1994-07-31 - Re: Children and the Net

Header Data

From: mpd@netcom.com (Mike Duvos)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: b85d6b81000a21bef2cfbb6ff16d42f7b109f9088e693e03ea6ee8e117618b73
Message ID: <199407312008.NAA27760@netcom2.netcom.com>
Reply To: <199407311918.OAA24381@monad.armadillo.com>
UTC Datetime: 1994-07-31 20:09:09 UTC
Raw Date: Sun, 31 Jul 94 13:09:09 PDT

Raw message

From: mpd@netcom.com (Mike Duvos)
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 94 13:09:09 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: Children and the Net
In-Reply-To: <199407311918.OAA24381@monad.armadillo.com>
Message-ID: <199407312008.NAA27760@netcom2.netcom.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

david d `zoo' zuhn <zoo@armadillo.com> writes:

 >> Very young children need to be protected from graphically
 >> violent material which they might find disturbing.  Other
 >> than this, I am not sure any censorship on the Net is
 >> appropriate.

 > It's exactly this tone that I'm afraid of.  Need?  In who's
 > opinion?  While I might agree that children shouldn't
 > indiscriminately be seeing potentially disturbing material,
 > the way that I'd state it is: "I'd like my children to be
 > protected from graphically violent material".  Note that it
 > would be *my* children that *I* want to protect.  And I
 > have the means to handle that.  Not that I have kids, but...

 > It's insidous, the ways that morals get turned into law
 > and regulations.

Young kids have the same feelings looking at realistic
depictions of violence in movies that they would have looking at
the real thing.  This is true even if they intellectually grasp
that what they are viewing never really happened.  Many movies we
wouldn't think twice about can cause children intense emotional

The critical faculty needed to gate such feelings situationally
develops at different ages in different children, but is
generally well-developed by the age of 12.

Many other countries simply rate movies by specifying how old
you have to be to see the movie.  These ratings are made by
experts who understand the effects various types of imagery are
likely to have on young viewers.  A typical blood and guts
adventure film might get a rating of 12.  Something really gross
would probably get a rating of 15.  Sometimes movies are
completely banned in certain countries, like "Predator II" in
Norway.  Note the absence of any mention of parents in the

In America, where everything about kids is really about parental
power, we have a completely silly ratings system full of phrases
like "Parents Strongly Cautioned" and "May Be Inappropriate." The
effect of all this is that a parent can take a 6 year old to
"Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and put him in therapy for the rest of
his life, but a 16 year old can't even go near a movie which
doesn't star Bambi without dragging some generally unwilling
adult along.

No one gets protected from anything and the system exists
entirely as an parent ego-boosting exercise.

     Mike Duvos         $    PGP 2.6 Public Key available     $
     mpd@netcom.com     $    via Finger.                      $