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TV Tropes Self-Censoring Under Google Pressure 393

Posted by samzenpus
from the think-of-the-children dept.
mvdwege writes "The popular wiki TV Tropes, a site dedicated to the discussion of various tropes, clichés and other common devices in fiction has suddenly decided to put various of its pages behind a 'possibly family-unsafe' content warning, apparently due to pressure by Google withdrawing its ads. What puzzles me most is the content that is put behind this warning. TV Tropes features no explicit sexual content, and no explicit violence. It does of course discuss these things, as is its remit, but without actual explicit depictions. In fact, something as relatively innocuous as children being raised by two females, whatever the reason are put behind the content warning, even if the page itself doesn't take a stand on the issue, merely satisfying itself by describing the occurence of this in fiction."
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TV Tropes Self-Censoring Under Google Pressure

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  • Google (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkKnightRadick (268025) <the_spoon.geo@yahoo.com> on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:03PM (#34158012) Homepage Journal

    Doing evil that doesn't look evil.

  • Re:Google (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkKnightRadick (268025) <the_spoon.geo@yahoo.com> on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:12PM (#34158068) Homepage Journal

    The problem being that Google, using it's ad-dollars, is forcing a site that is completely devoid of anything remotely family un-safe to make a change in the way it shows its content.

  • Song of Songs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AnonymousClown (1788472) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:20PM (#34158106)
    Please, someone create a TV show based on the Song of Songs of the Bible to fuck with those people.

    What to do, what to do. It's the Bible and yet, it's porn!

  • by poptones (653660) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:27PM (#34158140) Journal

    Take a stance? They could easily take a stand - tell Google to fuck off with its ad dollars.

    When are y'all going to get this isn't censorship, it's marketing? Advertisers don't want to piss off customers, many of whom may well be backward hicks. Money doesn't care if it comes from a hick or an educated genius, it's still money. Google cannot keep its advertisers if they allow their ad software to be plastering ads for Duncan Hines and Soft Soap all over porn sites, or even sites some of those hicks who buy soft soap and duncan hines might consider questionable in their editorial content.

    This is completely protected speech - and they have made their decision: money is more important than "educating" (more likely alienating) a bunch of hicks who can't stand the notion of two people having sex. Whoopee.

  • by corbettw (214229) <corbettw@y a h o o . c om> on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:29PM (#34158148) Journal

    Seriously, how the fuck is describing a family unit that is headed by two females in any way, shape, or form "family unfriendly"? What the fuck is wrong with the world?

    I hope the Human Rights Campaign (which my wife and I donate regularly to) takes note of this and lowers Google's ranking over it. It's just disgusting that they would act this way.

  • Re:Google (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Xaositecte (897197) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:34PM (#34158174) Journal

    But the content itself hasn't actually changed!

  • by Yergle143 (848772) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:35PM (#34158186)

    ...plotlines if there is some damn website giving out all the magic tricks to the little ones. Battlestar Galactica: WOW! The crew is named Adem and Eeve and then named the primitive planet Urth. V: Wow! The Aliens want our water. Star Trek: Wow! An creature made entirely of some unknown energy. Glee: Wow! Will the gang of misfits prevail?!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:36PM (#34158196)

    As a mature adult, I object to having every aspect of my media dumbed down
    to avoid inflicting the truth on children.

    I'm entitled to be entertained at levels significantly above 5th grade.

    Not all of us are average ;-)

  • Upside down world? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Concerned Onlooker (473481) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:38PM (#34158206) Homepage Journal
    So, some "non-traditional" values are worrisome to Google? More worrisome than dealing with authoritarian governments who truly have some terrible "traditional" values?
  • Re:Google (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hpoul (219387) <herbert.slashdot@filter.poul.at> on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:39PM (#34158216) Homepage

    the whole web is unfiltered (or should be), so why would anyone need a disclaimer for every site anyway..

    (if parents want to "protect" their children - it probably makes sense up till a certain age, simply white-list the pages you want them to see.. that's the only way it can possibly work..)

