"Voluntary Censorship" vs. Govt Legislation

Ryan Anderson randerso at ece.eng.wayne.edu
Fri Aug 8 01:00:22 PDT 1997

On Wed, 6 Aug 1997, Kent Crispin wrote:

> This is not a good analogy at all.  Have you ever noticed that there
> are "childrens books" sections in the library? In fact, books in
> libraries *do* have ratings -- they just use a different technique
> than stamping it on the book.

Exactly!  Such a system (perhaps patterned after the Dewey Decimal System,
with expansion to handle fiction, news sites, etc or the Library of
Congress system, though I know very little about this system, and it's
probably too complicated to do on the net effectively) would allow you to
search for a site that contained information about "Green Eggs and Ham"
under children, for information about the Dr. Seuss book, and under news
for information about the nasty new genetic disease running through US
farms.  [finctional example, but I think the point got across, hopefully]

Two things need to be prevented to make this a viable solution:  NO
MANDATES from government, though a request for sites that are somewhat
controversial, such as adult sites to mark pages as such should not be
considered a horrible idea, this already happens to some extent in other

The second thing, and most important, is that web search engines need to
index *every* page, and allow the topical/categorization system as a way
to further limit searchs.  

This would be a method that I think would remove most of the fears in
place.  Search engines can't start limiting indexes to just the rated
sites, or they become a *major* problem on the net, but improving
searching is not somethign to be ignored in this issue.

This is a much more important issue than the filter of adult sites.  It
happens to provide a convenient way to do that, however, in a manner that
allows parents to limit whatever they want... [ you don't want your child
learnign about certain things?  block those ratings.. adult sites will
probably have a better percentage of categorizing than most others, but
no matter what you pick, something will listed under that...)

Ryan Anderson - <Pug Majere>     "Who knows, even the horse might sing" 
Wayne State University - CULMA   "May you live in interesting times.."
randerso at ece.eng.wayne.edu                        Ohio = VYI of the USA 
PGP Fingerprint - 7E 8E C6 54 96 AC D9 57  E4 F8 AE 9C 10 7E 78 C9

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