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Author Topic: Troubled by the new edict.  (Read 10603 times)

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Offline Dachshund

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Troubled by the new edict.
« on: September 11, 2011, 02:16:30 PM »
Let me say I have tremendous respect for Tim Horn, always have, always will. I also understand (I guess) the need for the forums to generate advertising revenue. That said, directly asking members to censor themselves in Off Topic is very troubling to me. Off topic as always been free wheeling, sometimes off color, but that is exactly what makes it off topic. Not sue why, but this smells homophobic to me. Would love to see the name of the advertisers that have encouraged this censorship. Troubling.

Offline zach

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2011, 02:39:04 PM »
troubled? not yet. puzzled? yes.

how about an off topic area for members only, not even readable by the public.

maybe we could have a secret handshake

Offline Theyer

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2011, 03:00:56 PM »
We should keep to the taste confines off John Walters.
"If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people ."  Tony Benn

Offline Joe K

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2011, 03:06:43 PM »
I'm adding the comments made by Tim Horn regarding this subject, as some people may have not seen the sticky post.

Please keep things in good taste

"We're trying to diversify our advertising sales in order to keep POZ.com and AIDSmeds.com -- and, by extension, these Forums -- up and running. Just as we don't take too kindly to the content of some ads, such as shady snake oil marketing and unverifiable offshore pharmacies, some advertisers haven't taken too kindly with some of the content in the Off Topic Forum.

While I don't know if I want us to be doing business with such prickly and sensitive companies, the complaints thus far are not without merit. This remains an HIV/AIDS information and support board. There's no reason why links to out-of-context photos, videos or websites that can be considered pornographic need to be posted in these pages.  

This issue has been discussed internally by Smart + Strong management and, if off-topic posts in poor taste continue, I will be asked to shut down the Off Topic Forum.

Nobody wants this -- I certainly don't. So please think before you start a new thread, or post in an existing thread, with comments, images or links that potentially paint these Forums in bad light.

These are your Forums. It's up to you guys to use good judgment to protect them. "

Tim

Offline bocker3

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2011, 04:01:49 PM »
Yes -- while I do sort of get the point, I don't like it at all.  Basically, this is NOT our forum -- it is a revenue generater for Smart + Strong and if we don't abide by their rules, well, we shall all be banned.

Bottomline -- they are using our infections and our need for support to generate $$$$.  Yes, it costs money to maintain a site, but this site only exists because of US -- if they think their advertisers are more important than us -- let them try to generate revenue without us.

Support sites shouldn't be controlled by advertisers.

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
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Current Labs
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Offline spacebarsux

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2011, 04:15:29 PM »
some advertisers haven't taken too kindly with some of the content in the Off Topic Forum.

Tim[/b]

Well, I think this whole thing can be much better addressed if we're told in black and white what exactly the advertisers find objectionable, rather than speculating.

Only then can it be decided who is being more unreasonable-  us or them.

That said, I share the sentiment of the other posters that it is troubling.
Infected-  2005 or early 2006; Diagnosed- Jan 28th, 2011; Feb '11- CD4 754 @34%, VL- 39K; July '11- CD4 907@26%,  VL-81K; Feb '12- CD4 713 @31%, VL- 41K, Nov '12- CD4- 827@31%

Offline Theyer

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2011, 04:28:14 PM »
I'm adding the comments made by Tim Horn regarding this subject, as some people may have not seen the sticky post.

Please keep things in good taste


This issue has been discussed internally by Smart + Strong management and, if off-topic posts in poor taste continue, I will be asked to shut down the Off Topic Forum.

 Nobody wants this -- I certainly don't. So please think before you start a new thread, or post in an existing thread, with comments, images or links that potentially paint these Forums in bad light.

These are your Forums. It's up to you guys to use good judgment to protect them. "
Tim


The activity off the people who post is what draws the many people who are not members to these sites that S&S can then sell advertising on the backs off, a bit more respect  please . And ,Tim you may be asked ,just say no you will have a lot off support.

Theyer/Michael.

added If S&S can close down the forums then Tim they are CLEARLY NOT "our" forums
« Last Edit: September 11, 2011, 04:35:46 PM by Theyer »
"If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people ."  Tony Benn

Offline mecch

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2011, 04:35:56 PM »
Why do I think the only problem for advertisers is links to pornographic images.  

