Meta Question

everephebe's avatar

What qualifies as obscene on fluther for moderation standards?

Asked by everephebe (11537 points ) March 9th, 2011

Details, real question at [edit] toward the end:

So I got [mod]ed for a comment which was… quite possibly obscene, but it was in a social [NSFW] topic and I did cross out & whisper the questionable part.

I think it was not just the use of the f-word twice but the way (sexually explicit humor… involving Jesus) I used it twice. But it was crossed out and whispered, and in a social [NSFW] topic… And it was only a small (literally) part of my comment which was actually pertinent to the discourse.

“Response moderated (Obscene)”

What makes something obscene on fluther (for future reference)?

Thanks,
and I don’t blame the party who moderated me, just curious!

PM if it can’t be said without getting moderated for being (Obscene). Cheers.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

89 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Crossing it out and whispering it does not make it less obscene.

erichw1504's avatar

It’s ultimately up to the moderators and is given notice by other jellies’ flags. But, generally if it is intentionally or unintentionally hurtful to others, I think it is obscene. No matter how or where you make the comment.

everephebe's avatar

@marinelife Yes, you’re probably correct. (not even a little though?) But what makes it obscene?

iamthemob's avatar

I rarely see something modded for being obscene – but I bet it’s clear to you that the taste was probably questionable. ;-)

In any case, because it’s so rare, I wouldn’t think that it’s something to worry about. And I bet that’s the only time it’s happened to you. I would think that obscene posts are pretty explicit in some way (sexually or emotionally) and although not intentionally meant to derail conversation as flamebait generally seems to be, would more than likely do so or at least detract from it.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@everephebe cant say cause I didnt see it personally, but I would think itd be obscene if it offended a great deal of people in the process. Mods usually get multiple flags for the quips that get removed and that plays a part in the modding process.

Maybe what you said offended a large group of people. I dont really fucking think it has to deal with saying a curse word or not, its more the context in which it is used.

marinelife's avatar

Why are you asking? You now know better than anyone what constitutes obscene. You wrote something obscene.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@marinelife I dont think thats a valid point. What I find obscene is vastly different than what you may find obscene. Its very possible everephebe does not believe the statement at hand was actually all that obscene thus is asking for clarification.

everephebe's avatar

@uberbatman That’s really helpful. I think it was the use of the name Jesus, in the context. Good to know. It was playful, and I didn’t intend on offending Christians, with that comment.

marinelife's avatar

@uberbatman But the statement was modded thus she knows that it met or exceeded Fluther standards for obscene.

erichw1504's avatar

Basically, just don’t say it again.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@everephebe I don’t remember what you had written on that thread, and I can honestly say I didn’t flag it…but someone did. It was modded most likely because it was a) obscene and b) offended someone.

You must remember what you wrote. So, I’m with @marinelife on this one…now you know where the line is and you know you stepped over it.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@everephebe you may not of intended it be offensive but that wont determine how others will take it, especially on the internet where intention is often confused. I would just in the future think, can this statement be taken offensive by others? If so, refrain from saying it.

@marinelife right, but where is the line? Like clearly that statement was too much, but why and what else should be avoided saying. I think the question is more about that.

iamthemob's avatar

@marinelife -

Uhm…I don’t think that’s what’s being said at all. I mean, it was sassy…but that’s why we love @everephebe (;-)).

The problem with obscenity is, of course, that the best Supreme Court expression of it is “I know it when I see it”...which is not a standard but an admission of it’s inherent subjectivity. When you say “What you said was obscene” I think you’re dead wrong. It was obscene to you…and most likely to most people…but obscenity is exactly like beauty in that it’s in the eyes of the beholder.

So, there’s automatically this sense of judgment that can be taken personally.

Perhaps this is a place to talk about it, or maybe it’s a new thread, but I think maybe the specific moderation for obscenity isn’t a good one since the standard is impossible. Maybe we should just fold it into flamebait, unhelpful, or something of that sort.

