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TV Tropes Self-Censoring Under Google Pressure 393

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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  • Re:Google (Score:5, Informative)

    by houstonbofh ( 602064 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:21PM (#34158110)
    What is the problem? Just open the site with a disclaimer, "This site is not filtered for children or idiots. Enter at your own risk." Now everyone is happy.
  • by cduffy ( 652 ) <> on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:51PM (#34158306)

    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.

    Nobody from Google made that judgement; rather, TV Tropes' own users did... though the summary is certainly edited in such a way as to imply otherwise.

    That said, the users from TV Tropes are self-censoring conservatively on account of not knowing exactly what Google dinged them for... which is clearly Not Cool.

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

    by Marcika ( 1003625 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:56PM (#34158336)

    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!

    They would mess it up, badly. Given that the English puritans intentionally mistranslated the reference to cunnilingus in 7:2, and the American puritans mistranslated it again in the NIV, you shouldn't get your hopes up. They might just make some sort of wishy-washy show saying it is an analogy for the love of God for Israel...

    (Well maybe if the Germans did it... Luther at least dared to get that translation right.)

  • Re:Google (Score:5, Informative)

    by ikkonoishi ( 674762 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @10:21PM (#34158458) Journal

    Google does not run ads on NSFW pages. It violates their TOS. People were editing in NSFW content on some pages, and one of the auditors at Google caught it. Now TVTropes has to make sure that any pages that may have NSFW content do not run Google ads.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 07, 2010 @10:57PM (#34158604)

    "When was the last time you had to get a license for free speech or any other fundamental right?"

    Concealed Carry.

    Now get the hell out of my country, you anal-cranial invert. No, I don't want to hear your false history as to the origin of marriage. No, I don't want to hear about your imaginary Sky Wizard. No, I don't want to hear your excuses as to why you're purportedly not a bigot for deeming it proper to reduce a large number of my fellow Americans to the status of second class citizen.

    Just get the fuck out. Go to Iran.

    I'd say, please excuse the language - but fuck it. You allies of tyranny, stalwart enemies of Liberty, simply do not deserve civil discourse.

  • by CheerfulMacFanboy ( 1900788 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @11:02PM (#34158620) Journal

    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.

    Uh, couple != families. Families implies children.

    Errm, did you miss the part where married couples without kids got preferential treatment over unmarried couples with kids because of the aforementioned "Republican family values"?

  • Re:Song of Songs (Score:4, Informative)

    by Your.Master ( 1088569 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @11:12PM (#34158664)

    Umm, no: porn very much includes the written word. I checked a couple dictionaries just now and it actually lists the written form of porn *first*.

    The difference between erotica and pornography is that erotica is thought to have more artistic merit.

  • by wizardforce ( 1005805 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @11:19PM (#34158702) Journal

    no where in the constitution does it give idiots like you the power to decide whom other people may marry. screw you and all those who are like you.

  • by Dragonslicer ( 991472 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @11:38PM (#34158798)

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

    Perhaps the Fourteenth Amendment []?

  • by Fallingwater ( 1465567 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @11:53PM (#34158874)
    I was in the TVTropes IRC channel when all this was going on, and what came out was: the contract for the ads that the tvtropes people signed with Google explicitly stated that no family-unsafe content was allowed. The wiki flew under the radar for a good while, probably because it has nothing explicit and so nobody thought of checking too hard, but ultimately someone did. Now, while the wiki has no porn or anything like it, it's undeniable that some of the arguments might be seen as not suitable for young children. Whether talk about lesbian erotica or massive amounts of profanity [] harm children or not can be discussed at length, but the matter remains that the contract conditions were clear. I hate censorship as much as the next slashdotter and I hate self-righteous moralization even more, but in this particular case I find all this anti-googlism to be way out of proportion. Especially considering that TVTropes didn't really self-censore anything, they just put the relevant articles behind an "are you really sure" clickthrough barrier; all the content is still there.
  • Re:Google (Score:2, Informative)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Monday November 08, 2010 @01:09AM (#34159162) Journal

    This troper doesn't believe a word of most of what is said

    One hates people who speak of themselves in the third person. One thinks they should be reprimanded sharply.

    One surely does. And it puts the lotion on its skin or it gets the hose again.

  • Re:Google (Score:3, Informative)

    by samoanbiscuit ( 1273176 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @01:48AM (#34159298)

    If you've ever read anything on tvtropes, you'll realize that that's the standard way of starting an anecdote or personal example, such as "in this troper's experience", "this toper saw/believes/felt" and "this troper read in a fanfic somewhere...".

  • Re:Google (Score:3, Informative)

    by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @03:14AM (#34159538) Journal
    Yes it has. It's had a message added saying that single sex relationships are potentially unsafe reading for minors. It's a minor change but it's still a change.
  • Re:Google (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sir_Lewk ( 967686 ) <sirlewk@gma i l . c om> on Monday November 08, 2010 @04:05AM (#34159684)

    You self-censor the word sexual and expect people to take you seriously in a conversation about censorship?


  • by mvdwege ( 243851 ) <> on Monday November 08, 2010 @05:13AM (#34159850) Homepage Journal

    The summary is 100% unedited my own words. I am nowhere implying that Google made that judgment, I mean exactly what I wrote: Google's withdrawal of advertising has led TV Tropes to self-censor.