If thats the only issue, why not compromise and keep off such links.  Do we really need those links?  
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2011, 04:49:27 PM »
I hope they don't notice this:

"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline WillyWump

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2011, 04:50:45 PM »
I understand where Tim is coming from, and I can respect it to a certain point...but there is too much vaqueness in the new "edict".

if off-topic posts in poor taste continue - what is going to now be considered in poor taste? the term poor taste is relative is it not?

or post in an existing thread, with comments, images or links that potentially paint these Forums in bad light - again, can someone define this?

as far as pornography, are we not allowed to post something as "NSFW" any longer? where is the cutoff on this? Can I no longer post a pic of James Middleton mooning us? and since my Beiber pics were censored and removed I am assuming those were in poor taste also.

-W
« Last Edit: September 11, 2011, 04:52:59 PM by WillyWump »
POZ since '08

Last Labs-
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6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
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Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2011, 04:52:47 PM »
and since my Beiber pics were censored and removed I am assuming those were in poor taste also.


This is all clearly your fault.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline bocker3

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2011, 04:53:29 PM »
Why do I think the only problem for advertisers is links to pornographic images.  

If thats the only issue, why not compromise and keep off such links.  Do we really need those links?  

Who gets to decide what is pornographic??  I daresay, what you and I (and most forum members) might deem NOT porno -- some advertiser might think IS porno.  Therein lies the rub -- where do we let the advertisers draw the line on what we should talk about in OUR forums (if they are, indeed, our forums).

M
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline WillyWump

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2011, 04:55:11 PM »
This is all clearly your fault.

oh whatever Mr. "Daddies on Twinks" linker.

*oops, am I allowed to say that ^*
POZ since '08

Last Labs-
6/3/14 CD4- 736, UD 34%
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline mecch

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2011, 05:02:54 PM »
Yes, what is pornographic.

I am not sure it's our nuance to judge, or our problem to solve. Sounds like a problem for site monitors and people with an economic interest to set the clear criteria.

I know sites like Grindr have very specific list of criteria of what can/cannot be posted as a public pic. All we would need is a similar list of what is and is not OK.  And then, perhaps, debate those criteria.

“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline hope_for_a_cure

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2011, 05:22:52 PM »
Its all about money.. thats all it is. 

Offline RAB

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2011, 05:25:26 PM »
Like the majority of posters, I don't like this at all.  Allowing the advertisers to dictate/censor what can and can not be posted is not right. 

I guess I can understand the request not to post links to a porno site.  What I can't accept has to do with the issue of content. 

So if I post something using sexually explicit language (the two F words come to mind) then that's not "tasteful".  ?

And while we're on the subject of what advertisers bring to this forum, has anyone clicked on this ad?  It takes you to Newsmax, and one of the most biased, rightwing polls I've seen. There's a second one featuring a gleaming Rick Perry, which is just as biased.

[/img]

Dach, thank you for bringing this subject up.  Bocker, my initial reaction was the same as yours, well said.

RAB   :(


Offline bocker3

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2011, 05:27:04 PM »
I am not sure it's our nuance to judge, or our problem to solve. Sounds like a problem for site monitors and people with an economic interest to set the clear criteria.

This comment is scarier than the topic itself.  How can a member say this isn't "our problem to solve", but it is the problem of those with an "economic interest" to solve.  How is it that they can dictate?  This is a support site -- first and foremost, at least from my vantage point.  I suppose from the vantage point of those with an "economic interest" it is a revenue stream first.

Now -- I get the whole point of this, I work for a big business where "brand" is everything.  The problem is that they don't have a need for this site -- but we do.  Many folks have gone from the edge to living life again because of this site.  Quite frankly, if S&S wants to expand it's advertiser base, perhaps they should be upfront with them about what this site is and is not.  If they chose not to show their ads, then go find someone else.  If they don't do this, then they may find advertisers leaving because no one is using this site.

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline Joe K

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2011, 05:47:37 PM »
All I can say is this...

A few potential advertisers haven't taken too kindly to some of the content in the Off Topic forum -- the porn thread(s), some of the language, etc. Granted, if these advertisers feel this way, I don't know if I even want them on POZ or AIDSmeds. But the issue has been discussed internally by Smart + Strong management and one possibility is that I will be asked to shut down the Off Topic Forum.

I don't think anyone wants this -- I don't. So think before you start a new thread, or post in an existing thread, with comments or content that will potentially paint these Forums in bad light.

These are your Forums. It's up to you guys to use good judgment to protect them.

Tim

This is the thread that contains the above quote: http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39534.0 and I'm asking that people stop calling this an edict. It broaches a delicate subject that deserves our respect if we are to be taken seriously in proposing solutions. Tim Horn has never been one to dictate what others do and he's expressing an issue that may create problems in the forums. If you want to blame anyone, blame me for suggesting he post it separately, but he's presenting it as a topic for discussion, not as an edict. He has a problem and by extension that means we have a problem, so how do we want to solve it?
« Last Edit: September 11, 2011, 05:57:31 PM by killfoile »

Offline RAB

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2011, 06:11:33 PM »
but he's presenting it as a topic for discussion, not as an edict. He has a problem and by extension that means we have a problem, so how do we want to solve it?

