April 30, 2011

Viewing porn in the library is OK in New York City

By Kaitlin Prettyman
April 25, 2011
Deseret News

Adults in New York City who can’t download Internet porn at home because they don’t have a computer can now access it at the city’s libraries.

But even though viewing pornography at the library is OK according to the rules, is it really OK?

Fox News says, “New Yorkers can watch Internet porn at the city’s public libraries thanks to a policy of free speech protected by the First Amendment.”

“Customers can watch whatever they want on the computer,” Brooklyn Library spokeswoman Malika Granville said, according to the New York Post .

In Utah, the Legislature has created statutes prohibiting the public viewing or display of pornographic material, including certain rights for libraries and librarians who “exist to facilitate the exercise of these rights by selecting, producing, providing access to, identifying, retrieving, organizing, providing instruction in the use of, and preserving recorded expression regardless of the format or technology.”

Although New York City doesn’t have such regulations, the decision to allow viewing of pornography has resulted in some controversy. Several library patrons and religious leaders have complained.

According to TG Daily, Catholic Leagues President Bill Donohur said, “What they’re doing is publicly funding an appetite for the most debased fare available. It’s not like a Playboy centerfold anymore — it’s far worse.”

According to the New York Post, one library patron, Daisy Nazario, said she was disgusted when she realized the elderly man sitting next to her was viewing a pornographic video. Although the man had put up library-provided privacy extensions on the sides of the screen, Nazario could still hear the voices through his headphones.

But no laws are being broken. Under U.S. law all libraries that take federal funding only must install filters that block content with illegal obscenity and child pornography.

The library in New York does have filters on the computer to prevent just anyone from accessing porn. “However, anyone who is 17 years old or older can simply remove the filters and access anything they desire,” according to Politics.gather.com.

That site also voices concerns about people who would access and watch pornography in the middle of a library. “One would wonder about the mental state of someone who would just decide to enjoy some porn in the middle of the library.”

The effects of pornography on individuals and families have been well-documented. The Deseret News published a series of articles in 2010 that shared some personal accounts of families torn apart because of people who were addicted to viewing pornography from home.

Find the full article here: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700130029/Viewing-porn-in-the-library-is-OK-in-New-York-City.html

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