back to article Mumsnet backtracks support for net filter

Cuddly, child-loving web forum, mumsnet was last night licking its wounds after a page providing fairly uncritical support for government proposals to censor the web was first mauled by geek attack – and then taken down. However, in a swift repositioning, mumsnet have now come out as part of the search for a solution, rather …


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  1. GrumpyJoe

    Non-technical people

    expecting technical responses to a problem that work perfectly.

    Sounds like most people then, politicans or mothers...

  2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  3. Nigel Brown

    Here we go again

    Parents absolving themselves of their responsibility to keep little Johnny safe from the nasty side of the intertubes. Put the PC in the lounge, not the bedroom, Watch little Johnny, not Eastenders. Install filtering software, not bloody Farmville.

    1. Miek
      Thumb Up

      Re: Here we go again

      I completely agree Nigel, it should be the responsibility of the parents to ensure their little angels aren't surfing for filthy stuff, nor maxing out their parents credit cards on x-box live.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I think we we should have more sympathy for the xbox live thing

        Little Johnny wants to buy x, Mummy comes along, has a look, enters her details - job done. How's she supposed to know that from now on, it's not going to bother asking here again? It's even worse on the iPhone, you enter your password to allow a purchase once and it doesn't bother asking again for 10 minutes or something (which you can't change).

        1. Whiny Parent


          You're entering your CREDIT CARD details to authorise a payment. You might want to try reading the details and ensuring that you're fully aware. The terms and conditions make it clear that your details will be stored, and they also make it clear that by opening a children's account, they won't have permission to buy anything.

          And that's not even mentioning the fact that every subsequent purchase on Live makes it clear that MONEY (not points) is going to be debited from the card.

          It's not a failing on Microsoft's part (and it's rare that anyone would say that), it's a failing on the parents part. Genitals are far too easy to use, unfortunately, it's the followup that takes some common sense and intelligence.

          1. Kevin Johnston Silver badge

            Not so clear

            As I have discovered (the hard way of course) if you use your credit card to make a payment that could be deemed to be a repeating payment and they have stored the details then they can use those details again EVEN IF THE ACCOUNT IS CLOSED. The card companies kindly call it a guaranteed payment so your only hope is to untraceably change all your accounts and leave the country.

            Apparently it is your responsibility to make a note of every time you have used the card online and ensure you have agreement that they have removed your details, good luck with that one.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Paris Hilton

          Re: I think we we should have more sympathy for the xbox live thing

          And how would filtering out porn actually solve the problem you're describing?

    2. Restricted Access
      Thumb Up

      In the words of Gavin Newsom

      "It's not the role for government to decide what's in the best interest of kids; it's the role of parents to decide."

  4. Marcus Aurelius


    A million Daily Mail readers in one activist group

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Wistful thoughts

      ...I wonder if there's any way we could corral them all up ,and then close the door?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      a million 'Daily Mail' readers...

      Could only be written by someone who knows little or nothing about the membership.

      A more diverse group would be hard to achieve, and as for the Daily Mail, it is perhaps the most hated paper of the lot (apart from thinly disguised porn, the Daily S... and Daily S.... of course).

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I love the irony ... : we have to get rid of filth on the internet

    mumsnet : WE AGREE !!!!!! : let's start with breastfeeding ...

    actually given the standing mumsnet has to embaress the great and glorious, I would have thought it would be one of the first sites the government would want to lose.

  6. Dan 10
    Thumb Up


    "It does appear that mumsnet have learnt a lesson about jumping on bandwagons – and have shown a great deal more grace and skill at getting off one again, once proven to be wrong, than many of the career politicians that adorn our public stag"

    Agreed, if only would learn lessons quite as easily as this...

  7. peterb

    Speaking as a hard-line Christian nutcase....

    I'm embarrassed that some people don't consider what they're really asking for. They think they're asking for porn to be blocked, but they're actually asking the Government to force their ISP to monitor all of their web activity and see that it fits the govt's list of what is acceptable.

    Take that back 500+ years and there'd be no bible in English.

    1. Restricted Access

      Filter != Monitor

      > they're actually asking the Government to force their ISP to monitor all of their web activity and see that it fits the govt's list of what is acceptable.