EDIT – there have been a couple of responses – so much of this is what @uberbatman said. But to address your response – When you say “it was obscene” that’s a statement of objective fact. The OP can know that but not know why. And because it’s such a grey area thing…it’s an interesting thing to ask.

everephebe's avatar

@SpatzieLover I included pretty much all of the details I should to give a picture of what I said, it could have been any one thing in what I included or the sum of the parts together I think @uberbatman said has pretty much nailed it for my specific comment. Which is helpful. I see now what the issue was with my comment… And think I understand why it was moderated. Cool beans, I’ll be more careful next time.

But this is an open ended question, for all moderation for obscenity I just happened to include an example, so as to illustrate the point of the question.

seazen's avatar

It’s a private site, so yes; they know it when they see it. Just trust in mods. Today it’s you, tomorrow it’s someone else. It’s an imperfect system discussed ad naudeum but it’s like democracy: it sucks, but it’s the best we got.

everephebe's avatar

@seazen I do trust the [mods]. They make Fluther good. Lurve to our [Moderators]

When I saw it was moderated, I was like… ahhh, shoot. I can see it was on the edge. I can see why something within my post warranted a [mod] looking back on it. But what pushed it over the edge? So… I asked my little question because I couldn’t find it in the writing standards section of fluther.

janbb's avatar

I’ve been here for donkey’s years and I only found out yesterday that I would be modded for using “fucking” in a question. Hwever, q.e.d., it can be used in an answer. Live and learn. I suspect – without seeing your example – that it was the addition of Jesus to the mix that made it cross someone’s line.

seazen's avatar

Bubs: use frack, f@ck or fcuk. It makes all the fucking difference apparently.

iamthemob's avatar

@everephebe – which part of what @uberbatman said nailed it for your comment? If it was whether it could be taken as offensive as a test – I don’t think I like that one.

Whether something we say or type could be taken as offensive doesn’t mean we shouldn’t say it – many times it may mean we SHOULD say it.

Now, when you are talking about things that are on the edge/in the gray area, you actually KNOW the elements that are offensive, in all honesty. You just don’t know whether they are too offensive or there are too many of them to push it over. So it’s funny because you do know, as @marinelife stated (ironically) what it was that made it obscene. It’s never clear, however, which part of it was the “killer.”

I think that the mods will err on the side of caution with obscenity and flame bait when modding, and it’s always possible for you to figure out a way to repost your idea or opinion in a different manner. So it may be that there’s a compromise between the whether ANYONE would find it offensive and just putting it all out there.

Maybe try something like a Coco Chanel approach – much as she suggested looking in the mirror before you leave and taking the last accessory you put on off before you leave, you may want to look at your post, and take the last element of questionable taste you added out before you hit “submit.”

@janbb – I was going to say thank the fucking fuckity-fuckfuck that you can use it in the answer. I’d be up shits creek.

@seazen – Fuck that shit.

seazen's avatar

Fuckin’ A.

janbb's avatar

@seazen I like my “dirty words” pure or not at all. Thanks, though.

erichw1504's avatar

@seazen What the fucking fuck?! fcuk is actually a clothing company, so it may bring up copyright issues. ~

everephebe's avatar

@iamthemob the last part of the first post. I thought it was the use of the word fuck one too many times (out of twice). I forget that on the radio they bleep god out of the word goddammit. So that’s probably what did it, not the sexual part or the word fuck, but the use of the name Jesus in the context. Ohhh! Got it. My bad. I see. Christians, “large group of people,” even on fluther.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

What was it? What was it?
PM me!

El_Cadejo's avatar

@iamthemob I agree it is highly subjective. I dont know, I think there is a certain point to what you say but what I really meant was do you think its something that can be taken by offensive by a large group of people in the sense that its a direct insult in a way.

