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News UK ISPs implement IWF censorship

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by CardJoe, 8 Dec 2008.

  1. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    I think that we can decide what is a good thing.

    We have conscience; we have a sense of what we would like done unto us and what we would not like done unto us. We have a sense of boundaries and appropriateness and common decency. We have a brain. We just choose not to listen to it all the time because it can have inconvenient ramifications, that's all.

    Look at the religions and philosophies you mention, stretching 10.000 years back or more. They all say the same thing: about how we should have a moral center, wisdom, self-discipline and self-restraint; treat others with a modicum of respect and consideration and live in harmony with our environment. Just because we do not always choose to do that --because we're frightened, angy, selfish, or just plain lazy-- doesn't mean that we don't know how.

    I don't think we can wave aside the inappropriate sexualisation of a child because we don't want to mess with our freedom to surf. You worry about self-appointed institutions? Who do you think censors films? Or computer games? Or books? Independent institutions, dude. Censorship is a dynamic process between these institutions and society as a whole. Although I may not always agree with their decisions, I'm glad that they are there to keep some sort of boundaries.
     
  2. StephenK

    StephenK Sneak 'em Upper

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    All of these are different from person to person, place to place and time to time. Ideas of boundaries, appropriateness and common decency are not the same across the individual members of a single culture, let alone all of the cultures on the planet.

    And they are also vague and contradicotry on the specifics of what is and isnt appropriate, is and isnt harm, is and isnt murder, etc etc. The devil, as they say, is in the details. Thou shalt no kill but its okay if its a holy war because God is on our side, or treat each man with respect but your woman is your property, etc. The Bible and Qur'an have many places where the are very very similar but some things are defined differently. Even from bible to bible, we can see the re-writing of things to modernise them, doing away with outdated concepts that were once seen as true and right.

    Example, the BBFC (UK) is indeed an independent body, however statutory powers on film remain with the local councils, which may overrule any of the Board's decisions, passing films they reject, banning films they have passed or altering categories for films exhibited under their own licensing jurisdiction.

    IFCO (in Ireland) is a statutory body, set up by the government and the power remains with the elected officials.

    How about our old favourite from Australia the OLFC. They are also a statutory body and are the people who have, its been argued, very out of date classification policies that make many over 15's games from here unclassifiable there. Just look at what we had to do to Fallout 3 to get it through. From their perspective, WE are wrong and haven't censored enough.

    The MPAA (USA) are regularly criticised for the secrecy of its decisions and for their tendency to be harder on sexual material than on violence.

    And these are just 4 bodies in what we could describe as similar cultures to the ones you and I are living in. They all have different rules and guidelines and different ideas about what is right and wrong. Yes there is consensus, such as 'child pornography is wrong' but child sexualisation is defined differently from place to place.

    My point then remains the same, the image was not seen as a problem in the USA. Where the servers were. Not only were the IWF operating without a clear mandate from the people, they were also imposing their moral code on another nation. You said it yourself earlier I believe, the internet is not a free public thing. It belongs to the people who own and operate the infrastructure. So who the hell are the IWF (or even individual ISPs, who also do not soley own the internet) to censor content.

    I agree with you about a lot of things and respect your opinions on this. Let me ask you a question then.

    How would you feel about an internationally appointed censorship body?

    As the internet is not owned by any single nation, surely anything less than a body appointed by all nations is acceptable as a censor?
    If the network belongs to all nations (and assuming we're doing as the IWF did and claiming jurisdiction over material that is technically hosted in another country and doesn't physically belong to us) then the censor should operate on a global scale.

    To have each country deciding for itself flies in the face of any common universal ideas of what is right and wrong, where the boundaries are, common decency etc as each country has different ideas on what these are. In theory, perhaps there are the common ideas that you suggest. In practice, however, we can actually observe different groups deciding for themselves how they define right and wrong. Maybe in general they all have the same idea, but as I said before once you get into the details they disagree greatly. The IWF says its inappropriate child sexualisation, the FBI and US government disagrees... where do we go from here?
     
