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TV Tropes Self-Censoring Under Google Pressure

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the think-of-the-children dept.

Censorship 393

mvdwege writes "The popular wiki TV Tropes, a site dedicated to the discussion of various tropes, clichés and other common devices in fiction has suddenly decided to put various of its pages behind a 'possibly family-unsafe' content warning, apparently due to pressure by Google withdrawing its ads. What puzzles me most is the content that is put behind this warning. TV Tropes features no explicit sexual content, and no explicit violence. It does of course discuss these things, as is its remit, but without actual explicit depictions. In fact, something as relatively innocuous as children being raised by two females, whatever the reason are put behind the content warning, even if the page itself doesn't take a stand on the issue, merely satisfying itself by describing the occurence of this in fiction."

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Google (5, Insightful)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158012)

Doing evil that doesn't look evil.

Re:Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158030)

I know the knee-jerk response here is to complain about something, but what, seriously, is so bad about warning people that something "may be less family friendly"? Just click "yes" and get on with your life.

Re:Google (5, Insightful)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158068)

The problem being that Google, using it's ad-dollars, is forcing a site that is completely devoid of anything remotely family un-safe to make a change in the way it shows its content.

Re:Google (3, Insightful)

Xaositecte (897197) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158174)

But the content itself hasn't actually changed!

Re:Google (5, Insightful)

IgnitusBoyone (840214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158284)

While Censorship and restraint are very different issues. One I wish Wikipedia would learn when clicking on various biology articles. Oh I wonder what that illness is (MY EYES!!). I do find it odd that a site like TV tropes which has no offensive images (that I know of) could run in to trouble on review based off a few counter culture tropes.

Hell even the articles that talk about adult issues are all extremely tame when you think about it compared to the stuff you find on forums. I wouldn't be surprised if the reviewer stumbled on to a mischievous edit or they just got red flag in general for having completely anom edits.

I don't think they should have trouble with the appeal process.

Re:Google (1)

thehostiles (1659283) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158424)

some of the discussion threads of such articles function exactly like forums.
This troper doesn't believe a word of most of what is said in such discussion pages, but it thinks that TVTropes does have its unsavory bits. However, this troper also believes that Google's actions are an unjust and should be punished.

Re:Google (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158598)

But the content itself hasn't actually changed!

The technical term for this kind of thing is "Chilling Effect". It's actually a term of art.

It's one reason why there's such a danger in any single company getting as big, and as ubiquitous as Google has become. And unfortunately, there is no mechanism of the "free market" which deals with this. It's one reason (among many) that the free market will always end up being "un-free". A further problem is that there will seldom be a point at which you can say, "There! Now it has become a danger."

There probably was a point somewhere between Google being a search engine and Google being an advertising agency and Google being an ISP, and Google having trucks with cameras and wi-fi sniffers driving down every street in the world, where it crossed the line.

Since the Justice Department has been asleep at the wheel for the past several decades, Google will not be broken up as it should be. It will become both "too big to fail" and "big enough to fuck everything up".

Re:Google (5, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158184)

This is precisely why the DoJ is supposed to screen mergers and say no when it would result in insufficient competition. Had the DoJ said no to Google buying Doubleclick, it's much less likely that this would've happened as Google wouldn't be controlling most of the entire market.

Re:Google (3, Insightful)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158444)

It's a de facto near-monopoly all over again, just like Microsoft with IE and Office. I don't think it's necessarily the result of Google being Evil, but when a site's choice of sponsorship is Google or Ohfuckwhatdowedonow, there's a serious problem with the online advertising market.

Re:Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158390)

So what? It's a contract agreement with Google, to receive advertising revenue, for free. Google has no moral imperative to not do anything here. And in return they ask that you don't tarnish Google's name... which is by no means an unreasonable request.

You haven't read much of TVTropes if you think it is "family safe" (whatever the fuck that means). The referenced TVTropes page is mild by comparison to the other pages, but even it is borderline once you include the examples' comments. And for some reason, parents in the U.S. usually see anime (even clothed anime as in the article's picture) as provocative or disturbing.

