What Does Internet Censorship Mean Fo...

What Does Internet Censorship Mean For LGBT Spaces?

There are 12 comments on the www.womanist-musings.com story from Apr 19, 2011, titled What Does Internet Censorship Mean For LGBT Spaces?. In it, www.womanist-musings.com reports that:

Net censorship never seems to be a topic that dies, in particular censoring all that dirty naughty porn for the (eternally) sake of the children. I think the most extreme version was a proposal by the Tories in the UK to try and create a blanket porn filter for the whole UK (like they could) that people would have to opt-out of (rather than opt-in).

But, regardless of that extreme example, we all know everything from schools and work places to public community centres, libraries, internet cafes, universities - in fact just about everywhere. I've seen internet filtering being used everywhere from WIFI in hotels to even the US Amtrak (and I'm not even sure I know what AMTRAK is, but I've seen a story about it's internet filters).

These filters filter out sex. And STDs. And sexuality.

And yes, that usually includes gays and lesbians and bisexuals and trans people and anyone else who is LGBTQ. Want to find information about testicular cancer or breast examinations? Hmmm could be difficult. These filters are often so grossly wide that even "it gets better" videos are being censored.

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Since: Dec 08

Toronto, ON, Canada

#1 Apr 19, 2011
He could easily google AMTRAK to find out that it is a railroad.

His comments would have more impact if they were less parochial. We as GLBT people need to see internet censorship not MERELY as an attack on knowledge about sexuality but as an attack on free speech and political speech in general.

Censoring information about breast cancer may have been accidental but the principle behind it is not so far from censoring info about political dissent.

“Live and let live”

Since: Apr 08

New Orleans

#2 Apr 19, 2011
There is a very simple solution to this whole mess that porn filtering has become: adopt a new web standard to use .xxx instead of .com. If a porn website does not, then apply filters. This would make the entire job of filtering out the web traffic much easier and less reliant upon filters.
Rainbow Kid

Alpharetta, GA

#3 Apr 19, 2011
Government filtering of the internet?
.
Are we talking about China or the USA
.
Its getting difficult to tell the difference

“Created Equal”

Since: Feb 08

USA

#4 Apr 19, 2011
JohnInToronto wrote:
He could easily google AMTRAK to find out that it is a railroad.
His comments would have more impact if they were less parochial. We as GLBT people need to see internet censorship not MERELY as an attack on knowledge about sexuality but as an attack on free speech and political speech in general.
Censoring information about breast cancer may have been accidental but the principle behind it is not so far from censoring info about political dissent.
Not sure I found his perspective parochial. And his quip about not even knowing what AMTRAC is was a joke. A British sort of joke. Not the Benny Hill kind, but the Jeeves & Wooster kind... not "ha ha" funny, but "oh yes, how very amusing" funny.

His point, with which I agree, is twofold: 1.) Filters are inherently broad-spectrum, indiscriminatory censorship, and 2.) GLBT is NOT synonymous with "sex related materials."

And since the Worldwide Web has supplanted virtually all other less technological forms of mass-communication, social networking, and community organizing, relegating the entire GLBT community, it's news, it's events, it's support organizations, and it's outreach efforts, into a censorship filter which labels all such materials as being related to pornography, is clearly anti-gay discrimination. And further, because the Web may be the only source for more socially or geographically isolated folks to have access to all these things, such censorship is materially damaging to the GLBT community, and to it's less advantaged individuals.

I oppose all forms of censorship. To understand why, one must read Mark Twain's "The Man Who Corrupted Hadleyburg." One does not develop moral resistance to things to which one is never exposed, ultimately giving such things added power to corrupt the unprepared.

As Stephen Hopkins (the scathingly brilliant and delightfully drunken delegate to the First Continental Congress from my home state of Rhode Island) once observed, "I’ve never seen, heard, nor smelled an issue that was so dangerous it couldn’t be talked about!"

In the world of Web filters, my GLBT brothers and sisters, we are that issue. We're apparently too dangerous to even be talked about. It's fine to expose children to information about war, marital infidelity, domestic violence, famine, plague, natural disasters, and drug abuse. But their little impressionable heads would simply explode if anyone told them that Donald and Steve three houses over were legally married. The sky, naturally, would fall, big rocks would pummel the Earth from above, and dogs and cats would start sleeping together, probably.

Actually we don't know. Actually, it might be okay after all. In fact, it might just be beneficial. Truth be told, freedom of information on the Web for GLBT folks is absolutely essential, and anything called a "Web Filter," as the people have learned in China, Singapore, Malasia, Libya, Egypt, and innumerable other places... is insidiously evil.
Frank Stanton

New York, NY

#5 Apr 19, 2011
Josh in New Orleans wrote:
There is a very simple solution to this whole mess that porn filtering has become: adopt a new web standard to use .xxx instead of .com. If a porn website does not, then apply filters. This would make the entire job of filtering out the web traffic much easier and less reliant upon filters.
I'm against your idea.

Firstly, it violates Free Speech Rights to require someone to use a particular domain.

Secondly, you wind up right back at square one because some people are going to disagree as to what is porn and what is not porn. Is a bare-breasted woman porn? It may or my not be depending on the context.

And some fundies consider ANYTHNG associated with the words "gay", "lesbian" or "bisexual" to be porn BY DEFINITION.

Your idea is ridiculous and obviously unworkable.

And the internet and the web ( which are NOT the same thing) are SUPPOSED TO BE the MOST FREE of all media.

And you want to start restricting it.

