The Big Red Shiny Button

History Eraser Button

emski* [AVS/MFL] | MySpace Video

Fresh from saving us all from “spams and scams coming through the portal“, Minister for Communications Senator Conroy has come up with another brilliant idea to save the kiddies from all the horrors of the internet. A nice shiny red browser button.


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Based on the Adobe Air platform, the security device, notionally referred to as a “big red button” will either occupy the Windows taskbar or sit prominently on the desktop.

Clicking the device will permit a child experiencing trouble to either access assistance to report issues to a social networking site or to connect with Police.

Sounds a lot like the Porn Siren, a cunning idea I came up with quite a few years ago.

Ridiculously, the panic button is said to have cost $100,000 and a team of 8 programmers to create. Junket, anyone?

As IT wire points out, either kids won’t know when to push it or, like Stimpy in the History Eraser Button video above, they’ll be sitting there feeling incredibly tempted to push it. Hell, I’d like to push it just to piss people off.

What is wrong with simply talking to kids? Educating them about their media environment? Parenting them. Being in the room when they’re on the internet. Instead, this government is wasting my hard earned tax dollars on pointless things like the big red panic button.

One Reply to “The Big Red Shiny Button”

  1. I had never seen that Ren & Stimpy episode, but it seems highly appropriate for this situation.

    Two problems come to mind. One (as you pointed out Ms Naughty) is that this is just one more example of government that encourages parents to ignore their children’s welfare and trust someone else to look after them. Bad idea.

    The other is the very real likelihood that a system like this will be misused either intentionally, or unintentionally. This will be to the detriment of legitimate, legal businesses and their owners, like yours and mine.

    All you need to do is take a look at the hysteria of a good portion of the comments that accrue around articles in the media that discuss the escort industry (which I work in).

    I have received my share of criticism and abuse for my (entirely legal) work. The thought of every evangelical christian in Australia having a “big red panic button” that reports me to the police, or some shady government committee when they stumble onto my website, is truly frightening.

    Even if all complaints are dismissed by the authorities, it still wastes my time and money, and causes me stress. Something that the reporting person may be delighted by.

    Lets not forget that the Salem witch trials and McCarthyism really happened, ruining and taking lives and destroying careers. I see shades of these things in Senator Conroy’s obsession with control, promoted under the guise of protecting children.

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