Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Net imitates life

OK so everyone's pretty worked up about China and Google and censorship right now. And I really am interested in that issue, but I am also really interested in this one:


Because to me it seems like something inherently clicheable. You know, like maybe "closing the stable door after the horse has bolted", or perhaps "throwing the baby out with the bathwater", or even just "royally fucking people over".  (What? It's a cliche. Sounds pretty cliche to me. Fuck you. Go read some literature.)

All anyone has to do is mention "child porn" and people will be falling over their own assholes to disassociate themselves from that most taboo of taboos. Even if this means supporting a policy that blacklists the following, apparently:

"About half of the sites on the list were not related to child porn and included a slew of online poker sites, YouTube links, regular gay and straight porn sites, Wikipedia entries, euthanasia sites, websites of fringe religions such as satanic sites, fetish sites, Christian sites, the website of a tour operator and even a Queensland dentist."

I'm not saying that child abuse isn't an important issue that deserves attention and funding and resources. I'm just saying that shutting down a fuckload of sites, only half of which may include child porn, is not going to change the amount of children being abused. But, as with so many other things, we are concerned with what is visible, more than that which is hidden. Get rid of the offending material online, and we've made progress, right?

I don't fucking think so. The material online is just a reflection of life, of people, of people's imaginations. I think real issues, like that of child abuse, should be dealt with starting in reality. Stop the child being abused THEN take the pics off the internet. Doesn't this seem sensible to anyone else?

OK, local rant over, let's get back to China now.

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