Bogus, batshit, banal, bizarre, or bicubic: Assorted News

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Thad
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Re: Bogus, batshit, banal, bizarre, or bicubic: Assorted News

Postby Thad » Thu Aug 19, 2021 10:21 pm

Mongrel wrote:
Thad wrote:
Mongrel wrote:Because while asking people to switch pay services seems hard, if there's anything people will do it for, it's porn.


Thing is, though, it's easy to get porn for free.

Absolutely. But because OF is like Twitch, sorta, in that it's based on payments and feedback that are more immediate and personal than just generic porn. You can find more porn, but you can't necessarily find someone who'll do [whatever] for you live if you toss a twenty in their tip cup.

Now that I think about it, the correct analogue for OF might be a (well, formerly) worker-oriented strip club.

Sure, but there are tradeoffs in any transaction, and there comes a point where the costs outweigh the benefits. Just because somebody is willing to pay for what OF offers doesn't mean they'd still be willing if they had to jump through a bunch of extra hoops first.

Cost isn't just about money, it's about convenience and any number of other factors.

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Re: Bogus, batshit, banal, bizarre, or bicubic: Assorted News

Postby Mongrel » Thu Aug 19, 2021 10:37 pm

Thad wrote:
Mongrel wrote:
Thad wrote:
Mongrel wrote:Because while asking people to switch pay services seems hard, if there's anything people will do it for, it's porn.


Thing is, though, it's easy to get porn for free.

Absolutely. But because OF is like Twitch, sorta, in that it's based on payments and feedback that are more immediate and personal than just generic porn. You can find more porn, but you can't necessarily find someone who'll do [whatever] for you live if you toss a twenty in their tip cup.

Now that I think about it, the correct analogue for OF might be a (well, formerly) worker-oriented strip club.

Sure, but there are tradeoffs in any transaction, and there comes a point where the costs outweigh the benefits. Just because somebody is willing to pay for what OF offers doesn't mean they'd still be willing if they had to jump through a bunch of extra hoops first.

Cost isn't just about money, it's about convenience and any number of other factors.

Right, but when it comes to porn I think we agree that some people will jump through any number of hoops and any cost if they can get exactly what they want.

Whether that's a high enough proportion of users to sustain an online business probably depends on how many extra hoops there are, but it's a scale, not a binary.
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Re: Bogus, batshit, banal, bizarre, or bicubic: Assorted News

Postby Brentai » Thu Aug 19, 2021 11:29 pm

My understanding is that the appeal of OnlyFans is that you can get women to send you nudes without a lot of off-the-books money routing.
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Re: Bogus, batshit, banal, bizarre, or bicubic: Assorted News

Postby Thad » Fri Aug 20, 2021 12:52 am

Yeah, I'm sure there are OnlyFans users who are willing to sign up for some new service with similar perks that uses Bitcoin or whatever, but I'm skeptical that it'll be more than a small fraction of the userbase. It's going to be a lot harder for performers to make money using a site that's got a much higher barrier to entry.

I mean, come down to it, any of the performers on OF could just build their own website. The reason that they use OF in the first place is the low barrier to entry, in terms of everything from infrastructure to existing customer base. Raising barriers to entry, for performers or their customers, is going to drastically limit their ability to earn a living -- though obviously sex work isn't going to stop.

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Re: Bogus, batshit, banal, bizarre, or bicubic: Assorted News

Postby Thad » Fri Aug 20, 2021 1:26 am

Plus, AIUI crypto exchanges are already facing similar problems doing business with payment processors that porn sites do, and the US government's only going to squeeze them harder in the years to come. (Overall, I think this is a good thing, because cryptocurrency is a horrifying, wasteful Libertarian farce. But it also means that it's probably not a good solution to sex workers' problems dealing with payment processors.)

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Re: Bogus, batshit, banal, bizarre, or bicubic: Assorted News

Postby mharr » Fri Aug 20, 2021 4:25 am

Plus if tumblr is any guide, what's left of the site will now be plagued by stolen porn spambots trying to piggyback their business onto unrelated posts. Absolutely nobody wins this game.

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Re: Bogus, batshit, banal, bizarre, or bicubic: Assorted News

Postby Lottel » Fri Aug 20, 2021 3:50 pm

A big draw of the site, from what I've been made aware of, is the fact you can find people who know and pay them for porn. That sort of personal connection is hard to find free out there on the internet.

I assume we'll see another start up try to take it's place before IT implodes for similar reasons. It's what happened when Patreon kicked off porn, it'll happen again soon. I know there's others out there already, several owned and operated by sex workers themselves, I guess we just have to hope one of the good ones blow up instead of a bad one.


