On the subject of internet censorship again

Computers really aren’t very good at it, that’s another reason to worry.

For example, when Cameron decided that everyone should have pr0n filters that was that. And one of the first sites to get filtered was the blog of the MP who had been calling for pr0n filters. Because her blog had lots of works like pr0n on it.

Hugely enjoyably I was paid €7,000 for a 500 word piece which pointed this out. But however wondrous that is, my pockets aren’t really a justification for this sort of stupidity.

24 thoughts on “On the subject of internet censorship again”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    Matthew L – “Censoring *anyone* is a downside. Even you.”

    On the contrary. Censoring people is sensible and necessary. The problem here is not the censorship. It is the mandatory nature of the government doing it. With different stresses on the sentence according to preference.

    As far as the feminist politicians go, I would think there is almost as much pleasure in talking about sex as there is in doing it. More for people who are not doing it. And some people like talking about it so much they need to pretend to themselves that they are condemning it.

    Catherine McKinnon’s book was, allegedly, one of the first banned under laws she got passed.

  2. What people don’t grasp is that computers are a cost/benefit thing and that some things have bigger costs than others. I’d love to write a reliable porn detection algorithm and make millions, but honestly, where do you even start with it? How do you even identify that there’s a boob in a photo?

    And it’s not that much of a problem because in general, other incentives exist. Free porn sites make their money from people clicking on things and signing up to things, whether dating sites* or paid adult content. That means they want people with credit cards, and that means not people under the age of 18. So, they put a load of content rating tags on their pages and the search engines pick that up.

    One of the problems with the ISP filtering that was introduced is that it went beyond that and into all sorts of stuff. Even sites discussing porn might get picked up as an adult site, stuff about terrorism etc. And that wasn’t managed that way but via human editing or crude algorithms that just don’t work very well.

    Biggest problem with porn filtering is mothers who can’t handle the fact that their sweet little boy that was into Lego and Harry Potter is now wanking, and well, you’d better accept it, sugar tits, because trying to stand in the way of it is almost impossible.

  3. Computers aren’t good at it because nothing is good at it. Humans aren’t good at it either. It’s always just arbitrary personal opinion. A computer at its best can just automate the arbitrary. That computer algorithms and an additional layer of not good at it isn’t really the problem. It’s the arbitrary nature of it that is the problem.

    Apparently for instance it is in bad taste and even “abusive” to send a picture of a dead baby to an MP voting on whether to drop bombs on people. Who knew?

  4. That said they have an army of people doing it manually I believe.

    I think that’s what banning porn is intended to prevent.

  5. “The great firewall of China manages it well.”

    Even then, that’s doubtful. The sheer volume of porn out there and the various ways to get it mean they Chinese don’t have the resources.

    The Great Firewall is really more for show, like a lot of censorship. It’s telling idiots that the government is protecting them from the thing they’re scared of. I never had any problem getting “video nasties” or hardcore porn in the 80s, when both were supposedly banned. And I don’t believe that the authorities didn’t know about shops selling them. But I do believe that the authorities could plausibly deny knowledge of a small cinephile shop selling Reservoir Dogs in a way that they couldn’t if HMV did it.

  6. Yes you’re right. Anyone in China wanting a crafty wank just installs a VPN. But without one they do a damn good job of blocking any site that might upset their ‘harmonious’ civilization… 5000 years don’t you know (as if we could forget!!) That said the amount of prostitution here makes a mockery of blocking porn.

  7. So Much For Subtlety

    Machiavelli – “I wouldn’t worry Tim. She has had her hands full of yer actual full on real life sweaty sex life, of her aide to contend with.”

    The Mail on Sunday also claimed that Mr Clarke told friends he once accidentally dislocated Miss Brummitt’s jaw when he slapped her during a consensual sex session, requiring her to seek hospital treatment in the early hours. Mr Clarke, who is married with two children, said the pair told doctors it was a netball injury.

    This is where I insert one of those little shocked emojis.

    Bloody hell. I knew that sex among Tory activists could be rough, but how do you that sort of injury? She didn’t file charges?

  8. The female jaw is quite weak, which is why it’s not the done thing to hit them there. Or anywhere in fact. Males have a thicker, lantern jaw for a reason. It’s for when we punch each other.

    So it’d be quite easy to get that kind of injury from consensual roughness, I would imagine.

  9. Unless of course you’re a modern progressive thinker, in which case observations of relative jaw physiology is white malestream constructed objectification to perpetuate socially constructed systemic oppression.

  10. Bloke in Costa Rica

    I guess it’s pukka if you get affirmative consent first. “Is it OK if I smack you in the gob in a mutually acceptable and empowering way?”

  11. So Much For Subtlety

    Ian B – “The female jaw is quite weak, which is why it’s not the done thing to hit them there. Or anywhere in fact. Males have a thicker, lantern jaw for a reason. It’s for when we punch each other.”

    And so of course they should be allowed to join the Marines.

    Although the other thing is where and when. I mean, oral sex is probably out. It is physically do-able, but I am pretty sure he wouldn’t. Some positions would lend themselves to a blow to the back of the head, not the jaw. So a table was involved. I guess he was standing. At the right moment, left hook to the jaw? At the risk of sounding a little too Mary Whitehouse, it is not exactly romantic is it?

    Ian B – “Unless of course you’re a modern progressive thinker, in which case observations of relative jaw physiology is white malestream constructed objectification to perpetuate socially constructed systemic oppression.”

    If I remember correctly, the most dangerous sport for injuries in the US is either football or wrestling for boys. The second is either wrestling and football for boys. The third ….. is women’s soccer. Head and neck injuries are the main worry.

    But some of that might be White male socially constructed blah. Because boys might get told to run it off while girls are rushed to hospital.

    Bloke in Costa Rica – “I guess it’s pukka if you get affirmative consent first. “Is it OK if I smack you in the gob in a mutually acceptable and empowering way?””

    Sure but I would guess that this is one of those things that sounded like a good idea at the time, but less retrospectively. Not being charged with rape these days requires an on-going-sort of consent. Not just consent at the time. Regret is rape, or so many college girls are told.

  12. Well considering the quote says “slapped”, presumably he consensually slapped her. Perhaps after the word, “harder!”.

    Far be it from me to dare to attempt to understand the modern feminine mind, but the popularity of Fifty Shades Of Grey suggests that some number of women are not entirely averse to such goings on.

  13. The third ….. is women’s soccer.

    Which raises the question of what do you yell from the sidelines when a female soccer player takes a dive. “Get up you big girl” wouldn’t work, would it?

  14. “Well considering the quote says “slapped”, presumably he consensually slapped her. Perhaps after the word, “harder!”.”

    It just occurred to me that that would be a really poor choice for a “safety word”.

  15. So Much For Subtlety

    Ian B – “Far be it from me to dare to attempt to understand the modern feminine mind, but the popularity of Fifty Shades Of Grey suggests that some number of women are not entirely averse to such goings on.”

    Sure. But as with anal sex, it probably seemed a better idea before they tried it. Regret rape is a real threat. And I doubt she consented to have her jaw dislocated. Consent to a little light spanking is not consent to everything else.

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