UN Proposal to Ban Fictional Works as "Child Pornography"
The United Nations is asking for feedback on a new set of proposals for the international community to rally against child prostitution, the sale of children, and child pornography.
Sounds great, right?
But a close look at their definition of child pornography reveals that this extends a little bit beyond that. Drawings, cartoons, written stories, sculptures, and other forms of fictional works are also tucked in under the guise of "child pornography".
A progressive new CSA (child sexual abuse) prevention organization, Prostasia Foundation, recently did an excellent writeup on this UN proposal.
This ban may be counterproductive at preventing CSA
There is no evidence that banning fictitious works has this effect. Some experts do believe bans, such as what the UN guidelines as written seek to ban, could actually lead to a rise in CSA.
With zero evidence that banning these things helps children, and with experts fearing that bans like this could put children in jeopardy, it is absolutely premature to implement such a ban until the necessary research has been conducted.
there is no evidence that banning fictitious works has any impact on reducing CSA (child sexual abuse). some experts believe that bans on the types of things these UN guidelines seek to ban will actually lead to a rise in CSA.
This ban is a gross violation of freedom of speech and expression
This will have chilling effects.
Most anime, which frequently features high school aged characters, will fall under fire for having "underage" characters depicted. Novels, comics, fanfiction, art, fanart, sculptures, and other creative works featuring characters that "appear underage" (aka under 18) will similarly be harmed by the implementation of these international guidelines.
Websites operating in countries that follow these UN guidelines may find themselves reluctant to support anime or artist communities, since their duty to police content will become even more strict. We have seen the chilling effects on speech that puritan policies such as this have (see: Reddit's harsh subreddit bans, Steam's removal of adult games featuring high school aged girls).
We need to tell the UN that fictional children are not children
Although the UN's intentions are surely noble, equating artwork to child pornography is a farce which undermines the very concept of harm that CP creation and dissemination has on children, and a slap in the face to survivors of childhood sexual abuse, whose very real depictions of abuse and trauma continue to circulate throughout the internet.
Anyone who would like to join me in presenting opposition to parts of the UN's proposal can do so. They are accepting comments by email. Comments must be submitted by 31 March 2019.
If you are an active member in anime or artist communities, please help spread the word about this issue. Together, we can convey to the UN and the international community why this new attack on free speech will not be tolerated.