Joe:  if it was meant to be a topic of discussion, he wouldn't have locked the thread with his announcement.  How do you discuss something in a locked thread?  And as far as I can tell Dach is the only one who used the word "edict", the rest of us were simply stating our thoughts, feelings, and opinions.

To answer your question about how do we solve it, I think Smart and Strong have already answered that.

I, like so many others, have a tremendous amount of respect for Tim.  Having had the pleasure of meeting him (and Andy  ) in Montreal, I can say I adore them both. 

RAB 

(Who's a wee bit annoyed right now!)

Offline Robert

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2011, 07:19:16 PM »

I think this is more about numbers than content.  I don't have access to the stats and I'm not about to start digging for them but it is my impression that the number of  active members, new members, 'hits' (people who read the forums without logging on), posts, etc have all dropped dramatically in the last year or so.  The advertisers look at the numbers,and start asking questions and looking for answers.  Perhaps the value for them has flattened out or is  even declining and they're skittish about the future.

Maybe they think they would be better off taking their money elsewhere.

Maybe Tim sees a trend he doesn't like and is trying to fix it before it's too late.
..........

Offline Joe K

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2011, 07:23:30 PM »
Joe:  if it was meant to be a topic of discussion, he wouldn't have locked the thread with his announcement.  How do you discuss something in a locked thread?  And as far as I can tell Dach is the only one who used the word "edict", the rest of us were simply stating our thoughts, feelings, and opinions.

To answer your question about how do we solve it, I think Smart and Strong have already answered that.

I, like so many others, have a tremendous amount of respect for Tim.  Having had the pleasure of meeting him (and Andy  ) in Montreal, I can say I adore them both.  

RAB  

(Who's a wee bit annoyed right now!)

It became a topic for discussion when Dox started the thread and it might have been helpful if the topic was introduced with the background info I attached. I'm as incensed as anyone, as this was one of the primary concerns expressed by the forums, when Peter announced the sale of the site. This site is no longer owned and operated by poz people as it was since inception and now we have to face this new reality. All I am suggesting is that the issue here is the Off Topic forum, not how it was posted, etc.

I'm not sure if we can even answer this problem as no matter how you look at it, it involves censure of certain ideas/images that paying advertisers may find offensive. What a slippery slope that becomes, as the morals/ideals of non-positive people are guidance for what is allowed in this forum of poz people. It feels like being told that we sympathize with your disease, but only to a point, and if "it makes us" uncomfortable then we may need to alter the site.

Who is "us"? and What is "it"?

Offline bocker3

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2011, 08:58:31 PM »
All I am suggesting is that the issue here is the Off Topic forum, not how it was posted, etc.

Joe,

Please go back and you will see that everyone was discussing the issue and not how it was posted until you came in and complained about the word "edict".  While I am hopeful that Tim didn't mean for it to come across that way, if you read his post there is NO MENTION OF A DISCUSSION, therefore, Dash started a thread to allow the discussion of what appeared to be an "edict".

Other than that -- everyone who has responded here, with the exception of Mecch, seems to agree that this is a horrible slippery slope that the membership should be involved with in addressing.  Because at this point, the message delivered (whether intentional or not) seems to be -- we must keep the expanded group of advertisers happy at all costs.  Even when some of the advertisers seem to be from groups that don't really have our best interests at heart.

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
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Offline Joe K

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2011, 09:11:33 PM »
Joe,

Please go back and you will see that everyone was discussing the issue and not how it was posted until you came in and complained about the word "edict".  While I am hopeful that Tim didn't mean for it to come across that way, if you read his post there is NO MENTION OF A DISCUSSION, therefore, Dash started a thread to allow the discussion of what appeared to be an "edict".

I was trying to add "context" to where this all came from and that's why I said it was too bad that the background was not included in a post about this subject. Now I feel like we're going after each other as if I was somehow advocating for how this discussion came about. I added what I thought was relevant, as the locked post makes a lot more sense with the background included.

Offline phildinftlaudy

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2011, 09:49:17 PM »
At the risk of getting harpooned here, I have taken the time to read, re-read, and read again Tim Horn’s post: (I apologize for the length of the post)

First:
“We're trying to diversify our advertising sales in order to keep POZ.com and AIDSmeds.com -- and, by extension, these Forums -- up and running.”

Message: If diversification of funding is not attained, poz.com and AIDmeds.com – and by extension – will NOT keep running. 

