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You are here: Home > Forum > A Place of Safety > General Talk > Pondering pornography
Pondering pornography  [message #32711] Fri, 09 June 2006 16:45 Go to next message
timmy

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Is it harmful? Does viewing it make the acts depicted more acceptable? If I (for example) had been photographed as a nubile teen doing things teens apparently do in porn pics and films would it have harmed me and my outlook on life?

I suppose we need a definition. So let's state that pornography is pictures which show the genitals, either in action or not, in company or not, with no consideration of age of the subject, and intended to stimulate the average viewer sexually. Other definitions will vary, but let's be consistent here.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Pondering pornography  [message #32712 is a reply to message #32711] Fri, 09 June 2006 16:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
marc is currently offline  marc

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timmy wrote:
> Is it harmful? Does viewing it make the acts depicted more acceptable? If I (for example) had been photographed as a nubile teen doing things teens apparently do in porn pics and films would it have harmed me and my outlook on life?

Harmful....? That is a judgment call and will vary with each player.....
Acceptable?.... That also depends on the mores of the viewer.....

As far as outlook on life.... That totaly depends on the mindset of the person at the onset of the adventure.... If it is coerced in any way, well, need I say more.... If it is nothing more than a business arrangment then treat it for what it is.... A job with a paycheck at the end of the day...
>
> I suppose we need a definition. So let's state that pornography is pictures which show the genitals, either in action or not, in company or not, with no consideration of age of the subject, and intended to stimulate the average viewer sexually. Other definitions will vary, but let's be consistent here.



If the subject is of legal age and able to make an informed decision as to the reprecussions reguarding posing for porn pictures then there is nothing askew.....

If either of these two criteria are not met then it is harmful to the person.

If neither of these criteria are met then it is abuse....



Life is great for me... Most of the time... But then I meet people online... Very few are real friends... Many say they are but know nothing of what it means... Some say they are, but are so shallow...
Re: Pondering pornography  [message #32713 is a reply to message #32712] Fri, 09 June 2006 17:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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I should also have said "assume age of consent matters are not breached"

I posed the question because so many people state that pornography is harmful, but there seems never to be any form of citation to back this up.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Aungier_Pakenham%2C_7th_Earl_of_Longford for example, was allowed to import oodles of Danish porn into the UK in the 1970s and to attempt to come to a conclusion.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Pondering pornography  [message #32716 is a reply to message #32711] Fri, 09 June 2006 18:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brian1407a is currently offline  Brian1407a

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What someone does if they are of legal age, is their business. Pics of young boys? Lets say a man befriends a boy, 8 or 9 years old, The boy begins to trust him and yeh even love him and the man says he loves the boy. then the man asked or gets the boy to pose or act in pics or video. The boy is afraid he will lose the man if he doesnt do it. The man does not love the boy, the man is abusing the boys trust in him and the boy is humiliated. Later in life it is going to haunt the boy. He knows that somewhere on the internet his pics are floating around, being traded like baseball cards.



I believe in Karma....what you give is what you get returned........

Affirmation........Savage Garden
Re: Pondering pornography  [message #32718 is a reply to message #32711] Fri, 09 June 2006 18:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Deeej is currently offline  Deeej

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I've no problem with people posing for pornography if they know what they are doing, that they can't undo it, that it demeans them (at least, in the eyes of many), and that potentially many thousands of people will access the images they make without them being able to prevent it. I've no doubt that it makes economic sense for some. Of course, they may live to regret it, but provided that at the time they are in full agreement -- and aware of all the implications -- then I see no reason they shouldn't go ahead. People always change their opinions over the years.

I would not specifically label a particular age as "abusive" over a year or so later being not abusive (I'm perfectly aware of the law, Marc, and I agree that it has to exist) because I am inclined to think that a naive 18/19 year-old could be persuaded to do things s/he would regret just as much as a naive 16 year-old. Each case needs to be taken individually, and, unfortunately, the chances are that some young people will be exploited. However, the law is good as a guideline and I suppose for its purposes 18 years old is as good a cut-off as any.

Personally, I have no love for pornography and it would not make a major difference to me if it legally became much harder to access or make. I would, however, object on the grounds of freedom of speech and action.