I mean there is a big difference between saying “You’re an asshole” and “I fucking love cupcakes.” Even though most would say that the first is more offensive even though fuck is considered a more offensive word. Its the attack thing. Insulting someones beliefs would be the same as personally insulting them. Im not saying one shouldnt still engage of arguements and such regarding religion for fear of hurting ones feelings or something but there is a difference between meaningful discourse and random jabs at a faith. I am guessing everphebe‘s statement was the latter.

iamthemob's avatar

@uberbatman

I mean there is a big difference between saying “You’re an asshole” and “I fucking love cupcakes.”

I think, @janbb, the above should be the sentence we use whenever we defend our filthy fucking mouths to people, don’t you agree?

That is brilliant, @uberbatman. It may be my new favorite thing.

seazen's avatar

@erichw1504 What the Nike are you talking about?

erichw1504's avatar

@seazen Oh, shut the front door!

erichw1504's avatar

This thread has become one of the fucking “sweariest” of them all!

seazen's avatar

Blow it out your adidas.

bob_'s avatar

I once had a response moderated for that reason. Apparently, “pussy” was an obscene answer to this.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@bob_ LOL4R That’s hilarious!

iamthemob's avatar

sigh. I guess that qualified as obscene. My swearing question appears to be gone. :-(

Fun while it lasted though.

I can affirmatively state one thing – if you ask a question challenging people to make the sweariest thread of all time…it is probably obscene.

everephebe's avatar

@iamthemob Ok, cross that one off the list too… Good to know. It lasted 30 minutes.

YARNLADY's avatar

I think there is probably a line to draw between using a word as an expletive (not obscene) and using it in meaning the original physical act (obscene).

everephebe's avatar

@YARNLADY Hmm… That’s certainly a interesting point.

iamthemob's avatar

@YARNLADY – Have you seen IT hits the fan? An episode of South Park where “shit” is said on network television. It was then acceptable to say in just the way you argued: “as a noun or adjective meaning bad, or as an exclamation of disappointment, the word is acceptable, but as a noun or adjective referring to feces, it is apparently unacceptable.”

snowberry's avatar

@erichw1504 “But, generally if it is intentionally or unintentionally hurtful to others, I think it is obscene. No matter how or where you make the comment.”

In that case, I’ve received more obscene comments than I can count, and the mods certainly DO NOT care. In fact I’d say that more often than not, they’ve supported it.

mrentropy's avatar

If all it takes is for something to be flagged as obscene then I’ve got a lot of offended to be doing.

erichw1504's avatar

@snowberry Are you sure it was here at Fluther? I rarely see hurtful comments made toward others. Maybe you attract it somehow…?

Fluther is like the land of doves and rainbows and shit, while comment sections on YouTube and other sites are full of trolls with warts on their faces walking their rabid wolves.

iamthemob's avatar

@erichw1504 – I don’t think that intentionally hurtful is part of the standard unless we’re talking about “groups” right? Otherwise I think that’s a personal attack situation.

everephebe's avatar

@erichw1504 Which is thanks to our dear, and delightful hard-working Moderators. And the lovely folks here in this community. xoxoxo

iamthemob's avatar

PS – I’m just going to point out that even though this thread is talking about modding on something that is arguably really subjective, everyone who’s talking about having been modded is pretty much saying that they understand why it happened, and that the moderators are pretty much doing the job.

That’s pretty fantastic. Good on ya.

jonsblond's avatar

As most of you know by now, you can’t use the word fuck in the title of the question. This title was not the original title for this party thread. The OP (a mod) was asked to edit it.

Allie's avatar

@jonsblond Hehehe…When I saw that my Q had been modded I thought, “Well, what the fuck?!?!”

