Amazon quietly allows naughty bits on AWS again

Assume the horizontal scaling position in Naughty List News #45

(Header image courtesy of PeachJars)

Without much fanfare, Amazon updated the Acceptable Use Policy for their Amazon Web Services (AWS) this past July, and it is great news for adult content creators. This was first noticed by StudioWhy so kudos to them for spreading the news!

AWS is used for on-demand cloud computing on a metered pay-as-you-go basis. Web companies use this service to e.g. outsource the hosting of their content, which allows them to pay for resources as they use them. This is especially important for start-ups because they want to avoid paying for server infrastructure upfront that they might not actually need.

AWS is such a popular service that it accounts for around 67% of Amazon’s revenue and powers about a third of the Internet. Now imagine that service not being available to you if you make adult content.

This is because previously on AWS, you were not allowed to host “Offensive Content” on the service, which was defined as:

Content that is defamatory, obscene, abusive, invasive of privacy, or otherwise objectionable, including content that constitutes child pornography, relates to bestiality, or depicts non-consensual sex acts.

This term was defined in such a broad manner by Amazon that it could mean basically anything. All adult content could technically fall under the umbrella term of “obscene”, so it wasn’t clear to adult content creators if they would be in violation of the AWS policy by hosting their content on the service.

The updated policy specifically mentions that AWS cannot be used to host content that “promote[s] child sexual exploitation or abuse”, but it no longer uses the nebulous term “obscene” to describe the content you’re not allowed to host.

And that’s great because the term obscenity has historically never been clearly defined.

“I know it when I see it”

These words were famously written in a 1964 United States Supreme Court opinion by Justice Potter Stewart to describe his threshold test for obscenity in Jacobellis v. Ohio.

The case was about whether the state of Ohio could ban the showing of the film The Lovers (Les Amants), which the state had deemed to be obscene. The Supreme Court reversed the conviction of the defendant and ruled that the movie was not obscene, and therefore protected speech under the constitution, but the judges could not agree on a rationale. Thus, obscenity was legally defined as “I know it when I see it”.

The definition of obscenity under United States law would remain nebulous until Miller v. California, which resulted in what is now known as the “three-prong standard” or Miller test. Obscenity is now defined as that which lacks "serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value."

Even though not all global citizens live in the United States, we are all still affected by the precedent they set for companies operating within their borders. As I mentioned up top, AWS powers around a third of the Internet, which means that many companies copy the Acceptable Use Policy from Amazon for their own services.

Run away from trouble in Chasing Tails

Chasing Tails ~A Promise of Snow~ is the latest game from Flat Chest Dev. You play as June who tries to escape her troubles by moving into a new home in a new town. Unfortunately, trouble has a way of catching up with her.

Not only is her new house haunted, but she’s also being actively pursued by a female stalker named Rin. She is the future head of a powerful clan that runs the town, so what would a beautiful and rich girl like her want with a girl like June?

Chasing Tails looks very cute and sweet. I really enjoyed Flat Chest Dev’s last game, so I’m excited to try this one out as well!

Chasing Tails ~A Promise of Snow~ is available now on Steam.

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Until next time!

-Mr. Hands