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UK ISPs implement IWF censorship

UK ISPs implement IWF censorship

The IWF has convinced UK ISPs to implement a transparent proxy which blocks access to material it deems unsuitable.

If you thought that invisible web censorship was something that only happened overseas, think again: it would appear that several UK ISPs have teamed up with the Internet Watch Foundation to bring us our own Great Firewall.

According to an article published over the weekend on ZDNet, a plethora of UK ISPs – Virgin Media, Be, O2, Telefonica, EasyNet, UK Online, PlusNet, Demon, Eclipse Internet, Kingston Communications, Sky Broadband, and Opal to name but a few – have activated a transparent proxy system at the behest of UK censorship body the Internet Watch Foundation in order to police “child sexual abuse content” and other “criminally obscene [or] incitement to racial hatred” materials online.

The filtering system – which has not been communicated to ISPs' customers in any way – was discovered by Wikipedia users who noticed that every single UK request to the website seemed to be coming from a small number of IP addresses. As Wikipedia relies on the ability to block addresses being used by 'vandals', this resulted in automated blocking systems preventing thousands of users editing pages. Users affected by the filtering will be greeted by a message saying “Wikipedia has been added to a Internet Watch Foundation UK website blacklist, and your Internet service provider has decided to block part of your access. Unfortunately, this also makes it impossible for us to differentiate between different users, and block those abusing the site without blocking other innocent people as well.

While the transparent proxy system can be circumvented quite easily – it relies on traffic travelling via port 80, so secure connections on port 443 are ignored – issues are still likely to crop up on websites that rely on semi-unique IP addresses to differentiate users. Ironically, a system designed to offer tracing of illegal content may very well end up offering cyber-criminals an easy way of increasing their anonymity online – if they're appearing from an IP address at the same time as a few thousand legitimate users, they're hidden by the noise.

Although no official word has yet come from either the IWF or the ISPs involved, it is thought that the system comes as part of a wider crackdown on images of child abuse on the Internet. While the IWF has offered its Cleanfeed domain blacklist system to ISPs for a while, this move represents the first attempt to detect and filter the traffic of all major UK ISPs without the knowledge or consent of the end user. While the IWF's goal is laudable, their methods are sure the leave a bad taste in the mouths of anyone interested in freedom of speech and free dissemination of information online - especially when one notes that the IWF is known for its trigger-happy blocking policies, often adding material to its blacklists which is not illegal under UK law.

Is this latest move another sign of politics intruding into the free running of the Internet, or is this kind of technology a necessary evil with the completely reasonable aim of eradication of objectionable content? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

116 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Mankz 8th December 2008, 13:52 Quote
Go away internet Nazis.
TomH 8th December 2008, 13:57 Quote
Absolutely stupid, IMO. And who do they think they are, diddling with the service we pay for without so much as a fore-warning? This sort of behaviour (proxying, asymmetric routing) can wreak havoc on systems that rely on these ISPs.

I should hope this example (of Wikipedia false positive) has been a necessary wake-up call to the realities of such stupid systems, for the ISPs involved. Unfortunately, my natural reaction is to be pessimistic.
Bluephoenix 8th December 2008, 14:04 Quote
Worst. Implementation. Ever.

what are the blockheads over at IWF thinking using that kind of system? its pracically the same as a failure fltering example given in my CCISP course, and there are about 10 different ways to do it that don't involve messing with the IP routing.

simply implement passive monitoring, and actively block requests to known bad IPs. DUH!
Burnout21 8th December 2008, 14:08 Quote
this is a problem with two sides to it.

I would rather have internet nazi's track IP addresses on certain websites rather than block them, at least they could monitor the situation, rather than ignore it.

If a kiddy fiddler can keep him self under control via use of the internet, then id rather that than have them pratice on a real child. Its a sick fact that people are like this, and personal i like two see them locked up in a prison wing full of loving dads if you get what i mean.


Next i imagin they will start blocking access to torrent sites.
UrbanMarine 8th December 2008, 14:14 Quote
And it begins................
Darkedge 8th December 2008, 14:40 Quote
bad bad bad.. Piss off IWF if this is what you are going to do
bowman 8th December 2008, 14:40 Quote
Censorship in any way or form is completely unacceptable. Is this the 'free world'? I guess they weren't happy with the world record for most CCTV cameras per individual in the western world, they just had to have another fascist feather in their hat..

The worst part is that it's spreading all over Europe too.
steveo_mcg 8th December 2008, 14:44 Quote
Pretty soon the only way to be sure your not being censored in some way or another is going to be https.

I can't believe they though a hand full of transparent proxies were a good idea for most of Britain. Total fudge solution to a total non problem, welcome to daily mail Britain ffs. :(
liratheal 8th December 2008, 15:02 Quote
Oh, hi there Big Brother, and Sister Nanny State.

Go eat a dick :)
cpemma 8th December 2008, 15:07 Quote
Quote:
...a fact that very few of the newsgroups have more than 10 per cent illegal content. If the IWF can ban a newsgroup that is 90 per cent legal, what's next? And where does it stop?
OMFG, what stupid arguments you anti-censorship people come up with to justify your freedom to do whatever you like, sod the rest of humanity.

So what percentage of kiddie porn is acceptable on someone's website or home computer?
Evildead666 8th December 2008, 15:11 Quote
Is there any way of getting onto the Internet without using an ISP ?
IE a 56K modem or something?

As this continues we'll be told its for our own good....must protect all the children from the Internet....

I would rather bypass all this crap and go direct....
Evildead666 8th December 2008, 15:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpemma
Quote:
...a fact that very few of the newsgroups have more than 10 per cent illegal content. If the IWF can ban a newsgroup that is 90 per cent legal, what's next? And where does it stop?
OMFG, what stupid arguments you anti-censorship people come up with to justify your freedom to do whatever you like, sod the rest of humanity.

So what percentage of kiddie porn is acceptable on someone's website or home computer?

What percentage of blocking countrywide access to a legitimate website is acceptable ?

This isn't going to stop a paedophile from getting his goods....it might delay him some, but I also doubt Wikipedia is a Paedophile site...
Cobalt 8th December 2008, 15:15 Quote
Even Australia went through (a mockery) of a legislative process before introducing internet censorship. No such luck in the UK apparently. I guess net-neutrality just went down the drain.

The system itself is also horrifically flawed. It doesn't stop someone from finding anything they want. They were probably already using secure connections so how exactly was this meant to do anything?
p3n 8th December 2008, 15:30 Quote
Surely people should be able to opt-in to this or ignore it - failing that be able to opt-out instead...
amacieli 8th December 2008, 15:30 Quote
This is the country with a million road cameras per square mile, so why we are surprised?
Xtrafresh 8th December 2008, 15:42 Quote
*starts countdown to total obidience.*

Kiddie pron makes me sick, but people using it as an arguement for their own megalomaniac schemes.
They set up whatever dumb filters and cameras they like, and whenever they are questioned they just flash this one arguement, and get carte blanche again. Revolting.

I really do hope that the next few generations of leaders we'll have will understand the value of freedom and transparancy of government.
chrisuk 8th December 2008, 15:49 Quote
What's also quite funny is that they've not blocked the URL of the image, which you can get via a google search. So you can get the image, served by wikimedia, but can't get to the page whose content is completely legal (other than the picture, which is probably legal anyway considering how long it has been on sale here.)

I'm all for blocking illegal content, but it should be only be content that is absolutely 100% illegal. Its a great showing for the Police as well, they were consulted and the outcome was that it might be illegal - well freaking done. TBH, the only people who should have the power to block content in the UK should be the CPS based on whether or not the content would bring about a criminal prosecution.
Flibblebot 8th December 2008, 15:50 Quote
But the IWF isn't part of the government. The IWF is an independent organisation (i.e. not government regulated, although they do get funding from the EU) and a "self-regulatory body" - which presumably means they're answerable to nobody but themselves.

No kiddie porn is acceptable, but as a part of the whole of the UK internet population, the total number of active paedophiles who use the internet to get their kicks is miniscule, probably a fraction of a percentage point. To filter the traffic of most of the country because of the actions of this tiny minority is absurd - not so much using a sledgehammer to crack a nut, more like using a ton of TNT to crack the nut.
Miser 8th December 2008, 16:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flibblebot
But the IWF isn't part of the government. The IWF is an independent organisation (i.e. not government regulated, although they do get funding from the EU) and a "self-regulatory body" - which presumably means they're answerable to nobody but themselves.

No kiddie porn is acceptable, but as a part of the whole of the UK internet population, the total number of active paedophiles who use the internet to get their kicks is miniscule, probably a fraction of a percentage point. To filter the traffic of most of the country because of the actions of this tiny minority is absurd - not so much using a sledgehammer to crack a nut, more like using a ton of TNT to crack the nut.

I just thought of a way to punish a paedophile different from sending him to prison with a bunch of "loving dads."
iwog 8th December 2008, 16:53 Quote
Hazar! being on AOL has its advantages for once. But on a more serious not this sucks. We're getting closer and closer to a total police state. Bye bye freedom of speech...
theevilelephant 8th December 2008, 16:55 Quote
Im just astounded that the ISPs didnt have to tell their customers! If they can do something like this without any warnings/notifications then what else can they do?
Techno-Dann 8th December 2008, 17:15 Quote
Phil Rhodes 8th December 2008, 17:34 Quote
Who makes the decisions for this organisation?

Who is that person accountable to?

P
yakyb 8th December 2008, 17:36 Quote
as far as i'm concerned if it catches just 1 peado its completely worth it
BioSniper 8th December 2008, 17:39 Quote
In which case is this not a detrimental change of service in which anyone can get out of their contract with?
knyghtryda 8th December 2008, 18:05 Quote
if this doesn't completely freak you out then I'm not sure how much you really value your status in the "free world". The whole concept of free is to allow the dissemination of all materials and ideas, no matter how unpopular or "unethical". This includes hate speech, porn, and anything else that may offend someone or something.
cyrilthefish 8th December 2008, 19:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by yakyb
as far as i'm concerned if it catches just 1 peado its completely worth it
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Franklin
Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.
Works just as well for this.
TGImages 8th December 2008, 19:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by knyghtryda
if this doesn't completely freak you out then I'm not sure how much you really value your status in the "free world". The whole concept of free is to allow the dissemination of all materials and ideas, no matter how unpopular or "unethical". This includes hate speech, porn, and anything else that may offend someone or something.

Free disemination of hate speech, offensive material and ideas is one thing... however when the material may/does involve someone against their will and/or not capable of making a "grown up" decision then that crosses the line. Not that a monitoring and blocking system like this is the best way to address it...
Omnituens 8th December 2008, 19:28 Quote
I'm sure pretty soon we are all going to be driving lada's and fishing though a hole in the bottom of our cars.
Gunsmith 8th December 2008, 20:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omnituens
I'm sure pretty soon we are all going to be driving lada's and fishing though a hole in the bottom of our cars.

LAGMonkey 8th December 2008, 20:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtrafresh

I really do hope that the next few generations of leaders we'll have will understand the value of freedom and transparancy of government.

Why should they? its much easier for a sudo-government to stay in power than it is for them to do the work of proper government. Hence the current situation we have in the UK and the attitude coming up from the schools. Why both to do a job when you can outsource, pass-on or just ignore it and get away with it!
i know it sounds very daily mail of me but its news ive always picked up on. people seem unwilling to take charge of their freedoms and just roll out the

"Ive got nothing to worry about as ive done nothing wrong".
or
Quote:
Originally Posted by yakyb

as far as i'm concerned if it catches just 1 peado its completely worth it
Nexxo 8th December 2008, 20:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnout21
If a kiddy fiddler can keep him self under control via use of the internet, then id rather that than have them pratice on a real child.
Problem is, it doesn't work like that. Paedophiles use such images to "warm up" for the real act, so to speak.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtrafresh
Kiddie pron makes me sick, but people using it as an arguement for their own megalomaniac schemes.
You mean like opposing its censorship as an infringement of freedom of expression?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evildead666
What percentage of blocking countrywide access to a legitimate website is acceptable ?

This isn't going to stop a paedophile from getting his goods....it might delay him some, but I also doubt Wikipedia is a Paedophile site...
The tactics may appear heavy handed, but Wikipedia was asked to just remove/edit the offending image. It decided not to, on the grounds of "principle". I'm not sure how freedom of information was served by this. I'm not sure how removing the image would have deprived legitimate web surfers. If you think you know, please tell me.

Of course Wikipedia complained that Amazon.com was not censored, suggesting it was because Amazon had money and could sue. However Amazon censored itself by replacing the covers by the later, censored versions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flibblebot
No kiddie porn is acceptable, but as a part of the whole of the UK internet population, the total number of active paedophiles who use the internet to get their kicks is miniscule, probably a fraction of a percentage point. To filter the traffic of most of the country because of the actions of this tiny minority is absurd - not so much using a sledgehammer to crack a nut, more like using a ton of TNT to crack the nut.
As I said: tactics may have been heavy-handed, but Wikipedia could have quite easily nipped it all in the bud. Just remove the image or (as some sites have) blank out the offending bits. This was simply a battle of will and guess who lost?
bradders2125 8th December 2008, 21:14 Quote
Dear IWF,
Can i have permission to create a post containing the words porn and paedophile. Thank You.

Its only a matter of time til the internet has all obscenities blocked so it will just appear as a load $%^& or censored. Microsoft is even developing software to censor videos so you don't hear swearing. When will it stop.
Nexxo 8th December 2008, 21:30 Quote
When the general public is mature enough to handle freedom of expression --both doing it and receiving it.
bradders2125 8th December 2008, 21:49 Quote
I don't think its the fact that they are censoring or watching what we do. Its the fact that they don't tell the customers. We pay for the service so we should at least know what the provider is doing to it, especially when it comes to our privacy. Instead we have to learn about the latest IWF, Phorm and Anti-piracy laws from third party sites.

Virgin Media seem to jump on every bandwagon, as if its what its customers want (guess who i'm with).
whisperwolf 8th December 2008, 22:03 Quote
OK have I missed something. is the fact that 1 wikipedia page now being unavailable a side issue to the fact that the uk majority now has a firewall ready to block whatever a non governmental organisation feels is wrong. this has not gone through a court or any other legal procedure and has been activated with such glaring issues such as now showing most of the uk as 6 ip ranges at at least wikipedia causing us to very likely soon be banned from editing content. the fact that this has only come to light because of 1 wikipage is what really worries me. at least the Australians are getting to debate their countries great firewall experiment, we get no notice at all .
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
The tactics may appear heavy handed, but Wikipedia was asked to just remove/edit the offending image. It decided not to, on the grounds of "principle". I'm not sure how freedom of information was served by this. I'm not sure how removing the image would have deprived legitimate web surfers. If you think you know, please tell me.

Of course Wikipedia complained that Amazon.com was not censored, suggesting it was because Amazon had money and could sue. However Amazon censored itself by replacing the covers by the later, censored versions.


As I said: tactics may have been heavy-handed, but Wikipedia could have quite easily nipped it all in the bud. Just remove the image or (as some sites have) blank out the offending bits. This was simply a battle of will and guess who lost?


rubbish piffle and balderdash. its not just a case of "principles" but also of legalities. The content is not hosted in the uk and is not illegal where it's being held, and yet you apparently feel a company should remove content because it offends in a different country. better hope we don't get anybody complaining that in their countries banks are illegal, and would the uk please remove all web reference to banks. Now the system is in place will it be removed, no of course not its far to convenient a tech for the government to want to get rid off. yes Wikipedia could have nipped this in the bud by doing what the IWF demanded, but just like giving in to terrorists once you start its suddenly very difficult to stop. (hey if the censorship brigade is allowed to use child porn as a reason to support their argument, I think its fair game for the anti's to claim the terrorists will win argument.) I think heavy handed is an understatement.
Lets not also forget that the IWF is now reviewing Amazon.com, as they sell the album online, legally it would appear, and have a picture as well.
The only thing that i really find funny about all of this is the though of how many people have rushed to find a copy of the picture since its been reported on the bbc, the guardian and other places, so they can feel suitably offended at a picture they would never normally have witnessed.
cyrilthefish 8th December 2008, 23:47 Quote
Nexxo, you really surprise me.
Usually i agree with your posts 100%, but on this matter i could not disagree more if i tried!

You seem to be OK'ing steamrolling everyone's rights in an inept way to try to stamp out child porn that won't even work...

A noble goal, but the method stinks, doesn't solve the problem and causes much more harm than it prevents...
much like the 'war on terror' and DRM really.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
When the general public is mature enough to handle freedom of expression --both doing it and receiving it.
My god, if that required to happen, the general public would not be allowed to do *anything*

Are you really saying that the majority should be restricted because of the actions of the (very) few?
Faulk_Wulf 9th December 2008, 01:16 Quote
I'm trying to understand the story here based on vague information in these posts: So Wikipedia had an article about a ....book? which had a cover with a picture of kiddie porn? They got blocked because they refused to take it down, but Amazon didn't because they used the censored cover?

