Deviant Tart: Stop taking down censored, mature drawings.
This petition had 521 supporters
sorry, someone hacked this petition, so i have to rewrite it.
DeviantArt has been taking down drawings that have been censored by the artist and marked with a strict mature filter. To add insult to injury, they leave up uncensored photos of nudity. These photos aren't artistic nude, but disturbing close ups of genetalia that no one wants to see. Even worse is, some of these do not have a mature filter.
I have had many artists report that their drawings have been taken down, and I've noticed a pattern; they have involved maleXmale romance. One anonymous artist has told me that their picture of two shirtless men sitting back to back and wearing PANTS got taken down. One of my personal experiences is when one of mine got taken down because the word "sex" was in a speech bubble, and neither MALE characters were even touching.
In my specific experience, art has been taken down for "sexualized minor." I understand that sexualizing minors is not okay, but they also have a rule where you can't age characters. This rule makes no sense, seeing as how people, even fictional characters, grow up. There is an episode of Invader Zim showing them older in age. I can name many cartoons that show aged characters in the original show; Rugrats, Powerpuff Girls, Fairly Odd Parents, Dexter's Lab, Adventure Time, Hey Arnold, etc. Therefore, it should not be against any rule that a fan can age a character, since they will grow up at some point anyway.
Reguarding the word "sex" in a speech bubble. Do people really think that minors don't talk about sex? Children as young as nine or ten start talking about it, maybe even younger. Teenagers especially discuss it, and a lot have had sexual experiences. So talking about sex should not be an issue because it's freedom of speech.
Moving away from my own experiences, again, many artists have agreed with me because either their art got taken down or their favorit artists' got taken down. Is the issue that a child may see these pictures? Not if there's a maturity filter. If you don't have a DA account, all mature pictures, even warnings, aren't viewable. If you have an account and aren't 18 or older, you can see the ones with warnings, but they have been warned prior, so they are making the decision to view it. However, with strict mature filters, they cannot see it. Also, the fact that the artists have censored their own drawings at the same time as adding the mature filter is what really irks me. If you can't see anything, what's the problem?
I have also conducted experiments. Whereas maleXmale drawings have been taken down, I have drawn similar situations involving girlXgirl. They were completely ignored, even my genderbent versions of the so called "original underaged characters." Something doesn't seem right here, and many agree.
Artists shouldn't be silenced. DA, you were against SOPA, but isn't this exactly what SOPA was trying to do? I almost feel like DA is in this for the money and no longer for the artists. Many of us would leave DA if it wasn't the only place we could all get together. Some have already left.
So DA, the artists in the community you've created beg of you to bring back the DA we've known and loved for years. Think about the logic; should photos of exposed genetalia in non artistic fashion really remain on the site uncenscored, whereas censored drawings get taken down? Again, children cannot see these pictures, so there's no harm. But I think I speak for many people when I say... even as an adult, I don't want to see a picture of someone's junk.
And now I address whoever hacked this petition. That's not cool. This is a serious issue, and if you erase all of the key points and say "I miss sexy time," do you really think we'd be taken seriously? This isn't about "sexy time," it's about equality and artists' rights. I am disappointed that anyone would even think about doing such a thing. I hope whoever saw the petition after it got hacked didn't think it was me seriously saying that, and I apologize for the actions of that person who had the nerve to do that. I don't intend to insult DA, even if I am extremely angry.
I encourage artists to speak up. We shouldn't be afraid to stand up for ourselves. We need to protect our integrity.
Deviant Art has also taken down fanfiction depicting fictional minors engaging willingly in sexual activity. Under the United States law of child pornography, any simulated or virtual depiction in underage sex is protected by the first ammendment unless it is obscene. Obviously, drawing a picture of an older man raping a child is completely unacceptable, and I would never encourage it. However, drawing a picture or even writing a fanfiction about already fictional characters engaging in sexual activity of both partners' consent does no harm to any real minor, as they do not exist. Personally, I would never write about sexual activity below age fifteen. Teenagers get into that stuff, that's just the way it is. In some countries, the legal age of consent is fourteen.
