Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Censorship The Media United Kingdom Politics

Sun Advice Columnist Advised MPs On UK Porn-Block Plans 118

Posted by timothy
from the our-shenanigans-are-cheeky-and-fun dept.
nk497 writes "The first official expert witness in an inquiry into network-level filtering of porn was a Sun advice columnist called Dear Deidre. A group of MPs has been pushing to censor the UK web to prevent children from seeing porn, but reading the full report reveals the weakness of the evidence. It also features Dear Deidre defending the topless model on Page 3 of her own newspaper, saying, 'the Editor of The Sun thinks it's okay' and 'nine million people read it.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Sun Advice Columnist Advised MPs On UK Porn-Block Plans

Comments Filter:
  • Is there more? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, 2012 @08:55AM (#39732885)
  • The Sun is perhaps the last place to ask about possible censorship of the web as it's part of Murdoch's empire which includes paywalls in places such as the Times. Dierdre must be about a million years old now.

  • by discord5 (798235) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @08:58AM (#39732913)

    It also features Dear Deidre defending the topless model on Page 3 of her own newspaper saying "the Editor of The Sun thinks it's okay" and "nine million people read it".

    Well, gee, this internet thing is smalltime compared to those numbers. It's a pity cablemodems don't burn as well as books or newspapers, we could do with a good old fashioned bookburning, especially with those oil prices... Oh well...

    • We get these people to burn cable modems and other electronic devices that give off gobs of thick black smoke full of all kinds of fun chemicals, and them have them breathe deep...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, 2012 @09:31AM (#39733143)

      As a kid I can remember the Sun running non topless pictures of their 15 year old models in the run up to their 16th Birthday when they could go topless! That must make Sun readers TERRORPEADOS!!! Or have they all forgotten things like that?

      • American here. I am by no means a prude, but holy fuck that is creepy in the Pedobear kind of way.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          The only creepy thing is the relationship between the average American and naked skin. That's just ridiculous. You guys are just brainwashed victims of a disgusting old remnant of the dark ages called christianity.

          By the way. Adolescents in this age range are clearly too old for Pedobear.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Totally repulsive.


        Link plz
    • I question the nine million people reading it.

      Then again, the Sun has enough illustration that my English teacher once called it "a picture book for adults".

      I question the adults in that sentence, too.

  • I can't even (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Severus Snape (2376318) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @09:02AM (#39732939)
    The fucking hypocrisy. The same newspaper that uses the third page as a beacon of nudity. Why do our MP's even want to hear what she has to say? Britain is screwed.
    • Re:I can't even (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Exitar (809068) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @09:16AM (#39733037)

      If you won't be able to find porn on the internet anymore, they assume you'll buy their newspaper to see some boobs.

    • Re:I can't even (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rvw (755107) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @09:17AM (#39733045)

      The fucking hypocrisy. The same newspaper that uses the third page as a beacon of nudity. Why do our MP's even want to hear what she has to say? Britain is screwed.

      That's a good one! Why do your MP's even want to hear her? Probably because they are chosen by the same people that read the Sun. Those MP's probably even read the Sun themselves. We have the same going on here in the Netherlands with Geert Wilders and the PVV. It's populisme all over. They just shout out what will get them into the news, no matter if it contradicts whatever they shouted the day before. And the media? They love it! They make it frontpage news, even the "quality" newspapers.

    • by azalin (67640)
      Because however sad it is, the sun has a very large audience. Not that this helps my faith in humanity in any way.
    • Your hypocrisy is their selling point.

      Think: If you got boobies for free, why bother buying The Sun? It's not like the rest ain't anything but very scratchy toilet paper.

    • She was talking about shielding kids from smut. Kids these days won't pick up a newspaper, so the Sun's nudity is effectively censored.
  • Censorship (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joce640k (829181) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @09:02AM (#39732941) Homepage

    If the plan is to censor everything that somebody, somewhere finds offensive then we might as well just pull the plug and be done with it.

    Besides, kids have cellphones these days and are quite capable of making their own porn. Is that better than seeing what's on the internet?

    If we're worried about kids emulating what they see on the internet then what about the sites with videos of the Taliban cutting people's heads off? Porn=bad. Violence=good. Got it.

