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An interview with the man who keeps uploading my feet to WikiFeet (thecut.com)
557 points by Jugurtha 2 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 273 comments

I went in thinking "meh, let's check" and was surprised and quite amused about the "wholesomeness" of what could have been a very strange encounter.

He seemed respectful and she seemed unbothered by the whole ordeal. Interesting, not my cup of tea, but definitely interesting.

Something else that caught my attention was how early he believes his interest for feet developed, as early as six and nine years of age. I wonder how this slightly amusing predilection grows and develops over time, as to even gain sexual connotation.

I found his “origin story” very interesting too. One theory I’ve heard for foot fetishism, which is the most common bodily fetish by far I believe, is essentially a neural equivalent of crossed-wires: Brain areas associated with the feet and with genitals being next to one another. His anecdote felt like an environmental thing though, with him having these foot-centric formative experiences. Though I guess you could spin it as nurture or nature - the experiences causing his fetish or simply this being the period when he first became aware of it as some latent thing.

I heard that crossed wires theory and I just don’t believe it. For me the simplest explanation is that there’s an entire industry built around selling sexy women’s footwear (heels) that draws attention to the foot, so it really shouldn’t be a surprise.

Seems more likely that a massive industry popped up around selling sexy footware (as opposed to say sexy satchels or sexy mittens) because there was a substantial demand for it. Perhaps the success of the industry has reinforced and perpetuated the belief that feet are sexy, but it doesn't make sense that some industrialist woke up one day and said "I'll make an extremely impractical shoe and sell millions by convincing the world it turns people on"

Side note:

Women's heels, in Western Europe, evolved from shoes worn by Persian cavalrymen; they were designed to stay in the stirrup. You still see something similar in "cowboy boots".

Women appropriated the shoes as a symbol of empowerment at a time when other "butch" fashions were being borrowed (e.g., epaulets). That they made intimidated clomping noises as you walked around was half the appeal.

Then the shoes became more and more "feminine", culminating in the "stiletto", which takes its name from a dagger used to finish off armored soldiers.

So they've always been symbols of violence.

Which makes all the more ironic that their wearers experience feet aches and leg problems, and view them as tools of male oppression. Maybe you should just stop clomping around in the things. They ruin good marble floors, make loud noises, and pain me just to look at. The whole point is for riding a horse. If you're off a horse, then it's like walking around in ski boots.

"Intimidated clomping" should have been "intimidating clomping". She who clomps intimidates.

Do you have a source for this? Not that I don't believe you, but just curious about the history.

I thought the appeal of heels is that they force a "sexy" stance. Rather than how they frame the foot itself.

Yep, this is true: it lengths legs, changes posture etc. The higher the heel, generally the greater the effect.

Speaking as someone with a rather odd fetish and no convenient origin story, crossed wires has always made the most sense to me. For a great many of the people I've spoken with about their fetish, it doesn't have a obvious spark or societal pressure, it's just something they've been attracted to for as long as they've been a cognizant human being.

Your theory doesn't explain male foot fetishism at all.

Personally, I believe this has much more to do with the taboo nature of feet (as they are usually seen as dirty), similarly to other fetishes (e.g. urine).

Foot fetishism is by no means a modern phenomenon driven by advertising.

>taboo nature

i think everything that is closed/covered becomes such a taboo/fetish. Feet have been in shoes (and under a long dress for women) most of the recent times. Give a couple years more of the mask regime and lips/noses would become taboo/fetish too :)

Yeah the whole "mapping of brain region to concept" feels very over-simplistic so it's hard to know what to make of it.

Are you saying the concept of brain mapping locations is overly simplistic, or that crossed wiring could cause a foot fetish? The brain mapping is well supported: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cortical_homunculus.

Why would shoes be considered sexy?

To be more generous, I'd suggest an evolutionary explanation. In the days long ago, before shoes were a thing, having healthy feet would be pretty highly correlated with survivability, and thus spreading one's genes. So perhaps it's simply the consequence of very discerning ancestors.

It’s pretty strange, I can remember liking feet in preschool and kindergarten. I have no idea why, though.

Lately it’s gotten to be more of an “in theory” than “in practice” thing for me as I’ve come to learn about fungus and micro biome, etc.

Eg https://au.news.yahoo.com/man-contracts-lung-infection-smell...

I'm not a doc but I would argue that the guy must have had severe fungal infection of his feet to get to a point where sniffing his socks poses a health hazard. Maybe even immuno-compromised. I doubt you can contract this from healthy feet even if you sniff them daily :)

People regularly underestimate the damage of breathing in mold and fungus spores.

>I have no idea why, though.

You mean, besides them being awesome?

This answer is great, because it’s just something people like. Some people like espresso, some people listen to hip hop to relax, some people find meaning in Jackson Pollack paintings. There may be some underlying cause for foot fetishism like there is for the taste of cilantro. But ultimately, what’s awesome to you?

> I have no idea why, though.

Check out the "The Penfield homunculus" and note that in the brain's sensory map, where we process foot sensations is very close to genitalia.

Sure, but how is this relevant though?

It's other people's feet people like, not their own (and so don't themselves feel those sensations when they touch them or whatever).

I've been attracted to pregnant women since I was 3. Not gonna discuss my childhood much cause I do consider it private but it wasn't a sexual attraction then, but it was definitely a "I can't look away because I like looking at it" thing.

Perhaps it’s more like a sexual orientation than a fetish?

So it would not be something that a person is just interested in and grows with time, but a primal thing that just gets activated at a certain age for him (just like attraction to a different/same gender for most of us)

> So why not just look at feet on Instagram, or screenshot them for yourself? What do you get out of posting them to another website?

This question has always been weird to me, but apparently there are people who don’t experience “this thing is good, i wish to contribute” or “this has brought me joy, i wish to give something back”. I mean, thankfully there are still enough others that we can have Wikipedia, where you also don’t get anything in return. Not even “clout”. Sometimes someone will send you a thank you and that’ll make your day. Open Source is another obvious one, but it extends to the real world, too. Some people will plant flowers in public places or do yarnbombing or pick up trash in the neighborhood or whatever. Why do it? What do you get out of it? I mean, I don’t want to be harsh saying “what a dumb question”, but it just kind of makes me uncomfortable how it challenges something that should be celebrated.

The next question about it being invasive is good and valid, but this one on its own just sounds like “why not content yourself with passively consuming”. I’m glad he called himself “generous” because it’s true.

> there are people who don’t experience “this thing is good, i wish to contribute” or “this has brought me joy, i wish to give something back”

I have literally never experienced this feeling. I've thought about why I haven't a lot, and for me I think it's because I have no inherent sense of "community".

Imagine you are reading wikipedia every day for years and really like its content and it gives a lot to you and then suddenly you see grave mistakes on some of the sites (like when I saw that wikipedia had the wrong year for nicolas cage's oscar win!), wouldn't you go "out of your way" to fix these mistakes? I mean wouldn't it annoy the living hell out of you to know that this mistake lives on while you go on consuming the rest of wikipedia? Nonetheless, ADDING stuff is a level higher but editing mistakes might be the first stepping stone...

