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Why was the Spanking Art Wiki removed? Since when does wikia censor non-pornographic topics? Why wasn't there any warning? What happened to the content? Where are the thousands of hours of work? Anonyq2005 17:02, 26 January 2008 (UTC)anonyq2005

Don't we even get to know why the Wiki was deleted so that we can respond? Anonyq2005 16:13, 27 January 2008 (UTC)anonyq2005
I ask about that on IRC yesterday, and I was told that it wasn't deleted, just "hidden" while it's "reviewed". I have no more details on that. And yes, is really odd that nobody on wikia wants to give you an explanation of that. Although it's said in Terms_of_use#Access_to_wikis_hosted_by_Wikia.2C_Inc., I know that it's very annoying for all users of that wikia. Since now, take seriously the possibility of having an updated backup of the wiki. Maybe there's a backup of the wiki at [1] as "old-spankingart.wikia.com". --Ciencia Al Poder (talk) -WikiDex 17:03, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the concern. There have been some outside inquiries about the content of the wiki that were very difficult to deal with in a thoughtful way on a Friday afternoon. We chose to remove the wiki from public view while we work with the both the complainants and the community to make sure that the wiki is focused on its mission of documenting adult sexuality. All parties have been polite and responsive and we hope to have the issue resolved soon.

We do reserve the right to remove access to our wikis on the very rare occasion when we decide it is necessary, but the GFDL license means that the content belongs to the community, and we comply with that license by making backups of all wikis available on a daily basis. We will be happy to provide more information as it becomes available. — Catherine@Wikia (talk) 03:15, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Sannse has informed me today that the closure will not be temporary but permanent. So Wikia has really shut down our wiki for good. For all who read this, I want to emphasize again that there was nothing illegal or immoral in our wiki, neither in the text nor in the images. People may find spanking art distasteful, but it is not pornography, and 100% covered by the freedom of speech and artistic expression in U.S. law. We have always followed any of Wikia's rules and policies, and Wikia did not seem to have any problem at all with our wiki until last week when a group of outside critics from Wikipedia Review started to attack our wiki in a most preposterous way.
The topic of our wiki was "spanking in art, movies and literature" and we always kept on topic. The wiki has existed since May 2005, for almost three years. We had an active community, strong policies to keep everything in good encyclopedic NPOV style, and more than 1,600 articles of content.
I would like to ask that a Wikia representative give a precise reason why you saw a need to shut down our wiki completely without first seeking dialogue with the admin and the community. After all, this is a wiki and any text content you find inappropriate can be edited and any image you find inappropriate can be deleted - I don't think more than 20% of the images would have been affected even by the most rigorous cleanup of "inappropriate material", by whatever standards. Spankart 21:29, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
I would like to echo the concern and request for further details (though not being part of that wiki community). In particular, I would like to know whether the issue is intrinsically with the subject matter itself ("spanking in art, movies and literature"), or with any particular language/images that were on the wiki when the "review" took place. The implications can affect a number of other wikis. -Afker 01:13, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
The bottom line is your Wiki had the potential to cause major embarrassment for Wikia, Inc. The only option even considered by Wikia was for it to proceed was to not feature anything to do with children whatsoever.
Don't count on getting the "backups" of the Wiki. Considering the "innapropriate" nature of the material, it is in Wikia's best interest to dispose of it completely. Soon, Google's cache will update with the Spanking Art Wiki's demise. Internet Archive could respond to a request to delete it from their WayBack Machine. The two and a half years of hard work by yourself and hundreds of others will no longer exist on the Internet.
www.wikia.com/wiki/Wikia:Our_stories#Spanking_Art
The faith Angela Beesley and Jimmy Wales put into you was apparently wasted. Forget the First Amendment, Gnu Free Documentation License, Neutral Point of View, and the "self-correcting" means of allowing "anybody to edit." This is all a business and you failed to meet expectations. Spanking Art Wiki Contributor


