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Friday, July 17, 2009

Porn filters welcomed at Michigan library

LEAD ON!

A Michigan library's action may provide the motivation for a statewide campaign against pornography.



The district library board in Owosso decided to protect its patrons, especially children, by installing Internet filters on library computers to screen out pornography. Gary Glenn heads the American Family Association of Michigan.

"Families and children should be protected from being exposed to pornography in a public library, financed by taxpayers, and children should not have to share their public library with adult men who go to the library just for the purpose of accessing hardcore pornography," he contends.

19 comments:

Judi Wheeldon- Activist said...

AMEN!!!

SafeLibraries said...

See also:

"Library Director Extols Internet Filtering; Porn Should Be Excluded From Libraries; Dynamite Reading For Library Directors, Trustees and Patrons"

SafeLibraries said...

See also:

"Finally, a Library Director Who Gets It"

Paige said...

Let me preface this by saying that I'm not FOR showing actual porn to children, but...last I checked, pornography isn't illegal. And it's legal to view it as long as you are of age. Not to mention the fact that we don't know why people are choosing to view porn...they might be researching a graduate thesis for all we know.

Finally, I hardly think it's only adult MEN who are coming in to view pornography.

SafeLibraries said...

Yes, it may be legal, but the public library is not the forum for all things legal. See, e.g., US v. ALA.

Paige said...

But there are many issues that arise with the installation of Internet filters on public library terminals. Perhaps people doing research on non-porn related subjects will be blocked (breast cancer, for example, or same-sex marriage). There are also ways to limit what other people can see on a particular terminal (privacy screens, time limits that shut down the browser, and erasing the browser's history after each session).

SafeLibraries said...

Paige, please keep an open mind as I say the following:

What you have said is old. Outdated. For example, breast cancer is no longer blocked. Even the ACLU expert said this. See ACLU v. Gonzales.

And privacy screens have been shown to be useless, except to the extent they provide CYA to the library as a means to avoid the use of Internet filters. See for yourself.

John Jost said...

"Breast cancer is no longer blocked", SafeLibraries?

I help seniors use computers somewhere around here. When I tried to show Barbara that she could play a free game of Sudoku on the Web, the local filter blocked the site, claiming that it was associated with "games". I could not give her a chance to play a game that would be good to keep her mind sharp.

That is what you get from filters. If I ran the place, I would just tell employees: "If you get caught doing non-work things on the Internet during work hours, you're fired on the spot", and that would be the end of it.

"Keep the Internet free" we must.

Anonymous said...

Why don't we have the public computers in a seperate room so those who want to view porn can also pleasure themselves. Sheesh!

SafeLibraries said...

John Jost, blocking games is too much. Agreed. But blocking in accordance with CIPA is legal and, with modern filters properly applied, everything should be fine.

Anonymous said...

With nearly any type of filtering or protection software you are going to get for your computers, the library staff should have very very good control measures over what can and can not be displayed.

That means you can unblock your sudoku games if you want to. You're basing your argument off of non-issues.

John Jost said...

Anonymous, you may not have spent your career working with computer systems as I have. You would know that it is almost always impossible to avoid side effects. In this case, with enough traffic, you would have to have a full-time person entering exceptions and corrections into that filtering software.

Remedies are applied to the wrong ailment. It is illegal to buy alcohol after 9 PM, but the real ailment is drunk driving.

Similarly, if there is to be no pornography on the Internet, eliminate it from the real world first. The Internet is a mere mirror, no use painting black squares on the mirror, just take away the reflected object.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunatly I have in fact spent a good portion of my career working with computer systems. I'm also fairly familiar with how a lot of the newer parental control software and other forms of protection has evolved over the last decade.

There will always be "exceptions." But the reward is greater than the risk when it comes to people using the public library to get their porn fix.

Much of the software available today is extremly intuitive and though nothing is perfect, if properly set up you should be able to restrict a PC from accessing most pornographic material on a computer while still allowing most anything else you would want to have available.

John Jost said...

"People using the public library to get their porn fix".

In your dreams.

SafeLibraries said...

John Jost, it's not dreams. It's true. See, e.g., http://delicious.com/plan2succeed/masturbation.

Anonymous said...

John Jost-

Making comments like that lessens your credibility.

If it wasnt already happening, we probably wouldnt have to talk about it, would we?

Fifteen years ago, when the internet was rising in popularity, I doubt anyone would have thought that today we would be discussing if anyone, regardless of age should have access to pornography on public library computers under any circumstances.

What a sad sad society we've built for ourselves.

Anonymous said...

It's true, John's comments really weaken his argument.

Someone call up Al Gore...I hear he invented the internet. Maybe he can give free computers to those people...I head Gore is making millions with the carbon footprint scam.

Anonymous said...

"Someone call up Al Gore...I hear he invented the internet. Maybe he can give free computers to those people...I head Gore is making millions with the carbon footprint scam."

Oh, yes, and that's a sound, rational argument. Way to take John Jost to task.

Anonymous said...

Same could be send for your lack of topic.