to pleased that something is being done about online porn.

(211 Posts)
mootime Mon 22-Jul-13 12:14:36

Don't get me wrong, I am not totally anti porn. Each to their own. I have been reading more and more articles about the impact of online porn on our children due to it being so easily accessible and frankly it scares me.

I have nieces who are 18 and 16 and they constantly post pictures of themselves on FB pulling "porn pouts" and basically posing provocatively. I also know that they have been active for a good few years. I know that when I was that age I was no angel (far from it) but I'd seen one porno (by accident at a friends boyfriends house) and was horrified by it. I certainly wouldn't have wanted to be viewed in that way. It seems like its now considered the norm.

I genuinely hope that restricting access makes it less "normal". Its a bit like an online version of having to go to the newsagents to buy it. It doesn't ban it, it just makes it something you deliberately have to access.

SaucyJack Mon 22-Jul-13 12:17:10

YABVU.

I thought it was a late April Fool's when I heard it on the news earlier. Beyond nanny state. No words, really.

MamaMary Mon 22-Jul-13 12:18:00

Have been looking for a thread on this, was just about to start one. It's a massive news item, but of course it's being overshadowed by the royal birth.

This is an important step and I for one am hugely pleased. Link to Guardian piece on it: www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/jul/22/david-cameron-crackdown-internet-pornography

Be warned, the comments on this Guardian article are misogynistic and vile.

mootime Mon 22-Jul-13 12:21:36

Its not a nanny state. Its not banning it. Its just making it something you have to actively look for. Apparently many children look for porn as a source of information rather than for arousal. Do we really want our children learning that "porn" sex is the norm?

This was one of the articles that made me hope that something was to be done.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2013/may/24/protect-children-internet-pornography-report

It's a stupid idea, designed to look like they are doing something, but with either zero or negative results.

Thread here

I want children to be actually protected, not just pretend.

chipsandpeas Mon 22-Jul-13 12:25:51

surely its up to the parents to make sure their kids cant search for porn by using something like net nanny or other parental control software

SaucyJack Mon 22-Jul-13 12:27:35

ALL households will have their access to all adult material blocked automatically unless they specifically request otherwise. This is the very definition of nanny state.

And no, I don't want my children watching porn. Which is why I supervise them on the internet.

EweHaveGoatToBeKiddin Mon 22-Jul-13 12:27:58

Not quite sure what to make of this. I'm one of those people who don't really care about it, wouldn't be upset about a partner watching it, and have watched a few myself and laughed

So basically, you have to opt in or out of viewing porn by calling your internet provider and asking them to switch on or switch off 'family friendly' filters.

So hypothetically if i was in the 'mood' for that kind of film, i'd need to call up Virgin Media and blatantly tell them i want to watch some porn, could they kindly switch on the filter for me.

Very embarrassing. I think it will stop a lot of people from watching it tbh, which could be a good thing.

But what else does the 'family friendly' filter cover? At uni, i had to do an extensive paper into the human body. I viewed loads of online images of men and women in the nude. So now, if i was to do a similar paper, i'd have to ask permission first from Virgin Media?

And this won't stop porn mags/Dvds will it?

And what about feature films that are border line pornos? Will they still be available? Such as the hilarious Showgirls, 9 songs, The Antichrist.

chips It has to be, even with a porn block by the ISP's parents are still going to need to supervise and/or use software like Net Nanny. Because it wont block all porn and it wont block other harmful sites.

Makes me sad to think how many kids will be left to access awful content because their parents think the ISP filter is doing their job for them.

OddSockBox Mon 22-Jul-13 12:28:29

I worry about setting any kind of precedent that the Government can censor the internet, especially as it's opt-out not opt-in.

I suspect actual helpful sex education sites teenagers may end up getting blocked in all this. A lot of the companies that run censorship software for libraries etc have done things like block website to help gay teens - who are at great risk of suicide especially if they cannot or feel they cannot have parental support.

And I actually suspect it will encourage complacency and people won't monitor their children on the web any more, which they need to do because a) I suspect unpleasant porn will find a way b) predators pretending to be kids online won't disappear c) general net safety

I also think images and discussion in the mainstream media about consent, body image and violence such as you see in the Daily Mail are more dangerous than a lot of porn.

SirChenjin Mon 22-Jul-13 12:29:34

Agree Mootime.

I see it as one step forward, and it will be interesting to see what the ISPs do as I don't believe they've done nearly enough to tackle the problem. Murder disagrees though grin

MamaMary Mon 22-Jul-13 12:29:50

Murder, I want children to be actually protected as well. Obviously, this will not do that. It's not far enough. It has to be tackled from other angles, too. But it's a step in the right direction.

This is MN, there will be people against it just because Cameron has introduced it. Sigh.

I applaud him for at least doing something and not ignoring it.

Ewe On one of my old phone networks when my internet access was down, I had to phone up my provider to let me view "adult content" so I could access MN! The way the woman on the other end sounded I felt so ashamed of myself. I was only accessing MN!!!

MamaMary Mon 22-Jul-13 12:31:06

No it won't stop porn mags or DVDs but it might stop some children from stumbling on horrible and damaging images/ videos. Which is its intention.

sir I do, and have explained why. Notice you haven't explained your POV though grin

Mama I think it will actually leave more children vulnerable. And no, I'd be against it if one of my icons backed it too.

mama How will it stop that?

I'm with MoG -false sense of security, not actually fixing problems etc etc etc

I do believe MN supported it when it was first mentioned, then changed the official MN stance when it was pointed out by clever IT people how stupid the idea was...?

parakeet Mon 22-Jul-13 12:35:08

So, what is the evidence that children are being "damaged" by stumbling on porn?

I think Cameron is just pandering to latest moral panic.

No, it's a stupid idea and won't work. Censorship is never, ever the answer. What will happen is the blocking of access to information about sex, an increase in slutshaming by people like the OP who are shitting themselves over teenage girls demonstrating an interest in sex rather than worrying about that percentage of porn performers who are being harmed or exploited and meanwhile racism and verbal misogyny will continue to romp all over the internet but hey, it's all right as long as no one's having a wank.

NicknameIncomplete Mon 22-Jul-13 12:37:16

I dont agree with blocking porn online.

I dont want my children watching porn or seeing things online that will upset them so i make sure i supervise her online.

I think it will make people lazy parents.

Beyond Yep, that's right. For which I am eternally grateful, and I believe they've been involved in trying to help the govt find useful solutions

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Mon 22-Jul-13 12:40:15

I think this is a good first step. It is about protecting children, not limiting access to legal material to adults who can opt in to it. I don't think that's nanny state at all I think it's tackling a problem which is massive and growing in our society.

I wonder about all these people who will want it blocked to 'protect their children', yet their partner may still want to opt in, because shock horror, they might want access porn.

So how will it protect children Ghoul? What about those parents who think the ISP filter is enough? What about their kids?

I have come across some pretty disgusting stuff while looking for information (pictures of Boris Johnson when looking up the Honey Monster, for example).

Can't see that this will do anything to protect me.

MamaMary Mon 22-Jul-13 12:46:38

This is not a moral panic. It is a growing problem. Children are viewing violent porn and believing that sex equates to violence against women. Because that's what the majority of porn shows.

There may not be documented evidence about the long-term effects of this. But are we going to wait decades until 'evidence' proves that this is damaging? It is widely reported that adolescents are under increasing pressure to conform to the influences of pornography: e.g. shaving off all body hair to look pre-pubescent; 'sexting' or sending naked pics on their smartphones as a form of flirting; young girls being expected to engage in more extreme forms of sex that they may be uncomfortable with, because that's what porn stars do.

EweHaveGoatToBeKiddin Mon 22-Jul-13 12:47:08

I'm probably being dense, but here's a thought/question.

If it's so easy to opt in and out of being able to access porn on your computer (the internet providers are in charge), why isn't it as easy to inhibit people viewing child abuse pictures/videos?

I think it's completely daft, tbh. We can't shield children from porn forever. It exists. It's a huge market, and likely will be for many years to come.

It's our job to turn on child friendly filters when they're young and supervise them - then it's our job to check their viewing history when they're teenagers, and talk to them about sex and how porn is a fantastical version of it.

Teenagers are smart. If they want to see pornography, they'll find a way. This 'ban' will just stop a lot of parents from properly educating their children on it. In fact, i think it will make kids more likely to rebel and actively challenge themselves and their friends to find a way to view it. Wether it be through magazines or films, or finding 'hidden sites', they'll find it.

I think it's completely ridiculous.

mootime Mon 22-Jul-13 12:47:54

OOH Solid. That was a bit of a personal attack. I am all for information about sex. I am certainly not a prude, have watched porn myself as has my husband, and I would not want to see a ban on porn. I just think making it a bit harder to find is not a bad idea.

