ErosBlog: The Sex Blog

Sex Blogging, Gratuitous Nudity, Kinky Sex, Sundry Sensuality

ErosBlog posts containing "pornocalypse"

December 30th, 2023 -- by Bacchus

Pornocalypse Comes For Your Gay Apparel

The Bowdlerization news out of Florida is some real Mickey Mouse #pornocalypse bullshit:

the 1877 lyrics to deck the halls

Word comes to us that, in a new holiday stage show at Disney World that features Mickey and Minnie Mouse singing the Christmas Carol “Deck The Halls“, the gay apparel we all know and love has been taken out and shot by Disney’s songwriting prudes. The new line, and I am not making this up, is “don we now our cozy sweaters.” As John Russel, writing for LGBTQ Nation, somewhat drily notes:

The omission of the word “gay” from the traditional song is, of course, notable given the context in which the show is being performed. Florida, where Walt Disney World is located, has been at the forefront of a wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation sweeping state houses across the country. Last year, Republican governor Ron DeSantis signed into law the “Parental Rights in Education Act.” Commonly known as the “Don’t Say Gay” law, it originally banned classroom discussions of sexuality and gender identity at certain grade levels but was expanded this year to cover all grades.

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October 23rd, 2023 -- by Bacchus

Pornocalypse Comes For The Blind

Today I learned that software for the purpose of describing images to the blind all comes with #pornocalypse baked in. I don’t have details, only this report from Blind and Sexy on Mastodon:

screenshot from mastodon that says software exists that describes images to the blind, but all of it censors adult content

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September 6th, 2023 -- by Bacchus

Pornocalypse Comes For Kink Education

Speaking honestly, I’ve sort of let my #pornocalypse coverage lapse recently. Not much has changed in years; corporate social media keeps tightening the noose, formerly adult-friendly places become less so. On the one hand we still have the old-fashioned open web, with the freedom to publish on adult topics but without much access to traffic or to the financial system. The freedom to sleep under a bridge, right?

meme of the space under a highway bridge, studded with concrete pyramids to prevent human access, superimposed with the Anatole France quote about how the law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges

On the other hand, we have the infamous five websites, which is where all the people are, and from which they mostly will not migrate nor follow any links.

famous five websites filled with screenshots tweet by Tom Eastman

Adult material and links are mostly not welcome there, on the five websites, except to the extent that that this material is disguised from the machine censors by cutesy emojis and twee circumlocutions. If you’re a “spicy accountant” or a “mattress actress”, a lover of “quink” or a “corn” aficionado, a fan of big eggplants or women whose peach icons sometimes spray cartoon raindrops, corporate social media is very much for you.

eggplant peach eggplant peach eggplant peach squirt squirt squirt squirt

So yeah, I’ve grown tired of the #pornocalypse beat, and I’ve let lots and lots of pornocalyptic stories glide by without any of my commentary. But yesterday, Pandora / Blake (perhaps best known to ErosBlog readers as the director and publisher of Dreams Of Spanking), published an open Patreon post discussing their frustration at the recent deletion of their kink education channel on YouTube.

Blake, also sometimes professionally known as Pandora Blake

Blake’s treatment exemplifies the recent trend in #pornocalypse behavior by the major social media platforms that I first wrote about back in May:

Increasingly the hot new trend in #pornocalypse is social media platforms banning accounts and people not for what they posted/linked, but merely because of who they are. Biggest example was PornHub getting banned from Instagram despite having a whole team of lawyers and creatives making sure their Insta account broke no rules. It’s frustrating, and it’s why I never have the courage to try anything effortful on adult-hostile social media channels.

It used to be common for porn-hostile platforms to tolerate porn-adjacent people, sex educations, and even sex workers, as long as the platform’s specific TOS against adult material were complied with. For many people, this was workable; they’d ride the ragged edge of the TOS for months or a few years, getting specific posts banned and enduring shadow bans, until eventually (and with great pain) they’d lose an account after too many strikes and have to start all over again. You could make a living that way, if you didn’t tire. But, over time, I started noticing that specific TOS compliance stopped mattering. All over porn-hostile social media, people started losing accounts not for any specific violations, but simply because of who they were. If their public identity was too identified with adult topics, they would be banned without warning or appeal, never knowing which posts gave institutional offense. Thus, Blake’s experience:

I’ve been publishing videos on YouTube since 2014, throughout my campaigns against UK porn censorship and age verification. For the last two or three years I’ve been regularly posting original kink education videos, many of which I’ve accompanied with transcripts here on Patreon. The channel mostly consisted of these fully clothed talky adult education videos on topics ranging across consent, BDSM, porn, feminism, queerness, and organisational and self-care strategies. It also included video podcast style interviews with other educators, interviews with adult performers, political campaign videos, and a few carefully cut trailers for spanking films that showed no sex or nudity, but either clothed character interactions and plot snippets (in the case of multi-performer videos) or excerpts from clothed POV fetish talk videos. I suspect it was these latter videos that fell afoul of the content policy, but I have no way of knowing.

