Adult content

Thomas Templin lists at
Thu Jun 30 23:45:14 UTC 2005

On Thursday 30 June 2005 20:50, Alain Muls wrote:
> Hi,
> How can one try to keep kids away from adult or violent content
> using Firefox on Ubuntu??

By using a proxy like squid [1] plus filtering addon like squidguard 
[2] or dansguard(ian)[3]

This can be done on a router/gateway over which all trafic has to go 
or on a workstation. I would vote for a dedicated firewall / 
router, eg ipcop [4] or smoothwall [5]. 

Under the aspect of administration complexity a proxy filter on 
every workstation will become a pita for the admin. 
So, forget it... :-)

I would vote for a dedicated firewall router. 
For content filtering you have to keep the blacklists up to date. 
All the time, persistent and frequently, it's a never ending 'cat 
choosing it's own tail' game. ;-)


So this is the 'technical' solution to handle this problem. 
But it will not cover the social problem. 

Which is a much more complex one and therefore needs a longer 

Impatient ones may stop readig here, you've been warned :-)

Kids, especially in their adolescent age tend to see it as a match / 
challenge to bypass (?circumvent?) such technical barriers / 

I would always prefer to accompany such a technical solutions by a 
social one. It will bring some valuable benefits on the long run not 
only under pedagogical / educational aspects.

- Kids need to be educated to use a new media in a responsible way,
  with respect. We call it media competence here in gemany

- Kids have to know that the internet media is _not_ anonymous at
  all. Which is a educational mission I would say.

- And we should use the chance to introduce some of the positive
  social aspects which come along with the tradition of Free

In my opinion this is a chance you should take to use the new media 
internet to skill social competence of the kids.

I accompanied the 'technical' solution of this problem by some 
'social' ones in a youth club (Jugendzentrum) here some time ago.

- All internet connections opened by the kids are logged. This can
  be done by filtering the history files of a browser or via squid
  authentication and logging.
  BTW. It was commonly done so in ancient arpanet / bitnet ages.
  When we had our first computer courses at the university we got a
  printout of all connections we had. Looking back what was amusing
  was the circumstance that at that time there where listed 'routing
  costs' on this printout which sum in several thousands of dollars.
  We didn't  know that routing costs are only a technical term and
  had nothing to do with real costs. I will never forget the faces
  of some of us when we first read this printout, some of us nearly
  left the town as fast as possible... :-))

  So giving all kids a printout of their visited URL's will have two
  positive aspects. 
  1. They will get aware that there is no anonymity in the internet
  2. It will skill social competence. No one likes to see URL's like on
     his or her log printout. So there are things which can be done
     but better shouldn't be done if you don't want to disgrace
     ?blame? yourself. ;-)

- If there is a beamer in the classroom it will be a good idea to
  show user desktops randomly on the beamer-screen.
  I never saw a teenager who is not ashamed to see his or her
  desktop on the beamer-screen in the classrom so that everyone can
  see him surfing on an URL with adult or violent content.
  For this it is helpfull always to have the user name on the
  screen, eg. by having a username on the wallpaper or having the
  username in every window title. 

- Internet is a _very_ democratic media (in the meaning of liberte,
  egalite and fraternite) so it will be the worst fault ever if you
  only do so for the kids only and not for the  teacher(s). 
  A lot of physical handicaps don't exist in the internet. So if you
  are blind and use a braile terminal or if you are not blind and
  use a common keyboard don't matter. So does age and a lot of other
  handicaps. (again in the meaning of liberte, egalite and
  fraternite :) 
  This is a chance again to skill social competence, but you have to
  find a way to use this chance...
  And it is a tremendous chance to introduce this people, kids and
  teachers, to the Free Software community where a lot of 'social'
  and physical handicaps don't exist. You will find a lot of very
  young, very old, well educated, not educated, handicaped and
  whatever people working together in Free Software projects. As
  Knut Irvyn, project leader of Skolelinux likes to say, "we are a
  do'ocracy!" (did I mention liberte, egalite and fraternite? :)) 

- BTW. You should try to (re-)introduce the old fashioned pen-friend
  tradition at your school. There are a lot of schools who will be
  interested in joining you, I will bet for.
  So with an internet connection you will get a lighning fast media
  for interactive / intersocial communication amongst students (and
  teachers) from almost all places in the world. Not only by email
  but also by chat or video-chat or VoIP.

  IMO Here is a chance to make the positive aspects of a free
  communication infrastructure usable to fullfill the social aspects
  of pedagigical needs.

  IMO Free Communication in the meaning of a free interchange of
  information and ideas as it is done in the Free Software
  movement is the deadly enemy of all kind of totalitarianism.
  "'Make friends, not war." or as we say in germany "you don't spit
  into the soup of a friend"

- Try to involve the kids (not only the teachers) as much as you
  can and as soon as you can.
  This can be done by involving pupils in supervising the use of
  internet, writing short tutorials about the use of
  applications, ..., ...

- The benefits of all doing so will be close to those of well known
  conflict management courses. It will help to improve the social
  skills of the kids. What is one of the fundamental goals of
  pedagogy in my eyes.

IMO Free Software is a social phenomenon much more than a technical 
and economical one. So we should make use of this positive social 
aspects and not only of the technical and economical ones. And for 
this people have to be told about and how to do so. 
As I did in this _very_ long email... :-))

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