The Australian firewall

Currently there is a big hoohah about the Australian web firewall. Why is this of interest to us, as proponents of drug reform? Well, in the linked article it says:

“Content defined under the National Classification Scheme as Refused Classification includes child sexual abuse imagery, bestiality, sexual violence, detailed instruction in crime, violence or drug use and/or material that advocates the doing of a terrorist act.”

Notice the reference to content that’s related to drug use. Do you think Erowid will be filtered? Given that there is a plethora of drug information which includes chemical synthesis, I wouldn’t be surprised. Especially since Australia has in the past been one of the few countries that refused classification of Fallout 3 due to it depicting drug use. This seems strange because plenty of games have power-ups (mushrooms from Mario Brothers anyone?), perhaps the mistake Fallout 3 made was to depict this as actually have a realistic method of implementing these power ups? And surely the impacts of negative consequence and addiction in the game probably scared the censors too, since it’d be terrible thing for people to be forewarned of the potential dangers of drug use right?

Now the Australian government can prevent the public from doing their own research about drugs, and they won’t have to be pestered by the public finding out the relative safety of illegal substances versus alcohol in society. Instead, they can feed people whatever misinformation they like.

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