[mod says:] Yes, NO cursing in titles.
As far as for what is considered obscene and what isn’t, my view is that if it offends people on a deeper level than “well that was just mean,” then it’s considered obscene. Sometimes including sexual or violent acts, sometimes not. I’ve sent this question to Auggie, our community manager. Maybe once she logs on she can provide an official answer.
And also, just because something is flagged once doesn’t mean it automatically gets removed. Mods use our best judgement in each scenario and decide what course of action would be best. Although, if something gets flagged by a large number of users, then there’s probably a reason for them flagging it (like it probably shouldn’t be there at all).

jonsblond's avatar

@Allie I’ll never fucking forget that thread. ;)

Summum's avatar

I think when it becomes offensive is when it seems to be used to put another down or make the person you are having the discussion with look stupid or bad. The language is part of it but the intent is what I think would be the difference.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
Dog's avatar

I have not read the original question or the removed quip. I would look it up but my Internet is down and won’t return for at least 24 more hours.

But going by what has been said I am think it can be assumed in this case that the question asked for the opinion of a certain group (Christians) and the quip was inappropriate because if was offensive to that group.

To do this could be obscene but it is also is disrespectful and flame bait.

Even of posted as a joke it was a joke at the expense of the belief of others and this is in bad taste.

Again- this is speculation going off what was written.

Respect: even if you disagree with the beliefs (or non- beliefs) of others. That is the key.

snowberry's avatar

@erichw1504 If you mean I “attract it somehow”, it’s anytime I state my mind on alternative medicine, religion, or any other non-establishment topic. And by that I mean, the establishment here is generally against alternative medicine (although not as bad as when Shilolo was active), and against religion especially Christianity, and anything related to it. There may be other topics here that gather flames, but I don’t know of them.

At least in the past, anyone who has had the audacity to even mention they believe in or practice these things is an invitation to get blasted. And yes, it is/was allowed, and even encouraged by many mods here.

Yes, up to this point, Fluther has been very much like that. But I’m not intimidated by bullies, and I hang on here because not all people here are jerks. Maybe it’s changing. I hope so.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
SpatzieLover's avatar

i find it hilarious that @queenie was modded for standards ;)

EDIT: I think it was your use of all caps [not a mod]

MilkyWay's avatar

this is the third time I’m writing this response, so don’t do what I just did…
DON’T talk everything in caps, dont be unhelpful…. and i didn’t even swear…

Dog's avatar

Actually @queenie both were writing standards. (and unhelpful) Please check the guidelines regarding excess punctuation, caps and typos.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
snowberry's avatar

I’ll also mention that I’m glad this is anonymous. If I had met one person face to face, I’d be concerned for my safety, he was that far gone.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
JilltheTooth's avatar

Uh, @everephebe, you do know that even if something is—-crossed out and whispered—- it’s still legible, right?

everephebe's avatar

@snowberry I think that one of the most redeeming aspects of debate on Fluther is, when two people who completely disagree and post back and forth back and forth, till… They understand one another. And respect one another, even if they disagree. That, “Oh, you’re not completely nuts and you do know what you’re talking about and I should research the subject longer, because you have several valid points” moment. I give lurve to people I disagree with all the time. But I’m a lurve slut, I put out way too easy sometimes. Yes I just gave @JilltheTooth a GA!

@JilltheTooth (yes?)

JilltheTooth's avatar

Damn, in the preview my stuff waqs crossed out and whispered, now it isn’t (at least on mine) I don’t get it. My post would’ve had more punch. Hmmmm.

everephebe's avatar

You can still edit @JilltheTooth it’s only four five six seven eight nine oh no! minutes old. (Use the parentheses.)

janbb's avatar

@everephebe Some debates on here have devolved into pretty nasty stuff in former times. You’ve missed some of the bun fights.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@everephebe : I’ve been trying to edit, but, it shows up how I want it to in the preview, but not the post itself.

everephebe's avatar

@JilltheTooth It does do that sometimes. Hmmm. You have to out fluther it somehow. I know you can do it! [edit]: Well… next time. Use the secret almighty (parentheses.)

everephebe's avatar

@janbb “Bun fights?”

seazen's avatar

Okay fuck this shit, I’m outta here.

