Online pornography should/should not be controlled through legislation

Online pornography should/should not be controlled through legislation

Advances in the Internet have had various influences in society. From its initial use in

military and academic settings, the Internet has advanced to become a core enabler of business

transactions through e-commerce and a socialization platform through social media. However,

developments in the Internet have also brought about aspects that challenge traditional

safeguards with respect to access to content. Specifically, the internet has made it easier for

individuals, irrespective of their age, to access adult content. This has made access to

pornographic content even easier to children thus eliciting debate on how access to such content

should be regulated. One the one hand, conservatives advocate for formal procedures for

handling forms of content accessible on the internet, especially arguing for formal monitoring of

the online pornography through legislation. Conversely, liberals who defend people’s right to

online content including pornography argue for non-legal mechanisms of regulating such

content. Nevertheless, it is vital for legal mechanisms to exist to regulate access to pornographic

material since such material may have adverse effects on children who may be lured to risky

sexual behaviors since they have not developed enough cognitive abilities and thus are

vulnerable to influence by businesspersons in the adult content business.

The Nature of the Online Pornography Debate

The need for regulation of online pornography is brought about by its increasing presence

in the Internet with little mechanisms to dissuade children from access. For instance, research has

shown that pornographic sites are visited more times than MSN Search, Google, and Yahoo

(Pamela, 2005). In America, approximately 75 % of the population view porn at least once

monthly, while about 20 % are addicted to pornography (Laaser, 2004; Pamela, 2005).

Further, as from 2005, an increasing number of people have been renting pornographic

videos every year. In America alone, 20 % of all rented movies each year are pornographic

(Pamela, 2005). Today, over 400 million pages of pornographic content are accessed via the

Internet. Globally, pornography generates close to $ 100 billion dollars each year (Pamela,

2005). In the U.S., pornography revenue exceeds the combined proceeds of all professional

baseball, football and basketball players (Maltz & Larry, 2008).


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