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.