Monday, May 17, 2010

Tulsa Library: Bastion of Censorship Online

The Tulsa City library system has a shameful system of online censorship. 

I do not support internet censorship of any form, but I do accept that libraries may want to filter potentially visually offensive materials to protect other library patrons from inadvertent viewing. 

However, the Tulsa library wifi (which, by the way presents an invalid self-signed security certificate) takes censorship to an extreme level which I haven’t experienced anywhere else.

Examples of blocked sites:

  • Craigslist
  • Boing Boing
  • Google.com/preferences (!) (presumably to disallow one from changing the SafeSearch filter from ‘strict’)censorship

Libraries should be leaders of information provision, not home to the most restrictive forms of censorship.  I hope that this policy is a sign of the puritanical culture here, not a sign of things to come at libraries everywhere.

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