Thursday, 26 August 2004

Oops, I filtered too much...

Porn filters expose flaws
Wow. So filters don't work. That's what everyone who had any sense was saying all along!!!! Unfortunately, Mr. and Mrs. Everyperson are terrified of, well, to be honest, everything and "want some sort of protection", and ignorantly claim that these "filters are better than nothing". Possibly. Except there wasn't nothing before and there wouldn't be nothing. Pretty much all libraries, public and academic have policies and staff to guard against naughty surfing. The thing these misguided souls want protection against happens quite rarely in the majority of libraries. And thanks to ALA and librarians in general there is usually a tight rein on what people [including children] are allowed to use library computers for, despite the beliefs of Andrea Lafferty, executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition, a conservative Washington, D.C., group that lobbied for filters.
The American Library Association is quite sinister... They believe that children have the right to look at anything at the library and do not want parents to know what their children may be up to.
The truly sad thing is that a lot of people don't realize what they are doing and probably won't any time soon. They think that "imperfect software is the 'price of protecting kids.'" No. Stupid kids is the price of protecting kids in this way. Using these filters prevent access to all sorts of related and possible important sites, withholding a substantial amount of information, making it even more difficult to use the internet for serious purposes, frustrating users and damaging the library's reputation as an information provider. All we're accomplishing by filtering out some [not all remember] of the porn is hurting ourselves.

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