Google Search has banned the scanlator group "Little White Butterflies" from their search index. As in action, other sites as MangaFox and MangaUpdates (baka) were forced to either remove scanlations or get their google adds ripped off.
Series like Dance in a vampires bund, Omamori Himari and even Kaichou wa maid-sama have been removed because they were too "mature" and contained minors.
MangaFox did so, MangaUpdates refused to subordinate to this request...
Google has delisted the Little White Butterflies lolicon manga scanlation site from its index based on a complaint that the site hosted child pornography, despite the complaint having little actual merit based on independent research. This also follows another similar complaint received by aggregator MangaFox this past weekend, which promptly removed a number of titles afterwards that were clearly listed as lolicon manga despite having no pornographic content.
As the United States Code exempts fictional sexual depictions of children under 18 U.S.C. § 2256(11), the delisting clearly violates Google’s “do no evil” ethical policy in light of its failed anti-censorship crusade in China, but furthering the issue as a legal matter will be difficult as suggested by others in the community since the site hosts copyright infringing derivative works without proper licensing to distribute the material.
The above situation creates a dilemma as publishers and authors are averse to defend a site which conflicts with their commercial interests while expressing support on ethical and free speech grounds in any other case.
The webmaster for the site has contacted Google to work with the search provider in order to resolve the issue, though it remains to be seen what the end result will be. The Handley case continues to have its shockwaves felt, with these latest issues at the forefront.
This is one of the few conflicts in line about the issue of "Loli manga" as considered as child pornography or not...
However, at least one current US definition of child pornography explicitly excludes artistic depictions:
This definition does not apply to depictions that are drawings, cartoons, sculptures, or paintings depicting minors or adults.
Other definitions (there are a wide variety of conflicting statutes) which do not exclude 2D material are usually said to be unconstitutional but have generally gone unenforced and unchallenged, giving lolicon material a murky legal status.
Google apparently did not concern itself with such subtleties and simply removed the site, leaving a standard “deleted results” disclaimer in its place.
The site itself has now been removed from the indexes of all Google servers, raising additional concerns over the global censorship of results based on US law alone.
With Google seemingly acknowledging it has a duty to delete millions of sites with “loli” material, irrespective of their legality wherever they might be published, it would appear it will either have to back down or begin systemically delisting huge swathes of the Japanese Internet (recall that even mainstream publications like Shonen Jump freely publish lewd depictions of underage characters), to say nothing of the wider Internet.
In fact, practically any illustrated depiction of sexual activity could be branded child pornography if this approach were taken to extremes – few could reasonably claim to be able to tell the difference between a 17-year-old cartoon and an 18-year-old one. Abusive and excessive use seems all but inevitable.
Others have pointed out that with the site in question already hosting material in violation of publisher copyright, artists and publishers are likely to be especially ambivalent about pressing the matter with Google lest they end up supporting piracy of their own works – clearly it would have been more desirable for such a test case to be unencumbered by copyright violation as well.
Google’s “do no evil” policy has largely been left in tatters since its abortive dalliance with the Chinese government, but with the introduction of an apparent system of anonymous child pornography denunciations with no legal basis it appears set to become even less credible.
Regarding this issue, Google seems to go through with their plan to clear out it's record on everything related to this aspect. Such as, banning important manga sites from their main funding google adds, as has happened with baka...
Originally Posted by Banned from Adsense, Future funding plans
In case you haven't noticed recently, we've removed all of the ads supporting this site. We recently received an email from Google stating our account was disabled. Upon appeal, we were rejected. No particular reason was provided, so we are quite surprised as we have funded the site using Adsense for the past 5 years with no issues. If anything, I suppose I feel quite liberated. It was quite daunting living in the environment of fear Google has created with their Publisher system.
As far as funding issues go, we're not sure where we stand at the moment. Over the next few weeks, I will be experimenting with different ad networks. We're not in the red yet, but this is something we will try to work out over the next few months. If we cannot find a suitable replacement, we will be forced to ask for donations as it comes time to pay our server bills. I had hoped it would never come to this, but we cannot control everything. I have enjoyed the free ride that Adsense has given us over the years, and only hope that any new network we join is not more intrusive to your experience than Adsense was.
For the moment, everyone sit tight. We're going to try some alternative funding routes.
Thank you all for your understanding,
Yet, it's not verified that the "Little White Butterflies" incident is related with Googles move to reject baka from their funding.
But if baka won't have the money needed to host it's server, the most important manga library and information page of the internet will vanish underlying Googles decision.
It might be that more manga scanlation groups, manga online viewer sites and information pages might be affected of Googles decision to ban anything related to this incident...
I will keep monitoring this new situation and will post uptodates if anything new happens...
I don't give a rat's ass if loli is considered child porn legally or not. It's pedophilic and everybody knows it. Grow up, admit it, move on with life. That being said, lolicons are not pedophiles. They're not mutually exclusive either, but one does not instantly imply the other. I, for one, find many lolis in animanga extremely cute (read: MOE) but have yet to find a single child sexually attractive.
But that's not the point, is it? We're arguing if Google is justified in removing the aforementioned parties from their ads. Legally, loli is not child porn. Google removing these sites based on a child pornography claim is misinformed. But hell, Google can do whatever they damn well please. They own the ads, they control the ads. Doesn't mean their right, but it's not the point. It's removed and you better learn to deal with it.
Ah, but "Google is improperly censoring!" you claim. "Isn't this hypocritical when compared to their actions in China?" Well, damn straight it is. Why do you think Google pulled out of China? Because they were AGAINST CENSORSHIP?! I think not. From an economic standpoint, they were gaining very little in the Chinese search engine market, which is primarily owned by Chinese portals. They want to pull out, and what better way to do it than show the rest of the world how they're standing up for democracy, eh? It's a goddamn publicity stunt. Even if they don't leave China, now every "democracy advocate" and their grandmother is going to be using Google as a search engine just so they can stick it to the man. So let's look at lolicon, shall we? Who do they please with such an action? Lots of people who are outright against lolicon (people with morals, shall we say?). Who do they piss off? Otakus, weeaboos, internet denizens who like freedom of speech, and Japan. Google doesn't give a shit about otakus and weeaboos, and Japan sure as hell won't care about how scanlators of loli materials are now banned from Google. Internet denizens? Which one of you can actually do some substantive damage to Google? At the end of the day, even if you're absolutely furious, you're going to go use their services anyway because they're so pervasive.
Bottom line: Don't waste your breath. Google won't listen. Take action or something, if you really think that will help.
"Numbers aren't relevant. An amateur practices until they get it right. A professional practices until they cannot go wrong."