Censored by CCBill

Posted at 23:15 on 22 May 2013 by Pandora / Blake

Tags: censorship, Dreams of Spanking, Fairtrade porn, featured photos, Kink activism, Photos, Politics, Sites and studios, telepathic ravishment

I received an email this week from CCBill, the billing agent who handles the credit card transactions for Dreams of Spanking. The email notified me that they had recently reviewed my site, and now required me to make certain wording changes, or else they would disable my billing. "Terms, Themes, and Marketing (Other Violation - Egregious)" was the heading, followed by a list of pages (mostly blogposts) where the words "non-consent", "force" or "rape" were used.

For instance, the text that Ten Amorette had sent me for her profile page contained the following sentence:

 

I like Domination and submission, rope bondage, takedown play and even force fantasies. I figure all of those things have to do with control and my giving mine up-- consensually (or consensually non-consensual).

 

CCBill noted, "It is a violation of CCBill's AUP to reference 'force' in this context as it implies a non-consensual situation (fantasy or non-fantasy). In order to be compliant with CCBill's AUP, please ensure all references to forced acts are removed."

Performers consenting to scenes and finding them hot? Against CCBill's acceptable use policy. Sorry, Ten, I've had to edit your profile for you. Hope you understand.

Here are some other pages on Dreams of Spanking which were listed as being against CCBill's AUP.

This blogpost about making sensual dominance and submission erotica:

 

 

This scene represents a bit of a departure from the classic disciplinary spanking scenario. Don't get me wrong, I love domestic discipline, school scenes, punishment and non-consent fantasies as much as anyone. But I also like variety, and one of the things I'm looking to explore alongside the above is consensual, erotic dominance and submission.

 

This blogpost about why behind the scenes material is so important to my vision:

 

 

When the fantasy being played out on camera is non-consensual, then the consent of the performers becomes all the more important. Some of my scenes are overtly consensual, but you can't always include consent in the scene itself without breaking the fourth wall, and disrupting the immersion of the fantasy.

Having performers write tweets or blogposts about the shoot helps a lot, but it's nice to have something on the site itself, so that you know what you're looking at is "safe" and not created in dodgy or unpleasant circumstances. Where my scenes explore particularly edgy scenarios, I want to always try and include some behind the scenes material, and contextualise the fantasy of the scene in the reality of the shoot.

 

Note that these blogposts are not advertising a non-consent scene, or talking about why non-consent is sexy. They are talking about what differentiates my work as explicitly consensual, and they are discussing the issues surrounding consent in porn production.

It turns out to be fairly difficult to discuss consent in porn without ever using the word "non-consent". CCBill are effectively saying that discussions of consent are against their acceptable use policy.

They flagged other pages on the site, too. Such as this blog comment about why many straight men fantasise about M/M spanking:

 

I think it's possible for someone to not eroticise male bodies, or want to play directly with a man, but to find the fantasy of M/M play hot in a non-consent sort of way.

 

Personally I think there's nothing wrong with fantasising about a situation with someone you don't fancy, or a non-consent fantasy which would be unsexy in reality. It's perfectly possible to be turned on by the idea of being forced to do something that doesn't turn you on, and having that fantasy doesn't suddenly mean it WOULD turn you on!"

 

And this blogpost about why I find complex consent in spanking scenes psychologically interesting:

 

As well as trying to write an F/F scenario which I could pull off convincingly as a novice top the same age as my bottom, I wanted to write a story which explored some of the more complex angles on semi- or non-consent. Pure non-consent, where the victim is forced to submit, is hot, but semi-consent holds a lot more potential for interesting psychology. I'm fascinated by spanking stories where the spankee consents under duress, consents within a range of limited options, is desperate or blackmailed. Being put in a situation where you're forced to choose between two unpleasant alternatives gives the spanking enough non-consent to be edgy, but the spankee's choice gives them at least some self-determination and power. I find that really interesting.

 

There were also some examples where, I confess, I was genuinely discussing a spanking fantasy that involved some element of reluctance, unwillingness, or coercion. For instance, my comments about this sci-fi/thriller psychic interrogation scene:

 

 

Most of this was ad libbed, and we had great fun with it. I think the non-consensual, D/S-y emotional interaction between Danby and the Cuckoo is almost hotter than the spanking, but you can decide for yourself. Along the way I discovered that I really, really like ziplock bondage, resisting interrogation by asking questions, playing a character who is caned while angry, and telepathic rape play. You learn something new every day!

