Friday, March 13, 2009

Political Censorship at Best Buy?!?



After my workout today, I had some extra time on my hands before I needed to pick up Mckenna at her preschool. I used this extra time to head on over to Best Buy to just browse around, I never actually buy anything. I consider it shopping therapy. I can window shop for hours and hours. It's a disease.

On my way to Best Buy I was listening to Rush Limbaugh's CPAC speech being rebroadcast on KTTH 770 AM. I have been wanting to looking for an audio download of this speech for a few days now. As I walked into Best Buy I noticed a kiosk in the front of the store, set up for anyone to use. All of a sudden I got an urge to search the net for that audio file.

After opening up IE and being expectantly directed to Best Buy's homepage I ventured out on the net to google to begin my search. I typed 'Rush Limbaugh' and hit enter only to find that and and all results for that search term were block by Best Buy's firewall/security. At first I thought little of it. Maybe the store blocks all web pages except for it's own. I tried Circuit City and found that was also blocked. This didn't surprise me all that much. Why would they allow access to their competition's site? Then out of curiosity I typed 'Barack Obama' and got results returned to me. Very curious indeed. I was intrigued. I tried more terms...

Joe Biden: Allowed
Michael Medved: Blocked
Republican: Blocked
Democrat: Allowed
Conservative: Blocked
Liberal: Allowed

You can understand my shock! Was this intentional or just a fluke that all these opposing terms, people, and ideas were blocked or allowed? Was it the decision of Best Buy 'higher-ups' implemented nation wide or of the person that installed that particular kiosk or firewall/security measures at that particular Best Buy Store?

The answers to these questions may never be known, mostly due to the time constraint I had to go pick up Mckenna. But also because I didn't really want to call a store manager over and make a big scene questioning him about something he probably knew nothing about. That and the kiosk, while available to all who come in the store, does not promise the free and full access to the entire web. That's not why it was installed.

It's just interesting how far some people will allow their ideology to creep into their jobs and interactions with others, thereby blocking what they consider to be unauthorized for consumption of others. But then again, I could just be over-paranoid and a conspiracy theorist. You decide.
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