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Court strikes down Internet porn law

  1. Mar 22, 2007 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/internet/03/22/internet.blocking.ap/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

    Good!!! Again, there is a greater imperative. Also, I believe that the worst thing that we can do is to start censoring the internet based on moral or political interpretations. And again, shame on Google for giving in to the Chinese.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 22, 2007 #2
    Yeap this is good. To be honest tho, I would feel better if the political control of the internet was shared out a lot more than it is currently.
     
  4. Mar 22, 2007 #3
    "Perhaps we do the minors of this country harm if (free speech) protections, which they will with age inherit fully, are chipped away in the name of their protection..."

    I actually find that quite funny. There is an apparent irony in protecting our freedom of expression, all the while allowing the eroding away of our childrens' sense of decency. Heck, some porn is bad enough for us adults.

    Don't get me wrong; I agree with the decision. It's just that it doesn't read like a solution to a problem. I think, in itself, preventing minors' access to porn is a good thing. I suppose the unmentioned fear is that the law would be abused for other agendas.

    Personally, if I had kids, I wouldn't let them step into the wild wild web all by themselves. So, I guess the solution is to educate parents and encourage them to, oh I don't know, maybe get involved with their kids? Explore the Internet together?
     
  5. Mar 22, 2007 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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    That's the way that I see it with many issues. Seatbelt, helmet, drug, alcohol, smoking, porn, fat, whatever laws, perhaps all well motivated, unless a person is a direct threat to society, these are not problems for the government to solve by means of censorship, or by limiting my choices, or by invading my privacy. These are social and not political issues.

    On principle, I refuse to yield the power of choice to my government. They work for me.
     
  6. Mar 22, 2007 #5
    Porn is a right for adults. But for many it is part of a sexual addiction that can lead to animals, children, snuff films and even acting out in those things it portrays. From what I've heard, most rapists are bigtime porn additct. It's one of those things, like any addiction, that begins to affect those around the individual who is addicted.

    The damage to a child is the destruction of their innocense. If we can all agree on one thing, it might be to let a child grow up into their late teens without being exposed to that crap.

    Should we take away the right of the adult? NO. I used to watch my share of it. Should the government regulate childrens access to it? We let the Fed regulate alcohol and drugs, much for the sake of our youth. I'm for what it takes to regulate porn in order to keep it away from our youth. I'm not necessarily against the decision and I'm not for the government regulating much at all but this is one of those things that really saddens me about our society.
     
  7. Mar 23, 2007 #6
    never liked the we must hide it from the kids idea
    most pre-pubesent kids could care less about it
    AND WILL NOT SEEK IT OR WATCH IT
    and some do find it gross OTHERS JUST DO NOT CARE

    but young teens ,boys esp, do want to see it
    and are not harmed by it in any way
    I find the same BS about self ''abuse'' was common
    in earlyer times ''makes you go blind ect''
    these are just LIES told by the churchies
    as part of their anti-sex bias and should have no effect on LAW

    CENSORSHIP is ALLWAYS A BIGGER EVIL THEN THE THING THEY ARE TRYING TO HIDE, OR PROTECT US FROM

    BURN CENSORS NOT BOOKS MUSIC OR MOVIES
     
  8. Mar 23, 2007 #7

    vanesch

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    I also approve the decision not to censor. I'm with Ivan Seeking here: I'm against all this kind of limiting of individual freedoms because there are potential specific cases in which this freedom can lead to what is perceived to be a "bad" thing (such as kids accessing to porn, people saying publicly politically not correct statements etc...). :approve:
     
  9. Mar 23, 2007 #8

    J77

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    Isn't it a bit naive to think that adults know more about the internet (and providing filters etc.) than their children :wink:
     
  10. Mar 23, 2007 #9

    BobG

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    I think better software filters make the problem less of an issue, but I don't have a problem with the way the 1998 law was worded:

    I don't see much difference here from requiring stores to check a person's ID before selling them alcohol or tobacco products .... or laws preventing minors from buying material from adult book/video stores. Additionally, even in 1998 porn sites could have prevented 99% of their problems by making it easy for the software that did exist to filter them out. All they had to do was to register with the few ratings services that did exist. Refraining from infesting themselves onto home computers as adware/spyware that would provide the entire family with porn popups whenever the computer was started would have helped as well. They created their own problems and I don't feel the 1998 law was any different than laws that still exist for adult book/video stores.
     