None of the videos on my channel included sex or nudity. I avoided posting links to any adult sites in the video descriptions, linking to Patreon and instead. … I’m furious that a channel 90% of which consisted of educational material about consensual pleasure and LGBTQIA issues has been summarily deleted without any option to review or edit the content. Was it just those few talky trailers which YouTube objected to so much, or is the entire project of BDSM education in itself too risqué for YouTube?

My speculation is that the answer is “neither”. Rather, I suspect that one or more videos generated enough algorithmic red flags to fall under human eyes, and the human in question applied the new-ish unofficial #pornocalypse policy that’s been spreading so rapidly throughout corporate social media: “If the entity who posted this is any kind of pornographer or sex worker, nuke their whole stinkyporny channel and get them off the platform. Fuck the terms of service! Those words only mean what we pay them to mean, no more and no less.”

nuked by social media crude digital collage

For me, the event that dropped the final scale from my eyes was when PornHub got banned from Instagram. If it ever made sense to go dancing with the social media devil while accepting your periodic lumps from the censorship algorithms, it no longer does, in my opinion. PornHub has a whole professional social media team, complete with content creators, editors, and as much legal support as they need. You can guarantee that they posted nothing that contravened Instagram’s TOS, not by the least jot or tittle. Did it matter? No. Throw them into the pit! You and I? We’re not going to fare any better.

I don’t have any solutions to offer, and anyway Blake explicitly isn’t asking for any. So I’ll leave you with Blake’s powerful summary of the state of the #Pornocalypse in 2023:

I mourn the loss of the open internet that was promised us in the early 2000s. My cyberpunk dreams of open peer-to-peer communication and free expression have been repeatedly thwarted, and I’m so angry about it. Fuck Google, their YouTube takeover, and their long-standing policy of devaluing adult sites in search results. Fuck Elon Musk for turning Twitter into his own personal ego trip, and a hotbed of Nazism and transphobia. Fuck Meta for taking over Instagram and enforcing their “family friendly” policies in a way that forces grown adult sex educators to talk about “s3x”, “quink” and “spicy corn”. Fuck Tiktok too, while I’m at it. I hate that in order to reach an audience we’re forced into these privately-owned silos which loathe everything to do with consensual adult sexuality, and which have the power to remove our access to social connectivity at the whim of a badly-trained algorithm.

All of this, every word.

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March 12th, 2023 -- by Bacchus

The Pornocalypse Comes For Your Geese

When I coined my now-infamous maxim that the pornocalypse comes for us all, it was a decade ago, and if prompted-AI generative art was a thing in some deep research lab, I certainly didn’t know of it. But now, today, it most certainly is a thing, and its masters and owners emphatically do not want you making porn with it. This menacing message is said to be from the Midjourney generative art tool:

no white goo for you

For as long as I’ve been on the pornocalypse beat, I’ve noticed a trend away from the classic pornocalypse (welcome porn users during early stages of a service, then dump them in a bid for respectability at a financial inflection point) towards baked-in pornocalypse: the service has porn-hostile terms of service from its inception.

Meanwhile, I extend a standing invitation: if you, my beloved readers, learn of any publicly-accessible generative-art tools that aren’t crippled by anti-porn “features” and filters, please make sure to let me know of them. That would be ErosBlog fodder for sure.

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November 5th, 2022 -- by Bacchus

Skincare Posting Through The Pornocalypse

I can’t stop thinking about a tiny detail from yesterday’s big post about the microscopic liberalization of #pornocalypse terms of service over at Tumblr. I’m talking about the woman on Twitter who had a video flagged under the new terms for being sexually explicit, because she was sucking on a fake (dildo) dick. If that’s sexually explicit, than what about this weary woman on Tik-Tok squirting lotion on her own face? Is symbolic cum any less sexually explicit than a symbolic dick, and if so, why? Does it matter that she labels it a skin care post?

The moral of this story is that moderation is very hard, and keeping sexuality out of human communities is impossible. I don’t care how badly the stockholders want it. They can’t have it. Tell ’em to fuck off.

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November 4th, 2022 -- by Bacchus

Did Tumblr Blink And Un-Pornocalypse? TLDR: No

big news nudes return only they are non-discoverable

I’m sorry to report that recent news of “mature subject matter” returning to Tumblr is pretty much totally a scam. I mean, you can post it, but nobody can see it. Search invisibility is near total, even for logged-in Tumblr users. So you’re posting into a black hole of non-discoverability. What’s the point?

Let’s get into it. There’s a lot of ground to cover.

