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.