Why Internet blocking sucks.

16 04 2008

And no, this is not a rant about how wrong it is that I can’t get on facebook at school. It’s annoying, but it’s really no big deal.

I HATE the internet blocking software my school has. Not just the fact that, in the library, it blocks MySpace, Facebook (both of which make total sense), or most blog sites (but not wordpress – ha ha!). I hate the stupid little “porn blocker”. Granted, one should not be watching porn in school.  And, who would? The problem lies in the other things it censors.

I was trying to get on the Disability Pride Parade’s website this morning. Yes, there is a disability pride parade. Cool idea, huh?

It was blocked as “pornography”. Umm, what?

Also, parts of AfterEllen.com have been blocked in the past. Most of that site is pretty PG-rated. Although I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, could it be because the content has to do with queer issues?

And that’s just the beginning of it. Good luck trying to get on a website that has “sex” in the title. This not only prevents people from watching porn, but also, prevents them, most likely, from researching such timely topics as sex education and sex worker rights.

I’m going to say it. When it’s teenagers we’re talking about, internet censorship and controls are, well, stupid.

Never mind the fact that it blocks websites that really aren’t “objectionable” in the first place. The whole thing comes from a misguided menatlity: “We must protect the children from sex!”. I would seriously dispute calling someone between the age of 14-18 a “child”, and a good number of high school students are having sex anyway. It wouldn’t kill them to learn about it. Plus, I seriously doubt that the intention of the censorbot is to prevent students from watching porn. Anyone will tell you, it’s very difficult to do that in a crowded computer lab. Plus, if the problem is students “slacking off”, let the teachers deal with that themselves. Slacking is objective; what might be off topic for one class may not be for another.

I think people seriously underestimate high school students. Most of us aren’t dumb enough to be watching porn in school. So I say take the censorware off the computers. Let students and teachers use their discretion.