Concerning Archive of Our Own

Thing of Things

[content warning: discussion of stories about abuse, child porn, porn of teenagers]

I’ve gotten into a fair number of conversations recently about AO3’s way of dealing with controversial fanfics (i.e. you can use the standard archive warnings so people don’t have to see stories with rape or abuse or underage sex in it, but the moderators don’t delete fanfics), so I thought I should write up my thoughts on the subject.

Legal Issues

One controversial aspect of Archive of Our Own is the fact that they permit stories about underage people having sex with each other, which many people believe to be illegal in the US. Please note that I am not a lawyer and may have gotten many details wrong; I welcome corrections.

The current law which applies to child porn in the US is the PROTECT Act of 2003. Under the PROTECT Act, computer-generated child porn which…

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