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Fur Affinity loses AlertPay account, bans cub porn

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Fur Affinity has banned adult artwork of underage characters, after payment processor AlertPay cited it as a reason to cancel the site's account.

Right now we have to make a choice. Do we continue on with cub artwork and protect the artwork in the name of freedom of speech? Or do we remove the one Achilles heel that has proven itself to be a liability and a frustration?

If we want to keep Fur Affinity alive we have no choice but to remove cub art.

Artists have 21 days before administrators begin removing such content from their accounts. Non-adult artwork will not be affected, nor will "chibi", "cutsey", or "stylized" characters.

Site administrator Dragoneer noted that no artist will be punished for the presence of existing artwork, and warned that harassment of artists will result in a three-month ban. Both Dragoneer and Pinkuh recommended SoFurry and Inkbunny as alternative hosts.

Popular with some, yet highly contentious with others, so-called "cub" art divides the fandom. Flagship publication Softpaw Magazine was banned by Eurofurence and Further Confusion, yet nominated for an Ursa Major, only to be barred from entry the next year before ceasing publication.

Fur Affinity held a hotly-contested vote in November 2006, ultimately allowing such art, but banned human and proto-human minors last February, and was considering extending that ban to cub porn in the event of European or Australian legislation blocking it.

Art of underage characters is not new; distributed archive Cub Central has run for over a decade. But while cub porn has not arisen in the courts, it has proven difficult to persuade large-scale payment processors - many of which forbid any adult work - to allow funding through their systems.

AlertPay, and several other groups, basically told us that whether they felt it was legal or not... the amount of money we'd generate for them in a year wouldn't amount to the legal fees that they'd incur a day if it ever went to court.

Fur Affinity relied on AlertPay and other processors to permit donations towards its $1,650/month running costs, after being denied for merchant accounts. And they were not alone – digital download and print-selling gallery Inkbunny and SoFurry chose AlertPay as a processing provider.

Both sites had been through a content approval process; however, FA's account was cancelled after a complaint, blocking access to donations:

[...] we let them do that, and they greenlit FA. Then somebody reported us, a ticket was opened and the account put on hold... six days later the account was shut down. [...]

AlertPay has basically locked away a very sizable amount of funding from us and told us to go away, and that they will not consider an appeal. At all. [... They] said we may be able to get the money in 90 days. That leaves us in a quandry until then.

Hosting providers can also be a point of weakness, as demonstrated by the recent temporary closure of furry imageboard e621.

Comments

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The Dramapocalypse arriveth.

Your rating: None Average: 2.9 (15 votes)

About goddamn time.

Your rating: None Average: 1.8 (6 votes)

No one gives a shit about AlertPay. Wtf.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

Dragoneer gives a shit about AlertPay. Donations feed the site.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (4 votes)

It's about time furries banded together and made their own payment processor.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

FurPay? I don't see it happening anytime soon. Just getting a merchant account is beyond the capabilities of many furry organizations, let alone setting up an international monetary transfer system.

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (3 votes)

That'll be the day! *laughs*

Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

Alertpay was the very very very last company that would provide services to Fa.

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"To protect our pockets!"

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (19 votes)

YES!

OH MY GOD YES!

Your rating: None Average: 2.4 (24 votes)

I'm glad FurAffinity banned cub porn, this has been a long time coming.

Now if a law could be passed on the federal level to ban cub porn, everything would be good!

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (20 votes)

Yes, let's ban all non-existent crimes. Maybe they can put bugs in the next Fallout game and alert the police whenever the player steals or kills something.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (4 votes)

Let the arguments... BEGIN!

Your rating: None Average: 2 (27 votes)

Shut it, pedo.

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (6 votes)

I think there's a lot more messed up human crap that'd need attending to first...

Seriously, cub porn isn't a national crisis on the verge of exploding, at lease when the Prohibition promoters were on the go, at least alcohol was a major part of the culture.

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personal feelings means nothing no more then decomposing in a coffin for a dead person. there are a lot of other sites cub artists simply move to and set up shop.

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So once all of the cub art is removed (20 days from now), will AlertPay allow FA access to it's funds/take FA back?

Here is an excerpt from AlertPay's User Agreement:


6.2. Activities Not Allowed
The following list outlines activities AlertPay members are not permitted to do through the Service:

* The sale, solicitation, offering, exchange or service of the following:
....
o Pre-adult content, such as pictures, videos, etc..., of individuals under the age of 18.
....
If you are found in violation of this User Agreement and all terms herein, we reserve the right to fine you a penalty of $500 and upwards, depending on damages and the severity of the violation and the liability you cause to AlertPay and our professional partners. Sites that sell banned products or services are subject to immediate account termination. We also reserve the right to freeze or forfeit funds, as well as fine the account holder and/or cancel payment without notice.

This seems to be a pretty rock-solid user agreement, mainly the part about account termination. But the reference to 'pre-adult content' is so broad, it could refer to even non-mature art. Interestingly, it only labels accounts for immediate termination as those which "sell banned products", which couldn't be happening, unless they count sellers posting links to furbuy sites, or there is a mature-cub ad floating around the site that I haven't seen

Your rating: None Average: 2.6 (15 votes)

Who didn't see this day coming? Cub porn should've banned the moment FA came to existence to avoid problems like this. Then again it's kind of hard for guys to think straight when they have a hand down in their pants.

Also to the people who keep defending cub porn: good luck explaining to the general public why cub porn isn't child porn. Hell, I fail to see how there's a difference between the two.

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (13 votes)

I don't like cub porn personally, but it *is* different from child porn, because actual real, living children are harmed by child porn.

