Pros and Cons of Internet Filters in Public Libraries

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Is internet filters in public libraries needed? Are they more helpful or harmful then anticipated? In recent research I have learned pro’s and con’s on this argument. I have come to my own conclusion of internet filters.

Low income family’s are not likely to have computer and or internet access at home. A lot of schools require in-depth research on homework assignments in which the internet can help. A person who has been diagnosed with breast cancer might want to research symptoms, certain medications and treatments. A art major might what to explore didn’t typed of art work. In these cases one would depend on the public library for researching homework, medical symptoms or types of drugs. These filters could cause interference in education on certain topics .

Seeing as the library is a public place a parent would have concerns as to what their children are exposed to or have access to. The need to protect children from accessing inappropriate or harmful materials online became a big concern in late 1990‘s. The internet was fairly new to the publics eye, and was growing quickly. The unlimited access of any subject was available at a touch of a button. The need for content blocking software and parent controlling systems grew quickly.

So what exactly is filtering and or content control. What all does a filter, filter? Internet filters are software programs that control what is shown while a computer user is viewing pages on the World Wide Web. The 1990’s the filters were designed to protect minors from viewing pornography, hate speech and other controversial online content. They work by intercepting and blocking attempts to view particular web pages and can be controlled by the administrator. In the attempt to grasp this problem congress wanted to control what could be viewed on web pages. The Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA) was passed to stop internet users from communicating material that would be offensive to minors. The...
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