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Peer Pressure Porn Filter 1051

Posted by timothy
from the this-could-be-misused dept.
Highwayman writes "Wired magazine presents one man's approach to stopping online pr0n 'Instead of relying on filters, the approach, which NetAccountability has been pitching primarily to religious groups, calls for Web users to share records of their online activity. Users pick a friend, spouse or other confidant who receives a regular report showing which sites they visit, highlighting potentially objectionable material.'"
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Peer Pressure Porn Filter

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  • by Raul654 (453029) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:29PM (#5486983) Homepage
    Think of it as a new way of recommending sites to your friends :)
    • by cpct0 (558171)
      Yep. I know exactly a few people who might be really interested in the sites I visit. ^_^

      Besides, I wouldn't have to send them my new "discoveries" (either pr0n or not). They would be able to find those themselves in the wad of stuff I visit.

      One objection, though. Suppose I go visit one site that is so highly objectionnable there is even a virus in the site. Would that mean I would automatically infect people whom I trust because they too will go look at that site? Nice!

      "Don't go visit Goatse! It's a virus! Yeah, I tell ya!"

      Mike
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:48PM (#5487229)
      It reminds me of an ad for some internet filter on TV my wife and I saw.

      TV: "There are over 1,000,000 pr0n sites on the web..."

      Me: "Wow. Look like we have some catching up to do."
    • by unicron (20286) <unicron@tCOBOLhcnet.net minus language> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:50PM (#5487247) Homepage
      No shit, huh? This is the greatest webring the world has ever known.
    • by commodoresloat (172735) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @04:00PM (#5487364)
      After all, it was peer pressure that got me started on pr0n in the first place!
  • yeah, but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:30PM (#5486994)
    why would someone willingly subject themselves to this? I mean, we're all human, we all have urges, and if any of us have gone out and looked at pr0n somewhere, how does that make us a bad person?
    • by bill.sheehan (93856) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:33PM (#5487040) Homepage
      That's just what we'd expect a filthy disgusting moral leper of a pervert to say.

      • exchange (Score:3, Funny)

        by sstory (538486)
        Someone I know in the future: "Hey Steve why don't you install this software so we can all monitor each other and make sure we don't sin?!"
        Me: "Why don't you (^%^@($#)*#&*&#(&# my *#*#^&#$^$*&*$*$ you #*^@%#$*$(*#(&#."
    • Re:yeah, but... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by thomas.galvin (551471)
      why would someone willingly subject themselves to this? I mean, we're all human, we all have urges, and if any of us have gone out and looked at pr0n somewhere, how does that make us a bad person?

      First off, there is the standard religious view that lust is bad. One of the best, if not only, ways of dealing with lust is to stop feeding it. The internet makes it very easy to feed lust; this makes it much easier to resist it.

      Secondly, take a walk through google sometime and look for the various studies on porn and psychology. Pornography addictions tend to create feelings of unworthiness, self-hatred, "dirtiness," etc. There are many, many people who generally want to stop using pornography, but cannot. Accountability is key in these situations. The point of these programs is not to catch someone red-handed, but to help them stay accountable, and to improve themselves.

      Also, consider the emotional and relationship issues. I've talked with seveal women who found out that their husbands were using, or even addicted to, pornography. To the person, they felt that they were not attractive enough to please their husbands, that they had done something wrong, that they couldn't trust their spouse... pornography has the potential to do great harm to an otherwise healthy marriage.

      Finally, consider that a great deal of the women invloved in the porn industry have histories of sexual abuse, and the emotioanl problems that entails... do you really want to take advantage of that situation for a few moments of pleasure?
      • Re:yeah, but... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @04:18PM (#5487516)
        "Secondly, take a walk through google sometime and look for the various studies on porn and psychology. Pornography addictions tend to create feelings of unworthiness, self-hatred, "dirtiness," etc. "

        No, it's the religion that does that. The pr0n just makes you feel horny.

        "Finally, consider that a great deal of the women invloved in the porn industry have histories of sexual abuse, and the emotioanl problems that entails... do you really want to take advantage of that situation for a few moments of pleasure?"

