Is Twitter Beginning an Anti-Adult Crackdown?

In recent months, Twitter has increasingly become embroiled in claims and counterclaims of harassment and censorship, especially pertaining to the video game industry and the so-called “GamerGate” movement. Attorney Scott Greenfield reports that Twitter is succumbing to pressures from the anti-sex crowd by tightening its policies regarding not only purported harassment but also “unauthorized” nudity. He cautions that:

How will Twitter know what’s what?  Will there be roving bands of prune-faced school marms dispensing their own brand of vengeance against twits that offend their politics and sensibilities?  Silly as this seems, that’s likely to be the case.

In addition to these changes, Xbiz reports that Twitter also appears to be restricting search results for adult-related terms, possibly in anticipation of closer ties with the notoriously anti-adult Google. Some in the adult industry are calling this the #Pornocalypse:

Twitter Reportedly Clamping Down on Porn Search Results

Twitter’s latest tweaks are causing concern among adult marketers, as the social media giant appears to be restricting porn- and sex-related results from its “Top Tweets” listings. Read More>>

More Net Neutrality Fallout

An article by the usually reliable BGR gets the recent FCC Title II ruling completely wrong. The headline sarcastically calls the order “the FCC’s great new net neutrality rules,” despite the fact that the agency merely reinstated the same rules that had been in force from 2010 to 2014, but using a different legal basis. Further, the article inaccurately claims that the FCC is regulating the Internet as a utility. It then goes on to state that the weak rules would somehow prevent a private university from managing traffic on its own network, ultimately “ruin[ing] Netflix for you.”

On the other side, Sonic’s CEO says he welcomes the common carrier rules, while noting that they will do little to protect consumers against monopolistic pricing abuses:

It’s only the monopoly/duopoly control over the last mile, which won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, that makes neutrality protections necessary in the first place. They’re not the perfect option, but they’re the best option to protect consumers in the face of limited competition.

Action Needed: Secretive Treaty Latest Threat to Internet


Senator Ron Wyden: please don’t betray the Internet!

Oregon’s Senator Ron Wyden has long been a champion of the free and open Internet. Now, the future of the web rests in his hands.

Some of the most corrupt politicians in Washington, DC are pushing hard right now for so-called “Fast Track” legislation, also known as “Trade Promotion Authority” which would hastily ram the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) through U.S. Congress without meaningful debate.

The TPP is a massive trade deal, like NAFTA or the FTAA, that was negotiated in almost complete secrecy. But thanks to leaked versions of the text, we know that the TPP contains extreme provisions that could lead to widespread Internet censorship.

We’ve defeated Fast Track twice before already, but Senator Wyden has been saying publicly he wants to make a deal with the Republicans to make sure that Fast Track passes in the coming weeks.

We’ve got one chance to stop this. Please use the link below to tweet this image at @RonWyden asking him to be a hero for the Internet and oppose undemocratic Fast Track legislation.

Click here to tweet this image at @RonWyden

Then give him a call to make sure he gets the message:
(202) 224-5244


So what’s so bad about Fast Track and the TPP anyway?

Hundreds of civil society groups from across the political spectrum have banded together to oppose Fast Track and the TPP. Many feel that it is fundamentally undemocratic, and that decisions that affect all of us should never be made in secret.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has this excellent summary of some of the terrifying problems with the TPP from an Internet freedom perspective.

Check out this link, we’ve summarized it for you below:

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  • Escalate DRM Restrictions: Lock-in and expand rules that make it a crime for you to free your device of digital locks, known as Digital Rights Management (DRM). These locks come with most tech devices and content to protect copyright, but in practice, they prevent you from doing all kinds of legal activities like unlock your phone, watch movies on different platforms, or hack and ticker with a digital device you’ve purchased.
  • Force Websites and ISPs to Police for Copyright Violations: Provisions in TPP will require countries to force ISPs into privately enforcing copyright protection rules. This opens the door for Internet filtering, DNS blocking, repeat infringer policies that lead to terminated accounts, and ISPs monitoring users and disclosing their identities to rightsholders.
  • New Threats to Journalists and Whistleblowers: Dangerously vague text on the misuse of trade secrets, which could be used to enact harsh criminal punishments against anyone who reveals or even accesses information through a “computer system” that is allegedly confidential.
  • Expand Copyright Terms: Reinforce and extend already-excessive lengths of copyright restriction beyond existing international norms. The TPP for instance, could lengthen copyright term protections from Life of the author + 50 years, to Life +70 years for works created by individuals, and either 95 years after publication or 120 years after creation for corporate owned works (such as Mickey Mouse).
  • Undermine Safeguards for User Privacy: Provisions on the “free flow of information” that seem to be about free expression, but could be used to unravel nationally-mandated consumer protections for personal data.

That doesn’t sound like the type of thing the Ron Wyden we know would be supporting. Please share this page and take action to ask Senator Wyden to stick to his principles and oppose this anti-democratic legislation.



More Google Shenanigans

Google’s Blogger platform has relented on a planned adult-content ban, for now. In an interview with Xbiz, Boodigo founder Colin Rowntree says that he is building his own adult-friendly blogging platform and advises producers to avoid mainstream services like Blogger, which can impose content bans at any time. He says it’s best to self host and reminds us that Google is still blocking adult in Adwords.

Google Reverses Ban on Sexually Explicit Material on Blogger

Blogger users who share sexually explicit content have been given a reprieve — Google has made U-turn decision over a policy that was set to go in effect March 23 banning the material from its blogging network.

In other Google news, the data mining giant has also gotten its hooks into Word Press, having struck a deal some time ago to serve Google fonts to WP blogs at both the front and back end. I have applied a tool to disable Google fonts on this blog to better protect my viewers from unwanted tracking.