Howler Moderation Policy

My Filter

Tick the boxes of the kind of content you would like to have hidden.

  1. porn
  2. violence
  3. racist, or sexist bigotry
  4. religion and politics
  5. potentially offensive
  6. spam & advertizing
  7. cyber skulduggery

Moderation & Censorship

Nothing on my server may violate the terms of my hosting provider. Thus content that either is, or encourages the following, has to be reviewed and deleted on detection. By default everything posted is visible, but EVERYBODY has the ability to flag it and unless it has already been approved it will instantly be concealed. This aims to exclude material that is:

Moderation will be based on the percieved intent and context. Say for instance you want to give instructions for martial arts, that may involve violence, yet you are not inciting harm. You are merely advising for self defence, or as a sport between consenting adults, and so it will be allowed.

In a similar way there are exemptions from copyright under "fair use". Furthermore, you can publish information about yourself or about others with their consent (e.g. The telephone directory does not constitute doxxing).

You can discuss public events, and things performed in public view, or evidence of unfair treatment and crimes perpetrated against you. Anything being funded with public money, political and religious beliefs are also all open to criticism as long as you are not advocating physical reprisals: Mature adults have a right to be informed, and each hold our own opinion.

When I was young I was taught Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me. Insults are not against my rules. I am not going to censor people who flame me for "being a tranny", or who believe I will go to Hell. In the same way I won't be censoring other slurs. It's up to YOU to tick the categories you don't want to see and to rate offending content when you do see it.

To maximise freedom on speech here, it is envisaged to eventually integrate content hosted elsewhere and distribute this site over multiple hosting services where laws and rules may differ. Understand that The Howler acts merely to direct your client browser to where content can be found. If Google can link it, then so can I. It is not my responsibility to veto links to what is not on my site, especially as it may be in a language that I do not understand, or even on a site that is blocked in my country.

We'll see how it goes

In my experience there will be trolls trying to sabotage this initiative, and I may have to look at improving algorithms to prevent flag bots and spam bots.

In the past I have experienced one hosting provider taking my site down simply because my moderation policy had the word "porn" in it. Two other hosting services shut me down on receiving complaints for posting a screen shot of threats others had made against me. I explained I didn't see why I should just suffer it in silence.

One of those was a paid service. I accepted their refund and did not go back to them even after they apologised. The other did apologise and reinstated my site, but explained they couldn't justify dealing with it ongoing, for what was at the time a free service... so I decided to pay for it and I have had no problems since.

Now open to the general public I will have to be vigilant and proactive, but nobody has justification for filing a complaint when all they have to do is a single click "flag" action to instantly hide the offending content. Thus I will consider complaints, that bypass my review process as evidence of deliberate sabotage and itself a denial of service attack.