Classical Values blog reports that Chicagoboyz is one of many blogs that are blocked by the content-filtering system that is marketed to libraries and big companies and the like by a company called SonicWALL.
I guess some of us (cough) use bad words, or perhaps we link to evil pro-gun sites (“violent content”), or maybe it’s just that we are opinionated and argue a lot. Or maybe someone misinterpreted the name of the blog. Whatever. God forbid an innocent child or sensitive person should read our posts and be corrupted, made to feel uncomfortable or subjected to a hostile environment.
These filtering systems are inherently flawed because somebody has to decide which topics to censor and which algorithms to use to detect them. Even if the people who run the filters mean well, their incentive will always be to forbid more rather than less. Sometimes that’s because 1) it’s easier (no need to spend time assessing evidence and drawing distinctions), and 2) censorware customers are probably less likely to complain — or sue — if the blocking algorithm is too restrictive than if it is too liberal. And sometimes it’s because the people who design the filters are politically correct control-freaks.
This kind of software is an expensive cure relative to the costs of the problems it is supposed to address.