 

Because according to CCBill, acted, telepathic fantasy rape is still rape, folks. Never mind that nowhere in the site was there any reference to actual, physical rape or a simulated rape scene. Never mind that telepathic rape is a silly fiction that doesn't in fact exist. Context is irrelevant in the CCBill AUP blanket word ban!

And, yes, sometimes I did actually say that being forced to do something within a consensual, negotiated fantasy scenario was hot. My bad.

 

"Not only that, but this lesbian domination scene includes the riding crop, face slapping, and Ten being forced to suck my big purple strap-on. Hot!" Strap-ons, birching and spanking games

 

"Shooting this was hot, hot, hot. D and I both enjoy non-consent roleplay, but are both a bit self-conscious to go for it in private most of the time. Taking photos offers us the perfect excuse to explore some of our darker fantasies.

By the time we'd finished I was flushed with arousal, and more or less failing to pretend I hated it (this is a problem I often have with non-consent scenes!)" Interrogation

 

All of the above references have now been removed. Because if I don't, I'll no longer be able to accept payments on the website which is my livelihood.

Never mind text which isn't sexual or erotic, but an intellectual, semantic discussion about consent, language or ethical production.

Never mind that nowhere in CCBill's Acceptable Use Policy are the words "force" or "non-consent". Here's the relevant section:

 

3. VIOLATION OF CCBILL POLICY

 

 

  • The posting, display, or advertising of any image using a model or models under the age of 18 years anywhere on the site whether the models are clothed or unclothed.
  • Marketing the site utilizing content including "Kids", "Lolita", "Pedo", "Peta", "Peto", Pre-teen", "Pedophile", "Underage", "Child" or any other words, images, or descriptions that would lead someone to believe that the models are less than 18 years of age is not permitted anywhere on venue including the URL and meta tags.
  • The posting or display of any image or wording depicting or related to extreme violence, incest, snuff, scat or the elimination of any bodily waste on another person, mutilation, or rape anywhere on the site in a sexual or erotic manner, including the URL and meta tags.

 

CCBill haven't expressed any problem with words like "reluctant", "unwilling", "edgy", "coercion" (perhaps I shouldn't point that out, I don't want to give them ideas) so it's not about intent or meaning. They have picked out an arbitrary selection of random words taken out of context.

A blanket word ban on the word "rape" may make no sense whatsoever when you take contextual meaning into account, but it I suppose it's the cheapest way to implement a policy that is basically intended to protect people. It's stupid, but they're a big company, and nuance is expensive. But when did they start reaching for the thesaurus and start banning random words that aren't even in the AUP?

This highly subjective interpretation of their policy isn't even applied consistently. I only needed to use the site search box to discover multiple uses of those words which they hadn't picked up on, and which were no more or less likely to be relevant to their actual ban on extreme violence and rape. If they weren't using the site search tool, how did they find the pages they did pick out? Why didn't they have a problem with that Sensual D/S post when they first reviewed my site before it launched? What random words will they pick out next?

Nimue has remarked that in her experience, these reviews are hugely inconsistent, and content which is approved in one review will be picked out for removal in the next. The process really does seem completely arbitrary, dependent on the whims of whatever CCBill employee is tasked with the review and with little reference to consistency, common sense, or indeed the AUP itself.

Anyway, all the above references are gone. Even where I was talking about the ways in which I strove to demonstrate consent in my productions. Even where I was showcasing behind the scenes footage showing happy, giggly performers. Even though the CCBill employee who sent me this email is no doubt a perfectly intelligent human being easily capable of reading the surrounding words in a sentence and understanding that the intent behind these discussions is to emphasise consent and in fact matches their AUP exactly. They are my billing provider, they have the power to destroy my livelihood in a keystroke and they are able to hold me, and other producers, to ransom. I have therefore done exactly as I was told, and the original text is recorded here for posterity.

I toyed with the idea of replacing the words with comedy censorship spellings ("r*pe" etc) but I decided it would be more fun to use imaginative synonyms. In the process I learned that the approved BDSM term for consensual pre-negotiated rape play is ravishment. I am delighted that CCBill's arbitrary censorship has resulted in my using, for the first time in my life, the phrase "telepathic ravishment". Perhaps they'll ban that next, and we'll need to change it to "pillaging", "plunder" or "spoliation"!

