Wikipedia Dangers!

Everybody knows Wikipedia right.

Wikipedia is a multilingual, web-based, free encyclopedia that is based on a model of openly editable content. It is the largest and most popular general reference work on the Internet, and is one of the most popular websites by Alexa rank. It is owned and supported by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization which operates on money it receives from donors. This website is available in over 300 languages!

There is nothing wrong, letting my children browse in it right ?

WRONG.

Since it is “open source” anyone and anything can be accessed and edited from anywhere around the world! Furthermore there are specific sections created for media/video which can contain pornographic material! As long as a website is considered “open source” one must realize it is the most liberal of definitions and specifically does not want any oversight (filtering) being done. Bottom line: this website is one of the most dangerous because of it’s educational value allowing parents to think about all the educational information which can be accessed and letting down their guard into realizing the amount of inappropriate material is available in one click.

this post was taken from torahtechs

Kosher internet Filters

this post comes from vice.com

While rabbis once tried to reject the internet altogether, telling people to stay offline is no longer a tenable position. Even among Haredim, the internet is integral to daily life, from running a business to buying airline tickets.

“Orthodox Jewish homes have valued for as long as anyone can remember the idea of filtering,” said Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, editor of the Orthodox blog Cross-Currents and adjunct chair in Jewish law at Loyola Law School. “Not everything out there is of equal value and you’re trying to keep your home and head full of ideas and images that are healthy and productive, rather than the opposite.” That’s the chief reason why orthodox homes usually don’t have televisions, and why they do have internet filters.

While the internet is widely used to study Torah (the Jewish Bible) and other religious texts and ideas—”We refer to ‘Rabbenu [our rabbi] Google’ as one of the chief teachers in the community,” Adlerstein said—it can also challenge orthodox Jewish values.

Pornography is the most obvious problem. It violates Jewish values both by objectifying human beings and disrupting “inner purity,” Adlerstein said. Internet porn is more convenient than a furtive visit to the candy store to buy magazines and fosters unhealthy expectations in marriages, he added. “Filtering is about both keeping temptation at arm’s length, and maintaining the quality of inner peace where your mind is, and where your soul is,” Adlerstein said.

Exposure to secular or heretical ideas is another problem. “If a kid finds 20 websites that convince him that if you believe in God you might as well believe in the spaghetti monster, there are all kinds of intellectual issues—issues that people in the community try to stay away from, or welcome with the right age, maturation, and background,” Adlerstein said. “[Online] you have no way of controlling that. You have access to all kinds of cynicism that puts down the way your family lives and demonizes the way the community lives.”

Newer filters work in real-time, automatically scanning website pages for non-kosher material. Through a technology called “quilting”, the system is coded to decide whether a web page, paragraph, or image is kosher, said Zvika Ilan, vice president of business development and marketing officer for Netspark, a filter for computers and smartphones. Each customer can decide the level of filtering they want to use: For example, the most basic level would block only pornography, but more advanced levels would also block lingerie or swimsuit images.

“If we think that people don’t want to see harmful content, then in the highest level we will not even show them social networks,” Ilan said. YouTube is allowed under Netspark, but if indecent content comes up even within a few seconds, the video is stopped. The same happens when scrolling through Facebook: “We’re scrolling and deleting harmful content from the wall,” he said.

The filter “understands” what it sees, Ilan added. Whereas before old filters would pick up only on skin tones, that method failed with close-ups of faces, or if a porn video used a red light, for example, and the skin tones were different colors.

Other filters work off a “whitelist” of kosher websites and a “blacklist” of banned websites, explained Eliezer Reiton, Netfree support engineer. Netfree, which Reiton said has thousands of users, blocks a total of 42,000 websites, including porn, proxies, social media, most news sites, and most video sharing sites. Other filters, however, are more lenient, allowing for example the news or some social media. Google is the only search engine allowed, but the results are filtered. Wikipedia is open, with some pages and images blocked. Same with YouTube, blocking certain videos, and so on. All major email providers are open.

Every single image displayed through Netfree is screened by Gentile employees in Ukraine and India similar to the work done by laborers in the Philippines who “keep dick pics and beheadings out of your Facebook feed.” Technically, Jews shouldn’t subject other Jews to non-Kosher material—similar to reasons why a “Shabbos goy,” rather than a secular Jew, might help observant Jews with certain tasks so they don’t have to violate Shabbat.

Because of the “premium attached to keeping temptation maximally distant,” Adlerstein explained, pictures of women are blocked, in addition to naked newborns and naked or partially dressed men. The screening system is attractive to non-Jews, as well: Even Netfree’s Muslim employees in India have expressed interest in it, Reiton said.

These employees are given a very explicit set of instructions in the form of a web app, manual, and powerpoint to help them understand which images are kosher and which should be banned. All new screeners are also trained by more experienced screeners.

