On Filters and Censorship in Australia

This post started out as an attempt to use WordPress’s new email feature. I was writing from early morning Mongarlowe in rural New South Wales when my Internet access froze and I managed to lose my email post! Events seemed appropriate given the topic of this post.

Two posts in recent days have caught my attention in the discussion of the proposed filter (censorship) of Internet content in Australia. The first was by Josh Mehlman on the ABC’s Drum Unleashed entitled Filter opponents: change tactics or fail. The second was by Senator Kate Lundy Further thoughts on the filter. Both posts have drawn a large amount of comments and discussion (Josh’s post has 126 comments at the time of writing this post and Senator Lundy 118 comments).
I thought Josh’s post was insightful and informative and exemplified some of the exciting space available to contributors to The Drum. I thought Senator Lundy’s post was an impressive synthesis of discussions stimulated by her first post on the filter (censorship). I think she has displayed enormous courage in stimulating the debate an exploring her own position on these matters in a blog that has the subtitle Taking Australia forward with openness and vision.

Both posts encouraged me to think about a non zero sum solution to filtering and censoring. I wondered if the debate could acknowledge the diversity of views without creating folk devils and moral panics. What if we could accommodate each other? What if opting in and opting out were indicators of an informed, sensitive society that celebrated openness in a world that needs our connectedness?
I am off to reread Josh’s post to reflect on his advice about advocacy and then on to Seth Simonds’ post Bye with a Warmly Huggs to learn more about pitching.


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