A couple of people have asked why I don't change billing provider. Firstly, I am using custom software designed to interact with CCBill's API and I don't have thousands of pounds to spend on hiring my developer to rewrite it. Secondly, CCBill is the preferred billing agent of most spanking affiliates (resellers) and I would lose a lot of business if I changed to a different provider. Thirdly, other billing agents are exactly the same:

 

@NikkiKantaka May 22, 8:23pm via Web @NimueAllen @DreamofSpanking Epoch do this too. Ask us to remove/alter something then come back a year later & ask us to alter it again. :S

 

 

@HywelPhillips May 22, 11:42pm via Web @DreamofSpanking previous biller- explaining why RE was NOT about rape and violence towards women unacceptable use of "rape" and "violence"!

 

So there you have it. I have complied with CCBill's censorship regime, because I had no choice. How's that for non-consent?

Comments

I confess, I was half expecting you to illustrate this article with a full length nude image with a censor bar over the mouth.

Heh. Spanked AND silenced. Sad times!

[...] and my female-gaze porn site Dreams of Spanking got much, much worse. I wrote last week about the ridiculous wording changes they required, including censoring discussions of consensual and ethical production on the blog. I [...]

CCBill never worked for me any way, they're rubish.

Salud

Patrick

The words may seem random, but are not. I think I recognise them as the words that have featured in court cases. You know the sort of thing, the defendant had been searching for porn that contained the words ****,**** and ****...

So this is not not about them making moral judgements, but is exactly as you were told, it is about them covering their own asses. They do not want to get dragged into court cases in case the public start asking them why they accept payment for (then make up something offensive, like "pedophiles").

As I understand it, you need to make up code words, or agree them with other leading sites. Words that cannot be banned, like "ice cream" for ice play and so on. Then "casually" mention what each one means on a prominent page of your own site. The list will never get shorter, only longer as words like "ravishment" inevitably get mentioned in some court case or other. Thankfully they do not seem to be pro-active, as in banning words they think "might" be a problem, they instead only seem to be reactive and ban words that have already caused trouble.

The banning of scenes with swords pointed at people, I think that is from the list of banned American things, yet the inability to show blood as "extreme violence" are the new (ish) British rules aren't they? I believe they accept payments all around the world, so if they carry on with trying to incorporate the restrictions or every country, it will be a very odd set or rules. Japan for instance does not allow the showing of body hair, while in France is almost de rigueur...

Perhaps that is the solution, ask them why they are trying to ban everything that is not allowed in individual countries, but instead should they not allow everything that is allowed in at least one country instead?

[...] spanking porn star Pandora Blake has encountered censorship issues from her biller, CCBill. They insisted she remove references to “non consent” from the site, even though those [...]

Wow. Fascinating. In some ways, I'm happy that CCBill is actually monitoring and reviewing (in depth) the content of their sites. In the long run, that's probably a good thing, though I can see and understand how it must be frustrating. In the meantime, I think you made a wise decision to edit, and not in a tongue in cheek "sh!tty" way those comments and descriptions. I have a lot of admiration for the way you do things, even if we can disagree at times. (Sorry, but women's curves ARE more fun to look at than even the most handsome man.) Here's hoping that you continue to do what you do so well, and that you continue to explore "ravishment" or whatever it needs to be called. cheers and fistbump from across the pond...

Thanks. Unfortunately this saga has become more twisted since I wrote this post, and CCBill's latest requirements won't be side-stepped so easily. I'm going to have to write a follow-up blogpost, I think. Still, thanks for the support!

PS. Sexual attraction is subjective opinion, there is no "right" and "wrong" :)

Sorry to hear you've had a bad experience of CCBill. Credit card security is a messy beast. If you want to subscribe to Dreams and want to discuss alternate payment methods, drop an email to pandora@dreamsofspanking.com and I'd be happy to help x

No, nothing like that. If you're anxious drop an email to pandora@dreamsofspanking.com, there are other payment options available which I'd be happy to discuss x

Thanks, I appreciate that. I'll do my best to knuckle down and tow the line, although I admit, right now they are not making it easy :/

Yes, censored by my over-zealous spam filter! for some reason a lot of comments on this post went straight to the spam folder without ever being in the moderation queue. No idea what that was about.

