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I recently self-censored an answer, and I'm wondering if i should have.

Regarding this question:

Is it a good idea to shove your arm down a werewolf's throat if you only want to incapacitate them?

Wanting to know whether you could safely and non lethally subdue a human-turned-into-a-werewolf by shoving your arm down its throat until it asphyxiated, there is of course medical literature we can refer to about dilation of various body parts, and probably several "guess what I saw at the ED today?" stories; but there is a very quick way to answer this question, and a way to account for so many things I couldn't even think of if I tried to do a medical analysis of it. I could link to fetish porn where they are doing exactly what the question asks.

On the pro side:

  • Shows exact technique. Realistic finger positions etc that can help the writing, drawing, or animating process
  • Shows without a shadow of a doubt its survivable for the werewolf/human getting throated, (in at least one case anyway). Directly answering the question.
  • Shows that it doesn't block airways, at least halfway down the forearm breathing is still possible. Refuting an implicit part of the question.
  • No explicit imagery would appear on the world building site, just a link.
  • Sourced answers are better than unsourced or anecdotal answers.

On the con side:

  • Fetish pornography like this can offend even normally calm adults.
  • Other explicit sexual content surrounded the part I wanted to reference.
  • Site has explicit ads.
  • Degradation and humiliation feature, which is an extra level of taboo.
  • I've seen references to pg13 content standards. While a text link itself is pg13, some may include the linked page in the content for this judgement.

In my answer, I decided to just write that this content exists and you can Google it yourself if you want. I ummed and ahhhed about using the spoiler tag to hide the links next to a NSFW warning but in the end self censored.

Was this the correct choice? Is linking to relevant sources (with NSFW advisorys) an exercise in knowledge sharing, or is the explicit content brush of these topics so poisonous that the less association the better?


This is not a one off case, in 2 months of activity on stack exchange I've linked answers to sources including pornhubs data insights blogs, products in adult shops, fetish but non sexual content on YouTube, violent crime reports, TV shows and movies with all sorts of nasty content, and drug making advice. Not to mention a page from a torture and murder themed colouring in book. I've put contextual warnings in many cases but linking to risque topics is coming up more often than one would think.

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I am great fan of a certain NSFW webcomic called Oglaf. It has a high-fantasy setting and a lot of the situations happening in it are perfect answers for some questions in this site. For example, in my answer to How to build a trap to last the ages?, I even inserted a (non-NSFW) page from the comic.

If I link to the source, I'm linking to a porn site. I don't want to do that much because of the same reasons you stated (though Oglaf is quite tasteful and on a light tone). But I find it unfair to use someone else's educative art without giving due credit and source.

In these situations, I do not link directly. I give hints on how to find the content. For example, from this answer here, you'd know how to search for the web comic by its name. In your own answer, you could say "I'm not including a link, but you will find it in [site name], titled [video title]." People can't accidentally click on a link this way. They have to do their homework to find the porn. An adult who would be offended simply will not follow. As for kids, they would only do that if they are browsing the internet without adult supervision. I know that is very probably Pornhub's cash cow but I believe fixing it is up to parents, not to us.


TL;DR: I never link, but I tell you how to get there if you're interested in further research.

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    $\begingroup$ We should probably have an official policy on this subject and I would likely support this as the official policy if we don't already have one and there is a vote. $\endgroup$ – Morgan Nov 2 '20 at 21:47
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Stack Exchange has no safeguards protecting or prohibiting children — other than the common sense of its users

Stack Exchange's terms of use prohibit users under the age of 13, but Stack Exchange itself does nothing to stop younger users from joining the club. And most NSFW images and concepts aren't, IMO, appropriate for 13-year-olds anyway (don't they have enough problems without being treated like they're small adults?).

Honestly, if you need to link to NSFW content to make your point — maybe you should expand your horizons. While I acknowledge the plausibility that there's no other way to explain a concept than through an NSFW reference, I sincerely believe that it's highly unlikely to ever be true.

I've seen users on this Stack that, IMO, had to be at least 8 years old if not younger. And while large swaths of the world suggest that being an adult means alcohol, coarse language, violence, and pornography. The truth is that a real adult is fully capable of eschewing all of that (and someone who can't or won't isn't, by definition, a mature adult).

