By Nick Bilton The decision by Dropbox this month to appoint Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state, to the company’s board of directors sparked a heated online debate about her views on…
Jean Cocteau by Jane Bown, x
Pen on Sketchbook Paper
Of course, if you recognize that the continued expansion of such filters was likely the plan from the beginning, then everything is going according to plan. The fact that it doesn’t solve any problems the public are dealing with is meaningless. It solves a problem that the politicians are dealing with: how to be able to say they’ve “done something” to “protect the children” while at the same time building up the tools and powers of the government to stifle any speech they don’t like. To those folks, the system is working perfectly.
And, of course, the fact that the filters go too far, is never seen as a serious problem.
The filters went well beyond what Cameron had been talking about. Suddenly, sexual health sites had been blocked, as had domestic violence support sites, gay and lesbian sites, eating disorder sites, alcohol and smoking sites, ‘web forums’ and, most baffling of all, ‘esoteric material’. Childline, Refuge, Stonewall and the Samaritans were blocked, as was the site of Claire Perry, the Tory MP who led the call for the opt-in filtering. The software was unable to distinguish between her description of what children should be protected from and the things themselves. At the same time, the filtering software was failing to get at the sites it was supposed to be targeting. Under-blocking was at somewhere between 5% and 35%. Children who were supposed to be protected from pornography were now being denied advice about sexual health. People trying to escape abuse were prevented from accessing websites which could offer support. And something else curious was happening too: A reactionary view of human sexuality was taking over. Websites which dealt with breast feeding or fine art were being blocked. The male eye was winning: impressing the sense that the only function for the naked female body was sexual.
More Joao Ruas then.