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Re: Facebook censorship and internet porn

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  • Bruce Bostwick
    ... This would be an excellent idea if the porn industry could be persuaded to go along with it. As perverse and counterproductive as this sounds, said
    Message 1 of 7 , Dec 11, 2010
      On Dec 11, 2010, at 7:42 PM, Jon Louis Mann wrote:

      >> ..."net nanny" software block and report any
      >> search for any string containing the word "breast"
      >> ...that may prevent a woman from learning how to
      >> examine herself for cancer or her options if she
      >> is diagnosed...
      >> ...policy of removing pictures of breastfeeding. I
      >> know of a few images that disappeared even though
      >> they were privacy-restricted in such a way that the
      >> only possible audience was clothing-optional-aware
      >> and I doubt there were any complaints to speak of,
      >> so I may very well be wrong. The rules seem to be
      >> somewhat variable, and the only consistent cases
      >> seem to be ones with one or both nipples visible.
      >> one friend who pushed that about as close to the
      >> limit as they seem to tolerate -- the one of her
      >> in *only* a skirt and pasties is still up...
      >> Charlie
      >
      > thanks for the link, charlie all is explained:
      > http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/02/breastfeeding-facebook-
      > photos/
      >
      > i found this on facebook:
      > http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=39521488436
      > evidently there are a lot of riled up women about
      > this. evidently, some few were using breastfeeding
      > as a way around the facebook restriction on frontal
      > nudity. i still think this is a tempest in a teapot.
      > personally, i think free speech is being abused on
      > the internet. i do not want my eight year old to
      > accidentally access porn when clicking on some spam
      > site, or by googling white house.
      > i don't want to censor the internet, but perhaps
      > there should be a separate internet isolating any
      > porn related material?
      > jon

      This would be an excellent idea if the porn industry could be
      persuaded to go along with it.

      As perverse and counterproductive as this sounds, said industry, as a
      whole, seems bent on the exact opposite, and in fact, in many cases
      the less scrupulous players in the industry go to great lengths to
      invade inboxes and hijack web searches specifically to avoid being
      confined to the target market that would be happy to go find them
      wherever they are.

      This was made abundantly clear by the somewhat paradoxical maneuvering
      surrounding the proposed .xxx TLD for porn domains. The idea of a
      porn-specific TLD made perfect sense, as it would have provided a
      place where interested adults could easily have gone looking for
      whatever they wanted, and would have made the process of blocking porn
      from underage computer users (or any others whom society feels the
      need to protect from porn) relatively trivial and straightforward.

      The problem, and this seems to be endemic to the industry as far as I
      can tell, is that the industry would very much rather do business the
      way it does now and take every possible tactical and/or strategic
      action available to make sure they're not only net-ubiquitous, but
      that they actually crowd out legitimate web search results for
      completely unrelated subjects, and appear in your inbox even if your
      junk mail filtering is strong enough that you end up filtering out
      your friends before you filter out the porn ads. Rather than target a
      perfectly willing and sex-positive demographic that would be happy to
      pay for their premium content, they would rather make the maximum
      possible nuisance of themselves trying to convert maybe one in a
      thousand or so of the largely sex-negative remainder of the population
      that doesn't want to see anything they have to offer. As well as make
      themselves maximally available to your kids.

      I've observed this in relation to just about everything there is to do
      with the industry, and seen it time and time again. And it's always
      completely puzzled me, because to me it's always seemed to be a bad
      business policy as well as ensuring they remain marginalized. But I
      don't run that industry.

      As for free speech, deciding what's abuse of it and what's legitimate
      use of it is a formitable philsophical problem indeed. Likewise,
      which restrictions on it are legitimate and which are overbroad and
      possibly draconian. There's room for considerable debate along that
      boundary. I believe that there is, in many cases, abuse of freedom of
      speech in the industry, given their aggresively confrontational
      marketing strategies, but I would not dare point out specific examples
      as unambigiuously abusive or not, because I doubt I could debate
      either side to the extent that someone else could not come up with an
      equally or even more compelling opposing view.

      And I repeat my assertion that our society (particularly that of the
      USA, and even more particularly that of some regions of the USA and/or
      specific segments of the population) is not exactly objective or even
      rational on this subject, and is influenced by social and cultural
      standards that I consider dysfunctional and destructive at the very
      least. Not the least of which is the perception that nudity == sex,
      or the related perception that sex == bad/dirty/evil. Or a whole list
      of others. So there are likely to be many strong opinions that are
      fairly indefensible from a truly rational perspective -- widely held
      and commonly agreed on, perhaps, but still indefensible ..