I do feel sad that my nieces basically portray themselves as sex objects, but largely because for them it also seems to be their only interest, and its such an obvious visual reference to the porn industry. I will happily acknowledge that I was myself a bit of a "slut" in my younger years particularly, however I feel like I had more control over how I wanted to be perceived as I didn't feel the need to live up to a plastic ideal. Its certainly not about "slut shaming".

I dont think that it will solve all problems, but I do think that its good that something is being done ( as per the title of the thread). Parents may be lazy about it, but presumably they may be lazy about it anyway.

I hadn't realised I was going to open such a can of worms!

I tihnk education would be more useful Mama especially when so much non-porn makes things appear that way. It's the non-porn stuff that scares me more. It normalises it.

Dahlen Mon 22-Jul-13 12:48:23

I can see both sides of the argument for this. No one wants children to have indiscriminate access to online porn and I like the idea of people having to 'opt in' but I can't see how this will protect. I rather think it will expose more children to the risk because many parents will make the dangerous assumption that they can reduce their supervision because of this filter.

Apparently some 60% of internet usage is related to porn. A great many families will have this filter turned off anyway.

I rather like the idea of having the filter set at the user end, so that it can be tailored to individuals (so parents can have it on, but it automatically turns off if their 10-year-old DS logs on for example).

Ultimately though what is needed is far better supervision and education of young children. They should not be able to access the internet unsupervised until they have reached an age and level of maturity/knowledge where they can understand what they are seeing if they stumble across it, set it into context and not be damaged by it.

VonNeurosis Mon 22-Jul-13 12:50:25

My DPs year 7 and 8 IT classes both know how to bypass the schools filtering content to access forbidden content, mostly games and social media but sometimes more off-putting content. It takes one child learning how and it passes around fairly quickly. What makes you think the great porn wall of Britiain will be any different?

It doesn't take much to get around a blocked site, see how well they've blocked Pirate Bay!

Mintyy Mon 22-Jul-13 12:51:58

I am pleased about it too.

MamaMary Mon 22-Jul-13 12:53:32

Yes, of course teenagers will find a way to view porn. They will find a way round it.

But at least this means that some teenagers and children who are not trying to find a way may be protected from viewing hardcore porn.

At the moment, porn is ubiquitous and easily available and so normalising what is not normal.

Not all parents are responsible, unfortunately. That is why, as a poster on a previous thread said, car seats are not voluntary. Laws are made to protect children, it's not just left to parents. This will force parents to confront the issue. If they're fine with their kids viewing porn, or they are not so fine but feel that they can allow access and educate their children, then then they can opt-in.

This had me chewing my pillow with rage when it came on the radio this morning.

It's bollocks. It's a knee-jerk, populist, bollocks non-solution to a very real problem.

Thank you Murder for putting all your sensible arguments in one easy to link to place.

Viviennemary Mon 22-Jul-13 12:56:57

I am ante porn. I don't agree with the Ann Summers stuff and think it should be banned from high streets. And I think the Government should step in over internet porn. If viewing it is a crime then so should having websites showing it be a crime.

MamaMary Mon 22-Jul-13 13:01:18

Can't understand your anger, Plenty. If you acknowledge it's a very real problem, then why are you so angry when a politician attempts to address it? confused. It's not a perfect solution, by any means, but I know rape support groups have welcomed it.

MamaMary Mon 22-Jul-13 13:02:18

To clarify, rape support groups were welcoming the news that simulated rape is to be made illegal, sorry. Different issue.

MamaMary Mon 22-Jul-13 13:02:45

(But related.)

Plenty I was just being lazy, got bored of repeating myself grin

mama Technically this will either not block all porn (probably not even half of it) and/or it will block innocent sites - some hugely important.

Honestly, look at how they can block it. The technical side of it. From what I know the bulk of child porn is blocked by some poor sods who have to wade through masses of vile sites. Child porn hasn't all been blocked, and yet it's easier to stop people stumbling over it because the bulk of it hides itself. They don't want to be easy to find! They know it's illegal and so have to hide.

Non illegal porn sites have no reason to hide, and there are more of them openly competing. So will be harder to hide, they will also be trying to get around the block unlike child porn (which is more likely to stay hidden and operate peer 2 peer).

How would filtering work technically? Keywords? Software that detects amount of skin on show? People having to manually check every site on the web? Huge huge flaws with all of these!

SirChenjin Mon 22-Jul-13 13:04:06

Agree Mama.

Interesting that something is called populist when someone doesn't agree, popular when they do wink

vivienne Viewing porn isn't illegal.

mama It's anger inducing because it's bandwagon jumping to win votes without actually doing anything contructive.

SirChenjin Mon 22-Jul-13 13:06:42

Murder - that will be up to the ISPs to decide. I'm sure they will be able to put their collective tech brains together and work out a solution.

SirChenjin Mon 22-Jul-13 13:07:31

What would you do to address the issue Murder, out of interest?

Ok, for those of you in support.. how do you think they can block porn in a way that no children can stumble across it and where innocent sites aren't caught up in it? Plus how do you make sure that children are protected from all the other harmful content on the web? And what is the solution if a family member opts out? Is this really helping any kids?

SirChenjin Mon 22-Jul-13 13:09:51

Cross posts - and I asked first grin

Because it will do more harm than good. It will lull technically challenged parents into a false sense of security. It will block all sorts of innocent content for the whole household and then as soon as an adult opts in (whether to watch porn or simply to access a medical site or MN or whatever) it leaves the whole household completely unfiltered.

It's simply too blunt an instrument.

There are already user end filters that can be installed and configured for individual users which work far better than what's being proposed.

I'm angry because instead of going for a solution which might actually help (education of both parents and children + technical support to install, configure and maintain filters) the govt are going for a bright, shiny, simplistic 'solution' that will please the 'something must be done' brigade but will do bugger all to protect children.

Sir I'd make sure that people had access to good filters on their computers etc. I'd push for the software to be more intuitive, or make it so it's easier for parents to get help with the software. Put money into creating free software for all families. Education for parents on what to be aware of online. Education for children on safety online. Education for children on healthy relationships.

And if the goct are determined to put the onus on ISPs then they could insist that all ISPs provide their users with filtering software and a help desk to use it.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MamaMary Mon 22-Jul-13 13:16:19

Murder, I can't answer all your questions, especially the technological ones. But my feeling is that someone needs to try SOMETHING. Why the anger when someone has raised an important issue and taken a small step in the right direction?

As for jumping on bandwagon to win votes, I disagree. I certainly wasn't aware of any bandwagon. Have you read the comments on the BBC and Guardian news articles? They are overwhelmingly negative. It's not popular.

Someone on BBC wrote: 'My concern about the opt in requirement is that others will know that I have opted in.' A legitimate concern, but to me it's acknowledging that people like their porn viewing to be a private, secretive, almost shameful thing. If they don't have a problem with it, then why prefer to hide it.

MamaMary Mon 22-Jul-13 13:16:59

All your ideas are good ones, Murder.

ICBINEG Mon 22-Jul-13 13:17:28

This plan is total shit.

More importantly why are teenagers having to look online for information on sex?

If we gave a proper educational version of what sex is they would find it as easy as us to understand how and why porn is different to normal sex.

The answer is not censoring but MORE information on sex made more widely available.

Thank you mama smile

I agree something needs to be done, but this isn't it. I think they could use time/money elsewhere to make a real difference. This just seems lazy, and is passing the buck to ISPs.

As for not wanting people to know if you've opted out of the filter? I'm not sure what thread I posted it on, but I had to opt out of filtering to view MN! I shouldn't have to feel ashamed of that, and yet it felt awful and I'm not keen on the fact my account says I wanted to view "adult content".

MamaMary Mon 22-Jul-13 13:20:52

Yes, perhaps I'm in in 'Something must be done' brigade and am too easily pleased. grin But I agree with the arguments that this is too blunt a solution. My optimism stems from the fact that someone has had the courage to raise it, and it's not popular.

I don't think it's courage, AFAIK he's got pressure on him from financial backers, and he's passed the buck. I think it would be far far braver to put real effort into societal change.

mootime Mon 22-Jul-13 13:25:53

mama I am with you basically. Everything you suggest murder is also good. I can see that this is too broad an approach to be totally effective, but it is something.

I just listened to DC on radio2 and he didn't really seem to know exactly what was going to be done/ how it was going to be done etc. However I do think that its a good idea as a starting point that clearly needs a huge amount of refinement.

I worry that they'll push this through then hold their hands up and blame ISPs if children are still accessing porn.

Ixia Mon 22-Jul-13 13:27:33

I've never been anti porn or pro censorship. But the one thing that worries me about online porn, is that so much of it is really hardcore and teenagers get the impression that this is normal sex, boys expect to be able to extreme things and their girlfriends are lead to believe that this is what is expected of them.

