Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Making a List, Not Bothering to Check It

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  • Emma Hart,

    I presume that the censors office is governed by legislation (the er... can't remember what the Act is called now), and is largely at arms length from the government in terms of their decisions as a result.

    The current legislation (by far not just in NZ but pretty much everywhere) is full of subjective terms - sort of 'offensive to a reasonable person' and assumptions about material's intent. So to some degree it's open to interpretation.

    With Emma Solution (and boy does that make me feel weird), that problem, however slight, should be eliminated, because something is either criminal or it isn't.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    But the censors office doesn't just say 'yes' or 'no'.

    They say, 'yes - R18, M' etc. So there has to be subjectivity to achieve that, unless someone is going to make an incredibly unuseful list of what is and isn't allowed at each level, which then becomes time stamped and silly 20 years later.

    Which would be slightly different on the internet, but I guess you could set levels in filtering software (I guess on or off is a level, but they might be more complex than that - child, teenager, adult).

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    So you blacklist all child porn sites, offer absolutely no dedicated counseling for people who are into looking at child porn, it really leaves the potential pedophile no recourse but to leave the house and find a child...

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    So you blacklist all child porn sites, offer absolutely no dedicated counseling for people who are into looking at child porn, it really leaves the potential pedophile no recourse but to leave the house and find a child...

    I see I did leave out any suggestion of what to do with people who consume child pornography, as opposed to people who produce it. I believe prosecution is necessary, but so is counselling and rehabilitation.

    There is some evidence that suggests that paedophiles will use child pornography to... ease the urge, for want of a less revolting phrase. If that pornography, however, has been produced by harming children, it's hardly keeping children safe overall, is it?

    This is a little weird, I'm usually accused of being too soft on paedophiles and supporting rapists.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    So you blacklist all child porn sites, offer absolutely no dedicated counseling for people who are into looking at child porn, it really leaves the potential pedophile no recourse but to leave the house and find a child...

    You're saying that we shouldn't prosecute people who put child pornography on the web because people will then go and wait outside schools and molest our kids?

    That didn't strike you as a slightly silly argument? By this logic we should hand out child pornography free to anyone who might be tempted.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Stevenson,

    Don't poke him Kyle, he enjoys it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Sorry.

    *goes back to sitting on hands*

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    your saying we shouldn't...

    no Kyle.
    I'm not

    will use child pornography to... ease the urge,

    Has been observed to be a common misuse of all genres of porno.

    has been produced by harming children, it's hardly keeping children safe overall, is it?

    In agreement with you Emma. Based on that though, a case could be made though for compiling a selection of produced in a way not harmful to children.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Based on that though, a case could be made though for compiling a selection of produced in a way not harmful to children.

    I'm going to break the deafening silence: given that producing this stuff is by definition harmful to children, who would be seriously making such a case and what would they have been huffing?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    I'm going to break the deafening silence: given that producing this stuff is by definition harmful to children, who would be seriously making such a case and what would they have been huffing?

    Thank you Sam. I have been huffing nothing. Producing naked photos of children, whether by means of camera or using photoshop is not intrinsically harmful to children. That assumption is baseless, unless children are harmed in the production process. Glossing over such distinctions is akin to glossing over the distinction between the pedophile and the citizen who downloads images of child pornography.

    Essentially, as tasteless as the subject may be, child pornography arouses some people. To make a case that pornographic images inspire sexual behaviour is not unfounded but it's a rather narrow minded placing of the egg before the chicken in relation to the undeniable progress of human artistic expression.

    To put it very simply, if all pornography were banned, would we see a decrease in the number of sexual acts performed in society?

    The populations of China and India dispute that.

    If sex were banned, would a scenario where pornography is relied to 'ease the urge'. be unlikely?

    Basically as revolting as the thought of pedophiles using child pornography to 'ease' the urge is, I'm certain the vast majority of us find acts of pedophilia immeasurably more revolting. There seems to be ample evidence to suggest that this urge is widespread in our societies and I am strongly of the opinion that blanket prohibition of anything, has never quenched the thirst of human desire.

