Poll: Oversight of the Reviews

We’ve gotten several customer service emails lately asking why we don’t ban more members for making offensive or off-topic reviews. My feelings about this are mixed, but I think the opinions of paying members are really the ones we ought to be listening to. So I’d like to pose this question to you guys: should we be doing things differently?

Feel free to expand on your feelings in the comments. It’s a complicated issue and I may have missed a point of view with those four choices.

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48 Responses to “Poll: Oversight of the Reviews”

  1. lemonade Says:

    I think that obviously the ones that are like “Clinton 2008!” should just be deleted. But the ones that are genuinely funny can stay; I get a kick out of reading some of the hilarious stuff people post and it brightens my day =)

  2. zarafan Says:

    I’m all for funny posts and reviews, but I think absurdly offensive, hateful, or racist comments should be deleted, as should personal attacks against other posters: such comments contribute nothing to the forum and they make the site a less enjoyable place. If a reviewer can say something clever I’ll applaud, but picking on another member is no more entertaining than watching a bully in a schoolyard. Like pornography (speak of the devil!!) you know an offensive comment “when you see it,” and in this regard I entrust Alison to play the role of adjudicator, in deference to the good judgment she typically shows here.

  3. jbzzzle Says:

    truth be told….and i know this is stereotyping the ppl involved in ur company and all…but if there is any place where censoring should not be allowed…it really should be a porn website…honestly…come on….im black so yea i don’t like reading guys talking about every black chick in porn being ghetto or on section 8 but seriously its not going to make me mad since its a porn site i kinda expectppl to say w/e….plus who honestly reads the comments to see if they should check otu a scene or not…its pretty simple…im downloading lesbians and skipping over gangbangs…regardless of what anyone says…

  4. Odwalla Says:

    I think about it this way. If a site runs around banning people for making offensive comments (which is totally subjective in the first place) then there really isn’t a point to having a “bang” or “digg” type of system for the user community to police its own comments.

    I’m 100% for allowing people to post what they want as long as it isn’t illegal, etc.

  5. apefj3to2 Says:

    Like the humor.Like the complaining about poor quality.
    Like Ropes headups on repeats.Don’t put much weight in any bodies reviews.I have my own likes & dislikes and the flash players right there.Delete the sick & hurtful OK by me.

  6. biglucifer Says:

    jesus christ if we can’t have freedom of speech on a porn site, then we are heading towards an Orwellian future. If something offends you, skip over it. When I see Larry the Cable guy or Gallagher I keep on channel surfing. I hate those ass clowns, but know the constitution still has some merit. Fuck the thought police.

  7. jkbd52 Says:

    I think any comment thats not a review should be deleted. I think what would help clean up the review area is a small forum for the users of this site. Its hard to have a discussion with someone in a review area that will get bumped off the front page in 8 or so videos. A videobox forum is something I feel this great site could benefit from. Have a members only area, and then one or two areas or topics for non-members.

    The review area at this site is nothing more then a bathroom stall for the most part. “she sucks it great” “insert any racist comment etc” If we could have a normal forum we could have actually discussions. Members could help other members find other videos of their favorite performers, or just talk porn, or any other subject they wish. I think it would build more of a community

  8. Ed Says:

    For the most part, I don’t have a problem with the comments. I think that the confusing (frustrating) part is that the area is called “reviews” when in fact it should be called “forum” or something of the sort. When I click on “show reviews” I expect ‘reviews’. If everyone is happy with it being an open forum, than make it clear that’s what it is.

  9. BigE Says:

    Here’s the problem: I think we’re mostly against racism, hatred, and bigotry. Fine, delete those comments, by all means. What gets MY cock all up in a pretzel is when VB deletes comments that are perfectly legit but critical of the vid or site. I’ve had this happen MULTIPLE times. I’m sure many others have had this problem too. In one case, I posted something like “The lighting in all of these vids suck.” And it got deleted! Fuck that. Delete my shit when I’m an asshole, if you must, but let my legit reviews fly. Also, I think most of us with a sense of humor can agree that a few “non-review” jokes are fun and worth keeping. Anyone who claims that ONLY reviews should be allowed needs to get down off their high horse. A little light-hearted humor makes the world go round.

