Virtual child pornography. Is it right?

This is probably old news.

Time's person of the year

But I can’t help photoshopping this out.

No time magazine

In a more sombre note, a link from the Secondlife blog, bothered me. In the report, Secondlife has banned two avatars – one whom resembled an adult male and the other whom resembled a child engaged in a sexual conduct.

Without a doubt, child pornography is sick and very wrong. But what bothered me about the report is that both of the parties involved are aged 54 and 27 respectively. They are both adults. Not children.

How is it wrong that two conscentual adults, role play in the privacy of their own area? Granted, the very idea of pedophilia is sick. But in this instance, no children are involved. Secondlife is an above 18 only website, it is silly to have an age verification and yet have two adults charged and banned.

There are a number of people who uses the metaverse as a form of escapism. Some become furries, some become goths. Would they be charged too for role playing as such? We need to distinguish between virtual contents and real life. A lot of people are being too over-sensitive of that.

In the Ashcroft vs. The Free Speech Coalition in 2002, all four of the government’s arguments were unsuccessful and the Supreme Court held that the CPPA was unconstitutionally overboard. No matter what angle used, the fact is, no real children was involved. It would be different between someone exploiting a real, living, breathing child for their own perverted desires.

As long as no one is really hurt, and the parties involved are truly consensual and of age, what business is it of yours?

Disclaimer : I am not involved with adult-child roleplaying. However, I am very bothered by the fact that our freedom of expression is quelled in an above 18 website.

8 Replies to “Virtual child pornography. Is it right?”

  1. I think the issue here is not about the curtailing of one’s freedom of expression. In this context, SL was prolly being prudent about regulating such lewd behaviour within the SL world. No doubt the act involved no children (thank god..), but leaving such activities unregulated would be equivalent to giving the silent consent for the proliferation of it. Wouldn’t it be the same case as banning avatars who utilised SL to spread hateful propaganda against other races and ethnic groups? With freedom, comes responsibility, as our actions will definitely have impact on things that lay beyond our perception.

    But then again, the issue of ethical behaviour remains as a grey area to be contended with, as more of these virtual environments allow people to practically set up alternative lives, most aspects of which bear increasing resemblance to the real world.

  2. Hi Ene,

    Thanks for dropping in and giving your thoughts about the matter. I respect and understand your point of view.

    But in this situation, we have to ask ourselves though:

    1. Was there anyone hurt? No
    2. Was there anything illegal being done? No as it was within SL’s TOS.

    There will always be differences in views, be it religious, political, lifestyle. The important thing is to be open minded and be able to deal in a tolerable and mature manner and not to make a bogeyman out of the entire issue.

    Are we going to ban goths and furries in SL too because they could possibly form images of animal sex and necrophilia?

    I have no qualms on the banning if it were an open website. But as SL is an above 18 website. Pedophilia rules should not exist there in the first place.

    There could be a possibily that allowing such actions could reverberate to the real thing. But at the same time, with no outlet for them to roleplay, I think that its very possible, and very real that they will act out their impulses on the real thing! Now that is a very scary thought.

  3. i think 2nd life is a whole new playing field, i think you cant run away from such issues. there will always be perverted people and 2nd-lifer (got such terms) always pushing the boundary of existence in 2nd life

    i think its great you’re such a great ‘spokes-person’ for 2nd life. i think they should employ u become one of the big head in sg lah … not kepala besar ah, thats not what i mean 🙂

  4. Sha

    I dont think I’m eligible to be a spokes person or being employed for secondlife lar 😛

    I think I am average. And I am just speaking out my mind, thats all. Because this reflects real life too. What two conscenting adults do in the privacy of their own home is their own business as long as they dont harm each other or others.

  5. I agree to an extent with you Marina, since they have decided to participate in such a virtual community, knowing v well the terms and conditions, moreover as you have stated this is an above 18 website, they should be responsible for their actions. And in the logical sense, it seemed only right not to ban them, anyway, its none of our business on what they want to do or become. Be it goths or whatsoever.

    However, on the other hand, may I also add that one must realise that the internet is acessible to everyone, and although it is an above 18 community website, are we so sure that everyone who registered to participate is above 18? Who can certify for sure? Already there are so many websites that people below 18 are not supposed to enter however they still are doing so and this has led to numerous crimes commited all over the world. Hence, my point here is although we do not see the need for the ban, however its “better safe than sorry” here. We do not know if the participants are over 18 or not in real life.

    Although Im not a parent, but I think if parents find out their child(ren) have been to this kinda community, it too tarnishes the community’s image and adds unncessary worry to the parents thus the need for the ban due to safety reasons.

    P/S: Im not yet a Secondlife user so please do feel free to correct me if Im wrong regarding the above neutral comment.

    Nonetheless, Marina, I agree with you on the issue on oversensitivity and I think people ought to be not so nosey at times.

  6. Vania

    I understand where you are coming from and that we have to be vigilant. In Secondlife, we have an age check verification by credit cards. At the moment, registering for Secondlife requires for a credit card to check if the person is an adult.

    I agree that we need to have a form of vigilance, cinemas for RA shows require for people to show their identity cards, even for cigarettes, teenagers below the age of 16 will not be sold any if not shown any form of identification. And this is good for controlling goods which may not be good for undeveloped minds.

    And yes, there are a few that can get away from it. Due to some people not checking or some teenagers having a more mature feature. But at the same time, I dont think that it is fair that because of these people that the entire community be deprived of it altogether.

    Thats our freedom of choice and our right.

    Should we take away RA shows altogether? Maybe we should try to tell the authorities not to build the Integrated Resort too since it would definitely be bad for the kids. Better be safe than sorry 😛

    I think education is the key here. Being intolerable about a situation brings a dire consequence. In some parts of Malaysia, sex is a taboo subject. However, in the same areas, are the places where rape, molestation are the highest because people are not educated enough to deal with it.

    I feel the same way towards it the same for Secondlife as well as real life.

  7. Thats so true, education is indeed the key. We need to educate the general public whether young or old regarding such matters. Thanks for bringing this point up, it did slip my mind when I was posting my comment. =)

  8. Vania

    I think its a neverending debate as everyone has their own point of view. I do respect your point of view though and understand where you are coming from :]

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