Iceland Is Weighing a Ban on Internet Porn

Iceland is cautiously considering banning certain varieties of online smut. Of particular concern to Icelandic officials is the increasingly violent nature of online porn, and a move to ban it has widespread support from Iceland's police, lawyers and health and education professionals. The advisor to the interior minister, Halla Gunnarsdóttir, says, "We are a progressive, liberal society when it comes to nudity, to sexual relations, so our approach is not anti-sex but anti-violence. This is about children and gender equality, not about limiting free speech." She's not wrong about Iceland's liberal bent—Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir is the world's first openly lesbian head of state—but the country's history of curtailing pornography is storied. Strip clubs are illegal, as is printing and distributing pornography. Now, they're looking to censor pornography of a distinctly violent breed. Some decriers are saying Iceland is overstating pornography's harmful effects, but The Guardian quotes Dr Gail Dines, a professor of sociology at Wheelock College in Boston, as saying, "Of course Internet porn is damaging. We have years of empirical evidence. It's like global warming—you will always find some global warming deniers out there who can quote some little piece of research they have found somewhere, some science junk, but the consensus is there." Consensus or not, most of the proposed ban's pushback has come from concerns about free speech, that holiest of cows in the Western world. Iceland parliament member Birgitta Jonsdottir puts the ban's actual chances of passing at "near zero" ...

0 Comments

Log In

Please log in or register to comment