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Internet Porn Censorship


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Commented: Counting on porn...

Anti-porn campaigners analyse video titles on major porn tubes and with the help of a little stretching of the English language conclude that 1 in 8 are 'sexually violent'


Link Here10th April 2021
Anti porn campaigners have been cataloguing porn titles on Pornhub, XVideos and xHamster and claim that one in eight have titles describing sexually violent acts. Their use of the term 'sexually violent' is a little bizarre though, and inevitably has been redefined to include non-violent material that the authors deem to be violent totally at odds with normal people's use of the English language.

The campaigners analysed 131,738 titles of videos that appeared on the front page of the tube websites (without specifically searching for anything nor allowing the site to build up a profile of preferences).

The campaigners claimed that
  • 8,421 (6.4%) titles included terms for family relationships and 5,785 (4.4%) titles described sexual activity between family members - the most common category of 'sexually violent' material identified in the survey
  • 5,389 (4.1%) titles referred to physical aggression or the depiction of forced sexual activity (acknowledging that performers had likely consented
  • 2,966 (2.2%) titles described image-based sexual abuse, including hidden cams and upskirting
  • 2,698 (1.7%) titles described as coercion and exploitation
The campaigners excluded BDSM material as they seemed to have gotten confused about whether the term 'violence' applies to the genre that seems to be higher more PC than other genres.

Pornhub's owner Mindgeek recently removed millions of videos that had been uploaded by users who had not been verified after claims of hosting illegal content. But it commented on the clips it has allowed to remain online:

Consenting adults are entitled to their own sexual preferences, as long as they are legal and consensual, and all kinks that meet these criteria are welcome on Pornhub.

Academic Clare McGlynn who co-authored the survey, said:

It's shocking that this is the material that the porn companies themselves are choosing to showcase to first-time users.

Collegue Fiona Vera-Gray and co-author of the survey, said:

Sexually violent material eroticised non-consent and distorted the boundary between sexual pleasure and sexual violence.

The survey, titled Sexual violence as a sexual script in mainstream online pornography, is published in the latest issue of The British Journal of Criminology. with its abstract reading:

This article examines the ways in which mainstream pornography positions sexual violence as a normative sexual script by analysing the video titles found on the landing pages of the three most popular pornography websites in the United Kingdom. The study draws on the largest research sample of online pornographic content to date and is unique in its focus on the content immediately advertised to a new user. We found that one in eight titles shown to first-time users on the first page of mainstream porn sites describe sexual activity that constitutes sexual violence. Our findings raise serious questions about the extent of criminal material easily and freely available on mainstream pornography websites and the efficacy of current regulatory mechanisms.

Offsite Comment: Academic Click Bate: The War On Porn Continues

7th April 2021. See article from reprobatepress.com by David Flint

The study makes big claims that were inevitably picked up and repeated uncritically by media outlets like the BBC. But even a cursory glance at the evidence and the conclusions might make a more open-minded person raise their eyebrows. If ever there was a study that set out in search of evidence to back up a belief already held, this is it.

See article from reprobatepress.com

Offsite Comment: British Journal of Criminology Study on Violence in Porn

10th April 2021. See article from avn.com

If you only read headlines about a new study from the British Journal of Criminology you might think that large quantities of criminal videos of sexual violence on tube sites are warping most children's minds, turning them into sexual violators.

But this isn't even close to true. The coverage of the study is misleading and exaggerated. But the study itself is extremely flawed.

First, the researchers included everything from stepmom to ploughed in the category of sexual violence. Defined that broadly, it's shocking the study found only one in eight videos depicted sexual violence.

See full article from avn.com

 

 

No comments...

Government notes that porn websites without user comments or uploads will not be within the censorship regime of the upcoming Online Safety Bill


Link Here27th March 2021
Full story: Online Harms White Paper...UK Government seeks to censor social media
Written Question, answered on 24 March 2021

Baroness Grender Liberal Democrat Life peer Lords

To ask Her Majesty's Government which commercial pornography companies will be in scope of the Online Safety Bill; and whether commercial pornography websites which

  1. do not host user-generated content, or

  2. allow private user communication, will also be in scope.