I'm glad CCBill were there for you when you needed them. I'm going to call up and speak to an actual human and see if they can clarify some of the more troubling changes they've demanded since I wrote this post (see http://twitter.com/dreamofspanking for details). Hopefully they will be willing to listen to reason, or at least provide common sense advice.

Oh it gets worse - see Twitter for details! I think I'm going to have to write a sequel to this post, but I want to speak to a human at CCBill first. Thanks for the support John, it means a lot.

It's like, do these people have no common sense? Or do they not care? I guess they must look at different porn sites all day long and be totally detached from any contextual considerations. They may as well write a bot to do a word search. Fucksake.

The high risk thing is laughable, I've had one or two chargebacks in 18 months of trading. I've had to opt out of Mastercard sadly, the fees aren't worth it. I guess Visa will be next, though. Tough times to be a pornographer! Still, censorship is never sustainable in the long run - give it a few years and common sense will prevail.

If these really are Visa's regulations though, surely other billing companies would apply them the same way? If Mood Pictures or Lupus Spanking can accept Visa cards, how come CCBill think that the scenes on my site are too severe? There does seem to be a certain amount of discretion and subjectivity on CCBill's part - the inconsistency between reviews at different times suggests that, if nothing else.

It seems that having a blog where you want to discuss a wide range of topics is a real liability. I asked about whether it would still count if the blog was moved to its own domain, and they said yes, if the offending content was still linked to by my main site navigation. They have a "one click away" policy for content they police, apparently, so you need to have a splash page as a buffer. I can't imagine that's true, I link to a number of sites with content they don't monitor, but it removes that option as a potential solution now I've asked.

Thanks for linking to this post, by the way. :)

Hi,

Not only are CCBill stopping legitimate users from using their credit cards to pay for "subscription services" [their description, not mine] By saying that one's credit card (Ed: at the time] is registered for use in Cuba, [Cuba?!?] they're also censoring what these "subscription services" display or even say. Where does it end? Censorship is a slippery slope. Where does ones foibles vrs 'company policy' come into it. Sure, one persons 'role play' is something entirely to another person. But my goodness [Ed: profanity filter is now on], are the PC people really trying to drive the topics explored on this website into the dark zone. What is their fear? There are plenty of people who see the over 18 warnings and stay away. But censoring adults' appreciation in this matter I find most distasteful.

I do trust, Pandora, that you have a plan B. A recent excusion of mine, the 'cuba incident' means that I am not able to subscribe to _any_ "subscription service" that uses CCBill as their primary billing contractor.

I will discuss my 'alternative route' to buying a subscription with the service in question, but, ahem, not in an open comment section. Its not that I don't wish to inform your readers, I do, but, since I am still a subscriber of the service in question, I do not wish to jeopardise my access to the service in question. You have my email address, so contact me.

I do trust you are exploring other options, as well as a plan B.

Buzhaven

Sorry to hear you've had a bad experience of CCBill. Credit card security is a messy beast. If you want to subscribe to Dreams and want to discuss alternate payment methods, drop an email to pandora@dreamsofspanking.com and I'd be happy to help x

No, nothing like that. If you're anxious drop an email to pandora@dreamsofspanking.com, there are other payment options available which I'd be happy to discuss x

Thanks, I appreciate that. I'll do my best to knuckle down and tow the line, although I admit, right now they are not making it easy :/

Yes, censored by my over-zealous spam filter! for some reason a lot of comments on this post went straight to the spam folder without ever being in the moderation queue. No idea what that was about.

I'm glad CCBill were there for you when you needed them. I'm going to call up and speak to an actual human and see if they can clarify some of the more troubling changes they've demanded since I wrote this post (see http://twitter.com/dreamofspanking for details). Hopefully they will be willing to listen to reason, or at least provide common sense advice.

Oh it gets worse - see Twitter for details! I think I'm going to have to write a sequel to this post, but I want to speak to a human at CCBill first. Thanks for the support John, it means a lot.

It's like, do these people have no common sense? Or do they not care? I guess they must look at different porn sites all day long and be totally detached from any contextual considerations. They may as well write a bot to do a word search. Fucksake.

The high risk thing is laughable, I've had one or two chargebacks in 18 months of trading. I've had to opt out of Mastercard sadly, the fees aren't worth it. I guess Visa will be next, though. Tough times to be a pornographer! Still, censorship is never sustainable in the long run - give it a few years and common sense will prevail.

