Pressure on ISPs to filter online content


Findings by the Australia Institute has suggested that exposure to pornography may be linked to a rise in young sex offenders. This has placed mounting pressure on Australian ISPs to filter online content. Read the full story here.


  1. Filtering all the computers for "pornography" will only drive pornography underground and create a black market for it.
  2. Judging from quoted remarks, the good quack uses the term "child" to mean any person who is seventeen years, three hundred sixty-four days old or younger, as if the age of majority is some kind of magic number and there is no room for individual growth and development.
  3. Recent findings suggest exposure to such material - even accidental - may be linked to a rise in the numbers of children sexually abusing other children.

    This suggests that the "findings" are merely the confirmation of an a priori assumption. I would say that the current rise -- if it really exists and is not merely the result of a more vigourous collecting of data -- is due to a generation of parents failing to socialize their children towards a healthy respect for sexual interrelationships.

  4. I doubt seriously that a single accidental exposure to pornography is going to socialize someone into some kind of sexual psychopathy.
  5. People are socialized -- programmed with their core attitudes -- by the time they are ten years old, after which the attitudes they will have as adults remain latent until a triggering event from the age of 16 to 22, inclusive. Adolescence is in a latency period during which these core attitudes are dormant, and no further socialization can take place after the age of ten; therefore all this crap about adolescents being warped by "harmful materials" is load of malarkey from start to finish.
  6. I'd like to know how much of all this "children sexually abusing other children" was really young adults engaging in consentual, but non-grown-up-approved, sex. (When I consider this point, I can hear some self-rigtheous old biddy screaming: Of course he raped her! My 16 year old baby is too innocent to have sex!)
  7. All censorship involves an abdication of personal responsibility, and this is no different. Intrisically, this movement says that these "gang rapists" are not accountable because internet porn made them do it.
  8. "Pornography is a poor sex educator in general."

    This is the only thing he got right, but pornography is not meant to be any kind of educational material. Moreover, ultra-conservative elements won't allow even mainstream sex education; it's all porn to them. The thing is, how can you teach about pornography anywhere without using some kind of pornography as examples? (The answer in this case, of course, is that they won't, but that the students will be required to simply accept the proclamations of grown ups on authority.)

Pesonally, I don't think young people are at threat nearly as much as all these "Harmful To Minors" advocates are touting. Children are a great deal more resilient and difficult to fool than grown ups give them credit for.

When we're talking about Internet laws, child porn is almost always just a bogeyman used to generate fearful support of increased regulation of all online porn. The editorial posted by tomeboy is an example of this: The pro-COPA opinion piece leads with the child-porn stat, but COPA has nothing to do with child porn.

Regarding cause and effect, I'll grant that the use of the Internet as a distribution channel isn't merely coincidental to a rise in child porn cases, but I suspect that affordable digital imaging technology which permits cheap, easy, and private duplication (one probably doesn't drop a film roll of child porn off at the Fotomat) is perhaps an even greater factor. Why doesn't anyone seem to be calling for cameras and scanners to be registered with the government, and for all photo files to be coded so they can be traced back to the hardware they were made with? (Rhetorical question.)

Increases in law enforcement resources devoted to the pursuit of child porn cases may also be a factor. The baseline figure for the child-porn-crimes statistic was for the very first year of the U.K. law, so it's quite possible that enforcement efforts may not have been up to speed then. Maybe instead of looking at that 1500% increase as a sign that more regulation is needed, we ought to take it as evidence that the current laws are working better than ever: The pervo SOBs are being caught!

>>I doubt your vendor contract allows you to re-post (with edits)

Hint. Do the date's on these two articles match? Perhaps those edits you attribute to me, which btw aren't my edits, serve as real example of an a priori assumption?

I subjected that piece to a critical review when I had the time to look at it more closely. It reads like something you'd write, only worse. It is not scientific or academic in way, shape, or form. The bit about the brain being designed to believe images are real is a misunderstanding at best, the use of the word "rigged" is a fallacy of emphasis, the statement about the toxic effects of pornography is based on the same kind of a priori assumption that media violence effects is. There's more.

Suffice to say that it is a piece of misinformation that doesn't even rate as hack work.

Oh, yes, and it makes the usual assumption that consentual sex among minors is some kind of perversion because, of course, fourteen year olds who can choose to have sex legally still are not in any wise qualified to do so, etc, etc, etc.


