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Porn in the USA: Conservatives Are Biggest Consumers – ABC News

Posted: November 7th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Porn in the USA: Conservatives Are Biggest Consumers – ABC News

"Some of the people who are most outraged turn out to be consumers of the very things they claimed to be outraged by," said Benjamin Edelman, whose new research shows that when it comes to online porn, conservatives consume more porn than liberals. Using "roughly two years of credit card data from 2006 to 2008 that included a purchase date and each customer's postal code," he trolled the data, controlling for differences in broadband Internet access and population, and found that despite stark differences in stated conservative and liberal values, online porn consumption differed very little between the highest and lowest consumers.

However, 8 of the top 10 highest porn consuming States gave their electoral votes to McCain in 2008, while 6 of the lowest gave theirs to Obama. Moreover, residents of 27 states banning gay marriage boasted 11% more porn subscribers than states that don't. Are we getting it yet? "If you're told you can't have this, then you want it more," Edelman says.

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Ugandan paper calls for gay people to be hanged | World news | The Guardian

Posted: October 21st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Ugandan paper calls for gay people to be hanged | World news | The Guardian

A weekly title started by Ugandan journalism students, the Rolling Stone, recently ran an article outing 100 gay people in the country under the headline "Hang Them." The article included pictures and even home addresses. One woman's home was pelted with stones and others have endured verbal harassment, which many fear will escalate to further violence.

Xan Rice reports, "On the front page, the paper claims that the homosexual community aims to 'recruit 1,000,000 children by 2012', and that parents 'face heart-breaks (sic) as homos raids schools'. Inside, a headline reads: 'Hang them; They are after our kids!!'." (sic.) Managing editor of the homophobic paper, Giles Muhame, defended his decision to run the article, saying, "Other countries have capital punishment to stop drug traffickers; we should have the same for homosexuals." Uganda's media council temporarily suspended the paper but its editors say they'll resume publishing next week, having fulfilled registration requirements.

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Update: The paper has now published a second run of the same sort of article that resulted in violence against at least four gay people a few weeks ago. Sexual Minorities Uganda, a Ugandan gay-rights group, has asked the country’s highest court to issue an injunction preventing the paper from publishing the faces of gay Ugandans in the future.


Instant Censorship, Google Style | Sex In The Public Square

Posted: September 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Instant Censorship, Google Style | Sex In The Public Square

Google's latest feature is a results-as-you-type-them view called Instant. But in Google's world, not all searches are created equal. According to a NYTimes report, "Some words, like 'nude,' produce no results because Google Instant filters for violence, hate and pornography, the company said." Huh?

As Elizabeth Wood explains, "I certainly don't think that 'nude' should be filtered because of a possible connection to pornography. I wondered what this looked like in practice, and I also wondered what else was filtered. I went to my computer to try it out. I started typing. N (Netflix) NU (Nurse Jackie) NUD (…nothing at all!)…." She and others found an obscenely arbitrary list of censored phrases, like "masturbation" and "penis." Uncensored searches include "murder" and "KKK." Hypocritically, "don't be evil" is also uncensored.

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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: , , , , , | Comments Off on 5 Things You Need to Know About The Craigslist Adult Services Censor

"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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Emotional Openness May Be Good for Males’ Mental Health – TIME

Posted: August 31st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Emotional Openness May Be Good for Males’ Mental Health – TIME

A recent study by Professor Carlos Santos found that stereotypically "girlish skills" like empathy and the desire for intimate relationships help boys lead mentally and emotionally healthier lives—and may even save young men's lives. His multi-ethnic study also found zero correlation between race and hyper-masculinity, countering media stereotypes that often depict minorities as delinquent.

But as Charlie Glickman points out, "if you read the Time article [by Eben Harrel], you'll see some of the sorts of language that reinforce the macho mindset." In yet another example of the media being part of the problem, Harrell uses phrases like "stop sniveling and 'be a man'" and "being a mama's boy," which is the headline, no less. If boys or men escape stereotypes, we risk being gay-bashed.

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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: , , , , | Comments Off on Reporter’s Sex-Trafficking Questions Silences Craigslist Founder – Tech Talk – CBS News

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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CV Harquail: Separate Still Isn’t Equal: Sexism Among TED Conferences

Posted: August 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

The influential TED conference recently announced a one-off event called TEDWomen after mounting criticism that the TED stage is overwhelmingly male-dominated. CV Harquail says only 17% of TED speakers are women, and calls the TEDWomen conference a display of "simplistic, outdated, and unenlightened thinking." With a separate conference for women, she says TED "demonstrates the very discrimination it is supposed to address."

Indeed, separatism can easily be viewed as segregation. According to Harquail, "Once upon a time, it made sense to create separate conferences for women. Women thinkers and activists were so marginal, so subordinated, and so far from the public platform that separate conferences were virtually the only way to create space for women to present, discuss and promote their ideas." But for TED, she says it's inappropriate.

The root issue of gender inequality of TED speakers remains, but women-only spaces can still be valuable. Can TED have the best of both worlds?

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

Posted: July 15th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on The Louis CK Interview That Got ‘Fresh Air’ Banned from Mississippi

"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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Groups Sue Mass. Over Newly Expanded Obscenity Law : NPR

Posted: July 13th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Groups Sue Mass. Over Newly Expanded Obscenity Law : NPR

Won't somebody please think of the children? That's the reasoning behind a hastily-drafted, newly passed Massachusetts law at the center of a lawsuit filed by the "ACLU, The Association of American Publishers, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, and other groups," according to the Associated Press. After a "ruling in a case in February…found that the state's obscenity law didn't apply to instant messages," this new law "added instant messages, text messages, e-mail and other electronic communications to the old law," criminalizing any such communiqué that may be "harmful to minors."

The lawsuit "argues that the changes amount to 'a broad censorship law that imposes severe content-based restrictions' on the dissemination of constitutionally protected speech," including "information about contraception, pregnancy, sexual health, literature and art." Haven't we seen this before?

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FCC indecency rule struck down by appeals court – latimes.com

Posted: July 13th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on FCC indecency rule struck down by appeals court – latimes.com

"In a sharp rebuke of the Bush-era crackdown on foul language on broadcast television and radio, a federal appeals court on Tuesday struck down the government's near-zero-tolerance indecency policy as a violation of the 1st Amendment protection of free speech," Jim Puzzanghera and Meg James report. The NY State 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals "reversed the aggressive stance the [FCC] took starting in 2004 that found even a slip of the tongue that got by network censors was a violation" and "said that policy on so-called fleeting expletives was 'unconstitutionally vague' and created a 'chilling effect' on the programming that broadcasters chose to air."

Even Fox Broadcasting Co., the lead plaintiff against the government, praised the decision, while Democratic FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps said the ruling was "an anti-family decision." The case may wind up at the Supreme Court, but experts are unsure of the ultimate outcome. Personally, I say fuck all that censorship shit. Period.

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Update: As the FCC isn’t happy with the ruling, they’ve asked the court to reconsider, according to a report in the New York Times. We hoped the current administration was less anti-First Amendment. Perhaps that hope was misplaced.