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European Parliament Decides Not To Ban Internet Porn 397

Posted by Soulskill
from the decides-not-to-be-overthrown dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The European Parliament passed a proposal Tuesday which included a blanket ban on pornography, including Internet porn, in European Union member states. However, Members of European Parliament (MEPs) removed explanatory wording from the porn ban section, essentially limiting the ban to advertising and print media. The proposal, titled 'Eliminating gender stereotypes in the EU,' was put to a vote in Strasbourg. MEPs passed it 368-159."
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European Parliament Decides Not To Ban Internet Porn

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  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fyngyrz (762201) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @09:29PM (#43155635) Homepage Journal

    Many European governments are deep into repressive practices already. From suppression of Nazi paraphernalia to various modes of speech, they emulate the worst leaders of past repressive regimes in a misguided effort not to become like them. Pretty sad, really. Of course, I'd be more concerned about it if we weren't showing all the signs of repeatedly trying to go down the same path here in the US.

    The worst US citizens are coming to believe -- and being quite up front about it -- that they have a right not to see and hear things they don't like in the public space. There could hardly be a more dangerous mode of thought for a country that supposedly honors freedom of speech.

  • Re:thought police (Score:1, Insightful)

    by fredprado (2569351) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @09:31PM (#43155647)
    Yes, lets simply ignore that men and women are biologically different in many many ways and try to force them to be equal, regardless of any objection they may have.
  • by epyT-R (613989) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @09:33PM (#43155669)

    They are based on elements of truth, and while basing judgments solely on them will result in incomplete understanding, purposefully avoiding them by whitewashing the media with contrarian examples also denies reality. In many cases, it'll end up denying more of it! Ideology is not reality no matter how much the society is filtered.

    If you read the latter link from falkvinge, it becomes obvious very quickly that this is a white knight feminist power grab. Only they would push for such draconian demands to prevent 'the sexualization of girls', whatever that means. There are segments of the legislation that scare the shit out of me, and should scare anyone potentially living under its influence. Frankly, the fact any politician in the supposedly 'free' west would draft such a thing at all should be cause for concern. No amount of 'suffrage' or other outdated 1950s era rubbish justifies a police state. None. This kind of thing is a perfect example of ideology going so far as to eat its own tail.

    I actually read TFA and these thoughts were running through my head the whole time. American or European, we gotta stop voting these idiots into office.

  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @09:50PM (#43155773)

    The worst US citizens are coming to believe -- and being quite up front about it -- that they have a right not to see and hear things they don't like in the public space. There could hardly be a more dangerous mode of thought for a country that supposedly honors freedom of speech.

    I believe I've seen a comment posted on this very site to sum this up: "The antithesis of free speech is the perceived right to never be offended".

  • Re:thought police (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fredprado (2569351) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @09:54PM (#43155799)
    Who are you (or them) to define what are "positive" and what are "negative" stereotypes. You seem like the 16th century puritanists censoring everything they thought unfit accordingly to their beliefs. Just the religion now is the politically correct.

    I am all for giving people equal rights regardless of any difference they may have among themselves, but that has already been achieved. What you are trying to do is exactly the same the religious extremists did centuries ago. To enforce your moral standards upon others.
  • by pitchpipe (708843) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @10:09PM (#43155881)

    Surely, with the law on their side, Europe would've never seen porn again!

    Right?! This would have been an even bigger failure than the war on drugs. How in the fuck did they think they could stop it?

    Better yet, how do morons of this caliber get to be so high up in government?

  • Re:thought police (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SplashMyBandit (1543257) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @10:11PM (#43155893)

    What an Orwellian purpose.

    What is wrong with some stereotypes? each individual may be different but in aggregate they can be adequately described by stereotypes (as a first-order approximation). It is indeed Orwellian that the EU believe they have the right to create *thought crimes* instead of promoting free thinking. In fact this is the biggest and most retarded mistake of the political Left. They are for diversity and every perversity - except for the diversity that actually matters, *diversity of thought*. It is anathema to the political Left to allow views that are against their orthodoxy and they will suppress other views ruthlessly (which is what we see here). Orwellian is a great word to describe the belief of the EU governors that they have the right to regulate the thought of EU citizens. So don't scoff so lightly at this.

