Tag: censorship (page 1 of 3)

Censorship and the porn tech stack

They say that technical innovation often comes from the porn industry, but the same is true of new forms of censorship.

For those who don’t know or remember, Tumblr used to have a policy around porn that was literally “Go nuts, show nuts. Whatever.” That was memorable and hilarious, and for many people, Tumblr both hosted and helped with the discovery of a unique type of adult content.


[N]o modern internet service in 2022 can have the rules that Tumblr did in 2007. I am personally extremely libertarian in terms of what consenting adults should be able to share, and I agree with “go nuts, show nuts” in principle, but the casually porn-friendly era of the early internet is currently impossible….


If you wanted to start an adult social network in 2022, you’d need to be web-only on iOS and side load on Android, take payment in crypto, have a way to convert crypto to fiat for business operations without being blocked, do a ton of work in age and identity verification and compliance so you don’t go to jail, protect all of that identity information so you don’t dox your users, and make a ton of money. I estimate you’d need at least $7 million a year for every 1 million daily active users to support server storage and bandwidth (the GIFs and videos shared on Tumblr use a ton of both) in addition to hosting, moderation, compliance, and developer costs.

Source: Matt on Tumblr | Why “Go Nuts, Show Nuts” Doesn’t Work in 2022

Image: Alexander Grey on Unsplash

BBC Archives and the changing of history

On the one hand, I’m glad that the BBC is ensuring that some of its archive material is a bit more in keeping with our (hopefully more enlightened) sensibilities.

However, on the other hand, why do this in secret?

“The sinister fact about literary censorship in England,” Orwell wrote back in 1945, “is that it is largely voluntary.” And so, indeed, it is. Over the weekend, the Daily Telegraph reported that “an anonymous Radio 4 Extra listener” had “discovered the BBC had been quietly editing repeats of shows over the past few years to be more in keeping with social mores.” To which the BBC said . . . well, yeah. In a statement addressing the charge, the institution confirmed that “on occasion we edit some episodes so they’re suitable for broadcast today, including removing racially offensive language and stereotypes from decades ago, as the vast majority of our audience would expect.” Thus, in the absence of law or regulation, has the British establishment begun to excise material it finds inappropriate by today’s lights.


This raises a host of important questions — chief among which is: Why, if “the vast majority” of the BBC’s audience expects the organization to render its archives more “suitable,” has it been doing so in secret? Again: In the Internet age, changes made to source material tend to be iterative rather than additive. When the New York Times updates a story in its newspaper, one can plausibly obtain both copies. By contrast, when the New York Times updates a story on its website, the original page disappears. By its own admission, the BBC has been deleting entire sketches from comedy series that are 50, 60, or 70 years old, many of which can be heard only with the BBC’s permission. Are we simply to assume that the public supports this development? And, if so, are we permitted to wonder why the BBC was not open about it?

Source: BBC Censors Its Own Archives | National Review

Microcast #089 — Circumvention


In this microcast I discuss three articles loosely related to censorship and the circumvention thereof.

Show notes

Image: Michael Dziedzic

Background music: Shimmers by Synth Soundscapes (aka Mentat)