Re:Google (4, Insightful)

Your.Master (1088569) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158614)

It's not for free -- they have to include Google content and follow rules about how it displays, and now the terms seem to be changing out from under them to also have to hide their own content behind an annoying, user-unfriendly click-through.

Basically the problem is that Google is wielding an advertising monopoly to dictate the business terms of its suppliers (supplying eyeballs and data). That tends to be controversial -- sure, we're mostly okay if they refuse to do business with explicitly pro-slavery organizations, but as you back off into grey areas more and more people's hackles start to rise. This particular case smells like a light form of censorship, which is particularly unpopular on slashdot.

I don't think this incident is a huge deal, though I do find it frustrating that TV Tropes will be a little harder to use the next time I decide to lose myself in its pages for a while. And to be clear, I don't think Sergei Brin is sitting atop a dark tower laughing maniacally and screaming "by the power of this monopoly SOON ALL WILL BE UNDER MY CONTROL". It's merely that relatively innocent actions, when backed up by an effective monopoly, have profound effects.

That suggests a question -- does Google have an advertising monopoly? It's a tough question. French courts have ruled that they are (I'd paste a link but Chrome has had problems pasting into slashdot these days -- use Google :) to find a court ruling from France on July 2). But they do have one competitor, though it's about a quarter the size of Google: Microsoft. That doesn't sit well with a large portion of slashdotters either so there's really no remaining alternative.

Re:Google (2, Insightful)

hpoul (219387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158216)

the whole web is unfiltered (or should be), so why would anyone need a disclaimer for every site anyway..

(if parents want to "protect" their children - it probably makes sense up till a certain age, simply white-list the pages you want them to see.. that's the only way it can possibly work..)

Re:Google (2, Insightful)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158376)

"if parents want to "protect" their children"

Protect in this sense of course means "indoctrinate." I don't see the problem with sexual/violent content at all. There's nothing to protect them from. A person who is normal to begin with doesn't magically become a murderer/rapist when they view content.

Re:Google (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158596)

because nobody gives a fuck about your family. it has nothing to do with anyone else.

Re:Google (4, Informative)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158110)

What is the problem? Just open the site with a disclaimer, "This site is not filtered for children or idiots. Enter at your own risk." Now everyone is happy.

Re:Google (4, Insightful)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158292)

Except the idiots who don't realize they are idiots.

Unfortunately, they have way to much say.

Re:Google (4, Informative)

ikkonoishi (674762) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158458)

Google does not run ads on NSFW pages. It violates their TOS. People were editing in NSFW content on some pages, and one of the auditors at Google caught it. Now TVTropes has to make sure that any pages that may have NSFW content do not run Google ads.

Re:Google (1)

gutnor (872759) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158634)

It is not a disclaimer to warn idiot, it is a disclaimer to please their main source of revenue: Google.

Had google asked them to put a banner like "reading this website gives you Cancer", they would have had no other choice.

Not Evil (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158358)

Google is doing a service by warning users they are visiting tv tropes, so they have a chance to escape.

Welcome (4, Insightful)

turkeyfish (950384) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158488)

You have entered into the brave new world of privatized America. Do not attempt to adjust your internet experience. We will control all that you see and hear.

Re:Google (2, Funny)

hardboiled.tequila (986536) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158564)

"Doing evil without being evil."

Fixed that for ya.

Re:Google (3, Interesting)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158602)

And yet people will continue to defend this company. Google has been guilty of way more stupid bullshit in the last few years than Microsoft, which has been a harmless, slow-moving relic since the antitrust trial a decade ago. I'd love to see how people would react if Steve Ballmer said that only criminals care about privacy.

Ahmurkuns 'n Ruhpublicuns (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158024)

There's nothing like a family with two daddies and no mommies to really get a Republican arous... err... angry.

Re:Ahmurkuns 'n Ruhpublicuns (1)

IgnitusBoyone (840214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158146)

Actually, a surprising amount of family friendly sit-coms are of the nature. Normally however the guys are very actively trying to find girl-friends to help in specific situations and the children tend to be girls. Both Full-House and My Two Dads are mentioned as examples for the Has Two Mommies Trope which I found odd. Sunny from MGS4 as well

Re:Ahmurkuns 'n Ruhpublicuns (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158232)

My dad occasionally brought us presents after my parents separated. Once he brought my sister a book called The Daddy machine. [amazon.com]

After he left my mom opened the book out of curiosity and discovered that the kids in the story had 2 mothers. She read the back cover which indicated that the publisher catered to kids with gay parents. My mom had thought that my dad was trying to subtly say that she was a lesbian and ripped him a new ass over the phone while my sisters and I laughed our asses off at the whole "two mommies" thing, which is funny when you're a kid.

