KeenSpot Newsbox Controversy Sparks Policy Clarification

An update to this story: it appears to be that in the case of the recent Friendly Hostility newsbox, Keenspot did not follow its internal policy to provide newsbox images to all of its artists to review beforehand. Keenspot policy is to require the provision of a “G” rated image as an alternative for individual artists to use if any artists object to the originally submitted newsbox image.

Original post follows after the break.

Recently, Gavin Bleuel posted a clarification of Keen’s policy regarding said newsbox.

This weekend, we ran a newsbox for Friendly Hostility which featured two men kissing (or, debately, very close to kissing). Another Keenspotter, who objected to the content running on their site, subsequently removed the newsbox. Since then, we’ve been flooded with emails from outraged readers. From the emails we received, it appears there is a great deal of confusion regarding Keenspot policies surrounding the newsbox, so I’d like to take this opportunity to clarify the points that have been brought up and answer some questions, here in a public forum.

Websnark’s readers do a little research and confirm that Tiffany Ross is likely to be the Keenspot artist who objected to the Friendly Hostility newsbox. Here’s the text from her site at the time (google cache):

“I will have this box at the top of AD for this week, due to events over the weekend concerning the Keenspot Newsbox that I did not want on my site. The comic’s quite funny. I’ve read it a few times and it’s not explicit, so I have no problem with it, but it does contain gay content.”



  1. OMFG!!?! Two men KISSING!

    Does George W. Bush know about this?

  2. I can understand why Gav isn’t identifying the keenspotter who objected, but that doesn’t change that I’d like to know who it is.

    (And I think it’s spelled Bleuel.)

  3. I’m 99.9% certain I could name the Spotter in two tries or less.

    Of course it might not be an anti-gay spotter. Maybe it was one of the homosexual spotters who recently broke up with his partner and seeing two men embracing tore asunder the painful wound that was his broken heart.

    I know I used to hate seeing people kissing when I just went through a breakup.

    The question of bigotry though depends entirely upon wether or not the person would have also objected to the content of the newsbox if it had depicted a heterosexual couple kissing. If they don’t want to see people kissing in their newsbox, period, then there’s no bigotry involved. Prudity, sure, but bigotry no. If it’s a case of them not wanting to see same sex (particularily male same sex) couples kissing (damned those uppity sodomites) then it’s bigotry.

    Personally I find it a sad statement on North America that nobody would likely even notice if the newsbox contained an image of two people expressing violence towards one another (graphic or cartoonish mallet related violence)but an expression of love gets people screaming “My god! Won’t someone think of the children.”

    There’s so much anger and hate and death and destruction in this world, you only have to turn on the evening news to see so much of humanity at it’s worse. For me a genuine expression of love, even love between two men, is a welcomed relief.

  4. I don’t know that I could name them. I have some anti-gay suspects, but this might not be a direct anti-gay issue. This might be someone who doesn’t consider themselves homophobic but who “doesn’t want any trouble, ’round these parts, Skeeter.”

    It’s worth noting I hate people like that. I hate homophobes too, mind, but people who think they’re tolerant but just “don’t want any trouble” make me furious.

  5. Hey, Did anyone consider that the person didn’t want to run the newsbox because the strip in question sucked? Gay or not?

    Let me tell you something, I’ve had two girls kiss in my strip, but I wouldn’t want to run the Keenspot newsbox of another strip if I didn’t like the content.

    This is just another example of how catty this community is to itself. I guarantee you that nobody outside of the webcomics community gives a shit whether one keenspotter objected to a newsbox. In fact, I doubt they would even notice.

    This “controversy” is fabricated bullshit. And everyone making a big deal about it should feel ashamed of themselves.

  6. If Spotters censored adboxes based on wether or not they liked the content of the strip being advertised then every strip would have its adbox censored by someone. I don’t think this was a case of them not liking the comic so much as it was a case of Jesus told them to censor the adbox because it features filthy sodomites.

    Filthy Sodomites would make a great band name.

  7. You’re right, nobody gives a shit about this stupid controversy. What they should give a shit about is my new cellular phone. It’s totally awesome. I think you should buy one.

  8. Holy shit! I got a new cell phone too recently. And then they freakin’ hosed me on the damned USB cable.


    My new cell phone totally kicks my old cell phone’s ass. I can use the internets on it even.

  9. Tiffany Ross? Who the heck is she?

    Man. I so would have lost that bet. I was thinking it was one of two other Spotters. Just goes to show you.

  10. Wait a minute? Is Tiffany Ross, Syke?

    Curiouser and curiouser. Geeze, I almost feel like I owe the two Spotters I suspected it was an apollogy for just thinking it might have been them. Syke never really struck me as homophobic before. What a whacky world it is we live in.

    This really doesn’t make much sense for someone who caters to the furry/bishi crowd to get in a huff over a two guys kissing. I haven’t bothered to read through her comic but surely there must be incident of two people being intimate with each other in there somewhere.

  11. Now that the broo-ha-ha is dying down and I’ve finally noticed this article, I thought I’d point out that my name’s not “Gavin.” Thanks. 😉

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