    • Re:Censorship (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bmo (77928) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @09:05AM (#39732969)

      If the plan is to censor everything that somebody, somewhere finds offensive then we might as well just pull the plug and be done with it.

      That's probably the entire point. Free exchange of information is the enemy of the state.

      --
      BMO

      • Actually not, the plan is to censor only those things that one segment of the population finds offensive, not everything that somebody finds offensive. Like with burning of books, its only one segment that gets some little bit of power and impresses their will on others. I am reminded of the movie "The Name of the Rose" (1986) with Sean Connery, a good example of that type of twisted thinking and the lengths some will go to to make others do or not do, or not see, or not read, things they think are bad. I

        • by bmo (77928)

          Actually not, the plan is to censor only those things that one segment of the population finds offensive, not everything that somebody finds offensive.

          There are a lot of "one segments"

          Meaning, everybody.

          "It's a one time thing, it just happens a lot" - Suzanne Vega

          --
          BMO

          • Sorry I'm confused. If you look at entertainment, and divorce rate, and the adult industry, they are billion if not trillions of dollars. The hypocrisy is the public face that people try to maintain. I contend that the money speaks for itself and only a few people are wanting to be the arbiters of information, they are vocal and use public shame and guilt to try and impress their standards. They are so off base as to be caricatures of old Puritan ethics that we in the world have been trying to shed for hun

            • by bmo (77928)

              My point was that a lot of people, individually, are "one issue" and all those "one issues" are different and that it's not going to stop at online porn if the current bunch of "one issue" people that we are discussing get their way.

              There will be other "one issues" in the future. Different ones, but definitely some very loud people will rally around an issue that will have their panties in a bunch. Even as the rest of us can point and laugh as they buy MPs and Congresscritters.

              And yes, the hypocrisy is mi

    • Re:Censorship (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, 2012 @09:10AM (#39732995)

      Aren't parents responsible for raising their kids? Shouldn't the parent also be monitoring and preventing the kid from getting access to objectionable/adult oriented materials? Isn't it a failing on the parent's part if they do get access?

      BTW, Mod parent insightful. Porn being considered as worse than violence has always made me think WTF. Yet there is violence aplenty on normal television while not so much porn.

      • Re:Censorship (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @09:40AM (#39733221)

        This. A billion times this.

        I am fed up with the idiots who try to push their child rearing duty on me. It is NOT my problem that you decided to breed. It is NOT my duty to limit my freedom so you can replace the TV with the internet as your el-cheapo babysitter.

        You want your internet "safe and sane"? Go out and buy a web filter, install it and .... oh, sorry, I forgot. Not only do you not know the first thing about this "internet thing", you neither want to deal with your kids nor waste time protecting them.

        Let the government do that. What did we elect them for, anyway, if we still gotta deal with pesky bits like, say, raising children?

        • nor waste time protecting them.

          In this case, protecting them isn't even necessary. It's just porn. They'll watch it and be completely fine.

      • by Joce640k (829181)

        Porn being considered as worse than violence has always made me think WTF.

        I always figured it's because governments don't do porn.

      • by perry64 (1324755)
        I've got to say, if you don't want kids to see something, I can't think of a better place to put in that in a newspaper.
    • by Brucelet (1857158) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @09:11AM (#39733003)

      If the plan is to censor everything that somebody, somewhere finds offensive then we might as well just pull the plug and be done with it.

      I'm offended by censorship. Can we censor the censors?

    • Re:Censorship (Score:5, Interesting)

      by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @09:58AM (#39733403)

      If we're worried about kids emulating what they see on the internet then what about the sites with videos of the Taliban cutting people's heads off?

      "We train young men to drop fire on people, but their commanders won't allow them to write "fuck" on their airplanes because it's obscene." - Walter Kurtz, Apocalypse Now!