If these really are Visa's regulations though, surely other billing companies would apply them the same way? If Mood Pictures or Lupus Spanking can accept Visa cards, how come CCBill think that the scenes on my site are too severe? There does seem to be a certain amount of discretion and subjectivity on CCBill's part - the inconsistency between reviews at different times suggests that, if nothing else.

It seems that having a blog where you want to discuss a wide range of topics is a real liability. I asked about whether it would still count if the blog was moved to its own domain, and they said yes, if the offending content was still linked to by my main site navigation. They have a "one click away" policy for content they police, apparently, so you need to have a splash page as a buffer. I can't imagine that's true, I link to a number of sites with content they don't monitor, but it removes that option as a potential solution now I've asked.

Thanks for linking to this post, by the way. :)

I have been thinking about joining you site but was worried that ccbill might "fleece" me or steal my credit card details.
What they are asking you to do is frankly non sensical but......... I presume you have not heard of people having problems with incorrect billing etc

Ian

No, nothing like that. If you're anxious drop an email to pandora@dreamsofspanking.com, there are other payment options available which I'd be happy to discuss x

Thanks, I appreciate that. I'll do my best to knuckle down and tow the line, although I admit, right now they are not making it easy :/

Yes, censored by my over-zealous spam filter! for some reason a lot of comments on this post went straight to the spam folder without ever being in the moderation queue. No idea what that was about.

I'm glad CCBill were there for you when you needed them. I'm going to call up and speak to an actual human and see if they can clarify some of the more troubling changes they've demanded since I wrote this post (see http://twitter.com/dreamofspanking for details). Hopefully they will be willing to listen to reason, or at least provide common sense advice.

Oh it gets worse - see Twitter for details! I think I'm going to have to write a sequel to this post, but I want to speak to a human at CCBill first. Thanks for the support John, it means a lot.

It's like, do these people have no common sense? Or do they not care? I guess they must look at different porn sites all day long and be totally detached from any contextual considerations. They may as well write a bot to do a word search. Fucksake.

The high risk thing is laughable, I've had one or two chargebacks in 18 months of trading. I've had to opt out of Mastercard sadly, the fees aren't worth it. I guess Visa will be next, though. Tough times to be a pornographer! Still, censorship is never sustainable in the long run - give it a few years and common sense will prevail.

If these really are Visa's regulations though, surely other billing companies would apply them the same way? If Mood Pictures or Lupus Spanking can accept Visa cards, how come CCBill think that the scenes on my site are too severe? There does seem to be a certain amount of discretion and subjectivity on CCBill's part - the inconsistency between reviews at different times suggests that, if nothing else.

It seems that having a blog where you want to discuss a wide range of topics is a real liability. I asked about whether it would still count if the blog was moved to its own domain, and they said yes, if the offending content was still linked to by my main site navigation. They have a "one click away" policy for content they police, apparently, so you need to have a splash page as a buffer. I can't imagine that's true, I link to a number of sites with content they don't monitor, but it removes that option as a potential solution now I've asked.

Thanks for linking to this post, by the way. :)

Sucks:(
I really hope they don't find cause to remove their service. Dreams of Spanking is the most tasteful spanking site i've ever been to.

Thanks, I appreciate that. I'll do my best to knuckle down and tow the line, although I admit, right now they are not making it easy :/

Yes, censored by my over-zealous spam filter! for some reason a lot of comments on this post went straight to the spam folder without ever being in the moderation queue. No idea what that was about.

I'm glad CCBill were there for you when you needed them. I'm going to call up and speak to an actual human and see if they can clarify some of the more troubling changes they've demanded since I wrote this post (see http://twitter.com/dreamofspanking for details). Hopefully they will be willing to listen to reason, or at least provide common sense advice.

Oh it gets worse - see Twitter for details! I think I'm going to have to write a sequel to this post, but I want to speak to a human at CCBill first. Thanks for the support John, it means a lot.

It's like, do these people have no common sense? Or do they not care? I guess they must look at different porn sites all day long and be totally detached from any contextual considerations. They may as well write a bot to do a word search. Fucksake.

The high risk thing is laughable, I've had one or two chargebacks in 18 months of trading. I've had to opt out of Mastercard sadly, the fees aren't worth it. I guess Visa will be next, though. Tough times to be a pornographer! Still, censorship is never sustainable in the long run - give it a few years and common sense will prevail.