  • by hedwards (940851) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:40PM (#34158224)
    Yes, but Google in doing so has abused it's market position for it's own benefit. Theoretically the DoJ ought to be investigating the abuse of power. But then again, the DoJ ought to have used the Clayton Antitrust Act to prevent them from gaining so much control of the online advertising space in the first place.
  • Which family? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rueger (210566) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:41PM (#34158230) Homepage
    Sure as hell not mine! Most six year olds I know these days know of at least a couple same sex couples, and honestly couldn't care less.

    Now if you want to warn people away from America's Next Top Model, [cwtv.com] I'm with you - no child should be traumatized by watching that!
  • by TubeSteak (669689) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:41PM (#34158234) Journal

    This is completely protected speech - and they have made their decision: money is more important than "educating" (more likely alienating) a bunch of hicks who can't stand the notion of two people having sex. Whoopee.

    I'm not sure you or the GP understands how protected speech works.

    If Google decided to drop advertising on all websites that discuss whether or not Glenn Beck raped and murdered a girl in 1990, claiming "parody" is going to get you no where.

    A private company is well within its rights to set standards and not do business with another private company because of protected speech that falls outside those standards.

  • by tepples (727027) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {selppet}> on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:41PM (#34158236) Homepage Journal

    They could easily take a stand - tell Google to fuck off with its ad dollars.

    That'd need a lot more donors than TV Tropes currently has.

  • Re:Song of Songs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:43PM (#34158250)

    It wouldn't be porn to people who think that the concept of lust has no place in the Bible, and do complex mental acrobatics to convince themselves that Solomon was writing about anything but.

    "7:1 How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince's daughter! the joints of thy thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman. 7:2 Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor: thy belly is like an heap of wheat set about with lilies. 7:3 Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins."

    Oh sure, entirely about his "love for God!"

  • by hedwards (940851) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:43PM (#34158258)
    Because it's the "Christians" that are the sole arbiters of what is and is not family friendly, duh. But seriously, there's a lot of small minded bigots out there that like to use things like this to erase as many traces of things they might have to think about as possible.
  • by tepples (727027) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {selppet}> on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:44PM (#34158270) Homepage Journal

    As far as a free-time black hole, it's orders of magnitude worse than Facebook.

    But once you've completed your initial binge on TV Tropes, it isn't any more of a time waster than Wikipedia. You can wiki walk [tvtropes.org] on any large wiki, but they become shorter as you become familiar with the subject matter.

  • Re:Google (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IgnitusBoyone (840214) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:46PM (#34158284)

    While Censorship and restraint are very different issues. One I wish Wikipedia would learn when clicking on various biology articles. Oh I wonder what that illness is (MY EYES!!). I do find it odd that a site like TV tropes which has no offensive images (that I know of) could run in to trouble on review based off a few counter culture tropes.

    Hell even the articles that talk about adult issues are all extremely tame when you think about it compared to the stuff you find on forums. I wouldn't be surprised if the reviewer stumbled on to a mischievous edit or they just got red flag in general for having completely anom edits.

    I don't think they should have trouble with the appeal process.

  • Re:Google (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daniel_Staal (609844) <DStaal@usa.net> on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:49PM (#34158292)

    Except the idiots who don't realize they are idiots.

    Unfortunately, they have way to much say.

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:54PM (#34158320)
    TV Tropes has the first amendment right to say whatever they like. Google has an equal right not to support them. This is exactly how censorship should work. No government involvement, no heavy hand laws or hypocritical politicians to be seen. TV Tropes could still publish whatever they'd like, but TV Tropes has decided that profit is more important than keeping the warning labels off their content. This should be applauded as a shining example of the 1st amendment at it's best, not as if Google is trying to squash their speech. Everyone has the right to speech, but if they want a megaphone, someone has to pay for it.
  • *yawn* (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Altanar (56809) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:59PM (#34158344)
    Until Google actually makes a statement on this, I'm just writing it off as a single Google employee misrepresenting company opinion and a (relatively) small website complaining to a favorable audience instead of doing the appropriate thing and appealing to someone else at Google.
  • Re:Google (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cheekyjohnson (1873388) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @10:03PM (#34158376)

    "if parents want to "protect" their children"

    Protect in this sense of course means "indoctrinate." I don't see the problem with sexual/violent content at all. There's nothing to protect them from. A person who is normal to begin with doesn't magically become a murderer/rapist when they view content.

