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Right to Watch Porn at Public Library

Americans Have a First Amendment Right to Watch Porn at the Library

Parents beware! Danger may be lurking at your local public library. SafeLibraries.org tells the LA Times that libraries aren't doing enough to protect kids from inadvertently viewing pornography.

The paper reports on an incident from last December at an LA library. As kids waited in line to check out books, one patron watched pornography on a computer within sight. An uproar ensued, but city officials say the First Amendment grants patrons a right to access most porn on public computers.

Technically, libraries can install porn filters, but they must remove them if a patron asks for a site to be unblocked. Some cash-strapped libraries, unfortunately, can't afford the blocking software, so they've taken a low-tech approach: isolating computers so bystanders can't see the screens. I hope they don't give library porn watchers too much privacy, though!

Image Source: Getty
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RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 5 years
LOL I really really want to witness someone asking for access to redtube at the library. If you're the kind of person to watch it in a public place, you probably don't have much dignity left anyway. Seriously though, I used to work at a library and when it was time to close, we frequently found books in the stalls in the men's bathroom... books on erotic photography and Suzanne Somer's biography (?????) and stuff like that. Gross.
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 5 years
LOL I really really want to witness someone asking for access to redtube at the library. If you're the kind of person to watch it in a public place, you probably don't have much dignity left anyway. Seriously though, I used to work at a library and when it was time to close, we frequently found books in the stalls in the men's bathroom... books on erotic photography and Suzanne Somer's biography (?????) and stuff like that. Gross.
sillybunnie sillybunnie 5 years
Ha! How funny to see this article. One of my friends just said he saw a homeless man watching porn in one of our university libraries XD
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 5 years
It does LOOK racist, though I'll give tres the benefit of the doubt and assume this was the only stock photo of people on library computers. That first guy is a total babe... wow, I would so watch porno with him at the library. Logically, what's the point in watching porn if you can't masturbate while you watch it? Do these guys walk out with a boner, maintain that boner during the drive home, and take care of it then? I mean I can't imagine walking home with my panties all soaked, personally I wouldn't have the sexual self-control to NOT rub one out asap. Also aren't there laws about letting children into porno shops, or showing them x-rated material? I'm all for first amendment but I would think public lewdness laws would prohibit this? I guess I'm having a hard time seeing this as a 1st amendment issue. I'm sort of on the fence, I mean I'm pro-porno and pro-free speech, but in a library? Internet access and porno mags/movies are expensive, so I don't think anyone should be denied porn b/c they can't afford to enjoy it at home- but a library? Really? I anticipate seeing this taken to a higher court at some point.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 5 years
It does LOOK racist, though I'll give tres the benefit of the doubt and assume this was the only stock photo of people on library computers. That first guy is a total babe... wow, I would so watch porno with him at the library.Logically, what's the point in watching porn if you can't masturbate while you watch it? Do these guys walk out with a boner, maintain that boner during the drive home, and take care of it then? I mean I can't imagine walking home with my panties all soaked, personally I wouldn't have the sexual self-control to NOT rub one out asap.Also aren't there laws about letting children into porno shops, or showing them x-rated material? I'm all for first amendment but I would think public lewdness laws would prohibit this? I guess I'm having a hard time seeing this as a 1st amendment issue.I'm sort of on the fence, I mean I'm pro-porno and pro-free speech, but in a library? Internet access and porno mags/movies are expensive, so I don't think anyone should be denied porn b/c they can't afford to enjoy it at home- but a library? Really? I anticipate seeing this taken to a higher court at some point.
fuzzles fuzzles 5 years
I agree with Natalie. My mother took on me frequent library trips from a very young age. Granted, the Internet wasn't an issue back in the day. Yet, to this day, I think of the library as a safe, calm place to relax and, ideally, learn something. Porn viewing in a public environment by others is conducive to neither and will likely cause more harm than good in the long run. Love porn or not, whatever makes your peanut butter Skippy. Just choose the appropriate forum.
fuzzles fuzzles 5 years
I agree with Natalie. My mother took on me frequent library trips from a very young age. Granted, the Internet wasn't an issue back in the day. Yet, to this day, I think of the library as a safe, calm place to relax and, ideally, learn something. Porn viewing in a public environment by others is conducive to neither and will likely cause more harm than good in the long run. Love porn or not, whatever makes your peanut butter Skippy. Just choose the appropriate forum.
