Following up on Kelly’s post, here’s the latest from Illinois. Sen. Matt Murphy (R-Palatine) has introduced the Social Networking Website Prohibilition Act, which would banish social social networking websites from all public libraries and schools. The bill does not define social networking sites other than to use the term itself. Nor is the bill limited to libraries that utilize e-rate funding for Internet access. According to a February 16th story in the Chicago Tribune, Illinois appears to be the only state where an outright ban is being attempted. But state officials in Georgia and North Carolina have recently called for websites like MySpace to require minors to get parental consent.
This attempt seems particularly scary to me, since it’s both vague and sweeping. I wonder if Senator Murphy really understands what services comprise social networking (so much more than MySpace!) and the potentially damaging impact of such legislation on libraries, schools, and our kids.