  • by sg_oneill (159032) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @10:08PM (#34158400)

    Republican family values!

    Hey, lets inflict forced proposition-8 divorces on 1000s of californian families because an imaginary diety says so, even if the constitution says govt and religion are forbidden from combining.

  • by cheekyjohnson (1873388) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @10:15PM (#34158438)

    "As a mature adult, I object to having every aspect of my media dumbed down to avoid inflicting the truth on children."

    As someone who isn't completely detached from reality, I object to censoring (yes, I know that this isn't necessarily censorship) anything in the name of children. Even children know what is fiction and what is not, and even if they don't, they won't magically become a murder/rapist because of content that they viewed.

  • by Entropius (188861) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @10:16PM (#34158442)

    ... where "rights" means rights guaranteed by law.

    Google can choose to do business with whomever they want. But while this isn't a legal problem it's still the symptom of a problem: that prudish Christians have far too much sway in our country, and that Google actually takes seriously the idea that some idiot with a cross up his bum might whine loudly enough for it to impact Google.

    The fact that Google's response wasn't "sorry if this site mentions tits, many of us have them, go away now" is a problem, and not a problem with Google necessarily; it's a problem with our society, and the whiny Christians that get their way in it.

  • Re:Google (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tverbeek (457094) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @10:16PM (#34158444) Homepage

    It's a de facto near-monopoly all over again, just like Microsoft with IE and Office. I don't think it's necessarily the result of Google being Evil, but when a site's choice of sponsorship is Google or Ohfuckwhatdowedonow, there's a serious problem with the online advertising market.

  • by cheekyjohnson (1873388) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @10:19PM (#34158452)

    "This is exactly how censorship should work."

    A giant corporation with a large amount of influence dropping support for people that dare say something against their views? I mean, yes, if censorship exists at all, I'd rather have this happen than the government doing it, but that doesn't mean that censorship isn't completely pointless and an obscenity in and of itself.

  • by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater@gmail. c o m> on Sunday November 07, 2010 @10:22PM (#34158464) Homepage

    They should approach those advertisers and deal direct, which would allow the site to operate more freely. As a bonus, cutting out the middleman (Google), would likely result in more revenue than before.

    There's a reason why people use middlemen. Sure, they take a cut of the revenue - but they also do much of the heavy lifting. I seriously doubt that many websites can make any money off of advertising if they have to pay for all the legwork that 'approaching those advertisers and dealing directly' would require. (Assuming the advertisers are willing to spend the time/money/effort it takes to deal with individual websites - there's a reason why they are using middlemen too.)

  • Welcome (Score:5, Insightful)

    by turkeyfish (950384) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @10:27PM (#34158488)

    You have entered into the brave new world of privatized America. Do not attempt to adjust your internet experience. We will control all that you see and hear.

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @10:32PM (#34158504)
    I very much doubt this has anything to do with Googles views. It has to do with Googles customers having a reasonable expectation that their ads not show up supporting something they might think is questionable. And in this case, the exact same content is still there, it just has a quick warning blurb in front of it that in now way hinders it's affect. Google has every right to do this. This is how it's supposed to work. You just agree with the outcome. You have every right to boycott Googles goods and services in protest, but of course, you'd be doing exactly the same as Google then wouldn't you? It's you're right, go for it.
  • by euphemistic (1850880) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @10:51PM (#34158576)
    They're gay, not infertile. Use your imagination.

