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Beyond Tolerance: Child Pornography Online

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This is a follow-up to my recent article The War on Child Pornogrqaphy–Who are the victims?

From Publishers Weekly

Politicians, media and law enforcement have “massively over-responded” to “quite innocuous” adult sexual material on the Internet, argues historian Jenkins, while doing far too little to stamp out pernicious and prevalent child porn, such as pictures of four- and five-year-old girls sexually servicing men. Even anti-porn activists who target specific pedophilic Web sites are wrongheaded; the problem is international, Jenkins charges in this important wake-up call, with pictures posted on short-lived sites known only to a computer-savvy subculture that sidesteps the strictures of countries that condemn the material. Thus, while Jenkins (Synthetic Panics) has spent his career arguing that social menaces (e.g., serial killers) are overblown, here he aims to increase public concern. Given that simply looking at child pornography is illegal, Jenkins was constrained in his research. His ingenious solution was to access the news groups and “pedo boards” where regular users communicated, drawing on their descriptions of the material they consumed, and using a feature on his computer that prevented images from downloading. His reading of the various online discourses suggests that child porn users like some other deviant subgroups share a conventional morality, which suggests that many might be deterred by more effective law enforcement. Currently, policing focuses on child porn users, whom Jenkins likens to drug addicts, without striking against the suppliers at the core of the subculture. Thus, he calls not for increased punishment for users but for a prohibition of newsgroups and bulletin boards. And to increase awareness of the issue, he suggests a journalistic exemption to child porn laws.

Book Description

“This is a troubling book that exposes how child pornography has found a safe haven on the Internet. Philip Jenkins’s innovative research methods let him explore and map the secret electronic networks that link individuals whose deviance seems not just outrageous, but incomprehensible. Jenkins shows how culture and social structure emerge in a virtual-and decidedly not virtuous-world. This book raises profound questions about the nature of deviance in an electronic future.” -Joel Best, University of Delaware

You can read more about Crimes Against Children on the Internet at Watch Right Internet Crimes Against Children Weblog

Teachers, parents and law enforcement agencies can get a free syndicated news feed for their Home Pages at Watch Right Internet Crimes Against Children Syndicated Feed

About the Author

Robert T DeMarco is CEO of IP Group in Herndon VA. IP Group offers software communication tools for use on the Internet. These include: PowerTools, Watch Right, Always on Time and IM Frame. Mr. DeMarco is the author/editor of several Weblogs and is also a member of the High Tech Crimes Industry Association (HTCIA). Mr. DeMarco spent 20 years on Wall Street during his second career.

Robert T DeMarco
IP Group Inc.
mailto: rtdemarco@aol.com

All American Investor Weblog

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  • Chris Kent

    OK rtdemarco,

    It’s pretty clear this is an important cause for you, based on your multiple posts. So I am not going to question your motivations, as child pornography/molestation is a serious, unclean, evil problem. It’s a problem that has been around for quite a long time. School teachers, soccer coaches, basketball coaches, priests, Boy Scout leaders – one can find them under any rock one chooses to look.

    Hell, I remember a soccer coach I had in elementary school who seemed to like “teaching” little boys – if you know what I mean. To this day, I remember fathers chasing his ass into the woods with baseball bats. He got away, cowering somehwere in the bushes until nightfall. He then undoubtedly left town and later resurfaced somewhere in Oklahoma as – you guessed it – a fucking soccer coach.

    I have a few questions – if “Politicians, media and law enforcement” officials are not responding to this supposed brand spanking new tidal wave of growing child pornography, why should we consider it the new plague of the modern age? Just because Philip Jenkins decided to go all James Bond/Pete Townsend on us, why does this mean this is a growing problem?

    I still contend children are far more likely to be victims of molestation from someone on the street and someone they know long before an Internet stalker talks them into a clandestine meeting at the local soda shop. If anything, parents have more control over what their children view/see on the Internet than they would when kids are at school/movie theaters/field trips…….

    I get the feeling you are trying to say that because of the Internet, child pornography is growing in popularity. It still gives me the creeps that you and a police officer would be staring at a photograph of child pornography at a local convention/meeting/pep rally intended to raise awareness about this issue.

    Frankly, policemen are not really educated enough to be discussing this vile issue with parents prone to fits of paranoia and fear. There’s no better way to start a witch hunt than to get a bunch of angry parents in a room with a policeman at the podium. What’s today’s topic? Satanic cults? Witches? Hippies? Snuff films? The banning of Halloween? Subliminal messages in Disney films? The evils of Harry Potter? Homosexual Teletubbies?

    The first step towards stopping your own child from being a victim of molestation is communication. The second step is to remain alert. Keep an eye on those soccer coaches and school teachers. They’re out there, and they’re much closer than your Internet…..

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