Despite the broad freedom of expression guaranteed by the First Amendment , there are some historically rooted exceptions. First, the government may generally restrict the time, place, or manner of speech, if the restrictions are unrelated to what the speech says and leave people with enough alternative ways of expressing their views. Second, a few narrow categories of speech are not protected from government restrictions. The main such categories are incitement, defamation , fraud , obscenity , child pornography , fighting words, and threats.
Obscenity and Pornography | The First Amendment Encyclopedia
Utah Lawmaker Says Internet Porn Violates First Amendment
Images of child pornography are not protected under First Amendment rights, and are illegal contraband under federal law. Section of Title 18, United States Code, defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor someone under 18 years of age. Visual depictions include photographs, videos, digital or computer generated images indistinguishable from an actual minor, and images created, adapted, or modified, but appear to depict an identifiable, actual minor. Undeveloped film, undeveloped videotape, and electronically stored data that can be converted into a visual image of child pornography are also deemed illegal visual depictions under federal law. Notably, the legal definition of sexually explicit conduct does not require that an image depict a child engaging in sexual activity. A picture of a naked child may constitute illegal child pornography if it is sufficiently sexually suggestive.
First Amendment and Censorship
Pornography refers to material dealing with sex designed to arouse its readers or viewers. There are two types of pornography that receive no First Amendment protection — obscenity and child pornography. The First Amendment generally protects pornography that does not fall into one of these two categories — at least for adult viewers. Obscenity Obscenity remains one of the most controversial and confounding areas of First Amendment law. Supreme Court justices have struggled mightily through the years to define it.
Era Overviews. The Supreme Court has never interpreted freedom of speech to include obscenity, which is generally considered to fall outside the protection of the First Amendment. But the debate over what constitutes obscenity and how it should be regulated has long troubled Americans. It can be dangerous, especially to women.