I have actually spent considerable amounts of time reading math related wikipedia articles in graduate school, though those tend to be well written and researched. More often you find ways that things could be explained more clearly.

No, the thought wouldn't even occur to me. I'd just recognize the mistake and move on to what I was doing at the time.

You're probably too tired out to have the neurotransmitters to promote the energy to consider so much more.

> wouldn't you go "out of your way" to fix these mistakes?

On wikipedia? As someone who has not spent years building up a reputation? No, it would just be reverted in ten seconds flat by whoever had nominated themselves as guardian of the truth about Nick Cage.

That’s not at all been my experience. I’m not a regular contributor, but I correct errors when I come, add sources, and sometimes remove unsourced claims.

The most that’s ever happened is that I’ve had my edits reverted until I added citations. Since then I include them by default and haven’t had it happen in years.

That's not true.

I don't have any reputation on Wikipedia but I have made dozens of small corrections to it, and they seldom get reverted (though they are sometimes improved upon, which I'm fine with).

Reputation on Wikipedia helps with edit wars and flamewars, on contested issues. But just fixing a spelling error or a link is not usually a contested issue.

I’m sorry but it’s very true. People on Wikipedia have their patch and will revert corrections on a whim. Just as others will remove contributions that meet the criteria purely out of their own ignorance.

Wikipedia is a great resource, but at some point the knee-jerk deletionists won over the culture behind the scenes. It’s toxic for outsiders for the most part.

I don't know what to tell you. Like I said, that hasn't been my experience for minor edits (I don't have time for larger edits, and the few times I argued on controversial topics it was of course a mess, but that's to be expected: it happens here on HN as well).

I mean, I've literally done this for the birth year of an actor I went to school with, and had the above insta-revert happen, and watched pages get deleted on notability because the person nominating for deletion hadn't heard of one of the most prestigious literary awards in the UK.

I'm willing to accept that each person's experience is different, perhaps it's just unfortunate, but it seems to marry up with a lot of other self-reported wikipedia experiences I've seen on HN over the last several years.

I think that's a common experience for people in the modern era, people are very atomised especially in cities and in white collar jobs where there's not much common toil to bond people together.

It's not something they created.

You're not really contributing, it's more akin to showing off your stamp collection, but with sexual undertones that make many feel uncomfortable.

Wikipedia contributions are also not something you “created”. In fact, you’re discouraged from adding information you have not taken from somewhere else. Archival, compilation, curation, categorization, making information legible and accessible and persistent is still work. See also archive.org. Whether the specific topic makes some people uncomfortable is beside the point. The question was “why do you try to help a website you like prosper without anything in return”. The reward is a more complete foot database and the good feeling of having helped.

Wikipedia contributions are very much created. You are not supposed to copy paste from elsewhere. You are writing own text.

I think he's referring to this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:No_original_research

You can't copy paste, but you're also not supposed to come up with stuff yourself.

But taking existing facts and rearranging them into new text is considered "creating" in basically any context. Books and articles, especially those written for general public, are often collections of already existing facts. And it counts as creating.

> “this has brought me joy, i wish to give something back”

The scenario includes bringing potential harm to an identified person.

That’s debatable and misses the gist of the interviewer’s question. It was literally “what do you get from contributing”.

what harm?

Photos of parts of her body posted on a fetish web site could, potentially, lead to professional and relationship issues, for a starter.

Presumably the only people who would say "whoa I saw your feet on a foot fetish site" are people who spend substantial time perusing foot fetish sites.

Or people that would google you and find the site among the results.

Well presumably the photos aren't being posted with your real name unless you're a celebrity or something.

> To be clear, I am not a celebrity. I have decent Twitter following

> my own wikiFeet profile, which included my full name, birthday, and photos of me and my exposed feet

"Presumably"... Presumably, for better or for worse, lots of people use their real names online, not just celebrities, and there's no reason to presume that people that share the images won't also share the name of the person.

from the article, at least wikifeet specifically has a rule of IMDB-available only, and has at least one person following through on it.

Regardless, if someone refuses to hire you because your feet appear on a foot fetish site... it would be a very odd refusal. Perhaps if your feet were involved in some immoral activity, but on its own it's pretty meaningless.

"I'm sorry, but I found images of your bare-naked foot in the sand, online -- I don't think we'll be able to move forward with this. You might encourage others to expose their feet, or make people uncomfortable once they've seen your big toe."

"your feet are hot, I saw them on wikifeet"

"your feet are hot, I saw them on Instagram"

it was a trend in my town for a hot minute -- seeing sidewalk trees with cute sweaters was fun, but after the first rain they became gross and the artists never took them down. they stayed up for weeks, some of the more hidden ones for much longer.

if you do this, please return to recover your work before the weather gets it. (maybe you can deploy it again in a new spot!)

For every weird niche hobby there is a guy who is creating literal database of something with almost scientific precision.

Mix it with rule 34 and you got things like WikiFeet or some Czech site which is literal database of nude scenes in our whole cinema history (sorted by movies, actresses and director including screencaps of course).

Case in point being e621 (https://e621.net/posts, or https://e926.net/posts to auto-filter NSFW)

The thing that makes me double-take is the consistency, breadth and depth, and liveness of the tag system.

Like, I want this level of OCD, meets del.icio.us, meets HN.

Oh wow that’s not what I expected, for anyone wondering how NSFW this is, it’s full of extremely explicit furry porn.

My sincere apologies. I find the art itself to be much of a blur, and the tag system the main attraction (if only I could extract just the tagging system...), and I kinda forgot that, err, e621 is very much a size-XL eyeful compared to e926...

Thanks, sending it to all my male friends now without even looking

Possibly a bad idea. Potential outcome:

Them, knowing more than you might assume: "OwO what's this?"

You: possibly now a furry due to inversion of plausible deniability

They don't know what being a furry is, so they can't throw it back at me taps head (that I hope at last).

On a more serious note, within the circle of my friends this falls into "prank link" category - rickrolling etc.

There's more than just e621! There's a whole set of -boorus that's work exactly like this!

Rule34.xxx, gelbooru, danbooru. Truly a wonderful world we live in!

Another one I love is philosopher.life, aka "h0p3's wiki" where this guy h0p3 shares his personal thoughts philosophies and personal online interactions. It's really charming and interesting and a real throwback to the "old Web" of personal websites.

Wow that website (https://philosopher.life) has an incredibly soothing UI. I don't know if it's the "old web" part of it that's doing it for me or what, but I really like the theme.

btw, this is made with (in?) TiddlyWiki (https://tiddlywiki.com/)

Yes, it is. TW is amazing! Even a skiddie like me can make it work. It's extremely portable, flexible, and enduring. I owe a great deal to the fantastic Tiddlywiki community.