If these really are Visa's regulations though, surely other billing companies would apply them the same way? If Mood Pictures or Lupus Spanking can accept Visa cards, how come CCBill think that the scenes on my site are too severe? There does seem to be a certain amount of discretion and subjectivity on CCBill's part - the inconsistency between reviews at different times suggests that, if nothing else.

It seems that having a blog where you want to discuss a wide range of topics is a real liability. I asked about whether it would still count if the blog was moved to its own domain, and they said yes, if the offending content was still linked to by my main site navigation. They have a "one click away" policy for content they police, apparently, so you need to have a splash page as a buffer. I can't imagine that's true, I link to a number of sites with content they don't monitor, but it removes that option as a potential solution now I've asked.

Thanks for linking to this post, by the way. :)

Third attempt at posting this comment. Am I being censored? :)

Before I have my tuppence worth, I would like to to declare a personal bias in favour of CCBill. About three years ago CCBill did make Visa aware of unusual patterns of use of my credit card details, that unknown to me had been compromised, saving me from being ripped off for a lot of money, when they could have just sat back and taken their cut of that cash. Therefore when I see that the billing on a site is through CCBill I do now regard that as a plus point.

CCBill is a company covering a large amount of websites, I have no idea how many but it could be in the 100's of thousands. It seems improbable to me that CCBill can employ enough people to properly review every site that they cover individually, without raising their costs to an amount that would be commercially unrealistic. I suspect that CCBill can only cover all their obligations by using some sort of monitoring software that looks for key words and phrases and then reports this to employees, that will have a large amount of these reports deal with in a limited amount of time and cannot themselves review each site that is reported to them, in depth.

Having said that, I found that when I was a member of Dreams that it is the most fair minded and responsibly run spanking site that I have so far experienced. The reports from CCBill are just not justifiable when taken in context of the site has a whole.

I do hate it when two internet entities, that I have very positive experiences of, come into conflict. Hopefully in the future someone will come up with a solution to situations like these.

Prefectdt

Yes, censored by my over-zealous spam filter! for some reason a lot of comments on this post went straight to the spam folder without ever being in the moderation queue. No idea what that was about.

I'm glad CCBill were there for you when you needed them. I'm going to call up and speak to an actual human and see if they can clarify some of the more troubling changes they've demanded since I wrote this post (see http://twitter.com/dreamofspanking for details). Hopefully they will be willing to listen to reason, or at least provide common sense advice.

Oh it gets worse - see Twitter for details! I think I'm going to have to write a sequel to this post, but I want to speak to a human at CCBill first. Thanks for the support John, it means a lot.

It's like, do these people have no common sense? Or do they not care? I guess they must look at different porn sites all day long and be totally detached from any contextual considerations. They may as well write a bot to do a word search. Fucksake.

The high risk thing is laughable, I've had one or two chargebacks in 18 months of trading. I've had to opt out of Mastercard sadly, the fees aren't worth it. I guess Visa will be next, though. Tough times to be a pornographer! Still, censorship is never sustainable in the long run - give it a few years and common sense will prevail.

If these really are Visa's regulations though, surely other billing companies would apply them the same way? If Mood Pictures or Lupus Spanking can accept Visa cards, how come CCBill think that the scenes on my site are too severe? There does seem to be a certain amount of discretion and subjectivity on CCBill's part - the inconsistency between reviews at different times suggests that, if nothing else.

It seems that having a blog where you want to discuss a wide range of topics is a real liability. I asked about whether it would still count if the blog was moved to its own domain, and they said yes, if the offending content was still linked to by my main site navigation. They have a "one click away" policy for content they police, apparently, so you need to have a splash page as a buffer. I can't imagine that's true, I link to a number of sites with content they don't monitor, but it removes that option as a potential solution now I've asked.

Thanks for linking to this post, by the way. :)

Quite unbelieveable. I had to pinch myself to check it wasn't 1st April. Carry on the good work Pandora, we all support your values, ideals and ethics 100%.

Oh it gets worse - see Twitter for details! I think I'm going to have to write a sequel to this post, but I want to speak to a human at CCBill first. Thanks for the support John, it means a lot.

It's like, do these people have no common sense? Or do they not care? I guess they must look at different porn sites all day long and be totally detached from any contextual considerations. They may as well write a bot to do a word search. Fucksake.

