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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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  • well... (Score:5, Funny)

    by iamnobody2 (859379) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @09:10PM (#43155521)
    the internet is for porn
    • And the government isn't for regulating sex.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @09:12PM (#43155531)

    "Wait, if I support this then I can't watch porn on the internet!"

  • by Grayhand (2610049) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @09:22PM (#43155585)
    As if millions of Eurogeeks breathed a sigh of relief.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by c0lo (1497653)

      As if millions of Eurogeeks breathed a sigh of relief.

      Yes, of course. Now there's no ifs or buts!
      1.a woman should be accepted for modelling on "Fusion HydraGel Tough Beard Shave Gel" (irrespective of the toughness of her beard).
      2.a male can now apply without any barrier as a model for the cover of ... what's the name?? Victoria secrets?...

      If any of them be rejected, one should only whisper... "You know... presenting lingerie on female / shaving products by men models is... a... stereotype! Are you sure?"

  • thought police (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fche (36607) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @09:24PM (#43155603)

    "The proposal, titled 'Eliminating gender stereotypes in the EU'..."

    What an Orwellian purpose.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by ohnocitizen (1951674)
      Orwellian would be if the proposal was titled "Eliminating gender stereotypes in the EU", and it told companies they had to have gender stereotypes in their ads. Instead, take a look at the actual proposal [europa.eu]. They are concerned about the uneven usage of sexuality to sell products, and the message that sends. They have clearly screwed up the logistics of tackling that issue, but the relationship between the bill itself and the content is not Orwellian.
      • Re:thought police (Score:5, Informative)

        by fche (36607) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @09:44PM (#43155737)

        "They are concerned about the uneven usage of sexuality to sell products, and the message that sends."

        They do much more than that.

        "... In order to tackle the problem of the lack of women at the higher levels of economic and political decision-making, the persistence of gender stereotypes in all levels of society need to be addressed. ..."

        IOW, affirmative action at the "decision-making" level, accomplished by thorough social engineering, by e.g. deliberate suppression of traditional ideas. That's pretty drastic stuff, not just about commercial speech - i.e., advertising with attractive models.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by ohnocitizen (1951674)
          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 mod
          • by Intropy (2009018)

            You seem to think that to be Orwellian a policy must purport to do something when it actually aims to do the opposite. While that is a feature of ingsoc in 1984, the term Orwellian is more general, referring to rule through misinformation, pervasive interference in daily life, propaganda, policing of thought and speech, etc. So yes, the bill matches its title. But it also is clearly an attempt to control speech in an attempt to mold thought. That's Orwellian. I understand you think it's also a noble purpose

            • Nope, I don't. Looks like you missed my post below where I linked to the wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orwellian) (easy to overlook, it being in a lower thread and all). In any case, fche's post DID in fact affirm that the bill matches the title, which was my point. I totally concede that I was referring to an aspect of Orwellian, not the whole.

              That you call me internet secret police is pretty off the mark. Sad. I disagree with the bill's regulation of the internet. I think the other aspects of the
          • 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 SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @11:04PM (#43156165)

          The problem with a very liberal way of thinking is, that if the state knows better than you naturally it follows that the state should control all aspects of your activity.

          Thus as you say, social engineering is no longer scary, but required in all actions you take so you have only "right minded people" in your populace.

          Human nature is not something to understand, but to be ironed and whitewashed over to get that perfect homogenous bland - er, I mean, blend.

          • 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.
            • by readin (838620)
              Since advertising necessarily involves speech, how do you remove sexist advertising without restricting speech? Even if you restrict the images that aren't speech, there will still be written words and voice-overs.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Byrel (1991884)

              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. Ben

        • by mvdwege (243851)

          You are begging the question that there is something wrong with social engineering to get rid of 'traditional values'. May I remind you that this wholly depends on what those traditional values actually are?

      • 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:thought police (Score:5, Informative)

          by ohnocitizen (1951674) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @10:27PM (#43155981)
          Apparently we are all incorrect: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orwellian [wikipedia.org]. Yay.

          Looking at the actual law, can you point out how they are regulating thoughts? K, thanks. Because it looks like they are regulating advertising.
          • Looking at the actual law, can you point out how they are regulating thoughts?

            By controlling what inputs people receive, to some extent you limit or reduce possible thoughts that result from them.