  • Re:thought police (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SplashMyBandit (1543257) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @10:16PM (#43155921)
    Wrong. What is Orwellian is the belief of the EU that it has the right to regulate the thoughts of its citizens, for any purpose. This is utterly wrong on a fundamental level, and should be opposed. I hope you see that now that it has been pointed out.
  • Re:Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dave420 (699308) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @10:18PM (#43155925)
    Stop peddling this nonsense. You are so woefully incorrect in every single assertion you made it's tragic. I'm sure fellow idiots slap you on your back when you make such statements, but people who know more than you about these subjects just lower their shaking heads and sigh in disbelief that society can produce such ignorant people. I guess you are a demonstration of how a caring, just society protects you enough to survive this long while being so utterly deluded about existence. Grow up - I beg you.
  • Re:thought police (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ohnocitizen (1951674) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @10:30PM (#43156007)
    This affirms my point that the bill matches the title. Aka, they are eliminating gender stereotypes in a bill titled just that. You may disagree with eliminating gender stereotypes. You may consider gender stereotypes "traditional", and "traditional" you may consider desirable. You may think the usage of attractive models means those models MUST be advertised as meat, showing off their bodies whilst male models are fully clothed, and that this is traditional and desirable. You may think using attractive models in advertising that displays equal gender roles is unethical, social engineering, and evil. Great for you, internet warrior. That execrable point of view does not erase the fact that the bill's text matches the title.
  • by slick7 (1703596) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @10:59PM (#43156141)
    Banning porn, like drugs, alcohol, weapons only profits the criminal element and their exorbitant prices. This is also a two-edged sword, make money from an illicit trade and then prosecute the users for more money. The government has learned well from the criminal element. Most bans are for behavior modification, do this but not that, or else. Cha-ching. What is needed is an understanding of why something is banned. Answers like it's for the children or national security are just jingoistic catchphrases which may or may not have credence. If you cannot understand the logic of a situation, then follow the money, you may be surprised where it leads.
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @11:08PM (#43156197)

    I think the world would be a better place if porn weren't ubiquitous

    I browse a number of websites all day and none of them ave porn.

    Readily accessible is NOT THE SAME AS ubiquitous.

    It wouldn't help the earth, or the people on it, one bit if porn were less easy to find.

  • Re:thought police (Score:5, Insightful)

    by readin (838620) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @11:56PM (#43156403)
    Or you may simply recognize that men and women are biologically different both in the brain and in the rest of the body, and consider attempts to force people to believe otherwise can only succeed through an increasingly totalitarian supression of what our sense and our rational thinking tell us.
  • by ohnocitizen (1951674) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @11:59PM (#43156431)
    It baffles me that there are men out there so oblivious to the impact of sexist advertising on women and women's role in society. Paranoid, misguided men who think that removing sexist advertising is a plot to turn everyone into the same person. Sad.
  • Re:well... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @12:10AM (#43156477)

    I never seen porn unless i go looking for it.

    The world would actually be a far worse place. Do you understand the amount of rape and child molestation that took place in the days before easily accessible porn? Before the early 20th century, rape was a constant. The majority of women experienced it at least once in their lives, many as adolescents. That is the consequences of a chaste society, a hell hole where people are hurt and no one talks about it.

  • by Byrel (1991884) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @12:27AM (#43156551)

    the impact of sexist advertising on women and women's role in society.

    Fairly negligible. Sexist advertising is the symptom of sexist culture. Advertisers are very good at adapting to cultural expectations. Whether sexist culture is good or bad is a normative judgement, and hence likely to be contentious.

    And the 'cure' in this case is almost certainly worse than the disease. Social engineering of this sort can only be justified through a paternalistic view of government; that it's the majority of us trying to keep us individually on the 'right' path. Which is dictatorship. Benevolent and majoritarian dictatorship, but dictatorship nevertheless. [1] And hence should be anathema to the true liberal; much worse than individuals making choices we personally disagree with.

    [1] Blatantly plagarizing from Milton Freedman, Capitalism and Freedom

  • Re:well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CaptQuark (2706165) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @12:40AM (#43156605)
    Speech, in this context, is anything that conveys an idea. A drawing or cartoon can be speech. Your right to fly the flag is covered under free speech. A picture can be speech. Art can be speech.

    Imagine banning great works of art like Venus emerging from the sea or David by Michelangelo, just because genitalia is visible. Books have been banned from some libraries because these images were included and classified as "porn". [Citation] [pbs.org]
  • Re:well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Evtim (1022085) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @12:53AM (#43156681)

    The only time I saw porn on the tubes is when I went looking for it! And as every modern citizen I use the net daily...porn is not "in your face"!

    Now, regarding the fact that every product in this world seems to be promoted by half-naked women - on this I agree with the legislation - it is in my face and I won't miss it if it's gone. The same for the models advertizing clothes that have less meat on them than prisoners in concentration camp...ugh, that is ugly and in my face daily!

    Conclusion - the porn business is the least "in your face" compared to almost every other business when it comes to throwing naked flesh on billboards, newspapers, magazines and the internet.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @01:25AM (#43156815)

    the EU bans books ("print media") and nobody cares because they read everything on the Internet now.

    Just remember folks, when you're reading an actual book, nobody is recording how long you spend on each page for later analysis.