I like Wikipedia enough and all, but wouldn't the right course of action have been that if Wiki refused to take down the pornagraphic image to threaten legal action with one last (very short) window to remove the offending image? If they failed to comply it would be as anyone else having such imagery on their personal site-- police would come in, take everything.

It would be the death of Wiki, but only because someone couldn't be arsed to throw some black bars over a .jpg-- and really, Wiki deserves to die if thats their policy.

I'm all for the dissemination of truth, free speech, and even unpopular ideas. But one controversial book cover versus a censored version isn't going to change the entire known universe.

At a certain point Freedom can be abused. Hiding behind free speech to show pictures of exploitation without the intent to inform and end such behavior immoral if not illeagal.

I would also like to state that the designer of the cover and the publisher who allowed it should also be punished. Artistic expression is one thing, but if it adds no value or worse-- takes value away from a product, then it was a bad decision.

So let's see:

Exploitation is bad and should be stopped and prevented.
The punishment of the masses in order to detain the few is bad.
Police States, Big Brother, Big Sister (Nanny State), and the abuse of power by government officials to fullfill their own ideal societies based on absolute control are bad.
This is nothing new, its just the internetworking of individuals makes it harder to achieve now.
Just as horrifying is that the ISPs did not even notify the individuals on their service about the changes. It looks like it was 90% of the ISPs so it might not have left people with anywhere to go, but I'm sure they still didn't mention it because of fear of lost sales... So, ISPs, wouldn't that mean its a BAD IDEA if you're scared to tell your customers?

@Nexxo - I normally agree with your posts. I don't agree with the one above. Unfortunately I can only fall back to Voltaire atm: "I don't agree with what you have to say, but defend to your death, the right to say it."

In short, I end with

What the flapjack... :(
D B 9th December 2008, 01:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by yakyb
as far as i'm concerned if it catches just 1 peado its completely worth it
On that argument ... I support them monitoring your phone calls and your movements and who you meet or talk to

... yanno "if it catches just one peado it's completely worth it"



Whisperwolf .. good post
n3mo 9th December 2008, 02:05 Quote
I am just waiting (and I am 100% sure it will happen sooner than you think) until you let your government read all your mail and listen to every phonecall. Hell, why not just install a GPS + camera + microphone chip on everyone?

You Brits think that you live in a free country, but believe me, we have much more freedom here, in post-soviet land. You never had your freedom taken away from you, so you don't even know how much it is worth. We had the same thing - police listening to phonecalls, reading mail, arresting people over saying something "unlawful". Hell, we had a lot of it, first from Germans, then from Soviets, took us many, many years to get back what was ours, so we know how hard it is to get your freedom back once you gave it away. And basically this is where you are going, giving away all your freedom piece by piece.

This system is not going to catch anyone. Come on, filtering on port 80? Any website that has something very illegal to sell (take UnderMarket for example) simply uses another port, mostly from somewhere up of the scale, like 55555. But this has another great potential - anyone ever been to China? Try googling "free tibet" there. I actually did it in a hotel, this made the following week the worst time in my life.

Think, Brits, think. Use your own minds instead offloading all the thinking to government or you will end up as another China. And this is not just "bad sci-fi", this is exactly where you are going.
The_EXorcist 9th December 2008, 02:53 Quote
I'd post my thoughts, but it could be seen as offensive, so the post would be mainly pointless, and with "offensive sites" being blocked\blacklisted, i dont want to get bittech blocked, i lost my favourite forums, when they did this in australia, so for all you ppl supporting this, remember, it wont stop anyone who wants to get at these things, it will just make your net browsing ALOT slower, and you'll have to use the same methods to get to your favourite sites now, as the kiddy fiddlers do to get to there sites aswell.
AngelOfRage 9th December 2008, 06:26 Quote
Do we as customers to ISPs sign away any rights we have to privacy on what we do? If we don't give people permission to look at our stuff, then does that make the ISP and IWF in the wrong? Even the Police need a warrent to look at our stuff, look at the shirtstorm kicking off over that MP having his offices searched without a warrent... So it's ok for the general public to have their privacy breached by a private company, but if the POLICE do it to 1 MP, then the whole country kicks off.
1ad7 9th December 2008, 08:06 Quote
wow this is scary.... I thought slowing bit torrents was outrageous but this is....just nuts
mmorgue 9th December 2008, 09:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpemma
OMFG, what stupid arguments you anti-censorship people come up with to justify your freedom to do whatever you like, sod the rest of humanity.

Yup. Sod you and the horse you came in on for all I care.

I can monitor myself -- I don't need YOU or any govt body or independant body to make that call for me, using their own brand of morals and values which contrast greatly to my own.

While I have no interest in kiddie diddlin', I don't care about violent videos, drug use or religious intolerance (the latter of which I'm all for!).

So where does it stop?

IWF : Block the kiddie stuff -- sure ok, that's fine with me, no interest there.
IWF : Block the racial hatred sites.. well, we're all a little racist at heart but ok, fine.
IWF : Block the religious intolerance.. now hold on -- some of us with functioning brains and open minds know that religion in all it's forms is rubbish so no, I don't agree with that bit..
IWF : Block Anti-Govt sentiments - stop, stop! I am allowed to voice an opinion contrary to what the govt says...
IWF : Block Anti-Western websites, climate change opinions, UFO material, US foreign policy, etc...

Where does it end?

I don't need someone else to make the decision for me on a service I *pay* for without my consent and without even a notice saying this is going to happen. :(
draxar 9th December 2008, 09:54 Quote
There's also the fact that, in terms of a prevenetative measure, it's entirely pointless.

It might stop a few people that probably would've noticed it seeing it. But if anythng, the image has been promoted by this. And can still be found by a google search, using googles cache of the wikipedia page to get around your ISP blocking it, or a proxy.

And is still on a large nuber of CDs out there.

What does this blocking achieve?

Also, I find it very very offensive that when I look at the page in question I get a 404 error – they're not admitting it's blocked, making it far harder to distinguish when my viewing is being restricted.
rhuitron 9th December 2008, 10:22 Quote
****ing great.
Internet Police state phase one has started.
thEcat 9th December 2008, 11:42 Quote
Is this the new Inquisition ?

I am seriously shocked by this. That an independent organisation, free from over site and devoid of any legal authority, can dictate to an entire country what can and cannot be accessed. It is not up to the IWF to judge legality, it is not up to the Government nor the police. We have a fully functional judicial system here in the UK, this system exists for a reason. If a certain group considers certain material to be potentially illegal then it is up to said group to prove its case in a court of law, is see no problem following the likes of DMCA. Takedown notices.

As for the ISP's, technical incompetence doesn't even begin to describe their actions.

I'll forgo the long dissertation on censorship for another day. I'll leave instead a quote for all residents of the UK, think of our surveillance cameras, DNA databases, biometric ID cards, add these self proclaimed guardians of our moral values and now consider this :
"People who sacrifice freedom for security in the end deserve neither" (Ben Franklin)
thEcat 9th December 2008, 11:55 Quote
Deleted.
dire_wolf 9th December 2008, 12:01 Quote
Is there somewhere one can find a list of ISPs that refuse to implement this?

Not that I have anything to hide, I'm just disgusted that this was implemented without paying users knowledge, and was only found out by an inquisitive sys admin. I'd rather pay someone with firmer morals for my internet access.
scrumble 9th December 2008, 12:36 Quote
"I really do hope that the next few generations of leaders we'll have will understand the value of freedom and transparancy of government."

They already do, why do you think they try to restrict it?
Mankz 9th December 2008, 12:46 Quote
I'm right in thinking that BT havn't taken this on?

At least I hope I'm right...
steveo_mcg 9th December 2008, 12:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dire_wolf
Is there somewhere one can find a list of ISPs that refuse to implement this?

Not that I have anything to hide, I'm just disgusted that this was implemented without paying users knowledge, and was only found out by an inquisitive sys admin. I'd rather pay someone with firmer morals for my internet access.

Unfortunately its not the isp's that are to blame, the government have effectively backed them into a corner and left them with little option but to accept the filter from this quango.

http://libertus.net/censor/ispfiltering-gl.html#britain
Flibblebot 9th December 2008, 13:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dire_wolf
Is there somewhere one can find a list of ISPs that refuse to implement this?

Not that I have anything to hide, I'm just disgusted that this was implemented without paying users knowledge, and was only found out by an inquisitive sys admin. I'd rather pay someone with firmer morals for my internet access.
According to El Reg, the ISPs running traffic through proxies are Virgin Media, Be Unlimited/O2/Telefonica, EasyNet/UK Online, PlusNet, Demon, and Opal.

I'm with Zen, and nothing's filtered (yet).
Burnout21 9th December 2008, 13:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Problem is, it doesn't work like that. Paedophiles use such images to "warm up" for the real act, so to speak.
Thinking of that, that way it now scares me. Best we break out the guns for the web police!
Fly 9th December 2008, 13:42 Quote
It's only the cover of a God awful eighties hair metal band, IWF shouldn't have bothered, nobody would have ever seen it...
MajestiX 9th December 2008, 13:47 Quote
what most of you don't realise is that there are already special task force globally and in each country to deal with internet crime and child pornography. They are not the ones pushing for the "clean internet feed".
The excuse they are using is to get a wedge in the crack because once the system is implimented it is not hard to start blacklisting everything.

There are plenty of agency to deal with all the things you are scared about, they can already track what your doing. That i do not care about because it is the choice of the user, but preventing someone from making a decision is an act against the freedom we pay taxes to keep.
Burnout21 9th December 2008, 13:55 Quote
we've all know about the internet nazi's watching are movements for years, i've got no worries, i visit good old bit-tech, ebay, few torrent sites for the odd mp3 before buying the album downloads, and work related searching (pro designer here with little to no time to mod!)
Drexial 9th December 2008, 14:49 Quote
As I have said in the past in arguments like this held in may different places.

Its not whats illegal now that most people have to be afraid of with things like this. Its what they decide is illegal in the future.

Lets face it, if they know that they can get away with this overnight, then whats to stop them from doing anything else. 1984, Fahrenheit 451, V For Vendetta, and many other works are not just some distant possibility, they are the true result of a nation of people rolling over and taking it. You cant wait around on the next office to fix your problems. You must make it known now that you have a problem with this. Who knows whats being watched before the next office takes hold, and do you really think the next officials will do anything about it.

Once you give someone a taste of what true control is they will only want more. So they will regulate something else, just because they know they can.

Now I don't live in the UK so I don't understand what checks you have on your government. But I would be doing anything I could, petitioning, phoning, protesting, anything to let them know that you are out there and you aren't going to take it. Restrictions like this do very little, if anything to stop problems like child abuses.

Do what you can but don't let them roll you over. These are only a few people, they should not be feared by the masses.

Maybe I am ranting like a madman doom and gloom. But is it worth risking everything to think that they wont do something.

now pardon me, I have to go for my appointment to get my tinfoil hat fitted.
The Infamous Mr D 9th December 2008, 16:07 Quote
The government and indeed the IWF have this situation all wrong. Pedophiles will get their jollies whether the governing bodies and their watchdogs pour billions of pounds of tax into preventative measures or not. If you want something bad enough, you'll find a way to get your grubby mits on it. A hungry person on a diet may only have healthy foods in their cupboards, but rice and lentils be damned if a Mars bar is only a short trip to the corner shop away.

As an internet user and a taxpayer, I'd be much happier knowing that those billions of pounds of tax were actually spent on dealing to resolve the social and psychological issues and causes behind pedophilia and the distribution of child abuse images than some half-baked solution to the problem.

Of course, that would require someone in authority to take their thumb out of their arse and do some proper work to tackle the causes and not the symptoms of any given problem. Don't have a great track record with that, do we?
thEcat 9th December 2008, 16:18 Quote
Drexial,
You reminded me to add.

Note to UK Government: 1984 is a work of fiction, it is not an instruction manual.

I knew the IWF existed but knew nothing of their history, good Reg article here clears things up
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/12/09/iwf/

If that album cover has been on display in the UK for the past 30 years then I think they have over reacted in this case. If the album cover was banned 30 years ago then, as it is obviously available, it is time for a court to review the situation. I'm sure the IWF does some sterling work weeding out the truly unsavoury, but I do not think the IWF should be involved in re-evaluating prior art, allow that to start and it will never stop.

I stand by my claim the ISP's showed technical incompetence and I agree with all who say a 404 error or similar is insufficient, we should be fully notified that the page/image/whatever has been officially censured and by whom.

Well said, The Infamous Mr D.
Our government appears to love fear. Fear of terrorists, fear of paedophiles etc. Raise enough fear and you can justify anything.
Veles 9th December 2008, 16:42 Quote
Next thing we know, the wiki page for Bloody Sunday will be blocked
thEcat 9th December 2008, 16:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veles
Next thing we know, the wiki page for Bloody Sunday will be blocked

And Vietnam, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:TrangBang.jpg .
LAGMonkey 9th December 2008, 16:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelOfRage
Do we as customers to ISPs sign away any rights we have to privacy on what we do? If we don't give people permisstion to look at our stuff, then does that make the ISP and IWF in the wrong?

As far as i was aware, ISP's like to use the "were just a access service" excuse just like BT has. This limits liability as they dont want to be sued for things that their users download.
E.g
Customer downloads kiddie porn, It had to flow over the ISP's network. If the ISP was blocking some content then one could argue that the ISP had the ability to stop the spread of kiddie porn but in this case failed to do so (as customer recieved such material) thus aiding in the transfer of said illegal content.
However if the ISP does not filter, limit or block ANY contect then they can claim the defence that they were unaware what was being transfered and place blame soley on the customer for breaking the Fair Usage Policy.

just my 2p and how i understand how it used to work
Otto69 9th December 2008, 17:12 Quote
“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”

- William Pitt the younger


(trust me, I speak from experience. Plenty of people in 'merica could learn the above quote as well.)
Xtrafresh 9th December 2008, 18:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtrafresh
*starts countdown to total obidience.*

Kiddie pron makes me sick, but people using it as an arguement for their own megalomaniac schemes.

You mean like opposing its censorship as an infringement of freedom of expression?
Dude, i'm always the first to admit stay nothing is black or white, and everything happens on a grayscale. Pulling something into the extreme to justify the other extreme is not a valid way to do discussions (though often very succesful! :D).

My opinion is that while the motive that's given is a good one, these people have been given carte blanche, and they did with it what every other person in human history has done with it: they went overboard. Monitoring ALL uk traffic and routing it through their filters? what are they thinking? Doesn't that ring any problematic bells with you? What happens if they try to do the same with other criminal content? Or other content typically associated with criminals? Or search patterns that fit the psychological descriptions of a criminal?

See how effective the technique is?

Now here's a proper arguement: no single group of people should have this much control or insight in my personal behaviour without a very good reason. A good reason would constitute reasonable suspicion. I'm not suspicious because i breath. At least, i sure hope not

I'm also quite convinced that these techniques are being watched VERY closely by people with less noble causes, the DRM mafia and the government being the obvious choices.
pendragon 9th December 2008, 18:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mankz.
Go away internet Nazis.

^^what he said. :(:(
LAGMonkey 9th December 2008, 18:13 Quote
Just read an article from El Reg and the IWF are gettign a bit more power by the looks of things.
Apparently Surry Police are instructing people to contact the IWF with regards to wether images they have fall into the illegal catagory of the new porn laws which come into force this january (Jan 1st 2009).
The Register
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Reg
A Reg reader, who asked to remain anonymous, sent an email to Sussex Police seeking guidance.

She wrote:

The law concerns images and, in hopes of gaining some guidance, I would be grateful if you could examine a picture and give me your thoughts as to whether you would officially consider it to be an actionable image. I believe it is a borderline image which rests the suffocation element of the guidance.

The image concerned in this case, is one recently created by a photographer in the US and posted on his blog, so the actual image is not permanently kept in this country. I would be grateful for your guidance...

http://www.joemcnally.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/_jm16327.jpg"

The initial response was that she should refer the matter to the Internet Watch Foundation

The image i might add is suitable for work IMO.
Nexxo 9th December 2008, 19:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by whisperwolf
rubbish piffle and balderdash. its not just a case of "principles" but also of legalities. The content is not hosted in the uk and is not illegal where it's being held, and yet you apparently feel a company should remove content because it offends in a different country. better hope we don't get anybody complaining that in their countries banks are illegal, and would the uk please remove all web reference to banks. Now the system is in place will it be removed, no of course not its far to convenient a tech for the government to want to get rid off. yes Wikipedia could have nipped this in the bud by doing what the IWF demanded, but just like giving in to terrorists once you start its suddenly very difficult to stop. (hey if the censorship brigade is allowed to use child porn as a reason to support their argument, I think its fair game for the anti's to claim the terrorists will win argument.) I think heavy handed is an understatement.
Never mind legalities and what is acceptable in different countries. Certain things are kind of universal. Murder, female circumcision, slavery. Child porn also is bad everywhere, mmmokay?