That;s not good is it? Think education is a better answer though. I think there should be more education on consent, how different people like/do different things and not giving in to peer pressure.

giveitago Mon 22-Jul-13 13:34:27

I sometimes access ds's account and go on mumsnet - I'm blocked because there are certain words like 'f'ck etc (mumsnetters are excessive sexual word swearers)and I'm pleased that ds can't access.

giveit I'd hate DS to access MN, it's filthy! However it's not porn, and is often very helpful, not something that should be blocked as standard.

DuelingFanjo Mon 22-Jul-13 13:46:39

it's not going to work and David Cameron just made a complete tit of himself on the Jeremy Vine show by saying that there were lots of things that needed to be looked into and sorted out first. Then don't bloody announce that you are going to do this if you don't even know if it's actually going to work - which it isn't - you tosser.

The answer is more and better sex education, not censorship. I am involved at the moment with a group working to improve attitudes towards sex and sexual behaviour - we need to be teaching young people that sex is something mutually enjoyable, and (the group I am linked with's main aim) replacing the idea of 'consent' with an understanding of 'freedom to negotiate' WRT sex.

Going 'Oh goody goody Something's Being Done' is just dim-witted. How much do you trust the current government to get anything right? More to the point, once they have been allowed to censor one aspect of the internet by going 'Look, all this yucky porn Must Be Stopped and if you dont' agree, you're a woman-hating kiddie-fiddler', what's the next thing they are going to decide we don't need to see? How about Occupy sites or advice on resisting benefit sanctions? How soon before those are 'accidentally' made something you have to 'opt into'?

valiumredhead Mon 22-Jul-13 13:57:13

I think it's a great plan and about time.

valium WHy? What are the features of this plan that will work?

Canidae Mon 22-Jul-13 14:00:01

But what will it actually block? Just porn videos? Written articles/fiction containing sex? Information about sexual health? Where does it stop?

clarequilty Mon 22-Jul-13 14:02:48

your "nieces basically portray themselves as sex objects" because their parents suck.

McNewPants2013 Mon 22-Jul-13 14:05:45

I hope it was also be a ban on adult channels.

I am pretty good on technology and I supervise DC, even if this censorship works I will continue to supervise them.

canidae That's the question isn't it?

Snorbs Mon 22-Jul-13 14:10:51

The pre-speech announcements have struck a very blurred line between filtering porn and filtering anything that is not "family friendly". There are an awful lot of things on the Internet that aren't by any means porn but that I would not want my children to access whereas I do. Eg, Mumsnet.

So for those who are pleased by this decision - if Mumsnet was deemed not family-friendly and was therefore blocked unless you (and everyone else who used your broadband connection) opted out of all filtering, what would you do?

Snorbs Mon 22-Jul-13 14:12:32

BTW, did anyone else spot the irony in Cameron calling for automatic blocking of anything not family-friendly while staunchly supporting consumer's rights to look at a pair of tits in The Sun every day?

Hahah, no I missed that Snorbs! Ffs, he's beyond a joke isn't he?

DuelingFanjo Mon 22-Jul-13 14:17:29

Murderofgoths, thank you for your postings here (And on other thread) - the links you have provided have been put to good use on my facebook to explain why this is just pointless bollox.

SlangWhanger Mon 22-Jul-13 14:19:54

I think it is a fantastic idea. It is not a nanny state thing to do - you can simply request porn if you want it.

I am 100% in favour.

Glad to know it's been useful. I've been bombarding my FB friends with it. Favourite response so far in support of the filter "it's all coding and stuff isn't it?" grin

slang SO how do you think it will work? How can they block porn without blocking innocent stuff?

bobbypercy1 Mon 22-Jul-13 14:25:45

agree with mama

teens are smart and will easily find a way to get past the filter. Also they could phone up the service provider and opt in???

missinglalaland Mon 22-Jul-13 14:26:05

I think it is a good idea. I just hope they can technically make it work. I have no sympathy for grown adults, who want to watch porn but are too immature to click a button to opt in. Why should we protect them from embarrassment and leave our kids exposed?

OldLadyKnowsNothing Mon 22-Jul-13 14:26:05

For those in favour of the block, what is your precise definition of "porn"? A definition which is do-able in binary yes/no terms a computer can understand?

That's why this is impossible.

MamaMary Mon 22-Jul-13 14:26:45

Bobbypercy, only the account holder can opt in or out.

bobbypercy1 Mon 22-Jul-13 14:28:50

but mama

teens voices would have broken, they could simply pretend. but then again the service provider might ask for a password.

Snorbs Mon 22-Jul-13 14:29:34

Why should we protect them from embarrassment and leave our kids exposed?

Are your kids exposed to accessing online porn today? Are you not monitoring what they are doing? Do you not already have filtering on your PCs? Do you really allow them to have unrestrained access to a global network that you already know contains content they should not be subjected to?

TylerHopkins Mon 22-Jul-13 14:30:23

I had to 'opt in' with my mobile phone provider in order to get the Lottery on my phone. I was asked for a password and also my debit card details.

Ashoething Mon 22-Jul-13 14:30:29

We really are beginning to live in Orwells 1984.Its frightening.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 22-Jul-13 14:33:38

Porn belongs under in sex shops where men or women who want it can go and buy it in person.

It simply shouldn't be available on networks which are open to the public in general. It's highly damaging and although it will always exist, it needs heavy regulating.

If you want it, then you should be the one to make an effort to go and find it...YOU should be the one inconvenienced not those who aren't interested in it.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 22-Jul-13 14:34:25

Ash no...what's frightening is that anyone can type a few words into the internet and access violent and degrading images of usually women but sometimes children and men being degraded.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 22-Jul-13 14:35:37

Snorbs I have always monitored my children online...they barely get online unless I am with them. I cannot say the same about their friend's parents though. I can't stop my 9 year old from seeing her friends but I know that some of her friends have unfettered access to the internet.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 22-Jul-13 14:36:58

OldLady Porn = any sexual images or action. Nudity with the express intent of causing sexual arousal.

"It simply shouldn't be available on networks which are open to the public in general. "

Maybe, but it is. How do you stop it?

NeoMaxi She said binary terms, eg ones that computes can use. A computer cannot understand "any sexual images or action. Nudity with the express intent of causing sexual arousal."

valiumredhead Mon 22-Jul-13 14:38:21

I agree Neo

OldLadyKnowsNothing Mon 22-Jul-13 14:39:33

Thanks, Neo, but as Murder says, a computer doesn't understand that. This is why it is impossible to do what is intended.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 22-Jul-13 14:40:38

Goths I'm not a tecno wiz...I don't know...but I am sure they'll come up with something. They can build frigging bombs which kill thousands...and computers which think for themselves....this will be manageable.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Mon 22-Jul-13 14:40:59

How can a computer tell the difference between an image of a naked body which was produced with intent to arouse, and an image of a naked body which is intended to educate?

meditrina Mon 22-Jul-13 14:42:26

The announcement is so much less than it is being spun as (no surprise there).

Some Internet companies already offered the ability to set a level of filter. This only means all companies must now do so.

It isn't a "porn block". It won't reliably exclude material you may not wish your children to see. It may block material you do (like Mumsnet, which has fallen foul of filters before).

TylerHopkins Mon 22-Jul-13 14:43:37

I think there will be a few worried people out there who hide their use of porn from their partners. If they opt in then their partners will find out which will make for a few heated discussions no doubt.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Mon 22-Jul-13 14:43:55

And while we're at it, why so much fuss about images of shagging, when this proposed (impossible) filter will still allow images of murders, beheadings, wars etc? You want you dc to see that kind of shit?

MamaMary Mon 22-Jul-13 14:45:42

Yes, Tyler, the Relationships board is testament to the detrimental effect that secret porn use can have on relationships. I'm all for openness between adults while actively protecting children.

They haven't built computers that can think for themselves. There've been some massive strides in "learning" computers, but that's not the same thing.

Ok, computers can read information. The information they can read is binary, eg. yes/no. So they can read "is file size 1080x1920", "does image contain colour black", "does file contain keyword porn".

They cannot distinguish concepts. A computer cannot tell you if something is designed to be arousing, unless you can define (using binary descriptions) what makes something arousing. Short of wiring a computer up to someones genitals and getting them to view images it cannot be done.

MamaMary Mon 22-Jul-13 14:47:57

Old lady, good point about other depictions of violence besides sexual violence. Someone said Jamie Bulger's killers based the murder on a film they watched.

However, beheadings and murders will never be as widely circulated online as sexual content because there just isn't the demand.

MamaMary Mon 22-Jul-13 14:51:15

Very interesting discussion about how this can be worked out by computers, or not.

What has struck me reading the comments on BBC and Guardian is how cheesed off people are that anyone dare to slightly inconvenience them in accessing their beloved porn. Very little concern about the children.

