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Thank you for your feedback about Fridae's photo policy

This is to respond to the feedback we've received following our Mar 27, 2012 announcement concerning Fridae's revised photo policy guidelines:

We want to thank everyone for your continuous feedback, whether sent to us privately or posted on the website (although all further comments from now should be directed here). We value your feedback and we would like to further clarify the background to our recent announcement on the photo policy. 

Since Fridae started in 2001, the user agreement has disallowed members from uploading "obscene" and/or "pornographic" images to the website. There has been no change to that policy and recent announcements were a reminder to members of Fridae's ongoing policy. The reasons for this reminder to members are: 

Fridae's goals, direction and product enhancements

Fridae is committed to building a platform that supports its core objective of empowering LGBT Asia and including all members of that community. We want to be respectful of the different sections of that community whilst at the same time developing enhancements to our dating site. One of the key developments that many members have called for is a mobile application and we are very excited about the launch of our Iphone application this quarter. In light of this new mobile app, members who are familiar with other mobile apps already know, mobile apps must comply with the rules set by various platforms (such as the Apple store) for the app to be distributed. We believe our policy is in line with other products having a mobile application. 

Going forward, Fridae expects to work with advertisers and partners, many of whom have guidelines concerning content that contain nudity and sexually explicit content. Images used in other sections of the website including News, Lifestyle, Agenda and Shop, etc are subjected to their respective guidelines as determined by Fridae. We believe that the LGBT community in Asia will benefit from Fridae being able to support community activities and sponsorship of such events.

Respectful environment for all

As Fridae is a LGBT website, we are committed to providing all members – be they lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender – a respectful and comfortable environment. We believe that Fridae is much more than just a dating site and whilst we still want to be the best dating site in Asia, we want to balance this with our community work and providing our members with a high quality news and information service. Additionally, Fridae is accessed by users in over 150 countries and in many of them, it is illegal for nude / sexually explicit /pornographic images to be publicly displayed on a website. 

We believe this to be a step in the right direction to build a premier and respected LGBT platform, and we hope that you will support this endeavour. 

Reader's Comments

1. 2012-04-26 10:08

Thank you for now allowing us to comment.

My position is that I disagree with your steps to sanitise the site and generally micro-manage the site’s content. In my opinion the rules appear to me to be a draconian measure and taken too an unnecessary extreme. This is a mature or adult site based on the age restriction for membership and therefore adult themes / discussions / pictures are not a surprise.

Our perceptions of what is pornography may differ between individuals and including exclusions of pictures of swimwear or underwear that shows a bulge (they are men after all) to me seems ridiculous.

What is fridae’s position with “Tribes”? Will many of these be banned as a result of the enforcement of the new rules? No doubt under the rules provided many would be removed.

I would expect the rules would also be applied to the sex toys, swimwear, underwear and calendars sold by the fridae shop? The "bulging" lightly clad guys used in the advertising would not be allowed to be shown in the new world of fridae and I would expect that sex toys would also be totally unacceptable. Your advertisers would be expected to comply as well?

Our site offers limited access for non-paying members and this could easily be managed to ensure that only "safe / relevant community" information is viewed on these public pages. You may then be able to show information to many countries and continue to comply with their laws. Paying members are a different issue and should be asked to accept that they may have access to more controversial material and accept that this may be the case before confirming their payment.

I accept that you wish to promote LGBT community and you mention that it is illegal in many counties to display nude / sexually explicit / pornographic images in public. I doubt that many members would access the site or show the pictures in public, and as mentioned you could easily control this by managing what is available for viewing for non-paying member pages. Also, in many of these countries homosexuality is also illegal including any reference it. In most cases I believe that the site would be banned purely for representing and promoting our community.

I hope that the management team at fridae will review their decision and work in order to provide a site that is equitable to all members while continuing to support and promote our community.
2. 2012-04-27 15:31
Dear Fridae,
The human body and sex are not obscene, except for those who because of psychological, religious, or political feelings think they are. Except for [porn sites, which Fridae never was, there are virtually no channels in the media that will allow total nakedness, artistic or purely lustful. Fridae has decided for whatever reasons - economic, cultural, activist, or philosophical - to prohibit the full range of human bodies and human fantasies. We will have to look elsewhere for these....Instead of a well-rounded, relatively healthy, politically-involved site, former Fridae members will have to return to the oppression, guilt, and exploitation of a hundred-thousand porn sites, most of which are run by capitalists (often non-gay) who have absolutely no stake in gay rights or gay psychological liberation, and are frequently sites that make criminals rich....Ironically, and sadly, Fridae is backhandedly forcing some/many of its members back into the self-hating, suicidal closet of societal oppression.
3. 2012-04-28 16:07
As I've said elsewhere - probably ranting so much I sound crazy, but it's still relevant - while I completely understand that people don't want to see hardcore, obviously sexually explicit content, Fridae's new direction (and, yes, it is new, having been in place for years, you say - but NOW it's an issue?!) oversteps the mark.

