Starting Up The Filter Debate
from the missing-the-point dept
Wally Choo from Cybersitter and I don’t agree on much when it comes to internet filtering, but he still reads Techdirt and chimes in every once in a while – which I appreciate. He writes in today with a link to a story about how a sick man who was having sex with a 13 year old girl he met online was caught via a father reading through Cybersitter’s instant messaging logs. Wally suggests that this proves filters “work”. He’s missing the argument I’ve made against filters. I have no problem if a parent wants to use filters to monitor their children – though, I think good parenting is a better solution. My problem with filters has always been twofold: (1) they shouldn’t be forced on places like libraries and (2) they don’t reveal what they filter or how they decide what’s objectionable. They also rarely “work” as a filter. They filter out some sites, while letting plenty of others through – and often filter out perfectly legitimate sites based on their own judgment calls. Besides, this wasn’t about “filters”, but about monitoring. If a parent really wants to spy on their own kids, that’s their call.