  10. zarafan Says:

    I think there’s a significant distinction to be made between deleting a patently offensive (e.g., racist) comment and banning a member altogether (which would be wrong and a bad business model, right?). Everybody has a right to what he or she believes–there’s no thought police here–but that doesn’t mean that we have an automatic right to use this site as a forum for our private obsessions or irrelevancies. With respect to BigE’s complaints (and by the way: I really LIKE BigE’s humorous reviews, but as I’ve stated before, I don’t like his criticisms of Rope, et al), I’m wondering if the instances where he thinks his comments have been deleted are in fact a technical glitch: I’ve posted comments, or thought I have, in the review section that for some reason don’t get picked up when I go back to that page. It only happens occasionally–usually when I’m the first poster–and as far as I can tell, there’s no pattern discernible based on the content of my remarks. So my advice to BigE is not to worry: you’ll have plenty of opportunities here to be as offensive as you want to be! 🙂

  11. docbone Says:

    I really don’t take any offense to what people say in the reviews. I mean, come on, when are the people of this world going to stop all the politically correct bullshit and grow up?!?! Words are words, and if what someone you don’t know says offends you, don’t listen to them, or read what they say, you have a CHOICE to ignore the! There is so much crap that people can’t say now adays for fear of someone getting offened and sueing. I know there are a lot of members here outside the States, but our FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT IS FREEDOM OF SPEECH! How many people that don’t wnat to watch porn try to ban it, and what do we say in the courts? It’s freedom of speech, the way we express ourselves. I don’t mean to be getting on a high horse and preaching here, but this really annoys me in the world today. I enjoy a lot of what is written in the reviews, and I have even watched and downloaded scenes, or avvoided them, because someone wrote about it in the review and caught my attention. Racist comments,ethnic comments, blah blah blah, who cares? Get over it….Now the only comments that truely annoy me are all the R.I.P. comments about Haley. (and a few others that have passed) Thank you, and I will be stepping down off my soapbox now, watching some god scenes where some superhot woman get plowed and enjoy it!!!!

  12. zarafan Says:

    OK, Docbone, you’re absolutely right that VB is an American corporation protected by the First Amendment (and thank goodness for that!). But to put the matter technically, the First Amendment guarantees an individual’s right to say whatever he or she wants, but it in no way OBLIGATES a private corporation like VB from publishing it or providing a public forum for it. If VB decides to censor a particular comment, that’s well within THEIR constitutional rights NOT to have to publish comments they disagree with. In my opinion, a racist or similar dumbass is perfectly within his or her rights to find a KKK website to post whatever is on his mind; since I agree with you completely that the best part of this site is the superhot women getting plowed on camera, I for one would prefer enjoying these scenes without “color commentary” from David Duke or Jean-Marie Le Pen….

  13. xanthic Says:

    Why not hide comments with more than a certain number of negative bangs (which is what YouTube does, more or less)? If you created a way for users to show these comments, it would make everyone happier, and wouldn’t require oversight (which sounds kind of ridiculous and a waste of time, to me).

  14. seattlemack Says:

    I’ve noticed my comments have been deleted or edited. What’s with editing my writing? Please do not edit my words. The example was on the recent “Buckets of Cum” posting. I wrote “Besides VB, who buys this shit?” It was edited to be “Besides this site, who buys this shit?”
    The only type of comments I don’t care for are those that attack other members. That crosses the line of editorial comment to a threat. Those commentors should be warned or banned.

  15. papayaman Says:

    Personally I am happy to see the vote going in the direction of not controlling comments. As much as I abominate racism, I also hate political correctness with its pettifogging attempts to regulate what we are allowed to say and think. And for it to rear its ugly head on a porn site really would be the end!
    I also think the site has actually developed in such a way that it generally deals quite well with offensive comments. If you look at many of the personally or racially offensive comments that have been posted you generally find that they have received a mass of negative bangs. I think this delivers a more effective message than banning such comments since it shows to the offending party just how much the majority of people disapprove of their objectionable views. Of course there are some idiots who seem to court negative bangs, but again all that they are achieving is to show their infantile craving for attention. Similarly, when somebody writes something out of line here in the blog one finds a host of very smart posters (Zarafan and Speakeroftheobvious in particular come to mind) who mobilise some really good counter-arguments which often lead to an interesting debate. If we started censoring we might lose that aspect of the site. That is why on this one I have to respectfully disagree with you Zarafan.

  16. zarafan Says:

    Well, Papayaman, I guess you win some and you lose some, right?! Great to hear from you, in any event…!

  17. pgwodehouse Says:

    First of all, I’d like everyone to get off the self-righteous first amendment tip…The admin of ANY web site is well within his/her rights to delete anything they want and ban anyone they want from posting. If VB decides to do this, nobody’s rights are being violated.

