[iDC] Fwd: [Air-L] facebook more popular than porn?

kjacobs kjacobs at cityu.edu.hk
Thu Nov 15 07:35:46 UTC 2007

Hi Kimberly,

Yes of course that would be hard question to answer. How do porn-friendly adult/dating sites and porn-unfriendly social networks condition our (non) sexual desires? I guess that facebook would currently be the fuzzy space that encourages the desire to catch up with old friends or lovers, for instance, while the adult sites are the cold membership sites for people to hunt forward, for always seeking new potential lovers.   

Since many of us have taken part in the great migration from Myspace and Facebook, it is a good moment to discuss the role of sex and porn culture in this social network. Myspace has a very aggressive policy on sexually explicit images. Any time you upload any photograph, the warning message appears: "photos may not contain nudity, violent or offensive material, or copyrighted images. If you violate these terms your account will be deleted." And the terms of service stipulate that "Prohibited Content includes, but is not limited to Content that, in the sole discretion of MySpace.com, exploits people in a sexual or violent manner or contains nudity, violence, or offensive subject matter or contains a link to an adult website." 


As for Facebook policy, it is much so more vague and stipulates that one cannot use the site to "upload, post, transmit, share, store or otherwise make available content that, in the sole judgment of Company, is objectionable or which restricts or inhibits any other person from using or enjoying the Site, or which may expose Company or its users to any harm or liability of any type."


I have looked at some of the pornography and censorhip groups that have meanwhile been opened on Facebook. And just like in Myspace, many Facebook people are being harrassed by admins for posting pictures that are supposedly objectionable or pornographic, where they could very easily be seen to be plain nudity, sex art, activism documentation, educational documentation, amateur snapshots, jokes, whatever. This is yet another example showing that Facebook's legalistic bureaucracy machine does not want to risk offending our grandmother's taste (on both sides). Also, there are many anti-porn groups on Facebook, like abstinence only advocates or stop child porn supporters, so I can see it grow out to be yet another USA-style polarized space. 

So we are now on this hugely monitored network Facebook as silly and playful beings, to hug and kiss or spit and wage war with friendns. But then what is it is that feels so good or fulfilling about Facebook that the other networks haven't given us? Does Facebook really have a more tolerant and encouraging attitude towards public seductions or sex/porn culture? Or is it just that kind of higher status or scholastic space where we can also have the more refined affairs ?   
What do you think?


----- Original Message -----
From: Kimberly De Vries <cuuixsilver at gmail.com>
Date: Wednesday, November 14, 2007 3:00 am
Subject: [iDC] Fwd: [Air-L] facebook more popular than porn?
To: iDC <iDC at mailman.thing.net>

> Maybe an interesting addition to our discussion of Netporn.  I'm still
>  contemplating my own personal response, but so far it seems to so
>  little match the terms of the discussion, I can think of where to even
>  begin.
>  Kim
>  ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>  From: Charles Ess <charles.ess at gmail.com>
>  Date: Nov 13, 2007 10:51 AM
>  Subject: [Air-L] facebook more popular than porn?
>  To: "air-l at listserv.aoir.org" <air-l at listserv.aoir.org>
>  Readers of Time Magazine must have noted the claim by Bill Tancer:
>  > Visits to porn sites have dropped from 16.9% of all site visits in 
> the U.S. in
>  > October 2005 to 11.9% as of last week, a 33% decline. Currently, 
> for web users
>  > over the age of 25, Adult Entertainment still ranks high in 
> popularity, coming
>  > in second, after search engines. Not so for 18- to 24-year-olds, 
> for whom
>  > social networks rank first, followed by search engines, then 
> web-based e-mail
>  > ‹ with porn sites lagging behind in fourth. If you chart the rate 
> of visits to
>  > social-networking sites against those to adult sites over the last 
> two years,
>  > there appears to be a strong negative correlation (i.e., visits to 
> social
>  > networks go up as visits to adult sites go down). It's a leap to 
> say there's a
>  > real correlation there, but if there is one, then I'd bet it has 
> everything to
>  > do with Gen Y's changing habits: they're too busy chatting with 
> friends to
>  > look at online skin. Imagine.
>  He's drawing on data from his own company, Hitwise -
>  the full story is available online:
>  http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1678586,00.html
>  thoughts and comments?
>  - charles
>  Distinguished Research Professor,
>  Global Studies Center <
>  Drury University
>  Springfield, MO  65802  USA
>  Guest Professor (fall, 2007), Department of Media Studies
>  Department of Media Studies
>  IT Park
>  Helsingforsgade 14
>  8200 Aarhus N
>  Denmark
>  Office: (45) 8942 9219
>  Mobile: (45) 2986 8967
>  President, Association of Internet Researchers <www.aoir.org>
>  Co-Editor, International Journal of Internet Research Ethics
>  http://www.uwm.edu/Dept/SOIS/cipr/ijire.html
>  Co-chair, CATaC conferences <www.catacconference.org>
>  Professor II, Globalization and Applied Ethics Programmes
>  <
>  Exemplary persons seek harmony, not sameness. -- Analects 13.23
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