Internet Censorship Essay - Censorship and the Internet
Length: 715 words (2 double-spaced pages)
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As the First Amendment states, we as Americans are given numerous freedoms. These freedoms become a constitutional right which no one can take away from us. Among these rights are the freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Many people feel that with these two freedoms combined they can post on the Internet whatever they want. However, the First Amendment does have limitations. Contrary to what some people may believe, our freedom of speech is not protected when it comes to indecency. This fact, along with several other reasons, is why cyberpornography should no longer be present on the Internet.
My friend was recently doing a report on black holes, so she decided to take her search on the web. What she got as her reply was a black female and her "hole." Although this may sound humorous at first, we must look at the larger picture. Imagine a young child who does this same search and gets the same reply. It is hard enough for a parent to explain the topic of sex to their child. Once they do the parent wants the child to think of this as something special. Not as something which is depicted on the Internet sometimes in extremely distasteful manners. We must think of a way to limit the replies that people get back.
I do not agree with censorship over the Internet. As in all media people are allowed to speak freely. This is one of our rights. If we do not agree with what the government is currently doing we can speak out against them, and not be punished. It is important that we maintain some control of this freedom. However, I do not feel that pornography falls under this category.
When the topic of taking pornography off of the web comes up people become very angry. These people feel that their rights are being taking away, but in reality this type of "censorship" is already present in today's media. Although, programming on television has changed greatly over the years, there is still a definite limit on what can be placed on the air. If you want to see detailed sex acts you must pay, often very expensive prices for these channels. You also will never see these vivid pictures in newspapers or news magazines. These graphic pictures are limited in this type of media and for good reason.
Society is trying to keep pornography out of mainstream media for several reasons. The main reason is so young children will not be subjected to porn. However, it is not just children. In general, many people find pornography crude and distasteful. Pornography is simply something that should be kept private. If it is not appropriate for television, it should not be appropriate for the Internet either. The Internet is just as easily accessible for young children as television is.
It is not easy to find a solution to this problem. Some countries have tried blocking out certain words in searches. However, this leads to other problems. Germany placed a ban on the word "breast" which kept its users from getting any information about breast cancer. In another incident, Japan has taken a dramatic step. Not only have they blocked their users from pornography, they also cannot look up anything "politically indecent."
I do not like the idea of young children finding pornography on the Internet, but I hate the idea of our government trying to regulate us. Maybe this issue is more simple. Parents could interact more with their children, and accompany them when they log on. Some computers do offer a way to block out pornography when doing searches on the web. The parent can put the block on before the child ever uses the computer.
The Internet has become mainstream media. People log on for research, news, and entertainment. These same reasons are why people read and watch television. Pornography is just not appropriate for any of these types of media. I feel that pornography is the only thing on the web that should be removed. Everyone has a right to their freedom of speech, but porn is going above and beyond that right.
Larose, Robert and Joseph Straubhaar. "Communications Media in the Information Society." Belmont. 1997: 96-99, 337-338