Wednesday, March 14, 2007

KIDS ON TV kicked off of MySpace...BOO!

On March 1, 2007 Kids on TV had their myspace account deleted with no warning or specific explanation by myspace. We suspect that, although we kept our site visually "PG-13" and played by the rules, the discussion of sexuality in our lyrics and the open embrace or radical culture was too much for myspace. We definitely ran into their limits whatever they were. They never responded to our questions either which is the experience everyone has apparently.

Myspace specifies that there be no nudity or "sexually suggestive photos". Altho nudity is pretty specific, the phrase "sexually suggestive photos" is vague enough to mean anything to anyone on the myspace staff. We demand that this phrase be removed or replaced.

We have set up a myspace profile where we encourage people to post their stories of myspace censorship as comments - especially stories where the artist suspects a political bias to the censorship. We recognize that all censorship is political. However we have a theory that recently (and in the past) myspace has been deleting accounts simply because they represent radical views, and express those views in images, video and music. This censorship will undoubtly continue and may result in the deletion of the page we created for censorship discussion. In the mean time we need to document and discuss these cases when they result from the homophobia, sexism, racism etc of myspace staff and policies. We have not found a corresponding page on myspace and the forums on censorship that we found seem pretty inactive. Others may exist that we haven't found.

Once we created the page we were surprised that everyone who responded to it with a story of censorship was a gay artist. Admittedly we are (or rather were) in touch with many gay artists via our myspace account. But this doesn't explain the repeating pattern.

Someone mailed us asking why is censorship a problem if we are all constantly spammed by commercial porn profiles - and when they appear in banner ads. The emerging cases documented on the censorship page seem to be mostly gay/sex-lib arts groups - not commercial ones. The groups that are targeted for censorship seem to be mostly non-profit, activist groups. We believe that the reason that there are so many commercial porn profiles whose accounts are not deleted is because they are paid advertisers of myspace. It seems that the way the myspace software is set up, myspace can filter and direct adult content based on the age of the profile owner receiving the content, but only for advertisements - not profiles. myspace has no designation of adult content. thus the same week Kids on TV's account was deleted we had banner ads every day advertising porn / adult dating services with "sexually suggestive photos" every time we logged into our account. which is fine by us. we just want the same courtesy


Kids on TV pages:

Myspace Political Censorship Page:

Articles about Kids on TV's experience:

Toronto indie music thread:

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