Self Filter Plan Has Lots Of Holes

from the won't-work dept

When I first heard about the plan to make sites voluntarily tag their content to protect children from reading “bad” stuff, I figured such a plan would never work because not enough sites would care to do the tagging themselves. Wired now looks at all the other reasons why the plan will never work. First, they point out the difficulty in actually using the rating system. Is news about the fighting in Afghanistan enough to say that your site has violence on it? How do you deal with things that are in a news context? If it is in a news context how do you distinguish between a big news organization and a little one that might not have the same journalistic standards? They point out that Yahoo claims its site is safe for children, but then they found a bunch of news articles that some might consider inappropriate. Other companies, like AOL-Time Warner, agreed to the filtering system, but many of their pages don’t use it. It seems like this is an idea that sounds good to many people on paper, but the reality is something very different. It’s also amusing that the announcement about the system says they have “broad support” from the First Amendment community, even though they just trotted out a single professor to give some quote about it – and even he says that he was just there to talk about it, and not endorse it.

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