Will you be saying yes or no to pornography?

Life is never that black or white and the way that a question is phrased will often determine the outcome.  Nudge told us that.  So when you are asked do you want to view pornography online yes or no, how are you going to answer?

If the question is ‘Do you want to want children to have access to and to be subject to sordid and depraved acts?’ then the answer will be no.

But if the questions is ‘Do you want a government body to select what it thinks that it is appropriate for you to view even if it may be perfectly legal?’ then this may be a different question entirely.

We need to be careful.  We need to get the balance right between protecting the vulnerable and enabling people but we need to make sure that we don’t kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

Digital, through all of its guises including the internet is the most exciting thing to have ever happened to human kind. 

The internet is the ultimate democratic utopia.  It does not judge you by the colour of your skin, your gender or your creed and it does not ask your sexual orientation.  It allows those without a voice to speak, those without vision to see, those without knowledge to learn and those who have interest to discover.  All you need is to be on.

It connects people in ways that have never been possible.  There are more people connected online now than were alive 50 years ago.  It allows people to go to places that they never could.  There are more places on the internet to visit than there are stars in our galaxy.  It is a creative space where people can let their thoughts and talents run whether they are incredible or merely ordinary.  Where else can you converse directly and easily with your elected politicians, comment on the opinions of leader writers and say what you think about the products that you buy?

Access to digital technologies will be key to changing people’s lives over the coming years and so any decisions to censor, manipulate or somehow control need to be taken very seriously indeed.

When asked, please think about it before answering.  It is a very important question.

2 thoughts on “Will you be saying yes or no to pornography?

  1. While, I am drinking my morning latte…

    I really object to this ‘proposal’ on a number of points:

    1.I strongly believe that it is up to the parent to be ultimately responsible what their children do and for actively overseeing that – either playing in the street / garden or on the net. There are more than enough products out there that are fairly simple enough for the average parent to use. You can even download a free, comprehensive one from windows. Even routers have them these days. I’m slightly worried that it is a Conservative (ie small state politics) that is wanting to be net nanny in this case.

    2. Saying yes to adult content has already become labelled with the ‘you want to view pornography’ label. And its not about that at all. I was in McDs the other day and I went to a LJ post which was labelled 18 (not porn) and wasn’t allowed to. Kind of felt a bit miffed. What is designated as porn anyway? Will this mean 50 shades of Grey being put on the upper shelves of the bookshop or put in plain paper wrappers.

    3. Page 3 of the Sun, whatever page of the Star etc. Why no equivalent action?

    4. The one category that they keep bringing up is already illegal so why does everyone have to be plumped into the ‘guilty’ category? I’m presuming that those who choose the yes button will have their traffic more closely scrutinized – which I object to.

    5. Potentially unworkable – who is going to go round and do the job of checking that the ISPs are doing this?

    6. Its overt censorship based on a lot of urban myths that can be stopped by educating Parents about keeping their kids safe online. Why don’t they know what their kids are up to? I learnt very early the hard way and now the boys have quite strict controls, about computer access, what they access and when.

    If individual organisations want to put blocking filters – understandable and it is in their decision but at an ISP level – no? Puts adults who say yes for a variety of reasons into they are ‘porno creeps’ category immediately.

    Let the Government put responsibility where it really lies – onto the parents / responsible adults in every house.

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