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Congress vs Misleading Meta Tags 473

Krishna Dagli writes "The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a bill that would make it a federal felony for Webmasters to use innocent words like "Barbie" or "Furby" but actually feature sexual content on their sites. Anyone who includes misleading "words" or "images" intended to confuse a minor into viewing a possibly harmful Web site could be imprisoned for up to 20 years and fined, the bill says." Terrible news for the Barbie/Furbie fetishists out there, to say nothing about being completely impossible to enforce globally.
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Congress vs Misleading Meta Tags

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  • by hauntingthunder ( 985246 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @09:21AM (#15783336) Homepage
    Indeed The META keywords tag was so abused and so google and the others just ignore them. A fact that a lot of webmasters havnt realised yet the Description and the geo location tags are usefull though.
  • Oops (Score:2, Informative)

    by BlackCobra43 ( 596714 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @09:22AM (#15783347)
    Shoold have RFTA more carefully. It's ALREADY passed. Lovely.
  • by stokes ( 148512 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @09:43AM (#15783556)
    "Barbie" is a real, albeit dated, contraction of Barbara that predates the fashion doll. There shouldn't be any problem so long as the web site isn't selling a toy of that name.
  • by smitth1276 ( 832902 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @10:05AM (#15783740)
    If the site is the first listed in Google's index for the word "Barbie" then you just made Congress's case to some extent. :-)

    And, I think that you are actually missing the point. The government isn't making it illegal to use keywords that don't perfectly reflect the content of the site... that's just a "whatever" thing. What is illegal is trying to trick kids to come to a porn site. It is very narrow and scope, and doesn't infringe on anyone's free speech rights, unless they are trying to trick kids to come to a porn site. If the keywords are legitimate with respect to the site's content, then it isn't illegal.
  • Re:So? (Score:5, Informative)

    by JasonKChapman ( 842766 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @10:07AM (#15783762) Homepage
    It's clear Congress doesn't understand what the Internet is ("a series of tubes" said the learned Congressman) or how it works
    It's clear you don't know how Congress works. Ted Stevens is a United States Senator. You're clearly not qualified to choose your own elected representatives. You should just give up.

    If you two are finished tossing verbal grenades, you might want to stop and notice that you're both right -- and both wrong. Congressman as a noun means a member of congress. That applies to both senators and members of the House. As a title, it refers specifically to a member of the House, as in Congressman Foo (as opposed to Senator Bar). That makes the GP right and you wrong.

    Having said that, the GP capitalized the word which, while wrong in the specific usage, at least implies the word's use as a title. That makes you right and the GP wrong.

    In the long run, I suppose it doesn't really matter. This is /., which makes it far more interesting to dip each other's hair in inkwells, or shoot spitballs, or whatever the hell the drive-by jerk behavior d'jour is. By all means, stay as far as hell away from a meaningful discussion of the topic as possible.

  • 20 Years? (Score:3, Informative)

    by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @10:10AM (#15783785) Homepage
    That's like double the punishment you get for murdering a dozen children you've just videotaped whilst raping?
  • by Supersonic1425 ( 903823 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @10:20AM (#15783868)
    the meta description tag can be very useful. it's the tag that search engines use to show the little blurb below the page's title on their results pages. e.g.
    Slashdot (title) Source for technology related news with a heavy slant towards Linux and Open Source issues. (description)
    the keywords tag is useless though -- and that's probably what you meant, I just wanted to clarify that for anyone reading your post.

The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable. -- John Kenneth Galbraith