you’ve tried COPA, now how about DOPA?

Please remember, librarians and teachers, that the less you inform and educate yourself about online communities like MySpace, the more you’ll have to take people’s words for the risks they may or may not involve. Now that people are looking into legislation potentially filtering sites like MySpace in schools and libraries (places that already have a high degree of filtering, so I’m not sure I totally get this) it’s a good time to inform yourself if you haven’t already.

Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA) has just introduced new legislation that would regulate the availability of sites like MySpace at schools and public libraries, claiming that “this new technology has become a feeding ground for child predators that use these sites as just another way to do our children harm.”

[thanks ryvar]

8 thoughts on “you’ve tried COPA, now how about DOPA?

  1. The paranoia about blogging and social sites is infuriating. I’m a school librarian and our school filters block most of these sites (not all, though – it’s very inconsistent). The filters are not very bright, so some genuinely offensive sites get through while these are blocked. I am realistic enough to know that the kids do use MySpace, etc, when they are out of school – so the in school block simply deprives them of a place to use it where they will have some supervision. It makes me nervous to put myself in a position where I am seen as responsible for what they do online, but since many parents are unwilling / unable to supervise them I think school libraries do have some responsibility to keep them informed. I’d rather have kids using MySpace and LiveJournal in my library, where I have the opprtunity to educate them about internet safety and engage with them about their internet use. Such blanket bans would certainly be insane.

    Meredith Farkas has a good post today on the positive ways libraries can use social netowrking sites, if you haven’t already seen it.

  2. One of the reasons I wanted to be a librarian was to help people access the information they want or need. Now I feel like my job is playing information cop, and as much as I still love most of the aspects of my job, I find I’m looking ahead and considering leaving the field for something 1) where I don’t have to tell people they aren’t allowed to do something because someone else thinks it might be dangerous/annoying/morally wrong/fun, and 2) where they’ll pay me a living wage.

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