Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA)'s bill to regulate MySpace.com and other profile sites was beaten up in committee.
The bill, officially named the Deleting Online Predators Act, bars children from accessing social networking Web sites, such as MySpace, Friendster and Facebook, at schools and libraries that receive federal technology funding.
There's a wonderful irony in using hip wired language like "deleting" in a bill designed to block kids' access to some websites while they're at school; making the sites that much more attractive, of course, when the kids head home. Texas's Republican attorney general made fun of the bill, as did seven of the eight witnesses.
Ted Davis, director of the information technology department at Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia, said the bill would "not protect students and it will place an added burden on schools."
Beth Yoke, an executive director with the American Library Association, said Fitzpatrick's bill was like trying to curb teenage car accidents by banning teens from the road. She said the bill would "block valuable technology" and "create barriers to information" that could be used for educational purposes.
Here's the punchline: the bill will probably pass anyway. The only committee members who complained about it were Democrats, and when it gets to the floor, who's going to essentially vote "yea" on TV ads portraying them as child molester-lovers?