There’s a lot of porn on the Internet.
Maybe you’ve noticed by “accidentally” stumbling upon it.
Some of it is done tastefully, some of it is quite grotesque. Most of it leaves you feeling icky (or so I’ve heard). But the biggest problem with online pornography is that it is so accessible.
Without a filter just about any online search delivers back pornographic content. Just try to search on a woman’s name – any woman’s name – and see what you get back.
As a result, getting porn – even the grotesque kind – is only a few clicks away. And that means children can be exposed to it quite easily without really trying.
So this begs the question: Should filtering pornography be the responsibility of individuals or society?
Britain is about to try the latter. Prime Minister David Cameron has passed legislation that requires the four largest Internet providers to block pornographic content unless a customer specifically opts in for it. In other words, you can’t access pornography unless you make a formal written request to get it.
The new legislation will affect 20 million households in the UK.
The Guardian is vehemently opposed to it. The newspaper believes the government should not be determining what is pornography and what is not. It argues that a lot of legitimate health and gay lifestyle material is being blocked by the government filters.
According to the Guardian:
“Cameron’s porn filter looks less like an attempt to protect kids than a convenient way to block a lot of content the British government doesn’t want its citizens to see, with no public consultation whatsoever.”
However, the Huffington Post UK notes that 7 our of 10 children were exposed to “raw” sexual images on the Internet last year and that age limitation filters have proven to be a failure (for example, 38% of children under the age of 12 have social media profiles when most sites require users be at least 13 years old).
According to Suzi Godson, a sex columnist for the Huffington Post UK:
“Given the number of screens most kids now have access to, the only way to protect young people from the worst excesses of porn is to explain to them that an interest in sex is natural, and healthy, but porn is to normal sex, what Barbie and Ken are to normal humans.”
Do people have a right to unfiltered pornography on the Internet? Should governments help to block pornography from children? What do you think?
David Cameron’s Internet Porn Filter (via The Guardian)
10 Things You Need to Know Before You Filter Porn (via Huffington Post UK)