    That said, I voted for the non-removal of comments and I stick by that in most cases. However, if there is a scenario in which (And I don’t monitor comments close enough to see if this is true) a specific reviewer/member has consistently, through time posted hate speech (or for that matter, just nonsense that isn’t funny and takes up space) they should be banned, not from the site, just from reviews. However, I would suggest that this should be done on a case-by-case basis, at the discretion of the admin.

    I wish more people would write real reviews that gave us info about the scene. I appreciate the time Rope spends, that saves me from wasting bandwidth and memory. I also appreciate the occasional review that manages to get me excited about the scene (e.g. “This chick does a great deep throat, check her out…Or, “the guy won’t shut up in this video, ignore it”). It is a clear principle that when you allow people to post anonymously on the net, hate speech follows. I can accept that. What I don’t appreciate are the “This chick is hot/ugly” reviews. Why waste both of our time? The point of the reviews to me, is so that people who like something very specific in their porn (e.g. Vids where the girl finishes the guy off, or ass-licking vids, or natural breast vids) can help each other find new scenes they might like. Anything else is just silly.

    I’ve suggested this before, and Allison, you said it was in the works, but VB needs a forum like I need a girlfriend. I think a lot of these problems would disappear if we had that.

  18. BigE Says:

    Wow, even I think hexed is being a douchebag.

  19. alison Says:

    The results seem pretty clear-cut to me. They’re not necessarily what I expected, but now it’s obvious that members would have a different perspective than an employee of the company. I do plan on sharing this with my co-workers (if they haven’t already read it here).

    xanthic – I think your idea is an interesting one, but no one’s commented any further on it. What do the rest of you think of hiding (but not deleting) comments below a certain bang threshhold?

    BigE – That’s quite a statement coming from you 😉 FYI, hexed got his comments removed because he violated the house rules for the blog – respect each other and me.

  20. Fedor Says:

    Just leave them and have a word censor. The recent surge of ghetto porn has certainly stirred things up.
    I love the reviews, I think they are hilarious and only a minute fraction get out of line. And please don’t hide ones after a certain bang threshold…some of the big time neg bang comments are hilarious.

  21. hiflyin77 Says:

    One thing I think needs to happen is change “reviews” to “comments” or something like that. Since, aside from the occasional honest review or dupe alert, all that ends of in there are everyone’s comments. For the most part the stuff posted on there is fine and can actually be pretty funny, if not a little repetative. I think everyone is aware now that Lee Stone’s dick is bent and that you can do jumping jacks in Audrey Hollander’s ass, this isn’t gonna change, so do we really need to see this stuff every time one of there vids comes up? That being said, there are times when reading through the reviews is more entertaining than what’s actually being posted. The main problem with the reviews is we have to deal with assholes like hexed and luntunbaby. These are just a couple of examples of people who make idiotic comments, which are usually offensive and/or disturbing, just to get a rise out everyone else. They post crap just to get noticed, and they get a laugh out of every single neg bang they get. I hate bringing more attention to them, but the above comments made by hexed are completly uncalled for and are an example of comments that should not only be deleted, but should have that person banned from the site. I think when the attacks become personal, as they did a few posts ago with Rope, that is when the line is crossed.

  22. hiflyin77 Says:

    Hey Alison, cyberhug. I have an idea for a post if your intersted. Let me know. Cheers

  23. xposh Says:

    The racist comments annoy me. There’s all types of people that use this website I’m sure. Don’t like stupid random off topic comments like saying something about the election or sports and then saying nothing else. That’s about it. Agree with apefj3to2: “Like the humor.Like the complaining about poor quality.” 90% of the time I don’t read comments unless it’s a scene that looks good.

  24. Maegorfromwow Says:

    It’s really hard to say what is okay. There is a large gray area. Stupid things, like “first” or any kind of political endorsement should clearly be deleted. But if it has anything to do with the scene, or porn in general, I think we have to allow it. Racist comments are annoying, but I think everybody is entitled to an opinion. If a comment is way over the top or clearly just a cry for attention, then it should be removed. I think Videobox has done a good job so far on the slight censorship. It’s just gonna have to be some VB employee’s judgment call. Banning, I am against banning. I just don’t think thats something the site should get into. If a member is consistently making extreme comments, then I can see why that might be considered, but it should be an absolute last resource. Thanks to all that actually read, haha.

  25. corcop Says:

    One poster that comes to mind that needs to have almost each and every comment he posts removed in mongrosbec. All he does in pick one or two posters, and goes off into some rambling, nonsensical rant filled with profanity. I’ve never seen the guy do anything but attack other posters and none of it ever makes sense. There are others that need the same treatment, but he is the first to come to mind.

