Comments: Censorware vs. Blogs

If you let students freely communicate with each other (e.g. on blogs) ... they are going to talk to each other about matters that the authorities might not want them to talk about. So no blogs allowed.

I'm not sure that I buy this... if the school administrators were really going to act on such a motivation they would need control over students' web access 24/7; otherwise little Jane and little Johnny would go home and post to LiveJournal from their bedrooms (or send photos to Flickr from their phones while riding the bus home, even), and the whole thing would be moot.

The "resources" explanation makes a little more sense, but frankly I'm inclined to chalk this up to someone's idea of what is and isn't appropriate in a school environment; I think many school administrators lack any useful experience with anything resembling blogging technology and so view it simply as a high-tech way of passing notes.

Posted by James at April 5, 2005 06:58 AM

Which it is, of course. Seth-- I can't cut French class today, since I since I need to translate this from my Quebecois pen-pal.

You didn't copy the the the most insightful part of her post: "Teenagers really suck!" She forgot to link to what our fellow-blogger Bill Maher blogged on April Fool's on Salon: Abstinence pledges suck -- literally. The shame, no comments to this poor woman's blog. Suppose we tip Jarvis off to this gross injustice?

Ok, maher's not a blogger, but he'll be retroactively called one by the end of the year.

Posted by Jon Garfunkel at April 5, 2005 10:28 PM

James, I'm not pounding the table (or Jon, on Jarvis' gate) because indeed, from such a small quote, the exact reason could be argued. But I think there are some aspects here which will re-occur, the P2P issues. Of course school administrators can't control what happens outside of school. But as it becomes easier to do "electronic note passing", I suspect we're going to see more of these sorts of disputes. This is why I think it's a much more subtle issue than a wrong blacklist, basically again the peer-to-peer issue.

Posted by Seth Finkelstein at April 6, 2005 02:32 AM

I'm surprised at the amount of people who have found my comments to be so thought provoking. As I am sitting here at work (looking for ways to get around the Bess filter), I accidentally came across your blog. Thanks for the quote. I thought that I was going to pass out from a spike in my blood pressure. Kudos for the rise.

Posted by Gabby at April 8, 2005 02:40 PM