OT and FYI - Geocities shuts down slash writer site

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eer...@okway.okstate.edu

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Apr 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/30/98
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Subject:
OT and FYI - Geocities shuts down slash writer site
Date:
Tue, 28 Apr 98 08:57:06 -0600
From:
eer...@okway.okstate.edu
To:
<as...@earthlink.net>

Just thought you might be interested - one of the more popular HL
slash writers has had her homepage removed (and all her files
deleted) from Geocities by the provider because of a complaint
that her page was "Offensive and Profane". She is challenging the
decision. I would simply want anyone who currently uses Geocities
to house any of their adult fanfic, whether slash or not, to be
aware.

Browsing over Geocities FAQ for Page Content Guidelines, their
first answers indicate right off that you should only seek
admittance if you have the "appropriate" interests and hobbies,
and fit the right community standards...which means following the
majority view.

Does anyone else consider that *perhap* "by popular opinion" and
"the free flowing exchange of ideas" can be oxymoronic in
combination?

1.Why do you not allow any nudity?
As we continually say: GeoCities is an amazing place. Over
one million people from all six habitable continents, over 200
countries, and many cultures have taken up residence in our
neighborhoods. By popular opinion, our guidelines have been
carefully crafted to promote the free flowing exchange of ideas
about your interests, activities and hobbies, and at the same
time maintain standards consistent with the Internet community
and the societies of the world at large. That includes not
allowing nudity or pornography.

2.What do you mean by nudity or pornography?
This includes images and text which do not reflect the
concept of community which we cherish and offer to our
homesteaders, visitors and sponsors --- including images which
exhibit genitalia, erotic fondling of genitalia, buttocks in
which material does not completely cover the breach between the
two sides, genitalia showing through clothing, and any other
images of an individual who is nude in his or her genital area
and which nudity is either obvious or implied in the image.

3.Isn't this censorship?
There are many issues we face with regard to our content
guidelines. GeoCities reserves the right to remove any site for
any reason without notice; so it is not a matter of our
obligation to keep a site on the service. Rather, it is the
ongoing balance between maintaining commercial success and
viability and also maintaining an editorial philosophy
that encourages creativity and freedom of expression.

Ellen Ross

--
TSU If you build it, they will come

Posting to ASCEM is easy--just send your messages to as...@earthlink.net

To subscribe or unsubscribe to the mirror list--and for all other
list-related inquiries, write to asc...@aol.com

Aleph Press

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May 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/1/98
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From:
al...@netcom.com (Aleph Press)
Subject:
Re: OT and FYI - Geocities shuts down slash writer site
Organization:
Netcom On-Line Services
Date:
Fri, 1 May 1998 02:28:34 GMT
To:
alt-startrek-creati...@uunet.uu.net


Jungle Kitty (jki...@accesscom.com) wrote:

: Here is the definition of censorship, according to one of the people
who
: told me to conform or clam up.

: "However, I want to make it very clear to you that this request had
: nothing to do with "censorship". I don't even like the use of that
: word---censorship would have been to not have printed your <letter> at
: all."

: So according to this person, the Network Censor who decides the
certain
: scene can't go out over the airwaves isn't a Censor at all. After all,
: he can't pull the show! The Network Executive who cancels it is a
: Censor.

I do not know the context, and this may have absolutely nothing to do
with what happened to you, Jungle Kitty. But I do know that a lot of
people mistake a fellow netter's telling them to shut up for censorship.

When a person of equal power to yourself-- that is, someone else on a
newsgroup but not the moderator; someone else on a mailing list but not
the listmod-- tells you (generic you, not Jungle Kitty you) to shut up,
it's a statement of their opinion that you should shut up. It is every
bit as valid as your right to say the thing in the first place was. it
is
also rude. And you have every right to respond, "Fuck off and die, it's
a
free net and I'll say what I choose." And they have every right to
respond "That's because you're an asshole." And so on.