The high risk thing is laughable, I've had one or two chargebacks in 18 months of trading. I've had to opt out of Mastercard sadly, the fees aren't worth it. I guess Visa will be next, though. Tough times to be a pornographer! Still, censorship is never sustainable in the long run - give it a few years and common sense will prevail.

If these really are Visa's regulations though, surely other billing companies would apply them the same way? If Mood Pictures or Lupus Spanking can accept Visa cards, how come CCBill think that the scenes on my site are too severe? There does seem to be a certain amount of discretion and subjectivity on CCBill's part - the inconsistency between reviews at different times suggests that, if nothing else.

It seems that having a blog where you want to discuss a wide range of topics is a real liability. I asked about whether it would still count if the blog was moved to its own domain, and they said yes, if the offending content was still linked to by my main site navigation. They have a "one click away" policy for content they police, apparently, so you need to have a splash page as a buffer. I can't imagine that's true, I link to a number of sites with content they don't monitor, but it removes that option as a potential solution now I've asked.

Thanks for linking to this post, by the way. :)

Talking about non-consent, even to say what a bad idea it is, is breaking the rules... *anger gland activating furiously...*

It's like, do these people have no common sense? Or do they not care? I guess they must look at different porn sites all day long and be totally detached from any contextual considerations. They may as well write a bot to do a word search. Fucksake.

The high risk thing is laughable, I've had one or two chargebacks in 18 months of trading. I've had to opt out of Mastercard sadly, the fees aren't worth it. I guess Visa will be next, though. Tough times to be a pornographer! Still, censorship is never sustainable in the long run - give it a few years and common sense will prevail.

If these really are Visa's regulations though, surely other billing companies would apply them the same way? If Mood Pictures or Lupus Spanking can accept Visa cards, how come CCBill think that the scenes on my site are too severe? There does seem to be a certain amount of discretion and subjectivity on CCBill's part - the inconsistency between reviews at different times suggests that, if nothing else.

It seems that having a blog where you want to discuss a wide range of topics is a real liability. I asked about whether it would still count if the blog was moved to its own domain, and they said yes, if the offending content was still linked to by my main site navigation. They have a "one click away" policy for content they police, apparently, so you need to have a splash page as a buffer. I can't imagine that's true, I link to a number of sites with content they don't monitor, but it removes that option as a potential solution now I've asked.

Thanks for linking to this post, by the way. :)

Actually it is not CCBill themselves that censor. It is the credit card companies like Mastercard and Visa that force CCBill to censor. The same companies that now charge us an annual fee because we are * high risk* Thanks to the pirates who use stolen credit cards.

The high risk thing is laughable, I've had one or two chargebacks in 18 months of trading. I've had to opt out of Mastercard sadly, the fees aren't worth it. I guess Visa will be next, though. Tough times to be a pornographer! Still, censorship is never sustainable in the long run - give it a few years and common sense will prevail.

If these really are Visa's regulations though, surely other billing companies would apply them the same way? If Mood Pictures or Lupus Spanking can accept Visa cards, how come CCBill think that the scenes on my site are too severe? There does seem to be a certain amount of discretion and subjectivity on CCBill's part - the inconsistency between reviews at different times suggests that, if nothing else.

It seems that having a blog where you want to discuss a wide range of topics is a real liability. I asked about whether it would still count if the blog was moved to its own domain, and they said yes, if the offending content was still linked to by my main site navigation. They have a "one click away" policy for content they police, apparently, so you need to have a splash page as a buffer. I can't imagine that's true, I link to a number of sites with content they don't monitor, but it removes that option as a potential solution now I've asked.

Thanks for linking to this post, by the way. :)

I think this is not all together to do with CCBill, the credit card companies themselves are taking on the job of arbiter of taste, we will be seeing more of this. I think also a third party is actively and maybe quite randomly making complaints about certain sites, there are too many instants of this including one of my own sites which came from Veritel. I have found that CCBill and Verotel have always been quite reasonable and I am sure have better things for their staff to do unless pointed and prompted.
Things are happening and I feel we may get more evidence of this.
Nothing to do as you rightly say, comply and hope they are happy.

If these really are Visa's regulations though, surely other billing companies would apply them the same way? If Mood Pictures or Lupus Spanking can accept Visa cards, how come CCBill think that the scenes on my site are too severe? There does seem to be a certain amount of discretion and subjectivity on CCBill's part - the inconsistency between reviews at different times suggests that, if nothing else.

