UK Tabloid Known For Publishing Naked Photos Complains About The Harm Of Porn Online

from the that's-what-we-call-hypocrisy dept

Folks who have been online for a while probably recall the infamous Rimm Report from back in 1995, which was the first mainstream attempt to claim that evil "cyberporn" (yes, that's the word they used) was taking over the internet and threatening children everywhere. Of course, that report was based on ridiculously faulty research, but many have sustained this moral panic that online porn simply must be evil. Enter UK tabloid The Daily Mail, who apparently has decided that this is an issue that needs attention, in the form of some moral panic reporting based on a couple of loosely sourced anecdotes. The story appears to be written by the mother of a kid who's going through the initial stages of teenagerdom/puberty, and his mother can't handle it, so she blames the kid's changes on access to porn online.

Martin Robbins, over at the Guardian does a pitch perfect satire in response, mocking The Daily Mail's article. Here's just a snippet:

As an infant, I was exposed to breasts almost every single day. Thirty years later, breasts have taken over my life. Not a day goes by without some stray breast seeping into my consciousness. Occasionally I catch myself glancing at the breasts of my female friends, and I habitually pour milk all over my cornflakes. Worse, breasts have served as a gateway drug for vaginas.

I used to think I was alone, but extensive new research in the form of almost three anecdotes published by the Daily Mail - a seedy gossip website specializing in celebrity erotica, catering to men too old to buy Nuts and too married to run up hard-to-explain credit card charges on proper porn - has revealed the devastating impact that breasts have been having on other young children.

Each tragic case of boob trauma follows the same remarkable pattern. An ordinary little boy approaching his teenage years suddenly starts to change his behaviour: becoming withdrawn and moody and mysteriously growing about six inches in height. Detailed investigation of the child's browser history reveals that the cause is not the rough patch the parents have been going through, a recent change of schools, or puberty; but an addiction to online porn.

Of course, even more amusing is that Robbins goes on to point out that The Daily Mail's moral panic against porn might take on slightly more credibility if the publication wasn't well known for publishing nude photos itself (the links in the next paragraph may be slightly NSFW depending on your work environment):
The Daily Mail makes money from posting pictures of scantily-clad women on the internet. Sometimes these women are topless. Sometimes they are completely naked. Often the images are captioned with breathy descriptions of 'cleavage', 'dangerous curves', 'thigh-skimming' dresses. Sometimes the images are of disturbingly young girls, accompanied with phrases like the infamous "all grown up."
It's only worth a moral panic if it's not about the publication in question making money, it seems. I recognize that the UK tabloid culture involves moral panic articles like the Daily Mail's all too often, but you have to wonder how anyone takes such things seriously when those same publications are publishing naked photos online itself.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    PaulT (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 5:35am

    Would this be the same paper that ran an attack on the satirical TV show Brass Eye over its look at hypocrisy in media regarding paedophilia, right next to photos of underaged princesses in bikinis?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brass_Eye#Paedophilia_special_.282001.29

    Why, yes it is!

    Rule of thumb as ever: if it's in the Daily Fail, it's either a half-assed attempt at riling up the middle classes, or an outright lie.

    Sadly, these attempts occasionally bear fruit (their ridiculous video nasties campaign, for example), so it's worth being vigilant even if the hypocrisy is particularly obvious - their readership does have low comprehension and critical thinking skills.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 5:37am

    It's telling that both pictures of scantily-clad, sometimes underage women as well as a moral panic over scantily-clad, sometimes underage women sell to the same demographic.

     

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      The eejit (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 5:59am

      Re:

      I blame the Hate Mail. That's literally all it is. There's no actual news in it unless it generates 2 milliMorgans of hatred.

       

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        Ben (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 6:19am

        Re: Re:

        'tis a shame it's the main UK paper they give out free at airports. Paints a horrible picture of UK citizenry (or at least a certain underclass)

         

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          ethorad (profile), May 3rd, 2012 @ 3:19am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Seriously? They give out the Daily Mail to people on entering the UK?

          I would say that more than soft porn, the Daily Mail is known for it's hatred of immigrants - so handing it to potential immigrants is pretty funny :)

           

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        Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 7:26am

        Re: Re:

        How does a Morgan of Hatred compare to a single angry person? How many Morgan of Hatred does it take to make an Angry Mob?
        You must define units so that they can become a standard.