      If you want to only view government approved websites then install software (or even hardware) that will "monitor" your activity for you. That way, those of us who do not wish to be censored, or have content censored from us, can live our lives in a free society.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        @ Restricted Access

        You saw "hard-line Christian nutcase" and automatically assumed he was arguing in favour of a filter. You clearly didn't even read his post.

        1. Restricted Access

          RE: @ Restricted Access

          Not quite. I saw "net filter" and assumed filter.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    I think Stephen Conroy probably has time to help out

  9. Christoph

    We must protect the children!

    Yes, we must censor the entire internet just in case a kiddie sees something meant for adults. But there's far more important things to do first.

    For instance, do you realise that it is extremely dangerous for kiddies to play hopscotch in the fast lane of the M1? We must slow all traffic everywhere to a slow crawl to Protect The Children! Once we've taken care of that we can look at re-writing the internet in nice simple safe language with no discussion of anything nasty or disturbing.

    1. WebMan

      Mumsnet are not that daft

      "we must censor the entire internet just in case a kiddie sees something meant for adults"

      Sorry, but had you seen the discussions you might have been surprised to see that Mumsnet was definitely not in favour of all-out banning fo pornography, but did feel an ISP-based block or filter would be a solution they could support.

      They 'pulled' their campaign page and are rethinking because there were several aspects which challenged the benefits. They acknowledged they were not technical experts from the start, so were going on advice. How suitable or correct that advice was came under question, and the situation regarding filtering meant that while hard core porn would have been blocked (with the option to unblock if the account holder contacted the ISP) it was pointed out that violent and other sites would not be blocked.

      The bulk of parents do have concerns, and many can be "run rings around" by teens and younger, who have known little different than being able to use a computer from a young age, but Mumsnet were willing to listen to concerns and criticisms and no doubt will look very carefully at future proposals from the Minister and the ISPs.

      As has been written elsewhere, it's refreshing that rather than ignore critics, they have been flexible enough to adapt to feedback, even though they had (justifiably) been thinking the solution proposed would meet with general support as it appeared to meet the main aim.

      1. John Bailey

        But that is just the point..

        Blocks don't work like people often think.

        Porn is not labelled "dirty filthy pervy pictures" There is no magic word to make the nasty images go away. So you block a word, you block anything associated with it. And whitelists are just approved sources. Not good enough, because you have to be approved first.

        Blocking is bad. Censorship, once available as a tool, will be used. Anti stalking laws have been used to break up picket lines. Anti terror laws have been used to intimidate.

        Do you honestly think that given a means of effectively deleting certain content from the internet, that out technologically inept leaders would not use it as a sledgehammer cracking the embarrassing little nuts that come along from time to time?

        The use of porn is not illegal. Thus, no justifiable reason to block or even monitor it. And absolutely no reason why it should be blocked at ISP level. If you don't want little Johnny to look at naughty pictures, don't let him have a computer in his room, and talk to him abotu sex before it becomes a problem. Because lets be honest here.. It is not that easy to come across it accidentally..

        People who come out behind daft ill conceived laws through ignorance are as bad as the ones with a hidden agenda. Worse, because they genuinely believe they are helping, so will go that extra bit to support the bad laws and knee jerk regulations instead of calling for real positive action to be taken.

        Similar case was Megan's law (I think) where kiddy fiddlers would be made known to neighbours. Big support form the Paedo finders.. Just like in America.

        Big mistake.

        It makes kids less safe, because sex offenders are more likely to go underground. And it allows the police to under fund and under man the departments that are supposed to keep an eye on them.

        But knee jerk, "no smoke without fire" idiots froth at the mouth, and scream accusations when anybody points this out.

        Support without understanding is dangerous.

  10. Robin Bradshaw

    I never thought of that

    "Take that back 500+ years and there'd be no bible in English."

    Congratulations you have managed to come up with the only true bonus of censorship I have ever read.

    1. Shakje
      Thumb Up

      I'm leaning more towards a 6.7 than a 6 on the Dawkins scale as I grow older

      but, while it's an amusing comment, it's probably worth remembering that the church was well established back then and that a Latin Bible was simply another way of subjugating the general populace and controlling knowledge. Without the English translation I strongly doubt that atheism would have prospered so happily.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      try reading some history

      Amusing as your smart-arsed comment is, it rather misses the point: translating it was a step on the road to the enlightenment and other good things.