I don't agree with how the censorship was enforced, but as has been said, Wikipedia could have easily pulled or censored the image. What would have been the more reasonable option?

Now let's all get perspective here. It is not as if they're censoring history, or sites expressing certain political or religious views, or climate change. It is one sexually explicit image of an underage girl which you wouldn't even have known about until it was censored by the IWF. If Wikipedia had simply censored the image as requested you wouldn't have felt curtailed in your freedom of information in any way. You wouldn't even have known. You would not have gone: "Hey! I can't see that naked little girl's naked bits! I'm being oppressed!".

You could argue that this is the thin end of the wedge: child porn today, the Washington Times tomorrow; but face it: child porn has been banned in pretty much any other media: film, print and television, and this has not led to an oppressive regime of blanket censorship in those media. Last time I checked, you could still read about Vietnam, and there is even a film making jokes about how crap a President Bush Jr. was. Perspective: keep it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrilthefish
Are you really saying that the majority should be restricted because of the actions of the (very) few?
I'm saying that the antidote to Totalitarianism is not lawlessness. They're finding that out in Athens right now. Remember: it is Wikipedia's response that caused the restriction to be far bigger than it would have been.

Google had a similar dillemma with China. Many people felt that Google had sold out because it agreed to filter its search results so that the Chinese population could not access sites of politically dissident views, rather than being pulled from China's internet altogether. Google's reasoning was:
Quote:
While removing search results is inconsistent with Google's mission, providing no information... is more inconsistent with our mission.

Wikipedia chose the other option: it refused to succumb to any censorship demands so its page was blocked altogether --including the ability of people to edit articles elsewhere on the site. C'est la vie. Now, what would have been the wiser action?

The issue here is as straightforward as that of Freedom of Expression: with freedom comes responsibility. Freedom of expression does not mean that you have the right to offend people, incite hatred or exploit children. Other people have rights too. So sometimes, in a civilised and mutually considerate society, you'll just have to compromise and shut the **** up. If you feel free not to, someone else may just feel free to make you. Terrorism has been thrown about (yet again) in comparison to the IWF, but how is what the rioters are doing in Athens any different?

We have laws. There are laws to deal with gung-ho police officers shooting 15-year-olds, and there are laws regarding child pornography. Such restrictions are the price we pay for living in a civilised society. Play nice, be considerate to others, be responsible. Or someone will take that responsibility from you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Faulk_Wulf
It would be the death of Wiki, but only because someone couldn't be arsed to throw some black bars over a .jpg-- and really, Wiki deserves to die if thats their policy.

I'm all for the dissemination of truth, free speech, and even unpopular ideas. But one controversial book cover versus a censored version isn't going to change the entire known universe.

At a certain point Freedom can be abused. Hiding behind free speech to show pictures of exploitation without the intent to inform and end such behavior immoral if not illeagal.
Exactly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veles
Next thing we know, the wiki page for Bloody Sunday will be blocked
Yeah, because that is so similar to child porn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtrafresh
Dude, i'm always the first to admit stay nothing is black or white, and everything happens on a grayscale. Pulling something into the extreme to justify the other extreme is not a valid way to do discussions (though often very succesful! :D).

My opinion is that while the motive that's given is a good one, these people have been given carte blanche, and they did with it what every other person in human history has done with it: they went overboard. Monitoring ALL uk traffic and routing it through their filters? what are they thinking? Doesn't that ring any problematic bells with you? What happens if they try to do the same with other criminal content? Or other content typically associated with criminals? Or search patterns that fit the psychological descriptions of a criminal?
Of course it is objectionable. But the point is: Wiki didn't do the reasonable thing. So now IWF is being unreasonable too --and they have more power.

All the dire consequences you predict are because the wiser one in the dispute failed to blink. Wikipedia really has no legs to stand on. What, it can't be arsed to throw a few blurry bits over the naked girl's image? Is this their big, principled stand on "Freedom of Information"? I could think of worthier --and more important-- battles to fight.
thEcat 9th December 2008, 20:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LAGMonkey
Just read an article from El Reg and the IWF are gettign a bit more power by the looks of things.
Apparently Surry Police are instructing people to contact the IWF with regards to wether images they have fall into the illegal catagory of the new porn laws which come into force this january (Jan 1st 2009).
The Register



The image i might add is suitable for work IMO.

Nice one. Exposed by camera, trapped by invisible walls. A visual metaphor for life in the UK perhaps? Outrageous, well deserving of censorship :(

Those opposing censorship face a problem, eventually they will be put in a position of having to defend the indefensible. I know of no way this can be avoided.

Those supporting censorship face an even bigger problem, once the fire is lit it is not so easy to extinguish and those who most often cry witch may soon find themselves in The Crucible .

Is this far fetched? Is ecat talking from the bottom of the litter tray?

Back to the original image, or the one posted be LAGMonkey. If it was reported for being disturbing, shocking, distasteful then fair enough, but none of these reasons are grounds for censorship.

If it was reported or censored because someone thought it was the sort of image that others would find arousing then whoever did the reporting or censoring had better be very careful when explaining themselves.

If it was reported or censored by someone who thought the image was arousing then... Burn them. Burn them with fire... Seriously, that someone needs help.

There is no excuse for child abuse but there is no excuse for promoting a witch hunt either. History shows that the quickest way to create a monster it to empower the masses, it also shows the destructive nature of monsters, creator beware.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo

...
Wikipedia chose the other option: it refused to succumb to any censorship demands so its page was blocked altogether --including the ability of people to edit articles elsewhere on the site. C'est la vie. Now, what would have been the wiser action?

The issue here is as straightforward as that of Freedom of Expression: with freedom comes responsibility. Freedom of expression does not mean that you have the right to offend people, incite hatred or exploit children. Other people have rights too. So sometimes, in a civilised and mutually considerate society, you'll just have to compromise and shut the **** up. If you feel free not to, someone else may just feel free to make you. Terrorism has been thrown about (yet again) in comparison to the IWF, but how is what the rioters are doing in Athens any different?

We have laws. There are laws to deal with gung-ho police officers shooting 15-year-olds, and there are laws regarding child pornography. Such restrictions are the price we pay for living in a civilised society. Play nice, be considerate to others, be responsible. Or someone will take that responsibility from you.
...

<I hate quoting large posts so please forgive me for being selective, I think the above is a fair reflection of your argument.>

Fair comment but missing two important facts, detailed as I understand them:

1) As recently as 2008 the F.B.I. decided there was no problem with the image, as Wikipedia is based in the U.S. they are breaking no law.

2) The IWF did not request that the image be taken down, it is not in their policy to make such requests of foreign sites. They simply placed a blanket ban on the entire page, vanished it, without explanation.

Where the content of a site conflicts with local law I'm totally in favour of the Take Down request process. First ask nicely, then take to court, but if the decision is upheld locally it should be made obvious by a "Content Censored in Country X" message. Obfuscation has never proved to be a solution and many a slippery slope starts when things are made to simply vanish.
Xtrafresh 9th December 2008, 21:00 Quote
@Nexxo:

You have a point, but i'm not discussing Wikipedia or even the fight between wiki and IWF, i'm ranting against what IWF is doing.

You'll notice that the big news that got this discussion started is also not really bothered by the actual issue about the picture, but about the "bigger picture" (pun intended) of IWF monitorig ALL traffic. The wiki thing is just the way it came to light.

Was Wiki being childish or overly protective of their rights? yes
Does that make the case for IWF stronger? NO
kempez 9th December 2008, 21:18 Quote
Personally I think Wikipedia should take that picture down. I hadn't read the forum and browsed through to it without reading the rest of the article (serves me right). Certainly not what I want to see on a trusted site on the internet, that's for sure.

I don't agree with the blanket IWF censorship, but I think sites providing that sort of content should be shut down and I can't think of another way to do that myself. Any clever people to suggest a better way?
naokaji 9th December 2008, 21:20 Quote
The IWF should just go and die in a fire.

Who ever said they are going to stop at blocking child porn and building instructions for bombs?

Exactly, noone did and with the censorship in place you have no way to find out what else besides child porn they are blocking, because ohh crap, they can just block anything that they dont like now.

Nexxo, the situation in greece is different, because of the history they dont have any respect there from authorities and thats why the police is failing to stop the riots without resorting to shooting the people, so they are hoping it will stop on its own like it did in paris 2? years ago.
steveo_mcg 9th December 2008, 21:54 Quote
IWF have backed down but tbh its not enough the fact that this proxy system has been introduced in the first place should have every one disappointed and worried at the same time. At least China is upfront about its views and Australia went to the effort of publicising its implementation.

Quote:
The online watchdog, the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), has withdrawn its objection to a Wikipedia page that contained an image of a naked girl.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7774102.stm

Comments could be made that they've only backed down because of public pressure not because of any of the compelling arguments but I wont. If companies/MP's were able to climb down with out loosing face perhaps things would be different in this country.
thEcat 9th December 2008, 22:55 Quote
The Backdown:

No mention of the manor in which they go about blocking content, this to me is the big issue.

Also
Quote:
"in light of the length of time the image has existed and its wide availability, the decision has been taken to remove this webpage from our list."

Does this set a precedent ?
boggsi 9th December 2008, 23:14 Quote
I am getting out of this nanny state as soon as I am far enough into my career to afford a good life in a better country. Internet nazis can stay off my tubes.
Faulk_Wulf 9th December 2008, 23:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LAGMonkey
Just read an article from El Reg and the IWF are gettign a bit more power by the looks of things.
Apparently Surry Police are instructing people to contact the IWF with regards to wether images they have fall into the illegal catagory of the new porn laws which come into force this january (Jan 1st 2009).
The Register



The image i might add is suitable for work IMO.

Wait, are you saying this image is illegal under the new laws?
That image has artistic merit, shows no nudity, and contains no hate-symbols, anti-religion sentiments, or anything else that might be illegal.

In fact, shown that picture on its own, I might have thought it was from Vogue.

Seriously. I'm confused. :?
whisperwolf 10th December 2008, 00:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Never mind legalities and what is acceptable in different countries. Certain things are kind of universal. Murder, female circumcision, slavery. Child porn also is bad everywhere, mmmokay?

child porn is bad, totally agree, however this image has already been investigated by the FBI and found not to be illegal. so putting it very simply they would have been removing an image because its possibly illegal in a different country to them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo

I don't agree with how the censorship was enforced, but as has been said, Wikipedia could have easily pulled or censored the image. What would have been the more reasonable option?
blocking the address of the jpg and not the whole page, the iwf has no remit for text.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo

Now let's all get perspective here. It is not as if they're censoring history, or sites expressing certain political or religious views, or climate change. It is one sexually explicit image of an underage girl which you wouldn't even have known about until it was censored by the IWF. If Wikipedia had simply censored the image as requested you wouldn't have felt curtailed in your freedom of information in any way. You wouldn't even have known. You would not have gone: "Hey! I can't see that naked little girl's naked bits! I'm being oppressed!".

You could argue that this is the thin end of the wedge: child porn today, the Washington Times tomorrow; but face it: child porn has been banned in pretty much any other media: film, print and television, and this has not led to an oppressive regime of blanket censorship in those media. Last time I checked, you could still read about Vietnam, and there is even a film making jokes about how crap a President Bush Jr. was. Perspective: keep it.

i'll keep my perspective once the government of this country stops using mission creep to push existing/new laws beyond the original intent, Terrorist act used against government protesters, surveillance laws used by councils to check where children are living etc.

-Additional. could Bit not have merged this thread with the existing one in serious discussions as we now have parallel arguments going on
LAGMonkey 10th December 2008, 01:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Faulk_Wulf
Wait, are you saying this image is illegal under the new laws?
That image has artistic merit, shows no nudity, and contains no hate-symbols, anti-religion sentiments, or anything else that might be illegal.

In fact, shown that picture on its own, I might have thought it was from Vogue.

Seriously. I'm confused. :?


most people are confused about the law, hence the request to the surry police for clarification.

ss 62-67 of the Criminal Justice Act 2008 – images must be pornographic, grossly offensive and portray activity that threatens harm to life or limb, or involves sex with a corpse or animal.

"Life-threatening" is defined according to the usual dictionary definition: "serious injury" is not defined, but "could include the insertion of sharp objects or the mutilation of breasts or genitals".
"Explicit and realistic" take their ordinary dictionary definition.

In the above case, the issue was in regards to the "life-threatening" aspect of the image (woman in plasic bag).

remember people, this will come into force in january. If you know how to recover a hard drive, or are suspected or knowing how to recover a hard drive then you can not just delete the file and say that you no longer posess it.

also important to note is that you can be charged under this law for having a picture which is part of a set (even tho you do not have the rest of the pictures that do fall foul of the law) and if its simulated as well as being a drawn picture (it dosnt have to be a photograph it can be a drawing or CGI/anime)

but back to THIS topic about the IWF...
ParaHelix.org 10th December 2008, 01:35 Quote
I believe that the entire idea of the internet is that it is a totally free share of information of any kind, if you don’t want to see something, you simply don’t have to search for it, contrary to beliefs there are no ‘magic porn pop-ups’ if you stay on clean websites. The internet should not be Nazi-fied in such a way for the plain reason that if one thing becomes censored so does the next, and then we move onto religion, lets block this, block that, oh someone found that offensive lets block that too! No! This should not happen to the internet. Even if this does ‘happen’ it does not mean much, I could run a web server now, so could my friends, so could any single person who wants to type “Web servers for dummies” in to Google. Come on, it’s impossible, it’s wrong, and most of all it is the beginning of the internet becoming a limited library.
mmorgue 10th December 2008, 09:06 Quote
The bottom line is, governing of censorship should be down to you, the individual and not a governing body who will not uphold the beliefs and freedoms that you do.

I don't need the IWF to tell me what is or isn't appropriate to view -- as a fully functioning member of society I know right from wrong and choose to uphold what I believe in. So my viewing content should not be restricted based on what a group of "morally superior" people believe I can/cannot view.

What if that group of people decide that images of burning <insert nation here> flags are deemed inappropriate? But we the people don't ?

As an example, let's take the easiest topic to piggyback an all encompassing 1984 blanket of oppression : 'child abuse/porn'. Yes it's wrong and unacceptable and those who perpetuate it should be dealt with by the law. And we have dedicated areas of the law to search/find/dismantle and prevent this. But who in their right mind, or those with a mind, think blocking access to the material will stop these types of people?? It's a sickness, a mental disorder - just because they can't see the images doesn't mean the problem is gone!

Just because you block access to Allie Akiebar's "How to build a jihadist bomb from simple household items" doesn't mean you stop fundamentalist muslims, does it? No. It means they'll find other means to get the material.

I simply cannot see what difference the IWF are/will make apart from falsly allieviating the parents/yourselves/ourselves from being the ones to blame.

I guess I'm just worried I'm going to lose access to my bukkake amputee midget and shetland pony pr0n... <sigh>
impar 10th December 2008, 09:08 Quote
Greetings!

The "offending" image has been published over here in todays newspaper "Diário de Notícias", page 61.
Dont see why that image has to be censored.
Nexxo 10th December 2008, 10:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by naokaji
Nexxo, the situation in greece is different, because of the history they dont have any respect there from authorities and thats why the police is failing to stop the riots without resorting to shooting the people, so they are hoping it will stop on its own like it did in paris 2? years ago.
It still shows that the solution to Totalitarianism in not lawlessness.
Quote:
Originally Posted by thEcat
Does this set a precedent ?
Perhaps it shows that the IWF is prepared to learn from its mistakes. Internet law enforcement is all but nonexistent and in its infancy. It is frontier law here: harsh, swift and not very sophisticated in it's judgement. When it was the almost exclusive domain of geeks we did not need any laws, just as there were no laws on copyrights or censorship before the days of print. But now everybody is joining the Internet party, and the place is getting crowded and the crowd is getting a bit rowdy. House rules need to be set down, like in any society. And then they need to be enforced.

Forum moderation: necessity or censorship? Discuss.
impar 10th December 2008, 10:55 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Forum moderation: necessity or censorship? Discuss.
Necessary to curb excesses, spark topics and keep on-topic.
Nexxo 10th December 2008, 10:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Greetings!

The "offending" image has been published over here in todays newspaper "Diário de Notícias", page 61.
Dont see why that image has to be censored.

Just as you worry that the IWF's censorship will set a dangerous precedent, so are they that allowing this image will. Sorry, but it is child porn, even if you can't see that. Even the creators of the album cover admitted it was meant to be controversial. Let it pass? Where do we draw the line?
impar 10th December 2008, 11:05 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Where do we draw the line?
I am currently reading this article:
Cowabunga! Simpsons porn on the PC equals child pornography
Your thoughts?
Xtrafresh 10th December 2008, 12:20 Quote
do you always need to draw a line? It's not as if anyone has the capacity to scan the entire interwebs, so why not use some more common sense?

