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Larry Sanger Tells FBI Wikipedia Distributes "Child Pornography" 572

Posted by timothy
from the and-it-may-be-knowingly dept.
Taco Cowboy writes with news that Larry Sanger, the co-founder of Wikipedia, has reported to the FBI what he says is child pornography on Wikipedia, including links (redacted in the letter just linked) to entries about pedophilia and the genre of manga known as lolicon. The Register has up an article with some analysis, which mentions the opinion of at least one attorney whose "reading of the statute [requiring reporting of child porn images] is that it does apply to the Wikimedia Foundation." Update 20100414 5:00 GMT: Larry Sanger has posted a general reply in response to critics of his report to the FBI, in which he addresses the form, content, and motivation of his complaint, and offers some discussion of the relevant statute.
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Larry Sanger Tells FBI Wikipedia Distributes "Child Pornography"

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  • Re:First (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11, 2010 @05:18AM (#31806126)

    Won't somebody please think of the children?!

  • From the article:

    I have also since founded a more responsible project, Citizendium.org, and a teacher-edited non-profit directory of preK-12 educational videos, WatchKnow.org. Given my position of influence on matters related to Wikipedia, though I'm no longer associated with it, I feel I have a moral obligation to make the following report.

    And I have the moral obligation to call you an opportunist, a shill and accuse you of mudraking to further your goals, Mister Sanger.

    IMHO, there are fair use cases, e.g. for educational purposes, for the depiction of under-age sexuality, and if wikipedia doesn't fall under the umbrella of educational websites, I want some suggestions which website does. Hey, here in Germany even our cabinet members can show hard child pornograghic pictures in press conferences.

  • by kestasjk (933987) * on Sunday April 11, 2010 @05:24AM (#31806150) Homepage

    I have also since founded a more responsible project, Citizendium.org, and a teacher-edited non-profit directory of preK-12 educational videos, WatchKnow.org. Given my position of influence on matters related to Wikipedia, though I'm no longer associated with it, I feel I have a moral obligation to make the following report.

    What a douchebag.

  • Re:Categories (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gudeldar (705128) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @05:25AM (#31806162)
    If the category hadn't been "pedophilia" would you still have assumed it was child pornography? The girl appears to me to be at least a teenager, but beyond that she could be 14 or 20 (or younger or older). Is it child pornography if the artist conceived of her as 13 or if I did? At what point does child pornography become a thought crime?
  • by ultranova (717540) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @05:29AM (#31806182)

    Yes, Wikipedia seems to indeed have a category for pedophilia-related articles, describing such things as the Catholic scandal, child grooming, various kidnapping cases and related stuff. I'm a bit unsure what makes this "child pornography" - does Mr. Sanger perhaps become turned on reading about the activities of less savory Catholic priests? Dunno what images he's referring to, either - the only ones I found were photographs of Greek vases. As for "lolicon", AFAIK it's legal in most countries due to it being cartoon not related to real people in any way.

    Perhaps this case itself should be reported under pedophile hysteria [telegraph.co.uk], or, more cynically, barratry [wikipedia.org].

  • by Iryan (1754276) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @05:33AM (#31806194)
    Read it again, do some math and you'll easily see, that 2010 (now) minus 3 years (the page existes since then) is not a date before 2002, the year he left.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11, 2010 @05:34AM (#31806198)

    First of all, it doesn't inspire any level of confidence or conviction when the first paragraph of a letter, presumably about bad bad child porn on Wikipedia, is prefaced with what reads like the preamble on a CV. Citizendiwhat? Sorry you ditched on WP and failed to replicate its success, but trying to get the website shut down by pandering to think-of-the-children reactionaries is hardly an act of good faith or legitimate citizen concern. Sanger, how come you know so much about the pedophilia content at Wikimedia anyway?

    Secondly, if one does visit the categories of which Sanger speaks, (not hard to figure out btw, in spite of link removals) all you see are A) historic pornographic cartoons, and B) Japanese pornographic cartoons. Even if one were to take the charges of child porn seriously, they are strictly limited to works of art, as in, not real people. I suggest that federal law enforcement should find much more pressing cases to deal with. If they have the time to perform an investigation over cartoon tits, they are overbudgeted.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11, 2010 @05:36AM (#31806204)

    Reminds me of the cold war when everybody you didn't like in the West was accused of being a Communist, and in the East people would spy on each other. Now the boogie man isn't economics but child and teen sexuality. Everybody needs something to hate. It shows that even PhD's (in Philosophy no less) like Larry Sanger can play the think-of-the-children card just like other people play the "racism" card, or the "socialism" card.

    The thing I find interesting is that people like Dr. Larry Sanger accuse and insinuate people of being evil just because they "defend pedophilia" (i.e. state views that are not anti-pedophilia), which really means that if you don't agree with his neoconservative view point you will likely be demonized and "turned in" to the FBI (which is what I determined from reading his open letter). This is the opposite of fair and balanced or reasonable or logical. Unfortunately the people who get vetted for law enforcement tend to be Right Wing (they've got HR and personality tests to deny people careers if they aren't). So yes, being "informed on" to the police, even if you don't do anything illegal, by somebody who accuses you of being pro-pedophile (i.e. somebody who doesn't hate children) will likely get you put on a black list and could very well ruin your life. Dr. Larry Sanger mentions the word "moral" on his site, so it is obvious that he has an agenda.

