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Congress to Ban Social Network Sites from Schools, Libraries

     
7:43 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator ewhisper is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Web sites like Amazon.com and MySpace.com may soon be inaccessible for many people using public terminals at American schools and libraries, thanks to the U.S. House of Representatives.

By a 410-15 vote on Thursday, politicians approved a bill that would effectively require that "chat rooms" and "social networking sites" be rendered inaccessible to minors, an age group that includes some of the Internet's most ardent users. Adults can ask for permission to access the sites.

Source: CNet [news.com.com]

7:50 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Lot's of changes taking place this very moment. The Internet is changing right before our very eyes. It's only going to get more restrictive as time passes. At least here in the U.S.

"This is a piece of legislation which is going to be notorious for its ineffectiveness and, of course, for its political benefits to some of the members hereabout."

Keep in mind that this piece of legislation applies only to schools and libraries...

Both versions apply only to schools and libraries that accept federal funding, which the American Library Association estimates covers at least two-thirds of libraries.
8:44 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Lots of schools ban cellphones because of their potential to distract students. I don't like this legislation, but I can see that social networking sites could be more of a distraction than an aid to learning. I don't think the school bans have hurt cell phone use by teens very much.

No doubt the implementation will be suitable bizarre.

9:10 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Legislators don't know enough about the intricacies of the web to regulate it effectively. If you don't believe me turn on C-SPAN when they're debating any kind of technology related bill. It's almost comical. The most powerful and influential lobbies in Washington are acting as the puppet masters here (as usual).
9:45 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Do we really need a federal law to regulate this? Can't we leave this up to the Principals? Furthermore, retricting access to these sites in libraries seems just a tad bit unconstitutional, don't you think?

This is coming from someone who thinks myspace is 'creepy and weird', less so than this bill however...

[edited by: Copacetic1 at 9:46 pm (utc) on July 28, 2006]

10:01 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Just try to stop them from accessing it. Makes it forbidden and that much more likely kids will want to get to it. Plus Cell Phones are much more likely to be used to access it.

Its amazing how uninformed the government is.

10:22 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whoisgregg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Yet another way that libraries can hasten their obsolescence.

You don't make children who play in a park safe from predators by putting up a fence around the park. You install lights, increase police patrols, and start a community watch group.

What's the real point of this bill? Considering the broad range of sites that now and will fit within the category of "social networking" and that it's essentially "up to the Federal Communications Commission" to decide which sites are banned, then... well... I'm a step away from bumping into the WebmasterWorld No Politics Policy so I'll just stop. :/

"Save the Children!" politicking always gets me worked up.

11:29 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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... on the other hand, it just means more traffic for us!
12:00 am on Jul 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Is that schools like elementary to high school or does that include colleges too? There are minors in college...
12:03 am on Jul 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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What's upsetting about this is the implicit class warfare.

Basically - rich kids get access (who have high bandwidth PCs in their bedroom), but the poor does not.

[edited by: rogerd at 2:01 am (utc) on July 29, 2006]
[edit reason]
[1][edit reason] Let's stay out of politics... [/edit]
[/edit][/1]

12:47 am on Jul 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member digitalghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



When the vote is 410-15, it's a bipartisan effort regardless of what party the author(s) belong to. And this is only the House vote. Look for the bill, yes, it is still a bill, to change significantly as it makes its way through the Senate.

The bigger question is why do bills like this get support? Let's be honest, the politicians don't work in a vacuum. They run polls for everything. Apparently, many of their constituents support this proposed legislation. So it is not just Representatives and Senators that don't understand, the majority of the populace doesn't understand either.

12:52 am on Jul 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Sounds par for the course! Now what do the webmasters do to oblige? If this becomes law, are webmasters to be held responsible if a minor accesses a "social networkin" "educational" space? Guess my English/ Spanish area for students will need to be modified to accomadate. Of course I can block access to all US IPs. Whoops! I'm starting to sound like THEM!
12:52 am on Jul 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Good point RogerD. If this passes through the senate, it probably wouldn't be as catastrophic as it might sound.

But that doesn't change the fact that this is bad legislation. It won't be long before every major site allows visitors to create some kind of a profile. Kraft lets you do it so you can recipes. Walmart.com has a social networking site now so you can talk about, uh, Walmart stuff.

Are the legislators really trying to block (poor) kids' Internet access to site like Wikipedia and Amazon? Seems like someone should have done a little research before writing this bill up.

Maybe the Internet really is just a Series of Tubes [youtube.com]

1:14 am on Jul 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I say "way to go". Kids are there to learn. Many children are already out of control as it is. Take away their toys until it's play time. I wasn't allowed to play with my Rubik's Cube during class. It's all the same, just a different day.

School computers are funded with tax money. Kids should not be "socializing" and "hooking up" on my dime. They need to learn there are rules and consequences, and when they get in the "real world" there will be rules there too.