    PS. Churches don't give the licenses, the government does. The government may not have created marriage, but if they can regulate it (which you don't seem to have a problem with), they can do so as they see fit - including by issuing licenses and deciding who they will issue their licenses to.
  • by zeroshade (1801584) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @10:54PM (#34158590)
    Just wanted to point out that only under a very specific definition of family are children implied. Otherwise under no way are children implied when someone says "family" I would consider a married couple to be a family as would many other people.
  • Re:Google (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Sunday November 07, 2010 @10:55PM (#34158598) Homepage Journal

    But the content itself hasn't actually changed!

    The technical term for this kind of thing is "Chilling Effect". It's actually a term of art.

    It's one reason why there's such a danger in any single company getting as big, and as ubiquitous as Google has become. And unfortunately, there is no mechanism of the "free market" which deals with this. It's one reason (among many) that the free market will always end up being "un-free". A further problem is that there will seldom be a point at which you can say, "There! Now it has become a danger."

    There probably was a point somewhere between Google being a search engine and Google being an advertising agency and Google being an ISP, and Google having trucks with cameras and wi-fi sniffers driving down every street in the world, where it crossed the line.

    Since the Justice Department has been asleep at the wheel for the past several decades, Google will not be broken up as it should be. It will become both "too big to fail" and "big enough to fuck everything up".

  • Re:Google (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Your.Master (1088569) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @11:01PM (#34158614)

    It's not for free -- they have to include Google content and follow rules about how it displays, and now the terms seem to be changing out from under them to also have to hide their own content behind an annoying, user-unfriendly click-through.

    Basically the problem is that Google is wielding an advertising monopoly to dictate the business terms of its suppliers (supplying eyeballs and data). That tends to be controversial -- sure, we're mostly okay if they refuse to do business with explicitly pro-slavery organizations, but as you back off into grey areas more and more people's hackles start to rise. This particular case smells like a light form of censorship, which is particularly unpopular on slashdot.

    I don't think this incident is a huge deal, though I do find it frustrating that TV Tropes will be a little harder to use the next time I decide to lose myself in its pages for a while. And to be clear, I don't think Sergei Brin is sitting atop a dark tower laughing maniacally and screaming "by the power of this monopoly SOON ALL WILL BE UNDER MY CONTROL". It's merely that relatively innocent actions, when backed up by an effective monopoly, have profound effects.

    That suggests a question -- does Google have an advertising monopoly? It's a tough question. French courts have ruled that they are (I'd paste a link but Chrome has had problems pasting into slashdot these days -- use Google :) to find a court ruling from France on July 2). But they do have one competitor, though it's about a quarter the size of Google: Microsoft. That doesn't sit well with a large portion of slashdotters either so there's really no remaining alternative.

  • Re:Song of Songs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Brian_Ellenberger (308720) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @11:16PM (#34158682)

    Please, someone create a TV show based on the Song of Songs of the Bible to fuck with those people.

    What to do, what to do. It's the Bible and yet, it's porn!

    Why do you assume that all Christians would be offended? I am a member of one of the most "conservative" Southern Baptist mega churches around, and neither my wife nor I have ever attended a Sunday School or sermon which said that Song of Songs wasn't about sex and wasn't an awesome book. If all you know about Christianity are the stereotypes on TV, I feels sorry for your ignorance. For most Protestant denominations, within marriage sex is considered an extremely wonderful and important part of a couple's relationship.

  • by Mr. Slippery (47854) <tms@infamo[ ]net ['us.' in gap]> on Sunday November 07, 2010 @11:18PM (#34158696) Homepage

    Uh, couple != families. Families implies children.

    Uh, no, it does not.

    Were you sick from school when they explained reproduction?

    Are you unfamiliar with the concept of adoption? Of step-children? Do you think that infertile people should be unable to marry?

    Sorry, but where in your constitution does it say that everyone has a right to marriage

    That would be the equal protection clause of Amendment XIV. When Alice and Bob are allowed to get married, but Alice and Bobbi are not, merely because of the presence or absence of a Y chromosome, that is not equal protection under the law.

    and that the government has a right to redefine marriage?

    Civil marriage is a government creation. Law doesn't "redefine" it any more than it "redefines" patents or copyrights; without government action, civil marriage does not exist.