Baroness Barran Conservative

The government is committed to ensuring children are protected from accessing online pornography through the new online safety framework. Where pornography sites host user-generated content or facilitate online user interaction such as video and image sharing, commenting and live streaming, they will be subject to the new duty of care. Commercial pornography sites which allow private user to user communication will be in scope. Where commercial pornography sites do not have user-generated functionality they will not be in scope. The online safety regime will capture both the most visited pornography sites and pornography on social media, therefore covering the majority of sites where children are most likely to be exposed to pornography.

We expect companies to use age assurance or age verification technologies to prevent children from accessing services which pose the highest risk of harm to children, such as online pornography. We are working closely with stakeholders across industry to establish the right conditions for the market to deliver age assurance and age verification technical solutions ahead of the legislative requirements coming into force.

 

 

Ofcom thinks it can 'regulate' cancel culture, PC lynch mobs and the kangaroo courts of wokeness...

The new internet censor sets outs its stall for the censorship of video sharing platforms


Link Here24th March 2021
Full story: Ofcom Video Sharing Censors...Video on Demand and video sharing
Ofcom has published its upcoming censorship rules for video sharing platforms and invites public responses up until 2nd June 2021. For a bit of self justification for its censorship, Ofcom has commissioned a survey to find that YouTube users and the likes are calling out for Ofcom censorship. Ofcom writes:

A third of people who use online video-sharing services have come across hateful content in the last three months, according to a new study by Ofcom.

The news comes as Ofcom proposes new guidance for sites and apps known as 'video-sharing platforms' (VSPs), setting out practical steps to protect users from harmful material.

VSPs are a type of online video service where users can upload and share videos with other members of the public. They allow people to engage with a wide range of content and social features.

Under laws introduced by Parliament last year, VSPs established in the UK must take measures to protect under-18s from potentially harmful video content; and all users from videos likely to incite violence or hatred, as well as certain types of criminal content. Ofcom's job is to enforce these rules and hold VSPs to account.

The  draft guidance is designed to help these companies understand what is expected of them under the new rules, and to explain how they might meet their obligations in relation to protecting users from harm.

Harmful experiences uncovered

To inform our approach, Ofcom has researched how people in the UK use VSPs, and their claimed exposure to potentially harmful content. Our major findings are: 

  • Hate speech. A third of users (32%) say they have witnessed or experienced hateful content. Hateful content was most often directed towards a racial group (59%), followed by religious groups (28%), transgender people (25%) and those of a particular sexual orientation (23%).

  • Bullying, abuse and violence. A quarter (26%) of users claim to have been exposed to bullying, abusive behaviour and threats, and the same proportion came across violent or disturbing content.

  • Racist content. One in five users (21%) say they witnessed or experienced racist content, with levels of exposure higher among users from minority ethnic backgrounds (40%), compared to users from a white background (19%). 

  • Most users encounter potentially harmful videos of some sort. Most VSP users (70%) say they have been exposed to a potentially harmful experience in the last three months, rising to 79% among 13-17 year-olds.

  • Low awareness of safety measures. Six in 10 VSP users are unaware of platforms' safety and protection measures, while only a quarter have ever flagged or reported harmful content.

Guidance for protecting users

As Ofcom begins its new role regulating video-sharing platforms, we recognise that the online world is different to other regulated sectors. Reflecting the nature of video-sharing platforms, the new laws in this area focus on measures providers must consider taking to protect their users -- and they afford companies flexibility in how they do that.

The massive volume of online content means it is impossible to prevent every instance of harm. Instead, we expect VSPs to take active measures against harmful material on their platforms. Ofcom's new guidance is designed to assist them in making judgements about how best to protect their users. In line with the legislation, our guidance proposes that all video-sharing platforms should provide:

  • Clear rules around uploading content. VSPs should have clear, visible terms and conditions which prohibit users from uploading the types of harmful content set out in law. These should be enforced effectively.

  • Easy flagging and complaints for users. Companies should implement tools that allow users to quickly and effectively report or flag harmful videos, signpost how quickly they will respond, and be open about any action taken. Providers should offer a route for users to formally raise issues or concerns with the platform, and to challenge decisions through dispute resolution. This is vital to protect the rights and interests of users who upload and share content.

  • Restricting access to adult sites. VSPs with a high prevalence of pornographic material should put in place effective age-verification systems to restrict under-18s' access to these sites and apps.