I doubt your vendor contract allows you to re-post (with edits) Judith Reisman's column without author attribution, or the date. But please, feel free to prove me wrong. Often those who expound right-wing stuff are no better than other people at respecting IP rights.btw, for anyone else the actual article link is not on the main page of humaneventsonline, so here it is: 87Which scientific reasoning are you complaining about? The idea that coorelation is not causation? If so, I refer you to any basic science text. If that is not the 'reasoning' you're talking about, please consider a course in the English language so that you may more precisely engage in dialogue - you're becoming inarticulate, and I have no idea what you're referencing.-- Ender, Duke_of_URL

Should I debate or hug you?

>>A. R. Luria, a Russian lesionnaire, is the first 'researcher' quoted by the article you stole from, and he died in 1977 at 75 - and started his career as a Freudian, and ended it with work in a Cultural-Historical Psychology. You can find some of his work on

Stole?? Tell me, have you read my vendor's services contract? You may want to check Fang's encyclopedia entry for Ad hominem for the latter.

Vacuous comes to mind for the rest of your "scientific" reasoning. Unless metal sharpening is now considered a part of dialectic reasoning.

I could offer some half-assed guesses like you (and the article have done), but I usually decline to do that. I'd like to conduct research - but unfortunately, we've slashed funding for that, unless you're a right-winger with an agenda to push.If you come up with the 'wrong' answers your career (speaking from a psychology perspective) is toast, and you won't be making tenure track, nor getting any grants.So, if you care about the truth and about earning a living as well (devilish compromises), you don't study any of those things. And you be very careful about how you review any of those things.-- Ender, Duke_of_URL

Perhaps you would care to offer your thoughts on what you attribute this phenomenon of a
1500% spike in child porn crimes? Your X,Y and Z.

Or would you attribute this as an anomaly? Albeit a coincidental one that just happens to soar with the advent of the internet?

That website is a bunch of poorly reasoned rightest diatribes. A few facts worth gleaning, but a bunch of useless, an illogically reasoned viewpoints.A. R. Luria, a Russian lesionnaire, is the first 'researcher' quoted by the article you stole from, and he died in 1977 at 75 - and started his career as a Freudian, and ended it with work in a Cultural-Historical Psychology. You can find some of his work on Douglas Reed appears to have only written on pornography. Potentially he's got an axe to grind. Maybe I'll take the time to research articles when I go to school... eh, probably not.GAO account on crimes is disingenious, as it's arguing from results. "Of course blacks can't govern themselves, see how they're all useless slaves?" 1800.-- Ender, Duke_of_URL

Gee there's been a rise in X, there's also been a rise in Y. Y must cause X! No. You need to prove it. It's just as likely that X causes Y - or that Z causes both X and Y.-- Ender, Duke_of_URL

And I am equally amused by your avoidance of the article's substance by way of your Maxwell Smart imitation.

Have we now successfully put this a priori business to rest here with empirical evidence?

you will notice the source I offer here is legitimate and available in many academic libraries. Not to be confused with et al other spurious "sources".

Ah, yes; the old, "That information cannot possibly be valid because the source for it does not pander to my political prejudices" argument. And speaking of a priori assumptions, I was rather amused by your two a priori assumptions that anything offered by an academic library must necessarily be right because it is academic.

I am not here to win friends or to influence people, I am here to sound off.

>> This suggests that the "findings" are merely the confirmation of an a priori assumption

Fang, the only a priori assumption here is your own. BTW, you will notice the source I offer here is legitimate and available in many academic libraries. Not to be confused with et al other spurious "sources".

"Protecting Children From Obscenity"

Human Events; March 1, 2004

Uphold COPA Safeguards Against Online Pornography

According to a recent posting on the BBC's website, a "National Children's Homes" study has found that "[c]hild porn crimes have risen by 1,500% since 1988." But "Why" we ask? And "why" are "over one in three" users "involved in hands-on abuse?"

Is it because the human brain is designed--rigged--to believe that any image it sees is real? If yes, would that fact taint the "Free Speech" defense of pornography? This is the question we will briefly explore here.

The prevention of "child porn crimes" leads us directly to the "Child Online Protection Act" (COPA). COPA, scheduled for debate before the U.S. Supreme Court in March, would criminalize commercial Web sites (1) that regularly engage in the business of selling, and (2) then knowingly make available to minors, the kind of pornography that meets the legal standard of obscene or obscene for minors.

The National Law Center for Children and Families wrote the "COPA Brief of Members of Congress." The brief made legal history by unveiling recent data on how pornographic pictures affect the human brain.