David
Re: Pondering pornography  [message #32722 is a reply to message #32716] Fri, 09 June 2006 22:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
tBP is currently offline  tBP

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while not at all condoning that sort of abusive situation, i would say there are plenty of boys who honestly don't mind being photographed in the nude, and would happily volunteer, let alone get paid... exhibitionism is hardly limited to the over 18s...

admittedly, i'm not really thinking of 8 or 9 yr olds in that situation, more 13+...

i've recently met a 23yr old gay man, whos a cheerful nudist (nauralist?) and says he's been doing it since he was 13/14 or so... his boyfriend, i think 22, is a photographer... Tony doesn't mind posing for pics at all, in fact he loves it... he's even suggested that his boyfriend sell some of the images to raise some cash when they've been short...

anyway... ermmm yeah, my point here being that plenty of the more extrovert or less inhibited boys (and perhaps girls? i don't know) have no problems with it, so long as they don;t feel forced... but then that applies to all thingfs in life, no one likes to be forced into anything...



Odi et amo: quare id faciam, fortasse requiris.
Nescio, set fieri sentio et excrucior
Re: Pondering pornography  [message #32723 is a reply to message #32711] Fri, 09 June 2006 22:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
pimple is currently offline  pimple

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Greetings Boss-

Is there a difference between pornography that is strictly words and that which is images?

Lets stick to visual stuff at the moment. If the intended purpose is to get the viewer 'off' then almost everything, and certainly ALL body parts, are likely to achieve the goal for someone. Spiked heeled boots might have an impact on some, and others might react that way to white socks and work boots, just as photos of large breasted women and flat bellied men affect others.

My granddaughter uses cloth diapers (nappies) on my great-grandson, and we recently had a conversation about the fact that the women in the forum that is dedicated to cloth diapers no longer post pictures of their diapered little ones because some strange people were down loading the images and posting them on fetish boards. (How the women discovered this is a separate issue). Who would think that 'clothed' baby beefcake could be anything but cute. It proves that ANYTHING can be a fetish object! (and a photograph of that object is pornography for...)

Skinner and other psychologists have proven that repetitive viewings of a stimulating image has the effect of lessening the reaction to the image over time. However; without the electro-shock aspect, I suspect that the 'victim' , or user/consumer would likely have the opinion that because the image is readily available, then it is more socially acceptable.

Does anybody on a story site want to talk about 'words'???????

Regards
Simon



Joy Peace and Tranquility

Joyceility
Pornographic words  [message #32726 is a reply to message #32723] Fri, 09 June 2006 22:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Deeej is currently offline  Deeej

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Well, words...

No-one is harmed by fictional words, either directly or indirectly, at the time or afterwards, except possibly the author if he writes something he (or she) would rather not have written. Pornographic stories describing real-life individuals, I suppose, could be dangerous only in that they breach a person's privacy; but there are plenty of privacy and libel laws to stop that if that person did not provide their consent.

In today's society, however, there are certain subjects that are so controversial that if they are approached in words they immediately get labelled "pornography". With legal pornography this doesn't matter very much, as both the words and the acts they describe are legal, but when someone starts trying to find equivalence between fictional words (regardless of what they describe) and illegal acts (rape, under-age sex, etc.) then I am baffled. No-one is hurt, no illegal acts took place. This does not mean I approve of the words, simply that I do not think they can be treated as equivalent to anything. Sticks and stones, even though it is actually not true in many cases, is true in this one.

I, personally, don't believe in censorship. Perhaps I'm naive in assuming that people can make up their own minds and behave accordingly, in an intelligent and thoughtful manner. But I don't think people are blindly influenced by the things they see or look at or read. There is far more to it than that.

David
Re: Pornographic words  [message #32727 is a reply to message #32726] Fri, 09 June 2006 23:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
pimple is currently offline  pimple

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Deeej wrote:
> Well, words...
>
> No-one is harmed by fictional words, either directly or indirectly, at the time or afterwards, except possibly the author if he writes something he (or she) would rather not have written. Pornographic stories describing real-life individuals, I suppose, could be dangerous only in that they breach a person's privacy; but there are plenty of privacy and libel laws to stop that if that person did not provide their consent.

But if the desensitization by exposure to a particular act as described in literature causes a deranged individual to conclude that the specific act that fires his libido is socially acceptable....?



