Answers to Sobriquet

A few comments back to Sobriquet’s questions and comments:

is using swear words a marker of an adult text?

how explicit in detail will you have to go (in terms of sexual content) in order to be deemed ‘adult’?

what is the criteria here?

..and then there is the censorship issue.

We don’t have one and we won’t even attempt to try and write down what is and what is not adult. We will see what complaints we receive and we will talk to the diarist if such complaints do come in to decide on a mutually amicable solution. It would be completely wrong for us to determine what is and what is not suitable for children but at the end of the day we are responsible for providing mechanisms that can be used to protect them. That’s what we’re aiming for.

..but I think that adult warning messages are a good indicator that warns of content..

if someone still WANTS to view it later then that is their perrogative…

According to the Communications Decency Act (CDA) in the US it isn’t their perrogative and if these measures weren’t in place a parent could sue us for extraordinary large amounts of money. Check out the Wired article LisaMarie found for us earlier, it has a link to the CDA for more information.

For readers/writers outside the US, I don’t know what international agreements/laws there are and I am not about to spend weeks researching it – with this mechanism in place we are pretty well covered by the law in that if a parent complains we can positively act on the complaint. That is our policy on this matter.

I don’t think that there are people at dd that write “pornography” in order to arouse children…

I seriously doubt that myself, I would be incredibly surprised if people were writing for that goal – but the problem is not whether or not that you intended to sexually arouse a child but the fact that you might have unwittingly, then that parent comes beating on our door and we come beating on yours.

I think we have to remember..as we’re talking about this..that just because someone writes about sexually explicit material..doesn’t necessarily make them a bad person or anything..

that may just be their diary..their thoughts..

We totally agree. There’s nothing wrong with writing those things and there’s nothing wrong with anyone wanting to write them either. Nothing at all. It’s part of who we are and we are not trying to hide or censor that fact.

having said that…perhaps diaries that ONLY centre themselves around detailing sexual escapades should be in the adult section…while others that happen to mention it once in a while should just be treated as normal diaries and should have warning messages for individual entries..

These are the ones we are mostly aiming to get moved into the Adult section, we’re not targetting anyone who isn’t squeaky clean (if we were, we might just as well have put Adult Verifier on the entire site, let’s be honest!) – we’re targetting those who are anything but squeaky clean :)

As far as the occasional entry, we will be bringing on the ability to flag individual entries as Adult very shortly and this solves the problem nicely. People can still write everything they want to and if they want to go Adult once in a while then they can just flag that entry as Adult and not worry about their whole diary going that way.

I personally object to using a credit card to vertify age..

I think that there are enough issues of safety and security on the net without having to worry about not only your thoughts being out there…but for a crafty hacker..your home address and details…

and then there are those people who don’t have credit cards at all..

are they to be excluded from owning a diary?

Who said anything about stopping people writing? This is about reading. Indeed there’s nothing in any of these measures to stop a 13 year old writing sexually explicit material in their diary, we aren’t about censorship but we are about sensible controls. Diarists do not need an AVS account at all to do whatever they wish with their own diary, if you do then that’s a bug and you need to tell us. The AVS system is solely to make it harder (I won’t be so bold as to say ‘stop’) for minors to read that material – these measures are sufficient such that we would be covered legally, if people want to trade usernames and passwords and risk their AVS account being immediately terminated then that’s your choice (although we strongly recommend you don’t do that, they spot it very quickly and you will lose your AVS account without any come-back).

I hope the issue gets sorted out so that it pleases everyone..

Sadly I doubt that will happen, but hopefully we can please the majority :-)

I think you do a great job here..

and it’s very gallant of you to think about the children in this way..

Many thanks and as always, thank you for all the feedback we’re receiving.

Matt.