Some of the difficulties inherent in content regulation

SmartFilter is a system used by corporations, schools, libraries and governments that allows system administrators to monitor and filter their users' access to web sites. Their website states that "By controlling inappropriate Internet use with SmartFilter, organizations can reduce legal liability, enhance Web security, increase productivity, and preserve bandwidth for business-related activities. SmartFilter puts you in control."

However, the New York Times reports (free subscription required) that the relatively innocent site Boing Boing: A Directory of Wonderful Things had been blocked by SmartFilter on the basis that a site reviewer from SmartFilter had "spotted something fleshy" and incorrectly (or at the least unfairly) labelled the site with the Nudity characterisation.

As is noted in the article, "There is far too much content on the Internet for one company to review manually, so they have to cut corners. And they're going to fall further behind as the Web gets bigger."

Is there a solution to this problem? Should we just accept that it is impossible to provide effective content regulation for the internet? Should we even go so far to say that there should be no regulation of the internet?

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