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The Danger of Censoring Child Pornography
Child pornography is not always bad. Large-scale censorship and sexual abuse of children however are. They are highly unethical and should both be taken care of. In this essay I will explain some serious problems with censorship taking the example of child pornography.
by Roger Le Marié

«The copyright lobby absolutely loves child pornography» is the title of an article on the website torrentfreak.com, published on the 9th of July 2011. TorrentFreak describes itself as a «place where ‹breaking news›, ‹BitTorrent› and ‹copyright› collide». They strongly advocate the file sharing protocol ‹BitTorrent› and other peer-to-peer technologies and question censorship and certain types of copyright protection. 

TorrentFreak, a «place where breaking news, BitTorrent and copyright collide.
(Screenshot taken by rlm, 2011-07-15) 

[ Before you continue reading consider that the following article contains adult language and graphics.  If you are offended by adult language and graphics leave this website now or continue at your own risk…

In their article they reproach the copyright industry to advocate large-scale online censorship by deliberately abusing childporn’s bad image. And this not because they have primarily ethical concerns about child abuse (but rather financial gains in mind?). And by expanding censorship in a second step to file sharing they are about to try – through the ‹backdoor› so to speak – to prevent illegal file sharing and pirating which is their real goal.

Now there is no question that BitTorrent has already proven to be an excellent tool for file sharing. And file sharing by itself is nothing unethical. In contrary, it is a great tool for knowledge exchange, resource economics and crowdsourcing for example. However the copyright industry observes with fury, that there is not only legal sharing but to a certain extend also sharing of copyrighted and pirated material.

The huge problem is that the introduction of large-scale censorship brings a lot of serious problems with it. One being that the abuse of children for porn is definitely not solved in the least. Therefore the strategy of the copyright industry is dangerous on different levels. This essay does not deny that there is some problematic file sharing of copyrighted material. But it tries to explain in simple terms why large-scale censorship of child pornography does not solve the problem but introduces much more serious problems on a whole new level…

«Pedophiles can’t really help what they get turned on by. I would much rather give them a safe outlet for it, than to have them exploit or harm real children.»
                            Brian Cuban (www.briancuban.com)

There exist pedophiles. This is a fact we can and will not change. Ever. Being pedophile also is not a crime. It is no crime to have a certain sexual preference. Sexually abusing children on the other hand is a very ferocious crime. It’s of utmost importance to keep those two things apart.

Another fact is: as long as there are pedophiles there will most probably be a demand for child pornography. And where a demand is, there is usually also a supply. Data can be exchanged in a lot of ways. And not all have to be exchanges over the internet. You could for example directly swap self burned compact discs or USB-Sticks or even harddiscs and whole servers for that matter. One could also create bluetooth or wireless networks for special purposes. Imagine closed wireless hot spots in places where pedophiles meet. Or create and promote a website amongst pedophiles that publishes each month a random, artificial codeword standing for ‹childporn›, for example ‹Cauliflowerblossoms›. And then you could publish encrypted childporn under the codename «Cauliflowerblossoms» and every pedophile would easily find it no matter how strong your internet filters are. «Circumventing censorship» results in 6’200’000 hits on Google. «Circumventing internet filters» yields 2’000’000 hits. Probably you could also go with an anonymizer tool to servers in foreign jurisdictions, order your films online and let them be sent by snailmail. You see, one has not to be a specialist in the field of bypassing censorship. There exist most probably dozens of ways to exchange files avoiding internet filters…

It becomes quickly painfully obvious that large-scale censorship would punish a lot of netizens because of the misbehavior of only a few criminals. It’s purpose would be pretty much what has been described by some people as a kind of ‹blindfold› that enables the normal internet user to ignore childporn while the childporn market would continue to flourish… Censorship would support the ignorance of child abuse without preventing it!

As censorship and internet filters can easily be circumvented it appears safe to conclude that they will not make the childporn market disappear either. Just the distribution channels would change. What strategy then would effectively help preventing children from being sexually abused? How would we have to apply a possible strategy to actually work? And what should we do with people that still engage in improper behavior?

Pedophile is not the same as pedosexual.
(Quote taken from Wikipedia, 2011-07-15)

Strategies against child abuse would obviously have to deal with two major problem areas: The abuse of children by pedophiles and the abuse of children by the porn industry.

But the pure demonization of pedophiles as it is happening right now will most probably not keep children from being abused. Why? Because even the most severe prosecution and punishment won’t override our natural, strong sexual drive. The sexual instinct is – much the same as our survival instinct – one of men’s strongest compulsions.

The best solution would most probably be to replace children through actors or avatars. In real as well as in virtual life. And as the health and wellbeing of kids has preference over the image, that sex with children is (correctly seen as) abnormal, this could be a valid solution.

What means ‹replacing children through actors or avatars›? It could mean for example that there is an official offer of prostitutes, telemarketers etc. dressing and or behaving like children as a professional service to pedophiles. At this point let’s repeat again, that this makes only sense in the overall context with the best safety for children in mind as the overriding argument for ‹sick› behavior!

Child pornography could also be drawn as sexually explicit comics and animations. This is the case with japanese hentai, 18-kin, seijin manga and ero anime. Or it could be animated in 3D modeling programs the way the films ‹Toy Story› or ‹Final Fantasy› were. There could even be children residents created in virtual worlds like Linden Lab’s ‹Second Life› or other metaverses that enable a live interaction between two characters.

