What does your Terms of Service mean by “pornographic” content?

Our Terms of Service prohibits “pornographic” and “predominantly sexual” material. We’re occasionally asked what that means.

The reason we have this rule is that some of our “family-friendly site” customers refuse to use a hosting company that hosts any pornographic sites. They’ve asked us whether we host pornographic sites, and told us they’d cancel their service with us if the answer was “yes”.

Every hosting company has to choose between hosting these “family-friendly” sites and “pornographic” sites. We’ve chosen to focus on the “family-friendly” ones, so when people ask, we tell them “No, we don’t host pornographic sites; they’re forbidden by our Terms of Service”. Since we’ve told customers that, we need to stand by it.

This raises the old question of “what is pornography?” Sometimes “pornography” is obvious — but on the other hand, much “artistic nudity” and “literary erotica” aren’t pornographic because sex isn’t the sole or predominant purpose. Unfortunately, the exact dividing line is nearly impossible to define in advance.

Because of that, you may want to ask yourself, “What would an average educated U.S. resident think if they saw your site? Would they think the predominant purpose of it is sex?”

If the answer is “yes” (or even “maybe”), we’re probably not the right hosting company to choose, unfortunately.