    It's too bad that probably only neoconservatives, the Christian Right, the FBI, and the Republican party will take Dr. Larry Sanger seriously.

  • What happened... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lattyware (934246) <gareth@lattyware.co.uk> on Sunday April 11, 2010 @05:38AM (#31806216) Homepage Journal
    What happened when a drawing is being called child porn? Did any child get hurt? No. It may not be to my personal taste, but if noone is getting hurt, then why the hell is it being intefered with?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11, 2010 @05:40AM (#31806224)

    It also applies to fictional stories, apparently. Just text, no images. What it suggests is that Canada's laws on this matter are fucking insane.

  • Re:First (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11, 2010 @05:44AM (#31806244)

    No I can't.

    Can you stop thinking about zebras NOW?

  • Re:Categories (Score:5, Insightful)

    by loufoque (1400831) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @05:47AM (#31806254)

    it's about enforcing societies moral standards

    And why should it be the government responsibility to dictate morals? They should just provide a practical framework to make life in a community work.

  • Look at that (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jerrei (1515395) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @05:54AM (#31806296)
    Larry mentions his own, new, quote "more responsible" encyclopedia project in the first paragraph. How convenient.
  • by kainosnous (1753770) <kainosnous@lavabit.com> on Sunday April 11, 2010 @05:55AM (#31806304) Homepage

    This is an example of what I believe is wrong with government censorship. I don't know how people get the idea that the web should be a safe place where you can click on any link and go to any site and never have the chance to be offended. The internet and the web, IMHO, should be a place where all information can be exchanged freely between all parties. There are plenty of things on the internet that I find quite disturbing. If you don't want to be offended, don't go there. If you don't trust the sites, don't click on the link. Wikipedia is no exception. I personally don't find it acceptable for children to browse unsupervised, but it isn't mine or the government's decision to make. On the other hand, don't be surprised if the government uses that free information to track down people who commit crimes.

    The big problem that I have here is that we are using the government to legislate morality. Not only is that not their job, but they are really bad at it even if it were. So, unless we are willing to stone people for adultery we should let them make their own moral choices.

    Just to clarify, I'm in no way in favor of allowing people to harm children. In those cases where actual children are hurt I have no problem hunting down those people. I just don't want to see a service shut down because somebody didn't like a drawing they had.

  • Re:Categories (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11, 2010 @06:00AM (#31806334)

    If the category hadn't been "pedophilia" would you still have assumed it was child pornography? The girl appears to me to be at least a teenager, but beyond that she could be 14 or 20 (or younger or older). Is it child pornography if the artist conceived of her as 13 or if I did? At what point does child pornography become a thought crime?

    In Germany we recently got an "appearance pornography" law that says, if the depicted woman LOOKS younger than 18, it's illegal.

    Hilarious what those moral morons come up with.

  • by msclrhd (1211086) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @06:03AM (#31806348)

    So, is this the new communism? The new witch hunts?

    Sanger: Wikipedia is a distributor of the communist agenda and everyone associated with it is a communist.

  • by JackieBrown (987087) <dbroome@gmail.com> on Sunday April 11, 2010 @06:17AM (#31806410)

    It makes it more common and the more common something is, the more people find it acceptable.

    I am not big on the knee-jerk "think of the children," but if we do not, who will?

    Some things should not be made more common nor more acceptable.

  • Re:Categories (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Imrik (148191) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @06:22AM (#31806434) Homepage

    Maybe true, but that won't stop people from being prosecuted under them.

  • Re:Look at that (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Reservoir Penguin (611789) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @06:30AM (#31806492)
    Agreed, how pathetic, he has resorted to reporting his competitors to the authorities in an effort to whore his failed Citizendium project that no one visits.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11, 2010 @06:50AM (#31806566)

    Some things probably shouldn't be made more acceptable, but that excuse has been used to repeatedly to repress expression & whole groups of people(e.g. African Americans, Gays, Women, etc...)

    "Child porn" and the "think of the children mentality is a slippery slope. We already have minors going to jail due to having consensual sex with each other. We have girls being charged with possession & distribution of child-porn for taking pictures of their own naked bodies and sending it to boyfriends, who are then also charged with possession of child porn themselves. Would you view the famous paintings or statues of Cherubs child porn? A lot of parents take pics of their kids growing up, sometimes kids run around naked or maybe it's their first bath, or potty training or something innocent such as that, could that be considered child porn?

    There should be limits, but sometimes it can become a crazy witch hunt & used as an excuse to drum up fear or to manipulate sheeple. If someone is being exploited or harmed, that is definitely wrong. However, there are many imaginary images out there depicting many illegal things... Should we ban images that show drug use? Images that simulate murder? Images that simulate sodomy? Certainly we don't want drug use or murder to be more common, thus any depiction of it should be banned... Right? That'll solve all murders & drug use. No instead TV & movies are rife with murder & show drug use all the time, nor do I really think there is anything terribly wrong with that as these things are part of life, but so is sex. The USA has extreme hang-ups about sex and it just shows in how they prosecute child-porn, teenage sexual activity & terrible sex-ed.

