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Here they come...
In today's New York Times: "Anarchy, a Threat on the Electronic
Frontier," by Peter H. Lewis. It's kind of a scare piece on how
flame wars, abuse, and out-of-control sociopaths are destroying the
self-regulating Eden of the net. The piece itself is more or less
"neutral," in classic NYT style, but it can also be seen as the first
rumblings of a call for some kind of "responsible regulation" of the
The pedophiles we all run into by the thousands every day are
mentioned in the piece, as are the "pornographic pictures [...] traded
in great volume." Also, "virtually every network, large and small,
has crackpots and sociopaths who seek to bully others with obscenities
and threats." Other quotes:
"In recent months, it has become difficult for even network libertarians
to argue that the network community can resolve its problems through
peer pressure alone."
"[...] 'What people will probably do is invent "site kill files,"' wrote
David Hayes, a Usenet regular who works for the National Aeronautics
and Space Admistration's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
[...] 'My fear is that this will be a cyber-revisiting of the blacklisting
that was prevalent in the 50's,' Mr. Hayes wrote. 'Eventually, I predict
that such site kill files will be used to censor politically unpopular
views (like mine, for example).'"
Think about that next time you put someone in your killfile.