A history of obscenity censorship and hypothetically producing fictional content that might be considered obscene for temporary use in the USA

Hypothetically, if a person produces fictional content that might be considered obscene for temporary use in the USA and does not distribute it, but only views it themselves, have any laws been broken? Would police and or the FBI arrest a person for creating this type of content just for themselves? I do not understand obscenity law. Grand Theft Auto video games could be considered obscene under this law. Even South Park tv show could be argued to be obscene. I am not trying to troll on here nor accuse anyone on here of wrong doing. I am asking this question out of concern for myself only.

Well, first off all, your entire premise seems to be wrong.

There is no such thing as “presumptive obscenity”. It is not applied prior to, nor after court decisions, nor can materials be presumed to be obscene prior to a courtroom declaration.
You cannot and will not know if something is obscene unless a sitting judge signs off on a declaration in a court of law. Matters of obscenity themselves are also non-precedential, which means that the same material or type of materials may be introduced in the state/district or even the same courthouse at different times within the same year and found to be obscene and not obscene.

No form of sexually-charged expression, no matter how offensive or niche, grotesque, etc. or ‘safe’ can be presumed or predicted to be obscene prior to a courtroom decision.
That would be ex post facto and a constitutional violation of due process.
By virtue of being pornographic, it is artistically expressive as a matter of fact, but courts have acknowledged that matters of obscenity are not matters of fact, yet they attempt to fashion them as if they were to the detriment of the people.

Obscenity is not contingent on, nor is it regarded as a matter of fact, unlike child pornography, where all that matters of that fact alone.


Hypothetically, do local, state, and or federal police have the time and resources to investigate fictional content generated using AI art that would be illegal while not shared to the public? I always use a negative prompt to block out nsfw and illegal content and to ensure plausible deniability.

HAHA no. It’s about as unfeasible as saying that about a man with a pencil and paper (or drawing tablet and a PC) or a person with a keyboard/typewriter. Artistic expression is not constrained by threats of force, it is like life and it will find a way.

It would be in everyone’s best interest to work with it all and try to guide it to be ethical, rather than waste resources and cause harm to the literal millions of people whose lives would be uprooted and ruined by such draconian and punitive measures.

As for AI? It’s a difficult question.
The floodgates are open, the genie is out of the bottle.
Unless Ashcroft and Williams get overruled, that shit is here to stay. This isn’t like exploiting children and recording their exploitation and suffering, reducing human trauma to a commodity for other’s entertainment and pleasure. These are machine-generated images whose models are more than likely trained on 3DCG images and petite adults, rather than anything involving real children, let alone abuse images.

I think any policymaker would do right to realize that as technology advances, so too does the means or methods of control. If a line has to be drawn, it should be drawn in the only place that matters: WHERE THERE IS PROVABLE, REAL, AND SUBSTANTIAL HARM

The right to free speech and expression wasn’t conceived in a vacuum. It’s a logical response to centuries of human history, furthered by social and philosophical enlightenment grounded by the recognition of, and rejection of the puritanical and tyrannical means of control espoused by regimes past.

Jurists would do right by their constituents to familiarize themselves with John Stewart Mill’s harm principle.


Stanley v. Georgia

Possession of material that can be found obscene is protected.

Certain methods of transferring obscene material is what is proscribed.

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As a conservative libertarian, I believe in the first amendment. Obscenity laws violate the first amendment. They make no sense. John Kerry should have won in 2004 even though he was not my ideal presidential candidate. There was evidence of voter fraud with computer voting machines. Corrupt politicians of different political parties make laws while also going along with corruption themselves. I used to like George W Bush, but I no longer like him. He and Congress violated the Constitution of the United States multiple times when he was president.

You can thank Nixon for the Burger court. It was Burger who hardened obscenity laws, throwing out the Roth decision.

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I am also a Christian. I think books have been censored by the USA since the 1700s. Let me look into this.


Warning: The link contains mature text content. The link should only be read by legal adults only.

The Comstock Act started in 1873.

Indeed, the Comstock act is discussed on the Wiki article you posted. The article I posted explains details that are relevant to many discussions on this forum.

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The Lost Generation of World War I fought against obscenity laws themselves. They left America after World War I because the war was a horrible experience for them. The American writers and poets wanted to be free of restrictions. Ironically enough, Dragon Ball anime tells the same story of lost generations. Roshi would represent a lost generation because of his immorality. Goku, Yamcha, Bulma, and additional characters represent lost generations also. The Sun Also Rises novel by Ernest Hemingway has bull fights. Dragon Ball has martial arts tournament fights. School libraries in the USA removed Dragon Ball manga because it contained nude content even though Dragon Ball is rated TV14. It makes sense why schools removed it though.


At some point, rather than attributing greed or selfishness as the root of all evil, the idea that sex is the root of evil dominated.

What matters is the agency to moderate and the extent one feels protective of others.

Many who adhere to religious beliefs associate mentions of temptation primarily with sex.

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