    Last edited: 15 Dec 2008
  3. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    The Native Americans didn't like their land taken from them any more than we would; a child doesn't like to be subjected to abuse any more than us. The "everybody's different" argument does not wash, especially if it is just a veiled way of saying: "they're different". Let's treat people with the same respect as we'd like to be treated.

    People may argue about the details (and frequently do) but only a moron doesn't get the basic message (and frequently doesn't): do onto others as you would have done onto you.

    An internationally appointed body sounds good to me. But the main point is: at least you are asking now how we should deal with this, rather than whether we should.
     
  4. StephenK

    StephenK Sneak 'em Upper

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    It's more a case of the whether we should cannot be decided by any one group. I don't believe in a universal right and wrong but as I said before, in practice, we try to make decisions as best we can. I don't think that any single group can decide (as you saw above, they all disagree) so if we're to get even close to a universal right and wrong we need all cultures to be represented.

    The basic message is all fine and well, but you can't decide on any individual thing using the broad general message. We need to define the details so that we can apply the simple general message. We need specifics. Nobody is suggesting that the basic message isn't useful, just that it's insufficient for our needs as one person's interpretation of that message varies from another's. 'Treat everyone well, do unto others' is grand, but how we define and apply that is important. If, as you say, the different argument doesn't wash, then how can you explain that you and I have different views on what we consider harm to us? That many people in this forum would have different ideas of right and wrong? You mention the Native Americans, why not apply that idea to Iraq? Children don't like being harmed, how about the people in guantanamo? In both cases, one group of people decided what was right...

    As you said, in 'simpler' cultures, things may be defined differently (my 12 yr old child is their 12 yr old adult). What you or I see as harm may not be regarded as such (circumcision?). It is arrogant of us to assume that our interpretation of 'do no harm' is the correct one and that's why random censoring by single cultures is a problem.

    Throughout history you can see examples of one group deciding how to interpret whats best for all. Not very nice stuff sometimes and all of it done with the greater good in mind. We are dealing with a world of greys, not simple black and whites. If we were to ever see an international body set up to represent the views of all cultures, we may find general ideas of right and wrong becoming the guidelines for censorship. That's if the group decides to censor based on those ideas. They may come to a different conclusion about right and wrong to you and I. I would have to accept that, even if it went against my own beliefs as I am not the only person on the planet. We need some sort of sci-fi hive mind :)
     
    Last edited: 17 Dec 2008
  5. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    But like many other people, we both know that they were wrong.

    All these cultural shades of grey do not take away the fact that humans across all cultures function in basically the same way. They are fundamentally built the same, wired the same, have the same basic needs and likes and dislikes. They have the same fundamental physiological and psychological development. They cry when upset, smile when they're happy, even if the things that upset or delight them can be very different.

    Below a certain age, children of all cultures do not have the cognitive ability to make sense of adult sexuality in the way that adults do. They cannot give valid and informed consent. Sexualising children is therefore generally socially frowned upon in all cultures.

    Of course when we stray a bit further from fundamentals things get a lot more complex, but the fundamentals exist. We are not that different.
     
  6. StephenK

    StephenK Sneak 'em Upper

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    Ah, but we are not representative of the whole world and it's many different opinions. We are not the authority on right and wrong and our opinions on right and wrong (instinctive or not) are merely opinions, not facts.

    If only we could make political and legal decisions based on fundamentals. We are all physically the same but mentally we can differ. Until we can make specific decisions on right and wrong based on the views of all groups (or their elected representatives) censorship simply won't work the way we want it to. What's legal and right in one country is illegal and wrong in another. You can't effectively censor anything (if indeed it is decided that you are right to do so) when everyone is singing off a different hymn sheet.
     
  7. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    They are widely shared opinions. Which is why most cultures have the same basic fundamental rules. You can peel the onion called culture and underneath you find that it looks basically much the same.

    Don't we? It is all tribalism, and no mistake. From common law to the Spanish Inquisition to the invasion of Iraq. All motivated by fundamental tribal dynamics. We're dealing with nothing but fundamentals, don't get distracted by the conceptual garnish.
     
