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Maine Librarians Fight Internet Censorship Law

By spaceghoti in MLP
Tue Feb 13, 2001 at 02:06:17 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

Browsing my regular newsfeed, ABCNews.com when I ran across this article about Maine. It seems the Librarian Association for Maine is fighting the anti-pornography bill requiring all libraries to use Internet filters for their Internet connections.


The article itself is just another record of the fight between pro and anti-censorship camps in the United States. That in and of itself is nothing new or interesting, though I'm glad the anti-censorship groups aren't giving up. What got my attention in particular was this quote from the article:

"[According to] Freshman state Rep. Brian M. Duprey, R-Hampden...He said the filters have few flaws and would not limit the availability of information to library patrons or students."

Are people, particularly our leaders, still this ignorant and pig-headed, or did I miss some fantastic new advancement in filtering technology? Wasn't it just in the news the other month how pro-censorship politicians have found their own websites blocked through these "relatively flawless" filters?

It also begs the question on whether or not the K5 community believes censorship (pornography or otherwise) is a healthy thing for the Internet as it becomes more mainstream in daily life. I mean, do our children really need email about the "HOTTEST LESBIAN COEDS ON THE NET" or "Ten Sure-Fire Steps to Financial Security", or websites extolling the virtues of hatred or sexual devance?

My personal opinion is that parents need to be responsible for teaching their children about the world, not leaving it up to someone else, even their own governments. That means sitting with their children to supervise their Internet activities and it also means having frank talks with them about the world and things they need to avoid for their own health and security. As always, Your Mileage May Vary.

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Poll
Internet Filters
o Accurate, reliable and necessary. 1%
o Not so accurate or reliable, but still necessary. 3%
o Inaccurate, unreliable and unnecessary. 40%
o Never had 'em, never will. 16%
o Filters are for coffee grounds. 32%
o I really don't care. 1%
o Inoshiro (obligatory) 0%
o Rusty (not-so-obligatory, but still...) 4%

Votes: 122
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o ABCNews.co m
o Maine
o Also by spaceghoti


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Maine Librarians Fight Internet Censorship Law | 19 comments (7 topical, 12 editorial, 0 hidden)
Biased viewpoint (2.20 / 5) (#8)
by qslack on Mon Feb 12, 2001 at 06:50:16 PM EST

I mean, do our children really need email about the "HOTTEST LESBIAN COEDS ON THE NET" or "Ten Sure-Fire Steps to Financial Security", or websites extolling the virtues of hatred or sexual devance?

No one needs these!!! Do away with em!!!

Parenting (4.33 / 3) (#12)
by ignatiusst on Mon Feb 12, 2001 at 09:52:13 PM EST

I liked this write-up, and I voted it +1. I did take issue, however, of the author's personal opinion on parent responsibiltiy.

If my parents were to be held responsible for everything I did as a teenager, I would be mortified.

  • I drank (even though Mom and Dad preached against it and yelled/grounded me when I was caught),
  • I smoked (even though I hid it from my Dad until I was 20 for fear of being beaten to death for my stupidity),
  • I got a tatoo (and Dad still doesn't know about that)
  • I did too many drugs (even though Mom and Dad preached against it and told me I'd go to hell),
  • I had sex (even though Mom and Dad told me the dangers of pregnancy and the then-mysterious and horrible AIDS),

Eventually, though, I grew up, got a couple college degrees, started a family, was given a nice cubicle to spend my days in, and received (free of charge) whole new outlook on life.

The point I am trying to make is that my parents were very definite about instilling in me respectable values, and I was basically an ass anyway. Now, I have a three year-old son, and when he grows up and does immoral things after I have taught him my (new and improved) values, I don't want to be accused of fostering his moments of stupidity.

Kids are, well... kids. They know right from wrong, but they rarely have the moral fortitude or descrection to choose the right path... the wrong one is a hell of a lot more fun, afterall.

