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The comments are reproduced as received; only some minor spelling and punctuation errors have been corrected. -- Editors
- Date: Fri Nov 1 09:59:10 PST 1996
- Date: Fri Nov 1 10:58:27 PST 1996
- From what I gather some portions of it are disgusting.
- Date: Fri Nov 1 12:42:52 PST 1996
- It is the universe, thus the reason for no censorship ever!!!
- Date: Fri Nov 1 13:02:44 PST 1996
- The Internet, and Usenet, transcend all prior definitions of
community. This is why it is inappropriate to exercise any form of
censorship or content controls. There are no borders for the Internet,
so should material be limited to what only the majority deems
acceptable? The U.S. has a long held and deep conviction that in a
democracy, minority views have to be voiced. This is just as true in
deciding what is appropriate Internet content as it is with political
views, though I would argue that topics such as pornography ARE
political in nature. In the global Internet, there must be room for
thoughts, ideas, material, that is not agreeable to the majority. So,
while I may believe that it is wrong for parents to have any form of
sexual contact with their child, other cultures believe that it is a
parent's duty to teach their child through direct experience. Both
views are valid to each of us, and both should be expressed. It is the
reader who must decide what THEY believe. As a parent, it is MY
responsibility to supervise my child's use of the Internet and Usenet.
All I ask is that the tools I use support labels such that I can
exercise my parental judgement.
- Date: Fri Nov 1 15:08:16 PST 1996
- The Internet's community is the union of individual community
standards. For example, child pornography would be universally
considered pornographic by the Internet community, but mere nudity
- Date: Sat Nov 2 13:58:35 PST 1996
- Good damn question!
- Date: Sat Nov 2 15:05:45 PST 1996
- A bunch of slobbering sex-fiends, apparently. :)
- Date: Sat Nov 2 15:53:00 PST 1996
- It is something novel.
- Date: Sat Nov 2 23:11:57 PST 1996
- All reasonable efforts should be made to protect minors from even
"slightly" objectionable materials. The rest of us are adults. You
cannot even begin to apply "global" community standards. Think about
it. The Internet IS global.
- Date: Tue Nov 5 01:00:32 PST 1996
- The people using Internet.
- Date: Tue Nov 5 02:22:18 PST 1996
- Every country has their own "community." You can't just make one
single law for the whole Internet. If you take every little country
into account and remove material that every little group of people
dislikes, there's really no information left on Internet. If you come
across adult material, then it is because you were searching for adult
material. You just don't step on it. It is up to the information
provider to make sure that it doesn't break the local
policy/rules/laws. It is more a question of reputation than a question
- Date: Tue Nov 5 05:54:50 PST 1996
- Sorry, there are multiple communities here! Asking about the
`community' that is the Internet is as meaningless as asking about
the `Community of Pennsylvania.'
- Date: Tue Nov 5 09:21:33 PST 1996
- Everyone who uses the Net. We are all part of the global `community.'
- Date: Tue Nov 5 10:37:30 PST 1996
- Its "subscribers" -- varies with each Web server.
- Date: Tue Nov 5 10:58:34 PST 1996
- The community is those that choose to access the pages after being
informed of their content. The community that accesses a Web site can
be a very small part of a very large group of people.
- Date: Tue Nov 5 11:57:19 PST 1996
- The entire human race.
- Date: Tue Nov 5 14:29:32 PST 1996
- The Internet's "community" is the Internet. Anything goes. Censor what you look at, not what others say.
- Date: Tue Nov 5 16:14:22 PST 1996
- The world is the Internet community. What is pornography? Should be
an individual decision, and it is up to the individual to view or not
view what he considers pornography. If you find something offensive,
- Date: Tue Nov 5 17:04:48 PST 1996
- You tell me, and we'll both know.
- Date: Tue Nov 5 22:39:00 PST 1996
- The Internet's "community" is all of the people that choose to use
the Internet. The 'Net is like the TV, if you do not like what you see,
turn it off. The Internet is too big for one country to control.
