Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Friends Don't Let Friends Abuse the Adult Content Flag

Something real uncool happened to me on Yahoo 360. Someone who had a problem with my politics decided to flag my blog post for March 31st entry with the graphic "Friends Don't Let Friends Vote Republican" as adult content. There was one word in a very long post that I could conceivably be anywhere near adult and I changed it from balls to Guts, but I have no way to get the flag taken off. So what protects authors from harrassing flagging? Of course, Yahoo can say that the adult flag isn't censorship since they didn't remove the post, just made it invisible to people who have the adult filter on like myself and give no way for me, the author, to make it right.

A while ago as part of a writing contest I posted an artwork with a naked, mutilated, woman that was posted elsewhere on the 360 world and was in the context of writing about abused women, or women who mutilize themselves for beauty. One of my 360 friends wrote me to tell me that this painting could be offensive to some cultures with more modesty standards. I instead linked to it giving people an opportunity to see it or not. I have always strived to avoid the adult rating. I don't take invites from people who have adult content on their 360 site, because I do not want people to access that stuff from my page. If people had problem with what I write I would hope they would have the GUTS to tell me and allow me the opportunity to make amends. I am a mother and a long time Internet citizen since 1992. I was even named one of the Top 25 Most Influential Women on the Web. I don't deserve to be treated this way -- no one does.

I can only conclude that they didn't because they wanted to harrass me for my political views which may differ from others, but are quite reasonable and reasoned.

I am mostly upset at Yahoo 360 who allowed this harrassment to occur and gave me no means to appeal or make good within their Terms of Agreement. I had to use their own harrassment reporting to let them know what had occured. If this doesn't get resolved, I don't know what I will do.

The thing is I see a lot of offensive things that are not flagged adult. I don't flag it, instead I let the person know what it is offended me and why, and say that I cannot visit their site again unless they fix it. It would be tempting to be hardnosed and go around flagging things as adult, but I believe in freedom of speech and expression too much to do that. I would protect the right of everyone to express themselves even if I passionately disagreed with. I guess there are people out there who lack the moral and civil fortitude to do the same.

So whoever did this, thanks for ruining my day. I assume that was your intent. Bravo! You succeeded! Next time, If you have a problem with what I say have the ***** to tell me directly.

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