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Apple’s New Anti-Sexting Technology (via Gawker.com)

Posted: October 20th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

"The same company that keeps blocking iPhone apps over stuff like illustrations of gay dudes making out can now help overbearing parents control their children's text messages and email," Max Read reports. That company is Apple, who also thinks the Olympic uniforms are too sexy for your iPhone, and they made headlines last week when their 2008 patent for a "way to monitor and control text communications to make them user appropriate" was granted.

The tech itself seems uninspired, not very new at all, and basically a repackaging of existing techniques including word blacklists and pre-defined rating criteria. According to the patent, one embodiment would be a parental control application which, upon detection of the "objectionable" content, could alert a parent to its existence and automatically delete the sexy message.

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5 Things You Need to Know About The Craigslist Adult Services Censor

Posted: September 8th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

"This weekend, Craigslist censored the Adult Services section of their site," Lori Adelman writes of the much-publicized controversy in which Melissa Farley and other anti-prostitution activists have hypocritially accused the company of facilitating child sex trafficking. Using wildly inflated numbers, misguided or just plain ignorant activists along with 17 "criminally shortsighted" attorneys general eager to jump on the panic-wagon put enough public pressure on Craigslist to make them self-censor part of the website.

If this all sounds familiar, it should. And what ideologically-motivated anti-trafficking groups ought to know is what they most don't want to hear: censoring Craigslist helps traffickers, hurting women, children, and cops.

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Reporter’s Sex-Trafficking Questions Silences Craigslist Founder – Tech Talk – CBS News

Posted: August 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Craig Newmark, "the Craig from Craigslist," was "ambushed" by CNN's Amber Lyon for a slam piece about sex trafficking, Charles Cooper reports. "When the reporter…first approached him with a question about screening out ads for sex with minors, Newmark told her that the company had explained all that on its corporate blog. … After a cutaway with a Detective, Lyon returned to the attack." In Lyon's CNN report, he asks her "Have you reported this to us?" She replies, "Why do I have the responsibility to report this to you when it's your website? You're the one posting this online." Newmark then walked away. In an emailed statement, a Craigslist spokesperson wrote Lyon's interview "was a direct violation of the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics."

Sex trafficking is a loaded issue, and conflations between it and sex work are dangerous for victims and society alike.

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AVN – All Charges Dismissed Against Stagliano and Companies

Posted: July 16th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

In the case of John "Buttman" Stagliano vs. The United States of America, all 7 8 counts of obscenity charged against Stagliano (a pornographer, husband, and father) have been dismissed under Rule 29 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Judge Richard J. Leon described the prosecution's evidence as "woefully inadequate" after the federal government's star witness made a liar out of prosecutor Pamela Satterfield, the judge, or himself.

Plainly, this means the government never met the burden of proof, they never had a case, and they wasted American taxpayer's money on a 2-year investigation and a trial catering to misguided anti-porn activists' wet dreams. But if you think they'll stop their crusade, remember they're still getting bills passed through the back door. (Pun intended.)

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The Louis CK Interview That Got ‘Fresh Air’ Banned from Mississippi

Posted: July 15th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

"Fresh Air" is a nationally syndicated NPR talk show that we occasionally listen to. We like it—a lot—and now it's yet another reason why we don't think we'd enjoy living in Mississippi. NPR affiliate Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB) recently dropped the show citing "recurring inappropriate content" but, as is so often the case, the root cause may be a vocal minority of sex-phobic zealots.

Fresh Air has been dropped by MPB before. Under some pressure to explain themselves, MPB released a statement citing interviews of an "explicit sexual nature" caused listener complaints. That complaint was sparked by comedian Louis CK talking about having sex with his shirt on. Yup, that’s clearly offensive.

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Ugandan Gay Activist Found Beheaded :: EDGE Boston

Posted: July 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

This week, "some in Uganda are not waiting for the [Anti-Homosexuality 2009] bill to pass into law: a priest has vanished after delivering a sermon urging compassion for gays, and a young GLBT equality activist, who had also disappeared, has been discovered dead—his head severed from his body and thrown down a latrine." Although mainstream US media outlets have been silent on this issue, "[o]ne or more suspects had been arrested before the head’s discovery, according to a news report that has subsequently been posted at YouTube. The report noted that 'blood stained clothing' was discovered along with the head."

Killan Melloy reports, "The dismembered head of Pasikali Kashusbe, who, together with his partner—referred to only as "Abbey"—worked with GLBT equality group Integrity Uganda." Make absolutely no mistake: such horrors are partly the result of American conservatives' spewing hatred.

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Update: SayenCroWolf points us to this retraction by Box Turtle Bulletin: “We’ve worked hard at BTB in establishing our credibility, and I believe that a key component of that is also to maintain an atmosphere of transparency and accountability when we get it wrong. Along the way, I’ve learned that some sources on the Internet are trustworthy, and others are not worth the electricity it takes to power their servers.” It sounds like there’s still some mystery over what happened in Uganda but, either way, I’m really glad to see how quickly reputable sources can self-correct themselves when they receive new information. Good on you, BTB, and thanks to SayenCroWolf for the stunningly fast pointer, too!

Update: xMech points us to an even fuller explanation from Box Turtle Bulletin. Thanks!


Why Condoms for Kindergartners Makes Sense – Newsweek

Posted: July 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

A new Massachusetts school policy "left intentionally open-ended, allows any student who is considering sexual activity to request condoms from the school nurse. That student would first get counseling—including abstinence education," Kate Dailey writes. Predictably, the policy faced "scorn and derision" after it hit mainstream news thanks to "moral hand-wringing of well-meaning but uninformed parents and pundits," like Kris Mineu, president of the Mass. Family Institute, who called it a "theater of the absurd."

"Theoretically," Kate writes, "yes, a 6-year-old could walk in and request condoms. The chances of that happening, of course, are slim—but if a 6-year-old were asking about sex, wouldn't a little counseling from a medical professional be in order? […C]ondoms don't make kids have sex. Hormones make kids have sex. Peer pressure makes kids have sex." Outright denial isn't going to change the fact that "kids develop on different timelines, and kids date outside their age range."

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On Being Anti Anti-Porn | Sex In The Public Square

Posted: June 19th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

At a press event on Tuesday, anti-porn activists Dr. Gail Dines and others called on Congress to use obscenity laws to curb the proliferation and prevalence of porn. "We are now in the midst of a massive social experiment, as no other generation has been so bombarded with so much pornography," Dines said, but assistant professor of sociology Elizabeth Wood says the anti-porn movement's drum-banging is nothing other than an "overblown metaphor."

Wood challenges Dines' statement with simple logic, and urges activists to counter moral panic with real information. "Rates of HPV and of Herpes are high across the US and are rampant even among those with no connection to the porn industry. And we are not in the midst of a great social experiment. Porn is not new. Access to porn is not new. […] If this were really akin to an experiment we'd have to hold everything constant except the porn, and that's obviously impossible." She says a War on Porn will be as (in)effective as the War on Drugs.

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