South Carolina’s Computer Porn Ban Is All About Money, Not Morals

Photo: Pexels
South Carolina's Computer Porn Ban Is About Money Not Morals
Editor
Buzz

They’re using pornography for political gain.

The South Carolina state government has introduced a bill that would, theoretically, restrict people from being able to access pornography online. Basically, any computer or internet-accessible device sold in the state of South Carolina would come pre-loaded with software that automatically blocks pornography.

This is a terrible idea.

It’s a terrible idea for many, many reasons.

But I could almost — ALMOST — understand the idea if the politicians behind the bill really and truly believed that pornography was bad for society.

If the GOP Senate members in South Carolina sponsoring this bill, led by Representative William "Bill" Chumley, honestly wanted to eradicate porn from the face of the Earth and this was their first step in taking a moral stance against pornography, I wouldn’t agree with them (AT ALL), but I might respect their convictions. I’d at least have to acknowledge their devotion to their ideology.

However, the bill also comes with an extra detail that reveals the lawmakers’ TRUE intentions with this bill — for an extra $20, you can have the porn blocker removed.

New York Times

That’s right. South Carolina, apparently, believes that pornography is a pervasive, insidious force in modern society and the government needs to step and police it to the fullest extent … unless you have 20 bucks. Then do whatever you want.

This is Bullshit Government Posturing 101.

You take something distasteful and restrictive and you place it right in the center of something that sounds so moral and upstanding that people will be afraid to object to it.

Case in point, the South Carolina GOP is calling the $20 porn block bill “The Human Trafficking Prevention Act.” Because who’s going to say they’re against human trafficking?

In reality, the bill’s connection to human trafficking is tenuous at best. In theory, the preloaded blocking software in computers would prevent people from accessing sites that “facilitate” human trafficking and child pornography — in addition to “normal” pornography — but it neglects to mention what those sites actually are or how they’d actually accomplish it.

Google has spent over $15 million in their own efforts to fight against online trafficking, so do we really think that the designers of the South Carolina porn blocker will have a better understanding of trafficking prevention than Google does?

This isn’t about ideology or solving a problem.

This is about money.

IGN

This is about South Carolina fundraising for their own anti-trafficking efforts in a misguided and borderline un-Constitutional way.

In a recent Reuters article, one of the bill’s sponsors admitted that “the amendment would help raise money for the state's task force to combat human trafficking.” And State Representative Chumley also said, “This is a way to preserve freedom, not raise taxes, and combat a serious problem all in one.”

He could not be more wrong.

What they’re doing is disingenuous at best and dangerous at worst.

For starters, to raise money for a local task force, South Carolina wants to put tracking software on all computers and phones sold in their state.

You can buy your way out of the blocking program for $20, but you know there will be a digital list kept of every person who opted to “pay for porn” in South Carolina.

And that list will quickly become the target for hackers and, let’s be honest, it will come out. If the Ashley Madison hack and the 2016 Election taught us anything, it WILL come out.

So, if you decided that you wanted to preserve your First Amendment rights and look at whatever you want to look at on YOUR computer that YOU own, there’s a chance you could be blackmailed or publicly shamed for being in the secret “porn” list.

IndiaOnline

Also, isn’t the GOP supposed to be the party of “small government”? And yet these representatives want a local state government to police how EVERYONE in the state accesses information in their own homes on devices they purchased themselves. AND, if people want unrestricted access to the internet, they have to PAY the government for the privilege of doing so.

How is that small government? How is that not a tax?

This is about a group of conservative lawmakers who have realized that being anti-pornography is a solid platform for their voting base.

Thus, they make a lot of noise and throw together a task force to show they’re tough on porn, but this computer block proposal takes things too far. It restricts personal freedoms, it’s wildly anti-First Amendment, and it doesn’t even take itself seriously on an ideological level, because you can opt out of it for 20 bucks.

FunnyJunk

(Don’t even get me started on the socioeconomic privilege aspect of restricting internet access to those who can’t afford to pay the extra $20.)

This isn’t a moral stand they’re taking in South Carolina. This is pure political fundraising. Don’t be fooled by their lofty claims of fighting human trafficking. While that’s a vitally important global issue, this is just a bunch of local hucksters using a big cause to support their own voter-pandering, backyard pet projects.

Hopefully, the voters of South Carolina will stop this ridiculous proposal, because we can’t end human trafficking by charging a $20 premium for free speech.

It doesn’t make sense on a political or moral level and the politicians who are trying to sell this to their constituents should be ashamed of themselves.

Author
Editor

Expert advice

Save your breath because you only need two words to make him commit.
Are you REALLY thinking about their happiness?
If you keep finding yourself in heartbreaking, dead end relationships, listen up.
It seems like you can't do anything right.
Contributor