However, the fanfiction that Deviant Art has taken down involve characters, both under eighteen but over thirteen and of the same sex, participating willingly in those sort of actions. In no way have these drawings and writings involved stagitory rape, which would be a minor willingly agreeing to having sex with someone over 18.
The fact that Deviant Art does not abide by these laws is proof that they want to censor us on the internet. There are only five or six countries in the world that count virtual or simulated "child pornography" illegal under their child pornography laws. The United States is not one of them. And even though Deviant Art is an international website, they need to take the majority into account. They should change their "sexualized minor" policy into "obscene sexualized minor." There is a difference. Other than that, everything I have listed causes no harm. More importantly, the policy they most need to change is the "aging up" aspect. THAT'S one of the biggest parts of this issue.
Of course, there is the deal with people under eighteen reading or viewing this stuff, but for one, it is entirely possible to lie about your age, and two, if we put a strict sexual content warning on such works, then the minor has been warned, and therefore, the artist/author is not held responsible. We all know that the following is true; we can't control others, and we cannot stop minors from looking up mature content. It's our job as the creators to put a strict warning on our material, but we should not be penalized for sharing it with other adults.
~:::New evidence to support our cause:::~
"In the United States, cartoon porn that does not contain depictions of minors generally falls under the category of speech protected by the First Amendment. For more information on general legality of pornography, see Pornography in the United States. Even in the case of depiction of minors, the US Supreme Court has found that in certain conditions, banning the depiction may violate freedom of expression."
"As of the PROTECT Act of 2003, the legal status of cartoon pornography with minors has been more thoroughly addressed and refined than it was before under the previous law of the United States. The new act made any realistic appearing computer generated depiction that is indistinguishable from a depiction of an actual minor in sexual situations or engaging in sexual acts illegal under 18 U.S.C. § 2252A. Drawings, cartoons, sculptures, and paintings of minors in sexual situations that do not pass the Miller test were made illegal under 18 U.S.C. § 1466A thus creating a loop hole around the Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition decision."
"WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday struck down a 6-year-old law that prohibits the distribution and possession of virtual child pornography that appears to -- but does not -- depict real children.
The law had banned a range of techniques -- including computer-generated images and the use of youthful-looking adults -- which were designed to convey the impression of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
The 6-3 ruling says the law violates the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech. The decision hands a major setback to the Justice Department and the majority of Congress in their legislative efforts to fight child pornography.
Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy said key provisions of the Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996 were "overbroad" and infringed on established protections of material with artistic value that does not violate community standards.
"Pictures of what appear to be a 17-year-old engaging in sexually explicit activity do not in every case contravene community standards," the court said.
"The (Act) also prohibits speech having serious redeeming value, proscribing the visual depiction of an idea -- that of teenagers engaging in sexual activity -- that is a fact of modern society and has been a theme in art and literature for centuries."
The opinion cited several artistically significant instances in which teenage sex was portrayed, including William Shakespeare's play "Romeo & Juliet," and the recent movies "Traffic" and "American Beauty."
Kennedy was joined by justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer. Clarence Thomas wrote a separate opinion agreeing with their conclusion.
Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, in a dissent, disagreed with much of the majority opinion, and was joined by Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Antonin Scalia.
In a separate dissent Rehnquist, backed by Scalia, strongly disagreed with the majority, saying "the computer-generated images are virtually indistinguishable from real children."
The ruling came in a case named Ashcroft v. The Free Speech Coalition. U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and President George W. Bush's Justice Department inherited defense of the law from former Attorney General Janet Reno and the President Clinton Justice Department, which had defended the law in the lower courts.
The Free Speech Coalition is comprised primarily of a trade association of publishers of pornographic materials."
A fellow fanfiction writer (not one who draws it) says,
"I've read published novels that include sex between a minor and an adult, but they were historical, when there were no such laws in place. The books have obviously not been banned.
