View Poll Results: Should adult programs and adult items be allowed on ABW?

Voters
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  • It's a part of the industry and should allowed everywhere.

    34 25.37%
  • I favor it, but would rather see it restricted to a private forum.

    35 26.12%
  • I'm opposed, but would be acceptable in a private forum.

    20 14.93%
  • There's no place for adult stuff on ABW.

    45 33.58%
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  1. #1
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Adult Programs on ABW?
    We don't allow promotion of adult programs or adult items on ABW, and there has been discussion by members about whether that prohibition is appropriate or not. I'm not going to share my opinion (although anyone who knows me well can probably guess what it is), but I thought it might be interesting to find out how the membership as a whole feels about it. What better way to do that than a poll...
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  2. #2
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    I'm fine with it and will just copy and paste my reason from the other thread:

    "Me, I'm fine with it. Simply because they're merchants available on all those networks. And as an affiliate, I'm here to make money. It's a product that has high conversions because of the nature of the product. Many people are embarrassed to buy offline, so online is perfect.

    I understand some people have problem with "adult" but there is adult meaning people having sex and there are adult toys. And those adult toy programs are available on most networks. So if it's fine with them, why not here?"

    And

    Quote Originally Posted by Julian View Post
    Adult stuff does not belong on a family friendly forum, and I would hope that ABW is a family friendly forum.
    We've had merchants, ads, forums promoting cigarettes, cigars, alcohol etc. here. Those kind of things can shorten your life, not very healthy. A good sex life is healthy and you'll live longer. So why not.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador
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    And the question is a little slighted

    "Should adult programs and adult items be allowed on ABW?"

    There is a difference between porn, something that wouldn't be allowed on a network like SAS or the others and adult toys, which there are programs for. Some might see adult programs as anything adult, including porn, when the topic is adult toys only.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador
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    Also there is an option with vbulletin:

    Hide "Adult" Threads
    Hide "Adult" Threads allows you to opt out of viewing forums/threads that are considered adult or requiring you to be age 18 or older.

    Note: If you are under 18, even if this option is unchecked, you won't be able to see adult forums.
    Hide "Adult" Threads

    So those who have a problem with, would never even see it. So it wouldn't be an issue for them and for those who are ok with it, can see it.

    If it's a program I can find at CJ, GAN, Linkshare, Avantlink, Shareasale etc. I think it's fine here, an affiliate marketing forum.
    Last edited by Trust; June 28th, 2010 at 03:51 PM.

  5. #5
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust View Post
    I'm fine with it and will just copy and paste my reason from the other thread:

    "Me, I'm fine with it. Simply because they're merchants available on all those networks. And as an affiliate, I'm here to make money. It's a product that has high conversions because of the nature of the product. Many people are embarrassed to buy offline, so online is perfect.

    I understand some people have problem with "adult" but there is adult meaning people having sex and there are adult toys. And those adult toy programs are available on most networks. So if it's fine with them, why not here?"

    And



    We've had merchants, ads, forums promoting cigarettes, cigars, alcohol etc. here. Those kind of things can shorten your life, not very healthy. A good sex life is healthy and you'll live longer. So why not.
    I agree 100%.

    No one has to read the posts, no one has to offer the products. But the opportunity should be available.
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  6. #6
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    I feel pretty much the same as trust... there is definitely a pretty thick line that stands between "pron" and "toys".

    As far as toys go.... There is nothing any more "naughty" or "dirty" about these than there is about sexy/fancy lingerie. CVS and Walgreens don't have any qualms about stocking this type of merchandise in stores on every streetcorner in America. Amazon carries a wide selection and Overstock.com has them from time to time.
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  7. #7
    Roll Tide mobilebadboy's Avatar
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    I didn't vote because none of the answers really fit my opinion (a mix of 1 and 2 -- I think it's a part of the industry but could do well in a private forum so those that oppose can ignore it and not have to pitch a fit).

