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Jokes/Interweb Things Thread, BBC News - "MPs call for better porn filters to protect children" in Fun Stuff; Originally Posted by sonofsanta If anything would put us back to the dark days, it would be the control of ...
  1. #166


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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    If anything would put us back to the dark days, it would be the control of information and state censorship we used to have before the printing press. The current proposals may not seem objectionable, but that is simply the trojan horse for getting it in; once the power is in place for this blocking to happen, it will be abused. It already happens, in this country.
    Isn't that hyperbole? They already (as you point out) have filters in place for content deemed illegal. The proposals are (as far as I can see) simply for filters that are applied by default but which can be removed at request. If the state wants censorship why wouldn't it use the former filters rather than ones that can be removed by a simple request?

  2. #167

    witch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Sorry, I disagree. MumsNet are only ever producing 'frenzy' type behaviour in the government and media. The sort of thing that whips the Daily Mail up and starts making out that anyone who disagrees is a child eating monster. The problem is, MumsNet only ever appears in the media talking about things they seem to know absolutely nothing about in the first place.?
    That's a function of the press, I suspect. Mumsnet is an extremly useful site that helps many people with the difficult job of bringing up children. Yes, they sometimes get it wrong but they also do an extremly good job in other spheres.

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    It is not up to the government to make that decision. It is up to a parent to deal with their child. And checks and balances are great, if they balance - but our government has a history of making the balance tip hugely in the wrong direction. Why should something that you find distasteful be blocked, even though others don't find it so? Or something I find wrong?
    So, there should be no limits on anything out there then? You believe that everything is allowable, doable and possible with absolutely NO restrictions of any sort on anyone?
    Extreme example? Why have drink-driving laws when you can "educate" (that'll be up to the poor old beleagured parents again) someone on why you shouldnt drink and drive?
    You can educate children as much as you like, and goodness knows I am NOT an advocate of the nanny state - but sometimes people need protecting from themselves. Have you ever tried to tell an impressionable 15 year old anything? They don't listen, and if you are a parent, they don't listen even more!
    I don't know how this could be managed and I would worry about it being morphed into something else, but having seen the sort of sites that are out there, I do believe that something needs to be done.

  3. #168

    X-13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    If the state wants censorship why wouldn't it use the former filters rather than ones that can be removed by a simple request?
    “The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”
    ― Frank Zappa


    Also, China does the same thing. They don't censor people in an obvious way. They'll let you talk about how the government is bad... but when it starts to look like action is about to be taken, they step in.


    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    having seen the sort of sites that are out there, I do believe that something needs to be done.
    Agreed.

    But, this isn't the answer. Especially as they already have something like this in place.

  4. #169

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    So, there should be no limits on anything out there then? You believe that everything is allowable, doable and possible with absolutely NO restrictions of any sort on anyone?
    Extreme example? Why have drink-driving laws when you can "educate" (that'll be up to the poor old beleagured parents again) someone on why you shouldnt drink and drive?
    You can educate children as much as you like, and goodness knows I am NOT an advocate of the nanny state - but sometimes people need protecting from themselves. Have you ever tried to tell an impressionable 15 year old anything? They don't listen, and if you are a parent, they don't listen even more!
    I don't know how this could be managed and I would worry about it being morphed into something else, but having seen the sort of sites that are out there, I do believe that something needs to be done.
    Drink driving has an effect on others. If you drink and drive, the knock on effect is that someone else might be killed by your actions.

    Reading a website affects only yourself, unless you decide to action something you read in which case that action should be dealt with.

    As I said, why should you (you being a generic term for whoever would end up deciding what gets blocked) get to decide what is right and wrong? Why should those of us who want access to material that some bureaucrat has decided to block have to go out of our way to engage in our legal right to access it?

    Not to mention, all this is pointless anyway - as central blocking simply does not work, as shown in China, Iran and Syria. There are so many ways around it!

