Blog Inspired and informed by the brilliant Obscenity Lawyer
So it appears that the Obscene Publications Act has been used to prosecute a private individual engaging in a text chat online with another private individual.
Now, I don’t know about you – but I consider blogging to potentially count as a publication, even possibly Twitter, but a chat transcript .. not so much.
What were they talking about? Well, it was a discussion of “incestuous, sadistic paedophile sex acts on young and very young children” – clearly acts that everyone would agree are wrong beyond excuse. However “It was accepted that what was discussed was fantasy and not a reference to real events” and it was a private chat. Worrying? Maybe.
What is definitely worrying is that the Judgment itself (which you can read, as I did, here) potentially extends this ruling to the following ‘obscene’ acts:
“The following is not an exhaustive list but indicates the categories of material most commonly prosecuted: sexual act with an animal; realistic portrayals of rape; sadomasochistic material which goes beyond trifling and transient infliction of injury; torture with instruments; bondage (especially where gags are used with no apparent means of withdrawing consent); dismemberment or graphic mutilation; activities involving perversion or degradation (such as drinking urine, urination or vomiting on to the body, or excretion or use of excreta); fisting.”
Now if we can’t even talk about these things ‘as fantasy and not a reference to real events’ between ourselves online ..
I don’t know, guys.
Follow this guy, stay informed, it’s getting scary out there.