Why Charles Arthur is Wrong about Online Porn

Posted: May 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

In todays Comment is Free piece  Charles Arthur takes on the move to regulate porn.

Charles like many of us steeped in internet lore since the dawn of dial-up see our beautiful world changing our technolgy being corrupted….by the muggles!! We dreamt of mankinds greatest thoughts shared and transmitted globally at the speed of information but got LOLcats and tracking and profiling and facebook and now filtering. We see our dream dying only to be left with intrusive industrial advertising and government control.

So Charles is right if the Internet is going to remain a force for change and a motor for humanity then its core strength must be protected its very liberality a sacrosanct demonstration of freedom!! I get it I truly do, but unfortunately it then goes wrong and it goes wrong by denigrating a very simple wish.

“People do not want there children to view unsuitable material on the internet.”

That is their right to decide what is suitable for their children. In this piece anyone of this quite rational opinion is systematically shredded. Despite admitting twice in the article that there is a problem with porn on the internet Charles never seeks to address the internet community to solve it. Politicians are devious populists trying to shore up support. Press support can be dismissed as right wing blimpery but the greatest ire is reserved for parents. You see the reason that your child might see porn on the internet is that you are a bad parent and not a good progressive techno savvy parent of the type that might read the Guardian. The piece assumes that all inappropriate material is seen by kids on machines that shouldn’t be in their rooms. Which should always be within the view of an adult and that you should use the filters that are built in.

So mys 7yr old was doing a project on Florence Nightingale in the dining room and about half way down the Google image results for Lady of the Lamp….well lets not get in to it.

YouTube allows un-logged in access and will show anything at all there is not granularity between lego games and video game violence or naked girls. There was no filter for this – I blocked YouTube completely using a technique that one wouldn’t expect the average parent to know.

Here is a sobering thought. Charles dismisses Claire Perry, the MP that wishes to introduce regulation, with the hackneyed idea that the internet routes around censorship as it was designed to survive a nuclear war. This was true of the original internet; however Egypt turned off the internet during the revolution by placing 4 calls to the 4 ISPs that operated there. We also have 4 that cover 96% of the UK.

The problem here is that unless we engage positively with the real concern then those uninformed voices that wish to block the internet at the ISP level will win.

There is a risk and its down to the tech savvy to develop controls that mom and pop can easily use to protect their family. If our vision of the internet is to survive we cannot live in the past and we cannot reach for misplaced superiority.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s