Sunday, October 28, 2007

Admin: Graphic and violent sexual content

Recently there have been a number of responses that include graphic and violent sexual content. This is particularly upsetting as the content is in relation to a child. These responses have been deleted.

I will make this quite clear; such content is not welcome on this blog and will be deleted. The posting guidelines will be updated to ensure everyone is aware of this policy. Repeat offenders will be reported to their ISP.

Not only is such content upsetting to many people including myself, it is also fraught with potential legal problems. As publisher of this blog, I am legally responsible for content and I will not allow others to compromise my position. Please don't spout "freedom of speech" and the Internet being a "wild west," I am not interested. There are forums that cater for those doctrines regardless of the law and normal standards of accepted decency, this is not one of them.

There is another aspect to consider. This blog covers a wide range of subject matter and because of that, it is often accessed by high schools. The very nature of some of the topics means that sexual content is sometimes unavoidable, but there is no need for graphic, gratuitous descriptions.

To give you an idea of how I feel about this issue, back in August, I posted a United Nations report on sexually abused women in Cote D'ivoire. Although it was a UN report and theoretically I should not have altered the content, I deleted a description that I thought was too graphic and unnecessary. I replaced the deleted content with a short statement, "I deleted a graphic description".

Many thanks in advance for your co-operation.

Mike Hitchen