Robot 6

Matt Fraction starts ‘Fifty Shades of Futures Without Violence’ campaign

winking-kateWriter Matt Fraction is no stranger to mixing a little bit of social activism into his comics work. But this weekend, the Hawkeye and Sex Criminals scribe is drawing attention to a charity not because of art he made but because of art he detests: Fifty Shades of Grey.

The international best-selling romance novel and its just opened film adaptation could charitably be described as having a complicated relationship with sexual violence. Or as Fraction put it on his blog, “So there’s a movie out this weekend based on books that romanticize, fetishize, glamorize and normalize abusive relationships…And while sex is great and finding someone into all the stuff you’re into is great, sex is not consent to violence, a relationship is not permission to abuse, and there are thousands of women and children who have to deal with that fundamental and erroneous misconstruing of truth and wild misinterpretation of love every day.”

In response to the fact that the film’s earning millions made him feel “a little sick to think about,” Fraction is planning on matching donations to the Futures Without Violence charity generated by the sale of Hawkeye merchandise on between now and Monday. The proceeds of past t-shirt and messenger bag sales exceeded $2,000 for the charity that works to end violence against women. But if you didn’t get a chance to buy a “Hawkguy” product then (or are just grossed out by the Fifty Shades phenomenon), now is your chance to make your contribution count for double.



Thumbs up

female friend of mine who saw the movie said the best thing was “Dakota’s tits” before then going on about the Audi!

Thumbs down

I’m much less disgusted by peoples sexual fetishes than by individuals that feel the need to profit and exploit slut shaming like Matt Fraction.

I expected better from someone who writes a book called “Sex Criminals”.

“there are thousands of women and children who have to deal with that fundamental and erroneous misconstruing of truth and wild misinterpretation of love every day.” —-Just women right? Because men are NEVER abused in a relationship, whether by a woman or another man? Such close-minded and sexist nonsense.

50 shades is about male dominating women.

It’s fiction people. You can get up from your fainting couches now.

Matt Fraction sounds like someone who would really like Dr. Fredric Wertham. The irony of someone who works in comics attacking others works of fiction is just so face palms worthy.

50 shades is about male dominating women.

And the subtext is just the opposite.

Consider this a spoiler from someone who didn’t see the movie or read the books. Part Two they end up married and in Part Three they end up with kids, she has the life that she always wanted and he’s worked through his issues. So unrealistically hot bad boy is broken by a “good woman” and she is now a billionaire for it.

John- completely agree.

So, have any of the people criticizing Matt Fraction for being a prude even READ Sex Criminals?

Ummm…if all of the proceeds benefit charity, and then Fraction MATCHES the donation, is that not the exact opposite of “profiting”?!?

@John: You ought to read some of the actual issues people (especially the BDSM community) have about 50 Shades, and read basically anything Fraction has written about sex ever. Because you don’t realize this, but you’ve basically just stuck your foot in your mouth so hard it punched out the back of your skull.

The objection is NOT “kink is synonymous with abuse,” the complaint is actually “this story presents abusive things as how kink is done and this can be dangerous for people who don’t know better.”

Matt Fraction may or may not be a fan of BDSM, I’m unsure of that, but I know for a fact that he is not condeming consensual sexual relationships of any kind that are HEALTHY, and where a woman (or man, obviously, for the MRA asshats in this thread who can’t infer that like a non-moron can) explicilty states she (or he) enjoys a particular kink. This isn’t about kink. Anyone who has read or watched this filth will know that it’s misrepresentation of what BDSM is and it’s appauling depiction of it’s characters is sexist both toward women AND men.

It implies that the main character (Christian) is mentally ill and therefore implies that the only reason one could be into such a kink is due to mental illness. Nice job movie, you just insulted the groupe of epople who you’d think would be the target audience for this kind of film. Then when it comes to the female protragonist she is shown multiple times objecting to the acts taking place, clearly being coerced into situations she doesn’t want to be in and ultimately being objectified and abused.

Matt Fraction is a fan of sex. Anyone who has read Sex Criminals, or his personal blog posts would know this. He simply isn’t a fan of people being mistreated. ANYONE.