Fridae is now equating ALL nudity with sexuality and 'obscene' material - I could type page after page about how wrong this is, so I better not! I'll just say that it's Wrong, so very, deeply wrong that nudity, or similar expressions of identity and self, primarily through photography here (but, presumably, through other formats, such as supplied JPegs of user art and design, etc) are now to be classed as 'unacceptable material'.

Photography, including nude photography, is a 'young' art, being barely more than a century old - but it's a key art form, and fundamentally acceptable as an expressive medium. However, applying Fridae's new-found censorious nature, ALL nudity is wrong. All of it. Every great art master would fail and be rejected by Fridae, now, were their works to be judged under this murky new ruling. From Michaelangelo and Da Vinci right through Rafael, Caravvagio, Picasso an Le Brocquy, all would be censored by Fridae, now.

No, I Don't need - or want - to come onto Fridae and (to be blunt) see pics of someone's cum shots, or an ass getting fucked, etc etc. That stuff, you can find, see or show elsewhere, or put into Vault pics here, and common sense dictates that That content is 'explicit', and that Fridae should be able to rule over such content.


The point remains clear that nudity is not the same as sexuality; that Fridae's new direction (as what - a bid to appease puritanical Apple, and the censorious values that Apple is now subtly grinding out across the world, not to mention the unnamed countries/societies that Fridae implies will take offense at what its mostly gay Asian members do/show here) IS censorious, and anti-Art.

Fridae will just seem like deep hypocrites from now on, considering the sexualised content - and presentation - of much off its Fridae Shop range, as has been noted by others, above. One rule for the website, but another for the users, hmmm? Never again can Fridae legitimately run stories on censorship of LGBT people, given that it's now prepared to, itself, roll out censorious rules that overstep the mark. And so on...

Well, I've said too much here, again. (Sorry, folks!) I just feel very angry about this; to me, it seems so wrong. (By the way, how, exactly, will Fridae start enforcing these rules among its Claimed number of members - though several I knew have now left? Will Fridae now start trawling through EVERY profile to delete content It doesn't like/want from now on? Will it now make all new pics go through an Approval system, so that Fridae will choose what you're allowed to show? And how will it keep track of members who may have regular 'bad' content? I'll assume that lists of 'Troublemakers' to monitor - including the bitter posters about this very topic - are now being drawn up, at Fridae HQ.)

Lastly, I've been a paid member here for about eight years now, I think. But I won't be any more, once my subscription runs out this year. I think that this latest wrong move by Fridae - one of a few poor decisions - is one too far. I'm deeply uncomfortable with Apple's continued subtle erosion of individual/civil rights on a number of platforms, based on puritanical American values, and I'm (clearly!) really annoyed about Fridae's vague, hazily-defined and hypoctritical new image rules which, to me, are an attack on Art, and individual expression and non-conformity, and all to appease some unnamed people who may take offense - rather than supporting the Majority, who don't.

I can't be that hypocritical too, myself, and financially support a company that I think is doing something wrong. So, Fridae, you've lost one long-time member and supporter, here...
Comment edited on 2012-04-28 16:11:45
4. 2012-05-07 05:31
Dear management,

I was one of your happy users, enjoying the profiles of sexy men and sharing my sexy pictures with those who want to see them. Therefore I am very unhappy with your new photo guidelines and request that you change them back. What you try to achieve with them, is totally unclear to me. Your blog is quite vague about that. You mention that you expect to work with advertisers and partners who have their own guidelines concerning content. Do we want advertisers and partners who can't accept the nature of this site?

Fridae will lose a lot of its social function. I would miss that. And the poorer people in Asia will no longer be allowed to be sexy in public as they will need to pay to have a photo vault. That I find unfair.

So please review your policy again.

