San Francisco Library Providing Helpful Privacy Screens For Online Porn-Viewing Comfort

Just because a person is viewing online porn at a public library doesn’t necessarily mean they want everyone to know that — and plenty of fellow patrons might not want to accidentally catch an eyeful, either. San Francisco’s main library is taking all that into consideration with its new privacy screens on its free computers.

The idea is that the 18 new plastic shields will limit what can be seen on the computers’ monitors to the person using that particular machine, reports KVTU.com.

A city librarian said the library doesn’t want to filter Internet access, so the screens allow for free and equal access to information without offending anyone.

“We’re always looking for any kind of elegant solution that strikes a balance between the right to privacy and folks that want to use the library for any other intended purpose,” he said.

The library also plans on installing more screens if these work out. Computers will also have a pop-up warning asking patrons to be sensitive to others while getting their fix. So far, the screens seem to be going over well.

“You see a lot of people looking at porn and such,” said one regular visitor, who adds that he’s a fan of the screens. “It seems kinda messed up, people doing that kinda stuff in a public environment. I mean, people don’t get on the bus and read Hustler in front of everybody.”

Not everyone is pleased as punch, including the executive director of the anti-pornography group Morality in Media, who thinks the screens aren’t cutting it, and that filtering systems in libraries are the way to go.

“I think it’s definitely not enough,” she argued. “Even with those protector screens, people walking directly behind somebody can see porn. I mean porn in the library? There’s no place for that.”

Online porn viewing leads to privacy screens at SF main library [KTVU.com]