COPA Trial Expert’s Report II

Seth Finkelstein has posted on Infothought the COPA Expert’s Report on the “prevalence of sexually explicit websites on the worldwide web, the frequency with which searches return sexually explicit websites, and the efficacy of content filters in blocking those websites.” Infothought remains a good source of COPA trial commentary. Follow these links to the full report and its supplements:

2 thoughts on “COPA Trial Expert’s Report II”

  1. Content filters are necessary to prevent children from accessing highly graphic, inappropriate material. Unfortunately, according to Seth Finkelstein, “6 percent of the AOL, MSN, and Yahoo! queries retrieve at least one sexually explicit website and that 5.7 percent retrieve at least one domestic sexually explicit website.” Since sexually explicit websites are “disproportionately popular,” filters need to be effective. Unfortunately, between 6.2 and 43.4% of these websites are not blocked by filters. This is especially a problem at elementary schools where students have access to the Internet.

    These findings prove that it is not difficult to access explicit materials by mistake on the Internet. Internet filtering software should thus be enforced to comply with COPA regulations. The responsibility should not lie with Internet operators, if it is not possible for them to keep offensive material from being accessed. Statistics show that this is indeed the case. As a result, this law should be altered to enforce more comprehensive filtering programs.

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