IST611 Week 11: Internet Content Filters

This week we’re talking about Internet content filters in the library. When I think of content filters, I think of this scene in a cartoon that I can’t quite recall. The character realizes that his boat is leaking. The leak is small so he plugs it with a finger. Then another tiny leak springs up. No big deal, the cat or duck has another hand. So in goes another finger. But then, more little holes start springing up all over the place, and there just aren’t enough fingers to plug them all, so the boat sinks. I tried to find a gif of this, but I couldn’t.

A content filter is a popular solution to keeping minors safe from information to which they should not have access (at the very least, not without careful supervision and the opportunity for dialogue afterward). The fact is, though, there are many possible solutions to curating what young people are exposed to on the Internet.

Rather than a lengthy post on the topic, though, I thought it might be interesting to have a guest star on a podcast. My sibling, who has asked to go by the name, Kappa, for this purpose, agreed to sit down with me for a quick conversation about internet content filters as a library outsider. (I was tired when we started, so I said “privacy filters” by accident. We got back on track quickly. I also may have neglected to mention that this was specifically in a school environment…but it was an interesting conversation anyway.)

I think it is interesting what kind of topics Kappa associated with the subject of content filters. Our conversation obviously stuck with Kappa, because he brought up the topic again a little while later with some more questions the delved a little deeper into the implications of censorship in the library.

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