    Slipper slope arguments are often used against censorship law proposals (eg. the cleanfeed system was said that it would only ever be used for child porn, people said it was a slippery slope and were derided and here we are), yet people simply don't seem to pay attention to them, and to the history of how our government operates.

    Your child won't listen? Ban them from your computer at home. Take their phone off them? It is not up to a central body to try and restrict their misbehaviour. Actions have consequences...

  5. #170


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    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    “The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”
    ― Frank Zappa

    Also, China does the same thing. They don't censor people in an obvious way. They'll let you talk about how the government is bad... but when it starts to look like action is about to be taken, they step in.
    I'm not sure how that addresses my point. I'm clear that the state already censors, and I'll even agree with Mr Zappa that freedom is largely illusory. I don't see how that applies to a system which is sold as a default opt in. The state ALREADY has systems which you CANNOT opt out of and which you might not even know (or be allowed to know) what is being censored. Given that, why would they be interested in this proposal as part of their censorship? Sometimes, even in repressive dictatorships, proposals are what they say they are rather than backhand routes to consolidate some evil intent.

    I don't particularly agree with the proposal, but my opposition has to be based on a simple argument of people taking responsibility for their own actions (and the actions of their children). If the state wants to control what I see, there are already better ways for them to do that.

  6. #171

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Reading a website affects only yourself, unless you decide to action something you read in which case that action should be dealt with.
    Are you saying there is no causal link between access to extreme materials and behavioural problems in vulnerable adults and children?
    Are all families in a position to be able to take knowledgeable steps to take appropriate parenting action ... not just with access to the internet but in many other areas too?
    Do you have a secret way to break the cycle of poor education in vulnerable families?

  7. #172

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Are you saying there is no causal link between access to extreme materials and behavioural problems in vulnerable adults and children?
    Are all families in a position to be able to take knowledgeable steps to take appropriate parenting action ... not just with access to the internet but in many other areas too?
    Do you have a secret way to break the cycle of poor education in vulnerable families?
    No, I'm saying that is not justification enough to force all internet connections in the country to have a filter enabled on them. I'd also question causal links though as it screams of the old 'violent video games leads to violent people' argument, which has been shown time and time again to be false.

    Why do the rights of a few trump those of the majority, to the level where nationwide censorship would be introduced?

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    I'd also question causal links though as it screams of the old 'violent video games leads to violent people' argument, which has been shown time and time again to be false.
    Unless of course, the soon-to-be violent people have a predisposition towards violence.

    In which case, I believe, it's pretty accurate.

  9. #174

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    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    Unless of course, the soon-to-be violent people have a predisposition towards violence.

    In which case, I believe, it's pretty accurate.
    Oh, of course. But then the problem isn't the game, its the individual's psychological state. We shouldn't ban all games, we should watch over that person.

  10. #175

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    Sometimes, even in repressive dictatorships, proposals are what they say they are rather than backhand routes to consolidate some evil intent.
    There may not be evil intent at hand right now, but in a few years time it will be a different set of civil servants and politicians in power and when they come up against embarassing photos of the married chancellor and his boyfriend or whatever controversy is next, they will reach for these tools because they're to hand and effective. Again: cleanfeed. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and all that; and we all know that politicians rarely have good intentions in the first place

    It may be opt-out instead of compulsory but it is still a chilling effect on speech, it is still a system that will be over-reaching, and if the root cause is ignorance, people will be ignorant that this exists and is an option and will be unaware of the full extent & effect of the censorship. Once an opt-out system is in place, it will be much easier for them to change that to a compulsory system as well once everyone has adjusted to the idea of it. Inch by inch we lose our liberty.

    If these websites are a problem, not the people viewing them, then go after the websites. Those that are in the UK can be taken down under existing laws (no protected freedom of speech in the UK, after all). Those that are outside could possibly have a splash page forced on them in the same way that Google throws up a page for malware-infected sites - something along the lines of "This website is considered to offer an unrepresentative and dangerous viewpoint of the subject matter and we would advise you to read it with caution." with links to the Samaritans and other relevant charities. It addresses the issue at the root of the problem - the content, not the eyeballs - and it presents a chance for education without being censorship.

