I am having a strop with wordpress. Several weeks ago I noticed that the hits on my blog were going down dramatically. After a few inquiries on the wordpress support forums I found out that it was because my blog had been flagged as “mature”. As a result it no longer shows up in topics at all and is not seen much beyond those who already subscribe to it.
Now I do understand that as a responsible online publisher WordPress does have to make sure it’s services are not exploited and particularly that nothing obscene or criminal is published here. I have certainly not done that.
WordPress say that you can publish things which are of an adult/mature/sexual nature but those things will not appear in topics, freshly pressed or anywhere else. Fair enough, but…
I don’t deny that I sometimes write about adult and sexual themes. But not always, and actually not that often. Sometime ago I wrote and published an erotic story on my blog. I marked it as mature myself. There was a very soft focus erotic image attached to that story which I felt was erotic without being in any way pornographic. It does disturb me somewhat that the WordPress terms of service seem to regard nudity of any sort as “mature”. That seems a bit Nineteenth Century to me.
Anyhow I do sometimes write about sex. However I usually try to look into the politics and psychology behind sex, which I think is something worth discussing in an adult way. I have also very occasionally written about my own sexual experiences; but again I think in all such cases I flagged those particular posts as mature myself.
I am also honest and upfront on my “About Me” page and in the little blurb on my main page, about the fact that I do sometimes write about mature themes. I think I have acted responsibly about this.
What annoys me is that most of my posts are not of that nature. In the past week I have written about American politics, blogging awards and general spirituality. It is quite a while since I have written anything explicitly about sex. But should I stop writing about sex altogether, just so that my other posts can be seen more widely? Surely that defeats the whole purpose of personal blogging? Moreover, it is without doubt, an insidious form of censorship.
Perhaps I am justified in asking the question, “Is my blog really being restricted because of occasional references to sex; or could it be that the powers that be just don’t like my religion or my politics?
Well rather than get into conspiracy theories I have a question for the good folks at wordpress. Isn’t it possible that with all the technology at your disposal that individual posts can be marked as mature; rather than semi-banning entire blogs?
The volunteers on the forums were quite helpful but said the matter was out of their hands and would have to be dealt with by a member of staff. I have been waiting for more than a week for that to happen.
I like the community here at wordpress and the other services that are provided. I don’t want to move my blog somewhere else but neither do I want to restrict myself unduly.
I maintain that I am a very responsible blogger and I always flag any material that could cause offense.
I very much hope this situation can be resolved amicably.
Meanwhile, since this post is unlikely to be published as widely as I would like, I would appreciate comments and suggestions from those who do see it.