Skip to content
Guest Thinkers

I don’t like Internet filters

I don’t like Internet filters, and not just because many folks can’t read my blog (thanks, Mark!).

I don’t like them because they impede political awareness (see, e.g., Andy Carvin’s fantastic post on this).

I don’t like them because in order to exercise one’s right to free speech one also must have access to speech:

[T]he Constitution protects the right to receive information

and ideas. This right is an inherent corollary of the rights of free

speech and press that are explicitly guaranteed by the Constitution. . . . The dissemination of ideas can accomplish

nothing if otherwise willing addressees are not free to receive

and consider them. It would be a barren marketplace of ideas that

had only sellers and no buyers. . . .

More importantly, the right to receive ideas is a necessary predicate

to the recipient’s meaningful exercise of his own rights of speech,

press, and political freedom.

[Board of Education, Island Trees Union Free School Dist. v. Pico, 457 U.S. 853 (1982)]

And I don’t like them because of the message they send to students: in an information economy, we don’t trust you with information.


Up Next
In his comment last week, Jack Phelps, founder of (which looks interesting, by the way!), noted that there’s always an adoption curve. The challenge, of course, is to reduce […]