Ning puts the handcuffs on porno networks

Adult content is no longer tolerated on the build-your-own community-site service; CEO Gina Bianchini says it's because it's difficult and costly to police and maintain.

There's no more room for smut and naughty bits on build-your-own social network service Ning, according to a post on the company blog. Ning has announced that it will shut down its "Red Light District" of adult content, and on January 1 will formally ban it.

"We are exploring ways for adult networks that will no longer be available on Ning to export their content in addition to their members," the post by CEO Gina Bianchini read. The reasoning, she explained, is that it's costly and problematic--something you just can't deal with in a recession.

Advertisers don't like it, Bianchini said. "Our ad partners aren't big fans of the adult networks and therefore require us to identify adult networks or risk our healthy advertising revenue," she explained. "We don't want to be in the policing business and, unchecked, that's where this is heading."

And if legal adult-content networks are allowed, the illegal ones invariably weasel their way in, Bianchini said, and that means more work for a small team. The number of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices is also higher for adult networks: "Compared to our other social networks on the Ning Platform, the additional work created by adult networks alleged to have violated the copyrights of others is enough for us to discontinue adult networks in favor of investing time and energy in growing the Ning Platform from here," Bianchini wrote.

Ning isn't the only site to be cracking the whip on porn. YouTube, owned by Google, said on Tuesday that it's "tightening the standard for what is considered 'sexually suggestive.'"

Bianchini co-founded Ning with Netscape founder Marc Andreessen, and famously raised a $60 million round of funding in anticipation of a "nuclear winter." Guess that was a good move.

 

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