I too would like to point out my displeasure, suprise and practical disgust at this poor desicion. Something I see as a practical moral cowardice in the face of a highly negative and dubious complants from the troll lobby group and internet crusade thinktank the Wikipedia review. Amazingly they managed to take the scalp of a three year Wikia in a weekend. I wonder which is next?
Next? I've no idea, but we're open to suggestions... --220.101.181.74 10:14, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
Certainly the information contained on the Furpedia will probably be following soon, if adult content is indeeded their current red flag. Considering the thousands of hours of work (Including many dozens myself to create NPOV articles on a variery of issues, providing direction on-topic information BETTER than that of the wikipedia itself and to edit other articles lifted from Wikipedia to suit the accuracy required on the SP-Art wikia (Not unlike the offending article that has seen our Wikia disappear in a puff of smoke). Many articles unique to our Wikia regarding artists and authors, both current and of previous years, free art sites explained and linked to fullly legal artwork now removed without a hint of warning and tarred with the same brush - marked with the same ludicrous and insupportable claims of the Wiki-review.
I'm so delighted to hear that all communication on the isssue was 'Polite and responsive' (The original quote is now removed). It would be tragic to think that the Wikipedia review had reverted to type as a vitriol crusading force of haters who - As Encyclopedia Dramatica would say probably only do it for the Lulz and feelings of self importance - still managed to get the Wikia shut down! I percieve that this weekend of decision making was rather more about the act and the motions rather than the balencing of issues. It seems it was over the instant a certain inbox pinged with 'You've got Mail'. It was rather hard for the defence to concieve of arguments in the face of tiny dribbles of information coming through, as opposed to the potention combined spammage that the Wiki-review and all their members had managed to pool together to create - especially seeing as our legal and until then fully rule-following Wikia had led a blameless life. I point to the high usuage and activity, the large size and scope of articles covering all areas of factual and even fiction, characters and storylines of Art series, artists and lifestyles and all in a fully informative style. I point to the low rate of vandalism compared to Wikipedia and other Wikia's - something odd for such an allegedly controversial Wikia, hmm?
I wonder which will be the next Wikia to be closed, seeing as the scalp has been taken? No doubt in my mind the Wikia admins here are begining the slow retreat from Stalingrad here with the dogs nipping at their heels - they may even wait a few weeks first to celebrate their gob-smackingly easy victory over common sense. I think it's fair to say I feel like a trussed-up Turkey now or a british farm animal. Fully Heathy, but culled. Sacrrificed for no better reason than to restore consumer confidence. I don't think it's unfair foreshadowing to say that the knives of the Wiki-review are now being sharpened for the next one in the name of malice and troublemaking. I do wonder which will be the next to go on this slow and morally cowardly retreat from opposition that you are powerless over, as opposed to those who rely on your services whom it seems you can arbitrarily cull at any moment. I cannot believe the suddenness and frankly ludicrious nature of the argument that closed the Spanking-Art Wikia and I can scarecly credit the wrongness of this decision. I think speaking as someone who created articles on something called the Spanking-Art Wikia gives me authority to say terminating such a large and hard-worked on Wikia in a weekend to the Wikia-review truely is Masochism on the part of the admins, true Masochism. Sacrificed to restore consumer confidence. RobM 02:33, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

This just goes to prove that Wikipedia was an idiot's dream to begin with: sure, we can have all the Freedom and Democracy we want until somebody gets offended! I thoroughly enjoyed the SpankingArt Wikia, but, as with all things inherently "democratic" (barring all classical use of the term), the Powers That Be ignore Majority Rule in favour of Minority Rule, those small groups who wanna bitch about some hypermoralistic semantics and just so happen to have the entire system by the shorthairs. Ignore guaranteed rights, ignore observation of the law, and ignore popular opinion: after all, this is Wikipedia, the People's Encyclopedia, right?

Uh, no it isn't. Wikia is not Wikipedia, besides the base software and the founders and some of the users, they have nothing alike. --Skizzerz talk 04:22, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

The apparent lack of professionalism exhibited by Wikia, Inc. in the SpankArt Wiki "review" process is astounding. It's been four days since the wiki in dispute has been taken offline, and yet the company has still failed to issue a single clear comment to the community elucidating the fate of the content or the progress or conclusions of its administrative review. There has been no transparency, no timeline, indeed no overt indication whatsoever of any formal protocol being followed. All we know is that some complaint about the wiki's content was too much for this multi-million-dollar hosting company to handle decisively "on a Friday afternoon" (or, evidently, the successive three afternoons). From the mute, lethargic proceedings here, one can infer that this simple wiki poses a de novo test for Wikia that has been incomprehensibly "difficult to deal with" by employees who are supposedly paid for their understanding of copyright law and their own company's objective policies. Ridiculous! -Chip Wilson Qpwoeiritu 04:40, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

If it's gone permanently I'll never have anything to do with wikia ever again or anyone who maintains material here. EVERYONE is offended by something and we all have the choice as to what we view. Get over it.

Mr. Shiny

An explanation

Let me start with an apology.

This has been a difficult decision for us at Wikia. We support communities, but in order to do so, we also need to respect the advertisers who pay our bills and the viewers who visit our sites. We believe there is a place for the community, but unfortunately not on Wikia. This was not a hasty decision, although recent complaints have pushed it forward faster than I would have liked.

The first thing to say, is that the content is safe. We have a full copy of the database and will make it available at any time for the community. We will help transfer this information to a new host and are willing to provide free technical support if needed to get the wiki restarted. We are very aware of the spirit of the GFDL and the open source movement and support it. This is YOUR content, and we will ensure it is safe and available for you. That is our first priority as a steward of your work.

