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    • This is a complex and nuanced topic, so I'll give you a short answer that gets right to the point, followed by a longer answer that goes into more depth.

      Short answer:

      Cake's mission is to enable great conversations, and we're not interested in being a platform for hate speech or harassment, because those things are the opposite of great. So if someone's idea of "free speech" is "speech without consequences", then Cake isn't the place for that person.

      Long answer:

      Speech has consequences. If I compliment you, that makes you feel good. If I insult you, that makes you feel bad. The US Bill of Rights says that the government can't pass a law that says I'm not allowed to insult you. This is a great thing β€” not because insults are good, but because regulating speech would give the government too much power over its citizens, and that's incompatible with democracy.

      So, if I invite someone over to my house for dinner and they start ranting and raving and insulting me, they haven't broken any laws. They've exercised their right to free speech. But I'm probably going to ask them to leave my house. That's not illegal either, because the Bill of Rights doesn't guarantee that someone can come into my house and speak to me whenever they want about whatever they want. I'm not the government, and I own my house, so I get to set the rules there. And I don't want to spend time with people who insult me.

      Cake is like a house. We're inviting people in and encouraging them to hang out and talk to each other. But if someone comes in and starts making other people miserable, we might ask that person to leave. We can't stop that person from going somewhere else and making people miserable there, and that person has every right to say whatever they want in their own house, but we want our house to be a friendly place.

      That doesn't mean that everyone on Cake has to agree with each other, or that everyone even has to like each other, but we do expect everyone to respect each other. When posting in someone's conversation, behave as if you're a guest in their house. When starting your own conversation, behave as if you're a guest in Cake's house. πŸ™‚

    • I agree very closely with Ryan, but I'd like to try an explanation I've been contemplating.

      The word censorship is very loaded and I notice Tim Cook uses the word curated when describing Apple's App Store and Apple News. I think of curated when I think of Wikipedia, Amazon's book reviews, and The New York Times' comment section. It isn't that non-mainstream views aren't welcome and it isn't even about the political spectrum. It's about protecting thoughtful and reasonable speech.

      For example, promoting pedophilia isn't political. But I think the vast majority of people want Amazon to curate their book inventory to include books about protecting children from pedophiles, counseling, and law enforcement, but not to sell books that promote it.

      No one can come up with an exhaustive enough list of rules and no company can hide from the reality that they have to make judgements, not even 4chan. If they don't, many customers will deplatform themselves, as millions of people are now doing from Facebook.

      So what is the answer and what will Cake do? I believe it has to be about values. I heard the editors of National Geographic say their values are to err on the side of facts, science, and the earth.

      We value thoughtful conversation and human decency. It's what the world needs now. That means we'll have to keep trolls from silencing and deplatforming thoughtful people who have minority views.

    • If by NSFW you mean nudity, no, but I'm working on an interview with 4-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Carol Guzy who covers human tragedy for the Washington Post.

      She and her editors have had fits trying to determine which images to show and which are too disturbing. Her values are that the world needs to know. But I have to decide, if I'm lucky enough to complete the interview, which ones are too NSFW or even NSFL for us. I haven't been able to unsee some of her images.

    • So, it seems Twitter is the only platform where you can't get flagged for showing a nude human body.

      I'm part of two different groups on Facebook that discuss human sexuality. 18+, and set to secret. According to FB's up and coming policy on sexuality, those two groups are likely to be shuttered.

      The internet is growing more and more puritanical by the day.

    • Would it be possible to put screen filters on sensitive images? Mastodon uses this both for words with a SHOW MORE button that hides potentially offensive text and a black screen to hide sensitive images.

      Not advocating for Cake becoming a home for such content, but I may want the option to not see the un-unseeable.

    • We certainly don't intend Cake to be puritanical. Positive and respectful discussions about sexuality would be welcome here.

      Nudity gets tricky though. Obviously not all nudity is sexual or meant to titillate, but the line can be very narrow and hard to define. One person's art is another person's porn. And if a platform isn't very, very careful, boundaries tend to get pushed, and then violated, and this can have an exclusionary effect, driving away people who don't want to be exposed to that kind of content and attracting only those who do.

      That's why we want to be very careful about this. It's not out of a desire to enforce puritanical norms or anything. I foresee a lot of tricky judgement calls in our future, but I really hope we can navigate them without needing to make silly context-free rules like Tumblr's new "no female-presenting nipples" policy.

    • I think that's great! I don't think any one platform needs to own the world. If Cake can get a strong foothold as a home for thoughtful conversations, then that's a win in my book, even if it means people go somewhere else to share nudes.

      Sharesome's creators probably know a lot more about that niche than we do anyway. πŸ˜‰

    • The only downside to that is that groups similar to what I host on Facebook aren't going to want to congregate on a more socialized version of They just want to be able to have open conversations and share nude selfies occasionally. Not being able to use a mainstream platform for this means that a lot of non-porn sexuality groups are going to be homeless.

    • I'm curious: why wouldn't Reddit work for this use case? I'm not intimately familiar with Reddit's rules around adult content, but they do seem pretty permissive, and it seems like a dedicated subreddit could work for this.

    • It actually works pretty good, but it's not mainstream in the way that Facebook is. However, I'm putting some thought into where to migrate these groups, and that's probably going to be the best option.