    • Re:Censorship (Score:4, Insightful)

      by digitig (1056110) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @10:03AM (#39733443)
      I suspect the Murdoch Empire (of which The Sun is a part) finds internet porn offensive primarily because it means that people don't bother buying The Sun to get a picture of a girl flashing her tits.
    • by Drethon (1445051)
      As long as I'm not paying for it (don't see how that can be avoided...) I'm good with people censoring what ever they damn well please as long as they give me a big ass I don't give a flying ... switch so I can make all that censoring not affect me.
  • Never buy the sun... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, 2012 @09:03AM (#39732947)

    Clearly the Sun is the bastion of good morals:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBh2oAvsSSc

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The nudity isn't on the front page of the newspaper. It's "protected" from viewing by children by being on page 3, which means it is obscured by page 1. I expect any internet schemes to be equally technically effective and equally difficult to circumvent (i.e. as difficult as turning the page).

    • by azalin (67640) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @09:30AM (#39733131)

      The nudity isn't on the front page of the newspaper. It's "protected" from viewing by children by being on page 3, which means it is obscured by page 1. I expect any internet schemes to be equally technically effective and equally difficult to circumvent (i.e. as difficult as turning the page).

      I would say clicking on "Yes I am over 21" in the first screen many sites fits this level of access control rather well. It might actually be harder, as it requires reading skills and more hand eye coordination.

  • by benjfowler (239527) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @09:18AM (#39733057)

    Don't take what these muppets say too seriously. The Sun and its ilk (the UK's so called "red tops") are read by people of a reading age of about 9 -- about the bottom quartile of the population. And the people who write for these papers aren't the brightest bunnies either.

    The trouble with living in an open society, is that people of very low intelligence and moral character are also citizens, and are also entitled to exercise their freedom of speech. Brighter minds should (but often don't) discount what they say and think accordingly.

    • by Chrisq (894406) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @09:33AM (#39733163)

      The Sun and its ilk (the UK's so called "red tops") are read by people of a reading age of about 9 -- about the bottom quartile of the population.

      Ah that would explain the MP's interest then.

    • by Asic Eng (193332)

      This isn't an opinion piece by the Sun though - it's the "Independent Parliamentary Inquiry into Online Child Protection". You discount what they say at your peril ...

      • It's standard political procedure though: First the politicians decide what they want to do, then they write a report saying how important it is that they do it. The US government actually did exactly the same thing years back with the Meese Report into the subject of pornography. Of the nine people commissioned to write the report, six of them were anti-porngraphy activists - and the remaining three, after completion of the report, publicly denounced the report-writing process as a sham and said they were
    • by digitalaudiorock (1130835) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @09:51AM (#39733345)
      It kills me when I see a copy of one of the many despicable U.S. tabloids at someones house and they dismiss the fact that they bought at as "just for fun", or that they "don't take it seriously", or whatever excuse they have. Supporting bad shit with your money is not a victimless crime. It's that mentality that led to Rupert Murdoch owning the fucking Wall Street Journal.
      • by doston (2372830)

        It kills me when I see a copy of one of the many despicable U.S. tabloids at someones house and they dismiss the fact that they bought at as "just for fun", or that they "don't take it seriously", or whatever excuse they have. Supporting bad shit with your money is not a victimless crime. It's that mentality that led to Rupert Murdoch owning the fucking Wall Street Journal.

        Across the board, Murdoch's media properties have a right-wing slant and lack integrity; that's hardly news. What i found surprising, after reading a lot of Noam Chomsky's writings (super left wing and I agree with almost everything he says), is that the Wall Street Journal is incredibly accurate. In fact, the business press in general. Seriously...hear me out on this one...I'm not talking about the WSJ editorial page, which is just right-wing opinion (and sucks a lot), but the actual news content of the

        • Oh yea, I absolutely agree. Other than the editorials the WSJ has always been an example of great journalism...yet another reason why it's a shame that tabloid money allowed News Corp to buy it.
    • by oobayly (1056050)

      That's exactly the problem. We know not to take the seriously. It's just that those self righteous idiots in Westminster only listen to what these buffoons come out with.

    • That's hyperbole. I refuse to believe that 25% of the population of any western nation has a reading age of 9. 14-16, perhaps.
    • by Inda (580031)
      How can brighter minds discount what The Sun says if they don't read the paper in the first place?

