Monday 22 July 2013

Politicians and pornography

In politics, appearing to do something is often more important than actually doing anything. This is especially so when tackling global phenomena over which individual governments have little or no control.

In an appropriate spirit of impotent rage, Prime Minister David Cameron announced today that the British government was going to do something about online pornography:
Most households in the UK will have pornography blocked by their internet provider unless they choose to receive it, David Cameron has announced.
Two other reports suggest that this policy is not all it’s cracked up to be. The first is the row between the government and the ISPs that preceded this announcement, which demonstrates that the government has simply not thought through the practicalities of its policy. The second is that the Daily Mail is claiming all the credit for this “crackdown on web filth” (despite the Mail’s hypocrisy, demonstrated by the links to various salacious stories down the right-hand column of its report).

But even if this policy were better conceived, it would still be doomed. Several years ago, Scott Adams (creator of the Dilbert strip cartoon) invited us to ponder the futility of such measures by asking us to imagine which was the more powerful force in the world: the combined brains of all the world’s greatest computer experts, or the combined libidos of all the world’s teenage boys.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please note before commenting: Please read our comments policy (in the right-hand column of this blog). Comments that break this policy will not be accepted. In particular, we insist on everyone using their real, full name. If you have registered with Google using only your first name or a pseudonym, please put your full name at the end of your comment.

Oh, and we are not at home to Mr(s) Angry. Before you comment, read the post in full and any linked content, then pause, make a pot of tea, reflect, deliberate, make another pot of tea, then respond intelligently and courteously.