The Internet is not a baby sitter

I just read Todd Skoda's letter "Limiting kids' access to porn is just fine," Jan. 20, and I wondered to myself, did this person really think about his response before he began typing? I would have to say that this sentence provides the answer: "The real answer is that Day is a left-wing zealot who obviously must have no kids." Skoda makes the leap of logic that if people have kids they must be pro-filtering software, or that if you are against filtering software you must be a left-wing zealot. I find both assumptions ridiculous.

Contrary to Skoda's opinion there are more consequences than: "... teachers and students might now have to use a library instead of the Internet to do research." I do not endorse the Internet as the only resource a person should use for research, but it is too vast and important a tool to be dismissed. Where else can students find -- literally -- up-to-the-minute updates on any topic they are researching? With connections to universities and research institutions around the world the importance of the Internet as a research tool is incalculable.

The significance of filtering software is that it takes the responsibility away from the parent. What responsible parent would let a child use a power drill or saw without supervision? So what parent would allow unsupervised use of the Internet? This is the same issue that is brought up with television. Irresponsible parents want a cheap baby sitter. They do not want to supervise their children on the Internet, or on television. The Internet is not a baby sitter. The television is not a baby sitter. If you cannot take the time to supervise their use, then you cannot allow your child to use them.

Filtering software that would not allow a child to view a site containing the word "Panama Canal" is not only poorly written but should not be paid for. A child's access to porn is not being limited, rather, their access to learning is being denied.

Eric Hanson, junior, computer science and art