View Full Version : internet filters

10-05-2006, 04:03 PM
well, i saw the other thread that was closed, but i thought it would be an interesting debate... dont talk about ways to get around filters, just whether or not you think they should be in place. thats legal right? if one of the mods disagrees, feel free to close this.

personally, im very much against any kind of filters, since no filter can be made perfect and will always block some useful site or show some kind of bias. on our school computers, many sites that have information about the holocaust are blocked as racism. many political sites are blocked as extremism, and i've noticed a small bias towards the conservative side. some i would have thought would be extreme would not be blocked. many filters block info about safe sex. for our school filters, the "obsene/tasteless" label seems to be the most used. who's deciding what's tasteless? my music is tasteful to me...

i realize that schools and libraries have been given the responsibilities of keeping porn and other questionable materials out of the hands of minors, but with software making it easier and easier for teachers and administrators to monitor exactly what students and other users have been looking at (our school computer labs have software installed that allows the teacher to view every screen at that moment on their own computer), is a huge filter with a huge block list really all that necessary?

10-05-2006, 04:07 PM
filters are here for a reason, just like you said to keep porn off of library and school comps, we cant let a 9 year old kid hear some of the 'sailor words' if you know what i mean.

Im doing a project in health class about marijuana, and we (my group) and i were looking for Rehab places, or numbers you can call to get outa the problem your in, and sadly alot were blocked. I can see why Myspace, and Facebook are blocked in schools, as well as AIM..but some things need to be not filtered so we can learn about our topics...

10-05-2006, 04:19 PM
me and my friends get really pissed when we cant look at paintball sites during study hall when we have nothing else to do. But yes filters should be there execpt less restrictive.

10-05-2006, 04:23 PM
School computers are for school related uses. I agree that some things shouldn't be filtered, but anything that isn't related to school in anyway should be. I hated it when I was in high school, but its there for a reason.

10-06-2006, 03:18 AM
It's something you'll have to live with in school. Study hall is not there to look at paintball forums. I guarantee if you'd use study hall for the purpose it is there for, instead of coming home and having 3 hours of homework because you spent study hall browsing the internet, you could come home and have 3 extra hours of paintball forum browsing goodness. That's what I did in HS, did all my homework at school and came home to do whatever I wanted to..

10-06-2006, 03:34 AM
Study hall... what is that?...

Yea i get lots of filter blocks on stupid things but i have to sit back and think why they are on there... My school usualy has a block page that for some of the sites has a button that will allow you to visit the site for a certian amount of time and then it will kick you out after that time is finished....

Meh Votech's comp room has no blocks on thier computers....

10-06-2006, 03:51 AM
***If this gets even CLOSE to a discussion of how to avoid filters, this thread will be locked and everyone posting towards that effect will be permanently banned. Just a friendly warning for you!**

Study hall = place to study because, A. you haven't been doing it at home and need the time to work, B. you need the extra help or C. you got in trouble and it's a punishment, in which case you shouldn't be browsing the internet for fun.

Nowhere in that definition does it say it's there for you to enjoy the school's internet computers or to fill in free time, in my opinion - so I don't understand why people get mad when they can't use it.

The filters are there because some kid (and maybe a teacher or two) has gone onto a site they shouldn't have, or are spending more time on certain sites than allowed (ie paintball sites in study hall.) Fortunately for me, none of the paintball sites I go to are blocked, but if I were to spend more time on there than my lunch period, then I could see it being blocked. Students are notorious for using the internet for their own leisure. A lot of proxy sites are blocked by my school's filters for that very reason. And let's face it, MOST are not looking at reputable sites. I doubt seriously anyone circumvents the filter to look up an assignment!

Contrary to student's beliefs, the internet is not provided to them to fill their leisure time in school. It's a tool to be used in their studies. A lot of filters work by seeing words on the page and it blocks them (I can't view the Yankees website because it has something to do with games.) Sometimes things get through though. Last year, I had a 5th grade student looking at porn on the internet - and it had words you would have thought would have been blocked! He looked at a LOT of sites like that, but the kid didn't know how to erase his tracks - pretty much an idiot!

It's also a myth that teachers and principals have more control over the internet. Actually, it's the technical team that has control over the net. Most teachers don't know what you're looking at unless they're up and monitoring students (as they should be in the first place) and most don't want to take the time to learn how to use the monitoring programs - in that respect, teachers and principals are just as stubborn as students!

I respect the filters and wish they were a bit more effective! Of course, it's in my benefit that they were...

10-06-2006, 09:27 AM
uh, i only need to get past filters cuz then have a massive block on flash websites and i take webdesign and it uses flash so i go to some for ideas, i just go to the IT department, let them know the issue and the block on a few sites i need is down for the day or however long i need it.

