Opposition To The Clean Feed Grows

No Clean Feed - Stop Internet Censorship in Australia

Today I’m feeling optimistic about the future of the internet in Australia. Grassroots group GetUp has finally launched a campaign against the clean feed. They’ve already collected 32,000 signatures in a little over 24 hours and the comments are running hot on their site. Apparently they’ve had more emails requesting a campaign on this issue than anything else.

There are now protests planned on December 14 in a number of capital cities.

The SMH has thankfully publicised the latest bit of opposition with this article published today. It’s nice to see reporting that doesn’t follow the standard pro-censorship line, and they’re actually putting the boot into the government quite a bit, possibly because Senator Conroy and his lackeys won’t speak to the media or anyone about this issue.

The Opposition and the Greens have said they will oppose the plan in the Senate. I suspect, though, that Nick Xenophon, the rogue independent, is a conservative who will vote with the government. A government, by the way, that’s not supposed to be this conservative, dammit.


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I think the governments of the Western world will be watching what happens here quite closely. I don’t doubt that most of them are salivating at the thought of getting their mitts on the internet and stopping the free flow of ideas. “Protecting the children” gives them the perfect excuse. If we Aussies can successfully stop this through people power, it will send an important message.

We are the People’s Republic of the Internet and you mess with us at your peril!

I left a long comment on one of the blogs at GetUp and I want to repost it here.

I’m going to come in and make the point that people are afraid to make: why should the government have the right to stop us from viewing adult material?

Yes folks, I’m talking porn. NO, not child porn – that’s just the straw man thrown up to distract people from the fact of censorship. I’m talking about the legal adult material that is enjoyed by up to 70% of Australian adults.

The internet has allowed adults to enjoy sexually explicit material without the board of classification poking its nose in or giving its stamp of approval. The world hasn’t come to an end because people have been able to watch porn in the privacy of their own homes. Australians have been able to make their own decisions about what they want to watch without outside forces imposing their morals. This is a GOOD thing.

And the internet has provided the opportunity to create and access adult material that is sex positive, queer and female-friendly, inclusive, realistic and non-exploitative.

So yes, aside from all the perfectly good reasons for opposing the mandatory filter, we should be standing up for our right as adults to choose what content we wish to see – and that includes websites/movies etc dealing with sex in an explicit way.

Australians are, on the whole, pretty open minded about sex but we won’t speak up for ourselves on this topic. This has allowed the prudes and religious groups to lobby loudly and impose their morals on everyone else.

And we should be asking ourselves: why do we get so upset about sex but not bat an eyelid when it comes to violence? Why is sex so rigidly controlled by governments and the church?

Obviously children should not be exposed to inappropriate material. That’s what Net Nanny is for. That’s what “parenting” is supposed to be about. But the internet shouldn’t have to be reduced to to the level of a five year old in the interests of protecting children.

So I’ve mentioned the elephant in the room but it needs to be said. If you take porn off Australians, they’re gonna be very, very cross. And we should stand up and say that.

2 Replies to “Opposition To The Clean Feed Grows”

  1. You know Alexis, it’s a good question. I myself had sent two emails about it and my husband sent three, and obviously we weren’t alone in asking them to do something. I’m wondering if they felt it would be politically dangerous to approach the issue since it means standing up for porn. But I’m glad they’ve finally done something.

    The petition has gone up 2000 signatures in the 2 hours since I posted this.

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