    I will say this has always been a peeve of mine about ABW in all the years I've been here. It's an affiliate marketing forum yet discussion of certain types of affiliate marketing is "outlawed". I can't ask for and receive help on things many times because that particular market isn't allowed to be discussed here (not adult). So I'm more or less left on my own to figure things out.

    I do from time to time ask about things, but I have to really beat around the bush and generalize what I want to ask because I can't be specific with what I want.

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  8. #8
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust View Post
    Also there is an option with vbulletin:

    Hide "Adult" Threads
    Hide "Adult" Threads allows you to opt out of viewing forums/threads that are considered adult or requiring you to be age 18 or older.
    I don't think this is a standard option. I've never seen anything like that.
    Michael Coley
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey View Post
    I don't think this is a standard option. I've never seen anything like that.
    I saw that as an option at the NamePros forum and they use vBulletin as we do, so it's something that can be used. Not sure if that comes standard or as an option. I remember seeing that and thinking, why don't we use that. It's a solution.

    Over there under Options

    Use Invisible Mode
    Allow vCard Download

    basic stuff but right under that:

    Hide "Heated" Threads
    Hide "Heated" Threads allows you to opt out of viewing threads that are marked as being "heated" or volatile.
    Hide "Heated" Threads

    Hide "Adult" Threads
    Hide "Adult" Threads allows you to opt out of viewing forums/threads that are considered adult or requiring you to be age 18 or older.

    Note: If you are under 18, even if this option is unchecked, you won't be able to see adult forums.
    Hide "Adult" Threads

    They might both be handy

  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager Jill's Avatar
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    I signed up for ABW after Dad told me I should as I got more involved in the business and since he knew all about ABW already I admittedly never bothered to read a lot of the terms - He just told me the important stuff. So now I have a question...is there any kind of age limit to sign up as a member on ABW? If so, is it accompanied by some kind of way to check for age when when a person signs up to use ABW?
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  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    This is an affiliate marketing forum and I believe all aspects relating to that should be discussed, HOWEVER, I don't want to be on the computer and my kids walk by and see a banner of half-naked women (which would be considered porn for a 12-14 year old). LOL.

    I would imagine the discussions regarding adult merchants should probably resemble any other merchants' discussions which is relating to marketing issues, merchant issues, coupon codes, cookies, commissions, etc. which is the business aspects and not discussion of the actual sexual content of these sites.

    So personally, I do not promote any of these type of merchants but if there were any of them here, I prefer them to be private.

  12. #12
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jill View Post
    So now I have a question...is there any kind of age limit to sign up as a member on ABW?
    You have to be 13 or older.
    Michael Coley
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  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador Daniel M. Clark's Avatar
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    Wouldn't bother me.

    I tried to think of some broader explanation to attach to the sentiment, but I can't come up with one. Nobody's talking about posting porn, so... whatever. Wouldn't bother me.
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  14. #14
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    I have mixed feelings about whether ABW should include discussions of "adult" merchants' affiliate programs.

    First, I recall that I once posted a 'test transaction report' about a sex-toy merchant (http://www.abestweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=94751), and just looking at the responses in that thread, I can see how these discussions might rapidly get out of control.

    Second, when I operated the Adbility.com web site (sold in 1999), I had a section about adult merchants' affiliate programs, and the buyer elected to remove that section as he believed it was inappropriate. At that time, I actually considered creating a separate site just dedicated to that topic, since I saw lots of abuses (scams) in that area, but I chose not to (in part because I had quickly learned that the vast majority of 'adult' companies I encountered were unethical, and some were very aggressive in attacking any criticism; I forecast that if I pursued that project, I'd likely have to deal with massive spam, denial-of-service attacks, and frivolous lawsuits similar to the one that led me to decide to sell Adbility.com).

    I have dabbled with some "adult product" merchant programs (mostly using DTM-PPC), without success.

    There are some other forums out there to discuss adult programs, but none has the quality of participation or moderation that ABW does. If ABW added discussions of "adult" merchants, I'm sure that many publishers would benefit from the discussions (especially any allegations about unethical activity). However, I'm also confident that some of the unethical folks in the "adult" segment would bombard ABW in order to try to prevent fair discussions.