I mean, come down to it, any of the performers on OF could just build their own website. The reason that they use OF in the first place is the low barrier to entry, in terms of everything from infrastructure to existing customer base. Raising barriers to entry, for performers or their customers, is going to drastically limit their ability to earn a living -- though obviously sex work isn't going to stop.


A lot of the people I do know who do operate their own page was because of ease of use and the community between the workers. Unfortunately, you go to your own site, both of those things disappear and you're left with a higher workload with less of an easy draw. I'm not saying some won't, but I bet this is the end of their career for a lot of people. The cost is already high enough.
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Re: Bogus, batshit, banal, bizarre, or bicubic: Assorted News

Postby Thad » Wed Aug 25, 2021 12:10 pm

OnlyFans suspends plan to prohibit porn after backlash from sex workers

Not entirely surprising, but the trouble is there's no guarantee it'll last. "Suspended" is not an encouraging word choice.

This is going to be a long, hard fight, but it looks like OF is on the right side of it for now.

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Re: Bogus, batshit, banal, bizarre, or bicubic: Assorted News

Postby Mongrel » Wed Aug 25, 2021 2:20 pm

Thad wrote:OnlyFans suspends plan to prohibit porn after backlash from sex workers

Not entirely surprising, but the trouble is there's no guarantee it'll last. "Suspended" is not an encouraging word choice.

This is going to be a long, hard fight, but it looks like OF is on the right side of it for now.

I think OF is right to fight it simply because it puts the onus of blame directly on the parties who are actually responsible. If Mastercard (and chexwhatever) wants to shut down OF, let Mastercard be the villain and bear the brunt of the backlash.

Obviously, the threat of having their financial services personally cut off for life was a direct strike from Mastercard at the owners of OF in the hopes of avoiding just that. I couldn't blame them for folding in the face of a threat like that, but I'm a lot happier to see them fighting back.
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Re: Bogus, batshit, banal, bizarre, or bicubic: Assorted News

Postby Friday » Thu Aug 26, 2021 1:19 am

One of the arguments I've seen is that OnlyFans (or any site that allows sex work/porn/nude pics) could have, in theory (and probably does) underage shit being uploaded, either by other people or 16 year olds passing themselves off as 18. So to combat that you have to have moderators, and that costs money, and OF and other places don't want to pay that money.

So then when banks go "I don't want my shit to be associated with CP" they just panic and cut the nudes.

Or not. I've only seen that argument presented, I don't know how true it is.
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Re: Bogus, batshit, banal, bizarre, or bicubic: Assorted News

Postby Brentai » Thu Aug 26, 2021 2:08 am

I guarantee you there's at least a hundred times more child abuse on Instagram than on OnlyFans.
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Re: Bogus, batshit, banal, bizarre, or bicubic: Assorted News

Postby beatbandito » Thu Aug 26, 2021 7:23 am

Friday wrote:One of the arguments I've seen is that OnlyFans (or any site that allows sex work/porn/nude pics) could have, in theory (and probably does) underage shit being uploaded, either by other people or 16 year olds passing themselves off as 18. So to combat that you have to have moderators, and that costs money, and OF and other places don't want to pay that money.

So then when banks go "I don't want my shit to be associated with CP" they just panic and cut the nudes.

Or not. I've only seen that argument presented, I don't know how true it is.

Accusations of hosting illegal/child porn are well known weapons of these fundamentalist groups in order to get these banking rules made. Not saying the bad content doesn't exist at all, but...

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Re: Bogus, batshit, banal, bizarre, or bicubic: Assorted News

Postby Thad » Thu Aug 26, 2021 12:14 pm

Yeah, part of the issue is that Congress and the FBI have a tendency to treat all sex work as if it's child trafficking.

And as Brent notes, any sufficiently large site that allows user-submitted content is going to be used to facilitate child abuse.

Backpage was very definitely being used to facilitate child trafficking, and yes that's awful -- but the site owners were actually helping law enforcement catch abusers, a detail that FOSTA proponents entirely ignored. Now that Backpage is shut down, people haven't stopped trafficking children, they've just taken it to other sites (while all the legitimate sex workers using Backpage have been forced to seek less safe and reputable ways of doing business).

Whether or not OF is doing enough to combat nonconsensual or otherwise illegal submissions is a worthwhile topic for discussion. But the people who should be steering that discussion are people who (1) understand the Internet and the difficulty of moderating content on large sites and (2) really are just concerned about nonconsensual content, and aren't using that as an excuse to try to ban consensual content.

On a related topic, Apple's in the news for scanning people's iCloud accounts for child porn. Which is the sort of "solution" you get when tech policy is driven by what will appease loud morons.