Remotecontrolduck Mon 22-Jul-13 14:51:31

I'm really not sure about this. I just don't think practically it can work without limiting access to helpful sites about sex.

False sense of security as well, some parents might believe the content is blocked so they don't need to worry. I think for under 16s they should have filters in place anyway if having computers in their room.

Adults can be damaged by porn, they are still free to opt in and watch so the attitudes to women etc are unlikely to change.

I'm not keen on the whole censorship business and am a bit worried about where it will all end to be honest.

mama That was meant to be Child's Play wasn't it? Aside from violence, there's also websites that are pro-anorexia, pro-self harm, tips on suicide etc. The internet isn't child safe, it's primarily an adult thing (created by adults, usually for adults), it has some kid safe bits, but it's silly to treat it as a kids thing that's got out of hand.

In the same way that I will take DS into some pubs that have a kid area, I wont assume that he should then be allowed in all pubs, and especially not unsupervised! And like the internet I wouldn't even allow him in a child friendly pub unsupervised! It's an adult space which has made some allowances for children, and should be treated as such.

The scale of the problem (c&p from a post of mine a few months back) ...

According to this page there are 2,405,518,376 internet users in the world (actually a few more now as that was last June), any one of whom could post content to the internet at any time at all, from just about any country in the world. Nobody needs a licence to post anything and there is no committee of worthy people making decisions over what is posted online. Things will be deleted if they are illegal in the country which is hosting the content, but only after it's already been posted.

This video attempts to estimate the number of images on the internet.

They will not all be helpfully called prettyflower.jpg or violentporn.jpg. The majority will be called things like image001.jpg or picture2.jpg. There is no technology which can reliably tell the difference between porn and innocent content in an image.

This is all just talking about images - the same problems also apply to videos and live content.

mama That is frustrating, and tars all of us who are against it with the same brush. I hate porn, really do, and want a solution but this is the wrong way to fix the problem.

ICBINEG Mon 22-Jul-13 14:54:19

hmmm so I am sure I heard that it will become illegal to download or view on line videos that depict rape....

So when I watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 6 on love film, which contains a depiction of rape, I will be breaking the law?

There is no practical way to know if someone is viewing a film for the purposes of sexual gratification...as it depends on the viewer not the material. If we are not allowed to view film depicting rape, murder, child abuse etc then the TV is going to be pretty empty in the future...no more CSI for sure.

mootime Mon 22-Jul-13 14:56:06

Sorry not managed to catch up on this, but DC mentioned that the filters would also restrict access to self harm and (I think) proana sites. That's surely not a bad thing.

Snorbs Mon 22-Jul-13 14:56:24

I can't stop my 9 year old from seeing her friends but I know that some of her friends have unfettered access to the internet.

Fair enough. So how much faith do you have that the kind of parent who will allow their 9yo child unfettered access to the Internet won't just opt out of any filtering system because it blocks access to sites that they want to get to?

but I am sure they'll come up with something. They can build frigging bombs which kill thousands...and computers which think for themselves....this will be manageable.

What, do you think the reason why we don't have the kind of magic porn filter that you want is because nobody's tried? Computers cannot "think for themselves".

Porn is primarily a social issue. It's very hard to solve social issues with technology.

Glad it's been mentioned mmootime But, as with the porn block, I do wonder how they intend to do it. Because if it's keywords then not only is it going to block pro-ana, pro-self harm sites, but it will also block support/recovery sites.

MamaMary Mon 22-Jul-13 14:58:51

In recent years porn has become more and more of a social issue because of its technological and online presence. Problems to do with porn cannot be tackled without addressing this issue.

Snorbs Mon 22-Jul-13 14:58:57

DC mentioned that the filters would also restrict access to self harm and (I think) proana sites

You're right. It is part of the proposals. Quite how you distinguish between a site that is aimed at supporting and helping those with eating disorders and those that are pro-ana, god alone knows.

mootime Mon 22-Jul-13 15:02:06

And clare. No need for that thanks.

but MamaMary, look at how they deal with child abuse images currently - they have to have actual human beings trawling through looking for it. If there was a technological solution all those people could be saved from doing what must be a horribly traumatic job.

mootime Mon 22-Jul-13 15:03:50

I so agreed that these are all social issues, that we as parents need to protect our children from/ help navigate.

mootime Mon 22-Jul-13 15:05:31

Sorry, posted too soon. Unfortunately there are parents who won't or don't for whatever reason. Perhaps a little less availability to such content might just protect some children who might not otherwise be.

mmotime I don't think this will help parents who don't. Either they'll opt out anyway, or their kids will acess all the stuff they currently don't bother blocking. It doesn't actually change much. The only thing I can see it changing is that the parents who care but don't understand will not bother with their own filters/supervision as they think the ISp filter is doing it for them.

TinyTear Mon 22-Jul-13 15:08:30

I will opt in just out of principle, I am an adult I don't need anything banned. I will or won't look at whatever I want. it's legal as far as I know

I don't want any government to dictate what activity is or isn't acceptable within a household (assuming its not illegal of course). It's nanny state BS at its worst and its the thin end of the Orwellian dystopia wedge.
Who decides what is and isn't 'banned'? We all have a different view on what is and what isn't 'porn'.

I'm against it because I'm a libertarian, pure and simple. It is MY responsibility to keep my kids safe and I think that's easier now than 30 years ago because we can restrict and supervise online access whereas when I was growing up the mags were everywhere - they're less common now.

Tee2072 Mon 22-Jul-13 15:25:40

It sounds like it is a one time opt in or opt out and I will opt in just so I know my Internet isn't censored.

What will they add to the filters next? Anti-government websites? Sites that are negative to the church?

Where does it stop? This isn't Korea or China. But it's heading towards being like them with this announcement.

missinglalaland Mon 22-Jul-13 15:52:33

Snorbs -
Are your kids exposed to accessing online porn today? Are you not monitoring what they are doing? Do you not already have filtering on your PCs? Do you really allow them to have unrestrained access to a global network that you already know contains content they should not be subjected to?

Obviously, we have filters on our internet at home. Our children access the internet for school and play as you would expect.

Our house is not a tiny fiefdom, unaffected by those around us. We live in a society that we share with other people. My children go to play with friends, as they get older smart phones will be part of the scene without me or any other parent constantly monitoring what goes on, etc. As my children approach adolescence, the experiences of the children with whom they are interacting will matter.

For me, this is as much about the general atmosphere and environment that my children are growing up in as it is about any individual disturbing experiences they might inadvertently have.

Call me Dave doesn't care about protecting your children from stumbling across objectifying images of women.

missing But even with this ISP filter your children will still be able to access porn at other people's houses, because;
- other people may have opted out of it
- other people may assume that the filter has blocked all the bad stuff

missinglalaland Mon 22-Jul-13 15:59:16

MurderOfGoths - Yes, of course! It's not about complete control; it's about making it less ubiquitous.

I don't think it will, it'll still be accessible to the majority, and the only ones who will have it blocked will be the ones who already have it blocked. I'd rather see them targetting sexual imagery in mainstream media. But they wont, because it's not about that.

missinglalaland Mon 22-Jul-13 16:11:04

It seems to me that the mainstream media has gotten worse as the internet has made pornography more available and more extreme. To be seen as exciting and titillating the media has to go further and further to shock or catch our attention. The whole culture seems pretty jaded. Fine for grownups. We made this mess, if we don't like it, it's our own fault. Sort of sad for kids to grow up in it, though.

I don't know if there's a direct correlation, but even if there is I'm not sure the porn block will help, I can't see it rolling back anything. Plus those who are won over by porn-like images in the media are quite likely to just opt out and see porn anyway.

We need a massive cultural shift and/or to cut down on what images in mainstream media are shown in view of children. At least the internet is currently easier to filter than everyday life.

MamaMary Mon 22-Jul-13 16:54:04

The objectification of women has become more acceptable in mainstream media as a direct result of internet porn, imo. The music industry has a huge part to play with music videos basically being porn, but with increasingly disturbing messages and objectification of women. Men fully dressed while women prance around almost naked, are frequently in chains or even gagged; and in the lyrics are called bitches and whores.

missinglalaland Mon 22-Jul-13 17:44:23

MamaMary - YY!

Possibly, I don't see how this will help though. Maybe if you banned porn entirely, but this wont stop people who want to see porn, and it wont stop mainstream media trying to appeal to those who think it's ok.

Mia4 Mon 22-Jul-13 18:55:50

It's a great idea in order to help stop being seeing who don't want to...or it would be if the stupid banning didn't stop viewing of certain medical sites, newspapers and other general sites and forums which mention porn or something related to.

Oh and since mumsnet mentions the word porn within it's site, those parts -if not the whole site- would be blocked for those people just trying to block porn.

