About.com Censors Adult Content

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Source: EroticGuide.com

By: Company Press Release

In three months About.com went from being one of the best mainstream sources for adult information and erotica on the Net to virtually censoring their adult content out of existence.

Our experience with them is a warning to all of us working in the sex biz, that mainstream companies that also deal with sex at any level can be bought out by more fanatically conservative companies that will damage their bottom line to keep adult content out of everyone’s hands.

Look at cable owner Adelphia, now nearing bankruptcy, but still censoring adult content at the cost of millions of many unhappy consumers.

We were the "guides" on the Adult Industry, with a published weekly site that featured reviews, feature articles, and interviews. We got to know a lot of you in the Adult Industry, and you can see the new incarnation at eroticguide.com.

The first action About.com took was to reduce all adult writers’ income by 50%. They claimed that that the adult sites just did not make enough money. Before we signed on, we did a little research and learned that the adult sites were consistently the top five most heavily trafficked sites on About.com by a large margin, with several other adult sites near the top. That is a lot of page views when you consider that About.com was the number 7th most heavily trafficked site on the Net (They sell advertising based on page views).

Step 2, in the name of "protecting the children", was to eliminate the adult sites from the About.com site index so that no one could find us. This dropped our page views by more than 50%. The next week they made sure that search engines they had agreements with dropped us- thus another 50% drop. Our sites had all of the child blocking RSACi code, but that still allowed adults to find us. They then went in and censored the forums, including purging messages in support of the adult writers.

This all happened over a couple of months, with the final blow being January 5th when they put us behind Adult Check. Since Adult Check listed some sites featuring 18 year olds, they then decided not to include us in the Adult Check list of sites, making our sites virtually invisible to anyone who did not already know about us. Our page views dropped to 10% of what they were, and since we got paid based on page views, this was a 90% cut in income. I am amazed we had that many people, frankly. According to the few remaining adult writers, management is continuing to ignore their emails or offer any plan for their sites to become profitable. They are dying on the vine, and I suspect most will be gone in the next few weeks.

Our dead site is still on About.com, if you can find it, but don’t bother to get an Adult Check just to see the About.com adult sites. Many are now abandoned with no new content. You’d think About.com would give people a warning before they buy the Adult Check, but in the spirit of integrity and honesty that they have exhibited since the merge, they don’t.

Jeff & Kris Booth

This person also left a phone number of (818)342-7566 About.com, one of the top ten most heavily trafficked sites on the Internet, has censored their adult content areas into virtual oblivion. We wrote the Sex industry section for them until this happened. Read the full story on our site:

eroticguide.com/features/aboutcensorship.htm