The following are three replies I wrote to several threads within FetLife that I started regarding my post, FetLife Considered Harmful: The Risks of Sex Ghettoization. They exemplify some of the best and the worst early responses to my presentation, and in many cases perfectly showcase the kind of imbecilic, lazy, self-consoling thinking so common within the (mostly BDSM-identified) community as to make “the community” a toxic environment for many—and I’ll dare say most—people. I’m cross-posting some of my replies in these threads because I’ve offered clarifications and expansions on the ideas discussed in the initial presentation that many people seem to be misunderstanding.

So, with further ado in introductory headlines only, here are my three replies:

“Community Leaders” are often self-proclaimed, nothing more

@Evil_Geoff:

Fetlife a Monoculture? A MONOCULTURE? ? ? You have got to be kidding me. FetLife is the most diverse internet forum I have ever had the pleasure of participating in. I can’t think of any sexual identifications/orientations that I haven’t run across. If you can enlighten me on who is NOT represented here I’ll go find some and invite them to give it a look-see.

Herein are two distinct ideas you seem to be confusing with one another. This may be my fault; I tried to pack a lot of information into a very small timeframe. I felt I did a pretty good job, but I appreciate your commentary because I’ll take it as a roundabout kind of feedback pointing out ways I may be able to improve my incisiveness in the future.

Here’s what I think you seem to be confusing:

FetLife is a technological monoculture, and a social ghetto. If you take the time to examine my analogy to the San Francisco neighborhoods, you’ll see this more clearly. The "ghetto" of the Tenderloin is the most sociologically diverse area precisely because it is a ghetto; in it, various marginalized groups congregate. At the same time, the monoculture references the "not-ghetto" neighborhoods of the Castro, et. al., which are mainstreamed enough as to be homogenized thanks to their overculture "success" and subsequent institutional imperative.

The analogy to FetLife holds, too. Within FetLife, the Internet’s new "fetish ghetto," we have an enormous diversity of individuals, just as the Tenderloin contains an "intersectionally underprivileged populace" of all stripes (I mentioned immigrants from Vietnam, Blacks, and trans youth). Also like a real-world ghetto, in ghettoizing ourselves within this website, we have done two problematic things.

  • First, we’ve recreated the same privilege hierarchies apparent in the overculture, as discussed by prior commenters; trans people remain a minority who are frequently bashed, rape apologism is frustratingly common in the groups discussing legal issues, and so forth. In other words, shit rolls downhill. FetLife groups essentially function as ghettos-within-a-ghetto, only they’re worse because they’re not actually technically capable of being "cordoned off" within the FetLife walled garden, and are thus even less protected from the hostile mainstream of the fetish community (yes, the mainstream fetish culture is hostile to its own fringes).
  • Secondly, the entirety of the sexuality/fetish/what-have-you culture centralizes in a way that is technologically threatening. The technological equivalent of dropping a bomb on a ghetto in an attempt to eradicate a marginalized group of people is censoring (or seizing) a domain name. This is not unprecedented. See, for instance, Wikileaks, and many articles on TorrentFreak, to name just a few. What’s to stop the same from happening to FetLife? Frankly, not much, so why are we so mindlessly congregating in one place and making it easier for people who don’t like us (and I know you are aware of many such folks) to hurt us? I’m not saying FetLife shouldn’t be used at all, what I’m saying is that the way people are currently using it and the way it is structurally designed to encourage people to use it in the way they are is dangerous.

I think the rest of your comments, which seem similarly predicated on your incorrect understanding of the analogy I used, may make less sense to you if you re-examine the analogy itself. Except, perhaps, this one:

If you choose to regard FetLife as a ghetto, you go right ahead and do so. If it was ONLY an online community like SecondLife or IMVU, yeah, I might buy into your argument that FL is ghettoizing the alternative sexual communities.

Me? I choose to view FetLife as a bridge building opportunity for people of every kink. It offers the opportunity to connect and network with kinky people of all varieties at the local, regional, national and international level. This is a fabulous venue for REAL TIME GROUPS to cross connect, cross pollinate, coordinate and cooperate.

This is rather confusing to me because it seems you think SecondLife or IMVU are somehow only "online communities" whereas FetLife is not. But when I examine the use of these other services, I can only conclude you’re woefully uninformed about them.