  11. The BigYin

    Keep YOUR kids safe?

    Run your own net nanny.

    Don't know how to run your own net nanny? Learn!

    You teach them how to cross the road, so teach them to be safe online.

    Do not abidicate YOUR responisibilities to YOUR kids to the state.

    YOUR kids, YOUR responsibility.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Its called Parenting...

    "A lot of our members are concerned with keeping children safe online. But we are genuinely agnostic on the right solution to apply."

    Then don't leave your kids alone with the computer.. Just likeyou would not leave them alone with the old smelly man down the street.

    Pornography is not dangerous! sex does not kill* people... sheesh Next they'll be campaigning for female circumsicion all round...

    *Diseases may, be aware be careful!

  13. Anonymous Coward


    If you're so concerned with what your kids are doing on the Internet install a filter of your own.

    Oh wait, you don't know how? Pick up a fucking book ffs. Why should the state have to put regulation in place to deal with your ignorance? Fuck you! Seriously!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      pffft, 'book', I like your style mister

    2. Anonymous Coward


      I think 'fucking books' might be the ones that mumsnet were worried about.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Apostrophe problem


  15. skuba*steve

    Makes me cross....

    That we think we need a campaign to force someone else to take resonsibility for OUR actions. My daughter is 10, and uses the PC at home pretty much 24x7. She never ever does so alone, though, and I have web filters and parental controls on her profile. I monitor what she does and make sure I keep her safe...after all, thats my job as a parent.

    She has no more chance of cominng across pr0n online than she does of finding the stash of Razzle I have secreted behind a cupboard in the garage (which for some reason I am loathe to throw away - there's years of work in that collection).

    Another histerical band wagon for what used to be a support group for mums but is now a militant lobby group. How sad.

  16. David Lawrence

    When will mumsnet.....

    ...introduce foolproof legislation to stop children from being harmed, both physically, and mentally by their own parents? I for one am sickened by the depressing frequency of incidents reported in the media where (gasp) a child's own parents have harmed or killed them. Thankfully in most cases some poor sucker in Social Services gets the blame and has to fall on their sword. Surely mumsnet can stop that kind of abuse? No? Why not? Surely it's just as easy as it is to apply a state-controlled interwebs filter?

    Here's a suggestion.... try and find someone who can explain how the interwebs work before suggesting half-baked ways to totally screw it up for the majority of people who have absolutely NO problem with it what-so-bleeding-ever.

  17. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Like Philip K. Dick's "Eye in the Sky"

    With the neurotic soccer mom Edith Pritchert who wanted to make everything unconvenient, unsafe or unbecoming just disappear from her world. And she could, ending in disaster.

  18. The Vociferous Time Waster
    Thumb Up


    1) sets up list of nasty sites

    2) Gives away free software* that queries the list and blocks sites on list.

    3) ISPs given an ISO standard or important looking logo to use if they sell packages that are child safe. Could probably come out of CEOP budget as they clearly have loads to spunk on useless panic buttons.

    4) Grown ups who take personal responsibility continue to use the web as normal.

    5) System rolled out to libraries, local grubbymint offices, schools etc - bound to be cheaper than all the individual commercial solutions.

    *And I mean proper free. I'm sure there would be support for an OSS project if it provided safe browsing for kids without universal censorship.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      where can I get the list

      I'm tired of searching for porn.

  19. Gerrit Hoekstra

    Mad Meddling Millitant Middle-class Mothers

    Next mumsnet campaign: Make paper manufacturers take responsibility for all that is being printed.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      sometimes the ink rubs off in your hands.

      I am certain that this is very bad for children. I am not going to specify any evidence or reasoning why. You just have to believe me because my God told me it was true.

      Please^H^H^H^H^H^H Ban newspapers.

  20. g e

    We were hopeful that there could be a simple solution


    And which, CuddleFluffyMumsieKins exactly, has the technical fucking werewithal to produce this hi-tech panacea?

    These la-la land people are precisely why safety labels should be removed from everything allowing Darwin to steer his true course.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Who's al and why are we with him?

  21. Alastair C

    Meanwhile, back in the 21st century...

    A lot of the criticism here is based on the assumption that parents are ignoring their responsibilities, and include advice on the lines of "just move the PC into the living room". That seemed reasonable when there was one PC in the house, but it's hardly the case now, surely? Virtually all phones - including bog standard ones - now have internet connections, so unless you're planning on not letting little Johnny take his phone out the living room, your plan may have problems.