  26. bxm294 Says:

    This is the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. A few years ago that used to mean something. They should say whatever they want, whenever they want. I’m so sick and tired of all you PC pundits out there. Being “politically correct” is overrated and there should be a constitutional amendment that bans people suing everyone because their “feeling were hurt”, or they were “emotionally distraught”. GROW UP AND GET OVER IT! Have a Great Day!

  27. DP Says:

    One thing I’ve noticed is that many times people will just negative bang comments that aren’t posted first. So if you happen to post a comment 6 hours after a video is released, it seems like it is automatically negative banged, despite whether you actually watched the scene before you reviewed it. This discourages me from taking the time to post a review.

  28. DP Says:

    Here’s another idea– have a ‘comments’ section and a ‘reviews’ section. Heavily moderate the ‘reviews’ and allow pretty much anything to be posted in ‘comments’. Maybe reward people who actually review the scenes after watching them by giving each user a personal review rating. In my view there should be a qualitative difference between a ‘review’ and a ‘comment’.

  29. Sabre17 Says:

    Without question the best laughs I’ve had in months have been from reading the comments on some of the scenes. Some of them are absolutely hilarious and I’d be sad to see that taken away. On the topic of “offensive” comments: Some people think that porn is offensive. Should we delete the whole site?

  30. Nate Says:

    I agree with Xanthic. Youtube’s system of hiding highly negatively reviewed comments works extremely well. In general for this site I would say -5 or lower should become invisible. Maybe there can even be an option to show/hide negatively reviewed comments here.

  31. BigE Says:

    My balls are a little itchy right now.

  32. G man Says:

    1) I think DP’s idea of distinguishing between reviews and other sorts of comments is very good indeed. It’s simple and manageable … and it would solve a lot of problems.

    2) A site like this should be VERY tolerant as to what is an acceptable post. But surely blatantly racist comments are just not on. There is a huge difference between PC gone wild and comments suggesting that black people are sub-human … HUGE.

    3) Several posters refer to the first amendment to the US constitution and the American tradition of free speech. True, VB is an American company but the subscribers come from all over the world – and the forums are international. If you are from a country like the US with strong racist traditions it is perhaps hard to appreciate just how incredibly shocking the “monkey references” are to many of the rest of us.

  33. G man Says:

    It should be clear from my last post that I advocate very few restrictions on posts. On the other hand there is a difference between posts/reviews that are acceptable and those that are actually worth reading.

    Thus I hereby give you the subjective and normative top 10 list of posts that I would be tickled pink to see a lot fewer of (in no particular order):

    1) So you don’t like this particular type of porn? Guess what … someone out there does. If you think BJ viddies are a drag don’t click on the link … don’t download … and for goodness sake don’t review.

    2) So you are thinking of cancelling your subscription? Bully for you – but I don’t flipping care. And by the way I notice that some frequent posters seem to have been considering that course of action repeatedly … for a very long time.

    3) So you disagree with another poster? Fine! That doesn’t actually give you a license to treat that person like he was Hitler (or your sadistic fifth grade PE teacher).

    4) So you aren’t into the whole orgy/DP thing? Cool. But some guys are – and enjoying watching a hot dame take cock by the truckload doesn’t necessarily make someone gay. If you are petrified of seeing two stiffies at once stay away from those flicks (and from the toilets in Airports frequented by Larry Craig).

    5) So you just need a little attention? Okay – we all do sometimes. But rushing in with the word “first” the split second after a movie has been posted does perhaps not endear you to the rest of us to quite the degree you had hoped for.

    6) So you had spend four hours waiting for the next update? Wow, that’s remarkably sad.

    7) So you actually have a comment relating to the content of this scene or movie? Sweet … that’s what the reviews are for! But please watch the action before commenting.

    8) So you are not the hugest fan of Audrey Hollander or the guy with the bend dick? I can relate to that … truly … but surely there is nothing new to add to that debate. And I have a sneaking suspicion that the esteemed VB smut peddlers may by now have sensed that these actors are not universally beloved.

    9) So you have an opinion? Nice. But if it’s entirely unrelated to porn or VB there is just the off chance it would be a more relevant post on a completely different site.

    10) So you were in a hurry? Fair enough. But it really doesn’t take all that that long to check your spelling … or even to go to that extra mile and use complete sentences.

