Digg Users Have Jumped the Shark

Many of you might have long since come to this conclusion, but this was the event the broke the camel’s back for me:

CNET recently posted about the federal government monitoring P2P traffic for kiddie-porn. Senator Joe Biden suggested that we start spending a lot more money on that project. I’ll admit that he does come off as a bit of a grandpa (suggesting that filtering should be easy because of file names…*roles eyes*), but otherwise, I thought the suggestion was perfectly reasonable. The idea that the government wouldn’t be spending a respectable percentage of my tax dollars to monitor the spread of kiddie porn online never occurred to me. Frankly, I expect that of my government. I like porn, but live-action kiddie porn is sick, damaging to those who participate, and shouldn’t be tolerated.

However, the Digg community seems to see the issue very differently. They seem to see any attempt to monitor P2P traffic as both frivolous, and infringing on their personal rights. I could understand if Biden had suggested this sort of action in an attempt to prevent music piracy. Apart from it being financially insignificant (about $1 per song, by iTunes prices; vast majority of which never gets near the actual artist anyway), it’s also possible to make a perfectly good living by using file sharing to your advantage (see Jonathan Coulton).

But, that’s not what this is about. The article said absolutely nothing about copyright violations. This is about cracking down on people who condone and gets off on watching little kids getting raped. Advocating child porn is not a frivolous crime, and should not be ignored or overlooked just because it’s difficult to deal with.

In fairness, I must admit that the part of the article that actually appears on Digg doesn’t say a single word about child porn. And thus, I could understand how many of the closed minded sheep at Digg might jump to the conclusion that an article about monitoring P2P traffic was about cracking down on copyright violation. In fact, one must come to that conclusion for some of the comments like “RIAA lobbyist. Treating /POSSIBLE/ copyright infringement like child porn.” I wish I could claim that that quote was a joke.

But, there were also people who actually did read the article, and were still providing negative commentary. The funding of one specialized governmental agency, charged with enforcing a single law (catching child pornographers) is being criticized because the people at Digg (not the government) are confusing kiddie porn with copyright violation…

There’s a simple answer to this: A tone was set by the introduction of the article, and any comment that supported that tone was dugg up, and anything that contradicted it was buried. No one mentions the simple fact that the IP address of anyone using a P2P service is public information. No one mentions that the government has been sifting through the web for child pornographers since the web was invented. No one mentions that it would be utterly retarded for the government to stop searching the web for child pornographers. No one mentions that the widespread use of static IP addresses has made that search significantly easier, and thus we might want to take advantage of it. Or, if it was mentioned, it was dugg down quickly. The sheep couldn’t tolerate the introduction of a decanting opinion, even if that opinion was significantly more informed than the “**** the RIAA” comments that had absolutely nothing to do with the article. All this, because the introduction of the article didn’t distinguish between copyright violation and kiddie porn…

I’m sorry, Digg, but you jumped the shark on that story. Monitoring P2P traffic is legal and should be expected when dealing this child rapists.

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