Second:
“While I don't know if I want us to be doing business with such prickly and sensitive companies, the complaints thus far are not without merit.”

Message: Tim is not comfortable with allowing advertisers (“prickly and sensitive companies”) to dictate and/or censor the forums, but also realizes the reality of the situation and also knows that, in some instances, the complaints are justified ---- heck, I have even questioned the appropriateness of some posts.

Third:
“This remains an HIV/AIDS information and support board. There's no reason why links to out-of-context photos, videos or websites that can be considered pornographic need to be posted in these pages.”

Message: What do out-of-context photos, videos or websites that can be considered pornographic have to do with providing information or support for those with questions about HIV/AIDS or infected/affected by HIV/AIDS– which is the purpose of the forums?

Fourth:
“…if off-topic posts in poor taste continue, I will be asked to shut down the Off Topic Forum. ..Nobody wants this -- I certainly don't.”

Message: Nowhere is Tim saying anything about other topic areas of the Forums – such as AM I, Living With, Positive Women, etc.– he has limited his message to focusing on an area of the forums that for the most part has nothing to do with the information and support priority of the forums, but is appropriately named “Off Topic.”

Additionally, Tim makes clear that he does not want to have to shut down the OFF TOPIC forum on the site

Fifth:
“So please think before you start a new thread, or post in an existing thread, with comments, images or links that potentially paint these Forums in bad light.

These are your Forums. It's up to you guys to use good judgment to protect them.”

Message: Tim leaves the responsibility to assess whether our threads or comments, images, or links may paint the forums in a bad light…. He does not use the word censor (by S+S, him, the other moderators, or even “self-censorship.”)

Conclusion: I think Tim is being as diplomatic and forthcoming in his post as possible – while also pointing out the reality of life.  I think if anyone has the funding to open up their own site, which would be totally free of any of this type of guidance, then they should do so --- although, I will say that no matter what site someone goes to, there will always be some type of limitation placed on what can be posted.

To me, Tim’s post, in which he is specifically discussing the “Off Topic” area of the forum, empowers the members; trusts in the judgment of members; and is based on ensuring that these forums – which have a primary mission of providing information and support (which occurs predominantly through the Living With, AM I, Positive Women, Treatment and Side Effects, AM Gatherings, Mental Health and associated topic areas outside of “Off Topic”) stay operational.

With better, more mainstream advertising, not only will the forums be able to continue to operate, but possibly the site will become more dependable and can have additional enhancements added.  Also, let us not forget, that as ads from mainstream advertisers grow and the site grows, its members can actually have an expanded voice – a voice that can command attention of these advertisers– through our purchases and support of their products and services.

While I can understand and agree that the situation should be monitored, so that the freedom of speech of members – particularly in regards to providing information and support -- is not infringed upon, I don’t see anything in Tim’s post that sparks a need to sound the alert or resist “doing the right thing,” particularly when not doing so places these forums in jeopardy not only for current members, but also for those members yet to come.

September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline WillyWump

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2011, 11:03:51 PM »
Thanks for that synopsis Phillip, maybe I am wrong but I think most everyone "gets" the message Tim is conveying, but there are questions, at least in my mind, of exactly what is considered off limits or offensive now. I just have a problem with a message that states in essence "be careful what you post or else we will shut it down because some outside people are unhappy"... It would be nice to know what is considered offensive now, yes there are obvious examples but where exactly is the "cut off" point now?

I think it would be good to know the specifics before we mount a rebellion.

Of course, I am sure Tim will clarify all this when he gets back on.

-Will
POZ since '08

Last Labs-
6/3/14 CD4- 736, UD 34%
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #25 on: September 11, 2011, 11:48:22 PM »
Until someone tells me who the advertisers are, and what they find offensive, I remain seriously troubled by this. Since the majority of us are gay and post about our lives, well you do the math. Oh and for the record, sadly this is not our forum. I do want to thank the majority of you for your responses.

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #26 on: September 11, 2011, 11:54:53 PM »
Oh and Joe you should be more concerned about the words you might not be able to use than the word I chose to use. ;)

Offline mecch

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #27 on: September 12, 2011, 07:39:28 AM »
Don't put words in my mouth.  Some of you have misinterpreted my thoughts. I agree its a slippery slope. All "censorship" is.  All i was pointing out is that its up to Tim and moderators and the sponsors to explain what "good taste" is and "bad taste".   Seems to me this could be clarified before going into great arguments about what might be lost, or freedom of expression, or some kind of homophobia, or prejudice against HIV+ people, and so on and so on.

Once the powers explain their reservations, then it would be a fruitful discusssion by members.  Maybe.