Enforcing the rules

Ofcom's approach to enforcing the new rules will build on our track record of protecting audiences from harm, while upholding freedom of expression. We will consider the unique characteristics of user-generated video content, alongside the rights and interests of users and service providers, and the general public interest.

If we find a VSP provider has breached its obligations to take appropriate measures to protect users, we have the power to investigate and take action against a platform. This could include fines, requiring the provider to take specific action, or -- in the most serious cases -- suspending or restricting the service.Consistent with our general approach to enforcement, we may, where appropriate, seek to resolve or investigate issues informally first, before taking any formal enforcement action.

Next steps

We are inviting all interested parties to comment on our proposed draft guidance, particularly services which may fall within scope of the regulation, the wider industry and third-sector bodies. The deadline for responses is 2 June 2021. Subject to feedback, we plan to issue our final guidance later this year. We will also report annually on the steps taken by VSPs to comply with their duties to protect users.

NOTES

Ofcom has been given new powers to regulate UK-established VSPs. VSP regulation sets out to protect users of VSP services from specific types of harmful material in videos. Harmful material falls into two broad categories under the VSP Framework, which are defined as:

  • Restricted Material , which refers to videos which have or would be likely to be given an R18 certificate, or which have been or would likely be refused a certificate. It also includes other material that might impair the physical, mental or moral development of under-18s.

  • Relevant Harmful Material , which refers to any material likely to incite violence or hatred against a group of persons or a member of a group of persons based on particular grounds. It also refers to material the inclusion of which would be a criminal offence under laws relating to terrorism; child sexual abuse material; and racism and xenophobia.

The Communications Act sets out the criteria for determining jurisdiction of VSPs, which are closely modelled on the provisions of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive. A VSP will be within UK jurisdiction if it has the required connection with the UK. It is for service providers to assess whether a service meets the criteria and notify to Ofcom that they fall within scope of the regulation. We recently published guidance about the criteria to assist them in making this assessment. In December 2020, the Government confirmed its intention to appoint Ofcom as the regulator of the future online harms regime . It re-stated its intention for the VSP Framework to be superseded by the regulatory framework in new Online Safety legislation.

 

 

Virtue signalling in law...

Utah Governor signs law requiring internet devices sold locally to be pre-loaded with Net Nanny like porn blocking software


Link Here24th March 2021
Full story: US politicans and porn harms...US states claim porn to be a public health hazard
The Republican governor of Utah has signed silly legislation requiring all cellphones and tablets sold in the conservative state to be sold with software that automatically blocks pornography.

Governor Spencer Cox claims the measure would send an important message about preventing children from accessing explicit online content.

In fact the legislation is mere virtue signalling and makes no meaningful proposals how its requirements can be implemented in practice. So there is a get out clause that says no immediate steps toward implementation will be made unless five other states enact similar laws, a provision introduced to address concerns that it would be difficult to implement.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah said the constitutionality of the bill was not adequately considered and that it will likely be argued in court.

 

 

Age of censorship...

An internet porn age verification bill progresses in Canada


Link Here19th March 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in Canada...Proposal for opt in intenet blocking
A bill has passed 2nd reading in the Canadian Senate that would require porn websites to implement age verification for users.

Bill S-203, An Act to restrict young persons' online access to sexually explicit material, will now be referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.

 

 

Updated: Dangerous legislation...

A diverse group of organisations criticise Australia's hastily drafted and wide ranging internet censorship bill


Link Here19th March 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in Australia...Wide ranging state internet censorship
A number of legal, civil and digital rights, tech companies and adult organisations have raised significant concerns with Australia's proposed internet censorship legislation, and its potential to impact those working in adult industries, to lead to online censorship, and the vast powers it hands to a handful of individuals.

Despite this, the legislation was introduced to Parliament just 10 days after the government received nearly 400 submissions on the draft bill, and the senate committee is expected to deliver its report nine days after submissions closed. Stakeholders were also given only three working days to make a submission to the inquiry.

In a submission to the inquiry, Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) president Graham Droppert said the government should not proceed with the legislation because it invests excessive discretionary power in the eSafety Commissioner and also the Minister with respect to the consideration of community expectations and values in relation to online content. Droppert said:

The ALA considers that the bill does not strike the appropriate balance between protection against abhorrent material and due process for determining whether content comes within that classification.

