The Things We Have to Do: As mentioned about a year ago, we were planning to allow the pigtailsinpaint.com domain to expire. There are a few unintended consequences to that which we did not consider at the time. Part of the problem has to do with search engines and what other people might try to do to damage our reputation. Here is a summary of the situation put together by our host and site technician:
Pigtails in Paint produces a lot of results on all of the major engines but in many cases these links go directly to material that requires an adult rating, but with no such warning on the sites themselves. Switching to ‘SafeSearch’ then often removes all of the perfectly legitimate links which ought not be to be removed. A lot of work has been done now to ensure that the sitemap information for pigtailsinpaint.org is acceptable to a number of the major engines. google.com is the obvious front-runner, but bing.com (and yahoo.com which its indexing also controls) is finally displaying clean results for the direct site search on site:pigtailsinpaint.org along with yandex.com (linked to duckduckgo.com) and baidu.com (if I understand the text correctly) but excite.com seems to be indexing nothing. In addition, currently only google.com is showing any results for images indexed from site:pigtailsinpaint.org. Bing’s webmaster site is claiming to have indexed the images sitemap but is just showing a blank page as are all of the other engines. The nice thing about Google’s results is that there are very few pictures with bare skin. It’s a very good display of just what is present on the Pigtails site. Even switching on ‘SafeSearch’ to ‘Strict’ only takes out a few pictures, and some of them are not the one’s one would expect. By removing the actual site in a filter and searching the topic “pigtailsinpaint.org” produces a much more disturbing result. The vast majority of images are nude or semi-nude and associated with a link to pigtailsinpaint.org or pigtailsinpaint.com. On a number of the search engines it is impossible to identify just where the image was sourced in terms of the specific page the image came from. At least Google gives a link to the original page, but with the vast number of images returning to sites like ‘Pinterest’ one has little chance of finding anything out about an image. baidu.com is the only site that returns anything “pigtails” related (图片 button) but even that produces porn on the first page of results. One has to ask just why some of the material returned is included on the page. Yandex seems a better service than Bing which I was using, but it is only indexing the pigtails images as pigtailsinpaint.com so currently only the cached images are being displayed. All the forwarding to the actual posts is broken.
One of the concerns about no longer controlling pigtailsinpaint.com is that some disreputable person will use it to promote porn (taking advantage of the site’s popularity) and give the wrong impression to people who try to search for our site for the first time. Also, since they were already established, popular searches are linked to the .com domain; there seems no means to have .org inherit those rankings. The concern about the site being accessible from specific artist or content searches is a real one and it occurs to me that this whole business is another tactic to censor our site and a meaningful examination of our subject matter.
What Passes for Controversy These Days: Whenever Graham Ovenden is asked what he thinks of the plight of children today, he reminds them that although things are far from perfect, we should realize that things have improved a lot over the last century. It is the media which needs to stir up controversy to make sales. A case in point is a tip from a reader about an item recently making the national headlines in the Netherlands. Vivian Keulards, a renowned photographer, was informed that two of her portraits presented in an art gallery hosted by a commercial office center were removed due to a complaint from one of the corporate tenants. The photos feature six-year-old children innocently playing with deer antlers in the forest. The artist posted her story on Facebook which (surprise, surprise!) promptly removed her post for violating their rules. Her story is posted in English (beneath the Dutch version). One of the ‘”offending” photos featured her then six-year-old daughter which can be seen here on the website of this Dutch national newspaper. Nobody knows which corporate tenant complained, or why, but people seem supportive of her position. It is only the one image that seems to be generating the controversy, a demi-nude (topless) of the girl holding antlers to her head.
Taking Lessons: Pip informed me of a very talented 12-year-old girl who gives Japanese language lessons! She does videos on other things too — obviously, a very bright girl. Interestingly, she’s “come out” as gay, which is peculiar since she first did so at age 11. Here are some links to her other YouTube videos. (here, here and here).