At Nexxo's "necessity or censorship" question i would like to respond by quoting mmorgue:
Quote:
I simply cannot see what difference the IWF are/will make apart from falsly allieviating the parents/yourselves/ourselves from being the ones to blame.
The necessity is there, but the measures need to be effective. Instead of blocking certain images from going to consumers, the IWF should go after the ones that put it there and take it completely off. Ofcourse this is hard in international law, and i have no easy answers for that. What i do know however is that raising more borders and building walls on a national scale is not going to be the answer to what is essentially a global problem.

While in principle the IWF may (or may not) be right, their net effect on a larger scale is a very negative one. Much like a forum moderator who insta-bans everybody who disagrees with him/her would not be allowed to hid behind the cover of necessity for long. And yes, i am aware of the risks of discussing forum moderation with forum moderators
impar 10th December 2008, 12:41 Quote
Greetings!

Regarding under-aged persons in provocative poses, my concern regarding the little dude with a big penis has not been addressed:
http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?p=1860090#post1860090
http://img113.imageshack.us/img113/856/pineswk2.png

Ever since a forum member called him a "little guy" on that thread, I have perceived him as a little boy, showing of his unusual huge penis and with his right testicle out of the trousers.
Therefore, I ask that offensive image to be removed from this forum.
A line has to be drawn.

Thanks.









:D
StephenK 10th December 2008, 15:10 Quote
One can't help but notice that the actions of the IWF have shown this image to every person looking for child pornography on the net.

On a personal note, whilst i think child pornography is wrong and sickening. I cannot support the actions of a group like the IWF. Why do they get to decide what is right and wrong? Some people here have said that 'some things are just universally wrong'. Whilst I will most probably agree with some people's lists of what is wrong, I may disagree with others. There is no universally right and wrong.

As members of a global society we are self-censoring ourselves everyday. Most online communities have their own code of morals and each member picks their community based on what feels right to them. If BT condoned racism or homophobia I would 'self censor' my internet experience by going elsewhere. Child Porn isnt shoved in my face every time I go online. To access the really 'bad' material I'm pretty sure you need to go looking. Since most users dont go looking, is there anything to be gained by using poorly implemented 'moral' walls like this?

Much like out DRM discussions. If this kind of censorship will only affect those who arent looking for child pornography because , like every cracked drm game, the people who it's supposed to stop will get around it easily, then what on earth is the point??
Nexxo 11th December 2008, 19:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
I am currently reading this article:
Cowabunga! Simpsons porn on the PC equals child pornography
Your thoughts?
I think equating that to child porn is a bit far-fetched (then again, if you see some Hentai... :p ). Child porn is a bit like most socially inappropriate phenomena: complex to define and explain, but a relatively balanced person recognises it for what it is. One may not know art, but one knows what one sees.

On the other hand, you do have to sort of ask what kind of person would want to store images of the Simpsons child characters engaged in explicit sexual acts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtrafresh
do you always need to draw a line? It's not as if anyone has the capacity to scan the entire interwebs, so why not use some more common sense?
Ask Wikipedia.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtrafresh
The necessity is there, but the measures need to be effective. Instead of blocking certain images from going to consumers, the IWF should go after the ones that put it there and take it completely off. Ofcourse this is hard in international law, and i have no easy answers for that. What i do know however is that raising more borders and building walls on a national scale is not going to be the answer to what is essentially a global problem.

While in principle the IWF may (or may not) be right, their net effect on a larger scale is a very negative one. Much like a forum moderator who insta-bans everybody who disagrees with him/her would not be allowed to hid behind the cover of necessity for long. And yes, i am aware of the risks of discussing forum moderation with forum moderators
I agree that the IWF went about it in completely the wrong (and kind of pointless) way. But I suspect it is learning as it goes along also. Thing is, as the internet is becoming more accessible and an as integral part of human society as TV or magazines, some sort of governance is going to be inevitable.

Those providing internet content can either use some common sense and moderate themselves, or leave it to moronic institutions, but it is going to happen. What's the sensible choice?
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Regarding under-aged persons in provocative poses, my concern regarding the little dude with a big penis has not been addressed:
http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?p=1860090#post1860090
http://img113.imageshack.us/img113/856/pineswk2.png

Ever since a forum member called him a "little guy" on that thread, I have perceived him as a little boy, showing of his unusual huge penis and with his right testicle out of the trousers.
Therefore, I ask that offensive image to be removed from this forum.
A line has to be drawn.

Thanks.
As I made clear in another post: porn is determined by the context and intention of the publication, not the impressions of the perceiver. Gay porn is still porn, even if it does not turn you on. A picture of the Eiffel tower is not, even though to some people it may be.

So sorry, but this is your sexual deviance, you cope with it. :D
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
On a personal note, whilst i think child pornography is wrong and sickening. I cannot support the actions of a group like the IWF. Why do they get to decide what is right and wrong? Some people here have said that 'some things are just universally wrong'. Whilst I will most probably agree with some people's lists of what is wrong, I may disagree with others. There is no universally right and wrong.
Yes there is. Certain human needs and desires are universal: food, warmth, shelter, love and belonging, freedom, self-expression... Similarly certain behaviours are regarded as bad in all (relatively sane) cultures: murder, rape, abuse... To deny people their fundamental needs or to inflict harm or death on them is generally frowned upon.
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
As members of a global society we are self-censoring ourselves everyday. Most online communities have their own code of morals and each member picks their community based on what feels right to them. If BT condoned racism or homophobia I would 'self censor' my internet experience by going elsewhere. Child Porn isnt shoved in my face every time I go online. To access the really 'bad' material I'm pretty sure you need to go looking. Since most users dont go looking, is there anything to be gained by using poorly implemented 'moral' walls like this?
You don't have to look very far though. You are an intelligent, sane, moral human being; good on you. But there are people out there who are not --more than you think. Visit your local Social Services child protection team and ask why they are so overstretched... Just because you don't look for it doesn't mean nobody does.

But that's by the by. The important thing is to divorce the motivations of the IWF from their ham-fisted actions. Just because their approach is ineffectual and stupid, does not mean they haven't got a point somewhere.
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
Much like out DRM discussions. If this kind of censorship will only affect those who arent looking for child pornography because , like every cracked drm game, the people who it's supposed to stop will get around it easily, then what on earth is the point??
Why do you lock your doors at night? A decent burglar will easily get past it (or else anyone with a crowbar). Why does your car have airbags? You think that is going to save you in a 70mph motorway crash?

The point is about increasing the treshold of difficulty and about harm reduction. It may not be 100% effective, but at least it reduces the odds a bit. And in any case you feel that at least you are doing something. A bit like the IWF. :)
StephenK 11th December 2008, 20:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo

Yes there is. Certain human needs and desires are universal: food, warmth, shelter, love and belonging, freedom, self-expression... Similarly certain behaviours are regarded as bad in all (relatively sane) cultures: murder, rape, abuse... To deny people their fundamental needs or to inflict harm or death on them is generally frowned upon.

This is a flawed statement. Your first observation (about human needs) in no way links to what you regard as bad behaviours. Are you seriously suggesting that cultures who have different ideas about 'correct' behaviour to you are somehow insane? I would love to see you list some countries that you regard as 'sane'. For me, this attitude is far too close to seeing African nations as primitive and savage for my liking. I may not agree with lots of what other cultures regard as normal but who they hell am I to decide that I can enforce my beliefs on them?? Oh those poor backwards savages, lets teach them how to live properly??
Quote:

You don't have to look very far though. You are an intelligent, sane, moral human being; good on you. But there are people out there who are not --more than you think. Visit your local Social Services child protection team and ask why they are so overstretched... Just because you don't look for it doesn't mean nobody does.

But that's by the by. The important thing is to divorce the motivations of the IWF from their ham-fisted actions. Just because their approach is ineffectual and stupid, does not mean they haven't got a point somewhere.

You've missed my point. I didnt suggest that there were not people out there interested in this sort of thing. Nor did I suggest that just because I don't look doesnt mean nobody does. My point was that this approach was ill-considered and worrying. Their approach 'was' ineffectual and stupid , and does nothing to tackle the real problems or issues. Censoring images isnt stoping children from being abused. It isnt altering the sexual tendancies of child abusers and given that the censoring didnt work, it didnt even stop people from being able to see the images!! So what good did it do? It's not enough the 'have a point somewhere' , I can say that I believe terrorism is wrong... I may have a point. If my response is to kill all middle eastern people then my point is totally irrelevant. What I'm saying is that when a group of people feel something is wrong, their feelings (or points) are secondary to their actions.

Quote:

Why do you lock your doors at night? A decent burglar will easily get past it (or else anyone with a crowbar). Why does your car have airbags? You think that is going to save you in a 70mph motorway crash?

The point is about increasing the treshold of difficulty and about harm reduction. It may not be 100% effective, but at least it reduces the odds a bit. And in any case you feel that at least you are doing something. A bit like the IWF. :)

Did the drm on spore reduce the odds of it being pirated a bit? I lock my door at night because some crimes are opportunist. So yes, whilst i wont stop a determined thief, i might stop an opportunist. I get what you are saying about reducing odds but how on earth does censoring images reduce the odds or reduce harm? Odds of what? Odds of people being child abusers? The harm of children being abused? Odds of people who are looking for child porn finding any? C'mon.

Whilst I still feel that what the IWF's personal morals are their own damn business. Who are they to enforce this on others? Why are social services overstretched? Perhaps they need funding so that they can try to help illeviate child suffering. Ask your local child services how many of their abuse cases are domestic abuse and non-sexual. Maybe if we focused on helping abused kids and keeping child abusers away from children we might do some good. But this isnt about that is it? It's about 'feeling' good about ourselves because we've 'done something'. As if doing something, ANYTHING, is better than doing nothing. Even if what you are doing, helps in no way at all and actually distracts from the real issues. So, lets pat ourselves on the back for a job well done. Whilst we raved about the dangers of an old album cover, children continued to be abused. Child abusers remained chiild abusers and continued to access child pornography. On the plus side, lots of people who we see as 'normal' and 'intelligent, sane, moral human beings' got stuck with behind some silly firewall rubbish. Wow. I guess we really did something to make the world a better place. See where I'm coming from?
Nexxo 12th December 2008, 13:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
This is a completely flawed statement. Your first observation (about human needs) in no way links to what you regard as bad behaviours. Are you seriously suggesting that cultures who have different ideas about 'correct' behaviour to you are somehow insane? I would love to see you list some countries that you regard as 'sane'. For me, this attitude is far too close to seeing African nations as primitive and savage for my liking. I may not agree with lots of what other cultures regard as normal but who they hell am I to decide that I can enforce my beliefs on them?? Oh those poor backwards savages, lets teach them how to live properly??
I think you are completely lurching to the other extreme of the argument now, mainly because you failed to read (or understand) the last sentence in that paragraph.

"Bad" behaviours, i.e. behaviours that are socially disapproved of, are those that willfully and intentionally deprive other human beings of their needs or rights (food, warmth, shelter, health, love/belonging, freedom of expression etc.). This is why no matter what culture you visit, murder, rape, theft, child abuse/neglect, slavery etc. are generally frowned upon. There may be a few cultures where such behaviours are acceptable, but that is because they live in brutal circumstances where people are brutalised by these circumstances from cradle to grave; hence they become brutal in their behaviour and this becomes their cultural norm. We tend to consider such norms as "uncivilised". How do you feel about the Taliban again, by the way? Exactly.

Certain social human values and rules are univeral because underneath all the cultural and ethnic differences, we're all the same humans with the same basic physical and social needs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
You've missed my point. I didnt suggest that there were not people out there interested in this sort of thing. Nor did I suggest that just because I don't look doesnt mean nobody does. My point was that this approach was ill-considered and worrying. Their approach 'was' ineffectual and stupid , and does nothing to tackle the real problems or issues. Censoring images isnt stoping children from being abused. It isnt altering the sexual tendancies of child abusers and given that the censoring didnt work, it didnt even stop people from being able to see the images!! So what good did it do? It's not enough the 'have a point somewhere' , I can say that I believe terrorism is wrong... I may have a point. If my response is to kill all middle eastern people then my point is totally irrelevant.
That's a bit like saying the IWF responded to the cover by kiling all photographers. However if you shut down a site that tells you how to build a bomb from household materials, bypas security in an airport and bomb a plane, then I doubt that anyone would consider that a violation of freedom of information, no matter how futile that act really is in preventing terrorism.
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
Did the drm on spore reduce the odds of it being pirated a bit? I lock my door at night because some crimes are opportunist. So yes, whilst i wont stop a determined thief, i might stop an opportunist. I get what you are saying about reducing odds but how on earth does censoring images reduce the odds or reduce harm? Odds of what? Odds of people being child abusers? The harm of children being abused? Odds of people who are looking for child porn finding any? C'mon.
The odds of people thinking it is acceptable to post sexual images of children on the internet, like locking your doors conveys the clear message it is not acceptable for anyone to just walk into your home and take your stuff.

Thin end of the wedge --it works both ways. So far you have focused on sensorship. Now let's focus on normalisation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
Whilst I still feel that what the IWF feels is wrong is their own damn business. Who are they to enforce this on others? Why are social services overstretched? Perhaps they need funding so that they can try to help illeviate child suffering. Ask your local child services how many of their abuse cases are domestic abuse and non-sexual. Maybe if we focused on helping abused kids and keeping child abusers away from children we might do some good. But this isnt about that is it? It's about 'feeling' good about ourselves because we've 'done something'. As if doing something, ANYTHING, is better than doing nothing. Even if what you are doing, helps in no way at all and actually distracts from the real issues. So, lets pat ourselves on the back for a job well done. Whilst we raved about the dangers of an old album cover, children continued to be abused. Child abusers remained chiild abusers and continued to access child pornography. On the plus side, lots of people who we see as 'normal' and 'intelligent, sane, moral human beings' got stuck with behind some silly firewall rubbish. Wow. I guess we really did something to make the world a better place.
Yeah, because all these decent, normal, sane intelligent people really suffered not being able to access that obscure Wikipedia page. For all of 48 hours.

I think you are losing perspective here. First off, the internet is not free (nor is the music on it, for that matter); it is someone's property. Organisations built it, maintain it, repair it, and keep it running and all that costs money. Some of it is government funded, some is commercially financed. ISPs finance their bit, and they charge us a fee for a service. They can, basically, decide what they provide to us as well as what they charge for it. If you as a customer don't agree, cancel your ISP subscription and go to an ISP that did not play along with this censorship deal. It is as simple as that. Vote, consumer.

Back to normalisation. Second, as the internet is becoming a more integral part of society, it will become subject to the same social rules and censorship as TV, film and printed media. Censorship of child porn in those media has not led to a totalitarian regime of blanket censorship and control of those media. Neither has it changed anything about child sexual abuse or child abusers. But it has quite clearly conveyed the social message that child porn is not acceptable.

The first step to normalisation of behaviour or viewpoint is to make it socially acceptable. The first step in that is to make it ubiquitous: people see it all the time, they habituate to it. After a while, they see it as no big deal anymore. At the risk of invoking Godwin's law, how did you think Hitler managed to get the whole German population to play along with systematically gassing six million Jews?

We already blatantly sexualise women; it's no big deal. We normalise violence and drinking: it's no big deal. When there is a good football match in town, shop keepers board up the windows out of resigned habit. Police has to come out en masse to "control" the crowd. Hey, it's the beautiful game; no big deal. Friday nights, people get drunk and in fights and pass out on the street. A&E's flood to breaking point. It's no big deal. Like the Germans in 1940's Germany, nobody stops to think that this, perchance, is not normal, sane behaviour. You talk about savages? They are us.

The IWF may have got it wrong, but it did have a valid point: "Hang on, should we just let such images go by unchallenged?". And if we do, what images will get by on the back of that precedent? At some point, we may not think anything of seeing sexualised images of young children anymore: it's no big deal. And then one day we won't think child sexual abuse is such a big deal anymore.

"If you tolerate this, your children will be next" --Manic Street Preachers.
Xtrafresh 12th December 2008, 15:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Ask Wikipedia.
:(
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
I agree that the IWF went about it in completely the wrong (and kind of pointless) way. But I suspect it is learning as it goes along also. Thing is, as the internet is becoming more accessible and an as integral part of human society as TV or magazines, some sort of governance is going to be inevitable.
AHA! Something we can finally agree on! :D

The problem is, the IWF is a very, very poor model for such governance. First of all, it is national, with no jurisdiction outside of the UK. This means that as an internet agency, it is fundamentally flawed and unable to stop anyone with the brain to click to a hostingsite elsewhere. Secondly, it's approach is fundamentally flawed, trying to go about it the "Orwellian way": total control. Total control is A) an illusion B) very expensive, and C) morally objectionable. Your point that the IWF is still a "fledgling" and is still learning gives me the chills. What if they ever do become good at what they do? I wouldn't put it past any government agency to block all outgoing traffic from Bit-Tech for hosting this discussion.

