Many of you have probably never heard of DMOZ, also known as the Open Directory Project. Originally an offshoot of the Mozilla open-source group associated with Netscape, it fell under the America OnLine (AOL) umbrella when AOL purchased Netscape some years ago. The Directory has some influence in the world of webmasters primarily because it feeds the Google Directory, part of the mighty Google Search Engine empire.
There is a very long thread at DigitalPoint Forums running to some 60 pages and almost 1200 posts as of this writing with the title “DMOZ supports child porn?“. The thread discusses the listing in certain DMOZ categories of websites which promote child pornography and pedophilia via pro-pedophilia forums and chat rooms, and in the course of those almost 1200 posts includes debates with several DMOZ editors who support the practice in the name of free speech as well as several DMOZ editors and ex-editors who express disgust with those among their colleagues who support it.The appalling thing about this debate, to me, is that it exists at all. How anyone can justify, on the basis of free speech or on any other grounds, endorsing and promoting sites dedicated to justifying or rationalizing (“neutralizing” as the criminologists term it) child molesting is astounding. I can only assume that to date the parent company, AOL, and Google, who between them prop up and legitimize the DMOZ Directory, are unaware of some of the practices of its editors.
Maybe it’s time to change that.
AOL, DMOZ, ODP, Google, child pornography, pedophilia