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It not a joke!!! It is the truth!!!

Giving people what they want: violence and sloppy eating

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Illiterates on the radio
mini me + poo
I am listening to the politics programme on Radio4 with two - or is it three - women MPs. They are, unsurprisingly, against child porn and think that Something Must Be Done.

Specifically, they want Google and ISPs to block it all, and the argument is that because Google agreed at one point to block dissident websites that China didn't like, it must be able to do this too.

The level of ignorance is staggering. As has recently been shown via a leak from someone else, China gives people a list of words and phrases it doesn't like (some very strange ones to Western eyes included). Talk about them and your site will be blocked. These idiots want an infallible picture recognition system that can determine whether or not an image is child porn.

One is trivial (and leads to the Zircon / Zipper effect, so almost worse than doing nothing). The other is, to put it mildly, a more difficult problem.

But they both involve blocking stuff, so of course they are the same....

This entry was originally posted at http://lovingboth.dreamwidth.org/497196.html, because despite having a permanent account, I have had enough of LJ's current owners trying to be evil. Please comment there using OpenID - comment count unavailable have and if you have an LJ account, you can use it for your OpenID account. Or just join Dreamwidth! It only took a couple of minutes to copy all my entries here to there.

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I think another issue is that recent radio broadcasts have seemed to equate the terms "extreme pornography" with "hardcore pornography". This is beginning to sound like the old anti-pornography arguments of people like Catherine McKinnon, except that while her arguments were aimed at protecting women, this is (supposedly) aimed at protecting children, making people that much less reasonable in their approach to the topic. (And many feminists were horrified with how unreasonable the anti-porn feminism movement became btw. Particularly when otherwise liberal figures started joining forces with far more right-wing figures in order to make progress on the issue.)

There was an attempt a few years ago to ban 'violent pornography', basically meaning that access would be removed to every single BDSM website. (And if it didn't mean that, the laws on the matter were clearly going to be highly complicated and difficult to police.) I heard someone more recently suggesting that the law should ban "staged rape" and I think the problem here may be the levels to which people are prepared to describe this stuff during typical daytime radio broadcasts, but mainstream non-pornographic movies sometimes have "staged rape" in a way don't they?

I think the best arguments I've heard surround parental responsibility. If you don't want your children to discover this stuff, you need to keep closer eye on what they are consuming. There's software out there. Learn how to use it. *shrugs*

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It's all about punishing bad thoughts. Seriously. I worked on the Backlash response to the consultation on 'extreme' porn and wrote the bid arguing it should be thrown out as the consultation broke govt code of practice in about a dozen ways. Achieved bugger all apart from being granted honorary membership of Spanner :)
But one issue was that you could have a bunch of perfectly legal 18 rated films or photo collections, but if someone cut out the rape or torture scenes to make a montage then it would break the proposed new law. They responses that that was exactly what was intended...

I presume the idea is to allow them to block websites which have videos which are indistinguishable from actual rape and, from the looks of things, may not actually be staged at all. (Naturally proving a real life sex act is rape is a legal minefield, hence the low conviction rates for rape. So all the moreso for a video where the context is unknown. I think most self-respecting BDSM websites try to make the context as clear as possible for their customers, but clearly there's more twisted stuff out there if people are keen enough to go looking.)

But yeah, I think the person in the interview I heard either hadn't appreciated the logistical minefield she had set up (possibly because she would happily ban the majority of porn anyway) or she feels unable to adequately express the solution to these issues in sufficient detail in the middle of the day on a public radio station (which is an issue I can appreciate. There's only so much explicit detail you can afford to use at that time of day). Sadly, the way she put her case forward, I have my suspicions that it's the former option at play here....

How is a film about rape different from one about murder?

It's generally a little easier to tell whether the video of murder is staged or not. In order to be staged rather than real, a murder video will generally require special effects. But in the case of a rape, the only ingredient required to make it staged is 'consent', something which might be entirely missing from the video itself, even if it was fully recognised by all participants at the time of filming.

Back when I was using Windows and before decent ad-blockers, I did once click accidentally on a link to a 'real rape' porn video site. Up pops this video and within seconds, I'm going 'Hang on, wouldn't she be asking why there's a camera crew following her around the house?!?' as it cut between an outside POV shot and her doing housework inside...

In the same Woman's Hour programme as the interview with Naomi Woolf proving she's gone completely bonkers, there was piece on the extreme porn acquittal where no-one could bring themselves to say "fisting". That was daytime, this was about 11pm.

Baroness Jan Royall and Margo James MP. And quite.

Thankfully, enough geeks have explained to the Mumsnet hierarchy that it won't work, that they aren't calling for it any more and are asking instead for ways to educate parents. Doesn't stop posters every week or so wailing SMBD, but at least nowadays they get referred to previous threads.

I'm reminded of Bruce Schneier's musings on the political imperative to be seen to be Doing Something - a course that involves no risk to them, and potential gains, through that public perception.

Add in a lack of technological awareness, or how technologically feasible (let alone desirable - just how far do people want to go? Universal surveillance, etc), as to how such measures could even work, and it's hardly any surprise we see them crop up repeatedly.

They say something must be done. This is something, so let's do it. Child porn is linked according to some research to child abuse and both those are trigger subjects. Anyone not supporting actions against them, however effectual or not, is going to have difficulty getting support.

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