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JonnyCeltics's avatar

When did Fluther becomes so adamant about censorship and propriety?

Asked by JonnyCeltics (2664 points ) February 21st, 2012

…and I’m hoping this actually goes up on here without having to revise the question. I’ve been asked twice now, to edit/re-edit a question of mine because it has the words “oral sex” in the question title. When did oral sex become too racy for this site? I even added NSFW and I still had to remove the “sex” question. I resubmitted as simply “oral.” Who knows if it’ll see the light of day.

Who are we protecting here? Twitter, and their new ownership of this site? Years ago, this would have been no problem.

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40 Answers

Seaofclouds's avatar

I’m sorry your frustrated with having to edit your question. The NSFW guidelines have been in place the whole time I’ve been here (which has been almost 2 years now). The NSFW guidelines state:

NSFW Questions
Fluther etiquette requires that you mark questions that are “not safe for work” with an “(NSFW)” in the question title. Questions that might not be “work safe” include:

Questions about that rash on your genitals
Questions about your sex life, or sex in general
Questions about pornography
Your questions still need to meet the guidelines for the section in which you post it in, and the question title must still be “safe for work”. (link)

The problem is not that sex is too racy, it is that we are trying to keep the actual questions (which appear on the main pages of their sections) safe for people to view at work and also so the Fluther does not get blocked on work filters because of those words. That is why we ask that the question remains safe for work and allow the details to contain the NSFW information.

I don’t know how much the policy was enforced before I started on Fluther. I’ll send this to Auggie so she can give her input as well.

Ohh, and Twitter does not own the site. Twitter acquired Ben and Andrew to work for them, but they did not acquire Fluther.

Response moderated (Flame-Bait)
mrentropy's avatar

Come to think of it, I need to stop checking Fluther at work because I was looking at a definitely safe for work thread yesterday or the day before and people decided to start posting definitely not safe for work answers.

funkdaddy's avatar

Was just thinking the same.

Maybe – What makes you happy

Person asking is underage I believe, does not appear to be overly censored by any means.

Judi's avatar

I had to edit out the word Vagina from “Vagina Monologues.” I thought it was over the top too as I had asked a similar question before without editing, and actually, it is still in the archives unedited.

mrentropy's avatar

@funkdaddy Yeah, that was the one.

jerv's avatar

The titles have to be clean for reasons previously stated, but the details and answers can be quite vulgar without much fear of moderation. You can talk about fucking a goat, and actually use the word “fucking” if it’s somewhere where you have to dig a little for it.

Titles are somewhat restricted, but behind the titles, the only things that are really off-limits are personal attacks, criminal acts, and bad grammar.

tom_g's avatar

@JonnyCeltics: “Who are we protecting here?”

Me and my job. I don’t click on questions with NSFW in the title. But start throwing trigger terms in the post, and it doesn’t matter if I click it or not – my IT department might be running software that gets triggered by those terms.

Response moderated
JonnyCeltics's avatar

@jerv thanks. at least apart from the titles it seems most goes…still though…do we really need to censor “oral sex?!”

mrentropy's avatar

Yep. No more Fluther during work hours.

Keep_on_running's avatar

Breaking news!: @mrentropy‘s workplace experiences record 500% growth in productivity!

JonnyCeltics's avatar

@jerv so making titles “clean” and putting a tag that says NSFW, but then allowing nearly-unfettered freedoms within the questions makes it safe. Doesn’t that seem paradoxical to you? Wouldn’t your work bots find what you reading inside a SFW questions problematic?

janbb's avatar

I unerstand the logic but I too find some of the new bowdlerizations a bit off-putting. (And it has been a fairly recent change.)

Dutchess_III's avatar

I agree with the rule, and not just for work…I wouldn’t want my kids to accidentally see a title that had those kinds of words in it.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

I am surprised people find this to be a big deal.

I asked a NSFW question last night, and it was sent back to me twice.

They told me exactly what was wrong the first time, and gave me an example of how to change it. I made the change, then they asked me to modify it a little more to stay within the guidelines, which I did. It took ten minutes.

@JonnyCeltics why, and I am asking out of deep curiosity, are you put off by this? Seemed really painless to me.

syz's avatar

@JonnyCeltics Why are you being so argumentative about this? It’s pretty simple really. No “red flag for work filters” words in the title, and NSFW to warn users who don’t want to get into trouble at work. (I’m pretty sure that the word “sex” would be on the top of any list for filtering content.) Then pretty much put what you want in the body of the question. How is that censorship?

(And by the way, check out the “related questions” for the repeated discussions of this exact topic.)

jerv's avatar

Part of that depends on how deeply the censor-bot searches, and they often don’t look very deeply; generally only at the front pages and not at the entire site.

Part of out has to do with ensuring that people who see potentially objectionable content do so with informed consent. As @Dutchess_III points out, having people accidentally stumble into certain things is undesirable at best, but if they ignore warnings then it’s on them. And the definition of “objectionable” varies; @Dutchess_III seems to have issues with children even seeing the word “sex” while I object more to the sanitizing dishonesty of using the word “oral” when you mean “blow job”. Standards vary, and Fluther has to play it safe.

Part of it has to do with the fact that you shouldn’t be using a work computer to come here anyways. Personally, I don’t have a desk job; I surf Fluther on my phone during the day, and my employer doesn’t monitor my 3G connection.

marinelife's avatar

Twitter does not own Fluther.

It was decided that NSFW questions should not be explicit in the question itself (in details is OK).

Buttonstc's avatar

I have a better question.

Why do you (the OP) seem to have such a problem in grasping the difference between the TITLE of a Q and what is contained within the actual body of the Q?