I read a lot of fanfiction, and write it, because it's in an older world, (pseudo-Medieval) women are *women* when they attain puberty, as are *men*. Still, I do avoid writing of sex for characters under 16, simply because it's a *trigger* for me personally, and it's not seen as acceptable within the fandom to involve minors in sexual situations. I have written of such things happening, showing that they are regarded as wrong, but not graphically, rather as one would write in human trafficking in a modern story, showing it's abhorrent.
I think some archive owners would ban writers who posted such stories. Adult Fan Fiction allows pretty much anything, although if I remember correctly, access by under 18's is prohibited. How do they know if some-one lies about their age?
Now, there are warnings you can put in place (and are obliged to) on fanfic archives, and one of these includes Extreme Taboo/Fetish, which might include under-age sex, although I've never come across it, and the author has a duty to warn separately for that on the archive I post.
Rape, murder, torture, slavery etc are also illegal, but there are many stories that include them which raise no eyebrows. Writers forums may be (and probably are ) different. On fanfiction archives the administrators have to be seen to not encourage under 18's reading (or writing) Adult material etc, but as long as they do so, an author can post with impunity. They may be attacked by reviewers, and the stories can be reported, but I have not seen any cases of that. I've even heard of snuff stories on Adult Fan Fiction.
I think the admin on writers groups want to make sure they are safe, not be seen to encourage underage sex, (child abuse is a massive problem) and *grooming*. As for it being illegal to actually write it? No, but the author is going to raise massive red flags if he/she is reported, with people wondering if they are writing *their* fantasies, especially as child abuse immediately comes to mind."
"Slash fiction is a genre of fan fiction that focuses on interpersonal attraction and sexual relationships between fictional characters of the same sex. While the term was originally restricted to stories in which male media characters were involved in an explicit sexual relationship as a primary plot element (also known as "slash" or "m/m slash"), it is now used to refer to any fan story containing a pairing between same-sex characters. Many fans distinguish female-focused slash as a separate genre, commonly referred to as femslash (also known as "f/f slash", "femmeslash", "altfic" and "saffic"). The characters are usually not engaged in such relationships in their respective fictional universes."
"From its earliest days, slash fiction has been particularly inspired by popular speculative fiction franchises, possibly because well-developed female characters may be lacking in speculative fiction, or because the speculative elements allow greater freedom to reinterpret canon characters. However, other large fandoms, such as Starsky and Hutch or The Professionals, are based in non-speculative sources.
Slash fiction follows popular media, and new stories are constantly produced. There is some correlation between the popularity and activity within each fandom and that of the source of the material. Slash fiction readers and writers tend to adhere closely to the canonical source of their fiction, and create a fandom for that particular source. However, some participants follow the slash content created by a certain fandom without being fans of the original source material itself."
"Until the internet became accessible to the general public in the early 1990s, slash was hard to find, published only in fan-edited non-profit fanzines (often called only "zines"), usually priced just high enough to recoup printing costs, sold via adzines or at conventions. With the advent of the internet, the slash fiction community of fans and writers created mailing lists (which gradually took the place of APAs), and websites such as fanfiction.net, (which gradually started taking the place of zines). As slash publishing gradually moved to the internet, the field became open to more writers, and a greater quantity of material was published.
The internet allowed slash authors more freedom: stories could include branching storylines, links, collages, songmixes, and other innovations. The internet increased slash visibility, and the number of readers, who were now able to access the stories from their own home at a much lower cost (the price of zines vs. the price of internet connections). The number of fandoms represented increased dramatically, especially those devoted to science fiction, fantasy, and police dramas. The internet also increased the level of interaction – making it easier for fans to comment on stories, give episode reviews, and discuss and comment on trends in slash fandom itself. Websites and fanzines dedicated to fandoms such as X-Files, Stargate, Harry Potter, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer became common, with tens of thousands of slash stories available."
