Dangerous Assumptions

I think it’s time for me to blog about the Australian governments plan to censor our internet again, don’t  you?

One worrying thing I am seeing coming out of this is a tendency for there to form a “them and us” mentality around the whole situation.  There is an assumption that the people who are for the plan to censor the internet are all “overly moral Christians” and that those who are against it are “internet civil libertarians” or members of the sex industry.

I feel this is really dangerous thinking on both sides of the fence.

For those who are campaigning against the internet censorship, it’s dangerous to be thinking of all of those who are for it, or on the fence about it as either being the enemy, being overly  moral, or linking it to their faith.  Many Australians who are against the governments plan to censor the internet are Christian (myself included), have families, and are even… such a dirty word… conservative.  Assuming that these people aren’t on the same team is only going to alienate them and divide the number of voices speaking out against it.  Don’t assume that the secular far left are the only ones who are against internet censorship.

On the other side of the coin, as a Christian, I urge my fellow Christians not to swallow the line that is being sold to them by the Australian government without further investigation.  Don’t fall into the trap of believing that this plan is only opposed by those who are protecting their access to pornography, controversial matter or violent games.  Don’t fall into the trap of believing that this “filter” kind of censorship is actually going to protect your children, or any other children for that matter, from paedophiles and predators.  And like those who are already campaigning against the plan to censor our internet, don’t fall into a them and us mentality.

This is an issue that affects every Australian.  This isn’t about levels of morality or protecting anyone.  What it boils down to is that our government are forcing THEIR beliefs on to us by imposing censorship.  I believe that a fundamental value of democracy is freedom of speech and information.  For the government to censor information and freedom of speech in any way is against what it means to be a democracy.

Your beliefs are YOURS.  The government can regulate what is seen in public places, but WE as a nation need to be the ones that determine democratically what is illegal and what is suitable for children.  Any filter imposed by the government and with content lists that are secret and not available to the Australian people to know what is being withheld and challenge that, is not democratically determined by the Australian people.   The Australian government are employed by US as OUR representatives – not to be our parents or police or tell us what we should or should not do.

As an adult, so long as the content of any media is legal, you should be able to access it in their own home.  They  of course have the responsibility to ensure that children only see age appropriate material, but this is their responsibility and not the governments.

All Australians need to come together regardless of their spiritual beliefs/ideology, this is an issue that should be of concern to all of us.  Our very democratic society is threatened by this plan of censorship, and I urge you to find out all of the details before assuming what the government is telling you is really the case, and to let go of any “them and us” mentality, or we’re going to be sunk before we get even anywhere near making it clear to our government that this is not acceptable.

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January 2, 2010. Australia, censorship, cultural change, democracy, ethics, facts, freedom, generalisations, ideology, information, internet, No Clean Feed, organisation, politics, prejudice, responsibility, transparency, values.

5 Comments

  1. sayno2manylaws replied:

    I agree wholeheartedly, this is more about being a law abiding citizen rather than an extremist or potential pedophile.

    I have for the very first time posted a blog on this issue http://sayno2manylaws.wordpress.com/ This is how much i think this is a very big mistake that needs to be stopped.

    Letting mandatory internet censorship in will be a slippery slope to a poorer Australia for us and importantly for future generations.

  2. Conroy’s Christmas present, Internet censorship #nocleanfeed | Leefe rates the world... replied:

    […] Dangerous Assumptions (The Sleepydumpling, 2 Jan 2010) Why both sides of the Internet filter debate need to stop seeing each other as the enemy. And why focus should be changed to, why is the government trying to censor the Internet? […]

  3. Two anti-censorship posts by Brisbane bloggers | Stop Internet Censorship replied:

    […] Sleepydumpling, at her blog, writes about some dangerous assumptions on both sides of the anti-censo…: One worrying thing I am seeing coming out of this is a tendency for there to form a “them and […]

  4. Sykik replied:

    My fear is that grey area information. Particularly Harm Reduction information on safer drug (illegal and legal) use will be banned.

    Though I agree the us vs them mentallity is a bad one, but the problem being isn’t that how our political system works?

    • sleepydumpling replied:

      Not really – it’s how it is pushed to work, but if we call ourselves a democracy, we shouldn’t be about “them and us”.

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