Another PL Banning Social Software

From Jason, in my LIS753 Class:

Here’s an article I came across on this topic.

Lexington County Library Bans Social Networking Sites –
http://www.thestate.com/154/story/304545.html

It’s from TheState.com, South Carolina. They include an online poll asking readers if they think such social software should be banned. As of this morning (3/29) of 101 votes, 52 votes for yes and 49 for no.

Here’s part of the article:

The primary reason for the decision was research that shows social networking sites can make computer systems vulnerable to viruses, said Dan MacNeill, executive director of the Lexington County Public Library.

“This is security for our network system, our computers.”

The library hasn’t encountered such problems, but library officials said they want to be proactive.

“We knew it was going to be a problem for some folks … and it was not done without a tremendous amount of thought, and a tremendous amount of research,” said David Fellows, chairman of the Lexington County Library Board and owner of a computer business.

Greenville County and some libraries in North Carolina also have restricted the use of social networking sites, said Sam Hastings, director of the University of South Carolina’s School of Library and Information science.

“It is a legitimate concern,” Hastings said.

Viruses? Viruses?

I just voted. This will be interesting to watch.

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6 thoughts on “Another PL Banning Social Software”

  1. It. Makes. My. Brain. Hurt.

    “Local law enforcement officers report that such sites are used to coordinate gang activity.”

    Any more or less so than, what, /the entire bloody web or any other particular internet protocol application?/

    “Network security experts say the sites are becoming prime targets for malicious hackers.”

    Which? Where? How much more so that any /other/ sort of site?

    I’d love to see actual citations of this research.

    Unless this is just a really fancy, mis-directionally-advanced way of saying they’d like to keep the riff-raff out of their library.

    “He said public library systems don’t have the money and resources to install and monitor anti-virus and firewall systems that would adequately protect their computers.”

    Then they either don’t belong on the internet, or haven’t heard of open source (even for Windows anti-virus)? *cough* http://www.edubuntu.org/ *cough*

  2. “Viruses?”

    Yes, viruses–specifically, cross-site scripting (XSS) and SQL injection. Are these good reasons to block social networking sites? Maybe not (we don’t). However, if you’re going to be recommending these sites, you should at least have a minimal awareness of some of the issues libraries might face.

  3. Strangely enough anonymous, I use a browser and face XSS and SQL injection, and I’m not even in a library right now! Why would you assume I’m not aware of these or that these are somehow library-specific?

    So yes, I’m aware and taken care of; Adblock Plus and NoScript in Firefox, all for free.

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