    It's valid to worry - constantly! - about the distinction between regulation and censorship - but there are other options between anarchy and big brother, surely? I was under the impression that one of the ideas was to ask providers to tag their content to a standard, so that browsers could filter based on that standard unless told not to. That's not the same as "scan every packet" at all. But it does follow the policies we have for lots of other stuff, i.e. that sellers do have some responsibility for their product.

    As a society, we believe that alcohol and cigarettes are damaging for minors. We can't watch little Johnny every moment of every day, so we have laws to prevent the sales of alcohol and cigarettes to him. It doesn't work perfectly - Johnny is bound to get hold of alcohol somewhere else if he really wants - but it does lessen the threat, and is a general reflection of our society's views.

    Well, our society also has views about exposing minors to sex and porn - and god knows there's some nasty old sh*t out there on them interwebs, and some nasty old pervs too. And since these days the internet is pretty much everywhere, it does seem to me we need to at least ask about what we could do.

    1. Restricted Access

      RE: Meanwhile, back in the 21st century...

      > Virtually all phones - including bog standard ones - now have internet connections

      So install a parental control and net nanny app on the phone. Although I believe telcos already default to filtering content to be teen-safe (i.e. you can't visit gambling sites on your phone) unless you explicitly request for it to be turned off and verify your age by providing credit card details... at least, that was the case when I joined T-Mobile.

      > I was under the impression that one of the ideas was to ask providers to tag their content to a standard, so that browsers could filter based on that standard unless told not to.

      Why does this need to be government mandated when there are plenty of products out there in the world that already do just that?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

      That assumes that all children should and do have a mobile. Perhaps this assumption that they absolutely need one is part of the problem. There are certain things that are age restricted as you yourself have mentioned, and perhaps mobile phone ownership and use ought to be added to the list. IIRC there was a concern that children could harm their own health by using mobiles when they're below a certain age, so restricting mobile phone usage by children would seem a more prudent course of action than interfering with everybodies internet connection.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Well, there's an uncommonly thoughtful response in a sea of knee-jerk reactions.

      Censorship is bad. Breaking the internet's design is bad (where do the net-neutrality folks stand on the filtering out of porn-providers' content?).

      Promoting standards which add meta-data to content so that a client-side filter can stop me and mine seeing things I don't care for, is good.

    4. Graham Marsden

      "we need to at least ask about what we could do."

      Yes, but that involves people *taking responsibility* instead of saying "Oh dear, I don't like this, I wish someone else would do something because I don't know how/ can't be bothered to learn how/ don't want to know how because someone else should do it for me"...

      As I've said in the past, I run a site selling Leather Bondage Gear, but my site is registered with Net Nanny, Cyber Sitter etc and has "Adults Only" and 18+ tags so that anyone who *chooses* to install and activate filters can block it.

      Unfortunately there are those who think that we should *all* be treated as children and that the filters should be on *unless* we switch them off.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Thumb Up

        @Graham Marsden

        "As I've said in the past, I run a site selling Leather Bondage Gear, but my site is registered with Net Nanny, Cyber Sitter etc and has "Adults Only" and 18+ tags so that anyone who *chooses* to install and activate filters can block it."

        So in point of fact as one of the *providers* of some of the sort of stuff that little Tonquil and Jocasta *might* be traumatised by you make *every* effort to ensure they can't get to you in the first place (provided mummy and daddy cared enough to set up the software on their PC) and if they do they have a pretty good idea that they will see something not viewed as appropriate for viewers under 18 (or thereabouts depending on your location).

        "Unfortunately there are those who think that we should *all* be treated as children and that the filters should be on *unless* we switch them off."

        Yes that seems *exactly* the attitude they are adopting.

        You'd never think the internet was designed from day 1 for adult use only. All the core sites were either government funded research labs or universities. No minors allowed.

        I've seen responses from computer types and parents but it's rare to see posts from someone involved in *supplying* adult content, even something most people would view as fairly innocuous (depending on the level of description of course).

        I suspect a lot of the "anti" group see you and other similar web masters as unconcerned about exposing children to such content, and viewing their little darlings as "future consumers."