Joy Peace and Tranquility

Joyceility
So far as I am aware ...  [message #32730 is a reply to message #32711] Sat, 10 June 2006 01:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
cossie is currently offline  cossie

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... there is no validated and scientific study demonstrating that either pornography or the portrayal of violence (whether in words or in pictures) materially influences sexual or violent behaviour. The presumption that behaviour IS so influenced is an example of the shortcomings of the 'common sense' we recently discussed.

On a number of occasions, much has been made of the fact that a person charged with sexual or violent offences had sexual or violent material in his or her possession. The tabloid press usually trumpets that this material contributed to the crime, but the inference has no proven legitimacy. It would perhaps be more surprising if a sex offender did NOT possess some pornographic material, but in any event such possession is not evidence of a causal link. For every possessor of pornography who commits a physical sexual assault, there will be thousands who do not. All ducks may be birds, but that in no way justifies a counter-proposition that all birds are ducks!

The subject generates emotive rather than considered responses. Even Lord Longford failed (so far as I recollect) to attempt the obvious scientific comparison of offence rates in societies where pornography of pretty well every description was freely available (Denmark and Holland, for example)with those in which pornography was much more difficult to obtain.

The lessening of stimulation from an image after repeated viewings has indeed been scientifically demonstrated, but surely that conclusion is not at all surprising. Has it been established that repeated exposure to a continuing stream of DIFFERENT images of the same type has the same effect? Attempting a purely logical view, is it not equally possible that access to pornography may help an individual to contain his desires rather than to progress to a physical assault?

As regards the effect upon those portrayed in pornographic material, there is fairly abundant evidence that it may indeed be permanently damaging to those who were coerced into participation - such evidence clearly emerges from several prosecutions initiated by such victims in later life. I am not aware of any evidence that it is equally damaging to those who participate willingly, though if the experience HAD been damaging, they would be equally able to lodge a complaint initiating a police enquiry. Looking simply at the effect upon the individual, I'm inclined to agree with Black Prince; age is probably of less significance than temperament. Of course, though I have tried to be logical, my views are necessarily speculative. The only way to establish the true situation is to conduct the necessary research - and, of course, that involves identifying subjects who do not feel that the experience has been damaging. Not, perhaps, an easy task, but essential if a valid conclusion is to be drawn.



For a' that an' a' that,
It's comin' yet for a' that,
That man tae man, the worrld o'er
Shall brithers be, for a' that.
Re: Pornographic words  [message #32733 is a reply to message #32726] Sat, 10 June 2006 06:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brian1407a is currently offline  Brian1407a

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The US passed an internet pornography act. It covered cartoons depicting sex between adults and children and children and children. The US supreme court said they could not make drawings illegal because no living person was involved. No harm no foul.



I believe in Karma....what you give is what you get returned........

Affirmation........Savage Garden
Re: Pondering pornography  [message #32736 is a reply to message #32723] Sat, 10 June 2006 08:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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Yes. One is words. The other is images.

>So let's state that pornography is pictures which show the genitals, either in action or not, in company or not, with no consideration of age of the subject, and intended to stimulate the average viewer sexually. Other definitions will vary, but let's be consistent here.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
The same  [message #32740 is a reply to message #32727] Sat, 10 June 2006 11:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Deeej is currently offline  Deeej

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Simon Rutlust said,
>But if the desensitization by exposure to a particular act as described in literature causes a deranged individual to conclude that the specific act that fires his libido is socially acceptable....?

Dot dot dot dot?

As I said,
>But I don't think people are blindly influenced by the things they see or look at or read. There is far more to it than that.

As you say yourself, the individual would have to be deranged first. I appreciate that it may be (arguably -- it is virtually impossible to establish these things with any degree of certainty) a contributory factor but in the end I believe in two things: 1. personal responsibility, and 2. not making a single factor a scapegoat. People are influenced by so, so, many things that we can't say that one single one would make a major difference. Upbringing is far more important, because it is that that sets a person's moral boundaries.

For the vast majority of people, if they chose to read about depictions of rape, or paedophilia -- regardless of what its purpose was -- it would not immediately convert them into a rapist or a paedophile. (I don't know why they would want to read it, but I would not deny them that right.) Yet even if they were predisposed to feeling attracted to that sort of thing, it is a step too far to say that it would "push them over the edge".

