I was perusing the Travel Stack Exchange site, and ran across a discussion on sourcing "adult services" in Amsterdam, which leads me to my question - namely if Stack Exchange has

  • A policy to limit the exposure of such content to people for whom this is age-appropriate, and
  • A way FOR READERS to filter based on whether or not the reader wishes to be exposed to such content?

(Edited to clarify second question)

  • 8
    Regardless of your personal opinions or beliefs you are not going to fall over dead simply from being "exposed to such content". You can flag it for moderator attention, but in general the community will take care of anything inappropriate.
    – slugster
    Feb 13 '12 at 5:13
  • 1
    SE requires users to be 13 and over anyway. They may not use such services, but I'm pretty sure most of them know it exists.
    – simchona
    Feb 13 '12 at 5:17
  • 1
    Filter? You mean don't let people write the word sex? Or adult? Or maybe even male? You can probably see how ridiculous it can get. Feb 13 '12 at 7:53
  • This question wasn't about keeping content out of the site, but making it safe for parents to let their children use the site, or keep "adult" content off their screen. (Or for those who want it, to get it in their search results). Let's be honest here, topics like how to obtain sexual services belong in the 18+ category for some jurisdictions - I know I wouldn't want any kids I was responsible for reading about that kind of stuff.
    – Tim Kuehn
    Feb 13 '12 at 11:43
  • -1: I am the (proud?) owner of the only question on Meta that is returned from a search for the word "nipple" and would be horrified if my question was blocked!
    – razlebe
    Feb 13 '12 at 11:52
  • The question wasn't about blocking questions, but providing tools for readers / users to keep their search results age-appropriate.
    – Tim Kuehn
    Feb 13 '12 at 12:03
  • @Tim Yes, I should have said "filtered". Either way, my question doesn't contain adult content, but does contain the word "nipple" in one of the answers, and thus is an example of a legitimate question that might be filtered out by a well-meaning content filter.
    – razlebe
    Feb 13 '12 at 14:17
  • I understand it's a hard / "complex" question, which is why I asked it. I also think it's something the community needs to address if SE - and the travel exchange in particular - is to remain family-friendly.
    – Tim Kuehn
    Feb 13 '12 at 15:13

The Terms of Service contain the following warranty clause:

The Network may contain, or direct Subscriber to sites containing, information that some people may find offensive or inappropriate. Stack Exchange makes no representations concerning any content contained in or accessed through the Network, and Stack Exchange will not be responsible or liable for the accuracy, copyright compliance, legality or decency of material contained in or accessed through the Network.

However, there is also a description of acceptable content in section 3:

Subscriber represents, warrants and agrees that it will not contribute any Subscriber Content that (a) infringes, violates or otherwise interferes with any copyright or trademark of another party, (b) reveals any trade secret, unless Subscriber owns the trade secret or has the owner’s permission to post it, (c) infringes any intellectual property right of another or the privacy or publicity rights of another, (d) is libelous, defamatory, abusive, threatening, harassing, hateful, offensive or otherwise violates any law or right of any third party, (e) contains a virus, trojan horse, worm, time bomb or other computer programming routine or engine that is intended to damage, detrimentally interfere with, surreptitiously intercept or expropriate any system, data or information, or (f) remains posted after Subscriber has been notified that such Subscriber Content violates any of sections (a) to (e) of this sentence.

If you find posts that don't appear to follow the policies and rules stated in the ToS, please flag those posts for moderator attention or contact the team by using the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of every site.

  • "offensive or otherwise violates any law" -> I can see this getting tricky to enforce, because the question then becomes "who'se law"? US? Netherland? Canada?
    – Tim Kuehn
    Feb 13 '12 at 11:40
  • @TimKuehn IANAL, but Stack Exchange is a US-based company and therefore obeys US law. This is also covered by the ToS: Stack Exchange makes no claim that the Network may be lawfully viewed or that Content may be downloaded outside of the United States. Access to the Content may not be legal by certain persons or in certain countries. If You access the Network from outside the United States, You do so at Your own risk and You are responsible for compliance with the laws of Your jurisdiction.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Feb 13 '12 at 15:46

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