In a Japanese-language thread: one user suggests it's obviously necessary for Mastodon to implement (more than the current level of) age blocking, so you can designate a minimum age for people to read a toot, and this will solve the problem.

That only illustrates how far apart we are: Japanese think the important issue is the age of the *viewer*; Americans think it's about the *apparent age of the imaginary people in the picture*, and if that's too low NOBODY should be allowed to see it.


In France, all pedoporn is forbidden by law, even if its fictional.

@Simon_Archipoff Yeah, the law in Canada is unclear and not fully tested, but appears to *often* if not *always* apply to fictional material, too. Even just words. Because of a high-profile case around the turn of the century.

It is a problem that a lot of instances will have to address.

With the question : Does an instance hosts its global timeline ? It it responsible for its content ?
In france, the law require an obligation of mean for host to censor illegal stuffs.

@Simon_Archipoff I don't know what the right answer is; I don't even know what's most likely to actually happen, whether it's right or wrong. The international network community doesn't have a good track record of coming up with good solutions to such things, and this may strangle the baby Mastodon federation in its crib. But at least the whole thing will be fun to watch develop.

Indeed, it will be very interesting.

I guess will know very soon, because of the buzz around mastodon, a lot of journalists are present, and the pedoporn will be noticed and exposed on mainstream media.

@mattskala Are we talking about hentai? In which case: They just don't get the whole pedophilia thing. A fetish for little schoolgirls is par for the course in Japan. You can't ban that over there; most of the male population would go to prisen. Of course they're not going to agree with westerners that the imagery itself is disturbing.

@thor Yeah, I think we're talking about hentai. And yeah, they don't get it. But they also face legal obligations, because "not getting it" is baked into the law in a lot of places, and they may be obligated to block fictional material even if they don't, personally, consider it to be "child pornography."

@mattskala I believe it's technically baked into the law of Japan too. They just don't seem to care. It's typical of when laws don't match cultural norms. Whenever you try that, the law quickly gets ignored. See: Speed limits.

@thor The real/imaginary distinction is still seen as very important in Japan, and the focus is still on age of viewer. There was a recent Japanese court case on that, with someone convicted over fictional work and that being seen as very unusual, but I'm have a hard time digging up a link b/c news searches are turning up the more recent "3D vagina scan" case instead.

@mattskala There is a slight distinction in Norway for drawn material, but it's very slight. Personally, I think a ban on completely fictional material does more harm than good, because it removes a safe and harmless outlet for pedophiles. It's inches away from being a thoughtcrime.

@thor In Canada there have been a couple of rounds of efforts to make the law include fictional material - mostly because of grandstanding by social-conservative interests and a high-profile case back in 2000. And the Supreme Court has limited such efforts' effect. But the current law does cover fictional material and even text-only, to at least some extent.

@thor okay, found an article. It's in Japanese, but yields to Google Translate. Significant points are that 3D computer-rendered material was ruled illegal *despite* being fictional; ruling fictional material illegal being seen as an unusual thing to do. And in this case it was because it was considered especially realistic, despite being fictional.

@mattskala Ah, but see, they normally censor the vagina away in Japanese porn, even on drawings. That part of the body isn't legal to portray for some reason. Maybe the legal definition of porn is very narrow: "Don't display the genitals."

@thor It's a very complicated situation. I half-believe that the reason for mosaic censorship in Japan at this point is simply trade protectionism, so that local studios won't have to compete with American studios who don't do that!

@mattskala It would be interesting to gather a group of westerners and a group of Japanese and have them discuss how to deal with porn on Mastodon and have both groups be appalled at what the other group thinks, lol.

@thor Well, looks like that's what we're doing in realtime now...

@thor not so many threads involve me directly, but see , , and the timelines of people in those. seems to be down again right now, making it hard to pull up the Japanese-language side.

@mattskala The first user has complained to me, the instance owner, about loli content. That didn't take long. I have no problem with the content, since it's just drawings, but I'm forced to comply with the law of Norway.

@mattskala Yes, I kind of have to. I can't hunt individual accounts. I don't have the capacity for that. is now on the block list.

@mattskala They don't seem to care much for content warnings either. And I mean, that would only fix the "display" problem, not the "storing illegal content" problem.

@thor That's understandable - to me, living in the West. I don't know how it'll look from the .jp point of view as many instance admins feel themselves in the same position as you. Maybe the endgame will simply be two separate federations.

@mattskala Another complaint is Japanese text. It's the "French people" problem all over again. A more selective approach to language would be helpful, I feel. Like, being able to specify what you're speaking and what you're able to read, and it'll selectively display things according to preference.

@thor Just like Russian on Livejournal back in the day. But being able to read the "federated" timeline, or even the instance-local on a large instance, seems pretty remarkable to me anyway. Nobody has been able to do that on Twitter in years and years just because of volume. So it seems reasonable to me to say, well, only follow accounts you want to read and can read.

@mattskala I think I was following a couple of accounts on that instance too, for more benign artwork. I'm not terribly happy about this.

@thor If blocking is popular, Pixiv will be forced to take an interest. But it's not clear that the result of their taking an interest will be all content on the instance becoming acceptable to the West.

@mattskala I think that if you show the book Lolita to a Japanese person, they're going to miss the fact that the main character has a problem, evidenced by the fact that they apply the word "Lolita" to just about anything over there, including a style of dress, Gothic Lolita.

@thor yes but that issue even exists across time within the same culture. Lolita was less controversial in the USA when it was first published than it would be today, and to the extent it was controversial at the time, that was because she was his stepdaughter, not because she was underage. The standards on this stuff change fast, as well as differing between countries and among cultural groups within a country.

@thor Consider that 18 was once seen as a maximum marriageable age (older than that, a girl is an "old maid"); now it'd be thought of as a minimum.

@mattskala thats why you have a block function - you choose to block those you don't wan't to get into your feed ...

@outcast That works for me. It may not be enough to protect instance administrators, who will be storing third-party images in their local caches, for which they may or may not end up being held liable.

@mattskala That is true and one of many challenges with the distributed network. That's why we should not have large centralized instances but small communities. Controlling the content on the big instances will be a 24/7 job, impossible.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!