Amy Werbel on America's most influential censor: Searching for Smut: Hot on the trail of Anthony Comstock (1844-1915). Comstock wielded the 1873 Comstock Act (named for him) like a cudgel to improve the morals of the nation, protect children, and stamp out indecency. [more inside]
Online pornography to be blocked by default in the UK, announces Prime Minister David Cameron in a speech today. Internet users will have to contact their ISPs to opt out of the filter. Possession of pornography depicting rape will also be illegal. Here is the full text of the speech. Coverage by The Independent, the Telegraph, and a shortened video of the speech at the Guardian. [more inside]
At reddit we care deeply about not imposing ours or anyone elses’ opinions on how people use the reddit platform. We are adamant about not limiting the ability to use the reddit platform even when we do not ourselves agree with or condone a specific use. We have very few rules here on reddit; no spamming, no cheating, no personal info, nothing illegal, and no interfering the site's functions. Today we are adding another rule: No suggestive or sexual content featuring minors. - After much complaint, Reddit gets rid of /r/jailbait and selected subreddits with similar content.
When the Jessamine* County Public Library acquired a copy of Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier, two library workers conspired to keep it out of the patrons' hands, checking it out for an entire year. After an eleven-year-old girl put a hold on the book, they removed the hold; upon discovering this, the library director fired them. [more inside]
Photographs of esteemed Sydney artist Bill Henson have been removed by police from the Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, and the debate over art vs pornography vs pedophilia heats up in Sydney this week. Some of the debate is quite measured and intelligent while other sides are descending to unruly levels. [more inside]
What you watch Tucked deep inside a massive bill designed to track sex offenders and prevent children from being victimized by sex crimes is language that could put many Hollywood movies in the same category as hardcore, X-rated films. The provision added to the Children's Safety Act of 2005 would require any film, TV show or digital image that contains a sex scene to come under the same government filing requirements that adult films must meet.
Fighting the CDA : The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is working with one of nations most interesting erotic photographers to overturn the portion of the CDA that ties all internet obscenity to the most restrictive definition of the most restrictive community in the nation.
John Ashcroft on web porn: "I am concerned about obscenity and I'm concerned about obscenity as it relates to our children". I'm curious what those of you who are more on the conservative/libertarian side of things think about this. Are there special exemptions to the concept of free speech when it comes to this type of content? [more]