Why Cameron's anti-porn crusade misses the mark
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Cameron’s campaign to protect British virtue and children’s ‘innocence’ has divided opinion. Despite unanimous agreement that child pornography is a blight on the internet, many have rejected Cameron’s fight against filth as a broad brush response to a multifaceted problem. Although Cameron’s backing of anti-porn filters could be an important move symbolically, some view it as a futile gesture. Internet companies, such as Google, are already active in trying toconfront the dark underbelly of the internet by developing technology to eliminate child pornography sites, an objective on which they have already spent around £3.1 million this year. Furthermore, the causal link between pornography and violent sexual behaviour has left many in the psychological field split over the issue. Some psychologists emphasise the social cost of pornography and its connection with violent behaviour, whilst others point to evidence that suggests that pornography offers catharsis for those with possibly deviant sexual tendencies, therefore deterring sexual assault. Politicians are, quite simply, loosely applying a sweeping clampdown after buckling under the weight of political pressure to stamp out internet porn in the aftermath of the April Jones case in which her murderer, Mark Bridger, was revealed to be a child-pornography addict. Cameron’s battle to restore British honour and put an end to sordid late night searches is also rather vague and selective when it comes to what constitutes pornography. Pornography can be defined very straightforwardly: it is the use of erotic material to generate money, which in the case of porn on the web involves drawing in visitors to attract advertisers to their site. However, Cameron draws the line at Page 3 modelling, but doesn’t Page 3 embody the very definition of pornography? Sexual material designed to titillate in order to boost readership and therefore triple funds, check and check.
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