I'm fighting porn censorship - support me on Patreon

Patreon update: we're up and running

Posted at 00:00 on 4 May 2016 by Pandora / Blake

First posted on Patreon, 4 May 2016. Patreon backers see these updates first; I add the posts to my public blog a month later.

We're up and running!

After launching this Patreon just a few weeks ago, amazingly we've already sailed past my first three milestones: 

  • $100 a month means I can now commit to writing two blog posts a month on topics relating to sexual freedom.
  • $300 a month means I can now promise at least one unpaid public speaking gig per month, allowing me to support groups and organisations that wouldn't have the funds to pay me, and speak to audiences who wouldn't otherwise hear me.
  • $800 a month (wow!) means I can now dedicate two full days a month to political lobbying, and working to make sure the voices of marginalised groups are heard at the highest levels.

We're now rapidly heading towards $2000 a month, which would first of all mean that I'd co-author an academic article with Zahra Stardust on UK and Australian porn law, and later allow me to commit a few days a month to following up on academic and media interest.

Keep reading »

Tags: Patreon update

0 comments | Leave a comment

Age verification: Privacy, surveillance and freedom of speech

Posted at 16:32 on 8 May 2016 by Pandora / Blake

Ceiling Cameron is watching you masturbate - by @wefail

Response to the Government consultation on Child Safety Online: Age Verification for Pornography

1: Evidence of harm

2: Sex education

3: Privacy, surveillance and freedom of speech

Freedom of expression is important and must be protected. The UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Frank La Rue, stated last year in his report on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression that "the right to freedom of expression includes expression of views and opinions that offend, shock or disturb". His report also noted that restrictions on access to information can have a "chilling effect", whereby individuals restrict their own activities in anticipation of being forced to comply, often over-estimating and censoring themselves far more effectively than if it were left to government enforcement. He concluded that restrictions on access to information online must be:

  • limited to exceptional circumstances
  • governed by law and a clear legal process
  • necessary and the least restrictive means required to achieve the aim.

The Open Rights Group has reiterated the importance of these principles; they limit the extent to which governments, businesses or others can limit the free access to information, whether through overzealous efforts to protect citizens, or more abusive attempts to control free access to information.

Keep reading »

Tags: age verification, AV consultation, censorship, child safety, freedom of speech, media, politics, porn, privacy, surveillance, young people

0 comments | Leave a comment

Age verification: Credit cards, classism and social exclusion

Posted at 13:36 on 11 May 2016 by Pandora / Blake

Why would anyone use an alias?

Response to the Government consultation on Child Safety Online: Age Verification for Pornography

1: Evidence of Harm

2: Sex education

3: Privacy, surveillance and freedom of speech

4. Credit cards, classism and social exclusion

Most methods of age verification assume certain privileges which marginalise and exclude adults on low incomes, those at risk of violence for whom it would be unsafe to share their passport names, and those in unstable accommodation.

The most common method for age verification, with currently available technology, is for the site visitor to enter their credit card details to confirm that they are over 18. This often operates as part of a paywall but can function separately, with the card details being checked but not actually charged. Age verification for online porn is already mandated on UK-based adult websites, with credit cards the only method of age verification accepted by ATVOD - and (since ATVOD folded in January 2016) by their parent body Ofcom, who have taken over sole regulatory responsibility. Debit cards are not considered acceptable proof that a porn site visitor is over 18 - in fact this was one of the gotchas under which my site was ruled against last year. 

Keep reading »

Tags: age verification, AV consultation, censorship, credit cards, Facebook, freedom of speech, media, politics, porn, privacy, surveillance, technology

0 comments | Leave a comment

Age verification: Problems with classification

Posted at 21:01 on 20 May 2016 by Pandora / Blake

Response to the Government consultation on Child Safety Online: Age Verification for Pornography

1: Evidence of Harm

2: Sex education

3: Privacy, surveillance and freedom of speech

4. Credit cards, classism and social exclusion

5. Problems with the existing classification system

The proposals assume a straightforward definition of “pornography” which is not workable in practice. During the second reading of the Online Safety Bill in the House of Lords Baroness Brinton argued that:

“A simplistic definition of pornography will cause immense problems in our courts. How do you define arousal and to what level of arousal - partial, full? Is that arousal the view of the average person on the Clapham omnibus, or should the definition cover the various fetishes that people may have? The famous film director Quentin Tarantino is a foot fetishist. There are a number of people who have assessed his use of bare feet in all his films. Clearly they arouse people with the said fetish.”

If a website calls itself “porn” or “erotica” but none of its contents depict nudity, staged violence or sexual acts - a foot fetish website is a perfect example - should it be categorised as a “sex work” for classification purposes? What harm could a young person possibly come to, looking at artistically lit videos of bare feet?

Keep reading »

Tags: age verification, AV consultation, AVMS, BBFC guidelines, British Fetish Film Festival, CPS, ethical porn, feminist porn, fetish porn, freedom of expression, freedom of speech, media, Myles Jackman, obscenity, politics, porn

1 comment | Leave a comment

My first month fighting for sexual freedom on Patreon

Posted at 18:19 on 23 May 2016 by Pandora / Blake

Last month, I launched my sexual freedom Patreon to crowd-fund my political activism - and just six weeks in, I've already shot past the first three goals and am closing in on the fourth. If you've become a Patron or shared the link with interested friends, THANK YOU.

What does this mean?

Your support so far means I am:

Keep reading »

Tags: age verification, DCMS, Liberal Democrats, Patreon update, politics, sexual freedom

0 comments | Leave a comment

The Sex Workers' Opera is back - bigger, braver and more powerful than ever

Posted at 17:08 on 25 May 2016 by Pandora / Blake

Since I last blogged about the Sex Workers Opera it has had two years to grow and develop under the direction of Siobhan Knox and Alex Etchart. I watched it last year at the Arcola Theatre; a longer run than its two-night debut in 2014, with new scenes and polish added. Since then, they have crowd-funded the budget for a bigger, better-rehearsed, more ambitious production - and they have also, incredibly, received Arts Council Funding; a fantastic validation by mainstream culture of a marginalised community production, and a useful boost in terms of perceived respectability, as well as being practically useful in providing much-needed extra cash. The cast and crew made incredible use of their budget, and as a result the show has significantly leveled up. Who knew that with adequate funding, artists could produce their best work? It's almost as if money made things easier.

It was, more or less, watching the Sex Worker's Opera - and picking up an invitation to sex worker breakfasts in the ladies loos - that got me involved in the sex worker activist community. Since then, I've organised with the Sex Worker Open University and the English Collective of Prostitutes; I've attended breakfasts and the poledancing class run by the same community enough times to form intimate friendships, although not as much as I would like. So this time, watching the Opera was a much more personal experience. I knew almost everyone on stage (and already had crushes on nearly all of them, which were made all the more acute by watching the sheer talent exhibited during the show) and consider many of them good friends. I felt like a proud sister, beaming with pleasure at the skill of the performance. As a sex workers rights activist I felt included in the solidarity and community that we were invited to witness among the cast members - in fact a clipping of my voice is used at one point in the performance, ranting passionately about the stupidity of the UK porn laws, so I really was, literally included. 

Keep reading »

Tags: gender politics, politics, review, sex worker rights, Sex Workers' Opera

0 comments | Leave a comment

« April 2016

June 2016 »

Browse archive

2016

Find Pandora online

Feminist porn

Spanking porn

Spanking blogs

Sex and Politics blogs

Toplists & directories