See as just one example, NonProfitCommons.org, an organization that builds coalitions of real-world non-profit groups in SecondLife. They have virtual offices and regularly hold global meetings for executives, educators, activists, and community members for numerous non-profit groups who do occasionally meet in "the real world" as well. And on a technological level, SecondLife is safer than FetLife precisely because the SecondLife API offers a diverse technological ecosystem. See, for instance, OpenSim for an open-source, decentralized, scalable implementation of the same platform using the same APIs.

Therefore, your assertions that FetLife is somehow a better tool "for people of every kink" seems predicated on entirely emotional, rather than empirical, analysis of the world in which you live. I think such an approach is rather unproductive. You may have an emotional attachment to FetLife, which is understandable, but I think, like love, it is blinding you to certain dangers that I am pointing out.

I also disagree strongly with your belief in what you are calling "social Darwinism." However, I think that discussion is (related but) tangential to the points I made in my presentation, having much more to do with a systemic bias against openness in general in the sexuality subcultures, so I’ll leave that alone for now. (If you want to talk with me about that more, I think my post How Sex-Negative Lies Perpetuate a Fear-Based Culture may provide a good opening.)

Anyway, thanks for your feedback. I found it…surprisingly instructive. :)

Cheers,

-maymay

Many Rhode Island-based BDSM’ers are defensive fools

UPDATE: This particular thread within FetLife was deleted, making the following cross-post the only known record of this exchange. I think this very interplay of discussion-deletion actually showcases some of the issues I highlighted in my presentation.

Hmm. Well, this is going to be interesting. I’ll respond to many of you in a single response, since many of you seem to be saying similar things; that is, I seem to be getting quite a homogenous response in this group, in general. That’s cool.

Here goes:

@WrestlingFreak82:

I am an anthropologist, it’s what I do, it’s also what I hold a degree in.

This particular gentleman claims to be an expert on culture, or so his writings would make him out to think of himself as one. Aside from being an outspoken activist in the name of nonsense[…w]hat are his qualifications?

I don’t think I’ve ever claimed to be an "expert on culture," but I am flattered that my writings would make you think that I think I am one, because that seems to be quite a (backhanded) compliment about my writing! :)

As for qualifications, I’m unsure why you think someone needs qualifications to say what I said. If what I said is wrong, would my having a Ph.D. make it less wrong? If what I said is right, would my having a Ph.D. make me less right? Judging the validity of an argument based on the characteristics of the person who is making it seems like a rather non-academic way to approach a discussion; it seems fundamentally antithetical to the supposed purpose of academia, which (as I see it in its purest form) is a search for knowledge and greater understanding of the world.

Moreover, I would think that you, citing yourself as an anthropologist and academic, should know this already, so I’m also surprised that I have to point out such a basic thing to you. But maybe I should not be surprised; you tell me! :)

As for my qualifications, well, what kind are you after? I can offer either plenty or none, depending on what you are looking for:

  • If you are interested in learning about my technical abilities, I would refer you to the two web development books that I authored (AdvancED CSS and Foundation Website Creation, and here’s a review for good measure) along with my résumé, among other things.
  • If you are interested in learning about my career in academia, then I have none of which to speak, since I dropped out of middle school after I determined the educational institutions available to me were a suboptimal experience.
  • If you are interested in learning about my achievements as an activist, then you could head on over to the "Things I’ve done" page on my blog, which offers an at-a-glance overview of what kind of things I’m involved in.

If you’re looking for other "credentials" or "qualifications," feel free to ask. Or you can just google me. I’m a pretty open book, so to speak. :)

@Kikea:

I think you’re confusing the concept of a ghetto with the concept of a safe space.

No, I’m not, but I can see how you would make that mistake. "Safe space" is, itself, rather subjective: safe for whom? There are numerous people I know who need to create multiple FetLife accounts precisely because one of their identities is not safe in some contexts, whereas others are. If this is what "safe space" looks like, I’m afraid it’s only safe for individuals who are already more privileged.

See, for example, the issues of trans-bashing, rape apologism, et. al., all right here on FetLife. :(

There’s a lot that’s different between the BDSM world and the LGBT one, and I loathe the contstant comparisons.

Like what? I think there is more similar than either side would like to give the other credit for. This may be an ideological difference, but I’m curious why you object to the "comparison" (which is hardly constant, in my experience, but perhaps yours is different).

@bawdybabe:

If you hate Fetlife.com so much and think it’s so bad, why are you even on here?

I don’t hate FetLife, I just think it is structurally harmful. I’m on here for precisely the reasons that I articulated in my presentation: network effect. Did you, uh, miss that part? It was kind of a central point. See also "signal boost".

Remember, complaining with out solution is simply whining.

