We are living in the era of the internet, where the whole world has become a global village. Internet censorship means controlling some information or news on the internet.
Internet censorship can occur in any form and anyone can apply that. We are talking about the situation when brands have to censor their content to meet social or religious norms. Sometimes internet censorship is also applied by the government to filter news or inappropriate content.
Pros of Internet Censorship
- Harmful Content becomes inaccessible
We know the dark web exists, where illegal activities happen. Those sites are censored, when censorship occurs, people cannot access them to ensure the rule of law. Use of drugs, child pornography, sex trafficking, all these things can and do happen on the internet. But, by restricting these sites, the government and the regulatory authorities can enforce the law.
- Security against identity theft
During the last five years, we have observed a rise in identity theft crimes. If we talk about the days when the internet was not so commonly accessible, identity theft was a big task to do, thieves had to take a dive in your dumpster to find something. But now, the internet knows everything about us, and it is a free place to roam. The only thing that can ensure security against identity theft is internet censorship. With internet censorship, you won’t have to worry about your personal information anymore.
- National security on another level
These days, we have this strange habit of posting everything online. We like to show the world what we ate for dinner, where we spent our vacations, and the list goes on. If you are going on a journey, it is advised not to post every detail about your trip online. Because if you did, it would be like aiding thieves in stealing your goods.
Now take this example on the national level. Your country’s security, your armed forces’ strategies and a lot of top secret information like that, if posted online, can cause a threat to the national security of your country. But the censorship wins this round too.
- Censorship can stop deep-fake tech
We agree that creating deep fake tech takes a lot of time, energy, money and skills. But people do it, people spend months of their lives, manipulating videos, posts, and sites to spread false information. These days, around 60 % of data on the internet is from humans and the remaining comes from bots and AIs.
Deep fake tech can plagiarize any audio, video or an article to create chaos in the society. And it happens around the globe. To achieve malicious political goals, people do that. Only censorship comes to the rescue when it happens.
- Censoring the graphic content
Social media sites provide an option of going live on the social platforms, where people can share their personal life moments. This feature is awesome when people share their daily life adventures and fun. Like having dinner with family, going on a hike, creating a social trend, etc, But we have also witnessed people causing harm to others, targeting them, even killing them live on social platforms. As we already discussed, the internet is a free space to roam, anyone can do anything he/she wants. But censorship is necessary to avoid graphic content going viral on the internet. This is the only way to make the internet a safe place for everyone is to filter out every unethical and immoral thing.
Cons of the internet censorship
- Government controls the entire population
Any country, where the government keeps track of what their citizens are posting on the internet, can control its people’s thinking. We have observed this in many countries, where even bloggers were charged with the crime of posting something against the government. Although internet censorship ensures the respect of law, it can also take away the freedom of speech from individuals.
- Controlling the journalism
I think everyone agrees that journalism is rightly called a pillar of the society. When someone tries to control the journalism, they are trying to impose/spread their agenda. No one knows if that particular agenda will be in favour of the whole society or just one group of that society. Censorship can control the flow of news, it may sound good if you are worried about the fake news. But, it is also dangerous when the government controls every news and message to make their people think what they want them to think.
- Who will decide what is good?
This is a common argument against censorship. If we think of censoring some information on the internet, who will decide what’s good and what’s not? Who is in charge of taking all the decisions?
Let’s say, you had ketchup on your hand as a prank and the internet mistook it as a blood, took your account down or sent you a warning on graphic content, isn’t that annoying? Because there are no actual hard and fast rules, a lot of fun or useful information can go down the drain, too.
- It’s not cheap
Applying restrictions or censorship is not an easy task. Offices and workers are needed to work. Funds are needed to do surveys on the internet. Understanding the thinking of the people and analysing the current economical, political, religious or racial situation of the country is necessary to apply internet censorship. One wrong step can cause chaos in the society. Taking surveys on a larger level is expensive. So, internet censorship takes skills, money and time.
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Final Talk on Pros and Cons of Internet Censorship:
We discussed the pros and cons of internet censorship in detail. In our opinion, internet censorship is necessary but as we always say, “excess of everything is bad”. Censorship is good when it is doing good for society, but when censorship is applied to oppress or snatch rights from individuals, it becomes bad suddenly.
Hope you enjoyed the read, thank you!