Why censor content?

How censorship can ultimately damage trust in a content driven platform.

Apr 16 · 2 min read

Its no secret that certain platforms have been in the news recently regarding a number of changes being made, but what you might not have seen is the other battle thats been fought over the past 2 years to try and manage the large influx of users to their site. I'm talking of course about Patreon and their explosive growth over the past few years.

This shouldn't come as a surprise, Patreon has done something that not many tech companies have managed and almost completely changed the way we support creators across the globe. Of course other service such as Kickstarter, Ko-fi and onlyfans also offer services that are similar, and most famously Kickstarter, which might be considered the grandfather to all other Fan Funding platforms, has famously struggled with its own issues. So was it only a matter of time before a growing platform like Patreon would start to run into trouble?

Censorship is Patreon's #1 problem

One of the biggest issues plaguing Patreon at the moment is their approach to moderating content on the platform. with such rapid growth in users there has naturally been a large influx of wide ranging opinions and affiliations. What is and is not ultimately acceptable on a given platform is something which has been in flux as their platform continues to grow, and what is ultimately something which has been "swept under the rug" for too long.

So what happens when a problem is ignored? Well wishful thinking has not appeared to have made it just go away and Patreon is now embattled in a series of high profile media stories surrounding its decision to remove certain divisive creators from its platform.

Ultimately the decision is down to Patreon on how they want to run their platform, they've grown from small company into a multi-million dollar creator powerhouse in a small number of years and do not appear to be slowing down with their expansion of plans, aimed at giving creators more choice at a higher cost.

One does have to ask however how partial a fan funding platform should be when simply facilitating payments from fans toward creators.

Whats the solution?

When setting out our original goals for this platform, one thing we wanted to make abundantly clear was our approach to content moderation. If you moderate too little you open yourself up to liability with regards to hosting illegal content and facilitating illegal activity. If you moderate too heavily however you stifle the freedom of expression and limit the exposure of information to individuals.

We are also strong believers in the freedom of speech and as long as creators are not directly carrying out illegal activity on our platform, we made a commitment to protect that at all costs. Patreon appears to have opened the metaphorical pandora's box by choosing to take actions against some creators they deem at odds with their own values and beliefs. Which is why you are reading about it on our blog today.

While we can't predict what Patreon will do in the future, we can look at their mistakes and the lessons it can teach us all going forwards. Censorship does not work, and will never work.

You can read more about our philosophy and ethos over on our about page.

- The Fanjolt Team

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