      The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed
      and hence clamorous to be led to safety by menacing it with an endless
      series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. - H.L. MENCKEN



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    • Bruce Bostwick
      ... And -- accepts karma hit for responding to own post, but bear with me -- the devil s advocate position on the .xxx TLD case: The any others whom society
      Message 2 of 7 , Dec 11, 2010
        On Dec 11, 2010, at 8:56 PM, Bruce Bostwick wrote:

        > This was made abundantly clear by the somewhat paradoxical
        > maneuvering surrounding the proposed .xxx TLD for porn domains. The
        > idea of a porn-specific TLD made perfect sense, as it would have
        > provided a place where interested adults could easily have gone
        > looking for whatever they wanted, and would have made the process of
        > blocking porn from underage computer users (or any others whom
        > society feels the need to protect from porn) relatively trivial and
        > straightforward.

        And -- accepts karma hit for responding to own post, but bear with me
        -- the devil's advocate position on the .xxx TLD case:

        The "any others whom society feels the need to protect from porn" is a
        *huge* loophole, and given some aspects of the current political
        climate, it's not entirely unreasonable to imagine a possible future
        society where that one clause amounts to everyone that certain
        religious sects have under their power at any given time, or in the
        worst case, everyone, period. Putting all the porn domains in one
        easily-filtered place could in some circumstances be a prelude to
        relatively simple total censorship of the entire industry.

        So there are extremes at both end of the spectrum, and the resistance
        to implementation of an .xxx TLD, specifically, is probably reasonable
        too, from at least some perspectives .. especially if it comes with
        the stipulation that all "porn", as legally defined, must only exist
        in domains within that TLD. And that simply because free speech only
        allowed in "free speech zones" is not truly free in any real sense,
        particularly if the "free speech zones" are then conveniently located
        where they can have no possible actual impact.

        There's a happy medium in there somewhere, and ultimately, it's futile
        to try to apply technical measures to problems that are more social
        than technical in nature. Law has never succeeded in addressing
        morality, or even ethics for that matter, and it's going to continue
        to fail. So I have no solution to the problem of bad actors making
        life miserable every way they can. As I said, it's a formidable
        philosophical problem ..

        "Listen, when you get home tonight, you're gonna be confronted by the
        instinct to drink a lot. Trust that instinct. Manage the pain. Don't
        try to be a hero." -- Toby Ziegler



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      • Deborah Harrell
        ... I glanced at the La Leche League site (an org. that promotes breastfeeding) - no easily accessible pix; perhaps one needs to join? Interesting article on
        Message 3 of 7 , Dec 13, 2010
          > Bruce Bostwick wrote:
          >> Charlie wrote:
          > > Jon wrote:

          >> ...that may prevent a woman from learning how to examine herself for
          >> cancer or her options if she is diagnosed...
          >> ...policy of removing pictures of breastfeeding.

          I glanced at the La Leche League site (an org. that promotes breastfeeding) - no easily accessible pix; perhaps one needs to join? Interesting article on age-of-weaning, which here in the US is typically less than one year, but in developing countries can be 3 or 4 yo. Huh! - I'd draw the line at teething!

          > > evidently there are a lot of riled up women about
          > > this.  evidently, some few were using breastfeeding
          > > as a way around the facebook restriction on frontal nudity.
          [on facebook]

          <roll eyes> Some people just can't deal with bodily functions in a non-kindergartener way, tittering instead of just acknowledging. Not that there isn't genuine humor to be found in many cases (I've _so_ had to adjust to living with a guy)...

          <snippage>

          > The problem, and this seems to be endemic to the industry [porn]
          > as far as I can tell, is that the industry would very much
          > rather do business the way it does now and take every
          > possible tactical and/or strategic action available to make
          > sure they're not only net-ubiquitous, but that they actually
          > crowd out legitimate web search results for completely
          > unrelated subjects, and appear in your inbox even if your
          > junk mail filtering is strong enough that you end up
          > filtering out your friends before you filter out the porn
          > ads.  Rather than target a perfectly willing and
          > sex-positive demographic that would be happy to pay for
          > their premium content, they would rather make the maximum
          > possible nuisance of themselves trying to convert maybe one
          > in a thousand or so of the largely sex-negative remainder of
          > the population that doesn't want to see anything they have to offer. 

          Indeed.

          > As for free speech, deciding what's abuse of it and what's
          > legitimate use of it is a formitable philsophical problem
          > indeed.  Likewise, which restrictions on it are
          > legitimate and which are overbroad and possibly
          > draconian.  There's room for considerable debate along
          > that boundary...

          I personally find porn repugnant, but as long as only consenting adults are involved, I can't advocate banning it. <thread crossover> As in the wikileaks dump - I don't want anyone endangered, but there's far too much being covered up by various govt's. 