It seems that having a blog where you want to discuss a wide range of topics is a real liability. I asked about whether it would still count if the blog was moved to its own domain, and they said yes, if the offending content was still linked to by my main site navigation. They have a "one click away" policy for content they police, apparently, so you need to have a splash page as a buffer. I can't imagine that's true, I link to a number of sites with content they don't monitor, but it removes that option as a potential solution now I've asked.

Thanks for linking to this post, by the way. :)

I've had my own run-ins with CCBill censorship over seemingly innocuous stuff like:

* A column I wrote about choosing to be child-free used a stock photo image of a baby with a "no smoking"-style red circle around it. Had to remove it, the model was under 18.
* An article I wrote about when Oprah did a show on porn for women. Violated the rule about not having celebrities on the site. Had to remove it.
* A column I wrote about being married in Vegas by Elvis... celebrity problem again.
* An article I wrote about feminism and female sexuality had one mention of the word "rape". I changed it to "sexual assault" and it was suddenly OK.

I had two reviews, they found new stuff on the second round that was missed on the first round. Completely arbitrary.

Like you, if CCBill says jump, I ask how high. I have self-censored other material - including a voiceover for a solo scene - because of my fear of losing billing. Got no choice. And I understand, CCBill themselves are under the boot of the credit card companies so they do what they're told as well.

But it really does suck. Especially since, in your case, this material is vital to your ethics and ultimately helps to create an environment of real consent.

It seems that having a blog where you want to discuss a wide range of topics is a real liability. I asked about whether it would still count if the blog was moved to its own domain, and they said yes, if the offending content was still linked to by my main site navigation. They have a "one click away" policy for content they police, apparently, so you need to have a splash page as a buffer. I can't imagine that's true, I link to a number of sites with content they don't monitor, but it removes that option as a potential solution now I've asked.

Thanks for linking to this post, by the way. :)

Didn't Ed Lee already fight this fight?
CCBill: Spankos get it.
People who monitor, do not.
Censorship should the crime.

Very strange that DoS was monitored at all. I think you made a very good decision in the circumstances.

They have to approve new sites before launch, and they review sites periodically (or when a complaint is made - they don't tell you which).

Yeah, the inconsistency is what bugs me - both in terms of how Visa regulations are applied by different billing providers, and in terms of how CCBill responds in different cases, or even the same case at different times. It really does seem to be down to the discretion of the employee assessing each site.

The reason we have been given for words such as 'kidnapping' or 'abduction', to give two relevant to us examples, being banned is compliance with the requirements of Visa. What I don't then understand is why some some other sites seem to be able to use such language without their billing company objecting. Surfnet, for example, don't seem to have a problem with it... unless they don't carry out reviews.

The problem sets on our site didn't depict a kidnapping or abduction - the sets featured a female struggling in bondage. BUT... the blurb used to describe the sets/create a storyline for them used the word[s]. Last year we were asked to remove some references and add the words 'A FANTASY' at the end of others. This year - we've just been reviewed - we were asked to make a further alteration to a set they asked us to make an alteration to (and subsequently approved) last year.

I've given up getting into a discussion with them about it! :S

Yeah, the inconsistency is what bugs me - both in terms of how Visa regulations are applied by different billing providers, and in terms of how CCBill responds in different cases, or even the same case at different times. It really does seem to be down to the discretion of the employee assessing each site.

[…] for using stupid synonyms for genitalia.) Well, the same sort of thing applies online. In my case, CCBill told me to remove all instances of the word “non-consent” from the Dreams of Spanking blog, […]

[…] Porn is not private. Porn is a public actualisation of something private, and different rules apply. That’s where the whole methodology of Dreams of Spanking comes into play, that differentiation between fantasy and reality I mentioned earlier. I think that as an ethical, sex-positive feminist pornographer, I do have a moral responsibility not to seem to condone sexist, racist, ableist, transphobic, homophobic, slut-shaming, patriarchal ideas. If those themes play a part in a nuanced fictional narrative, I take the time to establish what is fantasy and what is reality. It’s complex. You can’t reduce it to a simple soundbite. This is where the whole idea of “consensual non-consent” comes in (and oh, it’s lovely to be able to use that phrase here, even though I can’t on Dreams of Spanking – thanks for the censorship, CCBill!) […]

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