10-06-2006, 10:12 AM
I hated filters when I was in highschool. Majority of the time it was because I was in a computer class and after I finished my work I would want to browse forums and such just to keep busy. Like always kids always find a way around stuff but I think filters are there more so for protection.

Not to protect the kids from the material but to protect themselves. Because as the world is it now I can just see a Parent suing a school because their son/daughter was able to access certian materials online which "caused mental harm".

And of course they are there so students dont get distracted but that is besides the point :p

10-06-2006, 02:23 PM
for me, its always research that gets blocked... research for a project over STDs in health class, or a project over the holocaust and nazi germany, or studying racism or something similar. then our school filters went and blocked wikipedia. that really pissed me off. its like the most comprehensive encyclopedia evar. i could see why, except that wikipedia usually keeps a pretty good leash on biased entries and entries not from a scholarly pov. the ips of capitol hill computers were all banned because congressmen's staff members were getting on and writing crap about politicians.

there is no such thing as a perfect filter, and personally, id rather err on the side of free flow of information, ESPECIALLY in places of education. block games or whatever, but things like political groups, especially peaceful ones, should not be blocked, however radical their views. some websites like wikipedia, where everything is discussed in a completely logical and scholarly manner (dont believe me? look up dirty words on there and see what happens... you can learn the possibilities of where the f-bomb came from and how many different ways in the english language you can use it :P ) should not be blocked. (btw, i dont look up dirty words on wikipedia regularly. i just wanted to see how far the mature manner went...) and while you're on wikipedia, i suggest looking at the random article. sometimes its pretty enlightening. but anyway, i guess its obvious i disagree with the fact that our school blocked wikipedia.

anyway, i guess the whole point i was trying to make is filters are necessary, but i see no reason for some to be as large as they are

10-06-2006, 02:52 PM
none of the teachers at my last school agreed with them, pretty much the only things that werent blocked, were a few game sites, and a few news sites, so they eventually just told us how to bypass the filters, so that we could actually get our work done


Thnx :)

10-06-2006, 03:23 PM
Well, thanks, mods, for being open with this thread. I do appreciate it.

Anyways, the only thing is, I mean, they banned Myspace and all, and that's fine with me. I generally don't go to myspace anymore anyways, and with my background and history with myspace in my school is not so hot, so it's not like I'd want to. (Has to do with racism.. it was mis interpreted.. and the like..)

I do think some of their banning is legit, such as bannings against porn and the like, but they banned Mozilla (and my teachers USE Mozilla), they also banned Hotmail (who knows why), and PayPal (90% of people and teachers in my school don't even know what PayPal is). They also banned YouTube, which I guess is legitimate becuase they don't want people watching movies in the computer lab, taking up computers that may need to be used by students wanting to work. And that's fine if they ban all those in the computer lab, I've never had any problem with it. But then just this Wednesday, I found out they were banning axcess from the wireless internet as well. Last year and before Wednesday, I was able to visit anything if I wanted to. I usually bring my laptop to school so I can do stuff during my free time, and especially with such a weak connection at the house, I usually work with PayPal at my lunchtime in school, but seeing as that website has been banned, I can't.

The reason I wanted to bypass it was because I was annoyed at the choice of banned websites, and the legitimacy. They our Technology and computer code in the School Handbook does not say anything about me not being able to use my laptop at my own free will, looking at whatever I want. It only adresses the school computers, in the computer lab and the library, and it says that the reason they don't want people playing games on the computers, is because they need to keep the computers open when people need to do work. And they banned myspace because of some issues we had with it last year.

That's just me personally.


Yes, I know the computers are not there for my leisure. But we also do have an eBay type club, and we have to work on paypal using it, and if it's banned, we can't really use it.. And the club is supervised by a teacher and the like. And yes, there are multiple websites that are education based that have been banned as well.

Anyways, I am considering talking to some of the computer tech guys about it.

10-06-2006, 03:31 PM
In my school, I feel that they are going a little overboard. I excepted the banning of myspace, and have almost stopped useing that all together, and my school has banned a lot of the other things mentioned in this thread, but at the beggining of this school year they filtered something I really don't understand. Google image, they are now making us use altinernate search engines, like altavista, yahoo, and picsearch if we need to get any images. I really don't see how Goggle, would have any pictures that any of those other engines would have.

10-06-2006, 03:34 PM
Yea my school has had Google Image banned for a while now. I don't really understand why they would ban that and not the other ones as well. I do think my school still has Youtube though.

10-06-2006, 04:07 PM
In my opinion, using the Internet for research is both an asset and a detriment to society.

Asset - it is the planet's largest source of information that is instantly accessible at the click of a mouse.
Detriment - It makes people (including me) lazy because now you don't have to go very far, look very hard or actually use your brain to sift through relevant/irrelevant information contained in other research methods like...books and printed articles.

Asset - It can save the life of a patient if the doctor is unfamiliar with a symptom and needs an immediate solution or treatment.
Detriment - Stalkers, perverts and hit-men can find you in an instant.