Agreed. That’s why I’m presenting a workshop called "anti-censorship best practices for the sex-positive publisher" at the upcoming Atlanta Poly Weekend conference. The obvious corollary to my presentation is, "So what do we about this?" That’s the question I’m going to address this Saturday. I hope to provide a live video stream of that event and, if I can manage it, I invite you to tune in and follow along. :) And, thanks for your interest (if it’s genuine).

@saillefay

Did you do something wrong on this site and therefore get kicked off and that is why you are so pissed?

Well, since I am currently here and discussing this with you on FetLife, I think this question is hilarious. :) I’ll see if you can figure things out on your own. But let me know if you need help finding the correct answer.

@CelticKink1957:

What a bunch of pseudo-intellectual claptrap. One does not need to take twenty minutes to say "I hate social media. I am kinky. Felife is kinky social media, therefore I hate Fetlife."

I do not hate social media, I love it. I use it all the time. See, for example, my blog, my Tumblr, my other Tumblr-based erotic photo blog, my Twitter, my Facebook, and my podcast, to name just a few of my more sexuality-focused ones. Do you think it’s possible you may have misinterpreted my motivations? From any dispassionate observation, it’s obvious you’re barking up the wrong tree. But hey, enjoy! Woof woof! :)

@LordAtlaskajira

I’m a little stunned that the very site that you loathe so greatly is the very site that you posted your rant on. I’m sorry, were you expecting us to throw on our social media hating smoking jackets, sit with you, nod our heads, and say "Why yes, you are so wise, we shall abandon fetlife at once! Tally forth!"

So, like @bawdybabe, did you miss the part of my presentation where I discussed the network effect? How about the part where I discussed cross-posting material published elsewhere to FetLife? Because if you are stunned that I posted my article here as well, I think it’s possible, even likely, that you didn’t actually hear or didn’t choose to listen to those parts of the talk. That would obviously, in turn, make it unlikely you know what you’re talking about when you talk about what I said.

As for my expectations, no, I didn’t expect you to abandon FetLife, and (in case you are having trouble noticing) I have not abandoned it, either. Like I said in another thread:

I’m not saying FetLife shouldn’t be used at all, what I’m saying is that the way people are currently using it and the way it is structurally designed to encourage people to use it in the way they are is dangerous.

Those of you who are implying that I have, in fact, advocated the eradication of FetLife seem to be suffering from either/or thinking. This is precisely the (flawed) bias I am trying to alter, so I suppose it’s actually very unsurprising that FetLife’rs would be rife with such a bias. Hence, again, the point of my talk. So, in a way, thank you for showcasing a very salient reason why I gave it in the first place. :) That is, believe it or not, rather helpful.

@GeminiD:

26 y/o angst ridden college graduate? Come back after you live with repressed fetishes for over 20 years and tell me how FetLife is further ruining my life.

So, as mentioned above, I’m not a college graduate, and that fact is widely publicized. If you would have done even a simple google search or two about me, you would have known this. Clearly, you did not and thus I thank you for kind of making my point about the whole problem of the lack of information’s findability within FetLife, not to mention the way it seems to be further hampering the media literacy skills of individuals such as yourself. No, seriously, thanks. That was kind of an awesome demonstration. :)

Made plenty of friends, decent folks, and rid myself of a LOT of anxiety by being able to simply browse the boards targeted at my particular interests.

It’s really great to hear that you had a good experience on FetLife. As I said in a comment on my blog post:

I’m glad you have friends that introduced you to good experiences through FetLife. My goal is to make it more possible, systemically, for more people to have good experiences, like yours.

Currently, most people seem content letting such good experiences be a function of luck. I find that this tendency in these people exposes laziness and stupidity, not the compassion and strong work ethics they like to claim for themselves.

And to that point about exposing laziness and stupidity while the people exemplifying such behavior claim compassion for themselves, I will quote you, well, you:

If anything, this website has helped me become more tolerant and open-minded to diversity. I, not for one second, find myself in a sheltered ghetto.

I read everything, I watched the video clip. As far as I’m concerned, you’re just a child trying to pick a fight with a thesaurus.

We’re all happy here, go shit in your own back yard.

I’m unsure how anyone with half a mind could read your comment and conclude that you are either tolerant or more open-minded to diversity. Instead, I read your commentary and conclude that you have no idea what open-mindedness really means. Here is a short video about open-mindedness that may help you understand and hopefully internalize the concept more quickly. Good luck.

