Brigham Young University Bans YouTube Access for Students

The popular Internet video-sharing site YouTube has been blocked on campus at Brigham Young University, the Mormon church school where students agree to live a "chaste and virtuous life."

BYU's filtering software blocks pornography, adult content and violence. YouTube has its own filters for porn, but BYU decided last fall to add the site to the list of those blocked through the university's Internet service, The Daily Herald newspaper reported Friday.

"We use the filtering process for two reasons," BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said. "First to protect students from inappropriate material. The other is because of our limited bandwidth. That bandwidth is used for academic purposes."

Students who live off-campus and have a private Internet provider can view whatever they want, although it may violate the school's strict, conservative standards.

Student Megan Timothy, who lives on campus, said she finds most YouTube videos humorous and wishes she could access the site from home, but she understands the campus-wide block.

"It's BYU, and they block everything," Timothy said.

Students and faculty at BYU 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 honor code includes provisions against alcohol, tobacco and caffeine use, among other things. It also specifically mentions pornography or other offensive materials as taboo and says using the BYU computer network to obtain or distribute pornographic material is inappropriate.

Jenkins said pornography access on campus is "not a huge problem, given that our students are understanding of our campus environment."

Students can access Internet video through Google, which Jenkins said is more easily filtered than YouTube.