So UK health minister wants to ban sexting for Under-18s…
In the UK, Conservative MP and Secretary of Health Jeremy Hunt has proposed a ban on sexting for under 18s.
For the avoidance here is what the definition of sexting is:
send (someone) sexually explicit photographs or messages via mobile phone.
Under the proposal, social media companies would have to institute policies that would an these under 18s from sexting.
First of all we can see the positive aspects. Such as preventing older weirdos preying in young children and grooming them for sexual exploitation.
The problem with such a law which pretty much exists in Zimbabwe under a telecommunications act that prohibits the transmission of any pornographic material on any network in any format (visual, audio or text) by all citizens.
The problem comes when we define what sexting is for in this instance the UK government. When is it a joke, banter as they call it, and when is it an attempt at abuse. It is a frightening and overreaching form of censorship if you think of it because it denies right to conscience.
Now do we think 15 year olds should be creating sexually explicit images of themselves and passing them on? No.
But in a more complex section of the discussion you will find that teens have greater understanding of issues around consent than say 20 years ago. Also we risk suppressing openness and creating a dark web where free expression is consigned to.
Who will make the report and is it clever to send 15 year olds to prison over flirting? Given one sends thousands of texts per day that should create a mammoth task for law enforcement.
The crazy thing is that the more you think of it, you realise much like in Zimbabwe, laws are often made by a generation stuck in a time warp, speaking from their fears and less from how the electorate can benefit from system. The proposed cyber crime law speaks more from a punitive than education perspective resulting in a society that is pitted against lawmakers.
What happened to just talking to people?
It is the strange place that we find ourselves in this world. Nanny states loading…