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Request for Discussion: rec.arts.movies.erotica

REQUEST FOR DISCUSSION (RFD)
MODERATED group rec.arts.movies.erotica

Newsgroups line:

rec.arts.movies.erotica
Discussion of erotic films and videos. (Moderated)

This is a formal Request For Discussion (RFD) for the creation of a world-wide moderated Usenet newsgroup rec.arts.movies.erotica. This is not a Call for Votes (CFV); you cannot vote at this time. Procedural details are below.

RATIONALE: rec.arts.movies.erotica

For several years now, the unmoderated group alt.sex.movies (a.s.m.) has been hosting the discussion of erotic and sexually oriented motion pictures and videos with great success. At its peak last summer, a.s.m. was receiving an excess of 5500 messages/month, making it the 27th most popular USENET group with an estimated 89,000 readers (July 1995 Umpire data). This success inevitably drew to the group a significant number of insiders from the adult picture industry, with the very welcome implication that consumers have now found a channel to voice their opinions (mostly complaints :-)) directly to those responsible.

Unfortunately, a.s.m. has fallen victim to the limitations inherent in the alternative hierarchy: always easy to abuse, it has recently been flooded with commercials, binaries, pyramid scams, massive irrelavant crossposts and even deliberate attacks by id-forgers. The result to the quality of discussion has been crippling, and the group's propagation, always poor due to its controversial subject matter (barely 50% according to the same Umpire data), can only be expected to deteriorate.

Readers with newfeeds which only accept a low number of posts per day or where posts expire after a short time (often as soon as one day for non-American sites) suffer from this noise. Readers who use off-line newsreaders and those who must pay by the byte to download a.s.m. or even access USENET also find that (a) their ability to participate in discussions on a.s.m. suffers and (b) they are paying more money for less quality.

There has therefore been a recurring call among the a.s.m. participants to *add* a new, noise-proof group where the mature discussion of erotic films and videos can be resumed. It must be stressed here that the removal of a.s.m. is *not* sought in this proposal. Furthermore, it is important to note that this proposed move to the mainstream hierarchy is not only a reaction to the exceptional degree of abuse suffered by a.s.m., but is a course of action that has been debated for some time now between the group regulars. A remarkable consensus has arisen that apart from self defence there are other, at least equally important, reasons making this move imperative:

Though its charter never explicitly stated so, discussion in a.s.m. has been almost exclusively centered on hardcore films and videos. At the same time, the existing rec.arts.movies.* groups generally (and perhaps justifiably, according to their charters) ignore the erotic element of mainstream movies. This polarization has left the many afficionados of softcore, "sexploitation", Playboy-type videos and even mainstream erotic releases (such as the recent "Showgirls") feeling equally uneasy in both rec.arts.movies.misc and alt.sex.movies. Discussion in the proposed group should hopefully encompass the whole spectrum of erotic movies.

In the proponents' view, one of USENET's most glaring inconsistencies is that while many other controversial subjects justly enjoy a multitude of mainstream forums, sexuality related *discussion* groups (with the notable exception of rec.arts.erotica) have been de facto marginalized in the easily abusable and badly propagated alt.* hierarchy. It is imperative that with all the bad press the Net has been receiving recently with regards to "pornography" (child pornography no less!), a controversial newsgroup is allowed to come out in the open and conduct its discussion in a free and yet mature manner, indeed the manner it used to pride itself of before the advertisers and spammers stifled it.

With the recent and continuing flood of inexperienced USENET users who consistently refrain from reading the extensive a.s.m. FAQ, flood a.s.m. with repetitious questions (i.e., do not even read the question-posts in the group but simply post a question which is often already the subject of a thread's subject-line), and in some cases use a.s.m. as a moral soapbox to convert others, a.s.m. regulars feel that a moderated group would better serve newbies and old-timers alike by providing a group that: 1) less repetitiously posts questions and answers about erotic movies; 2) more accurately answers frequently asked questions by referring questioners to the FAQ; 3) incorporates FAQs into the group-FAQ more quickly and more easily; and 4) relegates discussion of the morality of erotic movies to a.s.m. while preserving r.a.m.e. as a forum for the discussion of the movies themselves.

