PROVO, Utah – Brigham Young University, affiliated with the Mormon Church, has lifted a three-year campus-wide ban on YouTube.
According to a university spokeswoman, even though much of YouTube’s content violates the school’s strict guidelines for virtuous living, university and church officials decided the popular online video-sharing website includes an increasing amount of educational materials that simply cannot be ignored. Of particular concern for administrators were professors’ complaints about being unable to access relevant YouTube content.
YouTube was added to the university’s Web content filtering blacklist in 2006. Since then, filtering technology at both YouTube and BYU has improved, and less “objectionable” material — primarily pornography, unapproved adult content of other kinds and violence — slips through.
Although some inappropriate content may elude even with the best of filters, the BYU spokeswoman said the school relies on students to police themselves. Before they are allowed to enroll, students must agree to follow a conservative code of conduct that prohibits alcohol, tobacco and caffeine use as well as any thoughts or behaviors that are not “virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy.”