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Essay on Internet Censorship

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Internet Censorship


There is a growing debate about censoring the internet. Some people think that the
internet is protected under the first ammendment and cannot be censored. Others think
that some of the material that is on the net needs to be filtered and regulated. The word censorship is defined as examining any material and prohibiting what is objectionable, according to Webster’s II dictionary. Censoring the internet is a violation of the first ammendment rights of every citizen in the United States. There are two general truths that some people feel are attitudes towards censoring the internet. The first is that very few people admit to favoring it. The second is that no matter who you are, in a matter of minutes spent surfing the net almost anyone can find something that they find to be offensive. In fact, some web surfers feel that the truly inappropriate things are inspired by one’s own religion. For example, the Nurenberg Files website showed pictures of mangled fetuses with the photograph, name, and address of some abortion clinic doctors.

If someone were to kill one of the doctors then an ‘X’ was put over their picture. This site may not harm a child, but it seems that the focus today is on what is inappropriate for the child to see. What about the adults? A site like this “clearly acts to corrupt and deprave the adults who take it seriously” (Brown 48).

Another reason for not censoring the internet is the psychological effects that it can have on a child. The filtering of the internet can tell a child that adults do not trust them to surf the net on their own. This can lead them to believe that they can not make their own decisions, and that a computer determines what right and wr...


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...night Ridder/Tribune News Serivce. February 12, 1996. 212.

Knight Ridder. “Time to stop push to Censor Cyberspace.” Knight Ridder/Tribune News
Serivce. December 14, 1995. 214.

Lewis, Peter. “Quixote’s Network.” Home Office Computing. May 1996. 114.

Lloyd, Steve. “Privacy and Human Rights.” (Manchester University Press, 1968).

Nellen, Peter. “Internet Censorship is both a Menace and a Nuisance.” Technology and
Learning. November 1998. 53.

Quittner, Joshua. “Free Speech for the Net: a panel of federal judges overturns the
Communications Decency Act.” Time. June 1996. 56.

Ratcliffe, Mitch. “Instead of Net censorship, let users control access.” PC Week.
January 22, 1996. A16.

Sjoerdsma, Ann G. “Internet Censorship, trying to make sense of it all.” Knight
Ridder/Tribune News Serivce. March 1, 1996. 301.


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