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Censorship Your Rights Online

UK Wants To Ban Computer-Generated Child Porn 544

Posted by kdawson
from the think-of-the-children dept.
An anonymous reader writes "UK Home Secretary John Reid has urged a ban on computer-generated images of child abuse, including cartoons. The Register asks if this would criminalize role-playing gamers, and what about Hentai? Currently, such images may be illegal to publish under the Obscene Publications Act, but they do not come under child pornography laws. The attempt to criminalize possession of virtual images mirrors the attempt to criminalize possession of 'extreme porn' which would also include fake images, as well as photos of simulated acts involving consenting adults (as discussed on Slashdot). A petition on the Government's new website urges an end to such plans."
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UK Wants To Ban Computer-Generated Child Porn

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  • Mixed Blessing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Orclover (228413) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:35AM (#17237236)
    Sounds like a long overdue idea at the forefront but where does the line get drawn? Do they stop at the internet "fantasy" sites that have started popping up or will they suddenly include Anime? What about some Mod for The Sims that some kid cooks up that makes all the characters naked? Would hate to think some poor bastard out there gets 10 years in prison for mixing together the perfect nudist colony on his sims block. Any chance they will just limit this to the internet pr0n sites that have cropped up?
  • by Hoi Polloi (522990) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:37AM (#17237266) Journal
    What would constitute a child in a drawing? Would one of the figures have to be small? What if the creator said it was a midget? Would it have to say it was a child in a caption? Would it have to have pigtails or some streotypical childish feature? Would they ban people from play acting as kids during sex?

    How about realizing that you can't legislate away all the bad things in the world.
  • The difference is (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oliverthered (187439) <oliverthered@hotma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:39AM (#17237308) Journal
    In real child porn a child is being abused.
    In 'virtual' child porn no children are being abused.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:39AM (#17237318)
    I'm just an Ordinary Average Guy (apologies to Joe Walsh)
    I am an example of an average person, and I take the responsibilities of representing the average person.
    Anything that offends me, therefore, must offend average people.
    non-average people tend to have these weird fetishes and ways of speaking and bizarre cultural beliefs and, well, I'm just going to say it...the offend me.
    Therefore all non-average people offend average people and we must ban them all so that the only beliefs & cultures left are the average ones.
    Thus, everybody wins!
    You cannot argue with logic.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:39AM (#17237324) Homepage
    At what point is it a good idea to attempt to regulate thoughts, feeling and their expression? At what point does it become bad? I find myself asking that question at every turn when I see laws regulating "morality."

    Some easy cases for regulation is in the constant sexually oriented marketing and the results it has on children. We like to turn a blind eye to the fact that "adult targetted advertisment" affects the way young developing minds perceive the world. (Yet at the same time, we recognize the fact when we are talking about tobacco and alcohol advertising?)

    I don't feel up to making cases against regulation -- I think they don't need to be stated -- I think they are pretty obvious. It's just bad to attempt to control thought.

    But perhaps what needs more control is the attempts at controlling thought themselves!!! Better controls on advertising. Better controls on laws on morality. Those kinds of controls might actually have a better chance at addressing the causes of the problems and not just the symptoms. The way I see things, frustrated and confused children growing up to be frustrated and confused adults are the problems and these crimes against children are the symptoms.
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:43AM (#17237404)
    I hate to tell people what they can and can't create on their computer, but if there were a situation that warranted it this might be it. I guess the real question is whether this starts down the slippery slope.

    As soon as start restricting anything people do *without hurting other people* on a moral basis, you're already slipping on the slope. I understand banning real child porn because children are hurt making it, and I can understand banning photoshopping greenbacks because the fiduciary system, and society in general is hurt, but whatever people do that hurts no-one should be nobody's business to regulate or ban, including peddling or collecting Nazi-ware, which is banned in Europe for some stupid reason I might add.

    Any state trying to prevent you from making or watching Hentai smells of police state. Plain and simple. And given the UK's recent track record in this domain, I can't say I'm surprised.
  • Re:Mixed Blessing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:44AM (#17237426)
    Would plain nudity qualify then? If so, does this qualify:

    (_|_) - butt of a minor

    Either way, I sympathize with the intent but I doubt it will do any good in practical terms.
  • by Mr2cents (323101) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:45AM (#17237448)
    I disagree. I thought that the reason those photo's are forbidden was becauce you'd need to abuse children to make such photo's. If you just draw something on your computer, you're not harming anyone. Sure it's sick, but is that a crime?
  • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:52AM (#17237564)
    Furthermore, it could be argued that this kind of stuff existing could alter the behavior of pedophiles.

    Indeed -- argued both ways, no less! It could alter the behavior by making them want to act on their urges with real children more, or it could alter the behavior by satisfying their urges so they no longer feel the need to go after real kids.

  • by PingSpike (947548) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:52AM (#17237566)
    You hit on all the points I was going to make. Its easy to get caught in the shock factor of "they're disgusting perverts!" but if you think about the implications of this law its a pretty dangerous precident. Child pornography laws already tread into some pretty iffy areas here in the US. (There are examples of parents being arrested for innocent naked pictures of their babies, although no convictions that I know of)

    You already touched on this...but I still feel like expanding. Sure, this might stop a few people from creating some hardcore fake porn featuring kids...but a fake child is hard to quantify isn't it? No one is going to write "kiddie porn" on their works so that leaves it up to the discretion of some fat busy-body somewhere to decide. Its a little easier to make the laws featuring real humans, since its easy enough to seperate them into 18 and not 18.

    It is a slipperly slope, because once you stop using their actual age as a factor and instead the appearance of their age all bets are off.
  • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:54AM (#17237616) Homepage Journal
    That makes me wonder where the "virtual child abuse" line is drawn. There are lots of non-porn instances in pop culture. Can South Park still kill Kenny? Can Charlie Brown still get whacked with a baseball and go flying off his pitcher's mound? Can Popeye still chase Swee'pea around a construction site? Can God still tell Abraham to kill his son Isaac in the Christian Bible? And don't get me started on the mythological dysfunctional families in the Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Norse, and other ancient polytheistic pantheons that most kids learn about in school.
  • by SpecialAgentXXX (623692) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:57AM (#17237668)
    There are plenty of websites out there that feature "barely legal" young women who are 18 and over. They usually have them dressed in schoolgirl outfits or acting like a "girly high school girl." Would that be considered illegal because it "simulates" an underage girl?

    As for cartoons, how the hell does a court determine whether or not the drawn picture is of an underage girl, or a "barely legal" 18 year old? And why is this such a big deal? I thought the whole point in stopping child porn is because it exploits and abuses the children. Who is abused when an artist draws pictures? For there to be a crime, there has to be a victim. Where's the victim?
  • by testadicazzo (567430) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:58AM (#17237670) Homepage
    Do you know the robert crumb cartoon "big baby"? It's a character that looks like a huge curvy woman with a baby head sucking on a pacifier who just says "goo" and thinks cocks are big pacifiers, and cum is just like mothers milk. When she appeared on the cover of the "complete crumb" reprints he put a little blurb saying "relax folks, she's 18", for what I guess are obvious reasons. In the stories there's no reason to think she's 18.

    outlawing child porn to protect children is reasonable. But outlawing thinking about child porn, whether it be in a drawing or CGI is just though policing, and I'm thoroughly against thought police. In the example of R. Crumb, he was originally thought of as a big pornographer, and had a lot of troubles becuase of the things he decided to draw about. But the things he drew, although they were absolutely certainly without a doubte graphically depicting sexual child abuse in a cartoon form, are gradually being thought of as art rather than horrible seedy pornography. His stuff routinely gets shown in art galleries in the US and across Europe now, and consider pretty sides of the human psyche.

    I actually tried to bring this debate up at a party, shortly after the netherlands initiated a debate about outlawing virtual child porn (what happened with that anyway?). Everyone at the party (it was an office party, not really friends. I just wanted to bring up something more interesting than the banal shit they were bandying around) was grossly offended at the idea of virtual child porn, and one particularly stupid individual told me that once I had children I would understand that virtual child porn was wrong.

    Well, I'm not young, and I've been around the block a few times, and it's my considered opinion that pretending that certain things don't exist, and censoring their depiction or discussion don't eliminate those things. I don't think they even reduce them. I'm not sure of it, but I think open discussions and the ability to confront such things, and other peoples thoughts, ideas, and fantasies, even when grossly disturbing, actually helps reduce these things. It's the same reason I think it's reprehensible that some school libraries choose to censor mark twain, since his work depicts racism. It's anti racism, but they don't care. They don't like the fact that he shows an ugly side of American history.

    Put another way, and I guess I'm ripping this off of Noam Chomsky, freedom of speech is measured by how much freedom one has to say things we don't like to hear (or in this case see). Stalin and Hitler were perfectly content to let people communicate ideas and concepts they approved of, but we don't say they supported free speech.

    So yeah, kiddie porn is creepy and disturbing. But if no one was hurt in the production of such kiddie porn, it must not be made illegal. Same goes for depicting violent and nasty or disgusting sex acts. Deal with it, reality contains many creepy and difficult to face concepts. If you don't like them, stick you head as deep in the sand as you must. If you want to shelter your kids from these facts, then stick their heads in the sand too. But don't be surprised if they suffocate, and especially don't be surprised when they find themselves unable to deal with real dangers, threats and disturbing concepts that they might one day have to face.

  • Re:Oh noes! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by voice_of_all_reason (926702) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:58AM (#17237674)
    Reminds me of a post once where someone asked why China's Ministry of Truth was so effective at censorship.

    By not saying "You're prohibited from discussing topics X, Y, and Z" and instead just hauling people off to prison when they decide the line has been crossed, people censor themselves far more effectively.
  • by neoform (551705) <djneoform@gmail.com> on Thursday December 14, 2006 @12:01PM (#17237748) Homepage
    We should also ban images depicting murder.. and books.. and movies.. and talking about crime.. and thinking about crime.. and thinking.
  • by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy&gmail,com> on Thursday December 14, 2006 @12:02PM (#17237764) Journal
    What's wrong with cartoons depicting murder?

    The question is always, "By allowing this stuff to exist are we providing an outlet for an antisocial impulse, or are we feeding an antisocial desire?"

    It is rarely so clearcut. When the cops bust a pedophile, and he has a huge collection of child porn, they blame the porn for the pedophilia, but it's a chicken and egg problem.

    It's my feeling that people who are prone to committing these types of crimes will do it regardless of the existence of these videos, so the creation of these videos should be allowed in the hopes that they'll fill some of the kiddie porn niche that is currently filled by actual kiddie porn.

    You can't fight supply and demand. The regular sick exploitive stuff is already illegal, and yet still being made. Until you can find some way to make people not want this stuff, the existence of an animated substitute that doesn't involve a financial incentive for live action child porn doesn't seem like a bad thing.
  • by Kopl (1027670) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @12:04PM (#17237830) Journal
    There is NO regulating thought. I find such an idea disturbing. Freedom of thought should be a more fundamental right than even freedom of speech. There is a better alternative. Law. Let them know that when they do do something illegal they will be arrested(and not enjoy the results). Morality doesn't just disappear when it isn't enforced. Most people eventually gain it.
  • by NorbrookC (674063) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @12:05PM (#17237860) Journal

    Is it just me, or does it seem like every time there are real issues that need addressing, but require a lot of effort and a change in government policy, said government comes up with some diversionary issue?

    "We need to reevaluate our Iraq policy." "Right, here's a measure we need to fight child pornography!" "We've got an immigration issue." "BTW, did we mention this epidemic of child porn?" "We have to look at healthcare costs" "Look! Kid porn! Child molesters!" It's a quick hot-button issue that allows them to spend immense amounts of time pontificating, while diverting public attention from any lack of work on real issues.

    That's not even asking the question of "Why didn't the last 10 laws you passed on this subject work, or why didn't you enforce them?" Which is the question I'm asking of them. Until they have a good answer, I letting them know that I expect them to stop trying to divert me, and get to work on real issues.

  • by Wellington Grey (942717) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @12:18PM (#17238094) Homepage Journal
    O
    /|\
    |_
    / \


    So... is that ascii drawing child porn? What if I say it's a drawing of a child?

    -Grey [wellingtongrey.net]
  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Thursday December 14, 2006 @12:19PM (#17238100) Homepage Journal
    And why is this such a big deal? I thought the whole point in stopping child porn is because it exploits and abuses the children.

    So there are at least two issues here. One is legislating morality. Lots of people in power like to do that. It's not justified.

    Second is preventing crime. The theory is if you take a mentally unstable person and bathe him in child porn, virtual or not, he's more likely to actually commit a crime acting out what he's been exposed to. So, by removing the stimulus, you prevent the crime.

    I don't know how much data there is on that, but the hypothesis at least has merit for study.

    Further, there's the issue of whether preventing said crime is worth the infringement of the rights of those without the tendency to act out their crimes. There's no acceptable regime that can limit the ban to those actually likely to be affected.

    Our society is all over the place on this issue. On one hand, someone can't smoke next to me in a restaurant because their smoke probably causes me harm. On the other hand, we haven't banned motor vehicles from roads, where people do walk on foot and a very real number of people are killed by the fact that there are cars on those roads.

    In the end it's all a careful balancing of trade-offs.
  • by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy&gmail,com> on Thursday December 14, 2006 @12:20PM (#17238114) Journal
    It's hard to say, "Yea, people should be able to create animated child porn and collect Nazi memorabilia" because most people feel that that crosses an ethical line. No "decent" person should want that stuff, so who are we hurting when we ban it? Bunch of sickos? Who cares?

    But that's a bad precident to set, where the majority arbitrarily decides what is and is not acceptable for society. As long as no one is hurt/exploited/etc, society should be able to tolerate oddball fringes.

    The Nazi stuff is a good example. Europe is working hard to remove any hint that Nazism ever existed, but is that good for society? I've got a copy of the Krampf on my bookshelf at home...It's an excellent reminder of how some pointed hate rhetoric tailored for the masses can screw up the whole goddamn world. It's especially nice because there is a lot of that rhetoric still in play in the world, and it's good to be able to put it in it's proper category.
  • (2) It encourages its users to view children in general as objects of sex gratification.

    Just like topless men are going to turn me into a Gay.

    More to the point, I've looked at porn, I've looked at some fairly gratuitous porn but I'm not going to go out and rape someone.
  • Bullshit (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Orrin Bloquy (898571) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @12:27PM (#17238266) Journal
    This was Ashcroft's pathetic argument. I've worked with the application that's used to generate 99.9% of all CGI porn out there (Poser), and its models are instantly recognizable. The lighting and rendering options are prosumer level at best, but more importantly the artists who create Poser porn have NO INTEREST in making their work indistinguishable from photography.

    This is not a trivial point. CGI porn is created by artists who don't have the skills or talent to draw it themselves, not Hollywood-level techs looking to circumvent the law. And their paysite customers are comfortable in the knowledge that possession of images of recognizably non-real events means no exploitation of real-world models. No victim, no crime.

    The unspoken presumption here is that what pervs want more than anything is photorealistic images which defy distinction. The number of people who subscribe to sites with hand-drawn furry porn says otherwise.

    Maya is the gold standard for images indistinguishable from photos. People take college-level courses to learn it, never mind master it, and the investment of time and money is inconsistent with the ROI they could get using it to make loli porn.

    When the police's argument devolves to "this means the burden of proof is still on us," I honestly don't give a fuck.
  • by Berserker76 (555385) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @12:33PM (#17238392)
    Lets face it, having any type of image, either real or computer generated, de-synthesizes its viewer to the actual criminal act of molesting a child. This in turn makes it easier for themselves to justify or at least in some form allows them to rationalize that what they are doing is ok. Who knows how many more innocent victims there have been because of the availability of this type of material on the internet. We have all seen "To Catch a Predator" on TV.....this exact type of material is creating an epidemic in this country. Whether it is real or computer generated material, it is wrong, it is disgusting and anyone who would defend it in the name of freedom of speech or expression needs to seriously question their own moral judgment. I would even be curious to see if since the internet becoming main stream if cases of child molestation have increased due to it making this type of material more readily available.
  • by msobkow (48369) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @12:34PM (#17238404) Homepage Journal

    We're talking about child porn that tries to play games with legal loopholes about whether a child is actually harmed. It encourages the direct physical abuse of real children by conditioning the paedophile to consider their lustful and abusive mentality "acceptable" or "normal". It's the same problem that is caused by allowing pre-teen and teen models to be dressed up as if they were adults by clothing advertisers.

    Comparing South Park's creative and repetitive killing of the self-repairing Kenny to someone trying to portray a realistic scene of rape and torture is disingenuous at best. No one would ever confuse Kenny with being real, but when you consider the stellar work done by SquareSoft, Pixar, or the team behind Ghost in the Shell 2, it's pretty clear that we can do the synthetic actors that Lucas fantasized about years ago.

    Even Hentai isn't a fair comparison, because while the material is deeply disturbing "tentacle sex demons" ties in with some Japanese religions and folklore. It is an excellant example of a storyline where you don't want live human actors, but that doesn't mean it should be suppressed by people who don't understand the cultural significance.

    When's the last time some sicko dressed up as a Japanese sex demon and tried to molest a horde of young women?

    When's the last time a child got dragged off by a paedophile to be raped in darkness and terror?

  • by Total_Wimp (564548) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @12:35PM (#17238408)
    In the case of other crimes, the depiction is entirely separate from the depicted. Reading about a bank robber does not make you a thief.

    Pornography is a little different, however, in that it exists as the interaction between the subject and the material. The whole point of pornography is to not just be a depiction of some sexually-arousing act, but to actually arouse.

    A) Horror films invoke fear, and many depictions of murder are designed to give the viewer a viceral charge, espcecially of revenge. Clearly fictional works of violence work very hard to arouse the emotions of the viewer.

    B) So what if someone gets aroused by a cartoon depiction of kiddie porn? "No child was harmed in the creation of this film." I abosolutly have no tolerance or empathy with child pornographers. I loathe them as the lowest form of existance. But that's because they hurt kids. If no kids are harmed, I don't really care how you get your jollies.

    TW
  • by Vicegrip (82853) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @12:37PM (#17238462) Journal
    Oh come on. The point of a horror novel is to scare you. The point of a murder drama is to empathize with the victim. The point of trash-mafia books it to make you feel like you are in the gangster culture-- to feel what it's like to be a thug.

    A well written book draws you into its story and compels you to finish it. I don't read books so I can observe disparately what is going on in the story.

    I for one do not want the government to start down the slippery slope of deciding which of my thoughts should be illegal. Thank you very much.
  • by Viol8 (599362) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @12:42PM (#17238576)
    Fine , ban these virtual images of child porn. Presumably all the carved cherubs and statues in fountains of pissing children will have to go too , not to mention numerous works of art. No? Oh and why's that then Mr Reid? Oh , of course , its called double standards, something politicians are past masters at.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 14, 2006 @12:45PM (#17238638)
    Pedophilia just like any other form of rape is about control more than just sex

    Pedophilia is a state of being, rape is an act.

    I don't think any hardcore pedophile will be satisfied with virtual playthings for very long so in the end virtual child porn will not achieve anything more than just postpone the inevitable a little while longer.

    You claim willful ignorance of what makes pedos tick and then you try to speak authoritatively about how they think. Which is it?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 14, 2006 @12:54PM (#17238856)
    o
    \|/ -- Naked twelve year old girl!
    / \

    0
    \|/ -- Naked prophet Muhammad!
    / \

    There, now I can never go to the UK *or* the middle east!
  • by StewedSquirrel (574170) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @12:57PM (#17238940)
    Wow, the only thing missing is

    "THINK OF THE CHILDREN"

    Your post is a series of "yes, but" and "what if".

    What if child porn incites pedophiles? Is there any evidence at all of this? No, there isn't. People claim it's "common sense" and site statistics that show 70% of molestors have viewed child porn.

    Know what? I'd bet 90% of married men have viewed straight porn. Can I conclude that porn incites marraige?

    There is no provable connection, nor is there even anicdotal evidence that shows a causal link.

    I, personally, believe that porn is a great outlet for people who would otherwise do freaky things... like that guy in college who had the bestiality porn.... (not joking).

    Stew
  • by The Monster (227884) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @01:01PM (#17239024) Homepage
    We're talking about child porn that tries to play games with legal loopholes about whether a child is actually harmed. It encourages the direct physical abuse of real children by conditioning the paedophile to consider their lustful and abusive mentality "acceptable" or "normal".
    I don't believe this. I think you've got cause and effect reversed. There's plenty of empirical evidence that suggests that letting people look at porn diffuses their 'lustful mentality' so that they are not as likely to commit an act of physical abuse. That some people's appetites cannot be satisfied by the porn does not equate to the porn causing the appetite itself.

    Let's suppose that you're chosen for a jury in a kiddie porn case. In order to render a verdict against the accused, you'll have to look at the porn. Will this make you go out and rape kids? No, it won't. That's because porn doesn't make normal people commit physical acts against others.

    But even if it were true, it wouldn't matter. Making pictures that 'encurage' activities is the expression of an idea, which isn't the same thing as the activities themselves. If someone abuses a child, they have committed an act against an actual person, which is justly punished. If all they're doing is looking at pictures and thinking about it, no one has been harmed, so there is no justification for sending Men With Badges And Guns to stop it.

    Got that, pervs? Look, but don't touch, m'kay?

  • by TFloore (27278) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @01:01PM (#17239030)
    We're talking about child porn that tries to play games with legal loopholes about whether a child is actually harmed. It encourages the direct physical abuse of real children by conditioning the paedophile to consider their lustful and abusive mentality "acceptable" or "normal". It's the same problem that is caused by allowing pre-teen and teen models to be dressed up as if they were adults by clothing advertisers.

    How is this different from trying to ban violent video games?

    Either you know the difference between fantasy and reality, in which case CGI child porn should not be banned... or you don't, and violent video games should be banned also, by the same reasoning you use above.

    Be very careful with your thinking, lest it be applied in ways you won't like. Decisions are not made in isolation, and consistency of thought is important.

  • by Qzukk (229616) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @01:03PM (#17239076) Journal
    This sounds like the kind of wishful-thinking with which most Slashdot readers react to anti-porn news of any kind.

    While your wishful thinking is applied to EVERYTHING ELSE. Videogames do not make me go out and kill people. Advertisements do not compel me to go out and buy tampons. Reading Agatha Christie does not force me go out and poison people. Reading Mercedes Lackey is pretty interesting, but the Last-Herald Mage failed to turn me gay.

    And porn does not make me go out and rape people.

    If, after exposure to any of these, you have a hard time controlling whatever impulses you have, then you have a problem that you will need to solve. Leave me, and the rest of the properly functioning society, out of it.
  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @01:06PM (#17239122)
    It encourages the direct physical abuse of real children by conditioning the paedophile to consider their lustful and abusive mentality "acceptable" or "normal".
    Does it really? Do you have some evidence for that? Or is that just random extrapolation "because it makes sense?" From what I've seen and read, paedophilia is triggered in the vast majority of cases by the abuser having been abused himself. They're merely perpetuating their own experiences. Child porn never caused someone to become a child molester. Besides, are you really arguing that paedophilia has increased since people had more access to child porn?
    The potential benefit of a law has to always be weighted against its potential drawbacks. In this case, benefits are imaginary, while the drawbacks will happen immediately. Or are you planning on relying on all artists labeling their art with "child porn here", so that law-enforcement doesn't have to rely on completely arbitrary yardsticks?
  • by xENoLocO (773565) * on Thursday December 14, 2006 @01:07PM (#17239150) Homepage
    Uh, wouldn't it be the same people trying to ban joe the camel are the same people trying to stop things like this, and not the exact opposite?

    For example, although I don't smoke I see no problem with cigarette ads. I see no problem with people smoking openly in public. In a building I can understand a restriction because the smoke doesn't leave, it stays there and becomes a problem. Eyes burn, and I'm even alergic to cigarette smoke. It's unfortunate but it's not the reason for my wanting to get rid of it indoors.

    As for the computer generated child porn, how are you going to "prove" the age of a virtual actor? Once they can blur that line, they're free to interpret it as they wish.

    It's not about perversions, IMO... this is a rights issue. Real child pornography images has real mental (and physical) harm behind it, and that's reason enough for it to be illegal IMO.
  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @01:17PM (#17239304)
    Wow - you managed to accurately quote the FBI, yet managed to completely distort the quote into supporting your argument. Note that he says "correlation", and nothing about "causation". You are merely implying that the two are identical. Nice try.

    BTW, I'm quite glad that free speech extends to pornography. For the simple reason that I suspect that your and my ideas of what constitutes pornography are vastly different. I have no desire to foist my definition on you, and I expect the same of you. Now piss off and stop quoting the founding fathers - you have no idea what their intent was if it wasn't written down. And what they wrote directly contradicts your fantasies.
  • by StewedSquirrel (574170) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @01:21PM (#17239392)
    The theory is if you take a mentally unstable person and bathe him in child porn, virtual or not, he's more likely to actually commit a crime acting out what he's been exposed to. So, by removing the stimulus, you prevent the crime.

    By this logic, 'gangsta' rap music should be illegal in the highest degree.

    Take an underprivledged kid, put them on the street and bathhe them in masoginistic, violent, crime ridden lyrics and he's more likely to actually commit a crime acting out what he's been exposed to. So, by removing the stimulus, you prevent the crime.

    Now that I've said it that way, does it not reflect on how absurd the argument is?

    Stewed
  • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @01:21PM (#17239404) Homepage Journal
    Joe Camel really has nothing at all to do with this. The violent video games and porn cartoons are directed at adults, and meant to be restricted from viewing or use by children. If you show a child hentai, you're guilty of child abuse.

    The Joe Camel cigarette ads, on the other hand, were directed toward the general public and viewable everywhere, including places children would see them.
  • by Zenaku (821866) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @01:23PM (#17239434)
    Even if it doesn't, I'm a little tired of this idea that free speech extends to pornography. Somehow I doubt that was original intent of the Founding Fathers.

