Extent of Opposition

Evidence of public opposition

There has been widespread public opposition to government plans to censor porn and make it a criminal offence to own material the government thinks is abhorrent..

On the
BBC website Craig Oliver, editor of the Ten O’Clock News
, reported that Rod McKenzie, editor of Radio 1 Newsbeat, “sent round an e-mail letting us know the text messages that some of the station’s listeners were sending in”. They included

  1. This is banning S&M
  2. Extreme net porn is staged and consensual, why ban it ?
  3. You can’t say what violence is in porn, where is the line crossed ? Is a porn star who’s not really up for it that day being treated violently ?
  4. What happens between consenting adults shouldn’t carry the risk of going to court.
  5. There’s nothing wrong with sexual experimentation S&M between consenting adults behind closed doors or online

A response we hadn’t entirely expected – and Denise Mahoney reflected it in her item on the Ten O’Clock News.

A poll on Channel 4’s website

This also showed massive opposition to the censorship proposals.
It asked “What do you think ?”

You’ve read some of the issues, so here’s your chance to let us know what you think about hard-core pornography.

Should hard core pornography be banned ?

No 81%

Unsure 4%

Yes 15%

Comments from a BBC journalist in November, requesting an interview

“Deborah Hyde came in before when we covered this story and we got one of our biggest text responses – most of them sympathising with your viewpoint.”

Sky News and BBC Radio 5

Interviewers on both Sky News and on Radio 5 live also said – live on air – the majority of callers were against the law.