    Marriage was not instituted by the government because it preceded any form of government.

    Nonsense. There is no civil marriage without a government; and anyway, when was this mythical time when humans had no form of government? Hominid dominance hierarchies have always been with us.

    Governments passed laws to recognize and regulate marriage based on societies values which is not the same thing as creating marriage.

    No. Civil marriage is a legal institution, a contractual obligation. The social aspect of marriage is between the couple (or triad or whatever) and their friends; the religious aspect is between them and their priests, ministers, or shamans. But the legal aspect is entirely a creation of the state.

    It's entirely possible for these to be separate; there are many people who are legally married whose marriage is not recognized by the Catholic church, for example. If you don't want to invite Alice and Bobbi to the cotillion, or want to disinclude them in your prayers to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, that's your own business; if you want to deny them equal protection under the law, then you're guilty of a high crime against humanity.

    Marriage requires a license and so it is not a right.

    So what? Do you think, "Driving requires a license so it is not a right; so it's ok for the government to forbid (blacks/Christians/Democrats/whatever) from driving"? Equal treatment under the law is a right.

    Your homophobia shames you. Get over it.

  • Re:Song of Songs (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @11:42PM (#34158818)

    Out of curiousity, does it also come up that Solomon had a pile of wives and that means he had a different definition of marriage than our current/mainstream one?

    I kind of assume most of the conservative Southern Baptist megachurches would take to the implications of that like snails take to salt.

  • Re:Welcome (Score:3, Insightful)

    by feepness (543479) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @11:48PM (#34158844) Homepage

    You have entered into the brave new world of privatized America. Do not attempt to adjust your internet experience. We will control all that you see and hear.

    Yeah, it was much better when website advertising was run by the government.

  • by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @11:50PM (#34158854)

    When you start forming family units that are no longer capable of producing the primary mission, you are the one that has fucked up

    And when we persecute heterosexual couples who either choose to have no children or are sterile, your point of view will seem less comical.

  • Re:Google (Score:3, Insightful)

    by victorhooi (830021) on Monday November 08, 2010 @12:31AM (#34159010)

    heya,

    You're either very, very sheltered from the Internet, or you've never actually had any contact with kids...

    There's a lot of weird stuff on the internet. No, I mean, seriously wacko stuff. In the public limelight, there's already goatse, and that 2girls and a cup thingy. Even movies like The Human Centipede are pretty wacked. Or stuff like Saw. Nothing I've mentioned here is particularly hard to find, and in fact is commonly mentioned on forums like Slashdot (would you regard Slashdot as not family friendly?), 4chan, or heck, a Google search will bring it back.

    Is that the sort of thing you want your kids seeing?

    Look hard enough, and there is much worse. Either very graphic violence, that would make even adults like us cringe/throw up, or weird kinky deviant s*xual stuff.

    It's got nothing to do with indoctrination, it's got to do with not coming home and seeing your kids crying, or vomiting up their dinner because they saw something graphic.

    Or maybe it's just text, and they read something that creeps them out, and will make them wake up crying every night for the next 6 months *shrugs*.

    I'm speaking here generally, of course, as apparently other commentators say this site isn't even that bad.

    But the point remains, your silly knee-jerk reactions about how any parent who wants to know what their kid views is "indoctrinating" their kid shows your ignorance.

    The internet is awesome - it's brilliant, the amount of data that it can put at your fingertips. But if you're young, and prone to typing in random stuff or clicking on random links...sometimes it's not really the greatest thing. I'm sure generations before us had access to dirty stories, pornography, and smut films - but they had to look hard for it. Now, any kid who can type and use a mouse can find it from home.

    It's not exactly THE SKY IS FALLING scenario, but it does mean that the idea of putting a "Do you want to continue" here to prevent accidental clickage isn't a bad idea.

    Cheers,
    Victor

  • Re:Google (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cheekyjohnson (1873388) on Monday November 08, 2010 @12:47AM (#34159074)

    "There's a lot of weird stuff on the internet."

    Oh, believe me, I've seen it. It doesn't have any effect on me at all.

