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COMPUTER PORN TRULY OFFENSIVE

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I wish to comment on a recent article concerning the use of computers on college campuses, specifically at the University of Utah (Deseret News, Aug. 16), and a statement by Edward Sharp, computer center director at the U. The article mentioned that a person can peruse myriad topics on the Internet, including pornography. Linda Thomson, the article's author, wrote that many Utahns would find this type of use of a tax-supported computer system "objectionable." I certainly agree. Then she quotes Sharp: "The real issue at hand is whether the university ought to be in the business of censorship."

With no desire to impugn Sharp's knowledge of the English language, I'd like to opine that he, as do many, misunderstand the verb "censor."My dictionary defines censor as: Take out parts of, make changes in, etc. Were Sharp able to remove pornography from the data files on the Internet, he would arguably be engaging in censorship. I doubt that he has that system authority. However, were he to not allow access to computer pornography, he would not be engaging in censorship. He would merely be stating, "Not with my money you don't." The material is still there, waiting to be perused. But as some of us taxpayers would state: "Not with our money you don't."

It's the same situation with what some euphemistically call "art." They want tax money to purchase paintings, sculpture and other forms of art, knowing that these materials would never be self-supporting. Were a relevant government agency to say, "No," these people would be screaming "censorship." But it's not censorship. The items are still there, the "artist" is still free to exhibit the works, and anyone is still free to buy them. But as for supporting the efforts? "Not with our money you don't!"

To Sharp I would add: If indeed students can use tax-supported computer systems to access pornography, please don't hide behind the facade of alleged "censorship." Let them use their own computers, but please have the courage to tell them: "Not with our money you don't!"

Curt Wilbur

Bountiful