  8. StephenK

    StephenK Sneak 'em Upper

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    Indeed. Perhaps that should read based purely on fundamentals. The spirit on which our laws are based is something that can often get lost within the details. However, the details are there none the less. Ask any lawyer how complicated the simplest , fundamental laws are. The ones that are summed up in one or two lines for the public but contain thousands of pages of clarifications, exceptions, areas without previous president,etc. Sure there are basic prime motivators but when two differing opinions collide we need to be able to make a judgment call and that requires detail, measurement and more than just the fundamental founding principle. Constitutions are a foundation upon which law is built, a deliberately simplistic reference point upon which to develop a system of law.

    Our tribal nature is evidence of how we haven't changed that much since we started walking upright. Iraq was simply one tribe raiding another tribe's resources, sure. Either way it was also an example of one Tribe claiming Providence. I don't want to be part of the tribe who thinks they know best, because they don't, they can't. From the inside we can never be truly
    objective. In 50 years people will laugh at our crazy ideas about the world. Our cutting edge debates about morality, religion, culture, sex, etc will be so very very vintage. I'm a product of my age and already out of date, a dinosaur. That's they way things work. Each generation evolving from the fundamentals of our base nature but never quite escaping them. We may become a more liberal global society or a less liberal one. Either way it will be the choice of the world, either through action or lack there of. Control is something that must be given, it cannot be taken.
     
  9. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Regardless, it all starts with fundamentals. Now you have to ask yourself whether the sexualisation of a child is ever OK under certain circumstances or exceptions. I think you know the answer. We can bicker over exactly how the image should have been dealt with, but we both know that the image is wrong.

    People may once have thought different, but we know more about child development now, just as we also know now that women are as bright as men and black people are not a lower form of human. We know that everybody is different, yet we are also the same. Science tells us so. Morality may be debated, but we know for a scientific fact what is harmful to people.
     
  10. StephenK

    StephenK Sneak 'em Upper

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    Science tells us so.... the same way it did twenty years ago? Are we at the pinnacle of scientific knowledge? Will students not need to buy a new addition of Gleitman any more are we have set it all down in scientific fact and we know it all now?

    Oh if only that were so, depending on what journals and papers you read, what's harmful and what's not changes from week to week. Heck, look at old editions of our textbooks, lots of accepted facts turned out to be only partially correct. If science tells us anything it's how the world doesn't operate in simple black and white. We know more about child development now and thats great but we will know more in 20 years and so on. We have facts, sure but as Poincaré once said, 'Science is built up of facts, as a house is built of stones; but an accumulation of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house.' We are always learning and reinterpreting those facts. Surely you can't suggest that when we say 'we know more now than they did before' it's any more meaningful than when those same scientists of a few decades ago said exactly the same thing about a previous generation?

    Child sexualisation occurs everyday in many many different forms. As with everything, it is a question of degree. Hence the aforementioned need for complex guidelines on this sort of thing rather than basic principles. Is a beauty pageant totally wrong or right? Or is it a question of degree? Are the many ranges of belly tops and short skirts made for girls under ten totally wrong or totally right? Or is it a question of degree? Brats, Barbie,HSM etc etc etc... Or how about the enforced innocence of children that we see in some cultures? An enforced a-sexualisation almost. Is that more harmful or less?

    Child physical abuse, be it sexual or not.... I feel it's wrong. Thats my gut talking.

    A picture of a child without a top on? Any different to what you will see on most beaches or a sick disturbing image? It's all a matter of degree and perception....

    Heck even when we have good research that shows a possible negative effect of something on children the general population doesn't really feel the need to eradicate that from society. Look at Albert Bandura’s work on the tendency of children to imitate what they see (such as the bobo doll experiments). The study showed, to a certain degree, that children who see violence may become less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others, more fearful of the world around them and more likely to behave aggressively or harmfully towards others. This is the normalisation you spoke of.

    Ok, so it's only a may become more aggressive, etc but still. I know it's a somewhat flawed study (as a bobo is designed to be a target so there's an issue there) but it is certainly very useful in helping us examine our media in particular.

