Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The End of Skinbook??

Yesterday the administrators at NING dropped a bombshell by banning "nudity of any kind" in order to create a "clean" environment, thus effectively neutering Skinbook and other social networks for nudists and naturists founded on the NING platform.

Was it the worldwide publicity for Skinbook recently which prompted this radical censorship? While I am not a fan of Skinbook for various reasons, this vague and Puritanical ban on nudity is disturbing. Who is going to decide what is appropriate of not? How will this "nudity of any kind" be defined? Will male nipples be allowed? What about buttocks, or buttock cleavage? How much of the female breast is acceptable to expose? And what about bare feet? Isn't that "nudity" of a sort?

So thousands of online nudists who are on NING social networks are scrambling around trying to deal with this situation. This chaotic situation clearly opens a door for AANR to establish its own online social network for its members.

This is what happens when the national organizations abdicate their online responsibilities to third parties like Skinbook, which exist merely as a result of the void left by AANR, TNS, and others who have failed to establish an effective online presence for their members. Well, that void is wide open again. Time will tell who will fill it this time.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why just the AANR? Surely it's for the INF, itself, or a forum/server/whatever you want to call them, working to an INF agenda to attempt to seize the initiative and establish some kind of site under the INF flag?

We need to separate the genuine from the amateur porn stars. I hated Skinbook. Too many pervs wanting to be your 'friend', for it to quickly become a 'do you voice or video on MSN?' scenario. I didn't, I don't and I never will, incidentally. (I'm female, by the way, in my thirties, and thin, lol, and some of the users were like Cruise Missiles homing in on a target, bearing gifts of photographs of their own Cruise Missiles).

I stopped using it. Then I got a message saying my account had been suspended. I assumed for a lack of activity, so I wrote to Skinbook to say that I contributed on my terms, and in my good time, not theirs. I asked for my account to be deleted, but this was not done. So for various reasons, like you, I dislike the whole Skinbook issue.

We, as responsible naturists, MUST ensure that semi-erect, middle-aged and single or divorced (I wonder why?) men are NOT allowed to establish or promote sites purporting to be 'nudist' or 'naturist' when they comprise nothing more than self-shots, in the bathroom, of priapic appendages, faces half or fully hidden. It's not naturism as I understand it, it's more like 'Amateur Porn Exhibitionist Book'.

I'm glad to see it go.

What it's replaced with, I really don't care. Skinbook was not, by any stretch of the imagination, genuine naturism. Let us simply hope that its replacement does not try to flag itself up as a 'naturist' site.

Nudiarist said...

You're right. I don't mean to imply that ONLY AANR should step up and create a social network, certainly INF, TNS, FCN, BN or other groups could get in the game. Perhaps a social network which accepts members from any of these organizations. There have to be standards for these online networks to succeed, and merely letting anyone with a computer to join is contrary to the general interest of the nudist community.

Jen said...

I don't agree with your thoughts. Skinbook isn't ONLY for american naturists, we find people from a lot of countries, sharing not just pictures, but personal experiences

Skinbook have failures...sure...but had nothing to do with some AANR "void" atitude.

Nudiarist said...

Again, I didn't mean to imply that AANR was the only nudist organization qualified to run an online social network.

But what I am saying is that AANR, TNS, FCN, BN, INF and others have dropped the ball on social networking. Only Brian Spence and Nudist Clubhouse have tried to create a real nudist venue online, and they actually have an AANR charter because they meet up in person as well as online. I'm not a fan of the high price for the Nudist Clubhouse premium membership, which is a recurring $5.99 monthly charge, but at least they are making a solid effort.

Nudiarist said...

Jen, one other thing. Without the nude photos, Skinbook is rather pointless. Might as well create a group on Facebook, which despite its flaws, is far better managed and decidedly more populated.

Anonymous said...

Skinbook certainly isn't perfect, but the admins did seem to be working hard to keep out the letches and perves, leaving mainly genuine nudists.
There does seem to be a lot of single men on and "nudist" network, but when you go to nudist beaches or events in the UK there are a lot more men than women.
What I find more annoying on social networks is the number of beautiful young women who set accounts with only one photo of "themselves" in order to gather friends and promote dating sites.
I put themselves in speechmarks because I'm pretty certain that most of the accounts were fake, using downloaded photos.

There is a need to separate the genuine nudists from the fakes, the perves and the marketing scams, but that ignores the issue.
One of the more respectable attempts at producing a safe nudist network had been banned due to an inexplicable fear of nudity.

