Let’s do this: can someone in this thread compile a list of “important/historically significant” adult films that should be on LB. Then we can see about adding an exceptions list to our importer that uses this list.
It might be time to summarize things for new folks coming in:
* Read the original idea above. It remains an accurate feature request.
Let's also assume the following, as good faith:
1. Some Letterboxd users want to track adult films.
2. Adult films are divisive and many feel disgusted by them.
3. From a historical perspective, any film of any genre can be important.
4. Creating a singular list of "important films" of any genre is impossible.
5. The Letterboxd team is small and busy and has other priorities.
And, finally, to clarify my role:
* I'm a user of Letterboxd. I, too, want to track adult films.
* I'm a developer who has written software, and books about software, for 25+ years.
* I've stopped paying for Letterboxd Patron status because of this issue.
* I am frustrated with Letterboxd's inaction, but I understand it.
* I am not a lawyer.
There have been two primary suggestions:
Remove the "adult film" filter entirely. From (my) developer's perspective, this seems the easiest programmatic solution because it's "just" a matter of removing the "is this film flagged as adult in TMDB?" check within the importer and updaters. It sounds soOoOO easy that, why, jeez, it must be SUPAH simple to accomplish for such a "small and busy" team like Letterboxd. However, it opens Letterboxd up to a huge can of worms when it comes to search engines and content filters (marking Letterboxd as an adult site because it has adult film covers or pornographic text across hundreds of pages), when it comes to parents and children (nudity in the movie posters, salacious text in the descriptions), and when it comes to the fervency of the "adult films are the devil's work" crowd (consider the obsessive details of IMDB's "parents guide" for a film, which is "acceptable" in its salacious details because we're "saving the children" dontchaknow). Add in differing definitions of adult content and child protection laws depending on where you live, and this "simple solution" would likely cost Letterboxd MORE time, MORE hassle, and MORE money (legal fees, a wider audience of angry users no longer subbing, etc.). It's just not tenable.
The other solution seems the safest from a user experience perspective: adding an "I want to see adult content" flag to a user's profile. However, from (again, my) developer's perspective, this is also the most costly to implement. Nearly every single "view" (not "page") on the site would need to be modified to support this flag. It's not just a matter of "me" wanting to add adult content to my lists, but also of "you" viewing my profile and feeds. It'd require a rewrite of the caching engines of the site to support adult vs. non-adult preferences. It affects everything at the stupidest level of detail: should the "You've watched 17 of 34" films statistic on a list count adult content? Should it show "17 of 34" for one user and "17 of 26" to another? Or some horrible amalgamation of "17 of 26 (8 adult films hidden)"? What about all the other stats that are calculated and then cached to prevent recalculation on every page load? For a "simple" site with little traffic, sure, doing all this would be relatively easy. But when you've got hundreds of thousands of users and millions of page requests, you've got a very different set of problems to solve. For a "small and busy" team like Letterboxd, this suggestion would likely take months of careful and concerted work for, likely, the smallest percentage of their user base. And any rendering bug would open Letterboxd to the same can of worms as the first solution above.
@Evan: Was it actually an adult film? Taking your comment at face value, it's hard to tell if you're inferring deliberate "wrongdoing" on Matt's part or not. (i.e., if it IS an adult film, then setting its flag on TMDB is technically correct, and the side-effect of having it removed from Letterboxd is less nefarious). Still, I agree: especially in regards to minority groups, it could easily be considered a matter of systemic racism (or sexism)
(To clarify: Matt himself is not sexist or racist, but if Letterboxd can be manipulated so easily that all black films on TMDB could be flagged "adult", and all that viewing and reviewing data would immediately be deleted from Letterboxd, with no recovery at all, then Letterboxd is hopelessly and systematically racist and sexist.)
Yeah, but I get the feeling that the issue here is NOT one of "how hard it is to implement" but rather one of morality from the people behind Letterboxd. I get the impression they're just unwilling to do it because it makes them feel dirty. Or wrong. Or less Christian. Or something.
I would much rather see the Adult filter go away. Letterboxd should not be responsible for my sensibilities: if it was, there'd be no romcoms on the site. I'd much rather see that ALL adult films are ALLOWED but, for the purpose of keeping the site "clean", NO artwork would be associated with them.
We’re considering options around this at present. Thanks for your input, which is invaluable.