UK web providers to be named and shamed over content take down speeds

The Guardian
15.11.2008
Patrick Wintour

Labour and Tories want user uploads pre-screened

Politicians are ready to introduce league tables naming and shaming the speed with which internet service providers take down offensive material.

The culture minister, Barbara Follett, and her Tory shadow, Ed Vaizey, have backed the idea

Follett said she wants to see the pre-screening of material on sites such as YouTube, as occurs at present on MySpace. She admitted there was growing chaos out there on the internet, and order needed to be brought.

Discussing the internet and video games at a Westminster debate and facing suggestions that the industry is lax about controlling content, Follett said: “We agree information about take-down times and levels of search need to be much clearer.” Asked if she supported league tables of take-down times by internet service providers, she said “name and shame can sometimes can work very well indeed.”

Follett said: “Many people have said that the internet is like the wild west in the gold rush and that sooner or later it will be regulated. What we need is for it to be regulated sooner rather than later.

“We need the service providers to come forward and show that they are the sort of responsible organisations whose services we can trust to our children.”

She also said she backed pre-screening of user-generated internet content saying she was glad this was being carried out by MySpace [Rupert Murdoch]. “It is that kind of responsible action that we are looking for, as it means people can trust a company.” Ministers and politicians have been locked in battle with Google, the owners of YouTube, who claim that there is too much material going onto its site for it to be pre-screened.

The proposal for a “take-down” league table is backed by Vaizey. He said: “The government is in a position to put out the information, and it is up to the internet service providers to react to it.”

She also insisted there was not yet compellingly persuasive evidence of a link between watching violent video games and subsequent acts of violence.

Full article

Note: MySpace was used as a shining example by the culture minister. MySpace deletes “controversial” political content and bans such users. When truth is controversial, we’re living in a society entirely controlled by corruption. Fascism always uses an excuse for it’s agendas, removing our rights to “protect” some group or thing, in this case children are being used as the excuse for the middle phase of internet censorship for all.

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