"Voluntary Censorship" vs. Govt Legislation

Mac Norton mnorton at cavern.uark.edu
Wed Aug 6 17:54:41 PDT 1997

On Wed, 6 Aug 1997, Jim Burnes wrote:
> Actually I have nothing against categorization.

Then you have nothing against labelling.
> As far as I'm concerned parents have a moral duty to filter what their
> little ones read, I just don't want the Feds or Microsoft deciding what
> the categories are.
But it's ok for Barnes&Noble and Borders to decide what the categories
are?  And the Motion Picture Association of America? I'd suggest you 
must accept that parents will use whatever tools are available to
help them exercise their "moral duty", and if that means they choose
to let Bill Gates decide what the categories are, so what?

> Like I said -- most people who care about these things don't mind
> if people from their church take the kids to the bookstore.  I assume
> that they trust their values.
Whose values, the churchmembers' or the bookstores'?  Either way, 
"don't mind" is different from "want to".

> On the other hand I don't want a "surgeon general's warning" on
> Lady Chatterly.  I know you think this is voluntary, but eventually
> some parents will get irate over little susie seeing something that
> they thought was inappropriately labeled.  A lawsuit will ensue
> and then voluntary will be a tautology for mandatory.

But you'll accept a categorization of Lady Chat?
> It already is in the tax world.  And that, my friend, is the very
> thing that Orwell spoke of.  Change the language so that love
> means hate, peace means war, good is evil, volutary is mandatory.

There has never been a voluntary tax, that worked. "Tax" and "volunteer"
are mutually exclusive terms.

> As much as I detest censorship I don't have a problem with parents
> deciding what their little kids should look at.  In fact I really like
> the idea of having churches sell their own filtering software.  What
> better way to check your values.

Now you're on to something. What better way to check your church's

> I can't believe the churches haven't thought of this before.  Usually
> they don't miss a beat when it comes to generating funds for, ahem,
> noble causes.

They have, with regard to books, a long time ago. Admittedly, that
list didn't have anything to do with money, however.
> Maybe I'll suggest it.

I don't think you need to:)

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