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Pornography detection machine bought by Ugandan government

Uganda’s pornography detection machine was commissioned by the government following efforts by the country’s ethics and integrity minister. The machine was bought from a South Korean company for around US$88,000 and more could be bought too as the budget for pornography detection software is around $770,000.

The minister in question, Simon Lokodo, a former catholic priest was ridiculed when he first announced the purchase of the machine. The minister was not joking apparently, he established an anti-pornography committee and the new machine will aid them in their duties. It is illegal to produce, publish or share graphic content in the country and offenders face up to 10 years in prison.

The machine will detect pornographic pictures, videos or graphics taken or saved on phones, computers or cameras. Quite the super machine it seems. The minister did not however give details of exactly how the machine works, which makes sense as the machine will probably work better if people do not know exactly how and what it looks for.

How does the pornography detection machine work though? This machine is not the first attempt at detecting porn on devices. There are several products already available, the Paraben Porn Detection Stick being an example. The Stick uses advanced image analysing algorithms to identify facial features, flesh tones and body parts that are potentially pornographic among other things.

The Stick actually works to a certain extent. It errs on the side of over-zealousness as it flags normal photos as pornographic more frequently than the opposite. The Stick however only scans for images and not videos which are harder to scan. Uganda’s machine does both, which it should at $88,000 because the Paraben Porn Detection Stick costs around $129.

The Stick looks like a USB flash drive and is inserted into a USB port to scan for files on computers. You would have to connect a phone to a computer and then scan the files on it. We will have to see what the machine commissioned by the Ugandan government looks like. It could be a very expensive flash drive, we will see.

The announcement by the honourable minister, excommunicated Father Simon Lokodo was met with understandable outrage. It was met with ridicule when it was still just an idea but that turned to outrage when the commissioning and pricing were revealed. People cited the fact that there is a sole non-functioning radiotherapy machine in the country which apparently is not a priority.

The Ugandan story is a familiar one in Africa. One where it does not look like the government works as a unit and so some ministries get funding for non essential projects whilst some lack important financing. It is not that whatever the ministry is trying to achieve is not noble but that there are other more immediate and pressing matters.

Do you think the pornography detection machine will be successful? Do we need one of our own in Zimbabwe? Let us know what you think.

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10 thoughts on “Pornography detection machine bought by Ugandan government

  1. Even if there was no need for any other machine, like if Uganda was so successful they lacked for nothing, this porn detector would still be a complete waste of money. That’s not how you enforce morality. You can’t enforce morality period. You can monitor the porn industry to clamp down on child porn or sex slavery. But you can’t force people to not watch what they want. That minister is stupid.

  2. I think it’s a good step towards preserving values and morals. It’s a shame that pornography has eroded society in many ways. Degrading men and women to be lesser than animals. All sorts of sexual vices are glorified in porn, from bestiality, homosexuality, incest, adultery, fornication and the spread of today’s malignant sexual diseases. It has become the chief cause of marital problems from infidelity to unnatural practices. The destroyer of lives and homes. So why not fight a war against immorality abuse of the sacred procreatory powers, and fight for the preservation of the happiness of the family unit leading to a healthier society? We must study the effects that porn brings then complain.

  3. I foresee privacy breach here especially if the machine will just scan any devices in its vicinity. What if it’s my pictures which are not meant for publishing? Easiest way is to implement content filtering on national gateway and register all VPNs. I hear that Potraz have a mobile machine that scans frequencies to monitor unlicensed radios. Something like that would make sense.

  4. Interesting development. There’s no telling whether or not it will be a success but it is a noble initiative. Pornography destroys the family unit faster than anything else. Hopefully this development will go some way to curb it’s harmful nature.

  5. We are looking at a country where tax payers have to contribute to everything and u want don’t contribute something as useless as this why not let you can decide for themselves you can begin by training people. I need just putting them into something that they actually do not want this is not right. Whatever happened to democracy? this is useless would rather it would be better to spend money on other initiatives like healthcare I need something as useless as that

  6. Man (including woman) is in the image of God, right? Is God’s image shameful? Why should we be ashamed of watching (and being curious of) the process that brought us to this present life? I would be more concerned if this is to curb paedophilia or sex slavery or human trafficking. The Nordic countries, which some would feel are the present day Sodom & Gomorrah, have the lowest crime levels for drug-related violence and rape….yet they have legalised drugs and prostituion to manage them….and it’s working!! Sometimes what we fear most actually never happens.

    1. The problem is not the body or nakedness; the problem is 1) how the body is being presented and 2) how we are looking at the body. All of the issues you mentioned have their roots in a pornified view of the body — where a person can be viewed as means of one’s selfish gratification and reduced to almost the level of an object. Thus, they are merely symptoms o

  7. The evidence is clear. Pornography — any image or written that is intentionally reducing a person/persons down to the level of an object for one’s selfish gratification — does no one any good. Instead of creating stronger, healthier individuals and relationships, it instead leads to a compulsion and slavery to one’s desires. Science backs it up by showing how pornography creates new neural pathways — in reality, brain damage — where the chemicals in the brain are stirred up to such a degree that a person is helpless to their desires. If we are forced to do something, we cannot love. Thus porn kills love, and we don’t need more orgasms, but individuals/communities/marriages/families that are serving others, not simply themselves. This is why the Ugandan government has a vested interest to get involved, because they have a duty to secure their nation and allow for the optimal environment for their citizens to flourish.

    I know all this to be true first hand, as I was hooked for over 12 years, and I was not free to love, but covered in guilt and shame. Now I work with others to help them to get free permanently. Check out freedom dash coaching dot net for more info.

  8. As a Procurement technocrat the procurement did not satisfy justification for the business case; the cost of the software being more expensive than the cost of the machine itself. statistically how many culprits have been engaged in the same to call for the need.

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