    Yet even knowing that violence can be normailsed, we don't ban all violence or even censor all violence from our kids. It's a question of degree. How much is too much? How much is normal and ok? No black and white basic principles. The basic fundamental is 'violence is wrong and harmful to children' but we can't really work with that in the real world. In the same way, it is our opinion (widely held or not, it does not constitute a universal) that child pornography and child sexualisation are wrong. Yet still it is a question of degree. Hence the need to set down what is and isn't acceptable, or whether anything is unacceptable. No one group can make those judgements. Even scientists working in the field will disagree on certain areas.
     
    Last edited: 19 Dec 2008
  11. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    You're right. We shouldn't trust planes now because after all, only 100 years ago we couldn't build anything that flew at all. Or perhaps we should wait until someone comes along with an anti-gravity drive™.

    And medicine? Shall we wait around until we have a real cure for cancer, or try and make do with what we know now?

    We can only work with what we know now. Now we know that the sexualisation of children is harmful to them. They may not have realised the implications in the past, but we know now. Tomorrow some scientist may be able to qualify that; prove in some way that it is not as harmful as we thought, but we can only go on our best knowledge now.

    I'm not arguing about degrees. To some extent or other it is wrong.

    No, (sigh) again, it is a matter of the intent and context. I seem to need to keep repeating that until I'm blue in the face. Are you getting this at all?!?

    Never heard of the Watershed then?

    You're now moving from "Is it wrong?" to "How wrong is it?". Normalisation at work.
     
  12. StephenK

    StephenK Sneak 'em Upper

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    Please, don't be silly. There is so much we don't know about the human brain. A plan flies, it works in accordance with the laws of physics. We can improve on it's design but to liken that to our understanding of the human mind?? Seriously? We are always amending our understanding of the physical world, true, but to claim that we are able to apply universal concepts of right and wrong, even if we are basing them upon science, when we know our knowledge of the human mind is so limited....

    And therein lies the problem. If the current community, with the knowledge we have now, cannot agree on what is and isn't harmful then we come to a stop. The image was deemed okay already. So which is it? If people now with the knowledge of now decided it was okay then why are other people disagreeing? Because there isn't a solid consensus on these things, surely in areas that you are familiar with you see a continual debate and shifting of consensus?

    To some extent or another is an argument of degree. If it isn't all right or all wrong, if it is only wrong to some extent than that is a case of degree.

    Obviously not. Intent is is subjective. What if the intent is not to create child pornography? As in artistic photos or even holiday snaps? The image is still that of a naked child. So we can have a net full of images of naked children and call it art instead of porn. Perhaps I am missing you on this. I really do find this subject fascinating and would like to get where you are coming from. And if we are worried about normalisation do you think children can tell the difference in intent and context between a naked girl on holiday and a naked girl that was snapped at a beech location as child pornography. Surely the images themselves will act as normalisers and thus the original intent is secondary?

    Allow me to repeat 'we don't ban all violence or even censor all violence from our kids.' Watershed is not a ban, it is a self imposed censorship. The TV still shows the images, the violence is still there and still broadcast. It is left to the parents to keep there kids from watching. Even with the watershed in mind some kids cartoons and tv shows do contain violence. You and I are old enough to remember when cartoons were a lot more violent than they are now but the violence is still there today.

    The Watershed is almost the exact opposite of what you've been suggesting. If we follow the watershed model, then things that are harmful to children can be all over the net, just not on kids websites (as its not in kids tv shows but that too can be argued) and it must be moderated by the parents. Thats why we have parental controls. You don't say to the parents, 'sorry no violence or porn for you, it's harmful to your children'

    What has been suggested, the removal of child pornography from the net is not the same thing. To remove it based on it's harmfulness to children shows the flaw in that argument. Why do we still have harmful tv shows on in the evenings? Why has all adult content not just been removed completely or access to it blocked for everyone. Child pornography has been deemed to be illegal in some countries, that's why it gets banned. If the law is different elsewhere then we can't force our law on someone else. And as I've already mentioned, the image was not deemed to be illegal. Protecting children from harm through violent and sexual content is the responsibility of the parents.