Also, totally get the point about, well, who really has the "power".  The members who create the content. Or the sponsors who enable the platform.   Seems to me both do.  

Some people see things in terms of black or white, mutually exclusive positions, contrast and conflict.  This limits progress.



« Last Edit: September 12, 2011, 07:41:34 AM by mecch »
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Offline Dachshund

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #28 on: September 12, 2011, 07:50:43 AM »
 

Some people see things in terms of black or white, mutually exclusive positions, contrast and conflict.  This limits progress.





The "some people" would be you Meech.

Offline bocker3

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #29 on: September 12, 2011, 07:54:07 AM »
I was trying to add "context" to where this all came from and that's why I said it was too bad that the background was not included in a post about this subject. Now I feel like we're going after each other as if I was somehow advocating for how this discussion came about. I added what I thought was relevant, as the locked post makes a lot more sense with the background included.

Joe,

I think you are being a bit over sensitive here -- I was not "going after" anyone.  I wasy simply pointing out my thoughts on why the word "edict" seemed (repeat, seemed) to be correct given the original locked post.  I knew the context, I read Tim's post.  Whether or not it was included in this one -- I got what he said.  The only person who can provide any additional context to that for me is Tim.
I believe that you and I are in agreement on the substance of this thread, so please don't accuse me of attacking you when I am not - as always, I have the utmost respect for you.


Philly,

you make good points, but it is all still a little to vague and open-ended for my liking.  As Dach points out, discussing sex, especially gay sex, is often seen as "bad taste" by many.  Additionally, to say that the Off-Topics forum isn't really about support is not entirely true.  For some folks here, this forum is an outlet that helps them deal with life -- that means this is also a "social" outlet for them.  I would guess that the Off-Topics allows some folks to blow off some steam and have a laugh in a life that might not have a lot of opportunities for such.  They not only get support by learning or venting about HIV, but about life in general.  Yes, we can all be mindful of what we post, but not knowing when and what might send some advertiser over the edge is simply too "Big Brother" for my tastes.

Mike
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Offline Dachshund

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #30 on: September 12, 2011, 08:14:35 AM »
As "open" as many of us would like the forums to be, censorship is already practiced in the forums. We have moderators that are quite good at not allowing racist, sexist or homophobic remarks or images to go unchallenged. It may come in the form of a warning, a TO, or deleting what a moderator judges offensive. Sometimes quietly, without many of us knowing they were ever posted. We censor each other by debating content and meaning, or just by putting in our two cents. Last but not least the vast majority practice self-censorship by not posting offensive words or picture. Why we need anyone to tell us "watch what you post" is beyong me.

Offline hope_for_a_cure

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #31 on: September 12, 2011, 08:44:55 AM »
censorship is already practiced in the forums.

Selective censorship exists here.  Its been my observation that a select few can pretty much spew out all the venomous verbal vomit they can without recourse. 

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #32 on: September 12, 2011, 08:59:24 AM »
A careful reading of Tim's words makes it very clear to me how thoughtfully he has phrased what he had to say. In a respectful and considerate way he is carefully weighing the issue of self-censorship with maintaining the good financial health of the site, a site which means a lot to all of you and many more who visit here and don't necessarily write in as often as others.

So I see it as a request to use the cherished freedoms here with some judicious self-editing. That still leaves lots of room for the self-expression and sharing which make this such a special  and worthwhile community.  

I've known Tim for a long time and I think we all know his care and devotion here goes far beyond merely being a job.

Just wanted to pop in to say those words.

Cheers to all.
 

Andy Velez

Offline phildinftlaudy

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #33 on: September 12, 2011, 10:49:43 AM »
Thanks Will...

However, with all due respect (and you know I have the utmost respect for you as well as many others here) -
I don't need clarification on what is considered offensive or what examples what constitute the "cut off" point.

I think a good rule of thumb (because there are probably an infinite amount of examples that could be given and a lot of gray areas) is:  If you think it might be construed as offensive, in poor taste, or abusive then probably best to error on the side of caution and not post it or run it by someone else and get their opinion (although that may not sit well or work well)---- I don't think that is going to significantly impact on anyone's ability to provide support or information.  There is also a PM function - so, members have the ability to share somethings that might not be seen as appropriate for everyone's eyes that way....

I think if Tim provides clarification on what constitutes inappropriate or offensive - there will still be questions or some may use it as further "proof" of censorship.  This site allows a lot more flexibility in what it allows to be posted than most other sites on the interwebs.  There are some extremely intelligent people here.  Each of us functions on a daily level in society and have done so successfully for many years.  I don't think anyone is asking too much for people to govern themselves accordingly.