Wikia is supported by advertising and our advertisers told us early on that they would have issues with being on this site. As a result, we have hosted the site without commercial advertising for some time, which meant no revenue and ever increasing costs and we were prepared to continue doing so. Recently, we started getting complaints about the content from users and visitors and unfortunately other Wikia wiki volunteers. The wiki's topic, while innocent in its founder's intent, was easy for a new visitor to mis-interpret and get upset about.

Spankart was very agreeable to working on these content problems and at no time do we believe the community violated any laws. However it became clear to us that it wouldn't be possible to clear all the content that was causing disquiet, while still keeping to the topic and goals of the wiki. There would always be the potential for controversial content, especially on a topic where eroticism and childhood experience are so inextricably tied. Given that we were already losing money supporting the project, we reached a tipping point.

What we hope to do now is support Spankart in finding a new host and assist in transferring the content. We support your right to free speech and wish you well. We hope you can similarly understand that there were real business reasons why we had to make this choice and that you can find room in your hearts to forgive us.

Gil (talk) 05:05, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

The final database dump is now available.
http://wikistats.wikia.com/dbdumps/spankingart/pages_current.xml (latest revision)
http://wikistats.wikia.com/dbdumps/spankingart/pages_full.xml (all revisions)
Angela@Wikia (talk) 12:04, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
For the other wikis that have either implicit or explicit eroticism/sexuality themes on Wikia, is any one else also getting near the tipping point? Are there ones that Wikia is aware of might become an issue in the future (but isn't right now because the wiki itself is keeping a relatively low profile)? If any other communities will have to end up being moved, an advanced warning can help making the transfer process smoother and minimize the downtime of the content. -Afker 06:05, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
Gil, thank you for your communication tonight, and for an arrant demonstration of how easy it is to sell out on principles when one is foraging like a brontosaur for the lushest cash. You have splendidly clarified the issue at hand by going on record, stating outright that it is Wikia's de facto policy to extirpate unpopular ideas and those not endorsed by the mighty advertising dollar from your service. And I just love that smarmy, saccharine note of faux emotion you finish on, Gil -- you delete these guys' wiki after holding it hostage for four days, then implore them for "room in [their] hearts to forgive you" as you trot off looking for easier moolah. Chip Qpwoeiritu 06:19, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

BTW, in case there is any confusion, "Wikipedia Review" seems to be formed by a bunch of people who criticize and review Wikipedia, instead of being a sub-group of Wikipedia as the name might lead some to infer. -Afker 06:55, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

It seems to me that you might have set a rather dangerous prededent for yourself, Gil. Are you certain you want to have Wikia policy dictated by your advertisers? You said that there would always be the potential for controversial content; surely this is true for practically any Wikia hosting politically or socially unpopular content. If your advertisers required (for instance) the removal of a site dealing with gay marriage or lesbian motherhood, would you be prepared to comply with their demands? Deleting the Spanking Art Wiki might have seemed like the only possible solution to the problems you were facing, but the decision will eventually return to haunt you. Ciao, Blackshade9 07:23, 29 January 2008 (UTC) .
I see that some response has been elicted. I don't find the appology in any way false or the plea to be insincere, I do believe you on that and slightly feel sorry for those admins who sacrificed an hour or five this weekend trying to get themselves comfortable with the nigh-forgone decision to delete our Wikia.
I don't think this was an easy choice... but it is the EASIEST choice, isn't it? Wash your hands of it and tip the balence in favour of the removal of a score of other Wikia's in the coming future.
The only part that tic's me in any way was your promise of support for our free speach. Support that stops short it seems of defence to the end. Even as a European (And therefore either a commie or peasant toiling under a king or something) I understand the most important tenant of Free Speach is to defend it, not say it isn't your job to do it - understandable on a small webhost, but not on a supposed fact-based host.
Even on the internet it seems that "The only thing we have to Fear, is Fear itself." has totally been swallowed by "We need to be afraid of the unknown and slgihtly different from ourselves at all times, especially if some people get the wrong end of the stick and complain." RobM 09:56, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

As much as I've, at times, had problems with some of the child related content on this wiki, I've always supported it because I think its continued existence is a pretty clear cut free speech issue. If wiki editors were offended by content then they should have edited it rather than lobby to have it removed. If I were such an editor I would feel a deep sense of shame at my own hypocrisy. The correct answer to objectionable speech is, as always, more speech. Removing this wiki is a cowardly act no matter how you dress it up and doing so is clearly against Wikia's mission statement. I think the world should know that in this corner of the supposedly free internet a whole group of people's ability to express themselves is being forcibly taken away.

Could someone forward this story to the New York Times and other appropriate news agencies please. Anonyq2005 14:33, 29 January 2008 (UTC)anonyq2005

Same old story

Unfortunately it seems the brave new world of Wicki is in fact just another slave of corporate advertising….Please let us not offend any cooperation as “They” always represent the public interest, and free speech….NOT! A “business decision” is surely not the most pressing concern for an organization that is supposed to be about free speech? And yet it is. Gil states “ We support your right to free speech” I say no..no…you don’t , and you have lost any claim to doing so. Disappointed, Ralph

Give Gil Another Day To Fix This Wiki

I think Gil Penchina and Wikia still have a limited opportunity to support "free speech," although credibility is eroding fast with every hour that the wiki under discussion remains unavailable.

