Posted February 21, 2007 11:12 pm by with 14 comments

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Local CBS affiliate, WRAL, has just reported that Wake County Public Libraries plans to prevent computer users from accessing The library already has filters in place to prevent users from viewing pornographic web sites and those same filters will now work against MySpace accounts.

The reason? Too many people using MySpace to view pornographic content, which school children could be exposed to.

  • Looks like you picked up a new client and you’re trying to work them in whatever way you can. Or just sharing some local link love. Otherwise this isn’t very interesting, libraries have been doing their own censorship for years.

    But I would do the same exact thing if I had the traffic that you did!

  • They’re not a client. I found it interesting that they were now banning MySpace specifically. Unfortunately WRAL didn’t post the story to their site, so I had few options to link to.

  • This is why I keep coming back to this blog, Andy. Good point. MySpace’s efforts to control the perv’s and predators has still not worked out too well in the eyes of many… and perception is everything.

  • As I recall the story, the library guy said that children have been exposed to porn on the library computers–not “could be.” There was also the crime angle–possible gang activity documented on MySpace using library computers. Too bad they have to block a communications tool that is so important to teenagers, but they have a pretty good reason.

    It’s funny to see two local TV links from you this week. Who do we need to talk to at WTVD, I wonder?

  • Nathan – some of those kids were spending 3+ hours at the library on MySpace. Maybe it’s good that they banned it. 😉

  • It’s their email/IM/calendar platform. I’d want to look at how they’re using it, and what else they’re doing simultaneously, before deciding whether 3 hours is too much.

  • I have been saying for a while now that I feel MySpace will go the way of GeoCities if not managed properly. By the looks of this, it may have begun. Within a couple of weeks, the kids who used those computers for MySpace accounts will just move to the next website. Likely taking a large portion of other kids with them. From there it is a slippery slope.

  • I’d be very interested in finding out just what the library’s definition of “pornography” is, why the library staff is so overworked it can’t do a periodic walk-through of the PC area, and just where the parents of these vulnerable, sheltered tykes are while their children are out looking for cyber-smut.

    Why I acknowledge that there is a lot of porn on MySpace, that’s true of the Web generally. Speaking from experience, Google image search will serve up porn on innocuous searches at least as efficiently as someone can surf MySpace with more prurient intentions.

    As a tax payer, I find it maddening that the money I pay (gladly, by the way) to ensure my community has a decent library with Internet access isn’t spent as intended. On its face it is an unjustifiable intrusion of the government on First Amendment Rights. I resent it even more that the justification for this intrusion is that “the children (TM)” might or actually have (God forbid!) seen a bare breast or genitalia online.

    Grow up, people. No one is advocating that public libraries replace the back room rack of the local 7-11, but there are less intrusive and frankly more effective ways of enabling parental fantasies about their children having no idea what sex is until they’re over thirty and married than by blocking public access to major online sites.

  • Here is the WRAL article:

    I can’t agree with the ban. Public libraries are there for the use of the public – plain and simple. You cannot start making justifications and statements about one website without taking a look at others. If you started doing that, there would be nothing left in the library.

  • I think it is rediculous to block myspace for the simple reason that you are punishing innocent teens for something some stupid 12 year old niave kid with unattentive parents. If kids are going on myspace to look at pornography then they will find another way around it then just going to myspace. I use myspace to message friends and when I can’t use a phone or something like that and I think it is an invasion of privacy because parents can’t monitor their own kids . And or instill in them morals. How are you supposed to make the library censcored? It just promotes curiousity and makes things worse. That is my two cents and as a tax payer I feel it’s a waste of money going to the banning of things that it none of their buissness to ban.

  • Donnie Uwa

    I am a student that currently uses myspace. i use myspace as a personal planner of some sorts. banning myspace has not only be gruesome to my schudule but horrible to my online life. without myspace i cannot talk to my cousins who live in different states without having to use a telephone or something esle of that matter.

    i can’t show these librarians how much myspace is an ASSET rather than WEBSITE FOR PERVS. like some of the forumers said earlier there is no way to keep kids from learning about sex. we’re going to found out about it sooner or later. Come on, its not that hard to just go and look over at another person’s computer is it?

    they could ATLEAST make it avalible to the teens by allowing it in the adult section.if you were going to look at pornography who would really look at pornography at a library anyway? there are more good things about myspace than bad. its promoting use of computers by young teens.

    (they’ll most likely need it for a job later in life.)
    besides, its bringing people into the library. maybe if they get on the computer they will stop and get a book.

  • Somrthing needs to be done to protect children from viewing questionable material so its a good idea.

    Timothy Scheiman’s last blog post..Computer world and the economy

  • Nice info here, Myspace has had this coming for years if you ask me.

    Linkvana’s last blog post..LinkVana Discount

  • all public access should be controlled to pevent kids viewing porn and other nasty stuff