The latest news from site admins at ASSTR, as I understand it, is that an attempt will be made to restore the site some time in September.
I'm nothing to do with ASSTR though. It's just what I've heard so this could be wrong.
You mean ASSTR has a real living admin? How come the search page doesn't work for... I think a few years already? I remember it used to work at some point though.
I can't really answer that question because I'm only a writer and nothing to do with the admin. But yes ASSTR does have an admin team but I think they are voluntary, doing it in their free time and probably underfunded as they survive on donations. As ASSTR and GUROchan are two of the only places I'm aware of that don't censor story content at all, the best thing as writers, artists and readers would be to try to support them.
If you're not happy with ASSTR's search feature why not search ASSTR another way. You could try Google, but if you don't like Google there are some good alternatives that should help you find what you're looking for.
It's not only the search, half of the site seems to be broken. Any useful info on how to use it is scattered all over the place and also all across the history of internet development (many words they use, like 'newsgroups', don't mean anything to me, sorry) with no hint on which info is outdated and which is still true.
For one, how does one upload stories to it?
This page ( http://www.asstr.org/accountinfo.html
) suggests I need to register to have my own folder and then access it via FTP (at least I happen to know what that means, lucky me), but the button leading to registration doesn't work.
The same page also says administering one's account without need for FTP is "still several weeks/months away from becoming a reality", and I bet I've seen it say so a few years ago. If there are living people behind it, they could at least remove the irrelevant info.
That site really needs to get the fuck up to date on tagging. I can't fucking stand lack of searchable/clickable tags and forcing every author to submit to a list of them.
We are currently recovering from a hardware failure on our main server. We're in the process of rebuilding the site to be more robust. In the meantime you may find a few things broken. Specifically, there is no way at the moment for authors to add new stories. We're trying to fix that as quickly as possible.
This is the latest announcement. Some sites, such as mine, are back up, but it's still impossible to log in at the moment. Hopefully this will be fixed soon.
It's even more broken now. Any link on the domain goes to a very simple page which says:
>Come visit us at https://www.asstr.org/ https://aSstr.org/ to read this story and hundreds of thousands of other works!
What's even weirder is the first URL is a hyperlink to http://tinyurl.com/yd2saseg
, which just redirects to that same page on ASSTR! It's really bizarre. At first I thought it was hacked when I looked at the URL and saw it was a tinyurl, in which case I was expecting it to redirect to some sketchy ad site, but when I saw that it just redirected to that same page, that theory started seeming less and less likely. Just yesterday the site was working, so this is quite recent.
Additionally, the html appears to be trying to obfuscate the link as https://www.asstr.org/
(which visually appears such that the s is rendered as an "s"). They seem to have went out of their way to not display the actual URL on the site (to hide from what? bots?), even going so far as to post a link in the form of a tinyurl.
I think it's probably time to find a new host for this type of erotic literature. But finding one that allows the stuff ASSTR allowed is difficult.
A quick google search reveals that web hosting may be available for as little as $2 per month. With the potential for ad revenue, it might be possible for someone to setup a replacement for ASSTR and actually make a profit, or at least pay very little for it. It might be worth doing some research into what kinds of web hosting is available, how much it costs, how much storage it provides, and how one arranges for ad services.
Does anyone know anything about setting up a website?
I think the biggest problem with hosting would be finding one that won't close your site no matter how much all the countries whose laws don't allow such content would press them to.
Also if you're going to start from scratch, no one would be interested in your empty site as long as ASSTR with its tons of stories maintains at least some semblance of functionality. You'll also have to advertise it a lot so that people at least know it exist, and advertising something that illegal is probably not that easy either.
On the other hand, if we're seriously concerned that ASSTR might shut down for good, it might be wise to make a complete backup of it and restore in case it really shuts down.
One more concern is that people are willing to put up with ASSTR permanently half-broken and totally outdated state because it's been there for ages and it is the only sourse with that many stories. But if you want to create a new site, people will expect it to be all modern and advanced with comments, personal messages, ratings, search by tag and all sort of stuff, and all of it actually working.
