Internet censorship is subjected to governmental control to keep programmes inoffensive to the public. It controls the ideas and information in a society. The question is if government should be allowed full authority on the internet. Is it completely fine to allow the government to decide the information we access and does this infringe on the rights of freedom and speech? First of all, there are the people who side with internet censorship. There is certain vulgar and offensive material put on the internet which can cause divisions between the society and offend some of the people. For example, videos and articles against a religion or culture can cause problems between citizens within a nation and so such information has to be censored. Censoring material that insults a religion helps protect society from disputes and thus doesn’t qualify to be called stealing someone’s rights. Moreover, censorship is important to keep children from corrupting their minds. Inappropriate videos and images put on the internet can be seen by the youth which is why this material should be removed by censoring.
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This act by the government ensures children don’t get to see vulgar material which can destroy their innocence. So, in a sense, government helps to protect children and in this case freedom of such information cannot count as it is too mature for children. Furthermore, some people argue that internet censorship is necessary to preserve national security. Without censorship, it is impossible to maintain secrecy of information and protect it from enemies that can use it against the nation. Adding on, other forms of illegal material being communicated are stopped by censorship. Illegal downloading of copyrighted content is a crime and internet censorship helps the government to catch criminals that indulge themselves in this act. As well, e-mail containing dangerous information like bomb plans have no right to be spread around the internet and so discarding them is the right thing to do. This shows that the government does not violate rights of freedom of speech by actually protecting its public from threatening information. However, others think that internet censorship is a violation to rights of freedom of speech. It limits free access to information which causes the society to foster ignorance in its citizens. Through this ignorance, people would not have knowledge and awareness on issues that take place around their environment. this is not fair as everyone should have the right to full access to information on the internet. Additionally, there is the history of censorship abuse.
The government can remove certain material that gives a bad image of it to the public meaning people have no freedom to criticize the government or voice their opinions. In this corrupt information can also be spread around the internet by the government and this gives wrong information to the public. In China, for example, videos and articles on human rights violation are blocked by the government from the eyes of the world. If people cannot freely express their opinions on such critical subjects, then there is no use of the internet as it limits freedom of speech. Furthermore, some governments put strict rules on internet usage like blocking social sites from the network. These include facebook and twitter. For instance, in China, facebook is banned and this affects the citizens and people owning facebook. Facebook loses more users from China. Also this limits communication and thus transfer of information is narrowed to usage of phones and letters. People will also find it difficult to interact with people outside the nation. This is a serious act against freedom of speech and shows government uses censorship to restrict passing on of information which signifies they have something to hide.
In conclusion, government should censor material to the extent where it becomes a threat for the community. Otherwise censorship of material that contains ‘offensive’ vocabulary like breast cancer is limiting freedom of speech as it is accessed by people for knowledge and it is not going to harm anyone. Besides, for child protection, there is already software that is available to block offensive sites. This shows that government has no right to censor the internet by removing material that can actually be helpful to the people. The government misuse its control over the internet to limit people’s ideas and thought capacities which violates freedom of speech and information.