ヘ( ^o^)ノ\(^_^ )

Well, hello there! That's extremely high praise. Thank you. You're making your way into the ℍ𝕪𝕡𝕖𝕣𝔱𝔢𝔵𝔱 too. =)

It's a pleasure to speak with you. Conversation is a sacrament (and an art well beyond me). I hope to capture what I love about the web: people who make life worth living.

For those who haven't already seen them (these people are rockstars), I'm also a huge fan of my beloved: https://wiki.waifu.haus/, https://sphygm.us/, and https://kickscondor.com/ - these treasures inspire me quite a bit.

Thanks so much - it would be a privilege and an honour to be included in your wiki :)

Kickscondor was actually the person who first led me to your site - I enjoy their content too. I'll check out these other two as well, thank you!

Gwern's also a really interesting and passionate Internet Person, though I know you've had some interactions with him so I'm just mentioning him for the benefit of others. I've run into a couple of other treasures in my time but I'm not consistent enough at maintaining a PKM to have them to hand sadly. Maybe someday I'll start a public personal wiki of my own!

I mean, mrskin.com

I was expected it to be like Wikifeet but for foreskins lol.

"Hollywood’s Hottest Buttholes", an actual headline from that site (!)

For the sake of curiosity, what does that link contain?

A catalog of movies/actresses where they appear nude/in sexy outfits. Mostly softcore information/db on mainstream movies

My understanding is that the site long ago became prominent enough that studios and producers send clips to the site proactively.

Exactly what the OP described

There's also a pretty amusing epilogue/footnote to the article from the author, which I'll quote verbatim here:

"At the end of our interview he asked me to print out the piece, step in paint, step on the story, and mail it to him with my foot autograph. I might."

- https://twitter.com/LEBassett/status/1379878161589153793


It's so refreshing how this article doesn't try to impose an opinion on me. It really engages me to think about the matter and form my own.

It's magnificent in that way, the man in question really is honest and open about it. I especially found the last answer pretty funny: "I had the nurse coming in at night showing me her feet. I actually took her out to dinner a couple times. I can just get girls out of their shoes, it’s a thing I can do."

> I can just get girls out of their shoes, it’s a thing I can do.

absolutely incredible line

The article reads like something that I might have seen online 15-20 years ago, before everyone went batshit crazy. It's nice. She covers it very matter-of-fact without trying to force the reader to view it or react to it in a particular way. It's the hallmark of someone with a noble intellect in this day and age.

WikiFeet itself feels very "old internet": a basic site about a very narrow niche, user-powered, with no pretensions and no hope of making any money.

Reminds me of the old "Hot or Not" sites.

Remember RateMyVomit and RateMyPoo? Real class acts. Brought to you by the fine people that ran rotten.com.

Kids, these days...they don’t know what they’re missing...

We need a swipe left/right ratemypoo. That site was my jam.

Yeah, niche fetish content is probably the easiest adult content to monetize. His free labor is refreshing, but not too surprising given the rest of his personality on display here.

This, and Netscape frontpaging :)

... it's like the 90's are staging a comeback, wholesomeness and all ...

I'm pretty sure that's just journalistic technique. You won't get answers out of someone by being combative. What's unusual is that she just posted a transcript of the conversation and didn't really turn it into a narrative piece.

It may seem like she's being a good sport and isn't bothered by this at all, but I don't think you can draw that conclusion.

I smell a Pulitzer here

The article’s title makes it seem like the person continues to upload her feet without her permission. I feel like that’s clickbait-y, but otherwise it’s impartial.

It otherwise could have been titled “An interview with the man who uploads my feet”, but I guess that one doesn’t invoke as much outrage.

Most often article headlines are chosen by editors, not the authors.

Yes, and I don't blame whoever chooses the title. It's a cutthroat game for writers now and I'm sure many are having to do things they don't want to to make ends meet and get as many clicks as possible. Nevertheless, I think it's important for everyone to maintain alertness about how their feelings are being evoked and to what end.

Haha, not what I expected to find on HN this morning, but I'm glad I did.

Some human quirks are fun. Maybe because this guy doesn't look intimidating.

Exactly! Quite a nice refreshment and storytelling between startups, politics and tech.

Where did you see a photo of this guy? I can’t seem to see it in the article

I meant "seem" or "feel". Lost in translation.

There's something peaceful about people who know they're 'weird' compared to the masses, but really don't care. Finding confidence in who (and what) I am is really my goal in life. Saying that, I'm not even that 'weird', I just always have thought about me from the perspective of others.

Fascinating - and surprisingly positive outcome/interaction - they were both great sports, particularly the writer.

Foot people always leave me feeling creeped out when I encounter them online and I think it is at least partly because it seems like many of them enjoy making others squirm about their affinity for feet almost as much as they enjoy the feet themselves.

TIL there's a wiki website for foot fetishists.

I believe everyone has a right to their own fetishes. Nothing wrong with being into feet. But the thing that really puts me off about this interview and the WikiFeet website is the lack of consent. Uploading photos of someone without their consent is wrong. The fact that the purpose is to satisfy a fetish adds an extra layer of creepy. Regardless of how the interviewer feels about it, and regardless of whether the photos came from a public Instagram account, it's not ok to upload photos of someone to a fetish website without their consent.

I do not agree. These are photos posted publicly on Instagram or Facebook. Anyone could see them. This website just aggregates them, but there's technically a live link to these pictures. And no, the fact that someone uploads them to a service whose ToS they have accepted makes no difference. You're posting something publicly? To me that's explicit consent that you want people to see them. If those pics were behind even the slightest wall (like a private account) or taken from private messages of course that would be different.

>You're posting something publicly? To me that's explicit consent that you want people to see them.

To see them where I posted them. Pictures are an intellectual property of the author, if a person wants other people to spread them, he/she needs to explicitly set the allowing license. Copyright, fair use and such is a hot and nuanced topic, but the bottom line here is that personal pictures getting shared is not what most people expect to happen, understandably so.

I agree with you, in theory. But the real world is messy. There are only two choices here - don’t participate in social media. Or if you do, don’t expect everyone to respect your privacy. It sucks, but that’s the world we live in.

Parents post pics of their babies all the time. It would be easy to make wikibabies, like wikifeet. Who is at fault in this case? At least this lady is an adult and posted her own pics.

Real world is messy...

>Pictures are an intellectual property of the author

This just isn't true in practice on the internet. It never has been, and it never will be.

Plenty of argument about copyright law on my siblings, but if you've ever been anywhere near a community that posts porn for each other, you will know that copyright law is the last thing they care about. Consent a close second.

> intellectual property of the author

Don't you assign this copyright to the social media service? Legally, if your Facebook photos get posted to another site, I think Facebook gets to complain, but not you - you signed those photos away, for Facebook to use for any purpose they like (even including a foot fetish website).

I don't disagree with you on what people expect, but it's worth reiterating that reality does not match their expectations. Facebook owns your Facebook photos, not you.

> Don't you assign this copyright to the social media service?

Most of the terms-of-service agreements I've seen state that the creator retains the copyright, but grants the site a non-exclusive license to display the content.