    Don't elevate "the intent of the founding fathers" to some kind of pedestal. I'm a little tired of the idea that the intent of the founding fathers defines the intractable limits of our rights. They were men, not gods. They didn't intend freedom of speech, or assembly, or the right to bear arms, or the right to due process to extend to black people, after all. They didn't intend voting rights to extend to females.
  • by StewedSquirrel (574170) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @01:35PM (#17239660)
    You are confusing things.

    MOST CHILD ABUSE is perpetrated by non-pedophiles. These are "situational molestors" to scientists who study this and they are triggered by power and violence. These people are highly unlikely to look at child porn. These people are highly likely to have mental illness.

    The rest of child abuse is perpetrated by pedophiles. These are "preferential molestors" to researchers and they are highly likely to be interested in child porn, however, are very unlikely to be seeking the violence/power/domination relationship and often see themselves on the same level as the child, as a peer (of sorts). Within this group, there are actually very low rates of mental illness and according to studies, most in this group are regarded as "highly normal" by psychologists except that they are attacted to children.

    Fred Berlin and Johns Hopkins University, probably the world's most prominent researcher on this topic, says that with these people, their attraction is most effectively studied in a similar contest to other, more normative "sexual orientations", and not studied as a mental illness, because it, clinically, has more in common that direction.

    The trick is that differentiating these two groups is critical to understanding the issue.

    Stew
  • by suitepotato (863945) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @01:39PM (#17239722)
    Then let's ban depictions that glorify rape. They might be encouraging it.

    Then let's ban depictions that glorify murder. They might be encouraging it.

    Then let's ban depictions that glorify fighting. They might be encouraging it.

    Then let's ban depictions that glorify violence. They might be encouraging it.

    Then let's ban depictions that glorify nonconformity. They might be encouraging it.

    Then let's ban depictions that glorify revolution. They might be encouraging it.

    Then let's ban depictions that glorify rebellion. They might be encouraging it.

    Then let's ban depictions that glorify (enter anything you are against here). They might be encouraging it.

    Meanwhile, as people are off looking for pedophiles under every bed, trying to find someone, anyone, else that can be blamed for the ills of their society, their children are keeping busy watching television. They watch commercials for Bratz girls with jeans halfway down their buttocks. They see that the penultimate expression of being a woman is to have jiggly breasts and to have guys slathering like brainless drug-addled fools after them. They see that their parents are liars and hypocrites who treat relationships and marriage like a game to grow bored with and other people's hearts like things to be toyed with. They learn that sex and lust are all that their adults seem to care about.

    At least there won't be any nasty pictures of fictional children having fictional sex. That at least is a consolation when Mrs. Clarkson calls up about her daughter Cindy being pregnant and naming your son as the father. And when your daughter is found taking off her clothes in front of that webcam you bought her, for some guy named Chuck in South Dakota, you can comfort yourself knowing that you were dead set against cartoon child porn.

    Yup. You can sleep a lot better knowing that you had nothing to do with furthering the problems...
  • by dragonsomnolent (978815) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @01:50PM (#17239918) Homepage
    I understand that you don't defend the attitude you posted about, but I have problems with the attitude, and the biggest problem I have with that attitude is how on earth are you supposed to judge the "age" of a cartoon character by just looking at the picture? (let's just pretend the artist who drew the cartoon left out any references to the age of the character). Sometime's it's hard enough with real people. I posted earlier (in another thread) would it be a crime for my wife to dress up in a schoolgirl outfit to make hserself appear to be a teenager and we have sex? With the pervasive attitued I suppose it would, and that's just wrong. (Flipside of the coin is why if the cartoon character is know to be 17, but looked 35 would it still be illegal). This whole set of laws is just screwed to no end, a tangled mess of shit and now we can't get out of it without looking like pedophiles ourselves.
  • by Total_Wimp (564548) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @01:53PM (#17239966)
    Agreed. But for some reason these people aren't willing to admit that watching horror movies doesn't make you a mass murderer and playing GTA does not cause you to join the mob, therefore watching fake kiddie porn is unlikely to turn you into a rapist. Even those that are pretty hardcore against violence in the media very rarely say it will cause adults to do horrible things.

    But even in pornography, based on my anecdotal evidence, the incidence of real life participation in threesomes among my porn-watching friends is quite rare, for the most part their wives wont let them go near the nether regions, and people of my advanced years don't have a snowball's chance in hell of having sex with a college-aged woman. Nor do we look for it, because we know our wives will leave us. In other words, it may be all good and fine to suggest that sick and twisted fantasies will lead to sick and twisted behavior, but there's very little evidence that this will actually happen.

    TW
  • by 1u3hr (530656) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @02:01PM (#17240116)
    Many of the same people who see no harm in pornography or even virtual child porn are the same people trying to get Joe Camel (cartoon character) away from the kids because it lead kids to smoking. I find such a view quite laughable because they use the exact opposite argument for each. "Its just a cartoon, nobody follows up with what a cartoon does" and "Its a cartoon, kids like cartoons and they'll start smoking because of Joe".

    The difference is that if you don't want to see porno cartoons, no one is making you (except perhaps spammers and goatse-style "pranksters"). But if Camel is using Joe's iamge all over the place, I can't avoid it. More to the point, children can't avoid it.

  • by miskatonic alumnus (668722) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @02:09PM (#17240288)
    saying that sex and violence has no effect on forming minds is ignorance.

    No more so than saying they have an effect and yet not being able to back it up with any reliable measure of said effect.
  • by Kjella (173770) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @02:18PM (#17240540) Homepage
    We're talking about child porn that tries to play games with legal loopholes about whether a child is actually harmed.

    Wait, so whether a girl actually was "dragged off by a paedophile to be raped in darkness and terror" or not is just nitpicking at semantics? I think you lack some perspective on what the crime was - doing it or documenting it.

    It encourages the direct physical abuse of real children by conditioning the paedophile to consider their lustful and abusive mentality "acceptable" or "normal". It's the same problem that is caused by allowing pre-teen and teen models to be dressed up as if they were adults by clothing advertisers.

    So the fashion industry is pedos too? Also, all girls that dress slutty deserve to be raped, they shouldn't be allowed to dress up like that. The hyperbole is getting a little thick.

    Comparing South Park's creative and repetitive killing of the self-repairing Kenny to someone trying to portray a realistic scene of rape and torture is disingenuous at best. No one would ever confuse Kenny with being real, but when you consider the stellar work done by SquareSoft, Pixar, or the team behind Ghost in the Shell 2, it's pretty clear that we can do the synthetic actors that Lucas fantasized about years ago.

    Get back to us when Pixar and ILM start doing kiddie porn vids. The cartoons you could make up today are almost as far from reality as you.

    When's the last time a child got dragged off by a paedophile to be raped in darkness and terror?

    ...because of fake kiddie porn? Good question, you tell me. But since you think that pretty much everything else encourages pedos, may I first suggest you introduce the "No mimicing MTV vids by anyone under 18" law. I imagine girls trying to shake their ass like the latest pop idol is more dangerous than anything you've come up with so far.
  • by SamSim (630795) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @02:37PM (#17240992) Homepage Journal

    That line isn't nearly blurred enough yet. How do you accurately determine the age of an individual who doesn't exist except as a virtual construct or a drawing? What if the character's purportedly sixteen but looks like she's fifteen? What if she's thirteen but looks like she's seventeen? What if it's a 30-year-old woman's mind transplanted into a twelve-year-old cloned body? What if it's a shape shifter? What if it's an adult character drawn in chibi style? What if she's drawn from the back and her age is completely unclear? What if it's so dark in the drawing you can't tell what's going on? What if there are just haphazard lines on the page and you can't tell if it's even a person?

    What happens when you realise that all you are actually looking at is marks on a piece of paper or patterns of light on a screen, and nobody was actually hurt to create them?

  • by Dunbal (464142) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @03:14PM (#17241814)
    Lets face it, having any type of image, either real or computer generated, de-synthesizes its viewer to the actual criminal act of molesting a child.

          Proof, please?

          By the way, I guess I am doomed to become a child molester, since I regularly see and touch naked children every day as a physician? I might as well shoot myself now and save myself the embarrassment of a trial and then having to register as a "sex offender", right? Correlation does not equal causation. It would be interesting to see some randomized trials before jumping to the conclusion that looking at this art makes you a pedophile. Males of any age are naturally attracted to young females. Heck, there's a reason why women are smaller than men, have more fatty tissue than men, and have softer skin than us. It makes them look young. Attractive to men.

          I don't look at this kind of stuff, and I don't necessarily agree with it. But I think this kind of law is a dangerous precedent without any real evidence that it is causing harm. People are being sexually stimulated ALL THE TIME by TV/advertising/fashion ANYWAY. This is just another drop in a raging torrent, IMO.
  • by StewedSquirrel (574170) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @03:31PM (#17242186)
    There are an awful lot of "things" that a free society allows simply because some people enjoy them.

    That's the nature of free society.

    I'm glad you don't want to live in a free society.

    Take your desire elsewhere, because I want to live in a free society.

    A victim has to file a complaint. Your grasp of "victim" is deluded so much by your moral indignation at the topic being discussed that you simple shrug and decide to throw methodology and logic out the window in favor of your personal moral interpretation becoming codified in law.

    I see only moderate social benefit to religion, for example, where I see a great deal of damage and strife caused by religions which procliam a "one, true" anything that is worth fighting for (islam, christianity, flying spaghetti monsterism)

    That said, do I have a right, as a politician (if i were one), to ban religion outright because I believe it can be used in nefarious ways and does, in fact, hurt many people?

    Legislate your morality elsewhere. I want to have 3 wives if i damn well please. And i want the government not to recognize marraige as a binding legal contract so they can't each steal half of my assets..... or so my sleazy neighbor can get his part-time-hooker benefits based on a Las Vegas priest's proclimation "I now pronounce you..."

    I think the institution of marraige being codified into a legal contract system with a licence to practice..... that's a travisty of justice and immoral in my opinion.

    We do not legislate morality. Legislating morality is not how our society was built and not how free thinking people would want to excercise their will. That is dictatorship or theocracy... or worse.

    Society should do the minimum necessary to ensure basic freedoms. The more laws, the more corrupted they become.

    Stew

  • by lewp (95638) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @04:01PM (#17242816) Journal
    The lack of it isn't going to cause global warming, mass killings, or cute furry kittens to die.

    The same could be said about any sort of "art". No, I don't think artificial kiddy porn has particular artistic significance, but I feel pretty much the same way about death metal. At least I'm smart enough to realize that my taste shouldn't decide what other people can see.

    Any sort of creative work can (and will, quite frankly) be considered obscene by at least one group of people. The valid argument against kiddy porn, of course, is that you have to exploit real kids to make it. If you can remove the actual kids from the equation, I can't see how you can outlaw it and still turn a blind eye to, say, Grand Theft Auto -- which also simulates the most criminal acts in our society and really doesn't have much artistic value -- unless there is some kind of concrete evidence that looking at the simulated/fake stuff causes people to go after the real thing (and AFAIK there isn't, though I'm certainly no expert).

    This is the shit side of the argument, of course, because you're instantly labeled a pedophile, or at the very least against the kids. That's certainly not the case. I just think anytime you ask the government to decide what's "obscene" you're asking for trouble. Let's focus on catching actual child molesters and avoid that mess altogether.

  • by AdamKG (1004604) <slashdot AT adamgomaa DOT com> on Thursday December 14, 2006 @04:06PM (#17242932) Homepage
    If that's the case, why has paedophilia been on a statistical rise for the past decade or so? What changed in society?
    The fall of the Soviet Union. A significant decrease in mortality in Africa. The change from tapes to CDs and VHS to DVD.

    A general decrease in the quality of Disney movies. Better laptops. A European Union.

    Say, lets roll back all those things and see if the problems go away! ... or could it be that you have a pre-determined answer to your question that you were aiming for?
  • by Jesterboy (106813) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @04:19PM (#17243142)
    Posts like this really make me sad. While I do believe in a free society, and as such you are entitled to your opinion, it troubles me greatly to see such a failure of logic.

    Who cares if there is evidence or not?

    Our legal system cares; it is the basis of our free society that a person is innocent until proven guilty. To me, this is analogous to saying "the constitution is just a piece of paper", and breakdowns in reasoning such as these are what has led to the Patriot Act.

    We don't need years of studies to determine if artificial kiddie porn is detrimental. The lack of it isn't going to cause global warming, mass killings, or cute furry kittens to die.

    Fair enough; why don't we ban rap music, action movies, and violent video games while we're at it? According to your reasoning, since they have some small, unprovable possibility of inciting violence in a miniscule amount of people, and since it won't cause global warming or dead kitties, it's alright. We should also ban speech against the government as it might incite riots. See how easy this goes?

    the person looking for this material is a victim

    Or a potential victimizer. One thing that is always true is that people always want what they can't have. Actual pedophiles probably don't care about this one way or the other; they're going to be pedophiles anyway, and they need medical help. Banning this sort of synthesized pedophilic porn won't do a lick of good for them. For others, I would rather that people out to "satisfy their curiosity" would be able to use this instead of actual child pornography. I personally find it detestable, and would rather it didn't exist, but part of having a free society is the tolerance of others and their rights. I'd rather the KKK didn't exist as well, but as long as they operate within legal limits, they are entitled to their beliefs as well.

    That's the really hard part about a discussion of a truly free society; it means you have to be tolerant of others thoughts and opinions, even when they drastically conflict with your own. I don't know about other countries, but I believe America has a long ways to go if it wants to become an actual free society.

    Or we can succumb to fear and hatred rather than reasoning and tolerance; it's certainly a lot easier, isn't it?
  • by skarphace (812333) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @04:37PM (#17243478) Homepage
    Well, good for the UK. Pornography wastes huge globs of time and ruins many marriages.
    How does it waste time? Okay, if someone is excessive about it, I can understand that. But I still think you're overgeneralizing. As with marriages, that's up to interpretation. I for one would require a wife to look at some form of porn daily. heh
    It has no advantages to society whatsoever.
    I totally disagree. Here's some advantages I can pull out of my ass...
    1. Provides an escape for people with unusual fetishes that can not participate in them in reality
    2. Provides a nice 'release' for those of us without a female. Much easier to choke the chicken with a little mental 'lube'.
    3. It's good entertainment
    Most of this can be excused as opinion, but, I do think it has some value to society(including myself).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 14, 2006 @10:23PM (#17248564)
    Firstly, I'd like to point out that many convictions which mention "pedophilia" actually have nobody involved who is a pedophile. The term is used more and more loosely in American culture for anybody who has even a remote sexual interest in somebody below the age of 18 (which is just an arbitrary meaningless number). The vast majority of charges and convictions are for statutory rape. Among other things, statutory rape isn't even actually rape. It requires the consent of a party who is not legally able to consent due to their age and that state's laws (the age is different in every state). Beyond that, if the younger party were below the age of 12 or 13 (depending on state) they older party is generally charged with child molestation instead of statutory rape as those are the ages that are expected for a person to go from childhood to adolescence (begin puberty). Only in that case would the person convicted qualify as a pedophile since they had a sexual interest in a CHILD (not somebody who is a minor, aka below the legal age of majority).

    On top of that, pedophilia isn't a crime, and should not be a crime. Acting on it is, and should be. There have never at any time been any person in the US charged and convicted as a pedophile. They may have been charged and convicted as a child molester, but not as a pedophile. And while I'm at it, let me point out that not all pedophiles are child molesters and not all child molesters are pedophiles. Pedophiles have a sexual interest in children and many feel a deep connection with them that is akin to the relationship that most normal adults have with each other when romantically involved. Child molesters are akin to rapists in that they generally commit the act because of the feeling of power and their ability to exhibit control over another person against their will, it has no love or sexual interest involved. Molestation and rape are sexual acts only because that is one of the most brutal and lasting violations of a person that can be committed.

    So, in short for the tl;dr crowd. You are an idiot, please go somewhere else to spout your nonsense.

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