Thursday, November 16, 2006

Conservative estimate?

This story reports that 1% of web sites indexed by Google and Microsoft contain sexually explicit material. 1%? Are you effing kidding me?

Every time I turn around I see some link inviting me to peruse some salacious web site. Now, maybe these are false links without pornographic content, but honestly, can I really believe that only 1% of web sites out there have pornographic content? The internet, after all, was created for the free exchange of ideas and information porn, so let's be realistic.

Maybe the proliferation of bloggers has crunched the numbers down some, but if I was going to make a conservative guess myself I might have said 5%, with a personal belief that the true number is around 10%.

The study the story was reporting on focuses on numbers to try to breathe new life into the 1998 Child Online Protection Act, which would require a credit card or some other kind of "proof" of age before you can view pornographic material online. As if a child can't get his parent's credit card/driver's license/ID card info. The Supreme Court shot down this law in 2004, citing a breach in an adult's right to look at and buy what they want on the internet.

While I'm not thrilled with the idea of children ending up gazing open-mouthed at lascivious web sites, I'm equally unenthused about someone having to share their identity and/or credit card information to look at porn. The ACLU claims filters work well, and I'm sure they work reasonably well. The thing is, you can be searching for some perfectly innocent things and end up staring point blank at some full frontal. I don't have any particular objection to porn in general, it serves a need I suppose, but I'm certainly not a big fan. Despite my lukewarm sentiments, I do think adult people should have the right to look at porn if they wanna. When it comes to children, well, I don't think they should be exposed to porn, but I also don't think they should be brought up to be ashamed or disgusted at the human body. But there is a big difference in a teenage boy hiding a stack of Playboys and the same boy crawling into a site that would put the Marquis de Sade to shame.

Obviously, the European point of view regarding porn is a wee bit different. Porn is hanging in plain sight at kiosks everywhere. Naked breasts can be found on network TV without being blurred, and movie channels show a porn movie every night after midnight. To be honest, I much prefer living in a society where it is all out in the open, but I might feel a bit differently if I had children. Still, if my child saw a picture of a naked woman, I wouldn't start screaming and shield his or her eyes. That just makes them more curious.

Alas, I digress. My point is, I don't believe that porn makes up only 1% of web sites. Of course, I could be wrong. It has been known to happen, on rare occasions when pigs fly and it rains blood.


Flubberwinkle said...

Only 1%? On WHAT planet?

Unless they are assigning categories to porn and that 1% refers to "really, Really, REALLY, HARD-HARDER-HARDEST-CORE, SCREWED-UP porn".

J.Doe said...

I agree. 1 percent? That's ridiculously low.