If things keep developing like this, then in a few years even a full Burqa would be considered too revealing, after all you can still see naked eyes.

NudistStop said...

Nudiarist - good commentary as always. Without regard to which organization (if any) undertakes such a mission of creating a bona-fide and secure nudist social network - a couple of issues come to mind. First is that of identity authentication. To be a member of such a network, anonymous visitors should not be allowed and registered members should have to pass a visual certification that involves nudity. For example, the visual certification at nudistenforum.com is very well established (where a certifying photograph meeting specific regulations is submitted, reviewed and approved), but few members choose to become "Naked Nudist Members" because anonymous members are allowed to browse the pages.

Adapting nudistenforum's protocol, one approach might be to require
three photographs that include a hand-written sign to be submitted. The handwritten (not typed) sign would include the member's user name, current date and the URL of the social network site. Photo #1 would show the applicant clothed, face revealed and holding the handwritten sign. Photo #2 would show the applicant unclothed, face revealed holding the handwritten sign. Photo #3 would be a scan of the handwritten sign with the applicant's driver's license taped to it and fully legible. The face on the driver's license would have to match the face on Photo #1 & #2.

Photos 1 & 2 would be posted in the member's section but on a page that does not allow right-clicking or saving to discourage poaching of the images. Photo #3 would be held offline in an administrator's security file for future reference in the event of trouble with the user. Though this might sound somewhat draconian, it is no different than requiring a copy of one's driver's license to be taken upon admission to a landed nudist facility.

The second critical issue is the requirement of an active group of moderators and a formal set of rules that they enforce. Again, looking to the nudistenforum example, their moderators review literally every submission to the site for compliance with the rules and take immediate action against violations.

Granted, it is a big job, but if we are to have a valid and civilized online nudist community, the infrastructure must be put in place to enforce acceptable behavior.

That's my thoughts - Keep up your excellent commentary on the nudist lifestyle - NudistStop.

Rick said...

I left Skinbook months ago but Ning's decision to ban all nudity affects several other naturist sites on the Ning network that were, in my opinion, making an honest effort to maintain themselves as online naturist communities.

Blanket polices have never set well with me as they're generally not well thought out and remove the requirement to think or make informed decisions.

It would be good to see a national or international naturist organization pick up the ball but they seem to be slow in adapting to the Internet and technological trends.

Paul Rapoport said...

1. Having to submit a driver's licence online is asking for trouble.

2. The first Anonymous certainly hit it, although it's not far from there to banning all single males. Nudism/naturism has sexual components which few admit to. But they still have to be kept in check. (Don't ask me how.)

3. If AANR ran a site like Skinbook, no anti-AANR statements would be allowed, because it wouldn't be run as an altruistic gesture but as a plug for corporate AANR. It would almost certainly also ban photos of minors and any activity by or about them.

I'm not interested.

4. There are sites like NetNude. Brian Spence has his problems. Not interested in his site either.

Nudiarist said...

Paul,

I'm not so sure you're correct about AANR. I routinely criticize them on their blog when they make dumb PR moves, and my comments are not edited or removed.

That's a damn sight better than the TNS Facebook page, where Michael Horgan censored my comments which were not incendiary or offensive, but merely critical. If there is an attitude problem here, it belongs to TNS which has a bit too much of an elitist attitude about what they are doing.

I don't know what the answer is, either. I do agree with you that there is a sexual element to nudism and naturism that keeps getting swept under the rug. I am not suggesting that there is overt sexual behavior, but in the Lee Baxandall era there has been a mistake made by emphasizing "body acceptance" over all else.

There's nothing wrong with suggesting that nudism can be sexy and fun. That's how swimwear is marketed, and going to the beach has been sexy since at least the Frankie Avalon / Annette Funicello days of bikinis and go-go girls.

We have a severe case of sexual phobia in America. Nudism and naturism have given in to that conservative position by completely denying all sexuality in nude recreation. Compare the AANR bulletin of today with the nudist magazines of the 60s and 70s - back then, people were photographed in alluring poses, and today, people stand in groups like police lineups.

This is the heart of the problem with online social networks. People are looking to hook up, and organized nudism wants people to play petanque and volleyball.

Family Naturism Network said...

The Family Naturism Network (FNN)on Ning is still operating. In fact FNN is the official social network of Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park. Nude photos are being deleted and we will abide by Ning's rules although we strongly disagree with them.

