Thursday, November 12, 2009

Obscenity and the internet

An interesting thing about the internet is that there are defacto no community standards, since the world of the internet cannot be considered a community, and therefore anything that's not illegal can be sold via it, no matter if it would have no chance of being actually sold in a store. The reason is that obscenity mostly relates to community standards these days in the United States, although maybe not totally. Stores get in trouble for selling things because the communities that they're in don't approve of them, even if what they're selling is perfectly okay in a more liberal area. Therefore, when people have specifically gone to a place online to buy something, where there's no question about them knowing what's being sold, there's much less room to argue against whatever it is being sold. I think that this is a wonderful development because it deals a blow to censorship in the United States as a whole, with censorship including materials that are considered extreme. If it was against the law, it would be illegal, to use a Yogi Berra like phrase. If not, then it shouldn't be.

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