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Question Of The Day

Should David Cameron Restrict Online Pornography?

"In principle, it’s a good idea. But I don’t like banning things."

David Cameron with one of his internet mates. (Photo via)

David Cameron has decided that he wants to block all internet porn by default. In an effort to guard children from being exposed to sexy stuff on the web, he wants to ruin everything for the rest of us by blocking access unless you actively choose not to be restricted.

As well as cruelly imposing the potential for very awkward conversations with internet service providers on us, there's also the argument that it really isn't any of Cameron's business what we watch in our own homes, especially considering basically every browser already has child protection locks included as standard (this, of course, excludes the measures being taken to block access to child porn – good job on that, Dave).


I took to the streets to get people’s opinions the matter by asking them the question you'd expect me to ask them: Should David Cameron restrict online pornography?

Rosie, 25, promotions: Fuck – that a difficult question, actually. Maybe yeah – at least for six months to see what happens.

Surely re-introducing it after taking it away for six months would cause online havoc?
I don’t know – it’s so complex and complicated. We're all just animals, at the end of the day. But, at the same time, it is such a depressing industry.

Got any alternative solutions?
I think there should be better porn; there should be porn for women and porn for men that’s actually good. There shouldn’t be this graphic, downtrodden stuff that plays humans down. There is just this awful McDonald’s mentality, when it could actually be amazing.

Better scripting, more selective casting.
David Cameron should star in them. That’s the solution.

Good plan.

David, 31, shop assistant: I would say no, it’s none of his business.

So you think that, as our porn viewing has nothing to do with Cameron, he should stay out of it?
Yeah, I think so, personally. As long as it’s not disturbing porn, leave it. It’s not a secret – the internet is made for porn.

The internet’s sole purpose is pornography.
Most of the time, yeah. And what about people posing naked on webcams? That’s porn – how is he supposed to stop that? People will find other ways of doing it. What good is banning it? When it comes to the internet, I don’t think the government should get themselves involved with legal shit.


What about the good it could do to tackle child porn?
Well, yeah, they should introduce capital punishment for that.

William, 69, window cleaner: In principle, it’s a good idea. But I don’t like banning things.

So, as far as bans go, you think this one is alright?
Yeah. I think if someone comes up with a good idea to keep the wrong people – such as perverts and children – off of porn, then it’s good.

What about the ban of pornography that depicts rape? Good ban?
Yes, definitely, it’s just not the norm. I mean, we all like to watch someone else have a bit of nookie. I don’t know why, but it’s in our makeup and we always seem to think it’s funny. But rape? Nah.

Not for you?


Tracy (left) and Derek.

Derek: Yes, I think it should be restricted.

Are you saying that because your girlfriend’s here?
Tracy: Yes he is.
Derek: No, I think it should be restricted, especially with the amount of children who are going online now and accessing the internet from extremely young ages. That stuff comes up on normal searches whether you’re looking for it or not.
Tracy: I don’t know – I think it’s questionable because of freedom of speech.
Derek: Think of the children!
Tracy: That’s a very Mary Whitehouse thing to say. I just think it’s a very questionable area. Where do you draw the line? Like, what about page three? It’s just a little bit of titillation. I think some sites should be banned, like the rapey stuff. But perhaps leave the other stuff.


Good discussion, guys.

Sebastian, 26, painter: It’s a free world – people should be able to do whatever they want to do. You don’t want to be living in a Soviet state.

True. But what about the children who can access it really easily?
That’s a much bigger issue; that’s about technology and time. All young kids are on Facebook. You’ve got to talk about the wider, broader sense of it.

Right, so how should it be tackled?
Time. You have to adapt to the environment we’re living in and how time is changing rapidly, towards technology and open network and social networks and all these things. It’s a different state of mind.

Okay, clever but I'm not satisfied with that as an answer. Would you be pissed off if you couldn’t watch porn?

Previously - Should Prostitution Be Legalised in the UK?