It was an honest mistake, because he picked it up from a big store chain in haste and couldn't tell just from a glance of the cover.

Re:Ahmurkuns 'n Ruhpublicuns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158278)

It was an honest mistake, because he picked it up from a big store chain in haste and couldn't be arsed to take a look inside of the cover.

FTFY

Re:Ahmurkuns 'n Ruhpublicuns (1, Insightful)

sg_oneill (159032) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158400)

Republican family values!

Hey, lets inflict forced proposition-8 divorces on 1000s of californian families because an imaginary diety says so, even if the constitution says govt and religion are forbidden from combining.

Re:Ahmurkuns 'n Ruhpublicuns (-1, Flamebait)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158482)

Republican family values!

Hey, lets inflict forced proposition-8 divorces on 1000s of californian families because an imaginary diety says so, even if the constitution says govt and religion are forbidden from combining.

Uh, couple != families. Families implies children.

Were you sick from school when they explained reproduction?

Sorry, but where in your constitution does it say that everyone has a right to marriage and that the government has a right to redefine marriage? Marriage was not instituted by the government because it preceded any form of government. Governments passed laws to recognize and regulate marriage based on societies values which is not the same thing as creating marriage. Marriage requires a license and so it is not a right. When was the last time you had to get a license for free speech or any other fundamental right? Driving a car is not a right. It requires a license with certain terms and conditions.

Re:Ahmurkuns 'n Ruhpublicuns (1)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158500)

Actually two males and two females can reproduce just fine, you just need a lab for it ;)

Re:Ahmurkuns 'n Ruhpublicuns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158574)

So if a couple doesn't have children yet, maybe can never have children, they're not a family?

Why don't you pack that smug attitude up tight and shove it up your ass sideways?

Re:Ahmurkuns 'n Ruhpublicuns (2, Insightful)

euphemistic (1850880) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158576)

They're gay, not infertile. Use your imagination.

PS. Churches don't give the licenses, the government does. The government may not have created marriage, but if they can regulate it (which you don't seem to have a problem with), they can do so as they see fit - including by issuing licenses and deciding who they will issue their licenses to.

Re:Ahmurkuns 'n Ruhpublicuns (2, Insightful)

zeroshade (1801584) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158590)

Just wanted to point out that only under a very specific definition of family are children implied. Otherwise under no way are children implied when someone says "family" I would consider a married couple to be a family as would many other people.

Re:Ahmurkuns 'n Ruhpublicuns (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158604)

"When was the last time you had to get a license for free speech or any other fundamental right?"

Concealed Carry.

Now get the hell out of my country, you anal-cranial invert. No, I don't want to hear your false history as to the origin of marriage. No, I don't want to hear about your imaginary Sky Wizard. No, I don't want to hear your excuses as to why you're purportedly not a bigot for deeming it proper to reduce a large number of my fellow Americans to the status of second class citizen.

Just get the fuck out. Go to Iran.

I'd say, please excuse the language - but fuck it. You allies of tyranny, stalwart enemies of Liberty, simply do not deserve civil discourse.

Re:Ahmurkuns 'n Ruhpublicuns (3, Informative)

CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158620)

Republican family values!

Hey, lets inflict forced proposition-8 divorces on 1000s of californian families because an imaginary diety says so, even if the constitution says govt and religion are forbidden from combining.

Uh, couple != families. Families implies children.

Errm, did you miss the part where married couples without kids got preferential treatment over unmarried couples with kids because of the aforementioned "Republican family values"?

What? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158058)

You can show it on tv... But not on the net?

Which is chock full of the most depraved things ever... And indexed by google... And searching for any of it will show you googles own ads.

Ow... the hypocrasy hurts!