Assigning the copyright would be problematic. For example, a professional photographer who posted their photo to Facebook would lose their right to sell the photo or post it to another site if they didn't retain the copyright.

> Pictures are an intellectual property of the author, if a person wants other people to spread them, he/she needs to explicitly set the allowing license.

It's more complicated than that. What actions require a license? Nobody needs a license to create a hyperlink. The concept of a "link license" was a big subject of debate in the 1990s, but after much hand-wringing and heated discussion, we converged on a permissionless model for hyperlinking on the web. I think everyone here understands the high value of frictionless linking.

Now let's suppose for the sake of argument (and without loss of generality) that this foot fetish site were just a list of hyperlinks to publicly available foot pictures in their original context. I suspect the author of the article (and a lot of other people) would still be squicked out by the foot-fetishist link-aggregator site. But what could be done about it? Permissioneless linking is a huge boon for the web and humanity. Should we add friction to linking just because foot fetish sites exist?

Okay --- what if it's not linking, but actual photo embedding? Still, we'd need to examine the costs and benefits. Embedding public content in another context is great for commentary, synthesis, and other creative transformations. People love to showcase hard work and beauty. Should we add friction to photo embeds everywhere just because some squicky foot fetishists use embeds to aggregate images? Again, it doesn't seem worth it.

Ultimately, we have to learn to let things go. There will always be people in the world who use public things in a "wrong" way: a politician you don't like may use your favorite song in a campaign; a company might use your open source library to make a product you'd prefer not to exist; or public property records might let speculators arbitrage prices in a way that seems unfair. But whenever we're tempted to Do Something about people using the public thing in the wrong way, we have to think "is this Doing Something going to be net positive? What about the value of the commons itself? Am I willing to destroy that just to Do Something about this one thing?" Most of the time, the answer is "no".

> Let's suppose for the sake of argument (and without loss of generality) that this foot fetish site were just a list of hyperlinks to publicly available foot pictures in their original context.

Let's not suppose this. This site does not do this. It doesn't show photos in their original context (e.g. Instagram), nor does it even display the 'original' image (meaning IG hosted image) out of context - which would also be wrong.

It's primary use case is to literally re-host unlicensed images out of their original context without permission (even though it's 'rules' state otherwise).

>Now let's suppose for the sake of argument (and without loss of generality) that this foot fetish site were just a list of hyperlinks to publicly available foot pictures in their original context. I suspect the author of the article (and a lot of other people) would still be squicked out by the foot-fetishist link-aggregator site

Yep, what furyg3 said. I always think about cases like that from a creator perspective. If I'm a painter, I probably sell my work, so it's in my interest that every usage lead back to a canonical place where I expect to make sales/build following/communicate with fans. So reposting a picture and posting a link to a said place I chose are absolutely different things.

There's always fair use, which should cover things like education, citation, etc. That's a different topic.

And don't get me wrong, copyright system is broken and rotten to the core, but some of the concerns on which it builds are perfectly reasonable.

> There's always fair use, which should cover things like education, citation, etc. That's a different topic.

This is the weird part. If aliens showed up and started viewing the site in question, they'd probably mistake it for reference material, some kind of critical encyclopedia.

> Now let's suppose for the sake of argument (and without loss of generality) that this foot fetish site were just a list of hyperlinks

That's a huge loss of generality.

> That's a huge loss of generality.

I don't think so. The author's core discomfort (to which I'm sympathetic) seems to not be about the image hosting, but about people enjoying pictures of her feet in a way that makes her uncomfortable. I don't think that wikiFeet moving to a hyperlink model would alleviate the author's discomfort with wikiFeet existing, so we need to talk about that core discomfort, not about the specific mechanics of image sharing.

Of course it would alleviate discomfort - it would allow the author to retain full control of their image. They could, with a couple of taps, delete the image and prevent its propagation on a fetish website.

Or, up until recently, block based on referrer; or block based on IP address (eg limit it to one ISP that all their family use).

> That's a huge loss of generality.

Not really. It's just a couple of innocent javascript lines away (on a browser extension) to the site with visible photos.

Well no, in the article the author mentions pictures posted to their Instagram story. These images are only publicly visible for 24 hours, and I imagine Instagram also does some manouevering to stop them being easily linkable.

Also the obvious massive difference that such a model would allow the original poster to delete the image.


On this website, downvotes for disagreement are allowed. Take a deep breath, downvotes don't hurt.

Sure they don't hurt but they encourage a combative world of discussion where brigading matters more than words.

And before anyone says differently, this is pgs stance on it: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=658691

I don't think an eleven year old statement about the status quo is a good source. We've since seen many more examples about how removing contrary opinions from the discussion creates places with negative utility. And lest anyone thinks otherwise: Making text harder to read and easier to scroll over is a clear signal to ignore the comment.

In my opinion downvotes are best used for purposes of moderation, to remove comments that poison the discussion.

it greys the comment out though and makes it less discoverable though.

For example, the issue is that it permits "tyranny by majority". Imagine, if you will a 1950s America where people are trying to post about civil rights and being downvoted into invisibility.

I just want to encourage the art of _not_ pressing either button. Its fine for things to exist that you don't agree with.

> Imagine, if you will a 1950s America where people are trying to post about civil rights and being downvoted into invisibility.

Are you labouring under the misapprehension that there were no civil rights leaders before the 1950s, and this was not exactly what happened to them?

No. I am stating that this attitude of "downvote when disagreeing" could lead to structural discrimination against minorities. That is exactly what I'm saying, nothing more, nothing less.

Impressive leap of logic to deem downvoting racist. This seems to be the final argument nowadays when all else fails.

As a side note, I have often wished folks could see their downvote count or at least an upvote to downvote ratio. In the past I wondered if I was quicker to downvote, when I had the ability, than upvote.

> Impressive leap of logic to deem downvoting racist. This seems to be the final argument nowadays when all else fails.

I think that's cold for you to wilfuly misinterpret my point so. Fine, we'll apply it to the gold standard. In news.y for the 1800s someone recommending moving away from the gold standard would get downvoted to hell by those that "disagree". Their comment would grey and vanish to most.

By encouraging downvoting disagreements you encourage large consensus to shut out contradictory voices by downvoting them, regardless of the voracity of their arguments. This means that all voices are significantly constrained by the habits of the present as opposed to attempts at deriving truths that are correct regardless of the age.

IMO downvoting for disagreement is entitled behaviour because its greedily taking an extra vote. You get an upvote for agreement, to upvote AND downvote is two votes. Why should some people get two votes?

> "downvote when disagreeing" could lead to structural discrimination against minorities.

I don't see what I wrote as a willful misinterpretation. I guess I could have added sexist, homophobic, etc to the list.

As for downvoting in general, I may not be able to fully appreciate your argument because of a fundamental difference in expectations. I don't really care about downvotes or upvotes or any other fake internet validation of my value. If people want to flag my comments or vote them up or down, fine. I don't see downvotes for disagreement as a way to oppress me. The rules on this site allow downvoting for disagreement and I chose to comment here.

