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Well, that's what I'm lead to believe by the mainstream media. My mind's a little foggy these days but I seem to recall some ghastly rag printing the "fact" that something like three out of five people have stumbled across child porn whilst innocently browsing the Internet. Now, excuse me for being cynical but I'm going to have to call bullshit on this one. Where did they do their research? Broadmoor? I've worked on the murkier end of the Internet for around 10 years or more now and I've never once stumbled across anything close to child porn, and I've been to some pretty grotty places in Internetland. So what were these people innocently browsing?

I don't personally know what happens if you Google "child porn" (given the privacy concerns I imagine that wouldn't be a smart thing to do anyway) but I'm going to imagine you get people either complaining about the massive amount of child porn that's allegedly everywhere or a story about some has-been 1970's celeb who took his computer into PC World for a quick repair. Should you decide to be just a little less accidental and type in "I want to look at child porn please Mr Google" I can only assume the end result would be an online chat with a burly policeman pretending to be a fourteen year old girl who just so happens to live in your area, has a fondness for cider, and finds grubby, middle-aged perverts terribly attractive.

The hysteria about the Internet is never-ending in its absurdity, tied together with an ever more sensitive population and the media encouraging everyone to check under their beds for Muslim, immigrant, paedophiles on Income support it appears folks are always ready to buy into it. After all the Internet must be bad given David Cameron, our beloved and shiny faced leader, encouraged ISP's to put a block on new accounts resorting in people having to ask them, very nicely, if they wouldn't mind removing the block so they can look at porn or possibly just a website displaying the history of combine harvesters. We don't live in an opt in culture these days, you now have to opt out and if you do some ghastly MP will basically brand you as a Neanderthal and a potential rapist to boot. Which is ironic given it turns out PC's in our hallowed halls of power are often used to access porn.

As if it's not enough that there are paedos and child porn everywhere we're now being told that regular, good old-fashioned pornography will shrink your brain. Two German scientists decided that was the case after monitoring two habitual wankers and finding some part of their thinking machine was under developed. Granted the research sounded about as scientific as the time I proclaimed the earth actually is flat because I had a dream about it but that hasn't stopped the usual suspects (including my favourite and very hysterical feminists on Twitter) pointing and saying "SEE....SEEEEEEE!".

Of course, we couldn't leave it with only the porn. Given no more than 90% of males and 80% of females actually admit to watching porn that still leaves 20% to terrorise with the horrors of the Interwebs. That's where bullying comes in. Now, bullying isn't funny but the way the definition has been stretched most assuredly is. If you say something less than complimentary these days you're cast as a bully and you might as well be hanging people yourself (as opposed to watching them do it on ChatRoulette one would assume). Bullying can be horrible but in some of these cases you can't help wondering how some people managed to cope with good old-fashioned bullying which used to leave you lying on the floor with a nosebleed. Maybe victims just need to realise, or be educated, to the fact that online we can all be powerful and you most assuredly can strike terrible blows against your bully. Maybe I should set up a help line?

Anyway, there are certainly nasty people on the Internet and many nasty things. But out in the real world you get pensioners beaten to death for their pension books and you could be stabbed in the liver for looking at someone's girlfriend so perhaps some perspective is in order.

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Hayden is the founder of Trigger Warning so it’s all his fault.

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