Netfree’s list of “Rules for blocking images” includes each image containing a number of specific traits, such as the following:

  • “A human female above the age of 9, or a part of her body”
  • “A human female above the age of 3 without full dressing. Meaning with a swimsuit, underwear, mini skirt without stockings, etc.”
  • “A human male above the age of 6 without full dressing”
  • “Prominence of intimate organs (can be in men’s underwear)”
  • “Women’s lingerie, even if there are no women in the picture (bras)”
  • “Naked human statues”
  • “Sex-related” content
  • “Obscene or disgusting [content]. For example—bodies, murder, evil, abuse, blood”

Images of women’s hands are okay, so long as there’s no nail polish. Screeners are also told to look out for rooms with pictures on the walls containing the above non-kosher imagery, as well as for pictures of pictures on computers, screens, tablets, and cameras.

Ironically, while the internet is the root of many issues in the orthodox community, it’s also a tool to alleviate those issues. “Caught in the shmutz [dirt]? Drowning in the internet?” beckons a site called Guard Your Eyes (GYE). The online GYE internet addiction services are here to help.

Internet addicts often feel like they’re living a “double life,” said Yaakov, founder of GYE, which has nearly 1,500 members. “On one hand, they’re living an orthodox life, studying in yeshiva, and on the other hand, they have the smartphone in their pocket and feel an irresistible urge.”

GYE offers help for varying levels of addiction: a call-in hotline, weekly “chizuk” (strength) emails, online chat forums for moral support, an anonymous 12-step program, and information on filters via the sister site Venishmartem (Hebrew for “you watched yourself”). GYE recommends keeping the computer in a common area, and also offers a partner program, in which internet addicts can have their browsing history automatically sent to a “web chaver [friend]” who keeps them accountable. “If you look at porn sites, your friend gets an alert and then it’s embarrassing to you,” Yaakov explained—and hopefully that helps addicts “break free.”

“The internet is a threat to spirituality, not just religion,” Yaakov said. “They’re two separate things. Religion depends on what you were raised to believe: that’s dogma. Spirituality is the simple belief that there’s a higher power, a loving God who is involved in our lives and cares about us.” You can be religious, but not spiritual, he said, and for addicts, the internet exacerbates that division.

Internet addiction goes beyond porn. It can also be an irresistible waste of time—a problem for seculars and religious, alike. “What a person does in his or her day is supposed to be tachless [purposeful],” said Rabbi Avi Shafran, spokesperson for Agudath Israel, a Haredi umbrella organization. “Wasting food, emotion, words, and time is seen as something that denies the value of life. God gave you a gift and you threw it out.” Wasting time is an issue especially for Haredim, who have a religious obligation to study Torah (not surf the web) during their free time.

But the bottom line is that the challenges the internet poses are just as present in the real world—whether it’s wasting time, watching porn, or bearing witness to inappropriate sightings on the street. (For instance, yeshiva boys may see a girl jogging in shorts and a sports bra through Haredi Williamsburg, but such an image would be blocked by filters.) Moreover, any tech savvy kid, like Jonathan was, can figure out how to hack the filters anyways.

“It’s an imperfect system. Assume [kids] are going to come across this one way or another, either through the computer or their friends. You can’t rely on the filter,” Shafran said. The key is “self-control and inoculation,” he added. “If you expose your kids to things that are not in consonance with our belief system, expose it to them outright. Teach by example and discuss with them why it’s wrong to watch pornography, for example. Let them read, let them question. They’ll know there are different approaches and they’ll learn how to reconcile them.”

Internet is not that dangerous… think again

this post comes from cross-currents.com by Yaakob Menken

In the lead-up to the Internet Asifa, Rav Aharon Feldman wrote that the problems associated with the Internet do not begin and end with inappropriate content, and thus filters alone are not a solution. Rather, he explained, the Internet affects the way we think, our ability to focus, and the way that we interact.

As far as I know, HaRav Feldman has not even used e-mail. So how does he know something that Newsweek has now documented after exhaustive studies? “New research says the Internet can make us lonely and depressed — and may even create more extreme forms of mental illness.”

The answer, truthfully, is that this isn’t even a revelation of Rav Feldman’s gifted mind. Only the blind could question Rav Feldman’s statement in this regard… but of course, even a cursory examination of “Orthodox” blogs will remind you that the world is filled with blind pundits. Gedolei Torah have warned us about the Internet for over a decade, and those who wish to mock the Gedolim have demonstrated their own foolishness (not to use any of a number of less charitable adjectives) in their haste to attack. As I put it in 2000, when Israeli Gedolim first warned against the harm of unfiltered home Internet, “secular Israeli ferocity pitted itself against plain American clumsiness to see who could provide the furthest approximation from intelligent coverage.”

