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   XML to protect free speech

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  • From: Michael VanBeneden <mvanbeneden@interland.com>
  • To: "'xml-dev@lists.xml.org'" <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
  • Date: Thu, 19 Oct 2000 16:11:50 -0400

I'm interested in hearing everyone's ideas on rating internet content using
XML. I am involved in a Web site that is pushing the limits of controversy.
As we all know, the laws as they relate to the internet today are very
debatable. Since, with the internet, people can access such a diverse amount
of information instantly, they are bound to run into things that offend or
frighten them. Most people will agree that laws should not be passed that
"protect" one person from that information just to satisfy another. While
this is my viewpoint, I also understand that if a person is offended by
certain material and doesn't want it coming into their home, they should be
able to keep it out. This is especially true for parenting. I know a lot of
people fear that compromising laws will be passed in the effort to protect
children. I know that technology could do a much better job. I want to be
proactive and put a system into place so that these kind of laws become
unnecessary. The site I'm involved with is the perfect vehicle for this. We
are ranked high among the top 5,000 most trafficked sites on the internet
and lawyers have compared us to Napster in the way we are growing and being
noticed. With the public eye on us getting bigger every day I would like to
take advantage of the opportunity to put a good tool in the hands of the
concerned instead of leaving it to the courts. I know about the PICS
standard but it just cannot offer the level of control that there needs to
be. I think XML will be the solution. I did some brief research to see if
this was already being addressed with XML and it appeared to me that it
isn't so I apologize if this has been brought up before.

I have some ideas on how this system could be designed but I'd like to hear
everyone's input. Please send your ideas on this topic.

-Mike VanB


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