Anime Vice News

Loli Manga, Google, and You

There's some funny business going on involving loli, Google, and scanlation sites.


 Kodomo no Jikan
 Kodomo no Jikan
We've been watching a story develop since this weekend-- sometime around the same time as this I7world article came into being, about Google ads sponsoring lolicon manga (or rather, manga with potentially questionable content, since none of the titles mentioned are explicitly pornographic per se), scanlation aggregator site MangaFox removed several manga titles from its site, including, of course, Kodomo no Jikan.

Today a new development appeared, courtesy of Tsurupeta (via Icarus): a loli doujinshi scanlator discovered that Google had removed them from all search results after a child pornography complaint from an unknown party.

 Dance in the Vampire Bund was also removed
 Dance in the Vampire Bund was also removed
Now, I can't speak as to whether the first article is related to what happened to the doujinshi scanlation group-- and I'm not familiar with the works this group did, either, so I can't say as to whether they might pass an obscenity check or not.

But it's pretty interesting, since Google just recently shut down their Chinese version due to interference and censorship from the Chinese government in favor of passing all of that traffic through Google Hong Kong. As Tsurupeta notes, it's not like loli doujinshi is comparable to political dissent, but it does show a certain inconsistancy when it comes to views on freedom of information.

More updates as events warrant, of course-- I would also recommend reading Icarus Publishing's blog post on the matter, which has some interesting viewpoints.    (My favorite? "Who knew it was this easy to get a site delisted from Google? Maybe publishers fighting those scan aggregators have been going about it all wrong.")
Ragnorakon April 19, 2010 at 5:07 p.m.
I think this was a bit of an overeaction I've read these series and yeah they can be bad but they also have a good story, heck even Dance in the Vampire Bund is getting released by Funimation
giaon April 19, 2010 at 5:15 p.m.
@Ragnorak: Yeah, I'll say.
Konandaon April 19, 2010 at 5:34 p.m.

Well Google delisting them from search results doesn't really violate any freedom of speech or even network netruality for that matter. If they were a government or an ISP that would be a different story but by restricting search results they aren't restricting the user from finding the site since the user can just use a different search engine or if they know the URL go straight to it themselves. In fact this is helping their competitors since the user may just decide to stick with another search engine that has that content listed instead meaning they don't see Googles ads in their search.  
 
It is a hypocritical move on their side though considering how Google evangelises network netruality

metalsnakezeroon April 19, 2010 at 5:51 p.m.
Personally it is good to remove these things from Google searches since it is open to the public and it is not stuff I would want others to see (Things in Kodomo no Jikan are a bit over the top). 
 
I wanted to say something about Dance in the Vampire Bund: The anime isn't great (but its not bad) so the whole censorship problem is a bit silly now.
sotyfan16on April 19, 2010 at 6:12 p.m.

For Dance in the Vampire Bund to be removed is stupid. I haven't read the manga but the anime has any nudity white-d out. Many scanlators do the same thing to manga (blurring and darkening private parts). I'm ashamed Google did this since it's suppossed to take over the world. But I guess if you can't topple the Chinese government you just can't take on the world, let alone allow sites with "iffy" content containing lolis (lots of disdain and mockery).

crusader8463on April 19, 2010 at 7:49 p.m.
While I have zero interest in reading the thing they blocked, it makes me sad and angry to know that Google is willing to censor the results of their search engine for any reason. The worst part about them being ok with censorship is that for all we know half the god dam internet could be being censored right now, and unless a person is a tech wiz who knows how to search for this kind of stuff we would never know. When 99% of the world uses Google to search the internet it's easy for them to start saying what we can and cant look at, and we have no way to know when they do this kind of thing unless they tell us about it. That's the scary thing about something monopolizing anything. 
 
I'm not saying that Google is like this now, but it's very easy to see a situation where if they start to censor a lot of things they shouldn't be, then when ever someone tries to make it public Google comes in and starts censoring them trying to tell people about the censorship. It's a very slippery slope to go down once they start censoring anything, no matter their intentions. 
 
Given there willingness to submit to china's censorship laws, and now hearing about something like this, I'm starting to feel like using a different search engine if for no other reason then on principle. I know it's pointless, and Google could give a fuck if one less person in the world uses their search engine, but I just cant support anything or anyone who thinks censorship is acceptable in any situation.
MoonStormon April 19, 2010 at 7:54 p.m.
Google gets most of its money form ads. So, They are going to be a little bit more careful with them than they are with the Chinese government. Having to hide or censor the truth is different then deciding where your ad money is coming from. It even matters less when you have hundred of ads in other places.
Count_Zeroon April 19, 2010 at 10:23 p.m.
@Konanda said:
"

Well Google delisting them from search results doesn't really violate any freedom of speech or even network netruality for that matter. If they were a government or an ISP that would be a different story but by restricting search results they aren't restricting the user from finding the site since the user can just use a different search engine or if they know the URL go straight to it themselves. In fact this is helping their competitors since the user may just decide to stick with another search engine that has that content listed instead meaning they don't see Googles ads in their search.  
 