- Date: Wed Nov 6 06:45:51 PST 1996
- There is no definable Internet community. What might be
objectionable to one community, would not be objectionable to another.
An example of this would be the Catholic community and the homosexual
community. My general take on this is that the IAP's or universities
should not be liable for any Usenet postings, and be liable for only
those Web pages that are illegal in nature (i.e. child porn or
maliciously coded pages). Corporations while not legally liable should
make every effort to restrict the use of the Internet by its
- Date: Wed Nov 6 07:02:12 PST 1996
- It's very difficult to accurately describe the Internet community.
Remember that the Internet spans such vastly different cultures as the
U.S. (law abiding, high moral, freedom), Russian culture (it's a
tradition to try and double cross another in an agreement)
Chinese (dont't mistake the Chinese culture for communism), the Middle
East, Arabian world (keep the women on a leash). I'd rather say that
the individual must be held responsible for his actions. An ISP should
not be held responsible for what a customer publishes on his/her Web
pages/Usenet postings/whatever. The problem is that different countries
have different laws. While one pornographic image may be legal in the
Netherlands, it may be a hanging offense in Singapore. Should the
person in charge of a Singapore ISP hang for what may be carried on his
lines? Internet censorship is a contradiction in terms. People have to
be able to decide what they should read and raise their kids properly so
that they don't have to worry about them viewing illegal (in which
country?) material. People must be able to take care of themselves,
and not demand that government agencies protect their eyes and ears
from "dangerous pornography." If they don't want it, don't view it.
There are a lot of situations similar to this in daily life. Consider,
nobody expects the government to make sure you don't catch a cold in
the winter. It's up to the individual to dress sensibly. Also, nobody
expects to be protected from climbing trees and jumping to your own
death from the top. The freedom/anarchy of the Internet calls for the
individual to take a stand.
- Date: Wed Nov 6 19:32:07 PST 1996
- Date: Wed Nov 6 20:04:52 PST 1996
- There isn't.
- Date: Thu Nov 7 04:29:50 PST 1996
- That is a difficult question to address. Fisrt of all we "ALL" are a
member of the "American" community. There may be some groups within
that community that may disagree with some types of content. That is to
be expected. That is not a valid argument for any type of censorship. A
warning pre-link should be sufficient on content that is of an adult
nature or racial nature. This being said, the "Internet Community" is
much larger than just the USA. each country should address this in the
same way they should or leagaly wish under their current legal
- Date: Thu Nov 7 13:14:49 PST 1996
- The entire world. The entire world should be required to vote on
each item claimed as pornographic.
- Date: Thu Nov 7 13:45:49 PST 1996
- The majority of people online are decent hard working people who
want to use the Internet for information, pleasure, and business. We
should not have to put up with offensive sexual or political propaganda
just as we do not tolerate such material in all other aspects of our
lives. Remember "No man is an island" we all depend on each other for
the quality of our lives.
- Date: Thu Nov 7 14:15:54 PST 1996
- A collection of people who have a right to information and are
willing to take responsibilty for whatever information content they
- Date: Thu Nov 7 18:10:37 PST 1996
- Anybody who can access the material in question, if of the legal
(or majority) age in their original country and can be considered
- Date: Fri Nov 8 09:26:58 MET 1996
- Community is the people who would observe the content of the pages
just as they would if the acts or demonstrations were in the public
square or school auditorium. Fortunately the security of servers can be
better regulated on the Internet. It's interesting to see that
pornographers often protect themselves ("self censoring") by promoting
"Internet nanny" and "Web watch" programs, and requiring payment ID.
Guidelines would allow a moderator to decide rather than a committee
for each complaint. "Reasonable" attention should be given to hold
server owners responsible for dangerous content...but unless clear
complicity is proven, their responsibility should be limited.
Originally "free speech" was sought to force reasonable communication
when oppressive domination was used to hide intellectual bankruptcy.
These oppressive forces sought to dominate a dependent lower class. Now
"free speech" is used to give dominant power to prurient
demonstrations. Their purpose is not to build reason but to captivate
and dominate with natual dopamine just like a drug dealer "gives" his
wares to build a dependent clientele.