Digital Rights Watch has been leading the charge against the legislationn. Digital Rights Watch programme director Lucie Krahulcova said:

The powers to be handed to the eSafety Commissioner, which was established in 2015 to focus on keeping children safe online, is a continuation of its broadly expanding remit, and should be cause for concern.

The new powers in the bill are discretionary and open-ended, giving all the power and none of the accountability to the eSafety Office. They are not liable for any damage their decisions may cause and not required to report thoroughly on how and why they make removal decisions. This is a dramatic departure from democratic standards globally.

Jarryd Bartle is a lecturer in criminal law and adult industry consultant, and is policy and campaigns advisor at the Eros Association. He said:

The bill as drafted is blatant censorship, with the eSafety commissioner empowered to strip porn, kink and sexually explicit art from the internet following a complaint, with nothing in the scheme capable of distinguishing moral panic from genuine harm.

Twitter and live streaming service Twitch have joined the mounting list of service providers, researchers, and civil liberties groups that take issue with Australia's pending Online Safety Bill.

Of concern to both Twitter and Twitch is the absence of due regard to different types of business models and content types, specifically around the power given to the relevant minister to determine basic online safety expectations for social media services, relevant electronic services, and designated internet services. Twitter said:

In order to continue to foster digital growth and innovation in the Australian economy, and to ensure reasonable and fair competition, it is critically important to avoid placing requirements across the digital ecosystem that only large, mature companies can reasonably comply with,

Likewise, Twitch believes it is important to consider a sufficiently flexible approach that gives due regard to different types of business models and content types.

Update: Fast tracked

19th March 2021. See article from ia.acs.org.au

The Online Safety Bill 2021 will likely get an easy ride into law after a senate environment and communications committee gave it the nod of approval last week.

Under the government's proposed laws, the eSafety Commissioner will be given expanded censorship powers to direct social media platforms and other internet services to take down material and remove links to content it deems offensive or abusive.

 

 

Updated: All men are rapists...

So peer Floella Benjamin attempts to revive porn age verification censorship because porn viewing is just one step away from park murder


Link Here17th March 2021
The pro-censorship member of the House of Lords has tabled the following amendment to the Domestic Abuse Bill to reintroduce internet porn censorship and age verification requires previously dropped by the government in October 2019.

Amendment 87a introduces a new clause:

Impact of online pornography on domestic abuse

  1. Within three months of the day on which this Act is passed, the Secretary of State must commission a person appointed by the Secretary of State to investigate the impact of access to online pornography by children on domestic abuse.

  2. Within three months of their appointment, the appointed person must publish a report on the investigation which may include recommendations for the Secretary of State.

  3. As part of the investigation, the appointed person must consider the extent to which the implementation of Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 (online pornography) would prevent domestic abuse, and may make recommendations to the Secretary of State accordingly.

  4. Within three months of receiving the report, the Secretary of State must publish a response to the recommendations of the appointed person.

  5. If the appointed person recommends that Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 should be commenced, the Secretary of State must appoint a day for the coming into force of that Part under section 118(6) of the Act within the timeframe recommended by the appointed person."

Member's explanatory statement

This amendment would require an investigation into any link between online pornography and domestic abuse with a view to implementing recommendations to bring into effect the age verification regime in the Digital Economy Act 2017 as a means of preventing domestic abuse.

Update: Defeated

17th March 2021. See article from votes.parliament.uk

The amendment designed to resurrect the Age Verification clauses of the Digital Economy Act 2017 was defeated by 242 to 125 vodets in the House of Lords.

The government minister concluding the debate noted that the new censorship measures included in the Online Harms Bill are more comprensive than the measures under Digital Economy Act 2017. He also noted that although upcoming censorship measures would take significant time to implement but also noted that reviving the old censorship measures would also take time.

In passing the minister also explained one of the main failings of the act was that site blocking would not prove effective due to porn viewers being easily able to evade ISP blocks by switching to encrypted DNS servers via DNS over Https (DoH). Presumably government internet snooping agencies don't fancy losing the ability to snoop on the browsing habits of all those wanting to continue viewing a blocked porn site such as Pornhub.




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