If A Middleman Does The Deal, Maybe We Can Pretend It's Not Porn
from the good-luck-with-that-plan dept
The mobile phone operators of the world have this big love-hate affair with mobile porn. They seem absolutely convinced that mobile porn will be the killer app for mobile data. When challenged on this, they point to the VCR and the internet, and how porn drove both of those forward, as if it were some law that porn always leads the way. At the same time, however, they're all a little squeamish about being seen as being involved in porn. This wouldn't be such a big problem if the operators weren't also so tied to their "walled garden" ways where all mobile content has to go through the operators' approval process. It leads to quite a dilemma for the providers, including such bizarre plans as a filtering plan that didn't work, followed by a content rating system that won't work and (my personal favorite) a plan to force users to specifically come in to stores and ask to be approved to see porn (AKA "the porn license"). The latest plans to both embrace and distance themselves from porn seems just as bizarre. Basically, the plan is to use a middleman to negotiate both sides of the deal on the assumption that if the carriers don't actually meet with the pornographers in person, then everything will be okay and no one will have done anything wrong. Somehow that seems unlikely to work all that well. In the meantime, some people are finally starting to question whether or not the interest in mobile porn is real. While the stories about VCRs and the internet make sense because they make it easier to view porn -- it's not clear what sort of advantage viewing porn on a tiny screen really provides. If you really can't do without a photo of a naked person (even one that's half an inch tall) until you can get to the privacy of your own home, you might have other issues to deal with.