    Lolicon itself is a bit tongue-in-cheek usually with very cute characters who are slanted with a sexual side. One could draw parallels to how the USA has beauty pageants for 5 & 6 year olds, yet we are not running out prosecuting these parents for sexually exploiting their children, though in that case actual children are on display and probably being exploited by their overbearing parents, versus zero exploitation going on in an imaginary image.

  • by mayberry42 (1604077) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @07:08AM (#31806630)

    It may not be to my personal taste, but if noone is getting hurt, then why the hell is it being intefered with?

    So those in power can force upon you their own moral beliefs of what is right and wrong regardless of your own opinion. Same as any other victimless crime.

  • Re:Categories (Score:4, Insightful)

    by houghi (78078) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @07:12AM (#31806644)

    At what point does child pornography become a thought crime?

    The moment you are against whatever you elected government says.

  • by vadim_t (324782) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @07:18AM (#31806664) Homepage

    He's been trying to get his pet project going for years, and people demonstrated repeatedly that nobody really cares about his vision.

    Nupedia went nowhere and died after having produced 24 approved articles after 3 years. Then in 2006 he started Citizendium with great fanfare, and in those 4 years it managed to produce 121 approved articles.

    So it seems that if he can't compete, he'll try killing Wikipedia the legal way. Maybe then some of the contributors will switch to Citizendium. On my part, I don't see how would that work for him, because I'd just really hate his guts and never touch anything related to him after that.

    You should be ashamed, mr. Sanger.

  • Re:Categories (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yvanhoe (564877) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @07:18AM (#31806668) Journal

    At what point does child pornography become a thought crime?

    When we began apply it to cartoons instead of live "models" it became a thought crime.

  • Re:Categories (Score:3, Insightful)

    by billius (1188143) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @07:22AM (#31806676)

    At what point does child pornography become a thought crime?

    If I recall correctly, it's never a thought crime. Child pornography (that is, pictures of actual children engaging in sexual acts) is illegal not because the content is objectionable, but rather because its very existence requires a crime to be committed. New York v. Feber [wikipedia.org] concluded that the distribution of visual depictions of children engaged in sexual activity is intrinsically related to the sexual abuse of children and that since the government has a compelling interest in preventing the sexual exploitation of children, it is therefore okay to ban child pornography without having to first show that it's obscene. Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition [wikipedia.org] referenced this case when they decided that parts of the Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996 were unconstitutional because they attempted to ban simulated child pornography (eg drawings, etc) because the creation of such images do not harm children. In effect, it's like the difference between a snuff film and a horror movie. You can make a horror movie as gruesome as you like, but you can't depict actual death in it.

    Based on these grounds, I think it's shameful for Larry Sanger to be slinging mud like this. As far as I can tell, the images in question do not require the sexual exploitation of children and are therefore not child pornography. But from what I've seen, accusing anyone of supporting child pornography online is an incredibly effective way to get people to turn off their brains and hate someone without a second thought.

  • by dbIII (701233) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @07:33AM (#31806744)
    Actually I think it's better they used something away from the "Playboy" look since some women think they are abnormal when they have genitals different to a pencil mark on a barbie doll. In some places women even get reconstructive plastic surgery done or just bits snipped off to fit that body image.
  • by Compaqt (1758360) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @07:40AM (#31806778) Homepage

    I can't comment on the pedophilia claims, and Sanger is definitely not a disinterested party, but on the other hand, there are plenty of people who would love to see the Wikicabal get slapped for various nefarious and high-handed administrative acts over the years. (Deletionism, notability, citation-required spam, funneling articles toward Wikia [techcrunch.com], etc.)

  • by davidwr (791652) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @07:41AM (#31806782) Homepage Journal

    victimless and harmless to real people

    This is just it, it's not harmless.

    Or more accurately, even if viewing child porn causes not additional harm to the child depicted if people in a position to create child porn are aware there is a demand for it - which they are if people are downloading material from web sites they control - then it's much more likely that they will invest the time and resources to set up a camera and get a child to act in front of it. In many cases, the child is far from a willing participant.

    So, yes, it is possible to view child pornography and not hurt anyone. However, in aggregate, the viewing of child pornography creates a demand for new images, and the filling of this demand results in child abuse.

  • by ChrisMP1 (1130781) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @07:47AM (#31806806)
    By that logic, asking people for money should be illegal because you create a demand for them to mug someone for it.
  • Spam as news (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11, 2010 @07:54AM (#31806834)

    Some of you have complained about the selfish attitude of Sanger in cynically reporting wikipedia in the hope of promoting his own website.

    But amongst the people reading the post, some will visit the site, and of those a few will visit the site regularly.

    Don't imagine that because most of the posts are critical of Sanger, his ploy has not been successful.

