NYC Pulls Free WiFi Kiosks After Users Got Freaky With WiFi

This is why we can't have nice things

It started as an intriguing idea.  New York City wanted to be a very modern, 21st Century kind of city.  To reach that goal, they put free internet kiosks throughout the city.  It was groundbreaking!

And, it gave people all kinds of new ways to access their internet porn.

From The Daily Caller:

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is shutting down Internet access for new WiFi kiosks stationed around the city after a homeless man was seen masturbating to porn in one of the booths.

“I have noticed this kind of thing at charging stations, before, but just not this incredibly out in the open at a time when people were out,” Stephanie Pederson posted on a neighborhood Facebook group, according to the New York Post.

Pederson, who resides in the Murray Hill neighborhood, was walking her dog on a Sunday morning.

Other city residents have complained that they have seen vagrants playing with their genitals while watching porn, often with minors nearby.

The only people surprised by this may well be the city officials who thought this was a brilliant idea.

It’s the internet.  It’s free, and unfiltered apparently.  What did they expect to happen?

More baffling is that this was in New York, the home of Broadway.  One popular musical, Avenue Q, posited that the internet was really just for one thing (performed here with assistance from World of Warcraft characters):

Apparently, no one involved in this project spent much time going to shows.

More seriously, though, this was entirely foreseeable.  You give the whole world free internet access, they’re going to use it for whatever they want.  That was kind of the point.  When you also basically give them devices to connect within a defined space, guess what’s going to happen?  The same thing.

There’s a reason many libraries filter out porn on their computers.  While some have argued it’s a First Amendment issue–and it may well be–the reality is that tax dollars are paying for those computers and that internet access and they have to conform to community standards, which the courts have upheld as a factor in First Amendment situations.

With the NYC kiosks, the city failed to account for those community standards, possibly thinking the Big Apple didn’t have any.  Turns out, they do.  No one wants to see bums slapping the weasel, among other things.

And that’s only the tip of the Fail-berg in this.

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