> I don't see what I wrote as a willful misinterpretation.

You were acting exasperated that I mentioned race but the example I chose wasn't relevant to the discussion. Apologies for choosing a contentious subject but in my defence you did write.

> This seems to be the final argument nowadays when all else fails.

Where you are stating my points have all failed and I'm grasping at straws: RUDE.

> I don't really care about downvotes or upvotes or any other fake internet validation of my value.

Neither do I and you're missing the point if you interpret it as karma-whoring. The point isn't you and isn't me, its the impact on the readers, the lurkers, on the 80% (us that write comments are always a minority) and if spread broadly enough: society. Its an outcome that prizes public consensus of a view over its voracity and I think that's a poor guideline to have in the coffee shops of the modern era.

I don't think we'll come to an agreement, but I appreciate you taking the time to explain your perspective.

Edit: And I apologize if what I wrote came off as rude. It was more an observation of current events that got directed at you. I'll try and do better.

Turn showdead on. I too, am concerned about some of the groupthink on HN, but it's not as severe as you'd suspect. What I do disagree with is comments being flagged/obliterated for simply being unpopular.
simias 2 days ago [flagged] [–]

Downvoting for disagreement is toxic to discourse and how echo chambers like Reddit are born. It may be tolerated but it shouldn't be encouraged IMO.

its actually part of redditquette to _not_ downvote when disagreeing. Granted, lots of people ignore redditquette but the convention is there.

I agree, but fwiw pg (the HN founder) encouraged downvoting for disagreement.

I railed against it to, but as pg endorses it I think we're stuck with it.

The best sort of voting I've seen is multi-dimensional Slashdot-style voting where users can individually model there own comment visibility metrics.

When I upload photos to Instagram, I am not explicitly consenting to my photos being used for people's fetishes, even privately. I can't stop people from doing what they want privately with my public photos, and I know that, but I still find it morally wrong and disturbing. But I'm not sure that it's legal to republish someone's public Instagram photos on another website either. I'm no legal expert, but I believe it's still a copyright violation to copy someone's Instagram photos and use them as content in your own creations.

But legal or not, I think it ought to be considered common decency not to post photos of someone on a fetish website without asking for their explicit permission to do so.

> When I upload photos to Instagram, I am not explicitly consenting to my photos being used for people's fetishes, even privately.

Well, they're in facebooks domain now, so you really don't have a tell in whats okay and what not after you uploaded them[0].

> but I still find it morally wrong and disturbing.

that's okay of course, but it obviously won't stop anyone from doing anything they deem okay and acceptable. How are the supposed to know what you find morally wrong and disturbing, anyways? For all they know those pictures are public and you want to present yourself to the world.

> legal to republish someone's public Instagram photos

According to the link that's instagrams business, not yours. If facebook doesn't care then there's not much you can do about it since you don't have royalities over the pictures in which you appear.

> But legal or not, I think it ought to be considered common decency not to post photos of someone on a fetish website without asking for their explicit permission to do so

Some people would consider "not poisoning the public water supplies forever" common human decency, but that doesn't stop multiple actors from doing so. "human decency" is not worth a penny on the internet, which is in my opinion common knowledge that we try to teach kids in primary school here. It does not matter what you think, since it's out of your hands you made your data public.

[0] https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2249952/Face...

What if it was just text links to the instagram accounts? What if it was iframes?

1. bet iframing instagram content will lead to iframe busting and maybe site being cease and desisted.

2. text links sure, because it has a whole other behavior and then if someone wants they can take the picture down, make it private or whatever. same thing for iframe but I bet it won't happen there because instagram itself will shut down the iframing reeaaalll quick.

so in short, yes, if it was a bunch of other things that have some similarities but are not exactly the same it would probably be ok with people.

I think this would be better because the person who owns the photograph still has control. They can delete the original post and have it disappear from wikifeet. Consent is best. The next best thing is control. A screenshot is neither.

Again, legal, but not a nice or decent thing to do.

So, OK basically? Indecent things are allowed. You can criticize them, of course, but they are still allowed.

People have the right to write non-nice things about you (as long as it's not libel). They can write that they don't like you for whatever reason, or they can write that they get off thinking about you. There's freedom of expression to do stupid, non-nice and indecent shit.

What is that expression? Something like “if your best defence of something is that it isn’t against the law you have already lost”

If that is the case, it means that the people who attack you have already lost as well.


No one is saying it's not legal. Most people here understand what libel is and what freedom of expression is.

The point is that it's still a bit weird, creepy and unpleasant. This man can continue doing it, and I can continue thinking he's quite damaged.

> The point is that it's still a bit weird, creepy and unpleasant. This man can continue doing it, and I can continue thinking he's quite damaged.

That's alright. I'm pretty much indifferent to the whole thing, but I still enjoyed the interview. Notice that the man may be "quite damaged", but still the first thing that he does is ask the interviewer if she was offended by her public photos being there, and offering to delete them.

He didn’t offer to delete them. He offered “not to do it again.” Which means she is stuck.

The fact that the asking bit comes after the pictures have already been repurposed is the entire point. If he would have asked beforehand and gotten permission no one would care.

Enjoying the interview is utterly orthogonal to the point you originally made.

> "ask the interviewer if she was offended by her public photos being there, and offering to delete them."

You may see that as being polite, I see that as just another creepy power play, where he's now implying he has control over her pics.

At least in EU - the platform is responsible for the content their users upload.

So based on that posting personal information like address, name, age etc. Without consent can put this site out of business after few fines.

Totally, but its such a grey line. If you posted some pictures and certain groups use it as their "personal materials" privately (without sharing), I'm not sure how we can stop that

> When I upload photos to Instagram, I am not explicitly consenting to my photos being used for people's fetishes, even privately.

I agree with you, morally. However, there is no hope of controlling what someone thinks when looking at your uploaded photos.

Strongly disagree, both from a legal and moral point of view. Posting something publicly absolutely does not imply that anyone is free to do whatever they want with it.

Case in point: the existence of copyright licenses.

> This website just aggregates them, but there's technically a live link to these pictures.

What you see as a technicality is actually a big difference. No one on wikiFeet would have seen the pictures of the interviewer if someone hadn't posted it.

Posting something is not explicit consent to do whatever with it. Would you say the same if these pictures were appearing on a shirt for example? Or if they were used in a movie, or in a newspaper article?

Is this much different from what Pinterest and Google images do?

Sorry, but no. First there is the question of licensing. The users are posting (and site is hosting) images that they (presumably) don't have licenses to use or permission to post to that site. A photograph being publicly available does not put it in the public domain, and certainly doesn't mean that a site is licensed to run ads on it (though even without financial gain it would still not be legally ok).

The very first site rule is "uploading copyrighted photos is forbidden unless you have permission from the copyright owner" which I presume is supposed to shield the site owner from this legal issue, but I think we can all agree that the vast majority of photos on this site do not meet this requirement.

