Admin's picture

Profanity [edited]

ST'ers,

For many months we've noticed a significant increase in the use of explicit profanity on the site, along with a bit of what could be considered sexual related discussions as well. We've been receiving complaints about this from users as well as our advertising partners (the folks who enable us to pay our hosting bills). Remember, this is a PUBLIC website, so not only are the people you are directly interacting with reading what you are posting, so is everyone else who happens to discover this site from their favorite search engine. We currently have no way to restrict young viewers, for instance, from reading this site.

I want to remind everyone, for the seemingly umpteenth time, that our terms of use are very clear regarding expected behavior on this site, including language. Please refrain from using outright profanity and sexually explicit language when interacting on the site. If you wouldn't say it to your 13 year old daughter or 80 year old grandmother, then don't say it here.

Feel free to obfuscate your language (i.e. using @#$#@$ and techniques like that), just don't use explicitly profane language. We aren't looking to restrict what you are wanting to communicate, but you must respect others as well. Not everyone has the same level of taste and sophistication as you. Eye-wink

Posts or comments containing profane or sexually explicit language (or anything else that violates our TOS) are subject to editing or removal.

[Edited to add citations of TOS]
As a convenience to users who are having difficulty interpreting the site TOS regarding language:

License and Site Access
{...}
11. or otherwise use this site or its contents in any way which violates any applicable law or regulation or which might be harmful, defamatory, libelous, vulgar, obscene, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortuous, hateful or otherwise objectionable.
>

Profanity and sexually explicit falls under "vulgar and/or obscene" language. We'll be happy to amend the TOS to include "profanity" but we think it's pretty clear already.

Also, opened up comments on this topic for those who have questions, etc.

-Admin


Tuff Noogies's picture

"tortuous" - can we throw

"tortuous" - can we throw another 'R' in there and then classify the no-spacing or no-paragraph posters as such? pretty please??? Eye-wink

and thanks for correcting the spelling error, the ocd part of my brain really appreciates it!

i do agree with Lady on the confusing location of the statment you cited. i wonder if you could adjust it to be included under "User Contributions" maybe?

just out of curiosity regarding the advertisers - why in the flaming heck am i always getting the ads soliciting my, um, "friendship" with young asian or russian girls? i dont roll that way, and it actually does make me uncomfortable. we have a very lax internet policy at work, but those ads are kinda hinky.

"I am the nicest person you will ever meet until you try to f*ck over somebody I love. Then? I'm your worst f'ing nightmare." - Former.

Famuky is looming at me ark.

"His eyes said different though...."

Admin's picture

We'll be updating our terms

We'll be updating our terms of use when we launch the new site in the coming months (spoiler alert). I'll make a note to make sure something is added to the other sections of the agreement as well so that it's more clear.

Regarding advertisers.....since the ad networks choose ads to display based on many factors, including the content of the page you're viewing (yes, the advertising networks *do* see all of the content on the site, hence the complaints), who you are, your general location, etc., we don't see the majority of the ads that you end up seeing.

We do, however, get to choose the types (categories) of advertisements that get displayed on StepTalk. Dating-related, and other adult content ads, should not be showing on the site. If you are seeing ads of that nature, please report them to us so we can take care of them. Many times the advertisers play games with the advertising network to get around their filters so we have to explicitly block them ourselves. Preferably we need to know the name of the site the ads are for and if possible a link to the site.

-Admin

Tuff Noogies's picture

woooowww good news

woooowww good news indeed!

i'll keep an eye out for the bad ads - they dont appear on this computer as i have a kick-butt adblocker. but next time i cover for one of my girls i'll forward u the info.

"I am the nicest person you will ever meet until you try to f*ck over somebody I love. Then? I'm your worst f'ing nightmare." - Former.

Famuky is looming at me ark.

"His eyes said different though...."

WalkOnBy's picture

I see an ad for Asian and

I see an ad for Asian and Russian women frequently - my only concern is that by clicking on the ad, and thereby being able to provide you with a web adddress, I am taking the click-bait, which will only generate more....

however, in the interest of getting rid of those types of advertisers, I will give you what I can.

Reading...it's fundamental

"Maybe it should be "reading comprehension..... it's fundamental" - ItsGrowingOld

Admin's picture

Please don't feel obligated

Please don't feel obligated to actually click the ad just to be able to report it. Give us only the information you feel safe enough to collect.

No matter how much we work to prevent SPAM ads, they'll always be able to sneak their way in, but we can at least attempt to cut them down quite a bit.