"Chanslash is the portrayal of underage characters in sexual situations in slash fiction. The prefix chan most likely comes from the Japanese name suffix used as a term of endearment toward children or women. It may be a nod towards yaoi fandoms, in which underage pairings are more commonplace. Owners of the intellectual property rights to characters in this type of slash are often unhappy with chanslash because of the potential legal ramifications and concern over negatively affecting the popularity of the character. Some studios owning the rights to slashed characters have issued cease and desist orders in the past as a result of this type of slash. Chanslash is also called shotacon (abbreviated as "shouta" or "shota") when dealing with anime fanfiction."
"In addition to fiction, fans also create artwork depicting media characters in same-sex relationship contexts. Initially, slash art was mostly used in covers and interior pages of fanzines, and sold to other fans at media and slash conventions. In recent years, more slash artwork has used widespread availability of imaging software, like Adobe Photoshop, to manipulate photographs of their subjects to produce romantic or erotic images (often referred to as manips) which imply a homosexual relationship, either as static pictures or animated GIFs. When the manipulated photos depict real people instead of media characters, the creation of these images can be as contentious as RPS, and for many of the same reasons."
More support from fellow artists and viewers:
"what people need to realise is there is no universal age of consent. No-one in Britain would bat an eye at a 16-year-old having sex."
"Lots of novels and films have under age teens having sex."
"Also, literary fiction tends to portray underage sex a lot more often than erotica. Erotica is on a lot more shaky grounds with authorities because it's clearly meant to arouse, while literary fiction can play the "art" card more easily. And as far as erotica and legalities go re: different countries and cultures, the only real universal is probably no pre-pubescent characters."
"As for the rest, I've read about underage sex in mainstream, literary, and even YA novels, so no it's not true that you can never depict someone under 18 having sex here (18 is the age of consent in the US). But from what I've read the underage sex is more alluded to, not explicit or seeming like its intent is to arouse the reader. It's not erotica."
"'Flowers in the Attic' (a bestseller that spawned several sequels and was made into a movie) involved underage sex and incest. It was controversial, but it did well."
"In 'Glue' by Irvine Welsh I don't think there is a single chapter where underage sex isn't graphically depicted or at the least mentioned to some degree. I think it depends on how it is written and whether the written word is immediately intended to arouse or to promote it to be enforced by older persons - or can be seen as a 'how to' for grooming. Sexual abuse is also a topic at times handled graphically - is that then also illegal?"
"Read underage sex in the Virgin River series by Robyn Carr. It wasn't *that* graphic, but I still felt like a perv reading it lol. But these are contemporary romances and published only a few years ago, so authors are still writing it and publishers putting it in print."
"Does that mean that Franco Zefirelli's "Romeo & Juliet" is banned in the United States?"
"Anyone who thinks they don't have sex obviously doesn't know what...Give me my Romeo; and, when he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun....means."
"age of consent varies by state in the US. In Missouri, no one can have sex with a person under the age of 14. At age 21, that minimum gets bumped up to 17. That's where it gets kind of murky. Going by how the law is written, a 20 year old can legally have sex with a 14 year old, but a 14 year old and 13 year old can not."
"Fifty Shades of Grey is a 2011 erotic romance novel by British author E. L. James. It is the first instalment in the Fifty Shades trilogy that traces the deepening relationship between a college graduate, Anastasia Steele, and a young business magnate, Christian Grey. It is notable for its explicitly erotic scenes featuring elements of sexual practices involving bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, and sadism/masochism (BDSM).