Also, as a side note, what makes ASSTR so special, besides the sheer quantity of stories, is how it has all kinds of stories there. There might sites dedicated to BDSM (bdsm library) or to vore (eka portal) or to loli (can't think of one on the top of my head) or to guro (gurochan, of course), and even if they allow other types of content, people would hesitate to post it there because it would feel off-topic, and the right categories just wouldn't be there to post it in. So if you're talking of making a new ASSTR, you have to keep this in mind, it should be all-encompassing.
>On the other hand, if we're seriously concerned that ASSTR might shut down for good, it might be wise to make a complete backup of it and restore in case it really shuts down.
I made a backup some months ago, though it might have been while they were still in the midst of fighting hardware failures, but at least I have it. I'll upload it if ASSTR goes down for good.
As for the message they're giving me now, it turns out they've recently blocked Tor, and that's the message they are displaying. I'll contact them sooner or later and ask them if they can allow Tor again or create a read-only hidden service or something.
>Does anyone know anything about setting up a website?
I do. Webhosting for $2/month is not going to be even close to what is needed for a large (or even moderately sized) erotica site, and the cheaper webhosts are less likely to permit that kind of content. If I were to set up a replacement for ASSTR, I'd probably use Ecatel (or whatever they're called now that they changed their name), since they provide dedicated servers for $30/month and don't really care what kinds of things are put on there.
I would even set up a replacement site myself, but the thing is I don't think people would actually use it. People are too used to ASSTR since it's achieved critical mass a long time ago. Honestly I think the best we can do is make sure we archive it, and offer our assistance to them financially.
> Advertising something that illegal is probably not that easy either.
Isn't it rather melodramatic to call it illegal? It's just fiction. What kind of world would we live in if words became crimes?>>5877
> Webhosting for $2/month is not going to be even close to what is needed for a large (or even moderately sized) erotica site.
Certainly it wouldn't start large. It would need to build up a user base, and $30/month is quite extreme for a site that hardly anyone uses. Yet even if it were small it would have the charm of being a functional website that works as it is supposed to, which would put it far above ASSTR.
Perhaps if it became successful and was generating significant ad revenue it could be migrated to a more serious host.
> The cheaper webhosts are less likely to permit that kind of content.
We'd better carefully examine the terms of service of each webhost, rather than rely upon what is likely. It seems odd that a web hosting service would even care what kind of content is on their websites. It would be easier and cheaper for them to have a policy of not worrying about that.
> I would even set up a replacement site myself, but the thing is I don't think people would actually use it.
ASSTR is a great service in principle. It's only fault is that it's broken. Give people an ASSTR that actually works and people will surely use it. Not many at first, but given time it will grow, so long as ASSTR never revives itself.
> People are too used to ASSTR since it's achieved critical mass a long time ago.
Of course people want ASSTR, but they can't have it. That's why we should consider alternatives.
> Honestly I think the best we can do is make sure we archive it, and offer our assistance to them financially.
Is there any reason to think that money would fix ASSTR's problems? It seems to just have no one maintaining the site.
The first three cheap web hosting services that I checked all had terms of services that made them unsuitable. Bluehost.com even prohibits "profanity" which I presume means that websites hosted by bluehost need to have language filters. I cannot guess why they care.
The terms of service for hostmetro.com don't seem to prohibit erotic content. They have a long list of explicitly forbidden things that noticeable fails to mention erotic content, but that's no guarantee.
It seems like choosing the right host would be a long and tedious process of reading terms of service to find the right service and the lowest price.
It might be easier to host a site for general fiction that just happens to allow erotic content, because then it wouldn't technically be an erotic website. It would just be a fiction website that doesn't monitor its submitted stories for content.
For me that message only appears when accessing asstr through the Tor network. Accessing it directly on a regular internet connection shows the usual content.
Can't find any word on why it's only happening for me on Tor.
I have considered making a site, myself. Of course, I'm thinking more along the lines of a personal site rather than an ASSTR replacement. I just lack the web design skills for something that large at the moment. The biggest hurdle, however, is finding a cheap enough host that won't take my site down just because my stories contain underage sex participants, rape, torture, and snuff.
personally i'm just quietly stunned that desktop and laptop CPUs pretty much universally feature failure modes that maintain slow but sustained operation if they start to overheat, even if because of a clogged or completely failed fan, but server CPUs seem to not be able to deal with the same... and that a professional data centre doesn't have the machines set up to alert such failures with beeping and flashing of LEDs, and someone onsite who can look for and respond to such...
just when I thought the world was creeping back towards some kind of sense over the last week or so...
