After much consideration by the administration, BYU students now have access to Dramatic Chipmunk, Laughing Baby, Chocolate Rain and all the rest of YouTube.
YouTube has long been blocked on campus because administrators felt it contained too much questionable content. With the change, however, BYU will tacitly accept the distribution, on its own network, of all the YouTube content it once felt was inappropriate.
It's now up to students to be their own filters. "The users need to be wise and responsible users of technology," said BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins.
The policy was reconsidered in part because of professors who want access to YouTube in classrooms.
"The overwhelming factor was the educational information and materials that are increasingly becoming available," Jenkins said. "I think there's no other way but to provide all of it."
YouTube was made available Friday morning at the same time the school launched its own Web site -- besafe.byu.edu -- which is intended to educate students and others about online perils and pitfalls, such as spam, phishing, viruses and malware.
In the Games section, for example, the new site asks whether a game is appropriate. When in doubt, it suggests, follow the advice of church leaders like Elder David Bednar, who was quoted on the besafe Web site:
"A young man or woman may waste countless hours, postpone or forfeit vocational or academic achievement, and ultimately sacrifice cherished human relationships because of mind- and spirit-numbing video and online games. As the Lord declared, 'Wherefore, I give unto them a commandment ... Thou shalt not idle away thy time, neither shalt thou bury thy talent that it may not be known.' "
Play it off, keyboard cat.