Also, if you actually went to his blog, he explicitly states he isn’t talking about a ‘proclivity toward BDSM’, just actual abuse–which IS what is depicted in the film and book:

“So, thinking of that film and the violence it is going to inspire and normalize – and I’m talking about straight-up abuse, not a proclivity for bdsm – between the millions and millions of dollars it’ll earn made me a little sick to think about and I wanted to do something so I didn’t feel so useless and hopeless.”


Women who chase bad boys are really bad women themselves.

Where would all these middle age women and adults watching or reading this fiction be without Matt Fraction to save them from themselves. This reminds me of Tipper Gore going after violence in video games or Dr. Wertham saying comics are ruining our kids. But it’s actually worse. At least those cases were about impressionable young minds. Fraction has a problem with grown adults somehow being corrupted by this movie. Seems like just the latest SJW annoyingly going out of their way to be offended and to create a crisis where they can be heroes and pat themselves on their back.

@Lot 49 there is more than one way to profit. Trying to get your name associated the biggest movie in the country is worth a lot of $. Even when when it’s against the movie.

If we are truly to believe adults are this vulnerable them what does Fraction have to say about how kids can read his book? Or violence in comics and games? Hell, I read a lot of violent books. Never have I been tempted to pick up and axe and crack some skulls. Are we seriously worried about what books or movies adults enjoy in 2015?!?!


Using the term “SJW” pretty much ends any intellectual conversation. All Mr. Fraction said here is that violence and the idea of “men dominating women” is wrong perpetuating that idea — while also mirepresenting and defaming the bdsm community — is wrong. How you find that offensive is both ironic (due to how insutling you find being offended by anything) and inconceivable to me.

Either donate or don’t. None of you are going to reach any sort of meaningful consensus. The movie has been released, the books are still on the shelves, and this dumb genie is out of the bottle. All you illiterates are doing is muddying the waters with your “debate” that veers non-sensically into unrelated matters like the “men’s rights” lunatic fringe’s concerns.

@Jeremy “wrong” things happen in fiction all the time. This fake pearl clutching is neither impressive or new. Oddly it seems to be the same people who rightfully mocked it in the past are the ones pretending it’s somethings we need to protect grown adults from now. This is the same type of thinking that once told us that D&D was going to make kids run out and start sacrificing people. In 2015 we are worried about what movies grown adults are going to see. Tell me this is a Pat Roberts thing. No? SMH… SMH.


It’s not the fact that something bad is happening that Fraction or anyone else has issues with. It’s the misrepresentation — due to the author’s ignorance – of bdsm and it’s portrayal in the fiction, that is the problem. People get the idea that this is how a dom-sub relationships work and that actually effects the way people interact with one another. It does. You may not think it does due to your erroneous comparisons to violence in video games (which is a strawman argument as you were the one who brought that up). Look at the statistics, after 50 Shades came out between 2012 and 2013 more people went to the emergency room with “rough sex” and “sex toy” related issues at an exponentially higher rate than years before.


Also, don’t be fallacious and compare me or Matt Fraction to some right-wing, fundamentalist who doesn’t understand the meaning of free speech. Mr. Fraction writes a book called “Sex Criminals”, reblogs sexual posts all the time on his blog and I myself am involved in the fetish community.

He isn’t saying things like these can’t be written or created, all he is saying is that he would like to undo some of the harm by donating to a chairty that promotes NON-violence. The one thing Mr. Waters was right about is that we aren’t going to reach a consenus or convince the other to change their position., so I’ll bow out, but I would ask you to reconsider everything he said and that I’ve reitterated and stop making presumptions about who people are.

Does anyone remember the good old days when pulling this kind of crap was what the conservatives did? And the left thought that you were mature enough to make up your own mind?

@Anthrony W

Make up your own mind about what? What are you even talking about? No one is talking about banning this movie, that would be insane.

Matt Fraction is right up there with those people who thought fantasy books and Rock n Roll were going to destroy our kids. But like I said, he’s protecting the grown adults, not even the children. It’s sad. And that link provided has half the data shaded out because the sample was so low thy can’t be sure about the results. And even in the horrific time after Fifty Shades were talking about 2500 out of 320 million. We’ll be ok. I did find in interesting that most of the injuries we men though. I wonder where Fraction stand on books that glorify violence. Silent?

We’re soon going to need a “do not try this at home” disclaimer on fiction books. Adults can’t handle fiction any more I guess. The puritans were right. If we can’t trust adults with this type of material then surely we can’t trust kids with violent comics.