    So, we come back to an earlier posters suggestion that we can moderate ourselves thank you very much. We do already with Pornography, Violent Movies, etc etc etc. The internet is full of harmful images and ideas which kids just aren't ready for but so is the rest of the world. I'd love to see a Watershed model. The onus would be on the parents to moderate, just as they are supposed to with TV. What is wrong with that? Unless as you said earlier in regards to freedom of expression, you don't feel that the general public is mature enough to handle their own censorship?
     
    Last edited: 19 Dec 2008
  13. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Good is what works, bad is what harms. Many grey areas on that, sure, but science shows that the overt sexualisation of children harms their psychological development. So it is bad. So it is wrong.

    Sorry if this sounds too simplistic to you. Perhaps I've hung out in mental health and brain injury rehabilitation for too long, where we learn not to dwell too much on the complexity of the human mind but focus primarily on the patient's functioning and wellbeing, and how to restore and promote it. Everything can be analysed, rationalised and discussed to the nth degree, but at some point you have to be pragmatic and do something that to the best of our knowledge benefits the patient and preferably doesn't harm them.

    Perhaps the current community should employ some child psychologists and psychiatrists. You're the one that says values and insights change over time. Could people in the past have been wrong about the image, and the IWF right?

    There is no point on the continuum at which child sexualisation goes from bad (wrong) to good (right), so degrees is kind of academic. You may disagree, but then you get into deciding whether the record cover in question has crossed the line or is still "okay". And once you decide it is still "okay", it becomes "normal" and the next image pushes the boundary a bit further.

    That's the worry about normalisation.

    The perception of intent and context is subjective, but that doesn't necessarily mean it is ambiguous. The record cover was intended to be controversial and lo, it was thus perceived. Similarly, holiday snaps are generally readily recognised as holiday snaps. Porn is generally pretty obviously porn, even if the woman in question appears to be wielding power tools in a garage...

    Also, just because intent and context may not be recognised does not mean that they aren't perceived. Young children will indeed not tell child porn apart from naked holiday snaps because they don't have the sexual framework to make sense. So they would indeed probably just see them as (perhaps somewhat unusual) holiday snaps. But they would perceive to the sexual nature of the image, even if they did not understand it, and with repeated exposure start thinking of it as "normal" (like indeed the subjects of the images end up doing).

    That is the other worry about normalisation.

    Yeah, but there's that context and intent thing again. Tom and Jerry were intended to be cartoon, and the context of the "violence" was cartoon, and the nature was cartoon violence. At no point was Tom realistically disemboweled (screaming in life-like agony, vomiting and defaeceting in the process) or Jerry's head bitten off (arterial blood squirting from the neck of a still twitching body).

    I'm not advocating the Watershed, I was just pointing out it is there. But parents can have all the porn they want --as long as it is adult porn. Violence too, as long as it is adult violence (to be honest, I think that there are some dysfunctional adults who cannot handle that stuff either, but at some point you have to let adults take responsibility for their own ****, as you say. However as adults we have some collective duty of care towards children).

    You have a point: alcohol and tobacco is legal, so why bother with this hard drugs business? :p

    But it is not like that, and it exasperates me that I have to repeat it again: it is about the normalisation of the sexualisation of children. Adult porn does not do that. Adult violence does not do that. Graphic and explicit scenes of violence against children would normalise violence against children, but people seem to understand that's a line you don't want to cross so you'll see very little of that on TV. Even post-Watershed.

    It is not about what material the children are exposed to, but what material the society they live in is exposed to. If we, the adults, normalise inappropriate things done to children, then they suffer the brunt of that. And if they grow up normalising inappropriate things done onto them, they end up messed-up adults who do the same to the next generation.

    Apparently, we can't. Because although everybody complains about the IWF, nobody suggests that Wikipedia can solve the problem by simply censoring the image. Everybody happy, right? But no, we want our "freedom of information", even if we are not really interested in the information. We seem unable to moderate ourselves.
     
    Last edited: 19 Dec 2008
  14. StephenK

    StephenK Sneak 'em Upper

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    Thats the old if you give an inch they take a mile argumnt.... sometimes when you give an inch thats whats taken. We end up with 'if you let there be an images of a girl in a skirt the next image will be a short skirt, then a bikini, then naked'. Or if you let kids drink wine then they'll get into spirits and become heavy drinkers. Look at the drinking culture in central Europe, it''s a clear testament to the flaw of this slippery slope idea.

