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Don’t Use the H, A, D, S, U, and Other “Bad” Words

by ELM Admin on November 15th, 2012

Some ELM users might have notice changes to ELM job titles and descriptions. Words like humiliation, sleep, drunk, hypnotize, etc… have been changed. In case you were wondering we aren’t changing these for fun. We figured it was time to explain what is going on.

Why Can’t We Use these Words?

You might think we are here just imposing our own puritanical standards upon our users when it comes to using these words, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. We work with 3rd party payment processors who in turn work with credit card companies and these were rules that were handed down from them to us. They periodically scan our site and when they catch violations they send us warnings. If you get enough warnings you get shut down from processing payments. We were finally given a full list and told what words we can’t use on our website. Below we’ve shared the list.

Forbidden Obscene Bad Words List

(in addition to the words above you also can’t use the word “humiliation” or variations of it)

How Come Other Sites Allow These Words?

Don’t ask us why some other adult websites are allowed to have these words and content on their website (if you do know why, please let us know!) because after working with several different payment processors we’ve learned that the rules are pretty much the same . These rules come down straight from Visa and Mastercard. You might be wondering, what’s up with these rules? While we aren’t experts on this subject from our understanding these rules were implemented to prevent credit card companies like Visa and Mastercard from potentially getting in trouble with United States obscenity laws. This law was created to outlaw material like child porn, snuff films, or bestiality stuff. However, the tricky part about this law is there is NO uniform standard that defines what is considered obscene and what isn’t.

Isn’t There Freedom of Speech?

In the 1964 US Supreme Court Case Jacobellis v. Ohio Justice Potter Stewart famously described anything obscene as “I know it when I see it…” Because of vague and subjective judgements like in this case and the cases after it to this day there is still no clear and precise definition of what makes something obscene vs art or free expression (which is protected by free speech).

While sex and porn is often grouped and prosecuted under obscenity law, violence and movies like The Human Centipede are not (and ironically are protected by Freedom of Speech). What that boils down to is you can’t show have the words “sleeping” on an ELM job title, but Hollywood can show 3 humans sewn mouth to anus with no problem. Go figure.

Conclusion

Long story short, what this means is from this point forward please do not use the words listed in the above list. As you can see they are very specific, so use your best judgement when deciding what words to use.

Unfortunately we don’t make the rules, but we have to live with them so we ask for your cooperation and understanding.

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