Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Censoring the web: mapping content filtering in UK public libraries - Daniel Payne, Stuart Lawson, Jennifer Gallagher & Lauren Smith

402 views

Published on

Presented at LILAC 2016

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Censoring the web: mapping content filtering in UK public libraries - Daniel Payne, Stuart Lawson, Jennifer Gallagher & Lauren Smith

  1. 1. Censoring the Web: mapping content filtering in UK public libraries Daniel Payne, Stuart Lawson, Jennifer Gallagher, Lauren Smith Radical Librarians Collective Daniel (@politicscurator d.payne1@Lse.ac.uk ), Lauren (@walkyouhome)
  2. 2. Talking about… 1. Background – why did the project happen? 2. Existing research 3. The project and method 4. The results 5. Implications and recommendations
  3. 3. What is content filtering? • URL-based • Category-based
  4. 4. What are the three most blocked categories at public libraries in the UK?
  5. 5. The beginning…
  6. 6. What is the Radical Librarians Collective? • Radical Librarians Collective (RLC - @RadicaLibs) emerged back in late Spring 2013 • An “umbrella title for a freely associating collective of autonomous, politically-conscious librarians and information workers” (Lawson, Sandes, & Smith 2015) • In reality, what happened was a few librarians started discussing on social media how to counteract the growth of neoliberal ideas and language within libraries.
  7. 7. How did we do it? We used: • Freedom of Information Act • “What do they know”: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/ • Email and a Google doc spreadsheet
  8. 8. 1. Do you block? 2. Name and cost? 3. List of categories for different user profiles 4. URLs? 5. Policy? 6. Requests for access 7. No. denied / granted https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/content_filtering_software_ 111#incoming-665961 The questions we asked
  9. 9. What did we find out? • 98% filter by category (however…) • 56% also block URLs. • Vast majority don’t have a written policy available.
  10. 10. The variety of categories blocked? Abortion, LGBT, phishing, fishing, extreme, questionable, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, violence, gambling, sex, art-nudes, lingerie, swimsuits, discrimination, explicit art, sexuality, alternative lifestyles, pornography, hate, intolerance, gore, gambling, tasteless, unethical, pay day loans, terrorism, marijuana, bullying, intimate apparel, body piercing and tattoos, the occult, sex education, self-harm, weapons, non-pornographic nudity, dubious, unsavoury, alternative beliefs, historical revisionism, non traditional religions, controversial opinions, “sites beyond the realm of ordinary understanding”,
  11. 11. • 8% refused to disclose
  12. 12. Problems • FOI request • Money • Policy and procedure document • URLs • IT services contracted out • Time and duplication
  13. 13. Four thoughts from the results 1. Who makes these decisions and why do they make them? 1.Why is there different filtering according to your location and are we okay with this? 3. Prompt a discussion about filtering in the profession and raise awareness. 4. What’s next...
  14. 14. Why does filtering happen? The Good - Safeguarding - Security The Bad - Broad brush - Prevents access - Decision-making and info lit: “Blocking… is not an effective way to...empower people to make their own judgements about material they are inevitably going to encounter at some point in their lives” Jacqueline Mayhttp://www.cilip.org.uk/blog/web-filtering-uk-excessive
  15. 15. Any questions? Daniel Payne (@politicscurator, d.payne1@lse.ac.uk) “Info Literacy has a dark underbelly which is called the paywall” - Char Booth, LILAC ….also content filtering software!!

×