The software isn't a smart AI, it isn't human, it can differentiate between (for example) the NHS website on STDs and porn sites. It sees commonalities, however vague, and will block both.

So crappy idea for any adult and older child who wants to research. Great if it's purely for a young child but then shouldn't they be supervised online anyway?

"The software isn't a smart AI, it isn't human, it can differentiate between (for example) the NHS website on STDs and porn sites. It sees commonalities, however vague, and will block both."

One thing I've noticed a lot in discussion about this is that a fair few people who are for the filter also think computers can reason in the same way as humans. To them it's obvious what needs to be blocked and what doesn't, but they forget a computer cannot distinguish the difference like we can.

EBearhug Mon 22-Jul-13 21:59:05

More importantly why are teenagers having to look online for information on sex?

Because school doesn't cover everything (there are only so many hours in the day/week/term/year), and some people will want to know more.

it's where you go for information these days. It's a lot easier than checking books at home, or going to the library. I still use reference books, but my first stop when I want to check something is usually google.

Also, when it comes to sex education, my teachers would not have been the ones whom I'd have approached to answer questions like, how normal am I? How normal does my vulva look? My breasts aren't the same shape as my friends' breasts, am I normal? Unfortunately, if anyone goes looking for those answers, although there are sites which do show images of that sort of thing in a natural setting, it's a lot easier to find the porn versions first, so they're much more likely to see idealised, surgically enhanced versions of physical attributes (although I'd say over all, porn can be more egalitarian than most mainstream glossy magazines when it comes to female bodies, in that it's more likely to depict women who are overweight or older. But that's only in a comparative sense, and certainly not always.)

And that's just physical attributes, without asking about sexual practices or emotional welfare, which is probably far more of an issue.

But anyway - teenagers will look online to answer their questions first, because that's the world we live in these days.

soontobeburns Mon 22-Jul-13 22:39:37

Wow I started watching porn when I found my mums stash at 11.

Im a perfectly normal individual with a normal sex life.

Too much scaremongering that it harms kids. If anything it made me much more confident and helped me orgasm during sex.

soontobeburns Mon 22-Jul-13 22:41:00

Oh and when I say confident I dont mean promisious I was 17 and in a relationship before I lost my virginity.

FourGates Mon 22-Jul-13 22:50:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChipsNKetchup Mon 22-Jul-13 23:18:00

The only good thing that can come out of this is that the filters being set at a level to prevent access to the majority of porn will also block filth like the Daily Mail.

Oh and Mumsnet too.

I personally can't wait for the day that our children access illegal content only in the deepest, darkest, most depraved corners of the internet hmm. Because making it a wee bit difficult is going to immediately stop a teenager from doing something they're not supposed to.

I found the shreakers on the news hilarious though. No matter how inocuous the search apparently they get hardcore porn hits every time. I'll admit back in the nineties I was a little shocked when looking up recipes with mince beef but we've moved on and when I want a cake recipe I get a cake recipe not hot girls take it up the arse.

The whole thing is unworkable bullshit that abdicates parents of yet more responsibility and won't protect a soul. The only thing it progresses is the erosion of freedom of speech.

I cannot think of the last time I stumbled upon porn accidentally, even with safe search off on google! How are they managing it?!

daddoinghisbest Mon 22-Jul-13 23:29:24

I know it's a serious subject, but I have to laugh at the prospect of having to phone an ISP and opt in. Will we have to specify exactly what flavour of porn we want the filter to let through? After a week, would I have to call again to say maybe ease off the anal but ramp up the blow jobs? smile

EBearhug Mon 22-Jul-13 23:49:51

And then the ISPs will be charging extra for their "porn included" broadband packages.

Scarletohello Mon 22-Jul-13 23:59:30

Was listening to David Cameron talking about this on Women's Hour this morning and was amused by an irate male listener who rang up to complain, how was he going to be able to watch porn now without his wife knowing about it? Ha ha ha ha...

opilo Tue 23-Jul-13 00:46:08

What a terrible move this is, the state seeking to curtail liberties of its citizens use of the internet.

mercury7 Tue 23-Jul-13 01:02:28

totally unworkable, it's not possible to police or regulate the internet, how can an internet filter discern pornographic content?
Are they going to employ a vast army of people to trawl the net and determine which porn is ok and which porn isnt

plus anyone can use a vpn or proxy server can get round filters

Cameron is talking shiite, really he must think we are all stupid

mercury7 Tue 23-Jul-13 01:20:11

yes EBearhug, the govt wants to impose a porn tax payable via your ISP...so download all your 'erotica' now while it's still free

libertarianj Tue 23-Jul-13 02:33:23

soontobeburns
Wow I started watching porn when I found my mums stash at 11.

Im a perfectly normal individual with a normal sex life.

Too much scaremongering that it harms kids. If anything it made me much more confident and helped me orgasm during sex.

Totally agree. It's just more blatant scaremongering from the anti porn lobby and i have not seen any reliable unbiased evidence to convince me of the negative effects of porn either.

The internet has been mainstream for around 15 years now. So are we seeing any decline in standards for the current 25 to 30 age group? They would have been the first group of teenagers to have had easy access to porn on the internet. Have their minds been warped?.... I think not.

Also why is it assumed that kids will be looking at the most extreme stuff?
The most popular searches/ views when i investigated some popular porn forums were softcore fetishes/ sites. I genuinely believe that people like what they like and extreme stuff is always going to be a niche, no matter how easily available it is.

SinisterSal Tue 23-Jul-13 02:48:57

Nonsense libertarianj. Tedious nonsense which boils down to I lik cummin and I don't care about anything else. The harmful affects of porn are well documented - perhaps try the 'anti-porn lobby' for data.

TabithaStephens Tue 23-Jul-13 03:10:27

It's pointless. Kids will work out a way around it, and the block will no doubt block many non-porn sites too. It's another instance of parents expecting the government to parent their kids for them.

gloucestergirl Tue 23-Jul-13 03:12:32

I can't believe that some people think that because porn is hard to regulate on the internet that nothing should be done about it. In the olden days when someone wanted porn they had to go to shop to buy a magazine or video. What is wrong with a little inconvenience and forethought (a bit like when we buy food) for porn users in order to TRY and estabilsh healthy sexual attitudes in children. Just because something is hard to do doesn't mean that it shouldn't attempted.

Also, just because some adults like porn, there needs to be recognition that children and teenagers react very differently to such explicit sexual images. As a result of porn it is considered within adults that anal sex and complete removal of pubic hair is normal if you don't want to be considered a prude. God forbid as well if you say that you find porn degrading and disgusting. I have seen these sexual boundaries move during my lifetime and I'm not even 40.

SinisterSal Tue 23-Jul-13 03:13:53

Not really. My kids need no one else to parent them - I do that. But it's other people's kids I worry about.

It's not perfect at all. But neither is the situation we have. Would it be worth trying? Would it change attitudes? It might. People won't die from lack of porn, that's for sure

ChipsNKetchup Tue 23-Jul-13 05:29:52

Its not just a wee bit difficult GloucesterGirl it's damn near impossible without mass censorship of the entire internet.

Blocking certain URL's is out as there are too many and new ones will be set up immediately so you need to filter certain words like cunt therefore blocking every site that mentions Scunthorpe. There are millions of pages of content and more being published every second, how is it physically possible to police it?

It is unworkable and utter bullshit and can prove dangerous as it'll lull some people into a false sense of security that their children are protected. The world has changed and censoring the internet is not going to make things magically better.

Snorbs Tue 23-Jul-13 07:41:09

Those who are in favour of this proposal, what would you do if Mumsnet ended up being blocked?

(This isn't scare-mongering; some mobile networks already block it by default.)

FourGates Tue 23-Jul-13 08:01:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TabithaStephens Tue 23-Jul-13 08:06:23

How did parents deal with their children being shown porn on the school bus, at their mates house etc before the intenet?

FourGates Tue 23-Jul-13 08:21:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

"I can't believe that some people think that because porn is hard to regulate on the internet that nothing should be done about it."

Not what anyone is saying at all.

There's a vast difference between saying that this will not work and not to try. There are other options.

"As for all this, it's up to parents bollocks. My Dc don't have open Internet access, but that doesn't mean they aren't shown all sorts of porn on the school bus, at their mates house etc etc, how do you parent that?"

How do you parent that with the porn block? You have no control over who opts out for a start. Neither does the porn block guarantee your kids safety online, it will not catch all the porn, neither will it purge the internet of all the other stuff that isn't suitable for kids.

Plus ISP's can't block what gets sent via email or P2P, your kids will probably still get shown stuff on the school bus.

TabithaStephens Tue 23-Jul-13 08:23:46

Where does an 11 year old get a phone with internet from if not their parents?