It is a hypocritical move on their side though considering how Google evangelises network netruality

"
Yes and no. From what I understand (and IANAL), because Google is a "service provider" to a certain extent like the phone company or your ISP, they operate under Safe Harbor provisions, which basically means that they can't get in trouble for anything that goes over their network unless they start descriminating over what goes over their network (this is part of the reason why there was and is a fuss over Net Neutrality, because that could in theory violate Safe Harbor).
 
So, in theory, Google could get in trouble for this.
 
Now, while Federal Statue 42 USC 13032 (according to ChillingEffects.org) requires that Google (or other ISPs) report sites that have Child Pornography to the proper authorities, and limits their liability for so reporting, it doesn't say anything about taking the site down and, according to the Cornell University Law School, if I'm reading it right, the section in question has been repealed, so Google may still be in hot water if, say, down the road someone wants to say that Google no longer has any sort of Safe Harbor protections because Google has delisted sites like this one when they didn't necessarily have to.
KiraIsLon April 20, 2010 at 12:51 a.m.
What happened to "Don't be evil"?
snufkinn415on April 20, 2010 at 7:14 a.m.
@metalsnakezero:  But what makes you think YOUR opinion on what OTHERS should see matter at all? This attitude is what's killing the Internet as a neutral tool for communication and information. Censorship = Shit, no matter what government, company or person uses it.
HeeroYuyon April 20, 2010 at 9:16 a.m.
Allow me to point you all to §2256 part 11, in case anyone ever asks you where it says photorealistic works are exempt.
ShadowKnight508 moderator on April 20, 2010 at 11:04 a.m.
@sotyfan16 said:
"

For Dance in the Vampire Bund to be removed is stupid. I haven't read the manga but the anime has any nudity white-d out. Many scanlators do the same thing to manga (blurring and darkening private parts). I'm ashamed Google did this since it's suppossed to take over the world. But I guess if you can't topple the Chinese government you just can't take on the world, let alone allow sites with "iffy" content containing lolis (lots of disdain and mockery).

"
Well said, sotyfan16. I have noticed that ever since CNN began overblowing the Rapelay game, all of these new censorship rules seemed to have popped up and some of the "Loli" material has come under fire since the Wikipedia issue a week or two ago popped up.  (see the AnimeVice story of The Next John Handley Case: The People vs Wikipedia?). 
 
I personally think that they are overreacting to this issue of "Lolicon" material, but I do not bother with Loli material, so it does not affect me.
Tempestangelon April 20, 2010 at 4:13 p.m.
Mangafox has taken so many things down.... Mama wa doukyuusei and Aki-Sora.....  two of the best Hentai ever...
Konandaon April 20, 2010 at 8:37 p.m.
@Count_Zero said:
" @Konanda said:
"

Well Google delisting them from search results doesn't really violate any freedom of speech or even network netruality for that matter. If they were a government or an ISP that would be a different story but by restricting search results they aren't restricting the user from finding the site since the user can just use a different search engine or if they know the URL go straight to it themselves. In fact this is helping their competitors since the user may just decide to stick with another search engine that has that content listed instead meaning they don't see Googles ads in their search.  
 
It is a hypocritical move on their side though considering how Google evangelises network netruality

"
Yes and no. From what I understand (and IANAL), because Google is a "service provider" to a certain extent like the phone company or your ISP, they operate under Safe Harbor provisions, which basically means that they can't get in trouble for anything that goes over their network unless they start descriminating over what goes over their network (this is part of the reason why there was and is a fuss over Net Neutrality, because that could in theory violate Safe Harbor).
 
So, in theory, Google could get in trouble for this.
 
Now, while Federal Statue 42 USC 13032 (according to ChillingEffects.org) requires that Google (or other ISPs) report sites that have Child Pornography to the proper authorities, and limits their liability for so reporting, it doesn't say anything about taking the site down and, according to the Cornell University Law School, if I'm reading it right, the section in question has been repealed, so Google may still be in hot water if, say, down the road someone wants to say that Google no longer has any sort of Safe Harbor protections because Google has delisted sites like this one when they didn't necessarily have to. "
Google is not an ISP though. They are not providing access to the internet and last I checked this is what an ISP is. They provide many internet based services and products that are almost entirely sustained by advertisments but this is not what it means to be an ISP. However on checking the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (which smells of some of the shadiness that Bill C-61 had back before it died when the 39th session of Parliament was dissolved) it seems that they are included an an "OSP". (which is the first time I have ever heard of that term)
 
 
@HeeroYuy said:

"Allow me to point you all to §2256 part 11, in case anyone ever asks you where it says photorealistic works are exempt. "

(9) “identifiable minor”—
(A) means a person—
(i)
(I) who was a minor at the time the visual depiction was created, adapted, or modified; or
(II) whose image as a minor was used in creating, adapting, or modifying the visual depiction; and
(ii) who is recognizable as an actual person by the person’s face, likeness, or other distinguishing characteristic, such as a unique birthmark or other recognizable feature; and
(B) shall not be construed to require proof of the actual identity of the identifiable minor.
I guess this was last amended before furries became more widly known. (it's the internet I'm sure somebody has put up some more animalistic than anthropomorphic loli furries before somewhere in the deep dark series of tubes)

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