To make a good-faith effort at reconciling his business practice of culling non-violatory content with an ethical position defending free speech, duty would fall upon Gil himself to locate an alternate no-cost host for the SpankingArt Wiki--and ideally, he would have left SpankingArt online at Wikia until the move were complete. Now, I'm not sure there is logical room for an honest free speech platform at a business that puts content on trial before advertisers and ideological censors, but with this wiki down for the better part of a week in the absence of objective cause, it is clear that Gil hasn't been making any such good-faith effort toward accommodation. He's been all about the lip-service, though.

Consider the hypothetical, but increasingly plausible, case that Wikia, Inc. defaults on the ideals of the "free culture" movement of which it purports to be part: specifically, consider that Wikia is "lock[ing] down culture and control[ling] creativity" by putting content on trial before advertisers and ideological censors. What does this mean for the competitive future of the company? I'll admit to concern-trolling here, because I personally don't care if Wikia turns profit or not. But it seems that without their ideals, Wikia has no purpose, no edge. Their wiki software is open-source stuff that any shlub can install on his server; their advertising-based business model is conventional, perhaps even retrograde. Is it possible that competitors will snatch up a cast-off "free culture" mantle and beat Wikia over the head with it, cultivating the more controversial, creative, and intellectual communities and reaping the rich advertising revenue that can be associated with this demographic when a smart and respectful entrepreneur engages it??

Wikia is a relatively new company, and Gil maybe deserves an extended opportunity to put his money where his mouth is in terms of this free speech thing. So in response to Anonyq's call for a referral the the NYT (actually, I'd recommend Slashdot, Wired, or DailyKos), I think Gil and crew should be given another day to try harder--to "find room in his heart," if you will--to accommodate the "SpankingArt" community. -Chip Wilson Qpwoeiritu 20:24, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Thank you, Gil, for your explanation of the matter, and thank you everyone else for your comments and support. I am aware that Wikia reserves the right to discontinue any of their hosted wikis at any time and for any reason (and even without giving a reason). Still, I am disappointed that Wikia did not even attempt for one day or two to solve the content issues together with the wiki community, although we have always been fully cooperative with any of your requests (e.g. last week when we changed our image use policy at your request and deleted 74 GFDL-licensed and public domain images because they showed minors). In all the years we worked together, we followed any of Wikia's terms of use, and Wikia has not once contacted us to say they have any problem with our content. That's why I am disappointed that, when our wiki got under attack from outside critics last week, Wikia did not protect us but instead chose to comply with the attacker's demand to shut down the wiki.
Up to last Saturday we had full trust in Wikia (and a wiki has to have trust in their host - just think of the thousands hours of work we spend on these projects), but I'm sorry to say this trust is no longer there. Today you have even removed the "wiki removed" page that linked to this discussion, so visitors who come to our old URL http://spankingart.wikia.com/ will no longer know what has happened. I agree with Chip Wilson in that Wikia seems to have changed from a "we support free speech" company in 2005 to a "we support free speech as long as it is non-controversial" company in 2008. You have every right to make such a change, but this has definitely opened a new market gap for other wiki hosters to fill. Up to last weekend I recommended Wikia to everyone who wanted to launch their own wiki, because (despite some technical problems) there was always a constructive and liberal atmosphere. But now I can no longer recommend your site, I'm sorry to say.
Luckily we found a new host and Wikia's help in transferring the wiki is greatly appreciated. There are technical issues such as the user database, but I hope we'll find a way to solve these. Spankart 06:53, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
The user database issue is solved now. Spankart 17:20, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
I think that at least Wikia must point http://spankingart.wikia.com/ to that forum page or some page explaining what happened to the wiki. Not acting like that wiki never existed. --Ciencia Al Poder (talk) -WikiDex 19:36, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

There goes the neighbourhood

Wikia had to choose between the principles they claimed to support, and corporate sponsorship. They made their decision - money was more important.

Now I have to choose between the principles Wikia claimed to support, and Wikia as it really is. I've made my decision - integrity is more important.

Goodbye Wikia.


Let's Outsource Wikia, Inc. to Turkey, China, or Iran.

Gil Penchina and any other senior management at Wikia, Inc. behind the decision to can this wiki ought to be reassigned to China, Turkey, or maybe Iran, where their commitment to freedom of expression will be more resonant with the status quo.

