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Library Blocks My Space December 15, 2006

Posted by publicpolitics in Censorship, Libraries, Uncategorized.


Cole’s favorite communication tool is the popular social networking Web site MySpace.com. But when he went to the library Monday, he found that he could not sign on to his personal page on the site.


The Manatee County Public Library System (Florida) has taken upon itself the duty of blocking access to MySpace pages in the public libraries. Administrators reviewed “behavior problems” associated with the use of the popular social networking site and decided that MySpace does not fit in with the library’s educational mission.

This is a bit of shortsighted censorship, to say the very least. The public library may indeed have an educational mission, but education and information can come from a variety of sources, including social networking sites,. The administrators are supposedly concerned about MySpace users who employ pretexting to lure under age patrons into risky situations. The whole internet can be used to do that, and if the Florida librarians are worried about it, they can easily restrict access to patrons under a certain age by turning filters off. This article gives one example of a man who uses MySpace as his main communication portal with his relatives in another state. There are many more like him, who use the site for compelling personal reasons, or in other benign ways. The Manatee librarians should rethink their position.

Tags: Venegas | Jonathon | Site | program | networking | library | helps | Girlfriend | favorite | Computer | communication | MySpace | Monday | manatee | Ivan | ESPINOZA | Cole | clifford



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