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.