        Which gives some idea of how much they *really* know about the people and sites they are protesting against.

        Thumbs up for going on the record, being up front and not hiding behind AC.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Mobile 'Phones'!

      Mobile phones are a reasonable way of keeping in touch with your kids at times when they are genuinely more at risk than sitting at home. Being picked up from a station, organizing a lift for a friend they are with, finding you when they get separated etc.

      Not letting you kid have a mobile phone is up to you, but I know which way I'd jump. However my emphasis is on PHONE.

      Giving them something that can show or download anything they want and which is effectively an open sewer is not sensible.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mobile 'Phones'!

        And I'd argue that much of that danger is probably in the imagination of the parents. In general terms I get the impression that a mobile would be as much use as the CEOP button on Facebook would have been to people using that site when it comes to ensuring safety.

        How many violent attacks against children have you heard of? How many of those would have been prevented by having a mobile to hand? And for that matter how many of those were ones where the presence of a mobile phone actually helped encourage the violence when somebody else decided they wanted the phone for themselves?

        As for getting seperated knowing what to do without phones is not rocket science. You simply agree where to meet if that happens. It happened to me on a few occasions when I was growing up, and a mobile phone was never needed.

    6. John Bailey

      Good example with the booze and fags. But...

      Little Johnny is not stopped by the law. An older mate can be cultivated, and if they ask enough people, someone is going to end up getting a few beers or a pack of cigarettes for him. Who hasn't been asked by some kid to buy something outside an off license.

      Little Johnny is stopped by the punishment he will get from mum or dad if caught, or he is stopped by the knowledge that such things are bad for him at such a young age, which is something a good parent will have made him aware of. Not by "It's illegal".

      If you have to block anything, you have already lost. And forbidding with no explanation makes it all the more enticing.

      When you have finished child proofing the world, how do you then world proof the child?

  22. a_c_g_t

    Round & round it goes

    The solution is clear if there's a desire in this free market economy for a child safe internet. Instead of getting current ISP's via legislation and law to restrict access.

    The truly free capitalist way is to create a new ISP who's 1 singular aim is to turn every webfilter on and create a smoothed edge garden for the kids end of then see what the take up is.

    Then those parents who wish a child friendly internet can sit and play in safety. However at this moment in time it's more annoying than going to the pub where they allow kids in the bar then frown when I accidently swear too loud at the football.

    Does my life always have to always revlove around the other peoples little darlings? When I am already webfilter/firewall and net nanny to my offspring code called Parent V1.0 installed at birth and managed to code them up to the age where they are not yet quite upgraded enough for Parent V1.0 to be fully removed.

    Big Yin I agree 100% my kids my resonsibility and f**k do I want more laws and nannying from a state that already has me CRB checked to the hilt not only stopping my freedom but the freedom of the next generation of net users to choose!

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Thumb Up


      "The truly free capitalist way is to create a new ISP who's 1 singular aim is to turn every webfilter on and create a smoothed edge garden for the kids end of then see what the take up is."

      I paraphrase but Ms Perry quoted in her speech a survey (sponsored by O2 IIRC) which claimed over 80% of parents were concerned their children were seeing inappropriate content (but could not work out how to do anything about it or could not be bothered).

      So you'd think *some* of the c450 landline ISP's would queuing up to offer this sort of peace-of-mind (at *very* reasonable prices given the *huge* supposed demand).

      Strangely I have not heard of *any* such package, even from one of the bit 6 who (again paraphrasing Ms Perry) hold >90% of the UK market and so logically should be able to offer this at *rock* bottom prices, if so minded. After all TOTC! (I think it lacks impact without the hysterical apostrophe at the end).

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BIG fat mum's

    "Mumsnet instantly swung its not inconsiderable weight .........."


  24. Cool Hand Luke

    I already have an internet filter and a TV filter, it's me.

    Although my little darling is only 2 years old I'm mindful of what she is exposed to on tv, internet etc.. At the moment she's not old enough to work out how to switch on the PC and got to but I make sure that I don't have anything on the tv or PC that I deem unsuitable for her.

    This includes when playing music, I keep away from those parental advisory tracks. I don't even watch movies when she's around, apart from guff like Ice Age or Shrek as she loves the colours.

    I don't go writing to Universal, et al to censor their movies becuase my daughter may hear swearing when watching the latest explosion fest from dumb movies r us or blog about music needing censorship when listening to the likes of NWA..

