11th November 2006
Norsefire Conservative party's manifesto, there's a small paragraph that has gotten quite a few internet enthusiasts and activists up in arms. In the paragraph, the incumbent party outlines their desire to create a regulated internet where "harmful" things such as pornography and violence are absent or strictly controlled.
According to insiders, this would also affect the types of material you'd be allowed to share and post about on the internet. Additionally, the manifesto outlines plans to regulate what kind of news and information that citizens of the United Kingdom has access to;
We also need to take steps to protect the reliability and objectivity of information that is essential to our democracy and a free and independent press
It's an authoritarians wet dream.
Mister Angry Rules Guy
1st February 2010
They do realize you can get around restrictions? Right?
Ask any Secondary School student. They can find ways to get on Facebook and look at child pornography, even in the most heavily-regulated school networks. All security systems have loop holes.
I'm spending a year dead for tax reasons.
15th December 2002
Cameron tried this bollocks too, pretty sure he dropped it like a hot potato after it went down like a lead one.
Not sure if they'll try again, but if she's put it in the manifesto, it wouldn't surprise me.
Seems like an effort to control the freedom of information, doesn't it?
Danny King | Community Manager | GameFront.com
11th November 2006
It's stereotypical conservative policy to try and restrict information.
Cameron was a bit of a nutcracker, but May's a shrivelled old hazelnut. She'll try anything to consolidate power; whether it's straight up lying, or - as we see here - attempting to curtail access to information.
22nd December 2007
I'd like to contribute to this conversation in a meaningful way, but I can't. Rather than say nothing though, I'll just say this: Ur mom wants to regulate what you see on the Internet.
All hail Daut our Lord and Savior
17th June 2002
While I don't agree with what the Tories are trying to do here, I think reactionary "OMG TOTALITARIAN STATE!!1" responses are not warranted.
The crux of all this in my view is that the Conservatives feel that the laws that govern us literally every where else should apply to the Internet as well. Taken at face value, this statement actually makes a lot of sense. The Internet has proven, time and again, that it is just as capable of impacting our daily lives as... well, our daily lives are. It's not some ethereal construct of our imaginations, but a real thing. Just because you can't pick up a website and slap somebody in the face with it, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It can enlighten our knowledge and uplift our mood just as much as it can confuse us and damage our mental health. It affects our lives, our economies, and even our governments. It is powerful.
Now, the "need to take steps to protect the reliability and objectivity of information that is essential to our democracy and a free and independent press" reads to me like an effort to prevent so-called 'fake news'. And I don't mean that in a 'Trump Fake News™' kind of way, but in an obviously manufactured, objectively inaccurate kind of way. I do believe that such content is harmful. While the Internet is the greatest information resource ever conceived of, it is simultaneously the most misleading and erroneous information resource ever conceived of, simply because there are absolutely no rules. It's the digital wild west. I could start up a news website right now that published nothing but garbage, but if I wrote it in an appropriate journalistic style, purported to be telling the truth, and made the website look authentic, some people would believe what I wrote. This damages our democratic processes, it harms scientific literacy, and in the worst of cases - such as bollocks 'miracle cancer cures' articles - it can and does kill.
Examples are easily found. Look at how many times people have taken The Onion articles to be true (I'm not suggesting we regulate satire, by the way, just highlighting how gullible people are and why 'fake news' can feed into that). Look at how many people now believe that the Earth is flat, because they've seen bogus scientific articles online. Look at the people who've died because they didn't go to hospital for cancer treatment, because they thought soaking in a bath of coconut milk would cure them. Look at how many people believe in nonsensical and damaging conspiracy theories because they've seen 'articles' on Facebook. Something has to be done, that much is obvious.
So I see what they are trying to accomplish, I really do. But do I believe that the government should be the one to regulate what is and isn't genuine information? Absolutely not. I trust the government only marginally more than the people peddling pretend cancer cures - at least some of them actually believe they are being honest, even if their information is utter nonsense. While I feel that "OMG TOTALITARIAN STATE!!1" is a typical overreaction, I do not believe for one second that the government is anywhere near to being the least biased party to ensure accuracy of information online. Nor have they got a record of actually engaging with IT in any effective manner. Every time they've tried, they've failed miserably.
Do I have a better solution? No. But then, there's a reason I'm not running for office.