    The definition of what is an "adult" affiliate program is a very old question, one I grappled with back in 1997 when working with my first consulting clients. Every merchant must choose where to "draw the line" when evaluating publishers as prospective 'affiliates.' I even asked this question from the audience when "Dr. Drew" was speaking at an early Boot Camp for Startups about his newly-launched web site -- if his web site contained the type of frank and direct questions and advice that were featured on his MTV program, would mainstream advertisers and agencies view it as an "adult" web site to be excluded from marketing campaigns?
    • Is a dating web site an "adult" web site? Does it matter what questions are asked and what information is shared in a profile, or what types of activities are disclosed or explicitly sought? (Consider the difference between eHarmony, Match-dot-com, and AdultFriendFinder.)
    • Is a condom merchant an "adult" web site, to be excluded? What about companies that sell "sex toys" that are legal and widely used? Does it matter what type of language or imagery are included on the merchant site?
    • What about merchants who sell a wide range of products, including some "adult" products? Like many "department-store" merchants, Amazon.com sells most of the same products that most "sex toy" merchants offer. If the decision is made to exclude "adult" merchants but allow Amazon, then where and how can the line be drawn?


    The first "real question" should be, what is the purpose and function of having such discussions on ABW or elsewhere? The second "real question" must be, is ABW capable of managing and containing abuses when they occur, and dealing with new issues that arise (including more aggressive tactics by unethical merchants) if this new topic area were opened up?

    I don't think the potential benefits to this community outweigh the risks to this community. I suspect the financial decision is considerably easier.

  15. #15
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    "The first "real question" should be, what is the purpose and function of having such discussions on ABW or elsewhere?"

    The same as any other merchant that sells stuff.

    "The second "real question" must be, is ABW capable of managing and containing abuses when they occur, and dealing with new issues that arise (including more aggressive tactics by unethical merchants) if this new topic area were opened up?"

    Yes. The reality is sex toy merchants compared to every other merchant out there, less than 1%. Specifically what new issue you think would arise? They're selling something just like any other merchant out there, just different products. And we have mods and Admin that would handle any problems that arise, as usual. What I picture is every now and then a sex toy merchant might buy an ad or something. Since titles give away the nature of the post, those who aren't interested, don't click.

    And again, the solution was already offered above.

    Hide "Adult" Threads
    Hide "Adult" Threads allows you to opt out of viewing forums/threads that are considered adult or requiring you to be age 18 or older.

    It's that easy.

    "First, I recall that I once posted a 'test transaction report' about a sex-toy merchant (http://www.abestweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=94751), and just looking at the responses in that thread, I can see how these discussions might rapidly get out of control."

    After rereading that thread, that was just some good natured kidding. Didn't see any problems in that thread at all. You even started the thread in a good natured way with (blush).

  16. #16
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    When Kristen managed a sex toy merchant it was able to be discussed in her forum without any images or inappropriate discussion. Suluta manages a sex toy merchant also, but rarely posts.

    Some of the company names that might post could bring unwanted traffic to ABW, not related to affiliate marketing at all, so in that case I would recommend a private forum to cut down the spidering of some of the content to keep people "looking to look" away and keep it to relevant discussions.

    That's my opinion. As others have pointed out, if it is on the mainstream networks, it isn't p*rn, but as also pointed out, you don't want images that the work at home moms and dads have to explain to their kids.
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  17. #17
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    The wording of the poll confuses me so I didn't vote.
    I agree with Bibby's statement:
    Quote Originally Posted by bibby View Post
    Why not have a separate section for Adult merchants and you have to be age verified? You can put a WARNING for adults only! Only those people who care about it can go into that section.
    Why not have a separate section for Adult merchants that can only be seen by members who register to see the section? [i.e. the "registration" could be a couple of questions such as: "Are you interested in learning about Adult products promotion?" *and* "Are you 18 or older?" A radio dial "Yes" answer to both plus pre existing ABW membership of a certain post count would enable membership to the clandestine Adult forum] As long as pictures don't spill into the main sections of ABW what's the problem?
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  18. #18
    Affiliate Manager Jill's Avatar
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    If ABW allowed adult material but only in a private forum that you have to choose to go to see it...
    1. Would those posts be blocked from the users list of "Unread Posts?"
    2. Would there be a way to block any user that is under 18 from being able to access that forum?