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift

re: parenting (4.00 / 4) (#13)
by klamath on Mon Feb 12, 2001 at 11:33:19 PM EST

If my parents were to be held responsible for everything I did as a teenager, I would be mortified.
I don't think anyone would suggest a parent should be held completely responsible for a child's actions. However, the child is not a full adult; it does not have all the rights that come with that status, and therefore, should not have all the responsibilities. This responsibility is then shifted to the child's parents.

I agree with you that children will get into trouble. As a 16 year old teenager, I know that very well ;-). I don't think any system, from authoritarian parents to some rediculous censor-ware system, will stop minors from disobeying authority -- in fact, this is an integral part of childhood. However, who should be the primary guiding force in your child's life? Who should be the main authority who decides what they are allowed to do, and what not to do? Who should punish them when they violate these rules? The answer is, obviously, the child's parents. Would it be effective for the government to tell your children when they are allowed to go to sleep? Or perhaps, how much candy are they allowed to eat? Is it any more invasive for the government to decide what movies your children can watch (movie ratings), or what television they can watch (television content guidelines)? Or what content they can view on the Internet? Ultimately, it is the parent's responsibility to regulate the behavior of their child. Trying to supplement or replace the parent with "Big Brother" is not going to be effective, and violates the right of the parent to rear their child as they see fit.

[ Parent ]

A complete article (4.00 / 2) (#14)
by GiTm on Tue Feb 13, 2001 at 03:24:54 AM EST

It would be nice to see a complete article on the topic of censorship, morality and parental responsibility which brings together all these issues.

There have been quite a few articles detailing individual examples of each of these but a nicely written top level article (even referencing the details espoused in the other articles) would really lend itself to discussion.

I don't think I'm the person to write that article unfortunately but any budding socioligists out there - please give it a shot.
--- I have nothing funny to say here.
Thoughts on Parenting (5.00 / 1) (#18)
by retinaburn on Tue Feb 13, 2001 at 09:12:40 AM EST

I heard a song about parenting that pretty much somes up my ideas of parenting.

The lyrics are here.


I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


Hmm. (4.00 / 1) (#19)
by Happy Monkey on Tue Feb 13, 2001 at 10:28:09 AM EST

"[According to] Freshman state Rep. Brian M. Duprey, R-Hampden...He said the filters have few flaws and would not limit the availability of information to library patrons or students."

That seems like a flaw in itself, but one I could live with. However, I think the real problem is that filters limit the availability of the wrong information, and lets some of the "harmful" stuff through.
___
Length 17, Width 3

My own opinion about kids and censorship (4.50 / 2) (#20)
by Julian Morrison on Tue Feb 13, 2001 at 12:21:51 PM EST

It also begs the question on whether or not the K5 community believes censorship (pornography or otherwise) is a healthy thing for the Internet as it becomes more mainstream in daily life.
Point me out even one other species where their young "get psychologically damaged" by seeing any of nudity, blatant sexual display, or nearby out-in-the-open sex as normal parts of everyday life between the adults they live with.

Point me out any sector of the human population who is not descended from people who probably did all of the above (and lots more, look at some Roman murals sometime) with much gusto while dwelling in mud huts with no personal privacy and kids sharing the bed?

Can anyone justify censorship to me in any terms more rational than:
  • It's bad, I tell you, BAD! 'Cause God said so. So there.
  • Eeew! That's gross! I don't like it! There oughtta be a law!
  • They might think the adults are fighting! (Unlike WWF, Quake, and Scream XIV, which they obviously think involve flower-arranging. And unlike real domestc squabbles which are considered None Of Our Business).
  • You don't want to confuse them with such strong emotions! (Which conveniently forgets what an emotional time childhood is, and skims over the very dubious premise that kids would even take notice of "dull lovey dovey stuff")
Censorship frankly strikes me as pure irrational anti-sex prejudice, and I can't find a single decent reason for it.

Maine Librarians Fight Internet Censorship Law | 19 comments (7 topical, 12 editorial, 0 hidden)
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