Your rating: None Average: 2.9 (7 votes)

You do know cub and child pretty much mean the same thing, right?

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I wouldn't call a 17-year-old a "child", but they do fall under the definition of what will now be banned at FA.

However, I think his point was more that one exists in real life and so can be harmed, and one does not.

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (6 votes)

Real or not, in the end, it's more likely to get you into trouble.

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I know, and trouble is what'll stop people from doing what they do...

Like it never has before in the history of mankind.

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i know this is old but quick question for your comment thats so full of holes it might as well be swiss cheese, how do you get into trouble with cub where human isnt involved? also i really don't think you could logically answer this question with any scientific facts so in truth you believe such delusions that your fearful of liking something or you hate something so much your blinded by the hate and take it way to personally, but hey were all human here were allowed to make mistakes but also were not allowed to make intentional ones and i sense a buttload here!

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That was my point. You can't harm lines on paper. You can harm a child. "Cub porn" is just lines on paper, since anthropomorphic animals only exist in our imaginations.

Your rating: None Average: 2.6 (5 votes)

So is the Bible and Quran, but some would say that people who had them and took them too far certainly did cause harm.

Or that violent video games influenced those who shot up schools.

It's the same ideology with a different skin.

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They took them too far and caused harm yes, but there are few atheists even who would have religion banned. I think religion is just a load of rubbish but you're still free to believe and say what you will. So cub porn should be allowed as the cub porn itself is not harmful, only if you take it too far.

A second important difference is that religion prescribes your actions, cub porn doesn't say you should go out and do it. The Koran does say you should kill infidels. There is a link between religion and violence, whereby religious crimes are committed because of what a religious book says. With cub porn and violent games there is no doctrine that says you must commit those acts and there is no proof that I have seen that using either of those media leads to doing the action in real life.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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As much as I'd like to blame a book for violent actions, or some god, the thing is it's we who choose to hypocrite ourselves to his commandments just because we think he'd want what we want.

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ok first off that is crap, there is a difference between actions and a peice of fantasy. You can in no way excuse someone for there actions by saying the video games made em do it. I can not even follow were the logic in that statement is. I play a violent video game there for it going to magically make me want to kill someone. If anything the video games going to prevent violence by giving an outlet for aggression rather then making them hold it inside like a bottle. This crap came from the columbine incident and has been a pain in the ass ever since then. There is no evidence that supports the claim that violent video games in any way effect how someone is. Hell if you looked at murder rates and violent death rates they at an all time low. Yet the coverage of such events is at an all time high, wouldn't it be more logical to assume that the culture of fear is more responsible for violent crimes then the video games consider canada gets the same god damn games and yet there murder and violence rates are far lower then ours. Funny when you use facts how they help make a case isn't it?

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It happened.
lets move on. It's not that big of a deal. If cub porn was your sole purpose in life, I'm sure there are many other sources.

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Interestingly AlertPay currently has its own problems - or at least its CEO does. Don't know if there's any connection.

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If the CEO is in tight spread he could be fucking over his customers and pinching every penny they have before pulling out.

Think about it, he tells all his customers (particularly in the porn business) that they are in violation of ToS and keeps all their money before selling the company off to another person with a bunch of less customers.

It'll be hard to prove this unless their customers start talking about their sudden pull and then people would put two and two together.

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I'd like to address Rakuen Growlithe's point about "non-existent crimes."

Reality has nothing to do with morality, at least according to most Western philosophy (and a lot of Western religion, as well). "Unreal" fictions can cause "real" emotions, even when the person experiencing the emotions knows the fiction is unreal. The go to Greek philosopher is Plato; he theorized that our ideas of reality are the only "true" reality. Of course, whether you follow Plato depends on whether you're an "idealist" or "materialist," in the philosophical sense. It's also important for certain religions. Jesus Christ seems be a fan of Plato; in the Gospel of Matthew he talks about "committing adultery in your heart." Personally, I believe this line was implicit in the "woman in the red dress" scenes of The Matrix (which is basically Plato's "Parable of the Cave: The Movie" with slow motion machine gun fights). But I'm rambling, the point about bringing up Jesus and all, if you buy his whole "son of God" schtick, is that someone* is prepared to punish "non-existent crimes."

But there is an interesting point in bringing up violent video games, which brings up the question, if "non-existent crimes" are still, by some arguments, "crimes" (or, really, "immoral acts." Let's not conflate legality with morality.), then why stop at just cub porn? Well, it's a question of choice, really. First of all, FurAffinity is an "American" site (if you can give it a nationality); Americans almost stereotypically prefer their artistic depictions of immoral acts violent rather than sexual (a common criticism of American culture, even though, as R.G. pointed out, an unfair one since, really, what's the difference?). But, besides arbitrary cultural norms, there's a really very furry specific reason to avoid "cub" porn. Pedophilia is a "crime" of consent; children can't consent. Neither can animals. See the problem? Basically, furry avoids being bestiality only in that the "anthropomorphic" qualities of the characters allow them to give consent in a human fashion. If real human children can't give consent, than anthropomorphic animal children can't either. So, they are off limits. Copping out and saying cub porn is "not real" opens up furry to accusations of bestiality, if only "non-existent" bestiality. But we've already covered that.

Basically, its censorship, no argument, but, then again, it is cub porn, not cub art. It's right there in the headline. I am totally begging the question here, but porn is such a loose term, I'm allowed to define it how I want. Porn is not art. It has no lasting moral value after it is, well, used. This is why video game players are so insistent (whether they no it or not) that video games are art (when arguing with Roger Ebert, who I swear doesn't really care and is just trolling them), because art has moral worth in and of itself that may counteract depictions of immorality in said artwork. If someone can give a good argument that what is being banned here is in fact art, I'm all ears. But if not, Congress ain't doing it, and there are good reasons to avoid it.

