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The Internet is... well, crazy. I'm absolutely sure that I checked… - Silicon Rose [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Silicon Rose

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[May. 30th, 2007|08:54 am]
Silicon Rose
[Current Mood |infuriatedinfuriated]

The Internet is... well, crazy.

I'm absolutely sure that I checked my livejournal and the communities I'm interested in last night, before I went to bed. This morning, I wake up and find that (posted in several of these communities) LJ has started deleting journals which have questionable interests in them. Frankly, I'm terrified. This seems to be another step towards the outlawing of completely fictional works which portray a child in a sexual situation, regardless of how the matter is treated.

It's no longer about protecting children. It's a witch hunt, a rabid purification ritual where the planned result is to whitewash the world. Next up, we'll have Plato's ideal society, where you can't write any fiction that portrays the hero as having any less-than-heroic qualities. Sadness at loss? Nope! What a weakling! We can't have that sort of role-model in our society!

I've heard rumors that gay and lesbian groups have also been caught in the dragnet. This is unconfirmed, but if they have, it's gone beyond ridiculous. It's crazy enough that a term discussing the sexual contact between two people who are closely related was also caught in this. Come on. Dean and Sam Winchester from Supernatural are very common targets of fictional pieces talking about this issue, and both of them are out of college, for heaven's sake. Who are you protecting?

Also concerning me is the continued partitioning of sexual criminals from our society. I find little difference between exiling supposedly-reformed members of the community and killing them. If you're going to wipe out every chance they have to get a job, go to church, find a place to live, attend adult education, why don't you just kill them in the first place? Frankly, it seems fairer. And no, I don't support the death penalty.

I don't want to live in a society that is going through this sort of moral backlash.

[User Picture]From: ketsugami
2007-05-30 05:54 pm (UTC)
Vaguely referential -- there's a lawsuit against "To Catch a Predator" alleging unethical tactics, etc.
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[User Picture]From: froborr
2007-05-30 07:09 pm (UTC)

No idea who that person is (link came from someone else on my flist), but the link includes a letter from the LJ Abuse team explaining why their community was shut down. Basically, it appears a group of net-vigilantes ("Warriors for Innocence"), unable to distinguish between pedophilia and child molestation, contacted LJ with a list of journals they found objectionable and LJ's lawyers overreacted: "Because LiveJournal's interests list serves as a search function, and because listing an interest enables other people also interested in a similar topic to gather and/or congregate, we have been advised that listing an interest in an illegal activity must be viewed as using LiveJournal to solicit that illegal activity." Unfortunately, though it seems ridiculous, we must assume that LJ's lawyers are reasonably competent and that this is actually, if not the correct interpretation of the law, at least close enough to legitimate that the resulting court case would be too nasty for Six Apart to handle.

None of this really surprises me. For at least as long as we've been alive, there's been a concerted effort to redefine "freedom" by the Christian right. Freedom, when Pat Robertson or the late, unlamented Jerry Falwell uses the word (and I guarantee you, most, if not all, of the "Warriors of Innocence" are followers of that ilk), means the "freedom" of the soul from Satan, which can only come through doing, speaking, and thinking exactly as the Beloved Leader commands.

Over 100 members of Congress vote the way Focus on the Family would prefer 80% of the time or more. The good news? Only 7% of the general population actually agree with them (all figures are from Chris Hedges' excellent and disturbing American Fascists, written before the 2006 election, so they may no longer be accurate). The bad news? Those 7% are the only people in the country not sitting on their asses, so they get to make all the decisions.

The partition of sexual criminals is a slightly more complex issue. Pedophilia and child molestation share much the same relationship as depression and suicide. A pedophile will not necessarily assault children, but once they have done so, they are virtually certain to try again. Certain types of rape also have very high recidivism rates. There is something to be said for isolating sexual criminals and children from one another, though personally I would do it the way the Victorians did -- isolate children from society.

However, our whole system of justice is screwed up, precisely because it is a system of justice (which implies retribution and punishment), rather than a system of deterrence and rehabilitation. I honestly don't know where the best place to begin is; the post-release treatment of sex offenders might be it, but it might not.

I'm not ready to write off our society yet. We outnumber them. We're smarter than they are. We're right. The only things they have going for them are superior organization and a head start. As soon as I figure out how to fight them, I intend to come out (hopefully metaphorical) guns blazing. Unfortunately, I just don't have the skillset to be a political organizer, so I have to wait for someone else to start it.
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From: umiushi
2007-06-01 11:19 pm (UTC)
Any recommendations as to where can I get some good data on recidivism rates? When I poked around, shortly after this post was made, it seemed that sexual crimes have pretty low recidivism rates. This is in contrast to my assumption that they would be extremely high, based on media reports of recidivists and the sort of concern that accompanies the release of these criminals. Unfortunately, it's a little hard to make sense of some of the statistics, and it's difficult to find it broken down, rather than just "sexual crimes" in general which can include, I assume, anything from streaking to rape.
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