    Of course. We've already covered that. The difference is that the US government are mandated to represent the views of the people, the IWF are not... just like the film censorship groups mentioned above that are also answerable to the governments.

    Then we are in very serious trouble. Any naked child image is a potential danger then. Be it historical, cartoon, porn, art. We'd have to block the whole lot.

    Okay. Wait a sec. Now you've lost me. I thought we were censoring what was harmful to children so as to protect them from it and the normailsation of it in society. Isn't adult violence harmful to children? Doesn't repeated exposure to adult violence harm children? So if we include the IWF incident, we can't have the image because it's normalising effects on children are harmful but we can have as many violent adult images as we like even though they too are harmful? What?

    Is the truth of it then that it's not about the kids at all. WE don't like child porn, that's why its banned. If we were really worried about the harmful effects of normalisation on children then we wouldn't have any adult violence either...

    And lets talk about about adult films where a child is abused, beaten by a parent say, even where the abuse is glorified and without consequences. Are you suggesting that instead of making me sick and upset it's actually normalising me to child abuse so that one day if I see enough of it i'll think it's okay? As someone who has seen child abuse up close, I disagree

    You say

    So given that there has been child abuse and child pornography for thousands of years, why are we not normailsed to it yet? Why do you not think it's normal? Because you haven't been exposed to it? So if it's existence doesn't translate into exposure, what are we worrying about? Most people wont see the images. As i think you pointed out, most people were giving out about the loss of an image they were never going to view in the first place.
    So why censor an image that 99.9% of society isnt looking at, as it cant cause normalisation by exposure. Heck, the very censoring of it caused more exposure.

    So, if the image can't do harm in the way you describe because most of us aren't looking at it, then why censor it? An off the cuff response to that question might be, 'well why not if nobody's going to miss it?' But that doesn't answer the question.

    Surely by your own argument. If normailsation occurs through exposure, then since 99% of society isn't looking at child porn, child sexualisation of that level will never become normalised?

    If you want to go after any child sexualisation, attack Brats and High School Musical and beauty pageants and television advertising, not obscure and rarely seen pornographic images of children. We browse the net all day long and don't accidentally come across waves of child porn, so normalisation isnt going to happen as a result of these images.

    The thing is, we all did censor oursleves. We were mature enough and responsible enough to be trusted. We didnt google 'child porn'. We took control of our own censorship. The problem arose when someone else decided what was best without asking and without our mandate.

    Allow me a simple example. You live in Birmingham, maybe you have no interest in going to London, ever and no reason to do so. If I told you, that I had decided to ban you from going to London.... surely you could just not go... everybody happy right? But no, you would want your freedom to decide to go to London if you want to or more importantly your freedom to decide NOT to go to London. To moderate yourself. See my point? How can we seem unable to moderate ourselves when 99% of us don't look at child porn?
     
    Last edited: 19 Dec 2008
  15. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    No, you're just applying an inappropriate analogy. In the normalised display of women in the media, we definitely see the evolution you mention. And in Central Europe, what children are normalised to is appropriate drinking in an age-appropriate manner. Some light wine with a meal for teens, under adult supervision; not five-year olds seeing their parents getting absolutely rat-assed on cheap Cider or Vodka and trying it for themselves by ten.

    No it isn't. Only those which intend to sexualise children. I think there is no point in discussing this further. You are either just not getting it or not wanting to get it.

    I think I lost you ages ago. Graphic adult violence is definitely not good, but it is adult stuff amongst adults. Unfortunately some adults can't keep boundaries and thus children get involved inadvertently, but in child sexualisation they get involved explicitly and intentionally. That's the whole point of it.

    Because here you are, functional intelligent adult in a fairly functional environment. But you're the one who pointed out that not everyone is like us and people will regard as normal what they grow up with in their environment. These changes happen insidiously and over years, but they do happen. You already see the record cover as no big deal. Not appropriate, sure, but nothing to get worked up about compared to wider censorship issues or indeed the more obvious child abuse you have seen. After all, the image was deemed "okay". Where do you draw the line?

