Websites to be banned from Irish schools…

TCL reports that Bebo and MySpace are to be banned from Irish schools come the Autumn. Although we understand that in some Northern Irish schools, interactive sites like Slugger already on the banned list.

  • Although this makes sense in a way, banning http://www.ratemyteachers.ie is a kettle of a different fish. Liivng Web has to come to schools yet. I wonder how many teachers do the barest minimum, or less.

  • I’m not suprised Slugger is banned in schools. I’d reckon most schools don’t encourage pupils reading or contributing to sites whose commenters to a casual observer seem to promote sectarianism.

  • na

    Agreed. I would not like my children having unsupervised access to a site like Slugger’s with its casual sectarianism, biased spin and half-truths. (Of course only a small part of the site reflects the above negatives but I don’t let them visit sites with small amounts of pornography either)

  • slug

    I agree. Slugger has become very sectarian.

  • Mick Fealty

    na,

    One of the reasons we have the Catchpa code at the bottom is to keep the porno spam merchants off the site. If you come across any, please let us know and we can deal with it.

    slug,

    Would you mind expanding a little on the sectarian angle?

  • qubol

    Yeah I find it strange that slugger is banned because anyone young enough that youmight want to guard from these ‘sectarian views’ will hear worse from their mates in the playground plus most kids would just find slugger way too boring – its not really the kind of thing that would interest teenagers.
    I reckon the only people in a school that would want to see sugger would be a-level aged students. 17 to 18 years olds are mature enough to deal with what ever goes down in slugger. No need for the ban.

  • gg

    I don’t think Slugger can be blamed for the sectarian comment which creeps onto its pages. It’s only reflecting wider society and its problems.

    There are some very sensible people who post here, and I like chance to catch up with news I might otherwise have missed. However, on balance, I think I might give up reading the comments. It’s negativity I could do without.

  • They may ban it but there are always ways around the ban as QUB found out in relation to BEBO.

  • lib2016

    My school banned newspapers at one stage because there was a gambling epidemic. If one wants an excuse for censorship it’s easy enough to find one. Personally I would suggest that it’s better to trust the kids but maybe I’m just lucky enough to have good kids, though their opinions don’t always coincide with mine. I’d be more worried if they did!

  • C McK

    Gaskin –

    The ways around you refer to are usually, though not restricted to, “proxy sites” which allow web pages to appear in their open code format (or so is my understanding) rendering them undetectable to school filters. However, these proxy sites can be blocked one at a time by schools so only provide temporary access to pages like Bebo. With that out of the way I have to ask, why is Bebo banned from Queens University? Are they afraid that people who are meant to represent the learned members of society will be perverted by a web page whose basic function is practically a free text messaging service? There are students in Queens studying computer programming: how (not to mention why) do they expect to stop these students accessing sites when there are children in grammar schools who know C ++ programming language?

    But to return to Na’s comments about the supervision of children on the internet, why did you place sectarianism close to pornography? Were you attempting some subtle juxtaposition which would imply the two were on an equal moral level? How clever of you. Honestly! Your children will see pornography, so will every child in every home in every country in the world (in one form or another). My ranting is reminding me of the Stephen Nolan show so I don’t want to try and single you out Na or tell you what to do but surely – and this is where my comment becomes relevant to the topic and not just mindless blows at previous comments – the blocking of websites (which, as highlighted by gaskin, is only partially effective) is simply a surface measure that makes parents and teachers feel they’re doing good for children instead of taking the time to actually educate children to what they will, inevitably, see. I have a rough, a/s level knowledge of sociology and even I know that childhood is changing (highlighted by sociologists like Postman) so why are there thinly worked out, half-effective measures being taken by government sanctioned groups when really all they are trying to achieve is the sustaining of a collapsing ideal of child hood?

  • na

    C McK,

    My children are my responsibility. We have decided to limit their access to pornography, sectarianism, racism and other things we consider inappropriate. They know why we consider them wrong, they know they exist, they won’t be getting free access to such things until they are older. When they are no longer our responsibility they will be able to apply their own value judgements unrestricted. I expect I would only restrict their access to sites like Slugger’s until their mid-teens, at that stage I hope the minor inappropriate sectarian and abusive elements that appear on this site will be ignored by them.