On my forum... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158086)

Google pulled their ads because some guy said "We should nuke China".
ive seen sites with google ad's that got pulled because they linked to torrent files and other stuff. its stupid really.

Re:On my forum... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158328)

maybe google hires too many chinks.

protected speech? (1)

perlchild (582235) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158098)

Am I the only one who thinks if they DID take a stance, and make it an opinion piece, they'd have a better case as protected speech? But merely quoting the programs isn't?

Re:protected speech? (4, Insightful)

poptones (653660) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158140)

Take a stance? They could easily take a stand - tell Google to fuck off with its ad dollars.

When are y'all going to get this isn't censorship, it's marketing? Advertisers don't want to piss off customers, many of whom may well be backward hicks. Money doesn't care if it comes from a hick or an educated genius, it's still money. Google cannot keep its advertisers if they allow their ad software to be plastering ads for Duncan Hines and Soft Soap all over porn sites, or even sites some of those hicks who buy soft soap and duncan hines might consider questionable in their editorial content.

This is completely protected speech - and they have made their decision: money is more important than "educating" (more likely alienating) a bunch of hicks who can't stand the notion of two people having sex. Whoopee.

Re:protected speech? (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158224)

Yes, but Google in doing so has abused it's market position for it's own benefit. Theoretically the DoJ ought to be investigating the abuse of power. But then again, the DoJ ought to have used the Clayton Antitrust Act to prevent them from gaining so much control of the online advertising space in the first place.

Re:protected speech? (5, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158234)

This is completely protected speech - and they have made their decision: money is more important than "educating" (more likely alienating) a bunch of hicks who can't stand the notion of two people having sex. Whoopee.

I'm not sure you or the GP understands how protected speech works.

If Google decided to drop advertising on all websites that discuss whether or not Glenn Beck raped and murdered a girl in 1990, claiming "parody" is going to get you no where.

A private company is well within its rights to set standards and not do business with another private company because of protected speech that falls outside those standards.

Re:protected speech? (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158236)

They could easily take a stand - tell Google to fuck off with its ad dollars.

That'd need a lot more donors than TV Tropes currently has.

Song of Songs (5, Insightful)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158106)

Please, someone create a TV show based on the Song of Songs of the Bible to fuck with those people.

What to do, what to do. It's the Bible and yet, it's porn!

Re:Song of Songs (1)

Doctorer (1017662) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158162)

It would only be porn to people who assume that the ability to read is sufficient for understanding an ancient metaphysical love-song analogy for the love of God for Israel. But hey, EVERYONE knows that Slashdot is filled with self-taught genius experts in all fields, particularly philosophy and theology. Yup.

Re:Song of Songs (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158250)

It wouldn't be porn to people who think that the concept of lust has no place in the Bible, and do complex mental acrobatics to convince themselves that Solomon was writing about anything but.

"7:1 How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince's daughter! the joints of thy thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman. 7:2 Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor: thy belly is like an heap of wheat set about with lilies. 7:3 Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins."

Oh sure, entirely about his "love for God!"

Re:Song of Songs (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158314)

raped

Re:Song of Songs (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158410)

"self-taught genius experts"

Sounds about right.

Re:Song of Songs (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158492)

"self-taught genius experts"

Sounds about right.

More like self-described "genius experts".

Re:Song of Songs (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158460)

It would only be porn to people who assume that the ability to read is sufficient for understanding an ancient metaphysical love-song analogy for the love of God for Israel

So what is "sufficient" for understanding the Bible? Why is simply reading it not good enough?

Re:Song of Songs (1)

Doctorer (1017662) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158490)

It would only be porn to people who assume that the ability to read is sufficient for understanding an ancient metaphysical love-song analogy for the love of God for Israel So what is "sufficient" for understanding the Bible? Why is simply reading it not good enough?

What is sufficient for understanding legislation? An anatomy textbook? Slashdot news items? Is the ability to read enough to ensure you understand the meaning (obtuse and profound) of the above examples, or is one expected to have some learning and experience with the context of the text?

Re:Song of Songs (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158502)

or is one expected to have some learning and experience with the context of the text?

