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Harmful to minors

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Definitions Edit

Child Online Protection Act Edit

Under the provisions of the Child Online Protection Act[1] the term harmful to minors is defined any "communication. . . that is obscene or that:

  1. the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find, taking the material as a whole and with respect to minors, is designed to appeal to, or is designed to pander to, the prurient interest;
  2. depicts, describes, or represents, in a manner patently offensive with respect to minors, an actual or simulated sexual act or sexual contact, an actual or simulated normal or perverted sexual act, or a lewd exhibition of the genitals or post-pubescent female breast; and
  3. taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic political, or scientific value for minors."[2]

General Edit

States have the right to deem certain speech that is protected for adults obscene with respect to minors ("harmful to minors" statute). The U.S. Supreme Court has held that these statutes must be quite narrow and must not limit adult access to protected speech. Consequently, applying these statutes to material on the Internet has proven quite complicated, as current technology makes it difficult to discern between adult and minor viewers.

References Edit

  1. Pub. L. No. 105-277.
  2. 47 U.S.C. §231(e)(6).

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