        And so do a lot of the women who work at McDonald's...doesn't mean you have to stop eating there. Can't it just be possible that some of them LIKE getting paid for having sex? Sounds like a nice job to me. I've known a few women involved in the sex industry at one time or another during their lives who had no history of abuse or what-have-you, never used drugs, and all in all had a good time and made an obscene amount of money. Paying their way through college, actually.
        • A Note. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Grendel Drago (41496) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @04:27PM (#5487607) Homepage
          There was a study done a while back, and I'm... aha, found it. Avedon Carol [google.com], in "nudes, prudes and attitudes", references a study.

          "When Goldstein found that *all* of the rapists in his study sample had been punished for looking at pornography, while a mere 7 per cent of his cohort sample had been, that set off alarm bells for anyone who really cared about the causes of sexual violence."

          Religion is a much bigger threat to women than porn ever could be, on many, many levels.

          --grendel drago
          • Re:A Note. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Phroggy (441) <slashdot3NO@SPAMphroggy.com> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @06:52PM (#5489192) Homepage
            Religion is a much bigger threat to women than porn ever could be, on many, many levels.

            Are you suggesting that those rapists must have been punished for religious reasons, since all atheists condone pornography?

            Or are you suggesting that people who believe in certain moral guidelines are more likely to violate those guidelines than people who don't believe in them? Can someone explain how that makes sense?
            • Re:A Note. (Score:5, Insightful)

              by plugger (450839) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @08:00PM (#5489791) Homepage
              I think he is saying that to teach someone that a natural expression of their desires is wrong might cause behavioral/psychological problems later.

              On a side note, the first time I remember masturbation being mentioned was at a bible study, where we were taught that God disapproved of the practice. The idea had never entered my head before then (I was probably aged about 9 or 10).
      • Re:yeah, but... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by graveyhead (210996) <fletch AT fletchtronics DOT net> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @04:19PM (#5487522)
        Not all pornography needs to be explitative [goodvibes.com] (please be nice to their poor server!), you know? It is also a mistake to judge and portray ALL pornography the way you have. I personally have known several pornographers (and my wife even edited one of their videos) who are ashamed of that portion of the industry, and work their hardest (pun intended) to make guilt-free pornography and spread awareness.

        I think you have been watching too much "Sex in the City". My wife and I regularly enjoy pornography *together* and I sincerly doubt that it has any potential to ruin our marriage.
      • Re:yeah, but... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Dephex Twin (416238) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @04:32PM (#5487657) Homepage
        First off, there is the standard religious view that lust is bad. One of the best, if not only, ways of dealing with lust is to stop feeding it.
        Yes, it works great. I'm sure most people who try to "stop feeding" lust overcome it, especially priests. Hell, has anyone ever "won" against lust by just suppressing it?
        Secondly, take a walk through google sometime and look for the various studies on porn and psychology. Pornography addictions tend to create feelings of unworthiness, self-hatred, "dirtiness," etc. There are many, many people who generally want to stop using pornography, but cannot.
        No, that's religion and imposed societal morals that lead to those negative feelings. They want to stop because religion/society says it is bad, but the body enjoys it and really wants it.
        Finally, consider that a great deal of the women invloved in the porn industry have histories of sexual abuse, and the emotioanl problems that entails... do you really want to take advantage of that situation for a few moments of pleasure?
        Have you ever bought a product produced in a third-world country? Lots of things, right? How can you live with yourself? Don't you know about how workers are mistreated?
      • Re:yeah, but... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @04:37PM (#5487715) Homepage Journal
        " I've talked with seveal women who found out that their husbands were using, or even addicted to, pornography. To the person, they felt that they were not attractive enough to please their husbands, that they had done something wrong, that they couldn't trust their spouse... pornography has the potential to do great harm to an otherwise healthy marriage."

        that is about trust and communication, not porn.
        if they feel they have done something wrong, perhaps the should talk top there husbands about it. I mean, I hate to sound crazy, but wouldn't it be worth a try?

        Very few women will want to have sex as often as a man will, so looking at porn to fire one off might be better then either forcing there wife to plaese you, or be all grouchy because they need some relief.

        not to say people can't get addicted to porn, they can. However looking at porn doesn't make you a bad person.

