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.

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.

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