Bill 410-15 will ban libraries and schools from letting people access “social networking sites”. So you’re thinking? How does this affect me? Maybe you don’t use myspace, which is probably the site you’re hearing the most about. Even if you don’t use myspace (and I do) this willl affect you, flickr is considered a social networking site and that’s where I host my pictures. I even have a pro account there. I know a lot of other people (including knitters) who use flickr and have pro accounts there. Other sites that would be considered social networking: Amazon, blogs with multiple contributors (see MDK KAL), and many more.
This may seem like a small problem, but creating a solution without a problem seems like a big deal to me. Flickr, myspace and may other social networking sites are no more dangerous than walking down streets in your town, or at the local mall, (where you’ll see many young girls dressed very provocatively, half nude A&F models) or your local library. Predators can be anywhere. The solution is to educate people. I’m quoting Robin on this because she is a great parent and very tech savvy individual.
I’ve said it over and over again – MySpace isn’t the problem, it’s a symptom. If you take aspirin to mask your symptoms, your underlying disease just gets worse. That’s what will happen here. Kids will find somewhere else to congregate and we’ll be doing this again in a few years. Let’s work on educating kids as to what is appropriate information for public sites, how to protect themselves on-line and help them become responsible net citizens – let’s not try to remove any possible problems that may exist on the Internet and not teach them how to work through those problems on their own.
I’ve also heard the argument that libraries and schools are for learning. Should libraries no longer offer the latest Daniele Steel novel? It’s certainly not educational, neither is John Grisham or Tom Clancy for that matter, maybe we’d better get rid of all fiction. As to schools, I maintain one of the most valuable things children learn there is how to interact with other people.
Please call, write, email your state representative and let them know that we don’t want or need this bill.