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back to article Is US prudishness ruining the internet?

Is US dominance of the internet – and particularly of the social networking space – leading to the export of US prudery across the globe? Or is the growing debate on international censorship a little more complicated? As Becky Dwyer, a US citizen and, as member of CAAN Scotland, a campaigner for less censorship in the UK put it …

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Stop

Get it straight - AMERICAN PRUDISHNESS NOT Anglo-Saxon

It is the prudishness of AMERICANS criticising the Anglo-Saxon's!

America is a racial melting pot and is dissimilar to most other 'cultures', if the U.S. even has a culture being such a young country.

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Paris Hilton

I think you're a little bit wrong...

Sorry, but (in my opinion as a Mexican-American who grew up in/moved to the USA when I was 7, and who now lives in the UK), I believe that it's fair to say that the USA has a predominantly Anglo-Saxon cultural bias... ergo why we speak English as the first language in the USA, and why I am very familiar with Shakespeare, George Orwell, and the Magna Carta.... whereas my grasp of "my" own Mexican history is very shady (I know the French and the Spanish were involved, and that the Spanish tried genocide in Mexico)...

Even though the USA is a melting pot (for example Cinco De Mayo is celebrated by both Mex and Anglo folks in parts of the USA), the basic framework is heavily Anglo-saxon...

The fact is that the British managed to (for a while) dominate the USA over the French (New Orleans), the Spanish (California, Texas, Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado...), and the Dutch (New York was New Amsterdam, and Harlem is from Haarlem)... the British were the last powerful "owners" before the Founding Fathers broke away from the UK... if the Founding Fathers had broken away when the French or the Spanish or the Dutch were the major powers, it's possible we'd have a strong Hispanic or Latin or Dutch cultural flavor instead...

(I think even Halloween was originally British, was then adopted and changed by us Americans, and has now been re-imported to the UK with the American trappings)...

Having lived in the UK for over 10 years now, I can definitely see hints of the Anglo-American "Puritanism" in the UK... the UK for the most part is LESS prudish than the USA (the extreme Puritans moved from the UK to the USA), but the UK and the US seem to be much more prudish about human bodies (such as bare breasts in public) than for example the French and the Dutch... (I can't tell you how many times when in France I have seen mainstream adverts in Parisian streets that have some human nudity, whether female breasts or male bottoms, whereas the same adverts would be considered verboten in public in the UK and the USA...)

And to say that America, as a young country, does not have a culture is stupid... as a British Mexican-American now living in the UK, I can see many examples of American culture recognized in the UK... not only the obvious ones like McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Levis, and Ipods, but also expressions ("You bet your bottom dollar" or "up your game") and traditions that 10 years ago weren't really used in the UK, but are now... (for example, graduation ceremonies/proms were not really done here in the UK, but in the last 10 years or so I have seen more people adopt these American-style customs....)

EVERY country has a culture, and some snobs (like the French) may disdain certain younger cultures (i.e. American culture), but it does not render such cultures any less valid than ancient crusty ones like the UK ones...

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Grenade

@ Mexflyboy

Your post was making great sense until you said the French were snobs. I think, if you look hard, you will find that most French (namely, everybody except Sarko) are trying to hold on to and preserve French culture so that it stands alone instead of turning into yet another diluted attempt at mimicking American culture. If that is being snobby, then more fool you.

I've seen yellow school buses in the UK, I know junior/intermediate/senior and 5th form. My younger friends talk about Xth grade. WTF? When my GSCEs were over, we left. End of. No prom. How long until UK kids take SATs? And, after a while of importing Americanisms, what will become of the UK? They can't "do" American. The mindset is wrong. Look at how many Americans wave flags and are *proud* to be American. Can the English pull that off? The main flag-waving is during the World Cup. So where does that leave them? A half-hearted and untimately failed clone of America? Is that worth the loss of the English culture? I think I agree with the French here. Pick up a few good points of other cultures, but work to preserve your own. America is not British history (not since the war of independence) and it is certainly not French history. So all these diverse cultures and ways of life should be kept alive, because if everything everywhere was the same... my God, how boring that would be.

