I run a website that emphasizes freedom of speech. Recently, some pedophile posted a link that leads to a child pornography gallery that's probably hosted in Russia. I don't want to delete anything that is legal because it riles up the userbase.
No. What makes you think a link to a child pornography website is legal?
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Let me make sure I understand your question. You understand that child pornography is illegal and so is a website hosting child porn. However, your question is whether posting a child pornography link to your site is illegal?
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Delete away. Child pornography, or directions on how to get it, is not free speech.
Um child pornography is illegal. If you host it, then you may be working with child pornographers. If you delete it, what, the child pornography company in Russia is going to sue you?
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