The hits just keep on coming.
Earlier this month, a guy by the name of Mark Putnam wrote an article on his blog about how "Google Sponsors Child Pornography". The jist of it was to prove that by allowing websites that host lolicon and shotacon to use Google Adsense, Google was supporting "Child Pornography".
Normally this would be discovered, laughed at, and dismissed, but Mr. Putnam took things a little too far when he started directly contacting the companies whose ads were appearing on websites hosting the content he objected to. This, in turn, caused said companies to contact Google, who began threatening websites to remove "any adult/porn related content, regardless of it's legality", because it violated Adsense TOS (Which BTW is actually true). Immediately, sites like Mangafox pulled ALL of their 18+ manga, as well as hundreds of innocent ones as well. Over the past two weeks, some of the content has been re-posted, but sadly most of it has been deleted. (*NOTE TO LOLI/SHOTA HATERS: Most of what was removed was shonen-ai/shoujo-ai and seinen/josei, so before you start jumping up and down at the prospect of your hated genre being harder to find, stop and think about the implications this censorship has had).
None of this, however, is what has me 'up in arms'. THESE TWO THINGS ARE:
-#1 - Mr. Putnam's examples of "Child Pornography":-
Dance in the Vampire Bund
Kodomo no Jikan
Does anyone else see what's wrong here? No? Allow me to point it out: THERE AREN'T ANY LOLIS ANYWHERE IN ANY OF THOSE. NO, NONE.
Once, JUST ONCE, I wish to FUCK somebody SOMEWHERE would bother to do ONE OUNCE of research. Here's how it is, folks:
What the 'moral crusaders' are trying to lump together and call "Child Pornography" actually falls under FOUR DIFFERENT CATEGORIES - Pedophilia, Hebephilia, Ephebophilia, and Pederasty. What is the relevance of mentioning this? With the exception of Pedophilia, which is pretty much universally illegal worldwide, THE REST IS LEGAL IN MOST PLACES ON EARTH. Don't believe me? take a look for yourselves.
While I am willing to concede that three of the anime listed above do feature some instances pubescent girl nudity, only one depicts an actual "Child" in the buff (Omamori Himari Episode 5, which is completely censored). None of this is lolicon. In fact, I'm fairly certain most people, even anime fans, wouldn't know REAL LOLI if it flew up and punched them in the face (That last link is NSFW, or anywhere else). *Sigh*, I can sit here and attempt to explain this all day, and most of you still won't "get it", so I advise taking a look at the Tanner Scale. It's a horribly flawed system that has been used in the past to wrongfully convict innocent men, but it's the closest I can come to "Layman's Terms" in explaining the difference between a loli and a pubescent girl without people thinking I'm a pedo.
-#2 - Mr. Putnam's Action Regarding "Child Pornography":-
This guy actually wrote to the companies who were advertising via Google Adsense and told them that their name(s) were being associated with "Child Pornography". here's what they had to say:
We appreciate you bringing this to our attention. Whether it's websites or television programs, if it doesn't fit our criteria for family-friendly viewing, we're not sure why our ad would appear. We specifically request ads for our products not be aired during controversial programs, and I'm sharing your message with our sponsorship team. You can be sure we'll continue to examine our sponsorship principles and actions.
Thanks again for letting us know.
Thank you for letting us know of this situation. We are writing back to
let you know that your message has been sent to the following
Management (Because we want them to know about a problem this serious)
Marketing (So that they can look into ways to resolve this)
Network Operations (So that they can look into ways that we can block
this on our end)
We can not know how this will be resolved, but from past experience, we
can say that it will most likely be complicated.
We here at Aeria Games would like to maintain a family friendly
environment, and despite allowing some adult (18+) content, we do not
support, condone, or want to be associated in any way with child
pornography. We would like to thank you for doing your part in make our
site (and the world in general) a better place.
Thank you for writing to us. We appreciate your email regarding this sensitive concern. We have forwarded your note to our legal and advertising groups for further review/investigation. Frito-Lay is a family friendly company and would never intentionally advertise in conjunction with such inappropriate businesses. We will be taking steps to ensure similar actions do not take place in the future.
Frito-Lay Consumer Affairs
Thank you for your recent inquiry. We have escalated this issue to the proper department for investigation. Thank you for bringing our attention to this matter.
Cablevision – Shared Services
Nobody outside of these very specific 'fandoms' can ever be expected to understand them, so it comes as no surprise that these companies bought the whole thing hook, line, and sinker.
In under a month, a wide and very bloody swath has been cut right down the middle of the manga community. Now, in addition to the Protect Act, it appears that fans of loli/shota/yaoi/yuri/shounen-ai will also have to content with their online hangouts being closed outright or being severely crippled.
So far on MF, the community has shown signs of weakening. Besides the spoiled rotten whiners ("This is so unfair! Fine, I'm leaving MF and I'm never coming back!"), there have also been a lot of people who are saying "I don't care if (Genre I dislike, usually shotacon/lolicon) gets removed, but WAHH!! GIVE ME BACK (Genre I love, usually yaoi/yuri)~~~!!!!!111ONEONE". In-fighting, especially when it comes to something like censorship, is an indicator things are permanently fucked. Granted, it's mostly MF's fault, because they deleted hundreds of manga en masse, without saying word one to anyone (They didn't even post a list of what was deleted). When people came on to read their manga(s) of choice and found it missing, I'm sure they were confused. The relevant forum thread that detailed the happenings was buried, and there was no way to find it without accidentally stumbling across it.
Shortly after the MF debacle began, Raw Paradise, the #1 raw manga provider, voluntarily shut down their website and handed it over to SHUEISHA, Japanese publisher of 'Weekly Shounen Jump'. This came as a major shock, and apparently was in response to an open letter published in WSJ #20 for 2010 (In which SHUEISHA said to online manga thieves "STOP! You've violated the bLaw! Pay the court a fine or serve your sentence. Your stolen goods are now forfeit"). Apparently this random event has given the mangaka a glimmer of hope in the war again scanlations, so expect similar tactics to be applied to other manga sites in the near future.
With all of this going on, I genuinely feel sorry for the kids of today. Most of them weren't around 7-10 years ago, when you had to actually search for scanlations, so of course now they are completely lost, and don't have any idea where to go/what to do now (Which I'm sure is a relief to the scanlators, and #lurk, who don't want any part of this trainwreck). The ones who fail to adapt will end up walking away in disgust, and if enough of them leave, there won't really be a manga community anymore, and that's pretty sad.
The absolute kicker to all of this is the fact that I'm 99% sure Marc Putnam was joking. The article appears to be pure satire, as this same guy did a review for Kodomo no Jikan and said he loved it. So don't start gathering torches or sharpening any knives.
Ah..I wish..I were a bird.