Many anime girl characters falls into the age bracket where it is arguably inappropriate to depict them in sexual situations. That said, this is exactly what happens liberally on many Japanese sites including NND. The Japanese anime fans can get away with depicting anime characters in sexually compromising situations because Japanese courts have ruled in favor of arguments that these are just cartoon characters and not real people so normal laws protecting minors do not apply to them.
Western web sites, have recognized that there is a problem with this line of thinking and especially since they have legal responsibilities and liabilities regarding these type of issues, they have put into place specific policies prohibiting the depiction of young girls in sexual situations regardless of whether these are real people or cartoon characters. Since web sites are privately operated, they are free to apply any rules or policies that they want and if you want to post works on their servers, you just have to comply with their policies. In addition, large sites for fear of lawsuits or regulatory problems have a huge incentive to err on the side of caution and will ban works based on the strict literal interpretation of their policies.
But, some of you might argue, in some places on Deviantart, there are some images and photos that are borderline pornographic and of course, pornography is also prohibited on this site. So how do people get away with it? Simple, those works generally use images of adults, not minors.
And this is where I ran into a problem.
Two of my works were removed from my gallery by DA a couple of months ago because they depicted Neru in the nude. The decision to remove these works was based on the interpretation of Neru being a minor. I personally don't regard or portray Neru as a minor, but DA's policy takes a different stance and since this is their site, their rules apply. They were not being fascist about the works, it is just that they chose to implement their policy in a strict manner and if I were to put myself into their shoes, I probably would have done the same thing.
However, I do want to point out that these works have been in my gallery for over two years and in fact I had quite forgotten about them until I received notifications in my message center that the works were reviewed, and the decision was made to remove them based on the guidelines set down by this site's policies. A similar thing happened to me on YouTube also, I had a video removed simply because Ditzy decided to do her performance in her birthday suit. At least there I had an opportunity to plead my case and contest the decision, but honestly, I have better things to do, so I let that slide and did not counter the decision.
My issue, however, is with why these cases arose in the first place because we all know for a fact that large sites like DA, YT and Tumblr don't actively monitor what is being posted. With the number of works that get posted to these sites everyday, it would be an impossible task. So what these sites have done is to build in mechanisms to allow users to flag works for possibly inappropriate content, and once a work is flagged, the site administrators will then review the complaint and act accordingly.
This is where we all have a problem. Some people are going around flagging works they don't like and exploiting the system to get their way. I believe Xoriu
's site fell victim to this practice.
Why do I say this?
All you need to do is to look at the two works that were removed from my gallery by the DA Admins. Both were of Neru. I have other risque works in my gallery, works that are far more provocative than the two Neru works that were removed. These works were not removed and are still there and I don't hide my mature content works, they have a folder of their own. Any of these could have easily been removed for the same reasons as was given by the DA Admins for removing the Neru works: depicting minors in sexual situations. But why haven't they been removed? Simply because they were not flagged. DA Admins don't go through galleries to look for possibly offending works, they just review works that are flagged and act accordingly.
Don't you find this a little disturbing? I did.
Let me state very clearly that I don't support child porn. Furthermore, although I recognize the fact that some of the characters in my works are teenage girls, I don't actually do anything out rightly pornographic with them. A bit of naughty fun perhaps but I do draw a very fine line and know where to stop. And certainly, in the case of one of the Neru works that was removed, it wasn't even naughty at all, it was just a nude study with Neru seen from the back. The other work was one of my illustrated comedic stories which had Neru and Len engaging in a sexual encounter which never came to fruition as it was interrupted by Rin. But even there, there was no pornographic element.
But what bugs me is the fact that these works existed on this site quite happily for about two years plus before they were removed and they were only removed because they were flagged. Someone had deliberately gone through my gallery folders picking out Neru works to flag because they objected to my more liberal portrayal of Neru's sexuality.
Well, there's no way to know for certain but I have a pretty good idea about the type of person who might have done this. To figure this out, all I had to do was to look at what has been happening on my YT channel. YouTube has a very useful analytic report that tells you what is happening on your channel. I get very few dislikes for my videos so I am always curious to where these dislikes are coming from and when I look at my reports, there is a consistent pattern. Almost all the dislikes I have received comes from only one country: the United States. Half my viewers are females and the largest proportion of those are under the age of 20. This has been very consistent throughout the time that my channel has existed. Additionally, most of the online 'drama' that has occurred on my DA account has resulted from activities instigated by teenage US girls.
So would you like to put some money down on the conclusion I've come to?
Basically, this is another manifestation of the MMD Police problem that the MMDC had to deal with a couple of years ago, but it is coming back in a far more dangerous form and as I have stated above, they're not just picking on me. Other Deviants who have communicated with me throughout the year have mentioned that they've had similar problems but I never paid much attention to it as a loss of a single deviation here and there doesn't really have a major impact. This was until what happened with Xoriu
's blog and what she thinks was at the root cause as to why she lost her Tumblr account.Xoriu
has spent years building a database of links to hundreds of quality MMD models. Her blog was an invaluable tool for modelers to showcase their work and for MMDers to search for their models. There's is no other resource outside of Japan like it, and in the entire MMDC, nothing comes close in terms of its comprehensive nature. The blog has had issues in the past with some elements of the Japanese MMDC over the issue of passwords, but Xoriu
worked closely with her Japanese counterparts to resolve this. But note that those in the Japanese MMDC that had issues with the blog didn't seek to have the blog banned. They just wanted a satisfactory resolution to their concerns which they got. So the fact remains that the site was recognized by all parties as a legitimate and useful resource for the entire MMDC.