On a sidenote: i completely and utterly disagree with your statement on right and wrong. There are no such things, only in context. There are still nations where a girl is a "woman" at 12, and concidered too old to marry at 16. Wrong? in our context, yes, but just look at the age at which some of our finest members of the royal family got married. Aincient Greeks were known to have rather intimate relations with the boys that were their disciples, and a culture on Madagaskar regarded semen as a vital part of a young boys diet (not delivered in a sexual way btw). All of these cultures have their framework, and none are insane, yet all would call all the others insane. Would you have lived in any of the above ssocieties, you would have reasoned the same way, and thought nothing of it.
StephenK 12th December 2008, 16:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
This is why no matter what culture you visit, murder, rape, theft, child abuse/neglect, slavery etc. are generally frowned upon. There may be a few cultures where such behaviours are acceptable, but that is because they live in brutal circumstances where people are brutalised by these circumstances from cradle to grave; hence they become brutal in their behaviour and this becomes their cultural norm. We tend to consider such norms as "uncivilised".

Right and Wrong are temporal human constructs. They are decided by groups of people within a given social culture and time. In my country it was perfectly legal a few years ago for a man to rape his wife. Some 'civilised' countries still have the death penalty which other nations regard as murder. There was a time when it was generally accepted that black people should be slaves and were less intelligent than white people. Accepted medical fact in the civilised world... it didnt make it any less wrong. Rights and wrongs are what we decide they are. If the general population think its okay then we decide its right.
Quote:
I think you are losing perspective here. First off, the internet is not free (nor is the music on it, for that matter); it is someone's property. Organisations built it, maintain it, repair it, and keep it running and all that costs money. Some of it is government funded, some is commercially financed. ISPs finance their bit, and they charge us a fee for a service. They can, basically, decide what they provide to us as well as what they charge for it. If you as a customer don't agree, cancel your ISP subscription and go to an ISP that did not play along with this censorship deal. It is as simple as that. Vote, consumer.

Of course the internet isnt free. Of course it is an owned thing, with the service provided to consumers. The problem is that what if one country decides that child porn isnt wrong? Then what? Do we decide that their idea of right and wrong is insane? Then what? The American government decided (well the FBI but you get my point) that the image did not need to be censored. So how can we have a universal right? What you end up with is different mobs making up their own rights and wrongs. What about homosexuality? Right or Wrong? Depends on where and when you are. We consider things wrong now that will be legal and okay in 20 years. Nothing universal. Human suffering happens every single day. Some of it legal some of it not. We try our best as we move forward as a civilisation but we're far from perfect, our rights and wrongs are best guesses at the current moment, nothing more.

The IWF may be simply wishing to convey a message that child porn is wrong. So what! Most of us apparently already believe that. So why is this message needed? And, since as you say the net is an owned thing, what if the country where the servers are makes child porn legal? Then what? Will each moral community need its own internet for it's own brand of right and wrong??

The IWF didnt try and challange the idea of child porn being wrong. They sought to enforce their moral beliefs on others against their will. That is the problem. You say Hitler was wrong, I agree. At the time though, a group of people said he was right. It's all about people choosing what is right and wrong. Mostly we manage to do an okay job of it but who has the right to tell me that my sexuality or religion or my taste in music or entertainment is right or wrong?

"If you tolerate this, your children will be next" --Manic Street Preachers.[/QUOTE]

I don't want my children growing up in a world where independant groups decide what the rest of the world can do based on their own moral beliefs.

[Quote] The IWF may have got it wrong, but it did have a valid point: "Hang on, should we just let such images go by unchallenged?". And if we do, what images will get by on the back of that precedent? At some point, we may not think anything of seeing sexualised images of young children anymore: it's no big deal. And then one day we won't think child sexual abuse is such a big deal anymore.[/Quote]

And you know what. That may indeed be the case. I dont think so and I dont like the idea but there you go. How about a similiar debate from a few years ago...

'Hang on, should we just let two men kiss in public unchallanged?' And if we do what will happen next? Will they be having sex? Will it be seen as okay or normal to be gay? At some point we may not think anything of seeing men kissing in our media and entertainment; it's no big deal.... then one day two men will be able to get married and our kids might get perverted by all this material and be made gay!

See my point? Whilst I agree that child abuse is wrong (and also child porn but they are not the same thing mind you) thats my opinion. Now, most of us may indeed feel the same way, but the IWF think they have the right to challange something they dont like. I dispute that right. I also believe that child abusers will find sexually arousing material even if they have to go back to getting it posted to them in the mail.... so in the end, censorship is a pipe dream. You can't stop people by seeking to control their interactions with the world. We are not mind police, all we can do is wait for social norms to develop that make it unacceptable to do one thing or another. We can't force this. It's an organic process that is very hard, if not impossible, to manipilate.
Nexxo 12th December 2008, 18:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
Right and Wrong are temporal human constructs. They are decided by groups of people within a given social culture and time. In my country it was perfectly legal a few years ago for a man to rape his wife. Some 'civilised' countries still have the death penalty which other nations regard as murder. There was a time when it was generally accepted that black people should be slaves and were less intelligent than white people. Accepted medical fact in the civilised world... it didnt make it any less wrong. Rights and wrongs are what we decide they are. If the general population think its okay then we decide its right.
Good thing people objected to the rape thing, was it not? Or the black slavery thing? Or the death penalty? Changed some attitudes for the better? Or perhaps we should have accepted it as the legal, accepted cultural norm?

I think you'll agree not. Because just like those few contradictory protesters then, we now generally accept it was wrong. Why? Because it violates basic human needs and rights. Homosexuality doesn't: a voluntary act between consenting adults. No human rights or needs are violated here.

There are always cultural, political and tribal influences on what is considred "right" and "wrong" but you'll still find an awfully big overlap between different times and cultures. The morals of our current society for instance are based on a philosophy now about 2008 years old. In terms of fundamental "rights" and "wrongs" many religions and cultures from different times seem to wear remarkably well over time. Social rules are basically the same everywhere because social groups are basically the same everywhere: play nice with others, clean up your own mess, try not to hurt anybody, don't steal.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtrafresh
There are still nations where a girl is a "woman" at 12, and concidered too old to marry at 16. Wrong? in our context, yes, but just look at the age at which some of our finest members of the royal family got married. Aincient Greeks were known to have rather intimate relations with the boys that were their disciples, and a culture on Madagaskar regarded semen as a vital part of a young boys diet (not delivered in a sexual way btw). All of these cultures have their framework, and none are insane, yet all would call all the others insane. Would you have lived in any of the above ssocieties, you would have reasoned the same way, and thought nothing of it.
In some nations life is simpler and children reach the status of adult sooner. A 12-year old girl may be married (although she will not live with her husband or have sex until about 16), but her husband is generally not much older (and in several cultures the girl can leave the husband once they have lived together if she feels he is not up to the mark. And in some, adulterous love relationships on the side are quite common).

It all comes down to how psychologically healty or functional cultures are. Many may seem strange to us, but have a lot of sensible checks and balances. Others are outright dysfunctional (e.g. Taliban Afghanistan): people are miserable and unhappy, and soceity doesn't thrive. There is such a thing as a 'sick culture': one that fails to provide an environment and society in which people can generally thrive and survive. And yes, ours may be on the continuum...
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
The IWF may be simply wishing to convey a message that child porn is wrong. So what! Most of us apparently already believe that. So why is this message needed? And, since as you say the net is an owned thing, what if the country where the servers are makes child porn legal? Then what? Will each moral community need its own internet for it's own brand of right and wrong??
Most of us believe that now. If such images become the accepted norm, then perhaps we won't anymore. Perhaps we'll get that cultural drift in perception that you and XtraFresh mention. Is that a good thing?
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
The IWF didnt try and challange the idea of child porn being wrong. They sought to enforce their moral beliefs on others against their will. That is the problem. You say Hitler was wrong, I agree. At the time though, a group of people said he was right. It's all about people choosing what is right and wrong. Mostly we manage to do an okay job of it but who has the right to tell me that my sexuality or religion or my taste in music or entertainment is right or wrong?
Anybody. Freedom of expression, remember? They just don't have a right to force their standards on you. Now you will say: "Ah! But isn't that what the IWF is doing?". No, because you can take your business to an ISP that does not co-operate.
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
I don't want my children growing up in a world where independant groups decide what the rest of the world can do based on their own moral beliefs.
Sorry, are we still talking about the IWF, or about paedophiles? :p As I said before: it works both ways.
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
And you know what. That may indeed be the case. I dont think so and I dont like the idea but there you go. How about a similiar debate from a few years ago...

'Hang on, should we just let two men kiss in public unchallanged?' And if we do what will happen next? Will they be having sex? Will it be seen as okay or normal to be gay? At some point we may not think anything of seeing men kissing in our media and entertainment; it's no big deal.... then one day two men will be able to get married and our kids might get perverted by all this material and be made gay!

See my point? Whilst I agree that child abuse is wrong (and also child porn but they are not the same thing mind you) thats my opinion. Now, most of us may indeed feel the same way, but the IWF think they have the right to challange something they dont like. I dispute that right. I also believe that child abusers will find sexually arousing material even if they have to go back to getting it posted to them in the mail.... so in the end, censorship is a pipe dream. You can't stop people by seeking to control their interactions with the world. We are not mind police, all we can do is wait for social norms to develop that make it unacceptable to do one thing or another. We can't force this. It's an organic process that is very hard, if not impossible, to manipilate.
No human rights or needs are violated by mutually consenting homosexual acts. That's kind of one important basis for deciding what is right and and wrong: mutual valid and informed consent.

But you make a good point. You are (rightly) trying to separate moral judgement about the image from the moral principle of whether you can force your standards on others. Well no, you can't, it's wrong. The IWF should not have done what they did. But I do agree with their opinion on the image. Because that is the product of a few adults forcing their standards on a little girl (being a child, she could not give valid and informed consent on this particular issue). So it is kind of ironic that people object to the IWF imposing its standards on us, but nobody considers that the image, in fact, imposed some adults' standards on a child.

Moreover, by not kicking up a fuss, such images may become more commonplace, and then we see a violation of the principle we so want to defend: that of freedom from oppression. It's all kind of connected, see?
StephenK 13th December 2008, 00:55 Quote
Quote:
Good thing people objected to the rape thing, was it not? Or the black slavery thing? Or the death penalty? Changed some attitudes for the better? Or perhaps we should have accepted it as the legal, accepted cultural norm?


I'm merely highlighting examples of when something we now think is wrong was considered right. The reverse is also true. How about the middle ages ... we went into a period of what is now regarded as social decline. We went backwards and then had to do a u-turn. I fully understand where you are coming from with the idea that all humans are entitled to basic rights. From a natural standpoint this is perfectly sound. The problem is that the definitions of who is and isn't a person and what their rights are change all the time.
Quote:
The morals of our current society for instance are based on a philosophy now about 2008 years old

Incorrect. Try looking at Aristotle (390 BC) and Siddhārtha Gautama (the founder of Buddhism, around 570BC). And before those, people who's names are lost in the history of about ten thousand years...
Quote:
In some nations life is simpler and children reach the status of adult sooner.


But what's happened to these Universal rights and wrongs??? So NOW it isnt child abuse if it's in a 'simpler' country where the girl is somehow an adult sooner? So no universal wrong then....

Incidentally, what does 'life is simpler' even mean and I thought all humans had the same rights and that they applied to everybody.
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although she will not live with her husband or have sex until about 16

Allow me to point you to this website : http://www.avert.org/aofconsent.htm

Look at the legal ages. 16 does come up a lot, but often the male can be much younger. Remember, it's not just young girls who can be abused. Some of those nations regard 12 as a legal age. If a 40 yr old woman was to sleep with a 12 yr old boy in the UK it would be seen as child abuse.
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It all comes down to how psychologically healty or functional cultures are. Many may seem strange to us, but have a lot of sensible checks and balances. Others are outright dysfunctional (e.g. Taliban Afghanistan): people are miserable and unhappy, and soceity doesn't thrive. There is such a thing as a 'sick culture': one that fails to provide an environment and society in which people can generally thrive

The logic there is totally circular. They are sick because of what you think is healthy. How do you define what a healthy culture is? One that is thriving? How do you define thriving? Oh and the Taliban are not a culture, thats like me saying Westboro Baptist Church in place of American Culture...
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Most of us believe that now. If such images become the accepted norm, then perhaps we won't anymore. Perhaps we'll get that cultural drift in perception that you and XtraFresh mention. Is that a good thing?


Maybe not to us. But no more than the abolishment of slavery was to some slave owners 150 years ago. Or the idea that the earth was round was to some religious groups at the time? Or the Age of Enlightenment. The list is endless and made up of things that you and I (for we do agree in our moral code it seems) would think right but was seen as wrong by the you and I of the time. But you and I are products of our society and our culture. We may believe that the basic idea is don't do anyone any harm but its very difficult to judge what exactly that is. I don't want to see child porn become a socially accepted form of entertainment but if society as a whole moved in that direction how would the members of that society even understand what our problem was with it? The same way we cant understand what a previous generations problem was with things like living together without being married, casual sex, organ transplants, etc etc. Things we are okay with. Also, remember, it's been argued over and over that open or legal homosexuality would corrupt our children, do them actual harm. How about violent video games turning our kids into violent killers? We might think it's silly but its no different to our suggesting that child pornography on the net can create child abusers? For why else would we focus on the pornography products (just inanimate images after all) instead of stopping the physical making of the product (the actual abuse) ?? Abusers wont stop abusing kids just because we don't let them put their pics on the net. So what are we doing attacking the symptom instead of looking at the cause.
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Anybody. Freedom of expression, remember? They just don't have a right to force their standards on you. Now you will say: "Ah! But isn't that what the IWF is doing?". No, because you can take your business to an ISP that does not co-operate.

Not to get silly but that's like saying that when they did this without giving the consumers the warning and chance to change ISPs they somehow hadnt done anything wrong? If i punch a man without warning, its assault. I can't just say well, now that you know that i'm going to punch you again, who not just move away. Or if Australia or China bring in a national firewall, 'well, if you don't like it why not move country!'


If, as you suggest, in some simpler life countries children become adults faster. Can a 12 yr old boy in Nigeria give consent to be filmed having sex with an older woman? He's legally allowed to have sex, regarded as an adult... Is it wrong still then? And if we think it's wrong, will banning the images from the internet stop the child abuse? Or just keep it out of our sight so that we can pretend it isn't happening?

Sadly, I think it's a case of not in my back yard. And y'know what, it's perfectly understandable. If I'm really honest with myself, I wish it was as simple as banning the images. The horrible truth is that you can't put an end to child abuse, rape, murder, terrorism,etc and that makes me feel less safe. I think we want to feel safer, to make the world a better place. Since we can't stop child abuse we'll try and stop what we can. Just to give us a sense of control... just to make us feel a little better about the horrible world in which we live.
We do it over and over, a terrorist attacks, deep down we know that it's almost impossible to stop terrorism but we keep ourselves busy with wars on terror, feeling like we're doing something so that we don't feel so damn powerless. The same happens after every school shooting, we blame rock music, and in a more modern setting, videogames (notice how we dont blame rock music anymore) , just as we blamed the devil for hundreds of years. We know it isnt true, and that it's human beings that are at fault. We just dont want to tackle that yet, so we call to have GTA banned, or guns, or drugs, or video nasties or entire systems of government, etc. Shame. All that energy, all that effort, used to sweep the real problems under the carpet but Life is just to short for us to spend our time fighting the real causes anyway. Maybe it's believing whatever helps us sleep at night.
impar 13th December 2008, 12:46 Quote
Greetings!

