You say filters are terrible, but the reason you give for that is, essentially, that they don’t work perfectly. The basic conviction I’ve come to is that filters are inevitable. It’s one of those “not whether, but which” scenarios.
As you point out, all the money and engineering effort is going toward protecting Mickey Mouse, and Christian families are left trying to struggle with OpenDNS, Covenant Eyes, etc, etc. That’s a disgrace, but it’s not an argument against filters.
What I think everyone needs to keep in mind is that our information technology, from the printing press to iPhones and satellite internet access, completely flipped the flow of information. But even the printing press usually required me to pay for something or do something tangible in order to give the Rupert Murdoch’s of our world – or the pamphleteers of the Reformation – access to my home. Now, literally everyone with an internet connection has access to my home if I pay for internet service.
That’s a ridiculous scenario, and no Christian father should rest easy about it. Better not to have internet in your home at all than to be thoughtless about about it.
Not only are filters inevitable, but I’m beginning to think that there is no chance of a Christian culture without Christian filters. I believe that the pulpit leads the world, but I think it’s a joke if even the most “devout” Christians are dominated in their thoughts by what they see on TV our Youtube day in and day out, week in and week out. How are a couple lessons a week and some personal Bible reading suppose to compete with that? As I said to @jtbayly the other day, if our thoughts and feelings are dominated by commercials and TV shows and NY Times articles, then our religion is really just an interesting hobby we keep in the garage and work on from time to time.
We should aim to have our thoughts and feelings dominated by things that will bring good fruit. And the first step for that is to make actual decisions about what comes into our home - in other words, to have a filter.