Feb 08

Display at Mesa County Public Library Hostile to Gay Parents


Above: Embedded video of KJCT8 News (Grand Junction, CO) story

I’ll be processing this one for a while.

I respect and admire the library’s wish to avoid censorship of patron-created displays, but I also loathe this sort of anti-gay claptrap and am uneasy with the library being used to spread an evangelistic message that is openly hostile to some of the library’s users.

While I respect the library’s view and want to be whole-hearted in my support of their decision, I’d be pretty upset really ticked off if a public display at my local library suggested that Jews (for example) couldn’t be fit parents. A display suggesting that any ethnic or religious minority couldn’t be fit parents would (rightly) cause massive public outcry…what makes this any different?

I have no problem with a library providing an education service of educating patrons about a religious perspective, but that seems to me to be very different from actually facilitating the preaching of that perspective.

If you have some insight, please share it? What do you think?

(Afterthought: This’d make an interesting case for class discussion or an assignment, eh?)

Oct 30

Amnesty International API for Censored Web Content


Amnesty International’s Irrepressible.info is great, and they’re offering an API lets a blogger (or other sort of site owner/administrator) add a snippet of javascript that’ll pull banned content from Amnesty’s database and display it in your choice of formats.

Irrepressible
Adj. 1) Impossible to repress or control.
Chat rooms monitored. Blogs deleted. Websites blocked. Search engines restricted. People imprisoned for simply posting and sharing information.

The Internet is a new frontier in the struggle for human rights. Governments – with the help of some of the biggest IT companies in the world – are cracking down on freedom of expression.

Amnesty International, with the support of The Observer UK newspaper, is launching a campaign to show that online or offline the human voice and human rights are impossible to repress.

More about the campaign

API specifics

Can’t wait to see how this is mashed up. Hey, how about a mapping mashup where you can hover over a map of the world and click to see what has been censored there?

You can also turn any query into an RSS feed:

Advanced RSS feeds
Choosing the format “rss” you can reformat any possible query into a valid RSS 2.0 feed. Use it to build a custom feed to use with RSS compatible applications – for example a China and Iran RSS feed.