Take a moment to consider an example of a principled stand on freedom of expression, that of blog host Wordpress.com (and owner Matt Mullenweg) versus the government of Turkey. Last year, a petty creationist cult leader named Adnan Oktar strong-armed the Turkish judiciary into banning access to ALL of Wordpress.com for the entire 70 million people of Turkey, just because some "unpleasant" things were said about him on a Wordpress blog. Wordpress could have easily knuckled under to the judgment and removed the disputed material. Few people would have noticed, few would have cared, and Wordpress could have enjoyed a broader international audience and made money from Turkish users. But they chose to defend the blogger, who had done nothing wrong. Although to this day Wordpress.com remains blocked throughout an entire nation, they embraced a principled stand and obviously are still in business with their corporate dignity intact. Read Matt Mullenweg's blog here: http://wordpress.com/blog/2007/08/19/why-were-blocked-in-turkey/; then come back and read Gil's post again. You tell me who's the "weakest link." If you were Amazon's Jeff Bezos and had a few million dollars to invest in making the Web a better place, to whom would YOU give it??

I propose that we mail Gil and any of the other complicit corporate directors of Wikia a one-way airline ticket to Turkey (or China, or Iran) so these individuals can go work for kindred spirits in the government there. Personally, I am good for $500 on this offer. Riddance, please!!

-Chip Wilson Qpwoeiritu 04:11, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Your "principled stand" is all nice and good and well in a magical fairytale world where everything is powered by hugs and snuggles. However, contrary to popular belief, the internet is not free, either in the "free speech" sense or in the "costs no money" sense. Running a website costs [i]money[/i]. Thus, a site that hosts other people's content, such as Wikia, has three choices: they can put ads on the page so that it pays for itself, they can make you pay a hundred dollars a month to have a wiki on their site, or they can do neither and support your wiki for free out of the goodness of their hearts, at least until they run out of money and go bankrupt and EVERYONE'S wiki is gone. Even if they're kindhearted souls who believe wholeheartedly in free speech and don't care about money at all, they need to make money to pay for the site itself. I understand that a lot of you guys are angry about your Wikia being taken down, and that's understandable, but free speech does NOT mean that you can say anything you want and never experience any consequences for it. Just as you might remove words your boss finds objectionable from a report you're writing rather than risk losing your job, which is your source of income, Wikia chose to remove a wiki that its advertisers found objectionable rather than risk losing its ad revenue, which is its source of income.
As for your Turkey example, you seem to imagine that Wordpress ignored the Turkish decision because of some sort of principles, when in actuality it ignored the Turkish decision because it doesn't make a significant impact in Wordpress's profits, since Wordpress makes most of its money by users purchasing account upgrades and avoids reliance on advertising. Don't forget, additionally, that Turkish users do not make up a significant percentage of most websites' userbase. Wordpress's decision was simply: "Which group of users is more profitable? The 1% of my users who live in Turkey and therefore lost access to the site, or the 90% of my users who live in the USA, Europe, or any other mostly free country and might leave if I censor things for political reasons?" And, of course, he also ignored it because it was a Turkish court decision. If American courts made the same request, which is quite possible in this era of turbulent and unclear internet law, he would've bent right over backward since they have the ability to actually ENFORCE decisions against him.
In another part of the page, you claimed that these actions are somehow counter to the "free culture" movement. In about five seconds, I was able to determine that "free culture" simply means that the content is not copyrighted and is open source. Are these words I'm typing open-source? Bang, that's as "free culture" as it's possible to get. Like I said, I understand that you're angry about losing your wiki, but seeing a bunch of people shocked and enraged that a major for-profit Web 2.0 website is against making decisions that cause it to lose money gets me a bit worked up as well. Remember, just like the rest of the world, the internet is powered by money, and most websites reserve the right to remove content for any reason - such as losing money. Always be aware of where a website is getting its money. 128.186.229.108 05:14, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
