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Censorship Businesses IT Your Rights Online

You Can't Say That On the Internet 432

hessian writes in with a story about the arbitrary and often outdated online decency standards being imposed by companies."A bastion of openness and counterculture, Silicon Valley imagines itself as the un-Chick-fil-A. But its hyper-tolerant facade often masks deeply conservative, outdated norms that digital culture discreetly imposes on billions of technology users worldwide. What is the vehicle for this new prudishness? Dour, one-dimensional algorithms, the mathematical constructs that automatically determine the limits of what is culturally acceptable. Consider just a few recent kerfuffles. In early September, The New Yorker found its Facebook page blocked for violating the site’s nudity and sex standards. Its offense: a cartoon of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Eve’s bared nipples failed Facebook’s decency test."
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You Can't Say That On the Internet

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  • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @09:58AM (#42026213)

    Silicon Valley imagines itself as the un-Chick-fil-A

    Eve’s bared nipples failed Facebook’s decency test

    LOL facebook is for middle aged women to check every 15 seconds for new pixs of their friends kids or pix of their "fur babies" aka over pampered dogs, and teenage girls to sling insults at each other and compete about friend counts. Guys mostly post "blackmail pixs" for fun of their buddies throwing up, getting high, or getting it on with a landwhale.

    "tits or GTFO" is not going to work on FB. Its middle aged woman / teen girl culture not online or whatever.

    Now if you posted a nice rack on a "internet culture" area like 4chan or maybe a link here on /., that would more or less work.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 19, 2012 @10:24AM (#42026445)

    Perhaps if we could set our own content filters this would solve the problem? I'm uncomfortable with others deciding whose nipples I can and can't see.

    I can't tell you how many times I have tried to post something only to have it marked "[Censored]"

    Words like: "orifice", "petcock", and other words that are used everyday in polite company.

    I don't know what software these websites are using (, but their forums block the most innocuous shit. And it's not like automechanics and construction workers are known for their delicate sensibilities!

    And if anyone is offended buy words like that, they really need to get a grip.

  • Re:Simple (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BVis ( 267028 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @10:30AM (#42026499)

    Logged in to say this. The 'moral majority' (which is neither) has decided that they know what's best for the rest of us. They terrorize politicians into implementing 'decency' rules that reinforce this belief. They pay hordes of lawyers to sue media companies that don't toe their line.

    They're a bunch of fundamentally insecure white males (and their chattel) that are so terrified of the concept of female sexuality that they move to oppress any expression of it outside of... well, actually, any expression of it at all.

    Fundamentalist Evangelical "Christians" are a plague on the United States. Hopefully the drubbing their meat puppets took in the last election will disarm them a bit; if the politicians know they can no longer win elections just by pandering to the fundies, they'll stop doing it.

  • by sycodon ( 149926 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @10:36AM (#42026555)

    Because you are intimately familiar with almost all southern Republican politicians.

    How's the weather up there on your High Horse?

  • by poetmatt ( 793785 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @10:54AM (#42026765) Journal

    I'm disappointed with the article headline: acting like you can't say something?
    Chick Fil-gay can and absolutely did say what they said. Freedom of speech is still alive and well, even if people don't like it (add NYT to that list for willingly censoring at the behest of the government). They simply deserved what they got in response as the market correctly responded. It's one thing to be against rights (which is repulsive to many, but still free speech), but it's another entirely to do what Apple does and willingly censor.
    Why do people start with bullshit headlines when the article is also crap?

  • by icebraining ( 1313345 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @10:59AM (#42026815) Homepage

    No, but they might bomb you if you offend them by being in a nightclub for people with the wrong sexual orientation [].

    You may also offend them by being poor, in which case they might just steal your recently born baby [].

    Of course, these are exceptions. But so is your accusation.

  • by Cid Highwind ( 9258 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @11:10AM (#42026921) Homepage

    "Dour, one-dimensional algorithms" didn't decide cartoon nipples are taboo in Texarkana. People did.

    Don't like it? Start making as much noise when something is censored as the prudes do when they see a bare boob on the boob tube.

  • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Monday November 19, 2012 @11:36AM (#42027221) Homepage Journal

    And how is an outsider to distinguish between a Christian and someone just calling themselves one?

    Actions speak louder than words. The "God hates fags" crowd is perhaps the worst, but maybe that's because a middle-aged lesbian told me only a week ago she wished she wasn't gay because she didn't want to go to hell. I pointed out that since I'm single, it's as much of a sin for me to eat pussy as it is for her. What's worst is she hadn't been with a woman for years.

    It's amazing that so many people who call themselves Christian don't understand the core of Christianity -- forgiveness. kindness, charity. She felt bad about being a lesbian, so she was automatically forgiven. Forgive others, you will be forgiven yourself. Too bad few southern preachers and politicians understand that. They should read the bibles they thump.

  • by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @11:38AM (#42027249) Homepage Journal

    Decency standards be damned, this is 100% legal to air.

    Reminds me of this Xbox 360 ad [] that was also barred from airing.

    Considering that the advert is far, far more tame than typical prime-time programming, it's beyond logic why the ad would be banned...

  • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Monday November 19, 2012 @11:53AM (#42027431) Homepage Journal

    As a Christian, I forgive your hatefulness. That's what we do.

  • by stewwy ( 687854 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @12:09PM (#42027629)
    It's funny! :-) Blurs and challenges peoples assumptions.

    I'm in the UK and for what it's worth I'm a transsexual currently growing her own boobs, (not bad, a bit more than a B cup at the moment :-) )

    The situation is interesting though, if I'm in male mode and strip my top off from there in a situation where male bare-chestedness is appropriate (say a normal beach) then that is OK as far as the cops are concerned.

    But it's not OK if I strip off from a Skirt and Bra.

    I actually find this quite an enlightened attitude. In the rare case that I'm presenting as male I'm treated as one

    When I'm presenting as female then I'm treated as one

    Which is how it should be. I do find this whole thing about nipples (in the USA ) a bit ridiculous, and to be honest a bit childish, it smacks a bit of giggling in the playground

    It is however an insidious way of introducing censorship.

    In the UK we treat sexuality ( and nipples ) a bit more seriously, strangely thanks to the murdoch press and the Sun (a low brow, very popular newspaper ) girls on page 3

    But we fall down considerably on freedom of speech at the moment ( witness the guy being arrested for a burning poppy on his FB page along with calling squaddies c*nts, as if they would care )

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire