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eHam.net Speak Out


Speak Out: Appropriate SSTV Use:

A contributor states, "14230 kHz is not a personal blue humor cartoon and salacious bimbo image email distribution list. It's really difficult to demonstrate SSTV to a budding ham or a relative wondering what it is you do with all those wires and equipment, when the minute you turn up the screen, a topless spread-eagled woman or some racially charged image slowly unfolds. Then try to convince them it's not just like "internet porn". What might have been perceived as a fascinating or at least admirably brainy hobby is reduced to an expensive and complicated "Nasty Chatroom" in the mind of the casual non-ham observer. I'm not a prude, but there is a proper place and time for everything. The Amateur SSTV call frequency is not the place for this." What can be done to clean this up?

53 opinions on this subject. Enter your opinion at the bottom of this page.
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Opinions...

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N3OX on 2010-01-19
"Personally I find a person who tries to legislate what they feel is
moral and immoral to be profane and offensive."

Yup, me too... but it seems like we have to learn this lesson in
little snippets at a time.

If we had the right idea about the role of law vs. the role of
morality, the power of many hot-button "political" issues in the U.S.
would evaporate. In principle, I do not think we should be overly
worried regarding nudity, maybe not even transmitted over the airwaves
as ham transmissions. But the existence of nudity is not the only
material in question.

The original poster mentions "racially charged" images. "Racially
charged" is always a euphemism for "racist," and the acceptance of
racist images and jokes is going to perpetuate racist attitudes. This
suggestion is often labeled a trick of the "thought police," and an
affront to free speech. But racism is a real threat to freedom and
equality the world over, despite the fact that individual racism is
just a way of *thinking.* Removing racist action from the world
requires removing racist thought. You can't sincerely preserve
equality for all people while secretly thinking that some groups of
them are worse (even in a joking way) than others.

The original poster's phrase "salacious bimbo image" smacks of sexism.
An image of a naked woman is not inherently sexist. How the stations
involved in transmitting that image interact with that image *can* be
sexist. What if the woman in the picture was sitting there on 14.230,
operating her homebrew transceiver, participating in the QSOs? She
took her clothes off in a photograph, but that does not mean that she
wouldn't be made uncomfortable by the discussion that might surround
transmission of that photograph. She did not give up her rights as a
human being by making nude pictures, even if that's what she does
professionally. Turns out there's a big market for that, undoubtedly
even among people who publicly wail about pornography.

We all are responsible for what we transmit: degradations of naked
women or racist jokes on 14.230 or the parroting of someone else's
ratings-garnering intolerance on 75m...

I see no reason to put a band-aid on that to try to trick others into
seeing us for something we're not. There's one solution, and it's the
hard one. Just tell people who make racist and sexist jokes on the
air (or otherwise) to cut it out, whether or not you think anyone's
looking or may be looking. And for those who are prone to making
"harmless" racist or sexist cracks when no one is looking, and
tolerating racism and sexism in private, don't whine about the
"thought police" and "political correctness." Do some homework and
try to really understand why these things are dangerous to the
freedoms of non-white non-males, not necessarily just innocent fun.

If you're transmitting pictures of other human beings, remember that
they're other human beings worthy of your respect.

This would clear up any discomfort I felt with letting my friends and
family watch amateur SSTV for a while, even if it included nudity.

73
Dan




K7LTF on 2010-01-19
I think this type of SSTV activity needs to stay off the ham bands. There is a rule within part 97 that says any indecent or obscene communications, language or meaning is prohibited. This to me is not a whole lot different then someone who is transmitting such communications, however it is done by image communications rather then by voice.

The other thing is that Amateur radio was not intended to be a free speech medium. There are limits on what we can say and do on the air. Granted we can say quite a bit even with the limits in place, we still need and should act accordingly.

If those hams want to trade pictures of this nature back and forth , due so via email. The ham bands are not private, and furthermore when the band is open, others from around the country and the world may and can view the activity too. I think what needs to happen is more enforcement , however a look at enforcing the visual communications aspect of the hobby, in respect to improper SSTV use.

do we want to as hams (as a whole) and more so the hobby it self to the CB'er mentality? I sure do not not, but I guess some do?

AI2IA on 2010-01-19
What are the real purposes of amateur TV?
Isn't the technical aspects of transmission more important to the amateur than the images?
If the tecnical aspects of SSTV are more important than the images, it would seem to me that there is even less of an excuse for transmitting lewd, obscene, or seriously provocative images.
In attempting to introduce newcomers to amateur TV, the transmission of crude images that appeal to the purient interests only serve to repel decent newcomers with technical interests and encourage those with less honorable motivations.

N5YPJ on 2010-01-18
I always advocate staying within the rules of where one is licensed,here in the U.S. nudity on the ham bands is probably a violation of the rules. I've not seen any nudity only bikinis which IMO is not nude.

"Keep in mind, in some countries nudity is not considered obscene and can even be seen on regular broadcast television. It may be entirely common and accepted to see that in daily life from where they are from." Thanks for the honest open mindedness, nudity does not offend many people in this world as don't a lot of other things.

Personally I find a person who tries to legislate what they feel is moral and immoral to be profane and offensive. We have laws that define what is and isn't profane that were written for the benefit of the public. While nudity isn't offensive to me, I respect and abide by the law on it but just because something offends someone doesn't mean that it is illegal. If in doubt save the picture and send it to the FCC for their opinion and further action if warranted.

KB2FCV on 2010-01-18
I've seen most of these images coming from European operators. Keep in mind, in some countries nudity is not considered obscene and can even be seen on regular broadcast television. It may be entirely common and accepted to see that in daily life from where they are from.

I try to keep any of my SSTV pics 'G' rated. My pics are generally radio equipment, my shack, scenic pictures I've taken, antique cars I've owned, etc. I try to keep things in good taste.

WV2B on 2010-01-17
That could be argued to no end. But, although data was transmitted, the intent of the transmission would be for the recipient to be able to view something obscene/indecent. We'll have to see a few test cases before the FCC to see how they define it.

NT9E on 2010-01-17
The data (1s and 0s) being sent over the airwaves is not indecent by itself its the PC program that puts those 1s and 0s together to form an image. The image may be indecent but the actual received/transmitted data are just audio tones. All you can rely on (as far as content goes) is the transmitting operators comments. This is a public hobby and I would rather not submit a potential ham to world wide porn. Just my 2 cents.

WV2B on 2010-01-17
It should be remembered that obscenity/indecency are not legal transmissions on the amateur bands, regardless of the mode. Licensed Amateurs do not have "free speach" rights to transmit obscenity/indecency. Obscenity/indecency are prohibited by the regulations. The "if you don't like it, turn the dial" crowd talk a good game on free speach until that letter from the FCC arrives, then suddenly they have lots of excuses, like I was drunk or on prescription medicine. Just look at the warning letters issed since Laura took the reigns to see what I mean. Yes you have a guarentee of freedom of speach, but you are not guarenteed an audience. Naked pictures on slow scan should be submitted to the FCC, and lets see if they define it as obscenity/indecency.

AI2IA on 2010-01-16
Ham radio has not changed. The few who abuse their privileges wrongfully become the focus of attention in the minds of some, but the majority of hams are no different today than in the past.

If anything,hams involved in volunteer emergency communication are better organized and equipped than in the past. MARS has improved their operations. Fraternalism among hams in various clubs and organizations continues to be strong.

Two hams looked out from their radio shacks. One saw the mud. The other saw the stars.

NA4IT on 2010-01-16
Ham radio ain't the hobby it used to be.

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