Congress Considering Ban on MySpace and Facebook in Libraries
First, libraries were forced to start filtering out obscene content in 2000. Then came the Patriot Act, which granted the government the right to examine the books you checked out and the sites you visited on a library's public computers. Now, lawmakers are trying to ban children from accessing MySpace and Facebook on library PCs in order to keep the kids safe from sexual predators.
The heavy-handed legislation -- a bill introduced by Representative Mark Steven Kirk of Illinois -- is, of course, being fought by the American Library Association. The library wants to protect people's privacy saying that it is essential if a community is to utilize the library for intellectual pursuits.
Library officials agree with the goal of the bill, but they say that educating kids and parents about the dangers of such sites is the only comprehensive solution to the problem, which is a more than fair point. Kids are crafty and aren't only signing on to MySpace at the library. Heck, any kid with a Sidekick could spend all day talking to predators and there would be no way to know.
We think a strong education program and some decent parenting can keep kids safe online, regardless of where they sign on from and what sites they use. [Source: USA Today]