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Children And The Censorship Of Internet Pornography

4232 words - 17 pages


The Internet is a global network of vast information. With a few clicks, an individual can have access to up to 200 million web-sites filled with educational and recreational information. The Internet is not regulated in anyway (Carnegie Library 1). It is accessible throughout the entire world from the North to the South, to the early morning sunrise and dark sunsets. Different ethnicity and backgrounds come together linked upon this network resembling a connection of one body in unity. Sadly, issues arise creating concern for users, focusing particularly on minors. Pornography is one of the inappropriate materials on the Internet for minors. This material is harmful to young impressionable minds. Pornography is tearing and disintegrating the foundations of our society can be described as follows, "what was available to a small number of people willing to drive to the bad side of town can now be viewed at any time in the privacy of one"s home" (Anderson 2). In order to understand how to aid in the critical decision of whether or not to censor child pornography, an individual has to first clearly understand a few terms. These terms will aid in a clear understanding throughout the case study.

a.)Definition of "Censorship."

The American Library Association defines Censorship as "the change in access status of material, made by a governing authority or its representatives. Such changes include: exclusion, restriction, removal or age/grade level changes." Censorship predetermines and judges the material by imposing a standard view on what is appropriate for society. It is the act, process, or practice by which examining in order is to suppress or delete anything considered as objectionable.

b.)"Pornography" - What is it?

According to the 1986 Attorney General Commission on Pornography defined pornography as material that "is predominantly sexually explicit and intended primarily for the purpose of sexual arousal." Hardcore pornography "is sexually explicit in the extreme, and devoid of any other apparent content or purpose" (Anderson 1). Cyberporn can be classified as the fifth type of pornography besides adult magazines, videocassettes, motion pictures, and television consisting of hardcore pictures, movies, online-chat, and live sex chats that can be acquired by means via download and virtually viewed by the users of the Internet (upon pay sites). Sexually implicit materials can be found on web pages and news groups within the realm and hands reach of minors to view.

c.)Obscenity (Three-Part Test)

According to the1973 case of Miller v. California, material is obscene if all three of the following conditions are met:

1.)The average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interests.

2.)The work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state (or federal) law, and
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