Context: This is a test of looping the community into our decision-making process via smaller posts on !meta. No promises that this will be a regular thing; this was time-consuming to write up. And likewise do let us know if this feels spammy!

After some bouncing around with the team internally, here is what we’ve converged on for NSFW communities.

Key considerations

Arguments for

  • Sexuality is a huge part of the human experience, and so we should support this to some extent
  • Reddit proves that it’s possible to host this content without degenerating
  • This might be a kinda fun way of growing the userbase if done right!

Arguments against

  • Unlike reddit, we don’t have infrastructure to shield mods and the admin team from dealing with unsavory and traumatising content
    • People will always push boundaries. So if we allow explicit content, there will be people who post CP and other illegal stuff, e.g. leaked, personal, and private
    • Some of this may create reporting obligations: even without legal obligations there are moral obligations
    • This is not the job our team signed up to do
  • If NSFW content starts becoming a big draw this might have unwanted effects on our userbase composition
  • Hosting NSFW content may risk attracting unwanted official attention, especially if we grow.
    • This puts the site and the admin team at risk.
    • Counterpoint: It’s possible we’re actually safe as we’re semi-anonymous and not hosted locally. But we haven’t got the spare capacity to work through the legality + exposure risk right now.

Draft decision

NSFW text content: Generally welcome

  • Gives us most of the benefits without most of the risks.
  • (There are erotic novels in every MPH in the city right now!)

NSFW image content: Mature content is fine, sexually explicit content is not

  • Lots of media seem to converge on two separate lines which divide the above (broadcasting, ESRB, YouTube, Pixiv, etc)
  • Basically, thirsty content is welcome, but pornography and explicit content meant to be sexually gratifying is not
  • For specifics, we’ll probably refer out to the YouTube policy. It draws very clean and useful lines on this, and is obviously battle-tested. (We might archive a copy of this for easy reference)
  • We can always revisit this choice as we grow, but this only seems likely if (a) Lemmy starts providing safety infrastructure we can lean on, and (b) we get much more clarity on our legal and other exposure

General limits: Don’t be a scumbag

  • Regardless of format, if you post CP, leak personal and private content, etc, you’re going to get a ban (and possibly other consequences)
  • I don’t feel we need to set out a full list of scumbaggery here at this stage. And we hopefully won’t have to for some time yet

(Thanks @weecious and @cendawanita for contributing initial thinking on this!)


What happens now: We’ll let this sit for a week for public comment, and make updates if needed. And then we’ll mark this as finalised and link to it from sitewide policy places.

Additional thoughts welcome if any!

  • @cendawanita
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    11 months ago

    For me, the legal and modding burden is the main point of consideration - not only for the team here, but also let’s face it, we live in a society with norms that’s not at all pro-victim and laws that’s not really practiced to protect spicy speech, without even thinking about the immorality of it.

    I do agree if we proceed, to remove image embeds as a start.

    That’s all thinking of NSFW specifically in pornographic (and not at all the same but functionally in our society is, also non-heterosexual) material.

    But what about NSFW in sharing typical slice of life consensual stuff (this will never include child pornography or bestiality)? I think this is where mod discretion guidance needs to be hashed out a bit more.

    What about NSFW in terms of art? Typical edge case would be discussing a docu on a human trafficking ring vs starting a thread in the anime sub about a lolicon show. Once we can articulate the distinction, I think that’s a good start.