Neurologists question which of the brain's hemisphere will gain control of shared functions and dominate overt behavior, in light of the fact that every second millions of messages bombard the brain and carry information from the body's senses. Inhibitory transmitters help to shape the neural networks that underlie all behavior and control negative behavioral responses. There is evidence that the inhibitory health function of a minor's nervous system can be critically stressed by pornographic imagery.

Are children's minds being negatively sexualized? Are children's natural inhibitions being conspiratorially eroded? If so, we would expect sharp increases--post 1950--in children's mental, physical and sexual disorders. The COPA/NLCCF Brief continues:

"[H]ealth statistics indicate that a significant percentage of minors may be highly vulnerable to the toxic effect of pornographic stimuli. Researchers claim that 25% of the population of the United States is under age 18, and at least 12% of these minors have a diagnosable mental illness. Current Department of Justice data indicate that 67% of all sex abuse victims are minors, and of these, 34% are under age 11, and 14% are under age 5. According to an Australian study, exposure to online pornography is a 'key factor' in the increase of incidents involving young children committing sexual offenses, including 'oral sex and forced intercourse,' against other children." (Emphasis added.)

The Violence and Brain Injury Institute now cites "media influences" as a "macro social" cause of crime and violence. Despite the hysterical denials of the "Me First" crowd, modern brain-scans provide ample evidence of how media reshapes brain, mind and memory. Sexual, or violent images will dominate any text (speech). Children cannot commonly read sex manuals (left hemisphere speech) but they can and do mimic sex pictures.

Pornography isn't like a drug, it is a poly-drug. Neurologist Richard Restak, author of The Brain and The Mind, notes, "inhibition rather than excitation is the hallmark of the healthy brain." Science magazine reports, "too much neuronal activity can be as bad as too little." No wonder a Government Accounting Office (GAO) report on 550 sex-offender clinics--1977 to 1996--found none had cured sex offenders. Predators experience an endogenous drag "high" when seeing pictures of naked or "provocative" women and/or children.

Plainly, the media cannot be blamed for all sexual wrongdoing. Yet the media must be held legally and socially accountable for its harmful, lying pictures about women and children's sexuality and their alleged lust for indiscriminate or sadistic sex. Such brainwashing is seen in judicial decisions legitimizing even "virtual child pornography." For the brain processes virtual child pornography as real "sexy children." Lynch and others documented the rigorous scientific experiments that finally established that the brain processes what it sees ,as tree!

Until recently most neurologists doubted the affect of media upon the national mind. Naturally we would expect a lag time until legislators and judges also understand the connection. The scientifically fraudulent idea that erotic images are harmless speech and children are naturally sexual has led to mass child victimization.

The 1st Amendment was designed to protect words (discourse, not pictures-arousal). Pornographic images neurochemically blitz our brains--overriding legitimate informed consent. Enlightened lawmakers will have to bring our laws up-to-speed with the power of media to shape our brains, minds, memories and our civility. COPA is a beginning.

All citations are found in the COPA brief or on Visit for an unabridged version of this article.

Heated rhetoric is not an effective way to change the opinions of people who are not already true believers. A calmer tone encourages people to actually listen to your arguments. I experienced my share of polemical arguments as a one-time Trotskyist, and believe me, it doesn't win any friends.

Why is there such an obsession of protecting the right to look at porn? The entire basis of that industry is to address the base instincts in people. Look at how popular Howard Stern has become these days. Porn is harmful and it doesn't take a study to know that fact. Rape is a violent crime with sexual overtones. Porn is violent and debasing materials that can fuel people who have certain propensities. A person once told me that you don't walk into a sick ward to see how healthy you are. Porn is harmful to society and protecting it is akin to shouting fire in a crowded movie theater. Porn is not freedom of expression.

I'm not sure what tomeboy means by a "legitimate" source. An editorial based mostly on a brief written by the National Law Center for Children and families can hardly be called a fair, balanced, and well-researched look at the issue, though. If you carefully read the editorial, you'll see the writer dropping in a lot of references to studies, institutes, etc., but only one of those references appears to be research that actually links the viewing of porn by children (or by anyone, even) with bad behavior. That study is not only based on anecdotal evidence, but it also reportedly found "that parental supervision of the children's online sessions was uniformly lacking."

If one reads the summary of the report cited (second-hand) in the editorial's lead -- the source of the figure about the increase in child porn cases -- one sees the statement that "[n]o one knows what the long-term effects" are of kids' exposure to Internet porn.

I'd be surprised if the editorial writer actually read any of the research mentioned in this piece.

Subscribe to Comments for "Pressure on ISPs to filter online content"