Re: What's with the mature content?

I do think it's wise to have an option on the Chumby Website, for new members to input an age... and if they're under 13, to only display a select set of widgets, versus if they're older than 13. 2 distinct user-pools, problem is solved.

Please don't display "Mature Content" messages, or any of that crap, however. Parents like that stuff, educators like that stuff, and single/creative grownups DETEST that stuff.

iBrent's point *is* valid however, in that Chumby as a device marketed to adults... is a great market in California and maybe NYC (domestically), but not really anywhere else. California's Web 2.0 bubble is hugely deceiving with regards to market potential elsewhere in the United States. I'm a designer in San Francisco, and loooove Hello Kitty, and am 33... and among my peers, I'm normal. Anywhere else in the country, and I'm a weirdo. This is a huge blind-spot with many Web 2.0 companies, and I hope a blind-spot that Chumby Industries doesn't fall victim to... but conversely, also doesn't over-compensate for.

If it's done intelligently, pooling widget-content seperately for kids and grownups could be done very simply from the end of Chumby Industries. I used to work for 2 of the hyooooge internet giants, and they did the most convoluded/over-intricate jobs of managing "family friendliness" with their site access. Totally over the top and not necessary. Do it please, but Keep It Simple Stupid.

Re: What's with the mature content?

Ganson wrote:
n5csu wrote:

There are several anti-semitic quotes in the Borat widget. This is not "mature content;" it is racist and offensive.

One could argue the fact that since Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat) is himself Jewish, it is for educational awareness of anti-semitism...or maybe it's just crude comedy.

... again, we live in a bubble in California, and need to open our eyes a bit more to how other folks in other domestic regions, understand things differently than we do. You don't have to be lowest-common-demoninator bland like AOL, to do this, and it can be done intelligently, with low overhead, if approached right.

I think Chumby Industries would do itself a disservice to try to please everybody and lose it's own character as a result (and Chumby is much more a personality/expressive product than others, so that would kill it), though it is also valid to ask Chumbians to seriously address these concerns... with creative thinking that won't pander to LCD lameness, but will keep culturally isolated folks from being overwhelmed with content considered "edgy" or "offensive" at the surface level.

It's a dumb excuse for educated Califonians and American Progressives, to look down at Middle America with the attitude that it's not worth trying to cater to (or include) people who choose ignorance. I'm from Middle America, and frankly, most of those communities don't "choose" ignorance... it's just built-into their everyday lives at such a deep level, and if the rest of us just stick our noses up to them, versus making an effort to be inclusive, the us/them crap just persists- which in and of itself, is ignorant and lame. Sorry- I feel a bit strongly 'bout this stuff. smile

IDEA: how about for stuff like Borat, that is divisive but that Chumby Industries ultimately feels is ok (and therefore hosts), why not have a "Content Concerns?" FAQ button on each widget... that could spawn an info-window, with reader questions like: "Why do you host this anti-semitic content?" and reader answers in return, such as the "The comedian is himself Jewish, and created the Borat character to chastize anti-semitism through mockery and comedy." This could easily address these concerns, and for Chumby Industries would maintain the self-regulating community-focussed essence that I think it's trying to provide, while still being a responsible content provider. Questions and Answers will be attributed to the users who provide them, and if further dissatisfaction persists, perhaps dialogue can happen between the dissatisfied customer and the Chumby Community person who's defending the content... versus a customer service Chumbian. ????

Re: What's with the mature content?

I *think* what iBrent is saying is that on, basically the marketing tool for the Chumby, you pretty much can't avoid seeing the mature widgets being advertised, and it may give a bad impression, especially to people who work with kids and may be really sensitive about that stuff (I definitely agree to an extent).

Re: What's with the mature content?

iBrent brings up a good point with regards to the Web site and we're working on how to handle that.  It's one thing if people choose to have a particular widget on their chumby, that's their business -- but a different issue if someone, especially a child, can encounter something inappropriate.  Sure this already happens all over the Web and with content far more explicit than anything on but we're trying to make this experience better.

If there are any more suggestions on how we can do labeling or explanation around content in such a way that it's not a turn-off or sounding like us playing moralist, yet gives someone a sense for what they may encounter in a widget or a category that may not be readily apparent from its name or a couple of screen shots, we're eager to hear.  Ultimately the answer, we believe it's almost always the answer, is to enable the community to rate/describe -- just more scalable, less dogmatic by us, and plays to the wisdom of the crowd, at least the crowd that chooses Chumby :^)

Re: What's with the mature content?

