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Lolicon and Shotacon
Why EcchiDreams doesn't allow it, and why I'm unhappy with that.
For a brief while, EcchiDreams allowed anything and everything Cartoon related (With exception to Guro). Now I don't pretend to know EXACTLY what I'm talking about. I'm not a lawyer and quite frankly I have better things to do than to read and try to understand every stupid law that comes out, because a lot of it to me seems like censorship, which a free government isn't supposed to be doing. What's worse is these laws are often signed away from public eyes and that's generally not a good sign. Even when most of the population agree that a law needs to be changed (Take Marijuana for example) the governments do nothing about it. So much for democracy. [And that's an entirely different discussion and a whole lot of can of worms...]
Lolicon has been illegalised in the following countries [According to Wikipedia]:
Australia Brazil Canada Italy Japan <-- An Anti-Lolicon Bill that pretty much got turned into a Anti-Everything Bill. Netherlands New Zealand Norway Poland South Africa Sweden United Kingdom <-- Which poses a problem for us. [Coroners and Justice Act 2009, sections 62–68] United States <-- Which poses a problem for the majority of our members*. [18 USC 1466A] *As of 28th November 2013.
Obviously when this all came to light, our first reaction was shut the down the forums and scrub the Lolicon away. At the time, I wasn't the Site Administrator, but I was very vocal about this, and I guess in someways it still pisses me off today.
Allow me to explain:
I personally don't care for or hate Lolicon, or Shotacon, or anything that depicts or is a minor who is under the age of 18. That's not how I get my rocks off if you will. To me it's a fetish (Like, Chibis, Furry, Normal Hentai and so on). It doesn't show real abuse where real children are involved and therefore I don't see a problem with it, personally. It's one of those things that I'd tolerate and with-hold judgement against because that's who I am. At the end of the day; I'd rather someone use these images than images of actual children.
People go by the logic that if someone looks at pictures of real children (Nude or in sexual situations) then that'd encourage them to abuse themselves. By THAT logic, if people look at Lolicon or Shotacon, the most they'll do is fucking draw Lolicon. But this isn't the logic they're using. Apparently if you look at Lolicon/Shotacon it's just as bad as the real thing therefore you'll do the abuse yourself. One problem with that... I've seen NO studies, NO scientific evidence that backs this up and as far as I am concerned there is NO link between people who look at Loli/Shota and Peadophilia. I find it hard to believe that if someone looks at say, the picture above and finds an uncensored version that they'll go out and rape children. That kind of mentality is so logically flawed, I wouldn't even know where to start poking holes in it.
The problem is people use the line "WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN"... I say it's not the Governments job to do that, it's YOUR job as a parent and human fucking being to educate. This line is being used more and more. Even with the UK's new "Opt-out Filtering Service" [Which again is a whole different discussion with a whole can of worms.]
Granted we do need to better protect children from Sexual Predators, but not like this. This is wrong on so many levels and I reckon the UK Government at least knows this, otherwise they wouldn't have passed the bill in secrecy.
So why does EcchiDreams not allow it?
It's illegal. (Despite my problems with this law) I do not wish to be branded as a peadophile just for allowing people to post their art. I do not wish to be put on the Sex Offenders Register. I do not want EcchiDreams to be shut down over this. I do not want members of this community being penalised in their countries for visiting this site. I can do without the drama. Do I (personally) like that we don't allow it?
What do you think? No.
Because I feel this is one violation of many of our right to Free Expression. I don't think any form of art should be illegal, really. Even offensive art. You have the choice to look at it or not. I find it disgusting and morally repugnant that the Government makes laws in private, not just laws like this but laws in general. I feel it paves the way to make more and more porn illegal, and it's already happening here in the UK. Once these things are illegal then they can control other things on the internet because it's common place. Don't believe me? It's already happened and is happening right now.
The Government shouldn't be allowed to dictate what you can and cannot do in the privacy of your own home. At the end of the day, if the picture was drawn by a consenting adult, and viewed by a consenting adult then that's not any of their business. If you didn't want to look at it, then click the back button or fuck off somewhere else, it's not fucking rocket science. Granted if it's being shown to kids then the problem is supplying porn to minors, not the porn itself.
I'd like to think of myself a reasonable thinking adult. I've never understood the world and frankly the world has never understood me. I always thought I'm the least qualified to say what should be acceptable and not acceptable in society, but fuck me... The Governments of these countries including my own are seriously fucked in the head. As I said this extends far beyond just Lolicon and Shotacon being censored, but when you look at it from an outsiders point of view you can see that pictures depicting rape and porn depicting rape is getting banned, despite the fact it's made (USUALLY) by consenting adults.
Oh and I really don't give a shit if you're a parent and think the internet would be a better place for your child without porn - That, quite frankly is your problem. Don't make it everyone else's problem. YOU should be responsible for what YOUR children do online, not the fucking Government. I believe children should be educated not moddy-coddled and wrapped in cotton wool. That said, don't let me tell you how to raise your children, but don't you fucking dare dictate how I should or should not raise mine.
We're stepping closer and closer to a nanny-big-brother state and I've had enough to be honest, but the population at large don't seem to see this. If you don't want your child to look at porn it should be up to you as the parent to block it on your network. If you don't know how to do this there are loads of tutorials online and even services that will help.
Excuse my swearing, I am extremely passionate about our freedoms, civil liabilities and so on. I don't describe myself as Left or Right, politically speaking, or even anywhere near that two dimensional scale. At the risk of going off topic discussing the UK's Porn Filter [Which is switched on by default. YOU have to call your ISP to turn it off... That's fucking backwards.] I will wrap up.
My point is; Lolicon and Shotacon are just images, drawn by someone who happens to like that art style. Either male or female, I don't really care. They're expressing their art, and I find it shit-covered-bollocking-crazy that people can tell people what they can and cannot draw, and what art they can and cannot look at. So what do you think? I'd be happy to debate this subject, whilst I'm extremely happy for those who have an opinion to state it, lets try and keep personal name calling to a minimum. We do have a Terms of Service. :) I don't expect everyone to agree with me here, but it's definitely frustrating to see this happening.
My final problem is; it's written in such a way that you're practically guilty until proven innocent, which is NOT how the law is supposed to work. You're supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. For example; they do not need to prove that the character IS under 18, if it looks under 18 that's probable cause. YOU need to prove that the character in question IS over 18. Which you can't do because it's a fictional character and the artist might be all the way in Japan or somewhere else. Sorry but to me that's fucking backwards and no law should operate like that. But then again we're seeing this an awful lot lately, guilty until proven innocent -- Just look at the NSA, GCHQ and other spying claims. Again that's another debate, and another fucking can of worms.
All hail our great and infallible leaders. </sarcasm>
[P.S. I know my spelling and grammar might leave a lot to be desired, but there you have it. People wanted my opinion there it is.]
An interesting discussion idea that I had the other day:
Do you think that out of context screenshots or game CG count as spoilers?
Say for example that I provided a screenshot of one of the Gen I Pokémon games, to show an example of the warp panels or something. It may be of a single room in a certain building, but there's no context to it.
Or, I take a screenshot of the route on which I caught a certain Pokémon.
Taking it a little further, to the main point: background art in story modes, with no dialogue or anything like that, just the art... Do you personally consider that a spoiler? I mean, sure, you see the art before you get that far/unlock it, but it provides no real context.
And, for example, say there's one thing you can do to unlock all background art in a game (without any dialogue/context, other than being in the correct order)... Would you look at the art before playing through the story mode? Or would you ignore the Gallery until you 'unlocked' all the art legitimately?
Just curious about what people think. If this gets any interest, I'll share my opinion.