  • Re:thought police (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SplashMyBandit (1543257) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @01:26AM (#43156817)

    Standing up for political and individual freedom now gets one compared to a racist. Islam is against every freedom held dear by the West but to oppose it gets you condemned as equivalent to a racist. This is how far the left has warped discourse, that to hold a view opposing its narrative gets you instantly branded as a rascist. This is interesting because Islam is an evil totalitarian *political* ideology and not a race. That fact you don't understand this shows how far from the truth you thinking is. Here's a video to get you started thinking the correct way about what is *really going on in the World* (which the leftist EU and US leadership and compliant media downplay): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6lmUlT38_U [youtube.com]
    I also highly recommend any of the YouTube videos by Stephen Coughlin (an analyst who used to brief the Pentagon, before the lefties in the Obama Administration shut down fact-based analysis of the Islamist threat). The West is losing the war on terrorism because the leftists (who are in alliance with the Islamists) are framing the debate so intelligent people don't ask the correct questions.

    Calling someone a racist just because you don't understand their point of view is an 'easy out'. It is better to ask questions, you might learn something and get closer to the truth. I'm a physicist 'by trade', so "first-order approximation" means "in the right direction, but clearly could certainly use improvement for specific cases". So please stop using the leftist tactic of throwing racist slurs about for something you think you disagree with (because you don't actually understand what is being debated).

  • Bullshit (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @01:27AM (#43156823)

    It's obvious that unless it is illegal, the NY Times, Washington Post and every other daily newspaper in the US would have nude chicks on every page

    If that really worked they would simply run bikini-clad women every issue, which is perfectly legal.

    The fact they they do not is testament that titilation is only engaging when novel. Doing so all the time helps you not a bit.

  • by readin (838620) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @01:34AM (#43156837)

    It is imperative that people be judged based on their individual characteristics. It is a simple undeniable fact that variation within large groups of people FAR exceeds the variation between the means of the groups. It is the idiocy of stereotyping that ignores this fact. It is appalling that people do not understand this basic truth.

    Right, which is why whenever I'm in East Asia looking for someone who can speak English, I pay no more attention to any white people who may be around me and just pick someone at random. There are, after all, quite a few oriental people who speak English even in places like Japan, Taiwan, and China. And there are a few white people who don't speak any English. So whether I just want to know where the nearest McDonald's is,or whether I'm pretty sure my appendix is bursting, i don't bother using stereotypes to help me find English speakers because we all know that there is more variation within racial groups than between racial groups.

    I'm sorry to hear that your son had difficulties, but it seems likely people were doing the best they could and if they didn't look for the more common case where an immigrant's child has trouble with English they would end up misdiagnosing more children whose problem really is with English and mistakenly treat the kids as though they have Asperger's.

    There are certainly situations where stereotyping should be studiously avoided. And if more information can be gained to remove the need for stereotypes that is a good thing. Had the schools had the time and resources to learn about your wife's educational background perhaps they would have made a better diagnosis sooner. But often resources and time are in short supply and people have to do the best they can with what's available.

  • Re:well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xenobyte (446878) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @02:10AM (#43156947)

    Porn isn't "freedom of speech". "Speech" implies that words are communicated. Speech is important for political communication, for discussing ideas, for rational thinking, for debating. Porn isn't..

    Oh you are so wrong. Even the US supreme court agrees with me on this one. Porn, like any other expression (verbal or not) is protected free speech.

    When you speak or write, you communicate. Most people agree on this one. But a lot of communication is non-verbal. Everything non-human usually is. There's chemical communication (smells, odors etc.), gesture and motion communication (sign language, mating dances etc.), color communication (flowers and insects, 'dangerous colors' etc.). Maybe you don't understand what's communicated but it doesn't change that it is communication. As it doesn't make sense to limit the free speech to just words and maybe sign language, the freedom is usually called "Freedom of Speech and Expression".

    So sorry, buddy. Porn is fully covered by this freedom - and rightly so. It's just communication using more or less naked bodies, a few words and some gestures. Nothing wrong with this by the way. If you don't like what's communicated, walk away. You have the implicit right to 'listen' to any communication (the other half of the freedom of speech) and you of course also have the right not to. Nobody forces you to watch porn. If you don't like it, switch channel or throw that magazine away. But don't think that because you don't like it, the right of others to 'listen' should be taken away, or the right to make it. Likewise, if you don't like what I write here, either argue against it or go away. That's your right.

  • Re:thought police (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dunkelfalke (91624) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @02:31AM (#43157017)

    Calling someone a racist just because you don't understand their point of view is an 'easy out'.

    but calling someone a leftie apparently isn't.

