View Full Version : New terms and conditions: what exactly is "adult content"?

Prentiss Riddle
05-03-2007, 09:28 PM
I just received notice by e-mail of a number of changes in the WestHost Terms and Conditions (http://www.westhost.com/terms-conditions.html) and I have some questions.

The e-mail said that one of the main sections which has changed is this one:

Adult Content

Pornography is prohibited on WestHost servers. This includes sites that may provide links to adult content elsewhere.

My questions:

(1) What did this section say before today's change?

(2) What is the definition of "adult content"? If there is no definition available, how would I know whether I am violating WestHost's TOS?

(3) Does WestHost really intend to ban not only the direct hosting of adult material but even links to it? Does this mean that I can't run (say) a social bookmarking site, news aggregator, or discussion board on WestHost because of the mere possibility that one of my users might link to some naughty content somewhere?

Please clarify. Thanks.

(I should add that I don't personally have any pr0n on any site I run, and in fact don't yet currently have any publicly visible sites on my WestHost account at all, but if I were shopping for a hosting service today I'd be very reluctant to sign up for one with such vague and sweeping bans in its TOS.)

-- Prentiss Riddle

05-03-2007, 10:40 PM
Here's a thread of recent discussion on the basic issue of adult content at WH:


Prentiss Riddle
05-04-2007, 06:30 AM
Thanks, Bill. I searched before I made my post but evidently didn't pick the right keywords.

I'm shocked. The reference to "satanic" material makes it clear that WestHost doesn't impose these restrictions out of legal concerns but because they want to censor their customers for their own moral agenda. Shame on me for not reading the TOS carefully before signing up.

WestHost had come to me highly recommended and I had passed the recommendation on to several friends. I'll now stop doing that and start shopping for a hosting provider that defends rather than undermines its customers' rights, or at least has a clue about what is feasible for the owner of a web service. (As written, their policy would require me to personally follow every link one of my users posts to see what evils might lurk on the other side!)

Meanwhile, I still want a clarification from WestHost on my questions above.

visible soul
05-04-2007, 09:06 AM
I'm shocked. The reference to "satanic" material makes it clear that WestHost doesn't impose these restrictions out of legal concerns but because they want to censor their customers for their own moral agenda.

I'm the OP of the previous nudity on westhost (http://forums.westhost.com/showthread.php?t=9927) topic. Actually, my understanding was that the "adult" and "satanic" provisions were due to Utah state law although I may be wrong on that. But I do agree that it is reasonable for clients to ask for definitions of "lewd", "obscene", "pornographic" and maybe especially "satanic". I've met a few people that think any kind of Native American, Hawaiian, or other aboriginal material is "satanic". And I've met many people who think that all "rock" music is satanic. And don't tell anyone but a lot of Christians think Mormonism is satanic in origin.

But I recognize this kind of stuff as legalese that is designed to protect WH in case of a potential lawsuit. And I can't really say too much without being a hypocrite since the terms in my (developer oriented) website development contracts would probably seem unreasonable to a lot of people if anyone actually read them all. Anyway, most webhosts' TOS have terms that essentially say "we have all rights, you have none".

I did find a good host for my art gallery client mentioned in the other topic although I still have 2 VPS accounts here at WH for my own websites. There just isn't any host offering comparable packages for a comparable price anywhere that I have seen. And I've done a lot of research for various clients.


Prentiss Riddle
05-04-2007, 09:55 AM
I hadn't heard of the Utah satanism ban. How the hell (oops, profanity!) have the courts allowed that one to stand?

Elsewhere it has been suggested that this is all a matter of load balancing and protection against IP banning, because adult sites are at higher risk of that sort of unintended consequences. In that case, a responsible hosting provider might consider offering their clients a choice between higher-risk and lower-risk servers, just as some allow you to choose to be hosted on servers with more or fewer restrictions on the software you run.

I'm out looking for a model TOS to suggest to WestHost -- to my surprise I haven't found one yet.

WestHost - CRussell
05-08-2007, 04:09 PM
Hello Everyone,

There are a number of reasons why we don't allow adult content on our servers. I want to share one of them with you. It's one that is often over looked.

We have 40+ employees that help support our clients and in the process of doing so, they are accessing client Web sites on a regular basis. For example if a site has pornography on it, that puts my employees in an uncomfortable situation I don't want them to have to be in. Yes there are may be some that might not be offended but there are many who will be.

WestHost is a great choice for hosting many different types of Web sites, adult sites just isn't one of them.

12-20-2007, 07:23 AM
My feelings are this..............If you want to be hosted by a service that has no problem with "adult" content, then do your research and go there and pay. I, personally, will remove my business from WestHost at the point where they start allowing that kind of content.

There are thousands of providers to choose from. I am distressed by people that try to force their ideals on businesses when they have other choices for where they can host their content. As a business owner, I have the right to decide what kind of content I will allow my clients to post on the internet. IF they read my TOS they will know that before they pay. If they don't agree.......they can leave. It's a simple as that. And yes, I DO check out my clients sites to make sure they are in compliance with my TOS. It's MY responsibility as owner of the space to do that, not WestHost's.

Thank you to WestHost for keeping it appropriate!

Just my humble opinion on the matter.....