    By denying those unforgiveable persons the right to appease their desires with minimal harm, There is stll the nagging sense that we are but firemen licking the tip of the flame with a weak and oft misguided spray.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Does mark taslov actually *know* what child pornography is?

    It aint photos of naked kids.
    It is photos/video streams of raped and otherwise molestested - frequently tortured(as tho' rape wasnt torture enough) - kids.

    I spent 5 years of my life on the Indecent Publications Tribunal, and we did have contact with the visual stuff (the now-Chief Censor was also on that Tribunal) as well the graphic or written stuff.

    Sam F - it seems mark taslov is making 'this case' - and I really wonder about his motives in doing so-

    I think we should just forget the last 3 lines of his post - they're definitely in huffdom territory.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    I don't think what I'm saying is not that dissimilar from Emma's manifesto;

    Producers of child pornography are aggressively prosecuted. (That's actual child pornography that involves harm to actual children, not fiction or drawings.)

    Bearing in mind (as any journalism course will iterate) that photographs are no longer indisputable evidence of anything, And our ruch cultural history in which the line between photographs and drawings was blurred before photographs even existed (totally safe for work)

    http://www.all-art.org/early_renaissance/images/bellini81.jpg

    Giovanni Bellini
    Leonardo Loredan, Doge of Venice
    1501-1505

    I don't feel I'm saying anything particularly new on this thread Sam, other than reminding Emma to mention counseling. And stressing that I find the censorship of unexploitive (couldn't find a word) artistic expression totally fucking dark age.

    Or we could all get hammers and just start knocking down the most life-like statues of naked cherubs that adorn our historical sites. Because we can't handle it.

    In an age where there are documented cases of people being caught and prosecuted for engaging in coitus with inanimate objects such as bikes and vacuum cleaners, and with the power of discrimination the various censorship units are angling to possess over the general populace, in the name of risk deterrence, we might very well end up blind by the time the advertizing industry has had its way with us.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Thank you Sam. I have been huffing nothing.

    Didn't mean to offend - I didn't actually realise that was a position you yourself gave some credence to, rather than a devil's advocate-type argument that someone else could potentially distort out of what Emma said.

    <quote>Producing naked photos of children, whether by means of camera or using photoshop is not intrinsically harmful to children. That assumption is baseless, unless children are harmed in the production process. Glossing over such distinctions is akin to glossing over the distinction between the pedophile and the citizen who downloads images of child pornography.<quote>

    The kind of material you're describing is far tamer than what I thought was under discussion, but I really don't think that what you're describing would be without harm. Even the tamest softcore including actual adults is predicated upon the consent of the adults appearing. Minors by definition can't give that consent and goodness knows what the long-term psychological ramifications would be of growing up knowing pornographic images of you had been passed around the Internet during your childhood without your consent. Doesn't bear thinking about

    I also find the whole concept incredibly distasteful and sordid, which probably won't surprise you, but I'm pretty sure there's no harm reduction argument for such a thing either.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    The sort of material mark taslov says he is discussing is
    a)not pornography
    b)well covered (for centuries!) by artistic licence and
    c)harmless

    BUT

    the areas that child pornography are concerned with - including those that arouse paedophiles- are very different indeed.

    And art stuff - o, and counselling? After conviction for looking at art stuff? isnt, as I understand matters, covered by the Emma Solution (because it doesnt need to be.)

    I mean, do we now have to consider closetting off the Alice Liddell photos? No! Because that has been dealt with in the past.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Does mark taslov actually *know* what child pornography is?

    who are you asking Islander?

    It aint photos of naked kids.
    It is photos/video streams of raped and otherwise molestested - frequently tortured(as tho' rape wasnt torture enough) - kids.

    It is photos Islander
    and it is movies

    And this is the digital age.

    I spent 5 years of my life on the Indecent Publications Tribunal, and we did have contact with the visual stuff (the now-Chief Censor was also on that Tribunal) as well the graphic or written stuff.

    and that's all very well, but the technology is there now. YOu can talk around me, or through me or whatever you like Islander, but the technology which enables you to do so, is the same technology, which suspends disbelief in the cinema and showed us Forrest Gump chatting with John Lennon (obviously without his approval).

