I've written here before about the horrific, senseless, murder of Jo Yeates. This is a tragedy who will haunt her family and friends. I am glad her murderer has been convicted and I truly hope he serves his full sentence.
My sympathies go out to Jo's family and friends.
Though I think it is obvious where my sympathies lie I find the use of this horrid crime by the Church of England, and the Daily Mail to threaten ISP's with pulling millions of pounds if investment if they don't agree to censor the web in a way the Church demands, in the case of the Church, or demand that all websites need to be vetted and those the Daily Mail don't like to be banned and the readers punished.
The Mail, which let us not forget had to pay out a fortune to an innocent man they told the world murdered Jo and was investigated for contempt of court which would have led to the murderer going free, crudely uses the death of Jo to whip up public support for their censorship crusade with an editorial entitled
In Joanna’s name, close these vile sites
Column after column in the DM is about demands that the Internet should be censored or others will die.
The thing is this isn't about right or wrong: it's about a failing tabloid exploiting the tragic death of a beautiful and talented young woman to sell newspapers. And that it.
The second time I was threatened with death was when I wrote elsewhere about the horror of violent pornography. It's vile. However they are also perfectly legal in the US where most is made and hosted. My personal disgust at such vile stuff is personal and based in my sense if what is moral. I don't call for it to be banned or the sites taken down.
Just because you don't like or agree with something doesn't mean they should be censored or made illegal. That's the point of freedom of expression. We don't have the right not to be offended.
The tabloids and the church say Jo's killer killed because of him having watched some legal porn. The judge ruled otherwise.
I do find it strange that the DM is excusing the inexcusable actions of a murderer. By launching a campaign against images and videos they don't like they are saying that Jo's murderer is a victim and was not responsible for his murder.
The deflection of responsibility is wrong. Vincent Tabak is solely responsible for his actions.
The vast majority of viewers of porn don't kill or rape. Such images don't make people killers: people do. Blaming the Internet is like how the tabloids blamed videos, or photographs, or novels for all the world's problems. It's simplistic nonsense.
All this talk about controlling and censoring the Internet is part of the concerted political effort to limit what we say or can see. It's about giving vested interests in politics and media control. You see it in China and the Middle East which censors and controls the Internet to keep the public in the dark and you see it here where politicians seek to stop us knowing about their sleaze and corruption.
It is easy to fall into the trap of letting our freedoms be curbed because of a horrific crime but rest assured that once we have governmental, church, or media censorship of what we see or can say it'll not be limited to vile porn but will spread to non-politically correct, or politically embarrassing views.
We will be less free.
That is the real danger here and the reason politicians are pushing for their control of a free Internet.
For a tabloid so mired in allegations of their own crimes to launch a moral crusade is laughable.
For the Church or England to try to blackmail anyone to do what they say when this church has hundreds of millions invested in weapons manufacturers who provide the means to kill and have helped kill umpteen thousands of innocent children is a sick joke.
Sympathy for Jo, her family and friends, and disgust at her sick murder isn't reason to jump on a tabloid bandwagon to makes all less free.