If there’s any face that best represents a “future without violence,” it’s surely that of a teenaged girl who shoots arrows through the eyeballs of her opponents and into their brains.

I just had to say something more about that “skyrocketing” statistic of sex toy injuries. If consenting adults. or a lone adult, decides to try something that may pleasure them but has a risk of injury then I have no problem. It’s a risk/reward situation they were adult enough to enter into. And that statistic was a high of 2500 people a year. To put that into perspective, an estimated 111,000 kids younger than 18 are treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments for skateboard-related injuries each year. Maybe we should really be worried about movies that glorify skateboarding.It’s a much larger number and if involves children. I think Night Thrasher has a lot to answer for.

It’s clear what the majority think here. I wish the conversation from the other side was a little bit more sophisticated than “clever” little anectdotes, sophestry and ridiculously erroneous comparisons.

In anycase I respect your opinions guys, but I have an orgy I need to get to. Take care.

Sorry Jeremy, maybe next time you will find a group more willing to “listen and believe”.

Let me start by saying I did not read the books nor did I see the movie. What I read of the books was from a copy my assistant was reading. It was complete poorly written drivel. Fraction gave his opinion on a work of fiction. I am surprised how much passion everyone is putting into this nonsense. I never thought I would see so many people say this misrepresents the BDSM community. By this logic Friday the 13th gives summer camp a bad name and misrepresents the experience. People get a grip.

Also, Heather, I never said I had a problem with people doing whatever they want. You’re strawmanning me again, which is something you MRA types always do. All that statistic was meant to prove is that you were wrong when you said media can have no influence on people’s actions. I wasn’t at all expressing concerns over someone being overzealous with sex toys.

For the record, there is no definite correlations between violence in video games, or comics that leads other’s to commit violence. Likely, because those are understood to be ficitious and hightened. Stop trying to make it seem like I’m saying something I’m not. If anyone can be compared to the right-wing in this scenario, it’s you not me. You’re in good company with Rush Limbaugh in your vitriol toward women.

@Carl he’s also shows her engaging in under age drinking. Something that is much more dangerous and at risk of being overly glorified than anything in this book or movie.

@Jeremy interesting you complain about a straw man then claim I’m some “MRA” (something I had to look up) and that I have vitriol towards women. That’s a lie and you know it. I have done nothing of the sort here. You have officially lost all credit. Show me one thing I wrote that fits either of those descriptions? Especially vitriol towards women? You can’t. Instead of engaging with someone who doesn’t agree with you you have become a liar who needs to fabricate opinions for me. You’re pathetic. I was fine to simply have a different opinion that you, but with that post you have shown that you are too immature. Show me one vitriolic thing I have said about women. Go ahead and explain to this women where I was vitriolic. I’ll wait.

You’re right. I absolutely do not wish to engage with you any further.

Have a good night.

Run away. Can’t back up your lies.

Not the real David Bowie

February 14, 2015 at 10:04 pm

@Jeremy Nuance is lost on MRA types, so there’s nothing you can really do to get them to comprehend what you’re actually saying. They can only respond to what they can put together of your comments with their limited intelligence. Engaging them with the hope of having any sort of fruitful discussion is pointless.

But, you deserve credit for giving them their imaginary victories, as it will give them a sense of fulfilment that they will never experience outside of comment sections, on account of all their shortcomings as human beings.

@Not the real David Bowie another MRS straw man argument. Yawn. You keep using that term. I don’t think it means what you think it means. But when you can’t argue facts just make stuff up right? I’d ask you to point to one MRA statement, but I know you won’t let somethings as little as facts get in the way of your narrative. Keep tilting at those windmills.

Okay, since it seems like all of Fraction’s critics haven’t actually read Sex Criminals, I’ll break it down; Sex Criminals is a book about the impact of sex, negative AND positive. It uses the fantasy analogy– people who stop time when they orgasm– to explore how sex has power over people. And power can be used for a lot of things; it can draw people closer, it can push them apart, it can give them strength, it can make them feel even worse about themselves, it can open up their minds, and it can cut them off from their ability to connect to people.

With great power comes great responsibility, and sex has power. Fraction’s Sex Criminals has flawed but sympathetic and ultimately decent protagonists who use sex to better themselves and move forward in their lives. 50 Shades of Grey does the opposite.

