasant, co-operative, self-representing porn star to arrive on the platform; force a discussion, reach an outcome, and set clear guidelines for others to follow; saving us from having to constantly renegotiate with each new, sleazy small-time producer who comes sniffing around looking for a quick buck.
This is exactly what we got, so let's pause to recognise how lucky we are.

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I personally have no problem with the sex industry as long as it doesn't involve minors and animals. As a fiction writer, I have written many explicit sex scenes - some of them shared here on Steemit. As a woman, I am not ashamed of the female form - or any kind of naked, for that matter. Those who don't want to see it don't have to click a title with NSFW in it. There is also, as mentioned by others, a MUTE button.

Ideally, I would love to see filters that we can implement - but I think that would require categories and tags (and not the mixed bag of tags that we currently have.)

I am personally going to follow @alexanova now based on your post @mattclarke because Steemit is a community of people from all walks of life and we are supposedly a little smarter and open-minded.

I follow her too. I want to see where we land.

I think the sensible solution is just have a checkbox in the Settings menu of your account, that's checked to "Block NSFW content".

By default, it should filter all content with the NSFW tag.
When manually unchecked, the NSFW content will be activated.

Seems reasonable to me and should be simple enough to implement.

this can be easily solved. an"enable/disable adult content" button in the account settings .
posts tagged as #porn will by default be hidden .

Planned feature. Stay tuned.

We're prioritizing features first that get people to come to the website, versus ones aimed at getting people to not leave, although we'll get to those too in time. Ultimately, there are vastly more people who would love using steemit.com who have never heard of us, versus people who come here, sign up, and then run away screaming because of NSFW (where do you work, anyway?!) content.

This comment by you begs the question. Are you trying to actually build a platform that allows people to communicate , share information and news, or are you simply wanting to make another facebook, instagram or twitter? if you are trying to build the latter versus the former. You probably are making a bad business decision.

What makes steemit attractive to a large segment of people is communicatinng ideas and information, and for some being able to do so without fear of reprisals or REAL censorship.

Users down voting a "here I am haters" "look at me shake my booty" post is the furthest thing from censorship.

We are intending to do both, although if we build a mass-market platform for communication and sharing on the Steem Blockchain, even with a tremendous amount of users it will never be "another facebook, instagram or twitter" as those are centralized services.

We intend to build the first decentralized social media community with widespread adoption. There will be excellent tools (already in the planning stages right now) for various people to tailor their viewing experience to their own taste, or to subscribe to the moderation opinions of other people of their choosing. All of the data will be in the blockchain, and some users will opt for the firehose. Some users will opt for a moderated experience. Some users will use other sites besides steemit.com with their own opinions and interfaces (but backed by the same blockchain and platform and content and community).

Stay tuned. 2017 has a lot in store for this site and the community.

PS: http://begthequestion.info/

Hey Sneak. Is there some sort of central repository for ideas, tweaks etc? A tag we use? I know 'suggestion' is one, but is there a more formal list?

@timcliff maintains one, I think.

The stuff that we have determined to be priorities will be published in our official roadmap this month; I would advise reading that first to see where potential improvements might fit in.

The long and the short of it is that our team is pretty much 100% booked for 2017 with our plan, and stuff probably is going to go on the back burner unless it fits into our primary objectives (which are almost 100% in service of obtaining and retaining 10-50x more users than we have now).

Of course. There are hundreds of directions we could go and thousands of cheerleaders for each one.
I don't mind if it's a long queue, as long as no gold slips through the cracks.
I'll have a look at @timcliff. Cheers.

Sorry but it is true, if you let one in, they all jump on the bandwagon, after all it is free advertising for the porn industry. We can wallow in the mud of life or rise above it by saying no to it. All we need is a little self control and desire to become a better person, one that spreads love and not semen in the world.

Please do not judge people for the work they create.
Your hostile attitude is hurtful to those who do this work, because you imply that they are not "better people". Instead, you imply that they are bad people who do not love, because they have no self control.