MilkyWay's avatar

@seazen , same here…

augustlan's avatar

Obscenity is, as always, subjective. I know that’s not very satisfying, but it is true, no?

Generally, something has to be pretty over-the-top and/or extremely inappropriate in its context in order to be removed as ‘obscene’. Of course, we’re all human beings, so we may all have different ideas about what makes something over-the-top or extremely inappropriate. It comes down to a judgment call.

In this particular case, I believe a mod removed the answer because it combined Jesus with a lewd (<< also subjective, of course) statement, in an over-the-top sort of way, and in a thread directed toward Christian members. It could also have been removed as flame-bait, I suppose, but it doesn’t seem like your purpose was to bait people, but to be funny.

everephebe's avatar

@augustlan GA.

I didn’t realize it would be as offensive as it was to certain people. I think the lewd comment would have been ok, or at least gone over if I didn’t use the name Jesus in that particular sentence. Looking back, I completely understand… After asking this question and seeing some great responses.

Oh… yeah, that offends people, yeah I forget that some people take god seriously. Shoot. I should have known. Duh.

Sex+2Fbombs+ Jesus = Obscene. Minus Jesus, it probably would have been ok. Yeah I… understand that. [Blush.]

I try to avoid writing responses that will get moderated because I don’t want to give the moderators extra work. I realize you folks don’t get paid except in luvre. So, lotsa lurve to the mods.

And I’ll remember that crossing things out and whispering them does little to negate it’s oomph. By oomph I’m not using the definition that means sexual attractiveness.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I’m pretty sure it was the combination of Jesus, sexual fetishes and “fucking” that made it obscene. Even atheists know that Christians and even some non-Christians will be offended by a deliberately inflammatory comment about “that certain man” fucking a hooker’s feet….. or something along those lines, if I remember correctly.

Not to sound bitchy at all, but I’m pretty sure you knew why the comment was obscene and just wanted to draw attention to it for whatever reason.

cockswain's avatar

It takes a lot. I’ve said many very vile things on here, and have only been modded for obscenity a couple times. Hell, just the word ‘cockswain’ is sort of dirty.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Am I the only one who now desperately wants to know what the hell it was that you said?

iamthemob's avatar

Alright – nothing on Fluther could possibly be as obscene as what happened just now in the Wisconsin legislature.

breedmitch's avatar

Wait. We have threads directed toward Christian members? ~

Dog's avatar

This is a moderation question isn’t it? Where is the food?~

everephebe's avatar

@Dog what food, like a sacrificial lamb of some sort?

Dog's avatar

I was thinking more like chili and guacamole with chips.
That or Ding Dongs. Either or both.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@Dog Didn’t you hear? I have a cake in the frizzer that I bring along to all the threads now~

everephebe's avatar

@Dog I humbly submit to you a recipe.

rooeytoo's avatar

Jeez, this all happened 14 hours ago and I am just catching up with it, this time difference is so problematic!

(I wonder if Jeez is considered obscene???) And yes, now that you mentioned it, I have often wondered if @cockswain‘s name means he is a rower or something else entirely.

janbb's avatar

I have apple cider donuts.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Damn. Food has been introduced and I have nothing yummy to say. I’ll get back to you after I’ve cooked something.

jonsblond's avatar

@janbb I was watching Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations the other night and they showed him tasting a bacon doughnut with maple glaze at an eatery in Portland. I started to drool. Does that sound obscenely delicious or what?

marinelife's avatar

@jonsblond Obscenely delicious!

rooeytoo's avatar

@jonsblond – to me that sounds plain obscene! Although I do like a bacon sanga on white with butter and jelly (that is jam not jello for my aussie mates)

El_Cadejo's avatar

@jonsblond that sounds fucking awesome. Ive made maple bacon cookies and had bacon ice cream but never a donut.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther