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Crime The Internet

Reddit: No More Suggestive Content Featuring Minors 722

Posted by timothy
from the ok-but-what-about-miners? dept.
First time accepted submitter say_hwat writes "Today Reddit announced that it has banned subreddits dedicated to posting sexualized imagery of people under the age of 18. Last year, the site came under fire for r/jailbait, a subreddit dedicated to posting images of people under 18. The subreddit was shut down, but many others, such as r/gaolbait and r/bustybait, continued existing or sprung up afterwards. The policy change today came hours after a thread on Something Awful called for a public campaign against Reddit's lax attitude towards the sexualization of children. The Something Awful thread creator claims that Reddit's administrators know about child pornography being traded, but refuse to act. Among others, the thread creator cites r/preteen_girls as being particularly egregious."
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Reddit: No More Suggestive Content Featuring Minors

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  • by bonch (38532) * on Sunday February 12, 2012 @10:56PM (#39015511)

    Probably a lot of normal people's reaction to Reddit's policy change is "You mean sexual imagery of children wasn't already against the rules? How is that not firmly established from day one?" Unfortumately, the Reddit admins' bizarre six-year acceptance of child porn on its site is reflective of an overall lax attitude in online geek communities. Rather than seeing themselves as what they actually are--just nerds running computers--they like to perceive themselves as freedom fighters battling all forms of censorship in the world. This lack of practically toward obviously illegal stuff leads to a lot of eye-opening attitudes toward issues of sex and gender. For crying out loud, Reddit's statement actually refers to this new rule as a "slippery slope," as if it's somehow more difficult for them not to censor legitimate information if they can't have a subreddit named /r/preeteen_girls devoted to underage photos submitted by creepy Facebook stalkers.

    The lax attitude toward this sort of thing even comes from community leaders like Richard Stallman, who wrote on his blog [stallman.org] that "[P]rostitution, adultery, necrophilia, bestiality, possession of child pornography, and even incest and pedophilia ... should be legal as long as no one is coerced. They are illegal only because of prejudice and narrowmindedness." And he told an interviewer [arnnet.com.au] that people who redistribute child pornography are "not participating in the crime" and so shouldn't be censored. Hell, even bringing this up on Slashdot risks copious downmods from Stallman fans (it's happened in the past).

    There has to be a line drawn between OMG-FREEDOM-AT-ALL-COSTS and posting sexual pictures of children. Living in a civil society requires some level of protection of the innocent. Reddit should shut the hell up about slippery slopes and do what it should have done six freaking years ago.

    • Could you provide the Stallman's full quote?

      • by bonch (38532) * on Sunday February 12, 2012 @11:14PM (#39015625)

        I gave links to both. First he wrote on his blog in 2003 [stallman.org]:

        Dubya has nominated another caveman for a federal appeals court. Refreshingly, the Democratic Party is organizing opposition.

        The nominee is quoted as saying that if the choice of a sexual partner were protected by the Constitution, "prostitution, adultery, necrophilia, bestiality, possession of child pornography, and even incest and pedophilia" also would be. He is probably mistaken, legally--but that is unfortunate. All of these acts should be legal as long as no one is coerced. They are illegal only because of prejudice and narrowmindedness.

        He also said this in an interview [arnnet.com.au]:

        DR: So is child pornography not a good enough reason to censor the Internet?

        RS: Certainly not, certainly not a good enough reason. There are videos I’ve seen that shocked and disgusted me, but I don’t want to censor them. I do not advocate censorship just because I or you find them disgusting. ...

        But those who simply redistribute [child pornography] are in the same position of people who redistribute the collateral murder video. They’re not participating in the crime and there are a lot of films that depict murders except nobody really got killed. And there are a lot of films that depict the harm of animals except none really got harmed so if somebody was really torturing an animal, we would stop it. But depicting that without actually doing it we consider okaybut there’s no need to censor depictions of that.

        And finally, he wrote on his blog in 2006 [stallman.org]:

        I am skeptical of the claim that voluntarily pedophilia harms children. The arguments that it causes harm seem to be based on cases which aren't voluntary, which are then stretched by parents who are horrified by the idea that their little baby is maturing.

        Children can't legally or emotionally consent to sex; there's no such thing as "voluntary pedophilia."

        To be honest, it's surprising that more people don't know about Stallman's positions on these issues. You'd think such controversial positions would be more widely reported.

        • by MightyMartian (840721) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @11:25PM (#39015705) Journal

          It doesn't surprise me at all. Stallman is a fanatic, and fanatics tend to lack that element of pragmatism that shows where a philosophical position may have necessary limits. I'm certainly not one of his disciples, that's for sure.

        • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @11:36PM (#39015795)

          14+ is not pedophilia. Words have definitions.

        • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @11:36PM (#39015799)

          Children can't legally or emotionally consent to sex; there's no such thing as "voluntary pedophilia."

          Certainly at the extremes, but unfortunately there are places where an 18 year old can be accused of pedophilia because he (it is almost always males are the accused) has sex with a 17 year old. Nobody wants to see a grown man who raped a 6 year old walking free, but I think it is a stretch to say that someone is a pedophile if they had sex with someone who was only a few months younger. Unfortunately, attempts to add some sanity to these laws are politically difficult and open politicians up to accusations of not protecting children from pedophiles.

        • by wisnoskij (1206448) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @11:38PM (#39015811) Homepage

          "Children can't legally or emotionally consent to sex; there's no such thing as "voluntary pedophilia.""

          They can consent, it is just that they law does not care if they do, in this case.
          And I disagree, "voluntary pedophilia" seems like a completely reasonable term.

          Lets try to get this straight. It is not that a 17 year old is not able to make informed decisions, it is just that the law does not care about their opinions.

          • Reality check (Score:5, Informative)

            by microbox (704317) on Monday February 13, 2012 @12:34AM (#39016133)

            Lets try to get this straight.

            Okay, you need a reality check. Pedophilia is about primary sexual interest in *prepubescent* children. This is a *different* clinical disorder to Hebephilia, which involves children in early puberty, and Ephebophilia, which is the case that you are talking about: adults interested in under-age teens. A pedophile will lose interest in a child when they reach puberty. I remember one victim disclosing how upset he was when he was discarded. (The pedophile was perfectly frank, and said he was too old to interest him.)

            So we really are talking about different things, and hopefully the law recognises that. There are many 17 year old women who wouldn't want to be caught when boys their own age -- it is a status thing amongst -- and young boys are pretty darn annoying. So this can become a sticky situation.

            And *many* 17 year old /cannot/ make an informed decision around an older mature person, despite what they think they may want. But at least by 18, we can draw a line in the sand, and say that it is time to learn life's lessons the hard way if that is what you must do.

            • Re:Reality check (Score:4, Informative)

              by mikael_j (106439) on Monday February 13, 2012 @02:49AM (#39016747)

              And *many* 17 year old /cannot/ make an informed decision around an older mature person, despite what they think they may want. But at least by 18, we can draw a line in the sand, and say that it is time to learn life's lessons the hard way if that is what you must do.

              Who are "we"? Where I live the age of consent is 15 (as in, once someone is 15 it's perfectly legal to have sex with them even if you're 25, 41 or 78). It varies by country. Even here in Europe it varies between 13 and 18, in North America it varies between 12/onset of puberty to 18. Hell, even in the US it varies between 16 and 18 depending on state.

          • by artor3 (1344997)

            If you want to frame it that way, sure. We don't let children consent because they're stupid and have no real notion of the consequences of their actions. That's also why all civilized societies go easy on children who commit crimes. That's why children can't go out and get credit cards. It's why we don't let them buy drugs, as they might get addicted without understanding that risk. It's why parents are allowed to ground their kids.

            I know that children hate to hear it -- I did too at that age -- but i

            • by bky1701 (979071) on Monday February 13, 2012 @12:55AM (#39016247) Homepage
              Then why do we let them join the military?
              • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Monday February 13, 2012 @03:25AM (#39016881) Homepage Journal

                Then why do we let them join the military

                Because 25-year-olds rarely sign up to take bullets for some corrupt politician's psychopathic ambitions.

            • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 13, 2012 @12:56AM (#39016253)

              Oh nonsense. I joined the US Army at 17, yes 17. It was perfectly legal to do it, all I had to have was my parents permission and they gave it. So don't give me this crap that we don't let children do things. We do. We let them do really important things. I had my learners permit at 15 and 6 months, and bought my own car. I had my first job at 12 delivering papers at 4am in the morning. I had my first employee, another person to help with my paper route because it was too big at 13. I went on my first search and rescue as part of the CAP at 15, and that's where I saw my first dead body.

              Dear god, give off your high horse. We let "kids" do lots of things, they are not stupid, you're making them stupid by delaying the process of letting them grow up. Guess what, I had sex too before I was an adult! As often as I could, and I drank beer too, and even passed out at a college party on a school night! Whoopoode god damn do. And after I got out of the army I went to college, got a commission and went back in, got married, bought a house, retired from the army, started a business and turned out just fine.

              News flash: kids do all sorts of things, and most of them are plenty smart. Sex is just one more part of life, people under 18 have sex, sometimes with older people and most of the time it's consensual. And it doesn't hurt them when its consensual either. And guess what, people under 18 can in fact consent to thing that are "adult". There's no magic age when someone becomes responsible, hell I know people that are in their 40s who aren't responsible.

              But sure, stay up on your high horse, and pretend that people nder 18 are stupid and need to be protected from the world, pretend that people nder 18 are doing all the things that scare uptight people. the world is just fine without nannie state prudes. People under 18 are better off being allowed to grow up, treat them like kids and guess what they won't ever stop acting like kids.

              Hope you like having your kids living in your basement when they are in their 30s.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by artor3 (1344997)

                I'm on a high horse?? Listen to yourself.

                Why did you wait until you were seventeen to join the military? Because society is smart enough to know that we shouldn't let thirteen year olds join up.

                Why did you wait till 15 to learn to drive? Because at twelve you would have killed someone.

                You did some underage drinking and turned out okay? Good for you. One of my sister's friends drank a liter soda bottle full of vodka on the school bus when she was fifteen and had to have her stomach pumped. Another kid

        • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 12, 2012 @11:44PM (#39015851)

          Children can't legally or emotionally consent to sex; there's no such thing as "voluntary pedophilia."

          As uncomfortable as this may make you feel, what you state is factually incorrect.

          Legally, age of consent varies from roughly 13 to 18 around the world. You'd be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't consider someone 13 years old to be a child.

          Emotionally, the average age of first sexual encounter, world-wide, is 14. Being the average, a significant number (probably somewhere near half) would be younger than that. For your statement ot be true, one would have to believe that half, or more, of the human beings that have had sex did so non-consentually. That kind of claim would require some seriously well-researched evidence.

          • by gwolf (26339)

            Between a 13-year-old having consentual sex with a 14- or 15-year old and having sex with a 18-year old. Yes, during adolescence, many behavioral structures change deeply. 13-year-old children can just be stupid or horny and get sex with somebody with a similar maturity level than theirs, and that's not a crime. However, a five year gap *is* too much at that time, and yes, 18-year-old people (regardless of their gender) should know they should not seek sex with a person unable to do that judgement that five

        • by QuasiSteve (2042606) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @11:46PM (#39015867)

          Children can't legally or emotionally consent to sex; there's no such thing as "voluntary pedophilia."

          Setting aside the lack of distinction between pedophilia and pedosexual actions (hint: one is actually disgusting and illegal, the other is just incomprehensible (to me))...

          While children can't legally consent to sex, at which point can't they emotionally consent to it?

          Apparently children (and I'm using the legal definition of child here) can, in fact, emotionally consent to it - with other children. A lot of children do. Like it or not, statistically speaking, somewhere in that crowd of highschoolers in the school yard, is going to be at least one couple that has had sex with each other.
          If they can consent to having sex with another child around their own age, then why not with an adult?

          Similarly, some jurisdictions essentially say "the age of consent is 18" - leading to the oft-cited example of an 18-ear old having sex with their 17.997-year old SO potentially ending up being listed as a sex offender; of if only they had waited another day.. then that SO would have been capable of emotional consent, just like that, like magic.

          Now don't get me wrong - I know a line has to be drawn somewhere and I certainly appreciate the fact that pedosexuals would use similar defenses and then try to extend them to suggest that having sex with a 6-year old is totally okay, too.

          But just because the nuances are uncomfortable for us to even think about, doesn't mean they're not there.

          Thus you can place Stallman's statements into a slightly less black-and-white context.
          When he says that it shouldn't be illegal if nobody is coerced, take it exactly as such. Just because a child can 'voluntarily' have sex with an adult doesn't mean there wasn't coercion; they're just not mentally developed enough to recognize the coercion at play. In bestiality, the animal is practically always coerced. In necrophilic sex coercion is the default unless there was some manner of written contract that the deceased actually gave permission. In practice, Stallman is saying that in fact all of these things would still be illegal, except in those cases where it is demonstrably consensual. And in those cases, what would be the basis for it to be forbidden?

          Similarly, child pornography is indeed not enough reason 'to censor the internet', as the question was. Keep in mind that in order to stop child pornography completely, you're looking at having to stop such things as TOR. This is actually a nice new hot topic in The Netherlands due to an investigative reporter going on TOR, finding plenty of child porn traders, and busting a guy who actively sought out children to pretty much abuse. So half the government cries foul and next thing you know it they'll be having a debate on whether or not TOR should be blocked - even though that very same thing is helping dissidents in IRAN to get around political censorship.

          His statement regarding redistributing is another matter. Is the redistributing party aware of the content? If not (such as ISPs, TOR nodes, etc.) - how are they participating in the crime? If they are aware, however, then I very much believe they're participating in the crime by virtue of helping to sustain a market for the materials in question.

          As for the lack of reporting.. not really - Stallman is a bit out there, after all. Remember him eating stuff off of his foot during a show? Yeah, the world doesn't generally pay attention when people like that make (seemingly) controversial statements. Outside of Slashdot and the IT world at large, I wouldn't imagine people to even know who he is.

          • by jdogalt (961241)

            If they can consent to having sex with another child around their own age, then why not with an adult?

            In answer I'll give a thought from a 36 year old on the issue of prostitution that I didn't consider when I was 18. I think of all women(people really), if you polled their opinions at age 36, as to whether or not the average 18 year old is likely to be maturely educated enough to deal fairly intellegently, and with sufficient basis in knowledge and experience, of life and death issues (such as those with the possible undesired/unintended consequence of the creation of a new life), I'd guess many would say

            • In answer I'll give a thought from a 36 year old on the issue of prostitution that I didn't consider when I was 18. I think of all women(people really), if you polled their opinions at age 36, as to whether or not the average 18 year old is likely to be maturely educated enough to deal fairly intellegently, and with sufficient basis in knowledge and experience, of life and death issues (such as those with the possible undesired/unintended consequence of the creation of a new life), I'd guess many would say-

          • ... If they can consent to having sex with another child around their own age, then why not with an adult? ...

            Two words: mind games. The drama in high school is all prep for the adult mating dance: "how do I get his/her attention without coming off as clingy/desperate?", "is he/she really interested in me or just planning to use me as a status symbol?", "but he/she isn't mature/hot enough, if I settle for him/her it means I'm less of a person because Hollywood tells me so". Adolescence is the phase where we take all the crap society has crammed into our skulls about love/sex/romance and sort out fact from fiction.

            Adults already know and play the mind games; whether we treat them as friendly Canasta or as winner-take-all Russian Roulette, we DO play them, constantly. For example, info-dumping your life's backstory on the first date is (a) narcissistic, (b) clingy/desperate, and (c) ammunition for a poorly chosen partner to shove a knife in your heart and manipulate you like a puppet in your future relationship. Therefore even the kindest, most genuine form of the adult mating dance involves concealing information and strategically revealing your cards at the right time, to protect yourself from awful people if nothing else. But teenagers don't have any practice with this; not knowing any better, they think it's romantic to trust someone fully and unconditionally, which lasts until they put that in practice precisely enough times to get burned. During this phase, it's important that the participants in the mating game be at roughly the same skill level (viz. xkcd.com/314 [xkcd.com]), as it limits the potential for damage. A teenager is wide open to the manipulation of information that adults do 100% automatically and subconsciously.

            Oh, and then there's the whole "adults are the authority, you must obey them" thing. Even rebellious teenagers still recognize adults as authority figures — if the adults were seen as equals, they wouldn't be seen as authority figures to rebel against.

            (It probably doesn't hurt to mention that I was molested by my stepfather from ages 16 to 18, so I've got a fair bit of firsthand personal experience on the matter. It took me years to spot the web of manipulation that he laid in my mind and unwind past his lies. What were his lies? That I chose it of my own free will; that I should feel guilty for "making" him cheat on my mother; that he was doing me a favor by giving me "pity sex" because I was too shy to get laid in high school. Nevermind that he pinned me in a corner, bullied me into coming out gay to him when I didn't trust him with that information, brought up the idea of sex with him and wouldn't drop it, and made me feel too physically and emotionally threatened to defy his rage-laden authority. For the next two years, he had me wrapped around his little finger until I left for college, and I blamed myself the whole way.)

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          To be honest, it's surprising that more people don't know about Stallman's positions on these issues. You'd think such controversial positions would be more widely reported.

          As you stated earlier in one of your posts, many of us are unusually logical/rational ("nerds"). Working with technical systems, day-in, and day-out, we tend to minimize the impact our emotions have on our thought processes.

          As such, many of us, in fact, agree with him.

          • by Junta (36770) on Monday February 13, 2012 @12:14AM (#39016039)

            As such, many of us, in fact, agree with him.

            Actually, I would say the vast majority either do not know him or vaguely know him as the father of the GPL and nothing else. Every last tech person I talk to who has gone into more depth than those facts into his stance has deemed him a nutjob. Though some comments in his defense put fourth the theory that there is an underlying valid point but that point is lost in poor communication choices.

        • by microbox (704317)

          Children can't legally or emotionally consent to sex; there's no such thing as "voluntary pedophilia."

          Richard Dawkins was assaulted when he was a little kit, and has some interesting things to say about it, beyond the knee-jerk OMFG reactions.

          But the question of censorship is separate to the real harm of pedophilia. Censoring the interent will not stop people being pedophiles, or seeking ways to produce and distribute materials. We need police work to catch people who commit crimes. Censorship does not help solve the problem, and probably makes the police work harder.

          And then there is the question of c

          • Indeed, the real problem is the general lack of logical reactions. Closing the subreddits that were questionable was the correct thing. But you mention censorship abuse, and quite frankly, it's the logical "next step" in the "war on X" ("X" being your vice or illegal activity of choice.)

            We've seen metric tons of examples of this happening with "Intellectual Property" protection. Companies sending out DMCA takedown notices for stuff they don't even own... and stomping fair-use because a baby is dancing to a

        • by Khashishi (775369)

          A teen sexting an image of emself to a partner is voluntary child pornography. There may not be legal consent, but there is emotional consent.

        • If you defend child porn possession [bit.ly], you get modded +5 Insightful.

          This is your sig? Proud of that, are you? I'm not defending child porn, but I am saying there is a point to the man's argument. I for one do not care to live in a society that demands anyone's door get broken down because that person has some pictures. After that how much more will it take to make it perfectly all right to bust down doors because of some written material some one has? Say, political material? Your types have already made it ok for them to hold US citizens indefinitely without being charged

      • by Junta (36770)

        He provided a link, don't know how much more you want. With Stallman you never know if he is just being his usual fanatic self or if he was making a 'modest proposal' type jest. In that quote, the CP/Pedo part might have even been incidental, since he only explicitly speaks to incest, prostitution, and necrophilia. His point on prostitution seem practical enough even if intended in jest, though his incest example is highly impractical and the notion that next of kin can decide necrophilia in absence of a

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You obviously don't know what they mean by "Slippery Slope". The problem is when you start censoring stuff that isn't against the law technically, then you have people trying to do it more and more over stuff against their political, religious or moral codes irregardless of anyone else's. And from what I know (don't actually use Reddit but did RTFA from news.com) they already removed child porn when it popped up but only the stuff that actually could be classified as such, the problem is people kept trying

    • by jamstar7 (694492) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @11:12PM (#39015613)
      Depends on what you consider kiddie porn. Way the hell back when, the JC Penny & Montgomery Wards catalogs used to print pictures of child models wearing underwear and pajamas. When the laws in the US started getting weird, those pictures disappeared. Seems somebody convinced the marketting department that said pics of child models could be used by pedophiles as porn. Being wary of their potential liability, the ads died. To me, it's all in the eye of the beholder. If you're searching out porn with a vengance, you'll find porn in anything you look at.
      • by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @11:48PM (#39015883)

        Depends on what you consider kiddie porn. Way the hell back when, the JC Penny & Montgomery Wards catalogs used to print pictures of child models wearing underwear and pajamas. When the laws in the US started getting weird, those pictures disappeared. Seems somebody convinced the marketting department that said pics of child models could be used by pedophiles as porn. Being wary of their potential liability, the ads died. To me, it's all in the eye of the beholder. If you're searching out porn with a vengance, you'll find porn in anything you look at.

        The western fashion and glamor industries have spent the last few decades building an female ideal based on looking like a child. Models strive to have essentially prepubescent bodies, and wrinkles, even normal facial features that normal teenagers have, must be blurred out with Photoshop or Botox. If Reddit is doing something that encourages illegal and unethical behavior, I'm glad they're changing that, but I highly doubt Reddit is a root cause. The causes are legal and backed by lobbying power, and every time people buy an issue of Cosmo or a "Barely Legal" DVD they're paying to spread the same unhealthy sexual views. Media targeting both men and women emphasize the sexiness of youth - when magazines are telling 23 year old women secrets to look 18 and movies are telling men that 18 is hotter than 19, it's no surprise that some people extrapolate and get the sense that 17 must be better yet.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Exactly. And every legitimate porn site has a "teens" category, where the theme is young (or made to look young) women. Many of those clips involve the actresses holding teddy bears and hooking up with much older men.

          And when most people hear the word, "teen," 18-19 are not the ages which first come to mind.
    • by anonymov (1768712) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @11:13PM (#39015621)

      You mean Richard Stallman, who quoted on his blog and then proceeded with sarcasm:

      Dubya has nominated another caveman for a federal appeals court. Refreshingly, the Democratic Party is organizing opposition.

      The nominee is quoted as saying that if the choice of a sexual partner were protected by the Constitution, "prostitution, adultery, necrophilia, bestiality, possession of child pornography, and even incest and pedophilia" also would be. He is probably mistaken, legally--but that is unfortunate. All of these acts should be legal as long as no one is coerced. They are illegal only because of prejudice and narrowmindedness.

      Some rules might be called for when these acts directly affect other people's interests. For incest, contraception could be mandatory to avoid risk of inbreeding. For prostitution, a license should be required to ensure prostitutes get regular medical check-ups, and they should have training and support in insisting on use of condoms. This will be an advance in public health, compared with the situation today.

      For necrophilia, it might be necessary to ask the next of kin for permission if the decedent's will did not authorize it. Necrophilia would be my second choice for what should be done with my corpse, the first being scientific or medical use. Once my dead body is no longer of any use to me, it may as well be of some use to someone. Besides, I often enjoy rhinophytonecrophilia (nasal sex with dead plants).

      Please, troll harder.

    • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @11:15PM (#39015637)
      So, in other words we should ban things because you don't like them?

      Your logic is no different than the logic used to ban all sorts of things.

      Living in a civil society requires some level of protection of the innocent.

      Protection from what? Protection against someone looking lustfully at a picture? A picture that, in most cases, you took and posted on the internet?

      If you want to talk about slippery slopes look at what you are saying, that a PICTURE is the same thing as actual harm. Laws against such things border on the absurd, for example the man who was convicted of photoshopping "pornographic" pictures that looked underage. Where was the crime there?

      There is a pretty huge difference between the rape of a child to suggestive pictures (most likely) posted by a minor.

      Possession of a picture should not constitute a crime.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Possession of a picture should not constitute a crime.

        I agree, and (most) drugs should be legal, birth control shouldn't be a subject of national debate, and creationism should be kept out of schools. But unfortunately, America is a democracy and the moral majority would rather focus political and judicial resources on issues that strike intelligent people as trivial.

        Americans are charged with producing child pornography for taking bath-time pictures of their own children. Teenagers are charged for taking topless photos of themselves. So, given that absolut

      • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @11:52PM (#39015899)

        Possession of a picture should not constitute a crime.

        Neither should possession of a plant, but we have a long history of imprisoning people and increasing the power of the police over plant possession. The possession of child sex abuse imagery crimes are partially an effort to catch the truly dangerous pedophiles (there are certainly cases where children have been rescued from abusive homes during child pornography raids), but mostly an effort to further increase the power of the police, especially signals intelligence and surveillance power. It is telling that the justice department is trying to distract the public from the question of whether or not the goal is actually the protection of children by pushing the claim that people who look at child abuse imagery are themselves abusing children (as if victims can sense every time someone views such an image).

        I am all for catching people who sexually abuse children, but the police tend to go after the low-hanging fruit, the people who stupidly download child sex abuse imagery and who are the least likely to be producing that material or abusing children. There are people out there who have been abusing children for years, and posting images of that abuse, and they take a lot of precautions -- catching those people requires substantial investigative work, large budgets, and often results in small numbers of arrests (thus making it harder for the police to ask for more money and equipment). It is hard to keep the public afraid enough to allow budgets and powers to continue to grow when you take 5 years to arrest less than 100 pedophiles; thus possession has become "abuse," and people are guaranteed to meet at least one pedophile as their go about their daily business.

        • by Lord_Jeremy (1612839) on Monday February 13, 2012 @03:17AM (#39016853)
          You're totally missing the point. Police go after people possessing part of a dead plant to combat the production of said plant. Police go after possession of child pornography to combat the production of child pornography. Theoretically, by making the possession of child pornography more dangerous, they are reducing the value of it. Which in turn reduces the demand for production and thus the value inherent in producing it.
    • by wisnoskij (1206448) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @11:18PM (#39015659) Homepage

      If they banned all content that was illegal there would not be much/any left.
      Of course it is a slippery slop. What happens when Muslims ask for all any anti Muslim content to be banned? What if Ireland asks for all any Christian content to be banned. What if China asks for all anti government content to be banned? What about gay porn?

      And who defines child porn? Even the US states cannot agree on a single age of consent and an age limit is not universal.

      "[P]rostitution, adultery"
      Adultery obviously should be legal, why involve the government in the affairs of a marriage?
      Prostitution is legal in most countries.

    • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @11:21PM (#39015683)
      The attitude of 'online geek communities' is probably due to the fact that 'child pornography' laws are often quite ridiculous, especially given the degree that they conflict with age of consent laws and the behavior of minors. Teenagers now have easy access to cameras and the internet (often on the same device), and being packed with hormones, often share risque pictures of themselves, which likely makes up a significant amount of the content if not the overwhelming majority on this subreddit. In most of the western world, the age of consent is 16, so anybody above 16 and below 18 can engage in all kinds of crazy sexual acts with just about anybody else above 16, but if someone distributes a nude picture shot by the teen, it's possibly 'child pornography.'

      Regarding Stallman's point, I'd say you pretty much have to be nuts to disagree. The question is that with necrophilia, bestiality, and underage sex, it is questionable whether or not one party is capable of truly giving consent, and if that is the case, then they would be considered coerced under all circumstances. Incest raises some questions regarding offspring, but I think Stallman was willing to have a condition that such couples must use birth control. Realistic studies of prostitution seem to suggest that at the very least, decriminalizing it leads to much better means of stopping sex slave trade and other abuse of prostitutes, because the victims are no longer criminals that take big risks in seeking help.
      • with necrophilia, bestiality, and underage sex, it is questionable whether or not one party is capable of truly giving consent

        In the case of necrophilia, there is only one party, and obviously they consent if they choose to engage. The "other party" is strictly in the imagination of the beholder -- there's no one home. The problem I have with it is that what very likely is home are legions of bacteria who are presently engaged in consuming the host, and are likely just as interested in consuming the, er, v

    • by dbet (1607261) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @11:29PM (#39015739)
      Except there was no child pornography. I never heard of this subreddit before the controversy yesterday, so decided to check it out. It was pictures of fully clothed children. The threads had lewd comments (like "mmm yeah") which gives it a sexual context. But where's the line? Is discussing the sexualization of children a crime?

      I'm on Reddit's side because as a web site operator, you can't afford to be in the gray area opening yourself up to costly legal battles over issues you might not even care strongly about. I just don't think the content was as objectionable as actual child pornography would be.
    • by black3d (1648913) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @11:30PM (#39015751)

      Your comments pretty much prove exactly why Reddit calls it a "slippery slope". You talk of a "six-year acceptance of child porn on its site", with the example given being "underage photos submitted by creepy Facebook stalkers."

      The issue is the two are not the same, yet many people like to treat them as such. The slippery slope is that sooner or later nobody (not even parents) will be able to post pictures of their own children on the internet. At many public events parents are banned from taking photographs of their _own_ children. With posting, the problem that arises is "what constitutes a sexual picture of a child?"

      To some, perhaps even yourself, merely the context of the individual posting the pictures deems the pictures to be "child porn". They believe if someone's posting in alt.preteen.hotties (not a real newsgroup), then its child porn, no matter the content.

      Does any aspect of nudity make a picture pornographic, in which case are pictures of your kids playing in the pool topless, child porn? Or the many millions of parents who've taken pictures of their childs first bath - are they porn producers? If it's not porn, then someone gets that picture and posts it on alt.preteen.hotties, is it NOW porn all of a sudden?

      Is it the pose? In which case, if a girl is posing on her back with her undergarments exposed, it's pornographic, but if there's a photo of a girl whos fallen over backwards and her undergarments are exposed, is it also pornographic?

      As I explained before - the slippery slope is that soon nobody will be able to post any photo of a child on the internet, because of fear-mongering by think-of-the-children bleeding hearts who don't even understand their own position.

    • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @11:31PM (#39015759) Homepage

      There's a decent argument for most (not all) of Stallman's position. The essential problem with pedophilia is that children can't consent in an informed fashion. But that's not much of an issue for most of the rest of that list. If someone states in their will that people can use their body for necrophilia, then why should society have a problem with it?

      The issue of possession of child porn is a really interesting case. What actual benefit comes from having laws against possession of child pornography? One can argue that exposure to child porn will make people more likely to go out and molest children. That's an interesting argument, but there's nor real evidence that exposure does make it more likely. Moreover, one could easily make an argument in the other direction- that people with pedophilic tendencies will be less likely to act on them if they have outlets in the form of porn. There's some corroborating evidence- in general rape levels go down when internet access goes up- http://www.toddkendall.net/internetcrime.pdf [toddkendall.net]. Now, you could argue that the continued distribution of child pornography will further traumatize the children who were abused to make it. But if one believes this argument, then one shouldn't have any problem with porn that has been digitally altered to look like it is child porn, something which is currently illegal. And one shouldn't have a problem with child porn when either the children are dead or as adults they've stated that the material's continued distribution doesn't bother them. Yet, again, the law doesn't allow this.

      In the case of the subreddits this is particularly interesting in that according to the people who actually spend time in these subreddits, these pictures aren't taken in any coercive fashion but are often simply found on the internet, taken from Facebook profiles, or taken at public beaches and the like. There's no real difference then than creepy individuals watching teenagers in public locations. Creepy and disturbing but not illegal. Moreover, this sort of thing runs into serious issues of legality between countries. While pretty much everyone agrees that a 12 year old can't consent, the actual age of consent varies a lot from country to country, and many are much lower than those in the US. So using a standard of 18 years essentially forces the US standard on an international internet community. In any event, it is very difficult to argue that anyone is being actually harmed by this content.

      The behavior in question is sick, disturbing and morally repugnant. But the actual measure of how much one really allows freedom of speech and tolerance is not what one allows that one doesn't mind, it is how much one allows that one does mind. In a similar fashion, one isn't demonstrating incredible tolerance when one supports gay marriage if one doesn't have a moral problem with gay marriage. The individual who has a moral problem with homosexual activity but still supports it being legal is exercising tolerance. The situation is similar in this case. The fact that we find these people to be sick and morally repugnant is all the more reason that we need to think very carefully before we say that this behavior isn't protected as free speech and basic autonomy.

    • by Junta (36770)

      Reddit admins' bizarre six-year acceptance of child porn on its site

      Now I don't go on reddit, but I am pretty confident this is exaggerating reality.

      For website policies, this is a fairly safe thing to restrict that falls well within the site operators rights. What concerns me is when laws start getting passed that make everything a minefield.

      Often it seems pretty blatant, but at other times the difference between an innocent and sexualized image is arbitrary and subjective. The more abitrary and subjective stuff codified into law, the more frightening it is to be a citiz

    • by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @11:58PM (#39015939) Journal

      Hell, even bringing this up on Slashdot risks copious downmods from Stallman fans (it's happened in the past).

      It happens to YOU because you bring it up at every moment, even at times that are completely unrelated. It's annoying, I wish you would stop it.

    • by Meditato (1613545) on Monday February 13, 2012 @12:08AM (#39015999)

      I'm going to have to dispute this.

      Let me establish a hint of credibility. I was the top-voted comment [reddit.com] on the Reddit post announcing the ban of /r/jailbait. In that comment, I supported the ban decision. However, I think this situation is a bit different.

      First of all, this set of bans wasn't handled well. It wasn't very accurate. Just a blanket ban based on the Something Awful list, without regard for the actual content or intent of the subreddit. They just didn't thoroughly verify the SA list.

      Second of all, I dispute the premise that all of what was banned was Child Porn. According to the United States v. Knox decision, sexual behavior in photos can be construed as CP, in addition to images involving actual sex or nudity. With this expanded and legally accurate definition in mind, I went to google cache/imgur and checked out several subreddits on the ban list (those not blocked by the 18+ check in the cache, that is). There were lots of 15-19 year olds in bathing suits, but several subreddits failed to reveal any displays of sexual behavior. In fact, some subreddits weren't even of minors. Some of it was, and the bans in those cases were good. But very clearly not all of this was CP.

      This also begs the question, "Is it pornography because someone masturbates to it? Or does the intent of the photo matter?" That wasn't clearly defined or discussed either.

      Third, see this comment [reddit.com] on SA's motivations. They weren't as pure as you would seem to portray them. We're just taking the accuracy and holiness of the Goons' crusade for granted here. That's a bit of a problem.

      I was a big proponent of the ban of /r/jailbait after it became a CP hub. But I really don't think this current set of blanket bans was handled well. Bans must be accurate and well-executed, not badly executed and then bragged about by the admins afterward.

    • by Dhalka226 (559740)

      There has to be a line drawn between OMG-FREEDOM-AT-ALL-COSTS and posting sexual pictures of children.

      Why? You have posted like 18 bajillion times in this thread (I may be exaggerating slightly) and not one of them has done anything other than beg the question.

      So tell us what the harm is that we have to draw the line where you choose. How is a girl significantly harmed by posting a picture on Facebook with crappy privacy settings such that a "Facebook stalker"--your words--takes it and re-posts it to Re

  • Jeans (Score:5, Insightful)

    by erick99 (743982) * <homerun@gmail.com> on Sunday February 12, 2012 @10:59PM (#39015539)
    Now, if we could get the folks who market jeans and other clothing to teens to stop using sexually suggestive images of people under 18 . . .
    • Re:Jeans (Score:5, Insightful)

      by OzPeter (195038) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @11:10PM (#39015607)

      Now, if we could get the folks who market everything to anyone to stop using sexually suggestive images . . .

      Sadly I have to go with FTFY

      • Re:Jeans (Score:4, Insightful)

        by fafaforza (248976) on Monday February 13, 2012 @09:49AM (#39018193)

        I honestly despise FTFY responses. You're putting words on people's mouths, or telling them that they misrepresented their own thought in what they wrote. It seems very rude and presumptuous. Honestly, why are you a better judge of the thoughts that are in my head than me?

    • Re:Jeans (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dgatwood (11270) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @11:30PM (#39015747) Journal

      Now, if we could get the folks who market jeans and other clothing to teens to stop using sexually suggestive images of people under 18 . . .

      ...or get the parents to stop letting their kids dress that way. We're not talking about kiddie porn here where someone is being abused. We're talking about idiot teens dressing like hookers by choice, posting pics of it, and then everybody getting all up in arms because those pics get spread around. Don't want those sorts of pics to be so common? Try telling your kids "no" once in a while. Just saying.

      Treating the symptom doesn't cure the disease. The pictures are the symptom.

  • Moral Panic (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nicknamename (2572429) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @11:00PM (#39015541) Journal
  • by decora (1710862) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @11:05PM (#39015571) Journal

    finally done something productive and contributory to society. i am gobsmacked.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Actually, it was mostly just because they don't like reddit.

  • by QCompson (675963) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @11:07PM (#39015581)
    How dare these creeps sexualize teenage girls with big firm full breasts? That sort of sexual attraction is completely unnatural and twisted. I'm glad reddit has taken the step of eliminating these pictures of fully clothed busty girls.

    Next challenge: prevent men from looking at busty teenage jailbait out in public. These perverts must be stopped.
    • by RyoShin (610051)

      Let's just have all minors dress as nuns until they turn 18. Not only will this remove the possibility of jailbait, but it means that if someone is wearing normal clothes you'll know they're legal and can go about things without worries.

      (What was that quote? "The best thing about teenage girls is that they remain the same age as I get older"?)

  • Touchy subject... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wbr1 (2538558) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @11:31PM (#39015757)
    But you have to admit, parents LET their kids dress and act like this, and the market caters to it, whether it is right or not, I will not enter into that debate right now.
    http://www.torontosun.com/2011/05/09/nearly-onethird-of-childrens-clothes-sexy-study [torontosun.com]
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/apr/16/children-clothing-survey-bikini-heels [guardian.co.uk]
    http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/08/19/french-line-offers-lingerie-for-girls-as-young-as-four/ [time.com]
    http://www.playpink.com/games-for-girls/sexy-dress-up.html [playpink.com]

    This was just 5 minutes with google.
  • I Left Today (Score:4, Interesting)

    by deweyhewson (1323623) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @11:45PM (#39015855)

    I'm one of the many who deleted their accounts at Reddit today, not just over the admins' lax "oh-noes-censorship!" policy, but due to the sheer number of Redditors there actively defending pedophiles and their crimes under the guise of "free speech". I had over 10,000 karma there, as well, which means really nothing other than to say I wasn't just a random lurker on the site.

    The front page stories at the moment don't even begin to tell the story of the stuff that goes in in the nether regions of that site, and the fact that so many members there not just defend, but seemingly embrace, those who perpetrate it - look up a guy named violentacrez if you don't believe me - is beyond disgusting. The number of members there who seem to base their morals on whether something is legal or not (unless the matter relates to pot, prostitution, or any of the other activities they like) is disturbing, as well, and I'd finally had enough.

    Reddit didn't care at all about any of this stuff until suddenly they were at risk of a major media campaign against them - organized by Something Awful - then suddenly they went into full defensive mode, not out of a sudden concern for the actual children being exploited, but for their own reputations for allowing it. A good move overall, but hardly noble. It's the same tactic they eventually were forced to use when the r/jailbait scandal hit the mainstream news.

    The bottom line is that Reddit has been, and can be, an interesting site full of interesting content. But the willingness of the admins there to allow such abhorrent (and clearly illegal) content until publicity won't allow them to continue to do so is a glaring flaw in the organization of the site, and I'd rather not be associated with such a wild west approach to such things, especially when their morals seem to be dictated more on whether something will affect their reputation than whether or not it's right.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Karganeth (1017580)

      The bottom line is that Reddit has been, and can be, an interesting site full of interesting content. But the willingness of the admins there to allow such abhorrent (and clearly illegal) content until publicity won't allow them to continue to do so is a glaring flaw in the organization of the site, and I'd rather not be associated with such a wild west approach to such things, especially when their morals seem to be dictated more on whether something will affect their reputation than whether or not it's right.

      The admins NEVER allowed illegal content on their site. Child pornography was never allowed. Not caring about what people in each subreddit did was not a glaring flaw. If you didn't like a subreddit, you didn't go there. It worked pretty well actually - reddit is very popular.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by the_raptor (652941)

      due to the sheer number of Redditors there actively defending pedophiles and their crimes under the guise of "free speech"

      Pedophilia is a sexual orientation that is as "natural" as any other sexual orientation, and pedophiles should have the same legal rights as anyone else unless they molest children. Also most child molesters aren't pedophiles.

      The "crimes" were posting pictures of fully clothed children and making creepy comments. Any actual child pornography was reported and banned as standard policy.

      The number of members there who seem to base their morals on whether something is legal or not

      Which is exactly what you are doing. Your morals seem to consist of "its against the law" and "its creepy".

  • by RobinEggs (1453925) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @11:57PM (#39015933)
    Being between jobs, I've spent a crap load of time on Reddit lately, so I'll try to give you some better context than you're getting from the other posts, which are almost all random speculation.

    This isn't just about seeing sexuality in children or people fapping over misappropriated but otherwise innocuous pictures of other people's children.

    The largest of the sub-reddits at issue, preteen_girls, featured a posting from a man attracted to his daughter (I would provide a link to this thread, but reading it once was enough; I ain't going back there). He received advice about how to get her drunk, how to gradually introduce her to some physical intimacy via backrubs and neck massage, and gradually escalate to fully sexual encounters. This is exactly how things unfolded when my wife was raped as a 12 year old. They're not just trading pictures, they're trading time-tested advice on seduction and child rape.

    Oh, and the advice I described came from the moderator of the page.

    That's the kind of stuff that's going on here. I don't give a flying fuck how you feel about free speech, or even child porn: giving advice on intoxicating, seducing, and fucking people is wrong. Setting aside the serious question of whether children can give consent in the first place, these people think it's fine to seduce and drug kids until consent is no longer an issue. This kind of stuff is wrong whether your target is 12 or 42. Knowing that people meet and give one another advice about such things in public on these sub-reddits, to say nothing of what goes in private between people who connect via these sub-reddits (because most people are still smart enough not to collude in raping a child or sharing true snuff on a public forum), gives Reddit both the moral authority and the legal imperative to shut those forums down.

    Seriously, raping 12 year olds. Intoxicating and fucking your own daughter or niece. As I've already had to say once this month on slashdot, sometimes 'think of the children' is a valid concern.
    • by bmo (77928) on Monday February 13, 2012 @01:42AM (#39016429)

      >That's the kind of stuff that's going on here. I don't give a flying fuck how you feel about free speech, or even child porn: giving advice on intoxicating, seducing, and fucking people is wrong. Setting aside the serious question of whether children can give consent in the first place, these people think it's fine to seduce and drug kids until consent is no longer an issue.

      This is a crime, and it's called conspiracy.

      Someone wants to do something illegal like rob a bank or fuck a 12 year old.
      You give advice or material support
      They commit the crime
      You are a conspirator. You go to jail.

      That's how it works in a civilized society.

      Seriously, violnentacrez needs to be behind bars.

      --
      BMO

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