Internet Censorship Round-up
Posted by Sam D on February 19, 2009
This past week-and-a-bit has seen the Australian newspapers website feature a number of it’s s0-called “Super Bloggers” giving opinion pieces regarding ISP level filtering.
Some of these articles were quite reasonable. However, I’m going to focus briefly on some that aren’t.
Clive Hamilton: Web doesn’t belong to net libertarians
I’m not sure where to begin with this offering. The first few paragraphs are unnecessarily lewd, presumably in an attempt to shock a fearful & conservative audience. In fact the depictions are so graphic that at least one person has lodged a complaint with ACMA. For a more thorough appraisal of this, go to SomebodyThinkof The Children! I’d just like to make one point (again!): Clive Hamilton writes in great detail and at length on the damage that pornography does to society, including adults. His opinions on this matter have never been published in a peer-reviewed journal. If someone has an idea about Climate Change, but this idea can’t survive peer-review, then it’s not considered good science. Why is ‘Public Ethics’ any different?
Stephen Conroy: Filtering doesn’t breach free speech
And why? Because the government says so. I’d apperciate some explanation for this position. This isn’t 15th century France, Kevin Rudd is not the Sun King, so this ” I am the state” type of attitude is not on.
Seriously though, repetition does not equal truth. Why can politicians never learn this?
The comments on both of these articles came thick and fast, and anti-filter views were predominant for a while. Then a flood of pro-filter/anti-porn views hit the Australian. Many people though this was strange, but an explanation was found soon enough. Apparently the Jim Wallace & Australian Christian Lobby had emailed their supporters asking them to show post comments in support of internet filtering on both of these articles. This was first reported on WhirlPool and was later picked up by SomebodyThinkOfTheChildren. The point is that the flood of support for the filters to defend us from the ‘filth’ that inhabits the internet was effectively manufactured, not to mention poorly informed. This isn’t a great move for the ACL, as their most effective lobbying was done when the general public not was aware of them. The more they try to influence debate and opinion on this issue, the more attention they will draw to themselves. And despite their standing in the Baptist and Pentecostal communities, they may yet turn out to be a political liability.