Friday, May 21, 2010

Censorship & The Blogosphere

Icon for censorshipImage via Wikipedia

OK that's an interesting topic, but how could censorship be related to special education law or to this blog you ask? I know this may at first blush sound like a stretch, but wait.

Many of our readers work for governments- state agencies, school districts, and various others. One new reader just told me that she tried to subscribe to this blog, but her government computer refused to permit her to subscribe to us because it was a blog.

This type of government censorship truly upsets me. Not all blogs contain pornographic material! Some, we hope, provide information and resources that are difficult to find elsewhere. At this point in our history, a lot of important information is accessible only through blogs. To ban all government employees from subscribing to blogs is absurd.

The First Amendment could apply here. The concept underlying the free speech notion is that free-play in the marketplace of ideas leads to the truth. Government restrictions inherently frustrate this policy.

The extent to which our sources of news has changed became evident to me earlier this week. I was in a hotel watching one of the "morning news" programs. These used to be places to get a good dose of news. I watched while I was getting dressed and saw no news whatsoever. I saw a cooking segment and heard the "news anchors" talk to a gossip columnist about Brittany Spears and Lindsay Lohan. It is no wonder, people have turned to the internet for news- television is officially a wasteland.

Given the changes in how we as a society receive news, it is even more important that governments ease outdated computer censorship rules. If you read this blog and you work for a government- any kind of government- please try to take a free subscription to the blog (Click on the link on the lefthand side and then respond to the email to activate the subscription.) If you get a censorship block, please request that this site be officially authorized. (We're just not that controversial!) Also please tell me whether you have been blocked and what happens with the authorization process. My goals are to strike down ridicules censorship and to ensure that the information and resources we provide can be used by the maximum number of people.

Power to the bloggers! Bloggers of the world unite...! (OK I'm out of catchy slogans, but you get the idea!)


  1. Watch where you tread: this could involve labor-law issues. If the blocked person's actual job performance required access to the site, then her employer (private or otherwise) is losing out. If not, then s/he's using her employer's equipment, and possibly time, to engage in non-job related activity.

  2. Thanks for the comment Anon,

    Just in case, I wasn't clear, I do not advocate that anybody read this blog while at a job that does not involve special education. You need to wait until you get home.

    Frankly, though almost all readers of this blog have a deep interest in special education. Many work for state and local education agencies and these are the folks whom I was talking about.

    Seriously, though, I'm pretty sure that not a whole lot of people who don't have a direct interest in special education are jonseing for this blog. If this is wrong, I'm honored by their commitment to these pages.