Call for Proposals: Internet Filtering Symposium

(Note: Due to COVID-19, the symposium has been rescheduled to April 26-27 2022)

 School of Information Science, University of Kentucky


Proposals Due: December 15, 2021

Notification of Acceptance: January 20, 2022



The internet is filtered in public schools and public libraries across the U.S., as required by the federal legislation mandating the use of filters to receive E-rate funding for their internet services. Many states also tie funding for libraries and schools to  some sort of internet filtering, or are reinforcing the use of internet filtering as a claimed remedy for prostitution, human trafficking, and pornography addiction..  


The practice of mandating filtering as a prerequisite for funding is so widely accepted that libraries' and schools’ use of the $7.171 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund--just signed by President Biden--is conditioned on the installation and use of filters on all school and library owned laptops and tablets (and possibly mobile hotspots).  But internet filtering may connect with misinformation and disinformation campaigns--is it better to provide an unfiltered, broad array of information to combat fake news, or is fake news the result of an unfiltered “wild west” internet?


Very little is known about the ways in which filtering is implemented, its effects, or the populations who are most impacted. 


For this symposium, we invite proposals that address the lack of research and information about implementation and effects of internet filtering; the relationship between internet filtering and digital literacy and/ or misinformation; the impacts of proposed and actual legislation; the relationship between freedom of speech, censorship, and internet filtering; and other perspectives and approaches to internet filtering in the U.S.   


(1) For paper proposals, please submit an 800-1000 word abstract of your paper.

(2) For panel, fishbowl, or group proposals, please identify participants with a 100-250 word biography and submit a 1000-1500 word abstract of your topic and treatment.


Proposals should be sent to

Deadline for Proposals:  December 15, 2021

Notification of Acceptance: January 20, 2022

Conference Date: April 26-27


Conference Organizing Committee:

Shannon M. Oltmann, Associate Professor, University of Kentucky

Emily J.M. Knox, Associate Professor, University of Illinois

Chris Peterson, Board of Directors, National Coalition Against Censorship

Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Director, Office for Intellectual Freedom, American Library Association



Institute of Museum and Library Services (Grant # LG-12-19-0051-19)