Unfiltered Internet – The Unchecked Beast


internetBy S. Friedman

This is not a typical Matzav.com article, and quite frankly, I don’t even know if they’ll publish it.  Unlike some other “frum” news sites, Matzav.com truly prides itself on being above base gossip and vile news that comes from the underbelly and fringes of our society.  While some other sites are rife with loshon hora and have no qualms about publishing the basest of stories, Matzav.com does not.  They are to be commended and they are the standard bearer to how news should be presented to a frum audience looking to uphold Torah ideals.

Somebody supposedly did something bad.  Very bad.  The nature of what act this person committed does not need to be enumerated, as I am sure most readers can surmise what constitutes “very bad” in our day and age.  If you want the unproven details of what was alleged, you’ll have to go elsewhere.  As far as who was involved, it was a relative of mine.  A respected talmud chochum whom some people would go to for advice.  Identified as a “rabbi” and rightfully so.  He is quite brilliant by most accounts, and never was involved in anything substandard in the past.

Why am I even writing about a nameless someone who at this point is only “alleged” to have done something wrong?  Because at the very worst, he is as dubious a person as they come, or on the flip side, he was in a compromising circumstance that doesn’t reflect who he really is and what his intentions really are.  At best, it is a classic “in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

What is that wrong place?  It is the unprotected internet.  Rav Matisyahu Solomon, shlit”a supposedly has commented that being in a room with unfiltered internet is akin to yichud.  In the year 2013, who can dispute that?  How can anyone deny the accessibility to filth and forbidden communications that none of us can claim to be immune to?

We have ta’avos– it is our human nature.  Of course we can be civil and maintain our control, at least most of the times.  But chazal tell us not to put ourselves in compromising situations that will test us.  That was what Mordechai implored the yidden from refraining from the “kosher” feast of Achashveirosh.  When an aveira is committed, we know we have crossed the line; our sages in their wisdom have told us to not even get close to the proverbial line as well.  Our ta’avos are not to be underestimated.

The gemara recounts how an elderly sage committed adultery at the very last stage of his life.  The yetzer hora can ensnare a person until his very last breath on this earth- “od yom moyso.”  No one is above this.  Some people may comment incredulously on this article, “well, why are you writing on the treife internet?!”  I am not advocating ceasing and desisting from internet use- it is a fact of life here to stay, and if anything, having a quality website like Matzav.com helps us stay insular even when delving in the World Wide Web.

What I am advocating, no, imploring, is the use of filters and buddy systems.  My relative’s life is now ruined.  He navigated unchartered waters where he did not belong and now his story will be fodder for the next speech you hear about the evils of the internet.  Please do not let his fall be a total waste; use this as yet another wake up call to us all that no one is immune and we need protections from the base immorality that exists in the virtual world.

{Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. I use NATIV….every site is automatically off unless you choose to “white list” it OR use their already-combed-through white list (hundreds of sites)– or a combination of both. If you request a site that doesn’t “pass approval” it doesn’t get added (with an explanation, of course). It’s literally impossible to go wrong.
    The customer service is 100% courteous and efficient.
    The best part is the kids can go on to type a project or watch Matzav(for example) and I don’t have to worry about a thing.
    And no, I don’t get commission; just passing along a great idea.

  2. My mashgiach in Yeshiva once said at a Mussar Vaad- “Having internet in one’s home is like playing with fire; I’ve seen families that have gotten burnt”- How true are these words.

  3. The writer could not have articulated his point in a better and classier way.
    To put it bluntly- the internet is filth- stay out of filth!
    Filtered internet is a whole different world, which a normal person who budgets their time can manage.
    Heed his words!

  4. to 2, how true r the words of chazal leitz achas docheh maiah tochachos.
    tell me r u serious or plain stupid?
    obvisoly it was the person that fell and was nichsal, but without the tools it would have been impossible to, for he would never have had the tavah. now unless u r a malach you have an incilation like the rest of us for certain things and noone can be sure about themselves.
    so again, while it definitely was the person who fell why bring yourself to the same niyson, whos to say u will pass, unless u tell me ur not human.
    p.s. stop living in denial and start listining to the rabbonim shlita

  5. to #4- the author clearly states “Some people may comment incredulously on this article, “well, why are you writing on the treife internet?!” I am not advocating ceasing and desisting from internet use etc..”
    Point is FILTERS!!!

  6. The internet is like a knife: it is neither good nor bad, it just is. It is how it gets used that makes it good or bad

    A knife can be used to do surgery and save someone’s life, or it can be used for murder and end someone’s life.

  7. You can’t run forever from the internet. This is modernity and that force has staying power. Restrict some content and use the future wisely. I am confident Hashem says it is ok.

  8. In todays world you just go out of youre house you see almost as much shumtz as on the unfiltered internet lets not pretent we live in a world where you can block everything out

  9. filters are very important, but we still need to be careful, they are not fool proof, a website can be typed in with a small spelling mistake, or something can be clicked on by mistake and you can be taken to a horrible site, I heard of 2 such incidents in the last few weeks

  10. to #19,
    firstly- seriously dont tell me that what u see on the street is anything compared to what you can access on the internet!
    Secondly, all because you might not be able to completely protect yourself from everything, you are not going to protect it at least somewhat?!

  11. Altho the internet can be used for the good and bad, the potential for bad is so great, and so many people fall, so what kind of fool doesnt protect himself from traps?
    Get a filter!!