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Posts Tagged ‘filter’

The ABC TV show ‘Hungry Beast‘ recently showed that 80% – four out of every five – of the Australian population believe that some form of Australian Internet Filter (aka ‘Clean Feed’) isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The issue which the majority of Australians would seem to agree upon is that the silent suppression of material, unique to the CleanFeed project, when compared to the ‘normal’ government censorship method is particularly vomit inducing. The ‘net filter argument is over. It’s opponents have completely and utterly failed to adequately communicate or convince the general population, who don’t care that they cannot buy Baise-moi or Ken Park at JB Hifi, that they are wrong. The population are the people who don’t want their 12-year-old (a reasonable age for an unattended youngster to stroll through the DVD counter at JB) stumbling on to Baise, Park or similar on the internet either. I suspect the population realises that anyone wanting to buy those videos will find a way, just as anyone wishing to see them online in a ‘Clean Feed’ environment will find a way. And by and large, Australia’s citizens seem to be happy with that. To argue against this is akin to pushing it uphill.

Yet there are many who continue to tilt at the windmill (and there’s more than just that one group) about the filter, or ‘online censorship’, who seem more than happy to stay silent on the issues surrounding section 191 of Tasmania’s Electoral Act. This act seeks to restrict freedom of speech during a Tasmanian election campaign to degrees higher than of both before the Internet arrived as well as to a different standard than of other means of publication (newspapers, etc.). Clean Feed is merely a proposal, 191’s been in force for six years. Search for items on the recent attempts to bring similar legislation in to South Australia? Lots of returns. But I’ll be danged if I can find any reference on EFA, or elsewhere, to anything resembling organised complaints against 191 from the same (or similar) organisations. The only reasonable reference I’ve heard of recently was ABC Tasmania Statewide Morning‘s host Tim Cox interviewing the Tasmanian Electoral Commissioner. The only useful advice I got from that interview? During a Tasmanian Election, get a lawyer before operating a blog, publishing a comment or tweet or anything online because the Commissioner doesn’t understand the law either as there’s no precedents. The silence from ‘big islanders’ on this would lead a reasonable person to believe we’re in entirely different countries (insert prejudicial comments here about Tasmanian people to instantly disqualify yourself from any attempt at reasoned debate). [edit: I might just mention that I suspect certain provisions of 191 are unconstitutional, anyway]

The ‘No Clean Feed’ movement seem so incensed because sometime in the future they will not be able to receive via internet that which they can’t now buy over the counter – imagine how shocking it’d have been to live 25 years ago, how deprived they were¬† because there was no internet –¬† that they’re happy to ignore, or continually stay silent about, around half a million fellow Australians. Many were deeply upset when news came to light about the new South Australia’s laws, yet why the silence about Tasmania? The simplest conclusion one can reach is the bigoted prejudices about this state.

It follows from this conclusion that there are many participants in the ‘No Clean Feed’ fight, up to and including the nominal leaders, who seemingly are in it merely so they may serve their own navel gazing masturbatory political and financial agendas. What’s galling is that in No Clean Feed’s own lack of outrage or protest about 191, it shows them to be a shallow self-absorbed crowd. And maybe that’s where the real base of the 80% approval comes from. The general population of this country don’t really object to some form of censorship and believe, either consciously or subconsciously, that some amount of NoCleanFeeders are a bunch of hypocritical loons who are in it for political point scoring or financial advantage and not on a matter of principle or informed debate that they really give a damn about.

Thanks to the second verse of the Australian national anthem, many of us are intrinsically aware from an early age that hypocrisy is the greatest luxury. It’s with a heavy heart that I declare that I believe the current NoCleanFeed fight and it’s leaders are both fundamentally and fatally flawed and in need of chronic hosing down before they truly mess it up for those who genuinely care.

Disclaimer: The author is a Tasmanian resident who will soon be directly subject to Section 191’s clauses, in all it’s horrors.

[edit: 16 Feb 2010, grammar]

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