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Censorship Social Networks The Internet

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

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 MoFoQ ( 584566 ) on Friday August 22, 2014 @06:58PM (#47733597)

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... [huffingtonpost.com]

    Supposedly the policy applies to employees not students.

  • by Stormy Dragon ( 800799 ) on Friday August 22, 2014 @07:05PM (#47733625) Homepage

    That's the schools PR spin, but it's undermined by the fact the policy itself [niu.edu] specifically says it applies to students:

    Northern Illinois University information technology resources, including the electronic communications network (NIUnet) on the NIU campus and off-campus education and research centers, computers attached to this network, and any associated computational resource or service are for the use of persons affiliated with Northern Illinois University, including faculty, staff, emeritus personnel, and students in good standing. Information technology resources are provided by the university to further the university's mission of research, instruction, and public service. The use of these resources should be consistent with this mission, this policy, and the University’s other use, security policies, and other applicable regulations including the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act (SOEEA). Pursuant to the NIU Electronic Mail policy, the email system may be utilized for personal messages subject to the limitations set forth in these and other applicable policies and to the extent that personal usage does not interfere with assigned responsibilities. By using NIU services, all individuals, including, but not limited to, employees, students, customers, volunteers, and third parties, unconditionally accept the terms of this policy.

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

    by lister king of smeg ( 2481612 ) on Friday August 22, 2014 @07:30PM (#47733735)

    An AUP governs the use of campus equipment and services.

    I clicked the link and read the article, and there's gasping outrage about how they're "limiting free speech" by telling students they *also* can't use the campus computer systems for things like political messaging, meetings, rallies, or anything else - in other words, no, you can't spam the student body.

    And for those of you who think that it's not right that they'd limit that sort of usage, think long and hard about this:

    - Campus Christian Ministry decides to start spamming the entire campus with pro-life messages.
    - Young Republicans club start spamming the entire campus with messages calling for the impeachment of Pres. Obama.
    - ROTC program starts spamming the entire campus with messages encouraging students to sign up for military service.

    Where's your unfettered free speech now?

    Yeah how dare those conservatives exercise their rights to free speech its not like you can mark them as spam and never hear anything they say again. Hell lets take this a step further lets just curtail all political speech on a public campus, In-fact lets set aside an area where they can say what they think where no one else was to hear it we can call it a free speech zone...

  • by PJ6 ( 1151747 ) on Friday August 22, 2014 @10:13PM (#47734497)
    exactly what is "illegal or unethical" about the content of the Wikipedia article on the Westboro Baptist Church [wikipedia.org]?

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