        *porn being consentual sex between to adults.
      • Re:yeah, but... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jpatters (883) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @04:46PM (#5487836)
        First off, there is the standard religious view that lust is bad.

        Well, that's one view. Another view is that human sexuality is nothing to be ashamed of. We all have different views on what things are shameful and what things are not, I happen to think that it is shamful to use guilt as a weapon, while only backing it up with a book of words that man put into God's mouth.

        One of the best, if not only, ways of dealing with lust is to stop feeding it. The internet makes it very easy to feed lust; this makes it much easier to resist it.

        Here you have made the leap from saying that some people think that lust is bad, to stating it as fact, by implying that lust is an addiction that is fed by the internet. I do not agree that lust is bad, nor do I agree that common availability of pron on the internet will typically lead to an unmanagable addiction.

        Secondly, take a walk through google sometime and look for the various studies on porn and psychology. Pornography addictions tend to create feelings of unworthiness, self-hatred, "dirtiness," etc.

        Feelings of unworthiness, self-hatred, "dirtiness," etc. are, in my view, caused by man attempting to control his fellow man by putting words into God's mouth that God did not say.

        I've talked with seveal women who found out that their husbands were using, or even addicted to, pornography. To the person, they felt that they were not attractive enough to please their husbands, that they had done something wrong, that they couldn't trust their spouse... pornography has the potential to do great harm to an otherwise healthy marriage.

        Is a marrage healthy if its foundation is based on an insecure body image and Church fostered shame for all things sexual? I agree that such feelings are valid, but disagree on the root cause.

        Finally, consider that a great deal of the women invloved in the porn industry have histories of sexual abuse, and the emotioanl problems that entails... do you really want to take advantage of that situation for a few moments of pleasure?

        All work is exploitation. I agree that the sex industry contains some of the most horrid working conditions there are, but no more so than any other industry that is as free from regulation. Nothing that better OSHA oversight, and some labor organizing can't fix.

      • Re:yeah, but... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TheFrood (163934)
        First off, there is the standard religious view that lust is bad. One of the best, if not only, ways of dealing with lust is to stop feeding it. The internet makes it very easy to feed lust; this makes it much easier to resist it.

        Actually, the best way to deal with "lust" is to find a healthy, nondestructive way to satiate it. Recent events in the Catholic Church show that trying to ignore lust and hoping it goes away only lead to problems later on.

        Secondly, take a walk through google sometime and look for the various studies on porn and psychology. Pornography addictions tend to create feelings of unworthiness, self-hatred, "dirtiness," etc.

        No, those feelings are caused by religions that rail against pornography.

        Also, consider the emotional and relationship issues. I've talked with seveal women who found out that their husbands were using, or even addicted to, pornography. To the person, they felt that they were not attractive enough to please their husbands, that they had done something wrong, that they couldn't trust their spouse... pornography has the potential to do great harm to an otherwise healthy marriage.

        That's not pornography, that's mistrust and a lack of communication in marriage. If a husband is spending all his time looking at porn without his wife knowing about it, that's a trust issue. There are many couples who use pornography together to enhance their intimacy and their sex lives. The reason it works is because the couple is open and honest with each other.

        Finally, consider that a great deal of the women invloved in the porn industry have histories of sexual abuse, and the emotioanl problems that entails... do you really want to take advantage of that situation for a few moments of pleasure?

        There are women with histories of sexual abuse in any industry. I have yet to see any non-anecdotal evidence that the problem is worse in the porn industry than in any other. Furthermore, even if there were a higher incidence of sexual abuse in the porn industry, that still wouldn't prove that porn per se is bad, only that the porn industry had some bad people in it.

      • Re:yeah, but... (Score:4, Informative)

        by CrazyDuke (529195) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @05:04PM (#5488070)
        I was going to say much more, but others have posted much of what I thought while reading yours. I do have one thing so say.

        The lust I find most destructive, the most perverse, and the most evil is the lust to prove to yourself and others that you are better than someone else.

        But, this is my observation, I do not know about others.
      • Re:yeah, but... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by PhxBlue (562201)

        You bring up a lot of good points; but there're two in particular I'd like to address:

        Secondly, take a walk through google sometime and look for the various studies on porn and psychology. Pornography addictions tend to create feelings of unworthiness, self-hatred, "dirtiness," etc. There are many, many people who generally want to stop using pornography, but cannot.

