wasting bandwidth since 1999

Losing the Censorship Campaign

The American military and our high schools have something in common.

They’re both blocking YouTube, MySpace and other web 2.0 sites from their networks.

Many school administrators and Department of Defense officials will claim the primary reason is not censorship but instead to keep these resources from clogging their networks.

Maybe. But it’s pretty obvious that controlling the information that reaches students/soldiers is also a big factor.

Now, I certainly understand the need for the military to prevent it’s members from posting sensitive material on public networks, especially those involved in a war zone.

But I wonder if military commanders understand that many soldiers know how to bypass the filters with minimal effort.

Do our school administrators realize students have the same information?

Rather than conducting a futile censorship battle, leaders of both American institutions should be looking for ways to use web 2.0 tools to help accomplish their missions.

censorship, military, school

3 Comments

  1. Carolyn Foote

    You are so right! Besides which, it’s like weeds–cut one program down or block it and another choice will pop up.

    What if the government were putting positive videos about schools in Afghanistan or individual soldier’s stories up on YouTube? You know that they would spread through email and be well-viewed.

    I wonder if the Army or AirForce has their own MySpace pages? If they don’t, maybe they should?

    Why not? Some libraries do, some schools do, lots of rock bands do, candidates do….

  2. Carolyn Foote

    Not that I’m advocating propaganda, by the way…

    Just pointing out that there could be positive uses of these sites!

  3. Tim

    I think the Army has it’s own channel on YouTube on which they post video telling the “good news” in Iraq and other places. I think they’re in MySpace as well.

    That’s propaganda, of course, but at least it’s pretty obvious and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. Governments have always produced propaganda.

    However, I have a problem with the government creating material that is then inserted into the news media as if it was produced by an independent source. Remember “journalist” Armstrong Williams being paid to shill for the Department of Education?

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