      If elitists, such as yourself, don't connect with the common man, how are you going to force him to do your bidding?
  • by jcdr (178250) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @09:36AM (#39733191)

    I want that by default, my childrens cannot see violence on the media or on the internet.
    What's ? Not important at all ? Ah! Only the human sexuality is to be forbidden ? Ouch...
    It's a bit like some religions when controlled by extremists: sex pleasure is prohibited but you can massacre all the guy that don't think like you.

  • by Dark$ide (732508) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @09:38AM (#39733213) Journal
    I don't want my gov't doing deep packet inspection.

    I don't want my ISP doing DNS filtering.

    I don't want my free and open Internet controlled that way.

    I don't want a Great British Firewall

    Because all of that shit is going to make my ISP want to charge me more money for the same services.

    If I don't want my kids to see porn then I'll either a) sit behind them when they're using the computer, b) ban them from using it or c) install some shitty net nanny software and let them figure out how to crack it or how to bypass it.

    It's the parent's responsibility.

    • by 1s44c (552956)

      I don't want my gov't doing deep packet inspection.

      I don't want my ISP doing DNS filtering.

      I don't want my free and open Internet controlled that way.

      I don't want a Great British Firewall

      Too late. The IWF has been filtering UK internet access for some years now. They claim they only filter out child porn but as they are operationally independant and not accountable to anyone it's impossible to be sure.

      • ...and some smaller ISPs don't use it. Major ones do use it because of some "gentleman's agreement"- so screw them. I'm a happy customer of AAISP- they have usage limits which annoy me, but other than that service has been great so far. It looks like an ISP run by IT guys for IT guys.

        If you are thinking about switching and want to check which ISPs are available in your area, check http://www.samknows.com/ [samknows.com] It doesn't have all ISPs though and the smaller ones aren't listed.

        --Coder
        • by Dark$ide (732508)

          ...and some smaller ISPs don't use it. Major ones do use it because of some "gentleman's agreement"- so screw them. I'm a happy customer of AAISP- they have usage limits which annoy me, but other than that service has been great so far. It looks like an ISP run by IT guys for IT guys.

          I have a fantastic ISP in Aberdeen they're exactly like that - they're a bunch of network guys running a stable network with 99.9+% availability. If I get any problem it's brilliant getting a nice Scottish voice on the phone who isn't a clueless drone in a call centre.

      • They did filter wikipedia once, though. They only intended to filter one page, but their efforts screwed up wikipedia's access control. It shows that they can make mistakes - even if they only got caught that once because they filtered a high-profile site, it does raise the question of how many hundreds of lesser-known sites have been filtered needlessly? The IWF doesn't even inform the operators of sites it blocks, and the ISPs that actually impliment the block usually spoof a 404 message in order to hide
    • by cornjones (33009)

      I don't want a Great British Firewall

      Because all of that shit is going to make my ISP want to charge me more money for the same services.

      that may be an excuse the ISPs use to raise prices but that is not the primary problem. The primary problem is that I don't want the free and open internet subject to the current whims of government.

    • by jandersen (462034)

      I don't want my gov't doing deep packet inspection.

      I don't want my ISP doing DNS filtering.

      I don't want ...

      On the other hand, if one could censor out the real, immoral, harmful etc stuff - like the shite produced by the Murdoch Gang - that's IS bloody tempting.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @09:44AM (#39733267)

    Really, I had a good laugh, then I noticed that the 1st had already passed and that this is supposed to be, like, for real.

    First, page 3. 'nuff said.

    Second, their generally, shall we say, shady reporting practice? I would call it "sensationalist", but I fear the outcry of sensationalist newspapers getting pissed of being lumped in the same category as the Sun.

    The Sun as the moral guide. That's akin to electing a pimp as pope.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    As usual, it's all about money. This "censorship call" and "opt-out by default" is all about establishing porn as premium content. If this change occurs, soon after the ISPs will charge extra to opt-in.

  • by johndoejersey (679948) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @10:46AM (#39733885) Journal

    what I was most surprised to come across in my investigation was the availability, with no age restriction and free on the internet, of pornography including group sex, anal sex, double penetration, apparently having sex with strangers, women in the middle of a group of men who were masturbating over their face.

    Has she (MP Jacqui Smith [wikipedia.org]) been watching more porn at taxpayers expense [bbc.co.uk]?