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Anonymous Coward

really... please don't defend U.S.

I'm U.S. citizen and I'd rather you didn't use those as examples of culture. It's embarassing, much like our beer, fundies and sometimes, Paris.

If it wasn't for British pre-occupation with Napoleon, our founding would have occurred much later, but we'd still have managed to end up where were at now. I'd say it's more of a growing pain for being a young nation and not having the snot bombed out of us. We'll eventually realize you can't legislate certain things and fix it after causing consenting adults a lot of hassle. I think we turned out fine with an English flavor. I don't think I would have handled puberty as well in a Latino society and there weren't enough Dutch for that to happen. Seeing this country as it is now, but speaking French, would be hilarious. Of course Sarah Palin dressed as a Latino talk show host speaking French could work... but I'm digressing.

And the spanish genocide... mis-using the term doesn't work. Their goal wasn't a permanent systematic removal of the native population.

Besides, I think culture should be based on how people treat each in addition to the education, building architecture, art, plays, dances, and music you didn't mention.

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FAIL

Seriously?

The Internet is ruined because you can't see breasts on facebook? How old are you?

I'm slightly more worried about the US' continued insistence that US laws apply world-wide than the distressing lack of online porn.

Tha anglo-saxon world is certainly not becoming more prudish, or else the music/entertainment industry wouldn't be able to punt sex to ever-younger children as it does. What I suspect is happening is that elections are being decided on ever fewer constituencies and the small number of people who feel strongly about things can tip the balance. Governments are therefore playing to the "so it can never happen again" crowd, becoming more and more authoritarian.

The desire to be seen to be "doing something" and the need for that "something" to be cheap and showy leads to lots of intrusion into personal lives. It isn't just porn, check out the badly phrased and intrusive "hate speach" laws and the utterly irrelevant methods for killing foxes law which provoked a constitutional crisis!

Our leaders don't believe in anything except the requirement to play to the peanut gallery. Sadly, noone appears to be voting them out for it.

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Why does the US matter?

I see no good reason that the US should hold anyone back. If you feel that US prudery, or whatever, prevents US companies from offering services that the masses want, why don't you start a company elsewhere to offer those services? Europe and Asia both have excellent Internet infrastructure. Anyone can whine about things. If you don't like the way things are, and if you really believe that your view of how things should be is financially viable, stop whining, get off your duff, and prove it (and if your idea is good, I hope you make a huge pile of money).

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I assume...

I assume you're American?

And weirdly - I kind of agree with you here. There's no reason why people in any other country in the world can't set up services - like Facebook - based on their own local jurisdiction and allow things like online betting, norks and swearing ... and to some extent they do (I'm thinking of a couple of UK tabloids here).

However, they may have to ban Americans, particularly from gambling sites, so as not to get arrested should they ever enter the US (Peter Dicks). So, US law/opinion seems to apply on the www irrespective as to whether the site is based in the US or not.

It doesn't work the other way around of course - Chinese law doesn't apply to Google and there are probably innumerable US (film/porn) sites that would be illegal under the UKs repressive "Extreme Porn Law" - to be honest you're probably pushing it with the "donkey scene" at the end of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.

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Stop

erm im replying

""donkey scene" at the end of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back."

Sorry but I couldn't leave it, its Clerks 2

/imdbpedant

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K

I stand corrected - the Kevin Smith films tend to come out with the beer and pizza, fuzzed memory ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Just Anglo-saxon prudery?

Funny, I didn't think Brazil was anglo-saxon yet they're very happy to censor all sorts of things to a far greater degree than the english speaking world in some cases. And lets not forget the near-total censorship of the web in places like Saudi Arabia - nor the punishments for breaching their censorship laws. This behaviour grew entirely separately from any influence the US or english-speaking countries might have had.

