View Full Version : Nudity on WestHost servers

visible soul
02-09-2007, 09:54 AM
Hello All-

I am an existing WestHost client (since 2003) and I usually refer my clients to WestHost since I like the control a WestHost VPS provides over server configuration etc. (and the referral credits don't hurt either ;) ).

I have a new client who runs an Art Gallery which occasionally carries art that includes nudity (as does almost any art gallery).

My question is whether nudity is allowed on WestHost servers? I see that the Hosting Terms and Conditions (http://www.westhost.com/terms-conditions.html) says...

Our servers and services may not be used for the propagation, distribution, housing, processing, storing or otherwise handling in any way lewd, obscene, pornographic or satanic materials.

How is "lewd", "obscene", and "pornographic" defined?

If this is an issue for WestHost can anyone please point me to another competitive host where this will not be an issue.


P.S. I called WH sales yesterday but they could not answer my question and they have not yet responded with an answer from an Admin.

EDIT: OK I have my answer via email...

I spoke to one of our administrators and he said it probably wouldn't be good to host a site like that on our servers. He doubts it would really cause problems but he doesn't want the chance to be taken. Sorry, I wish I had better news for you.

03-28-2007, 11:01 PM
When I wanted to sign up more than a year ago, I asked a question about sexy photos. The respond that I received was sexy photos is okay but not nude photos i.e. porn. I am not sure about nude photos that is under "art" category. By the way, pornographers also considered their works to be "art." :D

I know a few hosting companies that allow nude pictures but I think it is not fair for Westhost if I make use of their forum to recommend other hosting companies. I think you should post your question in hosting forums such as webhostingtalk.com for recommendation.

WestHost - CReeves
03-29-2007, 09:06 AM
Dear Visible Soul,

We appreciate your question that you have posted. As you already indicated in your post referring to our terms and conditions WestHost does not allow such material. There may be a distinct line between pornographic materials and art work to you and many others however; WestHost has chosen to take a consistent stance on not supporting this type of material. We understand your perspective and respect your opinion but unfortunately we will not support or allow any such material to be stored on our servers. I hope that you understand and respect our stance on this issue. If you have any further questions or inquiries please feel free to contact us and let us know.

03-31-2007, 11:00 AM
I ran a photography site for many years, starting back in the '90s. I allowed nudity, and have photograhped a bit of it myself over the years. There were hundreds of hours of discussion about the fine line between nudity and porn in our group, and the line is indeed fine.

We were all photographers, so we were all fairly opened minded about nudity, but the line soon became blurred, as it will, and photos started creeping in that offended some of the photographers, and even I saw it as passing over the line into porn.

The problem is, the line is a matter of perception, and perception is relative, and it is relative on an individual basis. What is simple beautiful art to one may be porn to another.

As a photographer, and long term supporter of art, and nudity in art, I have to understand WH's take on this, and respect their take on it. It involves far too much individual perception to be a black and white issue. And in the many shades of gray, there can be no distinct line, and many server companies have to simply say no, and we simply have to understand.

Prentiss Riddle
05-04-2007, 07:15 AM
Oops, I see that after yesterday's announcement of a change to WestHost's TOS I posted a thread on an overlapping topic: http://forums.westhost.com/showthread.php?p=35637

As disturbed as I am by WestHost's censorship, the more I think about it the more I'm astonished by the cluelessness of this provision in the new TOS:

Adult Content

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

What, they think I'm supposed to personally follow every link one of my users might post in a discussion to see whether it includes any naughty bits?

05-04-2007, 07:28 AM
I really doubt they are going to shut you down for a few links. :) I actually know a person that works in the adult industry building sites and just as much if not more money is generated from sites built to link to adult content as there is in the adult content sites themselves. I am pretty sure that is what WH is trying to avoid.

I run community forums and have similar agreements. It is pretty standard in fact on forums unless they are adult sites. For me it is more a way of controlling spam. Adult sites are notorious for promoting themselves with spam techniques. I don't like spam.

Remember you have 30 days to cancel your account if you are not comfortable with the TOS. ;)

visible soul
05-04-2007, 09:15 AM
What, they think I'm supposed to personally follow every link one of my users might post in a discussion to see whether it includes any naughty bits?
lol. Just be sure not to post any links to the Louvre, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harvard University Art Museum, or similar websites and you should be fine. ;)

Prentiss Riddle
05-04-2007, 09:47 AM
What I find most amusing is how many horns, shadows and pointy ears are in the avatars around here! Maybe WestHost is actually a hotbed of satanism and the TOS is just a cover? :-)

05-04-2007, 10:22 AM
What, they think I'm supposed to personally follow every link one of my users might post in a discussion to see whether it includes any naughty bits?

Well... yah... of course. If you're the owner of the web site, it's your responsibility to make sure your site content complies with the T&C of the provider you're using. It doesn't matter what the rules are.. if you agree to them, it's your obligation to abide by them.

While that may not mean that you proactively check *every* link posted in a discussion forum, it certainly means that you take appropriate and reasonable measures to keep material that conflicts with the T&C off your site in the first place.

Lots of hosts have no nudity policies... this is not a new concept.

WestHost - CRussell
05-04-2007, 01:11 PM
"Pornography is prohibited on WestHost servers. This includes sites that may provide links to adult content elsewhere. "

To answer the question about the second sentence mentioned above. This is mentioned in order to prevent someone for example, creating a directory or listing service of adult sites on our servers. As long as you're making a reasonable effort to not link to adult sites from your Web site you'll have no problem adhering to this policy.