Anyway, just my two cents ------ I have an indescribable amount of appreciation for the work and challenges that Tim and the moderators face in keeping the site not only physically open, but also as open as possible to the views and opinions of those who make up its membership and guests.

With respect,
Phil

Thanks for that synopsis Phillip, maybe I am wrong but I think most everyone "gets" the message Tim is conveying, but there are questions, at least in my mind, of exactly what is considered off limits or offensive now. I just have a problem with a message that states in essence "be careful what you post or else we will shut it down because some outside people are unhappy"... It would be nice to know what is considered offensive now, yes there are obvious examples but where exactly is the "cut off" point now?

I think it would be good to know the specifics before we mount a rebellion.

Of course, I am sure Tim will clarify all this when he gets back on.

-Will
« Last Edit: September 12, 2011, 10:51:28 AM by phildinftlaudy »
September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline leatherman

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #34 on: September 12, 2011, 11:43:58 AM »
Additionally, to say that the Off-Topics forum isn't really about support is not entirely true.  For some folks here, this forum is an outlet that helps them deal with life -- that means this is also a "social" outlet for them.  I would guess that the Off-Topics allows some folks to blow off some steam and have a laugh in a life that might not have a lot of opportunities for such.  They not only get support by learning or venting about HIV, but about life in general.
and a quick look at the content in "Off-Topic" shows quite a few posts that probably would have worked just as well in "Living With" anyway:

2011 St. Petersburg Aidswalk pictures
Gay blood donation ban likely to be lifted in the UK.
Hep C Cleared !
GO K-Y - First TV Commercial Featuring Lesbians
F**K AIDS 

Heck, most of what gets written on this site (including OT) could go into LW because much of it has to do with us dealing with something in our lives, which is influenced by the HIV in our lives. ;)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


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Offline Ann

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #35 on: September 12, 2011, 12:04:22 PM »
Phil, thank you. You get it. I hope everyone reads and re-reads your two posts.

Nobody wants to see these forums heavily censored and that is not what this is about. It's more about using a little bit of common sense. For example, does that thread you're posting in really need a link to a close-up of someone showing off their anus? It's not a homophobic thing, it's a common decency thing. All we're asking is that people think before posting.

As this site deals with a sexually transmitted virus, of course we're going to talk about sex and that's not going to change. It's the gratuitous nudity and explicit photos that can be a problem. Can't we all be adults here and accept that not everyone finds it appropriate?

As Phil points out, if you have a photo of some hot bod and want to share it, you can always take it to PM. Keep in mind that people of all ages and from all walks of life visit this site. It's not just the advertising companies who might be offended when they innocently click on a link and find themselves looking at someone's anus.

I don't think many people realise how much pressure Tim is under and how loathed he was to have to ask us to self-monitor what we post. He has fought - and is fighting - tooth and nail to keep these forums up and running. They cost a lot of money to run and the ad revenue is a necessary evil.

Tim deserves our respect. He does not deserve to be hauled over the coals over a simple request to watch what we're posting. He's counting on us to use our common sense and intelligence to know when something is a bit too risqué to post in the public forums. Please don't let him down, and please don't be the cause of these forums shutting down. These forums are far too important to let them be taken away because you just had to post a link to nudity or porn. 

Ann
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Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #36 on: September 12, 2011, 12:06:41 PM »
Can I make a joke now about your avatar choice, Ann? ;D
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline OneTampa

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #37 on: September 12, 2011, 12:17:24 PM »
Thanks Ann.

Can I make a joke now about your avatar choice, Ann? ;D

And, Ms. P., child you are too much for this universe.  ;D
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline Tim Horn

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #38 on: September 12, 2011, 12:42:30 PM »
I’ll try to be as clear as I possibly can here. Some of the remarks here have knocked me on my ass and I have no desire to stretch this out beyond what is absolutely necessary.

Over the past six months, we’ve had discussions with two advertising agencies—one representing a health insurance company providing premiums to people with preexisting conditions; the second representing a line of neutraceuticals—about advertising across POZ and AIDSmeds. All was going well, until we received notices that they would not be advertising with us because of pornographic images found in the Forums, with most examples from the “I Love Porn” thread.

In response, we suggested that they consider advertising on all non-Forums pages (a number of other advertisers do this because they don’t want to be associated with pages that involve “user generated content”). But because of the brand association with the Forums, our counter argument with the above mentioned advertisers didn’t hold water.

Please keep in mind, this isn’t only about finding advertising to support the Forums, but finding online advertising for everything available through the Smart + Strong network: Poz.com, AIDSmeds.com and realhealth.com. To be more specific, I need more money, from a variety of sources, to hire additional writers, to expand our existing content and to bring back great missed interactive programs like Check My Meds.