    Just thinking ahead to when I get my little one involved in the business (IF she wants to be involved), which I know will be when she's still considered young. I know someone over at ShareASale has his 7 year old doing html coding already. It wouldn't exactly be appropriate for her to see any kind of adult material.

    Plus, there ARE some kid and teen geniuses out there that I am sure are doing what we do at very young ages. I'd like to think that their parents monitor what kind of sites they develop and what they sell/advertise/etc, I kinda see it as the job of the various forums and discussion boards to keep adult content from the eyes of the younger users, just in case the parents aren't paying attention. And yes, kids that are THAT smart probably already know about adult stuff, but that doesn't mean that we should let them see it.

    I am not saying that i am in support of adult content on ABW or not...I'm just saying that if it is on the forum...
    1. it needs to be in private forum,
    2. it should not be on the unread posts list so those that don't want to see it don't have to,
    3. and it should be BLOCKED from anyone under 18.
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  19. #19
    Advocate mellie's Avatar
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    I also feel it probably has a place here since there are merchants and affiliates both operating, but it does need to be kept separate. I have a high school kid (17) that helps me with some things. Although I am sure he's seen/heard worse, I wouldn't want to be responsible for him seeing stuff while he works.

    My children are also learning the business and they are way too young. Like others have mentioned, even just walking by my computer could put them at risk. There are some lingerie merchants I deal with and I only work on those links when my children are not likely to see.
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  20. #20
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    I would rather have adult affiliate programs posting here then some cpa networks.

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    I think it would be ok if it was in a private area where the user would have to opt-in or join. Working from home I don't want any surprises either and titles aren't always descriptive of the content of the post.
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  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador Adarsh's Avatar
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    First of all, appreciate ABW and Michael for giving us the opportunity to give our thoughts on this topic. Really appreciate that iNet cared to know what everyone thinks about this topic.

    I agree with Trust and Ladidah. Both have equally good points to consider while making any decisions.

    Quoting Trust: There's a good deal difference between "porn" and "adult". Secondly, if those programs are available on networks like CJ, GAN, etc., why not here?

    Quoting Ladidah: But at the same time, it would be awkward, that while I'm browsing through various forums, some "sensual toys" or half naked adult's image ads show up everywhere.

    Just my opinions driven from other's opinions.

    Regards.
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  23. #23
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    OK - drove nearly 450 miles today and catching up a bit before hitting a pillow.

    While not meaning to take a prudish approach, because I am not a prude (and may, in fact, try "testing the waters" with a new site for lingerie and adult toy products), I don't see a need for adult postings here at ABW. However, if the powers to be deem it necessary, I would expect said products to be discussed/promoted behind closed doors (private forum, permission granted by request) and posts not appearing in the "New Posts" listing.
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  24. #24
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    I'm not a anything for a buck kind of guy, and would just quietly disappear rather than have to wade through the hype associated with that segment. Voted for the total prohibition.

    There are probably forums out there that cater to that kind of stuff. I have a lot of family and never have to hide what's on my PC.


  25. #25
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Just to be clear, this isn't coming from iNET or any sales pressure or even from merchants in that industry, but from comments from affiliates. I have my own opinions, but I wanted to see what others thought.

    I'll let the discussion and poll continue, but from the preliminary results it appears that our current policy is the best policy. The overwhelming majority oppose it and a substantial group feel that even a private sub-forum for it wouldn't be appropriate.

    I'm sympathetic to those like mobilebadboy who would like to be able to discuss aspects of things that aren't allowed here. As a compromise, I think it's appropriate for us to have discussion (not promotion), if tastefully done in semi-private forums (like the Inner Circle or the Private Member Forum). If you have questions about whether something is appropriate or is over the line, feel free to PM me.
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