            It's the same line of thinking that bans all publicans of anything with Nazi logos.

          • Their intention is to eliminate stereotypes (from people's minds) by suppressing information. Basically it is exactly the same idea and method used in 1984.

            In 1984, by using propaganda, eliminating words that had unwanted meanings from the language (newspeak) and applying other forms of "education" (read brain washing) you aim to produce only individuals that accept the government ideas. It is the wet dream of any totalitarian regimen.
          • by Tailhook (98486)

            Because it looks like they are regulating advertising.

            Advertising and print . That is the characterization that appears in the linked story, anyhow.

            If, by print, they include all forms of printed pornography then they've just outlawed pornographic magazines. Do not doubt for one second that busy-body parents won't use this to have any form of even slightly suggestive literature banned from schools as well. That is the mind-set this kind of governance embraces.

            It's feminism run amok [digitaljournal.com]. "Gender stereotype" is mantra those people chant to each other. Now it's

      • by X0563511 (793323)

        I may not like the idea, but I would bet men are more susceptible to using sexuality in advertising. Note I merely said "more" - this is an important word in my sentence.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      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 th

    • Very Orwellian indeed.

      They seem more and more like the 16th century puritanists, who censored everything they thought unfit accordingly to their beliefs. Just their 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 they are trying to do is exactly the same the religious extremists did centuries ago. To force their moral standards upon others, by actually suppressing any a
  • 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.

    • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @10:28PM (#43155987)

      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.

      Let me give you an example of how this stupidity affected me, personally.

      My wife is a Hispanic immigrant. She came to the US as an English medieval lit PhD candidate on a Fullbright scholarship to an elite university after studying in Europe for 3 years. She graduated from university at age 17. At one time she held the highest score ever achieved in the Oxford English Competency exam by a South American.

      That ethnic background meant my children were automatically stereotyped by the schools they attended. In particular one of them was misdiagnosed as having an English deficiency when in fact he had Asperger's.

      This diagnosis was done on the basis of my wife's ethnic background despite the fact she speaks English better than 99.99+% of US citizens.

      The harm done to my son from of this cannot be undone.

      • by Byrel (1991884)

        No. Just no. Stating that there exist outliers in a distribution does not mean a given statistical technique is invalid. Or that the mean of the distribution can't be meaningfully distinguished from another. Or.. ANYTHING AT ALL!!! It's a simple assumption when dealing with random variables.

        And yeah, I agree stereotyping can have a bad impact on the target population. I even agree that impact may be worst for outliers! But that in no way invalidates the technique as a useful time-saving measure.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by readin (838620)

        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 stereotype

  • by sootman (158191) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @09:42PM (#43155727) Homepage Journal

    ... because I remembered a joke after reading the last story, too late to post it. :-)

    "I'm fairly sure if they took porn off the Internet, there'd only be one website left, and it'd be called 'Bring Back the Porn!'"
    -- Dr. Cox, Scrubs

  • by hawks5999 (588198) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @09:48PM (#43155761)
    The European Parliament also decided not to rescind gravity.
  • I thought violence against women went down when porn was available.
    • by Byrel (1991884)

      This is controversial. Depends which population you look at, and is confounded with everything under the sun. Not a huge impact either way, at least.

  • 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 Symbha (679466)

      Surprised? I think not... It's either a company that can't compete in the free market, or a church.

  • http://wiki.daviddarts.com/PirateBox_DIY [daviddarts.com]

    Brian Roedecker [millennium...oweare.net]: " It's a little more 'James Bondian' but we are living in a more Blofeldian world."

  • 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.

  • by skine (1524819) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @02:09AM (#43156943)

    Sorry, but aren't that still banning all porn not on the internet?

    Are Playboy magazines and porn DVDs still legal?

    Also, how, exactly, is porn defined according to these statutes?

  • by captainpanic (1173915) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @03:27AM (#43157179)

    We have the EU to give our politicians something meaningless to do. It is wonderful that our politicians talk about not too important things, and then decide to do nothing.
    It may not be perfect, but it's a hell of a lot better than what they used to do in the last two millennia, which was to talk, then get angry, and start a war.

  • by TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @09:55AM (#43159499)

    After a long session behind close doors, the EU decided not to ban porn after all...

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