Way back in August, I wrote here about how Chapters censors the Internet at their in-store public access terminals. I sent a letter to Heather Reisman, their Chief Executive Officer.
Today I received her response, through her President, Retail, Michael Gagnier. You can read the letter (35KB PDF); the most interesting sentence is:
We feel that there is a difference between Internet access and access to books, in that a computer monitor is an open forum where children can easily see what is on-screen, as opposed to books, where items inappropriate for children are between the books covers.Is it just me, or does this seem insane?
My situation — not being able to read Doc Searls’ weblog because it had the word shit in it — is proof positive that these silly filtering schemes don’t work. They don’t protect children from anything (whatever that means).
I thought bookstores were supposed to support the idea that the free and unfettered flow of information in any form is a Good Thing.
I have a child. What lesson do I want him to learn from this? Certainly not that it’s okay for large corporations to decide what’s appropriate for him to read and what’s not. I’d far rather have him catch a view of a couple of errant penises — which I can explain to him — than to give up his — and everyone’s — fundamental right to freedom of information.