*The someone I'm talking about here is obviously Santa Claus.

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tl;dr

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Well, that makes sense.

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (6 votes)

AP;RP (Absolutely pointless; Rated Poorly)

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I am not a Christian, so perhaps that is part of why I have a different point of view on the matter. The whole concept of "committing adultery in your heart" puts watching porn on par with cheating. I do not see watching porn and cheating as the same thing.

By your reasoning, we should also outlaw porn and artwork depicting rape. In the "reality" of the porn, rape, which is a crime, is actually occurring. In the case of artwork, consent hasn't been given, and in the case of porn featuring actors, consent has only been given behind the scenes. I still fail to see how actual rape is occurring in those cases, however.

You mentioned violent video games. By your logic that "non-existent" crimes are real psychologically, and therefore real in reality, we should be locking all Grand Theft Auto players in jail for rape, murder, hiring prostitutes, etc. Even in the eyes of the law, a "crime" committed in a video game, a virtual "reality," can't be prosecuted in reality. By the same token, I don't see how someone could be prosecuted for child porn when they have only "virtually" watched a fake child commit a sex act.

One could also look at it in this manner. Characters depicted in art, even pornographic art, are an extension of the artist. Therefore, one could almost see the act of creating pornographic art, even if it features child or child-like characters, as consented to. The artist gives consent, much in the way that a porn star gives consent even though non-consent may occur in the "reality" of the porn. There is no real person, other than the artist, to give or not give consent ahead of time as far as artwork is concerned. Consent isn't an issue if no other actual people are involved. The artist is the only actual person involved, and they are obviously giving consent by drawing, it unless someone has a gun to their head forcing them to depict the act.

"If real human children can't give consent, than anthropomorphic animal children can't either."

This point, oddly enough, makes me think of an amusing webcomic I used to read. It featured a 40-something year old chibi character who was having trouble getting laid because everyone thought she was a child, being chibi.

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I am not aware of what country you are from, but because of that biblical statement, pornography used to be completely illegal in the U. S., and it was not until the court case in the sixties (the name escapes me) that it was made legal for people age 18 and older.

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I suppose you could maintain that morality is independent of morality and if you commit child rape in your head or in the real world both are equally immoral. Whether those thoughts cause real emotion is really unimportant to me as I think the only thing that matters in terms of the law and morality are the consequences (ignoring the problematic grey areas from the whole "does the end justify the means" question). If the law takes it upon itself to punish morality, something which can only be relative, unless you subscribe to some fanciful deity, then it is forcing its views upon people even though they are no more correct than what they are suppressing. The best solution to this that I see is to only enact laws when one person's actions have a negative effect on another who do not accept those effects.

Following that view child porn, involving real children, should be punished as children are harmed in its creation. Whether or not watching that itself should be a crime is actually a worthwhile question too but we'll just assume the answer is yes for now. However when you draw a child, or cubs, having sex no being is actually having sex and no one is being harmed. As there is no consequence to the action there is no reason to punish that action.

If, on the other hand, you do maintain that thought crimes are as bad as crimes committed in reality then why should art affect the punishment of those crimes? Can a game with killing be art if killing someone and hanging up their mutilated body reality is not art? Art does not excuse crime in the real world so it should not justify virtual acts of crime.

I'll agree that a large part of the problem is cultural norms and to counter that is my first paragraph of acting only when actions affect others.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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I think when it comes to video games I think violent video games get bad rap, sure there are video games that are mindlessly violent, but ironically GTA is one of the icons of "mindlessly violent" games out there... when really it's up to the player whether or not they want to be mindless violent or not.

Sure you can go out, steal a car, and run over half of downtown, rack yourself up to six stars and probably get shot by a tank but you don't have to, you can just do the missions in the game and be objective.

Obviously 'being objective' doesn't mean you aren't going to soil your hands either, but the story isn't about people living normal lives.

I recently played the Lost and the Damned expansion (spoilers ahead), and one one of the biggest take aways from it was when your character (a biker gang Vice President) is talking with a butler/receptionist at a club for rich political figures and asked if he enjoyed having money waved around in his face that he himself will never obtain and if he was happy kissing up to rich people.

The butler says he's content with his life and asks your character if you were happy "sticking it to the man".

You respond that you're starting to learn that there is always a man, they only wear a different suit, which points back to the fact that you yourself are taking orders from an individual who is corrupted by the power of being president of some biker club.

So in the end it speaks to me about how people create positions of power, sometimes as a mass people create it and thus give birth to a politician, or a small group creates it, such as a leader of a club or website, but in the end it's the same effect. You'll end up with eventual corruption at the top. Which is probably why you character burns the clubhouse to the ground when all is said and done. What good is a club of people rebelling against human society when they themselves became the things they were originally against?

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The philosophy is good and all, but I think you're missing the pragmatics of the situation:

Cub porn squicks people in the same deeply sexual way that regular furry porn squicks others, and that normal consensual-sex-in-the-missionary-position porn will still squick a few. On this level, it's immaterial whether it's illegal or not: it feels very wrong to them, so they will condone just about any method to get rid of what disturbs them.

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That's exactly the sort of thing that we need to put a stop to. You shouldn't make decisions that affect others based on some emotion.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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I thought that was called marriage... ba dum, cha.

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People do it every damn day, in every corner of the planet. It's not going away.

