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- To: "Mailingliste FITUG-debate" <email@example.com>
- Subject: Fwd: Ratings
- From: "Gunnar Anzinger" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Tue, 17 Dec 96 17:30:57 +0100
- Comment: This message comes from the debate mailing list.
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>From: "Michael Sims" <email@example.com>
>Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 10:27:27 -0400
Let's face it, the rhetoric about "multiple, customizable, ratings
systems to suit an individual's preferences" is bologna. Those who
support PICS but think its *uses* are bad are arguing for all the
great uses of guns, such as shooting out door locks, opening the
shells and using the gunpowder to start fires, signaling to rescue
planes when you're stranded in the wilderness, etc., while closing
your eyes to the fact that guns are intended to kill things. PICS,
and all of its derivatives, are intended to censor. If you support
censoring, you should support PICS. If not, not. It's that simple.
There's going to be one ratings system. It's going to be supported
by major corporations [you insert names here...]. And instead of
all the various censoring groups establishing their own preferential
ratings (The Christian Coalition Ratings System, The Right-To-Life
Ratings System, whatever...), they will put pressure on RSACi to
support "their" values. Not that RSACi really needs any pressure to
support a "American Christian" point of view, but its ratings will
get more restrictive over time, not less. Once the christian groups
realize that there's a system they can pressure, support, institute
as a default, they will do so. Public libraries NEED to have
filtering software installed to protect the CHILDREN from harmful
thought. Schools? Those PTA meetings are GREAT for showing support
for the CHILDREN and FILTERING software.
And of course, Microsoft is supporting this. Microsoft doesn't
follow standards, they create them. Why would MS want to support 20
ratings systems in their bloatware, when they can code in support
for one, and MAKE that one the primary choice? If anyone can make
this work, it's Microsoft. I doubt they will institute RSACi as
default for now. Give too much ammunition to Netscape. They need
to capture a greater market share for IE, get more sites rated under
RSACi. It's a snowball thing. The more sites that rate, the more
people will use the system. The more people that use it, the
greater incentive to rate. As soon as the marketing execs start
coming in saying "We're losing 5% of our market because our site
isn't rated", all of the commercial sites wil rate like *that*. And
once there's a significant rating base out there, MS can come out
with it enabled, combined with a nice ad campaign and everything.
Win95 - the "family" OS.....
And from there, hey, what's left? I mean, why do you "surf the net"
anyway? To buy product, right? It's the home shopping channel,
squared! Commercials come on during Oprah? Flip to WebTV, hit up
the Victoria's Secret site for a few minutes. All of the major
marketers will be interlinked in their corporate family. Start
following links between Proctor and Gamble's sites and you'll die of
old age before you see them all. Or before you see a link that
LEAVES a P&G site.
I'll wind down my rant, but it's something to consider.
Corporations run the US, and they will run the internet as well.
(Yes, they run it, but they will _run_ it to boot.) If the
corporations feel that influencing content on the net is beneficial
to their bottom line, they will do so. Individual good (pursuing
profit) combining to form an overall evil (least-common-denominator
content). Major, major corporations already feel that controlling
the content presented to consumers is good for them. See Walmart,
Kmart, Blockbuster, many others. It's equally true for the web.
The biggest consideration in new blockbuster movies isn't what
exciting, innovative message they can present to viewers, but how
many spots can you plug Coke or other brand names before everyone
gets sick of it.
That's going to be the factor you run up against in the end. The
corporations have power. If every christian group in america tried
together to ban certain song lyrics, they probably wouldn't succeed.
When Walmart says "We don't like these lyrics", they're GONE.
Microsoft has fewer scruples than Walmart. Less of an agenda to
push, perhaps, but that's more because Gates isn't sure which road
leads to greater profit right now. When he decides, he'll let us
know, I'm sure.
-- Michael Sims
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