Previous posts such as Ian 62's, Dazed and Confused, and Lost All Faith's and others have asked who controls the blocked list, asked what's on it now, suggested dad will switch it off cos dads like porn, discussed the boundaries of what is pornographic and what is educational, where does LGBT fit, and a plethora of other questions and statements that I would echo, but won't, due to echoes being annoying.
An issue I have is HOW this is being done. I had the pleasure of driving from Glasgow to Manchester yesterday and heard all the spin coming from the Prime Minister's Adviser on the Commercialisation and Sexualisation of Childhood. (I assume she is anti- these things, and not advising on how to make them more efficient). So there were two thing being brought in yesterday - a clamp down with an unavoidable opt-out family filter which limits access to adult material, regardless of its pornographic content or not. And also, a cracking of the whip at Google et al to ensure that access to any rape-related pornography is stopped, but the Government has stopped short of actually legislating on the second one, and have left Google et-al to be our moral compasses, whilst giving the Government the opportunity in the future to beat them up more about not doing enough about it. ("We're only bringing these new restrictive laws in because Google didn't do a good enough job when we asked them to"). I am actually more comfortable with Google et al being moral compasses over UK Politicians.
Anyway, the Prime Minister's Advisor on Corrupting Kids didn't start talking about either of these things. She first talked at length about child porn, *not* children accessing porn. She described the work CEOP was doing and the fact that every image is a crime scene and how any limits and changes and restrictions being brought in is all being done for the safety of British children and keeping our British children safe and making sure they weren't caught up in child pornography, because they are British and need to be safe. She stated that pornography on the internet was only two clicks away from child pornography.
Regardless of the fact that legal multi-billion pound porn business needs to do everything it can to distance itself from illegal porn, she is actually very accurate, in that one click will take you to a search engine and another click will take you to child porn.
The unproportional reaction, this over emotional, inflamed melodramatic response to a real issue, and not just linking it intrinsically but intertwining it with a much more serious issue, building the fear of repercussions, because if we don't put this in place this will only end in British children being used in child pornography. "Don't agree with the web filter? Well then you must be FOR child porn. And if that's the case then you should be on a register." It is that which sticks in my stomach. The temperature of the water has been increased a couple of degrees and the frog is asking for the loofer - people, including reporters, feel awkward in questioning her reasoning - the last thing a BBC reporter wants is to be tarred with a brush that aligns them in any way with Jimmy Saville in the eyes of the Daily Mail or the sheep who accept these restrictions openly unquestioning.
The author wrote: -
"Honestly, though, Everyone knows one should educate one's children, teach them proportional reactions and try to prepare them for a time when one won't be around to help them deal with the world, but just as we feel confident sitting them in front of the TV before nine so we should be able to log them onto the internet without having to look over their shoulder the whole time (which limits their freedom in other ways, and becomes impractical as the number of children increases). Right now that's technically possible, but too complicated for millions of users."
If it's too complicated for one to raise ones kids properly, or if one is too lazy to put effort into raising ones kids, then one should not have kids. Instead of combating the ignorance (and I do not mean that in the pejorative sense) of some, the whole population should not have restrictions put in place over them. Perhaps address the problem rather than creating a workaround? The first step should be to remove the ignorance.
If three months after its launch and 70% of the population have opted out of the filter (This filter will remain in place in most houses right up to the point where dad needs to exercise his wrists or mum needs an online bingo fix) will more stringent restrictions be put in place because people ignored this one?
"The government is actually quite a bad regulator of the internet"
Claire Perry MP
Prime Minister's Adviser on the Commercialisation and Sexualisation of Childhood
31st May 2013