This last argument clearly makes the moderated status of the proposed r.a.m.e. a necessity. It would be unfortunate, not to mention pointless, to see a controversial group move to rec.arts.* dragging along all those problems that had made its existence in alt.* impossible. At the same time, however, the most extreme caution will be taken to ensure that moderation does not interfere with freedom of expression (which, taking into account our subject matter, is of paramount importance):

The proponents and proposed moderators hope that moderation will be kept to the barest minimum. Explicitly, the categories of unacceptable subjects in r.a.m.e. will be:

  1. Discussion of and requests for clearly illegal material, such as child pornography. Note however that USENET is an international medium; differences in the age of consent in different countries make some material that is considered child pornography in some places perfectly legal in others. Similarly, what is considered illegal bondage in the US may be legal under European law (these examples are by no means exhaustive). Such "gray areas" will NOT be moderated. The a.s.m. FAQ goes into the various issues surround legality across national borders.

  2. Commercials of any form, including 900 (0890 in Britain etc.) numbers. Commercial .sig's of normal posts and announcements for new WWW pages will be left to the discretion of the moderators.

  3. Binaries of ANY form. This will be exclusively a discussion newsgroup.

  4. Clearly irrelevant material, such as pyramid schemes (read: scams), political speeches, baiting of the group participants etc. So-called "newbie" questions will however be propagated, unless they are *fully* answered in the group FAQ; in the latter case an email pointer to the FAQ will be sent to the poster.

  5. Obviously destructive or antagonistic behaviour.

Though flaming is unfortunate, it will NOT be moderated. Only in the case of repeated, unprovoked attacks will the moderators step in.

The use of anonymous remailers, including penet.fi, for posting is perfectly acceptable.

CHARTER: rec.arts.movies.erotica

rec.arts.movies.erotica is a moderated USENET newsgroup dedicated to the intelligent and mature discussion of erotic films and videos -- hardcore, softcore or mainstream, gay or heterosexual. Discussion should be limited to reviews of current and not-so-current releases, gossip, behind the scenes stories, social, economic and legal issues surrounding erotic films, and discussion of actors and actresses (and directors and producers and...). Unacceptable submissions include commercials, binaries and requests for illegal material.

END CHARTER.

MODERATOR INFO: rec.arts.movies.erotica

Moderator: Imperator <imp@primus.paranoia.com>
Moderator: Brad Williams <brwi@ix.netcom.com>
Moderator: Adult Movie FAQ <faq@rame.net>
Moderator: Peter Van Aarle <aarle@bart.nl>
Moderator: Tim Evanson <tevanson@netcom.com>

END MODERATOR INFO.

PROCEDURE:

This is a request for discussion, not a call for votes. In this phase of the process, any potential problems with the proposed newsgroups should raised and resolved. The discussion period will continue for a minimum of 21 days (starting from from when the first RFD for this proposal is posted to news.announce.newgroups). All discussion should be posted to news.groups.

At the end of the discussion period, a Call for Votes (CFV) will be posted by a neutral vote taker.

This RFD attempts to fully comply with Usenet newsgroup creation guidelines outlined in "How to Create a New Usenet Newsgroup" and "Writing an RFD". Please refer to these documents if you have questions about the process.

DISTRIBUTION:

This RFD has been posted to the following newsgroups:

news.announce.newgroups, news.groups,
alt.sex.movies, rec.arts.movies.misc

Proponent: The Director <director@gti.net>
Proponent: Imperator <imp@primus.paranoia.com>

 

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Questions about adult movies should be posted or mailed to the newsgroup rec.arts.movies.erotica. The staff at the above addresses cannot answer your questions; the folks in the newsgroup probably can.