26 April 2011

I'm on CNN in about 15 minutes talking about the availability of porn on public library computers

CNN When "Turner Broadcasting" shows up on your caller ID, you answer. Turns out CNN would like me to represent the "mom" perspective in a conversation about the availability of pornography on public library computers...in 15 minutes' time.

If you're interested and near a TV in the next few minutes, tune in to CNN to see my live Skype interview.

I'm off to brush my teeth.

UPDATE: Whew! Interview over. Pretty amazing/bizarre to stare into my MacBook camera and know that it's beaming my face onto national TV. Very exciting. As soon as I have the video clip I'll post it here. My mom says I did okay!

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The Harold Washington Library in downtown Chicago allows patrons to view porn photos and videos. The computer area has roughly a hundred plus computers, which, while patrons cannot see the screen to their sides, are in rows of six and you can see the videos they are watching. I was so embarrassed while sharing a computer with my friend, a business professional from France, and when I complained, the library stated that patrons have the right to view porn videos, the majority. This particular library is also one where every time I go visit it, there are leering men hanging around. The library has many homeless persons who stay there from opening to closing, since it is a warm place; that ensures stares and vulgar comments from these gentlemen while the usual mixed crowd of students, businessmen, and homeless wait for the doors to open. I was told that if I bring my 14 year old niece to the library with me and want to use the computers, we would have to use the children's library computers to avoid the porn. I don't believe that's fair and it makes for an unsafe environment for women and children. The Chicago Public Library is aware of this issue, as many people have complained.

Here is one suggestion to this problem that will get some attention from the library staff- loudly yell, "He's masturbating!"

As soon as I have a clip of the interview I'll post it and hopefully start a conversation around the issue of porn availability in public libraries. It's an important issue, much different to me than the general "OMG there's porn on the Internet" hysteria.

If I could have clicked "Like" on this comment, I would have.

I wasn't even aware viewing porn in libraries was somehow protected. Why would anyone in their right mind want to watch something like that in public?

Addicted to porn but no access to a private computer? That's my best guess.

Falsely accusing someone of being a sex offender and having them sent to prison for several years and then face a lifetime of on unemployment, homelessness and being ostracized from all their friends and family, seems a pretty extreme response to what you may perceive as pornography. I'm a sexual assault victim myself, but I would NEVER dream of lying and falsly accusing someone of a crime and ruining their and their family's life. I personally can't imagine any circumstances in which I would view porn in the library, but I rather make room for that than come face to face with someone who is willing to tell a lie and destroy someone's life. I fear for my son and daughter running in to someone who would make a false accusation so casually. Wow!!

Yelling "fire" in a crowded theater is NOT a 1st amendment right. Isn't it wonderful that your incitement to others to commit a crime (encouraging people to have innocent people arrested and incarcerated when they haven't even broken the law, unlike you who is in fact committing a crime merely by suggesting that people break the law) is allowed here and porn is what we are all supposed to be afraid of?? Hope none of your sons, nephews, grandsons etc. are watching any hip-hop videos that their parent would approve of while someone like you is in the library. Very disappointed that Parenthacks "liked" this idea. I wonder if being prosecuted for your criminal behavior might be an enlightening experience. Hmmmmmmm.

I apologize for my snide tone here. I saw it as a bit of humor (not an actual suggestion), but I can see how chuckling about this could be considered offensive.

I do NOT think that porn should be available in public libraries. I think someone who watches porn (or other explicit material) in a place of learning/research such as a library -- especially because libraries are a family/community gathering spot -- is using bad judgement. I do not believe those people are criminals, nor should they be treated as such.

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