Nobody at Smart + Strong lost sleep over the two situations described above, but it did prompt discussions regarding the need for such threads.  Questions were raised as to whether these threads have potentially frightened off other potential advertisers. Questions were also raised as to whether these threads, which clearly do reflect tremendous gay male participation, potentially scare off many non-gay male people living with HIV.

I don’t know – nobody can factually answer any of these questions, either here in the Forums or internally at Smart + Strong. But I can’t disprove the possibilities either.

I also want to make something very clear. I fight, tooth and nail, for AIDSmeds and these Forums on a regular basis. As this is a business and I work for, and get paid by, this business – there’s no sugarcoating these facts – I need to pick and choose my fights carefully and I cannot and will not go out on a limb (risk losing my job, basically) in defense of Forums members’ rights to post sexually explicit content, out of the context of what this site is about, when I have much larger (and significantly more important) battles to fight.  

My original note was intentionally vague. I’m not going to get into what is considered pornography or tasteful. Note – I haven’t deleted the “I Love Porn” thread. However, I did recently remove a thread that contained a link, very early on, to an image of a splayed ass oozing ejaculate. So I suppose I can offer some clarity: DO NOT post messages with embedded images that are sexually explicit or reveal genitalia and do not link directly to sexually graphic images.  I’m loathe to come up with analogies here – the “only post what you wouldn’t mind your mother or sister seeing” model simply doesn’t work – but… please… if it’s not HIV related and clearly NSFW, ask yourself whether it really needs to be posted in the Forums or linked to from a message.  

I don’t know what else to add. This has consumed the better part of my day and, yes, for the first time I have taken criticism on a deeply personal level. Please understand that I have nothing else to say on the matter other than what I’ve written here.

Tim  

Edited to add: Please also know that links to adult sites embedded in messages potentially stop people from accessing these Forums -- possibly any content available through POZ or AIDSmeds -- because of porn-blocking software installed on some computers, such as in various households, at places of employment, schools and libraries. Thus, we're not just talking about funding concerns and appeal to non-gay people living with HIV, but also accessibility issues.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2011, 01:00:09 PM by Tim Horn »

Offline phildinftlaudy

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #39 on: September 12, 2011, 12:52:31 PM »
Tim:

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond in an honest and frank manner.

To be honest, your post got me a bit teary-eyed.  Maybe my hormones are in overdrive - but, I would rather believe that it is because I don't know what I would do without this site.

The friendships, information, and support received on here, for me, have been immeasurable and nothing short of lifesaving and life-affirming.

I think that the moderators and you do an excellent job of allowing freedom of expression from members and guests who literally come from all parts of the globe and all walks of life.

I want nothing more than to see this site grow (as long as there is a disease called HIV/AIDS).  I want its message of hope, support, and accurate information to be available to as many people as possible.

I think it behooves every member to contribute to the success of the site so that it will be seen as a model approach to assisting those living with, affected by, or needing information about HIV/AIDS. 

Kudos to you and your team, as always, your approach to addressing this issue and concerns of members is stellar.

-Phil
September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #40 on: September 12, 2011, 12:58:34 PM »
Tim,

I appreciate your position and as someone who frequently posts in "Off Topic" and "I Love Porn" I will be mindful of what I post. For the record, I wasn't fazed by your request and the only reason I responded to this is because this issue has upset you.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2011, 08:11:26 PM by GSOgymrat »

Offline Joe K

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #41 on: September 12, 2011, 01:05:47 PM »
I also want to make something very clear. I fight, tooth and nail, for AIDSmeds and these Forums on a regular basis. As this is a business and I work for, and get paid by, this business – there’s no sugarcoating these facts – I need to pick and choose my fights carefully and I cannot and will not go out on a limb (risk losing my job, basically) in defense of Forums members’ rights to post sexually explicit content, out of the context of what this site is about, when I have much larger (and significantly more important) battles to fight. 

Dear Tim, Ann and Andy,

I had no idea the pressure you face to keep these forums up and running, as I thought the forums were doing very well financially. This seems to be one of those times when a little more information really clarifies the issue at hand. If I said anything that any of you found offensive I deeply apologize as that was not my intent. I love these forums and the reality that they could "disappear", due to a lack of funding, was not something that I seriously considered happening. Thank you for all you do for these forums and for your honesty in addressing this situation.

Offline OneTampa

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #42 on: September 12, 2011, 01:25:50 PM »
I’ll try to be as clear as I possibly can here. Some of the remarks here have knocked me on my ass and I have no desire to stretch this out beyond what is absolutely necessary.

.....