Hello, anonymous Florida State University poster. Wikia has the option, like all other hosting services, of deleting or altering content at the drop of a hat for whatever reason pleases it--lack of ad revenue, subjective disgust with the material, etc. In my experience, most Western hosts tend to take a laissez-faire approach, leaving content alone unless it is found to violate terms of service. That's the "real world" of the Internet today, not some fluffy lib'rul fairy-tale world of my dreams. On the other hand, Wikia management demonstrated that they can take a very intrusive, autocratic role in manipulating users' content to make more money, TOS be damned. Intrusive, because they shut down the Spanking Art wiki suddenly without notice, obliterating its community; and autocratic, because no good alternatives to the disruption (e.g. hosting the site until it could be moved) were solicited or considered. As you've noticed, I do assert that this behavior runs countercurrent to the basic tenets of "free culture." I really don't think I need to explain that any more than I have, particularly considering that your rebuttal, by your own admission, has five seconds of research behind it. I think the onus is on Wikia and its defenders to explain why a brute-force nuking explicitly for the cause of money is coherent in any way with free culture, which happens to be Wikia's corporate philosophy. I understand that Wikia's philosophy may not prove to be good for business. In that case, they need to ditch the free culture shtick and try to carve another niche anew. We do know that censored, inane, Chinese-style webhosting is profitable business, and I see that as Gil Penchina's natural niche since free culture is spoiling his dividends here on Wikia. (V1agr4, anyone?) -Chip Wilson Qpwoeiritu 08:45, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
The "they can put ads on the page so that it pays for itself, they can make you pay a hundred dollars a month to have a wiki on their site" claim contains some severe factual gaps. To clarify: There are commercial hosting companies which rent entire servers for less than $100 - esecuredata.com was one, there are others. One server can host many sites, be they wiki, blog, static webpages - the only limit being the total amount of traffic going to the site. Most wikis don't need an entire dedicated server; shared hosts are cheap and plentiful - the market is saturated with them. When you host on a commercial (shared or dedicated) server, they don't own your data, your domain name or your user list... you do. Dissatisfied for any reason? Move the site and data, keep the same URL, and everything continues to work with little or no disruption visible to the end users.
However Wikia, by the way it is set up, does not give you these options. You don't have your own domain; everything is *.wikia.com and that URL can be used to host a wiki in direct competition with your new host should your community decide to leave voluntarily and host their project elsewhere. This also often means that the second-level domains (name of your wiki).org, .com, .net, .info and the like do end up registered by various fly-by-night pay-per-click linkspam parking schemes as soon as you become even moderately successful - if you don't register them first, someone else will. You also don't have your own userlist; it's shared with every other Wikia (except en.uncyclopedia) and many names your users may want to use are already taken.
You also don't get the option (at any price) to have Wikia simply remove the ads from your existing wiki. It's an option that a few certainly have asked for - for instance the Czech Uncyclopedia, Neciklopedie, had enquired about this when they moved to Wikia in 2006 but got nowhere. This leaves Wikia's user community at the mercy of advertisers. Want to start the Massive Consumer Boycott advocacy wiki or the Wiki in some weird language for which there are few or no advertisers? Might be best to register a domain and pay for a proper shared commercial host up-front instead of trying to guess and second-guess what will become of your project if Wikia finds that it does not serve the needs of its advertisers.
If there are to be ads, the emphasis should be on making the ads fit the site, not making the site fit the ads. Otherwise, the quality of content on various sensitive topics will suffer. And yes, there does need to be an option to upgrade seamlessly from ad-based hosting to non-free (but no advertisements) hosting or even to a different (shared, dedicated or co-located) provider. That upgrade path, and an independent self-contained domain for individual projects, are key pieces that are missing from the Wikia product.
This much needs to be fixed, if not as a free-speech issue, then as a competitive commercial priority. The business model of dependence on ad revenues is not ideal for every community and it would make sense to provide the same flexibility that users of conventional commercial webhosting servers have long taken for granted. --carlb 14:01, 13 February 2008 (EST)

