Porn Talk – Should Internet porn be blocked in Kenya?

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  • 4 years ago
  • Posted: March 28, 2015 at 1:36 pm

When the President was reading his #StateoftheNation speech, everyone was on Twitter, Facebook, Radio and TV, in that order, with intention to hear something – I am not sure what. What did you want to hear?

There was someone who wanted to hear something, a totally different kind of thing. He wanted to hear the President talk about porn. On a Daily Nation’s Facebook Page update that asked of our expectations from the President, the fellow commented that the Telcos should be forced to shut porn sites as porn is one of the main causes of a corrupt society. “Porn corrupts our kids”, he wrote. To reduce rape cases that have found their way into the house of honorables (I hear they are now called hornyrables), all porn, including Internet porn, he argued, must be banned.

His comment reminded me of two things; A debate that happened at Debate.Org under the guiding question, Should countries ban Internet porn?, and a recent move by Google to pilot “age rating” feature for videos appearing on YouTube, and with these two, I think it is time to discuss porn, the Internet, and government policy on the two.

Should governments let porn be?

Several countries have legal restrictions on the production, distribution (online or otherwise) and sales of pornographic material. The restrictions include total ban of all sexually oriented videos thus total blockage of IP addresses that have x-rated content (Sudan is an example), partial ban based on type of porn for example banning videos that exhibit violence and bestiality (e.g. some states in US), and partial ban based on age (Canada is an example).

There are also countries that deal with porn with legislation enacted against prostitution.

Those who champion for free access to pornographic material have three main points to support their views: that pornography is suitable for sex and sexuality education, that entertainment got from watching porn is not comparable and that porn can help  stir sexual intimacy in dull relationships/marriages.

For these reasons, the pro freedom of pornographic content urge policy makers and governments to remove all restrictions to pornographic content. In porn talk debate at Debate.Org, one such person said:


 One, a blanket ban on pornography is impossible to uphold due to the vast quantities available on the Internet. If people are worried about children watching porn, then perhaps the PARENTS should actively do their job instead of pussyfooting around and waiting for the government to do it for them.

What’s more is I believe that if young people want to masturbate then they will do so regardless of bans by either using their imaginations (idealistic) or actively looking for sexual images elsewhere (while is infinitely more dangerous than doing so at home).

Also as the prohibition has shown, a blanket ban on a product allows criminals to engineer submarkets targeting the group that used to consume the product in the first place. In this case such submarkets would be aimed towards children who don’t have access to other channels. This may manifest in either children who do have access to pornography sharing it with their friends (limiting the availability of the product would increase its worth among consumers), or adults targeting children for more nefarious purposes.

What’s more ridiculous is that the government seems to be linking the creation of child pornography with the consumption of child pornography, even though abusers would still target children regardless of a ban on pornography. The act of filming the crime is usually coincidental to the gratification he/she receives from committing it.

Furthermore, I believe that if the government truly wanted to protect children then it would 1. Track down, prosecute (and yes ban child pornographic sites), and 2. Hold classes for young parents who need help developing parental skills. Also what would be helpful was some kind psychological filtration test in school that would determine not only the sexual mental health of the child but also the other aspects of his/her psychological well being.


Although a number of countries have laws restricting porn right from production to consumption, the Internet has posed a serious challenge to the enforcement of relevant legislation. In Kenya,  for example, all types of porn and content with sexual connotation, just like prostitution, is illegal.

Recently the Kenya Film Classification Board banned two movies that have explicit content namely the Wolf of Wall Street and 50 Shades of Grey. But these two movies are among the highly  watched movies in Kenya to date. The high rate of viewership of the two movies have been made possible by the zero restriction of what we can access online. There is an important lesson we can learn from this: that people generally crave for that which is prohibited especially if it is oriented towards sex and/or is illicit as argued by the debater quoted above.

Next Page on Porn Talk: Why Governments should ban pornographic materials, including Internet Porn

What is your opinion on the topic?
Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Analytics Ltd
Film Director, Tech and Business Blogger, Chess Player, and Photographer. God is Science.
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