Bad Parent’s Anti-Porn Campaign to Block Championing Newspaper?

The Daily Mail, nominally a newspaper, but in reality a printed testament to “things were better in the past’. In recent months it’s had a campaign against porn (especially online porn), because ‘we never had it in our day’ (if you exclude the ‘free love’ of the 60s, and the fact the 70’s are all but synonymous with porn).

There’s just one problem with the Daily Mail – while it’s print edition might be a bastion of ‘right wing ‘blame’ culture, the newspapers website only thinks of the children when they’re in a sexy outfit, or with a bikini-clad mother.

The Daily Mail’s website, is in short, very sexually oriented.

It’s an amusing dichotomy for many. The newspaper, nicknamed by many the Daily Wail (for the continued bleating about the latest thing destroying Britain) or the Daily Fail (for how often these rants are baseless or factually wrong) likes to think of itself as a paper keeping the best of british, and being dignified as it does it.

While there are references in the story to headlines like “How Internet porn turned my beautiful boy into a hollow self-hating shell“, what it’s missed out on mentioning is that in those cases, the parents have failed in their basic job of supervising their kids. In fact the very first thing the article under that headline is the phrase “Mother tells how her 11-year-old boy’s ‘entire character’ changed when he began watching porn on his laptop in his own bedroom” (emphasis mine)

We all pay, for the inability of Daily Mail readers, to exercise their parental responsibilities.

I have three children, aged 8-16. How do I know they’re not ‘getting addicted to porn’? Because I’m a conscientious parent, and take care of my children. I don’t buy and then essentially abandon them, leaving them to do their own thing. My kids have access to tablets, ipod touches, and laptops, and I don’t need to put any sort of ‘block’ on the internet. They know I can pop up at any time, and see what they’re doing, and that I will.

I parent. The parents of ‘Charlie’, the 11yo who apparantly became adicted to porn, did not. The porn wasn’t the problem, it was a symptom of the problem. The problem is the same as it always is in those cases, the mother and father.

But the typical Daily Fail (and here it’s certainly appropriate) reader isn’t likely to accept any type of responsibility, and neither is the newspaper itself. However, if you take a look at the article, you might see something amusing.

For a teenage boy, ‘porn’ is  everywhere. And the Daily Mail is a ‘legitimate’ source of porn (as is page 3 of most UK tabloids). In fact there’s over 30 stories on that one page, that are overtly, or primarily sexual in nature, or sexualise children. They range from gratuitous stories of various Z-list “celebs” in bikinis, to C-list celeb gets crochless underwear. Or the latest development in the story of a runner who was also an escort (which is an excuse to re-print the escort photos). And you don’t have to take my word for it, here’s a screenshot of the story from a few hours ago, with over 30 ‘sexual’ stories (with no actual journalistic content) highlighted [WARNING – LARGE FILE]

Such a high level of sexual content can only mean one thing.

The Daily Mail website needs to be on the porn blocklist. Blocked by the success of their own campaign, anything else doesn’t make sense.

Of course, there’s one other thing anyone will tell you about this list.

IT WILL NOT WORK

It’s a parenting issue, not a technical one. Aside from the difficulty of identifying and classifying things (which is EXTREMELY subjective) the fact is any parent that needs to rely on this is probably going to have the kids in question set it up (and then one of the parents will need their help in getting around it)

There’s been an internet blocklist provided by the Internet Watch Foundation to UK ISP’s under the name ‘Cleanfeed’ for many years. How well has that worked at stopping Child Pornography? Well, according tot he self-same Daily Mail, over 160,000 clicks a day were made in 2009 for child porn, even with the ISP-based block enabled.

The other issue, is that once we start with blocklists for one thing, it’s not long before they start to ‘creep’. It’s a case of “you do it for X, why not for Y which is just like X“. then it turns into “How about Z, since you’re already doing it for X and Y” and ends up with “A, 9 and š, need to be added too“.

Before you know it, anything potentially objectionable (to certain people in control anyway) are banned, and only ‘approved’ things are allowed.

Not the path you want to go down. It’s the slipperyest of slopes. And one the UK, or at least David Cameron, is getting a good run-up for, all at the behest of the worst parents in England. Meanwhile, we’ll wait and see if the Mail website will manage to escape censorship, or if it’ll change its tune when the real impact of it’s campaign sinks in.

2 thoughts on “Bad Parent’s Anti-Porn Campaign to Block Championing Newspaper?

  1. I’m not a citizen of the UK, but I’m wondering if the Daily Mail would consider mere words to be worthy of a block? Text describing sexual material can often be more “graphic” (if you will) than perhaps an actual image of that which is being described. When you get to the bottom line, “porn” is actually in the mind of the beholder and not the eye.

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