The End

I have no interest in debating politics. All I know is that hundreds of hours of my work is gone and the explanation seems pretty flimsy. Next time, if there is a next time, I will approach community projects with a bit more cynicism.

-Bonnie

None of your work is gone. It's just moved to a new host. Yesterday we helped with getting all the content in place, and the user list working so that your login will continue to work (you will have to re-enter your email address, as we obviously didn't pass that to a third party without permission). There are just a couple of tweaks left to do, and the images to pass over. Ensuring your work is not lost is very important to us. -- sannse@Wikia (talk) 09:09, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Exactly Where is this "new host? I don't see any link to it here.
Spankart will announce that when he's ready... we will also discuss with him how best to handle some sort of site notice from the old site -- sannse@Wikia (talk) 10:01, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Clone relaunched

A "almost brand-spanking-new" copy of the wiki has been recovered to spankingart.org; it seems to only cover up to 24 January 2008 but at least all is not lost.

Oh sh*t. This is not the official relaunch which I have been preparing together with our official new host, and together with the help of Wikia. This is a clone of our wiki. I don't know who set up this clone, and I've not been involved with this. The downside of this clone is that the complete user database is gone, whereas at the official relaunch of the wiki, which is currently in preparation and will be online soon, we transferred a slice of Wikia's user database, so that nobody can register a new account under a username that's already been used before. I ask that the person who set up the clone please contact me by e-mail ASAP. Spankart 17:44, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
Here's the WHOIS record on the domain reported above:
Domain ID:D150858865-LROR
Domain Name:SPANKINGART.ORG
Created On:03-Feb-2008 04:26:02 UTC
Last Updated On:03-Feb-2008 04:28:16 UTC
Expiration Date:03-Feb-2009 04:26:02 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar:Dynadot, LLC (R1266-LROR)
Status:CLIENT TRANSFER PROHIBITED
Status:TRANSFER PROHIBITED
Registrant ID:C-20300
Registrant Name:Carl Austin Bennett
Registrant Street1:uncyclomedia.org
Registrant Street2:Box 21024
Registrant Street3:
Registrant City:Kingston
Registrant State/Province:Ontario
Registrant Postal Code:K7L 5P5
Registrant Country:CA
Registrant Phone:+1.8888225675
Registrant Phone Ext.:
Registrant FAX:
Registrant FAX Ext.:
Registrant Email:carlb613(at)hotmail.com
This registrant operates dozens of other Wikia site clones, to what end I'm not sure.
-Chip Qpwoeiritu 18:53, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
Oh, and I should also point out that the unregistered user who provided the link above, at IP 66.102.80.212, is located in Kingston, ON, where Mr. Bennett's address is. -Chip Qpwoeiritu 18:57, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
I've already attempted to contact user:spankart via e-mail to (hopefully) arrange transfer of the domains in question, at which point the name could simply be pointed to whatever new site is set up. I have no direct stake in this matter; the site and its data just needed to quickly be available somewhere where it would be safe from Wikia deleting it in response to commercial pressures. I shall be quite glad when this is over. --carlb 19:03, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
OK Carl. Thanks for your help. -Chip Qpwoeiritu 19:25, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
Do I understand it correctly that the clone site Spankingart.org will link to the new site once Spankart has set it up? That would be great, 'cause I just posted on a lot of blogs and forums that spankingart.org is the new home of the Spanking Art wiki... In any event, it would be really annoying if we have two sites up and running. Plus, maybe we should tell people that they should not edit Spankingart.org 'cause I assume that all edits will be gone if the link to the new site is set. Right? Jack80 20:42, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes, the key advantage of an independent domain (such as spankingart.org instead of spankingart.wikia.com) is that the name, once turned over to Spankart, is available to be used for the new server (wherever in the world it may be). The name would belong to the project, not to Wikia or another outside entity.
And no, edits need not be lost in transition. Just use Special:Export on the old server to copy the revisions you want to keep and Special:Import them to the new site. At that point, the former site has served its purpose and can be shut down with no visible effect to the end-users. --carlb 21:07, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
Okay, thanks Carl. You did not mean to cause us trouble, but effectively you have done so, I'm afraid. We did not plan to make the URL of our relaunch public on sites such as Wikia or Wikipedia anytime soon, because we do not want to attract unwanted attention from the free speech haters and self-proclaimed content censors out there. This is a request from our new host. If we used your registered domain we would get this attention. I replied to your e-mail, so let's discuss the options we now have by e-mail. Spankart 23:55, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
Unfortunate. My apologies that you've had to deal with this. I've locked the database so that no further logons or content editing is possible. This should give those who contributed one last chance to download a copy of their work, while effectively closing the site to any further activity. --carlb 02:37, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
I'd just like to point out that as far as Wikia is concerned, you won't find a more helpful, honest, and decent guy than Carlb, who has shown his honor and integrity all over Wikiland, time and time again. And as for those nasty Wikipedia "Review" people, well... they're just bad news, simple as that. Best not to mess with them! Anyway, good luck folks, and don't forget to get all those legal disclaimers worded properly, as soon as you can manage. Muy importanto! Some user 05:07, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
In the grand scheme of things? Some random web forum for users that've been banned from Wikipedia has no importance at all. There are far bigger fish out there. Case in point: the Great Firewall of China is being used to block access to various Uncyclopedia projects, both on and off-Wikia. As much as they dislike the Taiwanese version (uncyclopedia.tw) and its references to their "repugnant opposite-shore power", various others in the Asia-Pacific region (such as Chinese and Japanese) have also become targets for glorious peoples socialist régime. Not the only case of national governments objecting to the free-and-open manner in which wiki content can be edited by all and sundry, but a notable example as the list of affected sites is a long one, including notables like BBC news. Trolling and sarcasm aside, the rights in the Charter are not something which I'd advise anyone take for granted as just another unimportant piece of legislation. --carlb 17:44, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
I've got to agree with Carl here. Individual trolls and their efforts are essentially irrelevant to the demise of Spanking Art on Wikia. Trollage is a mundane force of nature--familiar and omnipresent, like gravity, always tugging things in a downward direction. The only people who cannot stand up to trollage, like those who cannot stand up to gravity, are ones with no backbone. How often do you see a person with no backbone? Now that is a truly remarkable, deplorable creature! A veritable puddle of debased musculature with no spine, no central nervous system to speak of, save perhaps a stunted notochord convulsing under the primitive instinct of self-enrichment. Gil Penchina, take a "bow." --Chip Wilson Qpwoeiritu 20:47, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
At least Carlb got the site up registered a useful domain name. Better than the furfags at AnimeOTK who seem to do nothing but make up new restrictions and take up Spankart and Wikia staff's time.
Unless you are willing to survive the torture of AnimeOTK's chat room long enough to become one of their b1tches, expect to have any edit you make immediately reverted and your username and IP banned.null —This unsigned comment is by 85.195.119.14 (wallcontribs) . Please sign your posts with ~~~~!