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I am not a Christian ... The whole concept of "committing adultery in your heart" puts watching porn on par with cheating

Obviously, my religion will color my sense of morality. However, I feel it is easy to draw a line between "sinful" and "immoral" acts (as well as "legal); it is quite possible for an act to be all three, just one, or a combination of two. For example, homosexuality is regarded as sinful by many Christians; it is definitely not illegal or immoral, however. As another example, it is illegal to drive without a seatbelt in America, but hardly sinful or immoral.

That's the point I didn't make; cub porn is not a "legal" (or sinful) issue. It is entirely moral. Due to the nature of the immorality (i.e. consent issues), however, I feel it is a bad, well, moral P.R. move for furries especially. The issue of "cartoon pedophilia," it should be noted, is not unique to furry fandom. Basically, this is an opportunity for the fandom to, you know, not be the pervs for once.

I am not aware of what country you are from,

Commute from Oklahoma to work in Kansas.

Yeah.

Whether those thoughts cause real emotion is really unimportant to me as I think the only thing that matters in terms of the law and morality are the consequences

Excuse me? Emotions are not consequences?

THIS STATEMENT MAKES CROSSIE ANGRY.

CROSSIE SMASH STATEMENT!

W et er th se tho hts ca se real em ion is re lly un mp rt nt to m s I th nk t e on y th ng t at m ters in t rms o the la and mo li y are the cons qu nces
hhouguotaioaeaihlihatefwratee

Ahem.

The point I'm trying to make via badly thought out pop culture references/badly formatted sight gags is emotions are consequences.

Art does not excuse crime in the real world so it should not justify virtual acts of crime

Um, no answer to this, except to beg the question and define art as necessarily virtual; the emotions caused are the only consequences, but these are valid consequences.

That's exactly the sort of thing that we need to put a stop to. You shouldn't make decisions that affect others based on some emotion.

In my arguments, I've equated emotions as consequences, not causes, and started to sound like a minor villain from the Matrix sequels. You know what, I'm not really sure that's a good enough distinction, though. However, in my first post, I did present a non-emotional consequence of the "not real" defense of cub porn; it opens the door for attack on all furry porn (and erotic furry art, which I'm totally seperating. Please don't ask for examples.) as bestiality.

On one hand, that is pretty hinky logic. On the other hand, the people who are most likely to attack furry on grounds of bestiality are Internet trolls not known for their logic.

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My comment was actually toward the Anon user above me in my last post, but that's cool knowing that there are more furs in OK, especially Christian. Concerning the user currently below this post, why would the act being portrayed in artwork cause people's (or at least child rapists) to not act in the same manner with which the medium is a real child's picture?

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So it causes emotions... How is that something that should be punished? Emotions here are more the cause of the problem than the result. People have an emotional reaction to cub porn because they associate it with child porn and so treat it the same way. That link is due to emotions but does not make sense because the consequences of child porn and cub porn are the same as between playing Counter Strike and actually planting a bomb in a shopping centre.

But then you go to say that games cause emotions but that those are valid consequences. What on Earth are valid consequences? How is an emotion form a game different to an emotion from cub porn?

Cub porn is not real. That is the only defence of it. Maybe that opens furry porn up to being called bestiality and that's just fine/ It's already open to being called bestiality and the arguments against bestiality are again based mainly on emotional reactions or religious objections and not on evidence of its effects.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

How is an emotion form a game different to an emotion from cub porn?

Basically, porn is porn, and art is art. Art can be justified on its own merits, even if the act depicted is immoral; porn cannot. I reject cub porn because if it was real, I could not justify it to my conscience, as compared to normal furry porn, which I can defend if it were real.

What on Earth are valid consequences?

I'm going to slip out of character and say one of the valid consequences of cub porn is that you're so limited to choices for payment companies that you end up with the one whose CEO just had his assets seized. Because, really, all the good companies would rather not have pseudo-child porn dealers for customers.

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You're just avoiding the question. What are you calling art? Why is a game art but not porn? And what merits does art of immoral activities have? You keep going on about this art thing and how porn is different to art and games and all but you haven't provided any justification for those classes.

Out of character on a news site? It's not an rp. Secondly that's not a great example of a consequence of cub porn and is again not telling me anything about what valid consequences are. If that is an example of a valid consequence then cub porn has valid consequences and your statement about art's consequences being valid fails to make any sense.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Why is a game art but not porn? And what merits does art of immoral activities have?

Actually, both questions have the same answer. The difference between art and porn is that art has merit, in and of itself. Porn does not.

The merit that art has is that it is art; this outweighs most concerns of morality, and why art is protected under "freedom of speech." Occasionally, this becomes problematic, when the art depicts immoral acts. Luckily for us, we don't have a problem, because cub porn is porn.

Don't make me explain how I came to that conclusion.

Anyway, porn lacks artistic merit; we can argue whether a violent video game actually does have artistic merit, but by labeling cub porn porn, we have already established it has no artistic merit. This does not mean all porn should be banned; yes, all porn, and what it depicts, uh, "squicks" certain people, but cub porn goes above and beyond that; it "morally offends" people with what it depicts. That is a real world consequence.

You may see this as an emotional issue, and you've argued that, pragmatically, we should ignore emotional responses in decision making. But a true pragmatist would recognize that not every person on this planet is also a pragmatist, and realize that people will make decisions based on emotions, feelings, gut impulses, hunches, knee-jerk reactions and other such ephemera.

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Okay so the difference between art and porn is that art has merit and the merit of art is that it is art? That's circular reasoning and is pathetic. You must explain how you came to that conclusion because otherwise you're just taking a point, saying that you are right and no one is allowed to disagree with you. They can't actually disagree with you because you've completely neglected to justify your thought process.