    That's where most people are mugs when it comes to advertising and PR. They imagine that because it is patently obvious what the manipulators are doing, it must fail. Sadly, that is not true.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11, 2010 @07:55AM (#31806840)
    A moment's reflection leads one to the obvious answer: because a large group of people, including many in power, are deathly afraid of a sexual fetish that violates their instincts to protect children (and about which they remain intentionally ignorant, preferring instead to denigrate from a safe distance). Thus, in their zeal to prevent real harm to children, they forbid even drawings of child abuse. Provided that no children were actually harmed in the making of the drawings, this kind of censorship is a vibrant example of the triumph of emotion over reason, of the limbic system over the cerebral cortex. Perhaps one day, the majority of people will have evolved to the point where they are able to distinguish fact from fiction, abuse from art, and overcome their baser instincts, but until that day they shall remain afraid of that which they do not understand.
  • Re:Categories (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jez9999 (618189) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @08:04AM (#31806874) Homepage Journal

    Child pornography (that is, pictures of actual children engaging in sexual acts) is illegal not because the content is objectionable, but rather because its very existence requires a crime to be committed.

    A child porn cartoon does not.

  • by Jurily (900488) <jurily@noSpAM.gmail.com> on Sunday April 11, 2010 @08:12AM (#31806914)

    I really don't get this obsession about sex. Everyone[1] does it, everyone has the appropriate organs, and it's definitely a prerequisite of you being alive. Most people have even seen naked children. What's the problem?

    I don't know about you guys, but I'd rather have pedophiles jerking off to Wikipedia than rape some kid. Ditto for child porn[2]. Give them all the animations and drawings they want, so they don't get stupid ideas every time they drive past a playground.

    [1] statistically speaking. Cue the Slashdot jokes.
    [2] actual children being molested is out of the question, of course

  • by zblack_eagle (971870) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @08:13AM (#31806918)

    Yet the emerging trend of dressing children in clothing that is tarty and/or has sexually suggestive slogans printed on them is A-OK

  • How is a woman having her genitals mutilated "fixing up bits" exactly? We aren't talking about women that, for example, have a labia so long as it is causing her pain, we are talking about women thinking they have to get chopped on, and risk all kinds of complications and possible infection, all so they can look like a 12 year old girl.

    Personally I'm sick of this "all women should look like Barbie dolls" crap. I'm lucky enough to have a woman with a full beautiful labia, yet it took me ages to convince her to make love with the lights on because all this Barbie doll crap had drilled into her head that having a normal labia made her somehow ugly. Nothing could be further from the truth yet it is one more thing that makes nice normal women feel inferior, just like we have women getting balloons strapped to their chests if it isn't what the media considers a "good size" or starving/making themselves sick if they dare to gain a pound. Unless the labia is causing her real physical problems it is just so much horseshit.

    As for TFA, Good Lord, can we pleeease stop the "eek! There's pedo!" bogeyman bullshit? All this crap ends up doing is throwing sanity right out the window and turning our laws into sick jokes. As it is now it is becoming another Red Scare, with kids being labeled child pornographers for taking a video of themselves or guys getting thrown into prison for fricking cartoons. Get real! Instead of looking for bogeymen on every webpage, why not...ohh I don't know...actually go after those molesting kids! How about that? The fact that anyone can seriously say Wikipedia might be distributing child porn for something like 70s album covers (BTW anybody with the Blind Faith album should just turn themselves in right now) or stupid Loli cartoons shows how far down the wrong path we've gone already.

  • by mdwh2 (535323) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @08:56AM (#31807174) Journal

    but by allowing lolicon and similar images to become acceptable I feel as if an important social barrier may have been breeched.

    So you support that all images of distasteful things be banned - whether newsworthy (e.g., people being killed in war, to use a recent example), to fictional (violence and rape scenes in films) to unrealistic (cartoons that often show unrealistic violence)? Or is there something special about something that appears to unrealistically depict a 17 year old?

    On that note, I'm curious what these images are supposed to be. The image on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lolicon [wikipedia.org] is surely not anything that would be considered "child" pornography, even in countries that have batshit laws against fictional images? Even if that was a real image with, you know, actual children, it wouldn't be child porn - unless you're going to say that nappy adverts be illegal...

    Is there a stack of explicit sexual images of cartoon characters depicted as under 18? I'm scared to go looking myself, since as of April 2010 in the UK I'd now be a sex offender facing three years in prison if I stumbled across one.

  • Time and Money (Score:3, Insightful)

    by b4upoo (166390) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @09:26AM (#31807360)

    There they go again with another waste of tax dollars. These must be the same people who want Big Bird to wear pants on Sesame Street.

  • by blackraven14250 (902843) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @09:51AM (#31807502)
    I'm fairly sure child porn has to have a sexual element to it to be considered child porn.
  • by Jesus_666 (702802) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @09:59AM (#31807554)

    by allowing lolicon and similar images to become acceptable I feel as if an important social barrier may have been breeched.

    And that may be a good thing. Right now pedophilia is anathema. Anything related to the topic is considered so vile that even thinking about the topic itself is dirty. You don't get sensible approaches with that kind of atmosphere.

