Earlier this week, we had a story about the MPAA's program to brainwash kids about their view of file sharing. Wired Magazine now has an article with more details about how the program actually works. The MPAA claims it involves "role playing" where the students take different roles of people in the industry, so they can understand how file sharing impacts them. However, when you look at the details you realize that it's not "role playing" at all. It's brainwashing. The kids are told what to say. Each card lists out basic talking points about how their jobs would be impacted, and (of course) they all take the MPAA's position. In fact, one person running one of the programs is quoted saying to the kids: "It's good you have your own opinions, but I want you to do the activity based on what the little piece of paper says." How would anyone let that happen in a school? The only person "role playing" the other side doesn't make any of the real arguments for why file sharing isn't bad, but instead says that it's okay because he won't get caught. It's amazing that the MPAA spokesperson can say with a straight face that this program is for "students to reach their own conclusions about being a good digital citizen." Their own conclusions? By telling them what to say? The only good note in the story is that one of the classrooms visited by the reporter obviously saw through the MPAA brainwashing and challenged all of the points being made with much more intelligent arguments. This was the same thing a reporter noticed last year when the program launched in San Francisco. What's scary though, is that the other classroom visited lapped it up. I don't know enough about the locations in question, but the Wired reporter describes those who bought the brainwashing as being from a "middle class" neighborhood, while those who challenged the program were from a "working class" neighborhood.
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