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Wake County Public Libraries To Censor MySpace

Via David King (first seen on his Facebook page) comes this story from the Raleigh Chronicle:

According to the Wake County Board of Commissioners press office, all public library computers will now be banned from visiting the popular MySpace.com website over the Internet, calling it an "attractive nuisance."

The county says it will begin blocking access to MySpace on March 1st and may start censoring other "nuisance" websites on the web in a few months.

The website, owned by Google, has gained in popularity over the years as a social networking website where members can build free personal pages to share photos, blogs, and also invite their friends to receive their updates.

"Although myspace has many legitimate uses, it also serves as an attractive nuisance for those who gather in the libraries for purposes other than using the resources and collections for recreation, lifelong learning or cultural purposes," the statement said.

David's post is excellent and I hope he doesn't mind me reprinting just a bit here: 

MySpace is a content container. The actual content is found on the millions of individual MySpace pages - some not terribly offensive, others pretty offensive to some groups. However, does it make sense to ban the content CONTAINER, when the majority of actual content found in MySpace isn’t terribly offensive? I don’t think so.

Why? Because logically, that argument allows for other content containers to also be banned. Hmm… can you, dear reader, possibly think of other content containers that might contain content that some library customers might find offensive?


No - I don’t really think Wake County wants to ban books. But I also don’t think their decision is ultimately a logical one.

Go read David's full post