Your friend,

PS: now that I see more and more profiles go blank, I also consider to give up my (perk) subscription and find another gay dating and community site that takes itself serious.
5. 2012-05-10 06:09
I think it is extremely unfortunate for you to have a policy that you randomly or (apparently) arbitrarily enforce. You give off mixed signals - and lose credibility - when you do this.

I understand that your policy hasn't changed since the site's inception. However it is unclear how you now enforce this policy. I routinely see nude primary photos, and explicit photos on your site.

I think it would be helpful for me - and others - if you explain why it appears you are not consistent in enforcing this policy.
6. 2012-05-12 05:53
You write "Fridae is accessed by users in over 150 countries and in many of them, it is illegal for nude / sexually explicit /pornographic images to be publicly displayed on a website." When I lived in Beijing, China, two years ago, using a public internet connection was a problem because I was being banned at various locations when a nude photo popped up on a Fridae page. I wrote to Fridae and got a very rude response from you people - basically tough, eat it. This belies your claim that you have maintained the policy against nude photos for 11 years. Your policy has been aggressively flexible up until now, so your mumblings about the current state of the website is hogwash.
7. 2012-05-15 14:45
why not only allow members over the legal age to view content ? if the proposed mobile app is governing your change of rules then drop the app. we love fridae as it is
8. 2012-05-30 06:32
I understand why so many readers don't welcome the changes. You're unhappy that you may not see the hot pics anymore. My take is that it's a necessary change in order for Fridae to expand, survive and appeal to many concerned users and advertisers. Let me explain.

In many countries, there are laws that prohibit obscene contents. If their authorities determine that Fridae expose users in their countries to such contents, they'd conveniently blacklist and ban Fridae. It's not going to do our LGBT frens living and traveling there any good if their access to Fridae is banned there.

As explained, certain advertisers also have the same concerns. We must remember that the sustainability of this cyber community is dependent largely to them. Fridae may not be financially sustainable if it doesn't earn substantial advertising income. The subscription fees alone may not be enough to cover its costs.

So, what should Fridae do? I think it must strike a balance between the requirements of the concerned authorities & advertisers and the needs of the users. In this case, IT does provide a solution. I suggest that Fridae:

1) create 2 photo albums for each non-perks profile: A) non-obscene album; B) Obscene/classified album

2) Perk-accounts (PA) to have (C) Private album (access with Private e-key by friends that the user had sent the electronic key to).

3) PA users have the option to conceal any or both of albums A and B too. This allows them to prevent their friends or colleagues from spotting them in this gay website, if it is a concern. Many LGBT persons are not openly gay yet, and may mind registering an account here with their real pictures for fear that their suspicious colleagues or relatives may conveniently register an account just to dig their profile out. With an e-Key option for both albums A and B, a concerned perk user can protect their privacy from these undesirable detectives. Of course, without displaying their picture to the public, these concerned Fridae members would less likely receive contacts from potential admirers. However, they are able to search for profiles and send a private message to those they admire, together with an e-Key for one or more of his albums A, B and C. Those who aren't concerned about privacy could, of course, continue to use the free non-PA.

4) Fridae can automatically restrict open (or any) display of contents in albums B and C in the concerned countries and on pages where paid advertisements are displayed. Users would either have to use an e-Key to display these contents, or be restricted any access to these contents, in these situations, depending on what’s required by the concerned advertisers or authorities.

5) With this arrangement, what Fridae really needs to check on regularly is album A, since it is without such restrictions.
6) In order to implement the above, Fridae should include two features. First, for PA users, under each private message window, there should be option boxes which the sender can tick in order to send an e-Key for one or more of his albums A, B and C, to the receiving party. He may choose to send the recipient only key to his album A (if it is locked), but not the other 2 albums, for his first contact. If he’d locked only albums B and C, then only the boxes for them would appear. If he had previously sent a e-key to the recipient for album B (which is locked), and his album A is unlocked, then only the box for album C would appear. Second, for PA users again, they should have a e-key manager page which list the people for have keys for each of his album. He may remove the e-key of any in the list, in order to stop him from accessing a particular album.

7) Fridae should also consider the feasibility of lowering subscription fee for Perks in order to increase the number of PA users.

8) Users should also receive a notification on the new guidelines for the albums, and especially album A. For e.g., while naked pics are considered obscene in many Muslim countries, contents to do with politics (e.g. displeasure with the communist party in China or monarchy/junta in certain countries), royal families (e.g. Thailand), or child sex, prostitution, etc. are considered unacceptable or even illegal in some jurisdictions.