If cub porn is morally offensive that's just too bad for the people who are offended. They must just ignore cub porn. Unless it is forced in their face they have no reason to complain about it. Maybe other people aren't that pragmatic but here's the thing about and the moral offence issue. There is no absolute morality and no reason why what offends one person should be banned rather than what offends another person. You can find cub porn morally wrong but that opinion is not any more correct than someone finding no moral problem with cub porn and does not deserve to be treated as any more important.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Look, I can't tell at this point, honestly, if my arguments are bad or if you're just ignoring them.

They must just ignore cub porn.

But they won't. You can't expect them to. Basically, you wouldn't kick someone in the balls expecting them to grin and bear it because it hurts. Likewise, you can't expect to morally offend someone and get no reaction, because it hurts, in a very real way. Sticks and stones may break your bones, but cub porn'll ruin your day. You cannot realistically expect people to do nothing. Saying "that's just too bad" to these people isn't a good idea; they'll say things like "well, I guess it's just too bad you don't want our servers," "well, I guess it's just too bad the article I'm writing is going to talk about it" or "well, I guess it's just too bad you're a pervert."

Furthermore, you have not given one good reason why we should keep it, besides vague mouthings about "freedom of speech," which I'd be all for, if there was any good reason to keep it around. Freedom of speech is not good enough in and of itself, unlike art. My reasons for banning cub porn may be "circular," but your reasons for keeping it are "nonexistent."

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Your arguments are bad.

I can expect them to ignore it because they don't have to look at it. If you kick someone in the balls you have actively gone out and kicked someone in the balls. That's bad because you went and forced them to participate. That would be the equivalent of putting cub porn on a general TV station or a billboard, you're forcing people to see it.
Cub porn hidden away in a clearly marked cub section on FA is very different to that. Using the kicking example it would be like someone going into a club for people who like being kicked in the balls and then complaining about being kicked in the balls. If some people want to get together and kick each other in the balls then that's their business, if you stay out of the club you won't get kicked.

Freedom of speech is probably the most important thing we have. Your argument of art doesn't hold up because you can't define what art is and what something needs in order to qualify for being art or even why art itself needs to be protected (free speech would protect it). If someone can ban cub porn because they find it offensive then you should ban all images of women showing skin because it offends the Muslims. You should ban the teaching of religion because I find it offensive. Whether something offends someone or not is not a reason to ban something because there is bound to be someone offended by everything and there is no way to say why their offence is more important than someone else's offence.

For example how would you argue that furry art in general shouldn't be banned if someone finds mixing humans and animals offensive so much so that they don't think it counts as art?

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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My problem is I'm being defensive, which is stupid when you're the one defending cub porn.

You simply state "freedom of speech" is important; why?

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I find it a little strange that you of all people would ask that. I imagine you could ask around at the office if you wanted a comprehensive answer. :-)

In short, speech is the expression of thought and opinions. A free society requires that each person be able to judge the value of speech for themselves; the alternative is tyranny.

Censorship artificially limits the value to zero, disadvantaging those who'd value it positively. Democratic societies can only justify this for speech where the negatives significantly outweigh the positives.

Actions which people perceive as bad lead to them assigning a negative value to the related speech. We justify the censorship of child pornography not because of the thought itself, but because creating this particular expression of the thought causes significant harm to actual children.

Take the real child away? The negatives they invoked disappear, as does the justification for censorship.

What's left is a gut feeling that such speech may result in a harmful action in the future. This is not particularly convincing; it is unsupported by research, and the same argument may be made for any number of actions which are illegal in real life, most of which are entirely legal when depicted in fiction.

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Despite my religious views, I have to agree with GreenReaper here. As far as the law is concerned, I think that it should be illegal, but morally it's each to his/her own. I am fully against it, but Growlie is for it. After all, it (as far as I'm concerned [and your opinions will not change mine]) is God whom everyone will have to answer to one day anyway.

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"What's left is a gut feeling that such speech may result in a harmful action in the future."

Then there's gray areas such as making a threat at someone, which can land someone into legal hot water even if they actually would have never committed the action they describe themselves doing.

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Plus libel and slander laws; not selling porn to minors (which would imply porn automatically is as harmful as tobacco).

Also, GR, I wasn't asking for my benefit; I'd spent a lot of time defending my point, the best I'd got from RG was "free speech is important because it's important."

Let the guy defend himself.

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You mean his position, not himself, two different things, a lot of people these days forget that though.

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Pretty much the same thing GreenReaper said. And I did give an example of why it was important in my previous post.

To bring this away from cub porn there was recently an example of freedom of speech, art and offensive in America. The Smithsonian had an exhibition of LGBT art and one of the videos had ants crawling over a crucifix and was meant to show the suffering of a person with AIDS. But some Catholics found that offensive and got the video pulled from display. Now was that art and did it have merit? Particularly considering that the Catholic church's stance had previously been against condom use which is the best preventative measure for AIDS.

Just because something offends one person doesn't mean it should be censored.

And here's an essay about freedom of speech and people being offended and why free speech is important. http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/9905/

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Blaming Catholics for one's inability to use a condom seems kind of spiteful and stupid though and was intent on kicking sand in their eyes for their opinions on sex.

If you enemy is doing that, why would you do that to them? Makes you your own enemy.

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No ones blaming Catholics because they can't use a condom. They are blaming Catholics for holding a ridiculous position that discourages the use of condoms, something their believers take seriously.

