Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 12th Dec 2012 22:03 UTC
Google A change to anything related to Google Search - the product so many of us rely on - is never going to go by unnotoced. This time around, Google has altered Image Search for US users to alter the way it handles that ever so important aspect of the web - adult content.
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RE[2]: Adult content?
by Dave_K on Sat 15th Dec 2012 01:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Adult content?"
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Here in the U.S., we can't just make a big deal out of something minor. It seems that for whatever reason we have to blow it way out of proportion and extend it to condemn nearly every damn thing that is even remotely similar, and then make a huge pointless deal about everything.


The culprits are typically Christians.

Over here in the UK there's the same nonsense, only the culprits are typically feminists (acknowledging that there is a liberal fringe of the movement that's anti-censorship).

Where I live a coalition of feminist groups managed to shut down the local strip clubs, sex shops and porn cinema (who knew that they still existed?). Through a year or two of picketing and lobbying, and tactics like accusing their critics of being "pro-rape", they bullied the local authorities into instituting a "nil policy" for sex related businesses.

Ironically, considering your comment about Christians, one of the only "respectable" people (as opposed to the much demonised club/shop owners and employees) to speak out against their closure was a local Church of England vicar. He even joined a group of dancers from the strip clubs when they staged a counter protest.

As you'd expect, those feminist groups also push for legislation against porn on the internet, joined by various allies from across the political spectrum. Right now they're mainly campaigning for a mandatory ISP level porn filter to be instituted, with people having to opt-out if they want to access adult content. But anyone who thinks they'd be satisfied with anything less than a blanket ban in the long term is very naive. These are people who often consider even the tamest topless/bikini photos to be obscene material that causes rape.

You'd think that a relatively secular and liberal country would be a bit more tolerant of such things, but it seems like there's always another group of authoritarian prudes ready to step in and push for censorship and criminalisation.

In fact, I'd say that the UK is one definite exception to Thom's comment about America being "probably the most conservative and puritanical western country".

I know there have been obscenity trials targeting pornographers in the US, but I imagine that the First Amendment would protect individuals from being arrested merely for possessing porn. In the UK you get cases like the prosecution of Simon Walsh for possessing home made images of consenting adults:

Edited 2012-12-15 01:27 UTC

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