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CYBERPORN

From: Bede B. McCall <bede@linus.mitre.org>
Date: Tue, 27 Jun 1995 22:37:04 -0400
Message-Id: <199506280237.WAA02021@bede.mitre.org>
To: www-talk@www10.w3.org
This is relevant to our KidCode and rating threads in a nontechnical,
motivational way, so I'll risk it.

For those who haven't seen it yet, this week's (well, July 3's) TIME
magazine has the cover story "CYBERPORN" (yes, all caps) featuring a
cover image of a goggle-eyed open-mouthed cyberkid, sitting all alone
and in blue-tinged cybershock in front of a display.  The imagery and
captions for the piece are equally inflammatory (although I think the
sanitized publisher's term is "provocative") but after you slog through
the usual mass-market editorial posturing, the piece isn't quite as
dreadful as it looks.  The main problem, of course, is that many TIME
readers won't survive the minefield of the first dozen paragraphs, and
the editors are well aware of this.  There's even a colorful little
sidebar at the end with handy suggestions on how to almost filter out
cybersmut.

Keep in mind that TIME has a circulation of something like 20 million,
so their impact on public opinion can be noticable and there will
probably be a wake of related hype in other media in the next few
weeks (school just got out, the kids are languishing at home with
time away at Computer Camp looming on the horizon).  That pale
blue kid on the cover is a poster child advertising the unmitigated
horrors of an unregulated Internet, with its infamous, sordid and
uncensored "Web District" and its teeming, vermin-infested Usenet
Slums.

The piece is TIME's inimitable way of announcing the results of a CMU
piece entitled "Marketing Pornography on the Information Superhighway"
which is going to be published the week of July 3.


- Bede McCall   <bede@mitre.org>

  The MITRE Corporation            Tel: (617) 271-2839
  Bedford, Massachusetts           FAX: (617) 271-2423
Received on Tuesday, 27 June 1995 22:37:16 GMT

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