And secondly there is the question of context. I may give my employer permission to put my photo on their "About Us" page, but I would not be amused if the later transferred it to a "Consultants who we will never work with again" page.

I don't think the original poster is talking about licensing. It is an issue, but not unique to sites like this and not relevant to the parent's concerns. What if this site just linked to the photos instead? I think that would still make people uncomfortable and is not illegal.

Context is the problem and it is unclear. In most countries you can't really prevent people from saying things about you. If someone wants to post online that they like you feet they are allowed to do so. I agree that when this is distilled to a database of people and their feet it feels a bit weird, but I struggle to find a point where it becomes not ok.

I don't get why this is so tough. It's ok for someone to talk about how they like your feet... until the point where they start posting images of your feet without 'permission' (permission in the legal sense refers to licensing).

The law is quite clear on this. You're granting Instagram a license to display the image, so they are allowed to do that. Other websites aren't, unless you grant them a license, too.

So the foot fetish website is infringing copyright. And the author of the image can sue them for damages.

They can also ask ISPs to blacklist the page if they don't comply.

Kind of all the stuff that the MPAA does when they find a movie rip on someone's server, the photographer could do here, too.

What you say is right, but is about copyright, not consent. No social media collect the consent of people in the actual pictures when the person in the picture is not the one who is posting it.

I think there are two dimensions. The personal consent one, where I do not agree with your opinion, but that's okay.

On the other hand, copying a picture to another website can also be a copyright infringement.

How would you feel if you walked by a porn shop, and in the window you saw a magazine cover with a photo of you taken from your public social media accounts printed on the cover with the headline, "Hottest people on Instagram to get off to in 2021". Some people may be flattered by that, but many, many people would feel that it was a violation and an assault to their dignity.

If you look at this hypothetical case without prejudice, the only difference with your photo appearing on a news site, in someone's post on social media, as a picture on some forum or just being uploaded to image sharing service is for-profit nature of the usage.

No. Even nonprofits (see Wikipedia) have to follow strict rules about licensing images or face legal consequences. They also do a good job of policing this on-upload, something that a site like Wikifeed does not.


Exactly, this is what I'm talking about! To be clear, I'm not saying the case in question is fine. If you condemn usage of your image in porn magazines, you should condemn it in other situations as well, as long as the for-profit nature of the usage is not the only thing that bothers you.

No, this has nothing to do with profit at all.

After checking the site I can tell it has quite a few tracking cookies enabled - so for sure it is profitting from the illegal content.

Ps. This also doesnt cover copyright claims.

I don’t know if that’s illegal or not but it really should be

It does not work that way, not even legally. Just because a picture is online does not mean anyone is free to distribute it further.

The legality of it depends on copyright and on TOS of places where it was uploaded originally.

A lot of the responses to this comments are focusing on licensing which I think is missing the interesting point of this thought. I agree that many of the images here are likely copyright infringement but this is not a new, unique or interesting problem.

Imagine that instead of rehosting the images they just linked to the original source on social media. This is now legal, but is it "right" to aggregate images under this context?

Alright then, for the sake of argument then how would you feel if there was a website named "wikipedo" where people take the normal photos of children posted on social media and aggregate them thusly with a vastly different intent?

Getting off to feet is part of broader adult sexual freedom. You can’t compare it pedophilia, c’mon.

Getting off to feet is generally considered weird but okay, getting off to children is not. Your comparison is not applicable.

That would be confusing, what would we call enthusiastic wikipedia users then?

Let’s say you have a LinkedIn profile picture, and someone posts that picture to a site about people who look like they might be pedophiles. Would you be ok with that?

That is very different. That is implying that you may be a pedofile which is unpleasant whether or not there is a photo and whether or no anyone else even sees it.

This is saying that you have nice feet, which may make some people uncomfortable, and isn't necessary "right", but is completely different.

It's unwanted attention on the internet. I think it's fine to make fun of people who look like pedopohiles (not saying you are a pedophile, that would be libel probably). Some people have a problem with it, but I don't, so what's the big deal?

> TIL there's a wiki website for foot fetishists.

Foot fetishists are SO common. If you don't count the boob & ass normies, foot fetishists are a clear number one in the fetish sector.

I don't know if they're that common or they're just easy to cater to (taking a few pics of feet isn't a huge issue for anyone who makes a living on their looks).

In my younger days I would probably have agreed with you OP.

Now that I am older, I have come to appreciate the time, ambition, energy and reward that goes into being a public figure. I am also a bit wiser to the whole game of getting attention whilst pretending that you are not looking for it.

I feel like the best way to deal with this situation is just to accept that its all OK. Its OK to be an young, rich, attractive white woman. Its OK to publish pics of yourself on instagram. Its OK to be into feet. Its ok to like and share public content that you find online. The message of the article is that its a bit weird, but its OK. Lets not be too quick to shame and judge.

(The comments about Jennifer Aniston were interesting too- there is clearly a subtext here about the reach and power of women on these platforms, and again- this is all OK!)

I'm not talking about public figures.

> I feel like the best way to deal with this situation is just to accept that its all OK.

It's not all ok. It's ok to be into feet. It's ok to be any age, race, class. It's ok to publish anything you want about yourself in any way you choose. I'm not judging or shaming any of those things.

What's NOT ok is using/sharing someone's photos without their consent. In legal terms, it's likely a violation of copyright laws. In terms of morality/decency, it's a violation of respect for another person's boundaries.

> I noticed that wikiFeet has pretty strict rules about whose feet and what kinds of photos you can post. The person has to have an IMDb page to be fair game. Do you pay attention to those rules when you want to post someone like me, who isn’t as well-known?

> Yeah. For example, a musician from England who performed barefoot, like I’ll find a picture I think is sexy, and I’ll put her name in IMDb. And she didn’t have a page, so I couldn’t post hers. But you did.

I feel the same way, but this seems to me to be a rule to make sure that only pictures of people who have considerable public exposure to begin with are okay to be posted, which seems sensible to me.

Is it ok to publish photos of celebrities, athletes or politicians (public persons broadly) in newspapers, news stories online, or in magazines, or on forums, or on Wikipedia? If so, then it's morally ok to upload these feet photos. What about by outlets that some people don't regard as being legitimate news, like MSNBC or Fox? Those sources often seem like fetish outlets, they sell crack to partisans who mentally masturbate all day long to outrage porn headlines.

How about ESPN and athletes? They sell fetish obsession 24/7 to sports addicts of every possible variety. Fetishists obsessed with how tennis players grunt. You name it.

WikiFeet apparently has an IMDB rule in terms of who may be published, which seems within the realm of being reasonable as a cut-off.

And I strongly suspect that if the owner of eg Instagram photos that are being published on WikiFeet wanted them taken down for copyright reasons, WikiFeet would certainly comply with a simple email.

> But the thing that really puts me off about this interview and the WikiFeet website is the lack of consent.