September: Rumors Of The Tumblr Un-Pornocalypse

In late September Tumblr issued a sort-of-sideways announcement about their intention to relax the anti-porn rules by introducing new community labels for mature content. However, the announcement was at pains to explain that the actual content policies were not changing at that time. Specifically: “We haven’t updated the official content policies yet.”

I didn’t blog about it, although I did Tweet. As far as I was concerned, it was a nothing-burger. Wake me up when you can show me the fine print about what’s allowed. I also wanted to wait and see if any new adult-content flexibility extends to search discovery both internally and externally. I’ve seen parts of this movie before…

Tumblr Speaks A Truth: Social Media Porn Is A Hard Problem

At roughly the same time as the nothingburger announcement, Tumblr’s Matt Mullenweg posted, to his eternal credit, the single most-honest explanation from a social media platform perspective about why porn-friendly social media is essentially impossible in 2022. In Why “Go Nuts, Show Nuts” Doesn’t Work in 2022 Mullenweg said all the quiet parts out loud and with his full chest:

In 2018, when Tumblr was owned by Verizon, they swung in the other direction and instituted an adult content ban that took out not only porn but also a ton of art and artists – including a ban on what must have been fun for a lawyer to write, female presenting nipples. This policy is currently still in place, though the Tumblr and Automattic teams are working to make it more open and common-sense, and the community labels launch is a first step toward that.

That said, no 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. Here’s why.

He went on to list, in detail, the barriers imposed by credit card companies, app stores, age and consent verification, and the pornocalyptic reluctance of other companies to provide the necessary service stacks modern websites rely upon. Matt’s essay is a good essay. You go read. I’ll just share part of his conclusion:

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 [to cover costs].

November: “Bruh! Tumblr Allows Noods Again!”

Nah. Not really. Allow me to explain.

Yesterday was the big day. Tumblr’s new nudity-friendlier community guidelines dropped. They… aren’t completely terrible, if your expectations were as low as mine:

adult content community guidelines

Hardcore porn (“sexually explicit acts”) is still off limits, but the dreaded and mysterious “female-presenting nipple” is back on the menu, everybody!

But… what’s a “sexually explicit act”, you may well wonder? Ha! That’s not defined. Who wants to bet that “gay sexually explicit” and “straight sexually explicit” turn out to be two different things? Or, what about sex education? Demonstrating how to roll condoms onto a banana with your mouth, say? Or… wait! Breaking news from our field reporter on Twitter: sucking a dildo has already been flagged under the new rules, and the appeal apparently rejected. I guess “sextoyly explicit” is the same as “sexually explicit” now?

But wait! There’s more… and it’s worse. The above is Mullenweg’s summary of the new community guidelines. The actual text of the guidelines is rather more crabbed. Specifically, the forbidden “sexually explicit acts” are joined in the naughty booth by “content with an overt focus on genitalia.” What does “overt” mean, do you suppose? Guess! See if you get lucky! Would you have guessed that it included sucking on a sex toy?

adult content community guidelines prohibit overt focus on genitalia

So, have I got this right? Nudity is allowed, but if it shows too much pussy and cock, it’s not allowed. Or maybe — we’re guessing here — it’s not too much pussy and cock that gets you in trouble. Perhaps it’s a question of how closely the camera zooms in, or how brashly the genitals in question are displayed. “Overt focus” leaves a lot of room for interpretation, doesn’t it?

Search Invisibility And Your Tumblr Nudes

So, nope. I wasn’t too excited by the nothingburger news in September. But you want to know the real reason for my skepticism? It’s search invisibility. I wanted to see whether the newly-allowable adult content would be searchable, taggable, findable. Because if you can’t search for a thing, or link to it, it might as well not exist.

You all know this routine by now. We’ve written about search invisibility before. The way this scam works is that you can post stuff, but nobody can find it. Your tags don’t work; tag search results don’t have your stuff in it. Your keyword searches don’t work; the results don’t have your stuff. I’ve called this totalitarian in the past, because it’s creepy: people who don’t understand the game just assume your stuff doesn’t exist. “I just don’t understand why nothing comes back when I search for Jenna Jameson nude!” (See next link for answer.)

I first wrote about this happening to Google search suggestions back in 2008. In 2015 or before, Instagram started banning hashtags, sometimes silently and sometimes not. Likewise Pinterest and, yes, Tumblr, although Tumblr in those days had an easter egg pixel-hunt you could do to turn banned searches back on. In 2019, I caught Twitter putting adult stars in search invisibility; their names wouldn’t pop up in the @-name autocomplete function, and the one I tested back then still won’t. These are far from the only examples. I would hazard the proposition that search invisibility is the preferred treatment for grudgingly-allowed adult content on most social media platforms these days.

So what about Tumblr? Yeah, you know it.

