Disclaimer: My reader noted I'd quit posting the disclaimer. Just got tired of pasting it here. If you need a disclaimer, read below.
Miraculously, about a month ago, the free dating site OKCupid asked me to be a "moderator" for them. Let me emphasize that I did not ask for this position. It just came to me on the wings of serendipity right after I decided to write the Complete Guide to Computer Dating.
I favor computer dating, as I have made plain. It is not however, for the thin-skinned or easily disturbed. The free sites have a significant number of users who are not taking the opportunity to find love here entirely seriously. If you cannot abide by the assortment of trolls, exhibitionists, spammers, cam girls. flim-flam artists and plain bonk-ass loonies who may contact you on the Cupe or POF, go to one of the pay sites, where they are less common. Being a moderator on the Cupe means you get to examine questionable profiles, pictures or messages and then, along with your fellow moderators, or "mods" as we refer to ourselves rakishly, vote to delete the questionable item or decide that it doesn't offend sufficiently to merit deletion.
In order to come to our attention, an item on the site has to be "flagged." The people who do this are known as "flaggers." There is a button next to every picture, profile and message on the site that says "Report This." There is a little icon of a red flag next to it. If a user hits that button, I get to see the item.
Remember, any user can block any other user in the computer dating world, if they are being unpleasant, and never have to deal with them again. Flagging is for offenses that the flagger regards as so egregious, the offender should be removed from the site. Except for some flaggers, who seem to think by clicking the flag button, they are sending a message to the flaggee. We get messages like "You're hot" or "Nice butt" all the time. This is true of me, of course, but obviously not meant for me.
Individuals who make this mistake are referred to by the moderator community as "flagtards."
OKCupid has guidelines for we mods. Some of them are precise. "Full nudity" is prohibited in pictures, for example. I follow this rule, even though the Internet abounds with full nudity and outright porn. It is a little known fact that Al Gore, after inventing the Internet, waited only fifteen minutes to post a nude picture of himself on it. For further documentation of the Net's sex drive, you may review this video from the musical "Avenue Q."
The definition of "full nudity" seems simple to me, but it is not to the flaggers, or even some of the other mods. See the flagged pic here. The flagger says of it that "It belongs on a lesbian site."
Well, so do I, but I'm not qualified. Regardless of her orientation, the lady in the photo is not fully nude. There are far more revealing pictures on the Sports Illustrated web site. Am I the only one looking at them who is not a lesbian? People also flag pics of women in g-string underwear or see-through bras. You may not like g-string underwear or see-through bras, but if you find yourself wearing one or both anyway, you are not fully nude. Amazingly, some of my fellow mods will vote to delete them nonetheless. Repressing sexuality is still a spectator sport here in the US.
There are people who do put nude pictures of themselves on the site. Most of these include an erection. I vote to delete them. Some of them are just an erection. I delete those as well, even though a picture of just your schlong may not be "full" nudity. Very occasionally women will post nude pictures of themselves. I'll delete them, too. I don't let my appreciation for naked women interfere with my personal integrity. At least, not any more. At the very least, not that often.
The Cupe has a rule that pictures must be of the user. Users put pictures of their cats, dogs and kids up and they are against the rules of the Cupe. I always vote to leave them alone, as long as the user has actual pictures of themselves as well. I'm not big on following inane rules, but many of my fellow mods are, and they don't mind making up their own, either. They vote to delete anything anyone complains about. Denied the opportunity to become true oppressors like concentration camp guards or vile small-town cops by history or circumstance, they seize the tidbit of authority that moderating at the Cupe gives them and wield it like the hammer of Thor, crushing the bits of free expression the lovelorn post like milkweed in sidewalk cracks.
Others are cool like me. We call the right wingers "modtards."