Its a simple concept. Really it is. And did you miss all the previous times that people have asked a related Q. Namely, ” what good does it do to label a Q as NSFW if the part which is offensive in the workplace is right there in the TITLE?”

Hint: you can find those Qs by use of the search function. (Sarcasm intended)

The TITLE is the TITLE. The rest of the Q is where everything else is permitted freely. Does that clarify it for you sufficiently? I certainly hope so.

Lightlyseared's avatar

It doesn’t take much common sense to work out why Fluther doesn’t want cock sucking on the front page of the site. And the NSFW tag is supposed to warn people not to click on the link before the not safe for work stuff appears on the screen not as a tag to say hey look this content here is gonna get you fired.

rebbel's avatar

For me, those restrictions which I support, not for myself, but for those that could be bothered by it because they watch Fluther at their jobs work as a stimulant.
A stimulant to try and word my ‘racy’ question in a way that it is obvious what I mean, yet not objectionable that it would be send back to me for editing.
If I fail, and it I get it back, I word it as neutral as possible.
Can women also get premature orgasms? turned in to:
”[NSFW] Question regarding reaching high points.

augustlan's avatar

The NSFW policy has always been in place, but wasn’t totally enforced in the past. We mostly just required the (NSFW) warning in the title, but didn’t mess with them much beyond that. However, that system really did very little good, if the title itself was not work-safe. We had a bunch of discussions about it, and tweaked our enforcement of the policy to what it is now.

We really do care about our members, their jobs, and their concerns about their children. Keeping the titles safe is a small thing that potentially keeps a lot of people out of sticky situations.

janbb's avatar

“sticky situations”, tee hee! See – I really am a twelve year old boy today!

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Those guidelines are in place to help protect members with children and members at work. And also members who may just be prudes. :P They are enforced more now than they used to be, simply because the need for enforcement became greater.

Do we seriously have to whine about the mods and the guidelines more? UGH

@augustlan You’ve been flagged for being too punny in your last sentence. Don’t make me get my shovel.

YARNLADY's avatar

I’ve been wondering exactly the opposite. When I first joined, vulgar language wasn’t allowed, no swearing or such, but now it is common place. I doubt there are any questions with at least one comment, and usually more, with vulgarities.

augustlan's avatar

@YARNLADY Cussing has been allowed since I got here, for sure. I can’t remember which one of us joined first at the moment, though.

@WillWorkForChocolate Pun totally unintended!

Judi's avatar

@YARNLADY , I don’t remember a time when vulgarity wa sensored and I’ve been here longer than you. (so has @augustlan )

Dutchess_III's avatar

@jerv where did you get the idea that I seem ”...to have issues with children even seeing the word “sex”” ?

funkdaddy's avatar

Originally it was all “general”, so answers that weren’t in reference to the question were removed pretty regularly.

So I don’t think swearing was ever truly against “the rules” but I agree with @yarnlady that it’s given a lot more leeway now. Mods have to prove something absolutely should be removed as opposed to someone proving it has worth.

Not saying it’s better or worse, but saying it hasn’t changed doesn’t seem right.

janbb's avatar

Actually, originally it was all more like social and much wilder and bawdier than it often is now. Dibley anyone?

jerv's avatar

@Dutchess_III When you said, “I wouldn’t want my kids to accidentally see a title that had those kinds of words in it.” and the worst word I remember from the original title was “sex”. Now, if the original question title were along the lines of, “How do you feel about sucking cock?”, then I would not have gotten that idea.

JonnyCeltics's avatar

Perhaps I meant it as a more meta-type question, as in, not so much pertaining to why guidelines are in place but rather: does it detract from the site, such censorship?

Bellatrix's avatar

You see, I don’t see it as censorship. If you were being told you couldn’t discuss giving head or such, then yes it would be. Nobody says that though. It is not a common thing for a question to be removed entirely and when it is, it is because it is a poll, spam, ridiculous, a duplicate. I can’t remember us removing a question because we think the topic is inappropriate though.

So, it is more about organising and managing the ‘front of house’ rather than censoring. I don’t approve of censorship. I do approve of making sure young people (this site is available to people 13 and over) are not accidentally exposed to content that isn’t appropriate. The rest of the members are big boys and girls and can decide for themselves whether they want to read and participate in adult conversation. The only exception would be discussions of illegal activity.

zensky's avatar

This is boring. Come up with a real question, please. Fluther, thanks to the founders, Lisa and the volunteer mods is just fine. Imperfect and fine. It’s a private site and not a democracy, although they do a pretty darn good job of allowing everyone their two cents…

Remember the fable Please all please none?

JonnyCeltics's avatar

so much backlash here. i get it. it’s private and well-run me thinks. i also cherish the site, and i dont think this conversation is boring. i just didnt think ‘oral sex’ was too racy and it felt, to me, against the spirit of the fluther i came to know. sorry to have ruined your day with my boring comments @zensky

zensky's avatar

You didn’t ruin my day, and it isn’t your comments that are boring; it’s this question that keeps getting asked over and over ad nauseum – for so many years… and if you are touchy feely sensitive – why provoke with this question? Moving right aong…

Dutchess_III's avatar

@jerv Well, you mis-read me. I wasn’t referring to the OP’s post specifically. I was referring to posts such as the one you gave as an example. The word “sex” by itself isn’t worrisome. It’s the words surrounding it, and depending on what they are, that would cause me concern.

jerv's avatar

@Dutchess_III So ka. /bows slightly.

Dutchess_III's avatar

sniffs “Accepted.” Inclines head regally. ;)

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