    In Saving Private Ryan or'The hostel' getting the actors were unharmed. And so the assumption that all visual representation resulted in harm to the models/actors is groundless. Otherwise Jar Jar Binks would be dead by now. How many kills did Peter make in Prince Caspian, and was the 15 year old Brooke Shields harmed by the making of 'Blue Lagoon', some may argue yes.
    When we have solid evidence of actual harm, Then we should also prevent the making of this kind of entertainment. But as of now, when it can be produced without harm, even without actors, merely digital renditions. Then I don't think it is without wisdom to very carefully evaluate where we as societies draw the lines and with what motives, in light of the Finnish case Emma mentioned.

    Sam F - it seems mark taslov is making 'this case' - and I really wonder about his motives in doing so-

    My motive is I'm an art history major, and I find that art receives far too much blame for the faults of humanity, while the core problems remain unaddressed.

    I think we should just forget the last 3 lines of his post - they're definitely in huffdom territory.

    these four lines here Islander;

    <quote>By denying those unforgiveable persons the right to appease their desires with minimal harm, There is stll the nagging sense that we are but firemen licking the tip of the flame with a weak and oft misguided spray.<quote>

    regard them as you will, but strangely I not under the illusion that banning child pornography is going to go far towards, stemming pedophilaa, neither am I of the opinion that incarcerating them all, will prevent them from breeding or popping up 'randomly'.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Minors by definition can't give that consent and goodness knows what the long-term psychological ramifications would be of growing up knowing pornographic images of you had been passed around the Internet during your childhood without your consent.

    Doesn't bear thinking about

    I've had a think about that, knowing full well that there probably are pornographic images of myself as a child out there, or in a shoe box somewhere. I'd imagine the psychological ramifications would be that I would feel angry, at best. But its unlikely that I'l ever see them, as I don't as a rule search "boys under twelve in the hands of ultra serious criminals".

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4316 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    I am asking you mark taslov-

    and the technology was there in 1995 too-

    the next load of nothing doesnt need to be responded to:

    "I am an art history major"

    -whoop de doo: I'm a poet.

    Frankly, art - of all kinds- DOESNT receive "far too much blame for the faults of humanity" - or are you calling photo-mockups of child abuse, art? Which is, actually, the only way I percieve your posts leading-

    -I've encountered your scrambled. illogical & onerous posts before, mark taslov
    and have no wish to engage with you at any length.
    This is it from me. Except -your last 4 lines in a previous post are truely awful writing - and mean buggerall.
    Kati.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    "I am an art history major"
    -whoop de doo: I'm a poet.

    I'm an Advertmartist.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4316 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    I've had a think about that, knowing full well that there probably are pornographic images of myself as a child out there, or in a shoe box somewhere. I'd imagine the psychological ramifications would be that I would feel angry,<quote>

    My apologies Steven if I seem crass in my writing, I'm not so much thinking of images of people. As images that look like people, For example Manga, or anything more realistic, Emma made the dictinction

    <quote>Producers of child pornography are aggressively prosecuted. (That's actual child pornography that involves harm to actual children, not fiction or drawings.) This might sound like a no-brainer, but in Finland, if a child pornography site is detected, it's added to the black-list. The end.

    No one really seemed to take issue with that. There were calls of 'Emma for teh Interweb Czar!' and I'd second that. I'm just concerned, were this to be the case, where is the line between drawing and non drawing?

    -whoop de doo: I'm a poet.

    I know Islander but I didn't realise you are also a digital forensics expert. How would I know that? the way you mock me, you act like it should be common knowledge that you are a digital forensics expert, but dude, I swear you never mentioned it before, what qualifications did you have to earn to have that authority?