Yup, because standing up to the normalisation of abuse and ignoring consent makes an artist worthy of snotty comments. Which of course isn’t a problem worldwide. And certainly there won’t be anyone of a malleable mind that reads or watches this who suddenly thinks it’s ok to continue doing something their partner doesn’t like even when they say no. And certainly there aren’t an awful lot of people out there that think taking someone to dinner or getting them a gift earns them the right to another person’s body. /sarcasm

Good on you Matt Fraction. Not yet a reader of your comics, but this is going to get me supporting you; someone who understands that sex and sexuality is wonderful and yet sometimes fraught with troubling things.

How pleasant to read about a guy giving to charity followed by such civil and respectful discussions concerning his action. Warms the cockles of my heart.

This is a complicated issue, to say the least.

I get what critics of the book and movie are saying about it normalizing abuse and misrepresenting what BDSM are all about.

However, I am also reminded of what Alan Moore says in Lost Girls. All that rape and incest would be horrible in real life happening with real people, but they’re happening to fictional people. Theoretically, real people in healthy, loving, consenting relationships have the “right” to be aroused by Christian and Ana’s fictional tale and even roleplay at being them and make believe in the bedroom without that meaning they’re in favour of real abuse.

It’s undeniable that people’s arousal isn’t “rational”, and we can be aroused by stuff that is not benefitial to us if we were to extend that to other areas of our lives. It’s also undeniable that people have made sex into a political issue with a “rational” discourse. The contraditions are obvious. The main public of stuff like 50 Shades and Twilight is women and they’re written by women. It’s problematic and maybe condescending to say that all those women fans have “false consciousness” implanted in them by male chauvinists. It’s perhaps more respectiful to consider that they are aware that 50 Shades is a fantasy and that they don’t want to be abused “for real”?

PS: My wife has read the books, and says they’re trash.

@Jeremy: “Using the term “SJW” pretty much ends any intellectual conversation.”

As opposed to using the term “MRA asshats,” which only increases the level of intellectual discourse. Your comments are precisely the reason why people do not like feminists and other “social justice warriors.” How about setting aside the bias and discussing the issue without insulting those who disagree with you?

Something doesn’t sit right about Fraction using this opportunity to garner publicity for himself, selling merch he designed for a book (and company) he no longer works for. I wonder if the reaction would be the same to John Byrne selling Northstar t-shirts and giving some of the proceeds to support Gay Marriage.

Buy okay, whatever.

Putting aside Sex Criminals entirely, there is plenty of sadomasochistic/homoerotic subtext in his Marvel work if you want to look for it. Hell, it’s barely even subtext. There’s a scene in his Iron Man run where Tony Stark bows down and licks Doctor Octopus’ feet, and it’s far from isolated. Someone could devote a Tumblr to it.

I have never read any of the 50 Shades books and don’t plan to see the film. It just seems hypocritical that when it involves comic book superheroes, that’s cool, but when consenting fictional adults do it, that raises Fraction’s LOOK AT ME!!!! flag. No one cares what you and your wife do in the privacy of your bedroom, dude. Stop judging other people’s predilections. It’s not very Portland of you, nor does it seem like something your Bitch Planet, Grrl Power wife should condone.

True gender equality means freedom to express your sexual identity any way you want, even if it makes other people feel icky.

Nice that charity immediately brings out the dregs. Who cares why he does it. Does it affect you? Is perceived hypocracy really that big a deal in your life that you just gotta “call him out” in a place he’ll never read and argue with strangers? Do you genuinely have nothing better to do than get offended that other people might be offended by something?

I swear, you can’t even do something selfless for any reason without someone getting mad and trying to pick your motives apart.

@jacobtk: “Social Justice Warrior” is indeed an end to intellectual conversation, because it serves as a signal that the other person can’t even insult properly. Calling someone a warrior for societal justice is supposed to hurt their feelings how? If anything, warrior is mostly used as a positive term. Combine that with caring about others? Yeah, so insulting. It’s the worst insult since someone decided “liberal” could count.

I immediately dismiss anyone who uses the term as someone whose opinions aren’t worth entertaining for that reason.

