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.

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Comments on “Starting Up The Filter Debate”

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Chris says:

No Subject Given

You could point out to him that you don’t need to spend money on Cybersitter if you want AIM logging. There are several freeware plug ins for AIM that will log all the text. If your kid is pre-teen they probably shuld not be on teh Internet without you lurkink nearby anyway. If they are a teenager and you can’t trust them, Cybersitter isn’t going to fix that either.

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