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Re: Bogus, batshit, banal, bizarre, or bicubic: Assorted News

Postby KingRoyal » Thu Aug 26, 2021 12:24 pm

In reality, every service ever is used to do illegal shit because that's what humans do. The illegality of something doesn't stop people from doing it, they just use whatever service is available. Cryptocurrency is notorious for being used in the black market, not just the drug trade, and I'm sure a thorough audit of every single Zelle, CashApp, Venmo, etc transaction would reveal that it, too, is used to do illegal shit.

But sex work services get the dubious distinction of being targeted for punishment as whole by the state, and I'm sure it has everything to do with draconian views of sex as well as it being a industry primarily populated by women, gay men and Trans people

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Re: Bogus, batshit, banal, bizarre, or bicubic: Assorted News

Postby Thad » Thu Aug 26, 2021 12:35 pm

Always worth remembering that in 1996, politicians tried to criminalize making "any comment, request, suggestion, proposal, image, or other communication that, in context, depicts or describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards, sexual or excretory activities or organs" available to underage Internet users.

And that this was so thoroughly unconstitutional that all that remains of it is websites making people click a button saying they're 18, which is the equivalent of "warning: coffee is hot" labels in demonstrating that US safety regulations are a lot better at getting companies to put disclaimers on shit than actually do anything.

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Re: Bogus, batshit, banal, bizarre, or bicubic: Assorted News

Postby Büge » Fri Aug 27, 2021 8:01 am

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Re: Bogus, batshit, banal, bizarre, or bicubic: Assorted News

Postby Thad » Wed Sep 01, 2021 2:45 pm

More on FOSTA's chilling effect on sexual content in general and the queer community in particular (mods, it might be good to split this conversation off starting with the first OnlyFans post), from the New Yorker: The Queer Past Gets Deleted on eBay

Recently, eBay has shifted company policy in ways that will make further acquisitions of erotica difficult. In May, the platform banned the sale of “sexually oriented materials”—including magazines, movies, and video games—and closed its “Adults Only” category to new listings in the United States. There are a few explicit exemptions, including Playboy; Penthouse; the gay art zine Butt; the satirical, women-run erotica magazine On Our Backs; and something called Fantastic Men, which appears to be a misspelling of the PG-rated men’s style magazine Fantastic Man. “Nude art listings that do not contain sexually suggestive poses or sexual acts are allowed,” the policy states. Materials falling afoul of such distinctions—which could presumably include anything from reproductions of Michelangelo’s horned-up “The Expulsion from Paradise” to back copies of Black Inches—are, apparently, now beyond the pale.

The ban appears to be related to the House’s Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act and the Senate’s Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act, known together as FOSTA-SESTA, an effort by victim’s-rights advocates and right-wing activists to crack down on sex work. One feature of the legislative package was to make Web sites liable for hosted content that might “promote or facilitate the prostitution of another person.” After Donald Trump signed FOSTA-SESTA into law, in 2018, Craigslist shut down its personals listings, Tumblr banned sexual content, Facebook prohibited the formation of groups organized around sexual encounters, and Instagram ramped up its policing of user content, especially that which includes any hint of human nudity. Also of possible relevance: eBay recently began using the Dutch fintech company Adyen for electronic payment services. Like many payment-processing companies, Adyen refuses to participate in the sale of adult materials. Similar concerns by payout providers were reportedly at the center of the recent decision by OnlyFans, the content subscription platform, to ban sexual content—a move they reversed after considerable outcry led by the sex workers who, in large part, helped the company build a valuation of some one billion dollars. In a written statement to me about the change in policy at eBay, a spokesperson said, “eBay is committed to maintaining a safe, trusted and inclusive marketplace for our community of buyers and sellers and we are continually reevaluating product categories allowed on the platform.”

[...]

In researching his book “Bound Together: Leather, Sex, Archives, and Contemporary Art,” Andy Campbell, an associate professor of critical studies at the Roski School of Art and Design, used both eBay and the Johnson/Carter Library, in addition to other archives around the country. “Bound Together” argues that queer archives are particularly precarious, as they often lack institutional support structures and their content is at odds with community guidelines. Yet, by making queer culture accessible, they also increase the likelihood of that more positive erasure: assimilation. The same kind of harness that once strained across a hairy chest in Tony DeBlase’s DungeonMaster magazine ends up, some four decades later, on Taylor Swift in a paparazzi shot or Timothée Chalamet on the red carpet. Campbell can still trace those historical lines of sex, style, and commerce without eBay, but it’s more difficult. “When looking at an issue of the leather magazine Drummer, I think about all the coordinated efforts of so many writers, artists, readers, and editors to represent, month after month, their experiences in this community,” he told me, over e-mail. “With DungeonMaster, which was a near-solo labor of love for DeBlase, I think about the radical abilities of one extremely-driven person to educate and titillate his community. That either exists is a miracle.” When it comes to finding them, “It’s a bummer that eBay won’t be that platform any longer.”