I almost don't want to throw it out, but there is always the movie ratings, (G, PG, PG-13, R, etc) that already give an psuedo age appropriateness.  You could have people vote on the appropriate rating and give the average or highest rated one, that way you don't have to babysit the widgets.  Once enough votes are counted (say 10) and it gets say PG or less you could throw it on your front page knowing that it's unlikely to offend people.  Then you could have check boxes for the widgets people want to see, and by default you could have R and higher values unchecked so the people who want that material can have it.  If you have enough time you could give dual logins for widget management so the adult could restrict a user to say G and PG, and the kid could still login and manage their own widgets.

Re: What's with the mature content?

One big catch on this issue is that "appropriateness" has more than one dimension.

The TV ratings have begun to recognize this, and it's now typical to see a TV rating from a basic group (TV-Y, TV-Y7 TV-G, TV-PG, TV-14, TV-MA), modified with variations of S (sex), L (coarse language), D (suggestive dialog) and V (violence), with even finer differentiation between "real" violence and "fantasy" violence.

This results in a somewhat bewildering splat of letters in the upper corner of the screen that will often appear several times during a show that begins to lose any real meaning because of its complexity and arbitrariness - and it still doesn't address *all* of the perceived problems.

For instance, how would we handle the Borat widget with such a system?

Re: What's with the mature content?

Duane wrote:

For instance, how would we handle the Borat widget with such a system?

I'm pretty sure Borat is TV-MA DSLV.  So it doesn't look like there is any way he could get better. wink

Re: What's with the mature content?

Give me a break. The only schools that might be purchasing a Chumby for any use would be colleges and for their EE students to hack them, they won't give a care as to what content could be displayed on the screen in the wrong hands. Not only that, but this device is easier to control content on than any other web enabled device I've ever used. My Wii, for example, has a web browser in it. There is no content filtering in it whatsoever. I don't expect them to build in content filtering either. My job as a parent is to limit access to the web browser to my kids. Same deal.

Re: What's with the mature content?

This topic has been beaten to death, but I will go ahead an chime in as well.

I am a parent of two girls (9 &10) and my wife and I do our best to filter the information they are exposed to. This ranges from what radio stations they/we listen to, tv shows we watch and what sites they are allowed to visit on the internet. I view this to be our responsibility as parents, not anyone elses. If I were to give our girls a Chumby, I would be the one setting it up and controlling the content, just like we do for any other form of media.

With that said I do understand iBrent's concerns and do feel that the mature content should be restricted to registered users on the website and in a catagory marked mature. To aid those of us that use web filtering software, just put some terms that would trigger the filters to block the mature catagories.  I personally do not want to see the widgets be censored in any way, but just categorized appropriately.

My $ .02 worth


Re: What's with the mature content?

We are working on this -- it was a good suggestion to manage what's viewable on the site.  Then, of course, standard care by a parent in knowing and managing what shows up on a child's chumby.

Re: What's with the mature content?

Sorry to activate this thread again, but I thought I'd post my 2¢. I bought my niece (12) and nephew (15) Chumbys, for Xmas...and will be gifting them this weekend. I didn't think about it much at first, but as the date gets closer, and I poke around the widget library, I'm starting to get a little concerned about giving a chumby to my niece. She's mature enough for her age, so I'd prefer to empower her to manage her own chumby, rather than giving her parents yet another chore to keep on top of. I'm sure we'll find a happy medium that'll work for her and her parents over the weekend. However, I think iBrent has some valid concerns, that can be easily addressed with the proper web interface.

It seems like the best solution would be a kind of Admin/User account setup, where the admin has access to add/remove/rename chumbys, channels, users, etc. While the user can only manage channels. This whole system could be further developed as time/money/patience allows of course. The Netflix model could almost fit here.

Next step is how to decide whether a widget is mature content or not. The easiest thing to do is allow for self and community policing. Let the devs mark their widget as mature if they see fit. If a widget isn't marked as mature, let the community flag it as mature content, with or w/o editorial oversight. Then you can allow/disallow based on whether it's mature and/or voted as mature. Sure... more granularity as to why it's mature content would be nice (like the MPAA and ESRB rating systems), but I don't think it's a deal-breaker.

Once both of those are in place, it's a simple matter of allowing on a user by user basis, access to mature content (or not).

The last post for this thread was back in November, so perhaps you've already started down the road to something like this. I agree, the widget content currently is mostly tame, but as Chumby gets more popular, and devs jump on board, who knows where widget creation could go? Having the proper framework in place to keep it organized and accessible for everyone would be a huge asset. And further makes buying/gifting a Chumby a no-brainer.

