other information poor pitfalls

Sethf explains one of the pecadillos that I have a hard time putting in to words. His example concerns filtering and just who is responsible for overfiltering. These problems magnify when people believe what they are told by vendors [and other advocates with an agenda] about hardware and software “solutions” to their problems. It’s important to maintain a critical perspective to provide the best service to our patrons. Remember, to them we’re the experts and we shouldn’t outsource that responsibility just because we’re outside of our comfort range with new technologies.

It’s a tale of a typical “censorware shuffle”. The administrators have no idea what blacklists are in place and what’s blacklisted (they probably think censorware “filters pornography”). The service reseller (SonicWall), as a hardware manufacturer, just repackages the censorware blacklists (here, “Cerberian”). The censorware company will say the site fits their category, so it’s the school policy maker’s fault. Everyone’s fingers point to someone else. And the eventual effect of it all is that the government has a free hand to propagandize. While critics – who remember, are sometimes told by net-bubble-blowers that The Uncensorable Internet gives them an equal opportunity to be heard, because you can put up a website – are marginalized from important audiences.