Regarding the line to be drawn:
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Man charged over viral baby-swinging video

A Queensland man has been charged for re-publishing on a video-sharing site a viral video of a man swinging a baby around like a rag doll.
The controversial three-minute video had already been published widely across the internet and shown on American TV news shows. The clip can still be found online today.
...
The baby is laughing and smiling at the end of the clip, but the video has attracted criticism from child-welfare advocates because of how vigorously the man swings the baby by its arms.
...
Illingworth said his life changed the moment two officers - a detective chief inspector and a detective chief constable - banged on his door and demanded they search his house.
"I went to turn on the laptop and they got stinking mad, as if I was trying to delete something I guess, and I was just trying to be helpful," he said.
The officers plugged a small black box into his computer and proceeded for an hour and a half to analyse the contents of his hard drive in a search for child pornography.
Illingworth said the officers insisted on visiting his office at a mechanic workshop to examine his computer there. They found nothing, Illingworth said.
Before being taken to the police station, Illingworth was allowed to make one call, which he used to phone the owner of Liveleak in Britain to ask that the video be removed.
He was advised to get a lawyer but declined as he was unable to find one on a Sunday afternoon, he said.
At Maroochydore police station, Illingworth was interviewed without a lawyer. He was forced to provide fingerprints, a DNA sample and a mug-shot photograph.
"They wouldn't let me go to the toilet without them coming with me - I couldn't go anywhere without someone following me," he said.
The officers explained to Illingworth that they traced him using his IP address after someone in Britain reported the video clip to police. Interpol had found the clip was originally uploaded to a Russian website.
"It's going to ruin my f---ing life and everything. I'm 60 years old and what did I do wrong?" Illingworth said.
"I didn't make it, I didn't play with a baby, I just uploaded it [the video clip]. It's nothing sexual or anything else - just a smiling baby."
Bluephoenix 13th December 2008, 16:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK


Sadly, I think it's a case of not in my back yard. And y'know what, it's perfectly understandable. If I'm really honest with myself, I wish it was as simple as banning the images. The horrible truth is that you can't put an end to child abuse, rape, murder, terrorism,etc and that makes me feel less safe. I think we want to feel safer, to make the world a better place. Since we can't stop child abuse we'll try and stop what we can. Just to give us a sense of control... just to make us feel a little better about the horrible world in which we live.
We do it over and over, a terrorist attacks, deep down we know that it's almost impossible to stop terrorism but we keep ourselves busy with wars on terror, feeling like we're doing something so that we don't feel so damn powerless. The same happens after every school shooting, we blame rock music, and in a more modern setting, videogames (notice how we dont blame rock music anymore) , just as we blamed the devil for hundreds of years. We know it isnt true, and that it's human beings that are at fault. We just dont want to tackle that yet, so we call to have GTA banned, or guns, or drugs, or video nasties or entire systems of government, etc. Shame. All that energy, all that effort, used to sweep the real problems under the carpet but Life is just to short for us to spend our time fighting the real causes anyway. Maybe it's believing whatever helps us sleep at night.


very well stated.
Nexxo 14th December 2008, 12:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
Incorrect. Try looking at Aristotle (390 BC) and Siddhārtha Gautama (the founder of Buddhism, around 570BC). And before those, people who's names are lost in the history of about ten thousand years...

No, simplified. Do you really want me to expand on where our cultural and societal norms come from? I could go back a bit further than ten thousand years. But regardless, it proves the point: our basic societal norms go way back.
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
But what's happened to these Universal rights and wrongs??? So NOW it isnt child abuse if it's in a 'simpler' country where the girl is somehow an adult sooner? So no universal wrong then....
Yes there is. The adult role is a simpler one commensurate with the cognitive and emotional abilities of the youngster. More importantly her spouse is of roughly equal age.
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
Incidentally, what does 'life is simpler' even mean and I thought all humans had the same rights and that they applied to everybody.
Life for a Mongol herdsman is simpler than for us. Considerably harder, with equally important problems, but not as complicated on many levels.
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
The logic there is totally circular. They are sick because of what you think is healthy. How do you define what a healthy culture is? One that is thriving? How do you define thriving? Oh and the Taliban are not a culture, thats like me saying Westboro Baptist Church in place of American Culture...
Still culture, by any other name (you didn't think that was limited to national borders or ethnic groups, did you? Ever hear of Deaf culture?).

And yes, there is such a thing as a "sick" culture: one in which people fail to thrive (basic human needs again). If you want a definition of thrive, let me refer you to a dictionary. Because arguing about semantics is an unproductive way to have a discussion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
I don't want to see child porn become a socially accepted form of entertainment but if society as a whole moved in that direction how would the members of that society even understand what our problem was with it? The same way we cant understand what a previous generations problem was with things like living together without being married, casual sex, organ transplants, etc etc. Things we are okay with. Also, remember, it's been argued over and over that open or legal homosexuality would corrupt our children, do them actual harm. How about violent video games turning our kids into violent killers? We might think it's silly but its no different to our suggesting that child pornography on the net can create child abusers?
Science kind of provided the answer to those prejudices, didn't it? We know whether those things really are as harmful as people thought because research has told us.

I'm not suggesting that child porn on the net creates child sex abusers; I'm suggesting that unchallenged child porn on the net normalises the inappropriate sexualisation of children, and that colludes with child sex abusers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
For why else would we focus on the pornography products (just inanimate images after all) instead of stopping the physical making of the product (the actual abuse) ?? Abusers wont stop abusing kids just because we don't let them put their pics on the net. So what are we doing attacking the symptom instead of looking at the cause.
No, but we don't have to collude with them either. We can't necessarily stop the abuse, but we can convey the social message to them and their victims that what they do is unacceptable.

Research shows that the first step in planning child sex abuse is overcoming internal inhibitions. This is done by mental rehearsal and arousal (using child porn, almost others). The act is normalised. The second step is to overcome societal obstacles, because the act is generally frowned upon. The third step is overcoming the child's objections. It needs to be overpowered and/or groomed/persuaded.

If inappropriately sexual images of children are normalised in society, then the perpetrator finds it easier to negotiate all these obstacles: internal inhibitions, because sexualisation of children is normalised by exposure; societal obstacles, because society habituates to the phenomenon; the child's objections, because it gets the message that sexualisation is normal so how can it refuse?

Just think of the messages particularly young girls get already about their bodies. Anorexia for instance is a uniquely Western cultural problem (hey, you wanted an example of a 'sick' culture?).
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
Not to get silly but that's like saying that when they did this without giving the consumers the warning and chance to change ISPs they somehow hadnt done anything wrong? If i punch a man without warning, its assault. I can't just say well, now that you know that i'm going to punch you again, who not just move away. Or if Australia or China bring in a national firewall, 'well, if you don't like it why not move country!'
You can leave, can you? Changing ISPs is not emigration (even if it may feel that way to us. :p ). I switch credit cards when they decide to up the interest rates. Same thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
If, as you suggest, in some simpler life countries children become adults faster. Can a 12 yr old boy in Nigeria give consent to be filmed having sex with an older woman? He's legally allowed to have sex, regarded as an adult... Is it wrong still then? And if we think it's wrong, will banning the images from the internet stop the child abuse? Or just keep it out of our sight so that we can pretend it isn't happening?

Sadly, I think it's a case of not in my back yard. And y'know what, it's perfectly understandable. If I'm really honest with myself, I wish it was as simple as banning the images. The horrible truth is that you can't put an end to child abuse, rape, murder, terrorism,etc and that makes me feel less safe. I think we want to feel safer, to make the world a better place. Since we can't stop child abuse we'll try and stop what we can. Just to give us a sense of control... just to make us feel a little better about the horrible world in which we live.
We do it over and over, a terrorist attacks, deep down we know that it's almost impossible to stop terrorism but we keep ourselves busy with wars on terror, feeling like we're doing something so that we don't feel so damn powerless. The same happens after every school shooting, we blame rock music, and in a more modern setting, videogames (notice how we dont blame rock music anymore) , just as we blamed the devil for hundreds of years. We know it isnt true, and that it's human beings that are at fault. We just dont want to tackle that yet, so we call to have GTA banned, or guns, or drugs, or video nasties or entire systems of government, etc. Shame. All that energy, all that effort, used to sweep the real problems under the carpet but Life is just to short for us to spend our time fighting the real causes anyway. Maybe it's believing whatever helps us sleep at night.

You know, we can argue the far end of a fart about different contrived scenarios and whether it will really make any difference to them happening. But that doesn't change the question: images of inappropriately sexualised children: should they be challenged or not? I think you and I both know the answer, even if we don't agree with the IWF's methods.
StephenK 14th December 2008, 18:29 Quote
Indeed we could go around in circles with this merry dance. We agree on some areas and not on others. To keep it simple then, if there is such a thing as a sick culture than I believe that neither you nor I would know it if it jumped up and bit us.

One could argue that the entire human culture is sick by your logic as we can show examples (such as anorexia) of 'sickness' in all societies. I wrote a paper once on female body image in modern media and I can see where you are coming from about normalisation. Where we disagree is in that you feel that there is a way to decide what is right and what is wrong and I suggest that we are unable to make that decision.

The sexualisation of children goes far deeper in our culture than the album cover. Look at children's clothing, tv programs, films, music,etc and you can find elements of sexualisation. This is the world we live in, a world of beauty pageants and belly tops. I don't want to see child porn on the internet but how can we, even with the best intentions, decide what is and isn't allowed?

Sure we may not want to collude with child abusers by allowing child pornography to be seen as normal but how can we, with our own sickness and our own culturally imprinted ideas of right and wrong tell what normal is? I like the idea of doing no harm and respecting the rights of people. I just don't think we can apply these universally. It would be great if we could but our world just doesn't work like that. In the end I think we look at everything as it comes along and try our best to do the 'right' thing. I think the album cover should stay because people already decided that it was not illegal. End of story. The IWF thing is a separate issue (which we did move away from for a bit) but I simply feel that they were not elected to represent the public view. If a political party makes a few bad calls we don't vote for them next time, the IWF are self appointed and there is no transparency to their actions. We may indeed get to vote with our wallets, after the fact, but why are they deciding whats best for the rest of us? Did you ask them to? If indeed as you and I both do agree, child porn shouldn't be on the net (or at least as little as we can manage) why aren't they asking for our permission to take things down. Especially when they are blocking access to a page that they have no jurisdiction over as it's in another country.
Nexxo 14th December 2008, 19:01 Quote
I think that we can decide what is a good thing.

We have conscience; we have a sense of what we would like done unto us and what we would not like done unto us. We have a sense of boundaries and appropriateness and common decency. We have a brain. We just choose not to listen to it all the time because it can have inconvenient ramifications, that's all.

Look at the religions and philosophies you mention, stretching 10.000 years back or more. They all say the same thing: about how we should have a moral center, wisdom, self-discipline and self-restraint; treat others with a modicum of respect and consideration and live in harmony with our environment. Just because we do not always choose to do that --because we're frightened, angy, selfish, or just plain lazy-- doesn't mean that we don't know how.

I don't think we can wave aside the inappropriate sexualisation of a child because we don't want to mess with our freedom to surf. You worry about self-appointed institutions? Who do you think censors films? Or computer games? Or books? Independent institutions, dude. Censorship is a dynamic process between these institutions and society as a whole. Although I may not always agree with their decisions, I'm glad that they are there to keep some sort of boundaries.
StephenK 15th December 2008, 00:49 Quote
Quote:
we have a sense of what we would like done unto us and what we would not like done unto us. We have a sense of boundaries and appropriateness and common decency.

All of these are different from person to person, place to place and time to time. Ideas of boundaries, appropriateness and common decency are not the same across the individual members of a single culture, let alone all of the cultures on the planet.
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They all say the same thing: about how we should have a moral center, wisdom, self-discipline and self-restraint; treat others with a modicum of respect and consideration and live in harmony with our environment.

And they are also vague and contradicotry on the specifics of what is and isnt appropriate, is and isnt harm, is and isnt murder, etc etc. The devil, as they say, is in the details. Thou shalt no kill but its okay if its a holy war because God is on our side, or treat each man with respect but your woman is your property, etc. The Bible and Qur'an have many places where the are very very similar but some things are defined differently. Even from bible to bible, we can see the re-writing of things to modernise them, doing away with outdated concepts that were once seen as true and right.
Quote:

You worry about self-appointed institutions? Who do you think censors films? Or computer games? Or books? Independent institutions, dude. Censorship is a dynamic process between these institutions and society as a whole.

Example, the BBFC (UK) is indeed an independent body, however statutory powers on film remain with the local councils, which may overrule any of the Board's decisions, passing films they reject, banning films they have passed or altering categories for films exhibited under their own licensing jurisdiction.

IFCO (in Ireland) is a statutory body, set up by the government and the power remains with the elected officials.

How about our old favourite from Australia the OLFC. They are also a statutory body and are the people who have, its been argued, very out of date classification policies that make many over 15's games from here unclassifiable there. Just look at what we had to do to Fallout 3 to get it through. From their perspective, WE are wrong and haven't censored enough.

The MPAA (USA) are regularly criticised for the secrecy of its decisions and for their tendency to be harder on sexual material than on violence.

And these are just 4 bodies in what we could describe as similar cultures to the ones you and I are living in. They all have different rules and guidelines and different ideas about what is right and wrong. Yes there is consensus, such as 'child pornography is wrong' but child sexualisation is defined differently from place to place.

My point then remains the same, the image was not seen as a problem in the USA. Where the servers were. Not only were the IWF operating without a clear mandate from the people, they were also imposing their moral code on another nation. You said it yourself earlier I believe, the internet is not a free public thing. It belongs to the people who own and operate the infrastructure. So who the hell are the IWF (or even individual ISPs, who also do not soley own the internet) to censor content.

I agree with you about a lot of things and respect your opinions on this. Let me ask you a question then.

How would you feel about an internationally appointed censorship body?

As the internet is not owned by any single nation, surely anything less than a body appointed by all nations is acceptable as a censor?
If the network belongs to all nations (and assuming we're doing as the IWF did and claiming jurisdiction over material that is technically hosted in another country and doesn't physically belong to us) then the censor should operate on a global scale.

To have each country deciding for itself flies in the face of any common universal ideas of what is right and wrong, where the boundaries are, common decency etc as each country has different ideas on what these are. In theory, perhaps there are the common ideas that you suggest. In practice, however, we can actually observe different groups deciding for themselves how they define right and wrong. Maybe in general they all have the same idea, but as I said before once you get into the details they disagree greatly. The IWF says its inappropriate child sexualisation, the FBI and US government disagrees... where do we go from here?
Nexxo 16th December 2008, 20:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
All of these are different from person to person, place to place and time to time. Ideas of boundaries, appropriateness and common decency are not the same across the individual members of a single culture, let alone all of the cultures on the planet.
The Native Americans didn't like their land taken from them any more than we would; a child doesn't like to be subjected to abuse any more than us. The "everybody's different" argument does not wash, especially if it is just a veiled way of saying: "they're different". Let's treat people with the same respect as we'd like to be treated.
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
And they are also vague and contradicotry on the specifics of what is and isnt appropriate, is and isnt harm, is and isnt murder, etc etc. The devil, as they say, is in the details. Thou shalt no kill but its okay if its a holy war because God is on our side, or treat each man with respect but your woman is your property, etc. The Bible and Qur'an have many places where the are very very similar but some things are defined differently. Even from bible to bible, we can see the re-writing of things to modernise them, doing away with outdated concepts that were once seen as true and right.
People may argue about the details (and frequently do) but only a moron doesn't get the basic message (and frequently doesn't): do onto others as you would have done onto you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
How would you feel about an internationally appointed censorship body?

As the internet is not owned by any single nation, surely anything less than a body appointed by all nations is acceptable as a censor?
If the network belongs to all nations (and assuming we're doing as the IWF did and claiming jurisdiction over material that is technically hosted in another country and doesn't physically belong to us) then the censor should operate on a global scale.

To have each country deciding for itself flies in the face of any common universal ideas of what is right and wrong, where the boundaries are, common decency etc as each country has different ideas on what these are. In theory, perhaps there are the common ideas that you suggest. In practice, however, we can actually observe different groups deciding for themselves how they define right and wrong. Maybe in general they all have the same idea, but as I said before once you get into the details they disagree greatly. The IWF says its inappropriate child sexualisation, the FBI and US government disagrees... where do we go from here?
An internationally appointed body sounds good to me. But the main point is: at least you are asking now how we should deal with this, rather than whether we should.
StephenK 17th December 2008, 09:21 Quote
It's more a case of the whether we should cannot be decided by any one group. I don't believe in a universal right and wrong but as I said before, in practice, we try to make decisions as best we can. I don't think that any single group can decide (as you saw above, they all disagree) so if we're to get even close to a universal right and wrong we need all cultures to be represented.

The basic message is all fine and well, but you can't decide on any individual thing using the broad general message. We need to define the details so that we can apply the simple general message. We need specifics. Nobody is suggesting that the basic message isn't useful, just that it's insufficient for our needs as one person's interpretation of that message varies from another's. 'Treat everyone well, do unto others' is grand, but how we define and apply that is important. If, as you say, the different argument doesn't wash, then how can you explain that you and I have different views on what we consider harm to us? That many people in this forum would have different ideas of right and wrong? You mention the Native Americans, why not apply that idea to Iraq? Children don't like being harmed, how about the people in guantanamo? In both cases, one group of people decided what was right...

As you said, in 'simpler' cultures, things may be defined differently (my 12 yr old child is their 12 yr old adult). What you or I see as harm may not be regarded as such (circumcision?). It is arrogant of us to assume that our interpretation of 'do no harm' is the correct one and that's why random censoring by single cultures is a problem.