    I originally wrote this before I saw your reply Islander:

    Thanks for your understanding guys, I really feel a bit iffy writing about this. But I should clarify that I am attempting to describe the implications of the 'hardcore' stuff in the digital age and the difficulty we will (if not already) soon face in delineating the real from the recreation. I'm basically making a case for necessity of digital forensics in the application of Emma's vision for censorship, based on the fact that I as a layman am increasingly unable to discern the blurred line between photography/ cinematography and manufactured reality in the visual mediums.

    I find your aggressive take, a little overwhelming Islander. I merely wanted to discuss Emma's idea about making the problematic distinction between fiction and harmful material, and examine the problems therein. I don't have any illusions about my writing skill, I'm just trying to get some thoughts down. I'm truly sorry to have angered you.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Like Emma said;

    It'd be incredibly tricky to determine if, say, a film clip featuring a man appearing to be strangled was real or simulated, consensual or non-con. But I don't think that means that you take the easy way out like the British have and ban and prosecute simulation or consensual rough sex.

    and also earlier

    Likewise, we need to get the paranoia out of the issue.

    Which does seem to be a considerable problem.

    Which is, actually, the only way I percieve your posts leading-

    and I really wonder about his motives in doing so-

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Thanks Sam F

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Thanks Sam F

    I can't work out what I did that was good, so now you've got me worried... :) Sorry if that post seemed too shrill or I seemed to be jumping down your throat at times. I was writing and posting way too slow and missed a whole bunch of stuff at the top of the page, which didn't help.

    Not sure about others but I still find this a really awkward and controversial topic to be discussing (even here in these understanding and enlightened halls), so apologies if I perhaps haven't been clear in my wording - not meaning to attack anyone, just trying to bat the issue around without feeling overly icky... might leave this one for the night I think. :)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    I can't work out what I did that was good,so now you've got me worried... :)

    You didn't accusatorially question my motives.

    might leave this one for the night I think. :)

    yeah, fair dos.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    My apologies Steven if I seem crass in my writing, I'm not so much thinking of images of people.

    No need for apologies Mark. I was directing my comment in a general educational direction. What I am saying is that during discussions about pedophiles and there targets, that the actual children involved are not fodder. They can grow up to become ordinary adults. But one of the barriers to recovering from the injuries, is the fear that by fronting up about having had an intermit involvement with something so socially repugnant, that the fear of misunderstanding, rejection and seriously worse outcomes, prevent disclosure.

    Just chipping in, for what its worth.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4316 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Ah, here we are, squishy middle position again.

    I'd not ever be in favour of using real children to produce pornography in any way, no matter how manipulated the images were, for the reasons Sam stated:

    Even the tamest softcore including actual adults is predicated upon the consent of the adults appearing. Minors by definition can't give that consent and goodness knows what the long-term psychological ramifications would be of growing up knowing pornographic images of you had been passed around the Internet during your childhood without your consent.

    The same goes for adults: there must be consent.

    Also I'm not a criminal or abnormal psychologist, and I've no real idea of the theraputic value of such an approach. It seems to run counter to the approach of making paedophiles realise the harm their predilection does.

    However... I'm also not entirely on board with Islander's 'art stuff' exclusion. I mean, I know it's not the stuff paedophiles are using, but that didn't stop the Henson exhibitions being shut down - art photos of naked adolescents - as child pornography.

    Nor did it stop Stuff, just a couple of months ago, publishing an article which stated unequivocably, that all paedophiles had ordinary pictures of (clothed) children downloaded from the net in their stashes.

    Then there's the Red Rose case (you can't write about it) and the Simpsons case (cartoon characters must be treated like real people). Old art does seem to be safe, but new art?

    the New South Wales Supreme Court ruled that a fictional cartoon character was a “person” within the meaning of the relevant state and commonwealth laws. McEwan was convicted of possessing child pornography and using his computer to access such material - The Simpsons porn - in February.

    And...

    Stuff keeps happening with this. The guy who owns the WikiLeaks.de domain had his home raided by German police yesterday.

    A Bill Henson fan-site is on the ACMA blacklist. Again, despite his work being cleared for general audiences, art photos = child pornography.

    And the Australian Classification Board's website has been hacked.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

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