Re: [WWWEDU] questions about spam
- Hi Pharra. Thanks.
One of the reasons I recommend against Hotmail and the like is porn spam. But
what I am wondring is whether districts that are providing kids with e-mail
accounts (that is K12 domain addresses) are having difficulties with porn spam.
Because if they are, this is an issue that should be addressed not with
filtering software, but with prosecution.
(Off the subject, but on the point story. At NECC when I was presenting on
filtering software, a woman told a story. It seems that the school library is
also the community/public library. So one day a man came in and sat down at a
centralized computer and started downloading porn. "We have to have filtering
to deal with guys like these," she said. "No," I responded. "You needed to call
the police. Just like you would have done if this guy came in and started
showing himself at school." One publicized prosecution in this town and the
problem would have been dealt with. Geeze.)
So Pharra, have you ever requested the blocked URL reports for your high
school? What percentage of sites that are blocked do you think are porn or
other inappropriate sites? What percentage are perfectly appropriate or even
high quality educational sites? Now don't you think that would make an
Nancy Willard, M.S., J.D.
Center for Advanced Technology in Education
University of Oregon, College of Education
Responsible Netizen Institute
"Dr. Pharra J. DeWindt" wrote:
> Hi Nancy,
> I have had many horror stories about spam and especially porno spam when I
> was teaching in an urban Jr. High. The district did not have a filtering
> policy at the time, and our lab was a private one donated by a local
> business. The students all recieved Hotmail or other free e-mail services,
> and maintained the ones their parents had for them.
> The porno spam was intense for a while, but we had the children filter their
> accounts, and sent "this person will send your address to the police"
> messages attached to the others. This seemed to calm down the majority of
> porno spam.
> Now the district uses BESS and Lotus Notes, and I teach at a high school. I
> hate it, the kids hate it. They will not give teachers an override code so
> it is difficult to access some sites of interest to my seniors.
> Additionally, I have had to request my own site not be filtered through BESS
> just so that I can use my online materials.
> As for other issues with spam, the kids just ignore it. It is just another
> commercial to them, so they do not even open it, just delete it as soon as
> they see it. What is much more interesting to me is what they send to each
> other through the mail. THAT would be a study! *L*
> I hope you and your family are well.
> Dr. Pharra J. DeWindt
> SUNY at Buffalo
> Graduate School of Education
> Department of Learning and Instruction
> McKinley High School
> 1500 Elmwood Avenue
> Buffalo, NY 14207
> Nancy Willardon 8/12/02 9:39 PM, Nancy Willard at
> nwillard@... wrote:
> > Hi folks.
> > I need some from-the-trenches feedback. How much problem are k12 folks
> > having with spam in school e-mail? I am especially interested in insight
> > into the amount of spam in students' e-mail and the amount of porn spam
> > that gets through. How are schools dealing with spam? Are schools using
> > spam filters? If so, what kind of filters? (And no, you will not see an
> > article from me on how spam filters used by public institutions is
> > unconstitutionally imposing on the rights of spammers ;-) )
> > Do any of you have any stories about students' receipt of porno spam?
> > Thanks in advance.
> > Nancy
> > Nancy Willard, M.S., J.D.
> > Center for Advanced Technology in Education
> > University of Oregon, College of Education
> > E-mail: nwillard@...
> > URL: http://netizen.uoregon.edu
> > Responsible Netizen Institute
> > URL:http://responsiblenetizen.org
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- Nancy Willardon 8/13/02 5:51 AM, Nancy Willard at
> So Pharra, have you ever requested the blocked URL reports for your high
> school? What percentage of sites that are blocked do you think are porn or
> other inappropriate sites? What percentage are perfectly appropriate or even
> high quality educational sites? Now don't you think that would make an
> interesting study???
You have raised some interesting questions that I will forward to the head
of our technology department. I have tried before to get information from
them about why we chose BESS and why we do not have access to information
about the internet services we use. From what I can gather the district
chose BESS because it is in use in many school districts and a personal
favorite of the tech folks at BOCES. The district usually gives the
generalized answer that they depend on BESS to decide what is appropriate or
not for the district.
What I have learned by trial and error is that sites that allow for access
to search engines that are not filtered are automatically blocked from
schools. That is why my site had difficulties. I had one search engine
listed, Dogpile, that they decided was inappropriate.
I am also wondering if the filtering companies have different levels of
filters, say one level for K-6 and another for 7-12. I have not found a
satisfactory answer to that yet. I don't think they do, but I can not say
I will let you know if and when I get an answer back to our questions.
All my best,
Dr. Pharra J. DeWindt
SUNY at Buffalo
Graduate School of Education
Department of Learning and Instruction