    As adults we have a choice. If I want to hear swearing and watch violence then I will chose to do so or not if it offends. Kids do need to be protected until the are old enough to understand and make their own minds up. That is down to the parents, no one else.

  25. Jeff 11
    Thumb Down


    It's now pretty much impossible to administer this in the era of mobile devices and open networks. Most phones, for instance, aren't even capable of filtering content. In a 2.4 children household, there can be numerous laptops and phones, most of which can connect to public wifi, mobile data and the home's own closed network. Good luck filtering all of those.

    And as well as this, as web moves more and more towards encrypted comms (e.g. https), adaptive filtering will become even more useless. And what about P2P?

    There's really no feasible technical solution for doing this, whatsoever, beyond preventing your kids from using the net, or supervising them when doing so. And there likely never will be.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: Actually

      > there can be numerous laptops and phones, most of which can connect to public wifi,

      Install a filter that sits between your WiFi and modem, and install parental tools on all devices.

      > mobile data

      Wrong, filtered by default. You have to opt-out of the filter.

      > the home's own closed network.

      Why would you be sharing things over the network that you wouldn't want your children to see?

      > And as well as this, as web moves more and more towards encrypted comms (e.g. https), adaptive filtering will become even more useless.

      There are companies which provide subscription lists that block on content, domain, protocol, and port levels that are constantly updated based on user experience, volunteers, paid surfers, and key-word checks. These tend to be over-zealous and can be extremely difficult to fool or circumvent.

      > And what about P2P?

      Three options:

      1 - Block it completely. Afterall, how much legitimate content is share over P2P? Easily done at the modem's firewall level and device level.

      2 - Have a policy where they have to request what they want to downloaded via P2P.

      3 - Designated a single device which you will monitor and take charge of.

      >There's really no feasible technical solution for doing this

      There are many but you appear to be too lazy to use any of them.

      1. Matthew Collier

        @RE: Actually


        All I have to say is, like f**k I can't control what goes out over my internet connection!! This *is* a tech site, with technically minded people, isn't it????

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge


        "There are many but you appear to be too lazy to use any of them."

        Pretty much the target group for Ms Perry and Safermedia then.*

      3. Peter 82

        no porn on phone unless asked for?

        I've not tried hard but getting "naugty pics" and even videos on my phone is easy and I didn't opt out of anything

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          RE: no porn on phone unless asked for?

          When you sign up to a network and confirm the owner/user is +18 they'll provide the service with the filter off. If the age of the user is unverified or < 18 then you'll be on the PG network which blocks the high profile gambling, porn, and warez sites. Sure, you can use Google Images, providing you turn off the parental filter.

  26. Dave 126 Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Would that be a...

    ...Mrs Trellis of North Wales?

    Paris- because you don't have an icon of the delightful Samantha.

  27. Naughtyhorse

    as any fule kno

    if you take all the porn off the net there will only be one site left...

    1. Whiny Parent
      Thumb Up


  28. Craig 12


    They crop up everywhere. WHY?!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I quite like mumsnet

      well, the idea of them anyway.

      These are the people who until the internet, were pretty muck locked away from the fray of the debate. Now they've discovered that being stuck at home *and* access the web is actually empowering.

      Unfortnately the sort of people who use it seem to be like sheep, bleating "think of the children".

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        In that case... could reverse-filter them.

        ISP shall be required to add meta-tags to any outgoing HTTP traffic from mumsnet members.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        shows how much (little!) you know

        a vociferous minory might wail 'Think of the Children' but you'd find the majority, while thinking of their children, are far more liberal in their views than some here may suggest, detest censorship, are happy to discuss sex and porn (though in the feminism section do wear an asbestos suit) and are far from "precious" in outlook.

        Also, I suspect the "stuck at home" aspect is in many peoples' imagination as the bulk of contributors (and despite the name, check the slogan) have a day job as well as using the web site. There are (fortunately) a far wider spectrum of posters than in this geeky, testosterone zone, and they can, for the most part, construct well-reasoned arguments, again unlike quite a number of contributors here, who appear to have few morals (and even fewer get chance to mix with women)

        1. Kaloki

          Have we met?

          As AC has said, the majority of Mumsnet users do not agree with the filter. Which is why MNHQ had to back down.

