Tuesday, April 28, 2009

no kidding: update

Yesterday, I may have pulled the trigger too soon when I deleted all images that depicted children.

It was a classic "manic Monday;" I was busy as a one-armed hairdresser, did not have time to research the matter, and took the safe way out by pulling the plug as fast as possible on those images to avoid being accused of disseminating "k1dd1e p0rn."

Tuesday is vacation-like compared to Monday and I had some time to do some research this morning. I found the applicable federal law, US Code Title 18, §2256, which defines "ch1ld p0rn0graphy." See it for yourself here, specifically paragraph (8).

I am not a lawyer, although I did portray one in law school, so my interpretation may not be correct, but it seems to me that the images I created and displayed here did not fall under the US Code definition of "ch1ld p0rn0graphy."

I doubt that this will change my decision about deleting the images and not posting similar images in the future because it is not worth the hassle if someone wants to make an issue of it.


  1. Thanks for the update. It appears the US definition is pretty much the same as that here in the UK, though possibly better defined. I completely agree with you though about playing it safe. Always better to try to avoid offending anyone's sensibilities, than have to defend yourself once they're offended! Not too sure how that will fit though if anyone turns up who finds transgender offensive? (Yes, they are out there, I've met more than a few, sadly.)

  2. Jayne --- Yes, I have run into people, who find transgender offensive, too.

  3. The statutes on the subject have some broad clauses that could potentially rope in some images that are far removed from “kiddie porn.” Even if a child depicted is fully clothed, and not engaging in any sexual acts (real or simulated), if the image is the least bit “provocative” or “sexy” or is promoted or displayed or annotated/captioned in a context of sexuality, then some aggressive, reactionary prosecutor somewhere could potentially make a case of it. Normally, they would not, but there have been cases in which individuals have been prosecuted for disseminating videos of bathing-suit clad children at a water park, and even high school cheerleaders going through their routines, simply because the individual placed the otherwise harmless images in a wink-wink, nudge-nudge context that implied that the images or videos were something more than just “cute.” I am all in favor of protecting children from being exploited in obviously sexual ways, and prosecuting the offenders, but we are on a dangerous slippery slope when we start harassing people over images the likes of which could be found (and, indeed, may have originally been posted) on mainstream sites like Flickr, or school websites. Now you’re trying to demonize or criminalize things not for any actual harm that may have been done to children, but for what might or might not exist in the mind of the beholder. (Never mind the fact that mainstream media and product advertising constantly sexualize teenagers and even “tweens” in their programs and ads – somehow the big corporations behind such things don’t seem to get prosecuted for “kiddie porn.”)

    The problem with transgender or crossdressing images of “underage” individuals is that the moralists see those things are inherently linked with sex, and also wrongly equate cross-gender behavior with homosexuality. That is why schools have been attacked and forced to abandon what in some cases is traditional “fun,” because knee-jerk Bible-thumpers view a “Crossdressing Day” during spirit week or a “Womanless Beauty Pageant” to raise money for homecoming as somehow evil and morally corrupting to kids. Intelligent, reasonable people are able to make distinctions about such things; unfortunately, both intelligence and reason are increasingly in danger of extinction in our society. (*Sigh*)

  4. Anonymous --- Thank you for those extensive and thoughtful comments. ...even more reason not to post images containing children. Why tempt fate?