Internet Filters

And speaking of BJU…
internetfilters

Evidently sites that fall into the objectionable category include Facebook, Blogger, YouTube, and Wikipedia. If someone there on campus could let me know if this site is blocked, I’d appreciate it.

21 thoughts on “Internet Filters”

  1. well, as of last fall (when I graduated–hallelujah!), wikipedia was allowed, but only in the computer labs, not dorm rooms. non-BJU email wasn’t allowed in dorm rooms either, but you could get permission to access it in the computer labs…

  2. For as often as I agree 100% I do have to take moderate exception to this, but only moderate. True, filtering for some gets to fetish levels, and I know you’re only picking at BJU’s filter (which is admittedly strict), but as a rule, internet filters aren’t a bad thing. Heck, I have one myself on my home network for me and my roommate, and it’s only reason for being is to be a fence at the far reaches of the field. I’m a geek and I can pretty much beat any filter (mine included) pretty quickly, but I still keep one around, largely because I use Windows. 🙂

    Seriously, though, filters don’t keep the determined away from what they’re trying to get; the only way to keep them from getting in trouble is to cut the network cable. But if you set up OpenDNS and check the hardcore blocks I don’t think you’ll ever know it’s there. And hey, filters can sometimes help reduce phishing and popup attacks, so there’s that, too.

  3. I see what you’re saying mounty. I work for the Army so internet filters are a way of life for me too.

    Perhaps “anal retentive internet filters” would be a better title. Wikipedia? Seriously?

  4. I second Darrell’s suggestion.

    After the ruling against Wikipedia (because it had articles on “all kinds of perversions”), my friends and I began calling it Wickedpedia. The worst category for BJ’s filter was “Phil. 4:8,” which was anything not easily objectionable but nonetheless offensive to someone in the administration. Examples: IMDb… and Homestar Runner.

  5. While it is easy to poke fun at schools like BJU, the idea of restriction on freedom is not limited to to them. I am currently reading Shadow University by Kors and Silvergate. They cite many examples of repression of free speech by university speech codes. The effect on the students and faculty has been frightful. It is not just the private schools that are doing this. The publicly funded schools are equally bad. The federal courts have consistently ruled against the public universities on first amendment grounds. The private schools are more immune to court action, but they fear public exposure of their hypocrisy: restricting speech while maintaining their support for free speech. At least BJU is following their presuppositions with a consistency that most other schools only pretend to do.

    Why attend BJU? I don’t know. My interpretation of Christianity is not theirs and never has been. This question can only be answered by those who have had the experience. You might begin here http://www.drslewis.org/camille/. Start with her Ebenezers.

  6. Re. Dan: Yes, I got a good education, and unlike some of my fellow alumni I could put up with the sometimes ridiculous but mostly well-intentioned rules for a few years. Other redeeming qualities seldom mentioned–most of the people are genuinely nice, most of the faculty are capable and respectable professionals, and it’s a good place to make friends. I say “most” in two of those instances, but the same caveat would apply to any school. I doubt I’ll send my kids there, but I wouldn’t have done anything differently in my case.

  7. As a “morphing fundy” of the older variety, I get frequent chuckles and the occasional guffaw from this site.

    I am always amused at the way the word “no” reveals a person’s nature.

  8. Agree with mounty that OpenDNS is a good idea at home. I have little kids, and while I can defeat the filter very quickly, it helps to keep some phishing and bad stuff away from the family. It also is nice because you don’t have to install extra software on everyone’s computers. You can adjust things manually in case there is a site that gets blocked that you want to allow.

    The Bible college I went to didn’t have internet in the dorms, but if people really wanted to, they could have tethered cell phones to their computers and surfed that way. There are ways to get through if you hack enough….

  9. Perfectly understandable. But if it weren’t for my time in the heady fundy atmosphere of BJ, I never would have been confronted with the need to examine and challenge my own beliefs. It’s a process I’ve been pondering “out loud” on my blog.

  10. Jordan, while I never went to BJU, I too credit my time in an IFB college with being the #1 reason I’m no longer a fundamentalist. I am very grateful to God for using those 4 years to bring me out of fundamentalism. Still, knowing what I know now I don’t think I would do it again, nor would I EVER recommend that anyone attend my alma mater (my brother occasionally reads here and he can definitely confirm that!).

  11. Still unblocked on campus. 🙂 I do want to clarify one thing about this sign: it only refers to material that would unquestionably be objectionable and that wasn’t blocked (i.e., you actually saw it). Since BJU logs all web traffic, this was the means to let the University know that you ran across something by accident (a pop-up, for example), and that you didn’t go looking for it. If you ran into a blocked site, you didn’t need to worry about that. In fact, because of the strictness of the filter, you couldn’t help but run into it. One other thing: some of the breadth of the filter is due to the quality of the filter itself (a third-party product). That company lumps sites together with a very broad brush, which made being more specific hard. I hear they’re going to be switching filter products soon, though, which should cut down on the absurd blocks.

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