There’s a lot of fuss today about proposals in Britain to abolish “drawings” of child abuse. Naturally, this kicks the Internet’s predilection for age-ambiguous Japanese cartoon smut, right in the balls. Or does it? Reading the original BBC article provides something of an RTFA moment:
Ms Eagle said the plans were “not about criminalising art or pornographic cartoons more generally, but about targeting obscene, and often very realistic, images of child sexual abuse which have no place in our society”.
There’s always that slippery slope argument about free expression–especially in increasingly creepy Britain–and about the “thought police” nature of punishing crimes without victims. But the ambiguities and gotchas recounted by critics today, such as “how would one provide records to prove the the age of a drawn character?” fall immediately foul of Eagle’s explicit claim to not be targeting erotic artwork in general. In fact, by “drawings” it may refer to a section in Britain’s new Criminal Justice and Immigration Act, which details images “derived” from real photographs.
The idea of photoshop-filtering photos to appear superficially like genuine artwork isn’t exactly novel. Conclusion: 4chan not banned quite yet.