Food for thought: Media FandomPosted: September 19, 2011
Upon registering to become a member of the Bravo TV discussion board forum, I was required to “accept the terms and conditions” laid out by the cable channel (as is most often the case with just about everything on the internet). I found it very interesting that in accepting the terms and conditions of the Bravo TV message board, one also agrees to keep their “comments on topic.” The website states that “posts that are not about Bravo will be removed.” Perhaps, this is in an attempt to generate topical and relevant discussions amongst registered users, or, perhaps, it is to promote Bravo’s own productions and merchandise, as everyone viewing the discussion board (registered users or not) will see messages which pertain only to Bravo.
The terms and conditions form also states that Bravo has “the ability to remove objectionable messages… [if it is determined] that removal is necessary.” Bravo, then, obviously has standards for what is and is not considered objectionable, but users remain uncertain of what the word actually means in this context. How does Bravo define “objectionable?” Is this a term that is universally accepted by all/most discussion boards, or is it specific to Bravo’s website?
In accepting these terms, “You agree, through your use of this service, that you will not use this bulletin board to post any material which is knowingly false and/or defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person’s privacy, or otherwise violative of any law.” I found this section of the agreement particularly interesting as Bravo’s The Real Housewives series devotes many seasons and episodes to middle-aged women threatening and insulting each other as the words “bitch, “whore,” “psycho,” etc. can be heard multiple times per episode. In addition to exhibiting this hateful and childish behavior, several cast members very frequently flaunt their sex lives to the national audience, for example, discussing an ongoing lawsuit regarding a sex tape in which one housewife was involved. Are these segments of the show not sexually orientated or hateful and threatening? Why is it that Bravo’s website and discussion board forum forbids users from expressing the very sentiments they witness on its programming as viewers?