Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Supremes Nod to Filtering Over First Amendment Encroachment in Porn Case: vContent the Real Winner

As noted in USA Today and many major outlets, the real victors in the U.S. Supreme Court's decision are not pornography vendors but the technologists who the court called upon to demonstrate that effective filtering solutions are a viable option to impeding Constitutional rights to free speech. While it's unclear whether this referral back to appellate court may have further reverberations in challenges to the U.S. Patriot Act, it certainly sends out a clarion call to content technologists trying to define what is and is not desirable content from a personal perspective. Tools such as Weblogs highlight the importance of allowing audiences to select sources from whom they wish to receive electronic content, thus allowing the best personal filter - the human mind - to determine what's valuable for any given person based on what's produced by a source. In an era in which individuals and institutions are called upon increasingly to be their own content filters instead of traditional publishers and intermediaries, those who enable these audiences to master their own content selection without external prejudice are as important to the future of publishing as any aggregation of content sources. The closer the vContent capabilities are to the audiences who want to define what's important to them, the better - and certainly governmental mediation of content value is about as far from that as you can get...
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