    What would happen if some politician came up with the idea of pedophile support networks and state-funded counseling? An instant career end, that's what would happen. Because pedophilia and everything remotely associated with it is EVIL EVIL EVIL any nuanced approach to the topic is seen as insufficiently anti-pedophile which is the same as pro-pedophile, thus you're unfit for any office anywhere if you don't demonize pedophiles enough.
    Progress can't be made if zealotry is the norm.

    Now what if drawn child pornography does get some mindshare? People might start to wonder whether victimless* CP is really just as bad as regular CP**. And then they wonder whether the current laws are actually to the benefit of the people. And when we have people wondering whether a picture of Bart Simpson naked really warrants a prison term and an entry in the sexual offender database we're a big step closer to them actually bothering to question other aspects of current policy.


    * Yes, we can't prove that a certain artist doesn't use actual children/CP as source material. Yet. We regularly catch companies doing bad things, though, so spot checks etc. can help. Requiring drawn CP creators to submit to random inspections (otherwise not getting admitted into the market) should keep the incidence of abusive drawn CP hitting the market low. And I do expect that the black market would take a large hit if a perfectly legal white market existed.

    ** The usual argument is that "all child porn turns people into pedophiles". So far I haven't seen any solid scientific support for that hypothesis. There are other hypotheses like "drawn CP allows pedophiles to let off steam without a child getting involved" which are equally unsubstantiated, seem equally sensible to a layman and make it seem a good idea to actually try and find out what is true.
    Right now we can't even tell whether drawn CP is good or bad beyond resorting to truthiness.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11, 2010 @10:02AM (#31807560)

    Well, you could make drawings that look like children having sex, which is what this entire thread is about.

  • Re:Categories (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mdwh2 (535323) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @10:04AM (#31807574) Journal

    Yes, indeed - hence I argue that we shouldn't use terms like "child porn cartoons". You're right, even if one conceded that it was reasonable to use "child porn" to describe a cartoon (which I don't), the problem is still that the laws are far broader than that.

    I fear this new law will be even broader than the dubious recent "extreme porn" law, Section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act. The worrying thing is, I don't even think that hentai is some unintended consequence of the law - I've seen references to police forces explicitly mentioning hentai, calling it to be banned (e.g., in the consultation for Section 63, Gtr Manchester Police also called for laws against hentai [seenoevil.org.uk]. And the sad thing is, all we'll see reported in the press is "man convicted of possessing child pornography", with at best a reference to cartoons or drawings (one of the problems with trying to follow the consequences of Section 63 is that details in the press are very limited, and usually follow the Government-spin definitions of "man possessing extreme pornographic images").

  • Re:Categories (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11, 2010 @10:13AM (#31807634)

    Child pornography (that is, pictures of actual children engaging in sexual acts) is illegal not because the content is objectionable, but rather because its very existence requires a crime to be committed.

    That was true, until children started taking pictures of themselves engaging in sexual acts. Now the act itself is not a crime, but taking pictures is.

  • Re:First (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudson@NoSPam.barbara-hudson.com> on Sunday April 11, 2010 @10:17AM (#31807652) Journal

    So does the Pope.

  • by Scrameustache (459504) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @10:23AM (#31807694) Homepage Journal

    In some places women even get reconstructive plastic surgery done or just bits snipped off to fit that body image.

    And then they have bits snipped off their baby boys' privates, because it "looks better" too. Some people just think the best thing they can do to sex organs is to take a knife to 'em.

  • Re:Categories (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday April 11, 2010 @10:29AM (#31807742) Homepage Journal

    When I was 15 I had a fourteen year old girlfriend with D cups. rBGH++

  • by Duradin (1261418) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @10:31AM (#31807748)

    Child beauty pageants are a wholesome part of American life that allows mothers to vicariously relive an idealized childhood by exploiting their daughters by making their kid into child sized versions of themselves but with mature overtones that they wished they would have understood when they were that age. It's as American as apple pie.

    But drawing pictures of a fictional character dressed up like that is EVIL! IMMORAL! COMMUNIST!

  • by ultranova (717540) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @11:21AM (#31808112)

    Sexuality is in the eye of the beholder, and some people love the smell of napalm in the morning. If some people get their jollies watching children get raped, as our esteemed moral guardians seem to be implying, then why wouldn't they enjoy watching those same children get bombarded with napalm?

    Just imagine it's an adult woman instead, and ask yourself: would no one get turned on by the hypothethical image?

  • by Wooky_linuxer (685371) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @11:58AM (#31808408)

    Let's say you take a picture of your 5 yo daughter, in your backyard pool. She's wearing a swimsuit. You publish the photo on a public site, say Flickr, with a license that allows non-commercial use of the photo.

    Some weeks later, a policeman bursts in a suspected pedophile home. He finds that picture of your daughter printed, which the suspect has jerked off to (I really hope you don't really have a daughter at this point), along with others pictures of girls about the same age he obtained in a similar manner. Was there any crime commited?

