Friday, February 26, 2010

Common Sense

The other day on Twitter, the new Common Sense Media ratings system on Barnes and Noble was brought to my attention.  I also notice how many people were wholeheartedly against any ratings system at all.  Now to be fair the CSM on BandN is ridiculous.  It only points out the bad stuff and none of the good stuff.  So I agree that it either needs to be changed for a more well rounded review or taken down.  But the actual site of Common Sense Media seems fine by itself.  It gives a much better review of what happens and a breakdown of the good and the bad based on their opinions plus it gives the opinions of parents AND kids.  But the thing that was bothering me was the response of some of the commenters, that obviously CSM was censoring or that parents shouldn't be involved in their children's reading choices.

Yes, God forbid that parents take an interest in what their children are reading and watching,  Is it so terrible that parents want to be aware of what their children do.? Because it is damned if you do, damned if you don't.  The minute it seems that parents give opinions about what their kids are watching or reading then it becomes censorship.  But when they don't then they are guilty of neglect.

Rating systems exist for a reason.  Parents want to have a general idea of appropriateness.  Do all ratings systems apply to everyone?  No.  It's impossible to expect a rating system to guarantee that this one show or book will perfect for this one age.  But it's nice to have a guideline.  The nice thing about Common Sense Media is the idea that they break down the good and the bad; this is the thing to expect from this book.  Some parents will use it to censure books.  I'm not that parent.  I don't intend to censure anything that Bub reads.  I just want to know what is in it.  When I was a public librarian, I did a lot of book recommendations for young adults and I had parents say no sex, or no violence, no this no that.  Did I willingly give their child books that went against what they wanted?  No, because it is not my child and their beliefs are not my own. Did I always agree with the parent?  No, but that is not my job.  As long as they don't try to pull the book off the shelf, then what they let their kid read or don't read is not my business.  I'm just happy the kid is reading.

Other/better articles to read:
Publisher's Weekly

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