Internet content filters may be bad for one's health

by Andy Oram

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Computer programmers and administrators may not think that censorship and filtering are health issues, but apparently the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association does. It's publishing a study that says what every other study of content filters says: they block lots of useful sites. This problem can be made better or worse by careful configuration made by school and library administrator, but the filters remain blunt instruments.

We have to think of this when considering John McCain's law requiring filters in government-funded schools and libraries. But given Congress's neglect of health issues, even this information is unlikely to make them regret passing the bill.