Inside Geocities Site ‘Chemical Drugs’: A Hub for Harm Reduction

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I chose to look at the geocity site that is under Area 51, under Dreamworld, entitled “Chemical Drugs.” This website is designed for chemical drug users and is aimed at teaching them harm reduction. At first, the site just caught my eye because it is all written in Japanese with pretty designs surrounding it, however, the level of interaction on this site caught my eye the most. The website is written fully in Japanese, therefore, the picture and information provided in this article regarding the website is translated. While the website’s creator remains anonymous, it involves the production of content that is culturally encoded with meanings related to harm reduction.

The creators of this site are unknown, there is no introduction or footnotes to describe who they are. The site clearly states they do not condone or promote chemical drugs, it is simply an information hub for people who want to safely experiment, and that might be why everyone on the site is anonymous.

That being said, there is a great deal of engagement on the site, with chat, email, BBS, and guestbook available, as shown in Figure 1. The site clearly thrives on engagement, as it provides all its information based on questions asked in either of the communication outlets. Instead of simply presenting information without any prior consultation the website’s creator actively encourages users to participate in discussions ensuring that they receive personalized assistance. As a result, the website collects details from individuals interested in learning about drugs establishing a platform where they can connect with the content and engage in meaningful conversations.

Figure 1. From wesbite: . Community engagement is encouraged here with four different outlets of communication.

Users on this website play a role in shaping the cultural significance of the platform. Through their interactions, they consume information and construct meaning within the realm of chemical drugs and harm reduction. Their engagement fosters dialogues where individual perspectives contribute to the collective understanding of this subculture. This emphasizes how the website serves as a space where knowledge and identities are collaboratively molded by its users.

Regarding regulations on the site, although they are not explicitly stated, comprehensive information is provided about all documents pertaining to laws governing the use and distribution of chemical drugs in Japan. This serves to demonstrate that while guidance is offered on experimenting with these substances individual responsibility is emphasized, with users being made aware of the legality surrounding their actions. By addressing regulatory matters, the site underscores its role in promoting awareness about potential risks associated with chemical drug use. Essentially the website demonstrates the Circuit of Culture in motion. Users interact with the site through channels forming a continuous cycle of expression, personal identity, consumption, and regulation.

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