Nomadic Admin - Advice on Starting a Mature Content Forum?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by ProlificHorse, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. ProlificHorse

    ProlificHorse Neophyte

    8
    8
    +5
    * I apologize in advance if this thread would be better off in the hosting section, but I didn't feel it warranted to make two topics when this is all interconnected in my efforts to plan for the creation of my own forum.

    * Also I'm very long-winded, bear with me. <3

    I've been a wandering forum admin for years - I find active forums owned by others in whatever fandoms or interests I'm in at that point, and apply to become part of the staff. All of my experience in both moderation and administration comes from being a nomad, becoming a second or third in command for someone else, so I've never created and run my own forum before. In addition to that, I'm not very tech-savy - everything from coding to hosting are topics of which I have very little knowledge and experience with. Certainly topics I'd love to learn about, but I'm still a novice at the moment with them.

    In other words, while I have a lot of administration experience, most of it is from the front-end community service aspect dealing with forum promotion, event organization, staff assembly, etc, not the back-end technical jobs.

    I'm looking to start my own forum now, and figured TAZ would be a great place to get advice about how do so.

    Forum Plan Breakdown:
    * The forum I plan to make will contain adult themes such as fetish discussion and other alike adult content, up to nudity images (but certainly nothing blatantly pornographic past that). I also plan to ensure nothing illegal as defined from the US is posted to the site. As such, I plan on treating the site as an 18+ forum from registration.

    * I do plan on growing the site as much as I can down the line, so I would say the ambition for this site is somewhat generous. Building the forum's structure, theme and other settings in a Beta state and then opening it for promotion and advancement is the plan.

    My Past Experience with Forum Software:
    I've worked on sites that have used Zetaboards, IPB and Proboards, all down towards the 'freebie' end of hosting. Though I may not be very technical, I am familiar with these Admin CP interfaces.

    What Advice I'm Looking For:
    I'm looking for advice on both software and hosting. I need a hosting setup that allows Mature Content to exist, and I need a software that is fairly flexible and well-put together for the long-haul, and if possible, still allows the User 1 to have enough control of the software to make transitioning decisions to other software down the line, if that's even possible at all with the free and cheap(er) choices on the software market.

    I can afford software and hosting costs, just not moderate to expensive ones. With college and a shaky job situation, it's just not feasible right now. Ergo why a software that can be transitioning in the future would be amazing, because I may afford a higher level of software and hosting in the future.

    Any advice and feedback I can get from what I've shared here is vastly appreciated. I feel like a window shopper who has little to no concept of what software and hosts are best for my needs for a forum, and that's why I'm here.

    Thanks in advance for reading through this rant, and I hope to learn from some of your veterans out there.
     
  2. doubt

    doubt Tazmanian

    4,626
    502
    +1,946
    I would recommend you to complete your studies first.
    There is a very thin line between adult and porno content.
    You might find yourself in hot water.
     
  3. ProlificHorse

    ProlificHorse Neophyte

    8
    8
    +5
    Just starting out, and the plan is a Masters in Psychology once the dust settles, so that'd likely be quite a long time. I'd like to at least get something going before then, be it a solid choice with software and host, or even a working beta state. I have high hopes but this is also primarily a hobby.

    But yes, definitely aware of that much. I've just never been sure of what hosts care what content is included on the sites they host.
     
  4. doubt

    doubt Tazmanian

    4,626
    502
    +1,946
    It's hard for them.
    An uploaded image of a naked child by a proud parent can trigger the suspension of a site.
     
  5. ozzy47

    ozzy47 Tazmanian Veteran

    9,135
    832
    +4,334
    Generally you are going to have to have that type of content on a off shore hosting service.
     
  6. phatcows

    phatcows Enthusiast

    193
    93
    +97
    As long as you have strict rules which are adhered to, guidelines, and active moderators, this kind of thing shouldn't be a problem (i.e. it wouldn't be posted in the first place).
     
  7. ozzy47

    ozzy47 Tazmanian Veteran

    9,135
    832
    +4,334
    It don't matter, if it is up of viewable long enough for one person to get a screen capture of it, it could cause problems. You would literally have to have every post put into moderation before being displayed. Even then, you have no way of knowing how old someone actually is.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative! Informative! x 1
    • List
  8. phatcows

    phatcows Enthusiast

    193
    93
    +97
    Hmm really? If say it's up long enough for one or more to screen capture it and then it is removed. Person x then reports it to the host, and the host asks questions of the forum owner who explains the situation and it was removed swiftly, surely there would be some kind of understanding reached? I am assuming the host would be one that is comfortable with 'adult' pictures being hosted in the first place of course.
     