To test, I set up an ErosBlog-themed outpost on the new more-lenient Tumblr. (Look for an update when my outpost Tumblr-blog gets inevitably banned, perhaps because of the general porn-hostile social media principle that “if you have an off-platform porn destination/brand they will ban you no matter what content you post.”)

So, yeah, it’s here: I started with one post, which is a link back to this recent comic/vintage/upskirt post on ErosBlog. Here’s what the Tumblr post looks like to me, logged into Tumblr:

sample post on Tumblr

Note the Community Label: Mature flag at the top, which I dutifully set per the new rules because I am such a good social media citizen, and even though this image is not even nude, it is mildly racy and shows a fringe of petticoats.

So, who will find and see that post? Presumably, logged-in Tumblr Users who have their mature content filters set properly in the non-default position, if they also know about my Tumblr blog and have chosen to follow it. That’s gonna be “zero” if nobody can see my posts to ever find out my new blog exists, though. No problem, I’ll just grab the URL and share it elsewhere, because that’s totally how well-functioning social media is supposed to work. Here, look at my post!

Again, if you’re logged into Tumblr and your settings are right, perhaps you see that. But if you’re just a random person coming in from the web (right here!) without an adult-verified settings-optimized Tumbler account, this is what you’ll see:

censored tumblr sample post

Woo, exciting! “Mature subject matter” is totally back, boyz! Still, I shouldn’t be too negative. Just click that big easy “Show Post” button, right?

If you listen carefully, you can hear the sepulchral laughter echoing from the crypt underneath Tumblr headquarters. Because guess what? Cock-blocked! Yes, my “Community Label: Mature” post is not visible from the open web. Members only:

cockblocking interstitial

Tut-tut! “Ah, now, you need clearance for that.”

But wait a minute! Back up. What about all those hashtags? What about keyword searches? Surely…

do not call me shirly gif from airplane

If you’re on Tumblr, try the exercise. Type “Balloon Crash” into the “Search Tumblr” box. You will find a lot of posts, but not mine. Or search the #petticoats hashtag. You’ll get lots of petticoats, some of them pretty sexy, but you won’t find my “Mature”-flagged post. It is thoroughly invisible on this social media platform, for any reasonable definition of “social”. The “mature subject matter returns to Tumblr” storyline is at least 85% pure scam, because of search invisibility.

I had to poke at all of this, so I posted one more post. This one has an actual nude — a vintage nude — in it. Female-presenting nipple! Hashtag: “Vintage Nude”. When I typed in that tag, a little “popular tag” badge popped into view. Awesome! Then I clicked the tag. Not much there. Not my post, for sure! Half a dozen old posts, carefully chosen to avoid the dreaded female nipples. Popular tag? Sure! But only among friends. Only in the dark.

In Conclusion: Tumblr Can Suck My “Overt Focus” Dick

So yeah. That’s where we are. Maybe you can post some stuff on Tumblr today that you couldn’t post last week. But nobody can find it by accident. Nobody can find it by looking for it. Nobody can find it socially. You can’t show it to your off-platform friends. Time will tell if Google can see it, but I’m betting against, and what good would a Google Search result even do you?

Within Tumblr, if people already know you, are following you, have given Tumblr their date-of-birth info, and managed to set the right settings correctly, then sure, those people can now see your mature-subject-matter posts. That’s… not really very much. It’s not social media. At best, it’s in-your-bubble media. Fuck that. Just fuck it. I’m not impressed. Bacchus verdict: Tumblr is NOT back.

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November 30th, 2021 -- by Bacchus

Pornocalypse… In My WordPress? No, In My Browser!

Later update: Via commenters who are smarter than me, I have learned that WordPress doesn’t handle spell checking independently, relying instead on browser spell-check functionality. So my ire should have been directed at our dear old blue-nosed friends at Google.

Today I noticed that the dictionary used by the ErosBlog installation of WordPress knows how to spell the word “cunnilingus” and is perfectly happy to flag it when not spelled correctly. In order to do that, it has to “know” the correct spelling. But it refuses to suggest the correct spelling! The best it can do is to weakly suggest the word “ceilings”. I am not making this up:

wordpress refuses to help me spell cunnilingus

Almost certainly this was not a deliberate choice of the WordPress coders. I don’t have time today to research the source of the spellcheck routine and library that causes this result, but since WordPress is open source, it’s likely to involve logic that was coded elsewhere. This is hardly new behavior in a software product; Violet Blue caught Microsoft doing it with Word’s spellcheck way back in 2007. Nor is this the first time ErosBlog has covered search invisibility, search suggestion censorship, and arbitrary sexy-keyword “blue lists” that have been widely shared for censorship purposes in the tech industry. My guess is that WordPress is just one of the many software products that lazily or unthinkingly incorporates a library built around one of those ancient and stale blue lists.

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