Cheers,

-maymay

Many academics are pompous dolts, but some ask really great questions

Thanks for everyone’s feedback so far. I probably should have stated in my initial post that I prefer feedback on the original post in my blog, but seeing as how this discussion is already rather involved, I’ll let that go for now.

Also, since a lot of you seem to be responding with similar or related points, I’ll address many of you in a single comment. Here goes:

@coolcatdaddy:

You come to the table with two points to make. First, you say that FetLife isn’t a "safe" space since anyone can log on with an email address and, eventually, misuse photos or other information there to harm individuals. Second, you state that it’s a kind of "walled ghetto" – since it’s closed, password protected and hidden from Google, it prevents information on important issues about the bdsm community from flowing in or out.

I don’t pretend to be any kind of scholar, but this would seem to be two ideas at cross purposes.

Well, I actually come to the table with more than two points, but I’ll address the two you cite, which are not actually at cross purposes. The reason they’re not and the reason you seem to think they are is because you’re treating the actor in both use cases as the same, when they are different. In the former case, the actor is a human. In the latter case, the actor is a machine. Not only are these different in a technical sense, they also represent different interests and different approaches to all the entangled issues (privacy, findability, and so on). Treating them as the same or even similar, as you’re doing, is a mistake.

the Internet just works this way for anyone with a special interests.

As a social justice technologist, my entire goal is to make the Internet "work better." Thus, your resignation that "the Internet just works this way…" along with the implicit corollary, "you should just let things stay the way they are," are tantamount to telling me "stop doing what you’re doing." That’s a perfectly fine thing to say, but it is nothing more complex than stop energy, which I reject out of hand for obvious reasons.

The same can be said of your other commentary:

"Safe", in this case, is about the freedom to interact with others. It’s not about "privacy", which is something that has be approached individually, with caution, with any site one becomes a member of on the web.

[…]

The Internet just mirrors "real" life and the way individuals socialize and maintain connections. We find like-minded individuals and join with them in ways that fits what we hope to gain from the interaction.

In case it’s not clear, I want to make spaces for sexuality discussion on the Internet as a whole better, and FetLife is a part of that, so I want to also make FetLife better. Whereas you seem to resign yourself to the limitations imposed by physical spaces, I think doing that is rather silly when given the tools (like the entire Internet) to free sexuality minorities from recreating the same limitations in cyber-space that constrain them in meat-space. I am, honestly, baffled that you would not think this is a cool objective but, y’know, to each their own.

@RickUmbaugh:

I think that this talk shows only one thing…that the Left-wing world of political correctness can and often is as much about fear, the idea that one can be found on FetLife and outed and authoritarian, the idea that if a place is not exactly like the person making the talk wants it to be it must be evil, as is the right wing of Social Conservatism.

Hmm. When did I say FetLife was "evil"? You seem to be imbuing my words with quite a number of your own. As I said in another thread:

I’m not saying FetLife shouldn’t be used at all, what I’m saying is that the way people are currently using it and the way it is structurally designed to encourage people to use it in the way they are is dangerous.

I also find it unfortunate that you reacted with such knee-jerk defensiveness as to completely obviate even the mere semblance of comprehension of my essay. Here, you seem not to have actually examined the analogy I used to open my talk:

@maymaym presents FL as a monoculture, but I have run into people on this site from the entire spectrum of the LGBTQ community. I have talked to bikers. bondage riggers, tops, bottoms, masters and mistresses, slaves and many other manifestations of the Kinky, sex postitive world, so I don’t know what you mean by a "Monoculture".

Either you’ve failed to understand my analogy, or you don’t actually understand to what monoculture I’m referring. Now, this may be my fault; I tried to pack a lot of information into a very small timeframe. I felt I did a pretty good job, but I ultimately appreciate your (facile) commentary because I’ll take it as a roundabout kind of feedback pointing out ways I may be able to improve my incisiveness in the future. As I explained in another thread where the same misunderstanding occurred:

FetLife is a technological monoculture, and a social ghetto. If you take the time to examine my analogy to the San Francisco neighborhoods, you’ll see this more clearly. The "ghetto" of the Tenderloin is the most sociologically diverse area precisely because it is a ghetto; in it, various marginalized groups congregate. At the same time, the monoculture references the "not-ghetto" neighborhoods of the Castro, et. al., which are mainstreamed enough as to be homogenized thanks to their overculture "success" and subsequent institutional imperative.

