Pornography, drugs, criminal activity

Aliant describes its parental controls as a service that:

Blocks over 15 million Websites containing content such as pornography, drugs, criminal activity, hate speeches and much more.

This sentence boggles my mind on multiple grammatical, perceptual and practical levels.

Its purpose seems to be to lump together enough words with “evil” associations to convince the unwitting parent of the value of the service. But the words are content-free concepts. What does a website that “contains criminal activity content” look like? What are “hate speeches?” How does a website “contain drugs content?”

The software that Aliant uses for these “parental controls” is called, apparently with no sense of irony, Freedom.


Ken Williams's picture
Ken Williams on July 7, 2005 - 20:06 Permalink

By using those phrases in your blog post, aren’t you risking getting a big dose of ‘Freedom’ and having this site blocked?

Mark's picture
Mark on July 7, 2005 - 22:44 Permalink

Freedom will only free you from your computer as it takes out your connection. I spent many a painful nights supporting that software…As for Kens comment, it would be rather irnoic, and humerous at the same time.

Marian's picture
Marian on July 8, 2005 - 15:33 Permalink

This reminds me of a joke I heard a few months ago. It goes:
Q: How many Bush Administration officials does it take
to change a light bulb?

A: None. There is nothing wrong with the light bulb;
its condition is improving every day. Any reports of
its lack of incandescence are illusional spin from the
liberal media. Illuminating rooms is hard work. That
light bulb has served honorably, and anything you say
undermines the lighting effort. Why do you hate

oliver's picture
oliver on July 9, 2005 - 20:57 Permalink

The irony or “lie” of the name is totally standard PR and marketing. It’s the same thing Orwell satirized with regard to governmental PR. It’s no accident either. According to a documentary I saw the procedure for at least some PR firms is to imagine the most politically or commercially serious objection to a product or policy, invert it, and take it as your name or slogan. I think this may be the same strategy as is known as “The Big Lie.” Perhaps we are so inured to this that we don’t often note in what we see in ads, but my irony sensor doesn’t seem to shut off. Anyway it buzzes constantly when I watch ads or read product packaging, not to mention when I listen to anything from the mouth of George W Bush, who makes me reach reflexively for the radio dial.

peter cottontail's picture
peter cottontail on July 12, 2005 - 08:15 Permalink

grammatical?……is that even a word. do you want people to understand you or not.