- Date: Fri Nov 8 12:43:40 PST 1996
- It's users.
- Date: Fri Nov 8 16:18:09 PST 1996
- I do not think there is a definition for this one. The Internet
community is the world.
- Date: Sun Nov 10 03:56:09 PST 1996
- The world. Since there is no "world community standard" small
groups or individuals or governments that object should not have the
right to tell the rest of the world what to do. And furthermore, I
doubt that governments have the technical expertise to keep
"objectionable material" off of the Net. People would probably start
their own Net.
- Date: Sun Nov 10 15:08:02 PST 1996
- The government cannot dictate morality. If people see something
they consider objectionable, then they should move on anf avoid that
area of the 'Net. Just like cable TV -- no one makes you watch certain
channels...they may be there to choose from, but your choices are your
- Date: Mon Nov 11 08:52:32 PST 1996
- I think they intend the physically local community...although that
seems impractical. Is there really anyone out there who is unaware of
what pornography is? There may be people who want pornographic material
to remain available, but they certainly know that it is pornographic.
Will the Internet be another place to make the system work for you by
exploiting the ineffectiveness of language, or will the Internet
Community (globally) come to a consensus on what is meant and abide by
the wishes of the majority, taking steps to make clear what's contained
before access when content may be objectionable according to that
consensus? Do we or do we not have an obligation to respect the rights
of those who do not want to indavertently view such material?
...On children, when do parents take responsibility for what their
children will and won't do? Hiding the ugly parts of the world from
children does not "raise" them to be prepared for discerning/choosing
for themselves as they grow up....it only leads them to take anything
that's available on faith. When do we get off controlling everything
around us and start taking responsibility for preparing our children to
participate in this abundantly diverse world?
- Date: Mon Nov 11 17:15:25 PST 1996
- It's so vague its meaningless.
- Date: Mon Nov 11 22:48:47 PST 1996
- Both worldwide, and individual. All of us must decide what is right
for each of us, and realize that that same standard may not be
applicable to everyone else.
- Date: Tue Nov 12 15:22:20 PST 1996
- It is a self-regulating global community. I think some of your
answers are only two dimensional. There are other alternatives beside
the ones you list. A responsible ISP, corporation, etc., should contact
the owner of the objectionable material first and apprise them of the
situation. Failure to comply may result in removing the pages but...at
least the owner decides the course of action for you. There is no need
to play "censor."
- Date: Wed Nov 13 01:33:28 PST 1996
- People shouldn't make such a big deal about porno or `questionable
content' on the Internet. Think of the Internet as a big city: If you
want to find porno, fine, you know where to find it. On the other hand
if you want to find technical manuals you know where to find them. So
if you don't want to see porno well *DON'T LOOK FOR IT!!!!!!!* I think
that analogy works quite well (except you don't have any danger of
getting robbed or beaten if you go to the `questionable' areas (at
least not yet)).
- Date: Wed Nov 13 11:00:22 PST 1996
- IMHO "The World."
- Date: Wed Nov 13 13:21:53 PST 1996
- The world.
- Date: Fri Nov 15 23:42:54 PST 1996
- The South African government tried to put `group rights' in an
early draft of the new constitution, but it was quickly recognized as
an attempt to have self-appointed spokespeople (politicians, clergy, or
other trouble-makers) claim that they represent the ideas of some
group and try to give their views greater weight. `Community standards'
sounds like a similar term. It is up to each individual to decide what
material is objectionable. The Internet and computers help give
individuals the power to exercise these choices for themselves, and not
have someone else make these choices for them.
- Date: Sat Nov 16 16:15:49 PST 1996
- The entire world...in which the diversity of standards should
apply; i.e., be careful how you apply this or we could end up with the
religious community standards being that anything not Islamic is
- Date: Mon Nov 18 09:03:32 PST 1996
- The community standards are those that that the involved ISP,
college, or other hosting service want to attract and be represented
by. They should be free to refuse to establish acceptable use policy
and to refuse to provide service to any publisher of material which
does not conform. The publisher is free to voice any opinion or publish
any content they want to on a provider which does not object to it, but providers should be able to decide what kind of content is welcome at
- Date: Tue Nov 19 09:25:49 PST 1996
- There is no such thing. The best community I can think of, is the
state of the maker of the page.
