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"Would someone please think of the children!" UK officials argue

These days free adult entertainment is just a click away for most with internet access in the U.S. and Europe.  Some argue that sexual liberation is a sign that society has at last overcome its shame over what is an essential biological function.  Others argue it's a sign of moral degradation and a terrible corrupter of youth.

I. Britain Prepares to Disrobe Anit-Porn Plot

British Prime Minister David Cameron, leader of the UK's Conservative Party, is reportedly siding with those who argue that porn is a "nasty, bad, naughty" social apparatus.  The UK-based Guardian, the second most read English-language online newspaper in the world, is reporting that PM Cameron will announce plans to whack unfettered access to porn off the net.

The politican-cum-activist borrows his anti-porn agenda from a report by UK-based nonprofit Mothers' Union.  As one might imagine this "moral conservative" group is upset about sexualization of society and hopes to return the nation to a more platonic, repressed era.

Elements of its proposed plan, which PM Cameron plans to put, at least partially, into law includes:
  • Age restrictions on music videos (akin to ESRB ratings on video games).
  • Bans or quotas on teen-aimed clothing with "sexually suggestive" messages.
  • A new website -- Parentport (to be launched at www.parentport.org.uk) -- which allows parents to directly complain about internet content.  Suggestions will be forwarded to the UK's Advertising Standards Authority, The BBC Trust, Ofcom, the Press Complaints Commission, British Board of Film Classification, and other censorship affiliated organization, which may opt to censor the internet comment, denying UK citizens access to it.
  • A mandatory opt in for adults to view pornographic content.
II. Replacing Parenting With Gov't Censorship

The mandatory opt-in is a particularly thorny issue.  BT (BT), Sky Broadband, TalkTalk (LON:TALK) and Virgin Media, Inc. (VMED) -- some of the UK's largest ISPs -- have reportedly agreed to participate in such a scheme.  It is unclear whether existing subscribers would be required to opt in, or merely new ones.

The plot is the culmination of years of lobbying by close colleague of PM Cameron, Conservative Member of Parliament Claire Perry.  Ms. Perry, a mother of three, argues that parents should not have to put the effort in to police their childrens' internet use.  Rather she feels that the government should thrust itself into the role of playing parent.  She argues that censorship has benefited many other aspects of British society, and censoring internet porn fills an important hole in the nation's comprehensive censorship legislation.

MP Claire Perry
Conservative Party MP Claire Perry [Source: BBC News]

She states, "As a mother with three children I know how difficult it is to keep children from seeing inappropriate material on the internet.  We already successfully regulate British TV channels, cinema screens, High Street hoardings and newsagent shelves to stop children seeing inappropriate images and mobile phone companies are able to restrict access to adult material so why should the internet be any different?"

III. America Next?

The idea of America's former colonial master censoring the internet may seem offensive to many Americans, but some in America are making similar arguments in favor of beating back the sexually liberated nature of modern society.

Prominent Republican "Tea Party" politician Christine O'Donnell has long suggested that masturbation is a sin, commenting, "The Bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery. So you can't masturbate without lust."

Christine O'Donnell
Prominent Republican "Tea Party" politician Christine O'Donnell has argued for banning sex ed in the U.S. [Source: Getty Images]

She supports banning sexual education in schools, suggesting it leads to children being sexually abused.  She comments, "[Sex ed] breaks down the natural modesty that exists within children to protect them.  Then suddenly talking to that stranger with candy on the playground is not so creepy."

And anti-pornography efforts have some support from corporate America.  Late Apple, Inc. (AAPL) executive Steve Jobs bragged of his crusade to offer i-device owners "freedom from porn".

Clearly many fundamentalist U.S. Christian "moral conservatives", like their old world peers, feel that pornography is sinful.  And many of these individuals have already effectively argued that the U.S. should be a theocracy, governed by Christian laws and politicians.  Thus it might not be surprising to see moral conservatives in the States in the next few years follow in step with the Old World's anti-pornography crusade.

