wasting bandwidth since 1999

Guess What’s Behind the Block

Meet Irving and Joe.


I have no idea who they really are but we are becoming such fast friends that I had to give them names.

The new web filtering system, switched on earlier this month by our overly-large school district, now blocks ads on pages that are otherwise deemed appropriate for our tender eyes to see.

In their place we get this picture along with some text explaining that if we really have a “business need” to see the ad we should contact our IT service desk.

Of course, without actually seeing the ad, we have no way of knowing whether there is a “business need”. But at least I feel much more secure.

As I said, I have no idea who Irving and Joe are, but considering that they’re sitting in front of a Mac 5000 series machine (most likely a 5400 or 5500), which were common in our elementary schools in the late 90’s, they’re at least in middle school by now.

I wonder if they’ve discovered how famous they are.

education, filtering, censorship


  1. Miguel GUhlin

    A short post here…


  2. organized chaos

    Don’t be so sure about the middle school assumption… I had two of those machines in my classroom last year. My tech guy was nice enough to remove them when I asked permission to throw them out the window.

    I love that you gave Irving and Joe names. I’m glad to be officially introduced since they are popping up into my life now.

  3. Tim Lauer

    Well, it could be worse… It could be a picture of your IT Director wagging his/her finger. Am wondering, if in your district they also cut the ads out of magazines in the school library?

    I’m curious, how much is this costing and why does your district feel the need to do this? I fear your students will not be prepared to be “21st Century learners” in a “flat world” if everytime they come across an advertisement they expect to see Irv and Joe… Sorry, could not resist… :-)

  4. Jenny

    I love that you gave them names! I come across them all the time and I think I’ll be more charitable about it now that they have more of a personality.

    A prior comment really struck me. We put magazines in schools without any concerns about the ads. Why are we so terrified of the online world?

  5. Nathan

    What a sign of the times. I thought I had it bad when I tried to have my sophmores do a research paper on the debate over homosexual marriage a few years back and that was nearly impossible with all the filtering software my district uses. Now they even decide what ads our students (and us) can and cannot see. Wow.

  6. organized chaos

    I would be much more amused if it was a picture of our IT director wagging his finger.

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