Internet censorship by the government is important as it prevents us from internet misuse. The increasing misuse and abuse of the internet have necessitated government intervention around the world. Initially, the only way to control cyberspace was through self-regulation. The creation of aspects relating to self-regulation in the cyberspace by the providers of the services has proven to be difficult to implement due to the modern challenges especially on the misuse of internet and content development (Clark, 2017). The main concern many societies have is that government intervention diminishes their right to share and acquire information, which contradicts the very reason for making the internet.
Benefits of Internet Censorship
Protection of the young population
The internet contains both the relevant and irrelevant materials. The content affects the physical and psychological development of children positively and negatively. The presence of unjustifiable material, for instance, adult content and violent scenes are more likely to instil immoral behaviour in the children (Jardine, 2017). Some provisions of the law monitor and control to some extent the contents of the internet but do not guarantee complete content regulation.
Therefore, undue content is still available in the sites thus the need for censorship. Government censorship helps in regulating the materials circulating on the internet and help safeguard the users to some extent. It does this by removing some information likely to allure children into pornographic and violence websites. The sites have a negative psychological effect on the growth and development of children as they can allure them to adolescent crimes and premarital sexual behaviour (Aceto, 2015). Control of the information available on the internet is hence important in advocating moral uprightness.
Gender sensitivity and privacy
The monitoring of internet can help women in that there will be a reduction in gender disparities. Some websites show very viral videos and images that women feel their privacy has been invaded. With censorship, women feel that they have been accommodated and can air their views without feeling disregarded. Sexual harassment is hence reduced. Reduction of disturbance is also minimized, and a good example can be spam filters where emails that are being received by a person are reduced (Aceto, 2015).
A person can block such messages that may be offensive or disturbing. It is also possible to set passwords for private photos and videos. In social sites such as Facebook, a person can block some users, and private messaging is enabled. A person can also opt to ignore immoral videos sent to his or her timeline through the advancement in internet monitoring. It is therefore important to encourage more censorship and close monitoring of internet so that privacy is upgraded.
Reduction of Cyber Crimes
When the internet is monitored efficiently, cybercrimes are reduced since government regulations can be implemented and criminals arrested. Therefore, it becomes easier to lower the rate of scams done online. Additionally, cyber bullying is also reduced. There is the ability to protect music and movie copyrights when the internet is monitored which in turn leads to more profits for hit makers and movie production companies since only original copies of movies and music can be sold (Jardine, 2017).
Hindrance to Internet Censorship
The Taxonomy of Censors and Anti-Censors: Part I–Impacts of Internet Censorship talks about the tug-of-war on the Internet between censor and anti-censor technologies. Leberknight (2012) researched how censorship affects the information on the media and how it interacts between the public and the political side, and he found that internet filtering is very challenging due to the rapid spread of information.
The initial objective of the internet also makes it difficult to censor since it was set as a mode of dissemination of information. It is therefore difficult to limit the access to information since the internet was set up for that purpose (Leberknight, 2012). Technological advancement has also been a hindrance to internet censoring since it advocates more use of new technologies thus intensifying conflicts in censoring.
Disadvantages of Internet Censorship
Disregard of human rights
Human freedom such as freedom of speech and expression is disregarded (Kou, 2017). People will, therefore, feel limited to their rights which are cited in the constitution which is not fair. Human rights should be highly honoured since citizens of a country contribute the most to the growth of a country.
Limitation to access to information
Some information that is displayed on social and other internet sites may be beneficial to a person in as much as they may be disregarded (Kou, 2017). Human beings have different ideas and information which might not be important to one person may be of great benefit to the other. It also becomes difficult to comprehend the world since the information provided may be insufficient to a person with a desire to learn (Kou, 2017).
Too Much Government Intervention
Censoring information on the internet gives the government too much power to control the sites (Graber, 2017). The choices the government make may not be satisfying to all people. On the other hand, people will feel invaded since they don’t have power over the government.
Conclusively, internet should be used for beneficial purposes. Creating awareness on internet security and how to effectively use the internet is advantageous. Young people should be educated on the dangers of spending too much time on the internet and the quality of materials they should access. Moral uprightness will hence be advocated in the society.
Aceto, G., Botta, A., Pescapè, A., Feamster, N., Awan, M. F., Ahmad, T., &Qaisar, S. B. (2015, April).Monitoring Internet Censorship with UBICA.In TMA (pp. 143-157).
Clark, J. D., Faris, R. M., Morrison-Westphal, R. J., Noman, H., Tilton, C. B., & Zittrain, J. L. (2017). The shifting landscape of global internet censorship.
Graber, D. A., & Dunaway, J. (2017). Mass media and American politics. Cq Press.
Jardine, E. (2017). Privacy, censorship, data breaches and Internet freedom: The drivers of support and opposition to Dark Web technologies. New Media & Society, 1461444817733134.
Kou, Y., Semaan, B., & Nardi, B. (2017). A Confucian Look at Internet Censorship in China.
Leberknight, C. S., Chiang, M., & Wong, F. M. F. (2012). A taxonomy of censors and anti-censors: Part I-impacts of internet censorship. International Journal of E-Politics (IJEP), 3(2), 52-64.