A bit of a harsh, knee-jeek reaction to something entirely meaningless. Topped with a vague proposition of privacy in a public forum.

It's just feet. Unless someone knows you, your "privacy" isn't likely to be in peril from a site filled with feet.

It's not about the feet. It's about the lack of consent. It troubles me that you don't see a problem with that.

You used the word creepy to describe the wikifeet site, which might lead people to think that you are motivated by prudish reasons.

From a legal consent perspective are you also opposed to google image search for the same reasons, that google did not get consent to redisplay the resulting images? What about pictures of public personas in news articles where consent was not given? Could I prevent my friends from posting unflattering pictures of me? What if I google images of feet to get off on? Maybe consent should apply to audio and written information, so people are not quoted out of context?

The legalities around consent seem to get complicated, and conflict with other legal precedent. Also you might have a hard time convincing other people of the harm in feet pics, and that might be the first thing you need to do to get a law passed against it.

While I'd agree that if he were sneaking into women's houses, snapping "candid" photos with no permission it would be one thing, but why do people entirely miss that this woman was posting all these pictures of her own feet on the internet? If anything, all this showcases in my opinion is how people share WAY too much personal info and then something like this can make them think twice about doing so.

There is link-tracking on this article, and that's fine -- whatever. What blows my mind is how my browser (latest firefox) is seemingly enabling it. When you hover over the first link, it clearly shows in the bottom left corner that it will link to 'wikifeet.com', but if you actually click the link, my adblocker stops me from being redirected to 'redirectingat.com'.

Why does my browser lie to me like this?

edit: inspect element clearly shows

    <a href="https://www.wikifeet.com/Laura_Bassett"> my wikiFeet page</a>
What's going on here? Is it replacing the links on mousedown?

> Is it replacing the links on mousedown?

Yes, mousedown replace the href attribute, and then a few milliseconds after put the original link back. To debug that king of thing, you just put a break point on attribute modification of the link attributes, and you will see there is js triggered

The alternative would be showing "I can't tell you what happens if you click here". An interesting question if that's better or not.

> What's going on here? Is it replacing the links on mousedown?

Yes. Observe what happens to the URL shown when you right-click the link.

You know how every now and then someone comments "That's it, HN has officially become Reddit" or something along those lines? Well, I think this would be a good opportunity...

(Usually, those comments get downvoted, so please feel free.)

For what it’s worth the last guideline “addresses” this [1]. Seems to be a bit of a meme ‘round these parts.

I feel this submission is too quirky and long-form for the front page of Reddit. On occasion HN does a good job surfacing these sorts of articles.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

I am sympathetic to your viewpoint, but personally I find "exploring weird internet subcultures" within the spirit of hacking, if not the letter of the law. I'd much rather see this than a lot of the start-up related stuff posted here.

Why do you think they are downvoted? To me, it comes across as pretentious grandstanding, but I also understand the sentiment. I've not been using hacker news for very long, so I'm not familiar with what was posted 5+ years ago

Nahh nahh. You are absolutely right. I love it when the techno "elite" throws out their principles the moment something feels icky but has no set social norms only parallels that are to icky to think about in an objective way.

So you are absolutely correct. Hn is just reddit suddenly

Who has principles that state it’s ok to take someone else’s personal pics from social media and post them as effectively porn?

So it is ok for bloggers, journalists, fan sites, meme sites, meme factories etc. To take someone's publicly posted pic and use it for amusement or personal gain?

But it is not ok for a group of collectors to organize collections on internet out of crops of publicy posted photos, for something completely legal?

You’re setting up a straw man and then knocking it down, as such I feel no need to argue with this.

It would be hilarious if Instagram changed their site consent form to simply say that ‘your feet may end up on a foot fetish website.’

How many users would continue to use Instagram?

Interesting that here is yet another site that depends on IMDB in an essential way. I wonder what happens to that whole ecosystem if the database becomes more limited in how it can be accessed, or if it stops being updated and maintained in the same way.

> I don’t really get anything out of it. I just like to share it. I mean, people like feet, like me, and you have beautiful feet, and I just put it on there. I just think I’m helping other people out. I mean, I do save some for myself.

Yet Sci-hub is not legal.

I think I'm in the wrong timeline.

Are there others out like me?

Where do you go to chat, and may I chat there, please?

Gathering people informations to put them in a porn like website (without their consent) doesn't sound like a brilliant idea to me.

Another wiki for a more mainstream fetish: https://boobpedia.com/boobs/Main_Page (NSFW)

Interestingly, while it's been around for years, the word "boob" means it's basically invisible to Google.

The amount of time people spend on this sort of thing, just like the feet wiki in the article, is just fascinating. I'm all for having odd hobbies, but this is just next level.

I loved the article. More people should devote to their passions.

Looking at the headline I tensed up feeling how intrusive and even abusive this could feel for her. Was happy to find a good-natured exchange between the two and the guy didn't come over as creepy at all, even though his hobby probably will feel like stalking to other women.

I guess it's because feet just toe the line between ordinary photos - there are huge celeb sites - and more intimate ones you wouldn't want to see posted online.

That last sentence is appreciated. :)

> There isn’t much of a community on wikiFeet. It’s not like people can heart the photos or whatever.

Now I can see an important problem to solve. Innovation!

Feetbook.com? Instafoot?

All this is very sweet for some reason. I mean, its not the guyfs fault, right, its just the way he is wired?

Now, if it would have been 'young kids' instead of 'feet' it would be rather more unsettling. And I don't think many would think "its not his fault".

I'm not sure the point you are trying to make other than to try to normalize pedophilia.

I'm for reducing the stigma around individuals who have pedophiliac thoughts but do not act on them but that is not what you are describing. You are talking about someone acting on them.

Stealing photos to repost them on a fetish website without consent or license definitely is "the guy' fault".

> I actually took her out to dinner a couple times. I can just get girls out of their shoes, it’s a thing I can do.

I would really like to know how that works.

Off-topic, but the man in the interview reminds me of this lovely song about a foot fetish


Enjoyable read. I like how the Q&A playfully abstracts that Robert likes beating his meat to feet.

Sometimes you don’t need or want to know the low level details of your implementation :-)

How come theres no Smell Transfer Protocol yet

Maybe because the STP abbreviation has already been claimed by a bunch of other things? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STP#Computing

Anyway I'm opting out of that one, I like my internet scent-free. I guess there may be some people who are really into smelling?

Isn't this what the brapper crypto is for? /S

Sadly there is no RGB of scents.

Lol, that reminded me of "Surely you're joking Mr Feynman".

It reminded me of "The Sensuous Dirty Old Man" by Isaac Asimov.

Note to self: never get a page on IMDB. Not that there is any risk...

I ended up with a page on IMDB for participating in an episode of a tiny web streaming tech show years ago, and apparently you can't just get them removed. It isn't a high bar of fame/publicity to get stuck in there, unfortunately.

It's probably not down to you; IMDB is pretty much a wiki I believe.

But, not becoming famous is something to strive for. or. not becoming famous is? Either / or.