          > And I repeat my assertion that our society (particularly
          > that of the USA, and even more particularly that of some
          > regions of the USA and/or specific segments of the
          > population) is not exactly objective or even rational on
          > this subject, and is influenced by social and cultural
          > standards that I consider dysfunctional and destructive at
          > the very least.  Not the least of which is the
          > perception that nudity == sex, or the related perception
          > that sex == bad/dirty/evil.  Or a whole list of
          > others...

          We do seem to be schizoid and schizophrenic as a society WRT sexuality.

          > The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace
          > alarmed and hence clamorous to be led to safety by menacing
          > it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them
          > imaginary. - H.L. MENCKEN

          Good one!

          'It's hard to fight the fire while you're feeding the flames' - Rush

          Debbi
          Condoms For The Mind? Maru
          Debbi




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        • Alberto Monteiro
          ... I can t imagine how many girls become pregnant or get a STD because movies that would show how to apply a condom to a penis _are_ dumped as pornography.
          Message 4 of 7 , Dec 13, 2010
            Deborah Harrell wrote:
            >
            > Debbi
            > Condoms For The Mind? Maru
            > Debbi
            >
            I can't imagine how many girls become pregnant or get a STD
            because movies that would show how to apply a condom to a
            penis _are_ dumped as pornography.

            Alberto Monteiro



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          • Julia
            ... From: brin-l-bounces@mccmedia.com [mailto:brin-l-bounces@mccmedia.com] On Behalf Of Bruce Bostwick Sent: Saturday, December 11, 2010 8:56 PM To: Killer Bs
            Message 5 of 7 , Dec 26, 2010
              -----Original Message-----
              From: brin-l-bounces@... [mailto:brin-l-bounces@...] On
              Behalf Of Bruce Bostwick
              Sent: Saturday, December 11, 2010 8:56 PM
              To: Killer Bs (David Brin et al) Discussion
              Subject: Re: Facebook censorship and internet porn

              On Dec 11, 2010, at 7:42 PM, Jon Louis Mann wrote:

              >> ..."net nanny" software block and report any search for any string
              >> containing the word "breast"
              >> ...that may prevent a woman from learning how to examine herself for
              >> cancer or her options if she is diagnosed...
              >> ...policy of removing pictures of breastfeeding. I know of a few
              >> images that disappeared even though they were privacy-restricted in
              >> such a way that the only possible audience was
              >> clothing-optional-aware and I doubt there were any complaints to
              >> speak of, so I may very well be wrong. The rules seem to be somewhat
              >> variable, and the only consistent cases seem to be ones with one or
              >> both nipples visible.
              >> one friend who pushed that about as close to the limit as they seem
              >> to tolerate -- the one of her in *only* a skirt and pasties is still
              >> up...
              >> Charlie
              >
              > thanks for the link, charlie all is explained:
              > http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/02/breastfeeding-facebook-
              > photos/
              >
              > i found this on facebook:
              > http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=39521488436
              > evidently there are a lot of riled up women about this. evidently,
              > some few were using breastfeeding as a way around the facebook
              > restriction on frontal nudity. i still think this is a tempest in a
              > teapot.
              > personally, i think free speech is being abused on the internet. i do
              > not want my eight year old to accidentally access porn when clicking
              > on some spam site, or by googling white house.
              > i don't want to censor the internet, but perhaps there should be a
              > separate internet isolating any porn related material?
              > jon

              This would be an excellent idea if the porn industry could be persuaded to
              go along with it.

              As perverse and counterproductive as this sounds, said industry, as a whole,
              seems bent on the exact opposite, and in fact, in many cases the less
              scrupulous players in the industry go to great lengths to invade inboxes and
              hijack web searches specifically to avoid being confined to the target
              market that would be happy to go find them wherever they are.

              This was made abundantly clear by the somewhat paradoxical maneuvering
              surrounding the proposed .xxx TLD for porn domains. The idea of a
              porn-specific TLD made perfect sense, as it would have provided a place
              where interested adults could easily have gone looking for whatever they
              wanted, and would have made the process of blocking porn from underage
              computer users (or any others whom society feels the need to protect from
              porn) relatively trivial and straightforward.

              * * * * * * * * * *

              Really?

              When I was first aware of an attempt to create the top-level domain .xxx,
              the porn industry was on board at the time, it was a bunch of religious
              leaders that were so vocal that it was blocked it then. At least, this was
              what I heard from someone who was in close communication with folks members
              of the ICANN board.... Said individual expressed disbelief and couldn't
              figure out why the *hell* any religious folks would get involved in trying
              to *block* something like that.