          I can see why it comes across that way, the normal chain of events is that a large group of users ask MNHQ to run a campaign and then the campaign happens. However this time, a large group of users said how stupid the plan was, and MNHQ ran a campaign without even running it by their users. It just suddenly made it onto the the campaigns page without even glancing at the campaigns forum within the site.

          So for all of you saying how stupid MN users are about this filter, they are arguing on the same side as you!!

  29. Phil Hare 2

    What the fuck are we all doing?

    Here we are, on a forum of technically minded people basically agreeing on the correct way of approaching a political issue. Whose voice is actually being heard? Those who, with all due respect, don't know what they're talking about.


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

      And if you actually want to contact your MP:

      All you need is your post code and it'll figure out who represents your area in parliament...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      but at least Mumsnet acknowledge it

      and are willing to modify their views in response to feedback.

      There's been plenty of "slagging off" (not by you Phil) of Mumsnet with some odd and completely wrong impressions, but Mumsnet are at least willing to acknowledge their limited technical knowhow and in the face of technical argument against this proposal, have clearly stepped back - yet almost no-one has applauded them for doing so !

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: but at least Mumsnet acknowledge it

        It would be even better if they thought about the feasibility of what they were asking for *before* they jumped on the bandwagon, especially when they should know by now that their support or lack thereof will be used by other people with their own aims in mind.

        But you're right - they've shown more humility and willingness to learn than your average MP...

  30. QuiteEvilGraham
    Thumb Down

    How's about

    If they want a safe "internet", they create their own?

    Call it the MUM/Ip stack. Your protocol, your rules.

    Otherwise what they are doing is the equivalent of walking into your house and criticising the colour of the curtains, carpet, objecting to the wallpaper, etc.

    They are a gang of dipshits. Fuck 'em.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      and for your next trick...

      Perhaps you should write to the Culture Secretary, Ed Vaizey with a similar view, ie go f*** yourself

      See how much impact it has ! NIL.

      Sad that years of education can develop to such blunt abuse.

      Hint - tell someone what you think of them - but in a polite way that is a perfect, unambiguous, put down, with no need to swear while you show how puerile and ridiculous they are.

      1. QuiteEvilGraham


        I'll bite.

        What you need to do is to write NOSWEAR/ip, so that you don't get exposed to language that you find vulgar.

        Or perhaps, contribute to a forum where you find the house rules more condusive to the sort of argument where the way a point is made is more important than the point made, MUMSNET, perhaps. Or the House of Commons.

        Or even better, appreciate the occasional ironic usage regarding an article about "acceptable" vis a vis how an opinion is expressed.

        Otherwise, not a bad ad hominem, albeit with a false postulate; why on earth would I write to Ed Vaizey in the terms you suggest?

        That said, the point still stands. Why do silly people expect that something that they don't understand should behave the way they want it to?

        Hint - it won't kill you to post under a login, unless you don't want people to join the dots.

  31. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Filtering DOESN'T work!

    When will people realise that filtering the internet doesn't work, they argue that mobile phones internet access is filtered and so kids can't access pron on there. Talk to any teenager and they will know how to get around the filter. Heck i hadnt tried to access pron form my phone before until today, went to and that was barred. Within a couple of mins of googling i found several site with hardcore pron that were not in the filter list that i could view without filtering.

    Im sorry but im not going to put up with an increase in the cost of my monthly internet bill to pay for this network level filtering nor is it a financially viable to let the government pay for a central filter when more essential government services are getting funding cut or even having to close completely.

    Also with filtering parents will believe little Johnny is safe to be left alone to do whatever they want on the internet without risk of finding porn and then they will kick off again when they realise little Johnny has been talking to a 50 year old pedo on Facebook because they assume that the gov and IPS are doing the parenting for them.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      "mobile phones internet access is filtered and so kids can't access pron on there"

      Kids MAKE porn on their phones. I'm not saying it's right or proper behavior. But it happens. For parents to stick their heads in the sand and pretend otherwise is just foolishness.

      Do you know why so many kids have seen porn? Because, shock horror, kids want to see porn. You can pretend that they don't, or that your kid doesn't ("my kid has never watched porn!"), but again, you are ignoring the reality.

      Now I'm not saying kids should always get what they want, but guess what, usually they do anyway.