[edited by: crobb305 at 1:17 am (utc) on July 29, 2006]

1:14 am on Jul 29, 2006 (gmt 0)



the only problem I have i that Congress is mandating it. Those posturing $%#$@!#^^$%#$! Other than that, I don't see why libraries of schools need to give kids access to myspace etc. It's just a waste of time.
1:22 am on Jul 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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< Kids should not be "socializing" and "hooking up" on my dime.

They certainly don't need the Internet for that. That's going to go on (on our dimes) whatever the government says.

1:22 am on Jul 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ken_b is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



MySpace
It's just a waste of time.

Every website is a waste of time to someone.

Should we ban access to all sites?

1:34 am on Jul 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



That's going to go on (on our dimes) whatever the government says.

Then ban it/block it, etc, and get the children back into the classroom (without their cell phones). Heck, let's put a uniform on those spoiled brats while we're at it. School is a place to learn, or it should be.

[edited by: crobb305 at 1:35 am (utc) on July 29, 2006]

1:35 am on Jul 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



It's a sad reflection upon the youth that they think it is appropriate to use social networking sites and chatrooms in libraries or schools at all.

I might be wrong but I believe that schools still have socialising time available after lunch has been eaten. If the students want to socialise then let them sit on the playground bench and natter in the normal way.

1:58 am on Jul 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Having been admin for several chatroom sites in the past which not only have chat logs, but also security staff who are actually off duty police, we also cooperate fully with the FBI. Often the parents are online with the children also (even if in different locations). Suffice to say those sites have few problems, unlike places like myspace.

This whole ban is another massive over-reaction by govenment (again). Rather than try to understand which types of sites are a risk, mainly any that allow posting of personal details in profiles, they just ban anything.

Another much bigger question, why introduce a bill in the first place? Simply asking Schools and Libraries to ban particular sites (or classes of sites), I'm sure the FBI could supply a list of troublesome sites, would do. Why the hell introduce more laws?

Are they planning to ban MSN messenger, Yahoo chat and any site with PHPBB while they are at it? I can see those sites/applications fitting the description.

2:06 am on Jul 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It sounds like another case of throwing the baby out with the bath water.

I've actually got a couple dozen schools that pay for their kids to have access to one of our sites. While it's an educational site at heart, the social networking part of it is big. When done properly and in a manner that stresses maturity, social networking sites can be hugely beneficial to students.

2:15 am on Jul 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member digitalghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



If they're at a library or a school, with people near them, what is all this talk about social networking? ; ) Where are the studies that indicate it is harmful to devote more time to people on a screen than with people in person? I'm sure they've been conducted.
2:33 am on Jul 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I say "way to go".

I agree with the part that kids are on our tax money and they need to be paying attention in class. I do not agree with it being so broad that this could affect a lot of sites especially for libraries. Libraries are a place for everyone to go of all ages. It is not just about kids. Adults sure seem to be loosing more and more internet freedom this week.
2:35 am on Jul 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It's a sad reflection upon the youth that they think it is appropriate to use social networking sites and chatrooms in libraries or schools at all.

What about the internet freedoms of the Adults in libraries?

2:38 am on Jul 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member digitalghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Adults need simply to ask for permission to access the types of sites the bill is targeting.
2:58 am on Jul 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



What about the internet freedoms of the Adults in libraries?

From my understanding, they are referring to School libraries. If a school teacher wants to use school resources to "hook up" or "make friends" on myspace, that is, again, a misuse of tax-payer money.

They can use their own computers, on their own time. It's that simple.

If the bill is targeting Public libraries, I again argue that it is a misuse of resources. There are students and teachers alike who want to use those computers for valid research activities, school work, papers, etc. I should not have to wait for someone using the computers to line up their next date or post about petty gossip on myspace, before I can use the computers to fulfil my professional/educational needs.

If you want to socialize online, go to Kinkos, where you can pay for your time on the computer. Or better yet, buy a computer and do it at home.

[edited by: crobb305 at 3:08 am (utc) on July 29, 2006]

3:08 am on Jul 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Crobb305,

You are avoiding the main issue that it could hurt a broad range of sites.

3:08 am on Jul 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ken_b is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Adults need simply to ask for permission to access the types of sites the bill is targeting.

Adults need to ask for permission? Isn't that backwards?

Should we really be treating adults like children?

Is that really the way of the USA?

3:10 am on Jul 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



You are avoiding the main issue that it could hurt a broad range of sites.

Not hardly. The bill targets "social" sites. If it targets "socializing" sites beyond Myspace, so be it. Tax-payer resources are not there to "socialize".

When I worked as a Federal Employee, we weren't allowed to use social networking resources or chat rooms. We had rules to follow or face consequences. Why shouldn't these children have to follow rules, and learn early that that life isn't always a big social event/party?

[edited by: crobb305 at 3:15 am (utc) on July 29, 2006]

3:12 am on Jul 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member digitalghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Okay folks, read the article and the bill. It applies to American schools and libraries. And adults that ask for access to those sites will get it.

And I really don't think there will be much of an impact on traffic for the sites involved.

Yes, the bill it too broad, but it is still a bill, not law.

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