Tag Archives: censorship

This is the last time, I swear

There’s no reason I should still be posting about wordpress.com. I guess I’m just annoyed that I ever thought it was a good place to blog/journal/post. The exclusion of anyone who’s not a child or a christian has reached a fever pitch. They’ve just released the following guidelines ((taken to their logical extreme, with commentary)):

  • No inappropriate titles. Do we suppose this means that if you’re posting about the really hot sex you had last night, you should make sure the title is “fluffy kittens for everyone”?
  • No profanity or nudity. This means that my cuss-like-a-sailor-because-it-makes-people-respond-not-just-think-about-it tactic is definitely outlawed. I hate to think what it means for ICHC.
  • No extraneous categories. I’m sure my 2.0 category was causing serious consternation. let alone “cult-of-matt”. In fact, only the officially sanctioned categories are allowed. Anything else and you’ll be relegated to the dustbin, because then you won’t drive traffic to our ad-laden tag pages.
  • And really, you should only post to one category at a time. nevermind that wordpress.com categories can’t be used as categories, since the links lead out of your blog. if you use categories as tags (meta information), you’re definately going to be banned

Basically, if you’re not an aspiring member of the web 2.0 a-list-aspiring echo chamber, you’re not welcome on wordpress.com. fantastic. glad i left. now I’m off to find the 11 most relevant tags for this post.

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Buckshot

  • How is it that automattic can complain about users not knowing the difference between their commercial service, and the open source blogging tool, when they continue to blur and erase the line themselves? and if we assume that it’s not a mistake, and they meant to use their 2nd most popular plugin to advertise wordpress.com in user’s sidebars, wouldn’t that contradict Matt’s whining about PPP and TLA?
  • Reverend Ted has novell’s jab at the mac vs. pc ads. Novell continues to distance themselves from other linuxes (linuxi?) by not taking a whiny nerd-boy stab at apple, but actually shifting the discussion. making linux a woman makes apple immediately look sexist. remember the one woman in the mac ads? she was a peripheral(second class citizen much?) and involved in substantial confusion between networks and peripherals (typical of most mac fanboys, in my experience).
  • i don’t know what these stats are. or why they keep showing up in my dashboard. they could be my overall stats if the years were different.
  • I really like the ideas forum. as much as opensearch and noindex could be theme competencies, they make more sense as wordpress core competencies. i really don’t want to be responsible for correctly addressing introspection.
  • this slide is brilliant. yet another reason i love last.fm. i’m not quite sure why that woman has become such a “receptacle for people’s rage” (the wifest’s words).  lettting that sort of slander be a defining characteristic of last.fm’s service was bringing them down.
  • i have a twitter page now, but no use for it.  other than keeping track of the wordpress.com servers.
  • i’m using mr. messina’s filigree graphic everywhere, because it’s so easy to color.  i need to find a GPL replacement for it, or draw my own, though.  GPL graphics are damn hard to find.

Trust and the pink ghetto

The Napoleon-Clarke Law:

Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice

Paul Ciszek

It’s amazing to me how much wordpress.com has grown. what used to be the realm of a few geeks in need of akismet keys has turned into a real competitor to livejournal and typepad. Along with that come users who aren’t as forgiving of glitches, because they’re not just geeking out, they’re writing down their lives. Which means i’m finding out about “the cult of matt” from The Pink Ghetto, which isn’t something i read for geek news.

For instance, i’m willing to accept that apparent contradictions between stated policy and specific blogs that exist around wordpress.com is the effect of there being more blogs than the members of automattic can actively police. I’ve found this by reporting blogs, despite fundamentally disagreeing with the mature/non-commercial policy. Since making certain of this, i’ve attempted to warn users before they get nastygrams from mark.

most users aren’t this forgiving. They see their blog getting blown out of the global tag pages, while other blogs that depart farther from the ToS are allowed to stay. Naturally, this only matters because the global tag pages drive such good traffic. The automattic defence is that nowhere in the terms of service do they claim to provide blog owners with a workable tag search engine. (this causes most people consternation when they find out their categories don’t link to their own content). Nonetheless, they provide this search engine for most people. Intentional or not, it is a slight to not provide that engine to everyone. Especially the ones who want it.

It seems especially malicious, when the global tags and top blogs are built from the ashes of blogs of the day(.com), which allowed users to self regulate, via the NSFW tag. if you used it, your post was only listed in the mature section. As much as there’s a precedent for keeping the christians children from accidentally stumbling upon porn, there’s a tendancy to misinterpret all sexual information as porn. which is what automattic seems to be doing.

2 Solutions:

  1. mark shouldn’t be choosing which blogs are actually mature or commercial. that job belongs to a lawyer. that lawyer should be actively policing. the global tag pages are reasonably good at crosslinking blogs. it’s not hard to find the ones that violate the ToS.
    Then mark can continue giving real support, and have the all-important disconnect with the policy makers that will allow him to be his friendly self. and have a few fewer expletives and insults hurled at him.
  2. increase the ability to self-regulate: letting users use the NSFW tag to kick themselves out of the ‘all-ages’ tag pages means people won’t be as shocked when they get ‘de-listed’. allowing users to put up an under 18 warning, that stores a cookie (so new readers always see it, and regular readers never see it) would keep people from being offended when the click the ‘next blog’ link.

there’s a whole lot more thought that needs to go into this. sex in the public square is taking it on, but automattic needs to do more than drop by to leave their one comment that pretends they’re listening. this is way more important than adding kewl new video features.

On Comments

The post of the day is Lorelle’s How NOT to Comment on Comments, which has some annoyingly true points about watching what you say, because google WILL include your comments in a search for your name.  It’s fueled by the same angst that made Design by Fire suggest hiding comments from the post page.

While the repeated requests in the paid upgrade ideas thread make it seem like a pigpen is something that people really want, i’m not convinced.  I still like my guidelines, and i’m not alone. If you delete off-topic, irrelevant, and incendiary comments swiftly, and with an explanation, people seem to step in line pretty quickly.  If it’s not swift, you should blank the comment and replace it with a link to the guidelines, so people who saw the original know what happened.

Normally this ‘how to blog’ crap makes me want to vomit, but this time, there seem to be a few decent ideas out there.

More Dissent, less community

remember this comment? you know how I started laughing because i thought that getting my first comment deleted was amusing? because all i did was suggest ‘featured blogs’ would incentivise misspelling tags or using oddly named tags. It looks like there’s only more of that to look forward to.

Everybody’s favourite firecracker doesn’t exist, according to the gods of WP.

Shall we start a countdown until i need to buy myself a commercial akismet key?

Previously:
Community and Dissent