The second and third volumes, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, were published in 2012. Fifty Shades of Grey has topped best-seller lists around the world, including the United Kingdom and the United States. The series has sold over 70 million copies worldwide, with book rights having been sold in 37 countries, and set the record as the fastest-selling paperback of all time, surpassing the Harry Potter series. Critical reception of the book has been mixed, with the quality of its prose being generally seen as poor." (My thoughts; why is obscene pornography or erotica between young adults okay, but romantic scenes with fifteen to seventeen year olds not?)
stories from other deviants:
"Well there was this one devient who stole pics from others and drew all over them and made them look incredibly sl*tty... He also uploaded pornography and was a real D**k... No pun intended. Anyways, I think he is still lurking around somewhere, he had a bunch of accounts and posted a journal of all of them (idiot).... I got there from a friend's journal saying that we should take him off....
I live in New York.... There is a seventh grader here that is rumored to have had at least 5 or more abortions.... so yeah I can actually believe it, 'cause I have walked past her in the hallway...."
"I logged on here one time, and BAM, there is a picture off a dick. WTF?!?!?!?!"
"16. We're allowed to get pregnant and start a proper relationship at 16 years of age here in the UK. "
"There was this lovely picture of a model, had all the proper warning labels, ideological sensitive, contained nudity, ect . She was topless with a crown of daisies and she was sitting in a clear, natural spring. It was gorgeous, but someone complained and had it taken down. It was so beautiful too, and the only thing was she was showing her chest."
"Well...I had a couple of pictures on DA....They were ZaDr pics that I'd drawn in class out of boredom. Well, they did show certain parts of Dib that would otherwise be considered inappropriate, but I had seen numerous pictures like it, and numerous pictures showing topless women, so I figured it would be fine. They were up for about two, maybe three weeks before DA sent me a message and took them down."
"(A warning: I'm gonna talk about nudie parts!)
A friend of mine drew a picture of some fabu OC of her's, low riding pants (but not showing ANYTHING) and no shirt on with nipple piercings, openly stating he was her gay muse (paraphrasing). She didn't have any warnings on it, so I don't know if that was why, but a guy started spamming her art, stating that it was offensive and stuff like that, and (we believed) flagged a bunch of her stuff.
Next thing we knew, her picture (and others) are taken down, stating it wasn't properly marked/tagged/i forget the proper wording. We go the offending person's page to report him for harassment, and see a bunch of cellphone photos of HIM in opened pants, penis erected and not, in the bathroom, shirt off. Hell, the title was called "free balling" We figured we could give the guy a taste of his own medicine and flagged his photos on both accounts. The comments we got back? "Please remember that while this image might meet your own personal definition for "pornography", your personal view and official policy could differ in several areas." (I kept the messages) granted the guy's photos are down (or self removed) now, but at the time it just pissed us off."
this is the generation we live in today..." "I had looked Up my favorite book series ( House of Night) to see other's views on what the characters would look like. toI saw many pictures of naked women with the House of Night tattoo on them. I had also been reading a DibxDwicky fan-fic before i got into ZaDr that had been taken down for ' pedophilia' evn though Dib was aged." "In Hong Kong, we don't really have much sex education :T We kind of just learn about it on our own haha. In this city, a girl has to be 16 to have sex, and a boy has to be freaking 14 to be able to have sex. Weird.
But when I was pretty young, I was on DA. I remember going to the front page and then skimming through the newest art submissions, and then.... BAM a vagina right in my face. It's pretty much burned into my retinas. Emotionally scarring for a little girl with little to no sex education.
And then, fast forward a few years. I searched something, don't remember what it was actually, but it had nothing to do with genitals. But guess what? I saw someone's genitals. And they were doing something with it, I'm not even going to say here. At this point I just didn't get it, my mature filters were on, but I could still see it." "I'm from Puerto Rico and since we're part of the US (at least that's what you guys say ) I guess our laws are the same as yours. We get Sex Ed when we're in the fifth grade, which is also about the age most girls first get their "monthly gift", so it's necessary.
You know that "Daily Deviations" menu down there? I was once surfing through it, looking for new art and suddenly there's a guy's hairy balls staring right at me.