Where censorhsip arises is when someone actually has the power to
silence
you. That is, they don't merely express the opinion that you *should*
be
silenced, but actually *do* it. geocities is committing censorship by
refusing slash pages. It is legal censorhsip-- the only illegal
censorship in the US is that performed by a governmental body-- but it
*is* censorship. Anne is committing censorship by not sending the
Wesley
story to ASCEML. It is her legal right, and given that as list
moderator
she'd be leaglly liable if someone brought charges for child porn, her
moral right, to do so, but it's still silencing someone. Censorship,
whether legal or illegal, moral or immoral, occurs when a person
*actually* silences another one. *Not* when a person says to another
one
"You should be silenced."

The free flow of ideas means that sometimes, the idea that will freely
flow is "You're sick and perverted and your ideas should not spread."
As
*long* as that is merely one of the opinions expressed, it's not
censorship. The old saying-- opinions are like assholes, everyone's got
one-- is valid here. Someone telling you that your idea is disgusting
and
you should not be allowed to post it is them expressing an opinion, not
censoring you. As soon as they exercise power to *actually* silence
you,
then it is censorship.

--
Be good, servile little citizen-employee, and pay your taxes so the
rich
don't have to.
--Zepp Weasel

Alara Rogers, Aleph Press
al...@netcom.com

All Aleph Press stories are at http://www.mindspring.com/~alara/ajer.

__________________________________________________________________________

Jungle Kitty net

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May 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/2/98
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Subject:
Re: ASCEML - Re: OT and FYI - Geocities shuts down slash
writer site
Date:
Fri, 01 May 1998 16:15:16 -0700
From:
Jungle Kitty <jki...@accesscom.com>
To:
AS...@earthlink.net
References:
1


> Where censorhsip arises is when someone actually has the power to
> silence you.

Unfortunately, that was the case with the person I quoted, since it
didn't have to do with net posting where we can all do anything we want.

But here's my question. A few months back, there was a discussion and I
don't remember the specific topic and Greywolf posted something about
being asked to censor oneself. Is that a form of censorship? Someone
saying, "Shut up, you're an asshole" isn't censorship (IMO), but I think
someone saying, "You shouldn't say/write/post this, because it upsets
people who don't agree with it" can be interpreted as a request for
self-censorship.

What do you think?
--
Jungle Kitty
http://www.accesscom.com/~jkitty

--------------------------------------
It's not your grandmother's Star Trek.
--------------------------------------

--

James MacDonald

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May 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/2/98
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Subject:
Re: OT and FYI - Geocities shuts down slash writer site
Date:
Fri, 1 May 1998 21:58:34 +0100
From:
James MacDonald <tr...@netbook.demon.co.uk>
Organization:
Trills and Technologies
To:
alt-startrek-creati...@moderators.uu.net
Newsgroups:
alt.startrek.creative.erotica.moderated
References:
1


In article <alexas-ya02408000...@news.earthlink.net>,
eer...@okway.okstate.edu scribbled :


>Just thought you might be interested - one of the more popular HL
>slash writers has had her homepage removed (and all her files
>deleted) from Geocities by the provider because of a complaint
>that her page was "Offensive and Profane". She is challenging the
>decision. I would simply want anyone who currently uses Geocities
>to house any of their adult fanfic, whether slash or not, to be
>aware.

There are alternative free space providers, such as Tripod. A very
comprehensive free space list was uploaded to "Fravia's page of reverse
engineering", which can be found at <www.fravia.org> - although this
site is connected with reverse-engineering software, the need for
'liberal' providers remains the same. You will find the link in the
'news' area.

>Browsing over Geocities FAQ for Page Content Guidelines, their
>first answers indicate right off that you should only seek
>admittance if you have the "appropriate" interests and hobbies,
>and fit the right community standards...which means following the
>majority view.

Erotic fanfic is interesting, because it can be classified in two ways.
If I were running a free Web-space site, I would probably implement
something like this...