As said above, the content is safe, and fully available. Any user can download their work, there's no need for "one last chance to download a copy". Once the new site is providing up-to-date downloads, I guess that won't be needed any more, but while this is the current copy it's available (and it is current, it was taken after editing stopped on the old wiki). I appreciate Carlb's good intent, but as Spankart had already said, we have been working with him to ensure the move to a new host is smooth and successful. -- sannse@Wikia (talk) 10:01, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Stop criticizing Carlb. At least he showed some initiative getting the site up and isn't dragging his ass like Wikia staff, Spankart, and the new host AnimeOTK are. -- null —This unsigned comment is by 85.195.119.14 (wallcontribs) . Please sign your posts with ~~~~!
If Sann says the data is safe, the data is safe. I trust that everything is in good hands. Thank you. --carlb 19:04, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Anime OTK

The new "official" host will be Anime OTK:

animeotk.com/forum/showthread.php/re_spanking_art-2839/index.html

The site is not ready for the public yet. The folks working on the project at Anime OTK are RobM

animeotk.com/forum/member.php?u=3

and Stoner

animeotk.com/forum/member.php?u=4 —This unsigned comment is by 85.195.119.14 (wallcontribs) . Please sign your posts with ~~~~!

Suggestions

The frustration in this community is understandable, but participants should keep a rational focus and avoid disrespect where it is not warranted. In particular, disparagement of Anime-OTK, Spankart, and Wikia staff (i.e. technical staff, as opposed to management) by 85.195.119.14 is misdirected. Anime-OTK may have some restrictions, but hey--at least they have been upfront about them. Spankart has been assertive on behalf of his community. Wikia staff such as Sannse have at least ostensibly been helpful. There is only one steaming turd in this punchbowl, and as already mentioned that would be Wikia, Inc. senior management. Everyone else has been respectful and has tried to be helpful and we need to keep that in mind even if things are not moving as fast as we'd like. Here are my suggestions for moving forward.

1. The group's founder, Spankart, is in charge of the move. People who do things on their own (such as obtaining new domains, starting new servers, posting links to what might be called "internal process" related to the move, and so forth) are undoubtedly well-meaning, but cause confusion because their actions are not coordinated with the group leader's efforts. If you want to help, ask Spankart how you can do it.

2. I don't think it matters whether or not the new domain is linked here or not. Trolls may be unintelligent, but they can use "the Google". Just wait until middle-school lets out for the day, and they'll be back. The emphasis should be on making sure that the new sysadmins will ignore trollage for the juvenilia that it is.

3. I would argue in favor of a link at the old URL, spankingart.wikia.com, as well as a brief explanation of what instigated the move. We must not stigmatize this law-abiding, respectful community by conveying any impression that the community was "kicked" for violations. Something that says the community was evicted only because Wikia's management was not making AdSense money on it would be appropriate.

-Chip Qpwoeiritu 19:13, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Best to ignore the trollage as the work of outsiders (especially as the address in question is http://anonymouse.org - an anon proxy). As long as the data and domains are safe and are ready, everything at this point is merely waiting for Spankart's word as to what happens next. This is as it should be. And yes, it is far cheaper to pay the under-$10 cost of a domain and then not use it (or redirect it, or transfer it, depending what the community decides) than to do nothing and leave the domain open for cybersquatter or linkspam registrants. The current UDRP is a joke, and a costly one, but ultimately it's ICANN that needs to clean up that system. --carlb 20:39, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Official relaunch!

The Spanking Art wiki is now officially relaunched at the URL http://spankingartwiki.animeotk.com/. Every user who has edited on our wiki before can continue to login with their old username and password.

I would like to thank Sannse and TOR from Wikia very much for their friendly help in transferring the wiki and setting everything up, together with our new host Anime OTK. I'd like to ask Wikia, if possible, to make a link or redirection from our old URL http://spankingart.wikia.com/ to our new URL, instead of displaying this. I would also like to ask Carl, if possible, to redirect from the domain he reserved for us to our new URL. Spankart 23:24, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Yes, we can set up a page with a link to the new site. We'll keep it in place for a month, to allow people to find the new location and correct bookmarks. I'll ask TOR to do this tomorrow. -- sannse@Wikia (talk) 21:51, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Congratulations on the relaunch. I'm impressed how quickly and - as far as I can tell - smoothly it went. I want to say "Thank you very much" to everyone who was involved in the relaunch. Jack80 02:36, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Some in question, but still a fine site.

Hello. I have posted on spanking art and was very happy with this site. I will not doubt there were a couple of pictures in question, one had 5 children walking hand in hand in a circle all nude with the 3 boy's penis's clearly showing, and that could be called child porn, but the question is, isn't child porn when a child or chilren pose exposed against their will? That's what I always thought. Anyway, I hope there could be a chance this site could be brought back up because it was very informative and over all a very good site. Thank you.

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