Tag Archives: pornography

What I’ve Been Reading March 18

I’m not sure why I read this article, but I guess the title caught my attention and the writing held it. “Drowning in Drink” is simply an explanation of how one man (the author) quit drinking. It’s pretty interesting, even if it’s entirely not applicable to your life.*

Science and United States politicians seem rather like water and oil. What is with that?

Just try to envision yourself in a doctor’s office for a consult. Then imagine you’re joined by a state legislator. How many of you think the situation has been improved? Can I see a show of hands?

To encourage you to read the above link, I give you this hilarious tidbit:

You could also possibly discover that nations with the lowest per capita number of ferrets have a higher rate of prostate cancer.

I like the sentiments expressed about immigration in “It’s About Immigrants, Not Irishness,” but I think the idea that St. Patrick’s Day should celebrate immigration is, well, a little silly. The article is still worth reading, especially because the author expresses well the idea that immigration is not a bad thing, and immigrants are not bad people.

Apparently some people think Facebook is messing with our heads even more than all the airbrushing in magazines. It’s an interesting perspective, but it seems to be based primarily on one person’s anecdotal evidence. I’m curious how often Facebook affects the self esteem of young men and women through the constant availability of photos of other “normal” people.

*Shudder* Rick Santorum. Yeah, now he wants to get rid of porn. Personally, I find pornography a little disgusting, but seriously? Who does Rick Santorum think he is/who he’s going to be? The President of the United States isn’t a dictator that gets to control every aspect of our lives. You don’t like porn? You think it’s bad for society? Then teach your children that. Share with others in a reasonable manner why you feel that way. If you are a leader, share you opinion in a reasonable fashion with your constituents. If there’s a reason to legislate this, that reason is definitely not that you find porn to be immoral.

*Seriously. I don’t drink alcohol, and I read the entire article without getting distracted.

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Wikipornia? Not Really, Fox.

Fox News sometimes uses very sensational headlines: Why is Wikipedia still doling out porn?

As if Wikipedia is actually distributing pornographic materials. They’re not. Certainly there might be some unsavory images on Wikipedia, and there are definitely unsavory images on Wikimedia Commons. Fox mentions bleach, coddle, how it feels, and underwater as search terms that bring up these “pornographic” results.

I couldn’t help but repeat all their searches. Part of the scientific method calls for repeatable experiments, yes?

Bleach:

Um. I see nothing pornographic. I see a bunch of bleach bottles. What? Uh, did they search for… anal bleaching? or something? I did try clicking on a few different categories. I got nothing but bleach bottles, some sort of graph, and some creepy (but not pornographic) foreign celebrities or entertainers or something.

Coddle:

This search turned out a bit more graphic. There is a result with a caption that says “a man and a woman having oral sex,” although it looks more like someone lovingly rubbing a penis on their face. Yes, I blacked out the penis because I didn’t really want to see it. I don’t really want children to get this result if they search on Wikimedia, but then again, coddle? Why would they search for “coddle” on Wikimedia?

How it feels:

I don’t have a picture for this. It’s a lot of masturbation photos. I guess it’s pornographic, but it isn’t exactly porn. What I mean is, from what I saw it was more like a bunch of natural, adult sexual behavior. I’m not saying I want kids to see it, but remember my point about Fox’s sensationalism?*

Underwater:

Underwater bondage. How does Fox describe this?

Search for the word “underwater” and you’ll see a woman tied up, naked, and submerged face down in a bathtub.

Um, she’s not naked. Seriously, I clicked the picture to make sure. She’s not fully clothed, but she is wearing underwear and none of her “unmentionable” body parts are showing (you know, breasts, vulva, etc.).  “Fetish” and “bondage” are probably not well known words to children so even the caption might not elucidate the photo for them. In other words, while it’s obvious to adults that it’s a picture of some sort of sex-related play, it won’t be obvious to young children. Again, I’m not saying I want kids to see it, but it’s not really porn.

I don’t think Fox’s article or headline is fair to Wikipedia. For example:

Recently, the news link site Reddit.com caved to pressure and removed an entire area dedicated to child pornography. But the explicit content remains at Wikimedia.

The author doesn’t explain this in any more detail. By pairing these two sentences (one of which appears grammatically questionable to me), the reporter seems to be implying that pressure was placed on both Wiki and Reddit, that Reddit caved, but Wiki remained stubbornly un-caved**, and that Wiki also has an “entire area dedicated to child pornography.” It implies all of this, but does not substantiate it. Thus it gives the reader an impression of truth that may or may not be true (I don’t know if it is true or not).

It’d certainly be a good thing if Wikipedia worked out a way to filter out mature content so that adults (in schools and in homes) could prevent their kids from seeing penises and sex galore while they try to find images for school projects. I like that idea, but we do have to remember Wikipedia is a volunteer-run non-profit organization with limited resources. While Google could fix a problem like this relatively quickly, Wikipedia is going to take more time unless more, qualified volunteers step forward to help. This is explained well by Wikipedia Spokesperson, Jay Walsh:

Walsh says one reason explicit content is so easy to find has to do with Wikipedia’s worldwide accessibility. “It would require developing a multinational, multilingual system that identifies whether an article is ‘safe’ — but that is not possible when you reach across hundreds of nations and cultures. As a volunteer, non-profit project we’re simply not resourced to do that.”

Anyway, wasn’t it nice of Larry Sanger to try to throw Wikipedia under the bus? He doesn’t sound bitter.***

* It should be noted that Fox is by far not the only news site guilty of reprehensible sensationalism.

** un-caved seemed appropriate, although completely made up.

** He sounds so bitter.

How on Earth did they come up with “coddle” as a search term?

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