Adult Labeling on the Internet Back on Congress's Dirty Mind


Sometime Reason contributor Declan McCullagh writes of the past, and possible future, of legally mandated adult content labeling for websites.

NEXT: Public-Pirate Partnerships

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  1. Sometimes I wonder if Congress is trying their damnedest to ensure that all servers worldwide are operated outside of American soil.

  2. …,
    O S A R

  3. I know exactly what you’re saying, Warren.

    (Opposite Day momentarily off. WTF does that mean?)

  4. I still say to hell with forcing porn to .xxx:

    Instead force the children to .kid

  5. And Congress to .ass

  6. and the Supreme Court to .libertystealingtyrantasshole

  7. wsdave,

    Agreed. Frankly, what is the difference between the proposal and .xxx, except that .xxx is voluntary and would show responsibility by porn providers, and the other is mandatory and shows that Congress is doing something for…

    Someone help me out, I can’t seem to finish that last sentence.

  8. Actually, I have no problem with a .xxx domain, as long as it’s voluntary.

    I also have no problem with a .kid domain which voluntarily submits to higher standards.

    What I have a problem with is the idea that we should treat the entire world like it is a white suburban family livingroom (minus the drug use and casual violence) just on the off chance that some kid is being allowed to wander the net unsupervised.

  9. Oh, and to clarify, you may voluntarily take goatsecks.com to goatsecks.xxx, but you are under no obligation to do so and no body has any power to fuck with you if you don’t.

    .kid should be the only domain that you can get booted from for unsavory content.

  10. the other is mandatory and shows that Congress is doing something for…

    …soap opera watching [soccer|security] moms?

    Or at least I would say so, if I were an irredeemable misogynist.

  11. lunchstealer: If I ever visit a .xxx site that doesn’t have hardcore porn on it, I swear to God I’ll file a false advertising claim with the FTC. As a porn consuming adult, I have as much right to protection as some kid who’ll be eternally scarred by the sight of an areola.

  12. crimethink | April 13, 2007, 5:58pm

    Uh, “crimethink”, if you’re going to post under my name, at least make it plausible.

  13. Of course we need this type of labeling. For example, the headline just underneath this one for this article is, “Pubic Pilates Partnership.”

  14. Never, ever underestimate the ability of a dedicated lawmaker to eventually pass ill-conceived and just plain bad legislation by simply trying again, and again, and again.

  15. What I’d suggest Congress do (as others on this threat have alluded to) is provide a way for Web hosts to certify their sites as suitable for minors (subject to major fines/prison terms if they make a false certification). Then let civil society and Internet filters to the rest – if enough sites certify themselves as friendly to minors, there will be a market for filters which make sure only that material can be accessed. Of course, teens will be able to hack their way around these barriers, but at least that will encourage teens to acquire a technical education.

  16. The really obscene sites are the .gov domains.


  17. The government has to protect children by restricting access to adult content because there is absolutely no free-market solution to this problem and never will be. No private enterprise would be able to develop a filter that would act like, say, a network nanny.

  18. So fiendy, if I were to say parents should take responsibility and watch their children when they are on the net, you would say there is no private enterprise that could help them? I’d have to agree, in that there would not be an enterprise to help them learn responsibility. That usually takes good parenting and good schooling. One the government can do nothing about, the other it does a poor job of.

  19. The problem with designating sites that don’t offend anyone as Kid-Friendly is that neither of the sites qualifying have been updated lately.

    A teenager I know sugests a proper web domain for sites safe for her peers:


  20. Congressmen want to clean up the Internet for Christ, not for kids and families.

    A clean up the ‘net for kids law would look like this:

    “Any Web site which self-certifies as Adult (either through rating or XXX domain) can only be prosecuted for obscenity in its choice of venue.”

    The right to avoid a porn charge in Cincinnati would be sufficient for honest-to-goodness pron sites to police themselves (as plenty already do); at the same time, while an Alabama jury might find a Planned Parenthood site “indecent,” they won’t find it obscene.

    Of course, such a sensible proposal would never work, because it’s clear that Jesus hates government permitting sexual content on the web as much as He hates the sale of vibrators and the use of marijuana to relive the side effects of chemotherapy.

  21. Zyram,

    Click on the link in my post. Click on the link to referenced article and notice the advertisement for Norton 360, on the right pane.

    Some others (Yes, I know these are mostly jokes, but just in case.):

    Technical quibble, .yyy or .whatever is just a domain extension, not a domain. It has no significance. It’s just a convention. Reason’s domain is reason.com, not .com.

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