Let's assume learning and experience are requisite to understanding the Bible. That still doesn't answer the question of What learning you think is required. I just have a measly Liberal Arts bachelors. Does that disqualify me? How about Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church? Since he has specific learning and experience with the Bible, should I defer to his views?

Re:Song of Songs (2, Interesting)

Doctorer (1017662) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158530)

or is one expected to have some learning and experience with the context of the text? Let's assume learning and experience are requisite to understanding the Bible. That still doesn't answer the question of What learning you think is required. I just have a measly Liberal Arts bachelors. Does that disqualify me? How about Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church? Since he has specific learning and experience with the Bible, should I defer to his views?

Let me go back to my original post, first of all, and enforce a distinction that I originally made - a particular level of understanding is necessary to understand the Song of Songs. Your question conflated the necessity of learning to understand the Song of Songs with the whole Bible, which is not what I claimed. If we are to talk about the whole Bible, then I would immediately say that different levels of learning are necessary for different books - and the Song of Songs would be at the high end of that range.

Your (and my) Bachelor of Liberal Arts would put you in a better position to critically interpret certain phrases and idiomatic expressions than, say, a Bachelor of Science or high school student. It would not do us much (or even any) better on matters of theological interpretation, since it involves no study of theology.

This leads into the question of the quality of learning - Mr Phelps may claim to be learned in matters theological, but what is the quality of his learning? Are his beliefs intrinsically and extrinsically consistent? Are his theses defensible?

Where they are, you should, and where they are not, you should not defer - but always do so thoughtfully.

Re:Song of Songs (2, Informative)

Marcika (1003625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158336)

Please, someone create a TV show based on the Song of Songs of the Bible to fuck with those people.

What to do, what to do. It's the Bible and yet, it's porn!

They would mess it up, badly. Given that the English puritans intentionally mistranslated the reference to cunnilingus in 7:2, and the American puritans mistranslated it again in the NIV, you shouldn't get your hopes up. They might just make some sort of wishy-washy show saying it is an analogy for the love of God for Israel...

(Well maybe if the Germans did it... Luther at least dared to get that translation right.)

Re:Song of Songs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158346)

They made a start with Kings.

Promoted to hell, but died with nary a whimper.

Re:Song of Songs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158360)

Actually no, Song of Songs is erotica, not porn. Porn is a visual depiction of sexual acts, and the Song of Songs isn't visual media. ..Don't be so quick to assume that Christians are all prudes. Stereotypes and rapid judgement like that are dangerous, divisive, and potentially destructive; I mean, pssh, we're not *all* Catholics.

That was a joke.. mostly.

Re:Song of Songs (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158420)

Better yet, Ezekiel 23:20, "There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses."

slashpocricy (0, Troll)

hildi (868839) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158128)

modded anyone down lately? thats censorship!

obligatory... (0, Redundant)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158132)

Damn you, Slashdot! http://xkcd.com/609/ [xkcd.com]

describing a family is family unfriendly? (4, Insightful)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158148)

Seriously, how the fuck is describing a family unit that is headed by two females in any way, shape, or form "family unfriendly"? What the fuck is wrong with the world?

I hope the Human Rights Campaign (which my wife and I donate regularly to) takes note of this and lowers Google's ranking over it. It's just disgusting that they would act this way.

Re:describing a family is family unfriendly? (3, Funny)

Fast Thick Pants (1081517) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158222)

In retaliation, Google can lower the Human Rights Campaign's pagerank.

Re:describing a family is family unfriendly? (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158258)

Because it's the "Christians" that are the sole arbiters of what is and is not family friendly, duh. But seriously, there's a lot of small minded bigots out there that like to use things like this to erase as many traces of things they might have to think about as possible.

Re:describing a family is family unfriendly? (1)

Lanteran (1883836) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158286)

It'd probably be canceled out by google's ending their censorship in china. Not that I disagree with you.

Re:describing a family is family unfriendly? (5, Informative)

cduffy (652) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158306)

I hope the Human Rights Campaign (which my wife and I donate regularly to) takes note of this and lowers Google's ranking over it.

Nobody from Google made that judgement; rather, TV Tropes' own users did... though the summary is certainly edited in such a way as to imply otherwise.