“Live and let live”

Since: Apr 08

New Orleans

#6 Apr 19, 2011
Frank Stanton wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm against your idea.
Firstly, it violates Free Speech Rights to require someone to use a particular domain.
Who said it would be required? It's called a "web standard". Nobody is required to follow web standards, but when doing so there are benefits. One benefit to the .xxx standard would be that sites could have the subject of their content readily identified for search engines via the domain extension. Would they have to do it? No, but if they did, it would lead to their content being indexed more appropriately.
Frank Stanton wrote:
Secondly, you wind up right back at square one because some people are going to disagree as to what is porn and what is not porn. Is a bare-breasted woman porn? It may or my not be depending on the context.
Use of the extension would be entirely up to webmasters.
Frank Stanton wrote:
And some fundies consider ANYTHNG associated with the words "gay", "lesbian" or "bisexual" to be porn BY DEFINITION.
Your idea is ridiculous and obviously unworkable.
Who said that HRC's website would have to use .xxx as an extension? This is a proposed web standard, not legislation. You're have a knee-jerk reaction to a proposition you quite obviously do not understand in the slightest.
Frank Stanton wrote:
And the internet and the web ( which are NOT the same thing) are SUPPOSED TO BE the MOST FREE of all media.
And you want to start restricting it.
Frank, the "web" is another term for "internet". I'm not talking about censorship, merely a proposed web standard that would make it easier for programs and search engines to filter out porn content, or conversely, to display that sort of content when desired. My proposition has nothing to do with censorship, but merely offers a better way that the content can be identified.
Frank Stanton

New York, NY

#7 Apr 19, 2011
Josh in New Orleans wrote:
<quoted text>
Who said it would be required? It's called a "web standard". Nobody is required to follow web standards, but when doing so there are benefits. One benefit to the .xxx standard would be that sites could have the subject of their content readily identified for search engines via the domain extension. Would they have to do it? No, but if they did, it would lead to their content being indexed more appropriately.
<quoted text>
Use of the extension would be entirely up to webmasters.
<quoted text>
Who said that HRC's website would have to use .xxx as an extension? This is a proposed web standard, not legislation. You're have a knee-jerk reaction to a proposition you quite obviously do not understand in the slightest.
<quoted text>
Frank, the "web" is another term for "internet". I'm not talking about censorship, merely a proposed web standard that would make it easier for programs and search engines to filter out porn content, or conversely, to display that sort of content when desired. My proposition has nothing to do with censorship, but merely offers a better way that the content can be identified.
Thwe world wide web, aka the "web", is a subset of the internet. They are NOT the same thing. You know NOT what you are talking about.

“Live and let live”

Since: Apr 08

New Orleans

#8 Apr 19, 2011
Frank Stanton wrote:
<quoted text>
Thwe world wide web, aka the "web", is a subset of the internet. They are NOT the same thing. You know NOT what you are talking about.
Frank, don't tell me what I do and don't know. I do this for a living. The notion that the web is a collection of browsers, computers, and protocols, as opposed to the entire network of computers, browsers, and protocol is as antiquated a concept as it a non-sequitor of a statement because the internet IS a collection of "webs". If it makes you feel any better, you can refer to your local intranet as "a web", and the internet as "the interwebs". However, when people use the term "the web", they are not referring to their intranet, STMP client, FTP, HTTP, HTTPS, or any other specific communications protocol that you might consider to be part of "the web". They are referring to the internet.

“Live and let live”

Since: Apr 08

New Orleans

#9 Apr 19, 2011
Frank Stanton wrote:
<quoted text>
Thwe world wide web, aka the "web", is a subset of the internet. They are NOT the same thing. You know NOT what you are talking about.
Also, how did this subject even come up? All I mentioned was that a new web standard could be adopted, and you attacked for what exactly? Was it my use of the phrase "web standard"; a term you disagree with but is nonetheless common terminology for standards that websites adhere to? What are you going to do next? Insult my intelligence because I used the word "website" instead of "Internet page served over port 80"?

“Reality is better than truth.”

Since: Nov 09

Indianapolis

#10 Apr 19, 2011
If parents are too frigging lazy to put filters on their kids' computers, why should anyone else be inconvenienced? They had the kids; it's their responsibility to raise them to deal with the world. it is not the world's responsibility to change because someone whelped.

“The Buybull is innerrrent.”

Since: Jun 08

Silver Spring, MD

#11 Apr 19, 2011
Yeah, take a few more paragraphs to splain something to racist, pedo, Daniel from LI. That'll help matters.

“Queer love is here to stay.”

Since: May 07

Los Angeles

#12 Apr 19, 2011
Josh in New Orleans wrote:
There is a very simple solution to this whole mess that porn filtering has become: adopt a new web standard to use .xxx instead of .com. If a porn website does not, then apply filters. This would make the entire job of filtering out the web traffic much easier and less reliant upon filters.
Josh, I cannot agree. I have no trouble with .xxx for porn that is both read by and directed to adults, I stll remember when I was a little queer-ling, trying to understand the feelings I had about some of the other boys.

I grabbed at any information I could get and usually read it with great fear of being discovered. The kast thing I would have done in those pre Internet times was to leave some book around for everyone to find out bout me. I never would have had the courage to have a book with the word "homosexual" on my library record.

Yet now I am a totally out, politicallay active, happily married to my husband, gay man.

I imagine that the situation is similar for today's budding queers. The possibility of an ".xxx" cite being traceable to my computer or browser would have left me as much of a closeted mess as Chuckles or Wot.

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