  9. ozzy47

    ozzy47 Tazmanian Veteran

    9,135
    832
    +4,334
    You have to remember one thing, this is the Internet. Things last forever somewhere.

    Not to mention me browsing such a site, and having to view the image. Should my computer ever have to be forensically analyzed, that image could very well be on there.
     
  10. phatcows

    phatcows Enthusiast

    193
    93
    +97
    I don't want to take this off-topic (as this is getting a little far from it) but say you took a screen capture of said photo and your computer was forensically analyzed and the image found, that's your problem. It might get linked back to the forum in question through your testimony, and then maybe to the hosts themselves, but there's a lot of bridges to cross to get to that point.

    A different and more on topic question then. How do the thousands, if not millions of Forums with similar ideas manage to stay out of 'hot water'? They can't all be hosting in the Eastern Bloc :p
     
  11. ozzy47

    ozzy47 Tazmanian Veteran

    9,135
    832
    +4,334
    I am not talking about that, I am talking if I am browsing the site, and happen to view the post with the images in it.

    Generally they all are. I think there was a few US hosts that would allow such content, but I don't remember who they were.
     
  12. ozzy47

    ozzy47 Tazmanian Veteran

    9,135
    832
    +4,334
    For sure you won't be able to on a shared server. You would need a VPS or dedi. I would check each potential hosts TOS. You can always start a live chat and ask a sales rep as well.

    Here is something you can look at to see the "supposed" top adult content hosts.
     
    • Informative! Informative! x 1
    • List
  13. ProlificHorse

    ProlificHorse Neophyte

    8
    8
    +5
    I appreciate this, I figured that mature content sites are essentially those who own their entire website so they can literally do what they want, so shared is out of the question. For my goals, even restricting nudity and other things isn't off the game table, it's just that I would assume most shared hosting setups would treat fetish discussion and the like, even if casual, not-explicit discussions as mature content.
     
  14. ozzy47

    ozzy47 Tazmanian Veteran

    9,135
    832
    +4,334
    They may. It would be best to ask any potential hosts what is and isn't allowed before purchasing.
     
  15. ProlificHorse

    ProlificHorse Neophyte

    8
    8
    +5
    Will do. :)

    Assuming I could afford my own host that allows for mature content, what software would you recommend for a scenario like this, if any?
     
  16. ozzy47

    ozzy47 Tazmanian Veteran

    9,135
    832
    +4,334
    Hard to say, I would read through this post, to try the different demos of software.

    I would pick XenForo, IPB or WoltLab myself, but XenForo would be my first choice.
     
  17. zappaDPJ

    zappaDPJ Administrator

    6,524
    1,342
    +4,934
    There are plenty of providers that will host adult content and quite a few that won't but that's not going to be your problem. You will have problems with the law. If you don't know it then you should hire a lawyer and if you can't afford one then you should probably forget the idea. Your other issue will also involve finance. Adult sites in general consume a lot of server resources including disk space and bandwidth making them very expensive to run.

    I wouldn't claim to be an expert in this field but I have had some experience maintaining sites for photographers who specialise in photography of an adult nature and I can assure you that if you want to stay on the right side of the law and run a successful site, you will need to spend money which you may never recoup.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative! Informative! x 1
    • List
  18. ProlificHorse

    ProlificHorse Neophyte

    8
    8
    +5
    I think you may be overestimating what kind and how much 'mature content' I'd have on this forum, which is probably my fault for bringing up nude pictures. In general, text-based discussion would be the primary offense, and it wouldn't be porn-esque roleplays or anything obscene, just adult-level discussions of fetishes and things, which 'may or may not' be regarded as 'mature content', and may be acceptable with private forums and passwords, registration filtering, etc, depending on whatever host I talk to, as ozzy mentioned.

    This wouldn't be a porn site, let alone a site where a variety of pictures could be found. I'm a person who aires on the side of caution, so when I talk about mature content, I'm simply covering my bases. Better to mark my site as 18+ and not have someone get pissed at me, even if I don't really need that censor, than to not have any kind of adult warning or censor, and get in trouble for having some form of content that my host or country's lawmen would find offensive.

    All that said, yes, finance seems to be an unfortunate, inescapable factor.
     
    • Informative! Informative! x 1
    • List
  19. Optic

    Optic Enthusiast

    182
    55
    +116
    What is your monthly budget for hosting? We can provide suggestions based on this.
     
  20. Digital Phoenix

    Digital Phoenix Coffee Ninja

    1,868
    697
    +1,291
    I co-ran a BDSM/lifestyle forum for a while, most hosts are fine with it as long as there's no outright porn.
    But in saying that, even casual nudity, ala any pink bits needs to be in a hidden member only section.
     
Verification:
Draft saved Draft deleted
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.