That said, the users from TV Tropes are self-censoring conservatively on account of not knowing exactly what Google dinged them for... which is clearly Not Cool.

Re:describing a family is family unfriendly? (1)

dcollins (135727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158622)

Well, admittedly the article itself describes it as, "A family unit that cheerfully ignores the traditional view of a family... drew the ire of many conservative groups for its proposed use in the New York school system to portray a lesbian family as normal, wholesome, and happy."

Now, I don't think this a threat to anyone's family in any way. But apparently there's a strongly-felt other side to that argument, which is actually referenced by the article itself. So you can at least see how this got picked up by this (undesirable) screening process.

That's not the real reason (4, Funny)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158150)

The real reason behind Google pulling their advertising is pressure from governments and schools to increase worker/student productivity, and if you think I'm kidding, you've never been to TvTropes. As far as a free-time black hole, it's orders of magnitude worse than Facebook.

Re:That's not the real reason (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158270)

As far as a free-time black hole, it's orders of magnitude worse than Facebook.

But once you've completed your initial binge on TV Tropes, it isn't any more of a time waster than Wikipedia. You can wiki walk [tvtropes.org] on any large wiki, but they become shorter as you become familiar with the subject matter.

Family friendly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158178)

While I certainly don't agree with Google using its advertising to promote "family friendliness" in a site, to claim that this site is completely blameless is a little disingenuous [tvtropes.org] (hint: notice the drawing on the right).

Now, that kind of picture doesn't bother me one bit, but it will bother some. Either they have complained to Google at some point or Google is preempting their complaints.

How are you supposed to recycle/rehash... (2, Insightful)

Yergle143 (848772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158186)

...plotlines if there is some damn website giving out all the magic tricks to the little ones. Battlestar Galactica: WOW! The crew is named Adem and Eeve and then named the primitive planet Urth. V: Wow! The Aliens want our water. Star Trek: Wow! An creature made entirely of some unknown energy. Glee: Wow! Will the gang of misfits prevail?!

Hopefully rectified quickly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158192)

I'm sure that a company as stocked with nerds as Google has a fair number of employees who value TV Tropes. Eventually, some of those guys will hunt down the paper-pushing marketeer/lawyer who fucked this up and read him the riot act.

The tyranny of children... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158196)

As a mature adult, I object to having every aspect of my media dumbed down
to avoid inflicting the truth on children.

I'm entitled to be entertained at levels significantly above 5th grade.

Not all of us are average ;-)

Re:The tyranny of children... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158384)

As a mature adult, I object to having every aspect of my media dumbed down
to avoid inflicting the truth on children.

I'm entitled to be entertained at levels significantly above 5th grade.

Not all of us are average ;-)

Yet you post to slashdot.

Re:The tyranny of children... (2, Insightful)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158438)

"As a mature adult, I object to having every aspect of my media dumbed down to avoid inflicting the truth on children."

As someone who isn't completely detached from reality, I object to censoring (yes, I know that this isn't necessarily censorship) anything in the name of children. Even children know what is fiction and what is not, and even if they don't, they won't magically become a murder/rapist because of content that they viewed.

Oh really? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158200)

I thought TV Tropes was being banned because you can waste *days* reading that website and end up destroying your vocabulary. ;)

Upside down world? (2, Insightful)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158206)

So, some "non-traditional" values are worrisome to Google? More worrisome than dealing with authoritarian governments who truly have some terrible "traditional" values?

Solution is Deal With Advertisers Directly. (3, Interesting)

Ron Bennett (14590) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158218)

Since they have years worth of AdSense data, surely they know who their primary advertisers are.

They should approach those advertisers and deal direct, which would allow the site to operate more freely. As a bonus, cutting out the middleman (Google), would likely result in more revenue than before.

Selling ads is presumably not their forte, so the site would likely need to find someone versed in on-line sales and price negotiations - could be well worth the effort in the long-run verses passively relying on Google.

Ron

Re:Solution is Deal With Advertisers Directly. (4, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158464)

They should approach those advertisers and deal direct, which would allow the site to operate more freely. As a bonus, cutting out the middleman (Google), would likely result in more revenue than before.

