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Forum censorship

Discussion in 'General Figure Talk' started by Babelfish, Dec 29, 2022.

  1. Babelfish A Fixture

    It appears that Brother Vinni's "Vampire Lady" thread has been Room 101'ed.

    Admittedly the figure was coming in for some stick (from myself included) with one regular poster even going so far as saying he was going to leave pF in response, but I didn't realise that collectively we'd become so thin-skinned that we need such cossetting?

    We can say we don't like something and we can say why we don't like it. And the figure in question is undeniably crass and tasteless. But that doesn't necessarily mean that it should be airbrushed ('scuse the pun) into oblivion as if it had never existed. And if the discussion gets too heated, surely just lock the thread?

    You can never please all of the people all of the time, and there's always going to be a small minority who are going to be "offended" by this that or the other. We see this on a daily basis in society as a whole and I find it disturbing when politicians, companies, institutions, sports bodies or whatever feel the need to pander to the morally self-righteous, and end up first backpedalling & apologising and then sanitising or cancelling whoever or whatever it is that's caused a particular outbreak of pearl-clutching or woke outrage. We are living in an age of a new form of puritanism, driven by the tyranny of shrill minorities. Let's not let it happen here!

    And isn't there a NSFW option for thread-starters? Maybe this needs to be more prominent?

    - Steve
    Redcap, Oda, cinimod and 9 others like this.
  2. Ferris A Fixture

    I also prefer locking a thread if it runs out of control about good or bad taste. Final post can be the moderator’s, explaining the why (keeping the peace, ‘to each its own’, etc.). Locking threads make them disappear to another page quickly, and out of sight.

    Deleting should in my view be reserved for a few extreme cases, such as all too personal attacks, racist remarks and other cases very much going against forum rules. But even here locking, with final post as explanation should in my view be considered first.

    I have to say I do think the occasional ‘controversial thread’ keeps the forum alive. Without the occasional brouhaha the risk is things may start to feel a bit too sanitary. I think any normally functioning adult should be able to handle that.

    And a NSFW label is a good label to protect the sensitive....there’s always the option to not look... ;-)

    Redcap, Oda, DEL and 4 others like this.
  3. NigelR A Fixture

    What just happened was not censorship, it was moderation. IMO forums can be moderated as the forum owners see fit. Brother Vinni's stuff definitely crosses a line into soft porn and IMO that belongs in a place where people who like that kind of thing hang out. It's not "woke" to maintain reasonable levels of decency in a family friendly forum, which I assume this to be.

    The problem was (as I pointed out on that thread), there was not an option to not look at the thumbnail pictures. If the whole thing came up with blank thumbnails and was clearly labelled NSFW or over 18s only that would be tolerable.
    David Spencer, Oda, DaddyO and 4 others like this.
  4. Nap Moderator

    Hi Guys

    The thread was moderated by me , some of Vinni's pieces are just too much and I therefore considered it not wanted so acted

    It might be acceptable if areas were " starred " out by Brother V prior to posting

    Some members have previously been mods so know what it's like !

    This is as Nigel says a family friendly forum for all ages and genre

    Doing something with NSFW is a idea

    Surprised it wasn't reported to moderators , I would have acted sooner personally but have been ill since Christmas Day

    Feel free to PM me

  5. Helm A Fixture

    Yet the Chronos piece which is to all intents and purposes the same is still up there? If there is to be censorship, which frankly I don't think we need, it's a chunk of resin at the end of the day. Then it needs to be an across the board thing, not picking and choosing what to be offended by on a whim. There is a controversial tag I believe which should be used if needed, but quite honestly I think things are getting a little out of hand. Incidentally I picked the Chronos piece purely as it was on the front page, it's not my thing but an excellent sculpt, so its inclusion should not be viewed as anything negative
    Oda, Nap, Babelfish and 4 others like this.
  6. Babelfish A Fixture

    One man's censorship etc.

    That's a fair argument well made, Nigel. My main concern though is nixing stuff that a tiny minority (as few as one or two) people might deem to be "offensive". I mean, several members have said that they find Waffen SS subjects offensive. So are they fair game as well? And modern Russian stuff as well, given that the Russians are now almost universally viewed (certainly in the West) as the dark forces of Mordor as a result of what's happening in Ukraine? There are plenty of other subjects as well that individuals might conceivably feel "offended" by either for personal or historical reasons. So where do the lines get drawn? Because it's a slippery slope once you start on down it.

    Exactly. The approach - if there's to be one - needs to be consistent.