Natalie-Love Natalie-Love 5 years
@spacekatgal I really believe everyone is free to watch porn, I just don't think they should do it in public. We all have rights to free choices, but when those free choices make others uncomfortable or intimidated, they are infringing on others' rights. The library is a public place for all of us to enjoy, and I just don't think it's fair for one person's right to triumph all of our rights.I've sat beside a drunk man looking at porn on the subway, and as far as his constitutional rights of watching porn were met, I have to admit I was very uncomfortable. Again, I don't believe in censorship of ideas- watch porn ALL you want, but not in a setting which could really make another person feel uncomfortable. I'm not a conservative, I'm actually extremely liberal, I don't believe in internet censorship in the home. I've just had enough experience with people pushing my boundaries in comfort in public to tell you that it doesn't feel nice when people watch porn around you. That's all.
Natalie-Love Natalie-Love 5 years
@spacekatgalI really believe everyone is free to watch porn, I just don't think they should do it in public. We all have rights to free choices, but when those free choices make others uncomfortable or intimidated, they are infringing on others' rights. The library is a public place for all of us to enjoy, and I just don't think it's fair for one person's right to triumph all of our rights.I've sat beside a drunk man looking at porn on the subway, and as far as his constitutional rights of watching porn were met, I have to admit I was very uncomfortable. Again, I don't believe in censorship of ideas- watch porn ALL you want, but not in a setting which could really make another person feel uncomfortable. I'm not a conservative, I'm actually extremely liberal, I don't believe in internet censorship in the home. I've just had enough experience with people pushing my boundaries in comfort in public to tell you that it doesn't feel nice when people watch porn around you. That's all.
sweetpea1987 sweetpea1987 5 years
Public places are not the place to view porn! I think it should be outlawed! Using the computer at the libary is a free service, you should not be watching your porn there. The libary is a family friendly place, they should not allow anything that could offent families! I don't have kids myself, but I for one would not like to see that in my public libary! Do that on your own time!
kittiekat722 kittiekat722 5 years
Porn is technically not illegal, but a lot of libraries have filters in place to avoid this. I work at a university library and there are no filters on the student computers, due to research purposes so if they choose to, students can watch porn. If someone feels uncomfortable about a student watching porn, we will ask them to move to another computer, but we cannot ask them to leave. Only child porn is illegal and we will call the cops on that.
Natalie-Love Natalie-Love 5 years
@spacekatgal- While I totally see where you're coming from (The 'protect the children' statement is sometimes used in really wrong ways, such as oppressing gay rights in the past), but I think this might be a different story. When I was in elementary school, I was a big book worm, and my mom would often take me to the library. She would often browse certain sections while I would go off and look at other ones, within the same library, I was a very quiet well behaved 8-12 year old, so this wasn't an issue. Internet wasn't so big when I was that age, but I can't imagine what I would feel if I ran into some middle aged man watching porn on the computer, I think it would have frightened me, and would have made me scared to come back to that library. Discovering porn yourself when you're a preteen is so much different then seeing a strange man watch it! Again, absolutely nothing against porn, but I don't think it should be allowed to be watched publicly! Do it at home... For the sake of everyone who doesn't want to see it.
Natalie-Love Natalie-Love 5 years
@spacekatgal-While I totally see where you're coming from (The 'protect the children' statement is sometimes used in really wrong ways, such as oppressing gay rights in the past), but I think this might be a different story. When I was in elementary school, I was a big book worm, and my mom would often take me to the library. She would often browse certain sections while I would go off and look at other ones, within the same library, I was a very quiet well behaved 8-12 year old, so this wasn't an issue. Internet wasn't so big when I was that age, but I can't imagine what I would feel if I ran into some middle aged man watching porn on the computer, I think it would have frightened me, and would have made me scared to come back to that library. Discovering porn yourself when you're a preteen is so much different then seeing a strange man watch it! Again, absolutely nothing against porn, but I don't think it should be allowed to be watched publicly! Do it at home... For the sake of everyone who doesn't want to see it.
Becky-Kirsch Becky-Kirsch 5 years
That poor guy in the Getty photo above is now pretty much implicated in being an online perv. On another note, I wonder if this applies to school libraries?
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