Does Social Bookmarking Need A White List?

stumbleuponOne of the things that seriously chaps my ass is when someone posts my content to a site like StumbleUpon and marks it as porn.

It’s not that I’m not grateful to them for promoting my content, but lets be serious here, I don’t do porn. I write tech and express my opinion.

On Daily Shite it’s all humor. We don’t do anything that even vaguely resembles soft porn, or even nude art, and we won’t even allow a link to a site that we might consider objectionable. We have some very strict policies with regards to the content our authors can publish.

Now, this might not seam like a big problem to most folks. After all who cares if your content is miscategorized as long as it gets promoted?

When it comes to being marked as porn on a service like StumbleUpon, it becomes a very big deal.

When your content is marked as porn it automatically means that  unless somebody has changed their settings to allow them to see adult content when they stumble, then they won’t see it. It also means that if we have to go check and see how our posts are being tagged and categorized everyday in order to fill hit the button that allows you to say the post was miscategorized. This is something we have to do at least once a day.

If we don’t, then you might mess the next great post that goes viral. For us, the post may never go viral when it could have.

Anyway, now that I’m done ranting, I propose a solution. Sites like StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit etc could implement a white list system.

For example, a site like Daily Shite, which does not have any porn on it, could register our details with these sites and sign an agreement where we list what categories our content could be promoted in (in our case – all except porn) and that would then ensure that users can’t categorize our stuff as such.

Don’t get me wrong, they could still get the category wrong, but at least it wouldn’t be porn and wouldn’t be preventing the post from being viewed by people who don’t have adult content enabled.

If we then want to change our content type at a later date, we need to contact the social bookmarking site or white list or not have it listed.

Also if a site screws up, lets say they start pushing porn when they’ve signed that they won’t, then they can simply have their domain banned for a period of time or indefinitely. Possibly with a review period that would have to be gone through if you want to be back on after you’ve broken the agreement.

Another way to think of it would be like a Twitter verified account, but with the ability to say how your content is categorized and with a punishment in place if you don’t stick to the agreement.

6 thoughts on “Does Social Bookmarking Need A White List?”

    1. In honesty all I expect from people is to display a little intelligence when they are categorizing stuff. The internet my be full of porn, but my sites are not. 🙂

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  1. Hi Paul,

    I’m the guy who owned wwwbing.com.
    Microsoft stealed the domain from me.
    But dont worry Paul I own wwwbing.co.uk.
    Your blog is excellent Paul and congrats on your traffic for your new website. Paul feel free to email me @patrick.mcauliffe@gmail.com

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  2. I can totally understand where you’re coming from and it would be completely frustrating for any website owner for this to happen. It would be so hard to manage a whitelist like you suggest, in my opinion. How does the social bookmarking website know that you’re really the website owner to give the whitelist rights to? At the end of the day, it should be the social bookmarking websites responsibility to ensure the content is placed in the write categories (I’m sure you check the links your website links with to check to see if they are appropriate?) or if you’re extremely worried about missing a viral post, then submit the links yourself?

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    1. Hey Kirk, thanks for your comment. Verifying ownership is simple and can be done by the addition of a metatag to the header or uploading of a specific file with specific contents to the site, as Google and other sites do for their tools.

      I agree with you that it should be the social bookmarking sites responsibility to ensure the content is placed in the write categories, but there is a problem with submitting links yourself.

      Submitting links yourself if time consuming and some services penalize you for submitting content from the same site too often, which is a pain if you own a site that has a medium to high post volume and does a lot of traffic.

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