CyberPorn and Libraries

from the a-loooooong-look-at-the-issues dept

Okay, I’m not sure how many people will read through this whole thing, but here is a long paper looking at the issues raised by cyberporn with a focus on how it effects libraries. This is a big issue, and lots of people have very different opinions on whether or not libraries should be forced to filter content on their computers.

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Comments on “CyberPorn and Libraries”

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Perpetual Newbie says:

CyberPorn and Libraries

The major problem with putting filters in public institutions is that you would be contracting out to an unaccountable third party the authority of the librarians to decide what material is allowed into the library. In every known instance, the third party has gone beyond the requirements and filtered out more information than was asked.

The following have been branded as pornography and censored by filtering agents: The Democratic Party, pro-Second Amendment sites, sites on religions other than Protestant Christianity, sites promoting the equal rights of women, and blocked by every filter I know of is sites that offer arguments against filtering. In every case, the owner of the filter uses it as a political tool to prevent people from hearing the viewpoints of those who they disagree with, and they want to extend their power to public libraries. This is about more than breast cancer, folks.

Choosing not to install filters does not preclude a library from having a policy against the viewing of Internet pornography. Just put a sign on the wall, and if you catch someone at it toss ’em out. If you want to save the kiddees, make a policy that children on the computers must be accompanied by an adult, and since most libraries already have seperate cards for children and adults defining what sections of books they can check out, make the adult card a requirement for using the computers alone. If you want to prevent anyone from seeing dirty pictures, use Lynx. Any web page that can’t be navigated with Lynx is broken, and it’s the designer’s fault, not the browser’s. If you’re using a modern browser, turn off Javascript; That stops most of the tricks that pornographers use such as showing pop-up ads or jumping you into their site from a milder-looking page, or preventing you from hitting the back button or closing the window. Javascript has so many holes, it shouldn’t be on anyways. Put the computers in the centre of the room so public humiliation is a factor. There are a lot of things libraries can do besides installing filters.

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