Porn? On my internets?

Well…no, not really. Not that reality ever got in the way of a good moral panic.

In positive news, the Internet Watch Foundation – an unelected and largely unaccountable body whose goal is to shut down child porn on the internet – has removed its blacklisting of Wikipedia, restoring full access to the site for many users in the UK. The site was blacklisted due to its featuring the cover of Virgin Killer by the Scorpions. The cover features a naked underage girl. Following the blacklisting ISPs in the UK routed access to the site via a proxy server in order to prevent access to the offending article. As a consequence, Wikipedia blocked users from said ISPs from editing “the free encyclopedia anyone can edit.”

While the block has been lifted, the reason was not that the image, which featured nudity but not sexual activity, did not constitute pornography. Rather, in the words of the IWF spokesman: “in light of the length of time the image has existed and its wide availability, the decision has been taken to remove the webpage from our list.”

In other words, had the picture been taken yesterday and posted to only a handful of places, the chances are the ban would still be in place.

Meanwhile in Australia, a man has been found guilty of possession of child pornography. The image in question? A parody of a Simpsons cartoon featuring sexual activity between several of the child characters. The Judge, Michael Adams, made the following – rather stunning – pronouncement:

Justice Michael Adams said the purpose of anti-child pornography legislation was to stop sexual exploitation and child abuse where images of “real” children were depicted.

But in a landmark ruling he decided that the mere fact that they were not realistic representations of human beings did not mean that they could not be considered people.

The mind boggles.

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