  • Re:well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @02:43AM (#43157055)

    A problem though: If you decide porn isn't real speech, then it becomes possible for opponents of 'real' speech to argue that their opponents arguments are pornographic and should be banned. For example, the old Comstock laws in the US forbade using the US post to send any information relating to the use of contraceptives, on the grounds that the devices themselves were obscene in nature, as was any information relating to their use, for it undermined the social order by allowing sex outside of marriage. Similarily, in some countries not only is homosexuality illegal, but arguing that it should be legal is also illegal - on the grounds that such arguments are so offensive as to be obscene.

  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @03:27AM (#43157177) Homepage

    Hyperbole much?

    We know lots of you guys and gals in America are all into radical free speech and everything, which is nice and we love you for it.

    And yes, most European governments AND their citizens believe it's perfectly fine in imposing some limits on free speech.

    So does your own government I might add. And I'm pretty sure most Americans, conscious or not, are also in favor of limiting Free Speech.

    Like, for example, limiting free speech for that guy which is making indecent proposols to your 6 year old daughter or son. Or not allowing someone to publicly threaten you with death. Not allowing random slandering. Heck, you should try to shout 'I'm going to kill the president' in front of the white house once and tell me how you like it.

    Please educate yourself on your own country, thank you. Following link might be a nice starting point.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_speech_in_the_United_States [wikipedia.org]

  • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@NOspAm.world3.net> on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @06:59AM (#43158039) Homepage

    There is plenty of evidence that unrealistic body images are damaging, especially for teenagers. The people in porn are not usually very average looking and tend to act unrealistically too. Kids have to be told they don't need to screw like a porn star or act like nymphomaniacs.

    Porn is fine for adults but making it a bit harder for teenagers to find might not be a bad thing.

  • by houghi (78078) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @08:19AM (#43158585)

    Have you looked at advertising? Have you looked at TV? Have you looked at ANY movie? The people in media are not usually very average looking and tend to act unrealistically too. (You see what I did there?)
    Media is fine for adults but making it a bit harder for teenagers to find might not be a bad thing. (See? I did it again.)

    If watching porn is bad, then so it watching people get killed. Especially when it is shown unrealistic. e.g. without the blood and gore. Yet this is almost completely against how movies are rated.

    An interesting movie about the whole rating process is This Film Is Not Yet Rated [imdb.com].

    And making it harder to get? Seriously? Security through obscurity. That will work well. Especially to kids. They will say "Hey, it is hard to get, lets go do something else, because this was not meant for us. Let us buy another version of a Disney movie. They show how the real world should be and how we must behave. They will show us that it does not matter if you are an ugly man, as long as you are a prince and rich. And if you are a good looking girl, you will be rewarded."

  • Re:well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Somebody Is Using My (985418) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @08:27AM (#43158627) Homepage

    Since we're well off in the realms of the hypothetical...

    Why not just let it happen? What is so terrifying about human sexuality that that our precious snowflakes must be protected from learning about it?

    Past generations had the kids in the same room - sometimes in the same bed - with their parents whilst the latter were involved in coitus (separate bedchambers for the younglings is a fairly new invention). And - as the majority of Americans were rural until just a few generations back - imagine what they saw the animals doing on the farm! I'd wager most of those kids grew up just fine.

    So two people want to start fucking near a kindergarten? I say fine, let them. Let the kids stand, stare, point and snicker at the odd poses and noises the adults are making. Odds are it'll be far more traumatic for the adults than the children.

  • Re:well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bitt3n (941736) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @10:47AM (#43160095)

    Nearly everything conveys an idea including punching someone in the face, refusing to pay taxes, refusing to rent an apartment to a nice black family, driving without a seatbelt, insider trading, killing puppies, and burning crosses.

    That the fact these acts are prohibited has anything to do with free speech is a peculiar interpretation, and not at all in keeping with how the First Amendment is generally understood. Punching someone in the face isn't prohibited on the grounds of the message it communicates. It is prohibited on the grounds that the medium through which one communicates the message produces a deleterious effect unrelated to this message. Likewise I could shout "give me Liberace or give me death" outside of a concert hall, but I could not sear this message into the backside of a passerby and claim this is protected speech merely because I am using words, rather than communicating my meaning in some other way.

    Works of art almost never produce secondary consequences related to medium, and insofar as one does, it is prohibited based on the consequences of the medium, and not based on the message. (The only such work that comes to mind is Christo's exhibit of giant umbrellas, which crushed someone, and was shortly thereafter dismantled.) What you are proposing (that some works of art ought to be prohibitable based on their message alone, and first amendment be damned) is radically different from prohibiting assault, etc.

    Now I agree that banning some great works of art, including the ones you mention, would be bad, but that's a policy decision, not a question of "free speech".

    That such a work of art is not a kind of protected speech is an idea far from mainstream in current American jurisprudence.

    It removes the feeling that people have some control over how they are governed

    Your post demonstrates why isolating this control is not necessarily a bad idea.

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