Internet Censorship Pros and Cons List
Thanks to the power of the Internet, we have a greater ability to communicate thoughts and ideas with one another, no matter where we are in the world. With this awesome power also comes a certain level of responsibility. There are some who believe that Internet content needs to be censored, while others believe there is no need for such regulation.
No matter which side of this debate you come out on, there are valid points to be made by both schools of thought. Some countries, such as China, have already taken the steps to censor their citizens’ Internet access and other nations would never even dream of making such a rash decisions. There are advantages and disadvantages that come with Internet censorship, so let’s take the time to explore them, in-depth.
List of Pros of Internet Censorship
1. Protecting Children
It is no secret that the Internet is rife with pornography and other imagery that is geared adults. Children are now being raised in a world where having Internet access is a given and as such, they are quite proficient when it comes to using the Web to gain access to certain images and video.
A child is always going to have a high level of curiosity and they will seek out images that they know are forbidden. This is why Internet censorship is favored by many. Since our children are going to be growing up in a world where proficiency in accessing the Internet is second nature, it behooves us to clean up the Web and restrict what they are able to see.
2. Decrease In Illegal Activities
Law enforcement does not have the manpower or enough hours in the day to combat all of the illegal activity that takes place on the Internet. Movies, music and a other entertainment is illegally streamed and downloaded on a consistent basis. By censoring the Internet, the artists that create our entertainment would stand a greater chance of receiving true compensation for their works.
In the majority of nations throughout the world, the practice of downloading or streaming a person’s work that is readily available for sale is considered to be illegal. This is why certain countries have already taken the step to censor their Internet, so that their citizens are not tempted to break the law.
3. Less Instances Of Identity Theft
The Internet affords people a high level of anonymity. Unfortunately, criminals can use this to their advantage and steal your identity when you use a credit card to make online purchases. Even corporate giants such as Target have experienced online hackers and when this takes place, it can take months for a person’s financial situation to be restored to normalcy.
Internet censorship makes it much more difficult for a person’s identity to be stolen, thanks to additional laws that crack down on such behaviors and a significant increase in the level of online security that citizens can enjoy.
List of Cons of Internet Censorship
1. Less Freedom of Expression
When Internet censorship regulations are put into place, this severely cuts down on a person’s ability to express themselves through the Internet. The Internet is an atmosphere that thrives on high levels of creativity. Internet censorship serves to curb the enthusiasm of those who rely on the Internet to communicate important messages with others.
Some consider freedom of expression to be a basic, inalienable human right. If a person cannot receive their basic human rights while using the Internet, then they may not even bother. This deprives the world of people with new and interesting viewpoints. People who regularly share their creative works and thoughtful opinions with other browsers may decide to stop doing so altogether.
2. Decreased Access To Vital Information
It is hard to scrub all of the offensive content from the Internet without also getting rid of a plethora of useful information in the process. While some rely on the Internet for access to fun and leisure, there are others who treat the Internet as a source for a wide range of necessary information. Since there a wide range of sites that provide both useful content and harmful content, it can be quite difficult for a government to make the correct decisions about what to eliminate and what to keep.
Censoring the Internet is an inexact science. Government agencies can only do so much to eliminate offensive or illegal content while not disturbing any pivotal information in the process. Internet censorship laws are more geared completely eliminating certain websites or online niches, as opposed to taking a surgical approach and leaving useful information intact.
3. Difficult To Enforce
A government has a great deal of concerns to tend to, most of which are much more important than Internet censorship. The Internet is a vast place, with new websites emerging every second, which makes enforcing Internet censorship rules incredibly difficult. The combination of these factors tends to lead to very lax enforcement of the laws.
Uneven law enforcement can lead people to believe that there is very little reason to cease any of their illegal online activities. As such, people who conduct business online have never been more vulnerable, even in countries that have already enacted Internet censorship laws. Overcoming law enforcement that is lax and difficult to predict is incredibly challenging and yet another reason why Internet censorship is a great idea on paper and a mediocre one in practice.