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Egypt Banned Porn, But How Much of the Internet Is That? 316

Posted by timothy
from the phrase-your-answer-in-fluid-ounces dept.
pigrabbitbear writes "The recent web pornography ban in Egypt has raised questions about the evils of censorship (and porn) and the changing tide of popular attitude of Egyptians. It perhaps reflects the emerging influence of more conservative Muslim elements in government, a shift. Apparently the same ban was passed 3 years ago but was not enforced because their filtering system was not effective. But porn bans are nothing new. Other countries with strict censorship laws like China and Saudi Arabia have successfully implemented bans that restrict pornography along with anything else they deem inappropriate for public viewing. In 2010 the UK discussed a ban that would require users to specifically request access to pornographic material from their internet service providers. And porn-banning rhetoric has even stomped through the U.S. news media over the last few months, thanks to GOP also-ran Rick Santorum claiming President Obama is failing to enforce pornography laws. (There have also been some awesomely ridiculous pornography PSAs.)"
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Egypt Banned Porn, But How Much of the Internet Is That?

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  • Disagree (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @03:48PM (#39589929)

    Having been married for plenty of years, I've concluded that pornography can actually quite harmful to some marriages if not most marriages.

    You might argue that the government shouldn't censor pornography. But there's a big leap from that libertarian viewpoint, to implying that porn is generally harmless. Which is the underlying sentiment I took away from the line, "(There have also been some awesomely ridiculous pornography PSAs.)"

  • by tlhIngan (30335) <<slashdot> <at> <worf.net>> on Thursday April 05, 2012 @03:59PM (#39590067)

    Honestly, if I wanted to do stuff like this, I wouldn't ban porn. I would just ban the anti-government stuff. So similar to China and such, but without blocking porn. Or gambling. Or other sites holding vices that society might not approve.

    Keep the general public amused with crap like that and they won't bother looking up anti-government information because they'd be too busy with Facebook and YouTube to care.

    Make it appear free and people won't test the boundaries. Sure make it illegal, but just turn a blind eye and you'll find the vast majority of the population won't be trying to bypass the filter because there isn't one. All the dissidents now stick out like a sore thumb to be dealt with.

    At least, if I ran my own kingdom.,..

  • Somewhere in Egypt (Score:5, Interesting)

    by crazyjj (2598719) * on Thursday April 05, 2012 @04:12PM (#39590267)

    Right now, some illiterate goat farmer who's practices a medieval, backwards religion is looking at the remains of a nearby ancient Egyptian city and wondering what it must have felt like to be one of the world's most advanced civilizations and what went wrong.

  • Re:Disagree (Score:5, Interesting)

    by networkBoy (774728) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @04:24PM (#39590443) Homepage Journal

    My wife is a sociologist and cultural anthropologist (double major, though closely related). Her anthro dissertation was on educational systems impact on child development both within the US and in the world in general (in many ways the village raising the child as seen in tribal communities in the Amazon and Africa does better at teaching children than the US system).
    Her soc. paper was focused on the sex trade.

    A couple interesting points come out of this: my children are less exposed to violence than sexuality (not to say they watch graphic movies, they are 6 and 8, but questions about gender are not danced around at all). My wife and I talk a lot about what the other finds attractive in a stranger/movie star (of either gender) && each other (though we specifically do not talk about friends this way, even if they have traits in common with those we discuss), and we have the open offer to each other to talk about the chance of an affair prior to one ever happening.

    The point I'm trying to get at, porn will not damage a marriage nearly as badly as poor communication. It may not be a net positive for all marriages (though I think there are more [couples] than people think who indulge together), it should not be all that toxic to a well grounded marriage either.
    -nB

  • by gurps_npc (621217) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @04:24PM (#39590455) Homepage
    Pre-internet, estimates ranged that 10% of rural men engaged in bestiality. You know those jokes about farm boys and animals? Not so much jokes as wildly inappropriate insults.

    Post-Internet, bestiality vanishes from 10% to almost nothing.

    Not that hard to understand - if you live in a small town and are not the handsome jock, you don't have much options for masturbation. The married shmucks outlaw porn, and if you are a teenager/poor you can't get around their laws. The animals start to look not bad.

    But give them access to internet and suddenly they no longer want to screw animals.

    THE INTERNET IS A HUGE FORCE FOR MORALITY.

    The only thing is, moralistic shmucks never knew the disgusting things their neighbors liked before. Know they have become aware of what we do, and blame it on the internet.

    No.

    Mankind was always a bunch of horny perverts, it's just you were a blind fool before. The internet makes us better people, in part by showing moralistic fools that they are wrong about what most people do.

  • Distance to porn (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Okian Warrior (537106) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @04:31PM (#39590559) Homepage Journal

    I once did a Google image search on the most common 1000 words in English and noted the index of the first porn image in that list.

    I was interested to see if there was a way to measure how far any word would have to be taken to indicate porn. For example, I would expect "car" to be distant from porn, but "head" to be fairly close.

    To my surprise, using Google images as a metric indicated that all common English words were within 15 images of porn.

    This was before they switched to the Javascript image results page, and they may have cleaned up their act a bit, but the results were inescapable - much of the net is centered around porn.

    Trekkie [wikipedia.org] had it pegged about right [youtube.com].

  • by gweihir (88907) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @04:43PM (#39590793)

    If I remember correctly, the Christians invaded and found all this "great library" and "learning" business not to their taste (and they were probably illiterate anyways), so they burnt the great library to the ground.

  • Re:Disagree (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @04:52PM (#39590893) Homepage Journal

    Completely agree. I have a theory about the underlying cause, though, and I'm curious as to what you (and others) would think of it:

    Love is a meeting of minds, and healthy marriages are based on love. In the most grown-up model of a monogamous relationship, a sexual relationship is a possession of love.

    It sounds like these marriages have been put together for the wrong reasons. Perhaps, when men come from a conservative culture where they must find women with whom to get married because there's social pressure to do so, they end up with sub-optimal relationships. At that point, all they have holding their holy matrimony together is a base instinct to pair off and procreate, and a big sign that says "recreational sex = eternal damnation." The traditional family structure puts the woman subservient to the man in pretty much every regard, so to her, he's primarily a ticket towards safety. Complicating this is the pressure to provide a positive environment for any children (which may be merely customary, as in Protestantism, or downright a legal matter, as in other monotheistic Abrahamic religions.) It's not hard to find examples of dirty jokes and other media that affirm these perceptions of the sexes, and the indoctrination seems to come mostly from how people have adapted to accommodate the expectations of traditional institutions. (This is not to say that men only want sex and women only want security; merely that they're encouraged to think that way through many generations of group polarization [wikipedia.org].)

    It would seem to me that all this really proves is that the more rules you put on people, the more likely they are to resent them. The label of 'pornography addiction' is hence utterly pseudo-scientific; it's just a disinterest in the forced baby-generating/baby-protecting relationship brought on by animosity between partners. I would even go so far as to call it a misandrist concept, because escapism through trashy romance novels (the distaff counterpart to cheap pornography) in response to marital stress has been given absolutely no attention.

  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @05:02PM (#39591037)

    She probably didn't know herself. The Hindus didn't write the Kama Sutra just for the fun of it, they did it because sexual techniques aren't always obvious and more-experienced people can train less-experienced people in finer points of technique, just like any other human pursuit.

"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev

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