  11. Mar 23, 2007 #10
    There's nothing wrong with sex or explaining it to kids. I agree.

    But.

    I've seen some of that Internet porn, and that ain't sex. And worse, that's some of their "sex education." Today's generation likes to frequently think that oral sex isn't sex. Or similar nonsense. They don't need to get any more ideas than they already have. That prepubescent children might not have an interest isn't really the problem. It's the risk of influencing their understanding of sex. They simply should not be exposed to pornography, especially what's out there on the Web.

    There's a reason why adult content publishers can not sell their magazines and movies to minors.
     
  12. Mar 23, 2007 #11

    Gokul43201

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    Can you explain logically how (legal) porn is "crap"?
     
  13. Mar 23, 2007 #12

    radou

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    No, it can't.

    Even if such an extreme sexual orientation arises, it's definitely not due to the exposure to internet porn.

    The whole point of the story is that parents should educate their children. If they do so, the risk of kids getting influenced in any way by something they find on the internet is minimal.
     
  14. Mar 23, 2007 #13
    Did I offend you?

    No, I cannot logically explain why legal porn is crap. I can only tell you that I personally believe it is "crap".
     
  15. Mar 23, 2007 #14

    Gokul43201

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    No you didn't.

    But this is the important point here. How does one justify criminalizing an act if they can not come up with a rational justification for why the act is criminal?
     
  16. Mar 23, 2007 #15
    When did I justify criminalizing an act? WTF are you talking about?
     
  17. Mar 23, 2007 #16

    Gokul43201

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    I didn't say you did. But the assertion you made (~we all know it's crap) is typically the crux of the argument used by lawmakers who demand bans on this act or that.

    I merely asked you if you had some rationale for calling it crap. You said you didn't. I made a general statement about my discontentment with how laws are often made without a rationale. That's all.
     
  18. Mar 23, 2007 #17

    BobG

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    The same logic could be applied to alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. In fact, it has been: Banning Tobacco Use by Minors...

    Most people feel that the level of availability does affect future behavior: Young people's access to tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs . Of course, even the article saying that availability does have an impact concedes that the impact is somewhat limited.

    You're right that parental education is more significant than prohibitions against minors, but it's not a choice of having to do one or the other. Why can't both be used?
     
  19. Mar 23, 2007 #18

    radou

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    Of course both can be used, and I believe I didn't imply the converse. I just emphasized the significance of parental education, that's all.
     
  20. Mar 23, 2007 #19

    Gokul43201

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    Bob, the adverse effects on health of alcohol, tobacco and drugs are well-established. Do we have conclusive studies that describe the adverse effects of exposure to porn? If such studies exist, they would provide a reasonable basis for criminalizing exposure of minors to porn.
     
  21. Mar 23, 2007 #20

    BobG

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    I would say there are no conclusive studies one way or the other from reputable sources about whether kids exposed to porn is healthy or unhealthy. It would also be a very hard study to conduct.

    It's easier to study the link between viewing violent media and behavior (the government tried to extrapolate results from violence studies in the US vs Playboy case due to the lack of research into the effect of pornography on minors). In the few impartial studies that show at least some correlation between watching violence and being violent (at least some link to behavior), there's still the 'unanswered' question of whether violent kids like to watch more violent movies or whether violent movies creates violent kids.

    You run into the same problem with pornography and minors. Do minors that are very interested in sex both watch it and engage it more often than others? (Well, duh!) Or does watching more sex cause minors to be more likely to engage in sex? (Possibly, but you couldn't get direct evidence for that. You'd have to pull in research on violence, tobacco, etc and assume the same would hold true for sex).

    There's virtually nothing other than anecdotal stories about the long term effects of pornography on minors.

    Absent any scientific evidence one way or the other, one side can say it's a dumb risk to take with equal validity as the other side saying how could it hurt anything. The argument comes down more to a moral issue and parents' rights issue than a scientific issue.

    It stands on about as firm a ground as those opposed to having their kids exposed to school prayer, but both can evoke some very strong opinions both ways.

    I'd lean towards the 'why risk it' side, but then, I've always been more influenced by risk avoidance than probability when it comes to my kids.

    As an aside: Alcohol abuse has a long term health and social impact, but you can find a few that would argue that exposure to alcohol at a young age has some positive effects, as well: Expert: give alcohol to children as young as five. Alcohol abuse is less prevalent in France than Scotland, so he's not completely loony (not that I find him very convincing, either).
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2007
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