    No school or sociologist should have the right to over rule our decision on these things and thankfully they don’t.

    btw: I don’t rate Slugger’s up their with porno sites. I have decided that they would be too young for some content of this site unrestricted. I have parental filters on their internet access and they never surf without an adult occasionally checking in (and I occasionally check what they visit) but being entirely honest they probably wouldn’t want to visit this site anyhow.

    The idea of childhood won’t be collapsing in our home anytime soon.

  • cmck

    I’m glad you cleared that up for me, I really am. If there were more parents like you we’d have a better world.

  • missfitz

    MissFitz sees her son was posting on Slugger in her absence…….

    Proves 1 thing, adolescent males are indeed attracted to Slugger (but I’d guessed that anyway)

    I’ve raised a cheeky brat!

  • Simon

    ” With that out of the way I have to ask, why is Bebo banned from Queens University? Are they afraid that people who are meant to represent the learned members of society will be perverted by a web page whose basic function is practically a free text messaging service”

    Why? Because if there are many students accessing Bebo at a university, it means that students who want to do work can’t because they are unable to get access to a PC. Bebo is not exactly suitable for an academic institution.

  • gg

    “Why? Because if there are many students accessing Bebo at a university, it means that students who want to do work can’t because they are unable to get access to a PC. Bebo is not exactly suitable for an academic institution.”

    Bebo? Obviously no Facebook at Queen’s yet! This BBC NEWS article is quite interesting. Apparently Facebook is the third most important thing to students in the US, after beer and iPods.

  • mickhall

    As the north of ireland was set up as a sectarian state, is hardly a surprise that this is reflected in some of its people expressing sectarian viewpoints. Slugger would have a problem if it did not have any sectarian comments upon it, as it would not be reflecting a cross section of the north’s people.

    I would suggest however that there has been a lessening of this sectarianism within society as a whole,I do not have blinkers on before someone claims I do, but this problem comes at us in a different way these days. Even the most sectarian minded will dress their views up in honey, due to understanding that the views they express are less and less socially acceptable, for example who would get away with publically proclaiming NI is a protestant state for a protestant people these days.

    if people think people are posting in a sectarian manner, do you not think we all have a responsibility to complain and out individuals who do this when posting. After all fewer and fewer people are prepared to put up with racist nonsense by holding their tongue. We get the internet list, hospital,school, society, etc, we are prepared to tolerate by turning the other cheek or cocking a deaf ear. nothing is for nothing in this world.

    Regards

  • Children and porno/sectarianism etc: Just use a key logger or a program like Eblaster or PC Spycam for your own kids. If you think you can cotnrol their Internet activity, you are mistaken.
    Bebo and openness: The schools and universities do not want this. They should, for example, be publicly ranked and they should accept student feedback.
    Sectarianism: is part and parcel of the 6cos which was set up a “protestant state for a protestant people” and which should not be denied. Further, the animosity of the Protestant posters here and their feelings towards Sinn Fein and the IRA, as reflected in the DUP etc vote, is important to note. And Slugger does a good job in that. It is much better this way than to pretend everyone agrees with everyone else.
    I don’t think school is the right place for Slugger as students have so much on their minds: exams, acne, exams, acne and Bebo.

  • I would certainly ban any place that let me in.

    I wanna be one of the people my parents warned me about.

    Party on Sluggiepoos.

  • gg

    “Sectarianism: is part and parcel of the 6cos which was set up a “protestant state for a protestant people” and which should not be denied.”

    It might shock you to note that sectarianism existed before 1921. It might also be a surprise that it was not (and perhaps still is not) limited to this small parcel of land.

    “Further, the animosity of the Protestant posters here and their feelings towards Sinn Fein and the IRA, as reflected in the DUP etc vote, is important to note.”

    How can you tell if people are protestant from what they post? Protestants can be nationalists and catholics can be against SF and the IRA. And you don’t even get to see the space between their eyes when on the internet. 🙂

    This article on BBC News cheered me up today: Housing Executive to provide mixed housing – so perhaps a mild thaw is beginning in community relations, or finally giving a voice to what was there already.