Technotropic Tue 23-Jul-13 08:51:02

Where does an 11 year old get a phone with internet from if not their parents?

And therein lies the problem. Almost every child has a smartphone nowadays. A phone used to be for security but now that's not the case, otherwise all kids would have are those naff £10 phones that only make calls and text.

I'm mixed with all this. On the one hand you want to give kids the freedom to make value choices but at the age of 12+ it's not an easy concept for them to grasp. Hence all the sexting problems from this age upwards. It's no coincidence that all this occurs at a time when kids are all getting the latest smartphone for Xmas.

We have mac address filtering in our house so only main devices can be used. We also monitor everything to make sure the sites visited are appropriate.

We are currently trialing TalkTalk's security filter. This can be switched on/off via their website so no akward phone calls. I've had mixed results with it as it does block most porn sites but is useless against P2P. It also blocks loads of other valid sites so am on the cusp of removing it and going back to old fashioned monitoring.

I have 2 problems with this proposal.

1. Parents will think their children are prevented from seeing porn when they aren't. It is very, very easy to set up a proxy so you can access banned sites.

2. It's a step down the road towards having an internet where we can only access government approved sites, a la China. Not something I want.

I not at all a fan of porn, but I monitor my kids at this end. I don't want it used as an excuse to limit the internet.

FobblyWoof Tue 23-Jul-13 09:02:22

I honestly don't understand why people are calling it a nanny state issue. Porn is illegal for under 18's to purchase, but they can consume it on the Internet with no age checks etc. Before the internet kids couldnt just walk into a shop and buy this stuff. Just because it's online doesn't make a difference. If kids as young as ten were able to order cigarettes online people would be in uproar, same with alcohol.

Now I get that this, in part, is down to education from the parents, but kids are still curious and they will still look/find a way to look.

And let's remember the sheer amount of very hardcore stuff that is so readily available it barely needs searching for. For young people who haven't embarked on any real life sexual experiences, this will shape what they think is normal/acceptable. I have very personal experience on this.

I believe that if you were to ask teenagers about what is expected of them once they become sexually active you'd be shocked at their answers. The problem isn't solely boys (and I wouldn't suggest that for a minute) but asking boys "would you expect a girl to do x,y,z or feel its acceptable to ask a girl to do x,y,z when you first start seeing each other" they would think that an awful lot of things that should be reserved for those in trusting, long term, well established relationships is perfectly acceptable to not only request but expect with someone their own age.

This combined with a culture of boys will be boys (an attitude that both encourages teen porn consumption, and also means that boys sexual "conquests" are celebrated) means that some girls feel like they have to say yes to these things. That these things are normal and if they say no then they're "stiff", "frigid" or a "prude".

Porn also teaches the less experienced viewer that sex is purely for self gratification. And I think there's a lot of people who have experienced this as a problem.

I once went out with someone who had an extensive stash of fairly hardcore porn he'd managed to swipe off his older brother (was in the days of the Internet but before it was so readily available, so no Internet consumption here) and during one of our first sexual encounters he asked if he could cum on my face. We were both 16. He was otherwise very caring and sweet. I'm not prepared to go into more details of my personal experiences but you get the idea.

He got the idea for that through porn and the more he saw the more he believed that was a normal way to behave. Now, if he'd been 18 when he first saw all of those things he would have had some sexual experience behind him. He'd have known what real sex with a real person was like and would have been able to saparate what is a fantasy from what is a reality. He would have realised that sex isn't about personal gratification but mutual gratification. I wouldn't have been treated like like more than an object. As I said, otherwise he was a perfectly decent, very caring guy. He just honestly thought this was all normal. And he can't be the only to have been affected in this way.

And remember, that was all with magazines, not the copious extreme stuff that's so readily available online. And the thing is, it's not a blanket ban-you can opt in if you like and that's fine. But something needs to be done about what our teenagers have access to and this is one way of doing that. Education is also key and I'll be teaching my DD and DC2 how to be respectful etc etc and monitoring Internet usage. But we all have Internet on our phones now and it's hard to monitor.

Fobbly Agreed, which is why they need a solution that actually works.

MsSilkShirt Tue 23-Jul-13 09:27:44

I have quite a few resources on this to share. The first, I've seen linked to on on facebook and I'm going to copy/paste as I can't see how to do a link:

The proposed filters will do nothing to prevent access to child porn, and will block access to sexual health, LGBT, and support group information. How do I know this? Because the filters which exist already on an opt-in basis do this.

If you get a mobile phone and want to access, for example, Facebook, it's entirely possible that the mobile provider will require you to prove you are over 18. Here is T-mobile's take: http://www.t-mobile.co.uk/help-and-advice/phone-support/content-lock/ - note that social networks are blocked by default. Here is EE's take http://help.ee.co.uk/system/selfservice.controller?CONFIGURATION=1016&PARTITION_ID=1&secureFlag=false&segment=consumer&TIMEZONE_OFFSET&CMD=VIEW_ARTICLE&ARTICLE_ID=19997 - again, social networks are blocked on account of them potentially containing dubious content.

Both of these acknowledge that it doesn't block all content. If you're on WiFi, it'll be the WiFi connection's filter. These are often quite strict, but then again, they're often in public places where the connection is being provided for free. If you get email, no filter - the proposed content filter does nothing to stop child abusers from emailing pictures to each other. If you have encrypted traffic, either you break the encryption, thereby making online shopping insecure (this would be possible - it's just a massive man in the middle attack. It's not exactly easy, but it's not impossible), but can filter, or you leave the encryption in place, and have no idea what is being transferred. I suppose you could make using encryption illegal, but that would kill online shopping completely...

What stops child sexual abuse is making an environment where abusers are spotted early on, and stopped. What stops rape is not stopping people watching acted out scenes of rape, but making an environment where rape victims are able to come forward, be taken seriously, and for the rapists to be stopped. A consistent message of being against rape would help - it's never the victim's fault. People should always be able to say no and for that to be respected. The only way to get to this point is to talk about sex. Rape victims shouldn't feel ashamed, but furious. Rapists shouldn't feel all-powerful, but like scum. Child abusers shouldn't be allowed to abuse children. If no children are getting abused, you need to block a whole lot less. And that has to be a good thing.

MsSilkShirt Tue 23-Jul-13 09:30:10

Some more information on the technical side is here: blog.dave.io/2013/07/the-proposed-uk-porn-filter-is-a-threat-not-a-safeguard/ and it's worth noting that every technical person I know is against it because it's going to have disastrous consequences. Those are explained in that link.

MsSilkShirt Tue 23-Jul-13 09:31:15

Here is a child abuse survivor's perspective on this issue:

milenapopova.eu/2013/07/porn-blocking---a-survivors-perspective.htmly

MsSilkShirt Tue 23-Jul-13 09:34:09

Even the feminists I know who are against porn are against this measure. There is a petition here:

https://submissions.epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/51746

Technotropic Tue 23-Jul-13 09:34:24

^ He would have realised that sex isn't about personal gratification but mutual gratification^

Sadly even before the internet there were (and still are) millions of men who view sex as personal gratification.

Sadly the main issue is parents giving kids a carte blanche to do what they want. No parent has to buy their kids iPads or smartphones yet we mostly do because everyone has a swanky phone nowadays.

It's not the online porn that's the problem. It's giving kids the key to the sweet shop and expecting them not to go on a feeding frenzy.

No amount of education or discussion can realistically dissuade children from not doing what they're not supposed to - hence the huge problem we currently have.

Snorbs Tue 23-Jul-13 10:09:13

Snorts that argument s pretty weak, as all they have to do is unblock that website, so of course there will be glitches, you can't just say, oh this is hard to do so fuck it lets just leave it all open access.

"What would you do if mumsnet gets blocked" is not a weak argument at all. It cuts to one of the fundamental problems with this proposal.

a) Mumsnet is already blocked by more than one mobile phone company's default Internet filters. This is hardly surprising as Mumsnet Talk isn't a site that's appropriate for children. That's not a "glitch", that's a deliberate policy decision.

b) Who is the "they" in "all they have to do is unblock that website"? The Internet Service Provider? How do you propose you persuade them that Mumsnet, with all its swearing and sex talk, is family friendly?

c) Or is the "they" the end user? The proposals are that by default everything not family-friendly will be blocked - possibly including Mumsnet - unless you deliberately opt to not have any filtering. There isn't anything about being able to select which sites are filtered and which aren't.

Any blanket non-family-friendly filter will block inevitably block access to lots of non-porn sites that lots of adults want entirely legitimate access to. So the filter will get in the way and the adults will then turn it off and so we're back to square one except that the ISPs have had to buy millions of quids worth of kit that is sitting there unused but will still need to be paid for.

No-one is saying that it's too hard to do so lets just not bother. What we're saying is that a blanket filter at the Internet Service Provider is the wrong way to approach this because it creates more problems than it solves so everyone will likely just turn it off.