My point is that this is not a uniquely anglospheric problem. It *is* a problem, and every action should be taken to roll back and prevent censorship, but criticising ourselves as if we're the only people that engage in such nonsense is, at best, ill considered and at worst demonstrates a strange sort of ethnic and cultural myopia that you wouldn't expect from people who claim to be open minded. Blaming the US for it just reeks of attempted escaping from responsibility.

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Unhappy

It can go a lot further

Prudery can take some distinctly odd forms and, thanks to site blacklisting, can even hit domain names. The following tale illustrates this stupidity rather nicely.

In model flying circles the South California Aero Team, or SCAT for short, is a well-known and respected model flying club. Its been around since some time in the '50s and has had a globally distributed newsletter for most of that time. So, naturally it registered the scat.com domain. All was well until a few years ago, when some domains began blocking mail from scat.com, presumably because some over-sensitive idiot thought it was about zoo poo.

At this point they moved to the aeromodel.com domain on the grounds that, after all they fly aeromodels, an ex-Soviet term for model aircraft. Guess, what: this got blocked too, presumably because some prurient idiot thought that any domain with 'model' in its name had to be about sex.

The newsletter got re-titled too. Its now called SEN because it would appear that 'SCAT Electronic News' was too racy a title for some people.

Now the club is using the faifreeflight.org domain, so far without problems.

The nature of the website content has not changed throughout this saga. Evidently those who caused the newletter to be blocked were so sure their prejudices were right that they never bothered to look at the site: a quick glance shows that it is indeed entirely concerned with building, flying and competing with model aircraft.

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Grenade

Nice to know..

The old Scunthorpe/Clitheroe problem is alive and well... And that people are working to refine it and make it even more all consuming..

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Grenade

Swearing is OK though.

They may be prudes in some ways, but not when it comes to the needless use of swear words. (Or has every American had to converse with a person that they had seen fornicating with their mother and, through bad schooling no doubt, decided not to use the word father)?

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Flame

Cut'em connections!

So isn't it time to cut US' connections to the rest of the world? We don't need them!

Null route them like the chinese!

Flames: this is what those optic fibre cables need!

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Don't do it

Look - not all Americans are prudes - mostly just ones in power.

As much as I like American porn, don't cut off my worldwide porn! Jeez, everyone knows the Internet is for porn.

That is all.

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And your point?

US servers owned by US company and subject to US law has T&Cs that reflect US values.

If you don't like it, don't use it. Set up your own social networking site. Host it in a country that is more broad-minded about the sorts of things that you are broad-minded about and more careful about the sorts of things where the US tends to go over the top.

That's what the Chinese do.

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WTF?

The U.S. is rife with prurient bible-thumpers and do-gooders

As readers can see from newspapers or Google. the latest being the self-proclaimed Qu'ran burning preacher, a long list of narrow-minded hypocrites - so long that it would fill several Register web pages - who also gather unto themselves like-minded politicians who are usually looking for funding or following the latest public opinion poles to gather votes, are often the rabble-rowsers who drive public opinion.

Then you get people like Jobs who use their positions to force their concepts of morals on to their followers.

Unfortunately these like-minded people are good at organising public groups such as The Tea Party or the Anti-Immigrant movement and then they start a witch-hunt using search engines followed by a search of government grants.

Yet the often under-aged, multi-wife, faiths of Utah and parts of Western Canada go about their polygamy even though it is contrary to the laws of both countries. Older readers will remember when the singer Jerry Lee Lewis came to the UK to do a tour, accompanied by his then, legal, 14-year old wife, who was also his first cousin. This was in 1957! He didn't last long as UK public opinion was violently against him.

The problem lies in culture. The InterNet is culturally insensitive; one persons idea of normal is another's insult or offence. Look at Greece: naked breasts all over the beaches with few tops; Vietnamese women dress, to Westerners, provocatively, yet this is no indicator of their conservative views; many African women are topless but this is their custom. It doesn't mean they either promiscuous or flaunting their wares.

InterNet content providers should put a warning screen between regular and more 'extreme' content, much as movie theatres or the TV advise that the following material is not suitable for certain audiences. But you'll find these do-gooders carry on clicking, and then complain about content that offends them.

