Friday, May 26, 2006

Is WebSense Common Sense?

I read an article yesterday my friend had co-written for our school newspaper. It was a pro/con essay and my friend Amanda had the con side while her partner had the pro.
Amanda's arguement was that WebSense, the web censorship program that many schools and businesses use, blocked too much. And I've had this problem as well. For a Web Design project in my Multimedia Presentation and Design class I had to access the CBS site everyday. On the fifth day the site was blocked under "entertainment" and I couldn't use it in my project any longer. Also, I've tried to access lists for the top 100 children's books here at school and it was blocked under "shopping." Some things that may be blocked are needed for school or clubs. I can't even access my own website anymore, which I need to be able to when I'm participating in web design club.
On the pro side, WebSense keeps students and workers on task. Who wants to do research when you can be on MySpace, LiveJournal, or Addicting Games? No one will be doing their work. It also blocks inappropriate websites which are not allowed in schools in the first place.

But the question I ask of you is, should censorship be used in schools and businesses? And should it be used to the extent it currently is used at?

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