July 09, 2003

TopPENISh update

There's a fun Seattle press article about the censorware troubles of the town of Toppenish (my emphasis below)

CENSORSTUPIDSHIP: Don't bother trying to find "Toppenish" on the Internet using filtered computers in the Yakima Valley Regional Library System -- even at the library in Toppenish. "Bess," a widely used anti-pornography filter installed on some of the regional library's terminals, blocks the town's name as a search term as it zeros in on the fourth through eighth letters, according to an Associated Press story.


"It is supposed to block strings of letters like that," said spokesman David Burt.

He added that the library was using a function called "Safe Search" that is meant to be "overprotective."

But as of late last week, the company's database operators were working on a system to block the word penis and allow Toppenish.

Wow, "database operators were working ...". C'mon, it's one pattern item in the blacklist. Such mystification.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in censorware | on July 09, 2003 12:47 PM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
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And has anyone explained why, exactly, the word "penis" should be filtered in the first place? I mean, really!

Posted by: Avedon at July 10, 2003 07:58 PM