Otherwise we would have to prevent all people from entering a shop in case they try to shoplift, from walking down the street in case they try to mug someone, from any single woman being left alone in the presence of a relatively unknown man, from all inviduals under the age of 18 being left alone with a known person over the age of 18... et cetera. All of those are opportunistic contributory factors that could "push someone over the edge".

The existence of the possibility that a "deranged individual" might do something that the vast majority of normal, sane people would not even consider, does not make it a good idea to ban it.

David
Thank you, Cossie -- very interesting!  [message #32744 is a reply to message #32730] Sat, 10 June 2006 11:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Deeej is currently offline  Deeej

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icon5.gif Re: Pondering pornography  [message #32756 is a reply to message #32711] Sat, 10 June 2006 18:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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"Does viewing it make the acts depicted more acceptable?"

That is the part that we seem not to have touched on



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Advertising would indicate that it does  [message #32757 is a reply to message #32756] Sat, 10 June 2006 20:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
pimple is currently offline  pimple

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Greetings Boss

We are aware that the ad images that shocked us years ago are no longer considered on the cutting edge. Movies that received an 'x' rating 20 years ago are tame compared to the ones that are released now with an 'r' rating.

Regards
Simon



Joy Peace and Tranquility

Joyceility
Re: Advertising would indicate that it does  [message #32758 is a reply to message #32757] Sat, 10 June 2006 21:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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Simon Rutlust wrote:
> Greetings Boss
>
> We are aware that the ad images that shocked us years ago are no longer considered on the cutting edge. Movies that received an 'x' rating 20 years ago are tame compared to the ones that are released now with an 'r' rating.
>
I'm not sure I was ever shocked by an advert unless it was a gore based anti drink and drive one.

The movie rating scheme is adninistered by our "betters" who decide things for us.

I need more than that to go on. I never trusted my "betters".

Take a sexual practice that I think is distasteful. If I see it and dislike it, will I eventually accept it, then like it, then want to do it?



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Advertising would indicate that it does  [message #32759 is a reply to message #32758] Sat, 10 June 2006 22:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Navyone is currently offline  Navyone

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Just like they say no two snowflakes are alike (please skip the opposing point of view) no two minds are alike. What we detest today we may well love tomorrow. I think exposure to a huge Varity of things may well influence that. Thus being exposed to pornography or what ever may or may not influence an individual.
But it ISN'T advertising ...  [message #32769 is a reply to message #32759] Sun, 11 June 2006 01:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
cossie is currently offline  cossie

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... nor even analogous to it.

These days, advertising is a complex and scientific business. Huge amounts have been spent in researching the kind of images to which potential customers react, and the kind of messages which best enforce them. The whole objective of the exercise is to modify behaviour.

Pornography is simply 'there'. Clearly, if a person is regularly exposed to a pornographic image which he finds distasteful, he will ultimately become inured to it, but I don't know of any evidence to suggest that this will change his view about what is portrayed.

Consider a picture of a succulent leg of pork, not accompanied by any advertising message. Put it on an advertising hoarding opposite a vegetarian restaurant. The picture may well stimulate the gastric juices of those with a fondness for pork, but it will do nothing to change the eating habits of the patrons of the restaurant. So it is with pornography, and equally with violent films - exposure will not pique the interest of those who had no interest in the first place.

The changes in film censorship and advertising standards reflect a liberalisation of the views of society as a whole, but that is largely because the balance of society is changing. It does not require any constructive change in the views of a single individual. For example, those born around 1950 reached adulthood in the ultra-liberal atmosphere of the late 1960s - the Summer of Love, Woodstock, hallucigenic drugs et al. Like every generation, their outlook moderated as they grew older, but overall it remained less narrow than that of their parents. And so it goes on through successive generations. Power progressively shifts from the old to the less old; the views of the old do not need to change; society's view will change simply because the old become less influential. I'm not suggesting that this is necessarily a good thing - in many ways it is not - but it is clearly happening. Of course, if a future generation were to react against liberalisation, the same process would lead to a progressive shift in the opposite direction.