Personally pornography bores me but IMO it is a useful, harmless, victimless, outlet for those who have a predilection for that type of activity and might even prevent an attack on a child or female. Yet the politicians have criminalised such viewing which only drives the practices, which are obviously flourishing notwithstanding, underground.

The U.S. should look after it's 'culture' first before trying to make the rest of the world toe their line.

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Interesting.

And mine, submitted at Sunday 12th September 2010 12:35 GMT, was nixed?

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FAIL

I don't count your opinion

You wrote :-

>> Personally pornography bores me but IMO it is a useful, harmless, victimless, outlet ....

If it only bores you then I feel sorry for you.

However, that fact completely disqualifies you from offering an informed opinion on the subject of its effects.

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Grenade

Not all "do-gooders" are right wing

The supposed right not to be offended by anyone, anywhere at anytime is rife throughout the US, agreed, but is not unique to specific sections of the political spectrum. Hate speech legislation is a perfect example of left wing do-gooders being completely content to throw the First Amendment out the window when it's in their interest.

Steve Jobs is no right-wing bible-thumping do-gooder, and I'd tend to say that looking from the sidelines Apple customers tend to have a decidedly Left-wing, New York Times lean to them. So do you really think Jobs and Apple would let themselves be bullied by Right-wingers that probably won't buy their products anyway... or could there be something else in play here?

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FAIL

Do you even know what Teapartiers stand for?

By and large they stand for Fiscal Responsibility. Not once has any Tea Party rally or group stood up and taken a position on porn. Bible thumping is an image the Liberal Media has tried to tie to the movement.

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WTF?

Why?

I don't always agree with Jaitch but I don't see why he shouldn't have an opinion on pornography just because he doesn't find it very stimulating himself.

I find most pornography amusing at best, bizarre at other times.

The point he makes is interesting and hotly debated.

Does looking at pornography lead people to commit sexual offences against others or does it does it provide a safe satiation to desires that would otherwise be bottled up and lead to said offences?

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Joke

Re: @skelband "Why?"

"Does looking at pornography lead people to commit sexual offences against others or does it does it provide a safe satiation to desires that would otherwise be bottled up and lead to said offences?"

Indeed - we need to allow these women to look at the pornography that allow themselves release as opposed to them offending against others on the streets or other public and private places.

Yep - there is nothing that says an "offending" person is always a guy, and numerous cases and persons listed on one sexual register or another bear this out. I don't think skelband intentionally meant that, but I could already hear the "burn the guy that dun it" thoughts all the way over here...

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Unhappy

Not just corporate idiocy, but individual too

Lovely row recently, where a Microsoft customer service rep banned an Xbox Live user for the name of his home town, and refused to believe it was a real place, and refused even to look it up in an atlas or Google Maps. The name? Fort Gay, West Virginia.

"He was warned that if he put the location back on his profile he'd be kicked off Xbox Live and forfeit his membership fee."

The PR Microsuits have said "it was a mistake" and "we're going to make it right".. But no word on whether they are going to sack the homophobic asshole and tighten up hiring policies to exclude the wave of idiots that is engulfing the world.

Would someone turn Darwinian selection up to 11, please?

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Stop

Rule of thumb

When you see corporate idiocy resulting in bad press, and the person uttering the idiocy is a low level employee, and he's not being fired to calm down the press, most often it's because the company don't wan't an (en) employee telling the press: "I was just doing what I have been trained to do".

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Grenade

"ASSUME makes an ASS out of yoU and ME"

lol @ all the folks on here that think this is *ONLY* homophobic, religious types (i.e. Right Wingers) responsible for all of this.

How do you know this was a homophobic reaction vs. a politically correct one? Maybe there's more information on this particular incident than you posted, but from what I read I would think it's just as likely to consider that the Microsoft employee thought the user was not gay and trolling vs. expressing their gay pride through their XBL location.