Tuff Noogies's picture

WOB - if u're on a destop or

WOB - if u're on a destop or laptop, you should be able to right-click and go to where it says "copy link location". it'll copy the site's address, without actually taking the bait.

"I am the nicest person you will ever meet until you try to f*ck over somebody I love. Then? I'm your worst f'ing nightmare." - Former.

Famuky is looming at me ark.

"His eyes said different though...."

WalkOnBy's picture

yep - you're right, Tuff. My

yep - you're right, Tuff. My brain is still not back in the game yet.

Reading...it's fundamental

"Maybe it should be "reading comprehension..... it's fundamental" - ItsGrowingOld

WTF...REALLY's picture

I get a lot of ads from

I get a lot of ads from Williams and Sonoma. There is a Le Creuset pan I want so bad...and now it is haunting me. Images on my screen. Someone buy it for me please!!!!!!! Put me out of my misery. Sticking out tongue

WTF...REALLY's picture

"Profanity and sexually

"Profanity and sexually explicit falls under "vulgar and/or obscene" language." - OK, this is where I am stuck.

I understand everyone is different, in my case, I would not have thought of "sexually explicit" as “vulgar and/or obscene" language." I did not once cross my mind that we cannot talk about sex.

I was raised with a mom who has a PhD in Public Health and was an AIDS expert . We were taught that all the murder, rape, etc on TV was vulgar and obscene. Not the sex, kissing etc. So as far back I can remember, sex was good, rape, murder, animal cruelty, child cruelty was bad. I am confident that this has helped all my siblings to have a very healthy outlook on sex. And sex is an open subject in my household. Sex is not taught that it is vulgar. (and as we all know, rape is not sex - its the attempt at false power from a f*%&ed up mind)

The above subjects are talked about on here. I have read women say the meanest things about a child on here. Things that have made my skin crawl. And the names these kids get called. Holy smokes Batman they are bad. And murder gets talked about and mass shooting. So these subjects and names are OK, but a fun, healthy sex talk is off the table? It's sad that blood spilled is not thought of as vulgar. As a society, I really think we have our values mixed up.

So, if sex if off the talk table, then I do think you need to make it clear in the TOS. As in "sexual talk is not allowed" and take away that it is vulgar, its just a subject you do not want discussed.

Admin's picture

Discussing sex, in general,

Discussing sex, in general, is not what we are asking users to refrain from, only sexually *explicit* content. We have unpublished a lot of content that involves discussing details of sexual acts, etc. There's a difference between having a clean discussion regarding sex, and having a raunchy discussion. The latter is what we are asking that users refrain from posting. Those details are better off in a private conversation.

Admin's picture

Talking about sex, i.e. "They

Talking about sex, i.e. "They had sex last night...", is different then describing the actual sexual details. It's difficult to draw a line on the "socially acceptable" level of profanity and sexual conversation, so it then comes down to the opinion of the moderators. Currently that is Dawn and me (Admin). At some point in the future we hope to allow the site to self-moderate itself using controls that we give users (ignoring users, private groups, etc.). Until then, it comes down to the opinion of a few.

What some of you don't realize, perhaps, is that there are a LOT more people that read this site than actually login and actively contribute. This site serves up over a million pages to people each month, and many more to search engines around the world (yeah, our hosting costs are way more than $20/month Smiling ) The contributing users are only a fraction of our user community. While they choose to not use their account, or don't even have an account, they still read the site. We get more complains from unique individuals regarding content on the site than there are users posting such content. So MOST of the users *do not* prefer that sort of content. Not by our count anyway.

Since StepTalk is currently an open and public site (all content is publicly accessible, except private messages), and since the majority of new users find our site via the public search engines, it's in the sites best interest to ensure that the search engines don't classify and rank our site incorrectly. We have to be sensitive to the content that is being indexed by those search engines. Implementing a forum explicitly labeled for "adult" content, while seemingly solving the individual user problem, still allows the search engines and advertising partners to see the content and therefore it will remain an issue for the site in general. (Yes, there are ways to prevent areas of the site from being indexed by search engines, but not from being see by the advertising partners).

So on top of the general opinions of the user community, our (site owners) personal opinions, the reputation of the site, etc., etc., we are also currently funded by advertising partners who require us to comply with their terms of use as well, which also precludes excessive profanity, abusive language, and sexually explicit content. They pay the bills. So there's that....

Once we have the ability to implement a paid "premium member" account that would remove advertising and allow private groups, etc. we will be able to entertain having areas of the site that allow more "adult" conversations. Until then, we must ask that everyone check themselves when contributing to the site.

