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Finland in pornography censorship debate

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 07 Feb 2013 7:38 User comments (5)

Finland in pornography censorship debate Calls inspired by Icelandic block of violent material.
Finnish Minister for Justice, Anna-Maja Henriksson (pictured), is backing extending Finland's current pornography censorship to move beyond child pornography. Under current Finnish law, the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) maintains a blocklist of foreign sourced child pornography websites, as it cannot take direct action against them.

Specifically, the Minister eyes expanding the list to involve websites that include pornographic material showing animals, and "violent porn."

The idea does not have unanimous support even within the Finnish government, however. Finland's Interior Minister, Päivi Räsänen, doubts the need to expand pornographic censorship at all. Indeed, even Finland's own child pornography blocklist has, in the past, included websites that had nothing to do with such vile content.

Still, child pornography blocklists are a reality that even many of the most vocal opponents of censorship accept as reasonable, and justified. The spreading of material that documents the sexual abuse of children prolongs one of the most abhorrent crimes, and re-victimizes the child every time it occurs.

To most people, animal porn also would be distasteful, if not downright sick, but does the spread of those kinds of videos or images demand the same special censorship enforcement afforded to child pornography?

Where the proposal would raise most questions however, is the inclusion of "violent pornography." Who decides what "violent pornography" is?

In all of these debates over censorship, that is the question that will never go away; who makes the decisions? Who in society can we possibly elect to decide for us on questions of appropriate, or inappropriate content? Most adults would not knowingly grant this power to anybody in their lives, so why is the state/government any different?

Then last, but definitely not least, is the precedent: If we can block pornography that we deem inappropriate, then why not other things that we don't like?

The reason to take notice of this case - even though it is unlikely to make it into law - is Finland can fairly be seen as an advanced, progressive state with an educated population, well grounded in modern technology, and a highly respected member of the European Union. When Western countries (or those of Western values) speak so openly about the problem of censorship to the East (or speak through a conduit like the EU), and then witness members of their own elected governments pushing proposals to block Internet content that they do not like, how can the message of free expression/speech and information hold its weight?

Am I wrong?

(image credit & source: aamulehti.fi)

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5 user comments

17.2.2013 11:00

I know some pretty hot people come from those Nordic countries, but if they are talking about censoring people like the woman in the picture, I say do it quickly. =)


SuckRaven

28.2.2013 2:39

Originally posted by SuckRaven:
I know some pretty hot people come from those Nordic countries, but if they are talking about censoring people like the woman in the picture, I say do it quickly. =)
I disagree. There is no need to censor porn; simply require the porn producers to put this woman's photo on the cover, and no one will buy it.

38.2.2013 3:29

" Who decides what "violent pornography is?"

Quite.
Given that so much of this kind of material is fantasy & play stuff - and not everyone's tastes are the same - what gives anyone the right to dictate?

Don't they already have laws in Finland that guard & protect children, women & everyone else against violent conduct, coercion & abuse?

48.2.2013 8:38

Originally posted by Interestx:
" Who decides what "violent pornography is?"

Quite.
Given that so much of this kind of material is fantasy & play stuff - and not everyone's tastes are the same - what gives anyone the right to dictate?

Don't they already have laws in Finland that guard & protect children, women & everyone else against violent conduct, coercion & abuse?

Actually no they don't its quite disgusting i have had foreign exchange students that where glad to get out of the country because finland is trying to clean up there act because before they had no laws against pornography which was not cool and even germany has no laws against pornography of a illegal nature which isn't cool there are times where porn can be considered art and expression but there are stuff that i wouldn't even allow my kids to see

58.2.2013 13:20

Originally posted by megadunderhead:
Actually no they don't
They don't have what?

Are you seriously trying to tell me that Finland does not have laws against violence, coercion or the abuse of people?
I don't believe that.

Originally posted by megadunderhead:
they had no laws against pornography
Ah, so they allow a level of pornography you find offensive.

That is not the same thing.

Originally posted by megadunderhead:
even germany has no laws against pornography of a illegal nature
Illegal to whom tho?
In Germany it is not illegal, just as it is in many European countries.

But I don't think you'll find any European country allows genuine voilent porn where people are actually & deliberately injured.

My point is that we already have laws about this, we don't need any more....especially not silly ones which intrude into the bedroom & try to limit people at play.
Play is not the same thing.

Originally posted by megadunderhead:
but there are stuff that i wouldn't even allow my kids to see
Yes, ok, and?
Hardcore porn isn't to everyone's taste, that's fair enough and of course you are free to exclude it from your life and that of your kids (to some extent at least, many kids seem to find some somewhere sometime in their lives) .

But porn (magazine covers, video cases, DVD cases) has been in sex shop windows in big towns & cities all over Europe (and wider afield) without the sky falling down or the end of civilisation as we know it.
Similarly the internet has seen it available just about anywhere and we have not been swamped by a torrent of sex-crime.

Perhaps it's not actually the harmful thing you imagine it to be?


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