Pornography is a major workplace problem in contemporary American society—and yet few private employers or government managers are willing to talk about it for fear of seeming prudish, or blindly trusting their employees, or being accused of infringing on individual liberties. With these attitudes, porn-at-work has grown like a virulent cancer, robbing employers of work time and wasted wages, causing litigation, and—most important—truly corrupting the minds of offenders while helping a squalid and perverted industry.
Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, to his credit, has the courage to tackle the issue of pornography at work head on. His action is an opportunity to begin a national conversation on the widespread social effects of Internet porn at the office. Is this the kind of America we want to live in?
Given that we now have pretty concslusive data that Internet porn actually reduces sex crimes, I'd say yes! The concluding graphs are especially Bork-a-licious:
Some of these employees know full well that they are being monitored—and get an additional thrill for being so brazen and taking such a risk. This bespeaks the magnitude of the porn-at-work phenomenon.
With so many employees now having their own work computers, the workplace has become a center of pornographic voyeurism among some segment of American society. How to respond, beyond more porn-detecting software and greater vigilance, remains to be seen. We claim no answer. But until we discuss the challenges, America will look less and less like a shining "city upon a hill" and more like Sodom and Gomorrah—a land in which workers betray the taxpayers, cheat their employers, embarrass their colleagues, diminish their lovers, and nobody cares.
I find the "additional thrill" line implausible, or at least assumptive of facts not in evidence—unless the editorial writer is testifying.
To be fair, part of the editorial focuses on reports of government workers surfing for porn on the taxpayer dime, which is a legitimate gripe. But then, so is government employees shopping on eBay. And yes, private employers should be able to fire porn addicts without fear of an ADA suit. I've read about one highly-publicized such lawsuit, but is this really a widespread problem?
Beyond that, I fail to see the issue, here. There's plenty of filtering software employers can use to block access to porn if they wish. If an employee's porn habits are making him unproductive, fire him. I hardly think we need a "national conversation" about Felicity Fey (Did I reveal too much?).
Moreover, other than the assertions of breathless editorial writers, there's just not much support for the idea that the widespread availability of porn is "corrupting minds" or morally "cancerous." Just about every social indicator that one might anticipate being affected by the mainstreaming of porn (divorce and abortion rates, sex crimes, sex crimes against children, teen pregnancy, etc.) has for about 15 years generally been moving in a positive direction. That of course would be the very period during which pornography became widely available on the Internet.