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2000+ New Zealand Schools Ban Bebo & YouTube

Posted by kiwiscanfly on May 28, 2007

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Continuing the banning trend across the world, over 2000 schools in New Zealand have taken measures of some sort to ban social networking sites like Bebo, MySpace and YouTube.

This is really beginning to look a lot like sex ed. With the multiple ways in which we can get information regarding social networking through profile aggregators such as Tabber, feeds, widgets, and a countless number of other ways, it seems almost futile to outright ban a social networking site. And the likes of MySpace and YouTube are being banned left and right for a variety of reasons, including political distress and bandwidth issues. The most recent ban of YouTube comes from Morocco.

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Keyword based filtering mechanisms with heuristics seem to be the only way to protect our kids from harmful content. Videos have to be tagged to be found and this tagging would be a dead give-away to filtering software; the only valid reasons to ban YouTube would be to save bandwidth or ignorance through FUD. I can’t help feeling that this is a lost opportunity; there is the potential for a vast collection of educational content to be made available and if schools continue down this path the opportunity might be missed.

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