zen.org Communal Weblog

January 12, 2005

CACI: Children Accessing Controversial Information

Filed under: — brendan @ 07:44 GMT

In the mid-1990s, I picked up maintenance of a mailing list set up by some folks at MIT. Called CACI: Children Accessing Controversial Information, it was intended to offer a forum for parents, teachers, or just about anyone else to talk about the free anarchy of the Internet and its potential impact on children. With all the fear of porn and pedophilia lurking at every corner on the Net, we thought it’d be a fairly active list.

This is how the list describes itself:

CACI, Children Accessing Controversial Information, is a mailing list for
discussing children accessing controversial information through computer
networks. Can children be prevented from accessing materials which are
controversial? Is preventing access even desirable? We believe censorship is
not the answer. What alternatives do we have or could we provide? How do we
talk with children about these issues? What can we say to concerned parents
and school administrators? How and by whom are community standards set? We
hope to form a community of people interested in discussing these issues and
developing helpful materials.

For the last few years, however, it’s been pretty stagnant with only short bursts of conversation. I wonder if everyone is just so firmly set in their beliefs (filter my computer, don’t filter it, porn is good, porn will rot my child’s brain) that they see no need to talk about it and learn from others?

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