Yeah, I also never got it. What part of “social justice warrior” is supposed to be offensive? Though I suspect that there are people who see clamoring for “social justice” as being the first step in a campaign of rounding up rich people and eating them alive. So they’re calling others the vanguard of this cannibal movement, perhaps.

” True gender equality means freedom to express your sexual identity any way you want, even if it makes other people feel icky. ”

What if the other people are the ones being abused?

“What if the other people are the ones being abused?”

Then call media that celebrates abuse to the carpet, not consensual sexual relationships.

Especially if it’s a theme you have used in your own work, unconsciously or not.

It’s fascinating watching anti sex feminists behave no different than right wing fundamentalists, perhaps it’s time to get out of people’s bedrooms, fantasies and thoughts?

” Then call media that celebrates abuse to the carpet, not consensual sexual relationships. ”

The problem with 50 Shades of Grey, of course, being that it celebrates abuse by normalizing it, by putting us in the perspective of the heroine who thinks that it’s just rough play by a troubled man who she can ultimately change (which she does, the exact wrong message to send to abused). A particularly brutal personal account of this normalization can be found here;

” Especially if it’s a theme you have used in your own work, unconsciously or not.”

All the instances of abuse in Fraction’s stories have been portrayed as bad, be it the Sisterhood of Evil Mutants, Doc Ock’s tormenting of Tony Stark, etc.

” It’s fascinating watching anti sex feminists behave no different than right wing fundamentalists, perhaps it’s time to get out of people’s bedrooms, fantasies and thoughts? ”

Except that the people in the “social justice warrior” umbrella are far less likely to actually try and make media they don’t like illegal, so much as call it out for its ideological problems. Perfectly within the first amendment; if you have the right to say whatever your want, others have the right to call you out on it. Fraction himself isn’t trying to get 50 Shades of Grey banned from theatres, he’s using it to call attention to the very real problems it celebrates and raise money for charities that help women who have been abused. (Another distinction; right wing fundamentalists are far less likely to actually do positive things for people, instead of just taking things away from them).

Playing Devil’s Advocate, what part of “Men’s Right Advocate” is supposed to be offensive either, or denote nefarious, non-intellectual intent?

@RyanL you obviously didn’t read anything. Matt Fraction is about as far from “anti-sex” as anyone could be, much less a feminist. And again, I’m apart of two fetish clubs. No is trying to rain on anyone’s parade–the depiction of bdsm in the flick is incorrect and abusive. What does it matter? Even if you think Fraction is a hypocrite why should that stop you from donating to an anti-abuse charity that is reputable?

Anyway, I would like to apologize for getting frustrated and resorting to ad hominem yesterday. Stooping to the level of my opponents did not help the discourse in the least and I regret that.

Also, worthy goal by Fraction, but it completely ignores any potential artistic subtext of the book and, specifically, the movie, which I’m assuming is its own beast despite being an adaptation. It just comes across as a bit thick coming from someone who has made a good sum, from a superficial standpoint, “glorifying” violence in his own corporate work.

None of the violence depicted in Fraction’s work is glorified. HoPeople keep saying this, but provide no evidence. Violence being present doesn’t make it glorified. But, I reiterate, what does it matter? Even if he wer a hypocrite (he isn’t) why does that make this charity being promoted a bad thing? Check charitynavigator, it’s reputable and geuninely helps abuse victims.

Hence the word “glorified” in quotes. I consider the “glorification” of sexual violence in FFoG no more dangerous, which is my point.

This isn’t just good charitable work. This is charitable work with a bullseye squarely pointed at four pieces of art: three in book form and one on the big screen. Fraction could’ve just as easily done this without reference to FFoG, but since he did, and since this effort is ethically linked with the story, I find no qualms in criticizing him for it. This is just as much about him as it is about FFoG and the message. And as an artist myself, I’m more offended by him haphazardly associating a work of art, no matter how pedestrian it might be, with such a polarizing issue, than I am with the violent proclivities of consenting adults behind their bedroom doors.

” Playing Devil’s Advocate, what part of “Men’s Right Advocate” is supposed to be offensive either, or denote nefarious, non-intellectual intent? ”

The idea that men actually need it, which runs contrary to pretty much all of human history.

As a black male who’s been through some rough shit over the years, it’s good to know I’ve only imagined those injustices. Thanks for setting me straight!