    "Is that the sort of thing you want your kids seeing?"

    Is that the sort of thing you want anyone seeing? Might as well ban everyone from the internet, since even you said it affects adults.

    "Or maybe it's just text, and they read something that creeps them out, and will make them wake up crying every night for the next 6 months *shrugs*."

    Maybe it's the same with you. Perhaps the government should cut off your access to the internet because you might instantly turn into a murderer/rapist from viewing the content.

    "But the point remains, your silly knee-jerk reactions about how any parent who wants to know what their kid views is "indoctrinating" their kid shows your ignorance."

    No, I just heavily dislike pointless censorship.

    "It's not exactly THE SKY IS FALLING scenario, but it does mean that the idea of putting a "Do you want to continue" here to prevent accidental clickage isn't a bad idea."

    Why? It's annoying. If they don't like it, they can just get out.

  • Meta-Warning (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ardaen (1099611) on Monday November 08, 2010 @01:47AM (#34159296)

    If your a child with two mothers, finding that page is behind a this may not be family friendly warning could potentially be damaging... So not family friendly...

    Can we get a "the following page is a warning that may not be family friendly" warning on the warning?

    Am I trying to be funny or just applying logic?

  • Re:Song of Songs (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 08, 2010 @01:50AM (#34159306)

    > Out of curiousity, does it also come up that Solomon had a pile of wives and that means he had a different definition of marriage than our current/mainstream one?

    Only 300 of them were wives, the other 700 were concubines. No, I did not have to look those numbers up. I'm surprised you didn't instead refer to the part when King David was old and infirm, so they found a pretty young lady to keep him warm at night. Or maybe the story about how crazy Lot's daughters were... But they're seen as a condemnation such things rather than an endorsement of it. I mean, who believes that one endorses everything they mention? Or maybe you think that Christians are required to be morally perfect? One of the other points, oft missed, is that a repentant heart leads to forgiveness, even if you've really screwed up.

    But yes, that sort of thing did come up. You're talking about people who have read and even memorized passages about things like who begat whom or the numbers in Numbers, when most people's eyes glaze the second anyone starts talking about the number of people from the tribes of Zebulun or Ephraim, let alone the families within each tribe or their allotment of land.

    Believe it or not, if it's in the Bible, we know.

  • Re:Song of Songs (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 08, 2010 @02:16AM (#34159386)

    You bring a fascinating point, since polygamy was so widely practiced and was endorsed by some of the churches what happened when you ran out of women? After-all women make up 51% of the population, if everyone had multiple wives, then there must have been a large bachelor cast, unless they also embraced homosexual marriages. Therefor at best only 25% of the male population could practice polygamy, while the rest practiced self-love.

    All I have to say is that the polygamist utopia sucked for a large percentage of the men.

  • Re:Song of Songs (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 08, 2010 @02:56AM (#34159496)

    Out of curiousity, does it also come up that Solomon had a pile of wives and that means he had a different definition of marriage than our current/mainstream one?

    I kind of assume most of the conservative Southern Baptist megachurches would take to the implications of that like snails take to salt.

    They really hate it when you mention that women were married when they attained adulthood, which was traditionally around the age of 14 (whenever they got their period). Yes, that's right, many of the Bible's most revered figures were in their 40's or 50's and marrying multiple girls in their early teens. Today we'd call them "pedophiles", and after a mental evaluation (since they're claiming to hear voices and talk to God) would be confined to a state or federal mental institution.

  • Re:Google (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tangent128 (1112197) on Monday November 08, 2010 @03:20AM (#34159558)
    It's also a form of Natter [tvtropes.org] we'd prefer was avoided [tvtropes.org].
  • Re:Google (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pentium100 (1240090) on Monday November 08, 2010 @03:40AM (#34159618)

    I don't think anyone would drop dead or become insane after seeing goatse or 2girls1cup. The worst that would happen is vomiting.

    Anyway, you can monitor your kids, you can also install filters and have a whitelist/blacklist so your kids don't see what you think is bad for them. I don't care about that.