    Let's try something harder. Your 16 yo daughter take her own picture doing a sensual pose, perhaps showing her breasts, using her own cellphone. She passes this picture to a friend of hers using SMS/text messages, which passes to another friend, which then passes it to the same supected pedophile of the above case. Was there any crime commited? If so, by whom? What if the picture was taken by your daughter's 18 yo friend, with you daughter knowledge and consent?

    Laws can be a mess.

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @12:09PM (#31808492) Journal

    I looked athe wikipedia commons for "child pornography" and "lolicon"

    I see no child porn. What I see is nudity (not a crime) and drawings (also not a crime, since there's no victim).

    What we got here is an asshole trying to impose his mental illness (bodyphobia) upon us and upon wikipedia, via the force of government. Fuck him. Also get him a psychiatrist.

  • by GreyWolf3000 (468618) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @12:14PM (#31808546) Journal

    ... unless there's a convincing reason to believe that viewing child pornography increases ones' likelihood in sexually engaging children.

    I remember hearing a quote from a child sex offender in prison-- something to the tune of "not a single fellow child sex offender here in prison did not first begin with child porn."

    Maybe that's a wad of nonsense; after all, I'm not providing a credible source. But if it could be successfully argued that viewing child porn creates material desire to abuse children sexually then the position to ban child pornography would no longer need to rest solely on the idea that children are being abused.

  • Re:Categories (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bobb9000 (796960) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @12:20PM (#31808566)

    First of all, thank you for calling me a authoritarian pig. It's always good to have a friend that knows you better than you know your self.

    Sorry, but as a disinterested third party, I have to say that the position you just advocated kinda does make you an authoritarian pig:

    That way there will be no discussion in court about the images being real or not.

    In general, speaking positively of rules which ban the introduction of relevant, defendant-exonerating evidence in court, as opposed to mentioning it only as a last resort, means bad things about your commitment to having a free society.

    If that also means obviously drawn child porn is illegal, that is fine with me. Everybody that needs images of children of nay kind to fap should have their heads examined.

    Then again, looking for the intention behind the words is kind of silly if you just go and state your authoritarian prejudices explicitly.

    Now, I don't necessarily disagree that, as a matter of necessity, some provision may need to be made for the criminalization of photorealistic 3D renderings. However, that isn't something to be happy about - it's a very bad thing. The only legitimate reason for banning child porn is protecting children from being exploited in its production. Take that away, and all you have is totalitarian moralism.

  • by Angst Badger (8636) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @12:53PM (#31808874)

    I don't know how people get the idea that the web should be a safe place where you can click on any link and go to any site and never have the chance to be offended.

    ...which is, in the end, why things like the proposed .xxx TLD are fundamentally flawed. What the censors consider objectionable is a constantly moving target: once they've successfully banned or contained x, then they'll go after x-1. A better alternative would be a .beige TLD, where the censors can put content they consider acceptable, and people who don't care for freedom of speech can limit their browsers to that domain.

    And to take this post squarely back on topic, yes, Larry Sanger is a vindictive little asshole, selfishly attacking what is, for all its flaws, one of our most valuable public resources because no one gives a wet crap about his pathetic little walled garden. I frankly wouldn't be surprised if he posted the content he subsequently reported to the FBI, and I certainly hope that WP's admins look very closely at the history of the articles involved.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11, 2010 @01:09PM (#31808996)

    drawings (also not a crime, since there's no victim).

    I suggest you read a few laws. There are plenty of crimes with "no victim".

  • by MaineCoon (12585) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @01:18PM (#31809064) Homepage

    Only if you're an idiot (and the same to those who modded this insightful).

    There are many legal ways to get money that does not harm anyone. You can't say the same about child pornography.

    There is a huge difference between a demand for something that can be generated legally and without harm, and a demand for something that can only be generated through illegal and harmful means.

  • by joe_frisch (1366229) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @01:20PM (#31809074)

    There are 2 different issues here. One is whether the government's definition of child porn makes sense. Personally I think that including drawings makes it unreasonable. The second is whether the wikipedia images meet the government's definition - I think they probably do.

    The way to change the first problem is through political action / voting. If you think it is unreasonable to send someone to prison for looking at a DRAWING of a naked child, write your congress person.

    The second is a different issue. On line as well as off line organizations should follow the law - or engage in specific legal challenges.

  • by Jhon (241832) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @01:20PM (#31809080) Homepage Journal

    Would you rather have your children around a pedophile that has an outlet or one that doesn't?

    I REALLY hate false choice [wikipedia.org] scenarios. I, of course, would rather have my children not be around ANY pedophile.

    Your question also suggests that if someone has child porn they will not become a predator. Many of the pedophiles arrested had collections of child porn or erotica [trutv.com]. Many studies have suggested this not to be the case with male->female rape. Example. [findarticles.com]

  • by Scrameustache (459504) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @01:23PM (#31809112) Homepage Journal

    Some people equate circumcision with "mutilation", which is

    Factually correct.

    Foot binding, neck elongation, excision, circumcision, stretching out your earlobes, those are all mutilations. And when all your peers have been mutilated in the same way, you're very happy to fit in.

