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Re: KidCode: Next steps

From: Terje Norderhaug <Norderhaug.CHI@xerox.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Jun 1995 01:15:15 -0800
Message-Id: <ac0ae80202021004632a@[130.191.9.103]>
To: Nathaniel Borenstein <nsb@nsb.fv.com>, Wes Morgan <morgan@engr.uky.edu>
Cc: rating@junction.net, www-talk@www10.w3.org
At 10:34 AM 6/18/95, Nathaniel Borenstein wrote:
>Excerpts from mail: 14-Jun-95 Re: KidCode: Next steps Wes
>Morgan@engr.uky.edu (1741)
>
>> >What's the value of this?  The value is that software vendors can start
>> >blocking all such sites immediately,
>
>> Do you really mean to use word "sites" in this context?  Surely you're
>> not expecting to block all of foobar.net because one person publishes
>> an adult page...
>
>Sorry for the lack of precision.  I really meant "all such URL's".  The
>example I had in mind when I wrote this was a site that was largely
>dedicated to such material, but the URL-based approach is obviously much
>more flexible than blocking whole sites.

Even better would be to be able to block just specific parts of documents.
What I have in mind goes beyond the blocking of adult information -
it should be possible to get tailored presentations where unwanted information
is stripped, thus better serve the neds of the reader.

I, for example, would like to use "rating technology"  to configurate a browser
that avoid all these interspersed commercials that have started to be so
common on the Web. I prefer to get commercials when I want, not
as noise in some random context. I have a feeling that there are
quite some people out there that share my preference...

>Look at it this way:  The Christian Coalition could probably give you a
>list of all the porn shops in town, to allow you to avoid them.  But the
>job would be a lot more tractable if *nearly* all the porn shops had
>"adults only" signs on the door, and the Christian Coalition could focus
>on giving you a list of porn shops that refused to put up such a sign
>voluntarily.

However, why should we faciliate the activities of the Christian Coalition?
Implementing technology that makes their job easier is a highly political
decision. How did such groups get into a position where they have the
power to strongly affect the technology - and thus the life - of everybody
else?

The discussion related to blocking of "adult" material is all to narrow, as
what is "objectionalble" is very dependent on the culture and the
individual user.
Rather, we should focus on the more general issue of how to facilitate
finding highly wanted information and avoiding other. It should not be
narrowed to fit the intentions of specific groups.

>It all comes down to a question of reasonable defaults.  If 80 or 90
>percent of the porn merchants properly self-label, then people like
>Christian Coalition (or SurfWatch) can concentrate on the exceptions, a
>much more tractable task.  Of course, a rating authority is still
>extremely valuable for a POSITIVE endorsement, as in "this is a site
>that really promotes good wholesome family values".  -- Nathaniel

Positive? May be it is time that we discuss what society we would like to
have, before designing the technology. Alternatively, we can work towards a
"rating"
system that is flexible enough to cover everybody's needs to avoid
certain information and instead get as much as possible of the content we want.
This way, there are less power in the hand of us technologists (and others)
to enforce values upon everybody else.

-- Terje <Norderhaug.CHI@xerox.com>
   <URL:http://www.ifi.uio.no/~terjen/>
Received on Monday, 19 June 1995 04:16:49 GMT

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