Disclaimer for offensive images?
February 17, 2015 6:32 PM   Subscribe

What's the best way to phrase a click-through disclaimer on my website?

I'm looking to add more newsreel footage to the video section of my website. The problem is, while most of the footage is innocuous, there are scenes that include NSDAP imagery--people marching, waving banners, and so on.

I want my site to be a tool for researchers which is why I don't want to edit the films. You can't discuss the Free City of Danzig without those guys coming up. Here are the issues:

1. I don't want young kids stumbling on them (unlikely, but one has to think of these things).
2. There are some places, such as Germany, where such images are illegal. I don't know the jurisdictional ins and outs as far as websites are concerned--and I don't really want to know--but I do want to C my A.
3. I don't want to attract the Stormfront crowd.

What I thought about doing is have a pop-up box before that particular page will open, saying something along the lines of: "The following page includes offensive images. I understand, and affirm that I am at least 15 years old. Type YES in the password box if you agree." Would something like this be sufficient given my concerns outlined above? I don't want to go overboard; but, again, CYA.
posted by orrnyereg to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Would something like this be sufficient given my concerns outlined above?

You are asking for specific legal advice, in a niche area to boot, when you live in Vanuatu. This isn't a good place for that.

As a non-lawyer, it's not obvious to me:
  1. why your disclaimer would prevent Stormfront members from viewing/using your footage.
  2. how you can claim ownership rights to strict viewership of videos that are quite possibly still in copyright.
  3. why you are worried about getting in legal trouble in countries you don't live in.
  4. how you plan on suing the young kids that are able to type "YES", even assuming that you have grounds to do so.

posted by saeculorum at 6:44 PM on February 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

I think you're way overthinking things.

1. I can't see children having any interest in your site before the point that they should be capable of knowing the full history.
2. Scholarly use of Nazi imagery is legal in Germany.
3. Stormfront types hang out in forums where they can make comments about videos and tend to want things a little more extreme than old newsreels.
posted by Candleman at 7:18 PM on February 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

Part of my job is writing mild disclaimer pop-up copy, but something like you're outlining here I would send over to a legal department before I ever touched it.

Copy aside, I would use one of those "enter your birthdate" menus instead of the YES in the password box thing. I don't think the latter is any more "legal" than the former, and it's a lot less intuitive.
posted by jess at 7:20 PM on February 17, 2015

Engage a local lawyer to determine appropriate CYA behaviour.

But, in terms of general good internet citizenship, I would just use an interstitial page which reads something like: "The content you are about to view contains hateful and racially charged speech and imagery."
posted by 256 at 8:48 PM on February 17, 2015

None of your videos are rare or hard to find--there's plenty of this stuff around on various newsreel sites already. If you want to add a disclaimer, fine, but I don't think it's necessary.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:53 PM on February 17, 2015

I am not a lawyer etc. I'm not sure whether something like this even really needs a disclaimer. However, If I was going to write a disclaimer for this, something like "The following video on the Free City of Danzig contains footage of and imagery associated with the NSDAP. This footage might be upsetting to some viewers" is a bit more specific and helpful. Saying that something is offensive is vague and doesn't help people who want to avoid that kind of thing.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 11:04 PM on February 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

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