What is more important is that we stay together and improve communication between us. There is much we can share that can contribute to the nudist experience.

Nudist groups on Facebook are becoming more popular and they are made up of real people involved in nudism. FNN aims to be a more private version of Facebook.

Join us if you want to meet up with like minded people in a setting free of the freaks that you encounter on most sites.

Nudiarist said...

If the Family Naturism Network is going to abide by NING's rules for "no nudity", then the administrators are caving in to censorship. Move FNN to another platform, otherwise you are simply part of the problem. If nudists and naturists continue to allow themselves to be thrown under the bus, there will never be wide acceptance for the nude lifestyle.

On one hand you are encouraging nudists to be more open about their lifestyle, and on the other you are selling something more "private" than Facebook. Again, you are part of the problem and not the solution.

Nudiarist said...

BTW, I found FNN to be full of phony-baloney profiles, accepted by administration merely to boost membership numbers.

NudistStop said...

Paul Rapoport said...

1. Having to submit a driver's licence online is asking for trouble.



Paul,

You are probably right. What works in the real world doesn't necessarily work in the security challenged world of the internet. Perhaps the driver's license might be replaced with some type of third party online authentication service like that offered by HonestyOnline.com.

Family Naturism Network said...

I was very disappointed with Ning's rule change. I had always wanted to show family style nudism with no pretenses. Social network software for purchase on a site of my design would be preferred but that software is outdated and not favored by people. NetNude is still operating with the same software but the experience doesnt compare to what else is out there.

FNN broke some taboos definitely as seen by textiles and curiously by nudists, nudism involving adults and children. You should give me credit for posting the content that Ning before the rule change would find objectionable.

Im playing a different hand now. Im betting that no nudity will bring out a different audience the one I see on the many nudist groups on Facebook, we the nudists who are sensible about nudism.

Very few of the notable names in nudism appear naked on the internet. There must be an answer for this observation. Im hoping that those people will seek a networking experience beyond looking at nude photos.

Yes I padded the membership numbers with phonies to appease potential sponsors who asked for a large audience. But we have both concluded that that strategy is not the best. Hopefully the phonies will be replaced with more genuine people, they are being deleted.

I must be doing something right because FNN is financially supported by AANR/TNS chartered clubs. Its doubtful that you would see nudity on an AANR/TNS created network and so FNN is more in line with their sensible thinking.

Someday FNN networking might be on a site that would include photo sharing not using Ning software. I am looking into options.

NudistStop said...

Family Naturism Network said...

Social network software for purchase on a site of my design would be preferred but that software is outdated and not favored by people.

---

Consider looking into Drupal Groups - it is open source and there are a lot of Drupal saavy developers who can assist.

Nudiarist said...

FNN,

A nudist social network without nudity is like a nudist resort that mandates the wearing of clothes. It makes no sense. Might as well just go to Facebook, where AANR, TNS and other nudist and naturist organizations already have a presence. You need to face the reality that NING's new "anti-nudity" policy is designed deliberately to kill sites like Skinbook and FNN. You just have to know when to fold 'em.

Paul Rapoport said...

It's true that criticisms of AANR sometimes stay around on its site. I stand corrected. Would an AANR-run Skinbook be what many people want? I don't know.

The problem may remain how to run a Skinbook sort of site that's neither too narrow nor too wide. Meanwhile, I simply question running one with no nudity on it. It's possible but hardly ideal --- not in 2010.

For many reasons, it's better to have some photos. If those photos can't contain nudity, there's a notable contradiction, the obvious one many have been critical of regarding most mass media outlets in North America.

More generally, mass censorship is hardly ever a solution to a problem. You don't need to be a student of Foucault to know several reasons why, and how it usually worsens problems it is supposed to alleviate.

Nudiarist said...

Paul, you say that "sometimes" AANR does not censor honest criticism...do you have specific examples of when the organization "sometimes" DOES invoke censorship on its website?

Diary of a Naked Wombat said...

As a naturist, I had a look at Skinbook to see what people were upset about and what I saw, were people who used the site as a place to get sexually excited.

There was another naturist forum on Ning which had become overtaken by those who are pedophiles and the forum management did nothing but evict those who made complaints

fatpizzaman said...

Skinbook is making a comeback, this time with better moderation and focused more on health, arts, leisure, environmentalism, family values and everything else that made it an activity that many people wanted to be a part of back in the early 20th century Europe.

The URL for it is: http://skinbook1.ning.com