<Start>

1) The inclusion of erotic images or links to erotic images (i.e. GIF,
JPEG, PNG etc) in Web sites on this server is prohibited. Not only does
it guzzle bandwidth, it adversely affects us as a providers and the
reputations of other pages stored on our server.

2) Other material, specifically fan-fiction, whether or not of an erotic
nature, may be linked to or included in Web sites on this server,
providing that warnings are given before any material is displayed, and
that copyright regulations are followed. In particular, NOTHING stored
on our server should be charged for or profits made as a result of this,
even if the work is your own and unencumbered by copyright legislation;
we are not a commercial space provider.

<End>

- I would advise people to get a non-censorious provider, preferably one
that is not extremely popular. Xoom may be helpful, and Varoneeka has
had her site on Tripod without it being zapped yet, so maybe G.C. is not
the way to go. There is a difference between money-grabbing amateur porn
and carefully crafted art that is not for profit. Make sure your
provider can make that difference.

- Trill

Varoneeka

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May 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/3/98
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Subject:
Re: OT and FYI - Geocities shuts down slash writer site
Date:
03 May 1998 15:58:12 GMT
From:
varo...@aol.com (Varoneeka)
Organization:
AOL http://www.aol.com
To:
<as...@earthlink.net>
Newsgroups:
alt.startrek.creative.erotica.moderated
References:
1


>- I would advise people to get a non-censorious provider, preferably one
>that is not extremely popular. Xoom may be helpful, and Varoneeka has
>had her site on Tripod without it being zapped yet, so maybe G.C. is not
>the way to go. There is a difference between money-grabbing amateur porn
>and carefully crafted art that is not for profit. Make sure your
>provider can make that difference

"Yet," huh? I had hoped that I would be able to feel secure about Tripod, but
someone said something about a site being removed...so we'll see. I did read
over their guidelines for website, and saw nothing about no adult stories --
though they did request that people not use obscenities in chat rooms, which
makes sense to me.

Anyway, I'm keeping all my files backed-up, and I'll hope for the best. If
anyone else had somewhere to recommend, I'll be listening.


Varoneeka

http://members.tripod.com/~Varoneeka/index.htm

Varoneeka: What do you think Q would make of Sterling?
Homespon: His mistress.

R.J. Faas

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May 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/3/98
to

Subject:
Re: ASCEML - Re: OT and FYI - Geocities shuts down slash
writer site
Date:
Sun, 03 May 1998 15:34:47 -0400
From:
"R.J. Faas" <niqu...@acmenet.net>
Organization:
Life, the Universe, and Everything
To:
AS...@earthlink.net
References:
1


> In article <alexas-ya02408000...@news.earthlink.net>,
> eer...@okway.okstate.edu scribbled : >Just thought you might be
> interested - one of the more popular HL >slash writers has had her
> homepage removed (and all her files >deleted) from Geocities by the
> provider because of a complaint >that her page was "Offensive and
> Profane". She is challenging the >decision. I would simply want anyone
> who currently uses Geocities >to house any of their adult fanfic,
> whether slash or not, to be >aware.

>

> >Browsing over Geocities FAQ for Page Content Guidelines, their
> >first answers indicate right off that you should only seek
> >admittance if you have the "appropriate" interests and hobbies, and
> >fit the right community standards...which means following the
> >majority view.

Which s why I wouldn't have even housed an adult fanfic archvie with geocities
(or aol for that matter). The thing to remember is that even if we find these
restrictions oppressive, we are choosing to use these people's services and
that gives them the right to dictate what we can put on their servers,
provided they are up front about such things before you upload stuff, which
geocities is. Besides that reason for not choosing them, they're slow and have
annoying ways of adding their advertising. Before uploading anything, I
suggest asking straight out if your material is allowed. And this doesn't
just go for free sites. A lot of ISPs have rules about what can be placed on
their web servers as well.

R.J., who recently switched ISPs because his old one began including usenet
postings and email content in its 'acceptable use' policy.