    However, you cannot make the whole internet "safe" for your kids so you can stop worrying about installing filters. There is a simple reason for that - there are people other than your kids using the internet. Another reason is that if we allowed every parent to censor the whole internet, there would be nothing left, since hardcore religious people would object to evolution and atheist sites, hardcore atheists would object to religious sites, a lot of people would object to porn and others to violence and so on.

    Streets are also unsafe for your kids - a drunk or careless driver can run them over, they can be mugged etc. However, you probably would not like if there was a law that required everyone (except parents) to keep at least 200m distance from a kid or even better - go inside until the kid passes.

    Oh and also - the warnings don't work. I don't know about you, but I had no trouble clicking "I'm 18" when I was younger than 18, so I don't see why this warning would protect your kids, unless you monitor then and/or have filters which makes the warning pointless.

    Oh and TV Tropes included NSFW warning on links to other sites that were... well... NSFW. I have not seen any NSFW content on the site itself (not that the fact that you have been browsing TV tropes instead of working is SFW).

  • Re:Google (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 08, 2010 @04:01AM (#34159668)

    But the content itself hasn't actually changed!

    Don't worry, it WILL change. TV Tropes will adjust its editing guidelines, authors will preemptively censor themselves (maybe unintentionally so, but there's always that nagging "don't write anything remotely NSFW or your article will be buried under disclaimers") and so on.

    Once you do anything aimed at influencing certain things (mark it "dubious", increase surveillance, etc.), people will use those pesky littles scissors in their heads.

  • by anti-pop-frustration (814358) on Monday November 08, 2010 @04:06AM (#34159688) Journal
    U.S. of A., the United States of Advertising. Freedom of expression is guaranteed... If you've got the money!

    Everyone has the right to speech, but if they want a megaphone, someone has to pay for it.

    The megaphone part is exactly what is wrong with free speech in America right now. Go ahead and exercise your first amendment right in the woods (aka a “Free speech zone”), but good luck if you want to exercise that same right on any kind of mass media. Want to say anything on a national level that might upset a corporation? Not possible unless you’ve got the resource to outspend them.
    In essence, freedom of expression now has a financial barrier of entry and this prevents significant critical discourse from ever reaching the broad public. This is how you manufacture consent, by keeping dissident voices out of the loop.

    Money dictates the public and political discourse in America. The government isn't telling Americans what they can and can't say, corporations are. And the TV-Tropes case is a perfect example of that.

  • Re:Google (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday November 08, 2010 @06:32AM (#34160092) Journal

    I don't use any Google things anymore. I prefer DuckDuckGo for searching and I prefer OpenStreetMap for maps. They were the only two Google things that I ever used. That doesn't mean that Google is unaware of what I'm doing. If I visit any site with Google ads or analytics, they track me. If I send an email or write an IM to anyone using GMail, Google scans it (not always obvious, because a lot of people point their own domains at Google's SMTP / XMPP servers these days). They have driven their van past my house and put pictures of it online.

    Just because you don't use any Google stuff doesn't mean that you opt out of Google tracking.

  • Re:Google (Score:3, Insightful)

    by delinear (991444) on Monday November 08, 2010 @06:46AM (#34160144)

    It's not exactly THE SKY IS FALLING scenario, but it does mean that the idea of putting a "Do you want to continue" here to prevent accidental clickage isn't a bad idea.

    I don't know if you remember being a kid, but most kids seeing a "This content is not for kids, click here if you're definitely not a kid" link will click it purely out of curiosity. It's the same reason we have to have child proof containers for household chemicals or medication. Do you honestly think this page is any kind of barrier to a kid seeing the content, and if not then what purpose does it serve?

  • Re:Song of Songs (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hey! (33014) on Monday November 08, 2010 @08:07AM (#34160360) Homepage Journal

    It wouldn't be porn to people who think that the concept of lust has no place in the Bible,

    Without taking a position one way or the other in that question, what is illustrated in Song of Songs is erotic love, not lust. These have many superficial characteristics in common, and have considerable connection to each other, but they differ in one essential respect: lust is easy to satisfy; erotic love is impossible to satisfy. As an illustration of this distinction, you might be very interested in having intercourse with some porn star without having any interest in spending every moment of the rest of your life with her.

