No sex, please, we're skittish


Lifecasting website Justin.tv has introduced an adult-content warning and age-verification system to broadcaster channels that want to push the limits of what the New York Times called "a PG-13 version of lifecasting." The broadcast of Dealer, considered offensive by some, appears to be the first channel to get the warning label. We suspect that, like a porn film's "XXX" rating, it will soon be a badge of pride strangely, though, nudity and sex remain unacceptable on Justin.tv in any circumstance. Why? Legal concerns aren't the issue.


When we previously reported the removal of a broadcast showing sex acts (involving Gawker staffer Nick McGlynn), Emmett Shear from Justin.tv commented:

As for sex - there are, unfortunate as it may be, laws regarding putting sex on camera. And we don't have the resources or capability to comply with those laws. We actually can't afford to become a porn site.
While it's true there are laws governing pornography, this claim strikes me as specious. Existing pornography laws mostly govern child pornography, and it is increasingly difficult to fail the ever-loosening standards established by the Miller test. A few provisions restricting the most prurient and violent sex acts, which everyone would easily agree with, would allow Justin Kan's company to comply with the law.

Moreover, thousands of porn sites with fewer resources and more questionable material easily have the capability to comply with the law. Justin.tv's introduction of age verification is the primary requirement to allow adult content. And yet the lifecasting site will not even permit nudity.

As we said previously, Justin.tv is seeking funding and mainstream publicity. Its founders are not afraid of legal concerns; they're afraid of controversy. Porn might distract reporters from writing puff pieces like the recent New York Times article, "A Site Warhol Would Relish." Actually, I suspect that Justin.tv's flailing hypocrisy is what would really crack Warhol up.