There's a reason why people use middlemen. Sure, they take a cut of the revenue - but they also do much of the heavy lifting. I seriously doubt that many websites can make any money off of advertising if they have to pay for all the legwork that 'approaching those advertisers and dealing directly' would require. (Assuming the advertisers are willing to spend the time/money/effort it takes to deal with individual websites - there's a reason why they are using middlemen too.)

Re:Solution is Deal With Advertisers Directly. (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158476)

Another solution would be alternative ad networks that allow web sites catering to adult audiences. I'm a bit surprised that there don't seem to be any, or that Google itself doesn't have such a service.

Re:Solution is Deal With Advertisers Directly. (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158642)

Another solution would be alternative ad networks that allow web sites catering to adult audiences. I'm a bit surprised that there don't seem to be any, or that Google itself doesn't have such a service.

There are, but it is the more questionable ad networks that do it.

Re:Solution is Deal With Advertisers Directly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158608)

... find someone versed in on-line sales and price negotiations

Like google?

Re:Solution is Deal With Advertisers Directly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158616)

Great idea... use the advertisers themselves, who have no qualms about installing malware... or running annoying Flash ads... or selling your info to outside companies. AdSense works because it has some amount of trust. Every other delivery method is adblocker meat.

Which family? (3, Insightful)

rueger (210566) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158230)

Sure as hell not mine! Most six year olds I know these days know of at least a couple same sex couples, and honestly couldn't care less.

Now if you want to warn people away from America's Next Top Model, [cwtv.com] I'm with you - no child should be traumatized by watching that!

Happening to many sites (3, Interesting)

Anon E. Muss (808473) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158244)

Google seems to have recently started enforcing AsSense TOS in ways that they were never enforced them before. It's their business, and they have the right to set whatever TOS they want. I also have the right to think they're a bunch of assholes.

See also: the-great-google-adsense-purge-of-2010 [inmalafide.com]

paranoid (1)

cybrodroid (1842676) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158266)

Censorship and content warnings (regardless of how arbitrary they may seem) are not even remotely the same thing. Even though you or I may feel that two females raising a child isn't a big deal, there are people who seriously object. But what is it with .'ers and these misleading headlines. Someone always calls it out instantly, but then again, I guess that means someone always comments. Personally, I don't think this is that bad. In fact, I think it would be kind of neat if there were standards set up for classification. All this would be background info that people would provide themselves (initially, with checks in place to fix fake info, and with people scouring the web for those who don't care to provide), only to be accessed by any given "parental blocking" type software. Let it be there, but keep it out of my face unless/until I care. As much as I tend to find ratings (especially game ones) are absolutely useless, when there is more content than any one person could sift through in a lifetime, but potentially stumble upon any of it at any time, some form of guideline would certainly be helpful. Either way, this is a company that has a choice in who to advertise with. You can argue that Google is too big and ingrained in the current structure of the web to take too many liberties with this sort of thing, but you don't ever hear anyone crying for 4chan now do you?

Family safe.... (2, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158268)

Do the ostensibly "pro-family" conservatives who seem to idolize the time before the industrial revolution realize that for most of human history children were exposed to their parents having sex with eachother(or other people for that matter) from a very young age. What do they think happened in those 1 room houses? The parents would kick all the kids out in the middle of winter so they could have time to bang out a quickie? I don't know where these people are getting information on children and sexuality, but it aint from the right place(hell, some of these people are Catholic so they seem to think it's ok for priests to diddle little kids, just as long as they don't talk about what they are doing.)

This... (1)

Chicken_Kickers (1062164) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158312)

From the Tvtropes site linked in the summary:

We got audited by a human and they haven't been yet. The most likely explanation for that is that someone officially complained to Google about something here.

(my bolding) My guess is someone with an axe to grind complained to Google and with what the ultra-litigious society that is America now, Google decided to cover their ass.

1st amendment at work (3, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158320)

TV Tropes has the first amendment right to say whatever they like. Google has an equal right not to support them. This is exactly how censorship should work. No government involvement, no heavy hand laws or hypocritical politicians to be seen. TV Tropes could still publish whatever they'd like, but TV Tropes has decided that profit is more important than keeping the warning labels off their content. This should be applauded as a shining example of the 1st amendment at it's best, not as if Google is trying to squash their speech. Everyone has the right to speech, but if they want a megaphone, someone has to pay for it.

