Mumsnet U-turn on censorship

Mumsnet, the online forum which wields huge influence on politicians and marketers alike, has been forced into an embarrassing U-turn after first backing and then withdrawing its support for Government plans to block online porn.
The issue centres on two proposals – one to get ISPs to block porn at source, the other to get PCs and mobile phones to come with filters on as default.
Mumsnet backed both proposals, saying: “Society has acted to protect children from pornographic images in magazines, in cinemas, and on videos and DVDs – we think it’s time to act to protect them online.”
However, after many of its members reacted angrily to the endorsement of the strategy, which they criticised for promoting censorship and shifting the responsibility away from parents, the forum was forced to backtrack. It is also claimed that raft of new members also registered to join the outrage.
They pointed out various flaws, including the danger to smaller ISPs and the likelihood that Mumsnet itself might be filtered for its approach to breast-feeding.
A spokeswoman for mumsnet was quoted as saying: “A lot of our members are concerned with keeping children safe online. But we are genuinely agnostic on the right solution to apply.
“We did originally take a less agnostic position. We were hopeful that there could be a simple solution in terms of a network level filter, which would mean parents would be able to rely on networks applying their own controls.”

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