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Username: jmweston
Date/Time: Wed, October 18, 2000 at 10:08 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V4.01 using Windows NT
Score: 5
Subject: .KIDS TDL should be approved


      From a relativist perspective, you are correct in stating that there are no objective criteria for categorizing what is suitable for children. However, by extension then, there are no objective criteria for anything. To replace some standard with a complete absence of standards provides no value.

From a practical perspective, your argument actually advocates exclusion. You would prohibit any space devoted to content which would be deemed minimally suitable for children across cultures. Even a cursory survey of world cultures reveals that there is, at some minimal level, a standard of behavior common to all.  You will be hard-pressed to find a culture which values exposing children to messages of hate against specific groups, or which would find value in children accessing information on how to build a bomb, or in exposing preadolescents to pornographic images (and we are not talking about naked cherubs on the Sistine Chapel).

If .KIDS were the only domain through which content could be disseminated to the web, an argument could be made that the proposal is unduly restrictive. However, as there are multiple domains available currently, and more to come, the argument is specious. Carving out a single domain among many, in which content is held to some minimal standard acceptable to most societies throughout the world, in no way restricts the world wide web as a whole. On the contrary, it contributes a measure of order to an otherwise chaotic web environment, thus enabling free expression of content by providing more, not fewer venues for that expression.

Jon Weston


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