Saturday, July 29, 2006

USA Congress bans the Read/Write web in schools and libraries


The USA House of Representatives has passed the Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA) by a 410-15 vote. Source. This requires schools and public libraries to bar children from accessing social networking sites like MySpace.

Here's how DOPA defines social networking sites:
(i) is offered by a commercial entity;
(ii) permits registered users to create an on-line profile that includes detailed personal information;
(iii) permits registered users to create an on-line journal and share such a journal with other users;
(iv) elicits highly-personalized information from users; and
(v) enables communication among users.'.
In effect they have banned the Read/Write web

This means that children will continue to use MySpace etc. from home without receiving any training about how to use it safely at School. This irresponsibility is done in the name of responsibility.

School have not done this. Government has done it to Schools. But it seems that the adults in Schools are not prepared to resist this censorship. So, the children will have to find their own way in cyberspace, unsupervised. This is the outcome of risk free mentality and moral panic.

I have earlier published extracts from an excellent interview with Danah Boyd and Henry Jenkins about MySpace and the proposed Deleting Online Predators Act. Read that for a proper understanding of the issues.

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