9) I also urge Fridae to offer a PerkLite Account, a ‘lighter’ version of Perk, to users who register their accounts from, and live in, those seriously homophobic countries. Perklite users would have exactly the same benefits as non-PA users, except that they may lock, and send e-keys for, their albums A and B. This would protect the privacy of Fridae users in those countries where LGBT persons are routinely prosecuted, humiliated and threatened, and encourage more LGBT people there to join the Fridae community in order to network among themselves and global LGBT community. It would serve and empower the gay community in these countries. In order to prevent abuse, Fridae can automatically verify each Perklite registrant’s IP address in order to ascertain that he is at one of the countries determined to be seriously homophobic. As the use of credit cards, paypal and international remittance may be restricted or uncommon in many of these countries, I suggest that you offer Perklite free, in order to make it easier for LGBT persons there to join our community.
Comment edited on 2012-05-30 06:56:34
9. 2012-05-31 21:18
Can Fridae at least show some consistency by removing the naked flesh on the homepage?

I could frankly babble for pages about this farce but let's make a start with this...take off the semi-naked models on the Fridae Shop and Calendar ads.... the hypocrisy is rather unsettling.

If Fridae doesn't stick to its own rules then why should the membership?

Practice what you preach or get the hell out of the pulpit.....
10. 2012-06-05 19:51
Since the Apple Store has these content restrictions, just forget about doing an app. Instead, just create a dedicated mobile fridae site that makes use of the iPhone/Safari location services! Dudesnude does this well so they don't need an app...
11. 2012-06-20 09:20
My complaint is that far too often when you return hearts that have been sent to you, the column on the right hand side intrudes over the boxes so you cannot delete hearts already sent to you. Why is this? Bad design? Not a stable site? When you pay for perks you expect a professional, well-designed site. I suspect this will be my last term of renewal - the site is becoming less and less attractive and the new photo guidelines are frankly pathetic and insulting to far too many members - I think the overwhelming majority.
12. 2012-06-21 07:45
Guess what? No reply to my complaint about a badly designed site! And I (and others) are paying for this. It is just pathetic.
13. 2012-06-25 09:34
No.5 "I understand that your policy hasn't changed since the site's inception. However it is unclear how you now enforce this policy. I routinely see nude primary photos, and explicit photos on your site.

I think it would be helpful for me - and others - if you explain why it appears you are not consistent in enforcing this policy. "

I dont think Fridae has had any consistency since the changes in its management while at the same time...
-experimental features are put in place that have problems seen the day,
-access to Fridae is slower by the minute (it takes 4 seconds exactly to open with !),
-pics received under hearts, friends and favourites are lumped together without any kind selection: a heart received from a 'friend' should be received under 'Friends', a heart received by a favourite should received under 'Favourites' and the rest, under 'Hearts'...and no duplicates in categories because one cancels the other.
-nude 'public' pics, indeed, still appear all over the site: so what was the big hooha all about ? Much ado about nothing !
-no.12: "No reply to my complaint about a badly designed site!" It has become a badly designed site, it was not years trying to modernise, improve the site, the geniuses in the innovation box
have only crossed their tits !
By 'looking outside the box' they successfully created a cat box for the future...and it is sad.
I am still fond of Fridae, though, but instead of the bold at the helm of Fridae-Star Trek we now go along with Fridae-Driving Miss Daisy !!!
of selection
14. 2012-07-21 04:31
Fridae's strict enforcement of the lack of nude or provocative photos on an adult website means I will not be renewing membership when it expires. It is obvious Fridae is not listening to the many calls to relax the policy which appears to be implemented in a discriminatory way at this stage.

Clearly the only way Fridae will listen is by people not funding Fridae to carry on with their policies. Don't renew perks membership and Fridae will slowly lose money!
Comment #15 was deleted by its author on 2012-07-25 07:59
16. 2012-07-25 08:08
Dear, Webmaster(s)! What the @#$% I can’t edit (an existing) profile in ‘About You’ the editor don’t load, the ‘save option’ don’t function – do I have to be a #$%@ perk or jerk member to do that @#$% task? …Sigh!

