The New Fear (Same as the Old Fear)

I woke up the other morning and got online to find I had an emergency message from Libraryman. It seems that someone had joined the Kansas Libraries & Librarians Flickr group and posted some pictures that had nothing to do with Kansas libraries and everything to do with nakey crotch shots. Thanks to Michael watching my admin back, I was quick to remove the pictures and the poster from the group.

For those of you playing along at home, this is called “self-monitoring.” It’s easy and it doesn’t require any government laws to do it.

I bring this up, in the eerie light of DOPA, because Michael Stephens has an outstanding post about Flickr, DOPA, and the fear of social software. This should be required reading for all library/information/education professionals.

Fighting DOPA

Maya of Mobilize.org wrote me and asked to spread the word about fighting DOPA. Here’s what she said:

Mobilize.org is launching a new campaign in response to Congress’ attempt to
censor the communication of our generation. We have created the action alert
below and built a website, http://www.mobilize.org/SOS. We are hoping to get as
much grassroots action as possible around this important issue, especially
from the online community.

Breaking News:

Legislation introduced this week will ban social networking, even sites used
for educational and professional opportunities. What’s next? HR5319 will
censor the communication of our generation and tell us who we can talk to,
when and how. Tell Congress that social networking is a movement that we
built, a movement that we are going to fight for.

Visit www.mobilize.org/SOS, take action, tell your friends and get mad.

The bill blocks the use of these sites in public libraries, which is for
many, the only access that they have to a computer. Our hope is to be able
to amend the bill to take these facts into consideration. We agree that
there need to be safeguards put in place for “sexual predators” and any of
other crimes that might occur because of the accessibility of information on
these sites, but to ban them in schools (including using school computers
afterschool) and public libraries, is for many – banning social networking.

Thanks, Maya, for letting me know about this! This is a stupid bill, folks. Let’s fight it as tenaciously as we can.