I’ve been seeing some posts from bloggers as well as some so-called “journalists” on the subject of pornography. The question has been, “ Should it be regulated on the Internet?” there are voice on both sides of the question but beyond defining pornography as sex, no has seemed to look at what pornograhy may be viewed as beyond that simplistic definition.
According to one definition, by Merriam-Webster, pornography is:
3: the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction
If course their first two have to do with sex, but I found it intersting that the last had to do with anything that might cause something as sensational/. Note that sex is not mentioned. It could be any “act” that is sensational. Would that include words that may describe another person in a way, not sexual? Well, it’s up for interpretation but I want to take a look at this particular definition as to what many of us view, and possibly respond to, on Twitter.Do “acts” in this definition include words, or memes that are seen on social media? I thin they do and as we’ve all experienced, mpstly on Twitter, those words or memes may arouse a “quick intense emotional response”.
Of course there are those that tweet just for that type of reaction. Then there are those, that do the same, but with the idea of receiving, whether positive or negative, a considered response. Yeah, how often do either of those happen? Never? No, I’ve seen some that appear to want to troll, that have actually received something other than an emotional response. But in general, how many of us on any social media platform may say that at least some of what they read, write, or respond to is based on emotions rather than reason?
I’m discussing this because, in my (little) spare time, I’ve been reading some reports that Congress is considering either restricting access to, or actually banning “pornography” in the US. To what purpose? Not allowing those underage to have access to those online sites. Interesting, if we’re only referring to the sexual content of some sites but what about the definition I provided above? Would then any social media platform, if that definition were to be included in any proposed legislation, be accountable as well? Take a closer look at that definition: it could (might) include any site – left or right leaning – that would “arouse a quick intense emotional response”. Politics? Re;ligion? Carpentry?
How about those users, especially on Twitter (my only interface) that post “enticing” photos of themselves? No nudity, but something that may cause arousal of another subscriber? No photos of you in your bikini or underwear. No shirtless pictures of men with six-pack abs because it may cause arousal. In fact, we all know people post those of themselves for that reason alone (well to garner followers). So then could social media platforms, like Twitter, be declared pornography? Of course they could and the way that Congress writes legislation, they would leave it up to unelected bureaucrats to determine what is or isn’t allowed. Of course, depending on who occupies the White House at any point in time, those regulations would change.
Could there be a bill assed by both houses of Congress restricting pornography? Of course there could be and by the way, it would be bipartisan because no member of Congress in an election year (basically every two years) would want to say they are in favor of it. the problem would be how to define it so as the Federal courts could not overturn it. Would it be okay to say, as the definition above, to allow any and everything to be considered, by someone, somewhere, as pornographic?
If we allow government to tell us what we can or cannot view, or discuss, where does it end? I personally have no interest in sexually explicit videos on the Internet. Some do. Should I have the power to say otherwise? Should “explicit” (non-nude) photos be banned from social media? Should the government have any say on what may be displayed on the Internet?
Some will say yes, but then do they understand the consequences of allowing a group of bureaucrats the power to say what is and isn’t allowed to be portrayed? Political mems some may find offensive? Religious? Any and everything anyone may consider that would have to be approved before posted? Stop and think before you comment here. It could be you.