Monthly Archive for May, 2010

Clive Hamilton lies about Net censorship on national TV

Clive Hamilton at Save Solar Systems public meeting at Fitzroy Town Hall, 091203

Clive Hamilton, liar.

Australia’s Internet censorship plans featured on tonight’s episode of Four Corners. The delightful Clive Hamilton, proud father of Australia’s Internet censorship scheme, was there bravely guarding the morals of our country.

Hamilton kindly let the nation know he is definitely opposed to bestiality and coprophilia, but he’s not quite so big on the virtue of telling the truth.

Hamilton said on Four Corners:

We commissioned a poll which showed that parents of teenage children are extremely concerned about their children’s access to porn on the Internet and when we asked them explicitly whether they would support a mandatory filter on Internet service providers to prevent extreme and violent pornography coming into the home an astonishing 93 per cent said yes they would support that.

Wow. 93% support compulsory Internet censorship. Hamilton did the numbers, so it must be true, right?

Well, no.

According to the Australia Institute, Hamilton’s own think tank that carried out the poll he mentioned, respondents to the poll weren’t asked about “mandatory filters” at all. The Australia Institute 2003 poll on net censorship (pdf file) says (p23) :

Finally, parents were asked about their support for the two new strategies proposed in this paper to protect children from Internet pornography, that is, mandatory blocking of pornography by ISPs and educating children on the risks of pornography. They were first asked the following:

Would you support a system which automatically filtered out Internet pornography going into homes unless adult users asked otherwise?

So parents weren’t asked if they supported compulsory censorship at all! They were asked if they supported optional censorship. Hamilton has been caught out in a pure and simple lie.

How can we take anything else he says about Internet censorship seriously?

Note the slippery wording of the report. It says parents were asked about “mandatory blocking”, but the question quoted in the poll only talks about optional censorship.

The other fascinating thing about the program was the “town hall” meetings about how to get around Internet censorship, apparently linked in some way to Exit International, the pro-voluntary-euthanasia organisation. This seems like an excellent way to take opposition to Government Internet censorship plans off the Net and into broader society.