    I don't think we're at the "out of hand" stage yet. I think that by and large the current mods (of whom Kev is by far the most "hands-on") do a good job. I'm just concerned that we might end up there if threads get deleted every time someone feels "offended" by something.

    Indeed Kev, I've been where you are now and it didn't take me long to find out that you can be on a hiding to nothing sometimes, and you can't do right for doing wrong. Don't take my comments as criticism of you personally because as said, you put a lot into this forum and do some sterling work. You put a lot more time & effort into it than I ever did, that's for sure. I'm just uneasy about deleting threads.

    - Steve
    Oda, Blind Pew, Nap and 4 others like this.
  7. bigtodd PlanetFigure Supporter


    I get it, maybe we can ask that moderators let the persons know they deleted it and offer them the chance to repost with NSFW on it or edit a creative blur slash stars on picture.

    I have to say the site and the moderators have done a great job over the years. We don't really have trolls or big fights (which makes me leave sites).

    This site is my nightly wind down, I relax and look at all the amazing work.

    Just my two cents (pence).

    sd0324, Oda, Blind Pew and 3 others like this.
  8. Nap Moderator

    Thank you everyone for their comments

    This is being looked at very carefully believe me

    I would like the NSFW changed to something more understandable and suitable .....perhaps "viewing discretion needed"?

    Happy New Year everyone

    Oda, Babelfish, Merryweather and 3 others like this.
  9. Blind Pew A Fixture

    My thanks to all involved anyway - I do appreciate all you do for us on here.
    Oda, Nap and Merryweather like this.
  10. Russ Active Member

    From the standpoint of forum life and life cycle, I agree here. There's always a clearly approved area, a less clearly disapproved area, and a gray area between the two. Without the gray area to push into, a forum (or any other type of community/interest group), runs the risk of becoming stale, missing trends and evolving perspectives. And this evolution happens all around us, all the time: Remember when you'd never hear swear words on radio or TV? "Damn" would get somebody censured. Dick van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore slept in separate twin beds. And women cooked, cleaned, and had babies. Period.

    Is it always comfortable? Certainly not. But does that mean we simply tear down the boundaries and let anything through? Again, certainly not. That gray area is very challenging to manage; let's give the moderator their due.
  11. kevininpdx Well-Known Member

    I feel the need to weigh in as a father of a young girl. I would really rather not have her see something like that sculpt when browsing the forum. If you’re into that sort of thing knock yourself out but it’s a bad image for the hobby. I don’t think it needs to be banned as long as there is a way to separate products of a sexual nature. For example an NSFW header that prevents the picture from being displayed as a thumbnail on the forum menu. Or maybe a subforum that does the same.
    DEL, Chrisr, marco55 and 2 others like this.
  12. Russ Active Member

    Re-thinking this a little more ...

    This is an issue that is actually addressed in the International Plastic Modelers Society 2022 National Contest Rules, section 5, posted here for your review. I might suggest that PF consider adopting the same guidelines as enforced by a major organization like IPMS. Note that section 5.B. allows certain "gray area" entries, but specifies that they must be screened - that provision may be correlated with the idea of a sub-forum, secured by member-only access.

    I seem to recall that there used to be a prohibition on "excessive gore", though I don't seem to be able to find that now.

    5.Inappropriate Entries.The Chief Judge will exclude/remove from competition any entry considered by Contest officials to be inappropriate or offensive to generally acknowledged standards of taste and acceptability.

    A.The following are prohibited in competition and may not be placed on display at any IPMS event:

    i.There shall be no depiction of excretory functions depicting any human being or animal.
    ii.There shall be no depiction of sadomasochistic activity, equipment, settings or situations, to any degree, regardless of whether there are figures in the model and regardless of whether any figures present in the model are clothed.
    iii.There shall be no depictions of explicit sexual conduct, bilateral or auto-erotic, regardless of degree and regardless of the clothing-status of the participants that involves the touching of the breasts or genitals or other erogenous zones of any depicted figure.
    iv.There shall be no depiction of any nude human male or female figures where the genitalia of the figure are exposed where the clear intent of the same is to portray a sexual scene

    B.The following may be entered in the competition or put on display but can be presented only behind opaque screens or similar visual barriers and only where visitors are provided with a fair description, in written format, of the contents of the models behind the screen. This screened presentation covers competitors and the general public, but no person younger than 18 will be admitted except in the presence of an adult responsible for the young person, subject to the provisions of governing local law:

    i. Depictions of any nude human male or female figure, subject to the provisions of 5A, above.
    ii. Models or dioramas of historic events (e.g.general dioramas or specific depictions of the result of the activities of the communist Cambodian Pol Pot regime, a Soviet Gulag, or a Nazi death camp) where the suffering of human beings, or the result of a pogrom, is depicted.Where the theme, content or subject matter of presentations is graphic or would violate any provisions cited above, then the presentation is prohibited in any setting.