I can’t even find (or easily find) a ‘contact us’ (general) for this type of situation and others – NO! I’m not keen to add Fridae to my FB or Twitter (as a follower) – just look into the bloody problem(s) and get back – A frustrated, Yours truly…

PS: How can I be polite if I'm left without a choice, you tell me and thanks (is that better) as I'm not cursing and swearing (like a jerk about the limitations for non-perk)... You be nice (1st) and I know how to play my part... Or have a 'screw-up' day or week (like you screwed my for weeks - Just kidding)! Y'truly...
Comment edited on 2012-07-25 10:51:19
17. 2012-07-25 11:19
OK! With that behind me, yes a good move, Fridae (another one up for you? Thumb not that other thing, silly)…

Those, members should keep those (funny/sassy nude pix in the ‘Vault’) or saved some to SURPRISE me/other members, in good time (and/or a turn-off, in the 1st place – I can’t take anyone seriously for the lacking in integrity and whatever (you want to call it))?

Otherwise, all said these profiles are just entertaining (some are horrors- giving me nightmares) and merely triggers the ‘voyeur’ in me and my crazy twisted sense of humor (likely)…

Simple guideline to honestly, ‘strong profiles’ stick to the 20 Questions provided by the site (and provide at least 70-80% data) and (left to be desired with some) write simple intro in ‘About You’… If you can’t do that – it is just pathetic – don’t even bother to say ‘Hello!’ to me.

You can’t be this desperate, especially a ‘Hello and cell contact?’… Best of luck just the same, in other word all you managed is ‘standing there naked, wearing just a smile (or a stuip grin)’?

Yours truly…
18. 2012-07-29 18:03
I see the Fridae Shop ad is still flashing away in the right hand corner.

Three hot guys (depending on your taste, they do nothing for me btw).

Can we have consistency please?

19. 2012-07-29 18:21
The iPhone app needs work too. If someone hits the 'You are hot' button it fills my inbox with what I regard as spam. Same for vault requests, please sort this out.

Not that I'm all that 'hot' anyway......
20. 2012-09-23 06:14
21. 2012-11-12 14:37
I absolutely object to people waving their dicks in my face !
This is not normal behaviour at any level of our society !
Why should it happen on Fruidae ?

We should strive to raise the image of gay people and the acceptance of our sexuality and life style :
Not drag it down to the level of public lavatory cartoons !

I completely support Fridae's stance on this !
22. 2012-11-12 14:37
I absolutely object to people waving their dicks in my face !
This is not normal behaviour at any level of our society !
Why should it happen on Fruidae ?

We should strive to raise the image of gay people and the acceptance of our sexuality and life style :
Not drag it down to the level of public lavatory cartoons !

I completely support Fridae's stance on this !
23. 2012-12-13 15:50
This new setting as of13/12/2012 at 15:50pm SIMPLY SUCKS !
24. 2013-02-16 02:21
I had all my hot, beautiful, sexy photos of my cock and balls disappear! This policy is ridiculous! I enjoyed all the photos of hot Asians showing me their junk. Not happy about the change and hope they go back to the way it was.
25. 2013-04-16 16:46
Well,, after reading all the foregoing comments, I hope you've got the message. Don't be stood-over by third parties. Give your members what they want or you're going to loose them and a helluva lot of cred!
26. 2013-06-28 23:28
Well, Fridae.Asia.BaptistChurch. So, now you
have become the moral majority who is against
nudity, pornography, abortion, Great. From
your own article if you read between the lines,
you admitt to "looking the other way" with regards
to profile pics. Why not just tell members what is
really driving this policy or lack of now.. GREED,GREED
GREED. You want to expand to make more money.
Now, for the members who "object to people waving
their dicks in my face". common scence would tell
you to take the mouse and click the pic off...or on a
touch screen ..touch the x in the box.. so sad and
so laughable
Comment edited on 2013-06-28 23:45:44
27. 2013-08-11 22:34
My objections to the new "policy" have been stated by the other posters here much better than I could do, so I won't repeat. Suffice it to say that this is a dating site. It's pretty hard to fulfill that mandate without seeing some skin. The best suggestion is that the site have 2 levels, the public one which is sanitized and acceptable to the non-members of the world, and the paid members side which performs as Fridae was intended to perform originally.

With this change of management and the change in focus (for the worst, IMO) you have exposed yourselves as crusaders, and just another common site attempting to enforce YOUR standards and definitions of "sexual" and "obscene" material. You fully agree with the famous Justice of theSupreme Court of the United States who stated "I don't know how to define obscenity, but I know it when I see it".

No more Perks renewal from me. You may want to convert Fridae into the LGBT vehicle of choice, but I don't share your crusading fervor. Not on my dime, anyway.

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