Is porn bad: a debate we need with facts, not hysteria

Is porn bad: a debate we need with facts, not hysteria

Anti-porn activist “Suzzan Blac” is an acquired taste. Her frequently hysterical rants about the evils of pornography are easy to dismiss or ignore. Yet sometimes she makes valid points, particularly when it comes to revenge porn and underage porn that appears on various sites. Sadly, it does seem Pornhub et al need to up their game in removing and reporting such content. 

One of her tweets demanded to know why journalists and the “mainstream media” were not shocked and outraged about the UK’s decision to relax its somewhat Victorian rules on what can appear in porn. In place of a list of “things” that are banned, the CPS has instead focused on what’s happening in the scene. It brings in questions of consent and harm that were perhaps lacking before. Ms Blac decided to show her followers what this meant in practice. 

Screenshots of BDSM movies 

To illustrate her point, Ms Blac proceeded to tweet screenshots from BDSM movies. She included commentary that was rightly drawing attention to some serious issues around consent. Then, as I scrolled through, I noticed one of her comments drew on a scene where a model used her safeword and it was ignored. It’s a film I have. 

I checked the film and it was a misrepresentation. During the scene things did get intense and she did call out for it to stop, but she didn’t use her safeword, an important distinction in BDSM. What’s more, as quite a few producers are wont to do these days, the film included before and after interviews that told quite a different story from what was being portrayed in the tweets. 

“Fact checking” = watching the whole film 

Repeatedly I found this was the case. Videos were being presented as non-consensual and abusive that on a full viewing weren’t. I finally drew a line under my fact checking when I saw screengrabs of a young woman crying as she was being hung by the neck. She’s on Fetlife and hanging is her fetish

Unfortunately, her valid points were lost in a hysteria and desire to shock rather than inform. So much so that at one point I wondered if it was a parody account. 

There are some real issues in society that need to be tackled. Revenge porn, child abuse and sexual assaults is the type of content that should not be created (let alone shared or consumed). Where it’s found it should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Pornhub and their kin should be more aggressive in taking action and be more accountable for hosting this material. 

It takes one falsehood to make “Fake News” 

Yet raising these issues requires a journalist’s eye. Each time an “example” is raised that’s knocked down with the most cursory of checks, the credibility of both story and journalist is harmed. “Fake news” is a tag no news outlet wants to be associated with. Purveyors of poorly checked stories that lack basic fact checking will find themselves increasingly pushed to the margins, their credibility eroded and their ability to make their valid points heard diminished. 

The wider acceptance of porn and some of the debate that goes with it is a healthy thing. It’s right to question the impact of how we consume porn and whether porn sites do enough to respond to illegal content. To have that debate with poorly checked “evidence” is not.  

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About Razz

I'm a creative dominant type with a love of BDSM and fetishism. This blog is an outlet, so don't take anything you see or read too seriously.

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