In 2000, though, Internet use was not so constant and so intrusive (and there were no blogs on which to find ferocity and clumsiness so neatly packaged together). The idea that someone might get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom, and then check his or her email before going back to sleep, was considered funny. [Today, Newsweek asserts that “more than a third of users get online before getting out of bed.”] So twenty years ago, it wasn’t as obvious as today that the Internet can do even more insidious — and just as damaging — harm.

Newsweek begins its coverage with the anecdote of a young man who created a documentary of the crimes of an African warlord, and publicized it via the Internet in an attempt to stop those crimes. But when the video got 70 million views in less than a week, the sudden exposure to digital “kudos and criticisms” overwhelmed the young producer. After a week of decreasingly-coherent Twitter updates, he “went to the corner of a busy intersection near his home in San Diego, where he repeatedly slapped the concrete with both palms and ranted about the devil.” The “sudden transition from relative anonymity to worldwide attention” drove him insane. Oh, and just for good measure, someone filmed his meltdown and stuck it up on YouTube.

The full article is certainly worth reading, but essentially, those questioning the need to warn people about the Internet (e.g. many who mocked the Asifa) deserve all of the same respect and consideration as those who question the need to warn people about using crack. Some quotes:

The current incarnation of the Internet — portable, social, accelerated, and all-pervasive — may be making us not just dumber or lonelier but more depressed and anxious, prone to obsessive-compulsive and attention-deficit disorders, even outright psychotic.

Research is now making it clear that the Internet is not “just” another delivery system… The Internet “leads to behavior that people are conscious is not in their best interest and does leave them anxious and does make them act compulsively,” says Nicholas Carr, whose book The Shallows, about the Web’s effect on cognition, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. It “fosters our obsessions, dependence, and stress reactions,” adds Larry Rosen, a California psychologist who has researched the Net’s effect for decades. It “encourages — and even promotes — insanity.”

China, Taiwan, and Korea… [now treat] problematic Web use as a grave national health crisis. In those countries, where tens of millions of people (and as much as 30 percent of teens) are considered Internet-addicted, mostly to gaming, virtual reality, and social media, the story is sensational front-page news. One young couple neglected its infant to death while nourishing a virtual baby online. A young man fatally bludgeoned his mother for suggesting he log off (and then used her credit card to rack up more hours). At least 10 ultra-Web users, serviced by one-click noodle delivery, have died of blood clots from sitting too long.

Then there was the University of Maryland’s 2010 “Unplugged” experiment that asked 200 undergrads to forgo all Web and mobile technologies for a day and to keep a diary of their feelings. “I clearly am addicted and the dependency is sickening,” reported one student in the study. “Media is my drug,” wrote another. At least two other schools haven’t even been able to get such an experiment off the ground for lack of participants. “Most college students are not just unwilling, but functionally unable, to be without their media links to the world,” the University of Maryland concluded.

Recently it became possible to watch this kind of Web use rewire the brain… The brains of Internet addicts, it turns out, look like the brains of drug and alcohol addicts.

A team of researchers at Tel Aviv University… published what they believe are the first documented cases of “Internet-related psychosis.” The qualities of online communication are capable of generating “true psychotic phenomena,” the authors conclude, before putting the medical community on warning. “The spiraling use of the Internet and its potential involvement in psychopathology are new consequences of our times.”

Interestingly, the article persists in claiming that “blaming the television for kids these days” is “silly and naive” — despite the overwhelming evidence of the effects of passive viewing on developing brains. Will they never learn?

it is a basic necessity to have an internet filter and to always keep an eye on our children’s internet uses and behaviors if you need a kosher filter please check the following webchaver link

this post comes from cross-currents.com by Yaakob Menken

What is Webchaver

WebChaver

WebChaver is based on ‘Covenant Eyes’ software, it is designed specially for frum Yidden, and is cheaper!

The idea of Internet Accountability is simple: A person will certainly not view inappropriate material on the internet if others could see what they have viewed. WebChaver (using the acclaimed Covenant Eyes software) will send an easy-to-read report of your internet activity to a Chaver of your choice; a spouse, parent, or friend, who can view the report and ensure your browsing integrity.

This concept is not new. Our Sages tell us that a shomer (guardian) that has the ability to check up on someone is an effective safeguard against sin. Many Halachic authorities have declared the Internet to be no different than being alone with a forbidden woman (yichud). The most effective way to counter this is by appointing a shomer – someone that can “check up” on your activity and ensure the internet is being used only for the good.

קנה לך חבר
Acquire the Power
Of a True Friend

WebChaver sits on your computer and quietly keeps an eye out for any questionable viewing. Your designated Chaver receives a weekly summary of anything that raises WebChaver’s automatic eyebrows.

for more information and to learn how it works please click here