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Far from analyzing all online images, Rimm had looked solely at adult bulletin boards and the alt.binaries hierarchy of newsgroups, places where adult content was prevalent (Hoffman and Novak, 1995a; Mullin, 1996).

Less than a month later, two marketing professors at Vanderbilt University wrote a lengthy critique of the study that threw its results into question. The government argued the legitimacy of the “contemporary community standards” measure of indecency by citing previous cases, namely (1986), which upheld zoning laws keeping adult businesses such as cinemas and porn shops out of residential neighborhoods [3].

This paper examines moral panics over contemporary technology, or “technopanics.” I use the cyberporn panic of 1996 and the contemporary panic over online predators and My Space to demonstrate links between media coverage and content legislation.

My Space and online predators My Space privacy The Deleting Online Predators Act Is this a moral panic? The article was precipitated by a new study released by Carnegie Mellon, one of the premiere computer science schools in the country.

Critically examining the claims Conclusion magazine published a photo of a horrified child on their cover with the tagline “ Cyberporn: A new study shows how pervasive and wild it really is. The study found that 83.5 percent of online images were pornographic, and that adult material available online was more extreme and problematic than its print and video equivalents (Rimm, 1995). Congress was in the process of debating the Communications Decency Act (CDA), an amendment to the Telecommunications Act which made it a federal crime to make pornographic materials available online where children could view them.

The magazine story spawned a nation–wide media interest in the topic and the CDA passed the Senate 84–16.

The Telecommunications Act, including the Exon Amendment, was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996.

[1] James Exon had come under attack by civil libertarians and free speech activists for authoring the Communications Decency Act, which was widely criticized for violating the First Amendment and limiting Internet speech.

The CDA, also known as the “ Exon Amendment,” would have imposed a fine or up to two years in jail on any person who: ...

The day after the issue was published, Iowa Senator Charles Grassey directly referred to the Rimm study on the floor of the U. Grassley had read the Eighty–three point five percent of all computerized photographs available on the Internet are pornographic. President, I want to repeat that: 83.5 percent of the 900,000 images reviewed — these are all on the Internet — are pornographic, according to the Carnegie Mellon study.

Now, of course, that does not mean that all of these images are illegal under the Constitution.

knowingly (A) uses an interactive computer service to send to a specific person or persons under 18 years of age, or (B) uses any interactive computer service to display in a manner available to a person under 18 years of age, any comment, request, suggestion, proposal, image, or other communication that, in context, depicts or describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards, sexual or excretory activities or organs, regardless of whether the user of such service placed the call or initiated the communication.

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