But now it's gone.
It is gone because someone flagged a single post that had a picture of a nude model. Xoriu
didn't build the model, a Japanese modeler did. The model is displayed on NND with no problems. I honestly believe that her blog was deliberately and maliciously targeted by someone who either doesn't like Xoriu
, or was jealous of her success, or possibly even worse than these, they were seeking to impose their narrow moral view of the world on the rest of us. Losing Xoriu
's blog isn't just a loss for her, it is a loss for the entire MMDC, all because of the action of one single selfish individual.
Think about that.
When I first got involved in MMD and anime, I admit I was a little shocked at the liberal attitude that the anime culture takes towards the sexual portrayal of essentially teenage girls. But as I learnt more about the anime culture I've grown to accept that the Japanese society has a different moral compass than what we have over here. Even so, it is not a fixed viewpoint either, as within the Japanese anime culture itself there is a diversity of views as to what is acceptable morally and what is not; and like it or not, hentai works exists and thrives.
If you truly love anime, you have got to accept that there may be things that aren't so nice about the anime culture and some things that you just have to get used to. Things like pantsu shots, fan service episodes: the inevitable visits to hot springs or the beach that seems to be a feature in most anime series. All of these are done for 'fun' and are usually quite innocent. In recent years there have even been mainstream anime series that are borderline hentai.
No one forces you to watch things that you may find morally objectionable. Personally, if I come across an anime that is too gratuitous I just stop watching and honestly there are some series that are hard to stomach from my moral standpoint; and to be frank, I'm fairly liberal when it comes to sexual content.
All that said, seriously, to each his or her own. Just because I don't like it, doesn't mean others don't. All of the sexplotative anime series are targeted at an adult audience, and the last time I checked, adults are quite capable of making decisions as to what is and what is not morally acceptable to them.
My big issue is this, with the exception of outright 'kiddy porn', if someone come across something that is morally offensive to them, they need to think very carefully before they flag that item as inappropriate. Why do I say this? It's actually very simple. I don't think a single individual has the right to impose their moral views on others. Other people are quite capable of making up their minds as to what they regard as acceptable or not acceptable morally. When someone flags something as inappropriate and forces the hand of a website to remove a work, they have robbed others of their freedom to make that decision for themselves.
Censorship is a dangerous thing in a free society. Our Freedom of Speech Rights are there to protect all speech except certain things which the Courts have determined for the good of society as a whole as being inappropriate. This means that there will be expressions of speech which you may personally find objectionable. In MMD terms, this means that you will come across vocaloids and other MMD models in sexual situations. If you don't like what you're seeing, simply move on. Flagging these works as inappropriate isn't doing anyone any favors, rather the opposite; it removes the choice of others to decide for themselves what works they wish to experience. Most MMDers are quite responsible, they put contents of a sexual nature behind a mature filter. This means that the content is intended for 'mature' viewers. Note that the word used is 'mature' rather than 'adult', there is a reason for this and I will leave it to you to figure out why this is the case.
Implicit behind the term 'Mature Filter' is the warning that a work is of a sensitive nature. People then have the choice to view the work or not. No one has the right to make moral decisions for the rest of us by exploiting a system built to protect all of us from real instances of child porn, hate speech, etc. by bypassing a mature filter to flag something as inappropriate just because they have a personal sexual hang up or an axe to grind against an artist or fellow Deviant.
Or as in Xoriu
's case, by causing her Tumblr account to be terminated, that person has damaged the entire MMDC through the loss of her blog with a single click. You have no idea how angry I really am that this was done to one of the most decent MMDers that I have ever had the honor of interacting with and who has selflessly given so much to the entire MMDC over the years. It took real work, patience and dedication to build her database of model links. It makes me wonder what kind of real contribution the person that flagged her account has made to the MMDC. Probably not a lot if anything and if this is true, and I believe it to be, it is totally morally reprehensible.
CitruSmoothie is DownBefore any more people ask me about this.. Yes, I know CitruSmoothie is down. Actually I just recently found out about it.
My tumblr account has been terminated and tumblr sent me the following message to my mail:
"We've terminated your Tumblr account. As per the policies you agreed to when creating a Tumblr account, we do not allow inappropriate content involving minors OR depictions thereof (e.g. shota, loli, etc)."
So basically it means I have posted something that looks like child pornography... yeah...
I know for a fact that some days ago I featured a "semi-naked" model on the blog. However the model itself was censored (no nipples/genitalia showing) and how are you even supposed to determine the age of a 3D model? She did clearly have curves and I did not feature the model in any sexual way (as in posing her sexually) but yes, someone might still have reported it.
I have contacted tumblr on the matter and told them I am willing to remove the violating content asap a