Google To Decide What Is Obscene Or Not?

Florida, the states that loves to be in the news, now is seeking the limelight when it comes to porn. As if being torched with hanging chads wasn’t enough, the Florida courts will now become a 3 rings circus as a porn king goes on trial. What will be unique is the the defense will use a Google defense to show that people have difference of perceptions as to what porn is. The defense wants to base this perception to be dependent on where you live. According to the NY Times article:

Judges and jurors who must decide whether sexually explicit material is obscene are asked to use a local yardstick: does the material violate community standards?

That is often a tricky question because there is no simple, concrete way to gauge a community’s tastes and values.

The Internet may be changing that. In a novel approach, the defense in an obscenity trial in Florida plans to use publicly accessible Google search data to try to persuade jurors that their neighbors have broader interests than they might have thought.

In the trial of a pornographic Web site operator, the defense plans to show that residents of Pensacola are more likely to use Google to search for terms like “orgy” than for “apple pie” or “watermelon.” The publicly accessible data is vague in that it does not specify how many people are searching for the terms, just their relative popularity over time. But the defense lawyer, Lawrence Walters, is arguing that the evidence is sufficient to demonstrate that interest in the sexual subjects exceeds that of more mainstream topics — and that by extension, the sexual material distributed by his client is not outside the norm.

What is going to make this judgment difficult is where does one draw the line? It seems that we as a society seem to be heading the way that ancient Rome headed. What ever happen to Rome anyway?

But what do you think?

Comments welcome.

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I have been writing for Lockergnome for eight years.