At first glance this appears the most likely scenario is that where someone from Microsoft felt the user's location was likely to generate complaints - for whatever reason, be it pro or anti-gay - and the knee jerk reaction was to ban that location description to just avoid having to deal with it. I'm not an XBL user, but if my meager experience with online gaming is any indication, I could see the admins wanting to avoid having to deal with multiple inquiries about this particular user's location - i.e. laziness.

So in summary, Homophobic Conspiracy vs. Politically Correct Conspiracy vs. Laziness - I see nothing to prove one case vs. the other.

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Those without a stake are experts

I very much like this article. The author is obviously very intelligent. I would be very happy with anyone that firmly agrees with this article to go ahead and buy one of the struggling companies that deal in the social networking arena and put your social values on it. In this way you can alleviate the pent up need for a less stringent social network where your ideas can flow freely. Thank you for your opinion.

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2+2=4

Power does not reside in the individual. Not in the gifted, the liberated, nor the intelligent. You don't find it associated with the new or the cutting edge.

Power lies with rich people, corporates, politicians, the media.

The sort of people who control the constituent parts of the internet. The sort of people who default to low brow, mainstream and safe. Third raters. People nobody really likes and nobody really trusts.

Thus, reality and forms of media differ. Reality is vital. There are no boundaries but those you impose yourself. Reality is fresh and interesting. It is alive.

Media forms are lacking, controlled, patrolled, censored, pallid, limp and pale. Expect little of them and never live down to them.

Embrace reality. It's where the action is.

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Grenade

without the US market, what would the UK film industry look like?

"In film, it has long been argued that the sharing of a common language with the US has been Britain’s downfall. According to Jennie Kermode, editor of Eye For Film: "The domination of Britsh cinemas by films made in America is... threatening to create an ethical monoculture where the contesting of ideas - and therefore the capacity for growth - is lost." "

Mmmmmmmmnnaaaaaaaaaahhh.

Firstly, why always looking for the downside? The sharing of the common language with the US has been a massive boon for UK movie producers because it's meant that they can flog their work to one of the biggest markets in the world and have American brand names - I mean, actors - appear in its movies to improve their prospects for export to the US and worldwide. That means more foreign finance, more shooting and moviemaking in the UK, and a larger domestic industry. If it weren't for US- and globally-marketable films to pay the bills and skill the UK workforce, there'd be far fewer people in the UK who can make movies at all, and those who did would be dependent on state-subsidised crap like Sex Lives of the Potato Men for work.

If the UK film industry looks grim now, think what it would be like if it were restricted to the domestic market and the "World Cinema" niche.

Second, the claim that US films' popularity in the UK creates a monoculture assumes that the US film industry is itself a monoculture. But that's not true either...

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Dead Vulture

Utterly ludicrous article

What is Ozimek complaining about? That social networks used by children contain less filth than they used to? And that's a bad thing how?

We all know he/she measures civilisation by its licentiousness. Thank you Jane Fae, we don't need to be reminded everyday.

When I stop receiving unsolicited emails about penis enlargement or animal sex, I'll know that the internet has become "prudish".

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Anonymous Coward

I wondered how long

It would be before some bright spark brought the children argument into it.

By all means protect the children but don't use that argument to prevent adults engaging in perfectly legal adult activities.

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Self-revelation?

What a wonderfully self-revelatory post. "Filth"? Not sure that was what i ws writing about at all. Rather, my focus was on the differeing values adopted by different cultures and questionng whether itis a good thing if one culture's hegemony, technologically, resulted in those values being pushed around the world.

Probably not something many americans worry about at present...but imagine if the boot were on the other foot...and the US was being systematically "swamped" with Chinese cultural values.

One prime area where this issue comes up is in respect of nakedness. There is no a priori reason for considering nakedness to be "filth": the focus of a lot of my commentary was not on pornographic action, but simple display of the human form.

That was why i raised the issue of Germany, where two different cultures, reunited after years apart are struggling to come to terms with their differing attitudes to nudity.

So what is the issue? Presumably ac, in this instance, finds nakedness in any context to be "filth". I am not going to persuade him (or her) of the wrongness of that point of view. It is merely worth noting that that is not a position held by everyone: indeed, in some quarters, that position might be considered downright disturbed.

jane

xx

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Yes, won't someone think of the children.