You consider these people "dirty", as if wallowing in mud.

I really wish you'd not think like that. It's very cruel and hurtful to people.

He's probably too busy wanking to japanese loli hentai to read this. Every adult consumed porn a few times in their life... Someone has to do it, better her than one's daughter (tho I wouldn't mind if mine did).

At some point someone will make a separate site like golos the russian version of steemit and have it be for porn.

Golos is its own blockchain. A better example would be busy.org, which is an alternate interface to the Steem Blockchain. steemit.com is only one window into the universe that is the Steem Blockchain, and we hope that there will be a great many, each with their own opinions about moderation or censorship.

...and that will mark the day that Steemit stops getting any traffic ;)

Many of us think a MUTE/FOLLOW tag function woud solve this. It can also help foster more users from other languages. I think this could even be a paid feature .

This is something we plan to implement on steemit.com for exactly this reason. We'll get to it eventually—there are some more pressing issues we need to deal with first.

Muting particular tags sounds like a good solution, along with downvotes for a failure to use appropriate tags. Not sure if it would require another hardfork though. We'll get there in the end :)

There are plenty of good options, we just need to settle on one.

Totally agree and you are now my very first follow as a newbie to Steemit. A very well presented and reasoned argument. I think I maybe should have introduced myself first, but the way you contextualised this thorny issue nailed it for me.....so I had to click follow first. A fine post Sir....

Thanks alkafir, I've returned the favour and am now your first follower.
Welcome to the platform, you're going to have a great time here.
My advice to noobs, is to read some guides, do an #introducemyself post, be honest and open, verify with a photo of yourself holding a piece of paper with your username, then just read and comment on other's posts. Be insightful and engaging until you have 50 followers, then start blogging.
It's very common for noobs to pour hours or days into the perfect blog post, only to see it upvoted by both the people who read it.
That sucks, so get the followers first, or you'll waste a lot of time and effort, which can really burn you out.

Wow. Thank you so much for writing this!! Really appreciate the recognition.
Much respect for you! <3

Hey Alexa. I think so much of the discussion has missed the point.
I have a young son I'm trying to convince to join steemit.
I don't want him stumbling across your giggly bits, but so few critics seem to appreciate that you don't want him too, either.
If this is a discussion we had to have, I'm glad it's with you.

Yes exactly!! I have a four year old son myself. I understand parents don't want their children seeing porn at a young age. There's unfortunately only so much we can do to prevent that once they are able to get access to the internet, since it's basically everywhere online. Literally just signing up on Twitter or Tumblr could have him viewing all sorts of adult content, since porn isn't too regulated on there.
I just think that Steemit needs to implement some sort of filtering options for adult content, that doesn't involve hiding the post altogether from my follower's feed & my blog (like if I were to use 'nsfw' as first tag)... without any option for adults who want to see the content show up.

Funny how the people claiming that porn dehumanises women then go on to treat you like a pervert in a trenchcoat, loitering near a primary school.

Yeah, for real... I would say they are acting dehumanizing towards me themselves.
Most people tend to be hypocrites though.

Network has no limit. And she has made a tag in her post. And I don't think some other will not join STEEMIT when we get popular. So she's in, I'm ok.

Don't let these censorship fanatics win and control the steemit platform, they are here to micro-manage their lives. If you truly stand for free speech, the only thing you should be concerned about is if what you post up is definitely illegal or is a violation of somebodies privacy or alternatively, spam, that's it.

I fucking hate these people who have come here before Steemit has even become well known out there in the world to try and drag it down. Censorship stifles conversation and forces people to be very careful about what they can and can't post and when you bring along arbitrary and vague rules on top of that even being careful isn't enough to stop you from being banned off any community site, never mind a social network.

Fuck them, I'm not interested in talking with people who advocate censorship, the only thing I will compromise with them on is an NSFW section, other than that, they can go and make their own fucking mirror or something if all of this bothers them so much.