      Just because you have to be 18 to watch people having sex, does not mean that you are necessarily going to wait until your 18th birthday. Kids aren't dumb, they break rules that don't make sense.

      The more you push to change their behavior, the more they push back and go the other way. It's human nature. Kids of a certain age are interested in sex, because EVERYONE is interested in sex. Otherwise, we wouldn't be here.

      So go ahead and (attempt) to impose your morals on YOUR kids. That's your right. But realise the reality - you will probably fail, and your kids will probably turn out just fine anyway.

      Talk to them as if they actually have a brain. Tell them that pornography is just like any other type of mindless self gratification, e.g. drugs (in certain situations). You can use it to enhance your life, or you can use it to destroy your life. The process of growing up involves learning that distinction for yourself.

      Without a small amount of danger or chaos in a child's life, they will be completely maladjusted. Nobody successful ever lived in a bubble.

      What I'm saying is; keep an eye on your kids and RELAX. Everything will be fine. Don't worry about it. Stress can and does kill. That goes for you and your kids. Chill out. Calm down. Have some fun once in a while. You need excitement in your life. You need to stop worrying about things you can't control.

      1. Cowardly Animosity

        @AC You win the internet

        Can we pass this advice on to all parents please?

  32. Anonymous Coward

    kicked around the table

    That's what they should be doing with these idiots.

  33. markl66
    Thumb Up

    Nice backdown

    I am super impressed with how they got off the bandwagon, politicians could learn a lot from that - well done!

  34. a_c_g_t

    Could someone at least

    Send me a csv list of all the pornsites that will be considered porn or harmful to those under the age of 18 and I will upload them to my favourites. Ooops I meant to say hardware firewall.

    I stand by the mantra of a free market economy. Someone please offer the mass's an ISP who's No1 aim is child filtered access and let those who whish the net to be safe can subscribe to that ISP end they can then have a playground with no sharp edges and leave net infrastructure to grow organically to the needs of the people using it, be that porn of indepth socioligical commentary.

    Although I don't condone all the porn on the net, the net is not a childs playground as much as the real world should not resemble the land of the tellytubies.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The sentence "We were hopeful that there could be a simple solution" along with the sentence "We hoped that putting all our records in a database would solve our problems" pretty much defines the kind of attitude to technology that will put you in a world of hurt.

    What surprises me is why anyone's suprised at those kinds of attitudes. Technology is marketed as solving all your issues so it comes as a real surprise to some people that technology doesn't so much get rid of problems as replace one set of problems with another set of problems.

    The only way to get rid of that kind of surprise is to encourage people to question new ideas in detail. Can't see politicians going for that, though.

  36. Minophis
    Thumb Up

    The real reason for the backtracking

    The Daily Mash has found the true reason byhind Mumsnet backtracking on pr0n fiter.

  37. Kaloki

    A minor point

    Just wanted to point a distinction. Mumsnet HQ were the ones supporting this, Mumsnet members have (in the majority of cases) been against it from the start. Unfortunately their voices were ignored.

    I was one of those people. And can safely say I've only seen two people arguing for it on the forums there, they do not in anyway represent the majority of MN users.

  38. lowrib

    There are geek mums too you know

    Um, are you guys aware that mums use computers too? (Some of us are even quite good at it and might actually , y'know, understand the issues raised here. Some of us are even employed in IT. I know - what is the world coming to? Women who can think for themselves - shocking).

    As a both a regular Register reader and Mumsnetter who is way more geek than apple-pie I find this pretty offensive: "what followed was every apple-pie mom’s worst nightmare.... the geeks rose up, mounting a concerted attack on mumsnet’s support for this idea"

    I suppose I should thank the geeks for coming and rescuing us poor damsels in distress then?!

    Oh wait a minute though - though, that's not how I remember it happening in reality.

    There was a concerted effort to get the mumsnet HQ to drop their support for this ill-thought out campaign. But it came from within - I was one of many regular posters who objected loudly to this, and pointed out the flaws to all who'd listen.

    While we welcome support from anyone who can see what a stupid idea this is, the idea that us mums needed a bunch of people to come save us is laughable.

    And apple-pie? Ha! I've been called a geek many times in my life, but apple pie? Are you serious?

    You've obviously never set foot in mumsnet. What lazy journalism.

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