Mishawaka, Indiana Public Library - SDMB considered "pornography"

So, I’m finally on my way from Cleveland back to Kansas City. I stopped over in South Bend for the night. (Hey, I was really tired.)

I went to the public library in downtown Mishawaka, Indiana, supposedly the flagship of the Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library system. I find an Internet-enabled computer, sign up for some time on it, surf to a few sites, and then try to visit http://boards.straightdope.com . I say “try to visit,” because I got a warning screen from the library system, telling me the site was filtered because it was considered pornography under some new Federal law.

FWIW, the library computers I used in the Cleveland area (Shaker Heights, Mentor, Euclid, Eastlake-Wickliffe) didn’t filter the SDMB.

Nah, it has nothing to do with the law itself, just idiotic web filters that some libraries have installed. If it’s a URL-based filter, then using a proxy that obfuscates them might help, but I bet the filter is getting caught up on the word “dope” in the pages. :smiley: In that case, either install VNC on your home computer and tunnel through that, or download a legit process-killer for the given OS and terminate the filter.

Or, you could educate the librarians about the Straight Dope and ask they allow the filter to allow it. I think most librarians would respect that and respond well.

(Yes, I have a high regard for librarians in general. I’ve met some good ones. :))

It isn’t just the Pit, there are also the TMI threads in IMHO and MPSIMS that might offend some viewers as well.

Even if we had some kind of a miraculous clean-up of the board, the main site of course has some articles which discuss all sorts of stuff about human biology. I think the filter has us doomed to blockage, either way.

Maybe so Wolfie but we’d stand a better chance if we didn’t have all those gratuitous titillating* sex threads (complete with stifled giggles) in MPSIMS. They aren’t shocking, but they are bloody tiresome.

*Yes, it does sound rude, doesn’t it? teeheeheehee

I’m constantly being offended on SDMB! :smiley: [sup]but I get over it.[/sup]

Since it was filtered in Mishawaka and not in Cleveland, might not this be an example of “community standards?”

The explicit stuff in Cecil’s articles has most likely been around longer online than the “gratuitous titillating sex threads”, TLD. Only the veterans around here could answer that yay or nay. In a recent Comment on Cecil’s Column’s thread, the “shock, horror” of realising the main page wasn’t always “kid safe” was discussed at length.

Yes, kniz, I do agree that it is likely to be a matter of community standards, district by district.

I could access the Dope at one of my previous workplaces, but not snopes. When a website was filtered at this place, I could click and see why- the reason given for banning snopes was that it was “tacky and gross.” :dubious:

Well, your first problem was going to the Mishawaka library. The South Bend branches are the best libraries I’ve ever seen - the main library downtown on Michigan is incredible.

Filters tend to fixate on key words. Our firm tried to send out an email to all our clients about important changes in sexual harrassment laws, and several of the clients’ filters refused to accept the emails because they contained the word “sex” as in “sex discrimination.”

Oh, well.

But we are intended for a mature audience, like over age 13.