Pr0n!

Jul. 22nd, 2013 06:59 pm
sobrique: (bubble tree)
[personal profile] sobrique
In the news today, is some headline grabbing nonsense about protecting children from the evils of porn.
I'd like to suggest that this is just nonsensical - almost all the sensational nonsense is generally about cheap titillation and scaremongering.

What goes on between two (legally and informed) consenting individuals is none of the business of state, or indeed anyone else.

There's various types of extreme porn that are illegal - and personally, I think that distracts from the important point. Because at the end of the day, no matter how extreme, the depiction, is only a picture. A depressing or disturbing one maybe, but still - just a picture.

The _problem_ is two separate things:
- Harm done to the subject. Especially when consent cannot be given (e.g. because of being too young). If abuse is committed, then that's a crime in and of itself.
- Harm done to the 'viewer'. It's hard to say for sure what effect repeated exposure to disturbing content actually has, but there's suggestions of links between extreme porn and future abuse. Correlation doesn't imply causation though - there's nothing to say that that link hasn't reduced the future abuse, rather than increased it.

But in neither case do we really do much good by trying to censor the internet. The WHOLE POINT of the internet is it's uncontrolled and uncontrollable. Trying to control search terms is on a part with trying to ban drugs by current street name - an exercise in futility, because as soon as one gets banned, there'll be a new one in use.

I would suggest instead that disturbing and damaging porn is a mental health problem - not a crime (in and of itself - obviously if people are harmed, then that's a crime in it's own right). You can't fully protect children from exposure to disturbing concepts, and by far, assuming that the magic of the internet is going to... well it is a deeply flawed assumption. (There's not many parents who would call themselves more tech savvy than their teenage children either).

It's far better to engage and understand - from all directions. Don't censor or censure, but encourage openness. And yes, that does mean that some people with some quite disturbing fantasies will come to light. But far better that, than the problem being suppressed until it's far too late for some innocent victim.

The internet is a real power in our society today - ideas and concepts can be moved around like never before. This means all sorts of good things happen as a result. It also means all sorts of bad things can too - there's a lot of nastiness buried in the human psyche, and that'll never go away. But you can shine a light on it, and reveal it for what it is.
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