WordPress Censors Erotic Literature And Discussion


WordPress has censored at least two blogs—UDreamOfJanie and Kissing Corporal Kate—containing writing of an adult nature. However, they contain no libelous content, no graphic nudity, no misleading tags or categories.

The WordPress Terms of Service offer little insight as to why.

You must not describe or assign keywords to your blog in a misleading or unlawful manner, including in a manner intended to trade on the name or reputation of others, and Automattic may change or remove any description or keyword that it considers inappropriate or unlawful, or otherwise likely to cause Automattic liability.

Well, the blogs aren’t named in a misleading or unlawful manner.

…the Content is not obscene or libelous, and does not violate the privacy or publicity rights of any third party…

Is the content obscene? Last I checked, people wrote and sold erotic literature all the time. We’re not talking mothers vivisecting their newborn babies here.

The Website may contain content that is offensive, indecent, or otherwise objectionable, as well as content containing technical inaccuracies, typographical mistakes, and other errors.

It seems that Automattic acknowledge that they are and will continue to host potentially offensive content. This is excerpted from an email Matt, a WordPress staff member, sent Janie.

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.

After Janie replied, WordPress staff ceased communications.

Hi Mark,

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 http://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.


Automattic, if you claim to support freedom of speech and not use McCarthy-era tactics, why do you censor the freedom of speech in the community you have created?

The WordPress community are primarily law abiding citizens interested in exercising their freedom of speech via blogging. They are not criminals, they are not spammers, they are not pornographers. They are writers, speakers, professors, teenagers and mothers.

I would encourage you to educate yourself, readers of this post, on the subject of free speech and censorship. On the blogroll, you will find links to blogs that have been censored, Wikipedia entries on historical figures and practices, and concerned members of the blogosphere.

Automattic, you need to get your act together.

16 Responses to “WordPress Censors Erotic Literature And Discussion”

  1. Thank you so much for coming to our defense. You will definitely find yourself on our Wall Of Honor.

    Kisses to you, Mr. McCarthy.

    From Bo’fus.

  2. Yes, Mr. McCarthy.

    Thank you. You are definitely on our Wall Of Honor. Give us a few minutes to update it.

    Kisses again,

    From Bo’fus.

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  1. 1 A Knight In Dirty Armor « Kissing Corporal Kate
  2. 2 For The Girls Censored By WordPress - Cross Posted from UDoJ « Crowded Head, Cozy Bed
  3. 3 A Knight In Shining Armor (disguised, however) « UDreamOfJanie

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