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Censorship Social Networks The Internet

Illinois University Restricts Access To Social Media, Online Political Content 130

Posted by timothy
from the teach-the-controversy dept.
onproton writes Northern Illinois University recently began restricting student access to web pages that contain "illegal or unethical" content which, according to University policy, includes resources used for "political activities...and the organization or participation in meetings, rallies and demonstrations." A student raised concerns after attempting to access the Wikipedia page for Westboro Baptist Church, and receiving a filter message informing him that his access of this page would likely violate the University's Acceptable Use Policy, along with a warning that "all violations would be reviewed." This has lead to questions about whether some policies that restrict student access to information are in the best interest of the primary goal of education.
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Illinois University Restricts Access To Social Media, Online Political Content

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  • by jasonrice22 (3458571) on Friday August 22, 2014 @05:55PM (#47733579)
    Perhaps it is because the university is more about indoctrination than education.
  • Re:Turn it around: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Richy_T (111409) on Friday August 22, 2014 @06:10PM (#47733647) Homepage

    Doesn't follow. There's a big difference between solicited and unsolicited email.

  • Re:Turn it around: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 22, 2014 @06:17PM (#47733675)

    I don't get your point. The summary says they blocked access to Wikipedia articles. Does the university library also cuts out definitions of "communism" (or any other term they are afraid of) from their encyclopedias?

  • by wisnoskij (1206448) on Friday August 22, 2014 @06:30PM (#47733737) Homepage

    Perhaps it is because all universities are more about indoctrination than education.

    Fixed that for you.

  • by msauve (701917) on Friday August 22, 2014 @07:58PM (#47734143)
    "Because an institution of higher learning prefers its workers to be dumb and uninformed"

    No...because an employer pays for their employee's Internet access so they can do the employer's business. It's not like there aren't multiple ways to access the Internet.
  • Re:Turn it around: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kjella (173770) on Friday August 22, 2014 @08:25PM (#47734267) Homepage

    The man is a freaking icon of free speech. Only hateful, harmful, ugly, disagreeable speech needs any protection in the first place. I can't think of a living speaker who offends my more than that guy has. If you don't support his right to free speech, you're simply unclear on the concept.

    That's not a two way street. Just because all the speech that needs protecting offends someone doesn't mean all offensive speech should have protection. Threats, libel, slander, fraud and perjury are all forms of speech. Playing loud music at 3AM is arguably a form of expression. The "freedom of speech" card is not absolute in any country on earth, even the US.

  • by hackus (159037) on Friday August 22, 2014 @08:46PM (#47734357) Homepage

    Anyone who is stupid enough to pay a University via a banker to become "institutionalized" deserves exactly what they get.

    In the age of the internet, if you have to pay someone to sit you in a room and teach you like a trained monkey you have serious problems that go way beyond education.

    Universities are sort of like the last DINO's that hung around after the big rock thing from the sky happened. In this case the rock is the formation of the modern internet.

    I would pay about $500 bucks for a Bachelors degree, max for the outside chance a University actually provided something I can't do myself with a Internet connection.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 22, 2014 @10:01PM (#47734727)

    You're a conservative victim, aren't you? With such a chip on your shoulder about higher ed, bet you're an evangelical Christian.

  • by istartedi (132515) on Friday August 22, 2014 @10:04PM (#47734735) Journal

    If the entire student body doesn't shut down the school, or at least picket the office and generate some arrests, they should be horribly ashamed.

    At the University of Virginia, the Board of Visitors fired the president in an unwarranted way. Student protest helped get her reinstated [nytimes.com]. If student action can do that, I'm pretty sure it can get such an absurd policy overturned. You just have to have the brains to recognize it, and the balls to pursue it.

    Anyway, shame on the students if this is allowed to stand.

  • Re:Turn it around: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Adambomb (118938) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @06:10AM (#47735569) Journal

    For all I detest the fact, i still hold that anyone should be free to be a complete fucking idiot. If you hold ultra fundamentalist nutjobs as being limitable speech you are simply paving the way for rationalism to be limited in the advent of a fucking moronic demographic spike. Overestimating future generations is kind of what has fucked america over already.

  • Re:Turn it around: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lgw (121541) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @04:40PM (#47738505) Journal

    Again with the "express". No, let's stay on the topic of "should a university provide students with the ability to read up on controversial political topics?" Of course they fucking should, or what's the point of a university? If a university doesn't exist for the very purpose of providing open access to all the information that there is without any for of censorship, what good is it? Such an institution should receive no accreditation, and no public funds.
     

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