I should perhaps make it clear that I don't like extremely violent films and I don't like extreme pornography - but I don't think that my life has been materially influenced by either.



For a' that an' a' that,
It's comin' yet for a' that,
That man tae man, the worrld o'er
Shall brithers be, for a' that.
Calvin Klein underwear billboards were 'out there'  [message #32771 is a reply to message #32758] Sun, 11 June 2006 03:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
pimple is currently offline  pimple

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They were referred to as 'pornographic' and 'homoerotic' and in bad taste.

Those images are tame.

It wasn't the rating system that I was commenting on, but the reactions of the viewing public. Here, at least, Midnight Cowboy, which was x rated, was really shocking. Twenty years later Baby was not.

Sexual acts are only somewhat subject to fad appeal. Some people will be bothered by where they put their tongues no matter how 'in' something may be.

How about the ebb and flow of drug use as an example?

Regards
Simon



Joy Peace and Tranquility

Joyceility
Re: Calvin Klein underwear billboards were 'out there'  [message #32772 is a reply to message #32771] Sun, 11 June 2006 08:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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"Public Morality" comes into play with billboards. And the US Public seems easily shocked in a formal manner. I'm really not looking at advertising here in any form at all.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Calvin Klein underwear billboards were 'out there'  [message #32775 is a reply to message #32771] Sun, 11 June 2006 19:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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Simon Rutlust wrote:
> Sexual acts are only somewhat subject to fad appeal. Some people will be bothered by where they put their tongues no matter how 'in' something may be.

I have always enjoyed the fad of sexual acts:). I do see where you are coming from with regard to tongues, but it has always happened and always will. The question is about becoming inured to, then attracted to the acts that once were personally "disgusting"

I truly have no interest in society, simply in personal reactions.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Pondering pornography : Body without Soul  [message #32779 is a reply to message #32711] Mon, 12 June 2006 11:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
NW is currently offline  NW

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I'm not against pornography where it depicts legal acts freely entered into between consenting adults.

But it's worth being aware of the sources of the porn. As far as I know, reputable companies like Bel Ami do nothing but good for their models. However, there are companies that trade on the weakest and most vulnerable members of society: I would urge anyone interested in this to get hold of a copy of "Body without Soul", a documentary about the street-boy models used by the "Mans's Best" videos, including interviews with a prominent director of Man's Best porn videos. (Copies available for sale & rental on Amazon and elsewhere)

"Documentary look at doomed male prostitutes in Prague, ages 15 to 18, who troll at the local swimming pool, the train station, a video arcade, and a disco. The sex is without protection, the boys are without family. They talk about their bodies and souls, their sexual orientation, AIDS, their dreams, and death".

We need a "fair trade" scheme for porn, guaranteeing that workers have been treate fairly, but that seems unlikely to happen in the near future.



"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. ... Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night devoid of stars." Martin Luther King
Re: Pondering pornography  [message #32780 is a reply to message #32756] Mon, 12 June 2006 12:22 Go to previous message
NW is currently offline  NW

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timmy wrote:
> "Does viewing it make the acts depicted more acceptable?"
>
This is pretty complex, and I think varies from individual to individual.

I think that for many, viewing acts does give reassurance that one is not the only person to feel a certain way, and so can make it easier to face such feelings and decide what to do about them. This can (IMO) be a good thing - I am generally in favour of self-knowledge.

But accepting that one has certain feelings, and that others also have such feelings, is a far cry from acting on them - that's a separate (moral) decision. I would argue that in some cases (feeling attracted to members of the same sex) acting on them is a good thing, and in others (feeling attracted to pre-pubertal kids, say) it would be quite wrong.

My own perspective may be useful: my sexual fantasies nearly all involve me being a "top", sometimes quite agressively so. However, my actual sexual preference when I'm with a partner, and the physical sensations I enjoy, are almost exclusively to be a "bottom", and tend to be rather relaxed and gentle. So, at least in my own case, there is a major disconnect between my fantasies (hence the kind of porn I occasionally choose to watch), and what I actually enjoy / want to / do / have experienced in reality.

So I'm pretty sure that for me personally the answer would be that viewing an act does make it more acceptable to think about, but has no effect on how acceptable (or enjoyable) I would find it to carry it out.



"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. ... Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night devoid of stars." Martin Luther King
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