        I think you'll find this is true of any addiction, whether it's alcohol, heroin, gambling, pornography, etc. The "dirtiness" comes from realizing one has no control over one's behavior and from feeling guilty about both the lack of control and the moral that "this is bad."

        I've talked with seveal women who found out that their husbands were using, or even addicted to, pornography. To the person, they felt that they were not attractive enough to please their husbands, that they had done something wrong, that they couldn't trust their spouse...

        I think there are more issues here than just the pornography itself, here. If a man would rather surf porn sites than have the real thing, then there's a real issue - probably one of addiction. And trust issues tend to arise based on a lack of communication, whether pornography is involved or not.

  • Big Difference (Score:5, Insightful)

    by danheskett (178529) <danheskettNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:30PM (#5486996)
    There is a big differnce between [a] man's approach to stopping online pr0n and what is actually going on here. The description makes it seem like he is trying to end online porn. Like kill it, dead. In fact, he's just trying to get men to stop looking at it via shame/peer preasure.

    Big difference between self-censorship and attempted big-brother censorship.
    • Re:Big Difference (Score:5, Insightful)

      by M.C. Hampster (541262) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `retspmaHehT.C.M'> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:34PM (#5487049) Journal
      Big difference between self-censorship and attempted big-brother censorship.

      I was just about to post this same thought, and I noticed you beat me to it. There is a huge difference between people who are trying to monitor and clean up their own online surfing habits (for whatever reasons) and what the headline and story description said.

      This is just a way for people to keep them accountable in a way described in the Bible. Of course, knowing Slashdot, this will be made fun of to no end. People attempting to live their lives according to an external and somewhat objective standard is just so medieval.

      • Re:Big Difference (Score:3, Insightful)

        by NialScorva (213763)
        The great thing about objective standards is that there's so many to choose from. Do you want the Fred Phelps brand of biblical objectivity, the Jerry Farwell brand of biblical objectivity, or the liberal brand of bibilical objectivity that allows for gay ministers?

        Just because Christians *claim* it's objective doesn't mean it is.
      • by Medieval (41719) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:55PM (#5487295) Homepage
        People attempting to live their lives according to an external and somewhat objective standard is just so medieval.

        Hey dammit! I look at pr0n too!
    • by llamalicious (448215) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:36PM (#5487069) Journal
      Hmmm, and to think that I and my friends look pr0n because we enjoy it.

      Oh the horror!
    • Re:Big Difference (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TopShelf (92521)
      Actually, one potential use for this could be in a parole situation. A convicted sexual offender could have restrictions on internet porn viewing built in to his parole conditions, and such a report would be forwarded to his parole officer. Doesn't sound like a bad idea to me...
      • Re:Big Difference (Score:3, Insightful)

        by iosphere (14517)
        A convicted sexual offender could have restrictions on internet porn viewing built in to his parole conditions.

        I'd think you'd want a convicted sex offender to get off to net porn. Maybe you'd get lucky and he'd be able to keep himself happy that way instead of doing what got him in trouble in the first place. Kinda like the patch...

        That is, unless online kiddie porn was his original offense. Then it might be a good idea.
    • Re:Big Difference (Score:3, Insightful)

      by redragon (161901)
      > Like kill it, dead. In fact, he's just trying
      > to get men to stop looking at it via shame/peer
      > preasure.

      And here lies the problem with our society. I certainly might disagree with porn as something that encourages misogynistic views of women. However, trying to guilt-trip people into not viewing it is stupid. It's like trying to scare people into not mastrobating by telling them how it, "will make you blind." It's nice to see for once that someone isn't encouraging judicial level action, but he's still barking up the wrong tree.

      It's like trying to stop drug usage in teenagers by saying, "do you know how dissapointed your parents would be in you?" Seriously...instead of trying to scare/bully/shame people into doing something, you have to alter things at a different level.