Important with the above mentioned strategy is to realize that this rather simple idea solves a quite complex problem leading to a win-win-win situation. It would not only be of a big advantage for children but also for pedophiles and even the commercial porn industry!

To enlarge click on image:
About the contradicting and confusing rules in Second Life... and our society in general.
(Illustration by Vint Falken, some rights are reserved under cc by-nc-nd 2.0)

«A realistic goal for a [successful] therapy is the handling of the pedophiles own tendencies within legal boundaries, a second one is the control of [his/her] impulses»
     Claus Buddeberg (physician, experienced with pedophiles)

Of course an essay like this one can only serve as an initiate inspiration but in no way as a detailed strategy paper. There would have several steps to be taken before this strategy can work properly in full effect. Steps for example like spreading, explaining and evaluating the idea, developing a detailed action plan, conducting scientific studies, educating all parties involved and changing the legal framework. And also precautions to rule out a backfiring of the strategy. Interesting would be if the chance of actually acting out sexual fantasies in real life increases or lowers after consumption of virtual porn or if the showing of child pornography to young children could be abused to convince them to engage in similar behavior. How to prevent those scenarios and other details can be worked out by the respective professionals. One should definitely not have naive expectations. A realistic, critical view on the strategy is necessary and does not declassify it, in contrary, it validates it!

This being said, the above described strategy should probably be based on four simultaneous actions: prevention, education, care and repression.

To enlarge click on image:
Hentai drawing as seen in japanese cartoon pornography (dojinshi). 
 (Original drawing by ゆーれー (yuuree), derivative by Niabot, 
some rights are reserved under cc by-sa 3.0) 

No doubt, a great deal of pressure could be taken off of pedophiles by providing valid possibilities to legally live their sexuality. This pressure release could psychologically be used to advertise legal, easily accessible distribution channels by word-of-mouth recommendation in private, discrete ways not too disturbing to the general public. One such channel could – ironically – be a special peer-to-peer network for pedophiles based on BitTorrent in which they could trade, exchange, advertise and order ‹legal child pornography› meaning child pornography not involving any real children in its production. This kind of pornography should not only be internationally legalized as an accompanying measure but actively advertised amongst pedophile circles. The effect would likely be a substancial part of the child porn industry switching from risky, low turnover ‹real child› porn to risk-free high turnover ‹avatar child porn› production with quickly increasing turnover because of significantly lower security, production and distribution cost.

Beside the legalizing of ‹artificial› child pornography all other known supports and treatments to help pedophiles should be kept alive: Cognitive behavioral therapy («relapse prevention»), behavioral interventions, pharmacological interventions…

But what should happen to pedophiles and porn industry that continue abusing children for their aims? Here comes our fourth strategic pillar into play: repression. Of course also negative motivation is a legit and strong way to convince all parties to engage in more lawful than unlawful action. That’s why draconian extradition laws and penalties should be imposed on all people still engaging in producing, distributing or buying ‹real child› porn in combination with the other measures mentioned above. For the success of the overall strategy it is very important to understand that all measures have to be realized in the right spot at the right time.

«We should always see censorship, actually, as a very positive sign, and attempts towards censorship as a sign that society is not yet completely sewn up . . . but still has some political dimension to it.
For example – what people think and believe and feel and the words that they listen to, actually matters.»
                   Julian Assange ( Wikileaks
@ Trotsky Club, London)

People propagating the idea of this essay should go about very careful and delicately. For opposition it is all too easy to single out one argument of the solution and make it look like a real evil minded program.

Still, very similar strategies have already been proven to work like for example in drug politics. Why shouldn’t it work here, too? Hopefully with the result of an augmented quality of life for pedophiles and last but not least an enhanced safety of our children and their children. <<<

From fiction to reality: the cruel destiny of child abuse. Let's help prevent it!
(© 2008–2011 by Solitairemiles, all rights reserved)


Abuse of children and pornography are not only both topics that are very private and taboo but also very contrary to each other: one is about extreme suffering, one about extreme pleasure. For reasons of piety and respect, the following video and picture were not incorporated into the above essay.

The following film is not drawn in the conventional way. The figures are animated. No real actors ever played in this film. No real adults. No real children. Just animation. It illustrates what can be done, how realistic figures and movements can be rendered today. The porn industry is no small industry. Pedophiles could be a fresh client segment. I don't say this in a condescending way, in contrary. It could and should be a win-win-win situation: Pedophiles get porn to be at least partially capable of living their sexual preference, the industry gets new business and by also raising repression quite a bit, children – and this is the most important part and has therefore to be strongly insured and secured – get safety from harm. In addition the public gets freedom: no censorship at the backend. The frontend is something else. If somebody wants to install a parental filter on his / her own computer they have complete control of, that's fine.

Video game trailer for
"Final Fantasy 7, The Advent Children»
(strong graphics):

The porn industry is not quite there yet. But first 3D animation films can be found lately on porn websites (2011-08-02).

Excerpt of a 3D Animation Hentai film:

Creative Commons Lizenzvertrag
«The Danger of Censoring Child Pornography» steht unter einer Creative Commons Namensnennung-NichtKommerziell-KeineBearbeitung 3.0 Unported Lizenz. Über diese 
Lizenz hinausgehende Erlaubnisse können Sie unter http://www.rogerlemarie.ch erhalten.

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