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Re: KidCode: Next steps

From: Darren New <dnew@sgf.fv.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Jun 1995 16:13:17 +0100
To: Terje Norderhaug <Norderhaug.CHI@xerox.com>
Cc: Nathaniel Borenstein <nsb@nsb.fv.com>, Wes Morgan <morgan@engr.uky.edu>, rating@junction.net, www-talk@www10.w3.org
Message-Id: <Pine.3.89.9506191649.A547-0100000@sgf.fv.com>
> I refer to document as what is transmitted from the author/content provider,
> not what is viewed by the reader.  it is While the whole document might
> be transmitted, you I would like to get a part of it depen


If what you're saying is that someone writes HTML then gives it to a 
service provider who then modifies it, I think that's something entirely 
outside the control of HTML or HTTP.  If it's changed before it goes on 
the web, nothing in the web is going to be able to "fix" it.

> No, advertisers would probably not want to label interspersed commercial
> as such. However, the flexibility of digital technology/networks and
> associated social factors support the creation of a Web commercial-zapper.

Um, I'd love to see even the hint of an outline of how to automatically 
determine whether something is a commercial or not.  How do you 
distinguish a page of "neat links to photos of automobiles" from "neat 
links of photos of Chrysler's latest models"?

> My suggestion is that rating technology should be designed flexible
> enough also to support zapping of commercials. Especially support
> for rating separated from authors are interesting for this purpose,
> as well as ways of coding content that facilitates automatic analysis
> to classify the content of a document.

Great! Propose something.  So far, all you've said is "KidCode" isn't the 
best thing for all purposes.   That's fine.  I know that already.

Why not propose how to distinguish commercials from non-commercials. 
Please take into consideration that some people might want to see the 
commercials.  While you are at it, remember that 1) I might want to see 
computer commercials but not car commercials, 2) that if you make it 
possible to reliably zap commercials, *you* will pay for the web sites 
rather than the advertisers.

> power to try to keep status quo. This suggest that any system that help
> people to avoid ads must be designed flexible enough to adapt.

Sure. What do you suggest?

> A commercial-based revenue model on the Web gives a reason for
> content-providers to avoid doing any self-rating, as this might decrease
> the number of people
> actually seeing their ads. This might be particularly interesting applied
> to "adult" content. The metaphor of local porn shops (Borenstein) might not
> be very appliable when the "shops" are not a part of a community but exists
> only to generate an optimal revenue from advertisement.

Or the optimum revenue from customers. One or the other.  I've seen very 
few porn shops advertising anything on the *outside* of the shop.

Besides, in the US, it's already essentially illegal to put porn up without 
charging for access to it, in some sense.

> This would be a bad decision, as content providers might have a different
> opinion about appropriated age than various people (in various cultures).

So who has a better concept?  Do you want each country or state or 
community to have to build a rating authority?

Where's the money for running a rating server going to come from.  
Remember, some of these sites get hundreds of thousands of hits a day. If 
every hit from every adult web site had to route thru a rating server, 
you're going to be paying big bucks to run the rating server.  The 
solution *has* to be distibuted. You'll never keep up with any sort of 
centralized rating.

> Implement the technology is in any case the easy part. When we know what we
> want, implementing it is not a big deal. A number of social and political


> decisions are made as such technology is implemented, or should preferable
> be
> made in advance and as the technology is implemented and we learn more
> about its larger scale consequences.

I have seen very few social consequences predicted in advance of the 
widespread deployment of a technology.  And by the time you get around to 
getting the Catholic Church up to speed on how to put digitally signed 
ratings on other peoples' web pages, we'll have moved on to a completely 
different technology and interface mechanism.  (I mean, imagine things 
were rated in the FTP protocol 5 years ago; would it help now?)

> That something can be done doesn't
> mean that it should be, everything is possible with digital technology

OK. Write up an RFC saying how you would build a commercial-zapper.
Received on Monday, 19 June 1995 16:19:50 UTC

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