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Thread: NSFC tag?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    NSFC tag?

    Artrage team,

    I've enjoyed the forums very much. I have recommended ArtRage and the forums to many people, and even a local school. However, the forums need some type of "tag" or "rating" system where some works can be filtered. I am sure you are aware in the USA we have certain Child Internet Protection Acts (not sure exactly what the acronym is) or laws that schools must adhere to. As someone who commonly deals with filters, it's a simple thing to block the forums, but with a lot of great art in the forums, it would be a sad thing to do.

    I realize that there is an After 9:00 forum, but i notice works in other forums as well that might be construed by parents or administrators falling under child protection acts. This creates a problem for sys admins who wanting to grant access to works of art, but not having the time to review every forum topic and keeping an updated list.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Rome (Italy)
    Is there anyone who may certify instead?
    Does this new ruling mean that the main world Musei shall be attended only once You are fully grown? I do not remeber to have seen in this Forum anything worse than what can be normally seen on posters, videogames, classic art etc.
    I do not remember any true erotic art piece as well so far. Is there any example found to understand and/or a summary of the legal ratio and criteria to follow?
    It's curious enough since so far no problem was raised not even by people from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Cina or other usually more censorship-prone countries.
    A suggestion. A children section might be added with content strict rules: landscapes, still life, abstracts only.
    Panta rei (everything flows)!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    I'm speaking in third person because there are several people I'm talking to at once. Please forgive.

    Schools in the USA are really strict when it comes to anything that could offend anybody at all's ethics, sensibilities, race and so on. They're trying to make it safe and suitable for everybody.

    The school board and policy makers are politically driven. And this is one of the side effects of serving what they estimate to be the greater good. And they probably don't want to activate or encourage sexuality in the school because it's so strong a natural force and can get out of hand easily. And some people hook nude paintings up with eroticism. And when one looks at what can be seen on the internet, it's almost absurd. But so long as enough people see it that way, nudity's a potential deal breaker.

    What people allow in their homes or away from school is out of their jurisdiction. And that's not what they are trying to regulate. They're trying to create a safe environment for all the kids.

    And in certain communities it is more strict, like in the South and less urban areas. They even ban books on marginal topics, where it may not happen in the big cities and/or elsewhere in the country.

    It's very difficult.

    Here in the forums, this topic got hashed out a little not so long ago and the After Nine forum was the solution Ambient chose as a compromise.

    I kinda expected this would not be enough for some markets. But it's the respective sides' call.

    Economic incentive pretty much drives universal cooperation in the USA as much as it can. So this is the trade off between appearing like a sell out when artistic freedom can be seen as the issue, vs. adjusting one's company profile to get into a particular market. Any pressure at all sorta feels coercive, but it's decidedly the way groups with the large numbers exert leverage over this kind of issue.

    I think Mouse's concern is a real one, if he/she is to promote the product in the schools. It's based on the schools' requirements, whether we agree or not. That's that particular market.

    On the other hand, it's wholly Ambient's call. . .

    I can see it from both sides. It's a tough nut.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Ambient Design
    We dont plan on changing the forum to add a rating system.
    AndyRage's mantra for graphics engine code:
    "Sure - how hard can it be?"

  5. #5
    Andy, I approve of your (briefly expressed) position.

    I have a school-aged daughter, she's even enjoyed ArtRage as a product. I think it would be great if more schools adopted digital art tools including ArtRage.

    There's almost no educational purpose for the students to come to see all of these works on these forums. If a teacher wanted to show examples, the teacher could assemble a small presentation with appropriate concepts from these forums without the students' direct access.

    Technically, it would be harder than you imagine to provide this filtering system. The schools can't just block out pages with NSFC/NSFW tags. The schools generally use clunky software that can only blacklist whole domains at a time. Goodbye in the schools.

    I think CIPA and other nanny-state legislation is a huge "dumbing down" mistake. You can't make a one-size-fits-all Internet. It is what it is, and chaos will always be a part of free expression. Kids must learn this, and parents and lawmakers must learn not to knee-jerk legislation through fear. You need to gradually let the world in to show the growing mind what they are going to face as adults, even as truth is sometimes uncomfortable. Artificial filters don't allow for "gradual" exposure, they must be endlessly managed by the guardians to fit the youngsters' level of appropriate concepts. This is a human task, not a machine task.
    [ e d @ h a l l e y . c c ] Japanese-themed tees and gifts

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Auckland New Zealand
    Here in New Zealand well at my school the kids only see what i show them from the forum, some of the kids look at home but we can't control what they look at.

    If the kids are learning something i will look and see if there are any paintings that the kids can look at.

    To help them get ideas.
    Graham Fisher
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Cape Town, South Africa.
    I applaud Andy's response. :wink:

    And while I do have respect for rules and regulations I cant help but see the irony (and hypocrisy) in this US legislation which mouse speaks about.

    Why and how Societies decide that violence is OK yet a bit of nudity is not is perhaps beyond the scope of this discussion. But I never will understand WHY people imagine that the human form as-God-made-it, is so offensive and yet images of violence (freely available) are not.

    I never have found anything offensive here, but agree that children might have to be supervised on the Internet in general as there are far more serious things freely available than they will ever find here.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    It was not just the nudity. There are other topics as well. Violence, Religion, etc. A tagging system would allow "screening" to "our best effort" vs, no screening. Tagging systems allows students to review and comment, and post on their own.

    I only mentioned it as a way to provide greater access to students, where as now, one would have to turn off the site forums entirely.

    Artrage can still be promoted regardless of forum status, but as I see it, shutting off open forums allows sys admins to use their time for other IT work. Blocking certain types of content also keeps sys admins out of parent/teacher conferences and allows them to keep their employment.

    Imagine if you would, a first or second grader in rural USA where values are stiff, opening up a painting of violence/gore. All this does is cause a parent to complain, then the sys admin sits in an hour meeting, goes back and closes access to the forums. It's easier to do it from the start.

    I also mentioned it because there are other forums that do "tag" their photos, videos, etc. It appears to be a relativity common idea. I was hoping it would be something that could be implemented.

    Nonetheless, I consider the issue closed. I'll make the necessary adjustments. Thank you.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Rome (Italy)
    Wouldn't tag be subjective as well, as evidently are too stiff ideas?
    I think that it would be easier for teachers to download only what's found appropriate, valuable and that has features useful to hime to teach and to them to learn and open their minds and imagination beyond home-courtyards rules.
    In do not think indirect access would undermine ArtRage market prospect being it a cost effective and gorgeous software! I would not as well like to think that also what we write, under very reasonable rules of mutual politeness, respect and Rages' tolerant policy, has to be scrutinised by any localistic idea of censorship.
    If someone, as rich a customer as he might be, wishes the world to be as he likes, well he'd better stay at home, lock his door and throw the key away. I think we should be fed up of integralists and of their crimes in these days to like them popping out also where universal values and past lessons should have been digested!
    I hope though, dear mouse, You keep Your emplyment and even improve!! But I fully support Andy's response!!
    Panta rei (everything flows)!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Huntingdon QC
    The problem is really a United States related problem.
    Some films that are screened here in Canada are "family rated" and banned in the USA.
    Sadly, american citizens cannot see a lot of stuff because of censorship.
    I worked once in an american school and they had asked me to change a storyline in a show because they feared it would give ideas to children !

    The book in question: The great librarian kidnapping by Margaret Mahy

    I didn't change the story line and the children have survived.
    I prefer no rating and a good discussion with children.

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