By definition, censorship is the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are offensive, it happens whenever some people succeed in imposing their personal, political, or moral values on others. Internet censorship is a controversial issue that requires careful thought in order to have a well-formed opinion. It has become a hot topic in the Media and countries that are currently seeking this type of censorship. Many believe censoring the Internet is a violation of our rights. Perhaps, by sharing my thoughts and ideas I can shed some light on this subject.
Internet censorship and the censorship tool known as labeling is unrealistic and unnecessary because it is a parents responsibility to know what their children are accessing and how to explain any difficult situations that may arise because of their childrens Internet use. Labeling is a type of rating system that informs the viewer what type on contact lies ahead and is certainly not effective in screening people who are accessing a page. Many censorship classifications systems like labeling are now in use.
In many countries the use of these systems is currently under scrutiny to see if they are necessary or even effective. This type of censorship is presumably intended to keep questionable material out of the reach of children. The way labeling works is on the first page of a domain; it informs the user of the type of material that is about to be accessed. To continue, one must agree to view the page by clicking the enter button. If the editor of each web page were forced to rate their sites, what or where would the criteria come from?
Furthermore, if it was decided an outside source should rate each new page, how could they possibly sort through the thousands of new sites per week, or even the billions of WebPages that already exist. Internet Access Controls Without Censorship, also known as PICS, was developed for the purpose of blocking access to websites containing potentially harmful material on the Internet within government, schools, libraries, and workplaces. Their main objective is to develop a censorship system that can filter out material that is specified by the user.
The purpose of a system like this is primarily to protect children. The problem with this type of censorship is this: where theres a will there is a way, and I believe this holds true in the case. According to PICS, most children may be prevented from viewing restricted material at home but these restrictions would only be in effect on a computer that the software is installed on. Also, material that would undoubtedly be blocked by parents is easily obtainable from the nearest Barnes and Noble Bookstore.
Internet censorship does not block all material that is available to todays youth. Books, magazines, movies, and everyday experiences all contain potentially harmful material. Furthermore, information is still available to some people; Internet censorship is not really censorship because the material is not actually prevented from being published. Censoring the Internet also negatively affects students in particular. Technology is becoming a necessity in everybodys daily life by allowing easy access to information.
Many students turn to the Internet for information when writing for class assignments. By censoring the Internet, students may find it difficult to research events from the past or even the present for that matter. All public schools and libraries are now federally regulated to have some type of Internet filter installed on their Internet server. American Journalism Review explained how these types of programs filter out key words, phrases, certain websites, and even news articles. Most of the time, users are not aware of the type of material that is being blocked.
This is due to the fact that the black lists, a list containing the information to block, is stored on an outside server and are updated frequently. Students have the right to know the details about what they are writing, not just the bits and pieces filtering software finds fit. It is important to be educated on past events; no matter how unpleasant they may be. In order for young people to understand the complexities of life and gain a better understanding of the world around them they must have complete access to news, articles, online databases, and reference sites.
Some Supporters of Internet Censorship say that it is necessary because children could be adversely affected by material they see. If this were true, must we take actions to protest the teaching of History in schools? Children begin to learn about complex issues and events of the past at an earlier age. These issues are taught in public schools everyday. In my opinion, the answer to protecting todays youth from interaction with unwholesome material is the responsibility of the parents.