- Date: Tue Nov 19 11:01:33 PST 1996
- A cross section of the WWW's users.
- Date: Tue Nov 19 22:23:41 PST 1996
- The world. Anybody and everybody with access to the Internet. It is
impossible for me to keep up with the volumn of postings on just the
one newgroup alt.sex.pictures. That says a lot about what people want
in the way of "adult" material. They want it! That IS the standard!
Also, the standard is if a person doesn't like a particular newsgroup
or Web site, just simply don't go there. It really offends me to think
that I would be denied the opportunity to educate myself about whatever
I'm interested in. Let the information flow. Way more good will come
than harm. Thanks for listening.
- Date: Wed Nov 20 03:17:50 PST 1996
- Not applicable. U.S. moral and community standards are hypocrithic.
- Date: Wed Nov 20 08:52:35 PST 1996
- The Internet community is anyone that can connect, so that would
be world standards.
- Date: Wed Nov 20 10:43:56 PST 1996
- The Internet is a collection of separate communities, not directly
related to any physical communities. They have their own methods for
enforcing community standards and in general national government law
enforcement should take a hands-off approach.
- Date: Wed Nov 20 13:06:40 PST 1996
- I don't know exactly what it is, but it is not simply the local
municipality in which a "browser" is located. In other words, if
someone in Mississippi objects to information they request from a
server in New York, the data owner should not be prosecuted in
- Date: Thu Nov 21 05:00:53 PST 1996
- The U.S. Supreme Court shouldn't try to figure out what the
"community standards" for the entire world are.
- Date: Thu Nov 21 07:34:16 PST 1996
- The community is the whole world or everyone that has access. The
supreme court should reconsider their ruling.
- Date: Thu Nov 21 14:11:53 PST 1996
- Good question. Community standards are also used in Canada for the
same reason. Canadian "community standards" may not be that different
than American ones, but if you consider the Internet to be global, then
you have to look at standards in nations such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, or
even some of the European countries. Also, what is suitable for adults
to view (according to North American community standards) may not be
suitable for children.
- Date: Sun Nov 24 15:32:53 PST 1996
- The Internet is a global community and the individuals and
organizations that it consists of run the gamut from the Christian
right to libertines, and no local jurisdiction has the right to
prosecute individuals or organizations because content in San Francisco
offends the sensibilites of a ambitious prosecutor in East Muleshoe,
New Hampshire. Internet law will have to be handled by a organization
such as Interpol who will need to set global standards for conduct on
- Date: Sun Nov 24 18:50:04 PST 1996
- The World.
- Date: Mon Nov 25 00:58:52 PST 1996
- The People who use it. We all are!
- Date: Tue Nov 26 19:27:05 PST 1996
- Schools, colleges, and organizations.
- Date: Wed Nov 27 05:10:29 PST 1996
- All people on Internet, all over the world
- Date: Wed Nov 27 07:15:18 PST 1996
- The world.
- Date: Fri Nov 29 15:36:10 PST 1996
- The Internet's community is GLOBAL, and therefore the U.S. Supreme
Court under the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constution has no
- Date: Sat Nov 30 07:25:15 PST 1996
- Each person on it, individually. It makes no sense to me that some
government agency could censor Internet pornography yet allow
bookstores on the street, public advertising, and even television to
purvey it. Governments should not be in the business of controlling how
people communicate. An Internet provider can legitimately censor
newsgroups and Web pages because it serves a particular audience. If
someone wants material not available on one provider, they can easily
arrange to get another (At least in much of the free world).
- Date: Sat Nov 30 14:11:09 PST 1996
- The only communuty I can define is the "world user base." Any
lesser definition does not include all that could view the material.
- Date: Tue Dec 10 11:25:14 PST 1996
- It is a conglomeration of every community in the world, plus some of its own.
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