         

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    Nellius (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 5:41am

    The Daily Mail's moved onto attacking porn now, eh? Perhaps they've run out of things which cause or prevent cancer

     

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    James, May 2nd, 2012 @ 5:44am

    The Daily Mail is a total joke.

    I was given a copy for free last week when I bought a drink in the newsagent and I didnt know whether to feel grateful or insulted.

    In the end it was an entirely depressing experience skim reading it on the bus.

    I can't imagine what goes on in the minds of people who read it regularly / write it

     

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      The eejit (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 5:59am

      Re:

      Cash and something that's not "Them" to bitch about?

       

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      Call me Al, May 2nd, 2012 @ 6:18am

      Re:

      The Daily Mail is a horror story of reporting. They jump on every moral panic going and if things get quiet they just make them up.

      Trouble is that it was also recently claimed to be the online paper with the highest readership in the world.

      I know people who read it in a "know your enemy" kind of way but there are still many who read it and believe it.

       

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        Ben (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 7:12am

        Re: Re:

        My mother in law believes every damn word. Having her visit is typically a fun event until she starts parroting their bullshit

         

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        Niall (profile), May 3rd, 2012 @ 4:23am

        Re: Re:

        Yes, I've never forgiven them for cosying up to Andrew Wakefield, the MMR = autism faker.

        I also love how every other paper can be covering a serious story of national or international significance, but they care more about how 'women on Royal Navy ships distract the men with their wicked wiles'.

        About the only good thing that can be said about them is that they *aren't* a Murdoch rag.

         

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    G Thompson (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 6:19am

    What happened? hare they in a fight with "The Sun" again?


    Boobs - your mother has them!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 6:40am

    Sorry, I stopped at "cyberporn" and now looking for cyborg porn.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 6:49am

      Re:

      rule 34 - if it exsists, there is porn for it

       

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        The eejit (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 7:17am

        Re: Re:

        Well, so long as it's the Teen Titans version, anyway. I'm not sure about the other kind.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 8:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Summer Glau played a cyborg(Depending on your definitions). There is at least one instance where she is topless, thought it is a back shot. Not to mention all the people who have robotic limbs.

          Rule 34 wins again.

          This is the same rule that brought us Amputee Toilet Seat Handjob porn(Really, do not search for that. It was on a Rule 34 Demotivational Poster). Do you really think there are limits?

           

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 6:45am

    I heard that the Daily Mail is made up, is this true or a conspiracy by librealfasciomusliminmigrants?

    Next up dieting tips and is your house losing value.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 6:48am

    The Headline

    UK Tabloid Known For Publishing Naked Photos Complains About The Harm Of Porn Online

    or

    Daily Mail: "Competition Is Bad. Make It Stop"

     

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    hfbs (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 6:49am

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BritishNewspapers

    Scroll down to the Daily Mail section.

    Suffice to say, I read it just to laugh at it.

     

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      PaulT (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 7:08am

      Re:

      "Ultra right-wing, populist, nationalistic, xenophobic, isolationist often hysterical and notoriously obsessed with the immigrants and house prices and, lately, campaigns against same sex marriage and claimants of state benefits"

      "The Mail is very similar to The Sun when at its worst, but likes to pretend it's more upmarket."

      That sounds about right, TBH...

       

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    StrongStyleFiction, May 2nd, 2012 @ 6:53am

    Wait a minute. There is porn? On the internet? Why didn't someone tell me!? I guess I can start throwing these Sears catalogs away.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 7:12am

     

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    Pickle Monger (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 7:58am

    "Nobody is addicted to porn. Just tell the truth: you're addicted to masturbating. Saying you're addicted to porn is like saying you're addicted to burning rolling papers."
    Trevor White, comedian.

     

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    WDS (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 8:24am

    What I Believe

    1. The Daily Mail is about as trashy publication as there is, and has no right to complain about anything.
    2. If someone wants to watch Porn, it is none of my or the governments business.
    3. Nude or Naked is in no way the equivalent of Porn. (i.e. The Picture of Madonna linked & Venus di Milo classy. "Debbie gets creamed" not so much).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 8:38am

    What I find truly amazing is that you don't seem to understand the difference between titillation and porn.