Filtering needs to be user-specific (so you put it on the device, not the network connection) and monitoring and education are of critical importance.

I want to start by saying I am anti porn industry. I am also anti censorship.

These proposals are unworkable bullshit, another piece of Cameron rhetoric. And yes to the PP, where will it stop, who will decide what is appropriate for us (adults) to access in our own homes. My family will also opt out - not because we want to access porn (though if DH wants to, that's up to him because he is a grown up) but because I will not have the government telling me what legal sites I can access in my home.

Because it is my job as a parent to protect my DD from inappropriate images / videos etc I will do that.

I think what Cameron needs to look into is the oversexualisation of our society, something which has be going on for far longer than internet porn has been available. I object to my DD being able to wander into a sex shop on the high street, page 3 and other forms of 'traditional' sexism. These need to be tackled and we need to talk to our children not expect someone else to raise them for us.

FobblyWoof Tue 23-Jul-13 10:16:32

technotropic

I agree, it is a problem not exclusive to porn. I just can't help but feel that porn does play a major in that.

On a technical note I do think it needs to be looked at in far greater detail and that any law on the subject should not be rushed through but careful considered. It will be bloody complicated and hard to do, but I personally really think it's something that needs to be done.

Of course you do all know what will be next don't you. All the perfectly valid points about still not being able to restrict what your kids can access at other peoples houses, means they'll introduce a way to find out who has their filter turned off, and you can choose not to send your kids to a friends house who wants to access "porn" mumsnet

StillSeekingSpike Tue 23-Jul-13 10:21:31

'He would have realised that sex isn't about personal gratification but mutual gratification'

Believe me, you can't blame that on internet porn confused- that's something it has taken men throughout history years to learn, if they ever do......

Technotropic Tue 23-Jul-13 10:44:34

FobblyWoof

I agree with you too. It seems to be a rush job from the gov but don't think it's been thought about enough.

Something definitely needs to be done. I just don't know what can be done technically.

Parents definitely need to start being proactive about it but there are so many parents that are completely bamboozled by the tech that they are themselves helpless.

SaucyJack Tue 23-Jul-13 10:45:43

Yes, heaven forfend our daughters should grow up thinking there's a place for pubic hair removal or cum facials or (clutches pearls) anal in healthy normal adult "lovemaking".

That sort of filth is strictly for nasty slags or crackwhores.

Snorbs Tue 23-Jul-13 11:15:39

The government has been talking about this for two or three years now and it was hardly a new idea even then. Despite the ISPs and a variety of experts telling them that default filtering at the ISP level is not the way to approach this it seems that it's still being pushed through.

Which all makes me suspect that there is a different motive behind this. What are the chances that websites such as wikileaks and others that contain information that is critical of the government might just end up on the "not family friendly" list?

LouiseSmith Tue 23-Jul-13 11:30:52

It not porn that is making them pose like that, its muic videos, and TV shows!

However I feel instead of blaming external media, we should look at ourselves as parents. Why are we not monitoring what our children do online more. x

Dahlen Tue 23-Jul-13 12:05:07

Louise I think that's a valid point, but it's a sticking plaster on a gaping wound. Fact is that many parents don't supervise their DC's internet use and stop doing so at a surprisingly young age (1/4 of all 5 year olds allowed unsupervised net access).

We either make this a parental problem or decide it's yet another example where the state has to step in to make up for inadequate parenting because there is a greater social good to be achieved in doing so. I think it's sad that it is necessary - this should be a parent's job - but is IS necessary, clearly. sad

TabithaStephens Tue 23-Jul-13 12:11:35

It IS a parents job. Full stop. Just because many parents are useless doesn't change that fact. Parents that allow their young children unsupervised internet access are failing as parents. It is not the governments job to bring up children, and if they do this it just validates parents who are not prepared to be parents.

Dahlen Tue 23-Jul-13 12:15:21

It also condemns best part of a whole generation. The fall out from that affects us all.

Good job we didn't take similar attitudes towards education and child safety or we'd still have children up chimneys.

libertarianj Tue 23-Jul-13 13:09:20

SinisterSal Nonsense libertarianj. Tedious nonsense which boils down to I lik cummin and I don't care about anything else. The harmful affects of porn are well documented - perhaps try the 'anti-porn lobby' for data.

But it's not nonsense though is it? The harmful effects of pornography aren't well documented, the studies that have been done are mostly agenda driven and rely on cherry picking data and lots of assumptions. It's total junk science.

The fact is sex crime hasn't increased, teenage pregnancies haven't increased, more people are having children later in life, sexual diversity has increased. People are more open about their sexuality and have more liberal attitudes. Broken society? i think not.

Dahlen It also condemns best part of a whole generation. The fall out from that affects us all.

As I pointed out earlier the current group of 25 to 30 year olds would have been the first generation to have grown up with access to internet porn. I am not seeing any evidence to indicate that they have turned out warped or depraved, have you?

I think we need to remember that the conversation about whether porn is harmful is actually neither here nor there when we are discussing the proposed porn filter. Whether it is or isn't this porn filter is still unworkable and a far inferior solution to any of the pre-existing solutions.

FourGates Tue 23-Jul-13 13:29:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FourGates Tue 23-Jul-13 13:29:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

"unless you never let your teenagers out the house they will have infetted access to the Internet via their friends."

True. But this filter will not stop that anyway.

In fact this filter may actually give them more access if they were to go to the house of a friend whose parents have assumed the ISP filter has made the internet safe. Whereas before those same parents might have installed filters/supervised internet access.

Dahlen Tue 23-Jul-13 13:51:56

Harmful effects of pornography on adults is open to debate. Harmful effects on children is pretty much agreed on across the board, that's why it's relevant to this thread - online access is how they're coming across it.

Even 10 years ago those 25 year olds were 15. It's not like today's 7 year old coming across it.

Dahlen Tue 23-Jul-13 13:52:15

FWIW though, I don't think this filter will work.

FourGates Tue 23-Jul-13 13:56:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Oh I agree, I hate it, and definitely don't want my DS seeing it ever! So far the only useful options are a combination of computer filters, supervision and educating them. Maybe one day we'll have the tech to do more, but right now and in the near future I just cannot see it.

Slightly OT but kind of relevant, a few people in the web design community think that we should scrap web programming as we know now and start from scratch. It wont happen, but it does show the level to which current coding is flawed. And because it's flawed any attempt to police it is also doomed from the get go.

Alohomora Tue 23-Jul-13 14:06:09

It's censoring and might parents think it will make it less needful for them to teach their children internet safety. To think your children will be safe just because your computer is blocked from adult content is very blue-eyed.

I also resent the thought that you'd be looked on with suspicion or as a dirty bugger if you decide to opt in, and you just know that's going to happen.

libertarianj Tue 23-Jul-13 14:21:19

Harmful effects on children is pretty much agreed on across the board

err no it's not unless you believe everything you read in the Daily Mail

Dahlen Tue 23-Jul-13 15:57:34

I wouldn't quote anything I read in the Daily Mail thank you very much. wink

How about the following:
Journal of Sex Research
Behavioural Psycotherapy Centre
Symposium on Media Violence and Pornography Proceedings
Family Therapy Journal
Universities of Canterbury, Kent and Bedfordshire (acting on appointment by government - there are other universities with their own studies.

The damage exposure can do depends on a lot of variables - age of first exposure, length and frequency of exposure, type of material viewed, etc. Not all children exposed will end up traumatised for life, some won't even register it. Not one single report has ever concluded that exposure to internet pornography is a good thing though, or even 'harmless'. Indeed most of them are urging the government to do more.

tinpotted Tue 23-Jul-13 16:17:21

I am completely against this censorship.

I'm currently living in the US so this won't affect me for a few years. However, I shouldn't be able to access BBC iplayer or other UK channels. With the help of a proxy server, I can view all of them and it took me about 20 minutes from looking for a solution to having one installed. I am reasonably tech savvy but the point stands that it is so easy for anyone motivated to do so to work around the porn filter.

At my last job, they had filters to block adult content, and there were plenty of innocuous sites that were blocked that would never be classed as adult. Most people will turn opt in because it will become too annoying to find anything worthwhile reading on the net.

I hate to say it, but I am a big fan of bdsm where a woman is undergoing some kind of punishment (not so much a man) and also have rape fantasies. Am I now suddenly a criminal or guilty of dehumanising women? I consider myself pretty normal, passionately believe in women's rights and equality, am staunchly against rape, and no one who knows me in real life would guess at this part of me, except my husband.

My children have laptops/kindle fires, and I am the administrator. They have the free but very good Windows Live family safety software installed on the laptops, and I get weekly reports on what they've been viewing. The kindle fire comes with brilliant controls anyway (and only I have the password).