That'll be the children who aren't supposed to be on these social networks (some of them at any rate) because the T&Cs explicitly say they're not allowed on there.

I don't mind protecting "the kids", but if you start down that path you end up with the Care Bears Movie being the most challenging thing you can see at the cinema and Sesame Street the most violent thing you can watch on TV "just in case".

What he's complaining about is inappropriate censorship; if you bought a copy of a magazine from the Playbeing franchise then found all the pictures inside were of fully clothed people and all the letters and articles were about having a nice cup of tea, wouldn't you be a bit miffed?

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Anonymous Coward

Jane Fae, you missed the point completely

Of all the "values being pushed around the world" by the internet, prudery isn't really one of them. Quite the opposite.

Instead, you choose to defy reality. Perhaps taking this view dramatises your desire to be a warrior on the battlefront of sexual liberty. M'lud would call it a professional interest - like a police chief talking up the crime rate, it's good for business.

ac

xx

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Alert

Re: Both AC's - missed point and ludicrous article

Defy reality?

The reality that parents don't care what their children do, watch, or consume through media or "educational institutions" - just as long as little "Treysure" and "Dohmenik" don't annoy them or cost them too much (any) money?

The reality that American "victim culture" has become more of a mass market product than any other tangible or intangible "good" (including social mores)?

The reality that children are used as a panacea to keep us all non-thinking 8 years old for as long as possible?

The reality that American hypocrisy towards the natural state (show me anyone born in a cardigan) is broadcast across every media outlet known to man while "teeny-boppers" are sexed up to increase retail sales in print, TV, and radio... talk about "reminding us everyday"!

Or is it the simple reality that when someone points out that the personal belief of someone or a relatively small group in "power" might not be the best reflection of the majority in a world-wide "democratic" medium (the internet), they become a target for attempts at ridcule from people who crave to relinquish responsibility for "security" ?

Why, all of the above, guv.

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Grenade

Why are the corporations being so corporationy?

With the exception of paternalistic Apple, the problem here is not the corporations so much as their customers. This is really the result of the people in the US (quite numerous), of all political spectrums, that will go absolutely, stark raving, bat shit insane if anyone "offends" them in any way, shape or form.

There are, quite literally, hundreds of thousands if not millions of private secret police roaming Facebook at this moment waiting to pounce, report, and raise holy indignant hell on anything the deem offensive. Same thing with Google ads. Apple is the only one who has really gone full-on preventative whereas most of these other companies have, in my reading, backed in (or were bullied in, depending on how you look at it) to their current positions.

Corporations make good scapegoats, and in Apple's case I'd argue that it's appropriate, but in the end it's the squeaky wheel users that are bending the ears of the companies, which in turn pushes the prudishness.

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Pirate

Censorship is always wrong

There is NEVER a need for censorship. Existing laws protect children etc. from abuse, so there is no need for extra laws about images & words because the vulnerable are already protected by law, in theory. If they aren't, then new laws won't help either, will they?

Also, it is self-evident that if there is corrupting material then those who view it for the purposes of censorship are themselves corrupted, poor things. The BBFC should probably be periodically imprisoned and given ECT for their own good, and for the good of society.

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Anonymous Coward

There is a need for some form of censorship

What if someone made up a claim you abused children and you didn't do anything wrong? In such cases names are censored from the press to protect people who could be innocent. No censorship in this case would have your name over the tabloids and an angry mob at your door because someone told a lie about you.

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Flame

Re: need for some form or censorship

"What if someone made up a claim you abused children and you didn't do anything wrong? In such cases names are censored from the press to protect people who could be innocent."

Actually, I have yet to find a case (in the US, for over 18's) where the person being accused in given anonimity after the charge or during the proceedings... it would be the alleged "victim" that receives that benefit.

That, dear sir, is merely the mechanism that has been installed over several decades with a new veneer - used to be called "having Indian blood" or "gone native", "being a sympathizer", "being a communist", and now you will find it under "suspected terrorist" and "pedophile".

