The Public Library Of Charlotte Mecklenburg County Censors An Anti-WordPress Site

 

charlotte mecklenburg library Censorship

charlotte mecklenburg library Censorship

I wasn’t planning on writing about my local library this morning but my hand has been forced by their actions.  I’ve complained previously about their Internet connection in the past and met with some results.  Granted that was after literally years of complaining.  I’ve been meaning to complain about a recent experience in the West Blvd. branch where card playing for money (what you and I would call gambling) was occurring, right underneath the eye of the security guard on duty, and how I still haven’t heard back from the library administration as to why this is allowed by their policy. (That was the guard’s excuse to let it continue.)

wordpress™ wank has been blocked by the library.  That’s right.  The leading site that tells the truth about Matt Mullenweg and the sad shape of ethics over at Automattic has been censored by The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County.

The irony of this is that their own blog is hosted on the wordpress.com servers.  That’s right.  The library who last year tried to get the entire Charlotte community to read and discuss To Kill a Mockingbird, a book that has been censored many times previously, as no problems with censorship and racism themselves. (Which makes for even more irony.) I guess their stated goal of “of expanding minds, empowering individuals and enriching the community” doesn’t apply when it concerns a vendor of theirs.  Can’t empower individuals when you deal with a company that believes discussion shouldn’t be open. Can’t strive to make information available to anyone who wants it when that information is locked away behind an Internet proxy.

7 thoughts on “The Public Library Of Charlotte Mecklenburg County Censors An Anti-WordPress Site

  1. That’s what you get for having a porny-sounding domain name, I suppose. Maybe I should throw some dodgy photoshopped pictures up there so people don’t get too disappointed (and hey! they would have to kick me out of global tagegories too then, wouldn’t they?)

  2. Yup, ‘press’ is such a dirty word. It’s ironic that you mention the word usage to block against as kink.com is not blocked. (Not that I would be visiting such a site. Just checked since you mention that.) Also the direct URL is accessible as well.
    TGA, would you please check your Akismet folder? Looks like wp.com is once again blocking trackbacks from my site.
    As of this Monday morning, the site is still blocked. Just to clarify, I’ve been visiting it for months without issue. This is just a recent development and I’ve requested that the block be removed for a third time now. Staff sends in a request to their helpdesk to have a site review. Policy is 30 minutes although even I know that’s a gray area. Since the site is still blocked, I have to assume that it’s now being done deliberately.

  3. The library has filtering software installed in order to be in compliance with CIPA. It’s not censorship, for sure. If a site is blocked unnecessarily it is easy to get it unblocked by contacting the IT people.
    This commentor is a librarian at the Morrison branch of the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. His opinions and words are his own.

  4. Thank you for the comment Ed and thanks for taking the time to respond but I want to clarify a few points.
    1) This site should never have been blocked in the first place. Why was it blocked? There is no content anywhere on that site that is offensive. Heck I don’t even recalling Wank even swearing in one of her posts. Been visiting that site for months without issue. Then it was placed into the filters. And on a Sunday no less.
    2) Maybe the url was picked up. If that is what occurred, why wasn’t http://wank.wordpress.com blocked?
    3) Library administrative staff is unresponsive. Want me to prove that point? Does the second story men’s bathroom odor control box thingie (Whatever it’s called) still have it spray pointed into a corner and dripped down the wall? Yup. That’s been pointed out a number of times over the years.
    4) The IT helpdesk is unresponsive. Took two days and three requests to have that site unblocked. IT has a long history of not responding to filter requests or complaints. I run into the filter many times every day when surfing computer security sites and the like. I’ve finally gotten to the point that I use a proxy to view them. (Which considering is probably a good idea come to think about it.) And then even with a site removed from the block, many times it’s returned a few days later.
    At the very least we’re no longer using OpenDNS on the wireless anymore. That was a night mare. Went to the TOR network about 5 minutes after discovering that.

  5. Hi, sorry for resurrecting an old post. I just wanted to comment. I think the site was blocked as wank is a uk word for jerking off. It’s likely this was an auto block error.

  6. Agreed to the definition but as I mention up above that doesn’t hold as an excuse. 1) The site had been unblocked for years previously, 2) the directly link, with the word kink in there as well, worked fine, and 3) other sites with similar words remain unblocked. What got me started on this and this still holds true today is that the Charlotte Mecklenburg library system blocks sites continuously with no reasoning, refuses to unblock many times and refuses to discuss what the problem is. Had a site a few days ago that the library blocks as was told that the reason why “Because we block it”. No option to remove the block or even discuss it in that case.
    Thanks though for the comment.

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