    When you start with such a serious lack of understanding, you pretty much are doomed to fail. Sounds like a Tea Party talking points problem.

     

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      Baldaur Regis (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 9:03am

      Re:

      'titillation', heh. Now say 'slap and tickle'.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 11:18am

        Re: Re:

        slap and tickle.

        There is a huge gap between FHM sexy and Vivid hardcore. Only a conservative with his panties in a knot would be in too much of a hurry to know the difference.

         

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      Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 1:28pm

      Re:

      What I find truly amazing is your penchant for trying to rant about something irrelevant to the article in an attempt to obscure that you have no point to make other than that you hate Mike.

      Any difference between titillation and porn is;
      a/ In the eye of the beholder
      b/ Irrelevant to any harm that "porn" may or may not do to a teenager and
      c/ In no way removes the irony or indeed inevitability of it being the Daily Mail printing such a thing.

      I do, however, find it unsuprising that you'd come out with such a rant since you are almost Techdirts own resident Daily Mail.

      Oh, and if you show such a serious lack of understanding of teenagers in the relevance of "titillation vs. porn" in such an argument then either
      a/ You are way too long away from being a teenager or
      b/ On behalf of any putative offspring please don't become a parent.

      John Van Dyke: Show the average teenage male a condom and his mind will turn to thoughts of lust.
      Toby Ziegler: Show the average teenage male a lug wrench and his mind will turn to thoughts of lust.

      - West Wing

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 3:48pm

        Re: Re:

        WOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!

        The sound of the whole thing going right past you at high speed, and you not getting any of it.

        I guess in your world, Fox News is porn too, right?

         

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          Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), May 3rd, 2012 @ 11:12am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Nope, that was a description of the limit of your english comprehension apparantly.

           

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            anonymous, May 3rd, 2012 @ 2:27pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "nope" you don't say.. A skinny guy can get laid, while a chubby person will find out is a bit hard to get girls to like him.... and yes I'm not very good in the english language ,, and apparently that was also your limit as well, since you couldn't provide a reason other than no...

             

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            anonymous, May 3rd, 2012 @ 2:30pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            nvm ignore that reply I just wrote

             

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      Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 3:33pm

      Re:

      Twat (both kinds).

       

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    Berenerd (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 8:45am

    I feel obligated to post this....

     

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    Coyote, May 2nd, 2012 @ 10:05am

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black -- or in this case, the kettle is naked and the pot is saying 'it's wrong to be naked!'

     

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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 11:09am

    Classic Daily Mail

    You too can play the Daily Mail Moral Panic game with DIY headlines....

    Oooo how appropriate - just clicked the link to test it and got; "COULD TEENAGE SEX RUIN THE MEMORY OF DIANA?"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 3:29pm

    True to Form

    I've never heard anyone suggest the Daily Mail is known for naked pictures.
    Actually The Mail is acting true to form here. It's always been the right wing, conservative tabloid. The tabloid for the stuffy, old fashioned reader.
    It is hypocritical, and also one of the worst newspapers in the UK, but I'm not at all surprised to see them mount an attack against porn. It's totally in keeping with the paper's long history.

     

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      PaulT (profile), May 3rd, 2012 @ 12:56am

      Re: True to Form

      That's somewhat true offline, but have you checked out their website recently? It's pretty much all models and celebrity gossip with pictures of them in various states of undress. Yeah, it would be stretch to call them "porn", but as I look at it today, there's women in bikinis, posing in bubble baths, at a strip club, gossip about their sex lives...

      It's hard to take a moral stand when your own site clearly depends on broadcasting salacious images, even if they manage to keep some clothes on much of the time...

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 3:39pm

    Bring out yer tentacles! *pushes creaky wheelbarrow* Bring out yer tentacles!

     

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    anonymouse, May 3rd, 2012 @ 7:26am

    well a guy thats skinny wouldnt have addiction to porn,, but a guy thats a bit chubby would be addicted to online porn...

     

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    anonymous, May 3rd, 2012 @ 7:15pm

    found out about porn since I was 14, found out about it from cinemax at first when it was free back then.., then I went to search for it online.. where online is the better stuff, you can actually see the girls pussy up close and ofcourse better girls with big boobs...

     

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