Holland, Michigan

On February 22 the community defeated, 55 to 44, a proposal to require filters on all Herrick District Library computers. For an article in The Holland Sentinel, click here.

Background (Posted January 2000): On February 22, 2000, Holland, Michigan, will vote on a proposal to force the city to withdraw funding from the Herrick District Library unless the library installs filters to restrict Internet access. The petition to put the issue to a vote was sponsored by a local affiliate of the American Family Association, and is also receiving support from the Family Research Council. Both groups have made Internet censorship a priority. Their goal is to prevent minors from accessing "materials that are obscene, sexually explicit or harmful."

NCAC opposes government deciding for individuals what they can see or read, in cyberspace as well as real space. We also oppose private groups like the AFA or FRC imposing their viewoint on a whole community. Leaving aside the fact that "harmful" is a vague and subjective standard, filters block a lot of useful information. Sites about breast cancer, gun control, the Holocaust, racism and religious groups have all been blocked. NCAC's own website has been blocked because of the word "pornography."