By Nick Goiran
Recently, in a major speech on pornography, the UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to crack down on child abuse images, including forcing internet companies to block results for blacklisted search terms.
Predictably, this courageous move has led to the usual hysteria by a brigade that warns against “censorship” and “unworkability”.
That the British PM was so berated by civil libertarians indicates the level of priority placed on the mental health and wellbeing of children.
I have long argued that the single most important policy intervention a government can make is to promote a culture of respect.
It seems to me that David Cameron, in this instance, “gets it”.
Late last year, after my repeated calls in Parliament, the urgent issue of the sexualisation of children in Western Australia was referred to the Commissioner for Children and Young People.
We are still awaiting the results, yet the need remains greater than ever.
Just a few weeks ago, a NSW man was charged with performing indecent acts via webcam to a WA police officer posing as a 12-year-old girl.
What is perplexing about internet filter naysayers is their obsessive outcry about censorship. With respect, I am not sure they understand either (a) what is proposed, or (b) what is at stake.
I am yet to be provided with academically rigorous reasons why a model which allows a porn-addicted male to “opt out” of the filter is such a great imposition on his civil rights that it should trump the rights of children to freely peruse the internet with the additional protection of the filter.
Of course, I would not even want to dream of suggesting that it may indeed be in that male’s best interests to retain the filter. After all, why would we want to facilitate a culture of respect and dignity of women?
That would be far too “old fashioned” and worse, imposing my values on these “independent” adults.
Yet, why is it that the rights of the porn-obsessed outweigh my right to advocate for an environment in which my children can surf the net without the door being wide open to predators?
The time for us all to get real is long overdue and it has to start with congratulating policy makers courageous enough to promote a culture of respect.