  34. BigE Says:


    So you think everyone with a dissenting opinion should shut the fuck up? If all the people who hate BJ vids say “I hate BJ vids,” eventually VB will get their nads lined up and post fewer BJ vids. People need to be vocal about what they don’t like every bit as much as they need to be vocal about what they DO like — that is, 1) if people subscribers expect VB to post stuff the subscribers actually like, and 2) if the VB content people even give a slimy mudhole fuck what the subscribers like.

  35. whackitgood Says:

    XXX is ok, gangbang, anal, tranny ok, but watch the language? WTF?

  36. G man Says:

    Your point is valid but isn’t that what the rating system is for? If there is a type of vid you really dislike you can just give it zero stars – without even having to click on it.
    That way the message gets send to VB without all of us having to read the essentially same comments again and again.

  37. zarafan Says:

    Dear G man,

    I particularly like the Larry Craig reference in the 4th item on your list: kudos!!

  38. harstad Says:

    Let everyone make comments. Even stupid comments should be allowed because eventually people will just start to ignore them. If some idiot’s stupid comment hurt your feelings maybe you should stop watching porn and stick to Disney videos.

  39. ak Says:

    Could we please have a Lee Stone warning sign for scenes with Lee Stone? That would reduce the amount of comments by about 50 %.

  40. Damon Says:

    Actually ak’s idea has merits, Why not post the males stars wherever possible in a scene? If there is certain male star that annoys you such as Wesley Pipes or Lee Stone a user can steer clear. By the way both annoy me very much.

  41. xanthic Says:

    I feel like racial slurs are the worst type of comment, but having a word filter will do no good. It’s a small patch solution for a large leak. It makes people feel better, but it doesn’t actually do any good. Hiding the “offending” comments, however, is one of the better solutions, and has been working quite well for several years on Slashdot.

    I agree with Nate that -5 is a pretty good indication of a comment that could be hidden. It doesn’t have to be hidden forever, of course, but it would shorten up the main DVD comments sections that have 20 -10-banged comments.

    The review/comment splitting may not do much good either, since most of the comments *can* be construed as reviews. There are fewer long reviews posted on scenes lately; a lot of comments are non sequiturs.

    I agree with ak, though, that male star tags (and, as I’ve mentioned before, more tags or user tagging) would be helpful. I’m for as much tagging as possible.

    alison – I don’t think people take the time to read through all the comments on the blog, or get past the “censorship” flag-bearing.

  42. 14karma Says:

    This site pisses me off, sometimes its the site, and the wrong descriptions of the scenes, and sometimes its the people who write the comments. Im getting sick of paying the salaries of the people that write the descriptions. However if your dumb and the comment doesnt fit the scene, understand that I will ridicule you, and vice versa

  43. noissues Says:

    I generally always scan the review sections, and find the humor entertaining.
    Most comments in one way or another are reviews, as most smokin scenes generally have comments that remains on topic. Even one or two word opinions are fine, particularly the simple, “no cumshot” or “Dodger” remark, lending to the “less is more” theory, even though I’ll always appreciate more indepth findings.
    As for racist remarks? I must unconsciously ignore them, as I can’t recall one to even comment about.

  44. madmardigan Says:

    I’m all for leaving the system as is. Some of the comments are really really fucking funny. If you want to delete the racist ones, fine. But keep in mind it’s somewhat hypocritical when you put up vids with titles like “Look Dad I’m Fucking a Black Guy #2.” Obviously, blatant spam shouldn’t be deleted.

  45. madmardigan Says:

    Obviously, blatant spam SHOULD be deleted is what I meant to say.

  46. tingleboy2 Says:

    While I do think Videobox should police some of the reviews – obviously racist & hateful remarks, there is already some filtering going on as it is. I’ve been banned, and I’ve NEVER left a comment that could be construed as such, so I would ask, what is the current criteria for censorship?

  47. ILTK Says:

    Unless comments are racist or hatefull and directed at a person, or have nothing to do with a scene or video, leave them as they are. The user comments adds a community feeling and character to the site. Lots of times when I’m not even interested in a movie, I’ll hit the comments section anyway, there’s always a good chuckle in there somewhere.

    Like mentioned, what you could do is add a score filter to the user profiles and let individual members decide how low a score a comment can have, before it’s hidden. The framework is already there with the +/- bang values.

  48. simple Says:

    Simple solution, allow paid subscribers to report offensive posts and any post that accumulates X amount of votes will get reviewed. Post a Tooltip through javascript overtop the report button that gives notice that misreporting is not allowed and frequently doing so can have your account removed.