Source: Guardian



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RE: I was with you Jason
By JasonMick (blog) on 10/11/2011 5:50:29 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Until the "America Next" part. Using O'Donnell is a bit of a stretch. She couldn't even win a damn Congressional seat. She's a wacko with no political or social power, she doesn't make policy. And Presidential hopeful? Only in her own mind lol.

I'm not going to flip out and accuse you of trying to make Republicans look bad again by picking the most radical of the bunch and projecting them as the norm. I'm just wondering, why O'Donnell? She's basically just some random person with absolutely no political position at all. She's not even going to make the primary, much less a legitimate Presidential hopeful.

I'm not a writer but for "America Next?" it would have been cool to focus instead on the FCC's victory in "Net Neutrality" which could easily grow into the Federal Government having a significant controlling interest in Internet content. Much like the proposed bill from England. That's a lot more scarey to me than O'Donnell's ravings.

Oh don't get me wrong, I think there's scary things going on with both sides of the aisle when it comes to censorship.

My point was merely that certain religious conservatives have long posed similar arguments about sexuality and legality here in the U.S. (e.g. see how many "moral conservatives" continued to support sodomy laws -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodomy_laws_in_the_Un... -- until they were struck down by a Supreme Court ruling in 2003).

I'm of the personal opinion that both parties express some whacko views as the goal of most politicians is not to do good, but is to get money and get elected.

Thus they pander to whatever sentiments they think will appeal to the voters, however ridiculous they may be. That's true of both (R)s and (D)s.


RE: I was with you Jason
By The Raven on 10/11/11, Rating: 0
RE: I was with you Jason
By ShaolinSoccer on 10/11/11, Rating: -1
RE: I was with you Jason
By Camikazi on 10/11/2011 6:54:30 PM , Rating: 2
I do have a daughter, and while I wouldn't exactly be ecstatic about her going into porn, if it is her decision alone then she can do it, who am I to try and stop her from doing something she wants to do once she is of age to make her own decisions. First thing I would ask, is why has she decided this and is it really what she wants, either way I will not disown her or turn my back on her just cause she went into that line of work. As for the family and others views on it, they can all go to hell for all I care, I've never given a damn what random strangers think of me and I've taught my kids the same. I teach them to be their own person and not be shaped by some random person who thinks something is wrong or that they should do this cause it's what they consider right.

As to the shame to the family, why would it? most every job in the world is selling your body for money, porn is just more direct in how it goes about it, work in an office you are selling your body and brains to get the job done, work in construction you are damn sure selling it to get things done. Don't think just cause you keep your clothes on that you aren't selling yourself to make money, everyone in the world does it.


RE: I was with you Jason
By Reclaimer77 on 10/11/2011 7:34:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Maybe you should try imagining what it's like raising a child just to see her go into porn


Umm than I wouldn't be much of a parent if my child went down that route in the first place now, would I?


RE: I was with you Jason
By ClownPuncher on 10/11/2011 8:01:09 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously. I don't understand why some parents can't just face the fact that how a child is raised will likely heavily influence their goals in life.


RE: I was with you Jason
By topkill on 10/11/2011 9:52:43 PM , Rating: 3
Thank you! This guy is worried his kid will turn out bad and wants to blame it on some random picture he/she might have seen on the internet?

Wow, just spend the time to raise your kids folks. The values YOU SHOW THEM YOURSELF will have a much greater effect on their lives than anything else.


RE: I was with you Jason
By topkill on 10/11/2011 10:24:53 PM , Rating: 1
I do have two daughters as well. No, I wouldn't be thrilled to see them go into porn, and I'm not that happy to see them exposed to porn...But seeing a picture is not going to set them on "some evil path", that is based on how we raise them. And I sure wouldn't shun them if for some reason they did end up in porn. We make way too much about sex and nudity in general in this country.

I'm much more concerned with whether or not they are healthy and then whether they are good people who add to society and care about others, supporting family and friends. I just have more to worry about than a naughty picture in life.

We have people struggling to feed their children and keep a roof over their heads. There are just too many serious issues in life to freak out over dirty pics.


"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA














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