              Julia


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            • Bruce Bostwick
              ... The porn industry was originally in favor of it, I believe, until there was discussion of the fact that porn sites would not be statutorily required to be
              Message 6 of 7 , Dec 26, 2010
                On Dec 26, 2010, at 5:03 PM, Julia wrote:
                >
                > On Dec 11, 2010, at 7:42 PM, Jon Louis Mann wrote:
                >
                >>> ..."net nanny" software block and report any search for any string
                >>> containing the word "breast"
                >>> ...that may prevent a woman from learning how to examine herself for
                >>> cancer or her options if she is diagnosed...
                >>> ...policy of removing pictures of breastfeeding. I know of a few
                >>> images that disappeared even though they were privacy-restricted in
                >>> such a way that the only possible audience was
                >>> clothing-optional-aware and I doubt there were any complaints to
                >>> speak of, so I may very well be wrong. The rules seem to be somewhat
                >>> variable, and the only consistent cases seem to be ones with one or
                >>> both nipples visible.
                >>> one friend who pushed that about as close to the limit as they seem
                >>> to tolerate -- the one of her in *only* a skirt and pasties is still
                >>> up...
                >>> Charlie
                >>
                >> thanks for the link, charlie all is explained:
                >> http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/02/breastfeeding-facebook-
                >> photos/
                >>
                >> i found this on facebook:
                >> http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=39521488436
                >> evidently there are a lot of riled up women about this. evidently,
                >> some few were using breastfeeding as a way around the facebook
                >> restriction on frontal nudity. i still think this is a tempest in a
                >> teapot.
                >> personally, i think free speech is being abused on the internet. i
                >> do
                >> not want my eight year old to accidentally access porn when clicking
                >> on some spam site, or by googling white house.
                >> i don't want to censor the internet, but perhaps there should be a
                >> separate internet isolating any porn related material?
                >> jon
                >
                > This would be an excellent idea if the porn industry could be
                > persuaded to
                > go along with it.
                >
                > As perverse and counterproductive as this sounds, said industry, as
                > a whole,
                > seems bent on the exact opposite, and in fact, in many cases the less
                > scrupulous players in the industry go to great lengths to invade
                > inboxes and
                > hijack web searches specifically to avoid being confined to the target
                > market that would be happy to go find them wherever they are.
                >
                > This was made abundantly clear by the somewhat paradoxical maneuvering
                > surrounding the proposed .xxx TLD for porn domains. The idea of a
                > porn-specific TLD made perfect sense, as it would have provided a
                > place
                > where interested adults could easily have gone looking for whatever
                > they
                > wanted, and would have made the process of blocking porn from underage
                > computer users (or any others whom society feels the need to protect
                > from
                > porn) relatively trivial and straightforward.
                >
                > * * * * * * * * * *
                >
                > Really?
                >
                > When I was first aware of an attempt to create the top-level
                > domain .xxx,
                > the porn industry was on board at the time, it was a bunch of
                > religious
                > leaders that were so vocal that it was blocked it then. At least,
                > this was
                > what I heard from someone who was in close communication with folks
                > members
                > of the ICANN board.... Said individual expressed disbelief and
                > couldn't
                > figure out why the *hell* any religious folks would get involved in
                > trying
                > to *block* something like that.
                >
                > Julia

                The porn industry was originally in favor of it, I believe, until
                there was discussion of the fact that porn sites would not be
                statutorily required to be in the .xxx TLD (and in fact might start a
                land-rush to register both in and out of .xxx and possibly crowd out
                more cooperative actors in the market who were trying to register new
                sites/domains in .xxx) , and then discussion of the possibility of
                *creating* such a statutory requirement (which was the gist of my
                devil's-advocate followup) was what spooked the industry, as I
                understand it.

                The religious groups seemed to object on the grounds that creating a
                TLD would somehow legitimize and/or admit the existence of pornography
                itself, which (disturbingly) was also the position of the US Commerce
                Dept:

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.xxx (this also jibes somewhat with my
                own memory of all this)

                Somewhere along the line (again, both from the article and my own
                recollection), ICANN made a statement to the effect that they don't
                regulate content of sites they provide registrations for, so
                discussion became somewhat moot at that point.

                I think I'm going to back away from my earlier statement that it would
                be an excellent idea. In retrospect, it would be an excellent idea on
                paper and implemented entirely by cooperative actors (like the ones
                who could be trusted not to use open SMTP relays to send mass
                quantities of unsolicited commercial email). In the real world, with
                a significant minority of cynical and pragmatic, if not outright
                dishonest, actors, within a dysfunctionally skewed framework of social
                perceptions and rules, I'm thinking it's not a good idea at all, just
                because there's no way to get to a fair implementation of it from
                here. The problem is a lot deeper than domain registration.



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