  • by Mindwarp (15738) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @11:10AM (#39734131) Homepage Journal
    If only there were some way to stop children from being able to view porn on the internet. You know, apart from parenting and web-filters obviously.
  • Oracle will probably sell her column off anyway, or at least take someone to court over it.

  • by dryriver (1010635) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @11:53AM (#39734693)
    The Sun is Rupert "Iraq/Afghanistan War" Murdoch's social/political engineering tool for ensuring that a sizeable chunk of the "not too educated", and likely school-dropout British Working Class votes "Right/Conservative" in elections, regardless of what Britain's Conservatives may actually be up to, politicially speaking, at that particular point in time. It is a cheap, cheap "Celebrity-Sports-WeirdNews" type "tabloid newspaper" that deliberately sensationalizes things like celebrity-scandals, dumbs everything newsworthy down intentionally, and only uses very simple English sentences and vocabulary, so even the most stupid person can understand it. A favorite trick of the Sun is using working-class slang words in a targeted way, with a supposed "wink-wink" to Blue Collar working class Brits who read it (The Sun always calls Scientists "Boffins" in articles about science for example, never actually "Scientists"). The Sun has been known to report completely made-up and untrue idiocy like "Windturbine hit by UFO" or "One of our readers has found Atlantis on Google Maps" on its front page. It regularly features voluptuous topless Page 3 "titty girls" picked from British hinterland stock, Mystic Meg (who looks into the Universe, to tell you what your Stars/Zodiac have in store for you today), and other assorted stupidities that target the undereducated and gullible. Oh, funny coincidence, the same Rupert Murdoch who publishes naked Page 3 "titty girls" in the Sun in Britain every day, also publishes hardcore-conservative Christian books in the U.S., under the publishing label "Zondervan". Who'd have thought something like that was possible? =) For those who don't know "the Sun" at all (do look it up on the web... its often unintenionally hilarious), it is roughly what would happen if you dumbed-down FoxNews U.S.'s news reporting by another factor-of-five, added strippers & pornstars, but also sports betting, astrologists, UFO/supernatural conspiracy crap, daily celebrity scandals, papparazzi pictures of famous nude people on beach holliday and such into the mix, and published this mix-o'-crap as a tabloid newspaper each day. Actually, come to think of it, the Sun has a toned-down sister-newspaper in the U.S.. Its the almost equally crappy New York DailyNews, which is kind of like "the Sun America", but without the Page 3 titty girls, Dear Deidre and Mystic Meg, and with a more American layout. The Sun is widely recognized as being one of the most dumbed-down reading experiences in news journalism anywhere in the World. But, very sadly, it also sells more copies a day (several million) than just about any other newspaper in the world.
    • It has a pretty good horse racing section, or so I'm told.
    • by Inda (580031)
      I see it's been a while since you read a copy. Some of what you say is true, the rest is very dated.

      First, 90% of their stories are carried by all the other news agencies.

      OK, I have the paper in front of me now. The first science story in on page 22 (in my regional version). The topic is "X-rays on a mobile". The last word on the first paragraph is "scientists", not boffins. A quote from one of the "boffins" is "The terahertz range is full of unlimited potential...". Something we've covered on Slashdot befo
  • I suppose, if you want to censor the net, a networking company like Sun is the one to go to. But their advice columnist doesn't seem very, well, technically oriented.

  • Its not the internet the kids need protecting from its the predictor sun grooming 15 year children and having countdown till in their 16 when they can take topless photos of them The Sun and other British tabloids also provoked controversy by featuring girls as young as 16 as topless models, when it was legal to do so. Samantha Fox, Maria Whittaker, Debee Ashby, and others began their topless modelling careers in The Sun at the age of 16, while the Daily Sport was even known to count down the days until i
  • If any of my fellow Americans are confused about British newspapers, I found this documentary particularly helpful. [youtube.com] Skip to the 1 minute mark.
  • They have tits on page 3, within easy access to any child and they thing porn should be censored from the net? Oh yeah, I forgot 9 million people read the sun. That's obviously like 10 times the people that on the internet.

Entropy requires no maintenance. -- Markoff Chaney

Working...