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ARE WE THERE YET?

There is much rejoicing amongst social conservatives in the wake of tech giant Google’s latest move against the adult entertainment industry.

Last month, Google announced it’s ad service would “no longer accept ads that promote graphic depictions of sexual acts including, but not limited to, hardcore pornography; graphic sexual acts including sex acts such as masturbation; genital, anal, and oral sexual activity.”

This website has no problem with Google’s decision.  The company is accountable to its shareholders – and the broader free market.  If it believes such a policy is best for its bottom line, then who are we to criticize it?

Social conservatives are thrilled.

“Setting aside any role for government and even religious overtones, can’t we just say that porn isn’t good for people, marriages or society?” one prominent social conservative told us recently.

That depends … if both partners in a marriage are on board with porn (be it consumption or production) we have a hard time saying it’s a bad thing.  And it’s certainly not something government should regulate.

But Google isn’t government …

“Google is arguably the most powerful corporation in the world, and in the online advertising space it is inarguably the behemoth,” writes Brandon McGinley in this excellent piece appearing in The Federalist .  “This move is a cultural censure of pornography more important than just about any legislation or court decision could ever be.”

McGinley’s piece contends that America may be approaching “peak porn,” with companies like Google “affirming what we desperately don’t want to be true, but suspect is true: porn is qualitatively different from other forms of digital entertainment.”

“This marks the first time in recent years that a corporation of such power and prestige has arrayed its forces against those of sexual liberation,” McGinley adds.

Interesting … and yet the pseudo-pornographic 50 Shades of Grey  is all the rage.

Statistics on porn usage – and acceptance – are inconsistent and often contradictory, which we believe highlights its duality as well as the compartmentalization of the human mind.  For example, there’s evidence to suggest regular porn users are among those who tell pollsters they find porn offensive – which we’re guessing is part circumstantial (i.e. time, place or manner) and part innate hypocrisy.

Who knows …

What we do know is this: In the world of “vice” – i.e. gambling, porn, prostitution, recreational drug use, etc. – it should always  be up to the marketplace and never  the government to dictate (beyond prohibitions relating to minors and non-consensual activities, anyway).

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