The main premise of “Net Neutrality: An Intellectual Freedom Issue” is that intellectual freedom and the full functioning of libraries in America will be impeded by allowing internet service providers (ISPs) to throttle content in pursuit of their financial and customer service interests. I have to admit that the two ideas seemed unrelated to me. Is the premise really true? How exactly does net neutrality relate to public libraries and their provision of internet access?
Pro tip number one: Pick a word any word – except maybe the hash tag #MeToo. The Me Too Movement, founded by a Black American woman named Tarana Burke to encourage empathy and empowerment for sexual assault survivors, became ubiquitous online and off-line in 2017. In China, women have been using the coded phrase “rice bunny” (米兔), pronounced as “mi tu” to get around would-be censors who would shut down conversations online about sexual harassment.
On January 4, 2017, the FCC issued an updated Declaratory Ruling of the Restoring Internet Freedom order, finalizing the changes the FCC would like to see done to it’s former Open Internet policy. While we wait to see how internet access might change under, one hurdle to the enactment of these policies might be the U.S. Congress.
Peg Johnson, the library director at Santa Fe Community College, explains how she worked to change the campus’ policy on filtering content on the library’s computers.
Use these tools and tips to assure patron privacy on public computers.
The role of libraries in preserving intellectual freedom, as well as the integrity of our collections and interactions we have with patrons, is based on critical thinking and clear-eyed reasoning, not the convenience of a hyperlink.
Due the widespread adoption of digital materials, dwindling budgets, and economies of scale, more library collections aren’t under the control of librarians, who in many cases have essentially ceded control and collection development to outside vendors. Most of the time, the system works well and offers a wealth of material, but it has troubling implications for intellectual freedom.
Is Facebook’s offer of free internet access a boon to schools or a ploy to control curriculum?
Last week marked the 31st Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, the world’s largest gathering of people who develop or use assistive technology and the only one to be hosted by a college–California State University, Northridge (CSUN). It is a critical source of inspiration and information for multiple handicapping conditions, but especially for the visually impaired or blind.
Starting last November, Facebook began refining an artificial intelligence tool to analyze photos. As Mark Zuckerberg explained to an audience in Delhi, “If you are blind and you can’t see a photo, we can have our AI look at the photo and read an explanation of that photo to you.” And, as Zuckerberg pointed out, using machine interpreters instead of humans means that photos can be interpreted at any time, in any location, for anyone with visual limitations.