Would you like to know:
Which bodily fluids Facebook allow you to view – and why you may view some fluids as cartoon but not as photo?
Where the Director of Public Prosecutions keeps his dirty postcard collection?
Which law was introduced to save us from “the horrors of sexual mutilation, multiple rape scenes, sheer blood lust and group lesbianism”?
How werewolves, vampires and zombies became persona non grata for the reading public?
Or would you just like to know why politicians always make a mess over internet porn?
Over the last decade or so, politicians, media and public have woken up to the fact that the internet allows individuals to access a range and volume of pornographic material well beyond what was once available in an age of print and cellulose film.
At the same time, they have had to acknowledge that traditional approaches to controlling access to this material have proven legally ineffective. That same period, therefore, has seen a two-pronged attempt to stuff the internet genie back into its virtual bottle. First, through an unprecedented passing of new and ground-breaking laws – at times, seemingly, a new law every year: and second, through the implementation of technical solutions, including moderation, filtering and blocking to achieve through brute technological force what may not always be achievable through law.
This book is a first attempt to document both these processes. It is not quite an academic textbook. It does, however, set out clearly the main pathways taken by legislators and public servants in attempting to deal with the issue of online porn. It therefore provides a basic roadmap from which those interested in to carry out their own more detailed exploration of the territory can branch out on their own.
In terms of narrative, the book brings us to the end of 2014, at which point the government’s central legislative measure – the law on possession of extreme porn – has been rudely challenged through judicial review. It is also the point at which the public have begun to question the validity of filtering as a generic approach.
We are undoubtedly living in interesting times.
Subject to last minute change, the book contents are downloadable here.
204pp : word count is approx. 110,000
The author, Jane Fae is a journalist who has written extensively about the intersection of IT, sexuality and the law. She is not a fan of porn – but she remains a significant sceptic when it comes to recent initiatives for policing such material. It is her considered view that many of these have failed utterly in the stated objectives of controlling the spread of material deemed undesirable, while simultaneously having the all too foreseeable consequence of damaging individual liberties in the UK.
Reviews and ordering
Taming the Beast is a comprehensive overview of all of the above. It is available now for review, and was published in April 2015. Price: £15 plus £2.50p&p (if applicable).
If you are interested in obtaining a copy for review, or would like to purchase a copy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: information updated 15 April 2015