I don't know what your list line means or is about.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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I wouldn't make art over something like that, and seriously, I don't see it's intent on trying to get the message across to those who are Catholic's. In fact the symbolism of these piece shows it was made by someone who's completely dense in the ways of religious symbolism and thus his message wouldn't convey what he thinks it meant.

The cross is not a symbol for the Catholic Church, or any church, it's the symbol of Jesus. So in effect when a religious person looks at the piece of art and is told the Ants symbolize AIDS then they are going to think you're trying to link Jesus with AIDS somehow, as if he had it or is causing it, not the Catholic Church.

If they wanted to aim at the Catholic Church, they should have sculpted a pope hat.

But really (and what I meant by that last line) is putting down others through interpretation of artistic works is what that particular church does and has done in its history, why would you do as they do? How does that make one any better then they?

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Well, that's a good example of bad censorship (though I can't help but wonder if ants should be offended by being compared to the AIDS virus as well). The Smithsonian is administered and funded by the American government; once the museum clearly labeled the ant Jesus piece as art, it should not have caved in.

However, FurAffinity is not funded or administered by the American government; it has the right to prohibit or restrict whatever it wants. Simply put, in purely American legal terms, censorship by the government (at any level) is illegal; censorship by private entities, including websites, is legal. Self-censorship is a form of expression; we say almost as much by what we choose not to say as what we do.

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All censorship is bad and this has nothing to do with what is and isn't legal. No one has claimed that what FA did was ever illegal.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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AH!

There's the rub.

I disagree. I think self-censorship is necessary; for instance, I could call you ... but I won't, because it wouldn't be nice!

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Right, self-censorship.

But as far as this incident goes it's corporate sensorship.

Which isn't illegal under the constitution, but still, I don't see how it's any better for Big Rich Uncle Penny Banks to do it then Big Brother.

To say FA committed self censorship is giving them to much credit. PayAlert told them in effect shut up and they obeyed.

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Well, good point and well made.

I guess both sides lost here.

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But doesn't the separation of church and state belief state that the government shouldn't be showing favoritism to one religion over another. In that effect it also cannot put down other religions.

Now it's one thing to put down all religious beliefs equally or to defend them equally, as both would be showing non-favoritism. The Smithsonian chose the later, because the moment you let a piece denouncing Catholics slide, it'll make you a flood gate to the Catholics of putting their art symbolizing what they think of Muslims, atheists, Protestants, etc. And then those groups would lob their art bombs, or maybe in some cases real ones.

Best to bite the whining off at the head.

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On that note being you have the right to be offended at FA's decision concerning this, and they have every right to be offended at the middle men pay pal accounts, but forcing them to try and change their decisions based on their risk of offense would be offensive of their rights to make those decisions as controversial as they are.

After all PayAlert "spoke", FA "spoke", you may not like what they said but they said it.

While I agree with you on the fact that I believe cub porn in and of itself is harmless it all comes down to what people see fursonas as.

To some "Their is no pipe" meaning the character they create is nothing more then an illusion that they congered up and offline they are completely different. To others it's an avatar of oneself and an extension of one's being. Those in the later group will tend to make the link between cub porn and actual offense.

I personally have done both over my online history, so I can see things from the perspective of both, and usually, as with most controversial topics, both sides a little incorrect on one thing, while being correct in other cases.

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Like all porn, the main reason people want to keep it around is because they enjoy it.

Furry fandom is full of people with fantasies. It would be naive to expect them to be restricted to being a different species. Fans like to imagine what it would be like being another sex, another gender, another occupation . . . and many, it seems, enjoy imagining what it would like to be young again.
Being people, they also like to fantasize about having sex. (Perhaps not all, but a clear majority.)

For some, MUCKs and stories are the only way to go. But a good picture says a thousand words, and delivers them within the time it takes to read but a few; therefore images depicting such fantasies are in great demand.

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I think my last comment will be that "SoFurry" is listed in your article as a good alternative for hosting cub porn. You know, the website that changed its name because apparently the fandom thought the word "yiff" was bad for its image.

Well, have a good weekend, everybody. We should do this more often. It was fun!

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To be honest, despite the quantity and quality of your words suggesting you put effort and thought into this, it looks like you have not really said much beyond: "Offensive things should not be allowed, except for those I see value in." (At least up until before this post.) Whether this is due to miscommunication, or actual circular logic I don't know.

There are a lot of difficulties and problems trying to base law off of what any given person values or finds offensive on some emotional level, as emotions can be fickle, inconsistent and contradiction, especially when aggregated over multiple people. A blanket freedom of speech policy avoids this by letting each person assign their own value to something, and take efforts to control how much it enters their lives. I think in part this is a way of playing it safe parallel to the philosophy of rather letting a guilty person go free than an innocent person be punished. There are some large arguable exceptions to freedom of speech as a matter of practicality, related to deception and immediate physical safety, but pornography is usually pretty far out of those particular grey areas.

More directly relevant to this post of yours is an idea summed up in a somewhat common phrase of: "You have no right to not be offended." At some point giving freedom to one group of people is taking it away from another group, and one place to draw the line is people can do what they want as long as it doesn't have a direct restriction on what someone else can do or direct physical effect (and you can easily stick some exception on there for targeting offensive stuff, so this reasoning is not allowing harassment). In other words, being offended at something just for existing is considered by some below the threshold of a reason to take something away from someone else. You have to have something additional to that, whether physical pain, damage, costs, impact on personal property (e.g. an internet server) before there is a basis for blocking someone from doing what they want.

(It is at least nice to see some people trying to have a mature and reasoned conversation.)

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I do not agree that cub porn should be made illegal; I simply say it should be banned from FurAffinity (and most other major furry websites). Basically, since the responsibility of not offending is out of the government's hand, it is in our hands.