      Instead, you need to alter the way in which women are portrayed in a lot of other areas of life...heck, MTV alone is just as bad as most porn (as it relates to images of women)...
  • by Fesh (112953) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:31PM (#5487002) Homepage Journal
    Big Brother might actually turn out to be your big brother...
  • by Upright Joe (658035) <uprightjoe@gmailQUOTE.com minus punct> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:31PM (#5487011) Homepage
    Knowing the guys I work with, this technology could possibly allow me to build the best list of free porn sites ever.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:32PM (#5487026)
    This is a very good idea. It could potentially weed out other sorts of people as well. For example, I visit Slashdot about eighty times a day. I am embarassed about this addiction. If I could notify someone who cared about me, then I might be able to get support to stop it.

    Addiction to websites is a serious matter. Online gambling is on the rise, pornography is problematic, and addiction to chat forums like Slashdot and ICQ NSync channels is a big problem for people. As an additional plus, this could be used to recognize and weed out subversive political and religious views, and stop people from looking at questionable material in those veins.
  • by Raul654 (453029) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:32PM (#5487030) Homepage
    He calls up our University's tech services to report his internet connection sucked. It fixed itself within a few hours. The next day, he gets a call saying that his connection should work now, and that he had visited some "interesting" sites and that the network is for "academic use only", but that they had monitored his activity only because he had complained.
  • Dude, (Score:5, Funny)

    by quintessent (197518) <my usr name on toofgiB [tod] moc> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:33PM (#5487034) Journal
    You surfed goatse, like, 20 times this month!
  • by Xiarcel (451958) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:33PM (#5487036)
    "Chuck Swindoll"?

    It sounds like a bad Simpsons joke...
  • by somethingwicked (260651) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:34PM (#5487047)
    Teacher hands out quiz...

    Scribble on paper briefly...

    Ignore for 20 minutes...

    Teacher-"Trade quizes."

    End result:
    Jason-"Yeah, Chris got a 98"
    Chris-"Jason got a 96"

    Yeah, this should be effective *grin*
  • by orthogonal (588627) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:35PM (#5487057) Journal
    "You prev! I see from the NetAccountablity log you've been "browsing" FreshMeat again!"

    "But honey, it's all about software! Honest!"

    "Software, hardcore, whatever, it's all dirty!"
    • by bovilexics (572096) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @04:19PM (#5487524) Homepage

      I know the parent post is being sarcastic but I know similar consersations have happened many times in the past between many different couples, myself included.

      I had a little explaining to do when my wife saw the following bookmark in my browser -

      • What is tightrack.com, hmmmm?
        Welcome to the tight rack home?!?!

      Needless to say I had a little explaining to do but things were quickly cleared up. BTW, this is a site for a really cool pool table accessory that they actually use in the professional ranks. Safe to view from work.

  • by buckthorn (40295) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:38PM (#5487093)
    Not a bad idea, really... but it's only as effective as any other form of self-censorship is. If there's any way to turn it off... unless it works on a double-key system, wherein you need two separate passwords.... or it just can't be bypassed completely. At any rate, glad to see that the concept of self-censorship is alive and well. And it wouldn't be such a bad thing to just have a regular way to track your internet usage for your own personal information anyway. Just the other day my wife lamented the lack of a game timer on The Sims Online..

    Seems like when we're online, sometimes self-awareness goes out the window. Nothing new to most of us, but I think we'd all be shocked at how much time we actively spend online, where we go, that sort of thing. Bring it on.
  • Subtext... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by aiken_d (127097) <brooks AT tangentry DOT com> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:40PM (#5487135) Homepage
    "I wan't to stop looking at porn, but can't control myself, so I'll make it so that if I do look at porn someone will know that I did and I'll be embarassed."

    And you just know that people will share tricks for getting around the monitoring software, which adds a whole new layer of dishonesty and self-contempt to the whole exercise.

    Wouldn't be a whole lot easier to either 1) just stop looking at porn, or 2) admit that you like porn and get on with things?

    Cheers
    -b
  • Ug... (Score:3, Funny)

    by spoonist (32012) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:41PM (#5487139) Journal

    I've already explained to my wife that Freshmeat [freshmeat.net] isn't a pr0n site. Now I would have to explain that to someone else too? Great...

    (As a side note: my wife's actual comment was "Freshmeat? A porn site? Cool! Let's see!")

