Let's talk about censorship at Sleepycomics.com...

Jul 16, 2012 06:05 PM
There was a discussion thread in a recent scene that caused me to think a lot lately. I posted a scene from my collection that had some questionable content, and I think it got some people worried. I want to use this post to address some of these concerns.

Let's start with a question: How is Sleepycomics.com possible? How can a website which has drawings of women being chloroformed, gassed, tied up, gagged, hit over the head, etc...exist in America?

We are allowed to exist because we have an amazing thing called free speech. We live in a society where we don't have to repress ourselves..we have the freedom to express ourselves. We share these images and we celebrate them freely, without worrying about being persecuted. It's a fundamental right we have.

There's a line though that we can't cross. That line is obscenity, and it is not protected by The First Amendment. Obscenity is content the community deems harmful to be shown, and includes things like extreme violence or pornography. As long as our expression doesn't harm anyone and is not obscene, we are protected by The First Amendment.

The obscenity clause is the reason why I censor nudity pretty liberally now. I usually censor it if I determine it to be "sexually explicit". Everyone's definition of "sexually explicit" is different. Some people think showing full frontal nudity is okay...some think it's explicit. Some people think showing a little nipple is okay...some don't. It depends on who you ask. It's a judgement call that I make every time I approve a scene. And believe it or not, sometimes it's a difficult call.
For example, everyone loves Dejah Thoris scenes. Only problem? The Martian Goddess wears practically nothing. Should I censor her scenes? I decided not to, because I deemed the nudity to be "artistic and tasteful". In other words, it wasn't obscene nudity.

There was another manga scene I found a few weeks back that was also a tough call. One of the pages had an unconscious woman, with full breasts exposed front and center. I debated whether I should share this find uncensored or not. I decided to censor it because I deemed it too explicit. I didn't like it though, because a beautiful scene was ruined by a bunch of square pixels.

Then there is the question of "underage" damsels. This is another tough balancing act. I decided early on, that the same rules apply: non-obscene free speech. As long as the scene doesn't show extreme violence, is not obscene and not sexually explicit...I don't have a problem with it. That is my rule. This rule seems crazy, and it may result in offensive content being posted every once in a while...but freedom has costs.

I'd rather show the world what I find, rather than hold back the information. Remember, every time I censor something, that's potentially good content that you will never see.

That being said, here are the following action items I plan to take:
* I will continue censoring images I find obscene.
* I will audit the database for previously approved stuff and remove anything obscene. I apologize if this causes your favorite scene to disappear.
* I am going to scale back my usage of exhentai.org as a source, and focus more on mainstream manga, comics and original art. Most of the good content from that site has been found anyway.
* I will continue to post my best scene finds.

Thank you for understanding. If you have questions or concerns, please e-mail me at [email protected] I WILL respond.

Free speech is an amazing thing. Appreciate it, and embrace it.


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( 9 )

musdy
Jul 16, 2012
I think g-ehentaiorg is better. But I will continue to visit both. That scene you mentioned was it the Fist of a North Star scene??
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gilslug
Jul 16, 2012
Okay, Red...a well argued position! The concern I voiced in our little 'debate' last night was simply about the use of images of underage girls ..
Now, I understand that almost all the heroines in Japaneese manga are schoolgirls. Truthfully, if you look at American comic books of the 40's and 50's, there are quite a few damsels that are schoolgirls as well (Catman, for one, had a teenage niece, Katie, who was frequently restrained, knocked out, etc in her 'sidekick' identity of 'The Kitten')..so, bottom line..keep up the great work, keep hunting for scenes, and I think a 'case-by'case' basis is the best way to go!

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Red
Jul 16, 2012
@musdy Yes, that was it. I almost didn't post that one.
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Red
Jul 16, 2012
@gilslug Thanks. I think about the legal challenges of Sleepycomics.com all the time, which is why I was able to come up with that.
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musdy
Jul 16, 2012
@Red Good thing you did!!!
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gytalf2000
Jul 17, 2012
It is hard to decide what scenes "cross the line" and which do not. It varies with individual tastes -- different people have different "ick factors"! And I do agree with you about free speech -- it is a very good thing!
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Red
Jul 17, 2012
@gytalf2000 Exactly! Part of my job is to make sure scenes are evaluated fairly. The 'no obscenity' rule is by far the fairest.
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Svetlana
Jul 18, 2012
While I am against any kind of censorship on a personal level I support Red in this for three reasons...

1: Its a free site and its his site. What right do I have to complain.
2:I would rather have the site here slightly censored then not have it at all due to it being shut down.
3: Just because a picture has been censored doesn't mean you are out of luck. If you want to see a full scene all you have to do is do an online search. I have searched for scenes found here many times, whether its to find an uncensored version or to look for what happened after the scene.

Anyways, that's just my two cents.

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Red
Jul 19, 2012
@Svetlana Hey thanks for your feedback.

Censorship must be done with good judgement, and in a way that serves the best interests of the community.

Also just want to reassure people, we are in NO way close to being shutdown for ANY reason at this point.

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