ABC’s HungryBeast commissioned McNair to poll 1000 Australians by telephone on whether they want mandatory internet censorship. Despite previous informal polling on December 15 2009 by the Sydney Morning Herald indicating 96% opposition to mandatory censorship…
…the HB/McNair poll indicated 80% in favour of mandatory censorship.
What could possibly account for this major backflip?
Or was there a backflip?
The ABC ran an online poll after the HungryBeast episode aired… and despite a poorly publicised poll, conducted late in the evening, got this result:
There was no public opinion backflip- HungryBeast simply made the mistake of crafting the polling questions based on Conroy’s muddled description of Refused Classification.
RC is NOT just child porn, nor is it only ‘illegal’ material, but Conroy would like you to believe it is. Conroy has repeatedly characterised RC as “the worst of the worst,” failing to mention that a fair chunk of RC is simply the politically inexpedient. If Conroy succeeds in fooling the public about what RC is- and so far he has been successful- he’ll get compliance or at least apathy from the public at large as regards implementing mandatory internet censorship.
The definition of RC is so poorly understood by the general public that any HungryBeast/McNair survey question that used the term ‘Refused Classification’ (like this one) can safely be dismissed as invalid. HungryBeast themselves fell victim to one of the biggest furphys about the censorship scheme (the opening gag in the HB bit was about one fellow going home for his midday wank)- that it’s about porn. Ordinary X rated porn will not be filtered.
Naturally, if a survey asks ‘Would you be in favour of mandatory filtering of child pornography’, you’re going to get 100% in favor of filtering. I’m actually a bit shocked that Hungrybeast/McNair only got 80% in favour of censorship, given the public’s poor understanding of all the materials RC covers.
RC is SO broad that even Google, which kowtowed to China’s demands for censoring search results, won’t comply with Conroy’s demand to remove RC videos from YouTube. Conroy even lied in a recent interview and claimed Google WOULD comply and that YouTube were somehow masters of ‘deep packet inspection’ when they do not use it at all.
It’s incredibly hypocritical of Conroy to moan out of one side of his mouth that anti-censorship advocates compare his plan to repressive filtering regimes in China and Thailand, but out of the other side to proclaim “[Google] have experience in blocking material in other countries at the behest of Governments, including China, Thailand and a number of other countries.” Can’t have it both ways, Senator.
Now, HungryBeast, if you want to really be enlightened- do another survey- and ask people what they think RC covers.
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