Happy New Year!

Re: What's with the mature content?

I stumbled across this post and can't believe what I'm reading in the messages about mature content.  I feel that the mature content label is greatly needed to identify what type of widget you're getting.  I don't view the Chumby as a regular computer but rather as an always-on home internet device for news, weather, time, etc., so you don't have to take the time to turn on your computer to access these sites at an inconvenient time.   I have several laptop computers, Nokia N800, PSP, Sony Mylo and now the Chumby.  There is less chance of getting adult or porno material on the Chumby than any of these other devices I have mentioned because you do not get full internet access, just widgets.  I get more adult spam messages in my e-mail at work and Outlook Express at home than I ever imagined.  I never click on a spam message and have never asked to receive them.  I don't give my e-mail address out to just anyone so how I get them is a mystery to me.  The mature content label signals to me the content of the widget.  Most TV shows tells the parent ahead of time if the program is of a mature nature or too graphic for underage children.  I think the mature content label is a great signal for parents and adults.  I think the mature content label should be left as is.  I have the Clearwater, Florida cam on my Chumby and now that shows a lot of skin and doesn't even carry the mature content label!  Team Chumby is doing an excellent job.  I love my Chumby.  It gives me the option of always-on that my other computer devices cannot do.  I do get a feeling reading most of the posts on the forum that most people want a computer of sorts but in the Chumby body.  That definitely is not what I wanted when I ordered my Chumby.  This site has a great forum.  Have a GREAT NEW YEAR!
Bob - Ohio

38 (edited by joltdude 2008-02-27 13:26:05)

Re: What's with the mature content?

Why cant parents take responsibility for their own content filtering, instead of pushing it on the companies to babysit their kids?
Personally, id let my kid use a chumby, have him/her and the parent configure the content, and the parent holds the password...

I love how these people want govement/corporations to do their job for them!... This is why the internet is turning into such a miserable place..
Might be doable to have a class of chumby registration which does NOT allow for mature widgets but why should chumby have to put the expense and resources into censoring them... If they attempt to categorize them fine, but it should not be the end all..
(There is no such thing as *in good faith* content flagging anymore....)

I cant believe how much control parents and spying the current lot of parents try to have on their children... at the expense of my privacy...

ibrent.. Go to china and the third world contries where even the basic web is firewalled and censored.. then realize what your forcing other people to do

And to the possble rhetoric of accusing people who dont believe in censorship... perverts...
Some of us dont believe all the propoganda we are being fed... and like our news straight up... uncensored..  Frankly i have next to no interest in seeing obscenity but... I can see these same people blocking their kids from seeing Cezanne or the statue of David....

Re: What's with the mature content?

Since it's been bounced up again, I figured it's my turn to add a couple cents to the pile.

Here's to hoping the kids who would be scarred by the Chumby website never learn how to use Google or Yahoo or MSN or ...

When I was a kid, our parents talked to us when we saw something controversial.  If something was a "no-no" or we were never allowed to see it, we only wanted to see it more.  So our parents let life happen, and when life happened badly they sat us down, explained why it was bad, and answered any questions we might have.  We came away knowing a little more, having a more open and communicative relationship with our parents, and with our parents values planted in our minds out of mutual respect.  This allowed us to handle more diverse, troubling or confusing situations on our own, knowing that if we needed to talk about something, even if it was embarrassing, we had our parents we could turn to.

I guess that's about three cents' worth.

Re: What's with the mature content?

I gave a Chumby to my nephew who's 9, and to his cousin, my niece who's 7. The world they will be living in when they grow up will be filled with even more technological devices we haven't even heard of yet. Back in the 1960s if my parents said something like "don't give him a tape recorder" (or camera - fill in your blank) it would have been a terrible thing since we're now living in a world awash with these kinds of things. (And I'm in that business now too, maybe because of good parenting). Not giving "another electronic game/computer/whatever" to a youngster who will be living in a world awash with those isn't the wisest move.

Both of my sisters are participating with their kids and the Chumbys I bought them - in fact, my sisters seem to be enjoying them more than their kids at this point! Parents can and should be responsible to teach their children that it's a world full of things that they should know might not be good for them. Whether they're on the Chumby isn't the Chumby's fault, just like what's on the Internet isn't the Internet's fault, and when a prankster phones and curses at someone and hangs up it's not the phone's fault.

  June 18, 2008 @ 1:10 PM
  N40° 46.565'  W073° 58.756'

Marc Silverman
New York City |
MY POWER TEAM: Macintosh, iPhone, Chumby, Geocaching, WheresGeorge.