Like, WTF? I didn't even click it to see if it had the mature label on or not, and frankly I didn't even care if it did. There was nothing 'artistic' about it " "I have absolutely no problem with seeing nude people in pictures, as long as its artistic. So if its not artistic, KEEP IT OFF OF DA!!!!! I didn't like zadr until I read PWF. And in PWF, when they actually DO have sex, reitanna's super awesome cartoon character says the following: what? You think I'm gonna SHOW you what happens? PFFT! Use your imaginations people! Okay, keep reading. There was absolutely no genitalia showing in that page, so WHY was it taken down? Because people are uncomfortable with gay pairings. I don't get it! Who CARES what gender you are?! MAYBE your soulmate is the same sex as you! Who fucking cares! Maybe it's because America is so fucking racist and sexist. Almost no other countries have problems with a gay couple. It's so STUPID!" "I honestly find nothing wrong with mature images as long as they have warning labels for people who do have a problem with it. The body is beautiful; why shouldn't it be drawn or have pictures taken of it?" "We all know what the character are doing. We all know what goes on when we change the scene or turn the lights off, so why censor at all. We don't live in the 15th Century anymore and we should get over the willies that we small-minded Americans get when we see procreative activities. It's life.
But it's not the sex ITSELF that ANYONE should be focusing on, it should be the emotional interactions that's going through their heads; feel what their going through; being able to look at the characters and be moved by their faces, and not disgusted by mindless, meaningless sex. And if it is meaningless, then show the effects that it has on the characters later on or beforehand.
It should be about the characters as it has always been sine the first page." "there is such FILTH on da. I've seen too many profiles full of girls trying to whore them self's out, it's fine to be comfortable with your body, but it's not okay to dirty up this site with your Tits. but I have no problem with drawing any sort of genitalia. I also hatttttttttttttttttteeeee, when people complain about drawing a girls bare chest. girls nipples are no more considered nudity than a man's chest, kthank. ♥" "You know how many times my computer has been spammed with ads for porn sites? For one, anyone can locate a free porn site on the internet that doesn't require an age verification, and if it does then they can lie about the year they were born. Seriously, it's not deviantART's responsibility to do a parent's job; a parent is supposed to keep a close eye on the child.
DevaintART just needs to suck it up and admit to breaking the first amendment. It's not their job to be the parent, therefore they need to stop doing...all of this -sweeps hands around entire site- Also, I've watched something on discovery that there are still tribes out there that don't frown upon sexual exploration. As in, children are well informed in what it is, and they have serious conversations from the parents about safety. There is no concept of virginity, therefore no need to feel unwanted/dirty just for a natural activity. The women are free to do what they please, and as a result there's more of an equality between men and women. The men respect them more because of this freedom, and there's no social difference. It's alright for them to be straight, gay or bi. I thought this was interesting, and it needs to be looked at more by the public :3" "People have interesting stories when it comes to this. In my case, I've really only discovered about sex on Fanfiction.net at first (because years ago, they didn't have FFAdult.net and not many people remembers to label their stories correctly - damn you InuYasha stories, lol). Then I started coming onto DA. Sadly I've seen my fair share of pictures about other people's bodies, full nude or close-ups, as well as tied naked people and dominatrix style pictures, with the leather and whips, plus the occasional tied up 'plaything'. It was just... weird to say the least.
At least the drawn pictures are usually a LOT more pleasant to look at due to not being drawn with hairy balls or stuff, but all the same, why is it that the pictures of real people are considered art while the drawn stuff are taken down with passionate hate flames? At least the drawn art were usually correctly labeled! The nude pictures are usually just under the label "Photography - People & Portraits - Body Art/Artistic Nude/Expressive/Pin-Up/Other", which never really gets flagged... Asshats >.>" ~:::Just a few other thoughts:::~ If characters can't be drawn in romantic situations, why are they allowed to be drawn pregnant? Obviously you have to have sex to get pregnant, and some of these characters are or were originally "minors." Also there's the whole deal on pony "porn." People draw ponies in sexual situations, and I'm pretty sure those are underage ponies. The six main characters are at least over fifteen.
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