I also want to make something very clear. I fight, tooth and nail, for AIDSmeds and these Forums on a regular basis. As this is a business and I work for, and get paid by, this business – there’s no sugarcoating these facts – I need to pick and choose my fights carefully and I cannot and will not go out on a limb (risk losing my job, basically) in defense of Forums members’ rights to post sexually explicit content, out of the context of what this site is about, when I have much larger (and significantly more important) battles to fight.  

I don’t know what else to add. This has consumed the better part of my day and, yes, for the first time I have taken criticism on a deeply personal level. Please understand that I have nothing else to say on the matter other than what I’ve written here.

Tim  


Tim,

As my late partner used to say "You brought it home!" to note intent and point--all made crystal clear.

Thank you for all of your hard work.
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline Jody

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #43 on: September 12, 2011, 01:39:48 PM »
As one of the senior members of this great website, I was one of the first members to request the later named "Off-topic forum".  I for one candidly discussed sex, after hours clubs and so on back then, when quite frankly few others would do so and some members were none too thrilled.  (Looking back who would be thrilled to hear about me having sex).  ;)   But after all most of us were living day to day on our meds but we had our lives as well, and yes: People with AIDS want to have fun too.  Off-topic was a way of giving us all the opportunity to get down and dirty, have a few laughs and to enjoy the company here as well as to have all the other forums for people to learn, ask questions and give and receive support on illness, medications, doctor visits, family and work issues, insurance issues, etc. Off topic was a separate place to go that others could avoid if they chose.

So it hurts to realize that the world has changed and we must adapt from the days of being an innocent little website that was somewhat obscure 10 years ago.  Having visited the offices of Smart and Strong in Manhattan I saw many hard working, good people trying to bring us a great POZ magazine and also to keep our website going strong for all of us.  This costs money- salaries, benefits, office space rent and so on.

So while sex and porn and fun topics are a part of what we come here for I don't have an issue with doing away with porn links and the like if women, young folks, straight people and even some gay men might find them offensive, thereby driving away prospective advertisers.  Tim is basically telling us that life as we know it cannot be sustained in its current form and we have to make some slight adjustments.   Believe me it hurts me too but what is the alternative, no site at all?

Tim and Regan are the bosses and if we want to click on Aidsmeds a year from now we have to make a slight adjustment and still have the site available for all of us in the HIV community, that is more important in 2011 than posting a piece of ass, while that is fun for so many of us there are plenty of websites in cyber space for that.

Jody
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Offline aztecan

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #44 on: September 12, 2011, 03:15:50 PM »
Having read through this thread and mulled it over, I would like to add my 2 cents worth.

We can, and will, have frank and pointed discussions about sensitive issues because they come with the territory here. 

However, I am virtually certain the majority of us are familiar with human anatomy and don't need a refresher via photos or links  in the Off Topic forum.

There are plenty of porn sites out there, but there is only one AIDSMeds. This place has been a welcome source of support ant camaraderie for me, something I cannot access anywhere else, either on line or in my community.

This site has evolved since its inception, indeed even during my tenure here. It will continue to do so. Above all,  it is a great site that has helped many people.

HUGS,

Mark
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #45 on: September 12, 2011, 04:26:07 PM »
As I said when I started this thread I have the utmost respect for Tim Horn and understand the enormous pressure he must be under running the Forums. That said, I sincerely believe the questions I raised were fair and justified. I asked for clarification and an explanation and Tim delivered both. I take him at his word and that's all I need.

Offline newt

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #46 on: September 12, 2011, 04:26:39 PM »
The alternative might be some people donate, say, $some (or buy a share or two). Then the zombie snuff movies stills can stay. Perhaps people could even buy Lose Your Time Out For Free vouchers?

HIV removes much fought for aspects of life and liberty, and I believe it fulfils a good kick back and chill function. Perhaps as valuable as the serious areas. For me it's there when shit stuff gets too much.

However, servers and conference reports need paying for.

- matt

Now playing: something about the late veneer on the inner core (BBC)
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Offline WillyWump

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #47 on: September 12, 2011, 05:08:01 PM »
Thanks Tim for the clarification.  ;) We appreciate everything you do to keep these Forums up and running.

-Will
POZ since '08

Last Labs-
6/3/14 CD4- 736, UD 34%
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline Cliff

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #48 on: September 12, 2011, 05:23:00 PM »
awww, no more drugs, dick and ass.  Shame...but just as well, I turned 36 this year so no need for any of that shit....plus who hasn't become more and more uncomfortable with visiting here whilst at work. 

Bridge, anyone?

Offline newt

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Re: Troubled by the new edict.
« Reply #49 on: September 12, 2011, 05:24:46 PM »
Canasta?
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

 


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