We realize that it feels good to use your own words to vent, and it has been proven to increase the benefit of venting, but with just a little effort you can still get your point across with almost the same affect without violating our TOS. We're not asking you to change what you're talking about (well, except maybe some sexual subjects), just HOW you're doing so.

-Admin

WTF...REALLY's picture

I'll read sex talk any-day of

I'll read sex talk any-day of the week over those phrases used. But that is just me.

Admin's picture

In short, yes, but we need

In short, yes, but we need users to report it. What gets rejected will depend on the context of the conversation and the words being used, etc.

Remember, Dawn is the only full-time staff on the site and between the two of us it's just impossible to monitor all content on the site (hence the part in our TOS regarding the fact that we aren't responsible for content that a reader could be exposed to).

The advertisers are using automated systems to discover violations of their TOS, not humans. If the content matches their filters, we get a complaint. Sometimes we refute, most of it we can't.

-Admin

notsurehowtodeal's picture

The tv censors were ok with

The tv censors were ok with "frack" on Battle Star Galactica and "frell" on "Firefly" so I would hope those would be ok.

notsurehowtodeal's picture

Well, they both start with

Well, they both start with "F." I am suitably embarrassed! If I remember correctly, Firefly used a bastardized version of Mandrin or a combination of Mandarin and English. Not easy to type or pronounce!

Monchichi's picture

Hi Admin, I posed the

Hi Admin, I posed the following question on another blog. Is it possible to consider please?

Has anyone asked Dawn/ Admin, if we could have a forum section for "anything goes" with an age warning on it? Or if we may link a different place for our Step Momster nonsense talk? We want to be here. We acknowledge this is their site. So maybe a compromise could be found where we could blow off steam?

RUBM - rusty uterus birth mother

WTF...REALLY's picture

Admin, wondering why I am

Admin, wondering why I am sometimes getting a verification request in order for a comment to post. As in " type in the below letters"
Thanks

WalkOnBy's picture

I used to get those, but I

I used to get those, but I haven't had one in a while.

Are you still getting them??

Reading...it's fundamental

"Maybe it should be "reading comprehension..... it's fundamental" - ItsGrowingOld

WTF...REALLY's picture

Started yesterday for the

Started yesterday for the first time.

WalkOnBy's picture

Hmmm...that's weird.

Hmmm...that's weird. Probably just a coincidence???

Reading...it's fundamental

"Maybe it should be "reading comprehension..... it's fundamental" - ItsGrowingOld

WTF...REALLY's picture

I am sure its just a kink,

I am sure its just a kink, its just difficult when on a phone. lol

WalkOnBy's picture

LOL!! Damn jobs getting in

LOL!!

Damn jobs getting in the way of STalk!!

Reading...it's fundamental

"Maybe it should be "reading comprehension..... it's fundamental" - ItsGrowingOld

WalkOnBy's picture

dup

dup

Reading...it's fundamental

"Maybe it should be "reading comprehension..... it's fundamental" - ItsGrowingOld

Admin's picture

We're always adjusting our

We're always adjusting our anti-SPAM measures to stay ahead of the SPAMers. We've made some adjustments that now include more coverage for comments. It's an experiment for now. It's the same systems that we have protecting the rest of the site (blogs, forum, etc.).

If you get challenged or rejected, it's because something in the post or something related to your account (your IP, etc.) has triggered one of our SPAM filters. If you get rejected, just send Dawn a message and she'll try to publish the comment.

Sorry for the inconvenience, but we are in a war with SPAMers every day. We catch hundreds, sometimes thousands, of actual SPAM each day, but sometimes the good ones get caught in the net as well.

-Admin

WTF...REALLY's picture

The first time I got it was

The first time I got it was for posting "Yup" to sally. So it can't be the post I tried to post. So my IP must be the reason.

Tuff Noogies's picture

u terrorist spammer, you...

u terrorist spammer, you... how dare u utter the word "yup"! Evil

i dont ever get the captcha, so i'm not a spammer. although i do eat spam... Eye-wink

seriously tho', it'd be ok w/ me if it were both content/IP based and also perfectly random. i have no problem w/ ensuring that the person is an actual human, not a spambot. the kansas city concrete ones drove me ape-doo-doo.

"I am the nicest person you will ever meet until you try to f*ck over somebody I love. Then? I'm your worst f'ing nightmare." - Former.

Famuky is looming at me ark.

"His eyes said different though...."

thisisnotmocking's picture

LOL so, then our profile pics

LOL so, then our profile pics would be our dmv photo? Mine is awesome! Resembles a fat, drunken mug shot.

but I am beutifull, or as beutifull as a man can be