If we get a question about a non-"Family Friendly" movie, which contains a link to a site of dubious content, should we edit the question to remove the link?

I ask because this question came up:


And it contains a link to a site called Rape Films. I'm not positive about the limitations of M&TV, but I'm pretty sure we don't want to promote this website. However, I also don't want people to complain about infringing on rights or whatever, so rather than make the decision myself I'm asking for a concensus.

Do we edit it (and put in some standard "This link was removed due to content" message), or do we leave it alone?

3 Answers 3


There are several issues going on here, I have broken them down to deal with them one by one.

Links to content suited for more mature individuals

Definitely remove the link and replace it with some placeholder text.

The Stack Exchange Content Policy states:

Sexually Explicit Material. Accounts that use Stack Exchange to post sexually explicit or pornographic material, or links to it, will be suspended.

This has also been discussed on other sites, and as per Jeff Atwood's answer:

No, I don't think we want this, as it would cause us to get globally banned from web filtering software.

So including adult links, or even mentioning adult sites by name, is explicitly not allowed.

This particular question

I think it's of such a low quality anyway that without the link there isn't enough for it to remain open as per our rules on identification questions. Since the link is inappropriate it should be up to the user to provide further information to be used for identifying the movie in order for it to be reopened.

The "on topic" status of particular subjects/content

Regarding the particular subject, I personally wouldn't want to see those questions and I don't think it would narrow our scope much to disallow them but I can appreciate the grey area it would be leading us into.

If we go down the route of banning certain themes then it becomes difficult to draw where the line is, violence and sex are allowed but others aren't?

We already have a discussion on whether questions about the pornographic industry are on topic or not and the consensus at that time was that questions about the industry are on topic. Provided content stays away from being sexually explicit as per the content policy they should be allowed.

We have already determined that identification questions for pornographic material are off topic, but I'd like to add that in conjunction with the content policy, identification questions for sexually explicit materials are inherently off topic, since you can't provide enough detail to make the question on topic without breaking the content policy.

  • I've removed the link - but won't delete the question until we've had a discussion about perceived censorship raised in comments on the question itself.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Commented Mar 11, 2015 at 0:44
  • 1
    I agree, I'm not sure what to make of it in general terms but in terms of this particular question, without the disallowed link there isn't enough information for it to remain open
    – user5603
    Commented Mar 11, 2015 at 8:57
  • Be careful, though. You say that "There has already been a discussion about whether "adult" movies in terms of pornography are off topic". But this is not what the linked question is about. The linked question is only about identification (still relevant here, sure, but the wording is way too general). For the on-topicness of adult movies in general there's an entirely different (albeit older) meta discussion: meta.movies.stackexchange.com/q/263/49.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented Mar 11, 2015 at 9:02
  • Maybe we need a more general discussion about pornography then?
    – user5603
    Commented Mar 11, 2015 at 9:05
  • @Flyk Like this one: meta.movies.stackexchange.com/q/263/49?
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented Mar 11, 2015 at 9:05
  • That question is awfully ambiguous and doesn't clearly define a policy - it's definitely open to too much interpretation.
    – user5603
    Commented Mar 11, 2015 at 9:07
  • @Flyk Well, that whole discussion is awfully ambiguous. If you're asking if rape and snuff movies are on-topic, I guess we don't have to think long. But the whole matter is way too broad to say anything porn is downright off-topic. But well, if you think it needs reconsideration and the existing discussion is deprecated, feel free to ask a new or more specific question.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented Mar 11, 2015 at 9:08
  • I agree (as my post says ^) that picking individual subjects and going "that's off topic!" without significant consideration would be detrimental to the site in the long run
    – user5603
    Commented Mar 11, 2015 at 9:20
  • @Flyk I know, and that's why I can't see us reaching any clear non-ambiguous policy that's not open to interpretation. I guess at the end of the day it's a judgment call for each question looking how it's worded and possibly improving it if there's good intention behind it. Afterall that ID question sparking this discussion was a shitty image/link only ID that's just bad anyway, rape or not. But like said, if you see a chance for a discussion the old question did not provide, feel fee to reask it.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented Mar 11, 2015 at 9:23

There are 2 separate issues here:

  1. Linking to an external website that contains NSFW content: unless such content is illegal, I feel that we should not decide for people whether they should visit such a site. Thus, a warning while leaving the link itself intact would be appropriate in my opinion. Then, the readers could decide for themselves on what to do.
  2. Having a thread about rape fantasies or other fantasies: my view on this is consistent with the above: unless the content is illegal, people should not be banned from starting such threads. If the readers don't like such topics, they can ignore them; they can even down-vote, although that's a bit strange because it's like writing negative reviews for restaurants that you don't eat. The starters of such threads can gauge for themselves the community's reactions and calibrate future actions.

Some elaborations: I strongly condemn rapes or any act that physically harms a human but remember that we're talking about fantasies here. And we already have "disgusting" fantasies that are deemed mainstream: physical violence against men; people getting eaten, mutilated by sharks, wolves and various other monstrosities; killing dozens (or sometimes hundreds) of people on screen as long as the gore isn't shown, etc. Thus, I think it's disingenuous to start arbitrating which fantasy is acceptable and which is not. So as long as we're operating within the laws, people should be allowed to decide for themselves.

Thanks for your time and for reading.

  • 1
    You mention "killing dozens of people on screen as long as the gore isn't shown" - with this particular subject in this particular context, it looks like the action would be shown, why would this be acceptable?
    – user5603
    Commented Mar 11, 2015 at 9:02
  • @Flyk I'm not saying that this would be acceptable; I'm saying that it already is: Commando, Kick Ass (here the gore is actually showed), John Wick, Jurassic Park the Lost World, the first 2 Mummy films etc. None of these films seems to draw any sort of * major * social controversy: hence "acceptable."
    – yurnero
    Commented Mar 11, 2015 at 12:46

Bear in mind as well that the minimum age for this site is 13 years old.

This is according to the site's Terms of Service:

Subscriber certifies to Stack Exchange that Subscriber is an individual (i.e., not a corporate entity) at least 13 years of age. No one under the age of 13 may provide any personal information to or on Stack Exchange (including, for example, a name, address, telephone number or email address).

So users that young may actually be using and viewing these posts; we do not want to be leading them to sexually or non-sexually explicit content!

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