Re:1st amendment at work (3, Insightful)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158452)

"This is exactly how censorship should work."

A giant corporation with a large amount of influence dropping support for people that dare say something against their views? I mean, yes, if censorship exists at all, I'd rather have this happen than the government doing it, but that doesn't mean that censorship isn't completely pointless and an obscenity in and of itself.

Re:1st amendment at work (2, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158504)

I very much doubt this has anything to do with Googles views. It has to do with Googles customers having a reasonable expectation that their ads not show up supporting something they might think is questionable. And in this case, the exact same content is still there, it just has a quick warning blurb in front of it that in now way hinders it's affect. Google has every right to do this. This is how it's supposed to work. You just agree with the outcome. You have every right to boycott Googles goods and services in protest, but of course, you'd be doing exactly the same as Google then wouldn't you? It's you're right, go for it.

Re:1st amendment at work (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158644)

"It has to do with Googles customers having a reasonable expectation that their ads not show up supporting something they might think is questionable."

But, really, who are we talking about here? Anyone who doesn't like the website can just... not visit it. It's not hard to understand, but then again we are talking about people that are so detached from reality that they can't possibly be saved, so I wouldn't be surprised if this decision was encouraged by them.

"it just has a quick warning blurb in front of it that in now way hinders it's affect."

Yeah, but that still doesn't make this any less annoying and pointless.

Re:1st amendment at work (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158612)

This has nothing to do with the First Amendment, which is protection of free speech from the government. Nobody's talking about the First Amendment or rights.

What people are talking about is how stupid and arbitrary Google's behavior is.

Re:1st amendment at work (1)

dragonhunter21 (1815102) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158646)

This is exactly how censorship should work.

And an even better reason why censorship- in any form- shouldn't be allowed in an, if you'll allow me to borrow the expression, enlightened society.

It ain't just Google. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158330)

The Church of Happyology isn't so thrilled about TVTropes, either.

CAPTCHA: Impeach.

*yawn* (4, Insightful)

Altanar (56809) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158344)

Until Google actually makes a statement on this, I'm just writing it off as a single Google employee misrepresenting company opinion and a (relatively) small website complaining to a favorable audience instead of doing the appropriate thing and appealing to someone else at Google.

Re:*yawn* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158446)

TVTropes.com has been in contact with Google from the beginning, determining what has to be done to be reinstated as good standing customers. The appeals process began within days, as soon as a strategy for being "safe for Google" was formulated and began being implemented.

No official requests have been made from TV Tropes management to have the internet community demand Google change their policy. The site has been in technical violation since the beginning, and is only in this position now because someone got offended and reported it to Google.

Re:*yawn* (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158626)

Uh...why? That you titled your post "yawn" and outright proclaimed that you're writing this off is almost unbelievable, especially after the vitriol other companies get around here, such as Apple when it comes to the app approval process.

Is Google fanboyism really so blind?

Big deal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158402)

All the content is still there, and the only difference is a single screen click-through that you can skip entirely if you just register an account with TvTropes. This isn't censoring anyway, advertisers have had the right to stop advertising with any business they want to for hundreds of years.

I am a fan of TVTropes and have wasted a lot of my life there. But this news item is just trolling and should be recognized as such.

Blaze (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158414)

like rancid coffee poured onto the concrete, evil spreads.

This is not a rights issue... (1, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158442)

... where "rights" means rights guaranteed by law.

Google can choose to do business with whomever they want. But while this isn't a legal problem it's still the symptom of a problem: that prudish Christians have far too much sway in our country, and that Google actually takes seriously the idea that some idiot with a cross up his bum might whine loudly enough for it to impact Google.

The fact that Google's response wasn't "sorry if this site mentions tits, many of us have them, go away now" is a problem, and not a problem with Google necessarily; it's a problem with our society, and the whiny Christians that get their way in it.

Re:This is not a rights issue... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158506)

This article chose only the most mild TvTropes articles to show that they were "censored". There are articles such as High Octane Nightmare Fuel that do deserve the warning far more than this token example with the lesbians with a kid.

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