    Lust is just one of the ways in which erotic love manifests itself, along with exaggerated interest in everything the loved object says or thinks. All of these phenomena can be caused by erotic love, but can also exist independently of it.

    From a certain standpoint, you could argue that lust is a simple, healthy physical drive whereas erotic love looks a lot like mental illness.

  • Re:Google (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday November 08, 2010 @09:28AM (#34160644) Homepage Journal

    I thought that was the SEC. Or was it the FTC? It certainly isn't the Justice Dpt.

    Yes, Thinboy00, it certainly IS the Justice Department that brings anti-trust suits against monopolies.

    They are the legal enforcement arm of the executive branch. Eric Holder is currently the Attorney General. I bet if you use Google, you can find all sorts of information about previous anti-trust cases the Justice Department has brought.

    Then, you can use your gmail account to send email to yourself with the information so you don't forget it (Google is a mail service, too!) or call yourself on Google Voice to leave a message (Google is a phone company?)or maybe you can write a blog post on blogger about what you've learned today(Google is a blogging service!). Failing that, I'll make a video explaining it all to you and post it on YouTube (Goggle is a video distribution company!).

    The phrase you're looking for is "vertical integration".

    Barring all those things, Thinboy00, you can use Google Maps to see if you can find a clue.

  • Re:Google (Score:3, Insightful)

    by victorhooi (830021) on Monday November 08, 2010 @09:38AM (#34160688)

    heya,

    Oh, don't worry, I wasn't a kid that long ago. I know a lot of the time it's like holding a red flag to a bull...haha.

    But look, at the end of the day, it's teaching kids a bit of responsibility.

    So say, there was something like goatse or the 2girls1cup behind a "click warning". And it said, do you really want to proceed? Well, sure the kid clicks, and he says "oh s*it...that is sick...". He or she has nobody but themselves to blame now. And they're going to feel a bit stupid for clicking through. It's like a reverse-rick-roll or something...I think....haha.

    Cheers,
    Victor

  • by Hatta (162192) on Monday November 08, 2010 @10:32AM (#34161024) Journal

    I mean, yes, if censorship exists at all, I'd rather have this happen than the government doing it,

    Oh, no. I have to disagree. As Chomsky says, the government is potentially democratic, corporations are pure tyrannies. If I have a problem with the FCC censoring someone, at least I can pressure my representatives to change the policy. With Google, I have no sway at all. I don't even know who I would complain to.

    Economic power is political power. When we limit the power of government, private power fills in that void unless we limit that too. We haven't gotten that far yet, but we need to if we are ever going to be free people again.

  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Monday November 08, 2010 @11:18AM (#34161416)

    When your civilization depends on a technology, are you saying you trust a private, for profit corporation more than you trust a democratically controlled government?

    Can't I distrust both equally?

  • by DragonWriter (970822) on Monday November 08, 2010 @01:06PM (#34162638)

    TV Tropes has the first amendment right to say whatever they like. Google has an equal right not to support them. This is exactly how censorship should work.

    Saying that Google should have the legal right to do this (or to refrain from doing this) is not the same thing as saying that Google should do it.

    It is possible to believe both that the law should not prevent a particular course of action while at the same time believing that the actor that is legally free to take that course of action should not choose to do so.

    This should be applauded as a shining example of the 1st amendment at it's best, not as if Google is trying to squash their speech.

    Since that is exactly what Google is doing, I disagree. The first amendment at its best is when people exercising their legal freedoms provided by the First Amendment use them in manners that produce good outcomes, not when they do so and produce bad outcomes that, nevertheless, are not so bad as to be worse than the sum of bad outcomes that would be produced when people aren't free.

    This should be, at best, recognized as an accepted cost of 1st Amendment freedom, not celebrated as the First Amendment at its best.

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