ACL: Hypocritically Filtering Factual Debate

Amidst the entire controversy surrounding the possibility of mandatory internet filtering in Australia, we have all come to know the two main advocates of the policy – Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL).

I have previously commented on their ability to censor the debate to suit their own needs, and it looks like they are at it again – with yet another example of choosing to not approve comments that deliver a point of view that might be devastating to the points they have raised in their article.

In the article in question, the ACL are urging new shadow communications spokesperson, Malcolm Turnbull to apply some “facts” when dismissing the mandatory internet filtering proposal.

Of course, they have every right to express their view, but when they start dismissing “facts” themselves, by not even allowing them to be presented in the comments against the article, I smell burning hypocrisy.

I speak of a comment I submitted in relation to the continual pushing of the “one seventieth of a blink of an eye” argument – where filter supporters claim that any such filter would only slow down the internet by that tiny sliver of time. Here is a screen shot of the comment as I posted it, at around 3:30pm on Sunday, September 19th, 2010:

For the purposes of this comment being indexed, here is what I wrote:

The so-called “1/70th of a blink of an eye” – (a number which I would dispute) – would be referring to a single transaction, a single request for data on the internet.

Do the ACL understand just how many of these “1/70th of a blink of an eye” transactions happen on the internet simultaneously? The number is almost incalculably high.

Add all of these “1/70th of a blink of an eye” transactions together at a contention point – (such as a device used to implement this ridiculous filtering policy) – and I can assure you, you’ve got more latency than a mere “1/70th of a blink of an eye”!

However, given the new parliament has formed without the numbers to pass this non-existent legislation, the point is completely moot anyway.

There you go – no abusive comments, no personal attacks, just a careful presentation of what many people working in the internet community – (myself included) – know to be true. Given the breakdown of numbers in the new parliament, the last line of my comment is also completely accurate.

But it completely decimates their argument – so they’ve apparently chosen not to approve the comment, so exactly who is employing a “fact filter” on the discussion?

How could any reasonable person take an organisation seriously, who arbitrarily chooses to distort the argument by refusing to allow contrary opinions to be made against their argument? This is not the only current example of ridiculousness available on their website.

For example, take this article currently available in their Victorian ACL section – (screen dump in case they pull it down):

And I quote from the first comment they have APPROVED against this article:

“Homosexuality is not a race or religion but a choice. it is a practice proven to shorten life and it was the source of AIDS, the worlds largest STD killer.”

Homosexuality is “proven to shorten life”? I mean, seriously – where the hell did they come up with that one? I would love to see the science behind that thoroughly offensive statement.

That they can “approve” a comment like that – (an effective endorsement of its content) – yet refuse to publish my straight down the line factual comment, proves just how out of touch this organisation is with mainstream Australian thinking. On the basis of the above example alone, I could never attribute any credibility to any comment or content the ACL produces.

Let alone allow their 18th century thinking to apply to any modern 21st century internet technology. Sorry ACL, but as long as you filter the discussion, you are irrelevant.