@dl316bh: I would say “social justice warrior” appears to be quite the effective insult. It prompts people to defend the term and launch into insults themselves. That is not the response one would have if one were not insulted.

@Neil Kapit: Yes, of course. The idea that, for example, there are abused men and boys who deserve acknowledgement and need services that are often denied to them because of their sex is ludicrous. Now that you mention it, look at all the time I lost over the last decade and half. I could have been reading politically-correct, feminist-approved, progressive fiction. Instead, I devoted my free time to advocating for non-issues like raising awareness about sexual violence against men and boys. Thank, Neil, for correcting that mistake.

…I tuned out at “SJW”.

I really should have tuned out at the “But what about MEN?” post.

Internet, this is why we can’t have nice things.

” @Neil Kapit: Yes, of course. The idea that, for example, there are abused men and boys who deserve acknowledgement and need services that are often denied to them because of their sex is ludicrous. Now that you mention it, look at all the time I lost over the last decade and half. I could have been reading politically-correct, feminist-approved, progressive fiction. Instead, I devoted my free time to advocating for non-issues like raising awareness about sexual violence against men and boys. Thank, Neil, for correcting that mistake.”

Which would make you probably the only MRA to actually address sexual violence against men and boys, as opposed to just demonizing women and feminine things out of a feeling of entitlement.

Well, except that in BDSM relationships violence is consensual because through violence both the giver and the receiver achives pleasure ? To criminalize consensual BDSM relationships (that are a totally different thing than abusive relationships) because there are women that suffer actual violence it’s like, I don’t know, condemning a comic book about sex because teenagers get pregnant?

Okay, so here’s where I am coming from, lest anyone think me a misogynist or sadist.

Years ago I met this girl. She was a complete and total cliche: molested as a child, grew up with a warped sense of sexuality and self-worth, dreamed of working at a gentleman’s club, which she achieved as an emancipated minor. She had a pattern of domestic abuse, emotionally and physically, and her most recent boyfriend at that point took her to sex clubs and used her as a toilet.

As I got to know her, I saw how despite it all she maintained a child-like innocence, with a massive heart and ability to forgive people despite what she’d been through. We grew close, and as time went on I did my best to build her self-confidence, encouraging talents she never thought anyone would take seriously and treating her with the respect no other man had ever shown her. Her other friends would pull me aside and thank me for whatever magic showing her some love and caring had done. But in truth she had taught me just as much about letting things go and being a positive force that didn’t waste time on negativity. It was a symbiotic relationship. (You know, like Venom)

Then I got a work assignment that forced me to leave town for a few months, and you already know how this anecdote ends.

For a month she called and texted me daily, crying about how much she missed me and wanted me to come home to her. Until 12 weeks later, when she backslid into old habits, seeing some other douche behind my back.

But here’s the thing. The asshole in that situation was me. We were close friends but weren’t officially dating when I left, and she didn’t owe me anything any more than I deserve a cookie for not treating her like garbage or smashing her head against the wall. I didn’t need to label it, and although I felt betrayed I understood that she had no commitment to stick to. (You know, like that Beyonce song)

It was never my job to fix her, and to take it upon myself to try was the height of arrogance. Whatever it was her family member did that messed up her wiring when she was a child was deeply rooted, and that was her core, probably forever. Whether she felt like she deserved to be mistreated is not my truck, the fact was that she liked it, and I was in no position to judge her.


I’m just saying that for some people, a 50 Shades of Grey lifestyle is appealing for reasons they might not even be clear on, and Matt Fraction is in no position to cast aspersions on them.

This is a comic book message board. I am willing to bet that at least 10% of the traffic reading this page are nice guys that have at some point in their lives been dumped by women who chose some jagoff over them. Some women, just like some men, are drawn to people that treat them like terribly. Whether you want to fulfill that desire is up to you, but it doesn’t make women that like jerks automatic bitches anymore than it makes the men they are with “abusive.”

Shaming someone else for emotions beyond their control is what demeans them.

The book sounds like it sucks, the movie looks like it sucks, and without having read or watched I think less of anyone who likes them, and will continue to do so no matter what. Because it’s my right, just as much as it is some other person’s right to read and enjoy the book, or to have written the book in the first place.

I do find it strange that people read this book in public, though. If it’s essentially erotic fiction that’s tantamount to me just reading a Hustler in public (while blanking out the cover images).

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