Why Filters Don't Really Work
from the in-case-you-missed-it-before dept
There’s persistent talk from politicians about making laws that force schools, libraries, and other places to install filters to block objectionable websites. The problem is, though, filters are pretty bad, and not just because kids circumvent them. They let plenty of stuff through, but the bigger issue is that they often block plenty of harmless and useful sites as well. One area that creates problems is often medical content, particularly having to do with sexual health — to many crude filters, it looks just like porn since it uses terms on the naughty words list. The latest example of how and why filters aren’t really too great comes from YouTube, where Mexican gang violence is a-okay, but videos showing breast and testicular exams for cancer get labeled adult-only. Clearly this is the type of content that threatens the innocence of youth, and the sort of filth that corrupts young minds — just the kind of thing we need filters for.