pornography opt-in

There is a petition going around regarding making pornography an opt-in item.  I think that my stance on pornography is pretty clear.  However, my brother posted his opinion on it on Facebook.  I think he makes some good points that are at least just worth thinking about.  We may not have the same opinion of pornography, but I can at least appreciate his point of view and I actually find it pretty in line with my thoughts.
Here is what he wrote:
"This is a comment about the internet porn opt-in idea. Not looking to start the inevitable huge discussion, just bringing up a point you might not have thought about. Also, it's going to be long, so if you don't feel like reading, it's fine to just pass it by. Facebook may not be the best political forum in the first place.
Sometimes people want to make burning the flag illegal. The problem is, what is the flag? That design, stars and stripes, right? If someone gets a tattoo of the flag, is it illegal to cremate them? What about a shirt with the flag printed on it? How much of something has to be the flag design to not be burned? What if you put the wrong number of stripes or different colors, still on a rectangle cloth and then burn it?

You run into the same problem with porn. What are you going to define it as? No nipples, no genitals, right? What about slightly transparent clothing? Really tight clothing? Body paint? What if I photoshop the nipples out? What if it's blurred? How blurry does it have to be to be blurry enough? Do art pieces featuring Venus get banned? Are naked people only allowed in paintings before 1900? And a statue of Lady Justice? What about medical reference material? Diagrams? And how about romance novel text, or written erotica? Does this person eating a phallic food provocatively count?

The point is, you have to create some sort of entity that has the authority to make these judgement calls. More poignantly, you have to create a government entity with the power to censor things people are putting out there. Now, since you've been skimming pretty quickly, I'll write that again - You have to create a government entity with the power to censor things people are putting out there. I hope I don't have to go too much into why that's kind of a problematic concept. For reference, here's the first amendment to the constitution: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Yep, Britain has started one. You might notice that what started as a porn filter also will now be blocking "violent material" "extremist and terrorist related content" "anorexia and eating disorder websites" "suicide related websites" "web forums" and "esoteric material." Now, if porn is a blurry line, you can imagine what happens with questions about violence or the line where religion becomes extremism. And the last two just give free reign to anything. (You may also recall that British laws lacked certain freedoms, which resulted in our current constitution.)

I could go on about what I saw in China, where the government does block unhealthy information in order to protect its citizens. And this discussion in general is a can of worms with the FCC, the NSA and so on. Opting in to see what should be other people's free speech will cause you to be flagged.

The point (and the tldr) is just that I want you, my friends and family, to understand another angle. I know that as parents, spouses, and individuals, porn may have affected your life negatively. You can still think porn is bad, but also think that a government entity that controls the information you see is bad, too."

You run into the same problem with porn. What are you going to define it as? No nipples, no genitals, right? What about slightly transparent clothing? Really tight clothing? Body paint? What if I photoshop the nipples out? What if it's blurred? How blurry does it have to be to be blurry enough? Do art pieces featuring Venus get banned? Are naked people only allowed in paintings before 1900? And a statue of Lady Justice? What about medical reference material? Diagrams? And how about romance novel text, or written erotica? Does this person eating a phallic food provocatively count?
The point is, you have to create some sort of entity that has the authority to make these judgement calls. More poignantly, you have to create a government entity with the power to censor things people are putting out there. Now, since you've been skimming pretty quickly, I'll write that again - You have to create a government entity with the power to censor things people are putting out there. I hope I don't have to go too much into why that's kind of a problematic concept. For reference, here's the first amendment to the constitution: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Yep, Britain has started one. You might notice that what started as a porn filter also will now be blocking "violent material" "extremist and terrorist related content" "anorexia and eating disorder websites" "suicide related websites" "web forums" and "esoteric material." Now, if porn is a blurry line, you can imagine what happens with questions about violence or the line where religion becomes extremism. And the last two just give free reign to anything. (You may also recall that British laws lacked certain freedoms, which resulted in our current constitution.)
I could go on about what I saw in China, where the government does block unhealthy information in order to protect its citizens. And this discussion in general is a can of worms with the FCC, the NSA and so on. Opting in to see what should be other people's free speech will cause you to be flagged.
The point (and the tldr) is just that I want you, my friends and family, to understand another angle. I know that as parents, spouses, and individuals, porn may have affected your life negatively. You can still think porn is bad, but also think that a government entity that controls the information you see is bad, too."

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