  • Even better... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Petronius (515525) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:41PM (#5487140)
    why don't we make people that surf questionable material wear a distinctive mark? Like a yellow star, a pink triangle or something... Oh, wait. It's been done before.
    • Re:Even better... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MrLint (519792)
      Im a freaking adult, i dont really need a religious web filter telling me what is offensive to me on the internet link i pay for out of my pocket.
  • Crazy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FattMattP (86246) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:42PM (#5487154) Homepage
    The idea, according to Cotter, is that people will choose not to visit "sinful" websites if they know a close friend or family member will be aware of their actions.
    I think that people who would subject themselves to this have psychological problems. Seriously. If you want to view porn then view porn. If you don't want to, then don't. You have a problem if you feel that you can't control your own actions and must have someone watch over you. I hope that they eventually see how unhealthy such actions and attitudes are and seek counseling. Healthy adults take responsibility for their own actions and act accordingly.

    What is equally distrubing is that these are probably the same people that think the rest of us have the same problem and must be saved from ourselves. They lobby to get laws passed because "someone must watch over us" to protect us from ourselves.

    • Re:Crazy (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Sedennial (182739) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:50PM (#5487242)
      I'd have to disagree. I see this 'accountability' in the same viewpoint as a support group for any addictive or undesirable behaviour that one wants to stay clear of but has a problem doing so due to addictive behaviour patterns. It could be gambling, alcohol, smoking, or even someone who has an history of RPG addiction.

      I don't see belonging to peer-accountibility group as the article mentions as calling for a defacto label of 'unhealthy'. In fact I'd call it the opposite. Someone who sees a behaviour they deem as self-negative and takes steps to correct/modify that behaviour without imposing their own standard on the rest of society is probably more healthy (IMHO) than many of the rest of us.
  • Typical Responses (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) <bittercode@gmail> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:42PM (#5487157) Homepage Journal
    This guy comes up with a system that imposes nothing on others. It is a tool for people who decide that they would like to use. But it gets slammed by so many here because so many slashdotters are not about freedom. They are about freedom that they agree with.

    It is not invasion of privacy if you install it on purpose.

    It is not religious judgement of others if people use tools that monitor their own activity.

    This is an example of someone having an idea that ought to be welcome here. Rather than removing choices or limiting activity- people are given new choices to use if they so wish.

    Those of you who think pornography cannot be destructive are unaware of the fact that it can ruin some peoples lives. If they want help with that- what is the harm?
    • by Vellmont (569020) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @04:19PM (#5487527) Homepage
      Those of you who think pornography cannot be destructive are unaware of the fact that it can ruin some peoples lives. If they want help with that- what is the harm?
      This is a strawman argument. The slant of this site isn't some sort of "anti porn addiction site", it's a christian site with an anti-porn agenda. The main purpose isn't to help people that porn is somehow ruining their lives (I'm still not sure how that's really possible), it's to enforce a christian religious belief. Yes, it's all voluntary, and they don't appear to be trying to impose their beliefs on anyone else, but those of us who don't think porn immoral or evil are going to react to a website that pushes an agenda we disagree with. That's what I see most of the posts here being about.

      I don't know where you're getting this idea that people object to it because it's an invasion of privacy, or some sort of assault on freedom. I haven't seen any posts that claim that. Perhaps that's an easy argument you can assume everyone has, and then easily dismiss it. To me the problem is it seems kinda creepy that you'd need the threat of shame from your friends or family to not do something you consider morally abhorent. I'd suggest to people like this that they either truly believe what their religion says, or get a different religion. There's so many brands these days, I'm sure you can find one that suits you better.
  • by PizzaFace (593587) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:42PM (#5487160)
    Hell, if people saw their own Slashdot usage, they'd be appalled.
  • by bperkins (12056) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:43PM (#5487168) Homepage Journal
    Why do you always bring two Mormans fishing?

    Because if you bring one, he'll drink all your beer.
  • by Joe the Lesser (533425) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:49PM (#5487235) Homepage Journal
    TimBrown233: Father, forgive me, for I have sinned.