  • Re:Google (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 08, 2010 @06:03AM (#34159990)
    I'm not sure "too big to fail" means what you think it means. The actual meaning, expanded fully, is that the company is so big that to allow it to fail would be too detrimental to the economy, so government has to wade in with public funds to prevent it failing (i.e. the banks that were bailed out, or in some cases where a company provides tens or hundreds of thousands of jobs, directly or indirectly). Most of the big IT companies bring in a lot of money, but they don't particularly create a lot of employment and it's an easy market for someone else to fill the void if they fail, so I doubt most of the companies in your list would be considered "too big to fail". I doubt even Disney would, because they have a ton of valuable IP so that, even if they were somehow to fail, they'd still be able to sell off valuable assets. Countries are a different matter, of course, because often when they go bankrupt they start getting ideas about taking assets from their neighbours, which is why we tend to cut each other some slack.
  • by nosferatu1001 ( 264446 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @06:53AM (#34160174)

    No, it really wasnt.

    Irrational fear of people who dont stick their dicks where you like to, and atempting to enforce and justify this irrational fear, deserves being knocked back very forcefully.

    Sadly belief in an imaginary being is only deemed "insanity" when it isnt a recognised imaginary sky friend.

  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @07:33AM (#34160282) Journal
    Make a civil union a state issue, covering things like joint ownership of property, joint tax, inheritance, and so on. Make marriage a religious issue, completely distinct from civil union and carrying no legal weight. Sell it to the left as a way of getting religion out of government and sell it to the right as a way of getting government out of religion.
  • Re:Google (Score:2, Informative)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Monday November 08, 2010 @09:15AM (#34160570) Journal

    The fact that you are upset about the trucks with cameras shows how utterly paranoid and alarmist you are

    I'm not upset about the trucks with cameras.

    I'm upset that the same company that has the trucks and cameras has place that sells the maps, has the advertising agency, sells eyeballs, places that advertising on websites, collects all the information, is an ISP, content provider, AND search engine, and I know I'm leaving some things out.

    And now, is a self-appointed censor. I thought that they just put targeted ads in places people can see them. I can't imagine that there are no advertisers trying to reach the people over at TVTropes. I've seen Google place ads in some pretty obnoxious places, including right-wing racist hate sites. But now fictional descriptions are beyond the pale?

    TVTropes has no right in any sense of the word to operate the way it does, now...

    Please tell me what is so terrible about TVTropes and the ways it "operates" now. Did you get banned from there too, MindlessAutomata? What did you do?

  • Re:Google (Score:3, Informative)

    by ConceptJunkie ( 24823 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @09:17AM (#34160580) Homepage Journal

    "Too big to fail" really referred to financial institutions whose failure would not just affect the company (which is bad enough, but the risk of doing business), but all of their investors, bank customers, clients, etc. (as appropriate) and thus adversely affect the whole U.S. economy far beyond what another business of the same size would affect.

    It was bad enough when Enron bellied up and took down the pensions, etc, of employees or retirees, but if a bank failed and took _your_ or _my_ life savings/pension/whatever when you or I aren't even employees (and perhaps not even direct customers), that's a whole 'nother matter.

    Of course, the solution was just as bad as the problem, in its own way, but that's another topic.

    If Google went out of business, it really wouldn't be so bad because its employees would be able to find other employment, its customers would be able find other advertisers and we could all go back to using Yahoo, AltaVista or Lycos (and you thought I was going to mention Bing... we're talking hypotheticals here, not fantasy).

    The real issue here is whether Google, by virtue of its size, power and/or market share is able to exert and undue influence on the market.

  • Re:Google (Score:3, Informative)

    by geminidomino ( 614729 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @09:33AM (#34160670) Journal

    Linking to Tvtropes from anywhere should be a ban-worthy act...

    If you think getting lost in Wikipedia is bad, you've never experienced the TVTropes vortex...

  • Re:Google (Score:4, Informative)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Monday November 08, 2010 @09:39AM (#34160706) Journal

    The government has been the biggest barrier to the "free market" in decades.

    See that, ConceptJunkie, you just bought into the notion that there really is such a thing as the "free market", and further that having such a thing would actually be a good thing?

    Or is the highest unemployment rate in decades just because people are mean?

    No, we have the highest unemployment rate in decades because it's good for business.

    But that's a different discussion for another day.

  • Re:Welcome (Score:3, Informative)

    by Tangent128 ( 1112197 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @09:48AM (#34160748)
    TV Tropes has a donation page, and a small Zazzle store. Neither generate nearly enough funding to break even at the moment.
  • Re:Google (Score:3, Informative)

    by rufty_tufty ( 888596 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @11:15AM (#34161366) Homepage

    What is family friendly for you is family unfriendly for me.
    I like the idea of children being educated about life before they experience it. Who are they to say what is family friendly? Who is anyone? Can i specify that I'd rather they hid violence from children than sex?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 08, 2010 @03:04PM (#34164258)

    ...that hostility was uncalled for.

    Perhaps not, but it's perfectly understandable. Ever hear of a little sport called "fag-bashing"?

Solutions are obvious if one only has the optical power to observe them over the horizon. -- K.A. Arsdall