    I think that rule set could serve as a viable framework for forum management. Any thoughts?

    The complete IPMS rules: https://ipmsusa.org/sites/default/files/2022_ipms-usa_national_contest_rules_-_version_2.pdf
  13. Henk A Fixture

    It's a tricky subject, but ultimately, I think it's down to the viewer, to exercise their ability to to look away if they do not like what they see. They choose to come and visit a model figure forum. Nobody makes them come here, and forces them to look, and besides, much worse is only a few keyboard clicks away.

    I mean, if you go down the line of banning one subject, what is next? Pornography? Yeah, no place for that. Is an exposed breast, with a covered nipple ok? Why can man be bare chested, but women not?
    And what about SS soldiers? Swastika markings on plane tails? Crusader knights? Roman soldiers? Viking warriors?
  14. Redcap A Fixture

    I have just belatedly seen this thread and there are some interesting and thought provoking comments on here but like others, I am against a few people on this site - I do not include sincere moderation of member arguments etc - dictating or "suggesting" what other members can and cannot see on this site.

    Where does it end - no figures allowed of Julius Caesar because he engaged in history's first recorded genocide in Gaul or as others have said, figures of SS soldiers?

    As for the "Brother Vinnie" argument, sorry but I think anyone who has been on this site more than 2 minutes knows what the bloke sells. As such, going into his threads and then expressing "outrage" at his content is akin to ringing the cops to complain about your neighbour walking around their bedroom totally naked. Then upon arrival of the cops who announce they can't see anything you reply..." Errrrr...well you can if you stand on a chair and then take a look."

    If you don't want to view his stuff, then don't look at his advertisements..! It's quite a simple concept and also, I need no-one to sanitise material or be "outraged" on my behalf either as I am quite capable of seeing posts I have zero interest in and then just ignoring them as 'nothing to see here'.

    Martin64, Helm, Jeff T and 4 others like this.
  15. Tecumsea PlanetFigure Supporter

    For some people "being offended" is away of life-must be a pretty dark place where nothing makes you happy. For minorities "being offended" is a way of seeking changes in attitude or political direction, the most dangerous area is where it is used to cast aspertions on the innocent.

    We are reaching an era where free speech is a thing of the past.

  16. Qwertius New Member

    May I suggest a separate sub-forum for the NSFW (that is, nudities) subjects with restrictions:

    - No exposed genitalia
    - No depiction of sexual acts
    - No gratuitous violence
    - No posting or linking to images not of subject figure or in violation of above rules

    In there people can discuss their works and techniques. Having painted figures from Pegaso, Phoenix Follie, etc., they do pose their own challenges and have a place in miniature painting community. And having been on forums with more laddish attitude that's how they kept things under control, mostly.

    Just my 2 cents.
  17. WarhammerAdjacent Well-Known Member

    For the sake of argument, one of the issues I think we have here (and in society in general) is the way we use the word 'offensive'. There is a tendency to use it to mean 'upsets people', at least in part because it makes it possible to then disregard people who object as being overly sensitive or weak. Let us consider another use of the term 'offensive' which is that of being repulsive, hostile or likely to cause harm (see 'offensive waste' in a medical context). Sometimes 'offense' isn't about upsetting people but rather about causing damage to individuals or the community. We might object to racist material on a forum like this for example, not because it upsets people (although that might well be a problem) but because it reflects and encourages behaviours that result in harm both to people and to our community. Similarly overly sexualised imagery of women might be considered offensive not because some people are upset by it, but rather because it reflects attitudes etc that encourage behaviours that are harmful to women. It also has the potential to be harmful to our community because if we appear to be a community that accepts/welcomes/engages with such behaviours (even under the guise of NSFW) that may well prove off-putting to people who are less accepting of them. I know that in other areas/media there has been some discussion of sexism in the hobby, if that is something we care about then we should put some thought into what the material on this forum says about us.

    Having said all of that, it isn't necessarily an argument for censorship (comments providing a robust rejection of crass/offensive material may actually be a better indicator of the attitudes of a community than the absence of said material), I merely offer an alternative way of considering these ideas of 'offence' rather than making it about people being 'weak' or 'sensitive.'
    1969 likes this.

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