  • Child beauty pageants and child porn hysteria are two sides of the same coin; namely, the sexualisations of children and the sale of it for profit. And yes, I mean the "hysteria" is the sale of child sex for profit.

    In both cases, business are selling images and/or stories of children to people hungry for them. Those involved will strenuously and vigorously deny this, but you need only to look at child pageant photographs or read pedophile/child porn news stories to see what is going on. The very people who howl loudest about child porn are the very same who greedily devour every morsel or every story about that same topic. It Freudianism on a sociological level and it stinks to high heaven.

    These people are inexorably eroding free society as we know it; and we're letting them.

  • Re:Categories (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rrohbeck (944847) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @01:42PM (#31809304)

    You just make drawing it crime. Problem solved.

  • by Ignatius D'Lusional (1010911) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @02:23PM (#31809630)
    So, let me get this straight... because you don't personally enjoy something (such as asparagus or lolicon), you would vote to make it illegal (criminalize it)? BECAUSE you don't care one way or the other??? That sounds pretty screwed up to me.
  • by toriver (11308) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @02:51PM (#31809944)

    Not to mention tattoos, piercings etc...

  • by Vellmont (569020) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @02:51PM (#31809956)


    I'm not uncomfortable around homosexuals in social settings. But the thought of guy-on-guy is pretty yucky to me. Does that make me a homophobe?

    No. Dan Savage (sex advice columnist) has commented several times that gay men find hetero sex pretty disgusting. Most people would say they'd find sex between old people disgusting.

    My conclusion is that sex is essentially kind of disgusting unless you happen to find the particular people involved sexy. Homophobia (or discrimination in general) would only come into play if you thought the parties involved were themselves disgusting for engaging in the act rather than the act itself being disgusting. I don't like limburger cheese, think it's kind of disgusting, and don't want to eat it myself or be near someone eating it. But I don't think less of anyone that enjoys it.

  • by AJWM (19027) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @03:04PM (#31810074) Homepage

    Many of the pedophiles arrested had collections of child porn or erotica.

    And 100% of them had, at some point in their life, taken dihydrogen monoxide. The more relevant question is how many of those who have erotica collections (or have drunk H2O, or whatever) have done something arrest-worthy? (Other than having the collection itself.)

    Do you have any idea how many people read murder mysteries? Are there really that many potential murderers out there? (Of course there's a broad spectrum between reading Agatha Christie and watching snuff films, just as there is between reading Nabokov and collecting porn photos, but the point remains.)

  • by Vellmont (569020) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @03:23PM (#31810212)


    Remember that panhandling is illegal in many cities for exactly that reason.

    No. Panhandling is illegal because most people find it annoying, and the panhandlers are in no position to find lawmakers to oppose making it illegal. Your idea that it "leads to mugging" is ridiculous.

    Anyone that's ever walked around a decent size U.S. city has been approached for money before. This has happened to me perhaps a hundred times. I've yet to be mugged or even seriously threatened by a bum panhandling. Most of the time it's the "gas can scam" with someone claiming they "ran out of gas" and need some small amount of money. This is really just panhandling with a touch of fraud added in.

  • Re:Categories (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @03:31PM (#31810272)

    Troll, how?

    When I was 15 I had a 15 year old girl with C cups.

    I started having sex at 13.

    Heck, I didn't have my first cigarette until I was 16. It tasted nasty. Just now getting back into smoking (quality tobacco tastes *gooooood*) after over thirty years.

  • by Alsee (515537) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @03:42PM (#31810416) Homepage

    I always find it hysterical when people toss around that ass backwards supply-and-demand argument.

    Seriously. If someone genuinely wanted to prevent actual children from being actual victims of actual crimes to produce such images, the supply-and-demand argument mandates you must do the exact opposite. The supply-and-demand argument dictates that you would revoke any possible copyright in such images and that you would have law enforcement dump their vast collection of images free on the internet. You would keep the act of abuse itself a crime, but you would FLOOD the existing supply in order to obliterate demand for production.

    I'm always mystified when people bring up that argument. Arson is criminal, images of arson are not in themselves criminal, and this bizarre ass backwards supply-demand argument is somehow tossed around as a reason these sorts of images should be legally treated differently than images of arson.

    Throw arsonists in prison, throw child abusers in prison, but just drop the ridiculous supply demand argument to justify criminalizing non-arsonists or non-abusers over images themselves. Drop the bullshit argument that it's being done to protect children and prevent abuse, when in fact it wildly INCREASES the profit and INCREASES the abuse of children for production. Again, it increases the abuse of children for production. The reason the images are criminalized has nothing to do with supply and demand, it has nothing to do with protecting the children, the images are criminalized because that are offensive and disturbing.

    On Wikimedia there are some hundred-year-old fictional line drawings that might be considered offensive and disturbing. Oh. My. God. The sky is going to fall if we don't put somebody in prison over it.

    -

  • by Stanislav_J (947290) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @04:23PM (#31810836)

    ** The usual argument is that "all child porn turns people into pedophiles". So far I haven't seen any solid scientific support for that hypothesis. There are other hypotheses like "drawn CP allows pedophiles to let off steam without a child getting involved" which are equally unsubstantiated, seem equally sensible to a layman and make it seem a good idea to actually try and find out what is true.

