A new bill would block off access to a wide variety of web sites, social networking sites and blogs in libraries and schools, in the guise of protecting teens from online predators.
The Deleting Online Predators Act, sponsored by Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, would essentially require most schools and libraries to render those Web sites inaccessible to minors.
"When children leave the home and go to school or the public library and have access to social-networking sites, we have reason to be concerned," Fitzpatrick told News.com.
While bloggers acknowledged there may be cause for parental concern regarding predators, the general reaction seemed to be that the proposed legislation was overbroad and would likely do little to deter teens from the sites.
Blog community response:
"No one is denying that those people are out there and have used these systems. But, banning the sites in schools and libraries not only isn't the answer, it actually is likely to make the situation worse."
"Punish the 16 and 17 year olds who are using these services, but the few sick people who might be a threatÂ….well who give's a rat you know what about them, because itÂ’s all the kiddies fault."
"If this law passes, it will certainly be a sad day for all the libraries already making creative use of MySpace for outreach to teenage patrons. If Fitzpatrick gets his way, a popular portion of those libraries' web presences will be blocked within their own walls."