Simply put, the argument that "cub porn does no harm because it is not real" offends me almost as much as the cub porn in question. Basically, it feels like I am arguing with people who are mouthing platitudes without really understanding them. For if our speech really means nothing, why is it worth protecting in the first place?

Art, by my admittedly begging the question definition, produces real emotions. These emotions have their own consequences, even if we are not willing to grant them as consequence enough.

You know what, I like superhero comic books (a genre that has been attacked on the grounds of being pornography). But I hate both Superman and Spider-Man; the former is boringly unbeatable, the second is so beatable, even with his powers, he's just plain boring. All of their movies combined don't have the entertainment value of the character Ash's towel in Fantastic Mr. Fox (no seriously, that is an interesting towel. Check it out.). But both had lines from newspaper editors that are, in my humble opinion, the only things worthwhile to ever come from either character. Spider-Man has J. Jonah Jameson explaining the difference between libel and slander, while Superman had Perry White praising Clark Kent's prose style.

In both cases, these superheroes, which are often considered the best in the DC and Marvel universes, are reporters. People who use words, words that aren't real, to do real things with. Furries don't like reporters, I get it, but that's because they've written words, and these words caused emotions, and people have acted on these emotions, and you have reports of the Vanity Fair article estranging siblings.

Because speech has consequences.

Our freedom of speech gives us great powers. With great OH MY GOD, YOU GUYS MADE ME ALMOST QUOTE THAT HORRIBLE SPIDER-MAN LINE, LOOK WHAT YOU DID, ARE YOU HAPPY NOW? OH, I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS, THERE'S A CONSEQUENCE RIGHT THERE, CRAP!

Remember kids, the power is yours!

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Even if you don't think cub porn should be illegal, some of your arguments are the same that are used to argue for making it illegal or at least parallel enough to have similar pros and cons (unless I misread them).

Be careful not to conflate certain arguments and intentions especially when those arguments were meant to counter something specifically (interpreting them more generally can almost be on the level of equivocation). By the way, I'm not defending those on either side that are saying the right things for idiotic reasons, I'm giving the benefit of the doubt about when countering counterpoints (i.e. I'm not trying to put words in their mouths, but defending the better arguments that were implied, if intended or not).

First off, the "cub porn does no harm because it is not real" can be referring to a specific kind of harm. I see this argument used to specifically counter arguments based on the idea cub porn is bad because sexually abusing children is harmful. The quoted argument puts cub porn on the same level as any other fantasy image, capable of harming someone on an emotional or idealogical level (although proportions of people bothered may be different from other images obviously), but not involving children in harmful situations for their creation. It is not saying a cub porn is incapable of any harm, as if it would be incapable of papercuts if printed out, it is saying it is not a source of child harm usually associated with child porn.

Also, people complaining FA should not have banned cub porn is not the same as saying they should be forced to host it and not allowed to control what they do with their own server. This is something I've seen people use to counter complaints in general, and it often tends to be just a flat out straw man. It gets confusing sometimes because people complaining about FA's decision are often trying to counter someone defending FA's decision by arguing cub porn is or should be illegal. Or people expressing the opinion that freedom of speech is beneficial to a community, and that FA's or AlertPay's actions are against those community ideals even though they should be allowed to make such decisions.

And lastly, we assumed art is defined in terms of conveying or invoking emotions (I don't want to how to define art, just going to use this often argued class of definitions here), does that not include all emotions, or are some more special than others? Why does invoking things like lust, arousal or offence not count to some people? That makes it seem like they a priori wanted to excluded pornography. And should the intended target audience be considered, since it is not surprising the invoked emotions is different outside of that?

Maybe I should have left this last paragraph out though, as I think it is a complete tangent to the issue of things like cub porn, as art and definition of art only seem to get dragged out so people push a valuation system that values what they want and devalue what they dislike. I feel like a solution to such problems needs to be above what a subset of people like and dislike.

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The difference between art and porn is that art has merit, in and of itself. Porn does not.

The problem with using this definition is that what has "merit" is subjective. I do not think a statue of the virgin Mary in a jar of urine has merit. I don't even see it as art. Some people think it is art, however, which by your definition would give it merit.

This does not mean all porn should be banned; yes, all porn, and what it depicts, uh, "squicks" certain people, but cub porn goes above and beyond that; it "morally offends" people with what it depicts.

Again, what "morally offends" people is subjective. An extremely devout Christian might indeed be "morally offended" by any pornographic material. The opinion of some Christians in America is that sex should only occur between one male and one female within marriage, for the expressed purpose of reproduction. Most porn would "morally offend" them.

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Wait, wait, "Piss Jesus" has a sequel?

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Maybe it was Jesus. I don't remember. I just remember blasphemous display of religious statuary in jar of urine. There was another of religious statuary with feces smeared on it, so perhaps I'm confusing the two. Regardless, you get the point.

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I remember the feces one, that one was of the Virgin Mary.

I mean, if I was the artist I would have said... "I am offended these people are offended, you see, Mary gave birth to Jesus, and so like feces is apart of all of us and our cycle of life, what she released from her body is a part of all of us? See now you just feel silly don't you? Hating on Jesus like that with your offense, for shame."

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"That's the point I didn't make; cub porn is not a "legal" (or sinful) issue. It is entirely moral. Due to the nature of the immorality (i.e. consent issues), however, I feel it is a bad, well, moral P.R. move for furries especially. The issue of "cartoon pedophilia," it should be noted, is not unique to furry fandom. Basically, this is an opportunity for the fandom to, you know, not be the pervs for once."

