Are Library Internet Filters Electronic Book Burning or Child Protection?

The Sacramento Public Library Authority Board upheld the action of the city's libraries filtering access to the internet on library computers, despite challenges from the ACLU, the Sacramento News and review reported.

While there are those that see this as censorship - electronic book burning if you will - many people within the community see it as protecting family values. Both sides have validity and combined they reflect part of the difficulties of what can be accessed on the web.

The anti-censorship group say the filters stop access to legitimate health and sexuality information, while their opponents see the filters as protectors of children. The libraries do allow the filters to be turned off for adults and children with written permission from their families.

One member of the council summed up the anti-web position.

"It would probably break every rule in the book, but I'd say go and unplug every computer in every library,” SN&R quoted.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.