I'm an Artist and a soon to be games developer as well and the fact that anybody thinks they can dictate to me what I can and can't draw pisses me off, already I've got this game ready to go and I want to post it up as NSFW which basically takes the piss out of SJWs and Feminists but because of these censorship advocates roaming around how will I know that my content won't get targeted by these retards?

I might just do it anyway, just to really test just how dedicated Steemit really are to free speech and expression, this is how the SJW types get spawned in the first place. Somebody gives in to their retarded demands, then they start realising they actually have power, instead of targeting adult content, they then start going after other stuff as well, people they disagree with, political opinions, different ideas that they don't like, all of it.

If it was spam that was the issue that's fine, but I will not bow to these twats who think it's acceptable to censor things just because they don't like it, there's plenty of shit out there that I don't like at all, but I don't run around wanting them banned from the public domain.

I think the problem we face, is that 'censorship' is a word applied quite liberally to lots of activities. For example, I censor what my 2 year old daughter sees. She doesn't see gore, or sex, or any number of other things I consider unsavoury.
Most people would agree that this is just good parenting on my part, and hardly qualifies as a violation of her rights.
The word 'censorship' is also applied to the violent silencing of political perspectives. Most would agree that this is a human rights violation of the highest order.
Perhaps a single word to describe those two extremes, and everything in between, is a little too blunt a verbal instrument.
If I post something mundane, which nobody upvotes, am I being 'censored'?
Sure, it didn't win the kind of audience I think it deserves, but that doesn't mean its being actively 'censored'
The dev team don't owe anyone a soapbox, but if we build one, they shouldn't kick it out from under us.

That's not what this is about and you know it, it's nothing to do with upvote, it's to do with the fact that already despite this platform being quite young, there are people who actively want to outright ban or throw out adult content entirely from this place.

As for parenting, yes, that is your responsibility, which is why I'm fine with an NSFW or Adult section so you can control what you see and what you don't on your own computer. So like I said, when I'm talking about censorship, I'm talking about people who think it is their moral 'right' to go around persecuting content creators and policing what they can and cannot put up here.

The point is, the steemit devs and a lot of other people are claiming that this platform is censorship free, well, I want to see them protect the most extreme content out there to prove it, otherwise they're just hypocrites like the rest of them.

Yeah, I'm with you on this.

I think that "self-censorship" is just as dangerous a government forcefully censoring you.

Self-censorship is the fear you WILL be forcefully censored, so instead of taking the risk, you don't say anything at all. You just keep silent, to avoid trouble.

This might appeal to you greatly, if you're a puritan and don't want to see anything "evil", such as sex, bad words, or unpopular opinions.

But I do not favor puritans. In this age, the internet is a very censored place already.
I would like Steemit to be that one place that is NOT censored, rather than just another censored website.

If this place does get censored, informally, formally, or anything else, I'll just leave.
I like money, but I like freedom more.

Informal censorship is just as foul as the real deal, because the result is the same: People feel afraid to speak.

I might just do it anyway, just to really test just how dedicated Steemit really are to free speech and expression

Steemit is small right now and any such "prove a point" tests will probably not be beneficial to steemit or the community right now.

There are myriad pitfalls before us and we dodge most of them by crossing bridges only when we have to. We presently lack the bandwidth to cross all the bridges simultaneously. Save the extra headaches for us for such time we are larger, please. :)

PS: When in doubt, assume good faith.

I read the young lady's post and there is a high degree of likelyhood she was flagged because she was spamming / trolling. She basically challenged someone with a haters bring it statement. Honestly I could care lessif she is into porn, but when you enter community with a statement designed to challenge and disrupt you will find at least one who will take exception. The people who flagged her had just as much of a right to do so as she did to say what she did. Thats how free speech works. FWIW having a lot of twitter, facebook or instagram followers does not make you intelligent or right. It does mean you probably spnend a lot of time on social networks, but I am more of a quality over quantity sort of person.

Just as they have every right to flag, we have every right to complain about their misuse of flagging. :)

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