The analogy to FetLife holds, too. Within FetLife, the Internet’s new "fetish ghetto," we have an enormous diversity of individuals, just as the Tenderloin contains an "intersectionally underprivileged populace" of all stripes (I mentioned immigrants from Vietnam, Blacks, and trans youth).

That’s the meat of the matter, but I’ll encourage you to read the rest of the explanation in the other thread, too, since I think it may be of further help to you. Moreover, you also say:

FL is as inclusive as any site devoted to one world of sexuality. It is much more inclusive than any of the elitist, stuffy, humorless world of the politically correct and maymaym’s attempt to bring those values into FL or to destroy FL, which is probably impossible as it is too diverse a target, is not just anachronistic (see Gayle Rubin’s article Think Sex) but also destructive of the sex postive goals of the BDSM community.

It seems a common misunderstanding, especially among the simple-minded, that all is either black or white, good or bad, and your comment perfectly exemplifies this lazy thinking. As I said in yet another thread:

Those of you who are implying that I have, in fact, advocated the eradication of FetLife seem to be suffering from either/or thinking. This is precisely the (flawed) bias I am trying to alter, so I suppose it’s actually very unsurprising that FetLife’rs would be rife with such a bias. Hence, again, the point of my talk. So, in a way, thank you for showcasing a very salient reason why I gave it in the first place. :) That is, believe it or not, rather helpful.

Also, I think you would be wiser to approach your analysis of FetLife from a more dispassionate perspective. You say:

I have not been on FetLife for more than a year and I have found it open, accepting and as rigorous in its investigations of the Kinky Lifestyle as any place I have been, and I’ve been around since alt.sex.bondage.

As Bellaforte has said about some responses that I’m getting, like yours:

I think some folks are/will have a knee-jerk response to the title here, and respond with an instantly defensive tone. No one wants to think they’re part of something ‘harmful’.

Indeed, you may have an emotional attachment to FetLife, which is understandable, but I think, like love, it is blinding you to certain dangers that I am pointing out.

Finally, I feel it is important to dispense with even the pretense of pleasantries in responding to your comment. To that end, I will say that you appear to be quite a common and disgusting example of a self-identified male dominant who seems to be vastly more interested in pathetic pissing contests than constructive discussion. To wit:

Or maybe maymaym is simply a masochist who likes to be beat up intellectually.

Now, I enjoy getting physical bruises, if that’s what you’re getting at, and I enjoy both getting and giving intellectual ones in the mutual pursuit of a more just world. And speaking of intellectual "bruises," how do yours feel right about now?

@JohnWarren:

What I got was two mutually incomparable claims. First, FetLife isolates kink people’s writing and second it is dangerous because these writings can be searched from Google. [confused shake of head]

As mentioned earlier, they are not mutually incomparable, in part because the actors are different. As a corollary to that, and also as I pointed out in the talk, since the actors are different, the effects of this dialectic differ from the perspective of an individual as well as from the perspective of various groups ("fetish" culture as a whole, the further-marginalized fringes of the "fetish" culture, etc.). Perhaps this point needs to be further emphasized in the talk, as numerous people such as yourself seem to be completely missing the importance of this context. Thanks for helping me see that this is a piece of my talk that I could possibly have communicated more clearly if I said it in another way.

Additionally, you’ve also presented a great question:

The theory is presented that FetLife is somehow damaging to the kink community. What information could I present to refute this assertion.?

If anyone comes up with any information about this, please send it along to me. You can get my contact information on my website’s about page.

@Lachrymosa:

1) PROBLEMS WITH TONE: There are certain WAYS we have of doing things in sociology, or anthropology even. We can be critical of a subculture, organization, movement, etc., but there are norms surrounding how we do this. Breaking these norms generally results in your research being ignored, or worse yet, not considered research.

[…] what I saw on your page wasn’t academic research.

You’re absolutely correct. I should perhaps apologize for the brevity of my initial post. I am not an academic. In fact, I am a middle-school drop out.

While I am interested in a sociologist’s perspective, I did not mean to imply that my work should be taken as though it were created by a sociologist, or any other formal academic, for that matter. Again, apologies for not clarifying that before I posted. On this matter, I’ll leave it at that for now because all of your other points, all of which are valid, seem to represent a similar misunderstanding of who I am. :)

On that note, who I am is a person who asks questions and then says things in order to get other people to ask questions. In this sense, I feel I’ve been successful because you have some absolutely fantastic questions in your commentary. You say:

your research never gets off the op-ed page long enough to really answer these or similar relevant, interesting questions: why ISN’T the jig up? do Fetlife users FEEL walled in? Are there benefits to being "walled in" that offset the tradeoffs?