This was awesome. I laughed so hard. Made my day better.

This article is so absurd it feels surreal reading it.

Was WikiFeet built with Elixir?

Glad to hear the majority of Hacker News thinks it's ok to sexualize and catalog pictures of me without my consent. At least now I know who I'm dealing with here instead of merely suspecting it.

I don't want to sound like I'm defending the paparazzi or anything, but they are the source of many if not most of these pictures for the true celebrities. For better or worse, expose things to the public as a public figure and they're going to be catalogued by someone.

Wikifeet tries to ensure a person is actually a public figure via the IMDB requirement as there is really no objective and automated way to tell the difference. Should this woman qualify? She's been a well-known writer for over a decade, guest starred on several cable news shows, which is why she is on IMDB. Apparently, she's the woman who accused Chris Matthews of improper green room behavior, which led to his dismissal from MSNBC.

I can't say that means she deserves to lose all right to privacy forever, but that is unfortunately the tradeoff you make becoming even just a minor public figure, and she doesn't seem to mind. A person who really desires privacy can get some of it at least, more than this. Wikifeet doesn't allow anything like revenge porn or posting of hacked or stolen photos, and you can request to get them taken down if they belong to you.

Wikifeet also has a section of their site for people not classified as public figures, but you can only post pictures of yourself there and they're catalogued separately from the celebrities.

For what it's worth, if you go to her page, she seems to have posted more photos herself, which explicitly say they're dedicated to her fans on Wikifeet. And her site rating is up to 5 stars now.

The thing is that all her information are public. and if you type her name on google you will directly find her instagram which display the same photos

The issue danaliv is talking about is not the sharing of public information. It's the act of curation which adds additional meaning to that public information.

Finding someone’s name in a phonebook doesn’t give you permission to represent yourself as them.

If I had to guess, they're taking the tone of the author for granted, as an authority on how they're supposed to feel about it.


"Please respond to the strongest plausible interpretation of what someone says, not a weaker one that's easier to criticize. Assume good faith."

"Eschew flamebait. Don't introduce flamewar topics unless you have something genuinely new to say. Avoid unrelated controversies and generic tangents."

We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26736478.

A more accurate parallel is posting images from social media to gay porn sites. Nothing is wrong with gayness or foot fetishism, but one can make a reasonable argument against using images for sexual gratification without the subject's knowledge or consent.

Personally, I don't think it can or should be policed. Any image could provoke a sexual response, and there's nothing to do about that short of not publishing images.

(also, some might object to your apparent conflation of homosexuality and fetishism).

My concern is more about being associated with a fetish site. If someone would republish pictures of my feet anonymously I could laugh about it, but I would be pretty upset if they post it with my name and birthday. I wouldn't want a WikiFeet page be the first thing my colleagues and clients see when they search my name. Even if I don't have a problem with it, others might and assume that those pictures where posted there by me.

That’s not at all the argument that was being made. I’m sure the grandparent poster would be more than happy for the content to stay up if they had the explicit consent of the people they’re collecting images of.

The images were publicly posted. How much more of a consent do we need?

The images are not altered only cropped.

According to this logic when journalists crop a picture of celebrities they should ask for dress designer consent to not include the dress?

Some people like faces some people like feet. Why do we need consent for liking a certain part of picture?

That does not automatically grant you the right to repost them elsewhere in a different context.

OK, and that might be a fair counterpoint, then. I don’t have a thought out opinion on that. What you said above was completely different however and did not follow.

It's not about consent but copyright. If I share a picture of me, this doesn't give anyone the right to repost it somewhere else.

Not at all. I'm not commenting on the fetish. I'm commenting on the lack of consent.


This article gives me the opposite impression, this is exactly what the internet should be. There are people out there who just like feet, and now they have a community, a place to meet others who share their interests (and fetishes).

WikiFeet even have reasonable rules, only post people who have an IMDB profile. I'm sure there are a bunch of rules they violate, in terms of copyright and so on, but they're at least trying to be reasonable and impose some guidelines that aren't total off.

It awesome and the interview with the guy just makes it better. He's not trying to hurt anyone, he's aware of the issues and have good answers. It's wonderful that for once you do get this retard answers as to why. Mostly it's just idiots who answer "I don't know" or "I just felt like it".

I absolutely love this, that article made me a little happier this morning.

The guy did say he just creates an IMDB page of someone when he wants to upload their feet though which does render that rule...well not pointless but not exactly point...ful?

From the article: and I’ll put her name in IMDb. And she didn’t have a page, so I couldn’t post hers.

I would take the: "put her name in IMDB" to mean he just did a search. On first reading like you I did think that meant he created an IMDB entry, but the 2nd part of the sentence changed my mind.

Yeah, I misread it the same way you did. He meant that he was just searching for her name, he wasn't creating a page for her.


But tbh

> I’m not hurting anybody, I’m not robbing banks. Just let it ride.

He's got a point there. Better this than some pedophile bbs on tor.

Are peeping toms hurting people?

Voyeurism is illegal in most places, are you saying that is what this is?

Something being illegal and something hurting someone are two separate things.

If you base what is right and wrong of what is illegal you make the perfect model citizen for any dictatorship. Have fun with that.

As long as you don't frame it as data gathering for targeted ads.

Sure, it’s a privacy invasion.

..and what a wonderful mistake it is... and like children it will grow and make the most amazing, unexpected things! :heart:

Why? These people were always out there, it's better to take them out in the open and see what's there.

Not if you have a fetisch for feet it seems...

Only because the internet doesn't transfer olfactory information.

My new rfc dropping tomorrow: hypersmell transfer protocol


The internet has caused society to devolve into idiocracy. Curtis Yavin might be proved correct.

You have the causality the other way.

Society was always idiocracy, it was just obscured. If anything, the internet is one of our hopes for improving things.

But change is rarely short and painless.

The main question I'm struggling with is whether "neutral" people get more or less stupid by being exposed to the previously obscured idiocy (or deliberate nonsense).

The jury is still out on that.

What has been clear over the last decade or two is that facts, reason and logic doesn't automatically win in the "marketplace of ideas".

In Romanian we say: "don't act stupid, you risk staying that way". So the folk wisdom would be that neutral people do get stupid. It makes sense, the brain is like a muscle, if you don't exercise it, it withers (at least a bit).

And despite how we feel about it, the solution will probably be what we've always done: we promote what we think are good things and demote what we think are bad things (i.e. if you want to take it to the extreme, you can call it censorship, propaganda, etc.). The internet is also slowly getting filtered and I don't think we're losing much for it. Most of the stuff out there is garbage, as you've noticed.

Ha, I just realized the same last week while listening to a podcast miniseries about the Habsburgs, who ruled a large part of Europe for about 1000 years, but not all of them were that bright. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p06cqzx5

There's nothing--and I never thought I would be writing this--idiocratic about the foot fetish people, who long-predate the internet, and if Mencius Moldbug says otherwise that's him showing his own limitations.

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