The medium is not the message

Posted by jerry on March 15th, 2007 — Posted in Journal, New media

In a classic error of form being conflated with content, it seems there is a proposal in the UK to ban phone masts from church rooftops – because new generation phones can access the internet and the internet might transmit pornographic images!

Church phone masts - the Telegraph

Of course this was relayed in a news medium that references some rather early electronic telecommunication systems – the Telegraph…

I wonder how long it will take the Anglican Church to realise that neither service providers, nor basic infrastructure providers are responsible for content on the internet. It also ignores the valuable service provided by mobile phones – in an era when public phone booths (landline) are fast disappearing from our streets. How then would an emergency phone call be made?

It also ignores the 2006 content analysis that showed that pornography is only a very small part of the web content – about 1%, which is about the same as the amount of Government information online. And do people really search that much for adult content? Actually only about 6% of searches. So the web is quite staid really. The study was conducted by Philip Stark – Professor of Statistics at University of California at Berkeley.


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