Daily Archives: 2008-08-08

Listening to the evidence

Last week the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee published a report of their inquiry into “Harmful content on the Internet and in video games“. They make a number of recommendations including a self-regulatory body to set rules for Internet companies to force them to protect users; that sites should provide a “watershed” so that grown-up material cannot be viewed before 9pm; that YouTube should screen material for forbidden content; that “suicide websites” should be blocked; that ISPs should be forced to block child sexual abuse image websites whatever the cost, and that blocking of bad content was generally desirable.

You will discern a certain amount of enthusiasm for blocking, and for a “something must be done” approach. However, in coming to their conclusions, they do not, in my view, seem to have listened too hard to the evidence, or sought out expertise elsewhere in the world…
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