library computers
library computers

You Can Currently Watch Hardcore Porn at L.A. Library Computers, Right in Front of Kids

If you go into any of Los Angeles’ 73 public libraries, you can log onto a computer terminal and look at hardcore gay porn. And while that sounds fantastic, it’s a bit pervy, especially if children and other un-interested adults can see your screen. That’s the exact reason that L.A. City Council members David Ryu and Nury Martinez have proposed installing software that would block graphic material on all city library computers.

The city actually considered blocking porn on public library computers back in 2011, according to dailynews.com, but they worried that doing so might violate the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment protections against government censorship of free speech. So they decided to install privacy screens on computers and reposition screens for more private viewing instead.

However, a recent three-month investigation of “rampant drug use and lewd behavior at L.A. city libraries” conducted by the local NBC TV news affiliate found “many patrons use it to watch explicit porn, often with children nearby.” One security guard at the Goldwyn Library in Hollywood told an investigator that “anyone can watch porn as long as their hands remain visible to guards.”

Ryu said, “Libraries are places of learning — they are a place for communities to connect, for individuals to empower themselves with information, and for children to grow and explore. They are not a place for lewd content or behavior. Our families and children deserve better.”

While children shouldn’t be exposed to hardcore porn in public places, software filters on age-sensitive material aren’t a perfect solution. For one, the NBC investigative team found that they’re not 100% effective at blocking pornographic content. Secondly, web filters commonly block out non-sexual gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender content, making educational LGBTQ sites inaccessible because the terms are commonly applied to describe different types of porn.

John Szabo, the city’s head librarian since 2012, said, “There’s certainly conversations about filtering, whether filtering software is an effective response.”