Rochester Libraries Adopt New Filtering Policy - Kinda

The War May Be Over. A ban on pornographic Web sites at Monroe County libraries was adopted Wednesday, a move expected to preserve county funding for the Central Library of Rochester but leaves library leaders at odds over whether the decision is censorship.

The two boards that oversee policies for the Central Library and the county library system were under threat of essentially having the Central Library shut down by County Executive Maggie Brooks over a long-held policy that had let adult patrons — upon request — unblock potentially inappropriate or pornographic Web sites.
But how the policy will be implemented and what librarians will deem pornographic remains unclear. And because both library boards didn't approve the policy, officials were unsure whether the new policy would extend to the Central Library. Also, it's uncertain what impact the policy would have on existing rules at town libraries, each of which has its own boards.


It is not censorship to keep out of the libraries pornographic material that is already kept out of the libraries via the selection policies and practices.

It is not censorship to keep out of the libraries pornographic material that is already kept out of libraries by law and the courts, such as in US v. ALA.

For word "censorship" is used for its pure fear factor, since factually censorship is not present in this matter.

"The ... elites have convinced themselves that they are taking a stand against cultural tyranny. .... [T]he reality is that it is those who cry "Censorship!" the loudest who are the ones trying to stifle speech and force their moral world-view on others." By Dan Gerstein, an independent consultant, former communications director for Joe Lieberman and a senior strategist for his presidential campaign.

Congratulations to those who have leaders like Maggie Brooks who follow the law instead of bowing to American Library Association-style propagandists.

. . . those who cry "Censorship!" the loudest who are the ones trying to stifle speech and force their moral world-view on others.


Now, there's as pretty a sample of double-think as I've ever seen. Freedom is Slavery! War is Peace! Allowing others to choose their own morality instead of having mine shoved down their throats is a matter of forcing your moral world-view on others!

Yeah, right. Meanwhile it is not "to stifle speech and force their moral world-view on others" to deny people the right to choose when, where, how, and with whom to have sex or to procreate.

Filtering is not about collection development. The filtering movement was not generated or promoted by librarians. It was generated by ultra-conservative theo-political fanatics.

Fine, don't call it censorship. Call it Susan if you like.The fact remains that filters remove, in secret, huge swaths of appropriate, useful, important or at least benign information and there are multiple, independent studies that support that claim.And the pro-filtering camp does not seem to have an answer to this except to reel in the red herring of porn-watching child molesters and enabling ALA-brainwashed librarians.What about the vast tracts of electronic information that filters block unnecessarily? What about the ease with which filters can be beaten?

I read that case (us v ala) recommended. It seems all you need to do is ask the librarian to disable the filters. I see no problem with that. And as to your "huge swaths" case, I read that case on safelibries site called aclu v gonzales and wht you are saying is incorrect. Apparently, even the ACLU expert says filters work really well now. Why don't you read the case to get educated to prevent your making false statements that make you look silly. That case answers your "ease with whichfilters can be beaten" argument too by pointing out filters are the best way to achieve the goal sought. I don't think courts would spend so much time on cipa, us v. ala, aclu v. gonzales just to allow the use of "easily beaten" filters. What would be the point? Obviously the filters work, they work well, they are the best way to protect children, and you are just opposed facts be damned.

That's not all the case says. It also says that there is a significant amount of overblocking.

Here's a tasty morsel on Internet filters from those commie, pinko, ALA-brainwashed stakanovites: Consumer Reports. puters/internet-filtering-software-605/overview/in dex.htm

"Filters keep most, but not all, porn out. All of the products tested were very good or excellent at blocking pornography. AOL, KidsNet, and MSN blocked practically every such site in our test. The worst performer blocked 88 percent, enough to serve as an obstacle, but not impervious to a persistent teen.

"They block more than porn, but not effectively. The filters had a tough time blocking hate sites and those advocating illegal drug use, violence, and weapons-making. For example, nine products (all except AOL and KidsNet) failed to block a site with detailed instructions on how to kill someone with your bare hands."

"nformative sites are snubbed, too. The best porn blockers were heavy-handed against sites about health issues, sex education, civil rights, and politics. For example, seven products blocked, a site advocating gun owners’ rights. Most unwarranted blocking occurred with sites featuring sex education or gender-related issues. Some drug-education sites were blocked. For example, four products blocked the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the federal government’s National Institutes of Health. KidsNet interfered the most with useful sites, blocking 73 percent. All programs except CyberSitter show you why a specific site was blocked and all let adults override the block.

Research can be a headache. These programs may impede older children doing research for school reports. Seven block the entire results page of a Google or Yahoo search if some links have objectionable words in them. AOL, KidsNet, Norton Internet Security, and Safe Eyes allow searches to be completed by displaying the entire results page or blocking only offending words."

Further, and it's not said often enough, the best filter is a parent. Parent yo' damn kids. Why should I spend my limited budget on filters because someone uses the library as a day care?

The person who posted "mind your children" or something similar is missing the point - its not about regulating porn access to minors inasmuch as it is regulating porn access to child molester and registered sex offenders. There are many statistics, convictions and case studies supporting the FACT that child molesters and sex offenders are frequenting libraries to surf porn - period! The ALA wants to turn a blind eye to any liability and stamp the word "CENSORSHIP!" on the debate in an effort to attain the First Amendment Fear Factor. Its bullshit - plain and simple. First, internet access is not an inalienable right (neither are cell phones nor cable TV). Second, if a PUBLIC entity is going to accept Federal Funding for their computers and internet connections, then there should be allowable stipulations. Either that or don't take the money. Third, public library privacy in an oxymoron. If the library were to retain URL records for up to 90 days, on each patron who surfed the web and then researched the URL to confirm that all were LEGAL, it would be a major step. As of now, there are no such monitoring systems in place. Nevermind simple and legal things like backround checks, usage time limits et al. I agree the filtering is NOT the answer but there are plenty of alternative methods that are not being implemented.

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