Saturday, November 29, 2008

More on the dangers of implicit approval

In this article on the ABC's Unleashed forum, Melinda Tankard Reist wrote:

"If this material is allowed to be sold - and sold so openly - the Classification Board is sending a message that its okay to want sex with real 'live young girls'."

If we take this argument on face value, then this supports a contention I made earlier this week about one of the possible unintended consequences of attempting to filter extreme porn from the web at the ISP level using an ACMA blacklist.

Given that the Government's filter will inevitably be much less than 100% effective, users might equate availability of incompletely blocked material as some sort of tacit approval by the Government that it is ok to view it, thereby relieving the viewer of the moral responsibility to decide for themselves if they have crossed a line they should not have.

Also, I think an unintended consequence of creating very strict censorship rules for printed or video pornography is that it will drive users of such material to the Internet where there is a much more diverse range of material available.

The problem with that is that there is almost no ability at all to control what people consume via the Internet, everyone knows that and it remains true despite the Government's deeply misguided desire to impose mandatory ISP level filters. Ironically, if we are to deal with the problems of freely available pornography we may have to rely much more on people exercising their own inner freedom to choose the right thing to do, something that can only "occur through consent and never through coercion". [ See Clive, I've been reading your book ].

If I was Melinda Tankard Reist I would be careful about what I wished for.

1 comment:

Bob Bain said...

I attempted to respond to that article but encountered server errors.

The biggest revenue earner from sex in the year 2006 was China !

It produces the sex toys sold in adult outlets in Australia.


By Jerry Ropelato

2006 Worldwide Pornography Revenues

Country Revenue

China $27.40 (Number 1 in 2006)

South Korea $25.73
Japan $19.98
US $13.33
Australia $2.00
UK $1.97
Italy $1.40
Canada $1.00
Philippines $1.00
Taiwan $1.00
Germany $.64
Finland $.60
Czech Republic $.46
Russia $.25
Netherlands $.20
Brazil $.10

China (8/14/2006)

"China is the world’s largest exporter of sex toys and novelties, with an estimated 1,000 factories involved in the manufacture of "adult healthcare products." The Chinese government estimates that about
one-third of all adult products and 80 percent of sex toys and condoms sold worldwide are made in China, with annual revenues from sales of Chinese adult products reaching RenMinBi 50 billion ($6.7 billion)."

Chinese Wrap 3rd Annual Adult Show

By Matt O'Conner

Monday, Aug 14, 2006

SHANGHAI - ADCExpo, the largest adult show in Asia, wrapped Aug. 13at the China International exhibition Center.

More than 100 manufacturers were on hand to show their latest products to 3,000 buyers such as Doc Johnson, Fun Factory and Alexander Institute. About 60,000 people attended the three-day show, which was open to the public during select hours

The show is indicative of China’s somewhat duplicitous attitude toward adult entertainment. On the one hand, the government is working to stamp out porn sites and actively censors material its citizens can access online and buy in video stores. On the other hand, it relies heavily on revenues from exports of adult goods.