A fetish group is investigating self-censorship after BDSM websites appeared last week on the leaked internet blacklist the Government intends to filter from Australian homes.
Sydney Leather Pride Association had plans to put educational videos and presentations, on issues like fisting, blood-letting, fire and electro play, online so that anyone too shy to attend workshops could find them via an internet search.
But SLPA president Gary Kennedy said those plans, which carry safety messages, are in limbo because they could be mistaken for sexual violence, refused classification and placed on the mandatory internet filter.
None of it is child pornography. Everything is consensual in everything we do. We’re extremely clear on that, Kennedy told Sydney Star Observer.
Where we’ve got education [videos] on BDSM, we’re not sure whether what we’ve got up would inherently breach some of those requirements.
Australian courts have sometimes interpreted acts of BDSM as non-consensual by definition, and the classification guidelines used by the Australian Communication and Media Authority are unclear on whether the term sexual violence includes consensual BDSM.
Even simulated realistic violence is prohibited online content under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992.
Kennedy acknowledged their material may not be suitable for children. The SLPA is waiting on legal advice from one of its members on whether restricting education videos to a members-only area -” who are all 18 years or older -” will allow it to escape the proposed filter.
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy dismissed concerns about the existing guidelines on ABC’s Q and A program last week, saying the blacklist and guidelines had been in place for nine years.
There is a compelling argument to deal with refused classification material. That’s material like websites that promote incest; websites that promote rape; websites that promote child pornography or child abuse, and a lot of people have got confused, thinking we’ve already introduced this, he said.
At the moment there is the classification board and people will sometimes say, -˜I agree with the decisions they’ve made,’ or -˜I disagree with the decisions they’ve made.’ But by and large there’s a public confidence that the board makes reasonable decisions.