The latest silliness is the British Library’s internet filters denying access to the online version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet – because the content was too violent! Whilst the Government are anxious to protect people from ‘naughty’ content and gratuitous violence online, this seems like complete idiocy.
The idea of restricting content is a good idea in principle, but doesn’t work in practice.
- Try searching Google images for ‘puppies’ and of course you will get some cute little furry animals – but you’ll also get some ■■■■■■■■■■ ■■■■■■■ young ladies.
- Students searching for information on Queen Victoria’s husband for their history projects may also find they are presented with some interesting piercings of intimate parts of the ■■■■ ■■■■■■■.
- If all references to ■■■ are filtered out anyone searching on Essex or Middlesex is likely to find their search blocked.
As a parent myself I agree that children should not have unsupervised access to the internet – but I think wholesale bans of anything even slightly doubtful is unrealistic; as the British Library incident demonstrates.
Even with today’s sophisticated algorithms it’s impossible to be completely accurate and it’s still going to be down to parents to monitor their children’s online activity.
After all, there even legal levels of ■■■■■■■■■■■ – look at the top shelf of the newsagents. It’s the versions that aren’t legal that should be blocked showing ■■■■■■■■ and ■■■■■■■■. If China can block Facebook, surely specific sites can be blocked to general access too.
The danger of applying rigorous filters that create taboos are simply likely to give youngsters hang-ups about anything to do with ■■■. Instead of applying across-the-board filters it would be much better to apply common sense.
The original article can be read here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23680689