Asset - It's an invaluable tool for law enforcement to use in the apprehension and conviction of criminal behavior.
Detriment - it's an invaluable tool for a lot of criminal behavior. Hacking, virus planting, etc is on the rise 100's of % in many areas over the past 3 years.

The list can go on and on but the simple fact is this...

...kids today aren't going to use the school computers for ONLY school work. The rash of perverse, destructive, murderous and in general, criminal activities conducted today, have to be limited or extinguished somehow. Whether you engage in those activities or not, someone will. In this day and age of Civil Litigation, a school district doesn't want to be held liable or accountable when it's discovered that the child got the info off/ used a school computer to get/do it.

I agree that the sometimes it seems that the "banned" list gets a bit extreme...but then again...you are there to get an education and learn the skills necessary to flourish in life...not froth around paintball sites, learn how to hack into a defense computer, ET AL.

10-06-2006, 05:18 PM
censorship of any kind is a slippery slope to controlled inverse propaganda. not that, this bothers me since all it would be is a more organized form of the media crap thats going on now.

10-06-2006, 10:18 PM
censorship of any kind is a slippery slope to controlled inverse propaganda. not that, this bothers me since all it would be is a more organized form of the media crap thats going on now.
Claus I love how you are so opinionated, it really makes things interesting to see how you stand on so many different topics, keep it up and you will go places, lets just hope your not the homeless guy in NY that is handing out flyers with random opinions on them. But instead the political activist who has their priorities set straight....

10-07-2006, 09:12 AM
Claus I love how you are so opinionated, it really makes things interesting to see how you stand on so many different topics, keep it up and you will go places, lets just hope your not the homeless guy in NY that is handing out flyers with random opinions on them. But instead the political activist who has their priorities set straight....
i see some sort of compliement there... but opinionated is such a bad word for this occassion, i think "prophetic" might be better suited. ;)

alot of people think "maturing" is the best route for everything in life, but really it seems to be more of a conformity to a society that few have really bothered to question. i think its good to stay humble (despite my last over the top "prophetic" thing) and never accept that you know everything or are even close to knowing everything. you know more or you know less, never most or least. also i try to keep the typical child who questions things alive inside of me. you know how a young kid will question parents and say "why?", they will answer but he will keep asking "why?" until the parent has no answer, well im that kid, and now that im older i have more resources, but im still dedicated to the same thing.

tldr: The thatis less important than the because [/aristotle]

i'm pretty tactical, and not many people listen to homeless people, so that should give me a good enough reason to succeed. i want to start a wierd compilation community/business thing, but i'm far from being ready to put my plan into action.

10-08-2006, 03:06 AM
a lot of people think "maturing" is the best route for everything in life, but really it seems to be more of a conformity to a society that few have really bothered to question.

It is that conformity that allows society to function in an "as close to fluid" manner as possible...otherwise, we are left in chaos and anarchy. Since chaos or anarchy will not permit the growth of a person, society or Nation in an intelligent and progressive manner, we will be left to fend off the hoarded masses of blithering idiots who cannot function inside a societal structure (more than we do now.)

Society has rules that are for the betterment of all (a Comunistic ideal, I know) and they are just necessary.

10-08-2006, 05:24 AM
to function? is that our purpose? design, build, advertise, and sell items of economic consumption? for what?

the betterment of society wouldn't be to coexist in a generally peacefull manner on a planet that is creeping slowly into death. the betterment of society would be to take steps to a goal, and leave the future generation with a higher place to start from. Like the goal say of... leaving?

our society isn't preventing blithering idiots, its controlled by them.

10-08-2006, 06:06 AM
my school filters suck balls. Frequently our own school's website is blocked... and bbc's website is closed too, you want to know why?
"Sorry this web page has been forbidden for Education".

Yeah its pretty funny.

10-08-2006, 09:30 AM
Well I'm Currently going to school At a Place Called HTI in Phoeniz AZ.
It's a Computer tech school.
My current Class would just so happen to be Computer Forensics. Which belive it or not has to deal with some filters.

Now Before anyone flames me.
Out Of Pure lazy ness I read No posts before this and Only the First Paragraph of the First post.

I thinks Filters are very usefull. Websense Is the Easiest that i have used.
I used to Be a techh For My old HS as well,.
Websense makes it easy to assign groups with cetain privilages.
It also Makes certain kewords no accesible.
Like the Word Proxy Is a favorite for websense users.
I had Myspace Completely Blocked Out of our school for the average user.
Proxy's were Unaccessable and Searhengines were refused certain keywords.

It was Funny to See people get angry because they acctually had to Do work Instead of Go On their favorite website at school.
Plus it was Fun to Experiment with different things.

am I mean person.? no.
am I a fair person.? no.
Thats what I love about my field. I dont have to be.