Friday, February 15, 2008

Is StumbleUpon censoring me?

I use StumbleUpon. A llllllot. Sometimes the mood strikes and I leave a comment about a site on the StumbleUpon page for it. Usually, forgetting the Thumper rule* as one does on the Internet, I only comment if the site makes me a little mad. Sometimes I use the "s" word. Once, I used the "f" word. Horrors!

Now, none of my comments show up on StumbleUpon. Even to me, even though I'm allowed to see "R rated" content. I have apparently been rated X by StumbleUpon. Don't get excited -- there are no naked pictures of me at my lumpiest on the Internet. On StumbleUpon, I'm rated X for swearing.

I suspect I was actually flagged for my rather unpopular (and frequently expressed) view that women are more than sex things. Someone reported me as X-rated to StumbleUpon, and StumbleUpon agreed to block my opinion from everyone, including adults cool with seeing R-rated content, including me. Just like that. They didn't check to see if I actually post nudie pictures or even lurid descriptions of sex acts. They just flipped a switch and one feminist shut the fuck up. Congratulations, Republicans.

I've written to StumbleUpon to ask what actually happened and how to remedy it, but really -- what a bad system! Only the blandest comments will escape the notice of mob censure, and given the nature of StumbleUpon comments I'm seeing now ("very useful", "Awww!", "awesome"), it may already be having a dulling effect. People shouldn't have to prove they're not pornographers. Complainants should really have to prove they are. It's guilty until proven innocent, and unless StumbleUpon fixes it, I'm uninstalling that addictive little button.

*If you can't say something nice... don't say nothing at all.

Update (2/19/08): Still no word from StumbleUpon, but I was listening to the TWiT podcast, and they were complaining about eBay. Apparently eBay bought StumbleUpon a while back, not long before they implemented a new policy of going after "abusive" users (which I am not). It makes sense to me that a Republican-run company like eBay would want to bland down its properties so as not to offend anyone with differing opinions, and the first folks to get the old ideological heave-, um, "ho" would be the feminists.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

same thing happened to my site as well!!! But there's not a single nude pic! How the hell, they give this rating!