Myspace.com firewalled … or is it?
February 1, 2006
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Bakersfield College students are no longer able to access their Myspace accounts from the BC campus. The library commons is “actively trying to block” the popular Web site, according to Jim McGee, director of informational services.
But as of Jan. 24, one student had found 21 ways to access the famous “place for friends.” Will Chandler felt that it was “stupid that they blocked Myspace.” Chandler believes that Myspace is addictive but students should be allowed to access it.
Chandler has used the same method he used in high school to bypass firewalls to other sites. Chandler uses a proxy site as a host to get to Myspace, and while on Myspace, the proxy stays the same.
When asked if he was worried about the proxies being firewalled as well, Chandler responded, “If the proxies are blocked, I’ll host a link to Myspace off my site.” Chandler added, “As long as there are computers, you cannot block Myspace.”
Chandler’s method proved to work when it was tested in the commons area Jan. 24.
“Any student can get on Myspace through myfreeproxy.com,” said Chandler.
Currently, students who try to access their Myspace accounts with no knowledge of Chandler’s method through the BC library commons are directed to a message set by the Bakersfield College Informational Services department, which reads, “Access to this Web site has been removed by BCIS at this time.”
According to McGee, Myspace became such a resource problem that the permanent blocking of the site was approved by the Informational Services Instructional Technology committee, made up of BC faculty and staff. McGee also added that BC students are able to join the committee but currently are not involved in the committee.
Student government President Ash West said that the SGA has been involved with the committee, but failed to have a representative the day of the meeting when the blocking of Myspace was approved. “Not having a representative was unfortunate,” West said.
The problem with students accessing Myspace was that students would spend hours browsing through Myspace keeping other students from using computers for class assignments.
Jennifer Bush, nursing major and a library commons student operator, said that since the blocking of Myspace, the commons area has been quieter and peaceful. As a student operator, Bush is glad Myspace is blocked because it makes more resources available for students who need them. “Students need the computers to work,” Bush said.
Barbara Graves, photography major, wonders why other Internet distractions are not being blocked. “You’d think that if they’re blocking Myspace, then other [distractions] would also be blocked.”
Students are able to access music videos, other online journals, and online video games as well as AOL instant messenger and Yahoo instant messenger. McGee plans to enforce the commons rules even further to assure that students who need a computer to get work done will be able to find one.
Some students unaware of Chandler’s method of getting to Myspace are upset. Julie Martinez, child development, is disappointed because she can no longer access her Myspace. “I would spend maybe 10 minutes max, just checking my messages whenever I had a break” said Martinez “Now I can’t.”