SOLUTION TO: children downloading pornographic materials (fwd)

MegaZone (megazone@livingston.com)
Sun, 11 May 1997 17:41:54 -0700 (PDT)


Message-Id: <199705120041.RAA26758@server.livingston.com>
Subject: SOLUTION TO: children downloading pornographic materials (fwd)
To: www-html@w3.org, abyss@mail.wincom.net
Date: Sun, 11 May 1997 17:41:54 -0700 (PDT)
From: MegaZone <megazone@livingston.com>

Once upon a time Marek Cerajewski shaped the electrons to say...
>This message will be sent to everyone that I believe is interested in
>curbing adolescents' access to pornography on the Internet and is
>influential enough to actually do something about it.  This message will
>continue to be sent until the action that I propose is taken.

How mature "I'll keep whining until you do it my way."

Of course, we just have to filter you out to shut you up.  So don't bother.

>The majority of the problem comes from the fact that children may be
>downloading pornographic materials in the format of HTML documents prepared
>for viewing in browsers such a Netscape Navigator of MS Explorer.

There is plenty of software out there to filter things on the server side
for any ISPs who care to provide the service and for the client side for
any parents who are worried.

On top of that you also have the PICS standard.  So you're proposal is not
only unneeded, it is weaker than existing systems.

>1.  To solve the first part of the problem I propose an extension to the
>HTML specifications.  The extension will indicate rating of the content of
>the material in the HTML formatted file.  The proposed extension will be

This is not the user end.

>        <RATING>G|PG13|R|A|X</RATING>
>G	-  no offensive material

There are already rating systems.  Personally I refuse to use them - and
just ot be contrary I would rate everything I do 'G', included my archives
of old alt.sex.* material.  I despise the entire rating concept.

>The browser program receiving the document will have to be modified to allow
>the parent, teacher, or whoever is responsible for the user system to set
>the rating that may be blocked from downloading.  The browser then will

Have you heard of NatNanny, CyberSitter, etc?  They all do things like
this, in ways far more effective than you propose.  You should know what
you are talking about before making such proposals.

>This system will require full compliance from the people posting
>pornographic and otherwise offensive material;  but that is easy to
>implement once the tool is in place.  -  If someone inappropriately lowers
>the rating for his or her site, then he or she may be charged.

Fine with me.  I'd continue to fight it, and I know many others who would
to.  And there is no legal way to force people to rate their pages.  If
the US tried to make me, there are plenty of other countries to host a
server.  I agree there should be tools, but I dislike intensely the
rating system because it is a false solution.  Anyone with any online
experience at all knows that many sites will never bother to rate their
pages, or will mis-rate them.  And what one person calls PG-13, another
may call R.  It gives people a false sense of security, and that is
worse than the situation today.

>easy to implement that it amazes me why neither Netscape Corporation,
>Microsoft Corporation, nor any other provider of browser technology did not
>attempt to implement it in their browsers.  I hope that enough momentum will

Because there are other vendors doing it, that can protect more than
just the browsers.  And there will ALWAYS be some kind of freeware or
shareware browser to download that would avoid the browser code limits -
hell, all you need to do is hold onto an old version of NS.

>be generated to make these changes happen now.  If there is anything that
>you can do to help, please do it.

I'll do everything I can to undermine bad proposals like this.

-MZ
--
Livingston Enterprises - Chair, Department of Interstitial Affairs
Phone: 800-458-9966 510-737-2100 FAX: 510-737-2110 megazone@livingston.com
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