Throughout history you can see examples of one group deciding how to interpret whats best for all. Not very nice stuff sometimes and all of it done with the greater good in mind. We are dealing with a world of greys, not simple black and whites. If we were to ever see an international body set up to represent the views of all cultures, we may find general ideas of right and wrong becoming the guidelines for censorship. That's if the group decides to censor based on those ideas. They may come to a different conclusion about right and wrong to you and I. I would have to accept that, even if it went against my own beliefs as I am not the only person on the planet. We need some sort of sci-fi hive mind :)
Nexxo 17th December 2008, 19:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
You mention the Native Americans, why not apply that idea to Iraq? Children don't like being harmed, how about the people in guantanamo? In both cases, one group of people decided what was right...
But like many other people, we both know that they were wrong.
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
As you said, in 'simpler' cultures, things may be defined differently (my 12 yr old child is their 12 yr old adult). What you or I see as harm may not be regarded as such (circumcision?). It is arrogant of us to assume that our interpretation of 'do no harm' is the correct one and that's why random censoring by single cultures is a problem.

Throughout history you can see examples of one group deciding how to interpret whats best for all. Not very nice stuff sometimes and all of it done with the greater good in mind. We are dealing with a world of greys, not simple black and whites. If we were to ever see an international body set up to represent the views of all cultures, we may find general ideas of right and wrong becoming the guidelines for censorship. That's if the group decides to censor based on those ideas. They may come to a different conclusion about right and wrong to you and I. I would have to accept that, even if it went against my own beliefs as I am not the only person on the planet. We need some sort of sci-fi hive mind :)
All these cultural shades of grey do not take away the fact that humans across all cultures function in basically the same way. They are fundamentally built the same, wired the same, have the same basic needs and likes and dislikes. They have the same fundamental physiological and psychological development. They cry when upset, smile when they're happy, even if the things that upset or delight them can be very different.

Below a certain age, children of all cultures do not have the cognitive ability to make sense of adult sexuality in the way that adults do. They cannot give valid and informed consent. Sexualising children is therefore generally socially frowned upon in all cultures.

Of course when we stray a bit further from fundamentals things get a lot more complex, but the fundamentals exist. We are not that different.
StephenK 18th December 2008, 14:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
But like many other people, we both know that they were wrong.


Ah, but we are not representative of the whole world and it's many different opinions. We are not the authority on right and wrong and our opinions on right and wrong (instinctive or not) are merely opinions, not facts.
Quote:

Of course when we stray a bit further from fundamentals things get a lot more complex, but the fundamentals exist. We are not that different.

If only we could make political and legal decisions based on fundamentals. We are all physically the same but mentally we can differ. Until we can make specific decisions on right and wrong based on the views of all groups (or their elected representatives) censorship simply won't work the way we want it to. What's legal and right in one country is illegal and wrong in another. You can't effectively censor anything (if indeed it is decided that you are right to do so) when everyone is singing off a different hymn sheet.
Nexxo 18th December 2008, 19:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
Ah, but we are not representative of the whole world and it's many different opinions. We are not the authority on right and wrong and our opinions on right and wrong (instinctive or not) are merely opinions, not facts.
They are widely shared opinions. Which is why most cultures have the same basic fundamental rules. You can peel the onion called culture and underneath you find that it looks basically much the same.
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
If only we could make political and legal decisions based on fundamentals.
Don't we? It is all tribalism, and no mistake. From common law to the Spanish Inquisition to the invasion of Iraq. All motivated by fundamental tribal dynamics. We're dealing with nothing but fundamentals, don't get distracted by the conceptual garnish.
StephenK 18th December 2008, 21:03 Quote
Quote:

Don't we? It is all tribalism, and no mistake. From common law to the Spanish Inquisition to the invasion of Iraq. All motivated by fundamental tribal dynamics. We're dealing with nothing but fundamentals, don't get distracted by the conceptual garnish.

Indeed. Perhaps that should read based purely on fundamentals. The spirit on which our laws are based is something that can often get lost within the details. However, the details are there none the less. Ask any lawyer how complicated the simplest , fundamental laws are. The ones that are summed up in one or two lines for the public but contain thousands of pages of clarifications, exceptions, areas without previous president,etc. Sure there are basic prime motivators but when two differing opinions collide we need to be able to make a judgment call and that requires detail, measurement and more than just the fundamental founding principle. Constitutions are a foundation upon which law is built, a deliberately simplistic reference point upon which to develop a system of law.

Our tribal nature is evidence of how we haven't changed that much since we started walking upright. Iraq was simply one tribe raiding another tribe's resources, sure. Either way it was also an example of one Tribe claiming Providence. I don't want to be part of the tribe who thinks they know best, because they don't, they can't. From the inside we can never be truly
objective. In 50 years people will laugh at our crazy ideas about the world. Our cutting edge debates about morality, religion, culture, sex, etc will be so very very vintage. I'm a product of my age and already out of date, a dinosaur. That's they way things work. Each generation evolving from the fundamentals of our base nature but never quite escaping them. We may become a more liberal global society or a less liberal one. Either way it will be the choice of the world, either through action or lack there of. Control is something that must be given, it cannot be taken.
Nexxo 18th December 2008, 23:21 Quote
Regardless, it all starts with fundamentals. Now you have to ask yourself whether the sexualisation of a child is ever OK under certain circumstances or exceptions. I think you know the answer. We can bicker over exactly how the image should have been dealt with, but we both know that the image is wrong.

People may once have thought different, but we know more about child development now, just as we also know now that women are as bright as men and black people are not a lower form of human. We know that everybody is different, yet we are also the same. Science tells us so. Morality may be debated, but we know for a scientific fact what is harmful to people.
StephenK 19th December 2008, 00:45 Quote
Science tells us so.... the same way it did twenty years ago? Are we at the pinnacle of scientific knowledge? Will students not need to buy a new addition of Gleitman any more are we have set it all down in scientific fact and we know it all now?

Oh if only that were so, depending on what journals and papers you read, what's harmful and what's not changes from week to week. Heck, look at old editions of our textbooks, lots of accepted facts turned out to be only partially correct. If science tells us anything it's how the world doesn't operate in simple black and white. We know more about child development now and thats great but we will know more in 20 years and so on. We have facts, sure but as Poincaré once said, 'Science is built up of facts, as a house is built of stones; but an accumulation of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house.' We are always learning and reinterpreting those facts. Surely you can't suggest that when we say 'we know more now than they did before' it's any more meaningful than when those same scientists of a few decades ago said exactly the same thing about a previous generation?

Child sexualisation occurs everyday in many many different forms. As with everything, it is a question of degree. Hence the aforementioned need for complex guidelines on this sort of thing rather than basic principles. Is a beauty pageant totally wrong or right? Or is it a question of degree? Are the many ranges of belly tops and short skirts made for girls under ten totally wrong or totally right? Or is it a question of degree? Brats, Barbie,HSM etc etc etc... Or how about the enforced innocence of children that we see in some cultures? An enforced a-sexualisation almost. Is that more harmful or less?

Child physical abuse, be it sexual or not.... I feel it's wrong. Thats my gut talking.

A picture of a child without a top on? Any different to what you will see on most beaches or a sick disturbing image? It's all a matter of degree and perception....

Heck even when we have good research that shows a possible negative effect of something on children the general population doesn't really feel the need to eradicate that from society. Look at Albert Bandura’s work on the tendency of children to imitate what they see (such as the bobo doll experiments). The study showed, to a certain degree, that children who see violence may become less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others, more fearful of the world around them and more likely to behave aggressively or harmfully towards others. This is the normalisation you spoke of.

Ok, so it's only a may become more aggressive, etc but still. I know it's a somewhat flawed study (as a bobo is designed to be a target so there's an issue there) but it is certainly very useful in helping us examine our media in particular.

Yet even knowing that violence can be normailsed, we don't ban all violence or even censor all violence from our kids. It's a question of degree. How much is too much? How much is normal and ok? No black and white basic principles. The basic fundamental is 'violence is wrong and harmful to children' but we can't really work with that in the real world. In the same way, it is our opinion (widely held or not, it does not constitute a universal) that child pornography and child sexualisation are wrong. Yet still it is a question of degree. Hence the need to set down what is and isn't acceptable, or whether anything is unacceptable. No one group can make those judgements. Even scientists working in the field will disagree on certain areas.
Nexxo 19th December 2008, 13:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
Science tells us so.... the same way it did twenty years ago? Are we at the pinnacle of scientific knowledge? Will students not need to buy a new addition of Gleitman any more are we have set it all down in scientific fact and we know it all now?

Oh if only that were so, depending on what journals and papers you read, what's harmful and what's not changes from week to week. Heck, look at old editions of our textbooks, lots of accepted facts turned out to be only partially correct. If science tells us anything it's how the world doesn't operate in simple black and white. We know more about child development now and thats great but we will know more in 20 years and so on. We have facts, sure but as Poincaré once said, 'Science is built up of facts, as a house is built of stones; but an accumulation of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house.' We are always learning and reinterpreting those facts. Surely you can't suggest that when we say 'we know more now than they did before' it's any more meaningful than when those same scientists of a few decades ago said exactly the same thing about a previous generation?
You're right. We shouldn't trust planes now because after all, only 100 years ago we couldn't build anything that flew at all. Or perhaps we should wait until someone comes along with an anti-gravity drive™.

And medicine? Shall we wait around until we have a real cure for cancer, or try and make do with what we know now?

We can only work with what we know now. Now we know that the sexualisation of children is harmful to them. They may not have realised the implications in the past, but we know now. Tomorrow some scientist may be able to qualify that; prove in some way that it is not as harmful as we thought, but we can only go on our best knowledge now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
Child sexualisation occurs everyday in many many different forms. As with everything, it is a question of degree. Hence the aforementioned need for complex guidelines on this sort of thing rather than basic principles. Is a beauty pageant totally wrong or right? Or is it a question of degree? Are the many ranges of belly tops and short skirts made for girls under ten totally wrong or totally right? Or is it a question of degree? Brats, Barbie,HSM etc etc etc... Or how about the enforced innocence of children that we see in some cultures? An enforced a-sexualisation almost. Is that more harmful or less?
I'm not arguing about degrees. To some extent or other it is wrong.
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Originally Posted by StephenK
A picture of a child without a top on? Any different to what you will see on most beaches or a sick disturbing image? It's all a matter of degree and perception....
No, (sigh) again, it is a matter of the intent and context. I seem to need to keep repeating that until I'm blue in the face. Are you getting this at all?!?
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Originally Posted by StephenK
Yet even knowing that violence can be normailsed, we don't ban all violence or even censor all violence from our kids. It's a question of degree. How much is too much? How much is normal and ok? No black and white basic principles. The basic fundamental is 'violence is wrong and harmful to children' but we can't really work with that in the real world. In the same way, it is our opinion (widely held or not, it does not constitute a universal) that child pornography and child sexualisation are wrong. Yet still it is a question of degree. Hence the need to set down what is and isn't acceptable, or whether anything is unacceptable. No one group can make those judgements. Even scientists working in the field will disagree on certain areas.
Never heard of the Watershed then?

You're now moving from "Is it wrong?" to "How wrong is it?". Normalisation at work.
StephenK 19th December 2008, 16:17 Quote
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You're right. We shouldn't trust planes now because after all, only 100 years ago we couldn't build anything that flew at all. Or perhaps we should wait until someone comes along with an anti-gravity drive™.

Please, don't be silly. There is so much we don't know about the human brain. A plan flies, it works in accordance with the laws of physics. We can improve on it's design but to liken that to our understanding of the human mind?? Seriously? We are always amending our understanding of the physical world, true, but to claim that we are able to apply universal concepts of right and wrong, even if we are basing them upon science, when we know our knowledge of the human mind is so limited....
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Tomorrow some scientist may be able to qualify that; prove in some way that it is not as harmful as we thought, but we can only go on our best knowledge now.

And therein lies the problem. If the current community, with the knowledge we have now, cannot agree on what is and isn't harmful then we come to a stop. The image was deemed okay already. So which is it? If people now with the knowledge of now decided it was okay then why are other people disagreeing? Because there isn't a solid consensus on these things, surely in areas that you are familiar with you see a continual debate and shifting of consensus?
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I'm not arguing about degrees. To some extent or other it is wrong.

To some extent or another is an argument of degree. If it isn't all right or all wrong, if it is only wrong to some extent than that is a case of degree.
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No, (sigh) again, it is a matter of the intent and context. I seem to need to keep repeating that until I'm blue in the face. Are you getting this at all?!?


Obviously not. Intent is is subjective. What if the intent is not to create child pornography? As in artistic photos or even holiday snaps? The image is still that of a naked child. So we can have a net full of images of naked children and call it art instead of porn. Perhaps I am missing you on this. I really do find this subject fascinating and would like to get where you are coming from. And if we are worried about normalisation do you think children can tell the difference in intent and context between a naked girl on holiday and a naked girl that was snapped at a beech location as child pornography. Surely the images themselves will act as normalisers and thus the original intent is secondary?
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Never heard of the Watershed then?

Allow me to repeat 'we don't ban all violence or even censor all violence from our kids.' Watershed is not a ban, it is a self imposed censorship. The TV still shows the images, the violence is still there and still broadcast. It is left to the parents to keep there kids from watching. Even with the watershed in mind some kids cartoons and tv shows do contain violence. You and I are old enough to remember when cartoons were a lot more violent than they are now but the violence is still there today.

The Watershed is almost the exact opposite of what you've been suggesting. If we follow the watershed model, then things that are harmful to children can be all over the net, just not on kids websites (as its not in kids tv shows but that too can be argued) and it must be moderated by the parents. Thats why we have parental controls. You don't say to the parents, 'sorry no violence or porn for you, it's harmful to your children'

What has been suggested, the removal of child pornography from the net is not the same thing. To remove it based on it's harmfulness to children shows the flaw in that argument. Why do we still have harmful tv shows on in the evenings? Why has all adult content not just been removed completely or access to it blocked for everyone. Child pornography has been deemed to be illegal in some countries, that's why it gets banned. If the law is different elsewhere then we can't force our law on someone else. And as I've already mentioned, the image was not deemed to be illegal. Protecting children from harm through violent and sexual content is the responsibility of the parents.

So, we come back to an earlier posters suggestion that we can moderate ourselves thank you very much. We do already with Pornography, Violent Movies, etc etc etc. The internet is full of harmful images and ideas which kids just aren't ready for but so is the rest of the world. I'd love to see a Watershed model. The onus would be on the parents to moderate, just as they are supposed to with TV. What is wrong with that? Unless as you said earlier in regards to freedom of expression, you don't feel that the general public is mature enough to handle their own censorship?
Nexxo 19th December 2008, 18:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
Please, don't be silly. There is so much we don't know about the human brain. A plan flies, it works in accordance with the laws of physics. We can improve on it's design but to liken that to our understanding of the human mind?? Seriously? We are always amending our understanding of the physical world, true, but to claim that we are able to apply universal concepts of right and wrong, even if we are basing them upon science, when we know our knowledge of the human mind is so limited....
Good is what works, bad is what harms. Many grey areas on that, sure, but science shows that the overt sexualisation of children harms their psychological development. So it is bad. So it is wrong.

Sorry if this sounds too simplistic to you. Perhaps I've hung out in mental health and brain injury rehabilitation for too long, where we learn not to dwell too much on the complexity of the human mind but focus primarily on the patient's functioning and wellbeing, and how to restore and promote it. Everything can be analysed, rationalised and discussed to the nth degree, but at some point you have to be pragmatic and do something that to the best of our knowledge benefits the patient and preferably doesn't harm them.
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Originally Posted by StephenK
And therein lies the problem. If the current community, with the knowledge we have now, cannot agree on what is and isn't harmful then we come to a stop. The image was deemed okay already. So which is it? If people now with the knowledge of now decided it was okay then why are other people disagreeing? Because there isn't a solid consensus on these things, surely in areas that you are familiar with you see a continual debate and shifting of consensus?
Perhaps the current community should employ some child psychologists and psychiatrists. You're the one that says values and insights change over time. Could people in the past have been wrong about the image, and the IWF right?
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Originally Posted by StephenK
To some extent or another is an argument of degree. If it isn't all right or all wrong, if it is only wrong to some extent than that is a case of degree.
There is no point on the continuum at which child sexualisation goes from bad (wrong) to good (right), so degrees is kind of academic. You may disagree, but then you get into deciding whether the record cover in question has crossed the line or is still "okay". And once you decide it is still "okay", it becomes "normal" and the next image pushes the boundary a bit further.

