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  1. #1
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    Question Should the internet be censored? (beware)

    ** Notice this message is quite graphic in regards material which should/should not be censored, if it's in poor taste I apologise in advance, please don't read if you're squeemish **

    Having just found a website full to the brim of video and imagery of executions, murder, accidental death, suicide, brutality, violence, mutilation and mutation... a series dedicated to babies...

    If your mother, father, brother, sister, commited suicide, was killed in an accident or murdered would you want the uncensored pictures all over the internet?

    I'm somewhat sickened, less by the content, but that someone goes hunting for the content, pays for hosting. And that a host allows such content on their servers.

    It begs the question; should the internet, through regulation of hosts and ISP's be censored against such content?
    Last edited by WA; 03-28-2003 at 12:52 AM.
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  • #2
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    Hi mouse

    I think that a full-scale debate is pointless because the kind of sick people who like that kind of thing are never going to change, nor admit who they are if there is anyone like that here. So it's going to be pretty one-sided as far as debates go, because I believe everyone I know on these forums at least would agree with you.

    I am pretty sure that I know the site that you mean - about a year ago I went through a phase where I was pretty much into "funny movies" - what I mean is, clips such as bloopers where you see people having harmless falls and things - the kind you get on tv and laugh at. I searched the net and found loads - but then I came across a handful of sites that, although they had some funny content, they also had stuff that I thought was borderline, and the occasional far-out clip.

    One that stands out to me was a movie of someone's finger being cut off with a chisel. I have no idea if it was real and I don't want to know. It had a humorous title and I was expecting a funny clip - what I saw kinda put me off looking any further, in case amongst the innocent ones I found some real horrors.

    I think we all know that there is some evil stuff around on the net (and evil is not a word I use very often) however we like to ignore it and live out cosy lives. But occasionally you stumble across something that sickens you, like you have just done.

    Like I say, I think I know the site you mean. I got as far as the homepage and thankfully there were no pictures on it. I spent perhaps 30 seconds scanning the homepage with my bile rising and then I had to stop. It kinda shook me for a couple of weeks - there were people talking about the 'latest greatest series of autopsy pics' etc. and although I am not ignorant to the existance of 'snuff', like you say it is another thing entirely to realise that there are people who look for and collect this kind of material, and create places where others like them can come and fester.

    I tend to believe in freedom of speech, and even on this issue I am truely not sure about the censorship thing - or even if it is really do-able - but in my eyes there is no need for this kind of filth and I can't see why any host would tolerate it, hence I come down strongly on the side of censorship. At what price innocence? Sell your soul for a few more dollars? Charge a little more to stifle your conscience?

    I would definitely object to pictures of loved ones being used in such a way - I think anyone would, perhaps even the people who look at that stuff would not feel the same way if it was their spouse or sibling or parent or child in the photos.

    As a webhost with many hundreds of sites as my responsibility, I have on occasion had to shut a site down due to innappropriate material. As a point of interest, I allow pornography to be hosted however only if requested in advance and only if the client checks out. I have nothing against porn however there is a lot of sick stuff around that I want nothing to do with. I say this so that people will realise that I am a pretty much normal kind of guy with average opinions about most things - I'm not a religious zealot or anything and I believe very much in freedom of expression and freedom of speech. However there comes a point where, even if it can fall under the category of free speech, you just know something is WRONG, and it is these things such as you have mentioned, and child porn etc. which are truely evil and I think they should ALL be illegal, and actively censored and enforced.

    It is interesting that in the UK newspapers in recent months there has been mention of a German doctor who does 'live' autopsies - that is, in front of a public audience. Why would anyone want to go to such a thing? It baffles me, yet obviously some people must like it.

    All in all, people can try all the censorship they want but there will still be an underground of this kind of stuff. It will still go on. All we can really do is keep away from it and moan about it enough to have most of it removed.

    ::] krycek [::
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  • #3
    Senior Coder Mhtml's Avatar
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    I was unaware that such a site existed mouse. Upon running a search on google I found some of the most sickening things I've ever seen..

    I agree totally with krycek!
    Omnis mico antequam dominus Spookster!

  • #4
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    Originally posted by Mhtml
    I was unaware that such a site existed mouse. Upon running a search on google I found some of the most sickening things I've ever seen..

    I agree totally with krycek!
    thanks, but... don't search. just, don't

    ::] krycek [::
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  • #5
    Senior Coder Mhtml's Avatar
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    I just read the descriptions .. I'm not terribly squeemish but from what those descriptions read I don't think I could look at that stuff.
    Omnis mico antequam dominus Spookster!

  • #6
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    Originally posted by Mhtml
    I just read the descriptions .. I'm not terribly squeemish but from what those descriptions read I don't think I could look at that stuff.
    ...agreed.

    ::] krycek [::
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  • #7
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    I obviously agree that there is some pretty messed up stuff out there, but I'm completely against censoring it. We've all seen some of it at one time or another. I can't imagine spending my time and money running such a site but who are any of us to say that it is wrong? If you don't like it don't watch it!

    I made the decision to read this post despite your warning. Likewise people should use their individual judgement when viewing questionable content on the internet. This does bring up the issue of how to keep children away from such content however. By no means do I believe that children should be exposed to things like this, but I saw all of the "Faces of Death" movies when I was younger (unknown to my parents) and I still turned out to be a stable person.