I can agree that cub porn does depict the semblance of an act that is widely considered to be immoral and illegal. As such, even though it is not the same as actual child porn, I also agree that it does make furries look bad. My original argument was merely that cub porn isn't the same thing as actual child porn, nor is it as bad, since no real child is hurt by it. I'd much rather someone get their jollies jerking off to cub porn. Actual child porn does lead to exploitation and abuse of actual living children. Interest in it fuels that reprehensible industry. That's far worse to me than someone depicting the act in artwork. To be the devil's advocate, I suppose seeing it in artwork could potentially lessen the shock value of child porn and normalize the association of sex and children. That is the main way in which I could see cub porn as being harmful.

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"I suppose seeing it in artwork could potentially lessen the shock value of child porn and normalize the association of sex and children. That is the main way in which I could see cub porn as being harmful."

Really? Here I was thinking that it's somewhat odd that you'd come across something like cub porn by accident. It's a pretty specific kink, and is usually very clearly marked (and filtered). In most cases one would really have to be looking for it, which would imply that those desires were already present.

"I'd much rather someone get their jollies jerking off to cub porn."

Some people do say that drawn porn actually helps protect children, since it gives people with those desires a way to satisfy them that doesn't involve real kids. I don't know, personally. I doubt anybody would ever dare to do a survey on the subject.

To me cub porn is about as threatening as age play. Is it disturbing? Probably. Is it pervy? Sure. Should cops be busting down peoples' doors because they're pretending to be underage individuals having sex? Definitely not.

Anyways, it's their website. If the folks at FA think they'll be able to better support their website and those who use it by getting rid of cub porn, then more power to 'em. I'm a little disappointed, but how exactly would they be able to stand up for philosophic niceties like free speech if FA itself is being deprived of the funds it needs just to exist?

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"Concerning the user currently below this post, why would the act being portrayed in artwork cause people's (or at least child rapists) to not act in the same manner with which the medium is a real child's picture?"

I can see how someone who rapes children might also like cub porn, but looking at cub porn doesn't make someone a child rapist or molester.

Sometimes people like something in art or role-play that they'd never do in real life. I absolutely love hentai depicting tentacle rape and insects laying eggs, for example. You don't see me going out and sticking a tentacle up my girl bits or trying to get cockroaches to lay eggs inside me, though. Nor would I like or want those things in reality. I have a feeling it may be the same for some people who look at and draw cub porn.

"To me cub porn is about as threatening as age play. Is it disturbing? Probably. Is it pervy? Sure. Should cops be busting down peoples' doors because they're pretending to be underage individuals having sex? Definitely not."

This brings up another good point. A lot of people like ageplay. I've spoken with some people who engage in BDSM role-play as child and parent, and for them, mentally regressing to the age of a child in role-play is relaxing, or perhaps fills the need for a parent that they never got as a child. Since furries draw a lot of artwork of their own characters, some of the "cub porn" is probably people depicting themselves in the form of their fursona. This is yet another way in which cub porn viewer wouldn't necessarily equal sex crime offender. It may be a depiction of they themselves, as they view themselves, performing a sexual act. Freud could no doubt have a field day with those types of people, but I particularly don't see anything wrong with cub porn in that kind of context.

"If the folks at FA think they'll be able to better support their website and those who use it by getting rid of cub porn, then more power to 'em. I'm a little disappointed, but how exactly would they be able to stand up for philosophic niceties like free speech if FA itself is being deprived of the funds it needs just to exist?

Yeah, can't blame FA. They've gotta look at how they can stay in business. It's just that the subject matter inevitably led to a discussion on why cub porn should or shouldn't be banned.

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Sometimes people like something in art or role-play that they'd never do in real life.

I think this is an important point that goes along with another big one: that in nearly every asymmetric sexual interest, you have people identifying with both sides. For example, rape fetish stuff has people interested in only the victim side of rape fantasies, and it is hard to argue they are likely to go and commit rape on someone. This would be parallel to people identifying with the underaged part of cub and other underage porn material.

But frequently (but not always of course) when bringing either of those two big points about underage related porn, people will actively ignore it or otherwise claim that underaged fetishes are special and completely unassociated with any of the patterns seen to permeate other sexual interests. The result is some people claiming every person interested in underage material is on the verge of attacking young children. I think a serious consequence of this, besides causing problems for those with zero interest in real children, is that such mischaracterizations of the real threat, people who would and are doing things to children, is counterproductive to the goal of stopping child abuse.

(And the problematic logic isn't special to those against underage porn, I've seen people arguing against rape porn make the parallel mischaracterization: everyone who is interested in rape porn wants to rape someone if given the chance. Or maybe the parallel, massive over-generalization that some might have bumped into: all furries want to have, or are having, sex with real/nonanthro animals. It can be frustrating to see someone complain about the latter, but follow the same pattern when talking about other groups of people.)

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I don't find idiotic generalizations frustrating at all, in fact it makes it easier to tell who's worth giving the time of day to.

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Although it doesn't help that idiotic generalizations are common to some people that try their hardest to taking that time of day from you, but they are mostly ignorable. I think it can still be frustrating even if a given person is ignorable, because every additional person you see reinforcing over-generalizations suggest there is a higher chance that someone will make that same generalization when making a decision or performing some other action that actually affects you.

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About the author

GreenReaper (Laurence Parry)read storiescontact (login required)

a software developer and Norn from London, UK, interested in wikis and computers

Small fuzzy creature who likes cheese & carrots. Founder of WikiFur, lead admin of Inkbunny, and Editor-in-Chief of Flayrah.