    Good luck getting funding for THAT study. As someone else said (to borrow his words), the whole subject area is "EVIL, EVIL, EVIL" to many, who would rather use a broad brush to paint generalities and condemnation rather than actually study the matter and perhaps seek to understand the why of how such an interest develops, and possibly develop strategies for prevention and treatment. It's SOOO much easier just to write pedos off as sub-human monsters and treat them as such.

    I think the more hysterical, over-the-top anti-pedos might fear that such a study WOULD show that so-called "virtual kiddie porn" DOES act as a "safety valve," more often preventing such an interest from escalating to harming or exploiting actual children. I don't know if that is true, but a study showing it to be thus would take some of the wind out of their sails.

    Or not. Hell, plenty of studies show that abstinence-based sex education does absolutely nothing in the long run to prevent teens from having sex, but that hasn't quieted the naysayers. A similar mentality keeps the War on Drugs chugging along when it does little to actually curb drug use, whether habitual or recreational. Remember that most of the "antis" in these areas have a strong religious bent, and will easily ignore or reject practical solutions in favor of simple condemnation and prohibition because "God says it's wrong" requires so much less actual thought.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11, 2010 @04:30PM (#31810888)

    >However, it is the government's job to legislate, if not morality, socially agreed norms.

    I don't know what country you live in but, in the U.S., that is not among the privileges granted to the government. Doesn't stop 'em, of course-- the government is founded as a monopoly on violence, and just try to prevent them from abusing it.

  • by Dunbal (464142) * on Sunday April 11, 2010 @04:57PM (#31811132)

    If you still insist this would not happen, why don't you read slashdot at -1 for a while.

          I _do_ read slashdot at -1. The garbage is very easy to ignore. I would simply rather have the chance to make up my own mind than have someone decide for me what is worth reading and what isn't. Of course it takes more time to sort through the pile of crap - but then again anything worthwhile always has some form of cost associated with it.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @06:37PM (#31811872)

    Unfortunately, pedos don't wear a tag. They're not labeled. They don't come with warning stickers akin to "keep out of reach of children under 12" or something like that. The world does not bend the the sticker-craze of the US. So saying "I'd rather not live next to a pedo" isn't working out. They don't (for good reason, as you may be able to imagine) don't wear it on their sleeve.

    Your example of pedos arrested for rape and then being child porn (drawn or real, you left it open, but let's assume we're talking about CP that came from the crayon instead of a camera) smell a bit like an argument often used when run amok and then finding shooter games on their PC. And the logic instilled in people like Mr. Thompson and his cronies that this is some sort of indicator of a shootist. Having FPS games -> some crazy gunman in the making. Having pencil CP on PC -> some pedo rapist in the making. Now, I tend to be a person that goes by the law of similarities when he cannot relate to the topic at hand, and this really seems like where the law of similarities could apply. I play FPS games. I still don't have the urge to go out there and go on a killing spree. Likewise, I can easily imagine how someone who hoards lolicon isn't interested in raping real kids. VR is one thing, RL another.

    So, sorry, no sale. Unless you have better examples, like, say, that someone who has (pencil) CP on his computer at least significantly tends to become a rapist, we needn't continue the talking.

  • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @06:57PM (#31811998) Homepage

    Let's not split hairs. It is still the same ones taking pleasure from children and who will eventually cross barriers.

    You have absolutely no proof that they will "eventually cross barriers".

    Millions of people every year view porn, yet no one assumes that viewers of porn will inevitably rape someone. So why would you assume that to be the case of pedophiles? In fact, I would be very surprised if the opposite weren't, in fact, true.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11, 2010 @09:52PM (#31813082)

    > I don't know how people get the idea that the web should be a safe place where you can click on any link and go to any site and never have the chance to be offended.

    I don't know where people get this idea either. Even when the web consisted of only 40000 pages, there was religiously offensive content.

    > I personally don't find it acceptable for children to browse unsupervised, but it isn't mine or the government's decision to make.

    I don't know where people get the idea that the Internet should be kid-safe. Why should anyone moderate their responsible, adult behaviour because of people with no parenting skills? If you let your kid get traumatized then its your own problem.

    Fuck 'em and get off my lawn. That goes double for anyone who had a kid *after* I went online.

  • by English French Man (1220122) on Monday April 12, 2010 @06:10AM (#31815052)

    Let's not split hairs. It is still the same ones taking pleasure from children and who will eventually cross barriers.

    You have absolutely no proof that they will "eventually cross barriers".

    Millions of people every year view porn, yet no one assumes that viewers of porn will inevitably rape someone. So why would you assume that to be the case of pedophiles? In fact, I would be very surprised if the opposite weren't, in fact, true.

    Millions of people view porn, those people generally like to have sex, and I assume it is generally the same kind that the porn they look at (a man looking at asian porn would love to bone an asian woman, I have of course no proof of that)

    People would look at child porn and would want to have sex with a child, which is generally not legally possible. So if they act upon this desire, it would be at least statutory rape (assuming the child is willing)

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