On the back of recent high-profile cases, the subject of internet pornography has become the focus of media and political attention. Social workers are increasingly likely to be drawn into this issue through requirements to provide courts with reports or taking child protection decisions relating to clients' use of child or, potentially, extreme pornography. Within a risk paradigm, they may look for answers based on technical and ‘scientific’ knowledge. We argue here that pornography is, first and foremost, an ethical issue. This article offers a preliminary exploration of some of the ethical issues it raises. We take as a starting point that whatever we might personally think about it, pornography is a fact of everyday life. Yet, in the current political and social climate it has become deeply moralised. We argue that social workers might legitimately adopt a range of value positions in relation to pornography that these need to be opened up to ethical debate.
- moral panic