    As a psychologist however I see a whole set of connections between that image and the child abuse that you think of.

    Still not getting it. It is not normalised yet because it is not tolerated (yet) --because it is challenged. Because it is censored. But repeated exposure without challenge results in habituation and then normalisation.

    The censoring of it placed the image in the public consciousness, but it also placed its challenge in the public consciousness. there was a strong social message that said: "This image is not okay". And that is important.

    Yeah, because such images are censored. As such they are not on public display. They are not commonly visible. As such, when such an image appears in the public domain on, say, a record cover, it still creates controversy (as the record producers knew) and a strong sense of public disapproval. And we want to preserve that. We don't want people to get used to them and start seeing them, and the sexualisation of children depicted by them, as no big deal anymore.

    Are you getting it now?!?

    Trust me, I would ban child beauty pageants if I could. I think that they are freakish and wrong. But taking an argument to the ridiculous extreme (High School Musical?) is not a valid challenge of it.

    Bad analogy. No child was ever harmed by me visiting London. I may be banned from the hospital ward where I work though, if my cold constitutes a risk to the bone marrow transplant patients I work with. What do you think, should I exercise my right as a mature, independent professional and go anyway because I think that I am responsible enough to manage my own infection risk?

    Psychological Reactance is a game for idiots. The self-disciplined recognise the need for rules and boundaries. You and I could function in an Anarchy perhaps, but it only takes one look around you to realise that most people can't.
     
    Last edited: 20 Dec 2008
  16. StephenK

    StephenK Sneak 'em Upper

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    But thats my point, the image wasnt censored until recently. There are images like that all over the place and, as I pointed out, we do the censoring of ourselves by not looking, we don't need somebody to decide for us.

    And an obscure wiki article is somehow in a child space? Images like this are not on kid websites, they are usually found elsewhere, just like other adult content. If an image like this had ended up on the front page of the Disney website then we'd have a problem but as it is I feel it was already outside of the reasonable cyber routes of young people. Kids visit wiki every day by the thousands but they don't go searching for Virgin Killer. And if some kid was, then Google is a problem too as it will point you towards pages with the uncensored cover.

    Repeated exposure? How many people were looking at that image? Hardly any... how can there be repeated exposure.

    HSM is a mid-teenage show, featuring mid-teenage dress and themes which is marketed deliberately at pre-teens. The HSM cheerleader costumes, etc etc are made for 7 yr olds. See my point? Ever been to a lunchtime Britney concert?


    We seem to be coming at this issue from very differing points of view. We've both come up with interesting points and questions but I do feel a consensus is out of reach at this point. Nothing wrong with that. Although this discussion hasn't changed my mind on the idea of a unviersal right and wrong nor the idea that the public cannot be trusted to moderate themselves (or perhaps more correctly that a group of individuals should be allowed to assume leadership un-mandated) there is food for thought here and it was interesting exploring your opinions and ideas.
     
  17. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Don't exaggerate. They are not "all over the place" (because, oh, look, they are censored). But you don't have to go looking for (uncensored) images to be bombarded by them through the media. That is how advertising works, for instance.

    Sexualised images of children are about children. They involve children in sexual adult interests and activities that they should not be involved in --whether in real life or in the adults' minds. Those images intrude on the "child space" in that way. It is all about social and psychological boundaries in human relationships. If you don't understand yet how that works, we have a more fundamental problem of understanding here and I'm not sure that I can explain it all to you in a few posts.

    Pulling a sentence out of the context of the argument is not a sensible way of challenging it. I was talking about what eventually happens if such images are not continually challenged.

    I think that I'm talking over your head, to be honest. Perhaps I'm taking an understanding of certain psychological frameworks for granted. But if you want to know whether the public can moderate itself, just look around you on a Friday night in the city centre. Look at how people behave in traffic. Look at the news. The majority of the public has the self-discipline of a twelve-year old (true: research backs this up). No wonder they see children just as mini-me's.
     
    Last edited: 21 Dec 2008
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