Internet…the 21st C. Idea Battlefield

citizenlab.jpgIncreasingly academics are realizing that the internet is growing in importance and lack of knowledge about the medium could actually hinder their jobs (particularly in the health care profession). Two recent tidbits from the University of Toronto (my alma mater) piqued my interest:

  • U of T’s Citizen Lab (funded by Soros) develops new guide to bypass Internet censorship for everyday computer users (source)(or download a PDF of the guide here)
  • Researchers found that YouTube is a breeding ground for anti-vaccination views and vaccination misinformation (source)

While most people may think that the guide to bypassing Internet censorship guide may be designed for totalitarian regimes like Iran or China, the guide points out that in the US…

…public institutions (e.g., schools and libraries) are required by law (the Children’s Internet Protection Act – CIPA) to use filtering software to block access to obscene, pornographic and other materials related to the sexual exploitation of children. Most implement the filtering policy by using commercial filtering technologies, which are prone to miscategorization and error. Researchers have found that commercial filtering technologies mistakenly block access to content related to women’s health, gay and lesbian rights groups, and sexual education for teenagers.

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