James MacDonald

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May 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/5/98
to

Date:
Mon, 4 May 1998 20:15:10 +0100
To:
alt-startrek-creati...@moderators.uu.net
From:
James MacDonald <tr...@netbook.demon.co.uk>
Reply-To:
James MacDonald <Tr...@netbook.demon.co.uk>
Subject:


Re: OT and FYI - Geocities shuts down slash writer site

Organization:
Trills and Technologies


In article <alexas-ya02408000...@news.earthlink.net>,
"R.J. Faas" <niqu...@acmenet.net> scribbled :

>A lot of ISPs have rules about what can be placed on
>their web servers as well.

Yeah, Demon have AUP rules concerning Web space use. But they state
that, in a nutshell, you can't breach your 5Mb quota or your 100Mb per
month bandwidth limitation, and that you shouldn't place things on their
server that would violate UK law.

So this would mean that TrekSmut would be allowed, if the index warned
users before clicking on links that certain material may be NC-17 or R
(in UK cinema-rating terms 18 or 15). I think the same should be true
for Geocities and AOL.

However, Demon are a notoriously liberal ISP: when the Met (London area
police) asked them to remove certain newsgroups from their server
because they were connected to child pornography, Demon refused on the
grounds that censoring news would be ineffective due to the fact that
users could obtain it elsewhere (Dejanews et al). Journalists got wind
of the story, and the Observer ran a headline "This man is one of the
key links in the UK child pornography web" or similar (I forget),
picturing Cliff Stanford, Demon's MD. Anyway, Demon's lawyers busted up
the Observer for libel - the UK has very strict libel laws - and I think
they were made to print a retraction.

>R.J., who recently switched ISPs because his old one began including
usenet
>postings and email content in its 'acceptable use' policy.

AOL (R.J., you did use AOL, didn't you?) are not technically an ISP.
They are an OSP, or 'on-line service provider'. The distinction is that
an ISP provides an 'open' service (TCP/IP) which allows you to do pretty
much what you want, but an OSP provides a 'closed' (proprietary) system,
using its own client or terminal interface, and often provides some sort
of value-added content such as 'forums', 'chat rooms' etc. An ISP is
usually for users with some technical know-how of the Internet; the user
of an ISP therefore is likely to resist moves to censor their speech,
but an OSP, which often 'nannies' its users by providing easy-to-use
proprietary services, is more likely to have the everyday kind of user,
that simply wants to use the Internet from time to time, but mostly to
operate within a closed community. These sort of users are not likely to
be concerned en-masse with issues as censorship, because they will not
as a whole want to read slash, pirate software, etc. This is a gross and
sweeping generalisation, but its often true. The fact is that OSPs get
away with censorship because they CAN: their system allows more control
over users than an ISP, and the users themselves are more co-operative
in these matters as a whole than ISP users, who mainly use ISPs because
they know what they're looking for, don't want frills, and want fast,
unencumbered access.

Back OT: surely even on free Web space you're allowed your
Constitutional right to free speech if it doesn't break any other laws.
Pirate software is free speech/freedom of expression under the
constitution (expression of digust towards the pricing of software), but
it's not allowed because it breaks another law. Slash (or other erotic
fanfic) doesn't break any laws if it's got a disclaimer and is marked to
be slash, so it's within your 'inalienable rights' to publish it. In
what place can Geocities put itself so that it can selectively remove
this 'inalienable' right?

- I say 'your' Constitutional rights, because I have none. The UK has no
constitution to speak of; there is no document or law that says that we
have the right to free speech and freedom of expression: we have the EC
Maastricht legislation etc. incorporated into our law, but we have to go
to Strasbourg to use it. In addition, the Labour government is now
producing laws and directives on anything, from how much homework
children should do each night to ENCRYPTION TECHNOLOGY KEY ESCROW
SYSTEMS - what will fail in the US but will probably become law here,
because most of the people in the UK are too naive to take their civil
rights seriously. I'd love to be a USAiian, or for that matter a
Netherlander, German, Belgian, etc.. :(
--
UNIX - Saving you from the Gates of Hell.

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