That's the worry about normalisation.
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Originally Posted by StephenK
Obviously not. Intent is is subjective. What if the intent is not to create child pornography? As in artistic photos or even holiday snaps? The image is still that of a naked child. So we can have a net full of images of naked children and call it art instead of porn. Perhaps I am missing you on this. I really do find this subject fascinating and would like to get where you are coming from. And if we are worried about normalisation do you think children can tell the difference in intent and context between a naked girl on holiday and a naked girl that was snapped at a beech location as child pornography. Surely the images themselves will act as normalisers and thus the original intent is secondary?
The perception of intent and context is subjective, but that doesn't necessarily mean it is ambiguous. The record cover was intended to be controversial and lo, it was thus perceived. Similarly, holiday snaps are generally readily recognised as holiday snaps. Porn is generally pretty obviously porn, even if the woman in question appears to be wielding power tools in a garage...

Also, just because intent and context may not be recognised does not mean that they aren't perceived. Young children will indeed not tell child porn apart from naked holiday snaps because they don't have the sexual framework to make sense. So they would indeed probably just see them as (perhaps somewhat unusual) holiday snaps. But they would perceive to the sexual nature of the image, even if they did not understand it, and with repeated exposure start thinking of it as "normal" (like indeed the subjects of the images end up doing).

That is the other worry about normalisation.
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Originally Posted by StephenK
Allow me to repeat 'we don't ban all violence or even censor all violence from our kids.' Watershed is not a ban, it is a self imposed censorship. The TV still shows the images, the violence is still there and still broadcast. It is left to the parents to keep there kids from watching. Even with the watershed in mind some kids cartoons and tv shows do contain violence. You and I are old enough to remember when cartoons were a lot more violent than they are now but the violence is still there today.
Yeah, but there's that context and intent thing again. Tom and Jerry were intended to be cartoon, and the context of the "violence" was cartoon, and the nature was cartoon violence. At no point was Tom realistically disemboweled (screaming in life-like agony, vomiting and defaeceting in the process) or Jerry's head bitten off (arterial blood squirting from the neck of a still twitching body).
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Originally Posted by StephenK
The Watershed is almost the exact opposite of what you've been suggesting. If we follow the watershed model, then things that are harmful to children can be all over the net, just not on kids websites (as its not in kids tv shows but that too can be argued) and it must be moderated by the parents. Thats why we have parental controls. You don't say to the parents, 'sorry no violence or porn for you, it's harmful to your children'
I'm not advocating the Watershed, I was just pointing out it is there. But parents can have all the porn they want --as long as it is adult porn. Violence too, as long as it is adult violence (to be honest, I think that there are some dysfunctional adults who cannot handle that stuff either, but at some point you have to let adults take responsibility for their own ****, as you say. However as adults we have some collective duty of care towards children).
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Originally Posted by StephenK
What has been suggested, the removal of child pornography from the net is not the same thing. To remove it based on it's harmfulness to children shows the flaw in that argument. Why do we still have harmful tv shows on in the evenings? Why has all adult content not just been removed completely or access to it blocked for everyone.
You have a point: alcohol and tobacco is legal, so why bother with this hard drugs business? :p

But it is not like that, and it exasperates me that I have to repeat it again: it is about the normalisation of the sexualisation of children. Adult porn does not do that. Adult violence does not do that. Graphic and explicit scenes of violence against children would normalise violence against children, but people seem to understand that's a line you don't want to cross so you'll see very little of that on TV. Even post-Watershed.

It is not about what material the children are exposed to, but what material the society they live in is exposed to. If we, the adults, normalise inappropriate things done to children, then they suffer the brunt of that. And if they grow up normalising inappropriate things done onto them, they end up messed-up adults who do the same to the next generation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
So, we come back to an earlier posters suggestion that we can moderate ourselves thank you very much. We do already with Pornography, Violent Movies, etc etc etc. The internet is full of harmful images and ideas which kids just aren't ready for but so is the rest of the world. I'd love to see a Watershed model. The onus would be on the parents to moderate, just as they are supposed to with TV.
Apparently, we can't. Because although everybody complains about the IWF, nobody suggests that Wikipedia can solve the problem by simply censoring the image. Everybody happy, right? But no, we want our "freedom of information", even if we are not really interested in the information. We seem unable to moderate ourselves.
StephenK 19th December 2008, 20:00 Quote
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And once you decide it is still "okay", it becomes "normal" and the next image pushes the boundary a bit further.


Thats the old if you give an inch they take a mile argumnt.... sometimes when you give an inch thats whats taken. We end up with 'if you let there be an images of a girl in a skirt the next image will be a short skirt, then a bikini, then naked'. Or if you let kids drink wine then they'll get into spirits and become heavy drinkers. Look at the drinking culture in central Europe, it''s a clear testament to the flaw of this slippery slope idea.
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You're the one that says values and insights change over time. Could people in the past have been wrong about the image, and the IWF right?


Of course. We've already covered that. The difference is that the US government are mandated to represent the views of the people, the IWF are not... just like the film censorship groups mentioned above that are also answerable to the governments.
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But they would perceive to the sexual nature of the image, even if they did not understand it, and with repeated exposure start thinking of it as "normal" (like indeed the subjects of the images end up doing).

Then we are in very serious trouble. Any naked child image is a potential danger then. Be it historical, cartoon, porn, art. We'd have to block the whole lot.
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I'm not advocating the Watershed, I was just pointing out it is there. But parents can have all the porn they want --as long as it is adult porn. Violence too, as long as it is adult violence.

Okay. Wait a sec. Now you've lost me. I thought we were censoring what was harmful to children so as to protect them from it and the normailsation of it in society. Isn't adult violence harmful to children? Doesn't repeated exposure to adult violence harm children? So if we include the IWF incident, we can't have the image because it's normalising effects on children are harmful but we can have as many violent adult images as we like even though they too are harmful? What?

Is the truth of it then that it's not about the kids at all. WE don't like child porn, that's why its banned. If we were really worried about the harmful effects of normalisation on children then we wouldn't have any adult violence either...

And lets talk about about adult films where a child is abused, beaten by a parent say, even where the abuse is glorified and without consequences. Are you suggesting that instead of making me sick and upset it's actually normalising me to child abuse so that one day if I see enough of it i'll think it's okay? As someone who has seen child abuse up close, I disagree

You say
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It is not about what material the children are exposed to, but what material the society they live in is exposed to. If we, the adults, normalise inappropriate things done to children, then they suffer the brunt of that. And if they grow up normalising inappropriate things done onto them, they end up messed-up adults who do the same to the next generation.

So given that there has been child abuse and child pornography for thousands of years, why are we not normailsed to it yet? Why do you not think it's normal? Because you haven't been exposed to it? So if it's existence doesn't translate into exposure, what are we worrying about? Most people wont see the images. As i think you pointed out, most people were giving out about the loss of an image they were never going to view in the first place.
So why censor an image that 99.9% of society isnt looking at, as it cant cause normalisation by exposure. Heck, the very censoring of it caused more exposure.

So, if the image can't do harm in the way you describe because most of us aren't looking at it, then why censor it? An off the cuff response to that question might be, 'well why not if nobody's going to miss it?' But that doesn't answer the question.

Surely by your own argument. If normailsation occurs through exposure, then since 99% of society isn't looking at child porn, child sexualisation of that level will never become normalised?

If you want to go after any child sexualisation, attack Brats and High School Musical and beauty pageants and television advertising, not obscure and rarely seen pornographic images of children. We browse the net all day long and don't accidentally come across waves of child porn, so normalisation isnt going to happen as a result of these images.
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everybody complains about the IWF, nobody suggests that Wikipedia can solve the problem by simply censoring the image. Everybody happy, right? But no, we want our "freedom of information", even if we are not really interested in the information. We seem unable to moderate ourselves.

The thing is, we all did censor oursleves. We were mature enough and responsible enough to be trusted. We didnt google 'child porn'. We took control of our own censorship. The problem arose when someone else decided what was best without asking and without our mandate.

Allow me a simple example. You live in Birmingham, maybe you have no interest in going to London, ever and no reason to do so. If I told you, that I had decided to ban you from going to London.... surely you could just not go... everybody happy right? But no, you would want your freedom to decide to go to London if you want to or more importantly your freedom to decide NOT to go to London. To moderate yourself. See my point? How can we seem unable to moderate ourselves when 99% of us don't look at child porn?
Nexxo 20th December 2008, 12:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
Thats the old if you give an inch they take a mile argumnt.... sometimes when you give an inch thats whats taken. We end up with 'if you let there be an images of a girl in a skirt the next image will be a short skirt, then a bikini, then naked'. Or if you let kids drink wine then they'll get into spirits and become heavy drinkers. Look at the drinking culture in central Europe, it''s a clear testament to the flaw of this slippery slope idea.
No, you're just applying an inappropriate analogy. In the normalised display of women in the media, we definitely see the evolution you mention. And in Central Europe, what children are normalised to is appropriate drinking in an age-appropriate manner. Some light wine with a meal for teens, under adult supervision; not five-year olds seeing their parents getting absolutely rat-assed on cheap Cider or Vodka and trying it for themselves by ten.
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Originally Posted by StephenK
Then we are in very serious trouble. Any naked child image is a potential danger then. Be it historical, cartoon, porn, art. We'd have to block the whole lot.
No it isn't. Only those which intend to sexualise children. I think there is no point in discussing this further. You are either just not getting it or not wanting to get it.
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Originally Posted by StephenK
Okay. Wait a sec. Now you've lost me. I thought we were censoring what was harmful to children so as to protect them from it and the normailsation of it in society. Isn't adult violence harmful to children? Doesn't repeated exposure to adult violence harm children? So if we include the IWF incident, we can't have the image because it's normalising effects on children are harmful but we can have as many violent adult images as we like even though they too are harmful? What?
I think I lost you ages ago. Graphic adult violence is definitely not good, but it is adult stuff amongst adults. Unfortunately some adults can't keep boundaries and thus children get involved inadvertently, but in child sexualisation they get involved explicitly and intentionally. That's the whole point of it.
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Originally Posted by StephenK
And lets talk about about adult films where a child is abused, beaten by a parent say, even where the abuse is glorified and without consequences. Are you suggesting that instead of making me sick and upset it's actually normalising me to child abuse so that one day if I see enough of it i'll think it's okay? As someone who has seen child abuse up close, I disagree
Because here you are, functional intelligent adult in a fairly functional environment. But you're the one who pointed out that not everyone is like us and people will regard as normal what they grow up with in their environment. These changes happen insidiously and over years, but they do happen. You already see the record cover as no big deal. Not appropriate, sure, but nothing to get worked up about compared to wider censorship issues or indeed the more obvious child abuse you have seen. After all, the image was deemed "okay". Where do you draw the line?

As a psychologist however I see a whole set of connections between that image and the child abuse that you think of.
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Originally Posted by StephenK
So given that there has been child abuse and child pornography for thousands of years, why are we not normailsed to it yet? Why do you not think it's normal? Because you haven't been exposed to it? So if it's existence doesn't translate into exposure, what are we worrying about? Most people wont see the images. As i think you pointed out, most people were giving out about the loss of an image they were never going to view in the first place.
So why censor an image that 99.9% of society isnt looking at, as it cant cause normalisation by exposure. Heck, the very censoring of it caused more exposure.
Still not getting it. It is not normalised yet because it is not tolerated (yet) --because it is challenged. Because it is censored. But repeated exposure without challenge results in habituation and then normalisation.

The censoring of it placed the image in the public consciousness, but it also placed its challenge in the public consciousness. there was a strong social message that said: "This image is not okay". And that is important.
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Originally Posted by StephenK
Surely by your own argument. If normailsation occurs through exposure, then since 99% of society isn't looking at child porn, child sexualisation of that level will never become normalised?
Yeah, because such images are censored. As such they are not on public display. They are not commonly visible. As such, when such an image appears in the public domain on, say, a record cover, it still creates controversy (as the record producers knew) and a strong sense of public disapproval. And we want to preserve that. We don't want people to get used to them and start seeing them, and the sexualisation of children depicted by them, as no big deal anymore.

Are you getting it now?!?
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Originally Posted by StephenK
If you want to go after any child sexualisation, attack Brats and High School Musical and beauty pageants and television advertising,
Trust me, I would ban child beauty pageants if I could. I think that they are freakish and wrong. But taking an argument to the ridiculous extreme (High School Musical?) is not a valid challenge of it.
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Originally Posted by StephenK
Allow me a simple example. You live in Birmingham, maybe you have no interest in going to London, ever and no reason to do so. If I told you, that I had decided to ban you from going to London.... surely you could just not go... everybody happy right? But no, you would want your freedom to decide to go to London if you want to or more importantly your freedom to decide NOT to go to London. To moderate yourself. See my point? How can we seem unable to moderate ourselves when 99% of us don't look at child porn?

Bad analogy. No child was ever harmed by me visiting London. I may be banned from the hospital ward where I work though, if my cold constitutes a risk to the bone marrow transplant patients I work with. What do you think, should I exercise my right as a mature, independent professional and go anyway because I think that I am responsible enough to manage my own infection risk?

Psychological Reactance is a game for idiots. The self-disciplined recognise the need for rules and boundaries. You and I could function in an Anarchy perhaps, but it only takes one look around you to realise that most people can't.
StephenK 20th December 2008, 22:22 Quote
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Yeah, because such images are censored. As such they are not on public display. They are not commonly visible. As such, when such an image appears in the public domain on, say, a record cover, it still creates controversy (as the record producers knew) and a strong sense of public disapproval.

But thats my point, the image wasnt censored until recently. There are images like that all over the place and, as I pointed out, we do the censoring of ourselves by not looking, we don't need somebody to decide for us.
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Graphic adult violence is definitely not good, but it is adult stuff amongst adults

And an obscure wiki article is somehow in a child space? Images like this are not on kid websites, they are usually found elsewhere, just like other adult content. If an image like this had ended up on the front page of the Disney website then we'd have a problem but as it is I feel it was already outside of the reasonable cyber routes of young people. Kids visit wiki every day by the thousands but they don't go searching for Virgin Killer. And if some kid was, then Google is a problem too as it will point you towards pages with the uncensored cover.
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Because it is censored. But repeated exposure without challenge

Repeated exposure? How many people were looking at that image? Hardly any... how can there be repeated exposure.
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But taking an argument to the ridiculous extreme (High School Musical?)

HSM is a mid-teenage show, featuring mid-teenage dress and themes which is marketed deliberately at pre-teens. The HSM cheerleader costumes, etc etc are made for 7 yr olds. See my point? Ever been to a lunchtime Britney concert?


We seem to be coming at this issue from very differing points of view. We've both come up with interesting points and questions but I do feel a consensus is out of reach at this point. Nothing wrong with that. Although this discussion hasn't changed my mind on the idea of a unviersal right and wrong nor the idea that the public cannot be trusted to moderate themselves (or perhaps more correctly that a group of individuals should be allowed to assume leadership un-mandated) there is food for thought here and it was interesting exploring your opinions and ideas.
Nexxo 21st December 2008, 12:38 Quote
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Originally Posted by StephenK
But thats my point, the image wasnt censored until recently. There are images like that all over the place and, as I pointed out, we do the censoring of ourselves by not looking, we don't need somebody to decide for us.
Don't exaggerate. They are not "all over the place" (because, oh, look, they are censored). But you don't have to go looking for (uncensored) images to be bombarded by them through the media. That is how advertising works, for instance.
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Originally Posted by StephenK
And an obscure wiki article is somehow in a child space? Images like this are not on kid websites, they are usually found elsewhere, just like other adult content. If an image like this had ended up on the front page of the Disney website then we'd have a problem but as it is I feel it was already outside of the reasonable cyber routes of young people. Kids visit wiki every day by the thousands but they don't go searching for Virgin Killer. And if some kid was, then Google is a problem too as it will point you towards pages with the uncensored cover.
Sexualised images of children are about children. They involve children in sexual adult interests and activities that they should not be involved in --whether in real life or in the adults' minds. Those images intrude on the "child space" in that way. It is all about social and psychological boundaries in human relationships. If you don't understand yet how that works, we have a more fundamental problem of understanding here and I'm not sure that I can explain it all to you in a few posts.
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Originally Posted by StephenK
Repeated exposure? How many people were looking at that image? Hardly any... how can there be repeated exposure.
Pulling a sentence out of the context of the argument is not a sensible way of challenging it. I was talking about what eventually happens if such images are not continually challenged.
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Originally Posted by StephenK
We seem to be coming at this issue from very differing points of view. We've both come up with interesting points and questions but I do feel a consensus is out of reach at this point. Nothing wrong with that. Although this discussion hasn't changed my mind on the idea of a unviersal right and wrong nor the idea that the public cannot be trusted to moderate themselves (or perhaps more correctly that a group of individuals should be allowed to assume leadership un-mandated) there is food for thought here and it was interesting exploring your opinions and ideas.
I think that I'm talking over your head, to be honest. Perhaps I'm taking an understanding of certain psychological frameworks for granted. But if you want to know whether the public can moderate itself, just look around you on a Friday night in the city centre. Look at how people behave in traffic. Look at the news. The majority of the public has the self-discipline of a twelve-year old (true: research backs this up). No wonder they see children just as mini-me's.
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