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Sure we can accept that Joe Sixpack has serious issues when he’s confronted with a nipple. We Europeans, who don’t even shave our armpits, couldn’t care less.
A spectre is haunting the Internet. Leading American brands like Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon.com are imposing their (American) cultural, economical, political and ethical norms on the rest of the world. Should we accept this? Is there still a way out?
Now imagine this:
It’s 1985. You just bought a car. A Toyota, because you think that’s the best car in the world. One day, you are on your way to Amsterdam when suddenly your car refuses to continue. You can drive anywhere, just not to Amsterdam, as the big boss at Toyota doesn’t like his cars being used to bring people to this place of perversion.
It’s 1995. You are a long way from home. One night an intimate phone call with your wife is abruptly interrupted by a computer voice explaining that Siemens, the company that provides telcos with the right switches) doesn’t want this kind of filth over their networks.
It’s 2005. You just bought a new Philips TV set. One night you are watching a stand-up comedy show. While the comedian is in the middle of a provocative sketch about Nazis, World War Two and Jewish people, the screen turns black and the following message appears: Philips deems this content inappropriate.
Please don’t get us wrong. We are convinced that there might be very good reasons to come up with some way of filtering content. Wherever people from different backgrounds with different intentions flock together, some kind of guide comes in handy. Ideally, this guide should be a reflection of “mores” and “values” that are shared by society as a whole. Mores are codes of conduct we promote in order to reach these shared values. Neither mores nor values are universal or eternal, on the contrary. They are very much determined by time and space.
That is why it crucial, to say the least, to observe how the Apples, Googles and Facebooks of this world impose their own (American) mores and values. Not only should we reject the fact that these aren’t the result of any democratic process, we should also closely observe their adverse effects on culture, as it in effect gives way to immeasurable cultural impoverishment. Sure we can accept that Joe Sixpack has serious issues when he’s confronted with a nipple. We Europeans, who don’t even shave our armpits, couldn’t care less.
The people who signed this call for action are very concerned about the increasing power that is (mis-)used by huge IT-, telecom- and media organisations that intend to turn the Internet into an ocean of isolated islands where they create the law. They are building a splinternet in which individual freedom is no longer being constrained by the laws of nations, but by decisions made in the boardrooms of Silicon Valley.
Originally posted by Phractal Phil
On another matter: I am of the opinion that morality belongs to religion, and we're supposed to have freedom of religion in the U.S.; that includes freedom from religion. The government got involved in the business of enforcing sexual morality because it first chose to take on the burden of fatherless children. Now, they pay underage girls to seduce dirty old men and get knocked up. So what do they get? More fathers in prison and more fatherless children to take care of. Churches were doing a better job of preventing unwanted pregnancy, and they did it at a fraction of the cost. Now, taxes to support this aspect of government far outweigh what people used to give their churces, so there's nothing left to give to the churches. And they say we have separation of church and state. Bull!