Techdirt has some additional thoughts, and reminds us that, while some of the people who supported SESTA will call this an unintended consequence, it was very much intended; as Upthorn rightly noted upthread, this was a fundamentalist plan to stamp out pornography from the beginning.

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Re: Bogus, batshit, banal, bizarre, or bicubic: Assorted News

Postby Mongrel » Fri Sep 10, 2021 4:26 pm



The full text is a wild ride:

Priests fear bishop is possessed after he falls for writer of satanic erotica
Sources say the Pope told Xavier Novell to undergo an exorcism after he began relationship with author Silvia Caballol and quit his duties

Xavier Novell, became Spain’s youngest bishop when named in 2010 but he resigned in late August
A Spanish bishop known for performing exorcisms has resigned after reportedly falling in love with an author of satanic-themed erotic fiction, sparking fears among his former Catholic colleagues that he has been possessed by the devil.

Xavier Novell, 52, who became Spain’s youngest bishop when named in 2010, resigned in late August, with Church authorities in Solsona, Catalonia, citing “personal reasons” for his decision.

But sources quoted by the Catholic publication Religión Digital this week confirmed rumours that Mr Novell had embarked on a relationship with Silvia Caballol, a psychologist and writer of erotic novels, leading him to set aside his vow of celibacy.

He said he had “fallen in love” and “wanted to do the right thing”, according to reports, in reference to the relationship with the 38-year-old author of The Hell of Gabriel’s Lust and the erotic trilogy Amnesia.

Ms Caballol, a divorcée, is described by her publishing house Lacre as a “dynamic and transgressive author [who] turns upside down our ideas of morality and ethics”.

In Amnesia, the author asks prophetically: “What happens when attraction is stronger than any code of ethics or social pressure?”

The Hell of Gabriel’s Lust deals with occultism and sadism, as well as “the raw struggle between good and evil, between God and Satan, and between angels and demons”.

Church colleagues told Spanish media they believed Mr Novell had been possessed by demons, with one saying this was “not a problem of celibacy but rather of infestation”.

The same sources claimed that Pope Francis had urged Mr Novell to undergo an exorcism to free his troubled spirit, but the then-bishop had refused to do so.

Mr Novell had himself practiced exorcisms for several years. His desire to study demonology apparently led him to meet and become close to Ms Caballol, an expert in Satanism.

Mr Novell had also come under fire for his strong support for and participation in so-called conversion therapy, aimed at “curing” gay people of their supposedly deviant sexuality.

Spain’s Catholic synod criticised the holding of such events, but Mr Novell was among a minority of priests who resisted and continued to organise conversion programmes.

Church colleagues told Spanish media they believed Mr Novell had been possessed by demons, with one saying this was ““not a problem of celibacy but rather of infestation”.

In June, Mr Novell attended a meeting in Torrent, Valencia, promoting the pseudo-therapy meant to direct young people towards heterosexuality.

According to someone who attended the event, Mr Novell “held a wedding between a woman and one of the young men who had undergone such a treatment in Madrid, without the support or consent of the local priest or the bride's parents".

Mr Novell has also been an outspoken supporter of independence for Catalonia, posting a photograph of himself to social media voting in the 2017 banned separatist referendum that led to a short-lived declaration of independence.

Two former ministers from the rebel Catalan government, who were imprisoned on charges of sedition before being pardoned and released in June, were among the few to express support for Mr Novell when his resignation was made public.

Josep Rull and Jordi Turull thanked the former bishop for visiting them during their time in Lledoners prison to offer them spiritual comfort.

“Bishop Novell has always been by the side of political prisoners, with words and, above all, with deeds, becoming one of the few exceptions from the Catalan Church hierarchy,” said Mr Rull, who was Catalonia’s minister for territorial matters.

(a wild ride is also what I suspect this guy is experiencing right now, perhaps with the hope it will somewhat ironically make him into less of an enormous prick)
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Re: Bogus, batshit, banal, bizarre, or bicubic: Assorted News

Postby Brentai » Fri Sep 10, 2021 4:30 pm

The Devil you know Biblically.
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Re: Bogus, batshit, banal, bizarre, or bicubic: Assorted News

Postby Yoji » Tue Sep 21, 2021 12:20 pm

I feel a little icky linking to NPR- STILL feeling mad about how many times they interviewed Peter Fucking Navarro- but New Orleans residents organize a "trash parade" to protest slow garbage collection in the wake of Hurricane Ida
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