[…]

3)UNIT OF ANALYSIS: What are you studying here? You need to make this crystal clear. Are you studying the structure of the site itself and how it encourages/discourages particular communication tactics? Or, are you studying how people USE the site?

[…]

how can we know if Fetlife is a ghettoized monoculture when we don’t know how many people use it compared to other avenues for information?

Again, I think these are all fantastic questions, and all things that we could benefit from studying, and my hope in sparking this discussion is that an academic (perhaps you?) would be interested enough to ask such questions and then follow up with them! :D Thanks so much for raising the questions and please let me know if I can offer any assistance in your or your colleagues’ future research on the matter.

Insofar as empiricism is concerned, you’re absolutely right when you say the following:

Your argument is really predicated on accepting that virtually everyone in the fetish community is using this site and is starting to use it to the exclusion of other avenues. But, that in itself is an empirical question. The reason why I feel a little bit bad bringing this up is because I know what it’s like to do research on marginalized subcultures; head counts are unrealistic and impossible.

I gave a few examples of what essentially amounts to circumstantial evidence at best for my argument since, as you point out, formal academic research on marginalized subcultures is pretty difficult if not damn near impossible to do. Due to this reality, and due to my not being a researcher in the academic sense, I contributed what I can. In so doing, however, more of the same kind of evidence is piling up spectacularly quickly. For instance, while this thoughtful comment by kinkylittlegirl suffers from some incorrect assumptions about my motivations and intentions, the comment does seem to confirm my instincts regarding the exclusivity with which FetLife is "sucking us up like a big black hole":

Fetlife is where most people in the community gather these days, including my "meat life" friends all over the world, and is where local events are posted, some of which don’t even make it into the local community calendars any more.

This comment and this one are also similarly supportive, albeit still anecdotal.

Again, more research of the kind you are undoubtedly more experienced in doing than I am would be lovely. My ultimate goal is, bluntly, to be disruptive enough as to instigate a critical mass of interest in these long-overdue questions so we may have answers sooner rather than later.

Thanks again for your thoughts. I really enjoyed being mistaken for a sociologist for a day. :)

Cheers,

-maymay

Some fun with the FetLife TOS

UPDATE: Predictably, some people are discussing my “FetLife Considered Harmful” essay on FetLife itself, where I cross-posted it to my FetLife journal. While some of the points raised in that conversation are largely unsurprisingly stupid, there are also a few positive things. Notably, nell’s comment offers a reframing of my own words in her own, which I think is valuable. But GeminiD offered another thing worth pointing out:

@GeminiD:

Maymay has already been removed from other forums for TOS violations

This is news to me. Was it the Rhode Island one in which you started throwing personal jabs at me?

and has linked those forums to his Blog, without permission from the FetLife members linked.

I think you’re referring to this followup post. Interestingly, it’s now the only record of the response I offered to your personal attacks against me in the Rhode Island group that has since been deleted.

I think this is rather telling of exactly the interplay of issues I discussed in my post. Somehow, though, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ll do some mental acrobatics to avoid seeing it that way.

[…]

Cheers,
-maymay

It’s funny you’re quoting TOS at me, GeminiD. The sections you chose to quote are particularly interesting.

Take anything any other person has uploaded, posted, or emailed to you, on Fetlife and re-post such content anywhere outside of FetLife without the express written permission of the person who uploaded, posted or emailed you.

So, I didn’t cross-post your replies in the thread to my blog, merely my own. What you seem to be objecting to is that I used block quotations, but do note that what I cross-posted was not anything other than what I posted to the thread. I never cross-posted your posts, merely my own.

Your objection seems quite murky.

Upload, post, email, otherwise transmit, private conversations between two people in a public forum on FetLife without the consent of all people who are involved in private conversation.

This makes no sense. Are group discussion threads “private conversations between two people”? That seems ridiculous considering the threads included a much larger group of individuals, as my cross-post makes clear. Or, are group discussions “a public forum on FetLife”? You’re pointing to apples when I ate oranges.

I realize we may have different interpretations of the TOS, but that is precisely a symptom of one of the problems I highlight in my talk. Either you are ignorant of the TOS, or the TOS is arbitrary to the point of totalitarian uselessness.

So, again, you’re making my points for me. Please keep it up. You’re a gem. ;)

You violated the privacy of all the posters in that thread. You broke the rules of this community and got punished. That simple.

Also, I’m still not understanding what punishment you’re referring to.

Cheers,
-maymay

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