    I thought of this idea two minutes ago so feel free to tear into it, but it seems a more reasonable compromise to me than giving up yet more freedoms.

    (and yes, I may wander into hyperbole - but it is difficult not to when the MPs are doing the same. Bring back rhetoric and logic lessons, say I)

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Oh, of course. But then the problem isn't the game, its the individual's psychological state. We shouldn't ban all games, we should watch over that person.
    Exactly.

    IMO, the same applies here.


    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    I thought of this idea two minutes ago so feel free to tear into it, but it seems a more reasonable compromise to me than giving up yet more freedoms.
    Looks fine to me... But, I'm currently being distracted by the litre bottle of Strongbow I just got given by one of our office staff, for helping her out. [This is in addition to the litre bottle given by another member of staff and the 2 litre bottle given by our HT.]
    Last edited by X-13; 28th June 2012 at 11:57 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    Exactly.

    IMO, the same applies here.
    Which is why it's "better the devil you know" in one respect - if you know where the dodgy sites are, you can monitor the access to them and find out who is a danger, rather than shutting them down and just driving it all further out of site. I recall hearing of one site operator who was caught whilst he was still logged into his child-abuse site, so the FBI/whoever just sat down for a week and took logs of everyone accessing it.

    The difficulty is that these subjects are very emotional and it's difficult to dissociate yourself and approach it knowing that people are being harmed right now, but you can prevent a greater amount of future harm if you take the harder road. None of this is an easy topic to approach, which is why the discussion and debate here and elsewhere is so important.


    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    Looks fine to me... But, I'm currently being distracted by the litre bottle of Strongbow I just got given by one of our office staff, for helping her out. [This is in addition to the litre bottle given by another member of staff and the 2 litre bottle given by our HT.]
    Sounds like you're getting a reputation there...

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    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    Looks fine to me... But, I'm currently being distracted by the litre bottle of Strongbow I just got given by one of our office staff, for helping her out. [This is in addition to the litre bottle given by another member of staff and the 2 litre bottle given by our HT.]
    Party at X-13's place tonight then!!

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    The research on the impact of violent films / games varies and there is significant research which does show links, particularly in vulnerable adults and children ... but the media tend to spin it so that they ignore the actual science of the research (including other factors such as socio-economic, historical and latent issues) and you get "Video games cause cancer" headlines instead of dealing with support for obsessive personalities, lack of communication skills between generations, etc. General Aggression Model is a good place to start for some of this but to understand a lot of it does require a substantial knowledge of Psychology (including Child Psychology) which is passed my generally basic stuff. The last stuff I read was from 2007-8 and was talking about the difference between the impact of violent films and violent games ... as films are generally passive but games are active, which supports embedding of emotions linked with the game (both positive and negative emotions)

    There was a really good talk at the NAACE conference about the nueroscience of learning (as this is an area impacted by this as well) and the use of games in education, and also some of the risk.

    As for the needs of the few outweighing the rights of the many ... as soon as you start arguing that this is a bad thing, then you will have a wave of people pointing out that if you forget and ignore the minority then the problem can get worse ... and soon the majority are affected by the same issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    As for the needs of the few outweighing the rights of the many ... as soon as you start arguing that this is a bad thing, then you will have a wave of people pointing out that if you forget and ignore the minority then the problem can get worse ... and soon the majority are affected by the same issue.
    well yes but thats why you have to be 17 to drive a car, films have cassifications etc the risks are there but are staggered (for want of a better term) as physically a 12 year old can drive a car its just probably not a good idea. You cant always please everyone and you cant always cater to the lowest possible donominator because if you do you start to affect others in unpredictable ways (for instance just because i dont swear a lot and dont like it i dont think it should be a criminal offence but im sure other people disagree granted a silly example) But you have to draw a line somewhere that says this is your problem/responsibility not societies you sort it

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