Prof – 4Chan Trolls Reason Enough For Mandatory Australian ISP Filter

The story of Jessi Slaughter is reaching Australia, perhaps, for all the wrong reasons. A professor has taken the story and is arguing for internet censorship, saying, “You simply can’t have free access to the internet”

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

Things must be looking pretty desperate for those who support mandatory ISP internet filtering.

It all started with a US girl by the name of Jessi Slaughter. According to US reports, she apparently posted videos on YouTube of herself saying she was better than others. The videos spread to other sites including 4Chan where a number of internet trolls decided to cyber bully her. After personally identifiable information of Slaughter was posted, she started receiving prank phone calls among other things. Her father got involved with a video response attacking those who were responsible of the trolling which only made matters worse. Ultimately, she wound up in a police safe house and an investigation is under way. For many, this was simply an object lesson that says that parents need to keep an eye on their children’s activity online.

Evidently, there’s a slightly different perspective in Australia as far as one professor is concerned.

According to, this was actually a perfect reason for mandatory online filtering as well as far as one professor is concerned.

While arguing for a mandatory ISP level filtering system, Matt Warren, the head of Deakin University’s School of Information Systems said, “It has to be controlled, censored and people have to be held accountable for their actions on it.”

Warren said, “We punish people who drink, we punish people who speed and we have to implement laws to that effect when it comes to the internet.”

He argued that children – even 11 year olds – aren’t ethically aware of what they are doing. He also said that parents aren’t able to train their children about proper uses of the internet since they don’t understand it themselves. As long as those two ideas exist, then the government has to intervene according to Warren.

Since internet filtering is such a hot button issue, political parties have, for now, shelved internet filtering plans, but Warren argued that this was an oversight.

Last year, another professor made the argument that an unfiltered internet had no place in a democracy and that those, including the Electronic Frontier Australia, are a bunch of extremists for arguing the contrary.

What is amazing is that it almost doesn’t seem like it had ever occurred to Warren that if, say, Slaughter were to go around the actual school yard and tell everyone how much better she was, that she wouldn’t provoke a negative response. Should we force schools to separate each and ever individual child in the school because there could be a conflict between some of them? Obviously, parents – and supervisors for that matter – can’t keep an eye on them 24/7. Why don’t we lock every child in to isolation chambers until they are 21 while we are at it? That’ll make sure they will never get bullied online or offline.

What was the original intent of the internet filtering anyway? Wasn’t it to stop child pornography and other “objectionable” material in the first place? How is ISP level filtering suppose to stop people from behaving badly online anyway?

What’s incredible is how much supporters of internet filtering stretch their arguments these days until it reaches levels of absurdity. Here’s hoping this is all just because of something in the water.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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