People are being arrested because of drawings—and the organizations that we trust to fight child sexual abuse online are responsible. We need your help to stop this, because it is putting innocent people’s lives in danger.
Hotlines for reporting illegal sexual images of minors play a vital role in the removal of such images from the Internet, and many of them operate with special powers from government to carry out this task. Yet Prostasia Foundation’s investigation has revealed that key members of INHOPE, the international association of Internet hotlines, are receiving and acting on reports of images that don’t depict real children at all… and that this is being used to criminalize LGBTQ+ people and artists.
To give just two examples of this growing human rights scandal:
- In May a 17 year old girl was arrested for posting manga-style drawings to her blog. The information leading to the arrest, under a repressive Costa Rican law, had been passed on by Canadian authorities.
- In November a transgender Russian woman was sentenced to three years imprisonment for posting manga-style images on social media. She was required to serve our this sentence in a men’s prison, where there are real fears that she may not survive.
Criminal charges like this must be stopped.
Although it takes time to change the law, we can create change right now by telling the Internet hotlines that drawings are not the same as child sexual abuse, and asking them to stop accepting reports of such images, which are being used to criminalize innocent people.
If people have a problem with explicit artworks, the right solution to that problem is to make it easier for such people to avoid seeing them. Prostasia Foundation’s No Children Harmed certification program explains how artists and Internet companies can do this—and nobody needs to be thrown in jail.
Treating artists, fans, and LGBTQ+ people as criminals is wrong. Speak out today by telling INHOPE that its members should not be treating art as child abuse. With your help, we can stop this madness and refocus the priorities of INHOPE members where they should be—on the protection of real children from abuse.