I've also talked to them (youngest is 10) about the weird stuff on porn films and how people are always trying to do the strangest most outlandish stuff so that people will watch, and that very little of it is normal. That it's designed to make you want to see more and more (like smoking cigarettes). I also explained how once you see something, you can't unsee it, and that it can mess up your mind for a while. Even my youngest understood this, as the first time she saw a murder on tv, she was traumatised.

I feel that even if they do see something at a friends house, I will be able to deal with this because I regularly talk about internet safety and reinforce the message that most of what's available online is out of the ordinary.

Sorry that's so long. In conclusion; parents take responsibility, because the govt will do a useless job of it in your place.

"parents take responsibility, because the govt will do a useless job of it in your place."

This this this!

I wouldn't trust them to organise a piss up in a brewery, I certainly wouldn't trust them to keep my DS safe online!

Dahlen Tue 23-Jul-13 17:02:41

I wouldn't trust my child's internet safety to a filter either, and I think the filter is positively dangerous because of false sense of security it will deliver.

However, we're all talking from the vantage point of parents who care. I'd like to think about a solution for the literally millions of children whose parents are either ignorant or neglectful, or those whose parents watch porn themselves so leave any such filter turned off anyway.

I don't see how a filter can solve any of those issues, hence why I don't support it, but I think a debate needs to be had on how we deal with children's access to porn.

Dahlen Agreed. It's a really difficult one though isn't it. There's definitely no easy answer.

EBearhug Tue 23-Jul-13 19:55:18

I don't see how a filter can solve any of those issues, hence why I don't support it, but I think a debate needs to be had on how we deal with children's access to porn.

I agree with that. Only this government doesn't seem to do debate at all. They have a passing idea, and then there's a new policy, without having asked anyone who knows about the technicalities, or thinking of all the pros and cons, or whether it's consistent with any other recent pronouncement.

PeriodFeatures Tue 23-Jul-13 21:31:11

I'm very up front about it with the teenage lads I work with. (12 - 16) When it comes up in discussion, which invariably it does, I say it as it is. A few red faces initially but I think they do take it on board if they are not already too entrenched in it.

They way i see it is that we need to ruin it for them early. grin Load it up with the reality that it is going to ultimately make them pretty crap boyfriends who won't have a clue about real sex and will find it difficult to get into real sexual relationships when they get older.

What I hope I achieve is that when they go to look at porn, they remember my warning and I have ruined it for them a bit. grin Hopefully enough for them to be a bit scared and ambivalent about looking at it and recognise it as not at all reality.

I myself am a bit worried that i won't be able to look at a bit of porn now and again. It seems like a serious committment to ring up my isp and request it. I'm nt sure I'm that committed.

runningforthebusinheels Tue 23-Jul-13 22:31:40

ruin it for them early. Load it up with the reality that it is going to ultimately make them pretty crap boyfriends who won't have a clue about real sex and will find it difficult to get into real sexual relationships when they get older.

Periodfeatures, I like your thinking wink

There have been quite a few threads on MN recently where women complain that men who watch a lot of porn are rubbish rather detached emotionally in bed.

There are also male sexual problems caused by too much wanking to porn - affecting their sensitivity and causing problems maintaining erection/getting to orgasm during normal sex - such can be the effects of constantly using an overtly explicit visual titillation and the hand... rather than an emotional/sexual attachment/attraction to a real person.

libertarianj Wed 24-Jul-13 00:21:45

Dahlen I wouldn't quote anything I read in the Daily Mail thank you very much. wink

How about the following:
Journal of Sex Research
Behavioural Psycotherapy Centre
Symposium on Media Violence and Pornography Proceedings
Family Therapy Journal
Universities of Canterbury, Kent and Bedfordshire (acting on appointment by government - there are other universities with their own studies.

You do realise that the first one you quoted is actually Pro porn? i quoted from it the other day on another porn related thread and here was the article:
www.theblaze.com/stories/2012/11/26/shock-study-female-porn-stars-have-higher-self-esteem-better-body-image-are-more-spiritual-than-other-women/

Also with regards to the Canterbury one would you really trust a government appointed study? which was based purely on collating a number of other studies and is inconclusive. To quote a line from it:

"we do not know whether exposure to or accessing pornography causes attitude or behavioural change, nor whether the attitudes children and young people hold before access or exposure to pornography may make them more likely to seek out pornography."hmm

www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/content/publications/content_667

With regards to the others you have quoted I am struggling to find much at all. The family Therapy journal is based on sexting which is totally out of the remit of filtering anyway. The Symposium on Media Violence and Pornography Proceedings is from 1984, can't find much from that either and the Behavioural psychotherapy centre, well that could be a whole range of things which came up on google? Extremely vague. If you have any more specific links i'd be interested to analyse them?

If you want to investigate some more debunking of porn myths then may i suggest you check out this:

www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/apr/15/sex-myth-wrong-brooke-magnanti-review

libertarianj Wed 24-Jul-13 00:32:02

They way i see it is that we need to ruin it for them early. Load it up with the reality that it is going to ultimately make them pretty crap boyfriends who won't have a clue about real sex and will find it difficult to get into real sexual relationships when they get older.

while you are at it why don't you tell them it will make them go blind too?
sad

EBearhug Wed 24-Jul-13 01:05:26

Even if female porn stars have higher self esteem, it doesn't mean that porn can't be damaging to teens who view it. Both could be true.

differentnameforthis Wed 24-Jul-13 02:09:36

I would just like to say that a couple of weeks ago I reported 4 videos on facebook that were pornographic. (all were removed)

So if the likes of facebook/twitter/myspace (does anyone still use that)/bebo/instagram are accessible via mobile phone, your kids can still access porn. Are they going to ask all mobile phone providers to do the same? Also, if you let any of the above through the filter, your kids can still access porn, because they will become places where people will post porn for easier access.

differentnameforthis Wed 24-Jul-13 02:55:15

but that doesn't mean they aren't shown all sorts of porn on the school bus, at their mates house etc etc, how do you parent that?

Those houses you talk about, they are the ones where the parents will opt out & leave the whole bloody house unprotected. So how does that help anyone?

PeriodFeatures Wed 24-Jul-13 09:56:54

libertarianj So emergent adolescent sexuality and pornography are a good healthy combination are they? Really? Honestly?

I'm sad for you if you can't see that sexuality is so much more than the physical act. Surely it's obvious that if young people, during those stage of development are getting the message that sex and pornography are one in the same it is going to skew their perceptions of relationships and the opposite (or same) sex?

Don't be naive in thinking that it doesn't impact on their behaviour, promote a culture of sexual violence and poor body image,

It is important to be good humoured and realistic with young people and very very direct. We live in a culture saturated by a sexualised gender discourse and whether you want to face it or not, it effects peoples behaviour.

I'm not saying that censorship is the way forward as education can be far more effective.

If you had spent any time with teenage girls who had been victims of sexual exploitation and had sex act forced on them by their peers, you might have a re think about your attitude. I have spent time with teenage boys who are deeply confused.

Being permissive and liberal are two different issues.

Here's a useful history lesson about the last time they tried to Do Something.

To quote Backlash once again: if censorship's the answer, it was a fucking stupid question.

Dahlen Wed 24-Jul-13 11:58:28

You can be pro porn without thinking it's a good idea to allow 11 year olds access to it. hmm

Dahlen Wed 24-Jul-13 12:00:46

Why are you pushing this agenda so much libertarianj

I don't like porn from a personal perspective. What other people do is up to them. I have no desire to police other people's thoughts and desires and don't think banning porn or censoring it is in any way a solution to the moral objections against adult porn for adult consumption.

However, even among those who enjoy porn, you're the only one I've come across who seems to think it's a good thing that children have unrestricted access to it. I find that rather disturbing.

libertarianj Wed 24-Jul-13 14:14:59

libertarianj So emergent adolescent sexuality and pornography are a good healthy combination are they? Really? Honestly?

Given that this is usually the case for the vast majority of people, even before the popularity of the internet then i would have to conclude on the whole it isn't a problem, unless you believe society is in moral decline?

Surely it's obvious that if young people, during those stage of development are getting the message that sex and pornography are one in the same it is going to skew their perceptions of relationships and the opposite (or same) sex?

but why assume they would consider them to be one and the same? You see this where education comes in and i have not argued against education ?

Why are you pushing this agenda so much libertarianj

All i am trying to do is dispel the myths surrounding the moral outrage and panic of people who support these proposals, by using a bit of scientific analysis. I am not saying we should promote porn to kids nor am i saying we shouldn't educate them about it. Just that we need to put things into perspective and that the risks are low if they do seek out/ stumble across porn. Certainly not enough to warrant state censorship.

lljkk Wed 24-Jul-13 14:19:50

I'm all for the proposals. yanbu

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