Censored By WordPress?

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.

11 responses to “Censored By WordPress?

  1. So apparently you can’t find yourself in tags. WordPress seems to self filter you out of the tags department.

    Doesn’t explain the drop in stats though. Any word on you being still mature?

  2. Pingback: Censored By WordPress? « Best WordPress Theme

  3. How did you contact them? After reading your post I went and tried to find myself on the topic lists since my own hits have been falling, and couldn’t find myself.

    • I tried contacting them through the forums. (Bottom of page under Freshly Pressed). The people there are volunteers. They try to help but can’t make any decisions. The “staff” have still not contacted me. I had problems signing in today. Hopefully just a glitch and not a sign that I am in their bad books. From what I have read and understand, if any single post is reported as being mature then the whole blog will not appear in topics from then on… (I made the mistake of tagging a few of my own posts as mature, thinking that was the responsible thing to do…) Apparently it might not have been! Now I am a bit nervous that I might get banned just for complaining. We’ll see. Meanwhile I will try and post as normal…

      • That sucks. so one person can completely screw a blog they don’t like by calling it Mature, and there’s no way to get it off? Let me know when/if you hear from the staff so I can try and get in touch with them please.

        that sounds like a stupid rule…

      • well, i got a rather short reply that I haven’t been labeled “mature.”

        no word yet onto why I don’t show up in the reader.

  4. Reblogged this on Aleister Nacht's Satanic Magic Blog and commented:
    I enjoy reading your blog posts. I certainly hope that you continue to write for your followers.
    Looking forward to the next post……..
    Aleister

  5. “But should I stop writing about sex altogether, just so that my other posts can be seen more widely?”

    No, absolutely not. To censor yourself is to stifle the creative and artistic talent that is delivered to your readers and thus, your blog will no longer be relevant. Being who you are and speaking your mind is what your readers want; their needs are fulfilled by you.

    I do agree that WordPress is a “good” blogging platform, easy to navigate, the metrics are simple yet helpful and overall features are sufficient…….so much so that I use WordPress as my “official blog” instead of the blog page on my website.

    You may never be in the “Freshly Pressed” section however, people will find you in many other places such as Google. If they like what they read and it is uncensored, you will develop a steady and loyal following. I have proven this and have never been referenced or mentioned by WordPress………ever.

    I encourage you to continue writing from your heart while “My Trip across Africa on 20 cents” and “The best lactose-free Turtle diets” fill the headlines. 😉

    Aleister

    • Thanks Aleister! I intend to keep writing from the heart. I hope I can still do it here. Had a few problems signing in today. Hope that isn’t a bad sign. 😦

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