>I'm thinking more along the lines of a personal site rather than an ASSTR replacement.
It's no fun if it's just one person. Think of how fun it could be to design a great ASSTR replacement. Imagine creating systems for categorizing and rating stories, commenting on stories, writing reviews of stories, letting the readers apply tags to organize the stories in case the author didn't give it the right tags. It can be more than just a repository of stories; it can be a whole system for readers and authors to interact and for readers to discuss what they've read.
Imagine your ideal fiction website. This could be the perfect excuse to make it real.>>5909
>...and someone onsite who can look for and respond to such.
Don't ask for too much. We're looking for cheap hosting, and we're the ones who have to pay for this stuff. Better to have the site go down sometimes than pay someone do nothing but stare at computer lights all day.
> Isn't it rather melodramatic to call it illegal? It's just fiction. What kind of world would we live in if words became crimes?
Uhm, like, the world we live in now?
I dunno for other countries, but here's the Crime Code of Russian Federation:
Article 242.1. Making and Distribution of Materials or Objects with Pornographic Pictures
1. Making, acquisition, storage and/or movement across the State Border of the Russian
Federation for the purpose of distribution, public demonstration or advertising, or distribution,
public demonstration or advertising of materials or objects with pornographic pictures of minorsshall
be punishable by deprivation of liberty for a term of two to eight years with or
without deprivation of the right to hold definite offices or to engage in definite activities for a term
of up to fifteen years.
The article also has an appendix (actually two, but we're interested in the first one) that I couldn't find in English, so I'll try to translate it by myself:
Appendix 1. As "Materials or Objects with Pornographic Pictures of Minors" in this article and article 242.2 of thic Code should be understood materials and objects, including ANY DEPICTION [such as a drawing] OR DESCRIPTION [such as a story] in sexual purposes of:
- fully or partially bare sexual organs of a minor [feel like risking taking a picture of your baby in a bath and then trying to prove it wasn't in sexual purposes? YOU"RE A FUCKING PEDOPHILE AND SHOULD BURN IN HELL!L!LLLL!],
- a minor, performing OR IMITATING sexual intercourse of OTHER ACTIONS OF SEXUAL NATURE [you surely know that an air kiss is an imitation of a real kiss, which in turn is an action of sexual nature? I'm not even talking about hugs which involve actual physical contact. So if you're filming your child playing with other kids and they hug their friend or blow them an air kiss - BOOM - you've just made a child porn]
- a sexual intercourse or other actions of sexual nature, done to the minor or with his participation [naturally you can't hug or kiss your child by yourself either]
- ADULT, portraying a minor, performing or imitating sexual intercourse or other actions of sexual nature [and now you can't even roleplay with your legal wife dressing her as a schoolgirl... well at least you can't film it, because it would be considered child porn]
This is an actual acting fucking law. If you pretend it doesn't exist, it won't make you any more safe from it, quite the contrary.
I've also heard drawings of minors are considered to be child porn in USA too, though I didn't double check that part. Though I'm sure exhnentai, whatever country it is hosted in, hides behind a sad panda image not because they just feel like it.
> It seems odd that a web hosting service would even care what kind of content is on their websites. It would be easier and cheaper for them to have a policy of not worrying about that.
Such a policy usually says "we're not responsible for anything hosted on our servers" which means "please don't sue us if there's something illegal, give us a notice and we'll close that site right away".
> Here's the Crime Code of Russian Federation.
Perhaps if the Russian people tried voting for someone else every once in a while, the Russian government might try making fair laws instead of laws designed to allow them to imprison anyone they don't like.
And one more point.
> It might be easier to host a site for general fiction that just happens to allow erotic content, because then it wouldn't technically be an erotic website. It would just be a fiction website that doesn't monitor its submitted stories for content.
That's no different than calling your human hunting club a regular hunting club that just happens to allow hunting humans. So what? If you still kill people, you're still a criminal, no matter if you kill animals along with humans or not.
In the US, it's a grey area, but it's usually considered legal so long as it's not "obscene" (which is quite subjective) or has "artistic merit" (also subjective).
It's not just Russia that bans that. The UK, Australia, etc. also do.
Seems like it's down again...