Luddite MPs

The Herald has a report on some MPs concerned about You Tube. Let;s look at what they want:

“We are concerned that user-generated video content on sites such as YouTube does not carry any age classification, nor is there a watershed before which it cannot be shown.”

How stupid are these people? A watershed time before some content can be shown? Oh yes that will work. And what time zone should be used, morons?

The MPs expressed their anger that the operators of such sites did not routinely screen clips posted on them by the public.

Oh yes that is so very practical. Let look at how many videos are uploaded every day – around 65,000. Now if each is ten minutes long, then one person can do around 50 in a day. So these MPs think You Tube (which costs $1 million a day to run already) should hire around 1,300 staff just to screen the videos that come in.

Incidentially did you know concumses more bandwidth today than the entire Internet consumed in 2000?

They said the practical problems of sifting through vast quantities of material could be overcome as technology is being developed that can rapidly spot hardcore pornography when it is uploaded.

Pornography is banned on You Tube. It normally gets reported very quickly and is gone within hours or minutes. Do these MPs really think people spend all their time on frantically searching for porn in the few minutes it is there before it is deleted?

I mean if people want porn, they will go to Youporn or Pornotube which have nothing but pornography.

“In a lucrative market, the cost to internet service providers of installing software to block access to child pornography sites should not come second to child safety,” the committee said.

Child pornography is sickening and authorities do a good job in prosecuting those who produce or distribute it etc. But the incidence of child pornography on is incredibly small, and anyone who uploads it will have their IP address given to authorities.

In terms of wider issues around access to child porn, I agree ISPs should restrict access where possible. But any such blacklists should be based on emperical evidence (ie the site has been verified as having illegal material) such as the British Cleanfeed system, and not on automated filters which “guess” is a site has illegal material and ends up blocking legal content.

The committee called for video-sharing sites to include a “one-click” facility that enabled users to report clips appearing to contain images of abuse directly to the police.

Not a bad idea, but which Police? The FBI? Scotland Yard?b

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