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How New are the Content Guidelines?

  This weeks beginning was marked by the publication of  the "new"Content Guidelines of COF (hereafter referred to as "terms"). Several questions arose on the actual content, as well as on the form they took, the timing and the reasons behind it. AWWoS contacted COF and asked them some questions. 

The BIG question was suggested by a reader. Why did Cof publish these terms  and why now? Because, let's face it, all that is stated in the terms was already practiced before. 
COF's reply on this question : 

"The primary reason for the timing is that Alphaworld was just recently subjected to some very crude and vile hardcore pornography.  The
responsible person indicated to us that nowhere in the rules did it indicate that one could not place pornography in the worlds and he was
right.  Even though up to now we just deleted or shut down worlds that were brought to our attention which contained pornography, we felt it
was time to formalize this policy so that people understood what the content guidelines were"

As a general point of view towards pornographic material :

"There are plenty of places on the net were people can get porno without it having to be in Active Worlds."

Every service or software provider tries to protect himself against prosecution for the distribution of "illegal" material (not only pornographic), COF is not different (i.e. Geocities, Tripod etc.....). The terms are what others call an "Acceptable Use Policy". 

COF is not going to monitor the worlds contents. They'll come in as soon as they're notified.

As the Content Guidelines state, we will not go out and seek to find these violations, but will investigate such violations should a user bring it to our attention.

and then :

COF will "in our sole discretion" determine what does or does not violate the terms of the Content Guidelines.

In other words : if COF deletes or revokes anything, it's because another user found your material "in violation with the guidelines" and "has brought that to" COF's "attention". Just like in RL, at least there must be a plaintiff.

A last extract we want to share with you and leave at your own appreciation :

A good rule of thumb is, if you are in doubt as to whether your content violates the guidelines, than chances are it does.

So, the terms aren't new at all. They existed already, maybe with some differences in content,  and they were even enforced before. One might not agree with the contents, at least one knows that there's a line. Where it's drawn ...., depends on the mood of the public and COF.

Anyway, happy building.

Simon Says 
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