Porn/PICS in 6.001 classroom [Abelson]

Rohit Khare (
Mon, 02 Mar 1998 14:32:40 -0800

In related news, there was a major flap here at UCI where an art prof brought
up paintings of purported-child-porn in 'feminist issues in studio art',
provoking a one-woman protest. One of the works was a blood-stained girl's
face entitled "pussy eater". You make the decision...


PS. I have decided to moderate FoRK -- I will soon install software to run it
as a proper mailing list, offering digests of the whole list, and an edited
subset, 'three-percent', which Adam and I will forward the best-of-fork to.
Then we can invite Hal to join :-)


Subject: Pornography Display in 6.001 Provokes Debate on Decency
From: Jered J Floyd <jered@MIT.EDU>
Date: 27 Feb 1998 19:58:30 -0500
Pornogrpahy Display in 6.001 Provokes Debate on Decency

By Dan McGuire
Editor in Chief

Students in Structure and Interpretations of Computer Programs (6.001)
were shocked, confused, and amused when they entered 10-250 for
lecture yesterday.

The home page for a pornographic web site was displayed on the
projection screen at the front of the auditorium. Its logo had full
frontal nudity and a banner advertisement promised "full screen, top
resolution" pictures.

The web page was the introduction to a lecture on the Platform for
Internet Content Selection, a system being designed by the World Wide
Web Consortium to filter out pornographic web sites and other
objectionable content.

The objective was to "demonstrate that [pornography on the Internet]
really is a problem," said Professor of Electrical Engineering and
Computer Science Harold Abelson PhD '73, one of the course's four
lecturers, who proposed that the graphic be used to introduce the
lecture. "I'm told that people in the class were offended. That's
offensive material. I think it's appropriate that people reacted" the
way they did, he added.

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