As I mentioned here, the drop in spam is what tipped me off that something was wrong. And as I mentioned here, I realized that the issue was not entirely sexual in nature, but rather because of my depiction of a priest as a sexual submissive.
It is NOT because I broke some rule about links, it is NOT because of hacked spammer code in my blog.
I dropped a note in the WordPress Support box earlier asking basically “Are our blogs being censored, or is there a bug or something, because our posts are no longer showing up in the WordPress Category Pages?” I gave both my URL and Kate’s.
I received a rather prompt EMail response from Mark at WordPress support.
It reads as follows:
Your blog contains material that is not suitable for a younger audience, people who may be using their work computer and people who do not wish to read about such adult topics. It was therefore marked as Mature.
This has the effect of removing the blog from internal listings so as to prevent the above happening.
At present it has no other effect.
To which I responded:
Then why are none of the other blogs with “Sex” or “Erotica” as a category being blacklisted?
In fact, why do such categories exist if WordPress is going to require all blogs be rated G?
This is rather arbitrary and unfair. Is there a McCarthy Censorship Committee there somewhere by whom I should begin running all my posts?
Why is Sex being singled out for censorship, but not Violence as depicted in all the blogs about video games? That’s insane.
My blog contains a large amount of science, humor, and various commentaries on the world around us in addition to sexual themes, but all of that is now invisible to WordPress users as well.
If some prudish fundy doesn’t like what’s on my blog, or doesn’t care to have his children reading my blog, then I would suggest he stop reading it. Let him go read disney.wordpress.com or something.
Again, this is asinine.
I received another very prompt response from Mark:
I am sorry you feel this way but this is something that has been considered and used for some time.
There is no McCarthyism here – we believe strongly in the freedom to publish but we do have to consider the wider community and their feedback over time about what they generally find acceptable.
This is a protective measure.
We do not ‘blacklist’ by name. We check each blog and mark accordingly.
A blog on videogames is less likely to get someone in trouble at work that one which describes sexual activities – I would hope you can appreciate that.
And I responded again:
I really appreciate your quick attention to this. I see where you’re coming from about trouble at work, but if that’s an issue for someone’s place of employment, why are they trolling the sex tag in the first place?
It’s not like someone would accidentally type in https://udoj.wordpress.com or http://kissingcorporalkate.wordpress.com and just happen to stumble into our blogs. Someone finding my blog through a science tag will find a science post. It’s not like I’m posting erotica and labeling it as science. People find sexual material by looking for sexual material.
So again, I fail to see the issue here. I also fail to see why every blog with a sex tag isn’t being blacklisted. What prompted the decision to mark our blogs specifically?
Thanks again for taking the time to address this with me.
I am no longer receiving communications from Mark or anyone else at the WordPress staff. Apparently, I called BULLSHIT, and they have so far shown no desire to discuss the issue further.
As a last note, I’d like to give a peek above our garters to The Boy, for his posting a defense and plea for us, and being thoughtful enough to include the sex tag on that post, since he has so far not been censored by the WordPress Gestapo.