    TheRevster31: Do not be disheartened, child, for Satan, also known as the Hun in your case, tempts us at all hours.
  • Hurry Up!!! (Score:5, Funny)

    by scott1853 (194884) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:52PM (#5487265)
    For the next hour feel free to surf all the porn sites you want, the NetAccountability server will be experiencing "technical" difficulties.
  • by Tikiman (468059) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:55PM (#5487290)
    Nearly everyone who has posted so far as missed the point... pornography is a very real concern for many Christian men. Most of the world doesn't consider "lust" to bad at all... however, I think it can be incredibly destructive. Looking at pornography is a subtle form of adultery, whether you'd like to admit it or not. That being said, the Internet has an unlimited supply of porn that is available 24/7, and accessing it is completely anoymous. It is very easy to fall into this temptation, and it's very easy to become addicted to it. Please don't try to dispute this... just because *you* happen to see no problem with porn doesn't mean countless people have had real struggles with it. This program is designed for the person who wants to break an addictive cycle through accountibility, which is the basis for 12-step programs and other generally accepted methods for breaking addition. I'm really glad that someone has taken initiative to provide this kind of help.
  • by wodelltech (168047) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:56PM (#5487303)
    This is a sad day for me, as a fan of slashdot. The comments here belittle one man's attempt to improve himself. His actions are to be commended, if anything.

    I myself meet on a regular basis with other men who share a similar code-of-ethics - we hold each other accountable, voluntarily, as a check on our own behavior. In case no one's noticed, we human's don't do so well with the self control thing. The internet can consume much of our time, and I'm somewhat relieved to see others making an effort to cognatively assess and control the impact it has on their lives.

    Feel free to lament the things which bind you (hey, I don't like MS either...), but some of you really need to figure out what - if anything - you stand for. I would expect this crowd to at least be capable of supporting an individual's right to overcome adversity they face.

    By the way...accountability works. Yes, it's hard to admit to shameful things. And it's harder still to recognize (and admit to) repeating patterns of destructive behavior in one's life. There are a lot of worthwhile things that are hard.
  • by jordandeamattson (261036) <jordandm@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @04:00PM (#5487356) Homepage


    It is interesting to see everyone getting so indignant about people that have identified someone they think is wrong in their lives (which you can rightfully argue about, but they have made a choice that this is something that they want to work to remove from their lives) and which they are trying to weed out. This is an opt-in choice. No one is forcing a person to sign-up for this service or to receive the reports. This is a free choice between consenting adults.



    I don't know about the rest of you, but I know that I have behaviors that I would like to see changed. For some of us these are addictions (sex, porn, alcohol, drugs), for others it is a desire to improve ourselves (spend time with significant people in our lives, exercise, control our tempers better). As various 12 Step programs have shown, and as others knew before them, one of the best ways to do this is to build accountability into our lives.



    All this is a high tech version of what happens at an AA meeting or in prayer groups in many churches. People are confessing their "sins" to one another and being encouraged to go out into the world and continue to pursue what they believe is right.



    I don't know about the rest of you, but I know that I am not perfect. I am far from it. It would like to see change in my life for the better. I would like to be more regular in working out, focus more attention on my children, give my wife my time, be more attentive to friends, to not procrastinate, etc. I have folks that are my accountability partners. Do I use a system like this? No. But can I see the benefit to some? Yes. If it isn't meaningful or helpful to you, then pass on it. But if it works for the folks in question, then respect them as consenting adults doing something in the privacy of their relationships.

  • by Qender (318699) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @04:02PM (#5487376) Homepage Journal
    Robert K. Bowfinger: We're finished! It's over between us!
    Daisy: But why?
    Robert K. Bowfinger: You slept with Jiff.
    Daisy: So?
    Robert K. Bowfinger: You know, I never thought about it that way.
    Daisy: So I'll see you tonight?
    Robert K. Bowfinger: What time?
  • by Kaz Riprock (590115) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @04:02PM (#5487377)
    Heaven help you if while using this service you are looking to catch a bus to visit some relatives. You mistakenly type www.greyhond.com [greyhond.com] (POPUP WARNING)....instead of www.greyhound.com [greyhound.com].

    My, what your friend or loved one will think of you...
  • Triage (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 4of12 (97621) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @04:09PM (#5487427) Homepage Journal

    Just join a club to form a

    1. whitelist - stuff that's definitely OK to see
    2. blacklist - stuff that's definitely not OK to see
    3. graylist - stuff that's outside the known universe
    to define your own internet experience. Sounds like a great idea to me.

