Friday, January 27, 2006

Regulate The Net?

A gentleman in my online course noted that, “[he] would suggest that the internet be more regulated.”

Then in that case, so should libraries, video stores, book stores and quickie marts. They, too all contain 'pornography', or material that some people find morally offensive. For instance, assume I am an atheist. I find everyone else’s belief in a god to be disgusting and repulsive. To that end, I would find the bible, the quran and the torah to be a pornographic books. If I were in charge of the Ministry of Information, I would have them banned, and people pushing that smut prosecuted.

An extreme example, yes. But who makes those decisions? "Community Standards"? The Internet is global. Do you want a dictator in sub-Saharan Africa making all decisions about what you and your children must read, see and learn? Would you want the health information your children learn chosen by a community that believes female genital mutilation is a good idea? Or, perhaps, to bring it closer to home, you would like the San Francisco GLBT community to decide what the 'standards' are. (Go google that. But not at work).

All of these groups are on the Internet. They all have different points of view. To them, what you do every day may be repugnant and offensive. That steak you're going to cook on the grill will nauseate a vegan or offend a Hindu. Using that charcoal grill will inflame (no pun intended) the environmentalists. So, if you wrote an e-mail and posted to a webpage about grilling a steak for dinner, you would be subject to their restrictions.

The problem you describe is not technical or moral in nature, but rather a management problem. Manage your family to have values and respect. Educate your children that there are nasty ugly things on the Internet, and looking for them is wrong. Be open and allow them to ask questions about the things they find. Manage your employees so they are discouraged from watching porn on company time. Filters, at the micro-level (Net Nanny) or the macro-level (Ministry of Information) are not effective. The children (or employees) will find their way around. If you raise them right, they won't be scarred by the sight of some "T&A". If you manage your employees correctly, they will do their job and not surf for pr0n.
Post a Comment