Better start hoarding your cum shot videos and bondage now, Icelanders! The government of Iceland is considering a ban on Internet pornography that depicts “violent,” “hateful,” and “degrading” content in an effort to keep children from being exposed to that material.
Print pornography is already technically banned in Iceland, but the law is vaguely worded and apparently not enforced. As VICE explains, the print law was written before Internet pornography existed and pols are seeking a 21st century update. Specifically, Iceland’s Interior Minister Ogmundur Jonasson thinks that kids need to be protected from extreme types of online porn. He — yes, he — is concerned that children who Google “porn” looking for a simple naked photo are being exposed to sexualized images of abuse and denigration that cultivate both a taste for and permissive attitude towards sexual violence.
Explained Halla Gunnarsdottir, an advisor to Jonasson:
“We are a progressive, liberal society when it comes to nudity, to sexual relations, so our approach is not anti-sex but anti-violence. This is about children and gender equality, not about limiting free speech. Research shows that the average age of children who see online porn is 11 in Iceland and we are concerned about that and about the increasingly violent nature of what they are exposed to. This is concern coming to us from professionals since mainstream porn has become very brutal. A strong consensus has been building, with people agreeing that something has to be done. The internet is a part of our society, not separate from it, and should be treated as such. No one is talking about closing down exchange of information. We have a thriving democracy here in our small country and what is under discussion is the welfare of our children and their rights to grow and develop in a non-violent environment.”
A government committee is considering possible proposals of just how to do this, including blocking certain Internet sites within Iceland via filters like those used in China. Obviously this has both porn-lovers and Internet freedom lovers around the world in a tizzy.
It’s not the first time the country has restricted sexytimes: Iceland banned strip clubs and restaurants with topless/nude staff back in 2010 and criminalized johns who pay for prostitution in 2009. Both the strip club ban, prostitution ban, and the proposed Internet porn ban are supported by some feminists who believe all sex work is exploitation of women.
What do you think about a government banning more “extreme” (whatever that means) forms of porn? Let us know in the comments.
Contact the author of this post at Jessica@TheFrisky.com. Follow me on Twitter.