    Think of the possibilities, too. The anti-matter folks and the matter folks can help each other with their respective lists.

    Some of the pr0n viewing crowd can join the Moral Majority Virtual web but just set (white=black and black=white) and everyone wins.

  • by gr8_phk (621180) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @04:16PM (#5487495)
    So my friend is having such a hard time kicking his bad surfing habbit that he asks me to monitor his activity. Does this make me a criminal if he goes to an under-age pr0n site? Or some other illegal stuff? Remember, this is someone who couldn't kick it on his own. Does this get me in trouble because I didn't report him?

    Not that I know anyone into THAT stuff (except maybe a priest), but I might know some hardware tinkerers that may have ordered a mod chip at some point.

  • Dissappointing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eVarmint (62178) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @04:19PM (#5487525) Homepage
    So here is a story about a guy who is interested using technology to help him live his personal morals while remaining connected to the internet.

    This could be a great opportunity for understanding and discussion. Istead, the slashdot community has latched on to the combined theme of religion and pornography and has used the opportunity to heap derision and ridicule on a group of people simply because they think differently.

    It seems rather hypocritical to demand tolerance for your own personal views and then in turn refuse to tolerate views other than your own.

    Now for an actual comment on the story: I would say this idea boils down to obtaining self-control by making all of your private actions public. I think such an approach can be viewed as only a means to an end, because as a final solution it is fundamentally flawed. This is because true self-control is the thing that is manifested when nobody else is looking. True self-control must ultimately come from within.

  • by exley (221867) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @04:22PM (#5487552) Homepage
    "... Brandon Cotter is urging moralistic Web surfers to take matters into their own hands"

    Isn't "taking matters into their own hands" the problem that they're trying to solve?
  • by stienman (51024) <adavis@ubasi c s .com> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @05:32PM (#5488376) Homepage Journal
    Look at it this way.

    As a parent, I allow my children to use the computer. I do, however, place it in the house where there is a lot of traffic and I can keep an eye on what they are doing without interrupting them.

    This is a Good Thing(TM). Accountability, in general, is a good thing.

    You may not agree with the application of this technology, but why disparage it here? If you feel pornography is a good thing then you can enjoy it yourself.

    I, however, feel that pornography has many bad consequences. I know this from personal experience. Who are you to disparage my personal experience, my morals, convictions, values and beliefs? Pornography, just like gambling, drinking, drugs, computer hardware, computer games, MMORPGs, etc can be addictive. These addictions can change you and your life significantly. If you like those changes, or it doesn't change you, or you don't notice the change, then good for you. But don't hate the technology or the people who use it for themselves.

    -Adam

    An idea is a precious and fragile thing. Don't hate ideas. Hate people.
  • by leereyno (32197) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @07:23PM (#5489481) Homepage Journal
    Porn is a problem...for people who are opposed to it. If someone is opposed to it then what use is something like this to them when they're not going to be looking at it anyway?

    It seems to me that you'll just have a big group of people who will all be watching each other not look at porn. The thing is, they wouldn't be looking at porn in the first place. Oh well, if this will occupy their time and keep them out of everyone else's business then perhaps in the end it will be a positive thing. The more that sexually repressed people and groups are distracted and preoccupied, the happier the rest of the world will be.

    I think it is truly sad that anyone even CARES about porn. It is irrelevant to anyone who isn't a pervert, whether you're talking about the perverts who are obsessed with looking at it, or the ones who are obsessed with repressing their own sexual desires (if only they would do it right and stop breeding...). For the rest of us porn is an occasionally interesting distraction and nothing more. I've seen my share of porn and the vast majority of it is completely pointless. I get more out of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and a Victoria's Secret catalog than I've ever gotten out of porn. Porn is for adolescent males and males who never grew past adolesence. Even so, that doesn't make it a social problem or something in need of remedy. Unless of course you mean that it needs to be better than it is.

    This scheme does nothing but prove that technology gives people new ways to express their stupidity.

    Lee

Never ask two questions in a business letter. The reply will discuss the one you are least interested, and say nothing about the other.

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