Recommendation: If you're tempted to use an NSFW source to cite your answer, look harder. Even considering the question you linked, it's often the case that when something stupid happens in the pornography industry there's a doctor out there proving how stupid it is — that source would be superior anyway. If you have no other options, please do the children who do visit this site the courtesy of minimizing the reference.

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    $\begingroup$ "While I acknowledge the plausibility that there's no other way to explain a concept than through an NSFW reference, I sincerely believe that it's highly unlikely to ever be true." And yet here we are with that exact scenario in the question. $\endgroup$ – IT Alex Nov 4 '20 at 19:46
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    $\begingroup$ @ITAlex I didn't do any research, have you? It's an assumption that Ash tried to find another solution - so I disagree that we're dealing with that exact scenario at all. $\endgroup$ – JBH Nov 4 '20 at 20:14
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    $\begingroup$ I did actually and found nothing helpful. $\endgroup$ – IT Alex Nov 4 '20 at 20:29
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    $\begingroup$ @ITAlex I took a moment to google around, and while there's a ton of pages on choking, there's also this page on damaging the Brachial Plexus nerve bundle in the neck due to excessive pressure or being stretched too far. Frankly, I suspect if I search hard enough I'll actually invalidate Ash's answer. $\endgroup$ – JBH Nov 4 '20 at 20:49
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    $\begingroup$ what does that particular nerve injury have to do with safely asphyxiating someone with your fist from the inside? It's technically unrelated as that is a consequence of /not/ doing it safely. You found nothing as well I take it. (my last post as this is turning into a discussion) $\endgroup$ – IT Alex Nov 5 '20 at 13:49
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    $\begingroup$ @ITAlex That particular nerve injury would be specifically caused by the act of forcing an arm down something's throat (go read that again). And my search was all of 5 minutes. And I stand by my answer entirely. We occasionally get people who think being an Adult means permitting "mature audiences only" content. That's the worst baloney on the planet. Mature audiences find ways to ensure everyone enjoying the service can, in fact, enjoy the service without compromising someone else's parenting. $\endgroup$ – JBH Nov 5 '20 at 14:27
  • $\begingroup$ what is happening here link $\endgroup$ – IT Alex Nov 5 '20 at 14:34
  • $\begingroup$ But would this move be less-than-lethal? - No 100% needed. $\endgroup$ – Malady Nov 8 '20 at 3:37
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For the most part, no.

While I often disagree with him on matters of policy, I totally agree with @JBH this time: StackExchange in general (and especially WB.SE) is often frequented by minors. As a result, you should always find a non-NSFW source if possible. If it means that you need to spend three hours searching the internet, so be it; NSFW content is not okay.

However, at the same time, sometimes there is absolutely nothing else that will do. If so, do not directly insert the content into your post; instead, I suggest the following format:

<link to content> (Warning: NSFW).

The link to a definition of NSFW is hyper-important; the first time I saw such a warning I didn't know what it meant.

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  • $\begingroup$ I did that once, I got a warning from the moderator I admired the most at ghe time (Monica). Made me rethink the way I post here, so I do not link to NSFW content anymore. $\endgroup$ – The Square-Cube Law Nov 9 '20 at 6:07
  • $\begingroup$ @TheSquare-CubeLaw Thanks. By the way, was your username Renan at some point? $\endgroup$ – The Daleks Nov 9 '20 at 11:57
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, it was, until like a week ago. $\endgroup$ – The Square-Cube Law Nov 9 '20 at 12:39
  • $\begingroup$ @TheSquare-CubeLaw Thanks. I've been trying to figure out what happened. $\endgroup$ – The Daleks Nov 9 '20 at 17:12
  • $\begingroup$ The drawback of this approach is that anyone who knows what "NSFW" means can chose to follow the link or not. But minors and especially people who don't speak english as their first langage might simply not know what this warning means. For me it's actually hard to keep up with common abbreviations like IMHO, AFAIK, IIRC and so on. I usually just ignore them (even if a link is provided, like in your example). Ignoring this particular abbreviation is a bad idea, though... $\endgroup$ – Elmy Nov 25 '20 at 8:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Elmy I am aware; that's why I noted that linking to a definition is so important. $\endgroup$ – The Daleks Nov 25 '20 at 13:20

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