Why spend all that money you collect in taxes to "protect" people from phantoms you create when you can make them do it to themselves SO MUCH BETTER and watch them scurry around like bugs under a rock? Use the skimmed cash to buy popcorn and enjoy the show.

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Troll

New wave of prudishness

What is driving this new wave of prudishness within USA, UK, and Australia?

Bound to involve one sort of sky pixie or another.

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Apple is not the internet

I agree with most of the writer's comments about Anglo-Saxon prudery and corporate "nannying" of web-based social networks, but I'm puzzled by her bringing up Apple's banning of iBoobs. That's an iPhone app, not a website. Say what you will about Apple's management of its App Store--and I personally think it's been too restrictive in many cases--the App Store is a private Apple sales venue, not the internet. Apple has neither the power nor the will to censor the internet, so this case doesn't really fit the article's stated theme, "IS US PRUDISHNESS RUINING THE INTERNET?"

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Big Brother

Loud wowsers

How much of American companies' over-prudishness is because the companies are prudes, and how much because they cave in to the first loud wowser to come along and complain?

Darwin was wrong. Man is still an ape.

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Unhappy

This has been going on for a long time.

About a decade ago I spent several months involved with a startup site called "Zoom.com" - it was based in the USA but world-wide in nature (I'm in Scotland) and was trying to provide a "user rated directory" of websites, filtering out ad sites and ranking content by factors such as "interestingness" and "usefulness".

All was well, until a larger US corporation bought them over and started instituting rules about "sites that condone illegal activities" amongst others, never recognising that something that might be illegal in their State might be perfectly fine elsewhere, and that things they allowed, like carrying concealed firearms, might be illegal in other countries.

They started introducing silly "tests" to see whether editors knew the ("their") legal system well enough, and removed whole sections from the site "pending examination", including the entire "Adult" branch. Basically, they screwed it up completely.

I quit when they banned a really good Tomato Gardening site (ironic, as I hate tomatoes!) because a single post in their comments section said "Hey! I could use these tips for growing dope!" (or words to that effect...)

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Thumb Down

Puritans = Christian Taliban

We got rid of the our puritans to America centuries ago and now they are coming back via cyberspace. Tis a truism that nobody is as pathologically interested in other people's sex lives than a puritan.

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Happy

Horrible Histories

Great little skit on BBC's Horrible Histories.

The Royalist turns to the Puritan woman and says, "So all fun is a sin, eh? You don't like having fun do you? You really don't like others having fun either. One might even say you actually 'enjoy' not having fun and stopping others having it too?". Realising she's enjoying being a misery, has to struggle with those conflicted thoughts!

Superb!

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Silver badge
Stop

Anglo-Saxon prudery?

Let's have a look at some of the most censorious countries:

The fascists that run and censor China; no Anglo-Saxons to be seen.

The Middle East, not many Anglo-Saxons running things there either.

Thailand is a heavy internet censor but I see no Anglo-Saxons involved.

Censorship in Aus is being championed by a Catholic Celt (Senator Conroy) and an atheist Celt (Prime Minister Gillard).

Vietnam...nup.

Central Asian republics...no Anglo-Saxons.

Burma, I see no Anglo-Saxons.

Maybe North Korea? Nada.

The way I see it is that the most censorship happens where the country is run by religious fascists and unelected dictators.

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Troll

What's with the Victorian attitude?

The old battleaxe has been dead over a century!

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Anonymous Coward

Ironicly Vicroria wasn't a prude...

Have you seen her art collection. A veritable conucopia of nudes non of which were coverd up.

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Rob
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Correct me if I'm wrong...

... but wasn't she a big dope smoker as well?

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LDS
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Let's think a little less about sex?

IMHO people are thinking too much about sex. It sells well, and thereby it's by far the easiest way to attract people to anything you like, especially if you have nothing interesting to sell or say.

Are they protecting freedom, or just their own business? I am afraid many women are going to pay for this sex paranoia.

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