    So I say let such (legal) content go uncensored. Child pornography is an obvious exception.
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  • #8
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    Originally posted by webmarkart
    I obviously agree that there is some pretty messed up stuff out there, but I'm completely against censoring it. We've all seen some of it at one time or another. I can't imagine spending my time and money running such a site but who are any of us to say that it is wrong? If you don't like it don't watch it!

    I made the decision to read this post despite your warning. Likewise people should use their individual judgement when viewing questionable content on the internet. This does bring up the issue of how to keep children away from such content however. By no means do I believe that children should be exposed to things like this, but I saw all of the "Faces of Death" movies when I was younger (unknown to my parents) and I still turned out to be a stable person.

    So I say let such (legal) content go uncensored. Child pornography is an obvious exception.
    The concept of child porn sickens me in much the same way as this kind of stuff that mouse brought forward for discussion. I am usually very supportive of freedom of speech, however I cannot ignore my conscience, which tells me very clearly what is right and wrong.

    I am not one for trying to impose my own code of morality on others, but I see no need for this kind of stuff - it is sick and twisted, and nothing but. As such, I have no choice but to support censorship.

    As for seeing it: hopefully parents bring up their children in a protective way, yes. I am expecting my first child soon and I would be horrified to think that he/she would be able to view such material. But more importantly is the values that the child is taught. If they know right and wrong for themselves, then they can deal with any moral situation and should know when to turn away.

    Let me ask another question. How would YOU define right and wrong? What about hurting someone - is it right to go out and murder? Rape? Inflict injury? A moral person (such as I am sure you are) would say, no, this is not right. This is a crime. Therefore, what is there to distinguish the doing-of-the-action, and the watching-and-taking-pleasure-from-the-action?

    I am not saying that both are equally bad. But both are wrong, in my eyes. Surely a mother who's child has died would be further traumatise to know that autopsy photos of her child were on an Internet site, with sickos getting some kind of kicks from them...? In which case, there does not seem to be any moral grounds on which to defend your point of view.

    Freedom of speech and expression are basic rights up until the point at which they start to infringe on the rights of others. It is based on this that I made my own decision in favour of censorship.

    ::] krycek [::
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  • #9
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    As I said before... legal

    I guess I will be the one to argue that a morbid curiosity in death is natural. I've seen my fair share of these videos/pics on the web and I am definitely disturbed by quite a bit of it! The caveat to freedom of speech is:

    Your freedom stops where it interferes with someone elses.

    No one makes you go to these sites right? There are a lot of weird people with all sorts of fetishes out there and I am not one of them but there is no way I would support you or anyone else telling me what I can and can't view regardless of what you think of it.
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  • #10
    Senior Coder Spudhead's Avatar
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    I agree that the web shouldn't be censored; everyone has a right to freedom of expression, and freedom of information. But equally, I believe that certain content should be unavailable to certain groups of people; children, to take an obvious example, should not be able to access harrowing images of torture and execution.

    However, the are two clear problems. One is defining "harrowing"; at what point does content become unsuitable? The second is enforcing rules; we can't stop 15-year olds drinking in pubs, what chance do we have of stopping them swapping porn in chatrooms?

  • #11
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    I'm going to be idealistic - legislature has no business trying to control or influence what people do. Nothing should be censored; the very idea of censorship is rooted in a moral paradox - one person (a censor) has to look at something in order to tell the rest of us we can't.

    How do we, bottom line, stop this kind of thing? We can't. We simply make individual choices. I've never killed anyone; that's my choice; if everyone makes the same choice, there is no murder.

    Child pornography is particularly sickening, but all pornography is abuse at some level. The existence of pornography reveals a societal malaise that will not go away just because the symptoms are hidden.
    Last edited by brothercake; 03-28-2003 at 11:04 AM.
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  • #12
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    Originally posted by webmarkart

    Your freedom stops where it interferes with someone elses.
    what about when u innocently click on a link and get a gazillion 'sick' popups? i do believe that if it's my choice to not view such things then their popping up unwanted in my face is interfering with my freedom.

    i'm all for censorship -- to a reasonable extent. of course it's hard to implement, because as someone just said, there will always be that underground stuff. it won't go away because symptons are hidden, but there won't be so much of it. but with such things being at least less accessible to view, there would obviously be less influence on young minds. webmarkat, you may have grown up stable, but are all kids like you were?

    also, the censor having to look at things in order that the rest of us can't is not a moral 'paradox'. just choose someone who's not squeemish or something. these 'paradoxes' exist everywhere. what does the law do with wild serial killers? they often have to kill so that someone else won't kill others. that's actually quite simple to understand. it discourages possible other killers and eliminates a specific dangerous person from society.
    killing and censorship are degrees apart but the basic rule is the same. when there is less of it and there's action to keep it down as much as possible, then there is also less future possibility for more of it and its consequences.
    Last edited by ASAAKI; 03-28-2003 at 12:43 PM.
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  • #13
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    Originally posted by brothercake
    The existence of pornography reveals a societal malaise that will not go away just because the symptoms are hidden.
    I disagree. It's my theory that users of pornography - the sick content I referer to in my first post too - start off on something fairly light and get desensitised so look for something more. I think porn gets more extreme to cater for hardened 'users' (no pun intended) who need more of a kick, I think this is where real abuse comes into play; rape, child abuse etc. I think internet pornography corrupts rather than simply being a reflection on a section of society.
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  • #14
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    Originally posted by mouse
    I think internet pornography corrupts rather than simply being a reflection on a section of society.
    right. so do i.
    'If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.'

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    i have the stance that if you dont like it, dont view it. Simple.

    I do however object to pop-ups and links that mislead you.
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