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The Cavalier

Internet filtration: protective barrier or too much shelter?

Sarah Gordon, Opinion Section Editor

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If there is any sight a student groans at more than the front page of a standardized test, it likely is the error message they receive from filtration software when trying to access a website.

While it makes sense for websites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to be blocked, other sites such as Quora and certain informational sites are being blocked for no good reason.

What is the reason such filters are being imposed? The Children’s Internet Protection Act of 2000. It is designed to prevent children from accessing anything on the internet which could be deemed obscene, pornographic, or harmful to minors.

The greatest reason that schools will follow this legislation is the monetary incentive. It is cited by the Federal Communications Commission that any school or library will receive discounts through the E-rate program which “makes certain communications services and products more affordable for eligible schools and libraries.” This means that many schools impose tight filtration in order to make the upkeep of technology cheaper.

The internet has countless websites, and because of a simple discount, schools decide to hinder the possibilities of students’ education.

These filters shelter students from the complexity that the world is today. Filters sometimes hide content related to specific demographics, such as the LGBT community, or block certain articles from being accessible because one or two words causes a filter to assume it as inappropriate. This causes a plethora of information to suddenly disappear, that could have been useful for many students.

With information suddenly missing, it becomes significantly more difficult for students to be exposed to the world, especially with the consistent growth of technology is the daily lives of all. To force students into a sort of bubble where they lack any true exposure to the world they will be living in for years to come.

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Internet filtration: protective barrier or too much shelter?