Brigham Young University, the Mormon church school where students agree to live a chaste and virtuous life, has lifted its almost three-year policy of blocking students’ access to YouTube.
Administrators lifted the ban on June 26, citing an increasing amount of educational material on the popular video-sharing web site, university spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said.
YouTube has its own filters for pornography, but BYU added it to the list of web sites blocked by campus online filters in 2006 because administrators felt there was too much content that could violate the school’s strict, conservative standards.
The university’s software also blocks pornography, adult content, and violence from other sites.
BYU cited limited bandwidth as another factor when explaining the decision. But some professors have since complained that they couldn’t access relevant YouTube content in the classroom.
"I think there’s no other way but to provide all of it," Jenkins said.
Students and faculty at the university agree to follow the school’s honor code, a list of standards in line with the principles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The code includes provisions against alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine use, among other things. It also specifically labels pornography as taboo.
Also on June 26, BYU launched a new web site–besafe.byu.edu–that explains the school’s internet guidelines and advises readers how to avoid online threats like phishing and viruses.
The site notes that students and faculty at BYU agree to avoid internet content and activities that are not "virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy."