Government Study Determines That There's Porn Online

from the thanks-for-clearing-that-up dept

Remember how the government basically subpoenaed everyone they could possibly think of to get data to support their argument defending the constitutionality of the COPA (Child Online Protection Act)? Apparently, they used all of that data to crunch some numbers and tell the court that (would you believe it?) there’s actually some pornography online. Aren’t you glad that plenty of taxpayer money went into figuring that out? Despite what both sides in the case are trying to say about the results, it’s not clear that it really says much at all. They found that 6% of queries lead to results that have adult material (and only 1% if filters are turned on) — but it’s not clear what that really means. A query returns tons of results. Is it counted if only one leads to sexually explicit material? If all of them? A certain threshold? The first link? Also, how do they define adult material? While it may be obvious in some cases, in plenty of others it’s very much a subjective decision. Finally, the 6% number is still misleading, because most of those searches are probably by adults who are looking for completely legal adult material. If the case is about protecting children, shouldn’t the real question be how often adult content is returned when kids do searches? So, in the end, we have the government demanding (and getting) a bunch of data from all sorts of internet and search companies, and then conducting a survey with taxpayer money, to tell us that there’s a fair amount of porn online (though not overwhelmingly so) — but little else of practical use to the actual question at hand, about whether or not the law is constitutional.


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Comments on “Government Study Determines That There's Porn Online”

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33 Comments
misanthropic humanist says:

Not a serious study

“…but it’s not clear what that really means. A query returns tons of results. Is it counted if only one leads to sexually explicit material? If all of them? A certain threshold? The first link? Also, how do they define adult material?”

If these parameters were not defined as part of the report then it is baseless and worthless as a scientific document. In other words it was never intended as a serious study, which raises the question; Why was the data collected. I suspect that the data itself was always irrelevant, rather the entire exercise was constructed for alterior motives.

Moogle says:

Re: beavers on google?

You can tell him he needs to use a better euphemism when discretely looking for porn, because he’ll have to search through over 100 images with safesearch off to find so much as a boob. I gave up trying to find regular search results or safesearch on image search results.

I’d recommend that *you* leave safesearch on on your computer (or at least turn it back on after you’re done). Even if you don’t, he’ll find a good picture of a beaver for his biology paper long before he finds smut.

For a report for my CompSci ethics class, I interviewed teachers, administrators, and librarians at a technology oriented elementary school. They’ve pretty much never had a problem with the tykes finding bad material – the only problems they had were when a parent or someone posing as such used the library computers and left smut open after they left. The kids would usually run to the teacher and tell them there was something on the computer that wasn’t supposed to be there. (that’s what I was told, and I’m inclined to believe them.)

Charles The Tech (user link) says:

[no subject] by Not-So-Anonymous Coward

You should tell your kid that they are not allowed to use the internet unless you can act like a responsible parent and monitor their internet activity.

If you are allowing your child free-access to the internet then you get what you deserve.

US Government shouldn’t be a nanny to your children. Take responsibility or put them in foster care.

Charles~

zcat says:

beavers?

Curiously enough, I just searched for beavers on google. With no filtering.
The first page of results was entirely about small furry mammals (and in one case, larger non-furry mammals playing baseball)

So just for fun, I looked through all of the first ten pages and couldn’t find one remotely adult link anywhere.

And did I mention this is _without_ using Google’s safe-search filter?

Anonymous Coward says:

I hate these discusions, they rile me up and theres no good outlet – I gues sthis will be it for now.

This study is rediculous, porn is everywhere in life. Why not go against something more useful like violence? We need a war against violent imagery now. Number 5, what if your son searched for history? I’m sure he’d get a lot of violent images, or even Iraq would dispaly lots of violent images, where is the study here? It would be MORE meaningful than this shit. Damn It the Internet was NOT MADE FOR CHILDREN, GET OVER IT!!

what I'm Called says:

GOVERNMENT STUDY DETERMINES THAT THERE'S PORN ONLI

I’ve noticed a common factor in these government ,bait & switch, hearings or commistioned studies. Hint, it’s in this sentence; “government demanding (and getting) a bunch of data from all sorts of internet and search companies” it is that they are getting a bunch or data. If I remember correctly, the government has asked for information form the internet service providers and until now have really been stone-walled until now. The quetion isn’t were they trying to defending the constitutionality of the COPA (Child Online Protection Act, it is would this work on finally getting what they always want control and it did work for the government this time and it shows when it comes to privicy in america each damn hour or so we the people are getting less and less of it. Just think if they can get our information, you know us the people, over something as stupid as this issue think about your own on line privacy, and when you think about it remember most of us consider our online privicy as keeping people around us from knowing that we are viewing and touching to on line porn. Well now president has been set and the government know knows the can damn the service provider to hand over the goods. We are all losers because most don’t vote and by not we give our government over to special intest groupls that pay hand over foot to rule our government and boy do they rule it So as we bitch about the money spent or how nothing was really accomplised again with this study or that study the wolf is dressed in sheeps clothing and is really good at getting what he wants without us really understanding first what they are really after and 2nd how it keeps chipping away bit by bit at our rights and more importantly our so called freedoms. damnding companies to hand over information, wire tapping who know who know, holding people without the right to a spped trial in other countries, arguments between domestic partners, when on would state ideal threats of hurting or killing the other are now prosacuted as terrioiest threatsl. What the hell is happening to governed by the poeple for the poeple. I’m tiered of special interest groups controlling the government and asking people if they voted only to hear the lame excuss of whats the use I’d only be choosing the lessor of 2 evils. Do we get it if we vote it makes the evil responsalbe to us the people not the special inteaset groups which then we could vote out the crap like we did hear in California when we got ride of a week governor and got Arnold. Well enought said I guess whats the use it’s not like most of us really consider or think about politics and then do something about it we would just rather do nothing and bitch about them doing nothing, right?

That one guy says:

Re: uh..

“Hey #9, try a google image search for beaver, you’ll find 3 naked ladies on the first page.”

If by “naked ladies” you mean “that oh so hot, wet, dripping…..aquatic mammal action” which can be found freely throughout the first 15 pages of a GIS of “beaver” WITHOUT SafeSearch on..then yeah, TONS of naked ladies.

Oh man, look at all that fur! That one’s got quite the tail on her if you know what I mean 😉 😉

OH GOD!!! Now I see it! Oh man, this is completely out of line and MUST be stopped immediately. Please children I beg you to shield your eyes!

http://www.slylockfox.com/e-comics_htd/e-htd_beaver/htd_beaver.gif

Horrible. Just horrible.

Exiled From the mainstream says:

Also In other news...

The grass is green and the sky is blue! I’m sorry but what. the. F***!?!?!

Nice to know my dads tax money went into something GREAT. Need to get registered to vote next time elections come up… But who am I kidding? It seems like everytime you meet a smart person you also find 80 morons that think they’re rulers of the cosmos or something. That guarantees the prettiest face wins. Then again this IS America! Home of the fat people and hypocrites. (Did I mention I don’t like living in the US much anymore?)

There was definitely ulterior motives to this stuff including the government wanting to see how far it could go with this. And I bet it could get them alot of checks in the mail from big business if they gave out stuff like this to them, free targeted advertising anyone? Wait thats SPAM!

To quote Charlie, “Good Grief!”

Kryndar says:

Beavers, again

I just did a google image search for beavers with the filter off. I assumed there would no results other then the animal, I did the search because of the person posting that they got three naked women on the front page. However I did in fact on the first page get two nude images and on that was clean but from the name a clear preface to a porn site.

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